Federal Register Vol. 83, No.112,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 112 (June 11, 2018)

Page Range26833-27286
FR Document

83_FR_112
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 27003 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 26962 - Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From the People's Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Amended Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value for the People's Republic of China and SwitzerlandPDF
83 FR 27029 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 27055 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 27013 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation (HSAR) Various FormsPDF
83 FR 26993 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
83 FR 26998 - Problem Formulations for the Risk Evaluations To Be Conducted Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and General Guiding Principles To Apply Systematic Review in TSCA Risk Evaluations; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 26836 - Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation AirplanesPDF
83 FR 26844 - Safety Zone; LAZ Trommler Fireworks, Sandusky Bay, Marblehead, OHPDF
83 FR 27080 - Agency Information Collection: Activity for OMB Review: Agency Request for Reinstatement of a Previously Approved Information Collection: 2105-0009, Advisory Committee Candidate Biographical Information Request FormPDF
83 FR 27026 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
83 FR 27025 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
83 FR 26922 - Asbestos; Significant New Use RulePDF
83 FR 27012 - Council on Graduate Medical EducationPDF
83 FR 26842 - Safety Zone; Corpus Christi Bay, Corpus Christi, TXPDF
83 FR 27018 - Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee Notice of Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 27035 - BlackRock Variable Series Funds, Inc., et al.PDF
83 FR 26998 - Underground Injection Control Program; Hazardous Waste Injection Restrictions; Petition for Exemption Reissuance-Class I Hazardous Waste Injection; U. S. Ecology Texas (USET) Robstown, TexasPDF
83 FR 26917 - District of Columbia: Proposed Authorization of District Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
83 FR 26997 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Trade Secrets Claims Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Information (EPCRA Section 322)PDF
83 FR 27068 - U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Notice of Teleconference MeetingPDF
83 FR 27023 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New collection: Death in Custody Reporting Act CollectionPDF
83 FR 26933 - Amendments to the Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training RegulationsPDF
83 FR 26991 - Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA)PDF
83 FR 26841 - Military Payment CertificatesPDF
83 FR 26942 - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) Which May Be a Barrier to the Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems (ADS) in Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operations; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 26947 - Foreign-Trade Zone 113-Ellis County, Texas; Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area); Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
83 FR 26947 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 230-Greensboro, North Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Patheon Softgels (Pharmaceutical Products); High Point, North CarolinaPDF
83 FR 26949 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 23-Buffalo, New York; Authorization of Proposed Production Activity; Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America; Subzone 23E (Solar Panels/Modules); Buffalo, New YorkPDF
83 FR 26948 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 12-McAllen, Texas; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. (Indoor and Outdoor Power Tools and Related Components); Mission, TexasPDF
83 FR 27004 - Submission for OMB Review; Small Business Size RerepresentationPDF
83 FR 26846 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Clause “Right of First Refusal of Employment-Closure of Military Installations” (DFARS Case 2018-D002)PDF
83 FR 27068 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “The History of the Bible-in the Beginning” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 27000 - Federal Advisory Committee Act; Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability CouncilPDF
83 FR 27000 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
83 FR 27002 - Filing Dates for the Pennsylvania Special Election in the 15th Congressional DistrictPDF
83 FR 27030 - Revisions of Rescissions Proposals Pursuant to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974PDF
83 FR 27027 - All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers; United States City AveragePDF
83 FR 27026 - All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers;PDF
83 FR 26954 - Chlorinated Isocyanurates From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015PDF
83 FR 26959 - Stainless Steel Flanges From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
83 FR 26951 - Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products From Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 26957 - Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 26950 - Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 26955 - Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products From Japan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 26949 - Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 26840 - Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Freedom of Information Act ProgramPDF
83 FR 26846 - Process for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Physicians To Be Added to the National Registry of Certified Medical ExaminersPDF
83 FR 27070 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
83 FR 27027 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Acrylonitrile StandardPDF
83 FR 26968 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Unexploded Ordnance Investigation Survey off the Coast of VirginiaPDF
83 FR 27020 - Certain Movable Barrier Operator Systems and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 27021 - Certain Full-Capture Arrow Rests and Components Thereof Institution of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 27006 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 26996 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
83 FR 26995 - Notice of Filing: FirstEnergy Service CompanyPDF
83 FR 26995 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
83 FR 26994 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 27082 - Privacy Act of 1974PDF
83 FR 27028 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Occupational Noise ExposurePDF
83 FR 27028 - Affirmative Decisions on Petitions for Modification Granted in Whole or in PartPDF
83 FR 27024 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Assumption of Concurrent Federal Criminal Jurisdiction in Certain Areas of Indian CountryPDF
83 FR 27012 - Request for Information (RFI): Input on Report From Council of Councils on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk ChimpanzeesPDF
83 FR 26840 - Post-9/11 GI BillPDF
83 FR 27077 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
83 FR 27076 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
83 FR 27078 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
83 FR 26887 - Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines (IAE) Turbofan enginesPDF
83 FR 27080 - Liberty Federal Savings Bank, Enid, Oklahoma; Approval of Voluntary Supervisory Conversion ApplicationPDF
83 FR 27068 - Delegation by the Secretary of State to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs of Authorities Regarding Congressional ReportingPDF
83 FR 26945 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 27007 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Veterinary Feed DirectivePDF
83 FR 27069 - WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States-Safeguard Measure on Imports of Large Residential WashersPDF
83 FR 27068 - Dispute Number WT/DS545; WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding: United States-Safeguard Measure on Imports of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic ProductsPDF
83 FR 26992 - Uniform Formulary Beneficiary Advisory Panel; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 27022 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection, eComments Requested; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; The National Forensic Laboratory Information System Collection of Drug Analysis DataPDF
83 FR 27010 - Advisory Committee; Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee; RenewalPDF
83 FR 27011 - Advisory Committee; Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee; RenewalPDF
83 FR 27010 - Determination That MUTAMYCIN (Mitomycin) Injectable, 5 Milligrams/Vial and 20 Milligrams/Vial, Was Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
83 FR 27009 - Advisory Committee; Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee, RenewalPDF
83 FR 26993 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
83 FR 27017 - Agency Information Collection Activities; National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use ReportPDF
83 FR 27005 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 26993 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 27050 - Order Affirming Action by Delegated Authority Approving SR-NYSE-2016-55 and Discontinuing StayPDF
83 FR 27042 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic ICR: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
83 FR 27034 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change to List and Trade Shares of the Natixis Loomis Sayles Short Duration Income ETFPDF
83 FR 27061 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE American LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Establish an Electronic Price Improvement Auction for Complex OrdersPDF
83 FR 27055 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Listing Requirements Related to Special Purpose Acquisition Companies Listing Standards To Reduce Round Lot Holders on Nasdaq Capital Market for Initial Listing From 300 to 150 and Eliminate Public Holders for Continued Listing From 300 to Zero, Require $5 Million in Net Tangible Assets for Initial and Continued Listing on Nasdaq Capital Market, and Impose a Deadline To Demonstrate Compliance With Initial Listing Requirements on All Nasdaq Markets Within 30 Days Following Each Business CombinationPDF
83 FR 27042 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Index Methodology Applicable to Indexes Underlying iShares California AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF and iShares New York AMT-Free Muni Bond ETFPDF
83 FR 27033 - Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station; Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities ReportPDF
83 FR 26841 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hudson River, Troy and Green Island, New YorkPDF
83 FR 27003 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
83 FR 27055 - Request for Comments on the Processing Fees Charged by Intermediaries for Distributing Materials Other Than Proxy Materials To Fund InvestorsPDF
83 FR 27033 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
83 FR 26966 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing PermitPDF
83 FR 27019 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Accounts Receivable Confirmations ReportingPDF
83 FR 27005 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, (BSC, NCIPC) MeetingPDF
83 FR 27014 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
83 FR 26946 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 26945 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 26889 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ephrata, WAPDF
83 FR 27081 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
83 FR 26838 - Revocation of Class E Airspace; Seven Springs, PA, and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Somerset, PAPDF
83 FR 26839 - Revocation and Amendment of Class E Airspace, Philipsburg, PAPDF
83 FR 26891 - Request for Comment on Fund Retail Investor Experience and DisclosurePDF
83 FR 26912 - Air Quality State Implementation Plans: Arizona; Approval and Conditional Approval of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Maricopa County Air Quality Department; Stationary Source PermitsPDF
83 FR 26833 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 26884 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 26880 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 26882 - Airworthiness Directives; AirbusPDF
83 FR 26877 - Airworthiness Directives; Embraer S.A. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 26874 - Small Business Investment Company Program-Impact SBICsPDF
83 FR 26875 - Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC); Early Stage InitiativePDF
83 FR 26865 - USDA Departmental Freedom of Information Act RegulationsPDF
83 FR 27218 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27212 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27206 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27198 - Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27196 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27194 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27192 - Semiannual AgendaPDF
83 FR 27162 - Department Regulatory and Deregulatory Agenda; Semiannual SummaryPDF
83 FR 27286 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27158 - Semiannual Agenda of RegulationsPDF
83 FR 27156 - Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27152 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27148 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27138 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27280 - Regulatory Flexibility AgendaPDF
83 FR 27276 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27272 - Semiannual Regulatory Flexibility AgendaPDF
83 FR 27126 - Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27122 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27244 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions-Spring 2018PDF
83 FR 27118 - Improving Government Regulations; Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
83 FR 27100 - Spring 2018 Semiannual Agenda of RegulationsPDF
83 FR 27238 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27092 - Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2018PDF
83 FR 27234 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
83 FR 27230 - Regulatory Flexibility AgendaPDF
83 FR 27086 - Introduction to the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF

Issue

83 112 Monday, June 11, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Rural Utilities Service

PROPOSED RULES Departmental Freedom of Information Act Regulations, 26865-26874 2018-11868 Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27092-27097 2018-11232 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 26945 2018-12449
Architectural Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27196 2018-11280 Army Army Department RULES Military Payment Certificates, 26841 2018-12500 NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy, 26991-26992 2018-12501 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27234-27236 2018-11229 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 27005 2018-12417 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27005-27006 2018-12437 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of Child Welfare Information Gateway, 27006-27007 2018-12468 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Hudson River, Troy and Green Island, NY, 26841 2018-12426 Safety Zones: Corpus Christi Bay, Corpus Christi, TX, 26842-26843 2018-12511 LAZ Trommler Fireworks, Sandusky Bay, Marblehead, OH, 26844-26846 2018-12517 PROPOSED RULES Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training, 26933-26942 2018-12502 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27100-27116 2018-11235
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27230-27231 2018-11228 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Voluntary Supervisory Conversion Applications: Liberty Federal Savings Bank, Enid, OK, 27080-27081 2018-12451 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27238-27242 2018-11233 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Clause Right of First Refusal of Employment—Closure of Military Installations, 26846 2018-12492 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

See

Navy Department

RULES Defense Contract Audit Agency Freedom of Information Act Program, 26840-26841 2018-12475 Post-9/11 GI Bill, 26840 2018-12457 PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27118-27119, 27218-27228 2018-11236 2018-11297 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 26993 2018-12439 Meetings: Uniform Formulary Beneficiary Advisory Panel, 26992-26993 2018-12445
Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27122-27124 2018-11238
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arizona; Approval and Conditional Approval of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Maricopa County Air Quality Department; Stationary Source Permits, 26912-26917 2018-12390 Proposed Authorization of District Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions: District of Columbia, 26917-26922 2018-12507 Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27198-27203 2018-11283 Significant New Uses: Asbestos, 26922-26933 2018-12513 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Trade Secrets Claims Under Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Information, 26997-26998 2018-12505 Exemption Petitions: Underground Injection Control Program; Hazardous Waste Injection Restrictions; Class I Hazardous Waste Injection; U. S. Ecology Texas, Robstown, TX, 26998 2018-12508 Problem Formulations for Risk Evaluations To Be Conducted Under Toxic Substances Control Act, and General Guiding Principles To Apply Systematic Review in TSCA Risk Evaluations, 26998-27000 2018-12520 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes, 26836-26838 2018-12519 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 26833-26836 2018-12285 Revocation and Amendment of Class E Airspace: Philipsburg, PA, 26839-26840 2018-12410 Revocation of Class E Airspace; Amendment of Class E Airspace: Seven Springs, PA; Somerset, PA, 26838-26839 2018-12411 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus, 26882-26884 2018-12229 Airbus Airplanes, 26880-26882, 26884-26887 2018-12230 2018-12233 Embraer S.A. Airplanes, 26877-26880 2018-12228 International Aero Engines (IAE) Turbofan Engines, 26887-26889 2018-12452 Establishment of Class E Airspace and Amendment of Class E Airspace: Ephrata, WA, 26889-26891 2018-12413 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27244-27270 2018-11237 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27000-27002 2018-12489 Meetings: Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, 27000 2018-12490 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Filing Dates: Pennsylvania Special Election in 15th Congressional District, 27002-27003 2018-12487 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 26993-26996 2018-12436 2018-12463 2018-12464 Filings: FirstEnergy Service Co., 26995 2018-12465 Staff Attendances, 26996-26997 2018-12467 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 27003 2018-12425 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Process for Department of Veterans Affairs Physicians To Be Added to National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, 26846-26864 2018-12474 PROPOSED RULES Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Which May Be Barrier to Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems; Public Meeting, 26942-26944 2018-12499 NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 27070-27076 2018-12473 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27272-27273 2018-11243 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 27003 2018-12620 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use Report, 27017-27018 2018-12438 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Veterinary Feed Directive, 27007-27009 2018-12448 Charter Renewals: Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, 27011-27012 2018-12442 Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee, 27010 2018-12443 Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee, 27009-27010 2018-12440 Determinations That Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: MUTAMYCIN (Mitomycin) Injectable, 5 Milligrams/Vial and 20 Milligrams/Vial, 27010-27011 2018-12441 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 27081-27082 2018-12412 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: Black and Decker (U.S.), Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 12, McAllen, TX, 26948 2018-12494 Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America, Foreign-Trade Zone 23, Buffalo, NY, 26949 2018-12495 Patheon Softgels, Foreign-Trade Zone 230, Greensboro, NC, 26947 2018-12496 Reorganizations Under Alternative Site Frameworks: Foreign-Trade Zone 113, Ellis County, TX, 26947 2018-12497 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27206-27209, 27218-27228 2018-11285 2018-11297 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Small Business Size Rerepresentation, 27004 2018-12493 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27126-27135 2018-11239
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Council on Graduate Medical Education, 27012 2018-12512 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27138-27146 2018-11247 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Homeland Security Acquisition Regulations, Various Forms, 27013-27014 2018-12524 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 27014-27017 2018-12416
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27148-27149 2018-11248 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

See

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27152-27154 2018-11249
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Privacy Act; Matching Program, 27082-27083 2018-12462 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China, 26949-26950 2018-12476 Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From the People's Republic of China, Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy, Republic of Korea, and Switzerland, 26962-26966 2018-12593 Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Turkey, 26957-26959 2018-12479 Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From Taiwan, 26950-26951 2018-12478 Chlorinated Isocyanurates From the People's Republic of China, 26954-26955 2018-12483 Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products From Japan, 26955-26957 2018-12477 Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products From Turkey, 26951-26954 2018-12480 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Stainless Steel Flanges From the People's Republic of China, 26959-26962 2018-12482 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Full-Capture Arrow Rests and Components Thereof, 27021-27022 2018-12469 Certain Movable Barrier Operator Systems and Components Thereof, 27020-27021 2018-12470 Justice Department Justice Department PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27156 2018-11250 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27025-27026 2018-12514 2018-12515 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assumption of Concurrent Federal Criminal Jurisdiction in Certain Areas of Indian Country, 27024-27025 2018-12459 Death in Custody Reporting Act Collection, 27023-27024 2018-12503 National Forensic Laboratory Information System Collection of Drug Analysis Data, 27022-27023 2018-12444 Labor Department Labor Department See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27158-27160 2018-11251 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Acrylonitrile Standard, 27027-27028 2018-12472 All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers United States City Average, 27026-27027 2018-12485 2018-12484
Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 27029-27030 2018-12563 Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES Revisions of Rescissions Proposals Pursuant to Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, 27030-27033 2018-12486 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Occupational Noise Exposure, 27028-27029 2018-12461 Petitions for Modifications of Safety Standards, 27028 2018-12460 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27218-27228 2018-11297 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 27033 2018-12421 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Requests for Information: Input on Report From Council of Councils on Assessing Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees, 27012-27013 2018-12458 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing Permit, 26966-26968 2018-12420 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Unexploded Ordnance Investigation Survey off Coast of Virginia, 26968-26991 2018-12471 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee, 27018-27019 2018-12510 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions Available for Licensing, 26993 2018-12522 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27276-27278 2018-11244 NOTICES Meetings: Exelon Generation Co., LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station; Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report, 27033-27034 2018-12429 Natural Resources Office of Natural Resources Revenue NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Accounts Receivable Confirmations Reporting, 27019-27020 2018-12419 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Special Permit Applications, 27076-27080 2018-12454 2018-12455 2018-12456 Regulatory Regulatory Information Service Center PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27086-27090 2018-11221 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 26945-26947 2018-12414 2018-12415 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27280-27284 2018-11245 Requests for Comments: Fund Retail Investor Experience and Disclosure, 26891-26912 2018-12408 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 27042 2018-12434 Applications: BlackRock Variable Series Funds, Inc., et al., 27035-27042 2018-12509 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 27055 2018-12547 Requests for Comment: Processing Fees Charged by Intermediaries for Distributing Materials Other Than Proxy Materials to Fund Investors, 27055-27061 2018-12422 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 27055 2018-12431 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 27050-27054 2018-12435 NYSE American, LLC, 27061-27068 2018-12432 NYSE Arca, Inc., 27034-27035, 27042-27050 2018-12430 2018-12433 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27212-27216 2018-11293 Small Business Investment Companies: Early Stage Initiative; Withdrawal, 26875-26877 2018-12030 Small Business Investment Company Program; Impact SBICs; Withdrawal, 26874-26875 2018-12031 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: The History of the Bible—in the Beginning Exhibition, 27068 2018-12491 Delegations of Authority, 27068 2018-12450 Meetings: U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, 27068 2018-12504 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27286 2018-11260 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Proceedings: United States—Safeguard Measure on Imports of Large Residential Washers, 27069-27070 2018-12447 WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings: United States—Safeguard Measure on Imports of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products, 27068-27069 2018-12446 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27162-27190 2018-11270 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Advisory Committee Candidate Biographical Information Request Form, 27080 2018-12516
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27192 2018-11278
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 27194 2018-11279 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Regulatory Information Service Center, 27086-27090 2018-11221 Part III Agriculture Department, 27092-27097 2018-11232 Part IV Commerce Department, 27100-27116 2018-11235 Part V Defense Department, 27118-27119 2018-11236 Part VI Energy Department, 27122-27124 2018-11238 Part VII Health and Human Services Department, 27126-27135 2018-11239 Part VIII Homeland Security Department, 27138-27146 2018-11247 Part IX Housing and Urban Development Department, 27148-27149 2018-11248 Part X Interior Department, 27152-27154 2018-11249 Part XI Justice Department, 27156 2018-11250 Part XII Labor Department, 27158-27160 2018-11251 Part XIII Transportation Department, 27162-27190 2018-11270 Part XIV Treasury Department, 27192 2018-11278 Part XV Veterans Affairs Department, 27194 2018-11279 Part XVI Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 27196 2018-11280 Part XVII Environmental Protection Agency, 27198-27203 2018-11283 Part XVIII General Services Administration, 27206-27209 2018-11285 Part XIX Small Business Administration, 27212-27216 2018-11293 Part XX Defense Department, 27218-27228 2018-11297 Part XXI Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 27230-27231 2018-11228 Part XXII Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 27234-27236 2018-11229 Part XXIII Consumer Product Safety Commission, 27238-27242 2018-11233 Part XXIV Federal Communications Commission, 27244-27270 2018-11237 Part XXV Federal Reserve System, 27272-27273 2018-11243 Part XXVI Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 27276-27278 2018-11244 Part XXVII Securities and Exchange Commission, 27280-27284 2018-11245 Part XXVIII Surface Transportation Board, 27286 2018-11260 Reader Aids

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83 112 Monday, June 11, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0904; Product Identifier 2017-NM-071-AD; Amendment 39-19310; AD 2018-12-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of an in-service reliability issue of a latent flow sensor failure combined with single cabin air compressor (CAC) operation. This condition resulted in reduced airflow which led to a persistent single CAC surge condition that caused overheat damage to the CAC inlet. This AD requires installing new pack control unit (PCU) software for the cabin air conditioning and temperature control system (CACTCS) and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 16, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, 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 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-2017-0904.

