Federal Register Vol. 83, No.102,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 102 (May 25, 2018)

Page Range24219-24396
FR Document

83_FR_102
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 24395 - National Maritime Day, 2018PDF
83 FR 24342 - Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 ReviewPDF
83 FR 24345 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 24361 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 24337 - U.S. Nomination to the World Heritage List: Hopewell Ceremonial EarthworksPDF
83 FR 24361 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 24277 - Public Availability of Department of Commerce FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory DataPDF
83 FR 24337 - Public Land Order No. 7867: Partial Withdrawal Revocation, Water Power Designation No. 14, OregonPDF
83 FR 24336 - Alaska Native Claims SelectionPDF
83 FR 24233 - Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Enhanced Supplementary Leverage Ratio Standards for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies and Certain of Their Subsidiary Insured Depository Institutions; Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity Requirements for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 24279 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seattle Multimodal Project in Seattle, Washington; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 24390 - Pipeline Safety: Request for Special Permit-Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.PDF
83 FR 24295 - Procurement List; DeletionsPDF
83 FR 24295 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
83 FR 24314 - Medicare Program; Announcement of the Reapproval of the Joint Commission as an Accreditation Organization Under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988PDF
83 FR 24272 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United StatesPDF
83 FR 24384 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Airport Noise Compatibility PlanningPDF
83 FR 24386 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Safety Management Systems for Part 121 Certificate HoldersPDF
83 FR 24312 - Information Collection; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management RegistrationPDF
83 FR 24311 - Information Collection; System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant RecipientsPDF
83 FR 24391 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
83 FR 24310 - Information Collection; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses; Placement of Orders Clause; and Ordering Information ClausePDF
83 FR 24255 - Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science; Extension of Comment Period and Notice of Public HearingPDF
83 FR 24256 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Particulate Matter StandardPDF
83 FR 24323 - Accreditation and Approval of Inspectorate America Corporation (Houston, TX), as a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
83 FR 24267 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Wisconsin; VOC Definition Update and Removal of Obsolete Gasoline Vapor Recovery RegulationsPDF
83 FR 24323 - Approval of Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc. (Crosby, TX), as a Commercial GaugerPDF
83 FR 24305 - Letter Peer Reviews for Exposure and Use Assessment and Human Health and Environmental Hazard Summary for Five PBT Chemicals; Notice of Public Preparatory Meeting and Public Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 24384 - Lake State Railway Company-Lease Exemption-Grand Trunk Western Railroad CompanyPDF
83 FR 24350 - Program Year (PY) 2018 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Allotments; PY 2018 Wagner-Peyser Act Final Allotments and PY 2018 Workforce Information GrantsPDF
83 FR 24333 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Housing Choice Voucher ProgramPDF
83 FR 24334 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Flat Rent Exception Request Market AnalysisPDF
83 FR 24391 - Notice of Information Collection and Request for Public CommentPDF
83 FR 24277 - Approval of Expanded Subzone Status, Subzone 231A, Medline Industries, Inc., Manteca, Stockton and Tracy, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 24278 - Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube From Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 24341 - Folding Gift Boxes From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 24275 - Availability of FSIS Guideline for Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm Is Exempt From the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection ActPDF
83 FR 24317 - Advisory Commission on Childhood VaccinesPDF
83 FR 24377 - Weiss Strategic Interval Fund and Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLCPDF
83 FR 24346 - Silicomanganese From China and Ukraine; Scheduling of Full Five-Year ReviewsPDF
83 FR 24273 - Opportunity for Designation in the Topeka, Kansas; Minot, North Dakota; Cincinnati, Ohio; Pocatello, Idaho; Evansville, Indiana; Salt Lake City, Utah; West Sacramento, California; Richmond, Virginia; and Savage, Minnesota Areas; Request for Comments on the Official Agencies Servicing This AreaPDF
83 FR 24306 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0165; -0183; and -0196)PDF
83 FR 24325 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Allowance in DutiesPDF
83 FR 24326 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Crew Member's DeclarationPDF
83 FR 24324 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Harbor Maintenance FeePDF
83 FR 24328 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties IncurredPDF
83 FR 24326 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Biometric IdentityPDF
83 FR 24296 - National Security Education Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 24383 - Data Collection Available for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 24362 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 24315 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food UsePDF
83 FR 24388 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ZEN; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 24389 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel THE PHANTOM GINGER; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 24387 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SANDPIPER; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 24387 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel COBALT; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
83 FR 24345 - Activated Carbon From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 24360 - Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 24360 - Proposal Review Panel for Physics; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 24242 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 24348 - Health Fit Pharmacy; Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 24332 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Application for Travel Document, Form I-131; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
83 FR 24330 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Petition for Alien RelativePDF
83 FR 24329 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)PDF
83 FR 24331 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection: Application for Advance Permission To Enter as NonimmigrantPDF
83 FR 24250 - Program Integrity and ImprovementPDF
83 FR 24297 - Applications for New Awards; National Resource Centers Program for Foreign Language and Area Studies or Foreign Language and International Studies and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships ProgramPDF
83 FR 24221 - Safety Zone; Bath Creek, Bath, NCPDF
83 FR 24320 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Production of Monovalent Live Attenuated Zika Vaccines and Multivalent Live Attenuated Flavivirus VaccinesPDF
83 FR 24318 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Production of Monovalent Live Attenuated Zika Vaccines and Multivalent Live Attenuated Flavivirus VaccinesPDF
83 FR 24321 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
83 FR 24322 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
83 FR 24389 - Meeting Notice-U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 24305 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 24294 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Ombudsman SurveyPDF
83 FR 24358 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Adult Reporting SystemPDF
83 FR 24348 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Fire Protection AssociationPDF
83 FR 24383 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Mainline Alternative Route in NebraskaPDF
83 FR 24347 - 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
83 FR 24359 - Notice to LSC Grantees of Application Process for Subgranting Disaster Relief Grant Funds for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the 2017 California WildfiresPDF
83 FR 24311 - World War One Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory MeetingPDF
83 FR 24362 - Order Granting Application by NYSE National, Inc. for an Exemption Pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Exchange Act From the Rule Filing Requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act With Respect to Certain Rules Incorporated by ReferencePDF
83 FR 24364 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Sections I and II of the Pricing SchedulePDF
83 FR 24379 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Listing Requirements Contained in Listing Rule 5635(d) To Change the Definition of Market Value for Purposes of the Shareholder Approval Rule and Eliminate the Requirement for Shareholder Approval of Issuances at a Price Less Than Book Value but Greater Than Market ValuePDF
83 FR 24367 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt BZX Rule 14.11(k) To Permit the Listing and Trading of Managed Portfolio Shares and To List and Trade Shares of the ClearBridge Appreciation ETF, ClearBridge Large Cap ETF, ClearBridge Mid Cap Growth ETF, ClearBridge Select ETF, and ClearBridge All Cap Value ETFPDF
83 FR 24372 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 5.3, Criteria for Underlying SecuritiesPDF
83 FR 24319 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 24379 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 24376 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 24226 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; 2008 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Plan Revision for Baton RougePDF
83 FR 24321 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 24274 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 24322 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 24318 - Clinical Center; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 24322 - National Eye Institute; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 24328 - Record of Decision for the Final National Flood Insurance Program Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact StatementPDF
83 FR 24335 - Montana Department of Natural Resources Final Amended Habitat Conservation Plan and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact StatementPDF
83 FR 24269 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual SpecificationsPDF
83 FR 24228 - Merchant Marine Act and Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fishing Vessel, Fishing Facility and Individual Fishing Quota and Harvesting Rights Lending Program RegulationsPDF
83 FR 24385 - Notice of Additional Public Comment Period-Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Proposed Capacity Enhancements and Other Improvements at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NCPDF
83 FR 24223 - Air Plan Approval; Rhode Island; Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance ProgramPDF
83 FR 24264 - Air Plan Approval; Maine; Infrastructure Requirement for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
83 FR 24259 - Air Plan Approval; Connecticut; 1997 8-Hour Ozone Attainment DemonstrationPDF
83 FR 24385 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
83 FR 24258 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Modification of Greenhouse Gases LanguagePDF
83 FR 24309 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
83 FR 24276 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Tennessee Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 24276 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Jersey Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 24277 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Jersey Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 24236 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) AirplanesPDF
83 FR 24248 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., AirplanesPDF
83 FR 24240 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 24233 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 24244 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 24228 - Electronic Documents and Signatures; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 24339 - Notice of Availability for the San Juan Mine Deep Lease Extension Mining Plan Modification Draft Environmental Impact StatementPDF
83 FR 24219 - Special Local Regulation; Chesapeake Bay, Between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MDPDF

Issue

83 102 Friday, May 25, 2018 Contents Administrative Administrative Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States, 24272 2018-11328 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 24274-24275 2018-11214 Designations: Topeka, KS; Minot, ND; Cincinnati, OH; Pocatello, ID; Evansville, IN; Salt Lake City, UT; West Sacramento, CA; Richmond, VA; and Savage, MN Areas, 24273-24274 2018-11294
Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes Under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: 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, 24347 2018-11234 National Fire Protection Association, 24348 2018-11242 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Medicare Programs: Reapproval of the Joint Commission as an Accreditation Organization Under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, 24314-24315 2018-11330 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: New Jersey Advisory Committee, 24276-24277 2018-11188 2018-11189 Tennessee Advisory Committee, 24276-24277 2018-11190 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Bath Creek, Bath, NC, 24221-24223 2018-11259 Special Local Regulations: Chesapeake Bay, Between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD, 24219-24221 2018-10990 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Public Availability of FY 2016 Service Contract Inventories Data, 24277 2018-11345
Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 24295-24296 2018-11331 2018-11332 Community Development Community Development Financial Institutions Fund NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 24391 2018-11304 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Enhanced Supplementary Leverage Ratio Standards for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies and Certain of Their Subsidiary Insured Depository Institutions; Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity Requirements for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies, 24233 2018-11336 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: National Security Education Board, 24296-24297 2018-11286 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: Health Fit Pharmacy, 24348-24350 2018-11268 Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Program Integrity and Improvement, 24250-24255 2018-11262 NOTICES Applications for New Awards: National Resource Centers Program for Foreign Language and Area Studies or Foreign Language and International Studies and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships Program, 24297-24305 2018-11261 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Adult Reporting System, 24358-24359 2018-11246 Program Year 2018 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Allotments; PY 2018 Wagner-Peyser Act Final Allotments and PY 2018 Workforce Information Grants, 24350-24358 2018-11307 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Louisiana; 2008 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Plan Revision for Baton Rouge, 24226-24227 2018-11217 Rhode Island; Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program, 24223-24226 2018-11201 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Connecticut; 1997 8-Hour Ozone Attainment Demonstration, 24259-24264 2018-11199 Maine; Infrastructure Requirement for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 24264-24266 2018-11200 Wisconsin; Modification of Greenhouse Gases Language, 24258-24259 2018-11197 Wisconsin; Particulate Matter Standard, 24256-24258 2018-11315 Wisconsin; VOC Definition Update and Removal of Obsolete Gasoline Vapor Recovery Regulations, 24267-24269 2018-11313 Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, 24255-24256 2018-11316 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 24305 2018-11253 Meetings: Letter Peer Reviews for Exposure and Use Assessment and Human Health and Environmental Hazard Summary for Five PBT Chemicals, 24305-24306 2018-11311 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 24240-24242, 24244-24248 2018-11134 2018-11140 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes, 24236-24240 2018-11142 Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes, 24248-24250 2018-11141 Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 24233-24236 2018-11135 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 24242-24244 2018-11269 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Airport Noise Compatibility Planning, 24384 2018-11326 Safety Management Systems for Part 121 Certificate Holders, 24386-24387 2018-11325 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Proposed Capacity Enhancements and Other Improvements at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NC, 24385-24386 2018-11202 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries, 24385 2018-11198 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 24306-24309 2018-11292 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Final National Flood Insurance Program, 24328-24329 2018-11210 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 24309-24310 2018-11191 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Electronic Documents and Signatures; Correction, 24228 2018-11127 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Enhanced Supplementary Leverage Ratio Standards for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies and Certain of Their Subsidiary Insured Depository Institutions; Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity Requirements for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies, 24233 2018-11336 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Montana Department of Natural Resources Final Amended Habitat Conservation Plan, 24335-24336 2018-11209 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use, 24315-24317 2018-11281 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Guidance: Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm is Exempt From the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, 24275-24276 2018-11299 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 24391-24392 2018-11318 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Subzone Expansions: Medline Industries, Inc., Subzone 231A, Manteca, Stockton and Tracy, CA, 24277-24278 2018-11303 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses; Placement of Orders Clause; and Ordering Information Clause, 24310-24311 2018-11317 Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration, 24312-24313 2018-11321 System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients, 24311-24312 2018-11319 Meetings: World War One Centennial Commission, 24311 2018-11230 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, 24317-24318 2018-11298 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Housing Choice Voucher Program, 24333-24334 2018-11306 Public Housing Flat Rent Exception Request Market Analysis, 24334-24335 2018-11305 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube From Turkey, 24278-24279 2018-11302 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Activated Carbon From China, 24345-24346 2018-11273 Folding Gift Boxes From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year Review, 24341-24342 2018-11301 Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review, 24342-24345 2018-11458 Silicomanganese From China and Ukraine; Scheduling of Full Five-Year Reviews, 24346-24347 2018-11295 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 24345 2018-11444 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Alaska Native Claims Selection, 24336-24337 2018-11337 Public Land Orders: Partial Withdrawal Revocation, Water Power Designation No. 14, Oregon, 24337 2018-11338 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Applications: Subgranting Disaster Relief Grant Funds for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the 2017 California Wildfires, 24359-24360 2018-11231 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee, 24389-24390 2018-11254 Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel COBALT, 24387 2018-11274 Vessel SANDPIPER, 24387-24388 2018-11275 Vessel THE PHANTOM GINGER, 24389 2018-11276 Vessel ZEN, 24388 2018-11277 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 24321-24322 2018-11255 2018-11256 Meetings: Clinical Center, 24318 2018-11212 National Eye Institute, 24322 2018-11211 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 24321-24323 2018-11213 2018-11215 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 24319-24320 2018-11216 2018-11220 Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent Licenses: Production of Monovalent Live Attenuated Zika Vaccines and Multivalent Live Attenuated Flavivirus Vaccines, 24318-24320 2018-11257 2018-11258 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fishing Vessel, Fishing Facility and Individual Fishing Quota and Harvesting Rights Lending Program Regulations, 24228-24232 2018-11207 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries Off West Coast States: Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications, 24269-24271 2018-11208 NOTICES Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Seattle Multimodal Project in Seattle, WA; Correction, 24279-24294 2018-11334 National Park National Park Service NOTICES U.S. Nomination to the World Heritage List: Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, 24337-24338 2018-11363 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering, 24360-24361 2018-11272 Proposal Review Panel for Physics, 24360 2018-11271 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 24361 2018-11361 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 24361-24362 2018-11376 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Ombudsman Survey, 24294-24295 2018-11252 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Special Permit Requests: Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., 24390-24391 2018-11333 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 24362 2018-11282 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Maritime Day (Proc. 9755), 24393-24396 2018-11513 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 24376-24377, 24379 2018-11218 2018-11219 Applications: NYSE National, Inc., 24362-24364 2018-11226 Weiss Strategic Interval Fund and Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers, LLC, 24377-24379 2018-11296 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 24367-24372 2018-11223 Cboe Exchange, Inc., 24372-24376 2018-11222 Nasdaq PHLX LLC, 24364-24367 2018-11225 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, 24379-24382 2018-11224 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 24383 2018-11284 State Department State Department NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Keystone XL Pipeline Mainline Alternative Route in Nebraska, 24383-24384 2018-11240 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: San Juan Mine Deep Lease Extension Mining Plan Modification, 24339-24341 2018-11107 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Lease Exemptions: Lake State Railway Co.; Grand Trunk Western Railroad Co., 24384 2018-11309 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Advance Permission To Enter as Nonimmigrant, 24331-24332 2018-11263 Application for Travel Document, 24329-24330, 24332-24333 2018-11264 2018-11266 Petition for Alien Relative, 24330-24331 2018-11265 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Allowance in Duties, 24325-24326 2018-11291 Biometric Identity, 24326-24327 2018-11287 Crew Member's Declaration, 24326 2018-11290 Harbor Maintenance Fee, 24324-24325 2018-11289 Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred, 24328 2018-11288 Commercial Gaugers and Laboratories; Accreditations and Approvals: Inspectorate America Corp.; Houston, TX, 24323-24324 2018-11314 Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc.; Crosby, TX, 24323 2018-11312 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 24393-24396 2018-11513 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.

83 102 Friday, May 25, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-1054] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Chesapeake Bay, Between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing special local regulations for certain waters of the Chesapeake Bay. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters located between Sandy Point, Anne Arundel County, MD and Kent Island, Queen Anne's County, MD, during the Bay Bridge Paddle on June 2, 2018 (alternate date of June 3, 2018). This action will prohibit persons and vessels from being in the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland—National Capital Region or Coast Guard Patrol Commander.

DATES:

This rule is effective from June 2, 2018, through June 3, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-1054 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 Mr. Ronald Houck, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland—National Capital Region; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected]

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

The Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on January 12, 2018 (83 FR 1597), proposing to establish a special local regulation for the Bay Bridge Paddle, on June 2, 2018 (rain date of June 3, 2018). The Coast Guard received one comment. The Coast Guard published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) on April 9, 2018 (83 FR 15096), to amend the proposed special local regulation to increase the size of the paddle race area for the Bay Bridge Paddle, on June 2, 2018 (alternate date of June 3, 2018), and reopened the comment period to account for this change. The comment period closed May 9, 2018. The Coast Guard received three additional comments on the second request for comments for a total of four comments.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Due to the date of the event, it would be impracticable to make the regulation effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233, which authorizes the Coast Guard to establish and define special local regulations to promote the safety of life on navigable waters during regattas or marine parades. The Captain of the Port (COTP) Maryland—National Capital Region has determined that potential hazards associated with the paddle race event would be a safety concern for anyone intending to operate within certain waters of the Chesapeake Bay between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. The purpose of this rulemaking is to protect event participants, spectators, and transiting vessels on specified waters of the Chesapeake Bay before, during, and after the scheduled event.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, we received four comments total on our NPRM published February 12, 2018 and our SNPRM published April 9, 2018. One comment provided support for the Coast Guard's rulemaking. The other three comments addressed issues not related to this rulemaking. Special local regulations are promulgated in conjunction with a marine event to promote safety of life on the navigable waters immediately before, during, and immediately after a marine event. Patrols to prevent dumping, warnings about the inherent dangers of swimming, and other concerns unrelated to the paddle race event, are not appropriate to include in this proceeding. Therefore, there are no substantive changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the SNPRM.

This rule establishes a special local regulation that will be enforced for approximately 6 hours on either June 2 or June 3, 2018. The regulated area includes all navigable waters of the Chesapeake Bay, adjacent to the shoreline at Sandy Point State Park and between and adjacent to the spans of the William P. Lane Jr. Memorial Bridges, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by a line drawn from the western shoreline at latitude 39°01′05.23″ N, longitude 076°23′47.93″ W; thence eastward to latitude 39°01′02.08″ N, longitude 076°22′40.24″ W; thence southeastward to eastern shoreline at latitude 38°59′13.70″ N, longitude 076°19′58.40″ W; and bounded to the south by a line drawn parallel and 500 yards south of the south bridge span that originates from the western shoreline at latitude 39°00′17.08″ N, longitude 076°24′28.36″ W; thence southward to latitude 38°59′38.36″ N, longitude 076°23′59.67″ W; thence eastward to latitude 38°59′26.93″ N, longitude 076°23′25.53″ W; thence eastward to the eastern shoreline at latitude 38°58′40.32″ N, longitude 076°20′10.45″ W, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. The enforcement and duration of the regulated area is intended to ensure the safety of event participants and vessels within the specified navigable waters before, during, and after the paddle race event lasting from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Except for Bay Bridge Paddle participants, no vessel or person will be permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP Maryland—National Capital Region or Coast Guard Patrol Commander.

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 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

This regulatory action determination is based on the limited size and duration of the regulated area, which would impact a small designated area of the Chesapeake Bay for 6 hours. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the status of the regulated area. Moreover, the rule will allow vessel operators to request permission to enter the regulated area for the purpose of safely transiting the regulated area if deemed safe to do so by the Coast Guard Patrol Commander.

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 regulated area 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 Directive 023-01, which guides 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 implementation of a temporary special local regulation lasting for 6 hours. The category of water activities includes but is not limited to sail boat regattas, boat parades, power boat racing, swimming events, crew racing, canoe and sail board racing. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L[61] of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Memorandum for Record for Categorically Excluded Actions supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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 100

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

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1233; 33 CFR 1.05-1.

2. Add § 100.501T05-1054 to read as follows:
§ 100.501T05-1054 Special Local Regulation; Chesapeake Bay, between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD.

(a) Regulated area. The following location is a regulated area: All navigable waters of the Chesapeake Bay, adjacent to the shoreline at Sandy Point State Park and between and adjacent to the spans of the William P. Lane Jr. Memorial Bridges, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by a line drawn from the western shoreline at latitude 39°01′05.23″ N, longitude 076°23′47.93″ W; thence eastward to latitude 39°01′02.08″ N, longitude 076°22′40.24″ W; thence southeastward to eastern shoreline at latitude 38°59′13.70″ N, longitude 076°19′58.40″ W; and bounded to the south by a line drawn parallel and 500 yards south of the south bridge span that originates from the western shoreline at latitude 39°00′17.08″ N, longitude 076°24′28.36″ W; thence southward to latitude 38°59′38.36″ N, longitude 076°23′59.67″ W; thence eastward to latitude 38°59′26.93″ N, longitude 076°23′25.53″ W; thence eastward to the eastern shoreline at latitude 38°58′40.32″ N, longitude 076°20′10.45″ W, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. All coordinates reference North American Datum 83 (NAD 1983).

(b) Definitions. (1) Captain of the Port (COTP) Maryland—National Capital Region means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland—National Capital Region or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on his behalf.

(2) Coast Guard Patrol Commander means a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Maryland—National Capital Region.

(3) Official Patrol means any vessel assigned or approved by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Maryland—National Capital Region with a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer on board and displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

(4) Participant means all persons and vessels registered with the event sponsor as participating in the Bay Bridge Paddle event or otherwise designated by event sponsor as having a function tied to the event.

(c) Special local regulations. (1) The COTP or Coast Guard Patrol Commander may forbid and control the movement of all vessels and persons, including event participants, in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol, a vessel or person in the regulated area shall immediately comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both. The Coast Guard Patrol Commander may terminate the event, or the operation of any support vessel participating in the event, at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property.

(2) Except for participants and vessels already at berth, all persons and vessels within the regulated area at the time it is implemented are to depart the regulated area.

(3) Persons and vessels desiring to transit, moor, or anchor within the regulated area must first obtain authorization from the COTP Maryland—National Capital Region or Coast Guard Patrol Commander. The COTP Maryland—National Capital Region can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). During the enforcement period, persons or vessel operators may request permission to transit, moor, or anchor within the regulated area from the Coast Guard Patrol Commander on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

(4) The Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the regulated area by other Federal, State, and local agencies. The Coast Guard Patrol Commander and official patrol vessels enforcing this regulated area can be contacted on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz) and channel 22A (157.1 MHz).

(5) The Coast Guard will publish a notice in the Fifth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and issue a marine information broadcast on VHF-FM marine band radio announcing specific event date and times.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on June 2, 2018, and, if necessary due to inclement weather, from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on June 3, 2018.

Dated: May 17, 2018. Joseph B. Loring, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland—National Capital Region.
[FR Doc. 2018-10990 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0416] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Bath Creek, Bath, NC AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters of Bath Creek near Bath, North Carolina, in support of a fireworks display on May 26, 2018. This temporary safety zone is intended to restrict vessel traffic from a portion of Bath Creek during the Bath Festival fireworks display to protect the life and property of the maritime public and spectators from the hazards posed by aerial fireworks displays. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) North Carolina or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 8:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. on May 26, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0416 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 Chief Petty Officer Joshua O'Rourke, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, Wilmington, NC; telephone 910-772-2227, email [email protected]

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The publishing of an NPRM would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest since immediate action is needed to minimize potential danger to the participants and the public during the event.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to protect persons and vessels from the hazards associated with this event.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP North Carolina has determined that potential hazards associated with the Bath Festival fireworks display on May 26, 2018, is a safety concern for maritime spectators during the launch of fireworks on Bath Creek in Bath, North Carolina. This rule is necessary to protect persons and vessels from the potential hazards associated with the aerial fireworks display.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from 8:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. on May 26, 2018. The safety zone will include all navigable waters within 150 yard radius of the fireworks barge at approximate position: Latitude 35°28′04″ N, longitude 076°48′55″ W, on Bath Creek, Bath, North Carolina. This safety zone is being established for the safety of the maritime spectators observing 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. All vessels within this safety zone when this section becomes effective must depart the zone immediately. To request permission to remain in, enter, or transit through the safety zone, vessels should contact the COTP North Carolina or the COTP North Carolina's representative through the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Duty Officer, Wilmington, North Carolina, at telephone number 910-343-3882, or on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 13 (165.65 MHz) or channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

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 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the safety zone. The half hour regulation enforcement period should not overly burden vessel traffic based on the short duration of the period. Smaller vessels will be able to safely transit around this safety zone, which will impact a designated area of Bath Creek, Bath, NC. Additionally, the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to notify vessels in the region of the establishment of this regulation.

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 the precise number of small entities impacted is unknown, Bath Creek has a low number of vessels transiting the area planned for the safety zone, during the enforcement period. Although, 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 Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, 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 half an hour that will prohibit entry into a portion of Bath Creek, Bath, NC. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T05-0416 to read as follows:
§ 165.T05-0416 Safety Zone, Bath Creek, Bath, NC.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters within a 150 yard radius of the fireworks barge at approximate position: Latitude 35°28′04″ N, longitude 076°48′55″ W, on Bath Creek, Bath, North Carolina.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section—

Designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer designated by the Captain of the Port North Carolina (COTP) for the enforcement of the safety zone.

Captain of the Port means the Commander, Sector North Carolina.

(c) Regulations. (1) The general regulations governing safety zones in subpart C of this part apply to the area described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(2) With the exception of the fireworks barge and crew, entry into or remaining in this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP North Carolina or the COTP North Carolina's designated representative. All other vessels must depart the zone immediately.

(3) All vessels within this safety zone when this section becomes effective must depart the zone immediately.

(4) To request permission to remain in, enter, or transit through the safety zone, contact the COTP North Carolina or the COTP North Carolina's representative through the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Duty Officer, Wilmington, North Carolina, at telephone number 910-343-3882, or on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 13 (165.65 MHz) or channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

(d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

Dated: May 16, 2018. Bion B. Stewart, Captain, U. S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port North Carolina.
[FR Doc. 2018-11259 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0436; FRL-9978-30—Region 1] Air Plan Approval; Rhode Island; Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Rhode Island. These revisions include regulations to update the enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) program in Rhode Island. The revised program includes a test and repair network consisting of on-board diagnostic (OBD2) testing for model year 1996 and newer vehicles and tailpipe exhaust test, using a dynamometer, for model year 1995 and older vehicles. The intended effect of this action is to approve the revised program into the Rhode Island SIP. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES:

This rule is effective on June 25, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0436. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., 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 at www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 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 legal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ariel Garcia, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Region 1 Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (mail code: OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, telephone number: (617) 918-1660, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

Table of Contents I. Background and Purpose II. Response to Comments III. Final Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background and Purpose

On November 14, 2017, EPA published a direct final rule (82 FR 52682), as well as an accompanying notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (82 FR 52682), for the State of Rhode Island. The direct final rule intended to approve a SIP revision submitted by the State of Rhode Island updating Rhode Island's enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program. Due to the receipt of an adverse comment, EPA published a withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register on January 9, 2018 (83 FR 984).

EPA published a second NPRM on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8961), which reopened the public comment period, and proposed approval of Rhode Island's SIP revision updating the State's enhanced motor vehicle I/M program. The formal SIP revision was submitted in two parts: (1) A submittal made by Rhode Island on January 28, 2009, which included regulations to update the enhanced I/M program in Rhode Island, and (2) a supplemental submittal made by Rhode Island on February 17, 2017, which included the emissions modeling and I/M SIP narrative required by EPA's I/M regulations. A detailed discussion of Rhode Island's SIP revision and EPA's rationale for proposing approval of the SIP revision were provided in the November 14, 2017 NPRM (82 FR 52682) and will not be restated in this document. EPA is approving Rhode Island's enhanced I/M program SIP revision because it is consistent with the Clean Air Act's I/M requirements and EPA's I/M regulations.

II. Response to Comments

The adverse comment received on EPA's November 14, 2017 direct final rule (82 FR 52682) requested that EPA hold a new public comment period, because EPA did not make all relevant documents available in the docket at www.regulations.gov.

Prior to the reopening of the public comment period, via the NPRM that published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8961), EPA made available all documents, which are compatible with the electronic docket system, at the docket identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0436 at www.regulations.gov. Also, EPA explained that all other documents, including emissions modeling files submitted as part of Rhode Island's enhanced motor vehicles I/M program SIP revision, were available for public review by visiting the EPA New England Regional Office or by contacting the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The reopening of the public comment period also served as the notice of data availability referenced in the January 9, 2018 withdrawal of direct final rule (83 FR 984).

We received comments during the public comment period reopened by the March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8961) NPRM. However, all but one of those comments were not germane to our proposed approval of Rhode Island's enhanced motor vehicle I/M program SIP revision.

Comment: A single anonymous comment, much of which included information that was not germane to EPA's proposed approval of Rhode Island's enhanced motor vehicle I/M program SIP revision, also stated that “[t]he Rule created potentially unduly burdensome requirements, Agency [sic] has failed to show a need for Regulations [sic] Given the extremely limited pollutant loadings and relative high costs, according to EPA's own analysis, the requirements appear to be ripe for substantial reduction or elimination. this [sic] entire subcategory would be excluded by rule given the de minimis amount of pollution.”

Response: If “The Rule” in the submitted comment refers to EPA's March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8961) proposed rule, EPA disagrees with the comment because this action is merely approving Rhode Island's pre-existing enhanced motor vehicle I/M regulations into the Rhode Island SIP in accordance with pre-existing federal requirements under the CAA. Rhode Island revised its motor vehicle I/M regulations in 2009 to meet the requirements of the CAA by incorporating testing of vehicles equipped with On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) technology for monitoring the proper function of a vehicle's emissions controls.

III. Final Action

EPA is approving the SIP revisions submitted by the State of Rhode Island on January 28, 2009, and supplemented with a SIP revision on February 17, 2017. These SIP revisions contain the State's revised enhanced motor vehicle I/M program. Specifically, EPA is approving the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 34 entitled “Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Inspection/Maintenance Program” (effective January 5, 2009), and the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles' “Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Safety and Emissions Control Regulation No. 1” (effective January 28, 2009), and incorporating these rules into the Rhode Island SIP. EPA is approving Rhode Island's revised I/M program because it is consistent with the CAA and EPA's I/M regulations and it will strengthen the Rhode Island SIP.

IV. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Rhode Island's regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 1 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act 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 Clean Air Act. 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 Clean Air Act; and

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

In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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 Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 24, 2018. 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, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: May 17, 2018. Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.

Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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 OO—Rhode Island 2. In § 52.2070: a. The table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entries “Air Pollution Control Regulation 34” and “Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Safety and Emissions Control Regulation No. 1”.

b. The table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “I/M SIP Narrative” at the end of the table.

The addition and revisions read as follows:

§ 52.2070 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

EPA-Approved Rhode Island Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanations *         *         *         *         *         *         * Air Pollution Control Regulation 34 Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Inspection/Maintenance Program 1/5/2009 5/25/2018, [insert Federal Register citation] Department of Environmental Management regulation containing I/M standards. Approving all sections except section 34.9.3 “Application” which was excluded from the SIP submittal. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Safety and Emissions Control Regulation No. 1 Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Inspection/Maintenance Program 1/28/2009 5/25/2018, [insert Federal Register citation] Division of Motor Vehicles regulation for the light-duty vehicle I/M program. Approving all sections except section 1.12.2 “Penalties” and section 1.13 “Proceedings for Enforcement” which were excluded from the SIP submittal. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

(e) * * *

Rhode Island Non Regulatory Name of non regulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date/
  • effective date
  • EPA approved date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * I/M SIP Narrative Statewide Submitted 2/17/2017 5/25/2018, [insert Federal Register citation] Narrative describing how the Rhode Island I/M program meets the requirements in the federal I/M rule.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11201 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2018-0111; FRL-9978-44—Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; 2008 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Plan Revision for Baton Rouge AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a Louisiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision revising the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) maintenance plan for the five-parish Baton Rouge area. The revised maintenance plan allows for relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements in the Baton Rouge area. EPA has determined that relaxation of the RVP requirement would not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or with any other CAA requirement.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2018-0111. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information 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 either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wendy Jacques, 214-665-7395, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our April 13, 2018 proposal (83 FR 16017). In that document we proposed to (1) approve a revision to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS maintenance plan for the Baton Rouge area (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge Parishes) and (2) determine that relaxation of the RVP requirement in the maintenance plan would not interfere with the attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or with any other CAA requirement. While we did not receive any relevant adverse comments regarding our proposal, we did receive a letter of support from the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, and a comment letter from U.S. Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy and U.S. Representative Garrett Graves requesting that we act expeditiously to finalize our proposed approval of the SIP revision. As stated in our proposed rule, we found the State's submission meets all applicable CAA requirements, thus we are finalizing the approval of this SIP revision as proposed.

    II. Final Action

    We are approving the January 31, 2018 revision to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS maintenance plan for the five-parish Baton Rouge area. We have determined that relaxation of the RVP requirement in the maintenance plan will not interfere with the attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or with any other CAA requirement. This action is being taken under section 110 of the Act.

    III. 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. 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);

    • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;

    • 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 and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    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 Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 24, 2018. 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, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Anne Idsal, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    Title 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 T—Louisiana 2. In § 52.970(e), the second table titled “EPA Approved Louisiana Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures” is amended by adding an entry at the end for “2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS Revised Maintenance Plan” to read as follows:
    § 52.970 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Louisiana Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal/
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS Revised Maintenance Plan Baton Rouge Area 1/31/2018 5/25/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2018-11217 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 370, 371, 373, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 382, 387, 390, 391, 395, 396, and 398 [Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0376] RIN 2126-AB47 Electronic Documents and Signatures; Correction AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction and withdrawal of regulatory guidance.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA corrects the electronic documents and signatures final rule published on April 16, 2018 that amended FMCSA regulations to allow the use of electronic records and signatures to satisfy FMCSA's regulatory requirements. This document corrects an amendatory instruction, removes two extra commas at the end of two phrases, and adds “of this section” to a cross reference in a paragraph. Finally, FMCSA rescinds its January 4, 2011, interpretations and regulatory guidance.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective June 15, 2018. As of June 15, 2018, the document published at 76 FR 411 on Jan.4, 2011, is withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David Miller, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001, (202) 366-5011, [email protected]

    If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In FR Doc. 2018-07749, appearing on page 16210 in the Federal Register of Monday, April 16, 2018, the following corrections are made:

    1. In the preamble, on page 16218, in the second column, under the heading “49 CFR 390.31,” following the sentence that reads “The requirement that the Agency be able to inspect records applies regardless of whether the copy is in paper or electronic form”, add a new paragraph to read as follows: “In consideration of the final rule on electronic documents and signatures, the Agency rescinds Questions 1 through 13 (76 FR 411, Jan.4, 2011) (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/390.31).”
    § 376.12 [Corrected]
    2. On page 16224, in the third column, in amendment 17, the instruction “Amend § 376.12 by revising paragraphs (f), (g), and (l) to read as follows:” is corrected to read “Amend § 376.12 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (f), (g), and (l) to read as follows:”.
    § 390.5 [Corrected]
    3. On page 16226, in the third column, in § 390.5, the phrase “1701-1710,,” is corrected to read “1701-1710,”.
    § 390.5T [Corrected]
    4. On page 16226, in the third column, in § 390.5T, the phrase “1701-1710,,” is corrected to read “1701-1710,”.
    § 395.15 [Corrected]
    5. On page 16227, in the second column, in § 395.15(b)(5) the phrase “in paragraph (b)(4)” is corrected to read “in paragraph (b)(4) of this section”. Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87: May 9, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11127 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 253 [Docket No. 170404355-8455-02] RIN 0648-BG80 Merchant Marine Act and Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fishing Vessel, Fishing Facility and Individual Fishing Quota and Harvesting Rights Lending Program Regulations AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; response to comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS' Fisheries Finance Program (FFP) provides long-term financing to the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries for fishing vessels, fisheries facilities, aquaculture facilities, and certain designated individual fishing quota (IFQ). Section 302 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 included new authority to finance the purchase of harvesting rights in a fishery that is federally managed under a limited access system. Through this final rule, the FFP adds a new section to the existing FFP regulations to implement this statutory change. The net effect of this change to the regulations will be to provide additional authority for the program to lend, and providing FFP financing to additional fisheries while leaving the original IFQ authority to Fishery Management Councils to use as needed.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective June 25, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Earl Bennett, at 301-427-8765 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the authority of Chapter 537 of Title 46 of the United States Code, 46 U.S.C. 53701, et seq., the FFP may provide long-term financing to the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries for fishing vessels, fisheries facilities, aquaculture facilities, and certain designated individual fishing quota (IFQs). Section 302 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-120) amended Chapter 537, providing the FFP with the authority to finance the purchase of harvesting rights in a fishery that is federally managed under a limited access system. This amendment is codified at 46 U.S.C. 53702(b)(4)(B). On October 31, 2017, NMFS published a proposed rule to add a new section to the existing FFP regulations to implement this statutory change and requested public comment (82 FR 50363). NMFS received eight responses, of which two were not related to the rulemaking five were in support and one was neutral. The net effect of this final rule is to provide additional authority for the program to lend, while leaving the original IFQ authority to Fishery Management Councils (FMCs) to use as needed.

    Existing IFQ Loan Authority

    46 U.S.C. 53706 authorizes the FFP to finance or refinance the purchase of individual fishing quotas in accordance with section 303(d)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), now codified at 16 U.S.C. 1853a(g). Under this provision of the MSA, an FMC may submit, and NMFS may approve and implement, a loan program to aid in (1) the acquisition of IFQ by fishermen who fish from “small vessels,” and (2) the first time purchase of IFQ by “entry level fishermen.” Therefore, under this authority, the FFP cannot initiate or implement a lending program to finance or refinance the purchase of IFQ until the appropriate FMC submits a request to NMFS and provides guidance for the requisite criteria.

    NMFS currently administers two loan programs pursuant to the existing IFQ authority: the Northwest Halibut/Sablefish and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab IFQ loan programs. NMFS anticipates no changes to either of these existing loan programs as a result of this action. However, the availability of the new loan authority may affect fishers in the existing IFQ loan programs by providing an additional source of financing which would not be limited by existing quota share ownership.

    New Loan Authority

    The new authority provided by Public Law 114-120 broadens the FFP's existing authority, and authorizes the Program to finance the purchase of harvesting rights in a fishery that is federally managed under a limited access system. NMFS interprets “limited access system” in accordance with section 3(27) of the MSA for purposes of this authority. The MSA defines “limited access system” as “a system that limits participation in a fishery to those satisfying certain eligibility criteria or requirements contained in a fishery management plan or associated regulation.” 16 U.S.C. 1802(27). Such definition includes, but is not limited to, IFQ fisheries.

    The new authority provided by Public Law 114-120 does not require FMCs to initiate a request to establish a loan program in a fishery that is federally managed under a limited access system in order for the FFP to provide financing in such a fishery. However, under the MSA, FMCs are primarily responsible for developing fishery management plans (FMPs) for fisheries within their authority that require conservation and management. It is possible that the availability of fisheries loans may have unanticipated effects on the achievement of FMP goals and objectives. Therefore, NMFS believes it appropriate to allow the FMCs to comment on the potential or actual effect of a loan program for harvesting rights in fisheries under their authority. An FMC may provide an explanation to NMFS at any time, in writing, why the potential or continuing availability of financing for harvesting rights in a fishery under its authority would harm the achievement of the goals and objectives of the FMP applicable to the fishery. If NMFS accepts the Council's reasoning, harvesting rights loans would not be provided, or would cease to be provided, in that fishery. In such a scenario, NMFS would publish a notice in the Federal Register notifying the public that new loans will not be made in that fishery. If there were already loan applications under consideration, the exceptional circumstances would justify NMFS returning any loan fees submitted with loan applications. The opportunity for FMC input will help ensure that loans made by the FFP do not undermine or conflict with the goals and objectives of specific FMPs.

    Extent of Financing

    Section 302 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 imposes no limitations on the extent of financing to be provided by the FFP for the purchase of harvesting rights. The new authority is also silent on any other limitations, such as those in the existing IFQ loan programs limiting quantities of quota share eligible for financing. However, it does reserve $59 million of direct loan authority for historical uses, defined at 46 U.S.C. 53701(8). Thus, NMFS anticipates that the balance of annual direct loan authority—currently $41 million—may be available to finance or refinance the purchase of harvesting rights in federally managed fisheries under a limited access system. This action will allow NMFS to fully use the program's loan authority either for historical purposes or for any authorized new purposes should it be determined that demand or lack of demand in either area would result in unused loan authority.

    Response to Comments

    NMFS received eight comments during the comment period. Two of these comments were not directly responsive to the rule. One of these included statements asserting general regulatory overreach and shortcomings of the regulatory process. The other comment was directed at overall agency policies regarding aquaculture. A rule on financing harvesting rights is not the appropriate venue for comments on national regulatory or other general policies.

    The remaining six comments were either supportive of the new authority, or neutral. Of these, three mentioned support for allowing FMCs to comment on potential lending for harvesting rights in their respective fisheries. Two supported retaining protections for the traditional uses of the loan program and reserving the current funding level ($59 million) for such uses, taking into account annual demand for the loan authority. One also supported not applying additional loan program limitations to the new harvesting rights lending authority.

    Specific points raised in comments included: Requesting further guidance on what constitutes acceptable objections from FMCs for not allowing financing of harvesting rights in fisheries under their jurisdictions; assuring that traditional uses of the FFP loan program are protected; and not limiting the new harvesting rights authority or restricting lending to fisheries or borrowers outside of the fisheries in the existing IFQ loan programs.

    Adaptive Program Management—One commenter suggested that NOAA should apply adaptive program management controls to allow lending in excess of $59 million in years where demand for traditional loan uses is high, and in years when historic usage is lower, NOAA could allow lending in excess of the $41 million for harvesting rights.

    Response—NOAA concurs, and is planning to institute such flexibility.

    FMC Comments on Harvesting Rights Loans—Two commenters supported the provision allowing FMCs to provide input on the potential effects of harvesting rights loans on fisheries under their jurisdiction. One commenter suggested that while FMCs may have fisheries expertise, they may not have similar financial expertise that would help them predict potential effects of a loan program for fisheries under their jurisdiction. The commenter suggested that NMFS provide additional guidance as what constitutes an acceptable objection from a FMC that would justify a veto of a new loan program in a particular fishery.

    Response—First, to clarify for the commenter, the regulations give FMCs an opportunity to comment but do not give them veto power. The ultimate decision on any harvesting rights loan will be made by NMFS. NMFS considered whether to attempt to provide additional guidance as to what would constitute an acceptable objection from a FMC, but concluded that additional guidance is not possible or necessary at this time. Each FMP has its own goals and objectives, and each fishery has its own unique scientific and financial circumstances, and therefore, attempting to provide additional, practical general guidance for all fisheries is not feasible. NMFS will carefully consider any input it receives from a FMC as to why the FMC believes the availability of financing for harvesting rights in a fishery would harm the achievement of the goals and objectives of the FMP applicable to the fishery, and NMFS will reach a reasoned decision after considering all of the relevant information regarding the fishery.

    Historical Loan Purposes—Two commenters encouraged NMFS to protect the historical loan purposes in the implementation of the harvesting rights rule, by reserving $59 million of loan authority for loans for those historical purposes and using the current balance of $41 million in loan authority for loans for harvesting rights. An additional commenter similarly requested that the final rule not cause a redistribution away from, or additional limitations on, lending for historical uses in the Northwest Halibut/Sablefish Loan Program.

    Response—NMFS generally agrees with these comments. As explained in the proposed rule, Section 302 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 imposes no limitations on the extent of financing to be provided by the FFP for the purchase of harvesting rights. However, it does require that the Secretary make a minimum of $59 million available each fiscal year for historical uses, as defined at 46 U.S.C. 53701(8). 46 U.S.C. 53702(b)(3). NMFS anticipates that the balance of annual direct loan authority—currently $41 million—may be available to finance or refinance the purchase of harvesting rights in federally managed fisheries under a limited access system. This action will allow NMFS to fully use the program's loan authority either for historical purposes or for any authorized new purposes should it be determined that demand or lack of demand in either area would result in unused loan authority. The loan program currently operates on a “first come, first served” basis. The loan projects that are proposed with complete documentation and commitment fee earliest, are the first approved. However, for the harvesting rights program, $41 million will be reserved for harvesting rights loans until later in the lending year, to facilitate the receipt and processing of harvesting rights proposals. NMFS understands that early in the program's implementation it may take more time to complete harvesting rights loan approvals, and loan scheduling should support that. However, in keeping with the direction in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, NMFS will generally reserve $59 million for traditional loans until later in the lending year, prior to obligating the funds to loans for harvesting rights.

    Limitations in IFQ Loan Programs—One comment letter noted that IFQ loan programs contain certain restrictive provisions, relating to entry-level and small vessel fishermen, that were not included in the statute or proposed rule for the harvesting rights program, and suggested that participants, specifically including crew, in these existing IFQ loan fisheries (Northwest Halibut/Sablefish and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab) be allowed to obtain loans under the harvesting rights authority.

    Response—NMFS agrees. We note that the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 does not establish ownership limitations or include the same limitations that apply to the IFQ lending programs, and it places no restriction on the application of this new authority to any federally-managed limited access fisheries. Furthermore, Section 302 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 says the new lending authority is “[i]n addition to the other eligible purposes and uses of direct loan obligations provided for in” 46 U.S.C. Chapter 537, which includes the authority for the IFQ lending programs in 46 U.S.C. 53706, meaning the new authority is intended to operate in addition to the IFQ lending authority. 46 U.S.C. 53702. Therefore, NMFS will consider applications from all fishers and owners of harvesting rights, including those who presently participate in the existing IFQ loan fisheries or participate (or would participate except for certain limitations) in the IFQ loan programs. As provided for in the new regulations, NMFS will accept and consider any input the North Pacific Fishery Management Council might have regarding the availability of the new harvesting rights loans in the existing IFQ loan fisheries. The existing IFQ loan fisheries (Northwest Halibut/Sablefish and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab) programs will also continue as provided by 50 CFR 253.28 and 50 CFR 253.30, respectively.

    Fostering smaller-scale and entry-level fishers—One commenter urged NOAA to continue fostering the growth and success of smaller-scale and entry-level fishing communities, as is the case under the current IFQ loan programs, and to prioritize sustainable fish farmers and wild-caught fishing communities when selecting beneficiaries of its grants and aid programs.

    Response—While this rule does not affect grant programs, NMFS will continue to follow its statutory and regulatory obligations with respect to the FFP, and will continue to provide loans to applicants who meet all of the statutory and regulatory requirements of the FFP, including loans for smaller-scale and entry-level fishers under the current IFQ loan programs.

    Harvesting Rights Lending

    Lending for harvesting rights will follow existing FFP lending procedures and guidelines. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or entities eligible to document a vessel for coastwise trade under 46 U.S.C. 50501, meet all general FFP requirements, and meet all requirements to hold the harvesting rights under the applicable FMP at the time of loan closing. The FFP may require additional lending conditions and security terms such as loan guarantees or security interests in other collateral to bring credit risk to acceptable levels. Affiliated businesses, the borrower's principals or majority shareholders, persons or entities with a financial interest in the borrower, or any individuals holding community property rights may also be required to provide a guaranty.

    In addition, all loan applicants are subject to background and credit investigations, which may include, but are not limited to, reviews for unresolved fishing violations, criminal background checks, delinquent debt investigations, and credit reports. Like other FFP loan programs, lending for harvesting rights is subject to a statutory loan limit of up to 80 percent of the actual cost of the transaction, set as the purchase price or, in the case of refinancing, the current market value. The FFP retains sole discretion to determine the transaction's actual cost or current market value.

    Harvesting rights loan amounts can carry up to a 25-year term and can be used to either purchase new rights or refinance the debt associated with the prior purchase(s) of harvesting rights. In addition to maintaining a 20 percent minimum equity stake, borrowers refinancing existing debt will only receive the lesser of the outstanding amount of debt to be refinanced or 80 percent of the current market value of the harvesting right.

    If a borrower seeking refinancing fails to have the requisite 20 percent equity stake (measured as the difference between the current market value of the primary collateral and the amount of the loan), that borrower will need to pay down debt to meet the required level. In addition, under FFP standards, borrowers are only eligible for refinancing if their initial purchase would have been eligible for financing. The program will refinance harvesting rights acquired prior to this regulation if the buyer's original purchase would have been eligible for FFP financing under the terms of this action.

    Prospective borrowers may apply for a loan through any of the NOAA Fisheries Service regional FFP offices (St. Petersburg, FL; Gloucester, MA; Seattle, WA). They must pay the appropriate application fee, set by 46 U.S.C. 53713(b) as one-half of one percent of the loan amount requested, which is made up of two parts. Half is the “filing fee,” and is nonrefundable when the FFP officially accepts the application. The other half, known as the “commitment fee,” becomes nonrefundable when the FFP executes and mails an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) letter to the applicant. The FFP may refund the commitment fee if the FFP declines the application or the application is withdrawn prior to the issuance of an AIP letter.

    Summary and Explanation of Regulatory Changes

    NMFS did not make any changes from the proposed to final regulations in response to public comments. This action adds the following section, as explained here.

    Harvesting Rights Loans (253.31)

    This new section provides regulatory provisions specific to the harvesting rights loans. At the time a borrower submits an application, he or she must satisfy the criteria listed in this new section in order to be eligible to receive financing under the program. The borrower must comply with any limitations on the quantity of harvesting rights that may be owned by one holder, as specified in the applicable FMP and implementing regulations. The FFP will not finance harvesting rights in excess of FMP-imposed ownership limitations. However, the FFP may finance harvesting rights in the existing IFQ loan program fisheries in excess of the ownership limitations in the current IFQ loan program regulations, though the FFP would accept comments on that from the applicable FMC, if the FMC chooses to comment.

    Classification

    This final rule is published under the authority of, and is consistent with, Chapter 537 of Title 46 of the United States Code and the Magnuson-Stevens Act, as amended. The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with Chapter 537 of Title 46 of the U.S. Code, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, as amended, and other applicable law.

    NEPA

    NMFS has determined that this rule qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE G7 of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, and we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion.

    Executive Order 12866

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    This final rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other relevant Federal rules.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

    This final rule contains collections-of-information subject to the PRA, which have been approved by OMB under control number 0648-0012. The application requirements contained in these rules have been approved under OMB control number 0648-0012. Public reporting burden for placing an application for FFP financing is estimated to average eight hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. No comments were received regarding the paperwork aspects of this rule.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., requires that, whenever an agency is required by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, to publish general notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed rule, or publishes a notice of proposed rulemaking for an interpretative rule involving the internal revenue laws of the United States, the agency shall prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. Such analysis shall describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. 5 U.S.C. 603(a). However, where an agency can certify “that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities” then an agency need not undertake a full regulatory flexibility analysis. 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    Participation in the FFP is entirely voluntary. This action imposes no mandatory requirements on any business. This rule will implement programs authorized by law. Specifically, the rule enacts regulatory additions to create a new lending purpose authorized by Section 302 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-120) and will be implemented in accordance with 50 CFR part 253, subpart B. This action creates new § 253.31.

    As defined by NMFS for RFA purposes, this rule may affect small fishing entities that have annual revenues of $11.0 million or less, including, but not limited to, vessel owners, vessel operators, individual fishermen, small corporations, and others engaged in commercial fishing activities regulated by NOAA. Borrowers under this authority may also include large businesses. Notably, because the FFP is a voluntary program that provides loans to qualified borrowers, non-borrowers—large or small—would not be regulated by this rule.

    Although the FFP requires certain supporting documentation during the life of a loan, the requirements do not impose unusual burdens when compared to the burdens imposed by other lenders. Moreover, because the basic need for financing would continue to exist without the FFP, the individuals seeking financing would still need to comply with similar, if not identical, requirements imposed by another lender. Records required to participate in the FFP are usually within the normal records already maintained by fishermen. It should take fewer than eight hours per application to meet these requirements.

    The information required from borrowers, such as income tax returns, insurance policies, permits, licenses, etc., is already available to them. Depending on circumstances, the FFP may require other supporting documents, including financial statements, property descriptions, and other documents that can be acquired at reasonable cost if they are not already available.

    FFP lending is a source of long-term, fixed rate capital financing and imposes no regulatory requirements on anyone other than those applying for loans. FFP borrowers make a voluntary decision to use the available lending.

    These loan programs will only have positive impacts on borrowers. Because participation is voluntary and requires effort and the outlay of an application fee, borrowers for harvesting rights financing are assumed to have made a determination that using FFP financing provides a benefit, such that the FFP's long-term, fixed rate financing provides only a positive economic impact. Importantly, the FFP does not regulate or manage the affairs of its borrowers, and the regulations impose no additional compliance, operating or other fees or costs on small entities other than a financing relationship would require.

    As a result of this certification, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 253

    Aquaculture, Community development groups, Direct lending, Financial assistance, Fisheries, Fishing, Individual fishing quota, Harvesting rights (privileges).

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 253, subpart B, as follows:

    PART 253—FISHERIES ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for part 253 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 53701 and 16 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.

    Subpart B—Fisheries Finance Program 2. Section 253.31 is added to read as follows:
    § 253.31 Harvesting rights loans.

    (a) Specific definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

    (1) Harvesting right(s) means any privilege to harvest fish in a fishery that is federally managed under a limited access system.

    (2) Limited access system has the same meaning given to that term in section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802).

    (b) Loan requirements and limitations. These loan requirements and limitations apply to individuals or entities who seek to finance or refinance the acquisition of harvesting rights.

    (1) The borrower must meet all regulatory and statutory requirements to hold the harvesting rights at the time any such loan or refinancing loan would close.

    (2) NMFS will accept and consider the input of a Regional Fishery Management Council at any time regarding the availability of loans in a fishery under the Council's authority.

    (i) The Council may submit an explanation to NMFS, in writing, as to why the availability of financing for harvesting rights in a fishery would harm the achievement of the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan applicable to the fishery. If NMFS accepts the Council's reasoning, harvesting rights loans will not be provided, or will cease to be provided, in that fishery.

    (ii) If NMFS determines that harvesting rights loans will not be provided in a fishery, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register notifying the public that new loans will not be made in that fishery.

    (iii) In such a scenario, pending applications will be returned and loan fees returned as exceptional circumstances justify the action.

    (3) The harvesting rights to be financed must be issued in a manner in which they can be individually identified such that a valid and specific security interest can be recorded. This determination shall be solely made by the Program.

    (c) Refinancing. (1) The Program may refinance any existing debts associated with harvesting rights a borrower currently holds, provided that:

    (i) The harvesting rights being refinanced would have been eligible for Program financing at the time the borrower purchased them, if Program financing had been available;

    (ii) The borrower meets all other applicable lending requirements; and

    (iii) The refinancing is in an amount up to 80 percent of the harvesting rights' current market value, as determined at the sole discretion of the Program, and subject to the limitation that the Program will not disburse any amount that exceeds the outstanding principal balance, plus accrued interest (if any), of the existing harvesting rights' debt being refinanced or its fair market value, whichever is less.

    (2) In the event that the current market value of harvesting rights and principal loan balance do not meet the 80 percent requirement in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section, borrowers seeking refinancing may be required to provide additional down payment.

    (d) Maturity. Loan maturity may not exceed 25 years, but may be shorter depending on credit and other considerations.

    (e) Repayment. Repayment will be by equal quarterly installments of principal and interest.

    (f) Security. Although harvesting right(s) will be the primary collateral for a loan, the Program may require additional security pledges to maintain the priority of the Program's security interest. The Program, at its option, may also require all parties with significant ownership interests to personally guarantee loan repayment for any borrower that is a corporation, partnership, or other entity, including collateral to secure the guarantees. Some projects may require additional security, collateral, or credit enhancement as determined, in the sole discretion, by the Program.

    (g) Program credit standards. Harvesting rights loans, regardless of purpose, are subject to all Program general credit standards and requirements. Collateral, guarantee and other requirements may be adjusted to individual credit risks.

    [FR Doc. 2018-11207 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 102 Friday, May 25, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Part 6 [Docket ID OCC-2018-0002] RIN 1557-AE35 FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Parts 208, 217, and 252 [Docket No. R-1604] RIN 7100 AF-03 Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Enhanced Supplementary Leverage Ratio Standards for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies and Certain of Their Subsidiary Insured Depository Institutions; Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity Requirements for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies AGENCY:

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On April 19, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published in the Federal Register a proposal to modify the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards for U.S. top-tier bank holding companies identified as global systemically important bank holding companies, or GSIBs, and certain of their insured depository institution subsidiaries. The proposal also included conforming modifications to the Board's total-loss absorbing capacity and long-term debt rules. The Board and the OCC have determined that an extension of the comment period until June 25, 2018, is appropriate.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the methods identified in the proposal.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    OCC: Venus Fan, Risk Expert (202) 649-6514, Capital and Regulatory Policy; or Carl Kaminski, Special Counsel; Allison Hester-Haddad, Counsel, or Christopher Rafferty, Attorney, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, (202) 649-5490 or, for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired, TTY, (202) 649-5597, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20219.

    Board: Constance M. Horsley, Deputy Associate Director, (202) 452-5239; Elizabeth MacDonald, Manager, (202) 475-6316, Holly Kirkpatrick, Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-2796, or Noah Cuttler, Senior Financial Analyst (202) 912-4678, Capital and Regulatory Policy, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; or Benjamin W. McDonough, Assistant General Counsel, (202) 452-2036; David Alexander, Counsel, (202) 452-2877, Greg Frischmann, Counsel, (202) 452-2803, Mark Buresh, Senior Attorney, (202) 452-5270, or Mary Watkins, Attorney, (202) 452-3722, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW, Washington, DC 20551. For the hearing impaired only, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 19, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published in the Federal Register a proposal to amend the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio (eSLR) standards of the Board and the OCC.1 The proposal stated that the comment period would close on May 21, 2018. Commenters have requested that the Board and the OCC extend the comment period. An extension of the comment period will provide additional opportunity for the public to consider the proposal and prepare comments, including to address the questions posed by the Board and the OCC. Therefore, the Board and the OCC are extending the end of the comment period for the proposal from May 21, 2018 to June 25, 2018.

    1 83 FR 17317 (April 19, 2018).

    Dated: May 22, 2018 Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller of the Currency. By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Secretary of the Board under delegated authority, May 17, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11336 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33-6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0448; Product Identifier 2017-NM-129-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of cracks, in various directions, in the lower portion of a main landing gear (MLG) piston. This proposed AD would require a detailed visual inspection of the MLG, and replacement if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: 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 to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0448; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Rodriquez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3226.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0448; Product Identifier 2017-NM-129-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this NPRM.

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0163, dated September 4, 2017; corrected September 5, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    An occurrence was reported where, during a walk around check, a number of cracks, in various directions, were discovered in the lower portion of a MLG piston, Part Number (P/N) 41141-5. No technical investigation results are available as yet, but based on a previous event, as a result of which EASA issued AD 2009-0221R1, later superseded by [EASA] AD 2011-0159, stress corrosion is suspected to have caused these cracks.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to MLG failure during the landing roll-out, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Fokker Services published Service Bulletin (SB) SBF100-32-169 to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time detailed visual inspection (DVI) of the MLG pistons for cracks and, depending on findings, replacement. This [EASA] AD also requires the reporting of inspection results to Fokker Services.

    This [EASA] AD has been republished to correct wrong P/N references in paragraphs (1) and (4).

    This [EASA] AD is considered an interim measure and further [EASA] AD action may follow.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0448.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Fokker Services B.V. has issued Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-169, dated August 23, 2017. The service information describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the MLG, and replacement if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 5 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Detailed visual inspection 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 $0 $255 $1,275 Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 425

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacement that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • MLG Replacement 12 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,020 $95,000 $96,020
    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this NPRM is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this NPRM has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this NPRM is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Fokker Services B.V.: Docket No. FAA-2018-0448; Product Identifier 2017-NM-129-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, if equipped with Goodrich main landing gear (MLG).

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of cracks, in various directions, in the lower portion of a MLG piston. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the lower portion of the MLG, which could lead to MLG failure during the landing roll-out, and possibly result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) One-Time Detailed Visual Inspection

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed visual inspection of each MLG piston part number 41141-5, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-169, dated August 23, 2017.

    (h) Corrective Actions

    If any crack is found, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, before further flight, replace the MLG piston with a serviceable piston (i.e., a new piston, a piston that has not accumulated any flight cycles since overhaul, or a piston that has been inspected as required by paragraph (g) of this AD and has no cracks), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-169, dated August 23, 2017.

    (i) Reporting

    (1) Submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD to Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services, fax: +31 (0)25-2627-211; email: [email protected], at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) or (i)(1)(ii) of this AD. The report must include the information specified in the questionnaire of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-169, dated August 23, 2017.

    (i) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (ii) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Although Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-169, dated August 23, 2017, specifies to submit certain information to Goodrich, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (j) Parts Installation Limitations

    As of the effective date of this AD, it is allowed to install a piston P/N 41141-5, or a replacement MLG with a piston P/N 41141-5, on any airplane, provided the piston is new, or has not accumulated any flight cycles since overhaul, or has been inspected as required by paragraph (g) of this AD and has no cracks.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Fokker Services B.V.'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0163, dated September 4, 2017; corrected September 5, 2017; for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0448.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Tom Rodriquez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3226.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 15, 2018. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11135 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; Product Identifier 2017-NM-164-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes; and certain Model C-295 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that cracks were found on the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting. This proposed AD would require a detailed inspection of the upper and lower lugs of each horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting, repair if necessary, and a report of findings. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: 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 to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus Defense and Space Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; Product Identifier 2017-NM-164-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this NPRM.

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0218, dated November 8, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes; and certain Model C-295 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Cracks were reportedly found on the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting of a CN-235 aeroplane. Subsequent investigation determined that the affected horizontal attachment fitting was a reworked part.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to reduced structural integrity of lugs of the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fittings and consequent lug or fitting failure, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potentially unsafe condition, Airbus Defence and Space (D&S) issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-C295-55-0005 and AOT-CN235-55-0004 to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time detailed inspection (DET) of the upper and lower lugs of the horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fittings on the left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) sides and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s) [repairs]. This [EASA] AD also requires reporting of all findings, including none.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0416.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus Defense and Space S.A. has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-CN235-55-0004, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; and AOT AOT-C295-55-0005, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016. This service information describes a detailed inspection of the upper and lower lugs of each horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting (left- and right-hand sides), repair if necessary, and sending inspection results to the manufacturer. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 14 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 $0 $680 $9,520 Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 1,190

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repair that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this repair:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 $0 $1,275
    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this NPRM is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this NPRM has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this NPRM is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; Product Identifier 2017-NM-164-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model airplanes, certificated in any category, specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSN).

    (2) Model C-295 airplanes, MSN 001 through 148 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Horizontal stabilizer.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that cracks were found on the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting. We are issuing this AD to address such cracking, which could lead to reduced structural integrity of the lugs on the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fittings and consequent lug or fitting failure, and could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Inspection

    Within the compliance times specified in figure 1 or figure 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable, accomplish a detailed inspection for cracks or rework of the upper and lower lugs of each horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting (left- and right-hand sides), in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defence and Space Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-CN235-55-0004, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; or Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-C295-55-0005, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; as applicable.

    EP25MY18.001 EP25MY18.002 (h) Corrective Action

    If, during the detailed inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any discrepancy (i.e., cracking or rework) is detected, as specified in Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-CN235-55-0004, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; or Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-C295-55-0005, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; as applicable: Before further flight, contact the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus Defense and Space S.A.'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA), for approved repair instructions. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. Accomplish the repair accordingly within the compliance time specified in those instructions, including any repetitive post-repair inspections, if applicable.

    (i) Reporting Requirement

    Submit a one-time report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD to Airbus Defense and Space S.A., in accordance with Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-CN235-55-0004, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; or Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-C295-55-0005, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; as applicable; at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD.

    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 60 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 60 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Parts Installation Limitations

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, a horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting, unless the part is new or it has been inspected in accordance with instructions of Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-CN235-55-0004, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; or Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-C295-55-0005, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016; as applicable; and no discrepancy was found. Before installation of the horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting, contact the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus Defense and Space S.A.'s EASA DOA, for approved instructions and do those instructions accordingly. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-CN235-55-0004, dated December 22, 2015; or Airbus Defence and Space AOT AOT-C295-55-0005, December 22, 2015; as applicable.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus Defense and Space S.A.'s DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0218, dated November 8, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0416.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Defense and Space Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 11, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11142 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0414; Product Identifier 2017-NM-159-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a revision of a certain airworthiness limitations item (ALI) document, which specifies new or more restrictive instructions and airworthiness limitations. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised structural inspection requirements. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: 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 to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0414; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0414; Product Identifier 2017-NM-159-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this NPRM.

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0207, dated October 12, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations for the Airbus A300 aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Airbus A300 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) documents. The Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items are specified in the A300 ALS Part 2. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continuing airworthiness. Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

    EASA previously issued [EASA] AD 2015-0115 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2017-04-05, Amendment 39-18800 (82 FR 11134, February 21, 2017) (“AD 2017-04-05”)] to require compliance with the maintenance requirements and associated airworthiness limitations defined in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2 Revision 02.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations were approved by EASA. Consequently, Airbus published Revision 03 of the A300 ALS Part 2, compiling all ALS Part 2 changes approved since previous Revision 02.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2015-0115, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2 Revision 03.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0414.

    Relationship Between Proposed AD and AD 2017-04-05

    This NPRM would not supersede AD 2017-04-05. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This NPRM would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised structural inspection requirements. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all of the requirements of AD 2017-04-05.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued A300 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2—Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI), Revision 03, dated August 28, 2017. The service information describes airworthiness limitations applicable to the DT-ALI. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections). Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (j)(1) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

    Difference Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    The MCAI specifies that if there are findings from the airworthiness limitations section (ALS) inspection tasks, corrective actions must be accomplished in accordance with Airbus maintenance documentation. However, this proposed AD does not include that requirement. Operators of U.S.-registered airplanes are required by general airworthiness and operational regulations to perform maintenance using methods that are acceptable to the FAA. We consider those methods to be adequate to address any corrective actions necessitated by the findings of ALS inspections required by this proposed AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 6 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    We have determined that revising the maintenance or inspection program takes an average of 90 work-hours per operator, although we recognize that this number may vary from operator to operator. In the past, we have estimated that this action takes 1 work-hour per airplane. Since operators incorporate maintenance or inspection program changes for their affected fleet(s), we have determined that a per-operator estimate is more accurate than a per-airplane estimate. Therefore, we estimate the total cost per operator to be $7,650 (90 work-hours × $85 per work-hour).

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2018-0414; Product Identifier 2017-NM-159-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2017-04-05, Amendment 39-18800 (82 FR 11134, February 21, 2017) (“AD 2017-04-05”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a revision of a certain airworthiness limitations item (ALI) document, which specifies new or more restrictive instructions and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements; such fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Airbus A300 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2—Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI), Revision 03, dated August 28, 2017. The initial compliance times for doing the tasks are at the applicable times specified in Airbus A300 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2—Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI), Revision 03, dated August 28, 2017, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishment of the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals, may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (i) Terminating Action

    Accomplishing the action in paragraph (g) of this AD terminates the requirements of AD 2017-04-05.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0207, dated October 12, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0414.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 11, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11140 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0415; Product Identifier 2017-NM-149-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, -500 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by the results of a fleet survey that revealed cracking in the bulkhead frame web at a certain body station. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the bulkhead frame web at a certain station, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: 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 to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0415.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0415; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5232; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0415; Product Identifier 2017-NM-149-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    We have received a report indicating that the results of a fleet survey revealed cracking in the bulkhead frame web at a certain body station. Boeing performed a fleet survey on retired Model 737-300 airplanes and inspected the upper bulkhead frame at station (STA) 259.5. One airplane had two cracks in the bulkhead frame web at fasteners connecting the bulkhead frame web to the outer chord between stringers S-11 and S-12 on the right side of the airplane. The cracks measured 0.45 inch and 1.7 inches in length, and the airplane had accomplished 73,655 total flight cycles at the time of inspection. A second airplane, which had accomplished 73,290 total flight cycles at the time of inspection, had two cracks in the right side bulkhead frame web measuring 1.772 inches and 0.219 inch in length, and one crack in the left side bulkhead frame web measuring 1.64 inches. Cracks have been reported on a total of five airplanes that had accomplished 60,640 to 73,655 total flight cycles. The cracks are a result of fatigue caused by cyclic pressurization of the fuselage. This condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017. The service information describes procedures for repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections and low frequency eddy current inspections and repair of the STA 259.5 bulkhead frame web from the first stiffener above stringers S-10 to S-13, on the left and right sides of the airplane. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions identified in the Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

    For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0415.

    Explanation of Requirements Bulletin

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (AD ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement is a process for annotating which steps in the service information are “required for compliance” (RC) with an AD. Boeing has implemented this RC concept into Boeing service bulletins.

    In an effort to further improve the quality of ADs and AD-related Boeing service information, a joint process improvement initiative was worked between the FAA and Boeing. The initiative resulted in the development of a new process in which the service information more clearly identifies the actions needed to address the unsafe condition in the “Accomplishment Instructions.” The new process results in a Boeing Requirements Bulletin, which contains only the actions needed to address the unsafe condition (i.e., only the RC actions).

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 411 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections 57 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,845 per inspection cycle $0 $4,845 per inspection cycle $1,991,295 per inspection cycle.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

    (2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

    (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2018-0415; Product Identifier 2017-NM-149-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53; Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by the results of a fleet survey that revealed cracking in the bulkhead frame web at a certain body station. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the station 259.5 bulkhead frame web from the first stiffener above stringers S-10 to S-13. Such cracking could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Required Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in the “Compliance” paragraph of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    Guidance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD is included in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1369, dated October 12, 2017, which is referred to in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017, uses the phrase “the original issue date of Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369,” this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 737-53A1369 RB, dated October 12, 2017, specifies contacting Boeing, this AD requires repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5232; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 11, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11269 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; Product Identifier 2017-NM-132-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-25-03, which applies to certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. AD 2016-25-03 requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued AD 2016-25-03, we have determined that accomplishing a new frame fork repair or reinforcement would allow an extension of the repetitive inspection intervals as would a frame fork replacement. This proposed AD would retain the actions required by AD 2016-25-03, with revised corrective actions and compliance times. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: 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 to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; Product Identifier 2017-NM-132-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2016-25-03, Amendment 39-18729 (81 FR 93801, December 22, 2016) (“AD 2016-25-03”), for certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. AD 2016-25-03 requires repetitive HFEC inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2016-25-03 resulted from a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft LDCD of two Model A300-600F4 airplanes during scheduled maintenance. We issued AD 2016-25-03 to detect and correct cracked or ruptured aft LDCD frames, which could allow loads to be transferred to the remaining structural elements. This condition could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft LDCD frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the aft LDCD.

    Actions Since AD 2016-25-03 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2016-25-03, we have determined that accomplishing a new frame fork repair or reinforcement would allow an extension of the repetitive inspection intervals as would the existing frame fork replacement.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0152R1, dated May 23, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During scheduled maintenance at frames (FR) 61 and FR61A on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two A300-600F4 aeroplanes, two adjacent frame forks were found cracked. Subsequent analysis determined that, in case of cracked or ruptured aft cargo door frame(s), loads will be transferred to the remaining structural elements. However, these secondary load paths will be able to sustain the loads for a limited number of flight cycles only.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft cargo door frame(s), resulting in reduced structural integrity of the aft cargo door.

    To address this unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52W011-15 to provide inspection instructions, and, consequently, EASA issued AD 2015-0152 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2016-25-03] to require repetitive inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    Since that AD was issued, Airbus published Service Bulletin (SB) SB A300-52-6085 which provides frame fork reinforcement instruction and SB A300-52-6086 which provides instruction to inspect the cargo door for cracks as well as frame fork replacement instructions having the inspection interval extended from 600 flight cycles (FC) to 1,200 FC.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD is revised to introduce frame forks replacement or repair [or reinforcement] as an allowance to extend the inspection interval.

    Required actions include repetitive HFEC inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks and repair, reinforcement, or replacement if necessary; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances and adjustment if necessary; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops for wear, and corrective actions if necessary. Corrective actions include blend-out, adjustment, and replacement of hooks, bushes and x-stops. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0417.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information:

    • Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015, which describes procedures for a check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at frame (FR)60 through FR64A and an adjustment of the latching hook; a detailed inspection to detect signs of wear of the hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops and corrective actions; and an HFEC inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD and a replacement of the frame fork.

    • Service Bulletin A300-52-6085, Revision 00, dated December 22, 2016. This service information describes procedures for reinforcing frame fork fastener holes, which include related investigative and corrective actions. The related investigative actions include a rotating probe inspection for cracking of the fastener holes and a check to determine the hole diameter. Corrective actions include repair and cold working the fastener holes.

    • Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016, which describes procedures for a check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at FR60 through FR64A and an adjustment of the latching hook; and HFEC inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD and a repair of the frame fork.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 58 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    17 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,445 $0 $1,445 $83,810

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of any required actions. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Up to 65 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,525 $10,000 $15,525
    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-25-03, Amendment 39-18729 (81 FR 93801, December 22, 2016), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; Product Identifier 2017-NM-132-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2016-25-03, Amendment 39-18729 (81 FR 93801, December 22, 2016) (“AD 2016-25-03”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and A300 F4-622R airplanes, certificated in any category, on which Airbus modification 12046 has been embodied in production. Modification 12046 has been embodied in production on manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 0805 and above, except MSNs 0836, 0837, and 0838.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two airplanes during scheduled maintenance, and the introduction of frame fork reinforcement or repair procedures that, when done, allow an extension of repetitive inspection intervals. We are issuing this AD to address cracked or ruptured aft LDCD frames, which could allow loads to be transferred to the remaining structural elements. This condition could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft LDCD frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the aft LDCD.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Retained Inspection Requirements and On-Condition Actions, With Revised Compliance Times and New Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2016-25-03, with revised compliance times and new service information. At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, or before exceeding the threshold defined in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD. Repeat the high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed the applicable times specified in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) A one-time check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at FR60 through FR64A, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016. If any value outside tolerance is found, adjust the latching hook before further flight, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016.

    (2) A one-time detailed inspection to detect signs of wear of the hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015. If any wear is found, do all applicable corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015.

    (3) An HFEC inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016. If any crack is found, before further flight, replace the cracked frame fork, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; repair the cracked frame fork, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016; or reinforce the cracked frame fork, including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6085, Revision 00, dated December 22, 2016, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

    EP25MY18.000 (h) Retained Compliance Times, With No Changes

    At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, do the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 4,500 total flight cycles.

    (2) At the applicable time specified by paragraph (h)(2)(i) or (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For airplanes that have accumulated 8,000 or more total flight cycles as of January 26, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2016-25-03): Within 100 flight cycles after January 26, 2017.

    (ii) For airplanes that have accumulated fewer than 8,000 total flight cycles as of January 26, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2016-25-03): Within 400 flight cycles after January 26, 2017.

    (i) Service Information Exception

    Where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6085, Revision 00, dated December 22, 2016, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action: Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD.

    (j) No Terminating Action

    Accomplishment of corrective actions on an airplane as required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, or repair, reinforcement, or replacement of a frame fork as required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD, on the aft LDCD of an airplane does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive HFEC inspections required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD for that airplane.

    (k) Compliance Time Clarification

    After replacement, repair, or reinforcement of any frame fork on the aft LDCD of an airplane, as specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD, the next HFEC inspection as required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD can be deferred for any frame fork that is replaced, repaired, or reinforced, but must be accomplished before exceeding 6,800 flight cycles after the replacement, repair, or reinforcement of that frame fork.

    (l) No Reporting

    Although the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016, specify to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (i) and paragraph (l) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0152R1, dated May 23, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0417.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 11, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11134 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0449; Product Identifier 2018-NM-042-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of uncommanded deployment of the ground spoilers when the power levers were advanced for takeoff, which was caused by faulty switches in the power lever module. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: 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 to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0449; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John P. DeLuca, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Administrative Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7369; fax 516-794-5531; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0449; Product Identifier 2018-NM-042-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this NPRM.

    Discussion

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2017-35, dated November 29, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There has been an incident of uncommanded deployment of the ground spoilers when the power levers were advanced for take-off. The warning horn sounded and the pilot rejected the take-off. The subsequent investigation determined the root cause of the spoiler deployment was faulty switches in the power lever module. An uncommanded deployment of the ground spoilers may lead to a runway excursion.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the incorporation of a new Certification Maintenance Requirement (CMR) task to check the ground spoiler switches in the power lever module.

    Required actions include revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0449.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued Q400 Dash 8 (Bombardier) Temporary Revision ALI-0173, dated March 14, 2017, to Section 1-27, Certification Maintenance Requirements of the Maintenance Requirements Manual (MRM) Part 2, of Product Support Manual (PSM) 1-84-7. This service information describes CMR Task 276000-110, “Operational Check of the Ground Spoiler Switches in the Power Lever Module.” This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 86 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    We have determined that revising the maintenance or inspection program takes an average of 90 work-hours per operator, although we recognize that this number may vary from operator to operator. In the past, we have estimated that this action takes 1 work-hour per airplane. Since operators incorporate maintenance or inspection program changes for their affected fleet(s), we have determined that a per-operator estimate is more accurate than a per-airplane estimate. Therefore, we estimate the total cost per operator to be $7,650 (90 work-hours × $85 per work-hour).

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2018-0449; Product Identifier 2018-NM-042-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 4001 and subsequent.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of uncommanded deployment of the ground spoilers when the power levers were advanced for takeoff, which was caused by faulty switches in the power lever module. We are issuing this AD to address faulty switches in the power lever module, which could result in uncommanded deployment of the ground spoilers and a possible runway excursion.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR) Task 276000-110 of Q400 Dash 8 (Bombardier) Temporary Revision ALI-0173, dated March 14, 2017, to Section 1-27, Certification Maintenance Requirements of the Maintenance Requirements Manual (MRM) Part 2, of Product Support Manual (PSM) 1-84-7.

    (h) Initial Compliance Time

    The initial compliance time for doing the CMR Task 276000-110 specified in paragraph (g) of this AD is within 8,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO Branch, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2017-35, dated November 29, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0449.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact John P. DeLuca, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Administrative Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7369; fax 516-794-5531; email [email protected]

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St, Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 15, 2018. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11141 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Parts 600 and 668 [Docket ID ED-2018-OPE-0041] RIN 1840-AD39 Program Integrity and Improvement AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary proposes to delay, until July 1, 2020, the effective date of the final regulations entitled Program Integrity and Improvement published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2016 (the final regulations). The current effective date of the final regulations is July 1, 2018. The Secretary proposes the delay based on concerns recently raised by regulated parties and to ensure that there is adequate time to conduct negotiated rulemaking to reconsider the final regulations, and as necessary, develop revised regulations. The provisions for which the effective date is being delayed are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before June 11, 2018. As previously indicated, we are establishing a 15-day public comment period for the proposed delay in effective date. We are doing so because the 2016 rule is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018, and a final rule delaying the effective date must be published prior to that date. A longer comment period would not allow sufficient time for the Department to review and respond to comments, and publish a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “Help.”

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: The Department strongly encourages commenters to submit their comments electronically. However, if you mail or deliver your comments about the notice of proposed rulemaking, address them to Jean-Didier Gaina, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Mail Stop 294-20, Washington, DC 20202.

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sophia McArdle, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Mail Stop 290-44, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-6318. Email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice of proposed rulemaking. See ADDRESSES for instructions on how to submit comments.

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice of proposed rulemaking by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also inspect the comments in person at 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week, except Federal holidays. If you want to schedule time to inspect comments, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request, we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public-rulemaking record for this notice of proposed rulemaking. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Based on additional concerns recently raised by regulated parties related to implementation of the final regulations, the Secretary proposes to delay, until July 1, 2020, the effective date of the final regulations. The Department proposes this delay to hear from the regulated community and students about these concerns and to consider, through negotiated rulemaking, possible revisions to the final regulations.

    Two letters in particular prompted this proposed delay. The Department received a letter dated February 6, 2018 (February 6 letter), from the American Council on Education (http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/ACE-Letter-on-State-Authorization-Concern.pdf), which represents nearly 1,800 college university presidents from all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions and the executives at related associations. That letter expressed concerns that, ”students who are residents of certain states may be ineligible for federal financial aid if they are studying online at institutions located outside their states. This is related to the requirement imposed by the state authorization regulations that mandates institutions disclose to students the appropriate state complaint process for their state of residence. A number of states, including California, do not currently have complaint processes for all out-of-state institutions.” On February 7, 2018, the Department also received a letter from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Cooperative for Educational Technologies, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, all of which represent regulated parties (February 7 letter). In the letter, these entities stated that there is widespread concern and confusion in the higher education community regarding the implementation of the final regulations, particularly with respect to State authorization of distance education and related disclosures. The authors of the February 7 letter argued that the new regulations will be costly and burdensome for most colleges and universities that offer distance education and that some States have not implemented the necessary policies and procedures to conform to the student complaint procedures required by the regulations. The authors also expressed that institutions need additional information from the Department to better understand how to comply with the new regulations. They stated, for instance, that the way the term “residence” is described in the preamble of the 2016 rule may conflict with State laws and common practice among students for establishing residency. These issues are more complex than we understood when we considered them in 2016. Therefore, we believe that a more precise definition of “residence”—which can be defined by States in different ways for different purposes—should be established through rulemaking to ensure institutions have the clarity needed to determine a student's residence (81 FR 92236). The Department does not believe guidance would be sufficient to address the complexities institutions have encountered, even prior to the rule's effective date. Specifically, we believe that we will need significant detail to properly operationalize this term and will need to work with impacted stakeholders to determine how best to address a concern that is complex and potentially costly to institutions and students.

    The authors of the two letters also asked the Department to clarify the format in which they should make public and individualized disclosures of the State authorization status for every State, the complaint resolution processes for every State, and details on State licensure eligibility for every discipline that requires a license to enter a profession. The authors suggested that the Department should delay the rules and submit the issues to additional negotiated rulemaking or, alternatively, clarify the final regulations through guidance. We believe that these disclosure issues, particularly those regarding individualized student disclosures, also require further review and the consideration of whether more detailed requirements are necessary for proper implementation. For instance, what disclosures would need to be made to a student when the student changes his or her residence? How would an institution know that a student has changed his or her residence so that individualized disclosures could be made? For how long must a student reside at the new address to be considered a resident of that State for the purposes of State authorization disclosures (and how will this answer vary State by State and be further complicated by the fact that each State's definition may have been originally developed for a variety of purposes)? What if a student enrolls in a program that meets the licensure requirements of the State in which the student was living at the time, but then the student relocates to a new State where the program does not fulfill the requirements for licensure? What is the obligation of the university if the program no longer meets the licensure requirements, due to a student's move, not a change in the program?

    Finally, to add further complexity, students may not always notify their institution if they change addresses, or if they relocate temporarily to another State. While the preamble of the 2016 regulation did state that institutions may rely on the student's self-determination of residency unless it has information to the contrary, there may need to be additional clarification or safeguards for institutions in the event that a student does not notify the institution of a change in residency.

    For both of the residency and disclosure issues, guidance is not the appropriate vehicle to provide the clarifications needed. Guidance is inherently non-binding and, therefore, could not be used to establish any new requirements. More importantly, due to the complexity of these issues, we are not confident that we could develop a workable solution through guidance and without the input of negotiators who have been engaged in meeting these requirements. Additionally, the necessary changes may impose a greater burden on some regulated parties, or could significantly minimize burden to institutions, which would require an updated estimate of regulatory impact. In sum, the Department believes that the clarifications requested are so substantive that they would require further rulemaking including negotiated rulemaking under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

    We believe that delaying the final regulations would benefit students and that many students will still receive sufficient disclosures regarding distance education programs during the period of the delay due to steps institutions have already taken in this area.

    Since the final regulations are currently scheduled to go into effect in July, we believe the delay will benefit those students who are planning to take coursework via online programs during the summer months, or who may be making plans to do internships in other States. Many institutions and students ordinarily not heavily engaged in distance education do provide and take online courses in the summer. If the final regulations were to go into effect on July 1, 2018, an institution may be hesitant to offer these courses outside the State in which the institution is located, because the uncertainty of how to determine students' residency, and the associated requirements, may make a State unwilling to pursue State authorization in all of the possible locations its students may reside during the summer. Students will also depend on their institution taking the necessary and involved steps to come into compliance in each State. Some institutions, especially those with limited resources, could simply determine that the cost of obtaining State authorization, of ensuring the relevant states have complaint procedures, and assessing licensure requirements, is simply not worth the benefit of eligibility for title IV aid if only a small number of students enroll online from a particular State, which would mean that some students could not continue their education during the summer if during those months they return to their parents' home to save money or because dormitory facilities on campus are closed. Thus, students would lose the opportunity to use title IV aid for these courses. By contrast, institutions that routinely provide distance education to large numbers of students from all 50 States may have already taken the initiative to obtain State authorization and assess the complaint systems and licensure requirements since the cost-benefit ratio favors such an action. As a result, the delay will not adversely affect students attending those institutions.

    In addition, DCL GEN-12-13 provides guidance regarding student complaints and student consumer disclosures as related to distance education, ensuring that during the delay institutions will be aware of their existing obligations and that students will receive these protections. Under 34 CFR 668.43(b), an institution is required to provide to students its State approval or licensing and the contact information for filing complaints. DCL GEN-12-13 clarifies this requirement with respect to distance education.

    The negotiated rulemaking process could not be completed with final regulations that would go into effect before July 1, 2020. To comply with section 482 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1089), also known as the “master calendar requirement,” a regulatory change that has been published in final form on or before November 1 prior to the start of an award year—which begins on July 1 of any given year—may take effect only at the beginning of the next award year, or in other words, on July 1 of the next year. Because November 1 has already passed, there is no way for the Department to publish a final rule that would be effective by July 1 of this year. Moreover, for the reasons explained below, any negotiated rulemaking process would not be finished until sometime in 2019, so regulations resulting from that process could not be effective before July 1, 2020 at the earliest. It would be confusing and counterproductive for the final regulations to go into effect before the conclusion of this reconsideration process. We thus propose delaying the current effective date—July 1, 2018—until July 1, 2020.

    The Department has not had sufficient time to effectuate this delay through negotiated rulemaking. Negotiated rulemaking requires a number of steps that typically takes the Department well over 12 months to complete. The HEA requires the Department to hold public hearings before commencing any negotiations. Based upon the feedback the Department receives during the hearings, the Department then identifies those issues on which it will conduct negotiated rulemaking, announces those, and solicits nominations for non-Federal negotiators. Negotiations themselves are typically held over a 3-month period. Following the negotiations, the Department prepares a notice of proposed rulemaking and submits the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The proposed rules are then open for public comment for 30-60 days. Following the receipt of public comments, the Department considers those comments and prepares a final regulation that is reviewed by OMB before publication.

    In this instance, the catalysts for the delay are the February 6 and February 7 letters. The Department could not have completed the well-over 12-month negotiated rulemaking process, described in the previous paragraph, between February 6, 2018, and the July 1, 2018, effective date. Thus, the Department has good cause to waive the negotiated rulemaking requirement with regard to its proposal to delay the effective date of the final regulations to July 1, 2020, in order to complete a new negotiated rulemaking proceeding to address the concerns identified by some of the regulated parties in the higher education community.

    Based on the above considerations, the Department is proposing to delay until July 1, 2020, the effective date of the following provisions of the final regulations in title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

    • § 600.2 Definitions (definition of State authorization reciprocity agreement).

    • § 600.9(c) (State authorization distance education regulations).

    • § 600.9(d) (State authorization of foreign locations of domestic institution regulations).

    • § 668.2 (addition of “Distance education” to the list of definitions).

    • § 668.50 (institutional disclosures for distance or correspondence programs regulations).

    Waiver of Negotiated Rulemaking: Under section 492 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1098a), all regulations proposed by the Department for programs authorized under title IV of the HEA are subject to negotiated rulemaking requirements. However, section 492(b)(2) of the HEA provides that negotiated rulemaking may be waived for good cause when doing so would be “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Section 492(b)(2) of the HEA requires the Secretary to publish the basis for waiving negotiations in the Federal Register at the same time as the proposed regulations in question are first published.

    For the reasons stated above, it would not be practicable, before the July 1, 2018 effective date specified in the final regulations published December 19, 2016 (81 FR 92232), to engage in negotiated rulemaking and publish a notice of final regulations to delay the effective date. The Department also believes it will be in the public interest to delay the effective date of these regulations so that these issues can be resolved before the regulations go into effect. The approach may also benefit from input from States that are in the process of changing requirements for distance education programs. There is, therefore, good cause to waive negotiated rulemaking pertaining to this delay. Note, we are only waiving negotiated rulemaking and are providing this notice and opportunity to comment on the proposed delay.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, it must be determined whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive Order and subject to review by OMB. Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

    This proposed regulatory action is a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. The quantified economic effects and net budget impact associated with the delayed effective date are not expected to be economically significant. Institutions will be relieved of an expected Paperwork Reduction Act burden of approximately $364,801 in annualized cost savings or $5.2 million in present value terms for the delay period, though it is possible some States have already incurred these costs preparing for the current effective date. The Department is interested in comments on whether costs have already been expended in this area and estimates of costs still needed to be incurred.

    We have also reviewed this proposed delay under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency:

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing this proposed delay only on a reasoned determination that its benefits would justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected the approach that would maximize net benefits. In particular, the Department believes avoiding the compliance costs for institutions and the potential unintended harm to students if institutions decide not to offer distance education courses to students who switch locations for a semester or do not allow students to receive title IV aid for such courses because the definition of residency needs additional clarification outweighs any negative effect of the delayed disclosures. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this proposed delay of the final regulations is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    Consistent with Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017), we have estimated that this proposed rule has a potential upper bound effect of estimated annualized cost savings of $705,737, or $10,081,963 in present value terms, using a 7 percent discount rate over a perpetual time horizon, in administrative and information disclosure costs. This is an upper bound estimate of these cost savings, since some institutions may have begun development of disclosures to meet the proposed regulatory requirements. As a central estimate, the Department estimates institutions will be relieved of an expected Paperwork Reduction Act burden of approximately $364,801 in annualized cost savings or $5.2 million in present value terms for the delay period; though it is possible some States have already incurred these costs preparing for the current effective date.

    Because of these savings, this proposed rule, if finalized, would be considered an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. The Department explicitly requests comments on whether these administrative cost savings and foregone benefits calculations and discussions are accurate and fully capture the impacts of this rule delay.

    Effects of Delay

    The Regulatory Impact Analysis of the final regulations stated that the regulations would have the following primary benefits: (1) Updated and clarified requirements for State authorization of distance education and foreign additional locations, (2) a process for students to access complaint resolution in either the State in which the institution is authorized or the State in which they reside, and (3) increased transparency and access to institutional and program information.

    As a result of the proposed delay, students might not receive disclosures of adverse actions taken against a particular institution or program. Students also may not receive other information about an institution, such as information about refund policies or whether a program meets certain State licensure requirements. Increased access to such information could help students identify programs that offer credentials that potential employers recognize and value, so delaying the requirement to provide these disclosures may require students to obtain this information from another source or may lead students to choose sub-optimal programs for their preferred courses of study. On the other hand, students who attend on-ground campuses may find that, while the program they completed meets licensure requirements in that State, it does not meet licensure requirements in other States. The Department has never required ground-based campuses to provide this information to students, including campuses that enroll large numbers of students from other States.

    Additionally, the delay of the disclosures related to the complaints resolution process could make it harder for students to access available consumer protections. Some students may be aware of Federal Student Aid's Ombudsman Group, State Attorneys General offices, or other resources for potential assistance, but the disclosure would help affected students be aware of these options.

    The Department also recognizes a potential unintended effect of the final regulation on students from institutions reacting to uncertainty in the definition of residency and other aspects of the 2016 final regulation by refusing enrollment or title IV aid to distance education students as a safeguard against unintentional non-compliance. A variety of other possible scenarios described herein, resulting from confusion about the rule or an institution's inability or unwillingness to comply, could also result in loss of title IV aid to students. For example, if a student pursues a summer internship and relocates to another State for the summer semester, institutions may choose not to allow them to take courses online because their residency is unclear. The Department believes the possibility of this outcome and the disruption it could have to students' education plans counts in favor of delaying the rule to prevent institutions from taking such actions while negotiated rulemaking clears up lingering and widespread uncertainty. A student who is unable to take classes during the summer months may be unable to complete his or her program on time, especially if the student is working or raising children and cannot manage a 15 credit course load during the regular academic terms.

    Delay may, however, better allow institutions to address the costs of complying with the final regulations. In promulgating those regulations, the Department recognized that institutions could face compliance costs associated with obtaining State authorization for distance education programs or operating foreign locations. But the Department did not ascribe specific costs to the State authorization regulations and associated definitions because it presumed that institutions were already complying with applicable State authorization requirements and because nothing in the final regulations requires institutions to have distance education programs.

    Although the Department did not ascribe specific costs to this aspect of the regulation, it provided examples of costs ranging from $5,000 to $16,000 depending on institution size, for a total estimated annual cost for all institutions of $19.3 million. Several commenters stated that the Department underestimated the costs of compliance with the regulations, noting that extensive research may be required for each program in each State. One institution reported that it costs $23,520 to obtain authorization for a program with an internship in all 50 States and $3,650 to obtain authorization for a new 100 percent online program in all 50 States. To renew the authorization for its existing programs, this institution estimated a cost of $75,000 annually including fees, costs for surety bonds, and accounting services, and noted these costs have been increasing in recent years. The Department believes this institution's estimate is credible; however, we request comment on whether this example provides a typical or accurate level of expected compliance costs across a representative population, and the extent to which institutions have already incurred these costs. In practice, actual costs to institutions vary based on a number of factors including an institution's size, the extent to which an institution provides distance education, and whether it participates in a State authorization reciprocity agreement or chooses to obtain authorization in specific States.

    Delay may also allow institutions to postpone incurring costs associated with the disclosure requirements. As indicated in the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 section of the final regulations, those costs were estimated to be 152,565 hours and $5,576,251 annually.

    Net Budget Impact: As noted in the final regulations, in the absence of evidence that the regulations would significantly change the size and nature of the student loan borrower population, the Department estimated no significant net budget impact from these regulations. While the updated requirements for State authorization and the option to use State authorization reciprocity agreements may expand the availability of distance education, student loan volume will not necessarily expand greatly. Additional distance education could provide convenient options for students to pursue their educations and loan funding may shift from physical to online campuses. Distance education has expanded significantly already and the final regulations are only one factor in institutions' plans within this field. The distribution of title IV, HEA program funding could continue to evolve, but the overall volume is also driven by demographic and economic conditions that are not affected by these regulations and State authorization requirements were not expected to change loan volumes in a way that would result in a significant net budget impact. Likewise, the availability of options to study abroad at foreign locations of domestic institutions offers students flexibility and potentially rewarding experiences, but was not expected to significantly change the amount or type of loans students use to finance their education. Therefore, the Department did not estimate that the foreign location requirements in 34 CFR 600.9(d) would have a significant budget impact on title IV, HEA programs. As the final regulations were not expected to have a significant budget impact, delaying them to allow for reconsideration and renegotiation of the final rule is not expected to have a significant budget impact. This analysis is limited to the effect of delaying the effective date of the final regulations to July 1, 2020, and does not account for any potential future substantive changes in the final regulations.

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The final regulations would affect institutions that participate in the title IV, HEA programs, many of which are considered small entities. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Size Standards define “for-profit institutions” as “small businesses” if they are independently owned and operated and not dominant in their field of operation with total annual revenue below $7 million. The SBA Size Standards define “not-for-profit institutions” as “small organizations” if they are independently owned and operated and not dominant in their field of operation, or as “small entities” if they are institutions controlled by governmental entities with populations below 50,000. Under these definitions, approximately 4,267 of the IHEs that would be subject to the paperwork compliance provisions of the final regulations are small entities. Accordingly, we have reviewed the estimates from the 2016 final rule and prepared this regulatory flexibility analysis to present an estimate of the effect on small entities of the delay in the final regulations.

    In the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for the final regulations, the Department estimated that 4,267 of the 6,890 IHEs participating in the title IV, HEA programs were considered small entities— 1,878 are not-for-profit institutions, 2,099 are for-profit institutions with programs of two years or less, and 290 are for-profit institutions with four-year programs. Using the definition described above, approximately 60 percent of IHEs qualify as small entities, even if the range of revenues at the not-for-profit institutions varies greatly. Many small institutions may focus on local provision of specific programs and would not be significantly affected by the delay in the 2016 regulations because they do not offer distance education. As described in the analysis of the 2016 final rule, distance education is a growing area with potentially significant effects on the postsecondary education market and the small entities that participated in it, including an opportunity to expand and serve more students than their physical locations can accommodate but also increased competitive pressure from online options. Overall, as of Fall 2016, approximately 15 percent of students receive their education exclusively through distance education while 68.3 percent took no distance education courses. However, at proprietary institutions almost 59.2 percent of students were exclusively distance education students and 30.4 percent had not enrolled in any distance education courses.1 The delay in a clear State authorization rule for distance education may slow the reshuffling of the postsecondary education market or the increased participation of small entities in distance education, but that is not necessarily the case. Distance education has expanded over recent years even in the absence of a clear State authorization regime.