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-2017-0904; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Allison Buss, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3564; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Boeing Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 6, 2017 (82 FR 46719). The NPRM was prompted by a report of an in-service reliability issue of a latent flow sensor failure combined with single CAC operation. This condition resulted in reduced airflow which led to a persistent single CAC surge condition that caused overheat damage to the CAC inlet. The NPRM proposed to require installing new PCU software for the CACTCS and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent CAC inlet overheating leading to structural degradation of the CAC inlet, fumes in the cabin and flight deck, and interruption to in-service air conditioning.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM

A commenter, Nicholas Weber, and the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) had no objection to the NPRM. United Airlines and Jetstar Airways agreed with the NPRM but submitted comments, which are addressed below.

Request to Reference Latest Service Information

Boeing and Etihad Airways requested we refer to Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017. Boeing stated that the NPRM refers to Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016, and it should be Issue 004 instead.

We agree that this final rule should refer to the latest service information. We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017, which provides minor corrections. We have determined the revised actions have no effect on airplanes on which the earlier actions were completed. We revised the “Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51” paragraph of this final rule to refer to Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017. We revised paragraphs (c)(2) and (g)(1) of this AD to refer to Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017. We also added paragraph (h)(5) to this AD to provide credit for using Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016, to accomplish the required actions in paragraph (g) of this AD, provided those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD.

Request To Allow Updated Software Version

Jetstar Airways and United Airlines requested that paragraph (g) of the proposed AD be updated to allow for compliance to also be met by installing the newer PCU Y-103 (software part number (P/N) HAM56-21PC-1030) software per Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017. Jetstar Airways stated that since the release of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016; which describe procedures for installation of PCU Y-102 (software P/N HAM57-21PC-1020) software via Work Package 1, there has been new PCU Y-103 software released per Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017. Jetstar stated its understanding that Work Packages 2 and 3 of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; or Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016; must also be done in order to meet compliance with the proposed AD.

We agree because we reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017, and we have determined that compliance can be met by installing the new PCU Y-103 (software P/N HAM56-21PC-1030) software or installing the previous PCU Y-102 (software P/N HAM57-21PC-1020) software, provided that Work Packages 2 and 3 of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; or Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017; are also done. We revised the “Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51” paragraph of this final rule to include Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017. We have revised paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD to allow Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017, as an optional method of compliance for Work Package 1 of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017.

Request To Include Required for Compliance (RC) Steps

United Airlines observed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017; do not contain steps that are designated as RC (Required for Compliance).

We infer the commenter is requesting that Boeing revise the service information or that we clarify which steps are RC. We disagree with making any changes because the operators can still complete the AD requirements with the steps contained in the Accomplishment Instructions of the referenced service information. In addition, waiting for Boeing to change the service information would delay the release of the AD. Further, certain steps include aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) reference material. When the words “refer to” are used and the operator has an accepted alternative procedure, the accepted alternative procedure can be used without the need to obtain an alternative method of compliance (AMOC). We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Requests To Clarify the Discussion Section

Boeing requested that we make several clarifications to the Discussion section of the NPRM. Boeing requested that the following changes be made to the Discussion section of the NPRM:

• Add the following statement: “The redesigned CAC outlet pressure sensor J-Tube hardware is to prevent transducer fouling, which could compromise surge detection.” Boeing stated the NPRM does not describe the purpose of the hardware change.

• In the sentence, “Smarter Environmental Control System ensures that airflow is distributed equally across the CACs,” replace the phrase “Smarter Environmental Control System” with “the system controller.” Boeing stated airflow distribution amongst CACs does not pertain to what they refer to as the Smarter Environmental Control System, and the fundamental control approach for CACs attempts to distribute flow equally across CACs.

• Modify the sentence “PCU software logic was only designed to detect the surge when both CACs were operating on the same pack, and therefore, it was unable to detect a persistent single CAC surge condition which led to CAC inlet overheating” to “PCU software logic was only designed to react to the surge when both CACs are operating on the same pack, and therefore, it was unable to command a termination of the persistent single CAC surge condition which led to CAC inlet overheating.” Boeing stated that when only a single CAC is operating on a pack and airflow drops to an unintended low level, the surge will be detected by the system controls. Boeing explained that due to a software requirements error, the CAC will not be shut down and the surge can persist. Boeing concluded that the issue is not that the surge is undetected but rather that the issue is that the controls fail to react to that surge condition.

• Modify the sentence “In addition, we received a report of an in-service event involving foreign object debris in the CAC inlet and accumulation at the ozone converter that also led to a persistent single CAC surge resulting in overheat damage to the CAC inlet housing” to “In addition, we received a report of an in-service event involving persistent single CAC surge resulting in overheat damage to the CAC inlet housing and foreign object debris in the CAC inlet and accumulation at the ozone converter.” Boeing stated that aspects of this particular event are unknown; however, it is likely the foreign object debris was a result of the persistent surge event.

• Modify the sentence “The proposed PCU software change would redistribute the airflow to provide more flow to a single CAC, reducing the potential for a CAC surge” to “The PCU software change enables a single CAC in surge to be commanded off in order to prevent the persistent surge condition. Additionally, the software redistributes the airflow to provide more flow to a single CAC, reducing the potential for a CAC surge.” Boeing stated the software changes are not “proposed” and already exist. Boeing also stated the key software feature needed for persistent surge prevention was not in the original sentence.

• Modify the sentence “Reduced airflow leading to persistent CAC surge conditions and CAC inlet overheating, if not corrected, could result in structural degradation of the CAC inlet, and fumes in the cabin and flight deck, as well as causing interruption to in-service air conditioning” to “PCU controls that do not react to a single CAC in persistent CAC surge conditions leading to CAC inlet overheating, if not corrected, could result in structural degradation of the CAC inlet, and fumes in the cabin and flight deck, as well as causing interruption to in-service air conditioning.” Boeing stated that the purpose of the redistribution of CAC airflow is to minimize surge occurrence and does not relate to the overall prevention of CAC inlet overheat.

We agree that the changes requested by Boeing are accurate. However, since the text of the NPRM that Boeing referenced is not restated in this final rule, no change to the final rule is necessary.

Request for Credit for Previous Actions Accomplished

Boeing and Etihad Airways requested that we include Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 001, dated April 19, 2016, as a method of compliance in the proposed AD. Boeing also requested that we include Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 001, dated February 24, 2016. Boeing requested that the service information be added to paragraph (h) of the proposed AD as credit for previous actions. Boeing stated that not all service information revisions were included in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD, yet they all warrant credit for addressing the AD. Etihad Airways noted that incorporation of all revisions of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00 comply with the proposed AD requirements.

We agree. We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 001, dated February 24, 2016; and Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 001, dated April 19, 2016; and the changes made to later revisions are clarifications. We have determined that airplanes on which the actions specified in the earlier revisions were done would be compliant with this AD.

In paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, we added Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 001, dated February 24, 2016, to provide credit and redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly. We also added paragraph (h)(3) of this AD to add Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 001, dated April 19, 2016.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final rule.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017. The service information describes procedures for installing new PCU software for the CACTCS and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and doing related investigative and corrective actions. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017. The service information describes procedures for installing new PCU software for the CACTCS to recover the CAC from surges by reconfiguration flow schedules.

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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 62 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Software Installation 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $5,270 Modify Left and Right Inboard and Outboard CAC Modules 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 22,821 24,521 1,520,302

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this 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 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 and associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:

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

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

    (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.

    Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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): 2018-12-06 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19310; Docket No. FAA-2017-0904; Product Identifier 2017-NM-071-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 16, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017 (for Model 787-8 airplanes);

    (2) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017 (for Model 787-9 airplanes).

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 21, Air conditioning.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of an in-service reliability issue involving a latent flow sensor failure combined with single cabin air compressor (CAC) operation. This condition resulted in reduced airflow which led to a persistent single CAC surge condition that caused overheat damage to the CAC inlet. We are issuing this AD to prevent CAC inlet overheating leading to structural degradation of the CAC inlet, fumes in the cabin and flight deck, and interruption to in-service air conditioning.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Software and Hardware Installation

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Install new pack control unit (PCU) software for the cabin air conditioning and temperature control system (CACTCS) and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD. Related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight.

    (1) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017 (for Boeing Model 787-8 airplanes); or Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017 (for Boeing Model 787-9 airplanes).

    (2) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017 (for all airplanes); and Work Packages 2 and 3 of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(5) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 001, dated February 24, 2016 (for Model 787-8 airplanes);

    (2) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 002, dated May 11, 2016 (for Model 787-8 airplanes);

    (3) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 001, dated April 19, 2016 (for Model 787-9 airplanes);

    (4) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 002, dated May 11, 2016 (for Model 787-9 airplanes);

    (5) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016 (for Model 787-9 airplanes).

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle 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) 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, Seattle 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

    For more information about this AD, contact Allison Buss, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3564; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017;

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 004, dated September 22, 2017;

    (iii) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210083-00, Issue 001, dated February 9, 2017.

    (3) For The Boeing Company 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.

    (4) 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.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 31, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12285 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1163; Product Identifier 2017-CE-041-AD; Amendment 39-19260; AD 2018-09-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA is correcting an airworthiness directive (AD) that published in the Federal Register. The AD applies to certain Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Models G-IV and GIV-X airplanes. Paragraphs (h)(3) through (5) of the AD incorrectly reference Customer Bulletin 238A as Customer Bulletin 283A. This document corrects that error. In all other respects, the original document remains the same; however for the sake of clarity, we are publishing the entire rule in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    The effective date of AD 2018-09-04 remains June 11, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 11, 2018 (83 FR 19922, May 7, 2018).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1163; or in person at the Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William O. Herderich, Aerospace Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5547; fax: (404) 474-5605; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    AD 2018-09-04, Amendment 39-19260 (83 FR 19922, May 7, 2018), requires incorporating new revisions into the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness of the Limitations section of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual) that establish an inspection cycle for the repaired main landing gear side brace actuator fittings.

    As published, paragraphs (h)(3) through (5) of the AD contain a typographical error. The published references are Customer Bulletin No. 283A, dated June 15, 2017, and they should be Customer Bulletin No. 238A, dated June 15, 2017.

    Although no other part of the preamble or regulatory information has been corrected, for the sake of clarity, we are publishing the entire rule in the Federal Register.

    The effective date of this AD remains June 11, 2018.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Correction

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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 [Corrected]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-09-04 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: Amendment 39-19260; Docket No. FAA-2017-1163; Product Identifier 2017-CE-041-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective June 11, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the following Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation model airplanes that are certificated in any category:

    (1) Model G-IV, serial numbers (S/Ns) 1000 through 1399 having Aircraft Service Change (ASC) 416A (MSG-3) incorporated; and S/Ns 1400 through 1535; and

    (2) Model GIV-X, S/Ns 4001 through 4355.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by the potential for fatigue cracks in the main landing gear (MLG) actuator attachment fitting that had a certain repair incorporated. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the MLG actuator attachment. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could compromise the lateral support of the MLG during ground maneuvers, possibly leading to collapse of the affected MLG with consequent loss of control. In addition, this condition could also cause the MLG side brace to fail, which could result in a penetration of the wing fuel tank causing an uncontained fire.

    (f) Compliance

    At whichever of the following compliance times in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) that occurs later, comply with the actions in paragraphs (g) through (i) of this AD, unless already done.

    (1) Within the next 100 hours time-in-service after June 11, 2018 (the effective date of this AD); or

    (2) Within the next 3 months after June 11, 2018 (the effective date of this AD).

    (g) Inspect Maintenance Records

    Inspect the airplane maintenance records to determine if repair SE05732102 for the MLG side brace fitting has been incorporated. To do this inspection, use the Accomplishment Instructions in Gulfstream G350 Customer Bulletin Number 192A; Gulfstream G450 Customer Bulletin 192A; Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 238A; Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 238A; and Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 238A; all dated June 15, 2017, as applicable. The service information referenced in this paragraph specifies sending a service reply card back to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation if repair SE05732102 for the MLG side brace fitting has been not been incorporated. This action is not required in this AD.

    (h) Determine Initial and Repetitive Inspection Requirements

    If it is determined during the maintenance records inspection required in paragraph (g) that repair SE05732102 for the MLG side brace fitting has been incorporated, determine the initial and repetitive inspection requirements using the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information identified in paragrap (g) along with the following documents, as applicable. Comply with the inspection requirements as determined.

    (1) Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016, to Gulfstream G350 Customer Bulletin No. 192A, dated June 15, 2017;

    (2) Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016, to Gulfstream G450 Customer Bulletin No. 192A, dated June 15, 2017;

    (3) Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016, to Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin No. 238A, dated June 15, 2017;

    (4) Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016, to Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin No. 238A, dated June 15, 2017; and

    (5) Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016, to Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin No. 238A, dated June 15, 2017.

    (i) Revise Limitations Section

    Insert the documents listed in paragraphs (h)(1) through (5) of this AD into the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness of the Limitations section of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual), as applicable. The revised limitations sections establish inspections of the repaired MLG side brace actuator fittings.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta 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 (k) of this AD.

    (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) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (g) through (i) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled 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 RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact William O. Herderich, Aerospace Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5547; fax: (404) 474-5605; email: [email protected].

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Gulfstream G350 Customer Bulletin Number 192A, dated June 15, 2017, that incorporates Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016.

    (ii) Gulfstream G450 Customer Bulletin 192A, dated June 15, 2017, that incorporates Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016.

    (iii) Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 238A, dated June 15, 2017, that incorporates Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016.

    (iv) Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 238A, dated June 15, 2017, that incorporates Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016.

    (v) Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 238A, dated June 15, 2017, that incorporates Appendix A, Gulfstream Document GIV-SGER-553, Revision A, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for Gulfstream Repair Drawing SE05732102, dated December 14, 2016.

    (3) For Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation service information identified in this AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, Georgia 31402-2206; telephone: (800) 810-4853; fax 912-965-3520; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.gulfstream.com/product_support/technical_pubs/pubs/index.htm.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 5, 2018. David R. Showers, Aircraft Certification Service, Acting Deputy Director, Policy and Innovation Division, AIR-601.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12519 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0610; Airspace Docket No. 17-AEA-13] RIN 2120-AA66 Revocation of Class E Airspace; Seven Springs, PA, and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Somerset, PA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule, correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This action corrects a final rule published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2018, amending and removing Class E airspace at Seven Springs, PA, by correcting the geographic coordinates in the legal description of Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface for Somerset County Airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, July 19, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    History

    The FAA published a final rule in the Federal Register (83 FR 17480, April 20, 2018) for Doc. No. FAA-2017-0610, amending Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Somerset County Airport, Somerset, PA. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found that the geographic coordinates of the airport listed in the description under Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface were incorrect. This action corrects the error.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005, of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    Correction to Final Rule

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, in the Federal Register of April 20, 2018 (83 FR 17480) FR Doc. 2018-08037, the amendment of Class E Airspace for Somerset County Airport, Somerset, PA, is corrected as follows:

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    AEA PA E5 Somerset, PA [Amended] On page 17481, column 3 line 22, remove (Lat. 40°02′20″ N, long. 79°00′54″ W) and add in its place (Lat. 40°02′19″ N, long. 79°00′55″ W). Issued in College Park, Georgia, on May 31, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12411 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0755; Airspace Docket No. 17-AEA-11] RIN 2120-AA66 Revocation and Amendment of Class E Airspace, Philipsburg, PA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action removes Class E surface airspace at Mid-State Airport, as the airport no longer qualifies for surface airspace. Also, this action removes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Philipsburg Area Hospital Heliport, as the Hospital has closed. Controlled airspace redesign is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at Mid-State Airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, July 19, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1701 Columbia Ave., College Park, GA 30337; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 1584, January 12, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-0755 to remove Class E surface airspace at Mid-State Airport as the airport no longer qualifies for the airspace. Also, the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface surrounding Philipsburg Area Hospital Heliport is removed as the hospital has closed. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 6002 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 removes Class E surface airspace at Mid-State Airport as the airport no longer qualifies for the airspace. Also, this action amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Phillipsburg, PA, by removing the controlled airspace area surrounding Philipsburg Area Hospital Heliport as the hospital has closed.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Area Airspace. AEA PA E2 Philipsburg, PA [Removed] Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AEA PA E5 Philipsburg, PA [Amended] Mid-State Airport, PA (Lat. 40°53′04″ N, long. 78°05′14″ W) Philipsburg VORTAC (Lat. 40°54′59″ N, long. 77°59′34″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Mid-State Airport extending clockwise from the 261° bearing to the 012° bearing from the airport and within a 7.4-mile radius of Mid-State Airport extending clockwise from the 012° bearing to the 098° bearing from the airport and within a 6.6-mile radius of Mid-State Airport extending clockwise from the 098° bearing to the 183° bearing from the airport, and within a 8.3-mile radius of Mid-State Airport extending clockwise from the 183° bearing to the 261° bearing from the airport and within 3.1 miles each of the Philipsburg VORTAC 067° radial extending from the VORTAC to 10 miles northeast of the VORTAC, and within 3.5 miles each side of the 327° bearing from a point at lat. 40°53′09″ N, long. 78°05′06″ W, extending from said point to a point 7.4 miles northwest, and within 2.2 miles each side of the Philipsburg VORTAC 330° radial extending from the VORTAC to 5.3 miles northwest of the VORTAC and within 3.1 miles each side of the Philipsburg VORTAC 301° radial extending from the VORTAC to 10 miles northwest of the VORTAC.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on May 31, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Operations Support Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12410 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 65 [Docket ID: DOD-2017-OS-0046] RIN 0790-AJ94 Post-9/11 GI Bill AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule removes the Department of Defense (DoD) regulation concerning the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In 2009, when first published, this part included significant information explaining the entire program, including the responsibilities of both DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). When the part was revised at 78 FR 34251 on June 7, 2013, however, it only addressed DoD responsibilities, as VA responsibilities are now addressed in that agency's regulations. All burdens and responsibilities pertaining to persons who are not members of the Uniformed Services are addressed in VA regulations, and repeal of this regulation will have no effect on VA regulations. Repealing this rule supports website best practices because the public user is linked to the original and appropriate source, VA. This rule is internal to DoD and should be removed.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Leopard at 571-256-0590.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on removing DoD internal policies and procedures that are publically available on the Department's issuance website.