    1 2017 Digest of Education Statistics Table 311.15: Number and percentage of students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by distance education participation, location of student, level of enrollment, and control and level of institution: Fall 2015 and fall 2016. Available at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d17/tables/dt17_311.15.asp?current=yes.

    In the analysis of the 2016 final rule, we noted that the Department estimated total State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) fees and additional State fees of approximately $7 million annually for small entities, but acknowledged that costs could vary significantly by type of institution and institutions' resources and that these considerations may influence the extent to which small entities operate distance education programs. Small entities that do participate in the distance education sector may benefit from avoiding these fees during the delay period. If 50 percent of small entities offer distance education, the average annual cost savings per small entity during the delay would be approximately $3,280, but that would increase to $6,560 if distance education was only offered by 25 percent of small entities. This estimate assumes small entities have not already taken steps to comply with the State authorization requirements in the 2016 final rule. The Department welcomes comments on the distribution of small entities offering distance education, the estimated costs to obtain State authorization for their programs, and the extent to which small entities have already incurred costs to comply with the 2016 final rule.

    The Department also estimated that small entities would incur 13,981 hours of burden in connection with information collection requirements with an estimated cost of $510,991 annually. Small entities may be able to avoid some of the anticipated burden during the delay. To the extent small entities would need to spend funds to comply with State authorization requirements for distance education, the proposed delay would allow them to postpone incurring those costs. And although institutions may have incurred some of the $510,991 annual costs to prepare for the information collection requirements, it is possible that institutions could avoid up to that amount during the period of the delay.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As indicated in the Paperwork Reduction Act section published in the 2016 final regulations, the assessed estimated burden was 152,565 hours affecting institutions with an estimated cost of $5,576,251.

    The table below identifies the regulatory sections, OMB Control Numbers, estimated burden hours, and estimated costs of those final regulations.

    Regulatory section OMB control No. Burden hours Estimated cost
  • $36.55/hour
  • institution
  • 600.9 1845-0144 160 5,848 668.50(b) 1845-0145 151,715 5,545183 668.50(c) 1845-0145 690 25,220 Total 152,565 5,576,251 Cost savings due to delayed effective date 152,565 5,576,251

    This notice proposes to delay the effective date of the all of the cited regulations.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    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 PDF. To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    List of Subjects 34 CFR Part 600

    Colleges and universities, Foreign relations, Grant programs—education, Loan programs—education, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Student aid, Vocational education.

    34 CFR Part 668

    Administrative practice and procedure, Colleges and universities, Consumer protection, Grant programs—education, Loan programs—education, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Selective Service System, Student aid, Vocational education.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11262 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 30 [EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259; FRL-9978-31-ORD] RIN 2080-AA14 Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science; Extension of Comment Period and Notice of Public Hearing AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period; notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    On April 30, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule titled, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The EPA is extending the comment period on the proposed rule, which was scheduled to close on May 30, 2018, until August 16, 2018. The EPA is also announcing a public hearing to be held for the proposed rule. The hearing will be held on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. The EPA is making these changes in response to public requests for an extension of the comment period and for a public hearing.

    DATES:

    The public comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on April 30, 2018 (83 FR 18768), is being extended. Written comments must be received on or before August 16, 2018. The public hearing will be held on July 17, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for the proposed rulemaking (available at http://www.regulations.gov). The Docket ID No. is EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259. Submit your comments, identified by the appropriate Docket ID, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. 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. If you need to include CBI as part of your comment, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html for instructions. 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.

    For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    Public hearing: The public hearing will be held at the Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton East Building, Main Floor Room 1153, 1201 Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC 20460. The public hearing will convene at 8:00 a.m. EST and continue until 8:00 p.m. EST or one hour after the last registered speaker has spoken, whichever is earlier. The EPA will make every effort to accommodate all speakers that arrive and register. Because this hearing is being held at a U.S. government facility, individuals planning to attend the hearing should be prepared to show valid picture identification to the security staff to gain access to the meeting room. No large signs will be allowed in the building, cameras may only be used outside of the building, and demonstrations will not be allowed on federal property for security reasons.

    If you would like to present oral testimony at the public hearing, please register online at https://www.epa.gov/osa/strengthening-transparency-regulatory-science or contact Tom Sinks, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Science Advisor, (MC 8105R), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, telephone (202) 564-0221, [email protected], no later than 2 business days prior to the public hearing. The last day to register will be July 15, 2018. If using email, please provide the following information: Time of day you wish to speak (8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.), name, affiliation, address, email address, and telephone and fax numbers.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions concerning the proposed rule, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” should be addressed to Tom Sinks, Office of the Science Advisor, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; (202) 564-0221; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document extends the public comment period for the proposed rule to ensure that the public has sufficient time to review and comment on the proposal. EPA is proposing this rule under authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, in addition to the authorities listed in the April 30th document.

    The public hearing provides the public with an opportunity to present oral comments regarding EPA's proposed regulation entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” This proposed regulation is intended to strengthen the transparency of EPA regulatory science. The proposed regulation provides that, for the science pivotal to its significant regulatory actions, EPA will ensure that the data and models underlying the science is publicly available in a manner sufficient for validation and analysis. EPA is proposing this rule under authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, in addition to the authorities listed in the April 30th document.

    The public hearing will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or arguments concerning the proposal. EPA solicits comments on all aspects of the proposal and specifically on the issues identified in Section III of the April 30th document. The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing.

    Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes for each commenter. The EPA encourages commenters to provide EPA with a copy of their oral testimony electronically via email or in hard copy form.

    The hearing schedules, including lists of speakers, will be posted on EPA's website https://www.epa.gov/osa/strengthening-transparency-regulatory-science. Verbatim transcripts of the hearings and written statements will be included in the docket for the rulemaking. EPA will make every effort to follow the schedule as closely as possible on the day of the hearing; however, please plan for the hearing to run either ahead of schedule or behind schedule.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Tom Sinks, Director, Office of the Science Advisor.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11316 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2018-0008; FRL-9978-63-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Particulate Matter Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a January 4, 2018, request by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin) to revise its state implementation plan (SIP) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Wisconsin updated its ambient air quality standards for PM2.5 to be consistent with EPA's 2012 revisions to the PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Wisconsin also revised its incorporation by reference rule to update references to the EPA monitoring methods.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2018-0008 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Rau, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6524, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Background II. What is EPA's Analysis? III. What Action is EPA Taking? IV. Incorporation by Reference. V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews. I. Background

    On January 15, 2013, EPA revised the primary (protective of human health) annual PM2.5 NAAQS to a level of 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). EPA also retained the annual PM2.5 secondary (protective of public welfare) NAAQS set at a level of 15.0 µg/m3, along with the 24-hour primary and secondary NAAQS for PM2.5 at a level of 35 µg/m3. 40 CFR 50.13 and 40 CFR 50.18.

    Wisconsin revised its ambient air quality rules in chapter NR 404 such that its PM2.5 standards are consistent with EPA's revision. Wisconsin modified NR 404.04(9) by splitting the PM2.5 standards into separate sections for the primary and secondary standards. Wisconsin added NR 404.04(9)(am) for the primary PM2.5 standard and NR 404.04(9)(bm) for the secondary PM2.5 standard. In NR 404.04(9)(am), the primary annual PM2.5 standard was revised from 15.0 to 12.0 µg/m3 with the 24-hour primary PM2.5 standard remaining at 35 µg/m3. Wisconsin retained the current secondary standard, 15.0 µg/m3 annual and 35 µg/m3 24-hour, in the new NR 404.04(9)(bm).

    Wisconsin also included monitoring method requirements in both NR 404.04(9)(am) and (bm). The ambient PM2.5 is to be measured by the methods of 40 CFR part 50, appendices L and N, for both standards. 40 CFR part 50, appendix L, is the Reference Method for the Determination of Fine Particulate Matter as PM2.5 in the Atmosphere, while, 40 CFR part 50, appendix N, is the Interpretation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5.

    Wisconsin also revised its incorporation by reference rules in chapter NR 484. Wisconsin altered NR 484.04(6g) and NR 484.04(6r). The state amended NR 484.04(6g) by incorporating by reference 40 CFR part 50, appendix L, Reference Method for the Determination of Particulate Matter as PM2.5 in the Atmosphere, into NR 404.04(9). The state amended NR 484.04(6r) by incorporating by reference 40 CFR part 50, appendix N, Interpretation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5, into NR 404.04(9).

    Wisconsin held a public comment period for these revisions from July 14, 2016, to August 31, 2016, and a public hearing on August 25, 2016. No comments were received.

    II. What is EPA's Analysis?

    Wisconsin's revisions to NR 404.04(9) make its ambient air quality standard consistent with the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Wisconsin revised the primary PM2.5 annual standard following EPA's revisions, while retaining the current secondary annual and 24-hour PM2.5 primary and secondary standards. Wisconsin changed its rule to separate the primary and secondary PM2.5 standards into separate sections. Separating the primary and secondary standards allows one to easily determine what the primary PM2.5 standards are and what methods are used to determine if those standards are met. This is also true for the secondary PM2.5 standards.

    Wisconsin's revisions to NR 484.04(6g) and NR 484.04(6r) are acceptable. The EPA monitoring methods referenced are consistent with the requirements of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The incorporation by reference revisions keep the references current.

    III. What Action is EPA Taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve revisions to NR 404.04(9), NR 484.04(6g), and NR 484.04(6r), as submitted on January 4, 2018. The revisions to the ambient air quality standards and the incorporation by reference rules make Wisconsin's standards consistent with 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference NR 404.04(9), NR 484.04(6g), and NR 484.04(6r), effective January 1, 2018. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Clean Air Act 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 Clean Air Act. 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);

    • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: May 16, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11315 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0701; FRL-9978-65—Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Modification of Greenhouse Gases Language AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the Wisconsin State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to EPA on November 28, 2017. In this revision, WDNR makes modifications to the language associated with how greenhouse gases are evaluated in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. These revisions were made to reflect changes required by the United States Supreme Court in its June 23, 2014 decision, Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA), 134 S. Ct. 2427.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0701 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Radhica Kanniganti, Environmental Engineer, Air Permits Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-8097, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Review of State Submittals II. What action is EPA taking? III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Review of State Submittals

    This proposed rulemaking addresses the November 28, 2017, WDNR submittal for SIP revision, revising the rules in the Wisconsin SIP to reflect the changes required by UARG v. EPA, 134 S. Ct. 2427, on how greenhouse gases are evaluated in the PSD program. The Clean Air Act's (CAA) PSD provisions make it unlawful to construct or modify a “major emitting facility”, in any area to which the PSD program applies, without a permit, 42 U.S.C. 7475(a). A “major emitting facility” is a stationary source with the potential to emit 250 tons per year of “any air pollutant” (or 100 tons per year for certain types of sources). 42 U.S.C. 7479(1).

    In Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, fit within the definition of air pollutant in the CAA. In 2010 and 2011, EPA promulgated a series of greenhouse gas emission standards for new motor vehicles, and made stationary sources subject to the PSD and title V permit programs based on their potential to emit greenhouse gases. Recognizing, however, that requiring all sources with greenhouse gas emissions above the statutory thresholds would expand these permit programs and make them unadministrable, EPA “tailored” the programs by adopting a “phase-in” approach. The Tailoring Rule (75 FR 31514), published on June 3, 2010, phased in permitting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions. Step 1 of this rule applied to sources that were subject to the PSD and title V programs before greenhouse gases were regulated under the CAA. In Step 1, from January 2 through June 30, 2011, no source would become newly subject to the PSD or title V program solely based on its greenhouse gas emissions; however, sources that were subject to PSD review anyway due to their non-greenhouse gas regulated pollutants would need to comply with the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) emission standards for greenhouse gases if they emitted these gases in significant amounts, defined as at least 75,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). During Step 2, from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, sources with the potential to emit at least 100,000 tons per year of CO2e would be subject to PSD and Title V permitting for their construction and operation and to PSD permitting for modifications that would increase their greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year. EPA codified Steps 1 and 2 at 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49) for the purpose of PSD applicability and at 40 CFR 70.2 and 40 CFR 71.2 for title V, in the definition of “subject to regulation”.

    This action was challenged by numerous parties, including several states. On June 23, 2014, in UARG v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled that the CAA neither compels nor permits EPA to adopt an interpretation of the CAA requiring a source to obtain a PSD or title V permit solely based on its potential greenhouse gas emissions. The ruling, however, supported EPA's decision to require sources otherwise subject to PSD review to comply with BACT emission standards for greenhouse gases. In other words, with respect to PSD, the ruling upheld PSD permitting requirements for greenhouse gases under Step 1 of the Tailoring rule for “anyway” sources, and invalidated PSD permitting requirement for Step 2 sources.

    In a subsequent rulemaking, on August 19, 2015 (80 FR 50199), EPA removed from the CFR several provisions of the PSD and title V permitting regulations that were originally promulgated as part of the Tailoring Rule. Specifically, the provisions that were removed included regulations under review that required sources to obtain a permit based only upon their potential greenhouse gas emissions (40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v)), and regulations under review that required EPA to consider further phasing-in the greenhouse gas permitting requirements at lower greenhouse gas emission thresholds. 40 CFR 52.22, 40 CFR 70.12, and 40 CFR 71.13.

    The WDNR is modifying its PSD rules in NR 405.07(9) to establish the conditions under which greenhouse gases at a stationary source shall be subject to the PSD regulations. Following the UARG v. EPA decision on how greenhouse gas emissions are evaluated, WDNR's modification clarifies that only Step 1 sources will be subject to PSD permitting.

    IV. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve WDNR's submittal for revision of the SIP to incorporate the holding in UARG v. EPA decision regarding when greenhouse gas emissions must be controlled. EPA has reviewed Wisconsin's November 28, 2017, submittal to approve Wisconsin Administrative Code provision NR 405.07(9) into Wisconsin's SIP, and has found it to be consistent with the June 23, 2014, UARG v. EPA ruling.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference Wisconsin Administrative Code provision NR 405.07(9) as published in the Register, July 2015, No. 715, effective August 1, 2015. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov, and at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    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);

    • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;

    • 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 and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: May 16, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11197 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2018-0178; A-1-FRL-9978-28—Region 1] Air Plan Approval; Connecticut; 1997 8-Hour Ozone Attainment Demonstration AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing action on the ozone attainment portion of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Connecticut to meet the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements for attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The EPA is proposing to approve Connecticut's demonstration of attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT moderate 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment area (hereafter, the NY-NJ-CT area or the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area). In addition, the EPA is proposing to approve Connecticut's reasonably available control measures (RACM) analysis. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2018-0178 at www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. Publicly available docket materials are available at www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100 Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 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 legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Wortman, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100 (Mail Code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, phone number: (617) 918-1624, fax number: (617) 918-0624, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. What action is the EPA proposing? II. What is the background for the EPA's proposed action? A. History of Connecticut's Ozone Attainment Demonstrations B. Moderate Nonattainment Area and Anti-Backsliding Requirements III. What are we proposing to approve? IV. What is the EPA's basis for proposing to approve the 1997 attainment demonstration and RACM analysis? A. Air Quality Data and Attainment Determinations B. Components of the Modeled Attainment Demonstration C. The EPA's Evaluation V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is the EPA proposing?

    On August 8, 2017, Connecticut submitted comprehensive revisions to its SIP for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The SIP revisions included, among other things, an attainment demonstration for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area for the 1997 and 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA's review of this material indicates that the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area is attaining the 1997 ozone NAAQS. The EPA is proposing to approve the portion of the Connecticut SIP revision which demonstrates attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS. The EPA is also proposing to approve the associated RACM analysis for the same area. The EPA will address other components of the August 8, 2017 SIP submittal in separate forthcoming actions.

    The EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document or on other relevant matters. These comments will be considered before taking final action. Interested parties may participate in the Federal rulemaking procedure by submitting written comments to this proposed rule by following the instructions listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register document.

    II. What is the background for the EPA's proposed action? A. History of Connecticut Ozone Attainment Demonstrations

    In 1997, the EPA revised the health-based NAAQS for ozone, setting it at 0.08 (parts per million) ppm averaged over an 8-hour time frame. The EPA set the 8-hour ozone standard based on scientific evidence demonstrating that ozone causes adverse health effects at lower ozone concentrations and over longer periods of time than was understood when the pre-existing 1-hour ozone standard was set. EPA determined that the 8-hour standard would be more protective of human health, especially with regard to children and adults who are active outdoors, and individuals with a pre-existing respiratory disease, such as asthma.

    On April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23858), the EPA finalized its attainment/nonattainment designations for areas across the country with respect to the 1997 8-hour ozone standard of 0.08 ppm. These actions became effective on June 15, 2004. Among those nonattainment areas is the NY-NJ-CT area. The NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area is composed of: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties in New York; and Fairfield, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut. See 40 CFR 81.307, 81.331, and 81.333. In addition, the remaining five counties in Connecticut were also designated nonattainment, as the Greater Connecticut moderate ozone nonattainment area. See 40 CFR 81.307.

    Also, on April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23951), the EPA promulgated the Phase 1 8-hour ozone implementation rule which provided how areas designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard would be classified. These designations triggered the CAA requirements under section 182(b) for moderate nonattainment areas, including a requirement to submit an attainment demonstration. The EPA's Phase 2 8-hour ozone implementation rule (Phase 2 rule), published on November 29, 2005 (70 FR 71612), specifies that states must submit attainment demonstrations for their nonattainment areas to the EPA by no later than three years from the effective date of designation, that is, by June 15, 2007. See 40 CFR 51.908(a). Subsequently, Connecticut submitted attainment demonstrations and associated SIP revisions for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area and Greater Connecticut nonattainment area on February 1, 2008.

    Section 182(j) of the CAA requires each state within a multi-state ozone nonattainment area to specifically use photochemical grid modeling and take all reasonable steps to coordinate, substantively and procedurally, the revisions and implementation of SIPs applicable to the nonattainment area. Under this subsection of the CAA, the EPA may not approve any SIP revision for a State that fails to comply with these requirements. Among other things, Connecticut's February 1, 2008 SIP submittal contained photochemical grid modeling to demonstrate attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area. On May 8, 2009 (74 FR 21568), the EPA proposed to disapprove Connecticut's 8-hour ozone attainment demonstration for the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area, because the EPA determined the photochemical modeling did not demonstrate attainment and the weight of evidence analysis that Connecticut used to support the attainment demonstration did not include sufficient evidence to provide confidence that the area would attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS by the June 15, 2010 deadline. The May 2009 proposal was never finalized.

    On June 18, 2012 (77 FR 36163), the EPA issued a clean data determination (CDD) for the NY-NJ-CT area with respect to the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and determined the area attained the 1997 standard by the June 15, 2010 attainment deadline. In a separate action, the EPA made a determination of attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Greater Connecticut nonattainment area based on three years of monitoring data. See 75 FR 53219 (August 31, 2010). On May 9, 2013, the EPA proposed to approve the February 1, 2008 SIP submittal consisting of the ozone attainment demonstrations and RACM analysis for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. See 78 FR 27161 (May 9, 2013). In this action, the EPA proposed to approve the demonstrations of attainment of the 1997 ozone standard and RACM analysis for Connecticut's portion of the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area and the Greater Connecticut nonattainment area. On December 26, 2013, the EPA issued a final rule approving the portion of Connecticut's February 1, 2008 ozone attainment demonstration of the 1997 ozone NAAQS and RACM analysis for the Greater Connecticut nonattainment area. See 78 FR 78272 (December 26, 2013). However, the May 2013 proposed approval for the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area portion of the February 1, 2008 SIP submittal was never finalized.

    On March 12, 2008 (73 FR 16436), the EPA revised the ozone NAAQS to a level of 0.075 ppm to provide increased protection of public health and the environment. State and Federal emission reduction efforts adopted to meet the 1997 8-hour ozone standard continued with the implementation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS. On May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088), the EPA designated as nonattainment any area that was violating the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on the three most recent calendar years of air quality data. The NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area was designated as a marginal ozone nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See 40 CFR 81.307, 81.331, and 81.333. The boundaries of the 2008 ozone nonattainment area were identical to the 1997 ozone nonattainment area. As a result of its “marginal” classification, the area was required to attain the 2008 ozone standard by July 20, 2015 1 but was not required to submit an attainment demonstration for the 2008 ozone standard. 42 U.S.C. 7511a(a). Furthermore, the EPA again revised the ozone NAAQS in 2015, setting the level for both the primary and secondary NAAQS at 0.070 ppm. See 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015). On November 16, 2017, the EPA published a document in the Federal Register to establish area designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS for 2,646 counties as Attainment/Unclassifiable or Unclassifiable. See 82 FR 54232 (November 16, 2017). The EPA responded to certain state and tribal area designation requests for the 2015 ozone NAAQS on or about December 20, 2017 and published a document in the Federal Register on January 5, 2018. See 83 FR 651 (January 5, 2018). On April 30, 2018, the EPA finalized designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS for the remaining areas of the country, except for eight counties in the San Antonio, Texas area.2 At this time, the EPA has not finalized implementation guidelines for the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

    1 The EPA originally established the attainment deadline to meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS to be December 31, 2015. See 77 FR 30167, May 21, 2012. Pursuant to a challenge of the EPA's interpretation of the attainment deadlines, on December 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision rejecting, among other things, the Classifications Rule's attainment deadlines for the 2008 ozone nonattainment areas. The court found that the EPA did not have statutory authority under the CAA to extend those deadlines to the end of the calendar year. NRDC v. EPA, 777 F.3d 456, 464-69 (D.C. Cir. 2014). Accordingly, as part of the final 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule (See 80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015), the EPA modified the maximum attainment dates for all nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, consistent with the court's decision. The rule established a deadline for marginal attainment areas of 3 years from the effective date of the designation, or July 20, 2015 to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    2 Additional Information on the EPA's regulatory actions regarding designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS is available on the EPA's website at www.epa.gov/ozone-designations/ozone-designations-regulatory-actions.

    The June 18, 2012 CDD for the NY-NJ-CT area with respect to the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS suspended the three states' obligations to submit attainment-related planning requirements, including the obligation to submit attainment demonstrations, RACM and reasonable further progress (RFP) plans, and contingency measures. On May 15, 2014 (79 FR 27830), the EPA proposed to rescind this CDD for the area based on the fact that the area was no longer attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone standard based on 2010-2012 and 2011-2013 air quality data, and proposed a SIP Call for submittals from the three states of new ozone attainment demonstrations for the NY-NJ-CT area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. The EPA also proposed that the states could opt to respond to the SIP Call for a new 1997 ozone NAAQS attainment demonstration by requesting a voluntary reclassification, or “bump-up”, to moderate nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (See CAA section 181(b)(3)) and submit an attainment demonstration for the more stringent 2008 standard. Before taking final action on the rescission of the CDD for the NY-NJ-CT area, the EPA issued a proposal on August 27, 2015 to determine, among other things, that the NY-NJ-CT area failed to attain the 2008 NAAQS by the applicable attainment deadline of July 20, 2015. See 80 FR 51992 (August 27, 2015). The EPA also determined that the area was not eligible for a 1-year attainment date extension because the 4th highest daily maximum 8-hour average for at least one monitor in the area was greater than 0.075 ppm for 2014, the year preceding the attainment year.

    On May 4, 2016, the EPA finalized the determination that the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area failed to attain the 2008 standard by the Marginal nonattainment area attainment date of July 20, 2015, and reclassified the area to moderate for that standard by operation of law in accordance with CAA section 181(b)(2)(A). See 81 FR 26697 (May 4, 2016). The action also finalized the proposed rescission of the CDD for the NY-NJ-CT area with respect to the 1997 ozone NAAQS, and also finalized the accompanying SIP Call. The SIP Call found that the SIPs for New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut were substantially inadequate for demonstrating attainment of the 1997 standard and required the three states to submit new attainment plans. Since the area was reclassified by operation of law, the option to request a voluntary reclassification under section 182(b)(2)(A) of the CAA was eliminated. However, the EPA determined that the three affected states could meet their obligations under the SIP Call for the 1997 ozone NAAQS with their moderate nonattainment area SIP submittal for the 2008 standard. The EPA explained that because the 2008 standard is more stringent than the 1997 standard, the area would necessarily attain the 1997 standard once the area adopted a control strategy designed to achieve the tighter standard. Moreover, where state planning resources were constrained, those resources were better used focused on attaining the more stringent standard. The deadline for submitting the moderate nonattainment area SIP revisions for the 2008 standard was January 1, 2017. Connecticut submitted a combined attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the 1997 and 2008 ozone standards for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area on August 8, 2017.

    B. Moderate Nonattainment Area and Anti-Backsliding Requirements

    The EPA's November 29, 2005 Phase 2 ozone implementation rule addresses, among other things, the control obligations that apply to areas designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 ozone implementation rules outline the SIP requirements and deadlines for various requirements in areas designated as moderate nonattainment. For such areas, modeling and attainment demonstrations with projection year emission inventories were due by June 15, 2007, along with RFP plans, RACM, motor vehicle emissions budgets and contingency measures (40 CFR 51.908(a) and (c), 51.910, 51.912). In addition, moderate nonattainment areas were also required to submit a reasonably available control technology (RACT) SIP. Connecticut submitted an initial attainment demonstration for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area on February 1, 2008. Although the EPA did not take final action on the February 1, 2008 attainment demonstration for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Connecticut portion of the NJ-NJ-CT area, the EPA approved Connecticut's RFP plan and 2002 Base Year Emission Inventories in 2012, as well as the 2008 motor vehicle emission budgets and contingency measures associated with the RFP plan. See 77 FR 50595 (August 22, 2012). The EPA approved Connecticut's RACT submittals in 2013 and 2014. See 78 FR 38587 (July 9, 2013) and 79 FR 32873 (July 9, 2014).

    In the 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements rule, the EPA revoked the 1997 ozone NAAQS for all purposes and established anti-backsliding requirements for that NAAQS, which include submittal of an attainment demonstration. See 80 FR 12296 (March 6, 2015).3 The EPA retained a listing of the designated areas for the revoked 1997 NAAQS in 40 CFR part 81, for identifying anti-backsliding requirements that may apply to those areas. Accordingly, in an area designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and nonattainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, as is the case with the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area, Connecticut was obligated to implement the applicable requirements set forth in 40 CFR 51.1100(o), including the requirement to submit an attainment demonstration.

    3 In South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit vacated a number of provisions in the 2008 Ozone SIP Requirements Rule, but that decision did not affect the rule's anti-backsliding requirement to submit an attainment demonstration for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA, No. 15-1115 (D.C. Cir. February 16, 2018).

    III. What are we proposing to approve?

    On February 1, 2008, Connecticut submitted a SIP revision that included, among other things, an ozone attainment demonstration for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard and RACM analysis for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area. On August 8, 2017, Connecticut submitted comprehensive revisions to the SIP to satisfy the May 4, 2016 SIP Call. The SIP submittal included an ozone attainment demonstration for the 2008 ozone standard for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area, which also served as an ozone attainment demonstration for the revoked 1997 ozone NAAQS per the SIP Call. Connecticut's August 8, 2017 submittal also included 2011 base year emission inventories, RFP plans, RACM analysis, motor vehicle emission budgets and contingency measures.

    This proposed action addresses Connecticut's demonstrations of attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard and associated RACM analysis for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area, submitted by Connecticut on February 1, 2008 and August 8, 2017. The EPA is taking separate action on the 2011 base year emission inventories, RFP plans, motor vehicle emission budgets, and contingency measures submitted as part of the August 8, 2017 SIP revisions in a forthcoming Federal Register document.

    IV. What is the EPA's basis for proposing to approve the 1997 attainment demonstration and RACM analysis? A. Air Quality Data and Attainment Determinations

    Under the regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the 1997 ozone NAAQS is attained at a monitoring site when the three-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient air quality ozone concentration is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm. This three-year average is referred to as the design value. When the design value is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm at each ambient air quality monitoring site within a nonattainment area, then the area is deemed to be meeting the 1997 standard. According to 40 CFR part 50, Appendix I, the number of significant figures in the level of the standard dictates the rounding convention for comparing the computed 3-year average annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration with the level of the standard. The third decimal place of the computed value is rounded, with values equal to or greater than 5 rounding up. Thus, a computed 3-year average ozone concentration of 0.085 ppm is the lowest value that is greater than 0.08 ppm.

    On May 23, 2017, Connecticut submitted an exceptional events demonstration 4 claiming that emissions from a 2016 wildfire near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada caused elevated ozone levels at air quality monitors throughout Connecticut, exceeding the 8-hour ozone NAAQS at four monitoring stations on May 25 and 26, 2016. The ozone concentrations exceeded the 2015 ozone NAAQS at all four of the monitoring locations, and in some cases exceeded the 1997 and 2008 ozone NAAQS. One of the monitoring locations, the Westport monitoring station, is located in the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area. The EPA concurred on Connecticut's exceptional events demonstration on July 31, 2017, finding that Connecticut demonstrated a clear causal relationship between the Fort McMurray wildfire and the ozone exceedances at the Westport monitoring station on May 25 and 26, 2016, and that wildfires are natural events that are not reasonably preventable and not reasonably controllable.5 As a result of the EPA's concurrence, the 2014-2016 design value at the Westport monitoring location was reduced from 0.085 ppm to 0.083 ppm, and the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area therefore attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS.

    4 Connecticut's exceptional event demonstration was submitted in accordance with the revised Exceptional Events Rule found in §§ 50.14 and 51.930 of 40 CFR parts 50 and 51. See 81 FR 68216 (October 3, 2016).

    5 The EPA's concurrence on an exceptional events demonstration is a preliminary step in the regulatory process for actions that may rely on the dataset containing the event-influenced data and does not constitute final Agency action. This proposed approval of Connecticut's attainment demonstration is a regulatory action affected by exclusion of the ozone data for May 25 and 26, 2016. The EPA is publishing this document of its proposed action in the Federal Register. The EPA's concurrence letter and accompanying technical support document on the exceptional events demonstration, as well as the exceptional events demonstration submitted by Connecticut, are included in the docket as part of the technical basis for this proposal.

    The EPA has reviewed the 8-hour ozone ambient air quality monitoring data for the 2014-2016 monitoring period for the NY-NJ-CT area, as recorded in the EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) database. Air quality monitoring data from each year for 2014-2016 has been certified by Connecticut, New Jersey and New York in accordance with 40 CFR 58.15, and AQS reflects this. Based on that review, the EPA has concluded that the NY-NJ-CT area has a 2014-2016 design value of 0.083 ppm 6 and is in attainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.7 Certified data for 2017 in the NY-NJ-CT area and the 2015-2017 design value are consistent with continued attainment. The EPA has a continuing obligation to review the air quality data each year to determine whether areas are meeting the NAAQS and will continue to conduct that review in the future after data is complete, quality-assured, certified and submitted to the EPA.

    6 The regulations at 40 CFR part 50, Appendix I specify that the design value shall be based on three consecutive, complete calendar years of air quality monitoring data. This requirement is met for the three-year period at a monitoring site if daily maximum 8-hour average concentrations are available for at least 90%, on average, of the days during the designated ozone monitoring season, with a minimum data completeness in any one year of at least 75% of the designated sampling days. Air quality monitoring data for 2016 does not meet the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 50 and the EPA has not conducted a missing data analysis. This action is not making a formal determination of attainment or clean data determination.

    7 The 2014-2016 design values are available on the EPA's website at: www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values#report.

    As previously discussed, Connecticut submitted an attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area on February 1, 2008. On June 18, 2012 (77 FR 36163), the EPA determined the area had attained the standard by the June 15, 2010 attainment deadline and issued a CDD for the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area. The CDD suspended Connecticut's obligation to submit attainment-related planning requirements, including the obligation to submit attainment demonstrations. The EPA rescinded the CDD on May 4, 2016 based on the fact that the area was no longer attaining the standard, and issued a SIP Call for a new attainment demonstration for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the NY-NJ-CT area. As previously discussed, the EPA determined that the submission of a moderate nonattainment area attainment plan for the more stringent 2008 ozone NAAQS would satisfy the SIP Call for the NY-NJ-CT area in relation to the 1997 ozone standard. Connecticut submitted a combined attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the 1997 and 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS on August 8, 2017.

    Section 110(k)(2) of the CAA requires the EPA to take action on any administratively complete SIP revision submittal within 12 months of the SIP being deemed complete. Although the June 2012 CDD temporarily suspended Connecticut's obligation to submit an attainment demonstration and RACM analysis, it did not suspend the EPA's obligation to take action on the February 1, 2008 SIP submittal. The EPA is proposing to take such final action in this document. This proposed rulemaking is intended to address EPA's obligations to act on Connecticut's attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the State's portion of the NY-NJ-CT area submitted on February 1, 2008, and also is intended to approve the portion of the August 8, 2017 SIP submittal regarding the updated attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area.

    B. Components of the Modeled Attainment Demonstration

    Section 110(a)(2)(k) of the Act requires states to prepare air quality modeling to demonstrate how they will meet ambient air quality standards. The SIP must demonstrate that the “measures, rules, and regulations contained in it are adequate to provide for the timely attainment and maintenance of the national standard.” See 40 CFR 51.112(a). The EPA determined that states must use photochemical grid modeling, or any other analytical method determined by the Administrator to be at least as effective, to demonstrate attainment of the ozone health-based standard in areas classified as “moderate” or above, and to do so by the required attainment date. See 40 CFR 51.908(c). The EPA requires an attainment demonstration using air quality modeling that meets the EPA's guidelines. The model analysis can be supplemented by a “weight of evidence” analysis in which the state can use a variety of information to enhance the conclusions reached by the photochemical model analysis. In the case of the August 8, 2017 submittal for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area, the weight of evidence also included monitoring evidence that the area design value is attaining the 1997 standard. The EPA has determined that the photochemical grid modeling conducted by the State is consistent with the EPA's guidelines and the model performed acceptably. See 40 CFR 51.908(c).

    C. The EPA's Evaluation

    In its attainment demonstration, Connecticut included results from the Ozone Transport Commission's (OTC's) SIP air quality modeling as well as EPA's modeling study used in support of the final update to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR Update).8 9 The model used by the OTC was the Community Multi-scale Air Quality Model version 5.0.2 (CMAQ) and the model used by EPA in the CSAPR Update was the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions version 6.2 (CAMx). Each of these models is a photochemical grid model capable of simulating ozone production on a regional or national scale. Both the OTC CMAQ model and the EPA's CAMx model projected 2017 design value results that all air quality monitors in Southwest Connecticut will attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS in 2017. In addition, modeling results predict all monitors in the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area will attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS in 2017.10

    8 The OTC modeling results are available in the “Technical Support Document for the 2011 Ozone Transport Commission/Mid-Atlantic Northeastern Visibility Union Modeling Platform”, November 15, 2016 in the docket for this action.

    9 The EPA's final rule titled Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS was published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2016. See 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016).

    10 The OTC CMAQ and EPA CAMx modeling results for all monitors in the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area predict all monitors will attain the 1997 NAAQS in 2017. In addition, the OTC CMAQ modeling analysis was used to demonstrate attainment with the 1997 ozone NAAQS in the November 2017 attainment demonstration submitted by the New York Department of Conservation and the December 2017 attainment demonstration submitted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

    In summary, the photochemical grid modeling used by Connecticut in its August 8, 2017 SIP submittal to demonstrate attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS meets the EPA's guidelines and is acceptable to the EPA. Air quality monitoring data for 2014-2016 also demonstrates attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard throughout the NY-NJ-CT area. The purpose of the attainment demonstration is to demonstrate how, through enforceable and approvable emission reductions, an area will meet the standard by the attainment date. The purpose of the RACM analysis is to show that the State has considered all reasonable available control measures to achieve attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. All necessary ozone control measures have already been adopted, submitted, approved and implemented. Based on (1) the State following the EPA's modeling guidance, (2) the modeled attainment of 1997 standard, (3) the air quality monitoring data for 2014-2016, and (4) the implemented SIP-approved control measures, the EPA is proposing to approve the attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area. The EPA is not taking action on the attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the 2008 ozone NAAQS at this time.

    V. Proposed Action

    The EPA has evaluated the information provided by Connecticut and has considered all other information it deems relevant to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, i.e., statewide RACT analysis approval, RFP plan approvals, continued attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard based on quality assured and certified monitoring data, and the implementation of the more stringent 2008 8-hour ozone standard. The EPA is therefore proposing to approve the attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. This proposed rulemaking is intended to address the EPA's obligations to act on Connecticut's February 1, 2008 SIP revision for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, as well as the attainment demonstration and RACM analysis portion of the August 8, 2017 SIP submittal for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT area.

    EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this proposal or on other relevant matters. These comments will be considered before EPA takes final action. Interested parties may participate in the Federal rulemaking procedure by submitting comments to this proposed rule by following the instructions listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register document.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act 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 Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this proposed action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

    • Is not expected to be an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this action is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: May 17, 2018. Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11199 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2018-0269; FRL-9977-87—Region 1] Air Plan Approval; Maine; Infrastructure Requirement for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a February 21, 2018, State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maine. This revision addresses the interstate transport requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) with respect to the 2010 primary nitrogen dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This action proposes to approve Maine's demonstration that the State is meeting its obligations regarding the interstate transport of NO2 emissions into other states. This action is being taken under the CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2018-0269 at www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. Publicly available docket materials are available at www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 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 legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Bird, Office of Ecosystem Protection, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100 (Mail Code OEP 05-2), Boston, MA 01209-3912, tel. (617) 918-1287, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—Interstate Transport III. State Submittal IV. EPA's Evaluation V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On February 9, 2010, EPA promulgated a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb), based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 6474. This NAAQS is designed to protect against exposure to the entire group of nitrogen oxides (NOX). NO2 is the component of greatest concern and is used as the indicator for the larger group of NOX Emissions that lead to the formation of NO2 generally also lead to the formation of other NOX Therefore, control measures that reduce NO2 can generally be expected to reduce population exposures to all gaseous NOX which may have the co-benefit of reducing the formation of ozone and fine particles, both of which pose significant public health threats.

    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.1 These SIPs, which EPA has historically referred to as “infrastructure SIPs,” are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS, and the requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. A detailed history, interpretation, and rationale of these SIPs and their requirements can be found in, among other documents, EPA's May 13, 2014 proposed rulemaking titled, “Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS,” in the section “What is the scope of this rulemaking?” See 79 FR 27241 at 27242-45. As noted above, section 110(a) of the CAA imposes an obligation upon states to submit to EPA a SIP submission for a new or revised NAAQS. The content of individual state submissions may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances, and may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's approved SIP already contains.

    1 This requirement applies to both primary and secondary NAAQS, but EPA's approval in this notice applies only to the 2010 primary NAAQS for NO2 because EPA did not revise the secondary NAAQS for NO2 in 2010. See 75 FR 35521 & n.2.

    On June 7, 2013, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) submitted for EPA approval revisions to its SIP, certifying that its SIP meets all but one of the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA with respect to the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS. The State did not include in its submittal a certification for the transport element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). On March 26, 2018, EPA proposed to approve ME DEP's certification that its SIP was adequate to meet most of the program elements required by section 110(a)(2) of the CAA with the exception of subsection (E) regarding state boards, for which EPA proposed a conditional approval. See 83 FR 12905.

    On February 21, 2018, ME DEP submitted an analysis addressing the transport elements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS.

    II. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—Interstate Transport

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from emitting any air pollutant in amounts that will contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The two clauses of this section are referred to as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance of the NAAQS).

    III. State Submittal

    Maine presents several facts in its SIP submittal concerning the current and future impact of in-state NO2 emissions on nonattainment, and interference with maintenance, of the NO2 NAAQS in another state. The approach used to analyze the effects of transport for NO2 emissions from Maine consists of three elements: (1) The fact that all areas in the United States have been designated unclassifiable/attainment for the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS; (2) monitoring data continue to show no violations of that standard at any monitoring station in New England; and (3) that major stationary sources of NOX in Maine are subject to a variety of federally-enforceable regulations (e.g., prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting requirements under ME DEP's 06-096 CMR 115, Major and Minor License Regulations and 06-096 CMR Chapter 135, Reasonably Achievable Control Technology for Facilities that Emit Nitrogen Oxides 2 ).

    2 EPA notes that Maine's NOX reasonably available control technology rule is located at 06-096 CMR Chapter 138, not 06-096 CMR Chapter 135.

    Due to these facts, Maine asserts that the State does not contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NO2 NAAQS in another state nor will new sources of NO2 emissions in Maine have such an impact in other states. Furthermore, Maine notes that statewide NOX emissions have declined from 95,471 tons per year in 2000 to 45,214 tons per year in 2016. ME DEP expects the downward trend to continue as both stationary and mobile sources continue to advance NOX controls.

    IV. EPA's Evaluation

    EPA evaluated Maine's analysis as contained in the State's February 21, 2018, infrastructure SIP submittal concerning interstate transport of NO2 emissions as it pertains to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS.3 With respect to designations of the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS, Maine correctly asserts that the entire country is designated unclassifiable/attainment for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. See 77 FR 9532 (February 17, 2012). Those designations are based on three-year design values 4 for the 2008-2010 time period that showed that all ambient air quality monitoring stations monitoring for NO2 in the United States met the NAAQS. The most recent three-year design value period, spanning 2014-2016, indicate continued attainment of the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS at all NO2 monitoring stations in the country.5 Furthermore, measurements from the most recent three-year design value period showed that all ambient air quality monitoring sites in Maine and the other New England states were well below the standard at no more than 54% of the NO2 NAAQS.

    3 EPA notes that the evaluation of other states' satisfaction of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS can be informed by similar factors found in this proposed rulemaking, but may not be identical to the approach taken in this or any future rulemaking for Maine and depends on available information and state-specific circumstances.

    4 A “design value” is a statistic that describes the air quality status of a given location relative to the level of the NAAQS. The interpretation of the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS (set at 100 ppb) including the data handling conventions and calculations necessary for determining compliance with the NAAQS can be found in Appendix T to 40 CFR part 50.

    5 See www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values for NO2 design values.

    ME DEP has an EPA-approved PSD permitting program and its regulations, found at 06-096 CMR 115, “Major and Minor License Regulations,” contain appropriate measures to address NOX emissions from major new and modified stationary sources in the State. Similarly, 06-096 CMR Chapter 138, “Reasonably Achievable Control Technology for Facilities that Emit Nitrogen Oxides,” are EPA-approved regulations that apply to major existing stationary sources of NOX in Maine. For these reasons, EPA proposes that Maine does not significantly contribute to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other state with respect to the 2010 NO2 NAAQS and that its SIP contains adequate measures prohibiting such contribution or interference.

    V. Proposed Action

    In light of the above evaluation, EPA is proposing to approve Maine's February 21, 2018 infrastructure submittal for the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS as it pertains to Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this notice. These comments will be considered before taking final action. Interested parties may participate in the Federal rulemaking procedure by submitting comments to this proposed rulemaking by following the instructions listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act 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 Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this proposed action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 17, 2018. Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11200 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0279; FRL-9978-64—Region 5] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Wisconsin; VOC Definition Update and Removal of Obsolete Gasoline Vapor Recovery Regulations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is proposing to approve a request submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) on May 16, 2017, to revise the Wisconsin State Implementation Plan (SIP). The submission includes amendments to the Wisconsin Administrative Code updating the definition of “volatile organic compound (VOC)” to add eight compounds to the list of exempted compounds. These revisions are based on EPA rulemakings in 2012, 2013, and 2014, which added these compounds to the list of chemical compounds that are excluded from the Federal definition of VOC because, in their intended used, they make negligible contributions to tropospheric ozone formation. In addition, WDNR is also requesting to withdraw several previously approved provisions of the Wisconsin Administrative Code from the SIP concerning the State's Stage II vapor recovery (Stage II) program that terminated in 2012. EPA approved the removal of the Stage II program as a component of the Wisconsin SIP in 2013, including the approval of a demonstration under section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) that addressed emissions impacts associated with the removal of the program.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0279 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Francisco J. Acevedo, Mobile Source Program Manager, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6061, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. What is the background for this action? A. When did the State submit the SIP revision to EPA? B. Did Wisconsin hold public hearings on this SIP revision? II. What is EPA proposing to approve? III. What is EPA's analysis of the SIP revision? IV. What action is EPA proposing to take? V. Incorporation by Reference VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for this action? A. When did the State submit the SIP revision to EPA?

    WDNR submitted to EPA a revision to the Wisconsin SIP for approval on May 16, 2017. The SIP revision primarily updates the definition of VOC at Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter NR 400.02(162) and removes obsolete State provisions concerning the State's Stage II program that terminated in 2012 in Southeast Wisconsin.

    B. Did Wisconsin hold public hearings on this SIP revision?

    WDNR conducted a public hearing in Madison, Wisconsin on November 5, 2015.

    II. What is EPA proposing to approve?

    EPA is proposing to approve a Wisconsin SIP revision that updates the definition of VOC at Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter NR 400.02(162) to add Trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234ze), HCF2OCF2H (HFE-134), HCF2OCF2OCF2H (HFE-236cal2), HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (HFE-338pcc13), HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (H-Galaden 1040X or H-Galden ZT 130 (or 150 or 180), Trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-triflouroprop-1-ene (SolsticeTM 1233zd(E)), 2,3,3,3-tetraflouropropene (HFO-1234yf), and 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP; CAS number 124-68-5) to the list of excluded compounds at NR 400.02(162). Wisconsin took this action based on EPA's 2012, 2013, and 2014 rulemakings in which EPA determined that these compounds have a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation and thus should be excluded from the definition of VOC codified at 40 CFR 51.100(s). See 77 FR 37610 (June 22, 2012); 78 FR 9823 (February 12, 2013); 78 FR 62451 (October 22, 2013); 78 FR 53029 (August 28, 2013); and 79 FR 18037 (March 27, 2014). This action also proposes to approve minor grammatical edits for clarity in NR 420.02(39), NR 420.03(4)(b)3, NR 420.04(1)(b)4, and NR 420.04(3)(c)1.

    EPA is also proposing to approve the withdrawal of several remaining provisions from the Wisconsin SIP that are related to the Stage II vapor recovery program that was terminated by Wisconsin in 2012. Wisconsin originally submitted a SIP revision to EPA on November 18, 1992, to satisfy the requirement of section 182(b)(3) of the CAA. The revision applied to the counties of Kenosha, Kewanee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha, and was incorporated into the WDNR's 1993-94 ozone 15% Control Plan. EPA fully approved Wisconsin's Stage II program on August 13, 1993 (53 FR 43080), including the program's legal authority and administrative requirements found in Section 285.31 of the Wisconsin Statutes and Chapter NR 420.045 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

    On November 12, 2012, WDNR submitted a SIP revision requesting the removal of Stage II requirements under NR 420.045 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code from the Wisconsin SIP. To support the removal of the Stage II requirements, the revision included a section 110(l) demonstration addressing the emissions impacts associated with the removal of the program. On November 4, 2013 (78 FR 65875), EPA approved the removal of the Stage II requirements under NR 420.045 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code from the Wisconsin SIP. In this action EPA proposes to approve the removal of the residual Stage II provisions that remained in place after the program was decommissioned. These provisions are NR 420.02(8m), 420.02(26), 420.02(32), 420.02(38m), NR 425.035, NR 439.06(3)(i), NR 484.05(4), NR 484.05(5), and NR 494.04.

    III. What is EPA's analysis of the SIP revision?

    In 2005, EPA received a petition asking EPA to exempt HCF2 OCF2H (HFE-134), HCF2OCF2OCF2H (HFE-236cal2), HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (HFE-338pcc13), and HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (H-Galden 1040x or H-Galden ZT 130 (or 150 or 180)) from the definition of VOC. Based on the level of reactivity of these chemical compounds, EPA concluded that these compounds make negligible contributions to tropospheric ozone formation (78 FR 9823, February 12, 2013). Therefore, on February 12, 2013, EPA amended 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) to exclude these compounds from the definition of VOC for purposes of preparing SIPs to attain the national ambient air quality standard for ozone under title I of the CAA (78 FR 9823). EPA's action became effective March 14, 2013. Wisconsin's SIP revision is consistent with EPA's action amending the definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s).

    In 2009, EPA received a petition asking EPA to exempt 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234yf) from the definition of VOC. Based on the level of reactivity of this chemical compound, EPA concluded that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation (78 FR 62451, October 22, 2013). Therefore, on October 22, 2013, EPA amended 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) to exclude this compound from the definition of VOC for purposes of preparing SIPs to attain the national ambient air quality standard for ozone under title I of the CAA (78 FR 62451). EPA's action became effective November 21, 2013. Wisconsin's SIP revision is consistent with EPA's action amending the definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s).

    In 2009, EPA received a petition asking EPA to exempt Trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234ze) from the definition of VOC. Based on the level of reactivity of this chemical compound, EPA concluded that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation (77 FR 37610, June 22, 2012). Therefore, on June 22, 2012, EPA amended 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) to exclude this compound from the definition of VOC for purposes of preparing SIPs to attain the national ambient air quality standard for ozone under title I of the CAA (77 FR 37610). EPA's action became effective July 23, 2012. Wisconsin's SIP revision is consistent with EPA's action amending the definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s).