    DoD internal guidance concerning the Post-9/11 GI Bill will continue to be published in DoD Instruction 1341.13, “Post-9/11 GI Bill” available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/134113p.pdf.

    This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” therefore, E.O. 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” does not apply.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 65

    Armed forces, Education.

    PART 65—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 65 is removed. Dated: June 6, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12457 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 290 [Docket ID: DOD-2017-OS-0020] RIN 0790-AJ61 Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Freedom of Information Act Program AGENCY:

    Defense Contract Audit Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule removes DoD's regulation concerning the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Freedom of Information Act program. On February 6, 2018, the DoD published a revised FOIA program rule as a result of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. When the DoD FOIA program rule was revised, it included DoD component information and removed the requirement for component supplementary rules. The DoD now has one DoD-level rule for the FOIA program that contains all the codified information required for the Department. Therefore, this part can be removed from the CFR.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keith Mastromichalis at 571-448-3153.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on removing DoD internal policies and procedures that are publically available on the Department's website.

    DCAA internal guidance concerning the implementation of the FOIA within DCAA will continue to be published in DCAA Instruction No. 5410.8 (available at http://www.dcaa.mil/Content/Documents/DCAAI_5410.8.pdf).

    This rule is one of 14 separate DoD FOIA rules. With the finalization of the DoD-level FOIA rule at 32 CFR part 286, the Department is eliminating the need for this separate FOIA rule and reducing costs to the public as explained in the preamble of the DoD-level FOIA rule published at 83 FR 5196-5197.

    This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” therefore, E.O. 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” does not apply.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 290

    Freedom of information.

    PART 290—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 290 is removed. Dated: June 6, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12475 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army 32 CFR Part 538 [Docket ID: USA-2018-HQ-0007] RIN 0702-AA91 Military Payment Certificates AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule removes DoD's regulation concerning Military Payment Certificates (MPC) which are no longer used by the Federal Government nor DoD based on U.S. Treasury guidance and use of Smart Card technology. MPC's were discontinued in the late 1990's based on the U.S. Treasury determining that the remaining stock from the Vietnam War could no longer be used and it would take several years to replace them with new MPCs. The Army determined that going forward, the EagleCash Stored Value Card (SVC) will be used in lieu of MPC.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. G. Eric Reid at (317) 212-2223 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest. EagleCash is now used in support of operations in the Central Command, European Command, and Southern Command theaters by personnel from all Services and DoD civilians. Policy on use of the SVC is embedded in the DoD Financial Management Regulation (DoD 7000.14-R) Volume 5, Chapter 10 (http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_05.pdf). Army doctrine using the SVC is in Field Manual 1-06, Financial Management Operations (http://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/FM.aspx). The Treasury is in the final stage of development of a new EagleCash program which will be used by all Services for both initial entry training and operations.

    This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” therefore, E.O. 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” does not apply.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 538

    Currency, Military personnel, Wages.

    PART 538—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 538 is removed. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12500 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0481] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hudson River, Troy and Green Island, New York AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Highway (Green Island) Bridge across the Hudson River, mile 152.7, at Troy and Green Island, New York. This temporary deviation is necessary to allow the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to facilitate deck replacement.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 12:01 a.m. on June 19, 2018, to 11:59 p.m. on September 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-0481 is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Judy Leung-Yee, Bridge Management Specialist, First District Bridge Branch, U.S. Coast Guard, telephone 212-514-4336, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The New York State Department of Transportation, the bridge owner, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule of the bridge to facilitate deck replacement. The Highway (Green Island) Bridge across the Hudson River, mile 152.7, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 29 feet at mean high water. The existing bridge operating regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.791(e).

    Under this temporary deviation, the Highway (Green Island) Bridge shall remain in the closed position from 12:01 a.m. on June 19, 2018 to 11:59 p.m. on July 13, 2018, and from 12:01 a.m. on August 17, 2018 to 11:59 p.m. on September 6, 2018.

    The waterway is transited by commercial and recreational traffic. The bridge owner and contractor notified known commercial vessel operators that transit the area and there were no objections to this temporary deviation. Vessels able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass.

    The Coast Guard will inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: June 5, 2018. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12426 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0458] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Corpus Christi Bay, Corpus Christi, TX AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for certain navigable waters of Corpus Christi Bay near the Corpus Christi Marina in Corpus Christi, TX. The safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by the City of Corpus Christi's Big Bang Fireworks event. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Corpus Christi or designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8:30 p.m. through 9:50 p.m. on July 4, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0458 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Kevin Kyles, Sector Corpus Christi Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 361-939-5125, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(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 would be impracticable. This safety zone must be established by July 4, 2018 and we lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing this rule. The NPRM process would delay the establishment of the safety zone until after the scheduled date of the fireworks and compromise public safety.

    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 the public interest because immediate action is necessary to ensure the safety of vessels and persons during the fireworks display.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Sector Corpus Christi (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the Big Bang Fireworks display on July 4, 2018, will be a safety concern for anyone within a 1,000-foot radius of the fireworks launch site near Corpus Christi Marina. This rule is necessary to ensure the safety of persons, vessels, and the marine environment before, during, and after the scheduled fireworks display.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from 8:30 p.m. through 9:50 p.m. on July 4, 2018. The safety zone covers all navigable waters within 1,000 feet of the fireworks launch location on a barge near the Corpus Christi Marina at the approximate position 27°48′05″ N, 097°23′13″ W in Corpus Christi, TX. The duration of the zone is intended to protect the public from hazards associated with fireworks display before, during, and after the scheduled fireworks display. No vessel or person is permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Persons or vessels seeking to enter the safety zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative on VHF-FM channel 16 or by telephone at 361-939-0450. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public of the enforcement times and date for this safety zone through Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs), as appropriate.

    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, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this safety zone, which will impact less than a 1,000-foot designated area of the Corpus Christi Bay for two hours on one evening when vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNMs) via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zones, and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the 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 only 2 hours that will prohibit entry within 1,000 feet of the fireworks launch location. 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.T08-0458 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0458 Safety Zones; Corpus Christi Bay, Corpus Christi, TX.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters encompassing a 1,000-foot radius around a fireworks launch barge in the approximate position 27°48′05″ N, 097°23′13″ W near the Corpus Christi Marina in Corpus Christi, TX.

    (b) Effective period. This section is effective from 8:30 p.m. through 9:50 p.m. on July 4, 2018

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into these zones is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Corpus Christi (COTP) or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels seeking to enter the safety zones must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative on VHF-FM channel 16 or by telephone at 361-939-0450.

    (3) If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative.

    (d) Information broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public of the enforcement times and date for this safety zone through Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs) as appropriate.

    E.J. Gaynor, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Corpus Christi.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12511 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0519] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; LAZ Trommler Fireworks, Sandusky Bay, Marblehead, OH AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone in the Captain of the Port Detroit Zone on Sandusky Bay, in the vicinity of Marblehead, OH. This Zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of the Sandusky Bay for the LAZ Trommler Fireworks Display. Persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Detroit, or his designated representative. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with fireworks displays.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective from 9 p.m. on July 4, 2018 until 10:30 p.m. on July 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2018-0519. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary rule, call or email MST1 Ryan Erpelding, Waterways Department, Marine Safety Unit Toledo, Coast Guard; telephone (419) 418-6037, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms 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 I. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final 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. The event sponsor notified the Coast Guard with insufficient time to accommodate the comment period. Thus, delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for the comment period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because it would prevent the Captain of the Port Detroit from keeping the public safe from the hazards associated with a maritime fireworks displays.

    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. Waiting for a 30-day effective period to run is impracticable and contrary to the public interest for the reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph.

    II. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Detroit (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with fireworks displays starting after 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2018 will be a safety concern for anyone within a 500 foot radius of the launch site. The likely combination of recreational vessels, darkness punctuated by bright flashes of light, and fireworks debris falling into the water presents risks of collisions which could result in serious injuries or fatalities. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone during the fireworks display.

    III. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone that will be enforced from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2018 with a rain date of July 5, 2018 from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all U.S. navigable waters of the Sandusky Bay within a 500 foot radius of the fireworks launch site located at position 41°30′16″ N, 083°48′08″ W. All geographic coordinates are North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

    The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters during the fireworks display. Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Sector Detroit or his designated representative. The Captain of the Port, Sector Detroit or his designated representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

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

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the safety zone. The majority of vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around the safety zone, which will impact only a portion of the Sandusky Bay in Marblehead, OH for a short period time. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this temporary rule on small entities. While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting 90 minutes that will prohibit entry within a 500 foot radius from where a fireworks display will be conducted. 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 record keeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0519 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0519 Safety Zone; LAZ Trommler Fireworks, Sandusky Bay, Marblehead, OH.

    (a) Location. The following area is a temporary safety zone: All U.S. navigable waters of the Sandusky Bay within a 500 foot radius of the fireworks launch site located at position 41°30′16″ N 083°48′08″ W. All geographic coordinates are North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2018 with a rain date of July 5, 2018 from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The Captain of the Port Detroit, or a designated representative may suspend enforcement of the safety zone at any time.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Detroit, or his designated representative.

    (2) This safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Detroit or his designated representative.

    (3) The “designated representative” of the Captain of the Port Detroit is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Detroit to act on his behalf. The designated representative of the Captain of the Port Detroit will be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. The Captain of the Port Detroit or his designated representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port Detroit or his designated representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Detroit or his designated representative.

    Dated: June 6, 2018. Jeffrey W. Novak, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Detroit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12517 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 222, 237, and 252 [Docket DARS-2018-0032] RIN 0750-AJ66 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Clause “Right of First Refusal of Employment-Closure of Military Installations” (DFARS Case 2018-D002) AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is making a correction to the final rule published on May 30, 2018, which amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to remove a clause that is duplicative of an existing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause. The document contained an incorrect RIN number.

    DATES:

    Effective June 8, 2018.

    Applicable beginning May 30, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Amy Williams, telephone 571-372-6106.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rule published at 83 FR 24892 on May 30, 2018, in the third column, the following correction is made to this rule:

    The RIN number cited, RIN 0750-AJ54, is corrected to read RIN 0750-AJ66.

    Amy G. Williams, Deputy, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12492 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 390 and 391 [Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0333] RIN 2126-AB97 Process for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Physicians To Be Added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to establish an alternative process for qualified advanced practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic, doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, and other medical professionals who are employed in the VA and are licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations (qualified VA examiners) to be listed on the Agency's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, as required by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and the Jobs for Our Heroes Act. After successful completion of online training and testing developed by FMCSA, these qualified VA examiners will become certified VA medical examiners who can perform medical examinations of, and issue Medical Examiner's Certificates to, commercial motor vehicle operators who are military veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system. This rule will reduce the costs for qualified VA examiners to be listed on the National Registry.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 10, 2018. Petitions for Reconsideration of this final rule must be submitted to the FMCSA Administrator no later than July 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Medical Programs Division, MC-PSP, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001 or by telephone at (202) 366-4001 or by email, [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This final rule is organized as follows:

    I. Rulemaking Documents A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents B. Privacy Act II. Executive Summary A. Purpose of the Amendments B. Summary of Major Provisions C. Benefits and Costs III. Abbreviations and Acronyms IV. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking V. Background A. National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners B. Medical Examiner's Certification Integration VI. December 1, 2016, Proposed Rule VII. Discussion of Comments Received on the Proposed Rule VIII. Explanation of Changes From the NPRM IX. Section-by-Section Analysis X. Regulatory Analyses A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures B. E.O. 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act D. Assistance for Small Entities E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 F. Paperwork Reduction Act G. E.O. 13132 (Federalism) H. E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) I. E.O. 13045 (Protection of Children) J. E.O. 12630 (Taking of Private Property) K. Privacy L. E.O. 12372 (Intergovernmental Review) M. E.O. 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) N. E.O. 13783 (Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth) O. E.O. 13175 (Indian Tribal Governments) P. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Technical Standards) Q. Environment (NEPA, CAA, Environmental Justice) I. Rulemaking Documents A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    For access to docket FMCSA-2016-0333 to read background documents and comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time, or to Docket Services at U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    B. Privacy Act

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

    II. Executive Summary A. Purpose of the Amendments

    This final rule amends the FMCSRs to establish an alternative process for qualified VA examiners to be listed on the Agency's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry), as required in the FAST Act, Public Law 114-94, div. A, title V, section 5403, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1312, 1548, as amended by the Jobs for Our Heroes Act, Public Law 115-105, section 2, Jan. 8, 2018, 131 Stat. 2263 (set out as a note to 49 U.S.C. 31149). Under current regulations, in order to become a certified medical examiner (ME) and to be listed on the National Registry, an individual must complete training in person or online and pass a test administered at an FMCSA-approved testing center. Under today's final rule, after successfully completing training and passing a test, both of which will be provided by FMCSA and delivered through a web-based training system operated by the VA, these qualified VA examiners become certified VA MEs. Certified VA MEs are only allowed to conduct medical examinations of, and issue Medical Examiner's Certificates (MECs) to, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who are veterans enrolled in the healthcare system established under 38 U.S.C. 1705(a) (veteran operators). This rule will reduce the costs for qualified VA examiners to be listed on the National Registry. This rule also makes changes to the registration requirements applicable to all MEs and eliminates the 30-day waiting period before retesting.

    B. Summary of Major Provisions

    FMCSA amends the FMCSRs to establish an alternative process for qualified VA examiners to be listed on the National Registry. To be eligible to be listed on the National Registry as a certified VA ME, an individual must: (1) Be an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional currently employed in the VA; (2) be licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations; (3) register on the National Registry website and receive a National Registry number; (4) be familiar with FMCSA's standards and physical requirements for a CMV operator requiring medical certification by completing training provided by FMCSA and delivered through a web-based training system operated by the VA; (5) pass the ME certification test provided by FMCSA and administered through a web-based training system operated by the VA; and (6) never have been found to have “acted fraudulently” with respect to certification of a CMV operator, including by fraudulently awarding an MEC. After fulfilling the foregoing requirements, qualified VA examiners are listed on the National Registry and become certified VA MEs.1 This final rule limits certified VA MEs to conduct medical examinations of, and issue MECs to, veteran operators only. The final rule clarifies the proposal in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that when a certified VA ME is no longer employed in the VA, he or she must update the registration information in his or her National Registry account on the National Registry website within 30 days of leaving employment in the VA.

    1 For ease, FMCSA is using the term “qualified VA examiner” to refer to a VA advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional who is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations prior to becoming certified and listed on the National Registry. The term “certified VA ME” refers to a VA advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional who is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations once he or she has been certified and listed on the National Registry.

    C. Benefits and Costs

    The Agency estimates that costs of the final rule would be minimal, with an annualized value of $117,000 at a 7 percent discount rate. The costs would consist of Federal government information technology (IT)-related expenses, Help Desk operating costs, and curriculum and testing development. The Agency estimates cost savings to the qualified VA examiners of $345,000, annualized at a 7 percent discount rate. The cost savings result from the elimination of tuition costs and travel time and expenses. The resulting annual net costs of the rule are -$228,000, or alternatively, a net cost savings of $228,000. Additional non-quantifiable cost savings may result from the increased availability of certified VA MEs to veteran operators who receive medical examinations through the VA.

    III. Abbreviations and Acronyms ACOEM American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine ATA American Trucking Associations CAA Clean Air Act CE Categorical Exclusion CFR Code of Federal Regulations CMV Commercial Motor Vehicle DOT Department of Transportation E.O. Executive Order FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSRs Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations FAST Act Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act FR Federal Register IRS Internal Revenue Service IT Information Technology ME Medical Examiner MEC Medical Examiner's Certificate, Form MCSA-5876 MER Form Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875 National Registry National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NYSCA New York State Chiropractic Association OIG Office of Inspector General OMB Office of Management and Budget OOIDA Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. PII Personally Identifiable Information PIA Privacy Impact Assessment PTA Privacy Threshold Assessment § Section symbol U.S.C. United States Code VA Department of Veterans Affairs IV. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    The legal authority for this final rule is derived from 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31149, as supplemented by section 5403 of the FAST Act, as amended. Section 31136(a)(3) requires that operators of CMVs be physically qualified to operate safely, as determined and certified by an ME listed on the National Registry. Section 31149(d) requires FMCSA to ensure that MEs listed on the National Registry are qualified to perform the physical examinations of CMV operators and to certify that such operators meet the physical qualification standards. To ensure that MEs are qualified for listing on the National Registry, 49 U.S.C. 31149(c)(1)(D) requires them to receive training based on core curriculum requirements developed by FMCSA in consultation with the Medical Review Board (established under 49 U.S.C. 31149(a)), to pass a certification examination, and to demonstrate an ability to comply with reporting requirements established by FMCSA.