    In 2011, EPA received a petition asking EPA to exempt Trans 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene from the definition of VOC. Based on the level of reactivity of this chemical compound, EPA concluded that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation (78 FR 53029, August 28, 2013). Therefore, on August 28, 2013, EPA amended 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) to exclude this compound from the definition of VOC for purposes of preparing SIPs to attain the national ambient air quality standard for ozone under title I of the CAA (78 FR 53029). EPA's action became effective September 27, 2013. Wisconsin's SIP revision is consistent with EPA's action amending the definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s).

    In 2012, EPA received a petition asking EPA to exempt 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP; CAS number 124-68-5) from the definition of VOC. Based on the level of reactivity of this chemical compound, EPA concluded that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation (79 FR 18037, March 27, 2014). Therefore, on March 27, 2014, EPA amended 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) to exclude this compound from the definition of VOC for purposes of preparing SIPs to attain the national ambient air quality standard for ozone under title I of the CAA (79 FR 17037). EPA's action became effective June 25, 2014. Wisconsin's SIP revision is consistent with EPA's action amending the definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s).

    As stated above, EPA has determined that the compounds outlined in Wisconsin's SIP revision all qualify as negligibly reactive with respect to their contribution to tropospheric ozone formation. Although states are not obligated to exclude from control as VOCs those compounds that the EPA has found to be negligibly reactive, states may not take credit for controlling these compounds in their ozone control strategies.

    In addition, the proposed approval of changes in NR 420.02(39), NR 420.03(4)(b)3, NR 420.04(1)(b)4, and NR 420.04(3)(c)1 are administrative in nature only, and do not have any negative impact on air quality.

    As discussed previously in this action, WDNR submitted a SIP revision on November 12, 2012, requesting the removal of Stage II requirements under NR 420.045 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code from the Wisconsin SIP. To support the removal of the Stage II requirements, the revision included a section 110(l) demonstration addressing the emissions impacts associated with the removal of the program. On November 4, 2013 (78 FR 65875) EPA approved the removal of the Stage II requirements from the Wisconsin SIP. In this action EPA is proposing to approve the removal of residual Stage II provisions NR 420.02(8m), 420.02(26), 420.02(32), 420.02(38m), NR 425.035, NR 439.06(3)(i), NR 484.05(4), NR 484.05(5), and NR 494.04, which remained in place after the program was decommissioned at the state level. The removal of these provisions from the SIP does not have any negative impact on air quality in Southeast Wisconsin, since the state addressed the overall emissions impact resulting from the 2012 termination of the Stage II program. See 78 FR 65875.

    IV. What action is EPA proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to approve the revision to the Wisconsin SIP submitted by WDNR on May 16, 2017, because the revision is consistent with EPA's prior actions revising the definition of VOC. In addition, the removal of remaining Stage II program provisions from the SIP meets all applicable requirements, and it will not interfere with reasonable further progress or attainment of any of the national ambient air quality standards.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference revisions to Wisconsin Administrative Code provisions NR 400.02(162), NR 420.02(39), NR 420.0 3(4)(b)3, NR 420.04(1)(b)4, and NR 420.04(3)(c)1, published in the Wisconsin Register #727 on July 25, 2016 and became effective August 1, 2016. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the For FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    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, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: May 16, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11313 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 180320301-8301-01] RIN 0648-XG121 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to implement annual management measures and catch limits for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine (hereafter, Pacific sardine), for the fishing year from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. The proposed action would prohibit directed commercial fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, except in the live bait, tribal, or minor directed fisheries, or as incidental catch in other fisheries. The incidental harvest of Pacific sardine would initially be limited to 40-percent by weight of all fish per trip when caught with other CPS or up to 2 metric tons (mt) when caught with non-CPS. The proposed annual catch limit (ACL) for the 2018-2019 Pacific sardine fishing year is 7,000 mt. This proposed rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific sardine stock off the U.S. West Coast.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0044, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0044, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Barry A. Thom, Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 501 W Ocean Blvd., Ste. 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4250; Attn: Joshua Lindsay.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Copies of the report “Assessment of Pacific Sardine Resource in 2018 for U.S.A. Management in 2017-2018” are available http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/G5a_Stock_Assessment_Rpt_Full_ElectricOnly_Apr2017BB.pdf, and may be obtained from the West Coast Region (see ADDRESSES).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 980-4034, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the Pacific sardine fishery in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) in accordance with the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set annual catch levels for the Pacific sardine fishery based on the annual specification framework and control rules in the FMP. These control rules include the harvest guideline (HG) control rule, which, in conjunction with the overfishing limit (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC) rules in the FMP, are used to manage harvest levels for Pacific sardine, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    During public meetings each year, the Southwest Fishery Science Center (SWFSC) presents the estimated biomass for Pacific sardine to the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) CPS Management Team (Team), the Council's CPS Advisory Subpanel (Subpanel) and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The Team, Subpanel and SSC review the biomass and the status of the fishery, and make applicable catch limit and additional management measure recommendations. Following Council review and public comment, the Council adopts a biomass estimate and makes its catch limit and any in-season accountability measure recommendations to NMFS. Annual specifications published in the Federal Register establish these catch limits and management measures for each Pacific sardine fishing year. This rule proposes the Council's recommended catch limits for the 2018-2019 fishing year, as well as management measures to ensure that harvest does not exceed those limits, and adoption of an OFL and ABC that is established after taking into consideration uncertainty surrounding the current estimate of biomass for Pacific sardine.

    According to the FMP, the quota for the principal commercial fishery is determined using the FMP-specified HG formula. The HG formula in the CPS FMP is HG = [(Biomass-CUTOFF) * FRACTION * DISTRIBUTION] with the parameters described as follows:

    1. Biomass. The estimated stock biomass of Pacific sardine age one and above. For the 2018-2019 management season, this is 52,065 mt.

    2. CUTOFF. This is the biomass level below which no HG is set. The FMP established this level at 150,000 mt.

    3. DISTRIBUTION. The average portion of the Pacific sardine biomass estimated in the EEZ off the Pacific coast is 87 percent.

    4. FRACTION. The temperature-varying harvest fraction is the percentage of the biomass above 150,000 mt that may be harvested.

    As described above, the Pacific sardine HG control rule, the primary mechanism for setting the annual directed commercial fishery quota, includes a CUTOFF parameter, which has been set as a biomass level of 150,000 mt. This amount is subtracted from the annual biomass estimate before calculating the applicable HG for the fishing year. Since this year's biomass estimate is below that value, the formula results in an HG of zero, and no Pacific sardine are available for the primary commercial directed fishery during the 2018-2019 fishing season.

    At the April 2018 Council meeting, the Council's SSC approved, and the Council adopted, the SWFSC's “Assessment of the Pacific Sardine Resource in 2018 for U.S. Management in 2018-2019”, available here: http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/G5a_Stock_Assessment_Rpt_Full_ElectricOnly_Apr2017BB.pdf. The resulting Pacific sardine biomass estimate of 52,065 mt was adopted as the best available science for setting harvest specifications. Based on recommendations from its SSC and other advisory bodies, the Council recommended, and NMFS is proposing, an OFL of 11,324 mt, an ABC of 9,436 mt, and a prohibition on Pacific sardine catch, unless it is harvested as part of the live bait, tribal, or minor directed fisheries, or as incidental catch in other fisheries. As an additional management measure, the Council also recommended, and NMFS is proposing, an ACL of 7,000 mt.

    Because Pacific sardine is known to school with other CPS stocks, the Council recommended, and NMFS is proposing, incidental catch limits to allow for the continued prosecution of these other important CPS fisheries. Furthermore, the Council recommended, and NMFS is proposing, the following automatic inseason actions to reduce the potential for both targeting and discard of Pacific sardine in these fisheries:

    • An incidental per landing by weight allowance of 40 percent Pacific sardine in non-treaty CPS fisheries until a total of 2,500 mt of Pacific sardine has been landed; and

    • A reduction of the incidental per landing allowance to 20 percent for the remainder of the 2018-2019 fishing year once 2,500 mt Pacific sardine has been landed.

    Additionally, the Council recommended, and NMFS is proposing, a 2-mt incidental per landing allowance in non-CPS fisheries.

    The NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator would publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce when catch reaches the incidental limits as well as any changes to allowable incidental catch percentages. Additionally, to ensure that the regulated community is informed of any closure, NMFS would make announcements through other means available, including fax, email, and mail to fishermen, processors, and state fishery management agencies.

    In each of the previous six fishing years, the Quinault Indian Nation requested, and NMFS approved, a set-aside for the exclusive right to harvest Pacific sardine in the Quinault Usual and Accustomed Fishing Area off the coast of Washington State, pursuant to the 1856 Treaty of Olympia (Treaty with the Quinault). For the 2018-2019 fishing year, the Quinault Indian Nation has requested, and NMFS is proposing, a tribal set-aside of 800 mt. This is the same amount that was requested and approved for the 2017-2018 season.

    At the April 2018 meeting, the Council also voted in support of two exempted fishing permit (EFP) proposals requesting an exemption from the prohibition to directly harvest Pacific sardine. This action accounts for the potential of NMFS approval of up to 610 mt of the ACL to be harvested for EFP activities.

    Detailed information on the fishery and the stock assessment are found in the report “Assessment of the Pacific Sardine Resource in 2018 for U.S. Management in 2018-2019” (see ADDRESSES).

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the CPS FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This proposed rule is exempt from the procedures of E.O. 12866 because this action contains no implementing regulations.

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, this proposed rule was developed after meaningful consultation and collaboration with the tribal representative on the Council who has agreed with the provisions that apply to tribal vessels.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, for the following reasons:

    For Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide.

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to conserve the Pacific sardine stock by preventing overfishing, so that directed fishing may occur in future years. This will be accomplished by implementing the 2018-2019 annual specifications for Pacific sardine in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast. The small entities that would be affected by the proposed action are the vessels that would be expected to harvest Pacific sardine as part of the West Coast CPS small purse seine fleet if the fishery were open. In 2014, the last year that a directed fishery for Pacific sardine was allowed, there were approximately 81 vessels permitted to operate in the directed sardine fishery component of the CPS fishery off the U.S. West Coast; 58 vessels in the Federal CPS limited entry fishery off California (south of 39° N lat.); and a combined 23 vessels in Oregon and Washington's state Pacific sardine fisheries. The average annual per vessel revenue in 2014 for those vessels was well below the threshold level of $11 million; therefore, all of these vessels are considered small businesses under the RFA. Because each affected vessel is a small business, this proposed rule is considered to equally affect all of these small entities in the same manner. Therefore, this rule would not create disproportionate costs between small and large vessels/businesses.

    The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to annually set an OFL, ABC, ACL, and HG or annual catch target (ACT) for the Pacific sardine fishery based on the specified harvest control rules in the FMP applied to the current stock biomass estimate for that year. The derived annual HG is the level typically used to manage the principal commercial sardine fishery and is the harvest level NMFS typically uses for profitability analysis each year. As stated above, the CPS FMP dictates that when the estimated biomass drops below a certain level (150,000 mt) there is no HG. Therefore, for the purposes of profitability analysis, this action is essentially proposing an HG of zero for the 2018-2019 Pacific sardine fishing season (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019). The estimated biomass used for management during the preceding fishing year (2017-2018) was also below 150,000 mt. Therefore, NMFS did not implement a HG for the 2017-2018 fishing year, thereby prohibiting the primary commercial directed Pacific sardine fishery. Since there is again no directed fishing for the 2018-2019 fishing year, this proposed rule will not change the potential profitability as compared to the previous fishing year.

    The revenue derived from harvesting Pacific sardine is typically only one of the sources of fishing revenue for the commercial vessels that participate in this fishery. As a result, the economic impact to the fleet from the proposed action cannot be viewed in isolation. From year to year, depending on market conditions and availability of fish, most CPS/sardine vessels supplement their income by harvesting other species. Many vessels in California also harvest anchovy, mackerel, and in particular, squid, making Pacific sardine only one component of a multi-species CPS fishery. Additionally, some sardine vessels that operate off of Oregon and Washington also fish for salmon in Alaska or squid in California during times of the year when sardine are not available. The purpose of the incidental catch limits proposed in this action are to ensure the vessels impacted by a prohibition on directly harvesting sardine can still access these other profitable fisheries while still minimizing Pacific sardine harvest. These proposed incidental allowances are similar to those implemented last year and should not restrict access to those other fisheries.

    CPS vessels typically rely on multiple species for profitability because abundance of Pacific sardine, like the other CPS stocks, is highly associated with ocean conditions and seasonality. Variability in ocean conditions and season results in variability in the timing and location of CPS harvest throughout the year. Because each species responds to ocean conditions in its own way, not all CPS stocks are likely to be abundant at the same time. Therefore, as abundance levels and markets fluctuate, the CPS fishery as a whole has relied on a group of species for its annual revenues.

    Therefore the proposed action, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required, and none has been prepared.

    This action does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paper Reduction Act.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11208 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 102 Friday, May 25, 2018 Notices ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Notice of Public Meeting of the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States AGENCY:

    Administrative Conference of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States will hold a meeting to consider four proposed recommendations and to conduct other business. This meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 14, 2018, 1:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.; and Friday, June 15, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The meeting may adjourn early if all business is finished.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052 (Jacob Burns Moot Court Room).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shawne McGibbon, General Counsel (Designated Federal Officer), Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; Telephone 202-480-2088; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Administrative Conference of the United States makes recommendations to federal agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States regarding the improvement of administrative procedures (5 U.S.C. 594). The membership of the Conference, when meeting in plenary session, constitutes the Assembly of the Conference (5 U.S.C. 595).

    Agenda: In addition to receiving updates on past, current, and pending Conference initiatives, the Assembly will consider four proposed recommendations as described below:

    Paperwork Reduction Act Efficiencies. This proposed recommendation encourages collaboration between the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and federal agencies to maximize opportunities for making the information collection clearance process under the Paperwork Reduction Act more efficient, while still maintaining its integrity. The proposed recommendation encourages using generic clearances and common forms more frequently, providing more training to agencies, and improving several other aspects of the information collection clearance process.

    Administrative Judges. This proposed recommendation addresses agency practices related to the use of administrative judges—adjudicators who preside over evidentiary hearings that are not governed by the adjudication provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. It offers recommendations for agencies to consider when designing or evaluating adjudication programs that promote impartiality in administrative judges and increase clarity and transparency with respect to the policies and procedures that govern their selection, oversight, evaluation, discipline, and removal.

    Minimizing the Cost of Judicial Review. This proposed recommendation encourages federal agencies that anticipate litigation over their rules to consider early in the rulemaking process whether a rule is severable, meaning divisible into portions that can and should function independently, and outlines steps agencies should take if they intend that portions of a rule should continue in effect even though other portions have been held unlawful on judicial review. It also encourages courts adjudicating a challenge to an agency rule to solicit the parties' views on the issue of severability in appropriate circumstances.

    Electronic Case Management in Federal Administrative Adjudication. This proposed recommendation offers guidance for agencies considering whether and how to implement an electronic case management system. It provides factors for agencies to consider in weighing the costs and benefits of an electronic case management system; sets forth measures an agency should take to ensure privacy, transparency, and security; and describes ways an electronic case management system may improve adjudicatory processes.

    Additional information about the proposed recommendations and the order of the agenda, as well as other materials related to the meeting, can be found at the 69th Plenary Session page on the Conference's website: https://www.acus.gov/meetings-and-events/plenary-meeting/69th-plenary-session.

    Public Participation: The Conference welcomes the attendance of the public at the meeting, subject to space limitations, and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities or special needs. Members of the public who wish to attend in person are asked to RSVP online at the 69th Plenary Session web page shown above, no later than two days before the meeting, in order to facilitate entry. Members of the public who attend the meeting may be permitted to speak only with the consent of the Chairman and the unanimous approval of the members of the Assembly. If you need special accommodations due to disability, please inform the Designated Federal Officer noted above at least 7 days in advance of the meeting. The public may also view the meeting through a live webcast, which will be available at: https://livestream.com/ACUS.

    Written Comments: Persons who wish to comment on any of the proposed recommendations may do so by submitting a written statement either online by clicking “Submit a Comment” on the 69th Plenary Session web page shown above or by mail addressed to: June 2018 Plenary Session Comments, Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Written submissions must be received no later than 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, June 7, to assure consideration by the Assembly.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Shawne McGibbon, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11328 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6110-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Opportunity for Designation in the Topeka, Kansas; Minot, North Dakota; Cincinnati, Ohio; Pocatello, Idaho; Evansville, Indiana; Salt Lake City, Utah; West Sacramento, California; Richmond, Virginia; and Savage, Minnesota Areas; Request for Comments on the Official Agencies Servicing This Area AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The designations of the following official agencies listed below will end on the prescribed dates:

    Official agency Headquarters location and telephone Designation end Kansas Grain Inspection Service, Inc Topeka, KS—785-233-7063 6/30/2018 Minot Grain Inspection, Inc Minot, ND—701-838-1734 6/30/2018 Tri-State Grain Inspection Service, Inc Cincinnati, OH—513-251-6571 6/30/2018 Idaho Grain Inspection Service, Inc Pocatello, ID—208-233-8303 9/30/2018 Ohio Valley Grain Inspection, Inc Evansville, IN—812-423-9010 9/30/2018 Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Salt Lake City, UT—801-392-2292 9/30/2018 California Agri Inspection Co., Ltd West Sacramento, CA—916-374-9700 12/31/2018 Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Richmond, VA—757-494-2455 12/31/2018 State Grain Inspection, Inc Savage, MN—952-808-8566 12/31/2018

    We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by these agencies to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agencies: Kansas Grain Inspection Service, Inc. (Kansas); Minot Grain Inspection, Inc. (Minot); Tri-State Grain Inspection Service, Inc. (Tri-State); Idaho Grain Inspection Service, Inc. (Idaho); Ohio Valley Grain Inspection, Inc. (Ohio Valley); Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (Utah); California Agri Inspection Co., Ltd. (Cal-Agri); Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Virginia); and State Grain Inspection, Inc. (State Grain). The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary's Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under AMS.

    DATES:

    Applications and comments must be received by June 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit applications and comments concerning this Notice using any of the following methods:

    Applying for Designation on the Internet: Use FGISonline (https://fgis.gipsa.usda.gov/default_home_FGIS.aspx) and then click on the Delegations/Designations and Export Registrations (DDR) link. You will need to obtain an FGISonline customer number and USDA eAuthentication username and password prior to applying.

    Submit Comments Using the Internet: Go to Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov). Instructions for submitting and reading comments are detailed on the site.

    Mail, Courier or Hand Delivery: Jacob Thein, Compliance Officer, USDA, AMS, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    Fax: Jacob Thein, 816-872-1257

    Email: [email protected]

    Read Applications and Comments: All applications and comments will be available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Thein, 816-866-2223, [email protected] or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 7(f) of the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)). Under section 7(g) of the USGSA, designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than five years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in section 7(f) of the USGSA.

    Areas Open for Designation

    Kansas, Minot, and Tri-State: Areas of designation include Colorado, Kansas, and parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Please see Federal Register (80 FR 7564-7565) for designations of areas open for designation.

    Idaho, Ohio Valley, and Utah: Areas of designation include Utah and parts of Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Please see Federal Register (80 FR 37581) for designations of areas open for designation.

    Cal-Agri and Virginia: Areas of designation include Virginia and parts of California. Please see Federal Register (80 FR 37580) for designations of areas open for designation.

    State Grain: Areas of designation include parts of Minnesota. Please see Federal Register (82 FR 30818-30819) for designations of areas open for designation.

    Opportunity for Designation

    Interested persons or governmental agencies may apply for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas of the official agencies specified above under the provisions of section 7(f) of the USGSA and 7 CFR 800.196. Designation in the specified geographic areas for Kansas, Minot, and Tri-State is for the period beginning July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2023. Designation in the specified geographic areas for Idaho, Ohio Valley, and Utah is for the period beginning October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2023. Designation in the specified geographic areas for Cal-Agri, Virginia, and State Grain is for the period beginning January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2023. To apply for designation or to request more information on the geographic areas serviced by these official agencies, contact Jacob Thein at the address listed above.

    Request for Comments

    We are publishing this Notice to provide interested persons the opportunity to comment on the quality of services provided by the Kansas, Minot, Tri-State, Idaho, Ohio Valley, Utah, Cal-Agri, Virginia, and State Grain official agencies. In the designation process, we are particularly interested in receiving comments citing reasons and pertinent data supporting or objecting to the designation of the applicant(s). Submit all comments to Jacob Thein at the above address or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    We consider applications, comments, and other available information when determining which applicants will be designated.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Greg Ibach, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11294 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 21, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. Comments are requested regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by June 25, 2018. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

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

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Agricultural Resource Management, Chemical Use, and Post-Harvest Chemical Use Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0218.

    Summary of Collection: The primary functions of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, disposition, and prices and to collect information on related environmental and economic factors. Detailed economic and environmental data for various crops and livestock help to maintain a stable economic atmosphere and reduce the risk for production, marketing, and distribution operations. The Agricultural Resource Management Surveys (ARMS), are the primary source of information for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a broad range of issues related to agricultural resource use, cost of production, and farm sector financial conditions. NASS uses a variety of survey instruments to collect the information in conjunction with these studies. General authority for these data collection activities is granted under U.S. Code Title 7, Section 2204.

    Need and Use of the Information: ARMS is the only annual source of whole farm information available for objective evaluation of many critical issues related to agriculture and the rural economy, such as: Whole farm finance data, marketing information, input usage, production practices, and crop substitution possibilities. Without these data, decision makers cannot analyze and report on critical issues that affect farms and farm households when pesticide regulatory actions are being considered.

    Description of Respondents: Farms; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 131,619.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 105,615.

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Irrigation and Water Management Survey (IWMS).

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0234.

    Summary of Collection: The Irrigation and Water Management Survey (IWMS) is a reinstatement of a previously conducted survey (2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey). The IWMS is a follow-on survey and in integral part of the 2017 Census of Agriculture which is conducted every five years under the authority of the Census of Agriculture Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-113). This law requires the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a census of agriculture beginning in 2002 and every fifth year thereafter (prior to 1997 the census was conducted by the Department of Commerce). The 2018 IWMS will be obtaining data describing the irrigation activities of U.S. farm operations. Some of these activities are of National concern, such as the use of chemigation, fertigation and water-conserving practices of irrigators. The 2018 IWMS will play an important part in providing critically needed data to address these types of issues.

    Need and Use of the Information: NASS will collect information from the IWMS on acres irrigated by land use category, acres and yields of irrigated and non-irrigated crops, quantity of water applied, method of application to selected crops, acres irrigated, quantity of water used by source, acres irrigated by type of water distribution systems, and number of irrigation wells and pumps. The primary purpose of IWMS is to provide detailed data relating to on-farm irrigation activities for use in preparing a wide variety of water-related local programs, economic models, legislative initiatives, market analyses, and feasibility studies. The absence of the study data would certainly affect irrigation policy decisions, federal programs, legislation, and impact studies would instead be subject to greater uncertainty and error.

    Description of Respondents: Farms; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 35,100.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (one-time).

    Total Burden Hours: 25,577.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11214 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2018-0006] Availability of FSIS Guideline for Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm Is Exempt From the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the availability of and requesting comments on a guideline for businesses that slaughter livestock or process meat and meat food products on the exemptions to the inspection requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The guideline explains each of the exemptions, when they apply, and which FSIS regulatory requirements must still be met.

    DATES:

    Submit Comments on or before July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    A downloadable version of the guideline is available to view and print at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/compliance-guides-index once copies of the guideline have been published.

    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this guideline. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.

    Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2018-0006. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, call (202) 720-5627 to schedule a time to visit the FSIS Docket Room at 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roberta Wagner, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development; Telephone: (202) 205-0495.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    FSIS is the public health regulatory agency responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. For meat or meat food products, FSIS requires continuous inspection in the case of slaughter and at least daily inspection for processing, unless an exemption applies. The exemptions are located in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 623 and 661) and in FSIS's regulations (9 CFR 303.1).

    This guideline describes each of the exemptions, to whom they apply, and which FSIS regulatory requirements must still be met. It also provides updated information on emerging business models and trends in procurement, and sales, and distribution. Generally, livestock slaughtered or processed by the owner or that which is custom slaughtered for use by the owner and his or her family or non-paying guests are exempt from FSIS's inspection requirements. Also exempt from inspection are businesses that meet FSIS's definitions of retail stores, restaurants, restaurant central kitchens, or caterers.

    Businesses operating under an exemption are not exempt from the adulteration and misbranding requirements of the FMIA and may be subject to State or local regulatory requirements. FSIS regulations requiring recordkeeping, access to places of business, and the opportunity for examination of facilities, inventory, and records still apply.

    FSIS encourages interested parties (e.g., those to whom an exemption may apply) to follow this guideline. This guideline represents current FSIS thinking, and FSIS will update it as necessary to reflect comments received and any additional information that becomes available. FSIS is seeking comments on this guideline as part of its efforts to continuously assess and improve the effectiveness of policy documents.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done, at Washington, DC.

    Paul Kiecker, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11299 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Jersey Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of briefing 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 (FACA), that a mini-briefing meeting of the New Jersey Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) on Friday, June 29, 2018 in the Moot Court Room at Rutgers University Law School, 123 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102. The purpose of the mini-briefing is to discuss the five project concepts that advisory committee members are considering as a possible topic for their civil rights project with subject matter experts. The mini-briefing will help inform the members' decision when selecting the topic for their civil rights project. The meeting is scheduled for approximately four and one half hours.

    DATES:

    Friday, June 29, 2018 (EDT).

    TIME:

    11:00 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Rutgers University Law School, Moot Court Room, 123 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evelyn Bohor at [email protected], or 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    If other persons who plan to attend the meeting require other accommodations, please contact Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] at the Eastern Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Time will be set aside at the end of the briefing so that members of the public may address the Committee after the formal presentations have been completed. Persons interested in the issue are also invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Monday, July 30, 2018. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376-7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

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

    Tentative Agenda Friday, June 29, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. I. Welcome and Introductions II. Mini-Briefing Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Topic 4 Topic 5 III. Other Business IV. Adjourn Dated: May 21, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11189 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Tennessee Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Tennessee Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, June 18, 2018 to work on post-report planning for the Civil Asset Forfeiture report and discuss potential future work on legal financial obligations and civil rights issues.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday June 18, 2018 12:30 p.m. EST.

    Public Call Information: The meeting will be by teleconference. Toll-free call-in number: 888-466-4520, conference ID: 1630102.

    FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hinton, DFO, at [email protected] or 404-562-7006.

    SUPPLEMENTAL 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: 888-466-4520, conference ID: 1630102. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by June 15, 2018. Written comments may be mailed to the Southern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 61 Forsyth Street, Suite 16T126, Atlanta, GA 30303. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (404) 562-7005, or emailed to Regional Director, Jeffrey Hinton at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Southern Regional Office at (404) 562-7000.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Southern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Tennessee Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Call To Order Diane DiIanni, Tennessee SAC Chairman Jeff Hinton, Regional Director Regional Update—Jeff Hinton New Business: Diane DiIanni, Tennessee SAC Chairman/Staff/Advisory Committee Public Participation Adjournment Dated: May 21, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11190 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Jersey Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of monthly planning meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the New Jersey Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call, on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT). The purpose of the meeting is to elect additional Committee officers and to discuss the final plans for the June 29, 2018 mini-briefing meeting.

    DATES:

    Friday, June 15, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call number: 1-888-778-9069 and conference call ID: 6970676.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call number: 1-888-778-9069 and conference call ID: 6970676. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator may ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number herein.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call number: 1-888-778-9069 and conference call ID: 6970676.

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

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

    Agenda: Friday, June 15, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) I. Rollcall and Welcome II. Select Additional Officers III. Project Planning—Discuss final plans for the June 29 Mini-Briefing IV. Other Business V. Adjourn Dated: May 21, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11188 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Office of the Secretary [Docket No.: 170912893-7893-01] Public Availability of Department of Commerce FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory Data AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public availability of FY 2016 service contract inventories data.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with Section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), the Department of Commerce (DOC) is publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Service Contract Inventory data, a report that analyzes DOC's FY 2015 Service Contract Inventory and a plan for the analysis of FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory.

    The service contract inventory provides information on service contract actions over $25,000 made in FY 2016. The information is organized by function to show how contracted resources are distributed throughout the agency. The inventory has been developed in accordance with guidance on service contract inventories issued on November 5, 2010, by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).

    ADDRESSES:

    The Department of Commerce's FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory is included in the government-wide inventory available at: https://www.acquisition.gov/service-contract-inventory, which can be filtered to display the FY 2016 inventory for each agency. In addition to the link to access DOC's FY 2016 service contract inventory, the FY 2015 Analysis Report and Plan for analyzing the FY 2016 data is on the Office of Acquisition Management homepage at the following link http://www.osec.doc.gov/oam/. OFPP's guidance memo on service contract inventories is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/service-contract-inventories-guidance-11052010.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions regarding the service contract inventory should be directed to Virna Winters, Director for Acquisitions Policy and Oversight Division at 202-482-4248 or [email protected]

    Ellen Herbst, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11345 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-35-2018] Approval of Expanded Subzone Status, Subzone 231A, Medline Industries, Inc., Manteca, Stockton and Tracy, California

    On February 15, 2018, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the Port of Stockton, California, grantee of FTZ 231, requesting expanded subzone status subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 231, on behalf of Medline Industries, Inc., in Manteca, Stockton and Tracy, California. The application is also requesting that Site 1 of the subzone be removed, as it is no longer used by the company.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (83 FR 8242-8243, February 26, 2018). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval. Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to expand Subzone 231A was approved on May 21, 2018, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ's 2,000-acre activation limit.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11303 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-489-815] Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube From Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On February 12, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published the preliminary results of the 2016-2017 administrative review of the antidumping duty order on light-walled rectangular pipe and tube (LWRPT) from Turkey. Although invited to do so, interested parties did not comment on the preliminary results of this review. Therefore, we have adopted the preliminary results in these final results of the review.

    DATES:

    Applicable May 25, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Hill, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement & Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3518.

    Background

    On February 12, 2018, Commerce published its Preliminary Results of the review of the antidumping duty order on LWRPT from Turkey covering the period of review (POR) May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017.1 No parties commented on the Preliminary Results.

    1See Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Turkey: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017, 83 FR 5987 (February 12, 2018) (Preliminary Results).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the antidumping order is certain welded carbon quality light-walled steel pipe and tube, of rectangular (including square) cross section, having a wall thickness of less than 4 millimeters. The merchandise subject to the order is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States at subheadings 7306.61.50.00 and 7306.61.70.60.2

    2 For a complete description of the scope of the order see “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the 2016-2017 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Turkey,” dated February 5, 2018 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Analysis

    In the Preliminary Results, we determined that Agir Haddecilik A.S. (Agir) did not make sales of subject merchandise at prices below normal value during the period May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017.3 As no parties commented on the Preliminary Results, we are adopting the decisions in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum in these final results of review. For additional details, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Final Results of Review

    As a result of this review, Commerce determines that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for Agir for the period May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017:

    Manufacturer/exporter Weighted-average margin
  • (percent)
  • Agir Haddecilik A.S. 0.00
    Assessment Rates

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.212(b), we have determined, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review.4 We intend to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of this notice of the final results of this review. Because we calculated a weighted-average dumping margin of zero for Agir, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. In accordance with Commerce's “automatic assessment” practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Agir for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate those entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    4 In these final results, Commerce applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of this notice of the final results of this review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Agir will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in the most recently completed segment of the proceeding for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 27.04 percent ad valorem, the all-others rate established in the less-than-fair-value investigation.5 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    5See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Turkey, 73 FR 19814 (April 11, 2008).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APOs) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305, which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation that is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213 and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(5).

    Dated: May 17, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11302 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG219 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seattle Multimodal Project in Seattle, Washington; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed incidental harassment authorization (IHA); request for comments; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS published a document in the Federal Register on May 22, 2018, and the document contained outdated information and this document has been corrected and is republished in its entirety. NMFS has received a request from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock in Seattle, Washington. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than June 25, 2018.

    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 https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/node/23111 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 https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/node/23111. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Correction

    In the notice published on May 22, 2018 (83 FR 23643), FR Doc. 2018-10871 contained outdated information and this document corrects the IHA.

    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.

    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

    Issuance of an MMPA 101(a)(5)(D) authorization requires compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

    NMFS preliminary determined the issuance of the proposed IHA is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 (issuance of incidental harassment authorizations under section 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA for which no serious injury or mortality is anticipated) of NOAA's Companion Manual for NAO 216-6A, and we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances listed in Chapter 4 of the Companion Manual for NAO 216-6A that would preclude this categorical exclusion under NEPA.

    We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to making a final decision as to whether application of this CE is appropriate in this circumstance.

    Summary of Request

    On November 21, 2017, WSDOT submitted a request to NMFS requesting an IHA for the possible harassment of small numbers of marine mammal species incidental to Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock in Seattle, Washington, from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019. After receiving the revised project description and the revised IHA application, NMFS determined that the IHA application is adequate and complete on April 4, 2018. NMFS is proposing to authorize the take by Level A and Level B harassments of the following marine mammal species: Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina); northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris); California sea lion (Zalophus californianus); Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus); killer whale (Orcinus orca); long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus); humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata); harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena); and Dall's porpoise (P. dalli). Neither WSDOT nor NMFS expect mortality to result from this activity and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    NMFS previously issued an IHA to WSDOT for the first year of this project (FR 21579; July 7, 2017). WSDOT complied with all the requirements (e.g., mitigation, monitoring, and reporting) of the previous IHA and information regarding their monitoring results may be found in the Estimated Take section.

    Description of Proposed Activity Overview

    The purpose of the Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock is to preserve the transportation function of an aging, deteriorating and seismically deficient facility to continue providing safe and reliable service. The project will also address existing safety concerns related to conflicts between vehicles and pedestrian traffic and operational inefficiencies.

    Dates and Duration

    Due to NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in-water work timing restrictions to protect ESA-listed salmonids, planned WSDOT in-water construction is limited each year to July 16 through February 15.

    Specified Geographic Region

    The Seattle Ferry Terminal at Colman Dock, serving State Route 519, is located on the downtown Seattle waterfront, in King County, Washington. The terminal services vessels from the Bainbridge Island and Bremerton routes, and is the most heavily used terminal in the Washington State Ferry system. The Seattle terminal is located in Section 6, Township 24 North, Range 4 East, and is adjacent to Elliott Bay, tributary to Puget Sound (Figure 1-2 of the IHA application). Land use in the area is highly urban, and includes business, industrial, the Port of Seattle container loading facility, residential, the Pioneer Square Historic District and local parks.

    Detailed Description of the Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock: Year 2

    The project will reconfigure the Colman Dock while maintaining approximately the same vehicle holding capacity as current conditions. The construction began in August 2017. In the 2017-2018 season, the construction activities were focused on the South Trestle, Terminal Building Foundation, and the temporary and permanent Passenger Offloading Facility.

    In the 2018-2019 season, WSDOT plans to continue the project by constructing the North Trestle, and Slip 3 bridge seat, overhead loading, wingwall, and inner dolphin. Both impact pile driving and vibratory pile driving and pile removal would be conducted. A total of 37 days are estimated for pile driving and 77 days for pile removal.

    In-water construction methods include:

    • Installing 119 36-inch (in) permanent steel piles with a vibratory hammer, and then proofed with an impact hammer for the last 5-10 feet;

    • Installing six 36-in and (8) 30-in steel piles with a vibratory hammer;

    • Installing one 108-in steel pile with a vibratory hammer;

    • Removing all existing 12-in steel, 14-in timber, 14-in H, 24-in steel and 30-in steel piles with a vibratory hammer;

    • Installing and then removing eight 24-in Slip 3 Overhead loading temporary piles with a vibratory hammer; and

    • Installing and then removing 147 24-in temporary template piles with a vibratory hammer.

    A list of pile driving and removal activities is provided in Table 1.

    Table 1—Summary of In-Water Pile Driving and Removal Activities Method Pile type Pile size
  • (inch)
  • Pile number Piles/day Minutes/pile Duration
  • (days)
  • Vibratory drive Steel (temporary) 24 147 8 20 18 Vibratory drive Steel (Slip 3) 24 8 8 20 1 Vibratory drive Steel 30 8 8 20 1 Vibratory drive Steel 36 6 6 20 1 Vibratory drive * Steel 36 119 8 20 15 Impact drive (proof) * Steel 36 119 8 300 strikes 15 Vibratory drive Steel 108 1 1 120 1 Subtotal 37 Vibratory remove Timber 14 925 20 15 47 Vibratory remove Steel 12 22 11 20 2 Vibratory remove Steel H 14 19 10 20 2 Vibratory remove Steel 24 35 8 20 5 Vibratory remove Steel (Slip 3) 24 8 8 20 1 Vibratory remove Steel (temporary) 24 147 8 20 19 Vibratory remove Steel 30 1 1 20 1 Subtotal 77 * These two activities occur on the same day.

    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

    Sections 3 and 4 of the application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/) and more general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's website (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/).

    Table 2 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in the lower Puget Sound area and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA and potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2016). PBR is 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 (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality from anthropogenic sources are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats.

    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 or survey 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. For harbor seal Washington northern inland waters stock, the abundance is based on radio-tagging studies conducted at three Washington inland waters with correcting factors described in the 2016 SARs (Jefferies et al., 2003; Carretta et al., 2017). For some species, this geographic area may extend beyond U.S. waters. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's 2016 U.S. Pacific Draft Marine Mammal SARs (Carretta et al., 2017). All values presented in Table 2 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2016 SARs (Carretta et al., 2017); and draft 2017 SARs (available online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/draft-marine-mammal-stock-assessment-reports).

    Table 2—Marine Mammals With Potential Presence Within the Proposed Project 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 20,990 624 132 Family Balaenopteridae: Humpback whale Megaptera novaneagliae California/Oregon/Washington Y 1,918 11.0 >6.5 Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata California/Oregon/Washington N 636 3.5 >1.3 Family Delphinidae: Killer whale Orcinus orca Eastern N. Pacific Southern resident Y 81 0.14 0 West coast transient N 243 2.4 0 Long-beaked common dolphin Delphinus capensis California N 101,305 657 >35.4 Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus California/Oregon/Washington offshore N 1,924 198 >0.84 Family Phocoenidae (porpoises): Harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena Washington inland waters N 11,233 66 7.2 Dall's porpoise P. dali California/Oregon/
  • Washington
  • N 25,750 172 0.3
    Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions): California sea lion Zalophus californianus U.S. N 296,750 9,200 389 Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus Eastern U.S. N 71,562 2,498 108 Family Phocidae (earless seals): Harbor seal Phoca vitulina Washington northern inland waters N 4 11,036 1,641 43 Northern elephant seal Mirounga angustirostris California breeding N 179,000 4,882 8.8 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. 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. 4 Harbor seal estimate is based on data that are 8 years old, but this is the best available information for use here (Jefferies et al., 2003; Carretta et al., 2017).

    All species that could potentially occur in the proposed survey areas are included in Table 2. However, the temporal and/or spatial occurrence of humpback whale and Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) and the implementation of monitoring and mitigation measures are such that take is not expected to occur, and they are not discussed further beyond the explanation provided here. The occurrence of humpback whale in the WSDOT's Seattle Multimodal Project area is considered extralimital, and WSDOT's 2017 monitoring report showed no sighting of this species. Although the SRKW could occur in the vicinity of the project area, WSDOT proposes to implement strict monitoring and mitigation measures with assistance from local marine mammal researchers and observers. Thus, the take of this marine mammal stock can be avoided (see details in Proposed Mitigation section).

    In addition, the sea otter may be found in Puget Sound area However, this species is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are not considered further in this document.

    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 decibel (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);

    • Mid-frequency cetaceans (larger toothed whales, beaked whales, and most delphinids): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 Hz and 160 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;

    • Pinnipeds in water; Otariidae (eared seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between 60 Hz and 39 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 (Hemilä et al., 2006; Kastelein et al., 2009; Reichmuth and Holt, 2013).

    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 (Hemilä et al., 2006; Kastelein et al., 2009; Reichmuth et al., 2013).

    For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016) for a review of available information. Eleven marine mammal species (7 cetacean and 4 pinniped (2 otariid and 2 phocid) species) have the reasonable potential to co-occur with the proposed survey activities. Please refer to Table 2. Of the cetacean species that may be present, one species is classified as low-frequency cetaceans (i.e., gray whale), two are classified as high-frequency cetaceans (i.e., harbor porpoise and Dall's porpoise), and the rest of them mid-frequency cetaceans.

    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.

    Potential impacts to marine mammals from the proposed Bremerton and Edmonds ferry terminals dolphin relocation project are from noise generated during in-water pile driving and pile removal activities.

    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.

    The WSDOT's Seattle Multimodal Project using in-water pile driving and pile removal 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 (TS)—an increase in the auditory threshold after exposure to noise (Finneran et al., 2005). 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 TS just after exposure is the initial TS. If the TS eventually returns to zero (i.e., the threshold returns to the pre-exposure value), it is a temporary threshold shift (TTS) (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 TS. An animal can experience 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 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.

    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, 2005; Kastelein et al., 2012b).

    Lucke et al. (2009) found a TS of a harbor porpoise after exposing it to airgun noise with a received sound pressure level (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. Because the airgun noise is a broadband impulse, one cannot directly determine the equivalent of root mean square (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. Therefore, based on these studies, NMFS recognizes that TTS of harbor porpoises is lower than other cetacean species empirically tested (Finneran & Schlundt, 2010; Finneran et al., 2002; Kastelein and Jennings, 2012).

    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.

    In addition, chronic exposure to excessive, though not high-intensity, noise could cause masking at particular frequencies for marine mammals, which 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 that the animals utilize. Therefore, since noise generated from vibratory pile driving is 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., Foote et al., 2004; 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 three times in terms of SPL) in the world's ocean from pre-industrial periods, and most of these increases are from distant shipping (Hildebrand, 2009). For WSDOT's dolphin relocation project, noises from vibratory pile driving and pile removal contribute to the elevated ambient noise levels in the project area, thus increasing potential for or severity of masking. Baseline ambient noise levels in the vicinity of project area are high due to ongoing shipping, construction and other activities in the Puget Sound.

    Finally, marine mammals' exposure 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 vibratory pile driving). For the WSDOT's Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Ferry Terminal, both 120-dB and 160-dB levels are considered for effects analysis because WSDOT plans to use both impact pile driving and vibratory pile driving and pile removal.

    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.

    Potential Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The primary potential impacts to marine mammal habitat are associated with elevated sound levels produced by vibratory pile removal and pile driving in the area. However, other potential impacts to the surrounding habitat from physical disturbance are also possible.

    With regard to fish as a prey source for cetaceans and pinnipeds, fish are known to hear and react to sounds and to use sound to communicate (Tavolga et al., 1981) and possibly avoid predators (Wilson and Dill, 2002). Experiments have shown that fish can sense both the strength and direction of sound (Hawkins, 1981). Primary factors determining whether a fish can sense a sound signal, and potentially react to it, are the frequency of the signal and the strength of the signal in relation to the natural background noise level.

    The level of sound at which a fish will react or alter its behavior is usually well above the detection level. Fish have been found to react to sounds when the sound level increased to about 20 dB above the detection level of 120 dB (Ona, 1988); however, the response threshold can depend on the time of year and the fish's physiological condition (Engas et al., 1993). In general, fish react more strongly to pulses of sound (such as noise from impact pile driving) rather than continuous signals (such as noise from vibratory pile driving) (Blaxter et al., 1981), and a quicker alarm response is elicited when the sound signal intensity rises rapidly compared to sound rising more slowly to the same level.

    During the coastal construction, only a small fraction of the available habitat would be ensonified at any given time. Disturbance to fish species would be short-term and fish would return to their pre-disturbance behavior once the pile driving activity ceases. Thus, the proposed construction would have little, if any, impact on marine mammals' prey availability in the area where construction work is planned.

    Finally, the time of the proposed construction activity would avoid the spawning season of the ESA-listed salmonid species.

    Estimated Take

    This section provides an estimate of the number of incidental takes authorized 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 generated from vibratory pile driving and removal. Based on the nature of the activity and the anticipated effectiveness of the mitigation measures (i.e., shutdown measures—discussed in detail below in Proposed Mitigation section), Level A harassment is neither anticipated nor proposed to be authorized.

    As described previously, no mortality is anticipated or authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Described in the most basic way, we estimate take by considering: (1) Acoustic thresholds above which NMFS believes the best available science indicates marine mammals will be behaviorally harassed or incur some degree of permanent hearing impairment; (2) the area or volume of water that will be ensonified above these levels in a day; (3) the density or occurrence of marine mammals within these ensonified areas; and, (4) and the number of days of activities. Below, we describe these components in more detail and present the take estimate.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Using the best available science, NMFS has developed acoustic thresholds that identify the received level of underwater sound above which exposed marine mammals would be reasonably expected to be behaviorally harassed (equated to Level B harassment) or to incur PTS of some degree (equated to Level A harassment).

    Level B Harassment for non-explosive sources—Though significantly driven by received level, the onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise exposure is also informed to varying degrees by other factors related to the source (e.g., frequency, predictability, duty cycle), the environment (e.g., bathymetry), and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography, behavioral context) and can be difficult to predict (Southall et al., 2007, Ellison et al., 2011). Based on what the available science indicates and the practical need to use a threshold based on a factor that is both predictable and measurable for most activities, NMFS uses a generalized acoustic threshold based on received level to estimate the onset of behavioral harassment. NMFS predicts that marine mammals are likely to be behaviorally harassed in a manner we consider Level B harassment when exposed to underwater anthropogenic noise above received levels of 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous (e.g. vibratory pile-driving, drilling) and above 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for non-explosive impulsive (e.g., seismic airguns) or intermittent (e.g., scientific sonar) sources.

    Applicant's proposed activity includes the generation of impulse (impact pile driving) and non-impulse (vibratory pile driving and removal) sources; and, therefore, both 160- and 120-dB re 1 μPa (rms) are used.

    Level A harassment for non-explosive sources—NMFS' Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Technical Guidance, 2016) identifies dual criteria to assess auditory injury (Level A harassment) to five different marine mammal groups (based on hearing sensitivity) as a result of exposure to noise from two different types of sources (impulsive or non-impulsive). Applicant's proposed activity would generate and non-impulsive (vibratory pile driving and pile removal) noises. These thresholds were developed by compiling and synthesizing the best available science and soliciting input multiple times from both the public and peer reviewers to inform the final product and are provided in the table below. The references, analysis, and methodology used in the development of the thresholds are described in NMFS 2016 Technical Guidance, which may be accessed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm.

    Table 3—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 L rms, flat: 160 dB L rms, flat: 120 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 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 (Lpk) has a reference value of 1 μPa, and cumulative sound exposure level (LE) 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.
    Ensonified Area

    Here, we describe operational and environmental parameters of the activity that will feed into identifying the area ensonified above the acoustic thresholds.

    Source Levels

    The source level for vibratory pile driving and removal of the 24- and 30-in steel pile is based on vibratory pile driving of the 30-in steel pile at Port Townsend (WSDOT, 2010). The unweighted SPLrms source level at 10 meters (m) from the pile is 174 dB re 1 re 1 μPa.

    The source level for vibratory pile driving of the 36-in steel piles is based on vibratory test pile driving of 36-in steel piles at Port Townsend in 2010 (Laughlin 2011). Recordings of vibratory pile driving were made at a distance of 10 m from the pile. The results show that the unweighted SPLrms for vibratory pile driving of 36-in steel pile was 177 dB re 1 μPa.

    The source level for vibratory pile driving of the 108-in steel pile is based on measurements of 72-in steel piles vibratory driving conducted by CALTRANS. The unweighted SPLrms source level ranged between 170 and 180 dB re 1 μPa at 10 m from the pile (CALTRANS 2015). The value of 180 dB is chosen to be more conservative.

    The source level for impact pile driving of the 36-in steel pile is based on impact test pile driving for the 36-in steel pile at Mukilteo in November 2006 (WSDOT 2007). Recordings of the impact pile driving that were made at a distance of 10 m from the pile were analyzed using Matlab. The results show that the unweighted source levels are 178 dB re 1 μPa2-s for SELss and 193 dB re 1 μPa for SPLrms. The peak source level for impact pile driving of the 36-in steel pile is based on measurement conducted by CALTRANS for the same type and dimension of the pile, which is 210 dBpk re 1 μPa.

    The source level for vibratory pile removal of 14-in timber pile is based measurements conducted at the Port Townsend Ferry Terminal during vibratory removal of a 12-in timber pile by WSDOT (Laughlin 2011). The recorded source level is 152 dBrms re 1 μPa at 16 m from the pile, with an adjusted source level of 155 dBrms re 1 μPa at 10 m.

    The source levels for vibratory pile removal of 12-in steel and 14-in steel H piles are based on vibratory pile driving of 12-in steel pipe pile measured by CALTRANS. The unweighted source level is 155 dBrms re 1 μPa at 10 m.

    A summary of source levels is presented in Table 4.

    Table 4—Summary of In-Water Pile Driving Source Levels [At 10 m from source] Method Pile type/size (inch) SEL, dB
  • re 1 μPa2-s
  • SPLrms, dB
  • re 1 μPa
  • SPLpk, dB
  • re 1 μPa
  • Vibratory driving/removal Steel, 24-in 174 174 Vibratory driving/removal Steel, 30-in 174 174 Vibratory driving Steel, 36-in 177 177 Impact pile driving (proof) Steel, 36-in 178 193 210 Vibratory driving Steel, 108-in 180 180 Vibratory removal Timber, 14-in 155 155 Vibratory removal Steel, 12-in 155 155 Vibratory removal Steel H, 14-in 155 155

    These source levels are used to compute the Level A injury zones and to estimate the Level B harassment zones. For Level A harassment zones, since the peak source levels for both pile driving are below the injury thresholds, cumulative SEL were used to do the calculations using the NMFS acoustic guidance (NMFS 2016).

    Estimating Harassment Zones

    The Level B harassment ensonified areas for vibratory removal of the 14-in timber, 12-in steel, 14-in steel H, and 18-in concrete piles are based on the above source level of 155 dBrms re 1 μPa at 10 m, applying practical spreading loss of 15*log(R) for transmission loss calculation. The derived distance to the 120-dB Level B zone is 2,175 m.

    For Level B harassment ensonified areas for vibratory pile driving and removal of the 24-in, 30-in, 36-in, and 108-in steel piles, the distance is based on measurements conducted during the year 1 Seattle multimodal project at Colman. The result showed that pile driving noise of two 36-in steel piles being concurrently driven was no longer detectable at a range of 5.4 miles (8.69 km) (WSDOT 2017). Therefore, the distance of 8,690 m is selected as the Level B harassment distance for vibratory pile driving and removal of the 24-in, 30-in, 36-in and 108-in steel piles.

    The Level B harassment ensonified area for impact pile driving of the 36-in steel piles is based on the above source level of 193 dBrms re 1 μPa at 10 m, applying practical spreading loss of 15*log(R) for transmission loss calculation. The derived distance to the 160-dB Level B zone is 1,585 m.

    For Level A harassment, calculation is based on pile driving duration of each pile and the number of piles installed or removed per day, using NMFS optional spreadsheet.

    Table 5—Modeled Distances and Areas to Harassment Zones Pile driving activity SL
  • (10m)
  • SEL Level A distance (m)
  • Level A area (km2)
  • LF
  • Cetacean
  • MF
  • Cetacean
  • HF
  • Cetacean
  • Phocid Otariid Level B
  • distance (m)
  • Level A area (km2)
  • All marine mammals
    Vibratory drive/removal, 24” & 30” steel piles, 8 piles/day, 20 min/pile 174 96.7 8.6 143.0 58.8 4.1 8,690 0.03 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 74.29 Vibratory removal 30” steel pile, 1 pile/day, 20 min/pile 174 24.2 2.1 35.7 14.7 1.0 8,960 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 74.29 Vibratory drive 36” steel pile, 6 piles/day, 20 min/pile 177 126.4 11.2 186.9 76.8 5.4 8,960 0.05 0.00 0.11 0.02 0.00 74.29 Vibratory drive 36” steel pile, 8 piles/day, 20 min/pile 177 153.3 13.6 226.6 93.2 6.5 8,960 0.07 0.00 0.16 0.03 0.00 74.29 Impact drive (proof) 36” steel pile, 8 piles/day, 300 strikes/pile 178 830.9 19.6 989.7 444.7 32.4 1,585 2.17 0.00 3.08 0.62 0.00 7.89 Vibratory drive 108” steel pile, 1 pile/day, 120 min/pile 180 200.3 17.8 296.2 121.8 8.5 8,690 0.13 0.00 0.28 0.05 0.00 74.29 Vibratory remove 14” timber pile, 20 piles/day, 15 min/pile 155 8.0 0.7 11.8 4.8 0.3 2,154 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 14.57 Vibratory remove 12” steel pile, 11 piles/day, 20 min/pile 155 6.5 0.6 9.6 3.9 0.3 2,154 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 14.57 Vibratory remove 14” steel H pile, 10 piles/day, 20 min/pile 155 6.1 0.5 9.0 3.7 0.3 2,154 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 14.57

    Distances of ensonified area for different pile driving/removal activities for different marine mammal hearing groups is present in Table 5.

    Marine Mammal Occurrence

    In this section we provide the information about the presence, density, or group dynamics of marine mammals that will inform the take calculations.

    All marine mammal density data except harbor seal, California sea lion, harbor porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, and short-beaked common dolphin are from the U.S. Navy Marine Species Density Report. For harbor seal and California sea lion, because WSDOT has better local distribution data based on recent survey in the area, local animal abundance are used to calculate the take numbers. Specifically, the occurrence of these two species are based on local seal abundance information off the Seattle area from Year One (2017/18) of WSDOT's Seattle Colman Project.

    For bottlenose dolphin and short-beaked common dolphin, no density estimate is available. Therefore, take numbers for these two species are based on prior anecdotal observations and strandings in the action area (Shuster et al., 2015; Huggins et al., 2016).

    Harbor porpoise density is based on a recent study by Smultea et al. (2017) for the Seattle area near the Colman Dock.

    A summary of marine mammal density, days and Level A and Level B harassment areas from different pile driving and removal activities is provided in Table 6.

    Table 6—Marine Mammal Density and Local Occurrence in the WSDOT Project Area Species Density (#/km2) or animals/day Gray whale 0.0051/km2. Minke whale 0.00003/km2. Killer whale (West coast transient) 0.002/km2. Bottlenose dolphin NA. Short-beaked common dolphin NA. Harbor porpoise 0.54/km2. Dall's porpoise 0.048/km2. California sea lion 11 animals/day. Steller sea lion 0.04/km2. Harbor seal 8 animals/day. Northern elephant seal 0.00001/km2. Take Calculation and Estimation

    Here we describe how the information provided above is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate.

    For all other marine mammals, takes were calculated as: Take = ensonified area × average animal abundance in the area × pile driving days. All Level A takes were further adjusted by subtract animals that would occur within the Level A harassment zone (except for harbor seal where a 60-m shutdown zone would be implemented), where pile driving activities that could cause Level A injury for all marine mammals, except harbor seal, harbor porpoise, and Dall's porpoise, would be suspended when an animal is observed to approach such a zone. Further, the number of Level B takes were adjusted to exclude those already counted for Level A takes.

    The harbor seal take estimate is based on local seal abundance information off the Seattle area from Year One (2017/18) of WSDOT's Seattle Colman Project. During 99 days of marine mammal visual monitoring, 813 harbor seals were observed, an average of 8.212 animals/day, with a one-day high of 43 observations on 10/24/17 (WSDOT 2018b). By adjusting the averaged observation of harbor seals to 11 animals/day as a conservative estimate to account for possible missed observation, and based on a total of 114 pile driving days for the WSDOT Seattle Colman Dock project, it is estimated that up to 1,254 harbor seals could be exposed to noise levels associated with “take”. Since 17 days would involve vibratory/impact pile driving of 36-in steel piles (16 days) and vibratory driving of and 108-in steel pile (1 day) with Level A zones beyond shutdown zones (231 m and 122 m, respectively, vs. the 60-m shutdown zone), we consider that 187 harbor seals exposed during these 17 days would experience Level A harassment. The difference between the 1,254 total takes and the 187 Level A takes makes up the harbor seal Level B takes, which is 1,067 animals.

    The California sea lion take estimate is also based on local sea lion abundance information from the Seattle Colman Project. During 99 days of marine mammal visual monitoring 1,047 California sea lions were observed, an average of 11 animals/day, with a one-day high of 48 observations on 1/8/2018. (WSDOT 2018b). By adjusting the averaged observation of harbor seals to 14 animals/day as a conservative estimate to account for possible missed observation, and based on a total of 114 pile driving days for the WSDOT Seattle Colman Dock project, it is estimated that up to 1,596 California sea lions could be exposed to noise levels associated with “take”. Although the Level A zones of otariids are all very small (<33 m, Table 5) and WSDOT will implement strict shutdown measures if a sea lion is observed to be moving towards the Level A zone, it is still possible that in rare occasions an animal could enter the Level A zone undetected. We therefore, estimate that one California sea lion could be taken by Level A harassment on each of the 16 days that involve vibratory/impact pile driving of 36-in steel piles when the Level A zone is 32 m. Thus a total of 16 Level A harassment of California sea lion is estimated. The difference between the 1,596 total takes and the 16 Level A takes makes up the California sea lions Level B takes, which is 1,580 animals. The same reasoning for estimating Steller sea lion Level A takes, which results an estimated 16 Level A takes and 216 Level B takes.

    The Common bottlenose dolphin estimate is based on sightings data from Cascadia Research Collective. Between September 2017 and March 2018, a group of up to five to six individuals was sighted in South Puget Sound (CRC 2017/18). It is assumed that this group is still present in the area.

    Given how rare Common bottlenose dolphins are in the area, it is unlikely they would be present on a daily basis. Instead it is assumed that they may be present in the Level B harassment zone once a month during the in-water work window (7 months), and adjusted for potential group size of 5-10 individuals with an average of 7 animals per group.

    The Long-beaked Common dolphin estimate is based on sightings data from Cascadia Research Collective. Four to six Long-beaked Common dolphins have remained in Puget Sound since June 2016, and four animals with distinct markings have been seen multiple times and in every season of the year as of October 2017 (CRC 2017).

    Given how rare Long-beaked Common dolphins are in the area, it is unlikely they would be present on a daily basis. Instead it is assumed that they may be present in the Level B harassment zone once a month during the in-water work window (7 months), and adjusted for potential group size of 5-10 individuals with an average of 7 animals per group.

    For harbor porpoise, density based Level A take calculation yields a total of 28 animals. However, due to the large Level A distance during the 36-in pile driving (990 m) during 16 days and the 108-in pile driving (296 m) during one day, its Level A take is readjusted to account for a typical animal group size of 3 multiplied by these 17 days with large Level A zones. Therefore, we estimate that a total of 51 harbor porpoise could be taken by Level A harassment.

    For Dall's porpoise, due to its relatively uncommon occurrence in comparison to harbor porpoise, the estimated Level A take is scaled down by 1/3 that of harbor porpoise, yielding 17 Level A takes.

    For calculated take number less than 15, such as northern elephant seals, transient killer whales, gray whales, and minke whales, takes numbers were adjusted to account for group encounter and the likelihood of encountering. Specifically, for northern elephant seal, take of 15 animals is estimated based on the likelihood of encountering this species during the project period. For transient killer whale, takes of 30 animals is estimated based on the group size and the likelihood of encountering in the area. For gray whale and minke whale, takes of 30 and 8 animals each are estimated, respectively, based on the likelihood of encountering.

    For SRKWs, WSDOT will implement strict monitoring and mitigation measures and to suspend pile driving activities when such animal is detected in the vicinity of the action area (see Proposed Mitigation section below).

    A summary of estimated takes based on the above analysis is listed in Table 7.

    Table 7—Estimated Take Numbers Species Estimated Level A take Estimated Level B take Estimated total take Abundance Percentage Pacific harbor seal 187 1,067 1,254 11,036 11 Northern elephant seal 0 15 15 81,368 0 California sea lion 16 1,580 1,596 296,750 1 Steller sea lion 16 216 232 67,290 0 Killer whale, transient 0 30 30 243 12 Killer whale, Southern Resident 0 0 0 84 0 Gray whale 0 30 30 20,990 0 Humpback whale 0 0 0 1,918 0 Minke whale 0 8 8 202 2 Harbor porpoise 51 3,946 3,997 11,233 * 36 Dall's porpoise 17 261 278 25,750 1 Long-beaked common dolphin 0 49 49 101,305 0 Bottlenose dolphin 0 49 49 1,921 3 * The percentage of individual harbor porpoises take is estimated to be notably smaller than this, as described in the “Small Numbers” section. 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 (latter not applicable for this action). 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 consider two primary factors:

    (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. This considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range). It further considers the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented (probability of accomplishing the mitigating result if implemented as planned) the likelihood of effective implementation (probability implemented as planned); 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

    1. Time Restriction.

    Work would occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted.

    2. Establishing and Monitoring Level A, Level B Harassment Zones, and Shutdown Zones.

    WSDOT shall establish shutdown zones that encompass the distances within which marine mammals could be taken by Level A harassment (see Table 7 above) except for harbor seal. For Level A harassment zones that is less than 10 m from the source, a minimum of 10 m distance should be established as a shutdown zone. For harbor seal, a maximum of 60 m shutdown zone would be implemented if the actual Level A harassment zone exceeds 60 m. This is because there are a few habituated harbor seals that repeated occur within the larger Level A zone, which makes implementing a shutdown zone larger than 60 m infeasible.

    A summary of exclusion zones is provided in Table 8.

    Table 8—Shutdown Zones for Various Pile Driving Activities and Marine Mammal Hearing Groups Pile type, size & pile driving method Injury zone
  • (m)
  • LF cetacean MF cetacean HF cetacean Phocid Otariid
    Vibratory drive/removal, 24″ & 30″ steel piles, 8 piles/day, 20 min/pile 97 10 143 59 10 Vibratory removal 30″ steel pile, 1 pile/day, 20 min/pile 24 10 36 15 10 Vibratory drive 36″ steel pile, 8 piles/day, 20 min/pile 126 11 187 60 10 Vibratory drive 36″ steel pile, 8 piles/day, 20 min/pile 153 14 227 60 10 Impact drive (proof) 36″ steel pile, 8 piles/day, 300 strikes/pile 432 15 515 60 17 Vibratory drive 108″ steel pile, 1 pile/day, 120 min/pile 200 18 296 60 10 Vibratory remove 14″ timber pile, 20 piles/day, 15 min/pile 10 10 12 10 10 Vibratory remove 12″ steel pile, 11 piles/day, 20 min/pile 10 10 10 10 10 Vibratory remove 14″ steel H pile, 10 piles/day, 20 min/pile

    WSDOT shall also establish a Zone of Influence (ZOI) based on the Level B harassment zones for take monitoring where received underwater SPLs are higher than 160 dBrms re 1 µPa for impulsive noise sources (impact pile driving) and 120 dBrms re 1 µPa for non-impulsive noise sources (vibratory pile driving and pile removal).

    NMFS-approved protected species observers (PSO) shall conduct an initial 30-minute survey of the exclusion zones to ensure that no marine mammals are seen within the zones before pile driving and pile removal of a pile segment begins. If marine mammals are found within the exclusion zone, pile driving of the segment would be delayed until they move out of the area. If a marine mammal is seen above water and then dives below, the contractor would wait 15 minutes. If no marine mammals are seen by the observer in that time it can be assumed that the animal has moved beyond the exclusion zone.

    If pile driving of a segment ceases for 30 minutes or more and a marine mammal is sighted within the designated exclusion zone prior to commencement of pile driving, or if a shutdown occurs due to marine mammal sighting, the observer(s) must notify the pile driving operator (or other authorized individual) immediately and continue to monitor the exclusion zone. Operations may not resume until the marine mammal has exited the exclusion zone or 30 minutes have elapsed since the last sighting.

    3. Soft-Start.

    A “soft-start” technique is intended to allow marine mammals to vacate the area before the impact pile driver reaches full power. Whenever there has been downtime of 30 minutes or more without impact pile driving, the contractor will initiate the driving with ramp-up procedures described below.

    Soft start for impact hammers requires contractors to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets. Each day, WSDOT will use the soft-start technique at the beginning of impact pile driving, or if pile driving has ceased for more than 30 minutes.

    4. Shutdown Measures.

    WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is detected within an exclusion zone or is about to enter an exclusion zone listed in Tables 8.

    WSDOT shall also implement shutdown measures if SRKWs or humpback whales are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the ZOI during in-water construction activities.

    If a killer whale approaches the ZOI during pile driving or removal, and it is unknown whether it is a SRKW or a transient killer whale, it shall be assumed to be a SRKW and WSDOT shall implement the shutdown measure.

    If a SRKW, an unidentified killer whale, or a humpback whale enters the ZOI undetected, in-water pile driving or pile removal shall be suspended until the whale exits the ZOI to avoid further level B harassment.

    Further, WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if the number of authorized takes for any particular species reaches the limit under the IHA or if a marine mammal observed is not authorized for take under this IHA, if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B harassment zone during in-water construction activities.

    5. Coordination With Local Marine Mammal Research Network.

    Prior to the start of pile driving for the day, the Orca Network and/or Center for Whale Research will be contacted by WSDOT to find out the location of the nearest marine mammal sightings. The Orca Sightings Network consists of a list of over 600 (and growing) residents, scientists, and government agency personnel in the U.S. and Canada. Sightings are called or emailed into the Orca Network and immediately distributed to other sighting networks including: The NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Center for Whale Research, Cascadia Research, the Whale Museum Hotline and the British Columbia Sightings Network.

    Sightings information collected by the Orca Network includes detection by hydrophone. The SeaSound Remote Sensing Network is a system of interconnected hydrophones installed in the marine environment of Haro Strait (west side of San Juan Island) to study orca communication, in-water noise, bottom fish ecology and local climatic conditions. A hydrophone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center measures average in-water sound levels and automatically detects unusual sounds. These passive acoustic devices allow researchers to hear when different marine mammals come into the region. This acoustic network, combined with the volunteer (incidental) visual sighting network allows researchers to document presence and location of various marine mammal species.

    With this level of coordination in the region of activity, WSDOT will be able to get real-time information on the presence or absence of whales before starting any pile driving.

    Based on our evaluation of the required measures, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the prescribed 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.

    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.

    Proposed Monitoring Measures

    WSDOT shall employ NMFS-approved PSOs to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its dolphin relocation project at Bremerton and Edmonds ferry terminals. The purposes of marine mammal monitoring are to implement mitigation measures and learn more about impacts to marine mammals from WSDOT's construction activities. The PSOs will observe and collect data on marine mammals in and around the project area for 30 minutes before, during, and for 30 minutes after all pile removal and pile installation work. NMFS-approved PSOs shall meet the following requirements:

    1. Independent observers (i.e., not construction personnel) are required;

    2. At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer;

    3. Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience;

    4. Where a team of three or more observers are required, one observer should be designated as lead observer or monitoring coordinator. The lead observer must have prior experience working as an observer; and

    5. NMFS will require submission and approval of observer CVs.

    Monitoring of marine mammals around the construction site shall be conducted using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 × 42 power). Due to the different sizes of ZOI from different pile types, three different ZOIs and different monitoring protocols corresponding to a specific pile type will be established.

    • For Level B harassment zones with radii less than 1,600 m, 3 PSOs will be monitoring from land.

    • For Level B harassment zones with radii larger than 1,600 m but smaller than 2,500 m, 4 PSOs will be monitoring from land.

    • For Level B harassment zones with radii larger than 2,500 m, 4 PSOs will be monitoring from land with an additional 1 PSO monitoring from a ferry.

    6. PSOs shall collect the following information during marine mammal monitoring:

    • Date and time that monitored activity begins and ends for each day conducted (monitoring period);

    • Construction activities occurring during each daily observation period, including how many and what type of piles driven;

    • Deviation from initial proposal in pile numbers, pile types, average driving times, etc.;

    • Weather parameters in each monitoring period (e.g., wind speed, percent cloud cover, visibility);

    • Water conditions in each monitoring period (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    • For each marine mammal sighting:

    ○ Species, numbers, and, if possible, sex and age class of marine mammals;

    ○ Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel and distance from pile driving activity;

    ○ Location and distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from the marine mammals to the observation point; and

    ○ Estimated amount of time that the animals remained in the Level B zone;

    • Description of implementation of mitigation measures within each monitoring period (e.g., shutdown or delay);

    • Other human activity in the area within each monitoring period

    To verify the required monitoring distance, the exclusion zones and ZOIs will be determined by using a range finder or hand-held global positioning system device.

    WSDOT will conduct noise field measurement to determine the actual Level B distance from the source during vibratory pile of the first pile. If the actual Level B harassment distance is less than modelled, the number of PSOs will be adjusted based on the criteria listed above.

    Reporting Measures

    WSDOT is required to submit a draft monitoring report within 90 days after completion of the construction work or the expiration of the IHA (if issued), whichever comes earlier. In the case if WSDOT intends to renew the IHA (if issued) in a subsequent year, a monitoring report should be submitted 60 days before the expiration of the current IHA (if issued). This report would detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed. NMFS would have an opportunity to provide comments on the report, and if NMFS has comments, WSDOT would address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days.

    In addition, NMFS would require WSDOT to notify NMFS' Office of Protected Resources and NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator within 48 hours of sighting an injured or dead marine mammal in the construction site. WSDOT shall provide NMFS and the Stranding Network with the species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition, if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available).

    In the event that WSDOT finds an injured or dead marine mammal that is not in the construction area, WSDOT would report the same information as listed above to NMFS as soon as operationally feasible.

    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 7, given that the anticipated effects of WSDOT's Seattle Multimodal at Colman Dock project involving pile driving and pile removal on marine mammals are expected to be relatively similar in nature. There is no information about the nature or severity of the impacts, or the size, status, or structure of any species or stock that would lead to a different analysis by species for this activity, or else species-specific factors would be identified and analyzed.

    Although a few marine mammals (132 harbor seals, 12 harbor porpoises, and 1 Dall's porpoise) are estimated to experience Level A harassment in the form of PTS if they stay within the Level A harassment zone during the entire pile driving for the day, the degree of injury is expected to be mild and is not likely to affect the reproduction or survival of the individual animals. It is expected that, if hearing impairments occurs, most likely the affected animal would lose a few dB in its hearing sensitivity, which in most cases is not likely to affect its survival and recruitment. Hearing impairment that occur for these individual animals would be limited to the dominant frequency of the noise sources, i.e., in the low-frequency region below 2 kHz. Therefore, the degree of PTS is not likely to affect the echolocation performance of the two porpoise species, which use frequencies mostly above 100 kHz. Nevertheless, for all marine mammal species, it is known that in general animals avoid areas where sound levels could cause hearing impairment. Therefore, it is not likely that an animal would stay in an area with intense noise that could cause severe levels of hearing damage. In addition, even if an animal receives a TTS, the TTS would be a one-time event from the exposure, making it unlikely that the TTS would evolve into PTS. Furthermore, Level A take estimates are based on the assumption that the animals are randomly distributed in the project area and would not avoid intense noise levels that could cause TTS or PTS. In reality, animals tend to avoid areas where noise levels are high (Richardson et al., 1995). Nonetheless, we evaluate the estimated take in this negligible impact analysis.

    For these species except harbor seal, harbor porpoise and Dall's porpoise, takes that are anticipated and authorized are expected to be limited to short-term Level B harassment (behavioral and TTS). Marine mammals present in the vicinity of the action area and taken by Level B harassment would most likely show overt brief disturbance (startle reaction) and avoidance of the area from elevated noise levels during pile driving and pile removal and the implosion noise. A few marine mammals could experience TTS if they occur within the Level B TTS ZOI. However, as discussed earlier in this document, TTS is a temporary loss of hearing sensitivity when exposed to loud sound, and the hearing threshold is expected to recover completely within minutes to hours. Therefore, it is not considered an injury.

    Portions of the SRKW is within the proposed action area. However, WSDOT would be required to implement strict mitigation measures to suspend pile driving or pile removal activities when this stock is detected in the vicinity of the project area. Therefore, the potential effects to SRKW would be fully mitigated. There is no other important areas for marine mammals, such as know important feeding, pupping, or other areas.

    The project also is not expected to have significant adverse effects on affected marine mammals' habitat, as analyzed in detail in the “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat” subsection. There is no ESA designated critical area in the vicinity of the Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock area. The project activities would not permanently modify existing marine mammal habitat. The activities may kill some fish and cause other fish to leave the area temporarily, thus impacting marine mammals' foraging opportunities in a limited portion of the foraging range. However, because of the short duration of the activities and the relatively small area of the habitat that may be affected, the impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term negative consequences. Therefore, given the consideration of potential impacts to marine mammal prey species and their physical environment, WSDOT's proposed construction activity at Colman Dock would not adversely affect marine mammal habitat.

    • Injury—only 3 species of marine mammals would experience Level A affects in the form of mild PTS, which is expected to be of small degree.

    • Behavioral disturbance—eleven species/stocks of marine mammals would experience behavioral disturbance and TTS from the WSDOT's Seattle Colman Dock project. However, as discussed earlier, the area to be affected is small and the duration of the project is short. Although portion of the SWKR critical habitat is within the project area, strict mitigation measures such as implementing shutdown measures and suspending pile driving will mitigate such effects. No other important habitat for marine mammals exist in the vicinity of the project area. Therefore, the overall impacts are expected to be insignificant.

    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 monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS finds that the total 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 anticipated to be taken to the most appropriate estimation of the relevant species or stock size in our determination of whether an authorization would be limited to small numbers of marine mammals.

    The estimated takes are below 13 percent of the population for all marine mammals except harbor porpoise (Table 7). For harbor porpoise, the estimate of 3,997 incidences of takes would be 36 percent of the population, if each single take were a unique individual. However, this is highly unlikely because the harbor porpoise in Washington waters shows site fidelity to small areas for periods of time that can extend between seasons (Hanson et al., 1999; Hanson 2007a, 2007b). For example, Hanson et al., (1999) tracked a female harbor porpoise for 215 days, during which it remained exclusively within the southern Strait of Georgia region. Based on studies by Jefferson et al. (2016), harbor porpoise abundance in the southern Puget Sound region, which encompasses waters off Seattle, is 550. Therefore, if the estimated incidents of take accrued to all the animals expected to occur in the entire southern Puget Sound area (550 animals), it would be 4.90 percent of the Washington inland water stock of the harbor porpoise.

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

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Subsistence Analysis and Determination

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal stocks or species implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    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.

    The California-Oregon-Washington stock of humpback whale and the Southern Resident stock of killer whale are the only marine mammal species listed under the ESA that could occur in the vicinity of WSDOT's proposed construction projects. Two DPSs of humpback whales, the Mexico DPS and the Central America DPS, are listed as threatened and endangered under the ESA, respectively. NMFS is proposing to authorize take of California/Oregon/Washington stock of humpback whale, which are listed under the ESA. NMFS worked with WSDOT to implement shutdown measures in the IHA that would avoid takes of both SR killer whale and humpback whales. Therefore, NMFS determined that no ESA-listed marine mammal species would be affected as a result of WSDOT's Seattle Colman Dock construction project.

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to WSDOT for conducting Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock in Seattle, Washington, between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019, 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 August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019.

    2. This Authorization is valid only for activities associated with in-water construction work at the Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock in the State of Washington.

    3. (a) The species authorized taking by Level A and Level B harassments and in the numbers shown in Table 7 are: Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), killer whale (Orcinus orca), long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Dall's porpoise (P. dali), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris).

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

    (1) Vibratory pile and impact pile driving; and

    (2) Vibratory pile removal.

    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 7 of this notice. The taking by serious injury or death 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) Time Restriction. In-water construction work shall occur only during daylight hours.

    (b) Establishing and Monitoring Level A, Level B Harassment Zones, and Shutdown Zones.

    (i) Before the commencement of in-water pile driving/removal activities, WSDOT shall establish Level A harassment zones. The modeled Level A zones are summarized in Table 5.

    (ii) Before the commencement of in-water pile driving/removal activities, WSDOT shall establish Level B harassment zones. The modeled Level B zones are summarized in Table 5.

    (iii) Before the commencement of in-water pile driving/removal activities, WSDOT shall establish exclusion zones. The proposed exclusion zones are summarized in Table 8.

    (iv) If pile driving of a segment ceases for 30 minutes or more and a marine mammal is sighted within the designated exclusion zone prior to commencement of pile driving, or if a shutdown occurs due to marine mammal sighting, the observer(s) must notify the pile driving operator (or other authorized individual) immediately and continue to monitor the exclusion zone. Operations may not resume until the marine mammal has exited the exclusion zone or 30 minutes have elapsed since the last sighting.

    (c) Monitoring of marine mammals shall take place starting 30 minutes before pile driving begins until 30 minutes after pile driving ends.

    (d) Soft Start

    (i) When there has been downtime of 30 minutes or more without pile driving, the contractor will initiate the driving with ramp-up procedures described below.

    (ii) Soft start for impact hammers requires contractors to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets. Each day, WSDOT will use the soft-start technique at the beginning of impact pile driving or removal, or if pile driving has ceased for more than 30 minutes.

    (e) Shutdown Measures

    (i) WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is detected within or to be approaching the exclusion zones provided in Table 8 of this notice.

    (ii) WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if SRKWs (SRKWs) or humpback whales are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B harassment zone (zone of influence, or ZOI) during in-water construction activities.

    (iii) If a killer whale approaches the ZOI during pile driving or removal, and it is unknown whether it is a SRKW or a transient killer whale, it shall be assumed to be a SRKW and WSDOT shall implement the shutdown measure identified in 6(e)(ii).

    (iv) If a SRKW or a humpback whale enters the ZOI undetected, in-water pile driving or pile removal shall be suspended until the SRKW exits the ZOI to avoid further level B harassment.

    (v) WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if the number of any allotted marine mammal takes reaches the limit under the IHA or if a marine mammal observed is not authorized for take under this IHA, if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B harassment zone during pile removal activities.

    (f) Coordination with Local Marine Mammal Research Network and obtaining marine mammal sightings and acoustic detection data. Prior to the start of pile driving, WSDOT will contact the Orca Network and/or Center for Whale Research to get real-time information on the presence or absence of whales before starting any pile driving,

    6. Monitoring.

    (a) Protected Species Observers.

    WSDOT shall employ NMFS-approved PSOs to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its construction project. NMFS-approved PSOs will meet the following qualifications.

    (i) Independent observers (i.e., not construction personnel) are required.

    (ii) At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    (iii) Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience.

    (iv) Where a team of three or more observers are required, one observer should be designated as lead observer or monitoring coordinator. The lead observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    (v) NMFS will require submission and approval of observer CVs.

    (b) Monitoring Protocols: PSOs shall be present on site at all times during pile removal and driving.

    (i) A 30-minute pre-construction marine mammal monitoring will be required before the first pile driving or pile removal of the day. A 30-minute post-construction marine mammal monitoring will be required after the last pile driving or pile removal of the day. If the constructors take a break between subsequent pile driving or pile removal for more than 30 minutes, then additional 30-minute pre-construction marine mammal monitoring will be required before the next start-up of pile driving or pile removal.

    (ii) Marine mammal visual monitoring will be conducted for different zones of influence (ZOIs) based on different sizes of piles being driven or removed.

    (A) For Level B harassment zones with radii less than 1,600 m, 3 PSOs will be monitoring from land.

    (B) For Level B harassment zones with radii larger than 1,600 m but smaller than 2,500 m, 4 PSOs will be monitoring from land.

    (C) For Level B harassment zones with radii larger than 2,500 m, 4 PSOs will be monitoring from land with an additional 1 PSO monitoring from a ferry.

    (iii) If marine mammals are observed, the following information will be documented:

    (A) Species of observed marine mammals;

    (B) Number of observed marine mammal individuals;

    (C) Behavior of observed marine mammals; and

    (D) Location within the ZOI.

    (c) Passive Acoustic Monitoring:

    (i) WSDOT will conduct noise field measurement to determine the actual Level B distance from the source during vibratory pile of the first pile.

    (ii) If the actual Level B harassment distance is less than modelled, the number of PSOs will be adjusted based on the criteria listed above.

    7. Reporting.

    (a) WSDOT shall provide NMFS with a draft monitoring report within 90 days of the conclusion of the construction work or within 90 days of the expiration of the IHA, whichever comes first. This report shall detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed.

    (b) IF WSDOT plans to renew the IHA for an additional year, a monitoring report must be received within 60 days before the expiration of an existing IHA.

    (c) If comments are received from NMFS Office of Protected Resources on the draft report, a final report shall be submitted to NMFS within 30 days thereafter. If no comments are received from NMFS, the draft report will be considered to be the final report.

    (d) In the unanticipated event that the construction activities clearly cause the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by this Authorization (if issued), such as an injury, serious injury, or mortality, WSDOT shall immediately cease all operations and immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the following information:

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

    (ii) description of the incident;

    (iii) status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (iv) environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, sea state, cloud cover, visibility, and water depth);

    (v) description of marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (vi) species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    (vii) the fate of the animal(s); and

    (viii) photographs or video footage of the animal (if equipment is available).

    (e) Activities shall not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS shall work with WSDOT to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. WSDOT may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    (f) In the event that WSDOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the injury or 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), WSDOT will immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the same information identified above. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS will work with WSDOT to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    (g) In the event that WSDOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the injury or 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), WSDOT shall report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators, within 24 hours of the discovery. WSDOT shall provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. WSDOT 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 construction work at the Colman ferry terminals.

    Request for Public Comments

    We request comment on our analyses, the proposed authorization, and any other aspect of this Notice of Proposed IHA for the proposed WSDOT Seattle Multimodal Project at Colman Dock. We also request comment on the potential for renewal of this proposed IHA as described in the paragraph below. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the request for MMPA authorization.

    On a case-by-case basis, NMFS may issue a second one-year IHA without additional notice when (1) another year of identical or nearly identical activities as described in the Specified Activities section is planned or (2) the activities would not be completed by the time the IHA expires and a second IHA would allow for completion of the activities beyond that described in the Dates and Duration section, provided all of the following conditions are met:

    • A request for renewal is received no later than 60 days prior to expiration of the current IHA.

    • The request for renewal must include the following:

    (1) An explanation that the activities to be conducted beyond the initial dates either are identical to the previously analyzed activities or include changes so minor (e.g., reduction in pile size) that the changes do not affect the previous analyses, take estimates, or mitigation and monitoring requirements.

    (2) A preliminary monitoring report showing the results of the required monitoring to date and an explanation showing that the monitoring results do not indicate impacts of a scale or nature not previously analyzed or authorized.

    Upon review of the request for renewal, the status of the affected species or stocks, and any other pertinent information, NMFS determines that there are no more than minor changes in the activities, the mitigation and monitoring measures remain the same and appropriate, and the original findings remain valid.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11334 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Ombudsman Survey

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) 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.

    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Ombudsman Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0078.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 1,100 responses per year.

    Average Hours per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take approximately 5 minutes (0.08 hours) to complete the survey.

    Burden Hours: 91.67 hours per year.

    Cost Burden: $0.

    Needs and Uses: The objectives of the Patents Ombudsman Program are: (1) To facilitate complaint-handling for pro se applicants and applicant's representatives whose applications have stalled in the examination process; (2) to track complaints to ensure each is handled within ten business days; (3) to provide feedback and early warning alerts to USPTO management regarding training needs based on complaint trends; and (4) to build a database of frequently asked questions accessible to the public that address commonly seen problems and provide effective resolutions. The USPTO Ombudsman survey is a key component in the agency's evaluation of the program, providing a mechanism to monitor the effectiveness of the program and identify potential opportunities for program enhancement. This survey is being conducted by the USPTO's Ombudsman Program and will be developed, administered, and summarized by USPTO personnel.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected]

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0078 copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Director, Records and Information Governance Division, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before June 25, 2018 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Marcie Lovett, Director, Records and Information Governance Division, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11252 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: June 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information or to submit comments contact: Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503 (a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 2940-01-197-7106—Filter Element, Fluid, 4.875” Diameter 2940-01-367-7515—Filter Element, Fluid, 5.10” D 2940-01-558-7221—Filter Element, Fluid, 3.69” D 2910-01-110-8184—Filter Cartridge, Fluid Mandatory for: 100% of the requirement of the Department of Defense. Mandatory Source of Supply: West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, San Angelo, TX. Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime. Distribution: C-List. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8115-01-582-9708—Box, Shipping, Multi-Use, Grey, 48” x 32” x 34” 8115-01-582-9710—Box, Shipping, Multi-Use, Grey, 48” x 32” x 50” 8115-01-582-9711—Box, Shipping, Multi-Use, Grey, 48” x 40” x 36” 8115-01-598-2716—Shipping Sleeve, with Drop Panel, Grey, 40” x 48” x 45” 8115-01-598-2717—Shipping Sleeve, with Drop Panel, Grey, 40” x 48” x 30” Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement. Mandatory Source of Supply: South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, Corpus Christi, TX. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY. Distribution: A-List. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7350-01-332-2111—Bowl, Paper, Round, 12 oz., Natural Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement. Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans, Inc., New Orleans, LA. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX. Distribution: A-List. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7025-00-NIB-0013—PC Keyboard, USB, Black Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement. Mandatory Source of Supply: LC Industries, Inc., Durham, NC. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY. Distribution: A-List. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 4010-01-250-5428—Assembly, Chain, Single Leg, HEMTT, 12' L 4010-01-224-9207—Assembly, Chain, Single Leg Mandatory for: 100% of the requirement of the Department of Defense. Mandatory Source of Supply: NewView Oklahoma, Inc., Oklahoma, City, OK. Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime. Distribution: C-List. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7110-00-NIB-2413—Desk, Standing, Adjustable, Black, 36” Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement. Mandatory Source of Supply: Wiscraft, Inc., Milwaukee, WI. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Philadelphia, PA. Distribution: A-List. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8540-00-291-0389—Towel, Multifold, 3 Panel, Natural 8540-00-NIB-0101—Towel, Multifold, 3 Panel, White Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement. Mandatory Source of Supply: Outlook-Nebraska, Inc., Omaha, NE. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY. Distribution: A-List. Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 863—Lint Remover, Roller Type Mandatory Source of Supply: Alphapointe, Kansas City, MO. Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7530-01-600-2030—Notebook, Stenographer's, Biobased Bagasse Paper, 6x9″, 80 sheets, Gregg Rule, White Mandatory Source of Supply: The Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind, Little Rock, AR. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6532-00-197-8201—Hood, Operating, Surgical, White. Mandatory Source of Supply: Unknown. Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs, Strategic Acquisition Center. NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7510-01-545-3765—DAYMAX System, 2017, Calendar Pad, Type I 7510-01-545-3730—DAYMAX System, 2017, Calendar Pad, Type II Mandatory Source of Supply: Anthony Wayne Rehabilitation Ctr for Handicapped and Blind, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Amy Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11331 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action deletes products and services from the Procurement List previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Date deleted from the Procurement List: June 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Deletions

    On 4/20/2018 (83 FR 77), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products and services listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products and services to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products and services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products and services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8410-01-466-4892—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 16JS 8410-01-466-4905—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 12MS 8410-01-466-4906—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 14MS 8410-01-466-4912—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 18MR 8410-01-466-4914—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 8ML 8410-01-466-4915—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 12ML 8410-01-466-4926—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 14WS 8410-01-466-4930—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 12WR 8410-01-466-4935—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 12WL 8410-01-466-6326—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 4JR 8410-01-466-6332—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 6JS 8410-01-466-6485—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 8JL 8410-01-466-6486—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 4MS 8410-01-466-8155—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 10JS 8410-01-466-8157—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 12JS 8410-01-466-8161—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 18JS 8410-01-466-8172—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 18JL 8410-01-466-8176—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 16MS 8410-01-466-8195—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 18ML 8410-01-466-8197—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 20ML 8410-01-466-8199—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 16WS 8410-01-466-8203—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 18WL 8410-01-466-8207—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 20WL 8410-01-466-8211—Slacks, Dress, Coast Guard, Women's, Blue, 22WL Mandatory Source of Supply: VGS, Inc., Cleveland, OH. Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support. Services Service Type: Food Service and Food Service Attendant Service. Mandatory for: Fort Hood: Postwide, Fort Hood, TX. Mandatory Source of Supply: Unknown. Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION Contract Ofc. Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service. Mandatory for: Naval & Marine Corps Readiness Reserve Center, Providence, RI. Mandatory Source of Supply: The Fogarty Center, North Providence, RI. Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, Navy Crane Center. Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service. Mandatory for: Des Moines International Airport: Air National Guard Base, Des Moines, IA. Mandatory Source of Supply: Goodwill Solutions, Inc., Johnston, IA. Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK. Service Type: Repair of Strap, Air Cargo (1670-00-725-1437) Service. Mandatory for: Robins Air Force Base, Robins AFB, GA. Mandatory Source of Supply: Houston County Association for Exceptional Citizens, Inc., Warner Robins, GA. Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA8501 AFSC PZIO. Amy Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11332 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary National Security Education Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, National Security Education Board, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the National Security Education Board will take place.

    DATES:

    Open to the public Monday, June 4, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The address of the open meeting is the JW Marriott Washington, DC at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Nugent, (571) 256-0702 (Voice), (703) 692-2615 (Facsimile), [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is National Security Education Program 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 08F09-02 Alexandria, VA 22350-7000. Website: https://www.nsep.gov/content/national-security-education-board. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the website.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Designated Federal Officer, the National Security Education Board was unable to provide public notification required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a) concerning the meeting on June 4, 2018, of the National Security Education Board. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement. This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.140 and 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: Purpose of the meeting, in compliance with the David L. Boren National Security Education Act of 1991, 50 U.S.C. 1901, is to discuss National Security Education Program updates and recommendations.

    Agenda: 10:00 a.m.: National Security Education Board (NSEB) Full Meeting Begins Dr. Michael Nugent, Director, Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) and Director, National Security Education Program (NSEP) Ms. Veronica Daigle, Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness) and Chair NSEB Mr. Fred Drummond, Deputy Assistant Secretary Of Defense (Force Education & Training) and DoD Senior Language Authority 10:30 a.m.: Updates to the Board and Discussion Dr. Michael Nugent, Director DLNSEO/Director NSEP 11:00 a.m.: Class of 2018 Boren Scholars and Fellows Ms. Alison Patz, Associate Director of Outreach and Service, NSEP Ms. Chelsea Sypher, Head of NSEP Programs, Institute of International Education 11:30 a.m.: National Engagement: State Roadmap Partnerships Mr. Howard Stephenson, State Senator, State of Utah Mr. Bob Behning, State Representative, State of Indiana Dr. Dianna Murphy, Associate Director, University of Wisconsin, Madison Dr. Winnie Brownell, Dean Emerita, University of Rhode Island 12:30 p.m.: Working Lunch with Boren Scholars and Fellows 1:30 p.m.: Critical Skills Initiatives: Internships, Clearances, National Language Service Corps Dr. Michael Nugent Mr. Jim Seacord, Acting Director Human Capital Management Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) 2:30 p.m.: Board Working Group Overview and Key Takeaways Dr. Esther Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO, NAFSA: Association of International Educators 3:30 p.m.: Board Discussion 4:15 p.m.: Adjourn Meeting Accessibility: 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.

    Written Statements: Pursuant to 102-3.140 and sections 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Department of Defense National Security Education Board about its mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of the planned meeting. All written statements shall be submitted to the Designated Federal Official for the National Security Education Board, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration. Contact information for the Designated Federal Official can be obtained from the GSA's FACA Database—http://facadatabase.gov/.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11286 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; National Resource Centers Program for Foreign Language and Area Studies or Foreign Language and International Studies and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships Program AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the National Resource Centers (NRC) Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.015A, and the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.015B.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: May 25, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 25, 2018.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Timothy Duvall (Africa, International, Middle East, and Russia and Eastern Europe) U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 258-54, Washington, DC 20202-4260. Telephone: (202) 453-7521. Email: [email protected]; Carolyn Collins (Canada, Latin America, and Western Europe), Room 258-30, Telephone: (202) 453-7854. Email: [email protected]; Cheryl Gibbs (Asia), Room 257-15, Telephone: (202) 453-5690. Email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Programs National Resource Centers Program

    The NRC Program provides grants to institutions of higher education (IHEs) or consortia of IHEs to establish, strengthen, and operate comprehensive and undergraduate centers that will be national resources for: (a) Teaching of modern foreign languages; (b) instruction in fields needed to provide a full understanding of world regions where the modern foreign languages are used; (c) research and training in international studies and international and foreign language aspects of professional and other fields of study; and (d) instruction and research on issues in world affairs.

    Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships Program

    The FLAS Program allocates academic year and summer fellowships to IHEs and consortia of IHEs to assist meritorious undergraduate and graduate students receiving modern foreign language training in combination with area studies, international studies, or the international aspects of professional studies. FLAS fellowships may also assist graduate students engaged in predissertation level study, preparation for dissertation research, dissertation research abroad, or dissertation writing.

    Priorities: This notice contains two absolute priorities and two competitive preference priorities for the NRC Program. Absolute Priority 1 is from section 602(e) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1122(e)). Absolute Priority 2 is from the program regulations (34 CFR 656.23). The competitive preference priorities are from the notice of final priorities for the NRC Program published in the Federal Register on May 30, 2014 (79 FR 31028). This notice also contains two competitive preference priorities for the FLAS Program. Competitive Preference Priority 1 is from the program regulations (34 CFR 657.22) and Competitive Preference Priority 2 is from the notice of final priorities for the FLAS Program published in the Federal Register on May 30, 2014 (79 FR 31031).

    NRC Program

    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2018, these priorities are absolute priorities for the NRC Program. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet these priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Absolute Priority 1.

    Applications that provide (1) an explanation of how the activities funded by the grant will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs; and (2) a description of how the applicant will encourage government service in areas of national need, as identified by the Secretary, as well as in areas of need in the education, business, and non-profit sectors.

    Absolute Priority 2.

    Applications that provide for teacher training activities on the language, languages, area studies, or thematic focus of the Center.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2018, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional five points depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 1, and up to an additional five points depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 2. An application may receive a total of up to 10 additional points under the competitive preference priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1—Collaboration with Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) or Community Colleges (up to 5 points).

    Applications that propose significant and sustained collaborative activities with one or more Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) (as defined in this notice) and/or with one or more community colleges (as defined in this notice). These activities must be designed to incorporate international, intercultural, or global dimensions into the curriculum of the MSI(s) or community college(s), and to improve foreign language, area, and intercultural studies or international business instruction at the MSI(s) or community college(s). If an applicant institution is an MSI or a community college, that institution may propose intra-campus collaborative activities instead of, or in addition to, collaborative activities with other MSIs or community colleges.

    For the purpose of this priority:

    Community college means an institution that meets the definition in section 312(f) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an institution of higher education as defined in section 101 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 50 percent of which are not bachelor's degrees (or an equivalent) or master's, professional, or other advanced degrees.

    Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) means an institution that is eligible to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA.

    The institutions designated eligible under title III and title V may be viewed at the following link: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2—Collaborative Activities with Teacher Education Programs (up to 5 points).

    Applications that propose collaborative activities with units such as schools or colleges of education, schools of liberal arts and sciences, post-baccalaureate teacher education programs, teacher education programs, and teacher preparation programs on or off the NRC campus. These collaborative activities are designed to support the integration of an international, intercultural, or global dimension and world languages into teacher education, and/or to promote the preparation and credentialing of more foreign language teachers in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) for which there is a demand for additional teachers to meet existing and expected future kindergarten through grade 12 language program needs.

    FLAS Program

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2018, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional five points depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 1, and up to an additional five points depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 2. An application may receive a total of up to 10 additional points under the competitive preference priorities.

    Competitive Preference Priority 1—FLAS Fellowships for Students who Demonstrate Financial Need (up to 5 points).

    Applications that propose to give preference when awarding fellowships to undergraduate students, graduate students, or both, who demonstrate financial need as indicated by the students' expected family contribution, as determined under part F of title IV of the HEA. This need determination will be based on the students' financial circumstances and not on other aid.

    The applicant must describe how it will ensure that all fellows who receive such preference show potential for high academic achievement based on such indices as grade point average, class ranking, or similar measures that the institution may determine.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2—Academic Year FLAS Fellowships Awarded in the Less Commonly Taught Languages (up to 5 points).

    Applications that propose to award at least 25 percent of academic year FLAS fellowships in modern foreign languages other than French, German, and Spanish.

    Note:

    Under 34 CFR 657.22(a), the Secretary may designate specific languages as a priority for the allocation of fellowships. For FLAS Competitive Preference Priority 2, we took into consideration the findings in the recent Modern Language Association of America (MLA) survey 1 of fall 2016 undergraduate and graduate enrollments in language courses at 2,547 postsecondary institutions in the United States. Of 1,417,921 total enrollments, the three most-studied modern foreign languages included Spanish with 712,240 enrollments or 50 percent; French with 175,667 enrollments or 12 percent; and German with 80,594 enrollments or 6 percent. Together, these three languages represented 968,501 or 68 percent of enrollments. Other languages, with 34,830 enrollments, constituted 25 percent of enrollments for the same period.

    1 Modern Language Association of America, “Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016: Preliminary Report” (February 2018) (p. 13).

    The findings in the MLA survey are consistent with the definition of LCTLs used by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA).2 CARLA defines LCTLs as “all of the world's languages except English, French, German, and Spanish.”

    2 Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota, available at www.carla.umn.edu.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 76, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations in 34 CFR parts 655, 656, and 657. (e) The notices of final priorities for these programs published in the Federal Register on May 30, 2014 (79 FR 31028, 79 FR 31031).

    Areas of National Need: In accordance with section 601(c) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1121(c)), the Secretary consulted with a wide range of Federal agencies and received recommendations regarding national need for expertise in foreign language and world regions. These agencies' recommendations may be viewed on this web page: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/index.html.