    Section 5403 of the FAST Act supplements the general provisions of section 31149. Section 5403 originally provided an alternative process for a “qualified physician” employed in the VA to be listed on the National Registry and to perform medical examinations of veteran operators who require an MEC. FMCSA interpreted the term “physician” in the NPRM to mean a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy.

    The Jobs for Our Heroes Act amended section 5403(d)(2) by expanding eligibility to use the alternative process to a “qualified examiner.” The Act defines the term to mean an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional who is employed in the VA and licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations. To be qualified for listing on the National Registry, such individual must be familiar with the physical standards and requirements for operators of CMVs. He or she must also never have been found to have acted fraudulently with respect to an MEC for a CMV operator. Certified VA MEs on the National Registry may only perform examinations on, and issue MECs to, veterans enrolled in the healthcare system operated by the VA.

    The Jobs for Our Heroes Act and its expanded definition of the medical professionals who could utilize the alternative process proposed in the NPRM was enacted after FMCSA published the NPRM on December 1, 2016. Ordinarily, agencies may promulgate final rules only after issuing an NPRM and providing an opportunity for public comment (5 U.S.C. 553). But when a final rule is a logical outgrowth of the NPRM because it provided fair notice that the issue was being considered by the Agency, no additional notice and opportunity to comment is required. Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158, 174-75 (2007) and cases there cited.

    There also is general authority to adopt regulations to implement these provisions from both 49 U.S.C. 31136(a) and 49 U.S.C. 31149(e). Such authority has been delegated to the Administrator of FMCSA by 49 CFR 1.87.

    Before prescribing any regulations, however, FMCSA must consider their “costs and benefits” (49 U.S.C. 31136(c)(2)(A) and 31502(d)). These factors are discussed elsewhere in this preamble.

    V. Background A. National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    Prior to the National Registry, there was no Federally-required training and testing program for the medical professionals who conducted driver medical examinations, although the FMCSRs required MEs to be knowledgeable about the regulations (49 CFR 391.43(c)(1)). Specific knowledge of the Agency's physical qualification standards was not required or verified by testing. Thus, some of the medical professionals who conducted these examinations may not have been as familiar with FMCSA's physical qualification standards and how to apply them as the Agency had intended. These medical professionals also may have been unaware of the mental and physical rigors that accompany the occupation of CMV driver, and how various medical conditions (and the therapies used to treat them) can affect the ability of drivers to safely operate CMVs.

    In 2012, FMCSA issued a final rule establishing the National Registry (77 FR 24104, April 20, 2012) to improve highway safety and driver health by requiring that MEs be trained and certified so they can effectively determine whether a CMV driver's medical fitness for duty meets FMCSA's standards. The program implements the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 31149 and requires MEs who conduct physical examinations for CMV drivers to meet the following criteria: (1) Complete certain training concerning FMCSA's physical qualification standards; (2) pass a test to verify an understanding of those standards; and (3) maintain and demonstrate competence through periodic training and testing. Following the establishment of the National Registry, the FMCSRs were amended to require drivers to be examined and certified by only those MEs listed on the National Registry, and to allow only MECs issued by MEs listed on the National Registry to be accepted as valid proof of a driver's medical certification.

    To be listed on the National Registry, MEs are required to attend an accredited training program and pass a certification test to assess their knowledge of FMCSA's physical qualification standards and how to apply them to drivers. To maintain their certification and listing on the National Registry, MEs are required to complete periodic training every 5 years and pass a recertification test every 10 years. They are also required to submit to FMCSA, monthly, via their individual password-protected National Registry account, a CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850, for each medical examination conducted and to retain the original Medical Examination Report (MER) Form and a copy of the MEC for at least 3 years from the date of the examination.

    As of May 31, 2017, there were 54,171 certified MEs listed on the National Registry. Between May 21, 2014 and May 31, 2017, essentially the first 3 years of the National Registry, 16,227,352 examinations were conducted. Of the examinations conducted, 13,638,849 were of commercial driver's license holders and 2,588,503 were of non-commercial driver's license holders. In contrast, as of May 31, 2017, there were only 114 certified MEs listed on the National Registry who were employed in the VA. Between May 21, 2014 and May 31, 2017, certified MEs who were employed in the VA conducted 14,260 examinations. Through this rulemaking, we hope to increase the number of VA examiners and the number of CMV drivers they examine.

    B. Medical Examiner's Certification Integration

    On April 23, 2015, FMCSA published the Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule (80 FR 22790), a follow-on rule to the National Registry, which requires MEs performing medical examinations of CMV drivers to use a newly developed MER Form, MCSA-5875, in place of the former MER Form and to use Form MCSA-5876 for the MEC. In the future, certified MEs will be required to report results of all CMV drivers' physical examinations performed (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination. For commercial learner's permit and commercial driver's license applicants/holders, FMCSA will electronically transmit driver identification, examination results, and restriction information from the National Registry to the State Driver Licensing Agencies. FMCSA will also electronically transmit medical variance information for all CMV drivers to the State Driver Licensing Agencies. MEs will still be required to provide CMV drivers who do not require a commercial learner's permit/commercial driver's license with an original paper MEC, Form MCSA-5876.

    VI. December 1, 2016, Proposed Rule

    As required by section 5403 of the FAST Act, FMCSA consulted with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and published an NPRM on December 1, 2016 (81 FR 86673). The NPRM proposed an alternative process for qualified VA physicians to be included on FMCSA's National Registry so they could perform medical examinations of CMV drivers who are veteran operators and issue MECs to qualified drivers. Qualified VA physicians would be listed on the National Registry after registering on the National Registry website and completing training and testing comparable to that required of other medical professionals, but provided by FMCSA and delivered through a web-based training system operated by the VA. FMCSA estimated the total quantifiable cost savings of the proposed rule per qualified VA physician seeking to become a certified VA ME to be $519. This estimate is the sum of the projected savings of $459 in travel time costs and $60 in travel expenses. Upon successful completion, certified VA MEs would only be allowed to conduct medical examinations of, and issue MECs to, veteran operators. Certified VA MEs would also be subject to the other provisions of 49 CFR part 390, subpart D, required of all certified MEs listed on the National Registry.

    The NPRM outlined certain eligibility requirements. Based on section 5403, prior to its amendment, this proposal applied to qualified VA physicians who are either doctors of medicine or doctors of osteopathy. Additionally, qualified VA physicians must never have been found to have “acted fraudulently” with respect to certification of a CMV operator, including fraudulently awarding an MEC. As for licensure requirements, the proposal specified that qualified VA physicians may be able to practice in VA facilities in all States without being licensed, certified, or registered in each State. This requirement is in line with the VA handbook, which does not specify that physicians must be licensed in each State where they practice medicine. Assuming they meet the licensure requirements prescribed by statute and VA policy, they may practice at any VA facility, regardless of its location or the practitioner's State of licensure.

    As proposed, qualified VA physicians must be familiar with FMCSA's standards and physical requirements for a CMV operator requiring medical certification. This would be accomplished by completing training based on the core curriculum specifications that would be provided by FMCSA 2 and delivered through a web-based training system operated by the VA. As for testing, qualified VA physicians must pass a comparable certification test provided by FMCSA and administered through a web-based training system operated by the VA. The passing grade received by each qualified VA physician would be electronically transmitted from the web-based training system to the National Registry System for posting to the physician's National Registry account.

    2See 78 FR 28403 (May 17, 2011) and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2008-0363-0096.

    The proposed rule required qualified VA physicians who become certified VA MEs to maintain their medical licensure, registration, and certification records. However, because certified VA MEs may be able to practice in additional States without being licensed, registered, or certified in each State, the NPRM only required certified VA MEs to maintain documentation of State licensure, registration, or certification to perform physical examinations, without reference to each State in which the physician performs examinations.

    The proposal limited certified VA MEs to conducting medical examinations of only veteran operators while employed in the VA. If a certified VA ME is no longer employed in the VA, but would like to remain listed on the National Registry, the physician must update his or her registration information within 30 days or submit such a change in registration information prior to conducting any medical examination of a CMV driver or issuing any MECs. Pursuant to its broad authority under 49 U.S.C. 31149(c)(1)(D), FMCSA proposed to recognize the training received by qualified VA physicians as comparable to that received by other medical professionals, thus allowing such physicians to continue to be listed on the National Registry. But physicians wishing to continue such listing must be licensed to perform physical examinations in any State where examinations of CMV drivers will be conducted. Therefore, after the registration is updated, the previously certified VA ME becomes a certified ME who may perform medical examinations and issue certificates to any CMV driver in the certified ME's State(s) of licensure.

    In addition, the NPRM proposed two changes to the existing requirements for becoming a certified ME. To receive ME certification from FMCSA, prior to taking the training and testing, the NPRM required a person to register on the National Registry System and receive a unique identifier. This has always been how the National Registry System has operated and is the first step in becoming a certified ME, but it was not specifically included in the regulation. Moreover, the NPRM proposed to remove the prohibition against an applicant taking the certification test more than once every 30 days, because the regulation does not specify any actions that must be taken within the 30-day waiting period.

    VII. Discussion of Comments Received on the Proposed Rule Overview of Comments

    In response to the December 2016 NPRM, FMCSA received 173 comments. Many commenters were individuals, most of whom identified themselves as certified MEs and healthcare professionals. Among other commenters were the following: 10 professional chiropractic associations including the Kentucky Association of Chiropractors, Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, American Chiropractic Association, California Chiropractic Association, Iowa Chiropractic Society, Illinois Chiropractic Association, New York State Chiropractic Association (NYSCA), New York Chiropractic Council, Association of New Jersey Chiropractors, and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges; three other healthcare provider professional associations including the American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM); and three trucking industry associations including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA), National School Transportation Association, and the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

    Five commenters expressed overall support for the proposed rule and four commenters expressed opposition to the rule. Many commenters expressed neither support nor opposition to the rule in its entirely; instead, they offered recommendations or voiced concerns.

    Most commenters opposed the proposal that a qualified VA physician must be either a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy currently employed in the VA. Other commenters found the rule unnecessary or stated that it creates a duplicative process. Additionally, commenters said that by developing an alternative process for qualified physicians employed in the VA to be listed on the National Registry, FMCSA was creating an exception to the National Registry process of certifying MEs. Another issue commenters highlighted was the burden that would be placed on the VA by conducting these medical examinations. Commenters also had questions and concerns regarding the training and testing of qualified VA physicians. One commenter disagreed with the estimated savings associated with the alternative process for being listed on the National Registry. Finally, several commenters raised concerns that are outside the scope of this rulemaking.

    Qualified VA Physicians—Doctors of Medicine or Doctors of Osteopathy

    Comments: Many commenters objected to the provisions of the proposed rule that a qualified VA physician must be either a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy. Most of these commenters requested that a doctor of chiropractic employed in the VA be considered a qualified VA physician so they could use the proposed process and become a certified VA ME. Some commenters requested that all categories of medical professionals currently eligible to be listed on the National Registry be allowed to participate in the proposed process if they are employed in the VA.

    Several commenters stated that the proposed process is discriminatory, and a waste of resources and obvious experience of medical professionals who are not included in the alternative process, which will lead to increased costs for veterans and a shortage of medical professionals available to perform the medical examinations in the VA. Many commenters pointed out that chiropractors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are already allowed on the National Registry and urged that they should not be excluded from this rule.

    The NYSCA recognized that the language of the FAST Act “tied” the Agency's “hands statutorily.” Furthermore, the NYSCA stated it is up to Congress “to change the relevant law underpinning the regulatory proposal.” In contrast, other commenters stated that the statute does not limit the process to doctors of medicine or osteopathy, and that the proposal has gratuitously added such a limitation. Given that Congress did not limit the term “physician” to medical and osteopathic doctors, the commenters asserted that it is consistent with the statute to include chiropractors as “physicians” under the proposed rule and is likely more representative of Congress's intent. OOIDA questioned whether limiting the definition of physician to only doctors of medicine and osteopathy, and not applying the criteria set forth in 49 CFR 390.103, is too restrictive to match the Congressional intent. Within their comment, they provided a hyperlink to a letter by three members of Congress to the Administrator of FMCSA, which stated that regulatory barriers that make it needlessly difficult for veterans to secure jobs in the trucking industry should be eliminated. Other commenters contended that the term “qualified physician” was intended to be the same as the categories included in 49 CFR 390.103, subject only to the provisions of section 5403(d)(2) of the FAST Act.

    Two commenters urged that chiropractors should be included in the definition of “physician” because the Federal government already includes chiropractors as physicians in the Medicare program or in regulations issued by the Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.

    Several commenters stated that the scope of practice and classification of chiropractors varies by State. For example, one commenter reported that 46 States allow chiropractors to perform medical examinations. Several commenters noted that many States include chiropractors in their definition of “physician.” In Illinois, chiropractors are licensed under the same Medical Practice Act as medical and osteopathic physicians and considered full physicians with the right to perform medical examinations. In West Virginia, chiropractors are also recognized as physicians who may perform medical examinations. In Iowa, chiropractors are considered “primary care providers.” One commenter stated that the Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies healthcare organizations, recently changed its stance on chiropractors and now recognizes them as physicians. Three commenters contended that the proposed rule would inappropriately invade or conflict with the authority of State legislatures and licensing boards to determine what is within a doctor of chiropractic's scope of practice. The NYSCA acknowledged that, while chiropractors are licensed as physicians in many jurisdictions of the United States, they are recognized as “limited license physicians.”

    FMCSA Response: This final rule recognizes and incorporates the amendments made to section 5403(d)(2) of the FAST Act by the Jobs for Our Heroes Act. As such, in addition to doctors of medicine and osteopathy as proposed in the NRPM, advanced practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic, physician assistants, and other medical professionals employed in the VA are eligible to use the alternative process for becoming certified and listed on the National Registry, provided they are licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations.

    Subsequent to the publication of the NPRM, Congress enacted the Jobs for Our Heroes Act on January 8, 2018. The Act amends section 5403(d)(2) of the FAST Act by replacing the term “qualified physician” with “qualified examiner.” The Act now defines “qualified examiner” to mean, in relevant part, an individual who: (A) Is employed in the VA as an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional; and (B) is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations. As such, the categories of VA medical professionals who are eligible to use the alternative process are identical to the categories of medical professionals set forth in 49 CFR 390.103 who are eligible to perform medical examinations.

    In view of the numerous comments directed to the proposed rule limiting participation in the alternative process for being listed on the National Registry to physicians, it was clear that this was a matter under consideration by FMCSA. Now that the Congressional action amending section 5403 has directly addressed the issue as well, the Agency can adopt a final rule that is a logical outgrowth of the NPRM by responding to the comments and incorporating the statutory amendments without the need for additional public comment.

    Duplicative Rule

    Comments: Several commenters stated that the proposed rule was duplicative and unnecessary. Some stated that there is already a system in place for qualified physicians to become certified and listed on the National Registry. There is no need to create a regulation that will set up and maintain a separate training and testing program outside the already functioning and capable FMCSA program.

    FMCSA Response: As stated in the NPRM, these changes to the FMCSRs are in response to the FAST Act requirement set forth in section 5403(c), as amended, that FMCSA “develop a process for qualified examiners to perform a medical examination and provide a medical certificate under subsection (a) and include such examiners on the national registry of medical examiners established under section 31149(d) of title 49, United States Code” (49 U.S.C 31149 note). FMCSA believes that the process as established in this final rule meets the requirement of the FAST Act.

    Creating an Exception to the National Registry Certification Process

    Comments: Several commenters stated that the proposed rule would create an exception to the National Registry process for becoming a certified ME and subvert the purpose of the National Registry by creating an exempted class. One commenter noted that allowing any government organization to perform medical examinations of veteran operators has the appearance of being self-serving and going around the system, rather than through its many safeguards and qualifications. Most commenters on this subject agreed that providers who work for the VA should be treated the same as all other providers and should be held to the same standards by following the same procedures for becoming certified and listed on the National Registry. Additionally, ATA asked if VA-certified MEs would also be subject to periodic training and testing requirements; as they did not feel the proposal addressed this critical issue.

    FMCSA Response: FMCSA does not believe that this alternative process is creating an exempted class or undermining the existing system. This final rule provides an option that allows qualified VA examiners to be listed on the Agency's National Registry so that veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system will have the convenience of obtaining medical examinations where they receive their healthcare. As stated elsewhere in this final rule, the training and testing the qualified VA examiners must complete is comparable to what other medical professionals must complete to be listed on the National Registry. Finally, to address ATA's concerns, once a qualified VA examiner is certified and listed on the National Registry, he or she will be subject to the same requirements for periodic training every 5 years and for testing every 10 years. Certified VA MEs' performance will be subject to the same FMCSA review and compliance as other MEs.

    Burden on the VA

    Comments: Several commenters believed that this rule will further burden the overtaxed VA clinics and hospitals. They stated that the VA budget is already stretched, and that the work it will take to implement this rule is a waste of taxpayer's money. One commenter stated this rule will be detrimental to the VA healthcare system; it will be a significant expense to the VA, but only offer a modest savings to veterans. Some commenters stated that they do not believe the VA should be taking over the civilian community businesses that have developed over the last 20 years. Another commenter stated that local small businesses will lose clients.

    FMCSA Response: The FAST Act directs FMCSA to work with the VA to develop a process that will allow veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system to receive medical examinations in the VA. Therefore, FMCSA and the VA must develop such a process.

    The statute specifically adopts the definition of veteran set forth in 38 U.S.C. 101 and the priority of enrollment in the VA healthcare system established under 38 U.S.C. 1705(a). As such, the statute does not increase the number of veterans who are eligible to obtain healthcare from the VA. The medical benefits package available to qualifying veterans already includes the completion of forms and periodic medical examinations. See 38 CFR 17.38(a)(1)(xv) and (a)(2)(i). Therefore, a new veteran benefit is not created.

    FMCSA does not see this rule as a burden on the VA clinics and hospitals. Qualified VA examiners are not being forced to use this process or to become certified and listed on the National Registry. This rule is being implemented to make it more convenient for qualified VA examiners to become certified and, therefore, to provide veterans with increased access to certified MEs.

    FMCSA, in consultation with the VA, estimates that VA's only costs will be interface development of $129,000 in the first year. FMCSA will incur all other costs. Total savings to veterans will depend on how many qualified VA examiners take advantage of this process and become certified and listed on the National Registry and how many medical examinations they perform.