    Diverse Perspectives and Areas of National Need: Section 602(e) of the HEA requires that each IHE or consortium of IHEs include the following information in NRC grant applications:

    (1) An explanation of how the activities funded by the grant will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs; and

    (2) A description of how the applicant will encourage government service in areas of national need, as identified by the Secretary, as well as in areas of need in the education, business, and non-profit sectors.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated NRC Available Funds: $22,743,107.

    Africa ($2,370,700); Canada ($425,000); East Asia ($3,467,200); International ($1,655,000); Latin America ($3,482,017); Middle East ($3,375,000); Russia and Eastern Europe ($2,605,000); South Asia ($1,906,340); Southeast Asia ($1,898,850); and Western Europe ($1,558,000).

    Estimated Range of Awards: $188,000-$270,000 per year.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $215,000 per year.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 100.

    Estimated FLAS Available Funds: $30,343,000.

    Africa ($3,357,000); Canada ($349,500); East Asia ($5,419,000); International ($2,454,000); Latin America ($4,456,500); Middle East ($3,526,500); Russia and Eastern Europe ($3,583,500); South Asia ($2,713,500); Southeast Asia ($2,449,500); and Western Europe ($2,034,000).

    Estimated Range of Awards: $154,500-$351,000 per year.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $202,500 per year.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 105.

    FLAS Fellowship Subsistence Allowances: The subsistence allowance for a graduate student academic year fellowship is $15,000; the subsistence allowance for an undergraduate student academic year fellowship is $5,000. The subsistence allowance for a summer fellowship is $2,500 for graduate and undergraduate students.

    FLAS Fellowship Institutional Payments: The institutional payment for a graduate student academic year fellowship is $18,000; the institutional payment for an undergraduate student academic year fellowship is $10,000. The institutional payment for a summer fellowship is $5,000 for graduate and undergraduate students.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 from the list of unfunded applications from these competitions.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. The estimated range and average size of awards are based on a single 12-month budget period. We may use FY 2018 funds to support multiple 12-month budget periods for one or more grantees.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs or consortia of IHEs.

    2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: These programs do not require cost sharing or matching.

    b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: The NRC Program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. Under 34 CFR 656.33(b)(3), grant funds may not be used to supplant funds normally used by applicants for purposes of this program.

    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c), a grantee under the NRC Program may award subgrants—to directly carry out project activities described in its application—to the following types of entities: IHEs, non-profit organizations, professional organizations, or businesses. The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application or that it selects through competition under procedures established by the grantee. However, a grantee under the FLAS Program may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

    4. Other: (a) Reasonable and Necessary Costs: Applicants must ensure that all costs included in the proposed budget are necessary and reasonable to meet the goals and objectives of the proposed project. Any costs determined by the Secretary to be unreasonable or unnecessary will be removed from the final approved budget.

    (b) Audits: (i) A non-Federal entity that expends $750,000 or more during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR part 200. (2 CFR 200.501(a).)

    (ii) A non-Federal entity that expends less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503 (Relation to Other Audit Requirements), but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). (2 CFR 200.501(d).)

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    2. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    3. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 656.30(b) and 657.33. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the priorities, selection criteria, and application requirements that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 50 pages for single institution applications, and to no more than 60 pages for consortia applications and (2) use the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application narrative may be single spaced and will count toward the recommended page limit.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance face sheet (SF 424); the supplemental SF 424 form; Part II, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524); the detailed line item budget; Part IV, the assurances and certifications, and the response to section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act; the project abstract, the table of contents, the list of acronyms, the response to the diverse perspectives/areas of need requirements, the NRC/FLAS project profile form, and the appendices (curriculum vitae, course list, performance measure form; letters of support). However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

    5. Award Basis: In determining whether to approve a grant award and the amount of such award, the Department will consider, among other things, the applicant's performance and use of funds under a previous or existing award under any Department program (34 CFR 75.217(d)(3)(ii) and 75.233). In assessing the applicant's performance and use of funds under a previous or existing award, the Secretary will consider, among other things, the outcomes the applicant has achieved and the results of any Departmental grant monitoring, including the applicant's progress in remedying any deficiencies identified in such monitoring.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. General: For the FY 2018 NRC and FLAS competitions, all applications will be assigned to peer review panels based on the country, thematic focus, international studies, or world region such as Africa, Asia, or the Middle East. All applicant institutions specify their respective categories in their NRC and FLAS applications. The readers who serve on the peer review panels are selected for the specialized area studies, international studies, and modern foreign language expertise needed to review, score, and rank the assigned applications in each distinct category. For the NRC and FLAS competitions, the Department will select applications for funding consideration from each distinct peer review panel based on the ranking of the applications within that panel.

    2. Selection Criteria: The maximum score for all of the NRC selection criteria, taken together with the maximum number of points awarded to applicants that address the competitive preference priorities, is 175 points. The maximum score for all of the FLAS selection criteria, taken together with the maximum number of points awarded to applicants that address the competitive preference priorities, is 145 points.

    NRC Program

    The Secretary uses the following selection criteria from 34 CFR 656.21 to evaluate an NRC application for a comprehensive Center:

    (a) Program planning and budget (up to 25 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the activities for which the applicant seeks funding are of high quality and directly related to the purpose of the National Resource Centers Program;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides a development plan or timeline demonstrating how the proposed activities will contribute to a strengthened program and whether the applicant uses its resources and personnel effectively to achieve the proposed objectives;

    (3) The extent to which the costs of the proposed activities are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the program; and

    (4) The long-term impact of the proposed activities on the institution's undergraduate, graduate, and professional training programs.

    (b) Quality of staff resources (up to 15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which teaching faculty and other staff are qualified for the current and proposed Center activities and training programs, are provided professional development opportunities (including overseas experience), and participate in teaching, supervising, and advising students;

    (2) The adequacy of Center staffing and oversight arrangements, including outreach and administration and the extent to which faculty from a variety of departments, professional schools, and the library are involved; and

    (3) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

    (c) Impact and evaluation (up to 30 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the Center's activities and training programs have a significant impact on the university, community, region, and the Nation as shown through indices such as enrollments, graduate placement data, participation rates for events, and usage of Center resources; and the extent to which the applicant supplies a clear description of how the applicant will provide equal access and treatment of eligible project participants who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides an evaluation plan that is comprehensive and objective and that will produce quantifiable, outcome-measure-oriented data; and the extent to which recent evaluations have been used to improve the applicant's program;

    (3) The degree to which activities of the Center address national needs, and generate information for and disseminate information to the public; and

    (4) The applicant's record of placing students into post-graduate employment, education, or training in areas of national need and the applicant's stated efforts to increase the number of such students that go into such placements.

    (d) Commitment to the subject area on which the Center focuses (up to 10 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the institution provides financial and other support to the operation of the Center, teaching staff for the Center's subject area, library resources, linkages with institutions abroad, outreach activities, and qualified students in fields related to the Center.

    (e) Strength of library (up to 10 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The strength of the institution's library holdings (both print and non-print, English and foreign language) in the subject area and at the educational levels (graduate, professional, undergraduate) on which the Center focuses; and the extent to which the institution provides financial support for the acquisition of library materials and for library staff in the subject area of the Center; and

    (2) The extent to which research materials at other institutions are available to students through cooperative arrangements with other libraries or on-line databases and the extent to which teachers, students, and faculty from other institutions are able to access the library's holdings.

    (f) Quality of the Center's non-language instructional program (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The quality and extent of the Center's course offerings in a variety of disciplines, including the extent to which courses in the Center's subject matter are available in the institution's professional schools;

    (2) The extent to which the Center offers depth of specialized course coverage in one or more disciplines of the Center's subject area;

    (3) The extent to which the institution employs a sufficient number of teaching faculty to enable the Center to carry out its purposes and the extent to which instructional assistants are provided with pedagogy training; and

    (4) The extent to which interdisciplinary courses are offered for undergraduate and graduate students.

    (g) Quality of the Center's language instructional program (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the Center provides instruction in the languages of the Center's subject area and the extent to which students enroll in the study of the languages of the subject area through programs or instruction offered by the Center or other providers;

    (2) The extent to which the Center provides three or more levels of language training and the extent to which courses in disciplines other than language, linguistics, and literature are offered in appropriate foreign languages;

    (3) Whether sufficient numbers of language faculty are available to teach the languages and levels of instruction described in the application and the extent to which language teaching staff (including faculty and instructional assistants) have been exposed to current language pedagogy training appropriate for performance-based teaching; and

    (4) The quality of the language program as measured by the performance-based instruction being used or developed, the adequacy of resources for language teaching and practice, and language proficiency requirements.

    (h) Quality of curriculum design (up to 15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the Center's curriculum has incorporated undergraduate instruction in the applicant's area or topic of specialization into baccalaureate degree programs (for example, major, minor, or certificate programs) and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for a Center in this subject area and will result in an undergraduate training program of high quality;

    (2) The extent to which the Center's curriculum provides training options for graduate students from a variety of disciplines and professional fields and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for a Center in this subject area and result in graduate training programs of high quality; and

    (3) The extent to which the Center provides academic and career advising services for students; the extent to which the Center has established formal arrangements for students to conduct research or study abroad and the extent to which these arrangements are used; and the extent to which the institution facilitates student access to other institutions' study abroad and summer language programs.

    (i) Outreach activities (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the Center demonstrates a significant and measurable regional and national impact of, and faculty and professional school involvement in, domestic outreach activities that involve—

    (1) Elementary and secondary schools;

    (2) Postsecondary institutions; and

    (3) Business, media, and the general public.

    (j) Degree to which priorities are served (up to 10 points). If, under the provisions of § 656.23, the Secretary establishes competitive priorities for Centers, the Secretary considers the degree to which those priorities are being served.

    The Secretary uses the following selection criteria from 34 CFR 656.22 to evaluate an NRC application for an undergraduate Center:

    (a) Program planning and budget (up to 25 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the activities for which the applicant seeks funding are of high quality and directly related to the purpose of the National Resource Centers Program;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides a development plan or timeline demonstrating how the proposed activities will contribute to a strengthened program and whether the applicant uses its resources and personnel effectively to achieve the proposed objectives;

    (3) The extent to which the costs of the proposed activities are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the program; and

    (4) The long-term impact of the proposed activities on the institution's undergraduate training program.

    (b) Quality of staff resources (up to 15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which teaching faculty and other staff are qualified for the current and proposed Center activities and training programs, are provided professional development opportunities (including overseas experience), and participate in teaching, supervising, and advising students;

    (2) The adequacy of Center staffing and oversight arrangements, including outreach and administration and the extent to which faculty from a variety of departments, professional schools, and the library are involved; and

    (3) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

    (c) Impact and evaluation (up to 30 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the Center's activities and training programs have a significant impact on the university, community, region, and the Nation as shown through indices such as enrollments, graduate placement data, participation rates for events, and usage of Center resources; the extent to which students matriculate into advanced language and area or international studies programs or related professional programs; and the extent to which the applicant supplies a clear description of how the applicant will provide equal access and treatment of eligible project participants who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides an evaluation plan that is comprehensive and objective and that will produce quantifiable, outcome-measure-oriented data; and the extent to which recent evaluations have been used to improve the applicant's program;

    (3) The degree to which activities of the Center address national needs, and generate information for and disseminate information to the public; and

    (4) The applicant's record of placing students into post-graduate employment, education, or training in areas of national need and the applicant's stated efforts to increase the number of such students that go into such placements.

    (d) Commitment to the subject area on which the Center focuses (up to 10 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the institution provides financial and other support to the operation of the Center, teaching staff for the Center's subject area, library resources, linkages with institutions abroad, outreach activities, and qualified students in fields related to the Center.

    (e) Strength of library (up to 10 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The strength of the institution's library holdings (both print and non-print, English and foreign language) in the subject area and at the educational levels (graduate, professional, undergraduate) on which the Center focuses; and the extent to which the institution provides financial support for the acquisition of library materials and for library staff in the subject area of the Center; and

    (2) The extent to which research materials at other institutions are available to students through cooperative arrangements with other libraries or on-line databases and the extent to which teachers, students, and faculty from other institutions are able to access the library's holdings.

    (f) Quality of the Center's non-language instructional program (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The quality and extent of the Center's course offerings in a variety of disciplines;

    (2) The extent to which the Center offers depth of specialized course coverage in one or more disciplines of the Center's subject area;

    (3) The extent to which the institution employs a sufficient number of teaching faculty to enable the Center to carry out its purposes and the extent to which instructional assistants are provided with pedagogy training; and

    (4) The extent to which interdisciplinary courses are offered for undergraduate students.

    (g) Quality of the Center's language instructional program (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the Center provides instruction in the languages of the Center's subject area and the extent to which students enroll in the study of the languages of the subject area through programs offered by the Center or other providers;

    (2) The extent to which the Center provides three or more levels of language training and the extent to which courses in disciplines other than language, linguistics, and literature are offered in appropriate foreign languages;

    (3) Whether sufficient numbers of language faculty are available to teach the languages and levels of instruction described in the application and the extent to which language teaching staff (including faculty and instructional assistants) have been exposed to current language pedagogy training appropriate for performance-based teaching; and

    (4) The quality of the language program as measured by the performance-based instruction being used or developed, the adequacy of resources for language teaching and practice, and language proficiency requirements.

    (h) Quality of curriculum design (up to 15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the Center's curriculum has incorporated undergraduate instruction in the applicant's area or topic of specialization into baccalaureate degree programs (for example, major, minor, or certificate programs) and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for a Center in this subject area and will result in an undergraduate training program of high quality; and

    (2) The extent to which the Center provides academic and career advising services for students; the extent to which the Center has established formal arrangements for students to conduct research or study abroad and the extent to which these arrangements are used; and the extent to which the institution facilitates student access to other institutions' study abroad and summer language programs.

    (i) Outreach activities (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the Center demonstrates a significant and measurable regional and national impact of, and faculty and professional school involvement in, domestic outreach activities that involve—

    (1) Elementary and secondary schools;

    (2) Postsecondary institutions; and

    (3) Business, media and the general public.

    (j) Degree to which priorities are served (up to 10 points). If, under the provisions of § 656.23, the Secretary establishes competitive priorities for Centers, the Secretary considers the degree to which those priorities are being served.

    FLAS Program

    The Secretary uses the following selection criteria from 34 CFR 657.21 to evaluate an institutional application for an allocation of FLAS fellowships:

    (a) Quality of staff resources (up to 15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which teaching faculty and other staff are qualified for the current and proposed activities and training programs, are provided professional development opportunities (including overseas experience), and participate in teaching, supervising, and advising students;

    (2) The adequacy of applicant staffing and oversight arrangements and the extent to which faculty from a variety of departments, professional schools, and the library are involved; and

    (3) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

    (b) Impact and evaluation (up to 25 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the applicant's activities and training programs have contributed to an improved supply of specialists on the program's subject as shown through indices such as undergraduate and graduate enrollments and placement data; and the extent to which the applicant supplies a clear description of how the applicant will provide equal access and treatment of eligible project participants who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides an evaluation plan that is comprehensive and objective and that will produce quantifiable, outcome-measure-oriented data; and the extent to which recent evaluations have been used to improve the applicant's program;

    (3) The degree to which fellowships awarded by the applicant address national needs; and

    (4) The applicant's record of placing students into post-graduate employment, education, or training in areas of national need and the applicant's stated efforts to increase the number of such students that go into such placements.

    (c) Commitment to the subject area on which the applicant or program focuses (up to 10 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the institution provides financial and other support to the operation of the applicant, teaching staff for the applicant's subject area, library resources, and linkages with institutions abroad; and

    (2) The extent to which the institution provides financial support to students in fields related to the applicant's teaching program.

    (d) Strength of library (up to 10 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The strength of the institution's library holdings (both print and non-print, English and foreign language) for students; and the extent to which the institution provides financial support for the acquisition of library materials and for library staff in the subject area of the applicant; and

    (2) The extent to which research materials at other institutions are available to students through cooperative arrangements with other libraries or on-line databases.

    (e) Quality of the applicant's non-language instructional program (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The quality and extent of the applicant's course offerings in a variety of disciplines, including the extent to which courses in the applicant's subject matter are available in the institution's professional schools;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant offers depth of specialized course coverage in one or more disciplines on the applicant's subject area;

    (3) The extent to which the institution employs a sufficient number of teaching faculty to enable the applicant to carry out its purposes and the extent to which instructional assistants are provided with pedagogy training; and

    (4) The extent to which interdisciplinary courses are offered for students.

    (f) Quality of the applicant's language instructional program (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the applicant provides instruction in the languages of the applicant's subject area and the extent to which students enroll in the study of the languages of the subject area through programs or instruction offered by the applicant or other providers;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides three or more levels of language training and the extent to which courses in disciplines other than language, linguistics, and literature are offered in appropriate foreign languages;

    (3) Whether sufficient numbers of language faculty are available to teach the languages and levels of instruction described in the application and the extent to which language teaching staff (including faculty and instructional assistants) have been exposed to current language pedagogy training appropriate for performance-based teaching; and

    (4) The quality of the language program as measured by the performance-based instruction being used or developed, the adequacy of resources for language teaching and practice, and language proficiency requirements.

    (g) Quality of curriculum design (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

    (1) The extent to which the applicant's curriculum provides training options for students from a variety of disciplines and professional fields and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for an applicant in this subject area and result in graduate training programs of high quality;

    (2) The extent to which the applicant provides academic and career advising services for students; and

    (3) The extent to which the applicant has established formal arrangements for students to conduct research or study abroad and the extent to which these arrangements are used; and the extent to which the institution facilitates student access to other institutions' study abroad and summer language programs.

    (h) Foreign language and area studies fellowships awardee selection procedures (up to 15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine whether the selection plan is of high quality, showing how awards will be advertised, how students apply, what selection criteria are used, who selects the fellows, when each step will take place, and how the process will result in awards being made to correspond to any announced priorities.

    (i) Priorities (up to 10 points). If one or more competitive priorities have been established under § 657.22, the Secretary reviews each application for information that shows the extent to which the Center or program meets these priorities.

    Note:

    Applicants should address these selection criteria only in the context of the program requirements in sections 601 and 602 of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1121-1122.

    3. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    4. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under these programs the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

    Please note that if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements, please refer to 2 CFR part 3474.20.

    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170, should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    Performance reports for the NRC Program and the FLAS Program must be submitted electronically into the Office of International and Foreign Language Education web-based reporting system, International Resource Information System (IRIS). For information about IRIS and to view the reporting instructions, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. If a grantee is provided additional funding for this purpose, the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    5. Performance Measures: (a) Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the following measures will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the NRC Program:

    1. Percentage of priority languages defined by the Secretary of Education taught at NRCs.

    2. Percentage of NRC grants teaching intermediate or advanced courses in priority languages as defined by the Secretary of Education.

    3. Percentage of NRCs that increased the number of intermediate or advanced level language courses in the priority and/or LCTLs during the course of the grant period.

    4. Percentage of NRCs that increased the number of certificate, minor, or major degree programs in the priority and/or LCTLs, area studies, or international studies during the course of the four-year grant period.

    5. Percentage of less and least commonly taught languages as defined by the Secretary of Education taught at title VI NRCs.

    6. Cost per NRC that increased the number of intermediate or advanced level language courses in the priority and/or LCTLs during the course of the grant period.

    (b) The following measures will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the FLAS Program:

    1. Percentage of FLAS-graduated fellows who secured employment that utilizes their foreign language and area studies skills within eight years after graduation, based on the FLAS tracking survey.

    2. Percentage of FLAS master's and doctoral graduates who studied priority languages as defined by the Secretary of Education.

    3. Percentage of FLAS fellows who increased their foreign language reading, writing, and/or listening/speaking scores by at least one proficiency level.

    The information provided by grantees in their performance reports submitted via IRIS will be the source of data for these measures. Reporting screens for institutions can be viewed at:

    http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/NRC.pdf http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/FLAS.pdf

    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations 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 PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov.

    Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Frank T. Brogan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11261 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9039-5] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7156 or https://www2.epa.gov/nepa/.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 05/07/2018 Through 05/11/2018 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: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20180104, Final, BLM, UT, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Enefit American Oil Utility Corridor Project, Review Period Ends: 07/09/2018, Contact: Stephanie Howard 435-781-4469 EIS No. 20180105, Final Supplement, USFWS, MT, Final Supplemental Environmental Statement for the Proposed Amendment to the Endangered Species Act 10(a)(1)(B) Permit Associated with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forested State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan, Review Period Ends: 06/25/2018, Contact: Amelia Orton-Palmer 303-236-4211 EIS No. 20180106, Final, USFS, OR, Ringo FEIS & FPA, Review Period Ends: 06/25/2018, Contact: Joseph Bowles 541-433-3209 EIS No. 20180107, Draft, NOAA, MA, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Jonah Crab Fishery Management Plan, Comment Period Ends: 08/17/2018, Contact: Allison Murphy 978-281-9122 EIS No. 20180108, Draft, OSM, NM, San Juan Mine Deep Lease Extension Mining Plan Modification Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Comment Period Ends: 07/09/2018, Contact: Gretchen Pinkham 303-293-5088 EIS No. 20180109, Final, USFS, AZ, Plan Revision for the Coconino National Forest, Review Period Ends: 08/22/2018, Contact: Vernon Keller 928-527-3415 EIS No. 20180110, Draft, USACE, CA, Lower Elkhorn Basin Levee Setback Project Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, Comment Period Ends: 07/09/2018, Contact: Tanis Toland 916-557-6717 Dated: May 22, 2018. Rob Tomiak, Director, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11253 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0314; FRL-9978-42] Letter Peer Reviews for Exposure and Use Assessment and Human Health and Environmental Hazard Summary for Five PBT Chemicals; Notice of Public Preparatory Meeting and Public Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    There will be a half-day preparatory meeting for experts selected to serve as letter peer reviewers for EPA's Exposure and Use Assessment and Human Health and Environmental Hazard Summary for Five PBT chemicals. The preparatory meeting will be held via teleconference and webcast only. Registration is required to attend.

    DATES:

    The preparatory meeting will be held on June 25, 2018, from approximately 1:00 p.m. (EDT) to 5:00 p.m.

    Comments. Requests to present oral comments during the preparatory meeting should be submitted on or before June 21, 2018. Written comments to be considered by the peer reviewers may be submitted until July 23, 2018. Though the peer reviewers may not be able to fully consider written comments submitted after July 23, 2018, EPA will consider all comments submitted on or before August 17, 2018. For additional instructions, contact the Peer Review Leader listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Webcast. This preparatory meeting will be conducted via teleconference and webcast only. Registration is required.

    Special accommodations. For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, and to request accommodation of a disability, please contact the Peer Review Leader listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT at least 10 days prior to the preparatory meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting: The preparatory meeting will be held via teleconference and webcast only. For additional information, please contact the Peer Review Leader listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Comments. Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0314, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd Peterson, Ph.D., Peer Review Leader, Office of Science Coordination and Policy (7201M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-6428; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general. This action may, however, be of interest to those involved in the manufacture, processing, distribution, disposal, and/or the assessment of risks involving chemical substances and mixtures. Since other entities may also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit CBI information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. If your comments contain any information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected, please contact the Peer Review Leader listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to obtain special instructions before submitting your comments.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    C. How may I participate in this meeting?

    You may participate in this preparatory meeting by following the instructions in this unit. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0314 in the subject line on the first page of your request.

    1. Written comments. The Agency encourages written comments be submitted, using the instructions in ADDRESSES and Unit I.B., on or before July 23, 2018, to provide the letter peer reviewers the time necessary to consider and review the written comments. Though the peer reviewers may not be able to fully consider written comments submitted after July 23, 2018, EPA will consider all comments submitted on or before August 17, 2018.

    2. Oral comments. The Agency encourages each individual or group wishing to present brief oral comments to the letter peer reviewers during the preparatory meeting to submit their request to the peer review leader listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT on or before June 21, 2018, in order to be included on the preparatory meeting agenda. The request should identify the name of the individual making the presentation, the organization (if any) the individual will represent, and any requirements for audiovisual equipment. Oral comments are limited to approximately 5 minutes due to the time constraints of the preparatory meeting.

    II. Background A. Letter Peer Review

    Section 6(h) of the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) directs EPA to issue regulations under 6(a) for certain Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemical substances that were identified in EPA's TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: 2014 update. The chemicals that were ranked high or moderate for either persistence and bioaccumulation, are present on the TSCA 2014 workplan chemical list that are not metals, that do not have problem formulation completed, do not have a review under section 5, and do not have a consent agreement under section 4 are the following five chemicals: Decabromodiphenyl ethers (DECA); Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD); Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP); Phenol, isopropylated, phosphate (3:1) (PIP3/ITPP); and 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl) phenol (2, 4, 6 TRIS).

    No risk evaluation is required for these PBT chemicals. EPA has drafted an Exposure and Use Assessment and a Human Health and Environmental Hazard Summary, in response to the TSCA section 6(h) requirements to summarize conclusions of toxicity and whether there is likely exposure to these PBT chemicals. These documents contain the following components:

    • Chemistry, physical-chemical properties and expected transport and partitioning.

    • Characterization of manufacture (including import), processing, uses and potential sources of exposure.

    • Summary of available monitoring data, concentrations and doses.

    • Characterization of trends in releases/exposures over time.

    • Summary of environmental hazard (written and tabular summaries).

    • Summary of human health hazard (written and tabular summaries).

    • Strategy for identifying environmental hazard summary information.

    • Strategy for identifying human health summary information.

    • Supplemental Files that identify how environmental information was searched, screened, and evaluated.

    B. Public Preparatory Meeting

    The Agency has organized letter peer reviews for the Exposure and Use Assessment and the Human Health and Environmental Hazard Summary. The June 25, 2018 preparatory meeting will be held by teleconference and webcast only. During the preparatory meeting, the individual letter peer reviewers will have the opportunity to comment on and ask questions regarding the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions. Subsequent to this preparatory meeting, final charge questions will be provided for use as the letter peer reviewers complete their individual reviews.

    C. Letter Peer Review Documents

    EPA's background papers, related supporting materials, and charge/questions for these letter peer reviews will be available in the public docket (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0314) on June 18, 2018. In addition, the Agency may provide additional background documents and public comments as the materials become available. You may obtain electronic copies of these documents, and certain other related documents that might be available in the public docket at http://www.regulations.gov and on the TSCA Peer Review website at https://www.epa.gov/tsca-peer-review.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2625 et. seq.; 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2 et. seq.

    Dated: May 18, 2018. Stanley Barone, Jr., Acting Director, Office of Science Coordination and Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11311 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0165; -0183; and -0196) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, 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 the renewal of existing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). Currently, the FDIC is soliciting comment on renewal of the information collections described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza (202-898-3767), Counsel, MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the appropriate OMB control number referenced in the Supplementary Information section below. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manny Cabeza, Counsel, 202-898-3767, [email protected], MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently approved collections of information:

    1. Title: Interagency Supervisory Guidance for the Supervisory Review Process of Capital Adequacy (Pillar 2) Related to the Implementation of the Basel II Advanced Capital Framework.

    OMB Number: 3064-0165.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and certain subsidiaries of these entities.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of burden Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated time per response
  • (hours)
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Total annual estimated
  • burden hours
  • Pillar 2 Guidance Recordkeeping 2 105 Quarterly 840 Total Estimated Annual Burden 840

    General Description of Collection: There has been no change in the method or substance of this information collection. The number of institutions subject to the record keeping requirements has decreased from eight (8) to two (2). In 2008 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the FDIC issued a supervisory guidance document related to the supervisory review process of capital adequacy (Pillar 2) in connection with the implementation of the Basel II Advanced Capital Framework.1 Sections 37, 41, 43, and 46 of the guidance include possible information collections. Section 37 provides that banks should state clearly the definition of capital used in any aspect of its internal capital adequacy assessment process (ICAAP) and document any changes in the internal definition of capital. Section 41 provides that banks should maintain thorough documentation of its ICAAP. Section 43 specifies that the board of directors should approve the bank's ICAAP, review it on a regular basis and approve any changes. Section 46 recommends that boards of directors periodically review the assessment of overall capital adequacy and analyze how measures of internal capital adequacy compare with other capital measures such as regulatory or accounting.

    1 73 FR 44620 (July 31, 2008).

    2. Title: Credit Risk Retention.

    OMB Number: 3064-0183.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state non-member banks, insured state branches of foreign banks, state savings associations and certain subsidiaries of these entities.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Estimated number of
  • offerings
  • Estimated
  • annual
  • frequency
  • Estimated
  • average hours per response
  • Estimated
  • annual burden hours
  • Disclosure Burden Subpart B: § 373.4 Standard Risk Retention—Horizontal Interest 1 1 5.5 5.5 § 373.4 Standard Risk Retention—Vertical Interest 40 1 2.0 80 § 373.4 Standard Risk Retention—Combined Interest 4 1 7.5 30 § 373.5 Revolving Master Trusts 15 1 7.0 105 § 373.6 Eligible ABCP Conduits 15 1 3.0 45 § 373.7 Commercial MBS 15 1 20.75 311.25 § 373.8 FNMA and FHLMC 15 1 1.5 22.5 § 373.9 Open Market CLOs 15 1 20.25 303.75 § 373.10 Qualified Tender Option Bonds 15 1 6.0 90 Subpart B Subtotal Subpart C: § 373.11 Allocation of Risk Retention to an Originator 3 1 2.5 7.5 Subpart D: § 373.13 and .19(g) Exemption for Qualified Residential Mortgages 13 1 1.25 16.25 § 373.15 Exemption for Qualifying Commercial Loans, Commercial Real Estate and Automobile Loans 16 1 20.0 320 § 373.16 Underwriting Standards for Qualifying Commercial Loans 6 1 1.25 7.5 § 373.17 Underwriting Standards for Qualifying CRE Loans 6 1 1.25 7.5 § 373.18 Underwriting Standards for Qualifying Automobile Loans 6 1 1.25 7.5 Total Estimated Disclosure Burden 1,359.25 Recordkeeping Burden Subpart B: § 373.4 Standard Risk Retention—Horizontal Interest 1 1 0.5 0.5 § 373.4 Standard Risk Retention—Vertical Interest 40 1 0.5 20 § 373.4 Standard Risk Retention—Combined Interest 4 1 0.5 2 § 373.5 Revolving Master Trusts 15 1 0.5 7.5 § 373.6 Eligible ABCP Conduits 15 1 20.0 300 § 373.7 Commercial MBS 15 1 30.0 450 Subpart C: § 373.11 Allocation of Risk Retention to an Originator 3 1 20.0 60 Subpart D: § 373.13 and .19(g) Exemption for Qualified Residential Mortgages 13 1 40.0 520 § 373.15 Exemption for Qualifying Commercial Loans, Commercial Real Estate and Automobile Loans 16 1 0.5 8 § 373.16 Underwriting Standards for Qualifying Commercial Loans 6 1 40.0 240 § 373.17 Underwriting Standards for Qualifying CRE Loans 6 1 40.0 240 § 373.18 Underwriting Standards for Qualifying Automobile Loans 6 1 400 240 Total Estimated Recordkeeping Burden 2,088 Total Estimated Annual Burden 3,447.25

    There has been no change in the method or substance of this information collection. The above burden estimate is derived from FDIC's estimate that there are currently approximately 1,400 annual offerings subject to the Credit Risk Retention rule (12 CFR part 373). The methodology used to estimate burden is fully detailed in the FDIC's supporting statement for this information collection (3064-0183) available at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewDocument?ref_nbr=201501-3064-002.

    General Description of Collection: This information collection request relates to the disclosure and recordkeeping requirements of 12 CFR part 373 (the Credit Risk Retention Rule) which implements section 15G of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,2 added by section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 3 (Section 941). The Credit Risk Retention Rule was jointly issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), the Federal Reserve Board (“Board”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) and, with respect to the portions of the Rule addressing the securitization of residential mortgages, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78o-11.

    3 Public Law 111-2-3, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

    Section 941 requires the Board, the FDIC, the OCC (collectively, the “Federal banking agencies”), the Commission and, in the case of the securitization of any “residential mortgage asset,” together with HUD and FHFA, to jointly prescribe regulations that (i) require a securitizer to retain not less than five percent of the credit risk of any asset that the securitizer, through the issuance of an asset-backed security (“ABS”), transfers, sells or conveys to a third party, and (ii) prohibit a securitizer from directly or indirectly hedging or otherwise transferring the credit risk that the securitizer is required to retain under section 941 and the agencies' implementing rules.

    The Credit Risk Retention Rule provides a menu of credit risk retention options from which securitizers can choose and sets out the standards, including disclosure and recordkeeping requirements, for each option; identifies the eligibility criteria, including certification and disclosure requirements, that must be met for asset-backed securities (ABS) offerings to qualify for certain exemptions; specifies the underwriting standards for commercial real estate (CRE) loans, commercial loans and automobile loans, as well as disclosure, certification and recordkeeping requirements, that must be met for ABS issuances collateralized by such loans to qualify for reduced credit risk retention; and sets forth the circumstances under which retention obligations may be allocated by sponsors to originators, including disclosure and monitoring requirements. The recordkeeping requirements relate primarily to (i) the adoption and maintenance of various policies and procedures to ensure and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements and (ii) certifications, including as to the effectiveness of internal supervisory controls. The required disclosures for each risk retention option are intended to provide investors with material information concerning the sponsor's retained interest in a securitization transaction (e.g., the amount, form and nature of the retained interest, material assumptions and methodology, representations and warranties). The agencies believe that the disclosure and recordkeeping requirements will enhance market discipline, help ensure the quality of the assets underlying a securitization, and assist investors in evaluating transactions.

    3. Title: Disclosure Requirements Associated with the Supplementary Leverage Ratio.

    OMB Number: 3064-0196.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and state savings associations that are subject to the FDIC's advanced approaches risk-based capital rules.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of
  • burden
  • Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated time per response
  • (hours)
  • Frequency of response Total annual estimated
  • burden hours
  • 12 CFR 324.172 and 173 Disclosure 2 5 Quarterly 40 Total Estimated Annual Burden 40

    There has been no change in the method or substance of this information collection. The number of institutions subject to the disclosure requirements has decreased from eight (8) to two (2).

    General Description of Collection: The supplementary leverage ratio regulations strengthen the definition of total leverage exposure and improve the measure of a banking organization's on- and off-balance sheet exposures. The rules are generally consistent with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's 2014 revisions and promote consistency in the calculation of this ratio across jurisdictions. All banking organizations that are subject to the advanced approaches risk-based capital rules 4 are required to disclose their supplementary leverage ratios.5 Advanced approaches banking organizations must report their supplementary leverage ratios on the applicable regulatory reports. The calculation and disclosure requirements for the supplementary leverage ratio in the federal banking agencies' regulatory capital rules are generally consistent with international standards published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. These disclosures enhance the transparency and consistency of reporting requirements for the supplementary leverage ratio by all internationally active organizations.

    4 12 CFR 324.100(b)(1).

    5 12 CFR 324.10(c), 324.172(d), and 324.173.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burdens of the information collections, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, on May 22, 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11292 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's website (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 012463-002.

    Title: Maersk/MSC/HMM Strategic Cooperation Agreement.

    Parties: Maersk Line A/S, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes the trade between North Europe and the U.S. Atlantic Coast from the scope of the Agreement and removes all provisions related to that trade from the Agreement. The amendment also increases the amount of space to be exchanged by the parties in the FE-USWC trade and the amount of space to be chartered in the FE-USEC trade. Finally, it reflects an increase in the number and size of vessels to be operated by HMM.

    Agreement No.: 012476-001.

    Title: Maersk/HLAG/CMA CGM ECUS-WCSA Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Maersk Line A/S, Hapag-Lloyd AG, and CMA CGM S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Hamburg Sudamerkanische Dampschifffahrts-Gesellschaft KG as a party and replaces it with Maersk Line A/S, extends the initial term of the Agreement, changes the name of the Agreement, and restates the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 201251.

    Title: Hapag-Lloyd/Maersk Line Slot Exchange Agreement.

    Parties: Hapag- Lloyd AG and Maersk Line A/S.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the parties to exchange space in the trade between the U.S. Gulf Coast and ports in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay. The parties have requested Expedited Review.

    Agreement No.: 201252.

    Title: Marine Terminal Services Agreement between Port of Houston Authority and Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A.

    Parties: Port of Houston Authority and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

    Filing Party: Chasless Yancy; Port of Houston Authority; 111 East Loop North; Houston, TX 77029.

    Synopsis: The Agreement sets forth certain discounted rates and charges applicable to MSC's container vessels calling at the Port of Houston Authority's Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals. The Agreement will commence upon filing with the Federal Maritime Commission, and the term of the Agreement is for 10 years following such filing, with an option to jointly agree upon a five-year extension.

    Agreement No.: 201253.

    Title: Marine Terminal Services Agreement between Port of Houston Authority and Hapag-Lloyd AG.

    Parties: Port of Houston Authority and Hapag-Lloyd AG.

    Filing Party: Chasless Yancy; Port of Houston Authority; 111 East Loop North; Houston, TX 77029.

    Synopsis: The Agreement sets forth certain discounted rates and charges applicable to Hapag-Lloyd's container vessels calling at the Port of Houston Authority's Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals. Hapag Lloyd (America) LLC is the authorized agent for Hapag-Lloyd under the Agreement. The effective date as between the parties is January 18, 2018, with a term of 10 years from the effective date and an option to jointly agree upon a five-year extension.

    Agreement No.: 201254.

    Title: Sealand/APL-CMA CGM West Coast of Central America Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Maersk Line A/S DBA Sealand; APL Co. Pte. Ltd.; American President Lines, ltd.; and CMA CGM S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes Sealand to charter space to APL and CMA CGM on its WAMS and WCCA services operating between ports in California on the one hand and ports in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua on the other hand.

    Agreement No.: 201255.

    Title: Marine Terminal Services Agreement between the Port of Houston Authority and Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement D/B/A Evergreen Line.

    Parties: Port of Houston Authority and Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement.

    Filing Party: Chasless Yancy; Port of Houston Authority; 111 East Loop North; Houston, TX 77029.

    Synopsis: The Agreement sets forth certain discounted rates and charges applicable to Evergreen's container vessels calling at the Port of Houston Authority's Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals. The Agreement will commence upon filing with the Federal Maritime Commission, and the term of the Agreement is for 10 years following such filing, with an option for the Parties to jointly agree upon a five-year extension.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Rachel E. Dickon, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11191 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0248; Docket No. 2018-0001; Sequence No. 5] Information Collection; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses; Placement of Orders Clause; and Ordering Information Clause AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding solicitation provisions and contract clauses, placement of orders clause, and ordering information clause.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before: July 24, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leah Price, Procurement Analyst, General Services Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, by phone at 202-714-9482 or by email at [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 3090-0248, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, Placement of Orders Clause, and, Ordering Information Clause, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for Information Collection 3090-0248. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0248, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, Placement of Orders Clause, and Ordering Information Clause”. Follow the instructions on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0248, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, Placement of Orders Clause, and Ordering Information Clause” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 3090-0248, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses; Placement of Orders Clause; and Ordering Information Clause.

    Instructions: Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    GSA has various mission responsibilities related to the acquisition and provision of the Federal Acquisition Service's (FAS's) Stock, Special Order, and Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Programs. These mission responsibilities generate requirements that are realized through the solicitation and award of various types of FAS contracts. Individual solicitations and resulting contracts may impose unique information collection and reporting requirements on contractors, not required by regulation, but necessary to evaluate particular program accomplishments and measure success in meeting program objectives.

    As such, the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) 516.506, Solicitation provision and clauses, specifically directs contracting officers to insert 552.216-72, Placement of Orders, and 552.216-73, Ordering Information, when the contract authorizes FAS and other activities to issue delivery or task orders. These clauses include information reporting requirements for Offerors to receive electronic orders through computer-to-computer Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 18,590.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 18,590.

    Hours per Response: .25.

    Total Burden Hours: 4,648.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate and based on valid assumptions and methodology; and ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755.

    Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0248, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, Placement of Orders Clause, and Ordering Information Clause, in all correspondence.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11317 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-WWICC-2018-02; Docket No. 2018-0003; Sequence No. 2] World War One Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY:

    World War One Centennial Commission, GSA.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice of this meeting is being provided according to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This notice provides the schedule and agenda for the June meeting of the World War One Centennial Commission (the Commission). The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    Meeting date: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m., Central Daylight Time (CDT), and ending no later than 12:00 p.m., CDT.

    Written Comments may be submitted to the Commission and will be made part of the permanent record of the Commission. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), June 15, 2018, and may be provided by email to [email protected] Requests to comment, together with presentations for the meeting, must be received by 5:00 p.m., EDT, on Friday, June 15, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, 100 W 26th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. This location is handicapped accessible. The meeting will be open to the public. Persons attending are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other fragrances (see http://www.access-board.gov/about/policies/fragrance.htm for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel S. Dayton, Designated Federal Officer, World War 1 Centennial Commission, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 123, Washington, DC 20004-2608, telephone 202-380-0725 (note: This is not a toll-free number).

    Contact Daniel S. Dayton at [email protected] to register to comment during the meeting's 30-minute public comment period. Registered speakers/organizations will be allowed five (5) minutes, and will need to provide written copies of their presentations. Please contact Mr. Dayton at the email address above to obtain meeting materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The World War One Centennial Commission was established by Public Law 112-272 (as amended), as a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I, to provide for the designation of memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I, and for other purposes. Under this authority, the Committee will plan, develop, and execute programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I, encourage private organizations and State and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I, facilitate and coordinate activities throughout the United States relating to the centennial of World War I, serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the centennial of World War I, and develop recommendations for Congress and the President for commemorating the centennial of World War I.

    Agenda: Wednesday June 20, 2018 Old Business • Approval of minutes of previous meetings • Public Comment Period New Business Executive Director Report—Executive Director Dayton Education Report—Commissioner O'Connell International Report—Commissioner Seefried World War 1 Memorial—Vice Chair Fountain Chairman's Report—Vice Chair Fountain Other business as may appropriately come before the Commission Set next meeting—October 2, 2018—Chicago, IL Adjourn Dated: May 21, 2018. Daniel S. Dayton, Designated Federal Official, World War I Centennial Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11230 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-95-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0290; Docket No. 2018-0001; Sequence No. 16] Information Collection; System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients AGENCY:

    Office of the Integrated Award Environment, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding revisions to an existing OMB information collection.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve revisions to the currently approved information collection requirement regarding the pre-award registration requirements for federal Prime Grant Recipients. These revisions will enable non-Federal entities to complete governmentwide certifications and representations for Federal financial assistance at the time of registration in the System for Award Management (SAM).

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments on “Information Collection 3090-0290, System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients” by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number 3090-0290. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0290, System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0290, System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 3090-0290.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0290, System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check regulations.gov approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Nancy Goode, Program Manager, IAE Outreach and Stakeholder Management Division, at telephone number 703-605-2175; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    This information collection requires information necessary for prime applicants and recipients, excepting individuals, of Federal grants to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) and maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by an agency pursuant to 2 CFR Subtitle A, Chapter I, and part 25 (75 FR 55673 as amended at 79 FR 75879). 2 CFR Subtitle A, Chapter I, and part 25 designates SAM as the governmentwide repository for standard information about applicants and recipients. 2 CFR Subtitle A, Chapter II, and part 200 (80 FR 43308) also designates SAM as the system recipients are required to report certain civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings if they meet certain conditions. Further, Federal awarding agencies are required to check SAM for pre-award purposes in accordance with 2 CFR part 180. This information collection requires that all prime grant awardees, subject to the requirements in 2 CFR Subtitle A, Chapter I, and part 25 register and maintain their registration in SAM.

    Pursuant to 2 CFR Subtitle A, Chapter II, part 200, Subpart C, Section 200.208 Certifications and representations, Federal agencies are authorized to require non-Federal entities to submit certifications and representations required by Federal statutes, or regulations on an annual basis. Currently, most Federal agencies require non-Federal entities to submit certifications with each Federal assistance application by use of the Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B) and on an annual basis thereafter. To streamline this data collection and to reduce burden, OMB, in conjunction with the Federal assistance community, developed standard governmentwide certifications and representations to be certified by the non-Federal entity when registering in SAM. In Fiscal Year 2019, OMB will reemphasize that SAM is the repository for standard information about applicants and recipients and that the standard governmentwide certifications and representations are to be certified within SAM at the time of registration and/or registration renewal should meet the need of governmentwide certifications and representations. This will reduce the unnecessary, duplicative practice of agencies requesting certifications and representations with the submission of each application and lead to phasing out the use of the SF-424B, thereby decreasing the burden level of Federal grant recipients and Federal agencies.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 143,334.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total Annual Responses: 143,334.

    Hours per Response: 2.5.

    Total Burden Hours: 358,335.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients, whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents in hard-copy or electronic format. Hard copy: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0290, System for Award Management Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Recipients, in all correspondence.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. David A. Shive, Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11319 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-WY-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0317: Docket No. 2018-0001; Sequence No. 15] Information Collection; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an existing OMB clearance regarding a notarized document submittal for System for Award Management (SAM) Registration.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for the OMB Control number 3090-0317. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration”. Follow the instructions on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405-0001. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two-to-three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr. Procurement Analyst, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, telephone number 202-501-1448, or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 4.11 prescribes policies and procedures for requiring contractor registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) database to: (1) Increase visibility of vendor sources (including their geographical locations) for specific supplies and services; and (2) establish a common source of vendor data for the Government.

    In the past, the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an investigation into fraudulent activities discovered within SAM. Certain bad actors have, through electronic means, used public information to impersonate legitimate entities and established new entity registrations for those entities in SAM. By establishing fraudulent entity registrations, bad actors submitted bids in certain U.S. Government procurement systems or shipped deficient or counterfeit goods to the U.S. Government. GSA established a new Information Collection Request (ICR) to collect additional information to support increased validation of entities registered and registering in the System for Award Management (SAM). This additional information is contained in a notarized letter in which an officer or other signatory authority of the entity formally appoints the Entity Administrator for the entity registering or recertifying in SAM. The original, signed letter is mailed to the Federal Service Desk for SAM prior to the registration's activation or re-registration.

    The new ICR expires September 30, 2018, without authority for an extension. GSA is actively pursuing technical alternatives to the collection of this information for all non-federal entities. GSA seeks to refine the requirement and adopt a risk-based approach. This notice for an extension of the ICR lays the groundwork for the authority to continue collection of the information provided GSA is still pursuing the technical alternative beyond the ICR expiration date. In the interim, the collection of the notarized letter information is essential to GSA's acquisition mission to meet the needs of all federal agencies, as well as the needs of the grant community. A key element of GSA's mission is to provide efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the Federal Government. SAM is essential to the accomplishment of that mission. In addition to federal contracts, federal assistance programs also rely upon the integrity and security of the information in SAM. Without assurances that the information in SAM is protected and, is at minimal risk of compromise, GSA would risk losing the confidence of the federal acquisition and assistance communities which is serves. As a result, some entities may prefer not to do business with the Federal Government.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden.

    Respondents: 686,400.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total Annual Responses: 686,400.

    Hours per Response: 2.25.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,544,400.

    The information collection allows GSA to request the notarized letter, and apply this approach to new registrants (an average of 7,200 per month) and to existing SAM registrants (an average of 50,000 re-register per month).

    Entities registered and registering in SAM are provided the template for the requirements of the notarized letter. It is estimated that the Entity Administrator will take on average 0.5 hour to create the letter and 0.25 hour to mail the hard copy letter. GSA proposes that an Entity Administrator equivalent to a GS-5, Step 5 Administrative Support person within the Government would perform these tasks. The estimated hourly rate of $24.70 (Base + Locality + Fringe) was used for the calculation.

    Based on historical data of the ratio of small entities to other than small entities registering in SAM, GSA approximates 32,200 of the 57,200 new and existing entities (re-registrants) will have in-house resources to notarize documents. GSA proposes that the entities with in-house notaries will typically be large businesses where the projected salary of the executive or officer responsible for signing the notarized letter is on average approximately $150 per hour. The projected time for signature and notarizing the letter internally is 0.5 hour.

    The other remaining 25,000 new and existing entities (re-registrants) per month are estimated to be small entities where the projected salary of the executive or officer responsible signing the notarized letter is on average approximately $100 per hour. These entities will more than likely have to obtain notary services from an outside source. The projected time for signature and notarizing the letter externally is 1 hour. The estimate includes a nominal fee ($5.00) usually charged by third- party notaries.

    C. Public Comments.

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary, whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration, in all correspondence.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. David A. Shive, Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11321 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS-3354-N] Medicare Program; Announcement of the Reapproval of the Joint Commission as an Accreditation Organization Under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the application of the Joint Commission for reapproval as an accreditation organization for clinical laboratories under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) program for all specialty and subspecialty areas under CLIA. We have determined that the Joint Commission meets or exceeds the applicable CLIA requirements. We are announcing the reapproval and grant the Joint Commission deeming authority for a period of 6 years.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This notice is effective from May 25, 2018 to May 28, 2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathleen Todd, (410) 786-3385.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Legislative Authority

    On October 31, 1988, the Congress enacted the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-578) (CLIA). CLIA amended section 353 of the Public Health Service Act. We issued a final rule implementing the accreditation provisions of CLIA on July 31, 1992 (57 FR 33992). Under those provisions, we may grant deeming authority to an accreditation organization if its requirements for laboratories accredited under its program are equal to or more stringent than the applicable CLIA program requirements in 42 CFR part 493 (Laboratory Requirements). Subpart E of part 493 (Accreditation by a Private, Nonprofit Accreditation Organization or Exemption Under an Approved State Laboratory Program) specifies the requirements an accreditation organization must meet to be approved by CMS as an accreditation organization under CLIA.