    The Agency notes, based on its consultation with the VA, that not all veterans are eligible to receive healthcare from the VA. Moreover, the rule does not require veterans who are eligible to receive healthcare from the VA to obtain their medical examinations from the VA. The rule also does not prohibit non-VA MEs from providing medical examinations for veterans.

    Comments: One commenter stated that the VA will have to increase spending and revise its IT systems to interface with the States to transmit data regarding qualified VA test results. He further stated that the potential IT issues arising from this data transmission are huge because of government computer system firewalls. Another commenter believed that the VA's resources would be better allocated toward medical treatment for our nation's veterans.

    FMCSA Response: There is no provision in this rule that will require the VA to revise its IT system to interface with the States to transmit the data. Certified VA MEs will submit driver examination results to FMCSA through their individual password-protected National Registry accounts, just like any other certified ME. See 49 CFR 391.43(g). The transmission of the MEC information will be between the National Registry and the States, not the certified ME and the States.

    Comments: The comments included a statement that FMCSA is forcing the VA's most valuable healthcare providers, the physicians and osteopaths, to become certified MEs. A commenter believed that when a veteran needs necessary medical treatment, the medical doctor will be too busy performing medical examinations.

    FMCSA Response: FMCSA notes that this final rule does not require any VA medical professional to become a certified ME or to conduct medical examinations. Those VA physicians who meet the qualifications are eligible, but not required, to become certified and listed on the National Registry. Moreover, the amendments made by the Jobs for Our Heroes Act expand eligibility to use the alternative process to advance practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic, and physician assistants, which allows the VA, if it wishes, to provide medical examinations in a manner that is most efficient and consistent with its healthcare delivery model.

    Additionally, as stated elsewhere in this final rule, section 5403(c) of the FAST Act, as amended, requires FMCSA to “develop a process for qualified examiners to perform a medical examination and provide a medical certificate under subsection (a) and include such examiners on the national registry of medical examiners established under section 31149(d) of title 49, United States Code” (49 U.S.C. 31149 note). This rule does not change the existing requirements or process for becoming certified and listed on the National Registry and does not prevent those certified MEs currently listed on the National Registry from providing services to veterans.

    Comments: The comments expressed concern regarding the oversight of VA physicians. It was stated that, presumably, the only people with access to VA physicians are veterans who are registered with the VA and are seeking medical certification. Because most DOT Office of Inspector General (OIG) agents are not veterans, FMCSA will have a significant challenge getting its OIG agents into VA facilities to conduct investigations. It was also stated that it is unreasonable to believe that the quality of care at VA clinics and hospitals will not be adversely affected, and safety concerns will not be overlooked.

    FMCSA Response: FMCSA would work collaboratively with the OIG to ensure access when necessary. With respect to oversight of the certified VA MEs, FMCSA monitors and audits certified MEs listed on the National Registry, which will include certified VA MEs, and may request access to all medical examination records when there is a need to review such documents.

    Training

    Comments: Several commenters believed that the Agency proposed different training requirements for qualified VA physicians.

    ACOEM stated that the core content of any training should include at least the minimum requirements specified in the core curriculum announced in the April 2012 final rule. It stated that the training should also make certain potential examiners aware of other sources of information, such as information developed by the Medical Review Board and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, as well as medical literature, which could be consulted when no official guidance is available from FMCSA. ACOEM believed it would be a disservice to both the military veterans and the motoring public if the certified VA MEs are less aware of the regulations, guidelines, and current literature, as well as the roles, responsibilities, and risks of operating CMVs than MEs trained under the existing process. Commenters said many VA physicians have never performed medical examinations for CMV drivers, and those who have performed such medical examinations did a poor job.

    One commenter stated that different training requirements give the appearance of impropriety. The commenter continued to explain that with all the training options available, VA physicians should be able to choose their training from the same training options available to all others seeking National Registry certification.

    Some commenters suggested that VA physicians would be better served by attending live training. Another commenter stated that “to allow the VA to self train or train over the internet would diminish the quality of care provided,” and that to expand its authority without requiring the same training for qualified VA physicians is dangerous and poorly conceived.

    FMCSA Response: We stated in the NPRM that FMCSA will be providing the VA with an interactive, web-based training course and will include at least the following: (1) An overview of all FMCSA medical standards; (2) an overview of how the Federal medical exemption programs factor into the qualification decision; (3) an administrative component that includes an overview of the driver examination forms; and (4) information regarding the use of the National Registry and the National Registry System. To clarify, these four modules will be based on the same core curriculum specifications published with the April 2012 final rule. The training will focus on the standards for physical qualifications and the physical requirements for an operator of a CMV, as required by section 5403(d)(2)(B) of the FAST Act. Therefore, all certified MEs will receive comparable training. While the specific training content and delivery method are not prescribed by FMCSA, and no two training organizations offer the identical training, qualified VA examiners will not receive training that minimizes the substantive content of the program.

    With respect to the commenter who stated that training options available to VA physicians would be limited, qualified VA examiners may choose or utilize either of the training options outlined in part 390 subpart D. FMCSA has added language in the final rule to explain this choice. It was not the intent of FMCSA to limit the choices of a qualified VA examiner; it was to provide an alternative, comparable training option.

    FMCSA disagrees that qualified VA examiners would be better served by attending live training. Under the existing National Registry process, medical professionals may take the training exclusively online. FMCSA does not believe that it should impose a burden on qualified VA examiners that is not imposed on other prospective MEs. Moreover, the assumption that the web-based VA process will diminish the quality of medical examinations or that it is a poorly conceived concept is misguided. As discussed above, FMCSA will be overseeing the development of the training and will ensure that it is comparable to training received through private training organizations.

    FMCSA also disagrees that allowing “the VA to self train” and that different training requirements for the qualified VA examiners give the appearance of impropriety. As discussed above, the training requirements for qualified VA examiners are comparable to the existing training requirements. In addition, under the existing regulations, any hospital system, occupational health consortium, or professional association that meets the requirements of § 390.105 is allowed to develop its own training program and to administer it to its employees or members in a comparable manner. Moreover, the FAST Act directs FMCSA to establish a process for qualified VA examiners to be listed on the Agency's National Registry. For all the reasons discussed above, FMCSA believes that the web-based training is a reasonable and efficient means of satisfying that directive.

    Testing

    Comments: A number of commenters believed that the Agency proposed different testing requirements for qualified VA physicians. Many commenters were concerned that the test for qualified VA physicians would be different than the test other examinees take. The commenters stated it is only fair that all examinees be treated exactly the same and take the same test. Some commenters objected to online testing. One commenter noted that the existing proctored system of testing was developed to ensure security of the process and should not be different for qualified VA physicians. In contrast, other commenters urged that online testing be available to all examinees.

    OOIDA commented that testing should “remain on par with the private sector and accessible so as to not frustrate the purpose of Section 5403.” It also suggested that metrics be established to evaluate whether the developed process fulfills the Congressional intent.

    FMCSA Response: The qualified VA examiners will take a certification test drawn from the same question bank FMCSA develops and provides to private testing organizations; therefore, all examinees will be treated the same with respect to the certification test taken. The passing grade will be the same for all MEs.

    FMCSA notes that the existing regulations allow testing organizations to provide remote, computer-based testing for examinees (see 49 CFR 390.107(b)); therefore, the web-based testing for qualified VA examiners is contemplated by the existing regulations. FMCSA acknowledges, however, that none of the private testing organizations currently offer computer-based testing.

    Because all Federal departments and agencies, including both FMCSA and the VA, are required to ensure compliance with the Federal Information System Management Act, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and all applicable laws, directives, policies, and directed actions on a continuing basis to maintain the security and privacy of all Federal information systems and the data contained in those systems, the security of the test will be as secure as the testing administered in a proctored environment by a private testing organization. In addition, FMCSA and the VA will be directly overseeing the security process to control access, and to confirm the identity of the person taking the examination and his or her eligibility to take the examination.

    OOIDA's comment regarding an evaluation of this new process is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. However, FMCSA already has a method of evaluating all medical professionals listed on the National Registry, as described in the final rule published on April 20, 2012 (77 FR 20124). A similar review process will also apply to certified VA MEs.

    Costs

    Comments: ACOEM stated that one of the concerns of the FAST Act was a lack of access by veterans to certified MEs, which ACOEM stated was based on an assumption that time and travel costs prevent VA physicians from being trained under the National Registry requirements. ACOEM stated that it disagreed with the estimated savings associated with an alternative process, as noted in the NPRM. It stated that, because many training programs are offered partially or entirely online, travel costs (or time away from work) are virtually eliminated. It believed that the relative cost of subsidizing qualified VA physicians to complete a distance learning training program, as compared to FMCSA developing and maintaining a training program (including periodic updates as new guidance, regulations, or other information becomes available), would most likely be comparable.

    FMCSA Response: FMCSA disagrees with ACOEM's comment. While online training programs are available, no data are available regarding the degree to which VA MEs who are currently listed on the National Registry (or who would obtain training toward that end in the baseline) received online versus classroom training. ACOEM provides no data on which FMCSA should revise the 50/50 split in the baseline between online and classroom training. The “50/50 split” here refers to the estimate in both the 2011 regulatory evaluation of the National Registry final rule and again in the NPRM and this final rule that 50 percent of healthcare professionals seeking to become certified MEs would complete the required training and testing online, while the remaining 50 percent would participate in classroom-based training. The 50/50 split was utilized to be consistent with the Agency's projections in the December 2011 regulatory evaluation of the National Registry final rule. The regulatory evaluation for today's final rule estimates average savings—specific to training, not testing—of 1.5 hours of travel time (valued at $153) and 35 miles of mileage expenses (valued at $20.13) per participating qualified VA examiner, or $173.13 in total. The remainder of the $519 average savings per participating qualified VA examiner consists of savings from the elimination of travel time and mileage expenses resulting from the online testing component of this final rule, as online testing, although permitted, is not being offered, and therefore is not included in the baseline. In the absence of credible studies or surveys that might suggest otherwise, the Agency maintains that the use of the 50/50 split and the consequent $173.13 savings estimate for training are reasonable.

    FMCSA makes no claim that the relative cost of an FMCSA-developed online training program is less than the relative cost of subsidizing qualified VA examiners to complete distance learning training programs. While the cost to society for a qualified VA examiner to complete online training through a third party versus through FMCSA may be comparable, the FAST Act directs FMCSA to develop and implement a process. FMCSA believes that the process as established in this final rule is the most convenient option for qualified VA examiners.

    Outside the Scope of This Rulemaking

    A number of respondents submitted comments suggesting adjustments to the proposed rule that are not consistent with section 5403(d)(2) of the FAST Act as amended. As such, they are outside the scope of this rulemaking; therefore, a response is not required. For example, one commenter asked whether, as a certified ME on the National Registry, he could apply to the VA to perform examinations for veterans. Another commenter suggested that a better option than the proposed rule may be to contract with preferred private certified MEs at a discounted rate, potentially providing more robust coverage and lower total program costs. One commenter stated that this rule should include those who use the VA healthcare system who are not veterans, such as spouses of veterans. Finally, a commenter suggested that existing MEs offer a reduced fee to do medical examinations for veterans.

    VIII. Explanation of Changes From the NPRM

    Most significantly, the final rule incorporates the amendments made to section 5403(d)(2) of the FAST Act by the Jobs for Our Heroes Act. As such, the final rule reflects that, in addition to doctors of medicine and osteopathy as proposed in the NRPM, advanced practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic, physician assistants, and other medical professionals employed in the VA are eligible to use the alternative process for becoming certified and listed on the National Registry, provided they are licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations. Otherwise, the final rule makes minimal changes to the proposed regulatory text. Most are minor editorial changes to improve clarity.

    As discussed above, many commenters thought the proposed rule applied to the existing process to become certified and listed on the National Registry. Considering these comments, FMCSA has determined that greater clarity will result if the alternative process for qualified VA examiners is set out in a stand-alone group of rules in subpart D. As such, the final rule sets forth new §§ 390.123 through 390.135 that implement the alternative process for qualified VA examiners. While the organization of the regulatory text in the final rule differs from the NPRM, only a few clarifying or conforming changes were made to the substance of the alternative process for qualified VA examiners. A new § 390.101(b) is added in the final rule. It explains that a qualified VA examiner may be listed on the National Registry by satisfying the requirements for medical examiner certification set forth in either § 390.103 or § 390.123.

    Another change from the NPRM focuses on the process or actions a certified VA ME must take when he or she is no longer employed by the VA. Upon review, the Agency noted that the proposed regulatory text was unclear and inconsistent with FMCSA's intent. The final rule makes clarifying changes in § 390.131 to specify that a certified VA ME must inform FMCSA through his or her National Registry account of any changes in registration information, including that the certified VA ME is no longer employed in the VA, within 30 days of the change. FMCSA also adds a new paragraph (c) to clarify the requirements if a previously certified VA ME would like to remain listed on the National Registry.

    The definitions in § 390.5, other than the definition of “veteran operator,” are changed to incorporate the amendments made by the Jobs for Our Heroes Act. FMCSA adds identical definitions to § 390.5T, a temporary regulation. In January 2017, FMCSA suspended certain regulations relating to a new electronic Unified Registration System. The suspended regulations were replaced by temporary provisions that contain the requirements in place on January 13, 2017 (Unified Registration System; Suspension of Effectiveness, 82 FR 5292, 5311, Jan. 17, 2017). Section 390.5 is one of the suspended sections. As the temporary provisions of § 390.5T are in effect, it is necessary to add the definitions to that section as well.

    The final rule makes conforming changes to the existing regulations to reflect that new sections have been added to subpart D. In particular, “this subpart” is changed in the existing regulatory text to “§§ 390.103 through 390.115” in each place that it appears.

    IX. Section-by-Section Analysis

    The final rule makes the following changes to the NPRM:

    Part 390 Section 390.5 Definitions

    In the definition of a certified VA medical examiner, “physician” is changed to “examiner”. “Qualified VA physician” is changed to “Qualified VA medical examiner”. The phrase “a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy” is replaced in the definition by “an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional”. The clause “is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations;” is inserted as the second clause. The definition of veteran operator remains as proposed. The definitions are added to this temporarily suspended section.

    Section 390.5T Definitions

    The definitions, as revised, for § 390.5 are added to this temporary section.

    Section 390.101 Scope

    The final rule designates the existing paragraph as paragraph (a) and adds a new paragraph (b) identifying the provisions for the alternative processes for qualified VA examiners to be certified and listed on the National Registry.

    Section 390.103 Eligibility Requirements for Medical Examiner Certification

    In the final rule, FMCSA inserts a center heading prior to the section. Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(ii) is redesignated as paragraph (a)(2) and several clarifying changes have been made to that paragraph. “Before taking the training provided below” is moved to the end of the clause, and “provided below” is changed to “that meets the requirements of § 390.105”. “System” is changed to “website”. “Unique identifier” is deleted and “National Registry number” is inserted. Other than the redesignation of paragraphs and these minor formatting and editorial revisions, the section remains as proposed.

    Section 390.105 Medical Examiner Training Programs

    The final rule moves proposed paragraph (c) to new § 390.125 and otherwise leaves § 390.105 unchanged.

    Section 390.107 Medical Examiner Certification Testing

    The final rule moves proposed paragraph (e) to new § 390.127 and otherwise leaves § 390.107 unchanged.

    Section 390.109 Issuance of the FMCSA Medical Examiner Certification Credential

    FMCSA makes a conforming change to this section by deleting “with a unique National Registry Number”.

    Section 390.111 Requirements for Continued Listing on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    The final rule moves proposed paragraphs (a)(2)(ii), (a)(3)(ii), and (a)(4)(ii) to new § 390.131. The section otherwise remains as proposed.

    Section 390.113 Reasons for Removal From the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    The final rule removes the phrase “this subpart” from the introductory paragraph and paragraph (e) of this section, and adds in its place “§§ 390.103 through 390.115”.

    Section 390.115 Procedures for Removal From the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    The final rule moves proposed paragraphs (d)(2)(v) and (f)(4)(ii) to new § 390.135. The section otherwise remains as proposed.

    Section 390.123 Medical Examiner Certification for Qualified Department of Veterans Affairs Examiners

    The final rule inserts a center heading before the section and adds a new section setting out the eligibility requirements for qualified VA examiners. FMCSA made changes in this section corresponding to the registration changes made in § 390.103.

    Section 390.125 Qualified VA Examiner Certification Training

    The final rule adds a new section setting out the alternative training for qualified VA examiners.

    Section 390.127 Qualified VA Examiner Certification Testing

    The final rule adds a new section setting out the alternative testing for qualified VA examiners.

    Section 390.129 Issuance of the FMCSA Medical Examiner Certification Credential

    The final rule adds a new section that is analogous to § 390.109 and includes the conforming change deleting “with a unique National Registry Number”.

    Section 390.131 Requirements for Continued Listing of a Certified VA Medical Examiner on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    The final rule adds a new section that is analogous to § 390.111 for certified VA medical examiners. FMCSA clarifies in paragraph (a)(2) that it applies to certified VA MEs and adds paragraph (c) to provide the requirements for a previously certified VA ME to remain listed on the National Registry.

    Section 390.133 Reasons for Removal of a Certified VA Medical Examiner From the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    The final rule adds a new section that is analogous to § 390.113 for certified VA medical examiners.

    Section 390.135 Procedure for Removal of a Certified VA Medical Examiner From the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    The final rule adds a new section that is analogous to § 390.115 for certified VA medical examiners. FMCSA clarifies that paragraphs (d)(2)(ii) and (f)(2) apply to certified VA MEs. Other than the redesignation of paragraphs and minor clarifying references, the section remains as proposed in § 390.115.

    Part 391 Section 391.43 Medical Examination; Certificate of Physical Examination

    This section remains as proposed.

    X. Regulatory Analyses A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    FMCSA determined that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866 (58 FR 51735, Oct. 4, 1993), Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by E.O. 13563 (76 FR 3821, Jan. 21, 2011), Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it under that Order. It is also not significant within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures (DOT Order 2100.5 dated May 22, 1980; 44 FR 11034, Feb. 26, 1979).

    The Agency, however, has considered the total costs and benefits of this final rule and determined they are less than $100 million annually.