    II. Notice of Reapproval of the Joint Commission as an Accreditation Organization

    In this notice, we reapprove the Joint Commission as an organization that may accredit laboratories for purposes of establishing its compliance with CLIA requirements for all specialty and subspecialty areas under CLIA. We have examined the initial Joint Commission application and all subsequent submissions to determine its accreditation program's equivalency with the requirements for reapproval of an accreditation organization under subpart E of part 493. We have determined that the Joint Commission meets or exceeds the applicable CLIA requirements. We have also determined that the Joint Commission will ensure that its accredited laboratories will meet or exceed the applicable requirements in subparts H, I, J, K, M, Q, and the applicable sections of R. Therefore, we grant the Joint Commission reapproval as an accreditation organization under subpart E of part 493, for the period stated in the DATES section of this notice for all specialty and subspecialty areas under CLIA. As a result of this determination, any laboratory that is accredited by the Joint Commission during the time period stated in the DATES section of this notice will be deemed to meet the CLIA requirements for the listed subspecialties and specialties, and therefore, will generally not be subject to routine inspections by a state survey agency to determine its compliance with CLIA requirements. The accredited laboratory, however, is subject to validation and complaint investigation surveys performed by CMS, or its agent(s).

    III. Evaluation of the Joint Commission Request for Reapproval as an Accreditation Organization Under CLIA

    The following describes the process we used to determine that the Joint Commission accreditation program meets the necessary requirements to be approved by CMS and that, as such, we may approve Joint Commission as an accreditation program with deeming authority under the CLIA program. Joint Commission formally applied to CMS for reapproval as an accreditation organization under CLIA for all specialties and subspecialties under CLIA on 14 September 2017. In reviewing these materials, we reached the following determinations for each applicable part of the CLIA regulations:

    A. Subpart E—Accreditation by a Private, Nonprofit Accreditation Organization or Exemption Under an Approved State Laboratory Program

    The Joint Commission submitted a description of its mechanisms for monitoring compliance with all requirements equivalent to condition-level requirements, a list of all its client laboratories and the expiration date of their accreditations, and a detailed comparison of the Joint Commission's individual accreditation requirements with the comparable condition-level requirements. We determined that the Joint Commission's policies and procedures for oversight of laboratory testing for all CLIA specialties and subspecialties with respect to inspection, monitoring proficiency testing (PT) performance, investigating complaints, and making PT information available, are equivalent to those of CMS. The Joint Commission also submitted descriptions of its infrastructure and procedures for monitoring and inspecting laboratories in the areas of data management, the inspection process, procedures for removal or withdrawal of accreditation, notification requirements, and accreditation organization resources. We have determined that the requirements of the Joint Commission accreditation program are equal to or more stringent than the requirements of the CLIA regulations.

    Our evaluation determined that Joint Commission requirements regarding waived testing are more stringent than the CLIA requirements set out at Part 493, subpart B. The Joint Commission waived testing requirements include the following:

    • Defining the extent that waived test results are used in patient care.

    • Identifying the personnel responsible for performing and supervising waived testing.

    • Assuring that personnel performing waived testing have adequate, specific training and orientation to perform the testing and can demonstrate satisfactory levels of performance.

    • Making certain that policies and procedures governing waived testing-related procedures are current and readily available.

    • Conducting defined quality control checks.

    • Maintaining quality control and test records.

    Our CLIA regulations at § 493.15(e) require that a laboratory follow the manufacturer's instructions and obtain a certificate of waiver.

    B. Subpart H—Participation in Proficiency Testing for Laboratories Performing Nonwaived Testing

    The Joint Commission's requirements are equivalent to the CLIA requirements at §§ 493.801 through 493.865.

    C. Subpart J—Facility Administration for Nonwaived Testing

    The Joint Commission's requirements are equal to the CLIA requirements at §§ 493.1100 through 493.1105.

    D. Subpart K—Quality System for Nonwaived Testing

    The Joint Commission requirements are as or more stringent than the CLIA requirements at §§ 493.1200 through 493.1299. For instance, the Joint Commission has control procedure requirements for all waived complexity testing performed.

    E. Subpart M—Personnel for Nonwaived Testing

    We have determined that Joint Commission requirements are equivalent to the CLIA requirements at §§ 493.1403 through 493.1495 for laboratories that perform moderate and high complexity testing.

    F. Subpart Q—Inspections

    We have determined that the Joint Commission requirements are equivalent to the CLIA requirements at §§ 493.1771 through 493.1780.

    G. Subpart R—Enforcement Procedures

    The Joint Commission meets the requirements of subpart R to the extent that it applies to accreditation organizations. The Joint Commission policy sets forth the actions the organization takes when laboratories it accredits do not comply with its requirements and standards for accreditation. When appropriate, the Joint Commission will deny, suspend, or revoke accreditation in a laboratory accredited by the Joint Commission and report that action to us within 30 days. The Joint Commission also provides an appeals process for laboratories that have had accreditation denied, suspended, or revoked.

    We have determined that the Joint Commission laboratory enforcement and appeal policies are as or more stringent than the requirements of part 493 subpart R as they apply to accreditation organizations.

    IV. Federal Validation Inspections and Continuing Oversight

    The Federal validation inspections of laboratories accredited by the Joint Commission may be conducted on a representative sample basis or in response to substantial allegations of noncompliance (that is, complaint inspections). The outcome of those validation inspections, performed by CMS or our agents, or the state survey agencies, will be our principal means for verifying that the laboratories accredited by the Joint Commission remain in compliance with CLIA requirements. This federal monitoring is an ongoing process.

    V. Removal of Approval as an Accrediting Organization

    Our regulations provide that we may rescind the approval of an accreditation organization, such as that of the Joint Commission, for cause, before the end of the effective date of the approval period. If we determine that the Joint Commission has failed to adopt, maintain and enforce requirements that are equal to, or more stringent than, the CLIA requirements, or that systemic problems exist in its monitoring, inspection or enforcement processes, we may impose a probationary period, not to exceed 1 year, in which the Joint Commission would be allowed to address any identified issues. Should the Joint Commission be unable to address the identified issues within that timeframe, we may, in accordance with the applicable regulations, revoke Joint Commission's deeming authority under CLIA.

    Should circumstances result in our withdrawal of the Joint Commission's approval, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register explaining the basis for removing its approval.

    VI. Collection of Information Requirements

    This notice does not impose any information collection and record keeping requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Consequently, it does not need to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the authority of the PRA. The requirements associated with the accreditation process for clinical laboratories under the CLIA program, codified in 42 CFR part 493 subpart E, are currently approved by OMB under OMB reapproval number 0938-0686.

    VII. Executive Order 12866 Statement

    In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this notice was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Dated: May 16, 2018. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11330 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0438] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (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 in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the information collection provisions of FDA's procedures for early food safety evaluation of new non-pesticidal proteins produced by new plant varieties intended for food use, including bioengineered food plants.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before July 24, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of July 24, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0438 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), 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(c) 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, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use OMB Control Number 0910-0583—Extension

    Since May 29, 1992, when FDA issued a policy statement on foods derived from new plant varieties, including those varieties that are developed through biotechnology, we have encouraged developers of new plant varieties to consult with us early in the development process to discuss possible scientific and regulatory issues that might arise (57 FR 22984). The guidance entitled “Recommendations for the Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use” continues to foster early communication by encouraging developers to submit to us their evaluation of the food safety of their new protein. Such communication helps to ensure that any potential food safety issues regarding a new protein in a new plant variety are resolved early in development, prior to any possible inadvertent introduction into the food supply of material from that plant variety.

    We believe that any food safety concern related to such material entering the food supply would be limited to the potential that a new protein in food from the plant variety could cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals or could be a toxin in people or animals. The guidance describes the procedures for early food safety evaluation of new proteins produced by new plant varieties, including bioengineered food plants, and the procedures for communicating with us about the safety evaluation.

    Interested persons may use Form FDA 3666 to transmit their submissions to the Office of Food Additive Safety in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Form FDA 3666 is entitled “Early Food Safety Evaluation of a New Non-Pesticidal Protein Produced by a New Plant Variety (New Protein Consultation)” (https://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Forms/UCM350010.pdf) and may be used in lieu of a cover letter for a New Protein Consultation (NPC). Form FDA 3666 prompts a submitter to include certain elements of a NPC in a standard format and helps the respondent organize their submission to focus on the information needed for our safety review. The form, and elements that would be prepared as attachments to the form, may be submitted in electronic format via the Electronic Submission Gateway (https://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ElectronicSubmissionsGateway/default.htm), paper format, or as electronic files on physical media with a paper signature page. FDA uses this information to evaluate the food safety of a specific new protein produced by a new plant variety.

    Description of Respondents: The respondents to this collection of information are developers of new plant varieties intended for food use.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Category FDA Form No. Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    First four data components 3666 6 1 6 4 24 Two other data components 3666 6 1 6 16 96 Total 120 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    Based on a review of the information collection since our last request for OMB approval, we have made no adjustments to our burden estimate. The estimated number of annual responses and average burden per response are based on our experience with early food safety evaluations. Completing an early food safety evaluation for a new protein from a new plant variety is a one-time burden (one evaluation per new protein). Many developers of novel plants may choose not to submit an evaluation because the field testing of a plant containing a new protein is conducted in such a way (e.g., on such a small scale, or in such isolated conditions, etc.) that cross-pollination with traditional crops or commingling of plant material is not likely to be an issue. Also, other developers may have previously communicated with us about the food safety of a new plant protein, for example, when the same protein was expressed in a different crop.

    We estimate the annual number of NPCs submitted by developers will be six or fewer. The early food safety evaluation for new proteins includes six main data components. Four of these data components are easily and quickly obtainable, having to do with the identity and source of the protein. We estimate that completing these data components will take about 4 hours per NPC. We estimate the reporting burden for the first four data components to be 24 hours (4 hours × 6 responses).

    Two data components ask for original data to be generated. One data component consists of a bioinformatics analysis that can be performed using publicly available databases. The other data component involves “wet” lab work to assess the new protein's stability and the resistance of the protein to enzymatic degradation using appropriate in vitro assays (protein digestibility study). The paperwork burden of these two data components consists of the time it takes the company to assemble the information on these two data components and include it in a NPC. We estimate that completing these data components will take about 16 hours per NPC. We estimate the reporting burden for the two other data components to be 96 hours (16 hours × 6 responses). Thus, we estimate the total annual burden for this collection of information to be 120 hours.

    Dated: May 9, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11281 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Service Administration Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice announces that the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) will hold a public meeting. This meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    Friday, June 15, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting is a teleconference and webinar. The conference call-in number is 1-800-988-0218; passcode: 9302948. The webinar link is https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/accv/. Participants should call and connect 15 minutes prior to the meeting in order for logistics to be set up. If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting, please test your connection using the following URL: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm and get a quick overview by following URL: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Annie Herzog, Principal Staff Liaison, Division of Injury Compensation Programs (DICP), Healthcare Systems Bureau (HSB), HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 08N146B, Rockville, Maryland 20857; phone: (301) 443-6593; or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The ACCV advises the Secretary on the implementation of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Other activities of the ACCV include: Recommending changes to the Vaccine Injury table, at its own initiative or as the result of the filing of a petition; advising the Secretary on implementing section 2127 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) regarding the need for childhood vaccination products that result in fewer or no significant adverse reactions; surveying federal, state, and local programs and activities related to gathering information on injuries associated with the administration of childhood vaccines, including the adverse reaction reporting requirements of section 2125 (b) of the PHS Act; advising the Secretary on the methods of obtaining, compiling, publishing, and using credible data related to the frequency and severity of adverse reactions associated with childhood vaccines; consulting on the development or revision of Vaccine Information Statements; and recommending to the Director of the National Vaccine Program research related to vaccine injuries which should be conducted to carry out the VICP.

    Agenda: During the June 15, 2018, meeting, agenda items may include updates from DICP, Department of Justice (DOJ), National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO), Immunization Safety Office (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (National Institutes of Health) and Center for Biologics, Evaluation and Research (Food and Drug Administration). Information about the ACCV, a roster of members, the meeting agenda, as well as past meeting summaries, is located on the ACCV website: http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/childhoodvaccines/index.html. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Public Participation: Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments. Oral comments will be honored in the order they are requested and may be limited as time allows. Requests to make oral comments or provide written comments to the ACCV should be sent to Annie Herzog by June 5, 2018. Individuals who plan to participate and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify Annie Herzog, using the address and phone number above at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

    Amy P. McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11298 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Clinical Center; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the NIH Clinical Center.

    The meeting will be closed to the public as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the CLINICAL CENTER, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Board of Scientific Counselors of the NIH Clinical Center Board meeting.

    Date: June 15, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate reports and responses to the following Clinic Center's Departments: Rehabilitation Medicine, Bioethics, Critical Care Medicine, Imaging Sciences, Transfusion Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, Nursing, and Pediatrics.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 10, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: John I. Gallin, M.D., Associate Director for Clinical Research, Office of Director, NIH Clinical Center, 1 Center Drive, Room 201, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5428.

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    Dated: May 18, 2018. Michelle D. Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11212 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Production of Monovalent Live Attenuated Zika Vaccines and Multivalent Live Attenuated Flavivirus Vaccines AGENCY:

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, DHHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an institute of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of an Exclusive Commercialization Patent License to practice the inventions embodied in the Patents and Patent Applications listed in the Summary Information section of this notice to to Fundacao Butantan, having a place of business in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or application for a license which are received by the NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office on or before June 25, 2018 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for a copy of the patent application, inquiries, comments and other materials relating to the contemplated Exclusive Commercialization Patent License should be directed to: Peter Soukas, Technology Transfer and Patent Specialist, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Suite 6D, Rockville, MD 20852-9804; Email: [email protected]; Telephone: (301) 496-2644; Facsimile: (240) 627-3117.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Intellectual Property

    U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number 62/307,170, filed March 11, 2016 and entitled “Live Attenuated Zika Virus Vaccines,” Whitehead et al., and PCT Patent Application Number PCT/US2017/0021989, filed March 11, 2017 and entitled “Live Attenuated Zika Virus Vaccines,” Whitehead et al. [HHS Reference E-118-2016/0]; and U.S. and foreign patent applications claiming priority to the aforementioned applications.

    The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the government of the United States of America.

    The field of use may be limited to monovalent live attenuated Zika vaccines and multivalent live attenuated flavivirus vaccines. The Licensed Territory may be limited to the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging infectious disease that was first identified in 1947, and that has more recently become a major public health threat around the world. ZIKV has recently been shown to cause devastating neurological damage in infants and serious complications in adults in some cases, and may have other effects that have not yet been identified or definitively linked to the virus. There are no treatments or vaccines for this insidious virus. While important, current measures for mosquito control are insufficient in most settings to prevent the spread of the virus. Recommendations that women who live in or travel to endemic areas avoid pregnancy for long periods of time are unrealistic, particularly in contexts where access to reproductive services is limited, and threaten to leave those most likely to suffer the devastating consequences of Zika without effective protection. There is therefore urgent need to develop biomedical interventions in parallel with ongoing public health efforts against ZIKV.

    No vaccine exists today to prevent ZIKV infections. The methods and compositions of this invention provide a means for prevention of ZIKV infection by immunization with live attenuated, immunogenic viral vaccines against ZIKV and/or Dengue virus.

    Many entities, governmental, academic, and commercial, are actively pursuing development of ZIKV vaccines each using a different approach to address this public health need. The U.S. Government is coordinating its vaccine development response to ZIKV and has published this plan at https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/Pages/zika-white-paper.aspx.

    Vaccine development approaches for ZIKV include but are not limited to inactivated virus (dead virus), live attenuated virus (weakened virus), recombinant viral vectors (weakened virus with target genes added), and subunit (portion of a virus) as well as mRNA- and DNA-based (gene-targeted). These various strategies provide multiple redundancies, expanded choice, and ensure short and long term maximal benefits to the public.

    This notice is made in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty bearing, and the prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within thirty (30) days from the date of this published notice, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.

    Complete applications for a license in the prospective field of use that are filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated Exclusive Commercialization Patent License Agreement. Comments and objections submitted to this notice will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: May 14, 2018. Suzanne M. Frisbie, Deputy Director, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11257 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Summer Research Education Experience Programs (R25).

    Date: June 21, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Hiromi Ono, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5820, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).

    Date: June 25, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Susan O. McGuire, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4245, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 827-5817, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: May 21, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11220 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; SBIR Phase II “Analytical Tools for Scholarly Research Assessment and Decision in the Biomedical Enterprise” (1214, 1217).

    Date: May 31, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5840, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; SBIR Phase II “Virtual Reality Tools for Treatment of Substance Use Disorders” (5583).

    Date: June 4, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5840, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: May 21, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11216 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Production of Monovalent Live Attenuated Zika Vaccines and Multivalent Live Attenuated Flavivirus Vaccines AGENCY:

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, DHHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an institute of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of an Exclusive Commercialization Patent License to practice the inventions embodied in the Patents and Patent Applications listed in the Summary Information section of this notice to Medigen Vaccines Biologics Corp. (Medigen), having a place of business in Zhubei, Taiwan.

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or application for a license which are received by the NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office on or before June 25, 2018 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for a copy of the patent application, inquiries, comments and other materials relating to the contemplated Exclusive Commercialization Patent License should be directed to: Peter Soukas, Technology Transfer and Patent Specialist, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Suite 6D, Rockville, MD 20852-9804; Email: [email protected]; Telephone: (301) 496-2644; Facsimile: (240) 627-3117.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Intellectual Property

    U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number 62/307,170, filed March 11, 2016 and entitled “Live Attenuated Zika Virus Vaccines,” Whitehead et al., and PCT Patent Application Number PCT/US2017/0021989, filed March 11, 2017 and entitled “Live Attenuated Zika Virus Vaccines,” Whitehead et al. [HHS Reference E-118-2016/0]; and U.S. and foreign patent applications claiming priority to the aforementioned applications.

    The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the government of the United States of America.

    The field of use may be limited to monovalent live attenuated Zika vaccines and multivalent live attenuated flavivirus vaccines. The Licensed Territory may be limited to Europe, China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand.

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging infectious disease that was first identified in 1947, and that has more recently become a major public health threat around the world. ZIKV has recently been shown to cause devastating neurological damage in infants and serious complications in adults in some cases, and may have other effects that have not yet been identified or definitively linked to the virus. There are no treatments or vaccines for this insidious virus. Recommendations that women who live in or travel to endemic areas avoid pregnancy for long periods of time are unrealistic, particularly in contexts where access to reproductive services is limited, and threaten to leave those most likely to suffer the devastating consequences of Zika without effective protection. There is therefore urgent need to develop biomedical interventions in parallel with ongoing public health efforts against ZIKV.

    No vaccine exists today to prevent ZIKV infections. The methods and compositions of this invention provide a means for prevention of ZIKV infection by immunization with live attenuated, immunogenic viral vaccines against ZIKV and/or Dengue virus.

    Many entities, governmental, academic, and commercial, are actively pursuing development of ZIKV vaccines each using a different approach to address this public health need. The U.S. Government is coordinating its vaccine development response to ZIKV and has published this plan at https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/Pages/zika-white-paper.aspx.

    Vaccine development approaches for ZIKV include but are not limited to inactivated virus (dead virus), live attenuated virus (weakened virus), recombinant viral vectors (weakened virus with target genes added), and subunit (portion of a virus) as well as mRNA- and DNA-based (gene-targeted). These various strategies provide multiple redundancies, expanded choice, and ensure short and long term maximal benefits to the public.

    This notice is made in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty bearing, and the prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within thirty (30) days from the date of this published notice, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.

    Complete applications for a license in the prospective field of use that are filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated Exclusive Commercialization Patent License Agreement. Comments and objections submitted to this notice will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: May 14, 2018. Suzanne M. Frisbie, Deputy Director, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11258 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Next Generation Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (NGM) (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Optional).

    Date: June 12, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Audrey O. Lau, Ph.D., MPH, Scientific Review Officer AIDS REVIEW BRANCH SRP, RM 3E70, National Institutes of Health, NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9834, Rockville, MD 20852-9834, 240-669-2081, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Partnerships for Countermeasures against Select Pathogens (R01).

    Date: June 28-29, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Amir E. Zeituni, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities NIAID/NIH/DHHS, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC-9834, Rockville, MD 20852, 301-496-2550, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Partnerships for Countermeasures against Select Pathogens (R01).

    Date: July 10-11, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Amir E. Zeituni, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer Scientific Review Program Division of Extramural Activities NIAID/NIH/DHHS, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC-9834, Rockville, MD 20852, 301-496-2550, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: May 21, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11215 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Amy Petrik, 240-627-3721; [email protected] Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent application listed below may be obtained by communicating with the indicated licensing contact at the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD, 20852; tel. 301-496-2644. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of unpublished patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology description follows.

    Antibodies and Methods for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Description of Technology

    According to the World Health Organization, over 90% of the worldwide population is infected with Epstein-Barr virus by adulthood. In most cases, the disease accompanying initial infection is subclinical though some individuals who are infected as adolescents or adults do experience infectious mononucleosis. However, once infected, individuals carry latent EBV for their remaining lifespan. In such individuals, immune suppression can result in reactivation of the EBV and consequently, EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease. Currently, there is no prophylactic to prevent primary EBV infection and additional therapeutics would be useful to treat EBV-associated B-cell driven lymphoproliferative disease.

    Scientists at the NIAID are developing neutralizing antibodies, originally isolated from humans or non-human primates, that could be useful in preventing primary infection or reactivation of EBV in immunocompromised individuals. These antibodies are 10-100 times more potent than the most potent EBV neutralizing antibody identified to date (72A1). The antibodies target epitopes on either the gp350 surface glycoprotein of EBV or the gH/gL heterodimer. In vitro experiments have demonstrated that the antibodies effectively inhibit EBV infection of B cells and epithelial cells as well as cell-to-cell fusion of cells expressing the viral proteins gH/gL.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    • Treatment of individuals with compromised immune systems to prevent EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases.

    • Prevention of primary EBV infection in individuals with compromised immune systems to prevent EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases.

    Competitive Advantages

    • No EBV therapeutics or prophylactics currently exist.

    Development Stage

    • In vitro

    Inventors: Masaru Kanekiyo (NIAID), W. Gordon Joyce (WRAIR), Wei Bu (NIAID), Jeffrey Cohen (NIAID).

    Publications: N/A.

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference Number E-001-2017 includes U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/490,023 filed April 25, 2017 (Pending); PCT Application No. PCT/US2018/29463 filed April 25, 2018.

    HHS Reference Number E-079-2018 includes U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/665,977 filed May 2, 2018.

    Related Intellectual Property: HHS Reference Number E-001-2017; E-079-2018.

    Licensing Contact: Dr. Amy Petrik, 240-627-3721; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize Epstein-Barr monoclonal antibody technologies. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Dr. Amy Petrik, 240-627-3721; [email protected]

    Dated: May 10, 2018. Suzanne M. Frisbie Deputy Director, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11256 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Petrik, Ph.D., 240-627-3721; [email protected] Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by communicating with the indicated licensing contact at the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852; tel. 301-496-2644. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of unpublished patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology description follows.

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Antibodies Description of Technology

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a highly lethal pulmonary infection with ~35% mortality. Currently there are no prophylactic measures or effective therapies. Inventors at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have identified and developed neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (nMAbs) against the MERS-CoV. This invention describes antibodies that target the Spike (S) glycoprotein on the coronavirus surface, which mediates viral entry into host cells. These novel antibodies target different regions of the S protein, and when administered in combination, reduce the possibility of viral escape. In preclinical testing, these nMAbs have demonstrated potent protective effects, preventing death, viral replication in the lower airways and severe disease in challenge studies with mice. In addition, these nMAbs have potential application for use in assays for detecting MERS-CoV S protein in infected patients or animals.

    This technology is available for licensing for commercial development in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404, as well as for further development and evaluation under a research collaboration.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    Monoclonal antibodies developed against multiple regions of the coronavirus spike protein have potential application in the prevention and treatment of MERS-CoV. There is also potential application for their use as a diagnostic tool of infection.

    Competitive Advantages

    In vitro models, the combinations of antibodies have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing viral escape.

    In vivo data in animal models demonstrated a potent ability to control infection.

    • Applicable in diagnostic assays.

    Development Stage

    In vivo data available (animal)

    Inventors: Barney Graham (NIAID), Wing-Pui Kong (NIAID), Kayvon Modjarrad (NIAID), Lingshu Wang (NIAID), Wei Shi (NIAID), Michael Gordon Joyce (NIAID), Masaru Kanekiyo (NIAID), John Mascola (NIAID).

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-239-2014, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number 62/120,353 filed February 25, 2015, PCT Patent Application PCT/US2016/019395 filed February 24, 2016, Europe Patent Application Number 16711059.2 filed February 24, 2016, South Korea Patent Application Number 10-2017-7027105 filed September 25, 2017, Saudi Arabia Patent Application Number 5173382168 filed August 21, 2017, and U.S. Patent Application Number 15/553,466 filed August 24, 2017.

    Licensing Contact: Amy Petrik Ph.D., 240-627-3721; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize MERS-CoV monoclonal antibodies. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Amy Petrik, Ph.D., 240-627-3721; [email protected]

    Dated: May 14, 2018. Suzanne M. Frisbie, Deputy Director, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11255 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Advisory Eye Council, June 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. to June 14, 2018, 05:00 p.m., NIH, National Eye Institute, 5635 Fishers Lane, Terrace Level Conference Rooms, Rockville, MD 20852 which was published in the Federal Register on May 04, 2018, 83 FR 19791.

    This meeting is being amended to change the Open and Close times. The Closed portion is now from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Open portion is now from 10:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The meeting is partially Closed to the public.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11211 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIAID Investigator Initiated Program Project Applications (P01).

    Date: June 15, 2018.

    Time: 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Priti Mehrotra, Ph.D., Chief, Immunology Review Branch Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room #3G40, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-7616, 240-669-5066, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIAID Clinical Trial Planning Grant (R34); NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Grant (R01); NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01).

    Date: June 18-19, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Maryam Feili-Hariri, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer Scientific Review Program Division of Extramural Activities, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852, 240-669-5026, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: May 21, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11213 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Approval of Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc. (Crosby, TX), as a Commercial Gauger AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of approval of Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc., as a commercial gauger.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc. has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of July 6, 2017.

    Applicable Dates: The approval of Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc., as commercial gauger became effective on July 6, 2017. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for July 2020.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melanie Glass, Laboratories and Scientific Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.13, that Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc., 914 Kennings Avenue, Crosby, TX 77532, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.13. Omni Hydrocarbon Measurement, Inc. is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products per the American Petroleum Institute (API) Measurement Standards:

    API chapters Title 8 Sampling.

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the website listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories. http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/gaulist_3.pdf.

    Dated: May 1, 2018. Dave Fluty, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services, Operations Support.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11312 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation and Approval of Inspectorate America Corporation (Houston, TX), as a Commercial Gauger and Laboratory AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of accreditation and approval of Inspectorate America Corporation (Houston, TX), as a commercial gauger and laboratory.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Inspectorate America Corporation (Houston, TX), has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of July 11, 2017.

    DATES:

    Inspectorate America Corporation (Houston, TX) was accredited and approved, as a commercial gauger and laboratory as of July 11, 2017. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for July 2020.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Justin Shey, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13, that Inspectorate America Corporation, 16025-C Jacintoport Blvd., Houston, TX 77015 has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13. Inspectorate America Corporation is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API
  • chapters
  • Title
    3 Tank Gauging. 7 Temperature Determination. 8 Sampling. 12 Calculations. 17 Marine Measurement.

    Inspectorate America Corporation is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM):

    CBPL No. ASTM Title 27-01 D 287 Standard Test Method for API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method). 27-03 D 4006 Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oil by Distillation. 27-04 D 95 Standard Test Method for Water in Petroleum Products and Bituminous Materials by Distillation. 27-06 D 473 Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. 27-11 D 445 Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity). 27-13 D 4294 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. 27-48 D 4052 Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter. 27-50 D 93 Standard Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester. 27-54 D 1796 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Fuel Oils by the Centrifuge Method (Laboratory Procedure).

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the website listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories. http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories.

    Dated: May 18, 2018. Dave Fluty, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11314 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0055] Agency Information Collection Activities: Harbor Maintenance Fee AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted (no later than June 25, 2018) to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to the CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (82 FR 55849) on November 24, 2018, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Harbor Maintenance Fee.

    OMB Number: 1651-0055.

    Form Number: CBP Forms 349 and 350.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to Forms 349 and 350.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Abstract: The Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) and Trust Fund is used for the operation and maintenance of certain U.S. channels and harbors by the Army Corps of Engineers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is required to collect the HMF from importers, domestic shippers, and passenger vessel operators using federal navigation projects. Commercial cargo loaded on or unloaded from a commercial vessel is subject to a port use fee of 0.125 percent of its value if the loading or unloading occurs at a port that has been designated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The HMF also applies to the total ticket value of embarking and disembarking passengers and on cargo admissions into a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).

    CBP Form 349, Harbor Maintenance Fee Quarterly Summary Report, and CBP Form 350, Harbor Maintenance Fee Amended Quarterly Summary Report are completed by domestic shippers, foreign trade zone applicants, and passenger vessel operators and submitted with payment to CBP.

    CBP uses the information collected on CBP Forms 349 and 350 to verify that the fee collected is timely and accurately submitted. These forms are authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 4461, et seq.) and provided for by 19 CFR 24.24, which also includes the list of designated ports. CBP Forms 349 and 350 are accessible at http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms or they may be completed and filed electronically at www.pay.gov.

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    CBP Form 349

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 560.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 2,240.

    Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,120.

    CBP Form 350

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 15.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 60.

    Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 30.

    Recordkeeping

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 575.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 575.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 96.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11289 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0007] Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Allowance in Duties AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted (no later than June 25, 2018) to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to Seth Renkema, Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, Telephone number (202) 325-0056 or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (83 FR 824) on January 8, 2018, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Application for Allowance in Duties.

    OMB Number: 1651-0007.

    Form Number: CBP Form 4315.

    Action: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to Form 4315.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Abstract: CBP Form 4315, “Application for Allowance in Duties,” is submitted to CBP in instances of claims of damaged or defective imported merchandise on which an allowance in duty is made in the liquidation of the entry. The information on this form is used to substantiate an importer's claim for such duty allowances. CBP Form 4315 is authorized by 19 U.S.C. 1506 and provided for by 19 CFR 158.11, 158.13 and 158.23. This form is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%204315_0.pdf.

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 12,000.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 12,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 minutes.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 1,600.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11291 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0021] Agency Information Collection Activities: Crew Member's Declaration AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted (no later than June 25, 2018) to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to the CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (83 FR 827) on January 8, 2018, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Crew Member's Declaration.

    OMB Number: 1651-0021.

    Form Number: CBP Form 5129.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to CBP Form 5129.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Abstract: CBP Form 5129, Crew Member's Declaration, is a declaration made by crew members listing all goods acquired abroad which are in his/her possession at the time of arrival in the United States. The data collected on CBP Form 5129 is used for compliance with currency reporting requirements, supplemental immigration documentation, agricultural quarantine matters, and the importation of merchandise by crew members who complete the individual declaration. This form is authorized by 19 U.S.C. 1431 and provided for by 19 CFR 4.7, 4.81, 122.44, 122.46, 122.83, 122.84 and 148.61-148.67. CBP Form 5129 is accessible at http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%205129.pdf.

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 6,000,000.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 6,000,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 996,000.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11290 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0138] Agency Information Collection Activities: Biometric Identity AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments; revision and extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted July 24, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice must include the OMB Control Number 1651-0138 in the subject line and the agency name. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments:

    (1) Email. Submit comments to: [email protected]

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to Seth Renkema, Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, Telephone number (202) 325-0056 or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Biometric Identity.

    OMB Number: 1651-0138.

    Type of Review: Revision and Extension (with change).

    Current Actions: This submission is being made to revise the information collection and extend the expiration date with a change to the burden hours due to an increase in the number of respondents in agency estimates and separating the different biometric modalities. Proposed Change: CBP is proposing to revise this collection of information to include the collection of biometrics from vehicles, this collection will not impose a time burden on the respondents and may reduce wait times at the ports of entry and exit.

    Affected Public: Individuals.

    Abstract: In order to enhance national security, the Department of Homeland Security is developing a biometric based entry and exit system capable of improving the information resources available to immigration and border management decision-makers. These biometrics may include: Digital fingerprint scans, facial images, iris images or other biometrics. Biometrics may be collected from travelers entering or exiting the United States. CBP will store and use biometric data from those aliens specified in 8 CFR 215.8 and 8 CFR 235.1 in order to verify identity, determine admissibility of those seeking entry into the United States, confirm exit from the United States for the purpose of tracking aliens who have overstayed their visa or are otherwise illegally present in the United States, prevent visa fraud, and identify known or suspected criminals or terrorists. CBP continues to test and evaluate different technological and operational changes to improve the accuracy and speed of biometric collection.

    The federal statutes that mandate DHS to create a biometric entry and exit system include: Section 2(a) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 2000 (DMIA), Public Law 106-215, 114 Stat. 337 (2000); Section 205 of the Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act of 2000, Public Law 106-396, 114 Stat. 1637, 1641 (2000); Section 414 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act), Public Law 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, 353 (2001); Section 302 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (Border Security Act), Public Law 107-173, 116 Stat. 543, 552, (2002); Section 7208 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), Public Law 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, 3817 (2004); Section 711 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Public Law 110-53, 121 Stat. 266 (2007), Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Public Law 114-113, 129 Stat. 2242, 2493 (2016), Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Public Law 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546 (1997), Section 802 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-125, 130 Stat. 122, 199 (2015), and Sections 214, 215(a), 235(a), 262(a), 263(a) and 264(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, 8 U.S.C. 1184, 1185(a), 1225(a), 1302(a)(1303(a), 1304(c) and 1365b.

    Fingerprint Modality

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 58,657,882.

    Estimated Time per Response: .0097 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 568,981.

    Facial/Iris Modality

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 54,542,118.

    Estimated Time per Response: .0025 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 136,355.

    Biometrics Collected From Vehicles

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 300,000.*

    Estimated Time per Response: None.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: None.

    * Vehicle time per Respondent is estimated at zero due to no physical response required from the respondent.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11287 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0100] Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted (no later than June 25, 2018) to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to the CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (83 FR 826) on January 8, 2018, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred.

    OMB Number: 1651-0100.

    Form Number: CBP Form 4609.

    Action: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Abstract: CBP Form 4609, Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred, is completed and filed with the CBP FP&F Officer designated in the notice of claim by individuals who have been found to be in violation of one or more provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930, or other laws administered by CBP. Persons who violate the Tariff Act are entitled to file a petition seeking mitigation of any statutory penalty imposed or remission of a statutory forfeiture incurred. This petition is submitted on CBP Form 4609. The information provided on this form is used by CBP personnel as a basis for granting relief from forfeiture or penalty. CBP Form 4609 is authorized by 19 U.S.C. 1618 and provided for by 19 CFR 171.1. It is accessible at: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms?title=4609.

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,610.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 1,610.

    Estimated Time per Response: 14 minutes.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 376.

    Dated: May 22, 2018. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11288 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2012-0012] Record of Decision for the Final National Flood Insurance Program Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of the Record of Decision for the final nationwide programmatic environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the final nationwide programmatic environmental impact statement (NPEIS) evaluating the environmental impacts of proposed modifications to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NPEIS was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ's) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, and FEMA's Directive 108-1 “Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Responsibilities and Program Requirements.”

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic versions of the ROD are available for viewing at FEMA's website at https://www.fema.gov/programmatic-environmental-impact-statement.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For more information on the ROD, contact Bret Gates, FEMA, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Floodplain Management Division, 400 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, or via email at [email protected], or by phone at 202-646-2780.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Development of the NFIP NPEIS began with publication of the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on May 16, 2012. (77 FR 28891) The evaluation process included the NFIP Stakeholder Listening Session with key stakeholders in November 2009. In addition, FEMA conducted two public meetings in December 2010 and opened a public comment period on four alternatives for NFIP Reform. Comments received were considered part of the scoping process for this NPEIS. Additionally, FEMA held three public webinars in April and May of 2014 to further the scoping process. (79 FR 16354, March 25, 2014)

    Publication of the draft NPEIS on April 7, 2017 included a 60-day comment period with public meetings and webinars to obtain comments on the document. (82 FR 17023) FEMA accepted comments on the draft NPEIS until June 6, 2017. Comments on the draft NPEIS were incorporated, as appropriate, into the final NPEIS (see Appendix M).

    Publication of the final NPEIS on November 3, 2017 (82 FR 51286) initiated a 30-day hold period for the final NPEIS that ended on December 3, 2017. A summary of the comments received on the final NPEIS and explanations as to why changes to the NPEIS were not warranted is included in the ROD.

    The modifications to the NFIP are needed to (a) implement the legislative requirements of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA); and (b) to demonstrate compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As stated in the final NPEIS, the need to implement the legislative requirements of BW-12 and HFIAA arises from the recent concerns over the fiscal soundness of the NFIP.

    The final NPEIS considered four alternatives and described the potential environmental effects of each alternative. With this notice FEMA is announcing the availability of the ROD on the actions to be taken, including potential mitigation measures, and its intent to implement the Preferred Alternative from the NFIP's final NPEIS. The preferred alternative consists of the following program modifications:

    —Preferred Alternative 2 (Legislatively Required Changes, Floodplain Management Criteria Guidance, and Letter of Map Change [LOMC] Clarification) (Preferred Alternative)

    ○ Phase out of subsidies on certain pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (pre-FIRM) properties (non-primary residences, business properties, severe repetitive loss properties, substantially damaged or improved properties, and properties for which the cumulative claims payments exceed the fair market value of the property) at a rate of 25 percent premium increases per year.

    ○ Phase out of subsidies on all other pre-FIRM properties through annual premium rate increases of an average rate of at least 5 percent, but no more than 15 percent, per risk classification, with no individual policy exceeding an 18 percent premium rate increase.

    ○ Implement a monthly installment plan payment option for non-escrowed flood insurance policies.

    ○ Clarify that pursuant to 44 CFR 60.3(a)(2), a community must obtain and maintain documentation of compliance with the appropriate Federal or State laws, including the ESA, as a condition of issuing floodplain development permits.

    ○ Clarify that the issuing of certain LOMC requests (i.e., map revisions) is contingent on the community, or the project proponent on the community's behalf, submitting documentation of compliance with the ESA.

    The ROD is available for viewing at https://www.fema.gov/programmatic-environmental-impact-statement.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 4331 et seq.; 40 CFR part 1500; FEMA Instruction 108-1-1.

    Dated: May 18, 2018. Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11210 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-A6-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0135] Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

    DATES:

    The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until June 25, 2018. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at [email protected] All submissions received must include the agency name and the OMB Control Number 1615-0135 in the subject line.

    You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number (202) 272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number; comments are not accepted via telephone message.). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; TTY (800) 767-1833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments

    The information collection notice was previously published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2018 at 83 FR 10868, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS did not receive any comment in connection with the 60-day notice.

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2015-0004 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

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

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

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection Request: Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation).

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-131A; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. USCIS uses the information provided on Form I-131A to verify the status of permanent or conditional residents, and determine whether the applicant is eligible for the requested travel document.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection Form I-131A is 4,110 and the estimated hour burden per response is .92 hours; biometrics processing is 4,110 and the estimated hour burden per response is 1.17 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 8,590 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $704,620.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Samantha L. Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11264 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0012] Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Petition for Alien Relative AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

    DATES:

    The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until June 25, 2018. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at [email protected] All submissions received must include the agency name and the OMB Control Number [1615-0012] in the subject line.

    You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number (202) 272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number; comments are not accepted via telephone message.). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; TTY (800) 767-1833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments

    The information collection notice was previously published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2018, at 83 FR 6873, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS did receive four comments in connection with the 60-day notice.

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2007-0037 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

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

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

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection Request: Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Petition for Alien Relative.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-130; I-130A; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Form I-130 allows U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States to petition on behalf of certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States. Form I-130A allows for the collection of additional information for spouses of the petitioners necessary to facilitate a decision.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-130 is 978,500 and the estimated hour burden per response is 2 hours. The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-130A is 45,614 and the estimated hour burden per response is 0.883 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 1,994,996 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $391,400,000.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Samantha L. Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11265 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0017] Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection: Application for Advance Permission To Enter as Nonimmigrant AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

    DATES:

    The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until June 25, 2018. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at [email protected] All submissions received must include the agency name and the OMB Control Number 1615-0017 in the subject line.

    You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number (202) 272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number; comments are not accepted via telephone message.). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; TTY (800) 767-1833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments

    The information collection notice was previously published in the Federal Register on February 27, 2018, at 83 FR 8498, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS did not receive any comments in connection with the 60-day notice.

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2008-0009 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

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

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

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-192; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. The data collected will be used by CBP and USCIS to determine whether the applicant is eligible to enter the United States temporarily under the provisions of section 212(d)(3), 212(d)(13), and 212(d)(14) of the INA. The respondents for this information collection are certain inadmissible nonimmigrant aliens who wish to apply for permission to enter the United States, applicants for T nonimmigrant status (victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons), and petitioners for U nonimmigrant status (victims of qualifying criminal activity).

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-192 is 68,050 and the estimated hour burden per response is 1.5 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 102,075 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $16,672,250.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Samantha L. Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11263 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0013] Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Application for Travel Document, Form I-131; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment upon this proposed extension of a currently approved collection of information. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the information collection notice is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments regarding the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e., the time, effort, and resources used by the respondents to respond), the estimated cost to the respondent, and the actual information collection instruments.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    All submissions received must include the OMB Control Number 1615-0013 in the body of the letter, the agency name and Docket ID USCIS-2007-0045. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments:

    (1) Online. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov under e-Docket ID number USCIS-2007-0045;

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to DHS, USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140, telephone number 202-272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number. Comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2007-0045 in the search box. 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 consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make to DHS. DHS may withhold information provided in comments from public viewing that it determines may impact the privacy of an individual or is offensive. For additional information, please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

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

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

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Travel Document, Form I-131; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-131; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Certain aliens, principally permanent or conditional residents, refugees or asylees, applicants for adjustment of status, aliens in Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and aliens abroad seeking humanitarian parole who need to apply for a travel document to lawfully enter or reenter the United States. Eligible recipients of deferred action under childhood arrivals (DACA) may now request an advance parole documents based on humanitarian, educational and employment reasons. Lawful permanent residents may now file requests for travel permits (transportation letter or boarding foil).

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-131 is 483,920 and the estimated hour burden per response is 2.33 hours; the estimated total number of respondents for biometrics processing is 82,974 and the estimated hour burden per response is 1.17 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 1,222,042 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $142,272,480.

    Dated: May 21, 2018. Samantha L. Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11266 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-7006-N-07] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Housing Choice Voucher Program AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, PIH, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, ODAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-0306 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street, SW, Room 3178, Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109, (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.

    OMB Approval Number: 2577-0169.

    Type of Request: Revision of currently approved collection with changes that include new requirements of the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) of 2016 and inclusion of contract amendments for both the HCV and project-based voucher (PBV) programs.

    Form Numbers: HUD-52515, HUD-52667, HUD-52580, HUD-52580-A, HUD-52517, HUD-52646, HUD-52665, HUD-52641, HUD-52641-A, HUD 52642, HUD 52649, HUD 52531A and B, HUD 52530A, HUD 52530B, HUD 52530C, HUD 52578B, HUD-50164.

    Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use

    Public Housing Agencies (PHA) will prepare an application for funding which specifies the number of units requested, as well as the PHA's objectives and plans for administering the Housing Choice (HCV) and Project Base Voucher (PBV) programs. The application is reviewed by HUD Headquarters and HUD Field Offices and ranked according to the PHA's administrative capability, the need for housing assistance, and other factors specified in a notice of funding availability. The PHAs must establish a utility allowance schedule for all utilities and other services. Units must be inspected using HUD-prescribed forms to determine if the units meet the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) of the HCV program. After the family is issued a HCV to search for a unit pursuant to attending a briefing and receiving an information packet, the family must complete and submit to the PHA a Request for Tenancy Approval when it finds a unit which is suitable for its needs. Initial PHAs will use a standardized form to submit portability information to the receiving PHA who will also use the form for monthly portability billing. PHAs and owners will enter into housing assistance payments (HAP) contract each providing information on rents, payments, certifications, notifications, and owner agreement in a form acceptable to the PHA. A Tenancy Addendum for the HCV program is included in the HAP contract as well as incorporated in the lease between the owner and the family. Families that participate in the Homeownership option will execute a statement regarding their responsibilities and execute contracts of sale including an additional contract of sale for new construction units. PHAs participating in the PBV program will enter into Agreements with owners for developing projects, HAP contracts with the existing and New Construction/Rehabilitation owners, a Statement of Family Responsibilities with the family and a lease addendum for execution between the family and the owner. New requirements have been established for independent entities in both the HCV and PBV programs. In addition, new requirements have been established for the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization (HOTMA) rule of 2016. HOTMA made changes to both the definition of PHA-owned housing and several changes to the PBV program to conform with HOTMA requirements. As a result of these updates, changes have been made to the following forms: PBV HAP Contracts (both for existing housing (HUD-52530 A and B) and new Construction/Rehab (HUD 52531 A and B); PBV Tenancy Addendum; (HUD 53530c) and HCV HAP Contract (HUD 52641).

    Other forms that are being updated are: The Funding Application (HUD 52515); the Request for Tenancy Approval (HUD-2517); and Allowances for Tenant-Furnished Utilities and Other Services (HUD 5267). Three new documents each will be added for the Family Unification Program application process and the HUD-VASH Application Process. Additionally, the forms will be updated to remove outdated references (such as those to the Certificate Program). Such updates do not result in an increase in burden hours.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): State and Local Governments, businesses or other non-profits.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,192 PHAs.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 3.680,493.

    Frequency of Response: Varies by form.

    Average Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Estimated Burdens Hours: 1,643,173.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

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

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: May 10, 2018. Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Director, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11306 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-7006-N-08] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Flat Rent Exception Request Market Analysis AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: July 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, (L'Enfant Plaza, Room 2206), Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109, (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Mussington.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Public Housing Flat Rent Exception Request Market Analysis.

    OMB Approval Number: Pending OMB approval.

    Type of Request: New Collection.

    Form Number: Under development.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The form will streamline the process and reduce burden on PHAs when submitting a market analysis as part of a flat rent exception request in accordance with Notice PIH 2015-13(HA), which implements Section 238 of Title II of Public Law 113-235, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2015. Notice PIH 2015-13(HA) allows PHAs to request flat rents that are based on the local rental market conditions, when the PHA can demonstrate through a market analysis that the FMRs are not reflective of the local market. The current submission process does not stipulate a template for PHA submissions, therefore PHAs spend widely varying amounts of time and effort compiling information which may or may not facilitate HUD's review of their request.

    Respondents: Public Housing Authorities (PHAs)

    Information collection Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of response Responses per annum Burden hour per response Annual burden hours Hourly cost per response Annual cost
    95 1 1 8 760 $17.11 $13,003.60 Total
    Explanation of burden hour and cost calculation: • Number of respondents = 95 • Frequency of response/responses per annum = 1/1 (PHAs make one submission per fiscal year) • Burden hours per response = estimated time to complete a market analysis • Annual burden hours = 95 * 1 *1 *8 • Hourly cost per response = the average hourly pay rate earned by a housing specialist in a PHA responsible for collecting market data • Annual cost = 760 * $17.11 B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

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

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Date: May 15, 2018. Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Director, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11305 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0044; FF06E11000-167-FXES11120600000] Montana Department of Natural Resources Final Amended Habitat Conservation Plan and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) and final Montana Department of Natural Resources Amended Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for forest management in Montana. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) applied to the Service for an amended incidental take permit (permit) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). DNRC is requesting authorization of additional incidental take of three federally listed and one unlisted species on 81,416 acres to be added to its HCP-covered lands. DNRC also amended the HCP to incorporate the terms of a settlement agreement from a 2013 lawsuit on the original permit. The final SEIS considers the environmental effects of amending the HCP and permit and addresses public comments received on the 2017 draft EIS.

    DATES:

    The documents will be available for inspection through June 25, 2018. We will not decide whether to issue an amended permit before the 30-day review period ends. We will document our decision in a record of decision (ROD).

    ADDRESSES:

    Reviewing Documents: You may review the final SEIS and final amended HCP in any of the following ways:

    Internet: Go to www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0044.

    In-person Review or Pick-up: Documents will also be available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 780 Creston Hatchery Road, Kalispell, MT 59901 (telephone, 406-758-6882); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 585 Shepard Way, Suite 1, Helena, MT 59601 (telephone, 406-449-5225); and Montana DNRC Forest Management Bureau, 2705 Spurgin Rd, Missoula, MT 59804 (telephone, 406-542-4328).