    The objective of the final rule is to develop an alternative process to allow qualified VA examiners to perform medical examinations for veteran operators and to list such examiners on the National Registry. Absent this final rule, qualified VA examiners may choose to become certified MEs listed on the National Registry; however, the cost of doing so is greater than under the final rule. As of May 31, 2017, there were 114 VA medical professionals certified and listed on the National Registry under the existing process, a small fraction of the 54,171 listed MEs.3

    The standard requirements to become a certified ME are listed in § 390.103. The three requirements are that a person:

    3 A total of 114 medical professionals employed in the VA were listed on the National Registry as of May 31, 2017. Nationwide, a total of 54,171 medical professionals were listed on the National Registry as of May 31, 2017. See https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam (Accessed May 31, 2017).

    • Must be licensed, certified, or registered according to State laws and regulations to perform medical examinations;

    • Must complete required training from a training organization; and

    • Must pass the ME certification test at an FMCSA-approved testing center.

    The final rule modifies these requirements to make training and testing readily accessible to qualified VA examiners. The Federal government will incur the following costs for the modification of these requirements: (1) Costs associated with the development of a web-based training and testing module, (2) IT costs required to construct an interface between the National Registry System and VA's web-based training system, and (3) operation of the National Registry Help Desk to assist qualified VA examiners with registration for, and completion of, the web-based training and testing.

    FMCSA will be developing the web-based curriculum. The training will include a test at the end to ensure that qualified VA examiners seeking to become certified VA MEs complete the curriculum and fully understand the standards for, and physical requirements of, a CMV operator. Curriculum development is a one-time cost incurred in the first year and FMCSA, in consultation with the National Registry developer, estimates this cost will be no more than $200,000. FMCSA revised this estimate for the final rule to reflect the updated cost of the curriculum development.

    FMCSA will modify the National Registry System so it will be able to accept qualified VA examiners' training and test results from the VA's web-based training system and post results to each qualified VA examiner's National Registry account. The VA and FMCSA are responsible for developing the interface between their respective IT systems. The interface will provide a seamless transfer of completed training and testing information for each registered qualified VA examiner to be listed on the National Registry. FMCSA, in consultation with the National Registry developer and the VA, estimates these costs to be $129,000 for each Agency, or a total of $258,000.

    The National Registry Help Desk contractor will staff the National Registry Help Desk to provide technical support to qualified VA examiners going through the National Registry registration and certification process and respond to telephone, written, and email inquiries regarding National Registry certification from qualified VA examiners, veterans, motor carriers, and other interested parties. FMCSA, in consultation with the National Registry developer, estimates that costs for the first year of the contract will be $46,200 and that the costs will increase to $57,750 for each of years 2 through 10 of the analysis period.

    The curriculum development, interface development, and Help Desk costs incurred by FMCSA over the 10-year analysis period are summarized in Table 1. Total costs over the 10-year period are estimated at $1.0 million on an undiscounted basis and $880,000 at a 7 percent discount rate. The annualized cost over the 10-year period is $117,000 at a 7 percent discount rate.

    Table 1—Estimated Federal Government Costs [In 2015$] Year Curriculum
  • development
  • FMCSA and VA interface development Help Desk support Total
  • (undiscounted)
  • Total
  • (3% discount
  • rate)
  • Total
  • (7% discount
  • rate)
  • 2018 $200,000 $258,000 $46,200 $504,200 $504,200 $504,200 2019 0 0 57,750 57,750 56,068 53,972 2020 0 0 57,750 57,750 54,435 50,441 2021 0 0 57,750 57,750 52,849 47,141 2022 0 0 57,750 57,750 51,310 44,057 2023 0 0 57,750 57,750 49,816 41,175 2024 0 0 57,750 57,750 48,365 38,481 2025 0 0 57,750 57,750 46,956 35,964 2026 0 0 57,750 57,750 45,588 33,611 2027 0 0 57,750 57,750 44,261 31,412 Total 200,000 258,000 565,950 1,023,950 953,848 880,455 Annualized 108,563 117,156

    FMCSA also analyzed the cost savings for qualified VA examiners seeking to become certified VA MEs on the National Registry. These qualified VA examiners would incur reduced tuition costs and travel time and expenses as a result of this rule.

    To estimate these cost savings, the Agency utilized estimated ME tuition and travel costs from the December 2011 regulatory evaluation of the National Registry final rule,4 and adjusted them to 2015 dollars.

    4 The 2011 regulatory evaluation can be accessed at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2008-0363-0115 (Accessed April 3, 2017).

    In the 2011 regulatory evaluation, the Agency estimated tuition costs of $440, in 2008 dollars, for each healthcare professional. By receiving the training via FMCSA's web-based curriculum, the qualified VA examiner will no longer incur tuition costs. FMCSA estimated the tuition cost savings by adjusting the $440 for inflation using the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product as published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on March 30, 2017. FMCSA estimates tuition cost savings of $488 for each healthcare professional ($488 = $440 × 1.108).5

    5 U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). “National Income and Products Accounts (NIPA), Section 1, Table 1.1.9: Implicit Price Deflators for Gross Domestic Product.” Published March 30, 2017. FMCSA adjusted the tuition cost value using a multiplier of 1.108 (1.108 ≉ 109.998/99.246).

    In the 2011 regulatory evaluation, the Agency estimated that 50 percent of healthcare professionals seeking to become certified MEs would complete the required training and testing online, while the remaining 50 percent would participate in classroom-based training. At present, there are no testing providers offering online testing (although online testing is permitted). Adjusting for a 50/50 online versus classroom split for training and the current absence of online testing, FMCSA estimates that in the baseline, a qualified VA examiner seeking to become a certified VA ME would, on average, incur 4.5 hours of travel costs and 105 miles of vehicle mileage expenses.6 Under the final rule, training and testing for qualified VA examiners will be online only, using the VA's web-based training system. This eliminates the travel costs and the vehicle mileage costs that would otherwise be incurred in the absence of the final rule. FMCSA quantifies the qualified VA examiner's opportunity cost of travel time using a representative wage rate for a qualified VA examiner. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2015, data indicate the weighted average hourly wage rate for general practitioners, internists, physicians and surgeons, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants is $78.01.7 FMCSA accounts for fringe benefits using data from the BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation database. Applying the fringe benefit markup of 31 percent results in an hourly wage rate of $102.19, rounded to $102 for purposes of this analysis.8 At an average of 4.5 hours of travel time saved per participating qualified VA examiner, the final rule would provide a per-examiner travel time cost savings of $459 ($459 = 4.5 × $102, rounded to the nearest whole number).

    6 4.5 hours assumes 3 hours roundtrip travel for training (incurred by 50 percent of qualified VA examiners) and 3 hours of roundtrip travel for testing (for 100 percent of qualified VA examiners). 4.5 hours = (3 × 0.50 + 3 × 1.0). 105 miles of travel by vehicle assumes a 70-mile roundtrip distance for training (incurred by 50 percent of qualified VA examiners) and a 70-mile roundtrip distance for testing (incurred by 100 percent of qualified VA examiners). 105 = (70 × 0.50 + 70 × 1.0). Distance and time inputs are consistent with those in the 2011 regulatory evaluation of the National Registry final rule.

    7See https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ocwage_03302016.pdf (Accessed May 24, 2017).

    8 The 31 percent fringe benefit markup is obtained from BLS series “All Civilian Total benefits for Professional and related occupations; Percent of total compensation” and corresponds to the Q1 2016 value.

    FMCSA separately estimates the cost savings resulting from the average reduction of 105 miles of travel per qualified VA examiner under the final rule. Consistent with the approach of the 2011 regulatory evaluation for the National Registry final rule, the Agency monetizes this benefit using the standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mileage rate. The 2015 standard IRS mileage rate is 57.5 cents per mile.9 By this measure, the per-qualified VA examiner travel expense savings is $60 ($60 = 57.5 cents per mile × 105 miles, rounded to the nearest whole number).

    9See https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/standard-mileage-rates/ (Accessed April 3, 2017).

    Each qualified VA examiner seeking to become a certified VA ME is estimated to incur a one-time cost savings of $1,007. This estimate is the sum of the projected savings of $488 in tuition costs, $459 in travel time, and $60 in travel expenses. It is important to note that the cost savings are limited to the elimination of tuition costs and travel time and expenses associated with initial ME certification training and testing requirements, and do not reflect subsequent refresher training and recertification testing required for all certified MEs.10

    10 Both 49 CFR 390.111(a)(5)(i) and (ii) and new 49 CFR 390.131(a)(5)(i) and (ii) require MEs to complete periodic training every 5 years after the date of issuance of their credential, and complete training and testing every 10 years after the date of issuance of their credential.

    The total cost savings attributable to this final rule equals the expected annual number of VA medical professionals who would use this process to become certified multiplied by $1,007, discounted at a 7 percent discount rate.

    FMCSA consulted with the VA regarding the expected annual number of VA medical professionals who would use this process to become a certified VA ME after the compliance date of this final rule. Because participation in the National Registry is voluntary, the VA does not have a direct estimate of this number, but expressed to FMCSA that it is motivated to encourage its qualified VA examiners to become certified VA MEs. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume an initial “ramp-up” period during the first 3 years following the compliance date of the final rule.

    The VA has identified about 157 hospitals and 1,800 clinics at which it provides healthcare services. It anticipates that on completion of the ramp-up period, there will be 10 certified VA MEs per each of the 157 hospitals operated by the VA, and one certified VA ME at each of the 300 largest clinics (the 1,500 smaller clinics may share the services of certified VA MEs at VA hospitals). This results in a total of 1,870 certified VA MEs across all VA facilities (1,870 = 10 MEs per hospital × 157 hospitals + 1 ME per clinic × 300 clinics).

    As of May 31, 2017, there were 114 VA medical professionals on the National Registry. To reach the projected level of 1,870 certified VA MEs, the VA would need 585 qualified VA examiners to become certified VA MEs in each of the first 3 years (585 = (1,870−114) ÷ 3). Some of these certified VA MEs will leave the VA due to attrition and job transfers, and will need to be replaced by new certified VA MEs. FMCSA estimates the turnover rate for certified VA MEs using data from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM provides publicly available data at the Agency level on the Federal Civilian Workforce through the FedScope Data Cubes. FMCSA reviewed Veterans Health Administration total employee counts 11 and counts of employee separations 12 for the three relevant medical occupations (0602—Medical Officer, 0603—Physician Assistant, and 0610—Nurse) and found that the turnover rate for these occupations averaged 9 percent over the last 5 fiscal years.

    11 U.S. Office of Personnel Management. FedScope Employment Trend (Year-to-Year) Data Cube, Fiscal Year 2012 through Fiscal Year 2016. Available at: https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/ (Accessed August 10, 2017).

    12 U.S. Office of Personnel Management. FedScope Separations Trend (FY 2011-FY 2017) Data Cube, Fiscal Year 2012 through Fiscal Year 2016. Available at: https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/ (Accessed August 10, 2017).

    The total number of qualified VA examiners becoming certified VA MEs in years 1 through 3 of the analysis is the sum of the 585 certified VA MEs needed for the ramp-up period and the number that replaces those who leave due to attrition or job transfer. FMCSA estimates the number of certified VA MEs who leave the National Registry by applying the 9 percent turnover rate to the total number of certified VA MEs on the National Registry in the previous year.13 For example, in year 1, the number of qualified VA examiners that become certified VA MEs due to attrition is equal to 10 (10 = 114 × 9%). In year 2, the number of qualified VA examiners that become certified VA MEs due to attrition is equal to 61 (61 = (114 + 585) × 9%).

    13 Qualified VA Examiners Joining NRCME to Replace Attrition t = Certified VA MEs Registered on the NRCME t−1 × 9%.

    As shown in the table below, this would result in an annualized cost savings of approximately $345,000, which is greater than the annualized cost of the rule estimated at approximately $117,000. Therefore, this rule would result in an annualized net cost savings of approximately $228,000.

    Table 2—Potential Cost Savings and Net Cost Savings Year Potential number
  • of certified
  • VA MEs who
  • join the
  • national registry
  • Cost savings per
  • 1 qualified VA
  • examiner
  • (7% discount rate)
  • Total cost savings
  • (7% discount rate)
  • Total costs
  • (7% discount rate)
  • Net cost
  • savings
  • A B C = A × B D E = −D + C 2018 595 ($941) ($559,783) $471,215 ($88,568) 2019 646 (879) (568,004) 50,441 (517,563) 2020 697 (822) (572,754) 47,141 (525,612) 2021 163 (768) (125,181) 44,057 (81,124) 2022 163 (718) (116,992) 41,175 (75,817) 2023 163 (671) (109,338) 38,481 (70,857) 2024 163 (627) (102,185) 35,964 (66,221) 2025 163 (586) (95,500) 33,611 (61,889) 2026 163 (548) (89,252) 31,412 (57,840) 2027 163 (512) (83,413) 29,357 (54,056) Total 3,079 (7,070) (2,422,402) 822,855 (1,599,547) Annualized (1,007) (344,896) 117,156 (227,740) Notes:  (a) Total cost values may not equal the sum of the components due to rounding (the totals shown in this column are the rounded sum of unrounded components).  (b) Values shown in parentheses are negative values (i.e., less than zero), and represent a decrease in cost or a cost savings.

    The final rule may result in non-quantifiable cost savings to veteran operators if it increases the availability of and access to certified VA MEs. This may reduce waiting periods for appointments for veteran operators enrolled in the VA healthcare system. Shorter waiting periods may expedite a veteran operator's ability to begin driving for personal income. This rule supports the distribution of benefits and services offered to veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system and encourages veterans to live active and productive lives stemming from gainful employment. Research supports that being gainfully employed contributes to physical and mental health and well-being.14 Easing access to employment and the associated wellness benefits to veterans may decrease the aggregate demand for VA healthcare services. Also, the potential addition of certified VA MEs on the National Registry in closer proximity to a veteran operator's residence may reduce the cost of travel time and the use of a personal vehicle for those veteran operators seeking to be examined by a certified VA ME. The Agency lacks data on the number of veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system now, or in the future, who might realize cost savings from this process. Therefore, FMCSA is unable to quantify cost savings that may be incurred by veteran operators.

    14 Waddell, Gordon and Burton, A Kim. 2006. Is Working Good For Your Health and Well Being? Available at: http://iedereen-aandeslag.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/hwwb-is-work-good-for-you.pdf (Accessed March 6, 2017).

    B. E.O. 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs)

    This final rule is considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action.15 The present value of the cost savings of this rule, measured on an infinite time horizon at a 7 percent discount rate, is $2.1 million. Expressed on an annualized basis, the cost savings are $147,000. These values are expressed in 2016 dollars.

    15 Executive Office of the President. Executive Order 13771 of January 30, 2017. Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. 82 FR 9339-9341. Feb. 3, 2017.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 847, 857), requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of the regulatory action on small business and other small entities and to minimize any significant economic impact. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.16 Accordingly, DOT policy requires an analysis of the impact of all regulations on small entities, and mandates that agencies strive to lessen any adverse effects on these businesses.

    16 Regulatory Flexibility Act, Public Law 96-354, 94 Stat. 1164 (codified at 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.).

    In accordance with section 603(a) of the RFA, FMCSA completed an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to assess the impact of the NPRM on small entities. Although FMCSA received numerous public comments on the NPRM for this rule, there were no comments specific to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration did not file comments in response to the proposed rule.

    Section 604(a) of the RFA requires the Agency to prepare a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to assess the impact of the final rule on small entities. However, section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an analysis, if the rulemaking is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This rule will affect a subset of qualified VA examiners, the VA, and FMCSA. Neither qualified VA examiners, the VA, nor FMCSA are considered small entities because they do not meet the definition of a small entity in section 601 of the RFA. Specifically, qualified VA examiners are considered neither a small business under section 601(3) of the RFA, nor are they considered a small organization under section 601(4) of the RFA. Neither the VA nor FMCSA are considered small governmental jurisdictions under section 601(5) of the RFA.

    This rule will result in one-time cost savings for qualified VA examiners of approximately $1,000. The VA and FMCSA will incur combined costs of approximately $117,000, annualized at a 7 percent discount rate.

    This rule will not affect small entities. Consequently, I hereby certify that the action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    D. Assistance for Small Entities

    In accordance with section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, FMCSA wants to assist small entities in understanding this final rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on themselves and participate in the rulemaking initiative. If the final rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please consult the FMCSA point of contact, Christine A. Hydock, listed in the For Further Information Contact section of this final rule.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce or otherwise determine compliance with Federal regulations to the Small Business Administration's 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 FMCSA, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). DOT has a policy regarding the rights of small entities to regulatory enforcement fairness and an explicit policy against retaliation for exercising these rights.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    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 $156 million (which is the value equivalent of $100,000,000 in 1995, adjusted for inflation to 2015 levels) or more in any 1 year. Though this final rule will not result in any such expenditure, the Agency discusses the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    G. E.O. 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has implications for federalism under section 1(a) of E.O. 13132 if it has “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.” FMCSA has determined that this rule does not have substantial direct costs on or for States, nor would it limit the policymaking discretion of States. Nothing in this document preempts any State law or regulation. Therefore, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Impact Statement.

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

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

    I. E.O. 13045 (Protection of Children)

    E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), requires agencies issuing “economically significant” rules, if the regulation also concerns an environmental health or safety risk that an agency has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, to include an evaluation of the regulation's environmental health and safety effects on children. The Agency determined this final rule is not economically significant. Therefore, no analysis of the impacts on children is required. In any event, the Agency does not anticipate that this regulatory action could in any respect present an environmental or safety risk that could disproportionately affect children.

    J. E.O. 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA reviewed this final rule in accordance with E.O. 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and has determined it will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications.

    K. Privacy

    The E-Government Act of 2002, Public Law 107-347, 208, 116 Stat. 2899, 2921, requires Federal agencies to conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) for new or substantially changed technology that collects, maintains, or disseminates information in an identifiable form. Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Public Law 108-447, 118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note, requires the Agency to conduct a PIA of a regulation that will affect the privacy of individuals. FMCSA has evaluated the risks and effects the rulemaking might have on collecting, storing, and sharing personally identifiable information (PII) and has evaluated protections and alternative information handling processes in developing the final rule to mitigate potential privacy risks. This rule will not require the collection of any new PII by the National Registry System, but will establish a new process of collection for a specific group of individuals. In accordance with this Act, a privacy impact analysis is warranted to address the new process for collection of PII contemplated in the final rule.

    The Agency submitted a Privacy Threshold Assessment (PTA) analyzing the final rule and the specific process for collection of personal information to the DOT Office of the Secretary's Privacy Office for adjudication. Per the DOT Privacy Officer's adjudication of the PTA, the process to add qualified VA examiners to the National Registry creates a new privacy risk that must be managed appropriately. The current National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners PIA published on February 28, 2017, at https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/privacy/privacy-impact-assessments, will be reviewed and revised as appropriate to reflect the final rule and will be published not later than the date on which DOT initiates any of the collection activities contemplated in the final rule. The supporting National Registry PIA, available for review in the docket, gives a full and complete explanation of FMCSA practices for protecting PII in general and specifically in relation to the system addressed in the final rule.

    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies and any non-Federal agency that receives records contained in a system of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. Per the PTA adjudication from the DOT Privacy Officer, the qualified VA examiners' registration records resulting from this rule are not unique and will be maintained and managed by FMCSA in accordance with the registration requirements identified in the planned update to the DOT/FMCSA 009—National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) System of Records Notice published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2012 (77 FR 24247).

    Per the Privacy Act, FMCSA and DOT are required to publish in the Federal Register for at least 30 days a system of records notice (SORN) before it is authorized to collect or use PII retrieved by unique identifier. The current National Registry SORN will be reviewed and revised as appropriate to reflect the final rule and will be published concurrently with the final rule publication or not later than the date on which FMCSA begins collecting and/or using records consistent with the requirements of this rule. As the collected information will be stored in an existing FMCSA system of records, an additional SORN for this rule is not required.

    L. E.O. 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this final rule.

    M. E.O. 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)

    FMCSA has analyzed this final rule under E.O. 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. The Agency has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under E.O. 13211.

    N. E.O. 13783 (Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth)

    E.O. 13783 directs executive departments and agencies to review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, and to appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources. In accordance with E.O. 13783, DOT prepared and submitted a report to the Director of OMB that provides specific recommendations that, to the extent permitted by law, could alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency action that burden domestic energy production. This final rule has not been identified by DOT under E.O. 13783 as potentially alleviating unnecessary burdens on domestic energy production.

    O. E.O. 13175 (Indian Tribal Governments)

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

    P. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Technical Standards)

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

    Q. Environment (NEPA, CAA, Environmental Justice)

    FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and determined this action is categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, March 1, 2004), Appendix 2, paragraph 6.d. The Categorical Exclusion (CE) in paragraph 6.d covers regulations concerning the training, qualifying, licensing, certifying, and managing of personnel. The requirements in this rule are covered by this CE and the action does not have any effect on the quality of the environment. The CE determination is available for review in the docket.

    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of criteria pollutants.

    Under E.O. 12898, each Federal agency must identify and address, as appropriate, “disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations” in the United States, its possessions, and territories. FMCSA evaluated the environmental justice effects of this final rule in accordance with the E.O., and has determined that no environmental justice issue is associated with this rule, nor is there any collective environmental impact that would result from its promulgation.

    List of Subjects 49 CFR 390

    Highway safety, Intermodal transportation, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR 391

    Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Drug testing, Highway safety, Motor carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety, Transportation.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA amends 49 CFR chapter III, parts 390 and 391, as follows:

    PART 390—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL 1. The authority citation for part 390 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 504, 508, 31132, 31133, 31134, 31136, 31137, 31144, 31149, 31151, 31502; sec. 114, Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; secs. 212 and 217, Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1766, 1767; sec. 229, Pub. L. 106-159 (as added and transferred by sec. 4115 and amended by secs. 4130-4132, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1726, 1743; sec. 4136, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1745; secs. 32101(d) and 32934, Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 778, 830; sec. 2, Pub. L. 113-125, 128 Stat. 1388; secs. 5403, 5518, and 5524, Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312, 1548, 1558, 1560; sec. 2, Pub. L. 115-105, 131 Stat. 2263; and 49 CFR 1.81, 1.81a, 1.87.

    2. Amend § 390.5 as follows: a. Lift the suspension of the section; b. Add definitions of “Certified VA medical examiner”, “Qualified VA examiner”, and “Veteran operator” in alphabetical order; and c. Suspend § 390.5 indefinitely.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 390.5 Definitions.

    Certified VA medical examiner means a qualified VA examiner who has fulfilled the requirements for and is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    Qualified VA examiner means an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional who is employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs; is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations; is familiar with the standards for, and physical requirements of, an operator certified pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31149; and has never, with respect to such section, been found to have acted fraudulently, including by fraudulently awarding a medical certificate.

    Veteran operator means an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who is a veteran enrolled in the health care system established under 38 U.S.C. 1705(a).

    3. Amend § 390.5T by adding the terms “Certified VA medical examiner”, “Qualified VA examiner”, and “Veteran operator” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 390.5T Definitions.

    Certified VA medical examiner means a qualified VA examiner who has fulfilled the requirements for and is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    Qualified VA examiner means an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional who is employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs; is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations; is familiar with the standards for, and physical requirements of, an operator certified pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31149; and has never, with respect to such section, been found to have acted fraudulently, including by fraudulently awarding a medical certificate.

    Veteran operator means an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who is a veteran enrolled in the health care system established under 38 U.S.C. 1705(a).

    4. Revise § 390.101 to read as follows:
    § 390.101 Scope.

    (a) The rules in this subpart establish the minimum qualifications for FMCSA certification of a medical examiner and for listing the examiner on FMCSA's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is designed to improve highway safety and operator health by requiring that medical examiners be trained and certified to determine effectively whether an operator meets FMCSA physical qualification standards under part 391 of this chapter. One component of the National Registry is the registry itself, which is a national database of names and contact information for medical examiners who are certified by FMCSA to perform medical examinations of operators.

    (b) A qualified VA examiner, as defined in either § 390.5 or § 390.5T, may be listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners by satisfying the requirements for medical examiner certification set forth in either § 390.103 or § 390.123.

    Medical Examiner Certification Requirements 5. Add an undesignated center heading before § 390.103 to read as set forth above. 6. Amend § 390.103 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 390.103 Eligibility requirements for medical examiner certification.

    (a) To receive medical examiner certification from FMCSA, a person must:

    (1) Be licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations. The applicant must be an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional authorized by applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations.

    (2) Register on the National Registry website and receive a National Registry number before taking the training that meets the requirements of § 390.105.

    (3) Complete a training program that meets the requirements of § 390.105.

    (4) Pass the medical examiner certification test provided by FMCSA and administered by a testing organization that meets the requirements of § 390.107 and that has electronically forwarded to FMCSA the applicant's completed test information no more than 3 years after completion of the training program required by paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    § 390.109 [Amended]
    7. Amend § 390.109 by removing the phrase “with a unique National Registry Number”. 8. Amend § 390.111 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (a)(5)(ii)(B) to read as follows:
    § 390.111 Requirements for continued listing on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Continue to meet the requirements of §§ 390.103 through 390.115 and the applicable requirements of part 391 of this chapter.

    (2) Report to FMCSA any changes in the registration information submitted under § 390.103(a)(2) within 30 days of the change.

    (5) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) Pass the test required by § 390.103(a)(4).

    § 390.113 [Amended]
    9. Amend § 390.113 by removing the phrase “this subpart” from the introductory text and paragraph (e) and adding in its place “§§ 390.103 through 390.115”. 10. Amend § 390.115 as follows: a. By removing in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (ii), (c)(2)(i), (d)(2)(i), and (f)(1) the phrase “this subpart” and adding in its place the phrase “§§ 390.103 through 390.115” wherever it appears; and b. By revising paragraphs (d)(2)(ii) and (f)(2).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 390.115 Procedures for removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Report to FMCSA any changes in the registration information submitted under § 390.103(a)(2) within 30 days of the reinstatement.

    (f) * * *

    (2) Report to FMCSA any changes in the registration information submitted under § 390.103(a)(2).

    11. Add an undesignated center heading and §§ 390.123, 390.125, 390.127, 390.129, 390.131, 390.133, and 390.135 to subpart D to read as follows: Subpart D—National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Medical Examiner Certification Requirements for Qualified Department of Veterans Affairs Examiners Sec. 390.123 Medical examiner certification for qualified Department of Veterans Affairs examiners. 390.125 Qualified VA examiner certification training. 390.127 Qualified VA examiner certification testing. 390.129 Issuance of the FMCSA medical examiner certification credential. 390.131 Requirements for continued listing of a certified VA medical examiner on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. 390.133 Reasons for removal of a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. 390.135 Procedure for removal of a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
    § 390.123 Medical examiner certification for qualified Department of Veterans Affairs examiners.

    (a) For a qualified VA examiner to receive medical examiner certification from FMCSA under §§ 390.123 through 390.135, a person must:

    (1) Be an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs;

    (2) Be licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations;

    (3) Register on the National Registry website and receive a National Registry number before taking the training that meets the requirements of § 390.125;

    (4) Be familiar with FMCSA's standards for, and physical requirements of, a commercial motor vehicle operator requiring medical certification, by completing the training program that meets the requirements of § 390.125;

    (5) Pass the medical examiner certification test provided by FMCSA, administered in accordance with § 390.127, and has had his or her test information forwarded to FMCSA; and

    (6) Never have been found to have acted fraudulently with respect to any certification of a commercial motor vehicle operator, including by fraudulently awarding a medical certificate.

    (b) If a person becomes a certified VA medical examiner under §§ 390.123 through 390.135, then to renew such certification the certified VA medical examiner must remain qualified under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section and complete additional testing and training as required by § 390.131(a)(5).

    § 390.125 Qualified VA examiner certification training.

    A qualified VA examiner applying for certification under §§ 390.123 through 390.135 must complete training developed and provided by FMCSA and delivered through a web-based training system operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    § 390.127 Qualified VA examiner certification testing.

    To receive medical examiner certification from FMCSA under §§ 390.123 through 390.135, a qualified VA examiner must pass the medical examiner certification test developed and provided by FMCSA and administered through a web-based system operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    § 390.129 Issuance of the FMCSA medical examiner certification credential.

    Upon compliance with the requirements of § 390.123(a) or (b), FMCSA will issue to a qualified VA examiner or certified VA medical examiner, as applicable, an FMCSA medical examiner certification credential and will add the certified VA medical examiner's name to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The certification credential will expire 10 years after the date of its issuance.

    § 390.131 Requirements for continued listing of a certified VA medical examiner on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (a) To continue to be listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, each certified VA medical examiner must:

    (1) Continue to meet the requirements of §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and the applicable requirements of part 391 of this chapter.

    (2) Report to FMCSA any changes in the registration information submitted under § 390.123(a)(3) within 30 days of the change.

    (3) Continue to be licensed, certified, or registered, and authorized to perform physical examinations, in accordance with the laws and regulations of a State.

    (4) Maintain documentation of licensure, registration, or certification in a State to perform physical examinations and maintain documentation of and completion of all training required by this section and § 390.125. The certified VA medical examiner must make this documentation available to an authorized representative of FMCSA or an authorized representative of Federal, State, or local government. The certified VA medical examiner must provide this documentation within 48 hours of the request for investigations and within 10 days of the request for regular audits of eligibility.

    (5) Maintain medical examiner certification by completing training and testing according to the following schedule:

    (i) No sooner than 4 years and no later than 5 years after the date of issuance of the medical examiner certification credential, complete periodic training as specified by FMCSA.

    (ii) No sooner than 9 years and no later than 10 years after the date of issuance of the medical examiner certification credential:

    (A) Complete periodic training as specified by FMCSA; and

    (B) Pass the test required by § 390.123(a)(5).

    (b) FMCSA will issue a new medical examiner certification credential valid for 10 years to a certified VA medical examiner who complies with paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section and who successfully completes the training and testing as required by paragraphs (a)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section.

    (c) A certified VA medical examiner must report to FMCSA within 30 days that he or she is no longer employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Any certified VA medical examiner who is no longer employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs, but would like to remain listed on the National Registry, must, within 30 days of leaving employment in the Department of Veterans Affairs, meet the requirements of § 390.111. In particular, he or she must be licensed, certified, or registered, and authorized to perform physical examinations, in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations of each State in which the medical examiner performs examinations. The previously certified VA medical examiner's medical license(s) must be verified and accepted by FMCSA prior to conducting any physical examination of a commercial motor vehicle operator or issuing any medical examiner's certificates.

    § 390.133 Reasons for removal of a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    FMCSA may remove a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners when a certified VA medical examiner fails to meet or maintain the qualifications established by §§ 390.123 through 390.135, the requirements of other regulations applicable to the certified VA medical examiner, or otherwise does not meet the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 31149. The reasons for removal may include, but are not limited to:

    (a) The certified VA medical examiner fails to comply with the requirements for continued listing on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, as described in § 390.131.

    (b) FMCSA finds that there are errors, omissions, or other indications of improper certification by the certified VA medical examiner of an operator in either the completed Medical Examination Reports or the medical examiner's certificates.

    (c) The FMCSA determines the certified VA medical examiner issued a medical examiner's certificate to an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who failed to meet the applicable standards at the time of the examination.

    (d) The certified VA medical examiner fails to comply with the examination requirements in § 391.43 of this chapter.

    (e) The certified VA medical examiner falsely claims to have completed training in physical and medical examination standards as required by §§ 390.123 through 390.135.

    § 390.135 Procedure for removal of a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (a) Voluntary removal. To be voluntarily removed from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, a certified VA medical examiner must submit a request to the FMCSA Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will accept the request and the removal will become effective immediately. On and after the date of issuance of a notice of proposed removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, as described in paragraph (b) of this section, however, the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will not approve the certified VA medical examiner's request for voluntary removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (b) Notice of proposed removal. Except as provided by paragraphs (a) and (e) of this section, FMCSA initiates the process for removal of a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners by issuing a written notice of proposed removal to the certified VA medical examiner, stating the reasons that removal is proposed under § 390.133 and any corrective actions necessary for the certified VA medical examiner to remain listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (c) Response to notice of proposed removal and corrective action. A certified VA medical examiner who has received a notice of proposed removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners must submit any written response to the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards no later than 30 days after the date of issuance of the notice of proposed removal. The response must indicate either that the certified VA medical examiner believes FMCSA has relied on erroneous reasons, in whole or in part, in proposing removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, or that the certified VA medical examiner will comply and take any corrective action specified in the notice of proposed removal, as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

    (1) Opposing a notice of proposed removal. If the certified VA medical examiner believes FMCSA has relied on an erroneous reason, in whole or in part, in proposing removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, the certified VA medical examiner must explain the basis for his or her belief that FMCSA relied on an erroneous reason in proposing the removal. The Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will review the explanation.

    (i) If the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards finds FMCSA has wholly relied on an erroneous reason for proposing removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will withdraw the notice of proposed removal and notify the certified VA medical examiner in writing of the determination. If the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards finds FMCSA has partly relied on an erroneous reason for proposing removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will modify the notice of proposed removal and notify the certified VA medical examiner in writing of the determination. No later than 60 days after the date the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards modifies a notice of proposed removal, the certified VA medical examiner must comply with §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and correct any deficiencies identified in the modified notice of proposed removal as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

    (ii) If the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards finds FMCSA has not relied on an erroneous reason in proposing removal, the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will affirm the notice of proposed removal and notify the certified VA medical examiner in writing of the determination. No later than 60 days after the date the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards affirms the notice of proposed removal, the certified VA medical examiner must comply with §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and correct the deficiencies identified in the notice of proposed removal as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

    (iii) If the certified VA medical examiner does not submit a written response within 30 days of the date of issuance of a notice of proposed removal, the removal becomes effective and the certified VA medical examiner is immediately removed from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (2) Compliance and corrective action. (i) The certified VA medical examiner must comply with §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and complete the corrective actions specified in the notice of proposed removal no later than 60 days after either the date of issuance of the notice of proposed removal or the date the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards affirms or modifies the notice of proposed removal, whichever is later. The certified VA medical examiner must provide documentation of compliance and completion of the corrective actions to the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards. The Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards may conduct any investigations and request any documentation necessary to verify that the certified VA medical examiner has complied with §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and completed the required corrective action(s). The Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will notify the certified VA medical examiner in writing whether he or she has met the requirements to continue to be listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (ii) If the certified VA medical examiner fails to complete the proposed corrective action(s) within the 60-day period, the removal becomes effective and the certified VA medical examiner is immediately removed from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards will notify the person in writing that he or she has been removed from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (3) At any time before a notice of proposed removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners becomes final, the recipient of the notice of proposed removal and the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards may resolve the matter by mutual agreement.

    (d) Request for administrative review. If a person has been removed from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners under paragraph (c)(1)(iii), (c)(2)(ii), or (e) of this section, that person may request an administrative review no later than 30 days after the date the removal becomes effective. The request must be submitted in writing to the FMCSA Associate Administrator for Policy, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590. The request must explain the error(s) committed in removing the certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, and include a list of all factual, legal, and procedural issues in dispute, and any supporting information or documents.

    (1) Additional procedures for administrative review. The Associate Administrator may ask the person to submit additional data or attend a conference to discuss the removal. If the person does not provide the information requested, or does not attend the scheduled conference, the Associate Administrator may dismiss the request for administrative review.

    (2) Decision on administrative review. The Associate Administrator will complete the administrative review and notify the person in writing of the decision. The decision constitutes final Agency action. If the Associate Administrator decides the removal was not valid, FMCSA will reinstate the person and reissue a certification credential to expire on the expiration date of the certificate that was invalidated under paragraph (g) of this section. The reinstated certified VA medical examiner must:

    (i) Continue to meet the requirements of §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and the applicable requirements of part 391 of this chapter.

    (ii) Report to FMCSA any changes in the registration information submitted under § 390.123(a)(3) within 30 days of the reinstatement.

    (iii) Be licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations.

    (iv) Maintain documentation of licensure, registration, or certification in a State to perform physical examinations and maintain documentation of and completion of all training required by §§ 390.125 and 390.131 of this part. The certified VA medical examiner must make this documentation available to an authorized representative of FMCSA or an authorized representative of Federal, State, or local government. The certified VA medical examiner must provide this documentation within 48 hours of the request for investigations and within 10 days of the request for regular audits of eligibility.

    (v) Complete periodic training as required by the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards.

    (e) Emergency removal. In cases of either willfulness or in which public health, interest, or safety requires, the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section are not applicable and the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards may immediately remove a certified VA medical examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and invalidate the certification credential issued under § 390.129. A person who has been removed under the provisions of this paragraph may request an administrative review of that decision as described under paragraph (d) of this section.

    (f) Reinstatement on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. No sooner than 30 days after the date of removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, a person who has been voluntarily or involuntarily removed may apply to the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards to be reinstated. The person must:

    (1) Continue to meet the requirements of §§ 390.123 through 390.135 and the applicable requirements of part 391 of this chapter.