    • Information regarding the final documents is available in alternative formats upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Conard, Assistant Field Supervisor, Kalispell Field Office, via email at [email protected] or via telephone at 406-758-6882; or Gary Frank, Deputy Chief, Forest Management Bureau, Montana DNRC, via email at [email protected], or via telephone at 406-542 -4328. Information on this proposed action is also available at the DNRC's website at http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/trust/forest-management/hcp. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech disabled, please call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8337.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    With this notice, we are advising the public that we are providing the final SEIS and amended HCP for public review. We jointly prepared the final SEIS for our compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and DNRC's compliance with the Montana Environmental Policy Act.

    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. Regulations governing activities involving endangered species are at 50 CFR part 17, subpart C, and regulations governing activities involving threatened species are at 50 CFR part 17, subpart D.

    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.

    The Applicant's Project

    In 2011, we issued a permit to DNRC for take of the grizzly bear, Canada lynx, bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, and Columbia redband trout incidental to forest management activities covered in their HCP (75 FR 57059). The grizzly bear, Canada lynx, and bull trout are listed as threatened under the ESA, while the westslope and Columbia redband trout are not listed species. The original permit covered approximately 548,500 acres of forested State trust lands in western Montana. The HCP addressed the process and contingencies for DNRC to transfer, exchange, or add lands for their forest management activities in the future. Thus, the Service had considered in the 2011 final EIS the potential effects of amending the HCP and permit to cover such actions, but was not able to analyze effects from adding specific lands that had not yet been identified. The final SEIS analyzes potential effects to the human and natural environment from the preferred alternative to amend the permit to cover take from DNRC's forest management activities on an additional 81,416 acres. The permit's take authorization would increase for the grizzly bear, Canada lynx, bull trout, and westslope cutthroat trout. Change in authorized take of the Columbia redband trout is not necessary, because it does not occur on the additional lands. The amended permit would require DNRC to implement all applicable HCP conservation commitments on the additional lands to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of the take.

    In April, 2013, Friends of the Wild Swan, Montana Environmental Information Center, and Natural Resources Defense Council challenged the issuance of the permit in a Federal District Court in Montana. The Court ruled in the Service's favor on all but one count. DNRC and the plaintiffs subsequently entered a settlement agreement for the remaining count in September 2015. The future addition of lands to the HCP and permit were not part of the complaint or the settlement agreement. The DNRC amended the HCP to incorporate the terms of the settlement agreement, which would not result in any changes to the permit.

    National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    Issuing an amended permit is a Federal action that requires compliance with NEPA. The amended permit would require the implementation of DNRC's amendments to the HCP. Therefore, the final SEIS analyzes the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of issuing an amended permit and implementing the required measures in the amended HCP to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of the take. We also analyzed the effects of a no-action alternative. The no-action alternative includes amending the HCP to incorporate the terms of the settlement agreement, which is legally required, but does not include adding lands or issuing an amended permit authorizing additional take. The final SEIS also includes all comments we received on the draft SEIS and our response to those comments.

    In accordance with NEPA (40 CFR 1502.14(e)), we identified the proposed action as our preferred alternative in the final SEIS. The action agency's preferred alternative is a preliminary indication of its preference of action, chosen from among the alternatives analyzed. It is the alternative that the agency believes would fulfill its statutory mission and responsibilities, giving consideration to environmental, economic, technical, and other factors (43 CFR 46.420(d)). The preferred alternative is not a final agency decision; the final agency decision will be presented in the ROD after the 30-day review period for the final SEIS.

    Public Review

    Copies of the Final SEIS and Amended HCP are available for review (see ADDRESSES). Any comment we receive will become part of the administrative record and may be available to the public. 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. 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.

    In addition to our publication of this notice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will publish a Federal Register notice. The EPA is charged, under section 309 of the Clean Air Act, to review all Federal agencies' EISs and to comment on the adequacy and the acceptability of the environmental impacts of proposed actions in the EISs. EPA also serves as the repository for EISs prepared by Federal agencies and provides notice of their availability in the Federal Register. The Environmental Impact Statement (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 on Fridays in the Federal Register. The notice of availability is the start of the 30-day “wait period” for final EISs, during which agencies are generally required to wait 30 days before making a decision on a proposed action. For more information, see https://www.epa.gov/nepa. You may search for EPA comments on EISs, along with EISs themselves, at https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    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. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46).

    Dated: May 16, 2018. Marjorie Nelson, Chief—Ecological Services, Mountain-Prairie Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lakewood, Colorado.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11209 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [F-20520; 18X.LLAK.944000.L14100000.HY0000.P] Alaska Native Claims Selection AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of decision approving lands for conveyance.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hereby provides constructive notice that it will issue an appealable decision approving conveyance of the surface and subsurface estates in certain lands to Kukulget, Inc., and Sivuqaq, Inc., both Alaska Native corporations, pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, as amended (ANCSA).

    DATES:

    Any party claiming a property interest in the lands affected by the decision may appeal the decision in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR part 4 within the time limits set out in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may obtain a copy of the decision from the BLM, Alaska State Office, 222 West Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7504.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

    Eileen Bryant, BLM Alaska State Office, 907-271-5715 or [email protected] The BLM Alaska State Office may also be contacted via a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) through the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. The relay service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the BLM. The BLM will reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As required by 43 CFR 2650.7(d), notice is hereby given that the BLM will issue an appealable decision to Kukulget, Inc., and Sivuqaq, Inc. The decision approves conveyance of the surface and subsurface estates in certain lands pursuant to the ANCSA (43 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.). The lands are located on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, and are described as:

    Lots 4 and 5, U.S. Survey No. 4340, Alaska. Containing 424.35 acres.

    The grant of the lands described above shall be to Kukulget, Inc., and Sivuqaq, Inc., as tenants in common in the following proportions:

    Kukulget, Inc., an undivided 415/842 interest, and Sivuqaq, Inc., an undivided 427/842 interest.

    The BLM will also publish notice of the decision once a week for four consecutive weeks in the Nome Nugget newspaper.

    Any party claiming a property interest in the lands affected by the decision may appeal the decision in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR part 4 within the following time limits:

    1. Unknown parties, parties unable to be located after reasonable efforts have been expended to locate, parties who fail or refuse to sign their return receipt, and parties who receive a copy of the decision by regular mail which is not certified, return receipt requested, shall have until June 25, 2018 to file an appeal.

    2. Parties receiving service of the decision by certified mail shall have 30-days from the date of receipt to file an appeal.

    Parties who do not file an appeal in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR part 4 shall be deemed to have waived their rights. Notices of appeal transmitted by facsimile will not be accepted as timely filed.

    Eileen Bryant, Land Transfer Resolution Specialist, Adjudication Section.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11337 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-JA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR-936000-L14400000-ET0000; HAG-17-0166; OR-19014] Public Land Order No. 7867: Partial Withdrawal Revocation, Water Power Designation No. 14, Oregon AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Public Land Order (PLO).

    SUMMARY:

    This Order revokes in part a Secretarial Order dated December 12, 1917, which established Water Power Designation No. 14, insofar as it affects 350 acres of Revested Oregon and California Railroad Grant Lands administered by the United States Forest Service. Subject to valid existing rights, Section 24 of the Federal Power Act, the provisions of existing withdrawals, other segregations of record, and the requirements of applicable law, this Order opens the lands to a Federal land exchange.

    DATES:

    This PLO takes effect on May 25, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Childers, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, P.O. Box 2965, Portland, Oregon 97208-2965, 503-808-6225. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7-days a week. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), with concurrence of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has determined that a portion of the lands classified for water power purposes under Water Power Designation No. 14 will not be injured by conveyance out of Federal ownership. Any land conveyance will be subject to the General Exchange Act of 1922 (16 U.S.C. 485); the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of October 21, 1976, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1716); and the Act of November 23, 1977 (91 Stat. 1425) authorizing the administration of the Bull Run Watershed.

    Order

    By virtue of the authority vested in the Secretary of the Interior by Section 204 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1714, it is ordered as follows:

    1. The withdrawal created by a Secretarial Order dated December 12, 1917, which established Water Power Designation No. 14, is hereby revoked insofar as it affects the following described Revested Oregon and California Railroad Grant lands:

    Willamette Meridian T. 1 S., R. 6 E., Sec. 9, SE1/4SE1/4SE1/4; Sec. 17, E1/2NE1/4, SE1/4SW1/4NE1/4, SE1/4NE1/4SW1/4, S1/2SW1/4, and SE1/4.

    The area described contains 350 acres in Multnomah County.

    2. At 9 a.m. on May 25, 2018 the lands described in Paragraph 1 are hereby opened to such forms of disposition as may be made of the Revested Oregon and California Railroad Grant lands, subject to Section 24 of the Federal Power Act of June 10, 1920, as amended (16 U.S.C. 818), to valid existing rights, the provisions of existing withdrawals, other segregations of record, and the requirements of applicable law.

    Dated: April 18, 2018. Joseph R. Balash, Assistant Secretary—Lands and Minerals Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11338 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-OIA-WASO-23628; PIN00IO14.XI0000] U.S. Nomination to the World Heritage List: Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks AGENCY:

    Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

    ACTION:

    Second notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the decision to request that a draft nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks for inclusion on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List be prepared. The decision is the result of consultation with the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage and the review of public comments submitted in response to earlier notices. This notice complies with applicable World Heritage Program regulations.

    ADDRESSES:

    To request paper copies of documents discussed in this notice, contact April Brooks, Office of International Affairs, NPS, 1849 C St. NW, Room 3313, Washington, DC 20240. Email: [email protected] Information on the U.S. World Heritage program can be found at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/internationalcooperation/worldheritage.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Putnam, 202-354-1809 or April Brooks, 202-354-1808.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The World Heritage List is an international list of cultural and natural properties nominated by the signatories to the World Heritage Convention (1972). The United States was the prime architect of the Convention, an international treaty for preservation of natural and cultural heritage sites of global significance proposed by President Richard M. Nixon, and the U.S. was the first nation to ratify it. The World Heritage Committee, composed of representatives of 21 nations periodically elected as the governing body of the World Heritage Convention, makes the final decisions on which nominations to accept on the World Heritage List at its annual meeting each summer.

    There are 1,052 sites in 165 of the 192 signatory countries. Currently there are 23 World Heritage Sites in the United States. U.S. participation and the roles of the Department and the National Park Service (NPS) are authorized by Title IV of the Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 and conducted in accordance with 36 CFR 73—World Heritage Convention. The NPS serves as the principal technical agency for World Heritage in the Department, which has the lead role for the U.S. Government in the implementation of the Convention and manages all or parts of 18 of the 23 U.S. World Heritage Sites, including Yellowstone National Park, the Everglades, and the Statue of Liberty.

    Each State Party to the Convention maintains a Tentative List, periodically updated, of properties that are considered suitable for nomination. Only properties on the official Tentative List are eligible to officially prepare nominations that the Department may consider for submission. The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks have been included on the U.S. Tentative List since January 24, 2008. Neither inclusion in the list nor inscription as a World Heritage Site imposes legal restrictions on owners or neighbors of sites, nor does it give the United Nations any management authority or ownership rights in U.S. World Heritage Sites, which continue to be subject only to U.S. law.

    NPS regulations at 36 CFR part 73 establish the process for making nominations to the World Heritage List. This is the second notice as required by 36 CFR 73.7(f) on the proposed nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks. On December 9, 2016, the Department requested public comment on which property or properties on the U.S. World Heritage tentative list should be nominated next by the United States to the World Heritage List. This was the First Notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 89143), as required by 36 CFR 73.7(c).

    The Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage assists the Department in implementing the Convention by making recommendations on U.S. World Heritage policy, procedures, and nominations. The Panel is chaired by the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and includes representatives from various Federal Departments and agencies with Federal land management and policy-making responsibilities.

    Decision to Request the Preparation of a New U.S. World Heritage Nomination: The Department received a large number of comments on this proposal, including those made in response to previous opportunities for public comment. These included approximately 80 expressions of support for a nomination by the property owners and managers, non-profit organizations, elected officials at the local, state, and Federal levels, representatives of Indian tribes, universities, and individuals, as well as an internet petition with over 800 signatures. Some earlier comments also suggested that the nomination be made in combination with North American earthworks of other periods, but the Department has determined that such an approach would be too broadly defined to present a clear justification to meet the World Heritage criteria. There were no comments against nominating the properties. There were no comments made in the current comment period recommending the nomination of any other properties on the Tentative List. The Department considered all comments received as well as the advice of the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage. The Panel made its recommendations to the Department on the next U.S. World Heritage nomination at a meeting on January 6, 2017. The Panel agreed by consensus to support the preparation of a nomination at this time for the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks.

    The Department has selected the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as a proposed nomination to the World Heritage List. With the assistance of the Department, the owners of this group of sites are encouraged to prepare a complete nomination document in accordance with 36 CFR part 73 and the nomination format required by the World Heritage Committee.

    Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in Ohio includes:

    • Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, including the Mound City Group, Hopewell Mound Group, Seip Earthworks, High Bank Earthworks, and Hopeton Earthworks • Newark Earthworks State Memorial, including the Octagon Earthworks, Great Circle Earthworks, and Wright Earthworks • Fort Ancient State Memorial

    Dating from the middle Woodland period (1,500-2,200 years ago) the Hopewell people built enormous, landscape-scale geometric earthwork sites over a large area of southern Ohio, in an extraordinary expression of pre-Columbian ritual cultural activity which was at the center of a tradition that interacted with people as far away as the Yellowstone basin and Florida. The circles, squares and octagons are intricately related by precise and standard units of measure. They also demonstrate sophisticated astronomical observation, and contain extensive deposits of artifacts that are among the most outstanding art objects produced in pre-Columbian North America. The property includes below-ground evidence as well.

    Next Steps: A draft World Heritage nomination for the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks may now be prepared, in consultation with the National Park Service's Office of International Affairs. The World Heritage nomination format may be found at the World Heritage Centre website in Annex 5 of the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention at http://whc.unesco.org/en/guidelines. The NPS will coordinate the review and evaluation of the draft nomination and will establish in consultation with the property owners and managers a memorandum that describes the roles, responsibilities, and process to be followed in developing a nomination, including the documentation of protective measures as provided for in 36 CFR 73.13. Following NPS review of a complete draft nomination, the Department may submit it to the World Heritage Centre for technical review by September 30 of any year. The Centre will then provide comments by November 15 of that year. The Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage will review a draft nomination following receipt of the Centre's comments. The Interagency Panel will evaluate the adequacy of the nomination, the significance of the property and whether the nomination should be formally submitted to the World Heritage Centre for consideration by the World Heritage Committee, and will make a recommendation to the Department. Submittal to the World Heritage Centre by the Department through the Department of State can be made by February 1 of any year; the World Heritage Committee will then consider the nomination at its annual meeting in the summer of the following year, following an evaluation by an official Advisory Body to the Committee.

    Authority:

    54 U.S.C. 307 101; 36 CFR part 73.

    Dated: April 24, 2018. Susan Combs, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11363 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 189S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A00 18XS501520] Notice of Availability for the San Juan Mine Deep Lease Extension Mining Plan Modification Draft Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Juan Coal Company's (SJCC) proposed Deep Lease Extension (DLE) at the existing San Juan Mine (Project) in San Juan County, New Mexico, and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period.

    DATES:

    This Notice of Availability (NOA) initiates the public review period. To ensure consideration of your comments, OSMRE must receive your electronic or written comments by the close of the 45-day public comment period on July 9, 2018.

    OSMRE will host public comment meetings where written and/or verbal comments may be submitted. These meetings will be open-house style with information stations around the meeting room that provide overviews of the Project, NEPA process, analysis of resources/issues in the Draft EIS, and how to submit a comment. Subject matter experts will be present to discuss the key issues and answer your questions. There will be oral and written comment stations at the meetings where you can submit comments.

    The public comment meetings will be held at the following locations:

    • On Monday, June 25th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    • On Tuesday, June 26th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Farmington City Civic Center at 200 West Arrington St., Farmington, New Mexico.

    • On Wednesday, June 27th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ute Community Center at 785 Sunset Blvd., Towaoc, Colorado.

    • On Thursday, June 28th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Shiprock High School approximately a half-mile west on US-64 from US-491 in Shiprock, New Mexico.

    • On Friday, June 29th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Durango Community Recreation Center at 2700 Main Avenue, Durango, Colorado.

    At a minimum of 15 days prior to each event, the foregoing times, dates, and specific locations for these meetings will be announced through email notifications, local newspapers, radio announcements, and the OSMRE Western Region (WR) website https://www.wrcc.osmre.gov/sanJuanMine.shtm.

    OSMRE WR offers the following accommodations for the meetings:

    1. Navajo and Ute interpreters will be present at meetings held on the Navajo and Southern Ute Reservations.

    2. For reasonable accommodations regarding disabilities that may impact your ability to attend or comment, contact Gretchen Pinkham, OSMRE Project Manager, at 303-293-5088 or by email at [email protected], at least one week before the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the Draft EIS may be submitted in paper form or by email. At the top of your letter or in the subject line of your email message, please indicate that the comments are “San Juan Mine DLE EIS Comments.”

    • Email—Comments should be sent to: [email protected].

    • Mail/Courier—Written comments should be sent to: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, c/o Catalyst Environmental Solutions, P.O. Box 56539, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413.

    You can download the Draft EIS at the following OSMRE WR website: https://www.wrcc.osmre.gov/sanJuanMine.shtm. Paper and electronic copies of the Draft EIS are available for review at the OSMRE Western Region Office, 1999 Broadway Street, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202. In addition, a paper and electronic copy of the Draft EIS is available for review at each of the following locations:

    • Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Farmington Field Office—6251 College Blvd., Suite A, Farmington, NM, 87402. Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed Saturday and Sunday).

    • Navajo Nation Library—Highway 264 Loop Road, Window Rock, AZ 86515. Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (Closed Sunday).

    • Albuquerque Main Library—501 Copper Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (Closed Sunday).

    • Cortez Public Library—202 N. Park Street, Cortez, CO 81321. Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Friday through Saturday (Closed Sunday).

    • Durango Public Library—1900 E. Third Ave, Durango, CO 81301. Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (Closed Sunday).

    • Farmington Public Library—2101 Farmington Ave, Farmington, NM 87401. Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Friday through Saturday; and, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information about the Project and/or to have your name added to the mailing list, contact: Gretchen Pinkham, OSMRE Project Manager, at 303-293-5088 or by email at [email protected]. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Project II. Background on the San Juan Generating Station III. Mining Plan Modification for the DLE IV. Alternatives V. Environmental Impact Analysis VI. Public Comment Procedures I. Background on the Project

    As established by the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) of 1920, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977, as amended (30 U.S.C. 1201-1328), and the Cooperative Agreement between the State of New Mexico and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in accordance with Section 523(c) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1273(c)), SJCC's Permit Application Package (PAP) must be reviewed by OSMRE and a mining plan modification approved by the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) before SJCC may significantly disturb the environment in order to develop the DLE Federal Coal Lease Tract NM-99144. The NM Mining and Minerals Division (NM MMD) is the SMCRA regulatory authority principally responsible for reviewing and approving PAPs. Under the MLA, OSMRE is responsible for making a recommendation to the ASLM about whether the proposed mining plan modification should be approved, disapproved, or approved with conditions (30 CFR 476.13). The NM MMD approved the PAP for the DLE on October 22, 1999. The ASLM first approved the mining plan modification for DLE Federal Coal Lease Tract NM-99144 on January 17, 2008, after receiving a recommendation from OSMRE for approval that included a Finding of No Significant Impact signed by OSMRE in 2007 and the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) 1998 decision record on an amendment to the 1988 Farmington Resource Management Plan to include Federal Coal Lease Tract NM-99144.

    OSMRE's NEPA analysis supporting the 2008 mining plan modification was challenged in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico. WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Office of Surface Mining et al., Case 1:14-cv-00112-RJ-CG (D. NM) (amended petition filed March 14, 2014). On August 31, 2016, the Court granted OSMRE's Motion for voluntary remand, which remanded the matter to OSMRE to prepare an EIS within three years of the Court's order. The Draft EIS available today has been prepared in accordance with the voluntary remand.

    The San Juan Mine has contractual obligations to deliver approximately 3 million tons of coal per year to the San Juan Generating Station (Generating Station) from 2008 through 2033. Mining activities within the DLE have been ongoing since OSMRE approval in 2008 and continue presently. Per the voluntary remand, mining operations within the DLE are allowed to proceed during the EIS process. However, the court-approved voluntary remand indicated that the Secretary's approval of the 2008 mining plan modification for the DLE would be vacated if the agency does not complete the required NEPA analysis in a timely manner. As a result, OSMRE has prepared this Draft EIS to re-evaluate its previous mining plan modification recommendation for this area. Among other information, this Draft EIS considers (1) the PAP submitted to OSMRE and NM MMD, and (2) new information available since the 2008 MPDD approval for potentially affected resources considered under direct, indirect, and cumulative analytical frameworks.

    The DLE underground operations use longwall mining methods consisting of one longwall miner and two continuous miners (i.e. pieces of equipment). The mine employed approximately 282 people in 2017. The mining plan modification would not add any acres of federal surface lands or any acres of federal coal to the approved permit area but would authorize the recovery of approximately 53 million tons of coal from 4,464.87 acres of federal coal and would add approximately 10 to 15 years to the life of the operation until 2033. For reasons discussed in sections II and III below, annual production rates of the mine are projected to be approximately 3 million tons per year in order to meet the contractual obligations with the Generating Station.

    The BLM, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and New Mexico MMD are Cooperating Agencies for this EIS. As the NEPA analysis proceeds, OSMRE is also consulting with the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officer in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 300101-307108), as provided for in 36 CFR part 800.2(d)(3) and providing for public involvement, as required. Consultations with Native American Tribes are being conducted in accordance with DOI policy.

    As part of its consideration of impacts of the proposed Project on threatened and endangered species, OSMRE initiated formal consultation with the USFWS on May 8, 2018, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations. The consultation considers direct and indirect impacts from the proposed Project, including Project related coal combustion emissions generated by the generating station.

    In addition to compliance with NEPA, NHPA Section 106, and ESA Section 7, all Federal actions will be in compliance with applicable requirements of the SMCRA; the CWA, 33 U.S.C. 1251-1387; the Clean Air Act of 1970, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q; the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, as amended, 25 U.S.C. 3001-3013; and all applicable laws, regulation, and Executive Order on topics such as Environmental Justice, Sacred Sites, and Tribal Consultation.

    II. Background on the San Juan Generating Station

    The Generating Station, operated by the Public Service Company of New Mexico, is one of the largest coal-fired generating stations in the United States and provides power to customers in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The generating station is located approximately 4 miles northeast of Waterflow, NM and 15 miles west of Farmington, NM. Pursuant to an agreement with the EPA, the Generating Station shut down two of the four energy generation units (Units 2 and 3) on December 19, 2017, decreasing the power output from approximately 1,800 megawatts to 910 megawatts (specifically, Units 2 and 3). The continued operation of Units 1 and 4 will require approximately 3 million tons of coal per year to produce the 910 megawatts.

    III. Mining Plan Modification for the DLE

    SJCC's mining plan modification would continue to develop the DLE, Federal Lease NM-99144, within the San Juan Mine. Due to the retirement of energy generating Units 2 and 3, the annual production rate of the DLE was reduced from the previous annual production rate of 6 million tons to an annual production rate of approximately 3 million tons beginning in 2017. Federal lease NM-99144 encompasses 4,464.87 acres and includes:

    Township 30, North, Range 14 West, New Mexico Prime Meridian

    Section 17: All;

    Section 18: All;

    Section 19: All;

    Section 20: All;

    Section 29: All;

    Section 30: All; and portions of

    Section 31: (Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4).

    Upon completion of the EIS process and issuance of the Record of Decision, OSMRE will submit a mine plan decision document to the ASLM to recommend approval, disapproval, or approval with conditions of the proposed mining plan modification for the continuation or cessation of the San Juan Mine to mine the DLE within federal coal lease NM-99144. The ASLM will decide whether the mining plan modification is approved, disapproved, or approved with conditions.

    IV. Alternatives

    The analysis in the Draft EIS considers direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the Proposed Action and two Alternatives. Per 40 CFR 1501.7, the issues raised during the scoping period (March 22-May 8, 2017) were used to inform the analyses and identify the alternatives considered in the Draft EIS. Alternatives for the Project that were analyzed in the Draft EIS include:

    (a) Alternative A—Proposed Action: As described above in Section I, second paragraph. The Proposed Action Alternative would be as approved from the time of the original PAP and initial approval of the mining plan modification in 2008 until 2033.

    (b) Alternative B—Continuation of San Juan Mine Operations Following Generating Station Shut-Down in 2022: This alternative assumes that that the remaining units of the Generating Station shut down in 2022, but that mining continues at the DLE at the same rate (approximately 3 million tons annually) from 2023 through 2033. After 2023, this alternative assumes that the mine will send the coal to an unidentified coal-fired power plant. Without knowing the location of the end-use of the DLE coal, the Draft EIS bounds the potential effects of combusting DLE coal at an unidentified power plant by relying on the analysis of effects at the San Juan Generating Station. Under Alternative B, the mining techniques would be identical to those for the Proposed Action.

    (c) Alternative C—No Action Alternative: This alternative assumes that OSMRE would recommend that the ASLM disapprove the mining plan modification for the DLE at the San Juan Mine, the ASLM disapproves of the mining plan, and mining ceases on August 31, 2019. Implementation of the No Action Alternative would result in the discontinuation of mining activities at San Juan Mine and cessation of burning coal from San Juan Mine at the Generating Station on August 31, 2019. Considering mining activities in the DLE have been ongoing since 2008 and will continue throughout the NEPA process, the baseline conditions for the No Action Alternative includes mining through August 2019.

    A wide range of additional Alternatives were considered by OSMRE but not carried forward for detailed analysis in the Draft EIS. The following Alternatives were not analyzed in the Draft EIS because they either did not meet the purpose and need of the Project or were not considered technically feasible or economically feasible or cost-effective:

    • Alternative D—Alternative Panel Alignment, Timing or Sequence • Alternative E—Continue to Mine at a Rate of 6 Million Tons Per Year • Alternative F—Modifications to Underground Mining Technique • Alternative G—Relocation of Portal Sites • Alternative H—Alternative Coal Combustion Residue Disposal Sites • Alternative I—“Just” Transition Alternative V. Environmental Impact Analysis

    The Draft EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts to 16 different resource categories, including:

    • Air Quality • Climate Change • Geology and Soils • Archaeology and Cultural Resources • Water Resources and Hydrology • Vegetation • Wildlife and Habitats • Special Status Species • Land Use, Transportation, and Agriculture • Recreation • Social and Economic Values • Environmental Justice • Visual Resources • Noise and Vibration impacts • Hazardous and Solid Wastes • Public Health and Safety VI. Public Comment Procedures

    In accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for implementing NEPA and the DOI's NEPA regulations, OSMRE is soliciting public comments on the Draft EIS. The comment period is being held over 45 days from July 9, 2018.

    Written comments, including email comments, should be sent to OSMRE at the addresses given in the ADDRESSES section of this NOA. Comments should be specific and pertain only to the issues relating to the Project and Draft EIS. If you would like to be placed on the mailing list to receive future information, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    If you require reasonable accommodation to attend one of the meetings, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT at least one week before the meeting.

    Availability of Comments

    OSMRE will include all comments in the project's administrative record. These comments, including name of respondent, address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information, will be available for public review during normal business hours. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments may not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

    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—will be publicly available. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    All submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses will be available for public review to the extent consistent with applicable law.

    Dated: May 17, 2018. David Berry, Regional Director, Western Region.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11107 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-921 (Third Review)] Folding Gift Boxes From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of an expedited review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on folding gift boxes from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    DATES:

    May 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Abu Kanu (202-(202) 205-2597), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this review may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On May 7, 2018, the Commission determined that the domestic interested party group response to its notice of institution (83 FR 4679, February 1, 2018) of the subject five-year review was adequate and that the respondent interested party group response was inadequate. The Commission did not find any other circumstances that would warrant conducting a full review.1 Accordingly, the Commission determined that it would conduct an expedited review pursuant to section 751(c)(3) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(3)).2

    1 A record of the Commissioners' votes, the Commission's statement on adequacy, and any individual Commissioner's statements will be available from the Office of the Secretary and at the Commission's website.

    2 Vice Chairman David S. Johanson voted to conduct a full review. Commissioner Jason E. Kearns did not participate.

    For further information concerning the conduct of this review and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A, D, E, and F (19 CFR part 207).

    Staff report.—A staff report containing information concerning the subject matter of the review will be placed in the nonpublic record on June 1, 2018, and made available to persons on the Administrative Protective Order service list for this review. A public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.62(d)(4) of the Commission's rules.

    Written submissions.—As provided in section 207.62(d) of the Commission's rules, interested parties that are parties to the review and that have provided individually adequate responses to the notice of institution,3 and any party other than an interested party to the review may file written comments with the Secretary on what determination the Commission should reach in the review. Comments are due on or before June 6, 2018 and may not contain new factual information. Any person that is neither a party to the five-year review nor an interested party may submit a brief written statement (which shall not contain any new factual information) pertinent to the review by June 6, 2018. However, should the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) extend the time limit for its completion of the final results of its review, the deadline for comments (which may not contain new factual information) on Commerce's final results is three business days after the issuance of Commerce's results. If comments contain business proprietary information (BPI), they must conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's rules with respect to filing were revised effective July 25, 2014. See 79 FR 35920 (June 25, 2014), and the revised Commission Handbook on E-filing, available from the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    3 The Commission has found the responses submitted by Harvard Folding Box Company, Inc. and P.S. Greetings, Inc. to be individually adequate. Comments from other interested parties will not be accepted (see 19 CFR 207.62(d)(2)).

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the rules, each document filed by a party to the review must be served on all other parties to the review (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    Authority:

    This review is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.62 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: May 22, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11301 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 332-567] Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of institution of investigation and scheduling of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    Following receipt of a request on May 18, 2018, from the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) instituted investigation No. 332-567, Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review, for the purpose of providing advice and information relating to the possible designation of additional articles, removal of articles, waiver of competitive need limitations, redesignation of articles, and denial of a de minimis waiver.

    DATES:

    June 4, 2018: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing. June 7, 2018: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements. June 14, 2018: Public hearing. June 21, 2018: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements. June 21, 2018: Deadline for filing all other written submissions. September 7, 2018: Transmittal of Commission report to the USTR. ADDRESSES:

    All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information specific to this investigation may be obtained from Sabina Neumann, Project Leader, Office of Industries (202-205-3000 or [email protected]), Mark Brininstool, Deputy Project Leader, Office of Industries (202-708-1395 or [email protected]), or Marin Weaver, Technical Advisor, Office of Industries (202-205-3461 or [email protected]). For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-3091 or [email protected]). The media should contact Margaret O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or [email protected]). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its website (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

    Background: In his letter, the USTR requested the advice and information described below.

    (1) Advice concerning the probable economic effect of elimination of U.S. import duties on certain articles from all beneficiary developing countries under the GSP program. In accordance with sections 503(a)(1)(A), 503(e), and 131(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (“the 1974 Act”) and pursuant to the authority of the President delegated to the USTR by sections 4(c) and 8(c) and (d) of Executive Order 11846 of March 31, 1975, as amended, and pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the USTR notified the Commission that the articles identified in Table A of the Annex to the USTR request letter are being considered for designation as eligible articles for purposes of the GSP program. The USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers of the elimination of U.S. import duties on the articles identified in Table A of the Annex to the USTR request letter for all beneficiary developing countries under the GSP program (see Table A below).

    Table A—Petitions Submitted for Products To Be Considered for Addition to the List of GSP-Eligible Products HTS subheading Brief description Countries 0808.30.40 Pears, fresh, if entered during the period from July 1 through the following March 31, inclusive Beneficiary Developing Countries. 0814.00.80 Peel of citrus fruit, excl. orange or citron and peel, nesi, of melon, fresh, frozen, dried or provisionally preserved Beneficiary Developing Countries. 1207.29.00 Cotton seeds, whether or not broken, other than seed for sowing Beneficiary Developing Countries. 1512.11.00 Sunflower-seed or safflower oil, crude, and their fractions, whether or not refined, not chemically modified Beneficiary Developing Countries. 2008.99.05 Apples, otherwise prepared or preserved, nesi Beneficiary Developing Countries. 2918.99.05 p-Anisic acid; clofibrate and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid Beneficiary Developing Countries. 2918.99.43 Aromatic carboxylic acids with additional oxygen function and their anhydrides, halide, etc deriv described in add US note 3 to sect VI, nesoi Beneficiary Developing Countries. 2918.99.47 Other aromatic carboxylic acids with additional oxygen function and their anhydrides, halide, etc deriv (excluding goods in add US note 3 to sec VI) Beneficiary Developing Countries. 4010.33.30 Transmission V-belts of vulcanized rubber, V-ribbed, circumference exceeding 180 cm but not exceeding 240 cm, combined with textile materials Beneficiary Developing Countries.

    (2) Advice concerning the probable economic effect of removal of certain articles from certain countries from eligibility for duty-free treatment. The USTR notified the Commission that two articles are being considered for removal from eligibility for duty free treatment under the GSP program from certain countries. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, with respect to the article listed in Table B of the Annex to the USTR request letter, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect of the removal from eligibility for duty-free treatment under the GSP program for these articles from certain countries on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers (see Table B below).

    Table B—Petitions Submitted To Remove Duty-Free Status From Certain Countries for a Product on the List of Eligible Articles for the Generalized System of Preferences HTS subheading Brief description Country 2009.89.6011 and 2009.89.6019 Cherry juice—Part of 2009.89.60 “Juice of any other single fruit, nesoi” Turkey. 3920.51.50 Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polymethyl methacrylate, not flexible Indonesia and Thailand.

    (3) Advice concerning waiver of certain competitive need limitations. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, and in accordance with section 503(d)(1)(A) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide advice on whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by a waiver of the competitive need limitations (CNL) specified in section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act for the countries and articles specified in Table C of the attached Annex to the request letter (see Table C below). The USTR also requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, as well as on consumers, of the requested waivers. With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission use the dollar value limit of $180,000,000. Further, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 and in accordance with section 503(c)(2)(E) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice with respect to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years.

    Table C—Petitions Submitted for Waiver of GSP CNLs HTS subheading Brief description Country 0410.00.00 Edible products of animal origin, nesi Indonesia. 2836.91.00 Lithium carbonates Argentina. 3301.13.00 Essential oils of lemon Argentina. 6802.99.00 Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, nesoi, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi Brazil. 7202.50.00 Ferrosilicon chromium Kazakhstan.

    (4) Advice concerning redesignations. The USTR notified the Commission that seven articles are being considered for redesignation as eligible articles for purposes of the GSP program. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers of the elimination of U.S. import duties on the articles in Table D of the Annex to the USTR request letter from the listed beneficiary countries.

    Table D—Petitions Submitted for Redesignation of Excluded Items HTS subheading Brief description Country 2007.99.48 Apple, quince and pear pastes and purees, being cooked preparations Argentina. 2306.30.00 Oilcake and other solid residues, resulting from the extraction of vegetable fats or oils, of sunflower seeds Argentina. 2841.90.20 Ammonium perrhenate Kazakhstan. 2909.50.40 Odoriferous or flavoring compounds of ether-phenols, ether-alcohol-phenols & their halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated, nitrosated derivatives Indonesia. 4107.11.80 Full grain unsplit whole bovine (not buffalo) nesoi and equine leather nesoi, w/o hair, prepared after tanning or crusting, fancy, not 4114 Argentina. 6802.93.00 Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of granite, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi India. 7202.93.80 Ferroniobium, nesoi Brazil.

    (5) Advice concerning redesignation and advice on whether a like or directly competitive domestic article was produced in any of the preceding three years. The USTR notified the Commission that one article is being considered for redesignation as an eligible article for purposes of the GSP program. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers of the elimination of U.S. import duties on the articles in Table E of the Annex to the USTR request letter from the listed beneficiary countries. Further, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 and in accordance with section 503(c)(2)(E) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years.

    Table E—Petition Submitted for Redesignation of Excluded Item HTS subheading Brief description Country 4412.31.41, Including 4412.31.4150 and 4412.31.4160 Plywood sheets n/o 6mm thick, with specified tropical wood outer ply, with face ply nesoi, not surface covered beyond clear/transparent Indonesia.

    (6) Advice concerning denial of de minimis waiver. The USTR notified the Commission that one article from a GSP beneficiary country is being considered for denial of a de minimis CNL waiver. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, with respect to the article listed in Table F of the Annex to the USTR request letter, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect of the removal from eligibility for duty-free treatment under the GSP program of this article from the specified country on total U.S. imports, on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers. Further, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 and in accordance with section 503(c)(2)(E) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice with respect to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years.

    Table F—Petition Submitted for Denial of De Minimis Waiver HTS subheading Brief description Country 3802.90.10 Bone black Brazil.

    Time for reporting, HTS detail, portions of report to be classified. As requested by the USTR, the Commission will provide the requested advice and information by September 7, 2018. The USTR asked that the Commission issue, as soon as possible thereafter, a public version of the report containing only the unclassified information, with any confidential business information deleted. As requested, the Commission will provide its economic effect advice and statistics (profile of the U.S. industry and market and U.S. import and export data) and any other relevant information or advice separately and individually for each U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheading for all products subject to the request. The USTR indicated that those sections of the Commission's report and working papers that contain the Commission's advice and assessment will be classified as “confidential.” The USTR also stated that his office considers the Commission's report to be an inter-agency memorandum that will contain pre-decisional advice and be subject to the deliberative process privilege.

    Public Hearing: A public hearing in connection with this investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on June 14, 2018. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed with the Secretary no later than 5:15 p.m., June 4, 2018. All pre-hearing briefs and statements should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m., June 7, 2018; and all post-hearing briefs and statements should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m., June 21, 2018. All requests to appear, and pre- and post-hearing briefs and statements should be filed in accordance with the requirements of the “written submissions” section below.

    Written Submissions: In lieu of or in addition to appearing at the hearing, interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this investigation. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, and should be received not later than 5:15 p.m., June 21, 2018. All written submissions must conform to the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission's Handbook on Filing Procedures require that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (202-205-1802).

    Confidential Business Information: Any submissions that contain confidential business information must also conform with the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the “confidential” or “non-confidential” version, and that the confidential business information is clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties.

    The Commission may include some or all of the confidential business information submitted in the course of this investigation in the report it sends to the USTR. Additionally, all information, including confidential business information, submitted in this investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel (a) for cybersecurity purposes or (b) in monitoring user activity on U.S. government classified networks. The Commission will not otherwise disclose any confidential business information in a manner that would reveal the operations of the firm supplying the information.

    Summaries of Written Submissions: The Commission intends to publish summaries of the positions of interested persons. Persons wishing to have a summary of their position included in the report should include a summary with their written submission. The summary may not exceed 500 words, should be in MSWord format or a format that can be easily converted to MSWord, and should not include any confidential business information. The summary will be published as provided if it meets these requirements and is germane to the subject matter of the investigation. The Commission will identify the name of the organization furnishing the summary and will include a link to the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) where the full written submission can be found.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: May 23, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11458 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE-18-025] Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    TIME AND DATE:

    May 31, 2018 at 11:00 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 on Inv. Nos. 701-TA-606 and 731-TA-1416 (Preliminary) (Quartz Surface Products from China). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determinations on June 1, 2018; views of the Commission are currently scheduled to be completed and filed on June 8, 2018. 5. Vote on Inv. No. 731-TA-860 (Third Review) (Tin- and Chromium-Coated Steel Sheet from Japan). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determination and views of the Commission by June 19, 2018. 6. 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 22, 2018. William Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11444 Filed 5-23-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-1103 (Second Review)] Activated Carbon From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of an expedited review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on activated carbon from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    DATES:

    May 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Lawrence (202-205-3185), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this review may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On May 7, 2018, the Commission determined that the domestic interested party group response to its notice of institution (83 FR 4681, February 1, 2018) of the subject five-year review was adequate and that the respondent interested party group response was inadequate. The Commission did not find any other circumstances that would warrant conducting a full review.1 Accordingly, the Commission determined that it would conduct an expedited review pursuant to section 751(c)(3) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(3)).2

    1 A record of the Commissioners' votes, the Commission's statement on adequacy, and any individual Commissioner's statements will be available from the Office of the Secretary and at the Commission's website.

    2 Vice Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioner Meredith M. Broadbent determined that the respondent interested party group response was adequate and voted to conduct a full review.

    For further information concerning the conduct of this review and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A, D, E, and F (19 CFR part 207).

    Staff report.—A staff report containing information concerning the subject matter of the review will be placed in the nonpublic record on May 30, 2018, and made available to persons on the Administrative Protective Order service list for this review. A public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.62(d)(4) of the Commission's rules.

    Written submissions.—As provided in section 207.62(d) of the Commission's rules, interested parties that are parties to the review and that have provided individually adequate responses to the notice of institution,3 and any party other than an interested party to the review may file written comments with the Secretary on what determination the Commission should reach in the review. Comments are due on or before June 4, 2018 and may not contain new factual information. Any person that is neither a party to the five-year review nor an interested party may submit a brief written statement (which shall not contain any new factual information) pertinent to the review by June 4, 2018. However, should the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) extend the time limit for its completion of the final results of its review, the deadline for comments (which may not contain new factual information) on Commerce's final results is three business days after the issuance of Commerce's results. If comments contain business proprietary information (BPI), they must conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's rules with respect to filing were revised effective July 25, 2014. See 79 FR 35920 (June 25, 2014), and the revised Commission Handbook on E-filing, available from the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    3 The Commission has found the responses submitted by ADA Carbon Solutions, Cabot Norit Americas Inc., Calgon Carbon Corporation, Carbon Activated Corporation, and Carbon Activated (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. to be individually adequate. Comments from other interested parties will not be accepted (see 19 CFR 207.62(d)(2)).

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the rules, each document filed by a party to the review must be served on all other parties to the review (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    Authority:

    This review is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.62 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: May 22, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11273 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 731-TA-672-673 (Fourth Review)] Silicomanganese From China and Ukraine; Scheduling of Full Five-Year Reviews AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of full reviews pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty orders on silicomanganese from China and Ukraine would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. The Commission has determined to exercise its authority to extend the review period by up to 90 days.

    DATES:

    May 17, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Duffy (202-708-2579), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for these reviews may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On January 5, 2018, the Commission determined that responses to its notice of institution of the subject five-year reviews were such that full reviews should proceed (83 FR 3025, January 22, 2018); accordingly, full reviews are being scheduled pursuant to section 751(c)(5) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(5)). A record of the Commissioners' votes, the Commission's statement on adequacy, and any individual Commissioner's statements are available from the Office of the Secretary and at the Commission's website.

    Participation in the review and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the subject merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in these reviews as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11 of the Commission's rules, by 45 days after publication of this notice. A party that filed a notice of appearance following publication of the Commission's notice of institution of the reviews need not file an additional notice of appearance. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the reviews.

    For further information concerning the conduct of these reviews and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A, D, E, and F (19 CFR part 207).

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in these reviews available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the reviews, provided that the application is made by 45 days after publication of this notice. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined by 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the reviews. A party granted access to BPI following publication of the Commission's notice of institution of the reviews need not reapply for such access. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Staff report.—The prehearing staff report in the reviews will be placed in the nonpublic record on September 4, 2018, and a public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.64 of the Commission's rules.

    Hearing.—The Commission will hold a hearing in connection with the reviews beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed in writing with the Secretary to the Commission on or before September 17, 2018. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the hearing. All parties and nonparties desiring to appear at the hearing and make oral presentations should participate in a prehearing conference to be held on September 24, 2018, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, if deemed necessary. Oral testimony and written materials to be submitted at the public hearing are governed by sections 201.6(b)(2), 201.13(f), 207.24, and 207.66 of the Commission's rules. Parties must submit any request to present a portion of their hearing testimony in camera no later than 7 business days prior to the date of the hearing.

    Written submissions.—Each party to the reviews may submit a prehearing brief to the Commission. Prehearing briefs must conform with the provisions of section 207.65 of the Commission's rules; the deadline for filing is September 13, 2018. Parties may also file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the hearing, as provided in section 207.24 of the Commission's rules, and posthearing briefs, which must conform with the provisions of section 207.67 of the Commission's rules. The deadline for filing posthearing briefs is October 4, 2018. In addition, any person who has not entered an appearance as a party to the reviews may submit a written statement of information pertinent to the subject of the reviews on or before October 4, 2018. On October 26, 2018, the Commission will make available to parties all information on which they have not had an opportunity to comment. Parties may submit final comments on this information on or before October 30, 2018, but such final comments must not contain new factual information and must otherwise comply with section 207.68 of the Commission's rules. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's website at https://edis.usitc.gov, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing.

    Additional written submissions to the Commission, including requests pursuant to section 201.12 of the Commission's rules, shall not be accepted unless good cause is shown for accepting such submissions, or unless the submission is pursuant to a specific request by a Commissioner or Commission staff.

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the reviews must be served on all other parties to the reviews (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    The Commission has determined that these reviews are extraordinarily complicated and therefore has determined to exercise its authority to extend the review period by up to 90 days pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(5)(B).

    Authority:

    These reviews are being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.62 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: May 22, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11295 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-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 May 9, 2018, 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 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, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Midland, TX, has been added as a party 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 Permian Basin intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership.

    On April 18, 2017, Permian Basin 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 May 12, 2017 (82 FR 22159).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on June 22, 2017. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on July 25, 2017 (82 FR 34551).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11234 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—National Fire Protection Association

    Notice is hereby given that, on May 8, 2018, 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 Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing additions or changes to its standards development activities. 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, NFPA has provided an updated and current list of its standards development activities, related technical committee and conformity assessment activities. Information concerning NFPA regulations, technical committees, current standards, standards development and conformity assessment activities are publically available at nfpa.org.

    On September 20, 2004, NFPA 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 October 21, 2004 (69 FR 61869).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on March 6, 2018. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on April 24, 2018 (83 FR 17852).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11242 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 18-11] Health Fit Pharmacy; Decision and Order

    On November 15, 2017, the Acting Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Health Fit Pharmacy (Respondent), of Houston, Texas. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Respondent's DEA Certificate of Registration No. FH1729942 on the ground that he has “no state authority to handle controlled substances.” Order to Show Cause, at 1 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3)). For the same reason, the Order also proposed the denial of any of Respondent's “applications for renewal or modification of such registration and any applications for any other DEA registrations.” Id.

    With respect to the Agency's jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent is the holder of Certificate of Registration No. FH1729942, pursuant to which it is authorized to dispense controlled substances as a retail pharmacy in schedules II through V, at the registered address of 1307 Yale Street, Suite H, Houston, Texas. Id. The Order also alleged that this registration does not expire until October 31, 2018. Id.

    Regarding the substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that on September 15, 2017, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) “suspended” Respondent's Texas pharmacy license, and Respondent is therefore “without authority to practice pharmacy or handle controlled substances in the State of Texas, the [S]tate in which [it is] registered with the DEA.” Id. at 2. Based on its “lack of authority to [dispense] controlled substances in . . . Texas,” the Order asserted that “DEA must revoke” Respondent's registration. Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3); 21 CFR 1301.37(b)).

    The Show Cause Order notified Respondent of (1) its right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, (2) the procedure for electing either option, and (3) the consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Order also notified Respondent of its right to submit a corrective action plan. Id. at 2-3 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(c)(2)(C)).

    On December 4, 2017, Respondent, through counsel, filed a letter requesting a hearing on the allegations. Letter from Respondent's Counsel to Hearing Clerk (dated Nov. 30, 2017) (hereinafter, Hearing Request). In this letter, Respondent “objects to the cancellation of Health Fit Pharmacy['s DEA] controlled substance registration” for two reasons. First, Respondent states that, “although temporar[il]y suspended,” it “maintains an active license.” Id. at 1. Second, Respondent “expects to prevail” in a “final contested hearing regarding the temporary suspension of this license on the merits . . . scheduled for February, 2018.” Id.

    The matter was placed on the docket of the Office of Administrative Law Judges and assigned to Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney, II (hereinafter, CALJ). On December 4, 2017, the CALJ ordered the Government to file “evidence to support the allegation that the Respondent lacks state authority to handle controlled substances” and file “any Government motion for summary disposition” no later than December 15, 2017. Order Directing the Filing of Government Evidence of Lack of State Authority Allegation and Briefing Schedule, at 1-2. The CALJ also directed Respondent to file its response to any summary disposition motion no later than December 29, 2017. Id. at 2.

    On December 15, 2017, the Government filed its Motion for Summary Disposition. In its Motion, the Government argued that it is undisputed that Respondent lacks authority to handle controlled substances in Texas because the TSBP suspended Respondent's Texas medical license on September 15, 2017. Government's Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter Government's Motion or Govt. Mot.) at 2-3; TSBP Temporary Suspension Order #A-16-008-BS1 (Government Exhibit (GX) 2 to Govt. Mot. or “Sept. 15, 2017 TSBP Order”). The Government also noted that, in its Hearing Request, Respondent did not dispute that the TSBP had suspended