    (2) Report to FMCSA any changes in the registration information submitted under § 390.123(a)(3).

    (3) Be licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations.

    (4) Maintain documentation of licensure, registration, or certification in a State to perform physical examinations and maintain documentation of and completion of all training required by §§ 390.125 and 390.131. The certified VA medical examiner must make this documentation available to an authorized representative of FMCSA or an authorized representative of Federal, State, or local government. The certified VA medical examiner must provide this documentation within 48 hours of the request for investigations and within 10 days of the request for regular audits of eligibility.

    (5) Complete training and testing as required by the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards.

    (6) In the case of a person who has been involuntarily removed, provide documentation showing completion of any corrective actions required in the notice of proposed removal.

    (g) Effect of final decision by FMCSA. If a person is removed from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners under paragraph (c) or (e) of this section, the certification credential issued under § 390.129 is no longer valid. However, the removed person's information remains publicly available for 3 years, with an indication that the person is no longer listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners as of the date of removal.

    PART 391—QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLES (LCV) DRIVER INSTRUCTORS 12. The authority citation for part 391 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 504, 508, 31133, 31136, 31149, 31502; sec. 4007(b), Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 2152; sec. 114, Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; sec. 215, Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1767; sec. 32934, Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 830; secs. 5403 and 5524, Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312, 1548, 1560; sec. 2, Pub. L. 115-105, 131 Stat. 2263; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    13. Amend § 391.43 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 391.43 Medical examination; certificate of physical examination.

    (b) Exceptions:

    (1) A licensed optometrist may perform so much of the medical examination as pertains to visual acuity, field of vision, and the ability to recognize colors as specified in paragraph (10) of § 391.41(b).

    (2) A certified VA medical examiner must only perform medical examinations of veteran operators.

    Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: June 5, 2018. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12474 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    83 112 Monday, June 11, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary 7 CFR Part 1 RIN 0503-AA61 USDA Departmental Freedom of Information Act Regulations AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing revisions to its current regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The revisions in this notice are modeled, in part, after the template published by the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy and will streamline USDA's FOIA processing procedures, include current cost figures to be used in calculating fees but, most importantly, incorporate changes brought about by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 and the OPEN Government Act of 2007.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments submitted on or before August 10, 2018 will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule. Comments received by mail will be considered timely if they are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic Federal Docket Management System will accept comments until Midnight Eastern Time at the end of that day.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0503-AA61, by one of the following two methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov;

    • By mail to Alexis R. Graves, Department FOIA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, South Building Room 4101, Washington, DC 20250.

    To ensure proper handling, please reference RIN 0503-AA61 on your correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexis R. Graves, Department FOIA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, South Building, Room 4101, Washington, DC 20250. You may also contact the Department FOIA Officer by phone at 202-690-3318 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    This rule proposes revisions to the Department's regulations implementing the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552. USDA's current FOIA regulations, were codified at 7 CFR part 1 subpart A and last revised on July 28, 2000. The revisions in this notice are modeled, in part, after the template published by the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy and will streamline USDA's FOIA processing procedures, include current cost figures to be used in calculating fees but, most importantly, incorporate changes brought about by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 and the OPEN Government Act of 2007.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13771

    This rule has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, 58 FR 51735 (Sept. 30, 1993), section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and Executive Order 13563, 76 FR 3821 (January 18, 2011), Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review. The rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rulemaking has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    USDA, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Under the FOIA, agencies may recover only the direct costs of searching for, reviewing, and duplicating the records processed for requesters, and only for certain classes of requesters and when particular conditions are satisfied. Thus, fees assessed by the USDA are nominal.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1995

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 251 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (as amended), 5 U.S.C. 804. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of Information Act, Confidential business information.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, USDA proposes to amend 7 CFR part as follows:

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

    5 U.S.C. 301, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise subpart A to read as follows: PART 1—ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS Subpart A—Official Records Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552; 7 U.S.C. 3125a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; and 7 CFR 2.28(b)(7)(viii).

    USDA Freedom of Information Act Regulations Index
    Sec 1.1 General provisions. 1.2 Public reading rooms. 1.3 Requirements for making a records request. 1.4 Requirements for responding to records requests. 1.5 Responses to requests. 1.6 Timing of responses to records requests. 1.7 Records responsive to records requests. 1.8 Requirements for processing records requests seeking business information. 1.9 Administrative appeals. 1.10 Authentication and certification of records. 1.11 Preservation of records. 1.12 Fees and fee schedule. Appendix A—Fee Schedule
    § 1.1 General provisions.

    (a) This subpart contains the rules that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its components follow in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. These rules should be read together with the FOIA, which provides additional information about access to records maintained by the USDA. Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are also processed under this subpart.

    (b) The terms “component” or “components” are used throughout this subpart and in Appendix A to include both USDA program agencies and staff offices.

    (c) Unless otherwise stated, references to number of days indicates business days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

    (d) Supplemental regulations for FOIA requests and appeals relating to records of USDA's Office of Inspector General are set forth in 7 CFR part 2620.

    § 1.2 Public reading rooms.

    (a) Components within the USDA maintain public reading rooms containing the records that the FOIA requires to be made regularly available for public inspection in an electronic format. Each component is responsible for determining which of the records it generates are required to be made available in its respective public reading room.

    (b) A link to USDA Electronic Reading Rooms can be found on the USDA public FOIA website.

    § 1.3 Requirements for making a records request.

    (a) Where and how to submit a request. (1) A requester may submit a request in writing and address the request to the designated component within the USDA that maintains the records requested. The USDA Department FOIA Officer will maintain a list of contact information for component FOIA offices and make this list available on the USDA public FOIA website. Filing a FOIA request directly with the component that maintains the records will facilitate the processing of the request. If responsive records are likely to reside within more than one USDA component, the requester should submit the request to the USDA Department FOIA office.

    (2) Alternatively, a requester may submit a request electronically via USDA's online web portal or via the National FOIA portal. USDA components also accept requests submitted to the email addresses of component FOIA offices as listed on the USDA public FOIA website.

    (3) If a requester cannot determine where within the USDA to send a request, he or she should consult the USDA public FOIA website to determine where the records might be maintained. Alternatively, he or she may send the request to the USDA Department FOIA Officer, who will route the request to the component(s) believed most likely to maintain the records requested.

    (4) To facilitate the processing of a request, a requester should place the phrase “FOIA REQUEST” in capital letters on the front of their envelope, the cover sheet of their facsimile transmittal, or the subject line of their email.

    (b) What to include in a request. (1) A requester seeking access to USDA records should provide sufficient information about himself or herself to enable components to resolve, in a timely manner, any issues that might arise as to the subject and scope of the request, and to deliver the response and, if appropriate, any records released in response to the request. Generally, this includes the name of the requester, name of the institution on whose behalf the request is being made, a phone number at which the requester might be contacted, an email address and/or postal mailing address, and a statement indicating willingness to pay any applicable processing fees.

    (2) A requester seeking access to USDA records must also provide a reasonable description of the records requested, as discussed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

    (3) A requester who is making a request for records about himself or herself may receive greater access if the request is accompanied by a signed declaration of identity that is either notarized or includes a penalty of perjury statement.

    (4) Where a request for records pertains to another individual, a requester may receive greater access by submitting either a notarized authorization signed by that individual or a declaration made in compliance with the requirements set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1746 by that individual authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, or by submitting proof that the individual is deceased. As an exercise of administrative discretion, the component can require a requester to supply additional information if necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure.

    (c) How to describe the requested records. (1) A FOIA request must reasonably describe the records requested. This means a request must be described in such a way as to enable component personnel familiar with the subject of the request to locate them with reasonable effort. In general, requesters should include as much detail as possible about the specific records or types of records that they are seeking. To the extent possible, supply specific information regarding dates, titles, names of individuals, names of offices, locations, names of components or other organizations, and contract or grant numbers that may help in identifying the records requested. If the request relates to pending litigation, the requester should identify the court and its location.

    (2) If a component determines that a request is incomplete, or that it does not reasonably describe the records sought, the component will inform the requester of this fact and advise as to what additional information is needed or why the request is otherwise insufficient.

    § 1.4 Requirements for responding to records requests.

    (a) In general. Except for the instances described in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the component that first receives a request for a record is responsible for referring the request.

    (b) Authority to grant or deny requests. The head of a component or his or her designee is authorized to grant or to deny any requests for records originating with or maintained by that component.

    (c) Handling of misdirected requests. When a component's FOIA office determines that a request was misdirected within the Department's components, the receiving component's FOIA office will route the request to the FOIA office of the proper component(s).

    (d) Coordination of requests involving multiple components. When a component becomes aware that a requester has sent a request for records to multiple USDA components, the component will notify the USDA Department FOIA Officer to determine if some form of coordination is warranted.

    (e) Consultations and referrals in the process of records review. (1) Consultation. When records originated with the component processing the request, but contain within them information of interest to another USDA component or other Federal Government office, the component processing the request should consult with that other entity prior to making a release determination.

    (2) Referral. When the component processing the request believes that a different USDA component or Federal Government office is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, the component typically should refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record to that USDA component or Federal Government office. Ordinarily, the component or agency that originated the record is presumed to be the best able to make the disclosure determination. However, if the component processing the request and the originating component or agency jointly agree that the former is in the best position to respond regarding the record, then the record may be handled as a consultation.

    § 1.5 Responses to records requests.

    (a) In general. Components should, to the extent practicable, communicate with requesters having access to the internet by electronic means, such as email, in lieu of first class U.S. mail.

    (b) Acknowledgements of requests. On receipt of a request, the processing component will send an acknowledgement to the requester and provide an assigned request tracking number for further reference. Components will include in the acknowledgement a brief description of the records sought, or attach a copy of the request, to allow requesters to more easily keep track of their requests.

    (c) Grants of requests. When a component makes a determination to grant a request in whole or in part, it will notify the requester in writing. The component will also inform the requester of any fees charged, pursuant to § 1.12, in the processing of the request. Except in instances where advance payment of fees is required, components may issue bills for fees charged at the same time that they issue a determination as to the records.

    (d) Specifying the format of records. Generally, requesters may specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) for the records sought. Components will accommodate the request if the records are readily reproducible in that form or format.

    (1) Exemptions and discretionary release. All component records, except those specifically exempted from mandatory disclosure by one or more provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and (b), will be made available to any person submitting a records request under this subpart. Components are authorized, in their sole discretion, to make discretionary releases when such releases are not otherwise specifically prohibited by Executive Order, statute, or regulation.

    (2) Reasonable segregation of records. If a requested record contains portions that are exempt from mandatory disclosure and other portions that are not exempt, the processing component will ensure that all reasonably segregable nonexempt portions are disclosed, and that all exempt portions are identified according to the specific exemption or exemptions which are applicable.

    (e) Adverse determinations of requests when interim responses are not provided. A component making an adverse determination denying a request in any respect will notify the requester of that determination in writing. The written communication to the requester will include the name and title of the person responsible for the adverse determination, if other than the official signing the letter; a brief statement of the reason(s) for the determination, including any exemption(s) applied in denying the request; an estimate of the volume of records or information withheld, such as the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation; a statement that the determination may be appealed, followed by a description of the requirements to file an appeal; and a statement advising the requester that he or she has the right to seek dispute resolution services from the component's FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services. An adverse determination includes:

    (1) A determination to withhold any requested record in whole or in part;

    (2) A determination that a requested record does not exist or cannot be found, when no responsive records are located and released;

    (3) A determination that a record is not readily reproducible in the format sought by the requester;

    (4) A determination on any disputed fee matter; or

    (5) A denial of a request for expedited treatment.

    § 1.6 Timing of responses to perfected records requests.

    (a) In general. Components ordinarily will respond to requests according to their order of receipt. In instances involving misdirected requests that are re-routed pursuant to § 1.4(c), the response time will commence on the date that the request is received by the proper component's office that is designated to receive requests, but in any event not later than 10-working days after the request is first received by any component's office that is designated by these regulations to receive requests.

    (b) Response time for responding to requests. Components ordinarily will inform requesters of their determination concerning requests within 20-working days of the date of receipt of the requests, plus any extension authorized by paragraph (d) of this section.

    (c) Multitrack processing and how it affects requests. All components must designate a specific track for requests that are granted expedited processing in accordance with the standards set forth in paragraph (f) of this section. A component also may designate additional processing tracks that distinguish between simple and more complex requests based on the estimated amount of work or time needed to process the request. Among the factors a component may consider are the number of pages involved in processing the request and the need for consultations or referrals. Components will advise requesters of the track into which their request falls and, when appropriate, will offer the requesters an opportunity to narrow their request so that it can be placed in a different processing track in order to decrease the processing time. Components will also advise requesters of their right to seek assistance in this matter from the component's FOIA Public Liaison, and of the availability of dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. Generally, requests that can be processed within 20-working days are placed in the simple processing track, and requests where unusual circumstances apply are placed in the complex processing track.

    (d) Circumstances for extending the response time. Whenever the component cannot meet the statutory time limit for processing a request because of “unusual circumstances,” as defined in the FOIA, and the component extends the time limit on that basis, the component must, before expiration of the 20-day period to respond, notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and of the date by which the component estimates processing of the request will be completed. Where the extension exceeds 10-working days, the component must, as described by the FOIA, provide the requester with an opportunity to modify the request or arrange an alternative time period for processing the original or modified request. The component must make available its designated FOIA contact or its FOIA Public Liaison for this purpose. The component also must alert requesters to the availability of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to provide dispute resolution services.

    (e) Combining or aggregating requests. Where a component reasonably believes that multiple requests submitted by a single requester, or by a group of requesters acting in concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve unusual circumstances, or have been submitted in this fashion to avoid FOIA fees, the requests may be aggregated. Components will not aggregate multiple requests that involve unrelated matters.

    (f) Procedures for requesting expedited processing. A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing.

    (1) Requests and appeals will be processed on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they involve:

    (i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited processing could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or

    (ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person who is primarily engaged in disseminating information.

    (2) Requests for expedited processing may be made at any time. Requests based on paragraphs (f)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section must be submitted to the component that maintains the records requested. Components receiving requests for expedited processing will decide whether to grant them within 10 calendar days of their receipt of these requests, and will notify the requesters accordingly. If a request for expedited treatment is granted, the request or appeal will be given priority, placed in the processing track for expedited requests or appeals, and will be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision will be acted on expeditiously.

    § 1.7 Records responsive to records requests.

    (a) In determining which records are responsive to a request, a component ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date that the component begins its search.

    (b) A component is not required to create a new record in order to fulfill a request for records. The FOIA does not require agencies to do research, to analyze data, or to answer written questions in response to a request.

    (c) Creation of records may be undertaken voluntarily if a component determines this action to be in the public interest or the interest of the USDA.

    (d) A component is required to provide a record in the format specified by a requester, if the record is readily reproducible by the component in the format requested.

    § 1.8 Requirements for processing records requests seeking business information.

    (a) In general. Each component is responsible for making the final determination with regard to the disclosure or nondisclosure of business information in records submitted by an outside entity.

    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

    (1) Business information means confidential commercial or financial information obtained by the USDA from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

    (2) Submitter means any person or entity, including a corporation, tribe, state, or foreign government, but not including another federal government entity that provides information, either directly or indirectly, to the federal government.

    (c) When notice to the submitter is required. (1) The component must promptly provide written notice to the submitter when it locates records responsive to a FOIA request if:

    (i) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or

    (ii) The component has a reason to believe that the requested information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure.

    (2) The notice to a submitter must include:

    (i) Either a copy of the request or a general description of the request and the responsive records;

    (ii) A description of the procedures for objecting to the release of the possibly confidential information in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section;

    (iii) A time limit for responding to the component;

    (iv) Notice that the component, not the submitter, is responsible for deciding whether the information will be released or withheld; and

    (v) Notice that failing to respond within the timeframe provided by the component will create a presumption that the submitter has no objection to disclosure of the records in question.

    (d) Exceptions to submitter notice requirements. The notice requirements set forth in paragraphs (c) and (f) of this section do not apply if:

    (1) The component determines that the information is exempt under the FOIA and should not be disclosed;

    (2) The information has been lawfully published or has been officially made available to the public;

    (3) Disclosure of the information is required by statute (other than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600.

    (e) Submitter's opportunity to object to disclosure. The component will afford the submitter a reasonable amount of time from the date of receipt of the notice to object to the disclosure of any portion of the responsive records.

    (1) If a submitter objects to disclosure of any portion of the records, the submitter must explain the grounds upon which disclosure is opposed in a detailed written statement. The submitter must show why the information is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. If the information is not a trade secret, the following categories must be addressed:

    (i) Whether the submitter provided the information voluntarily and, if so, how disclosure will impair the Government's ability to obtain similar information in the future and/or how the information fits into a category of information that the submitter does not customarily release to the public;

    (ii) Whether the Government required the information to be submitted, and if so, how disclosure will impair the Government's ability to obtain similar information in the future and/or how substantial competitive or other business harm would likely result from disclosure; and

    (iii) Information provided by the submitter under this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA. A request for this information in a subsequent FOIA request may require a new submitter notice.

    (2) If the submitter fails to respond to the notice within the timeframe provided for it to respond, the submitter will be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information.

    (f) Notice of intent to disclose over submitter's objection. If a component decides to disclose business information over the objection of a submitter, the component will give the submitter written notice, which will include:

    (1) A statement of the reason(s) why each of the submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;

    (2) A description of the business information to be disclosed; and

    (3) A disclosure date subsequent to the notice.

    (g) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of business information, the component will notify the submitter.

    (h) Corresponding notice to requester. Whenever a component provides a submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under paragraph (e) of this section, the component will also notify the requester(s) that it has provided this notice.

    (i) Notice of reverse FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of business information, the component will also notify the requester(s) of this action and advise that the request will be held in abeyance until the lawsuit initiated by the submitter is resolved.

    § 1.9 Administrative appeals.

    (a) Appeals of adverse determinations. If a requester is dissatisfied with a component's response to his or her request, the requester may submit a written appeal of that component's adverse determination denying the request in any respect.

    (b) Deadline for submitting an appeal. Requesters seeking an appeal must ensure that the written appeal is received by the office responsible for administrative processing of FOIA appeals, for the component that issued the initial response, and within 90 calendar days of the date of the adverse determination. The date of receipt of an appeal will be the day it is received in the office responsible for the administrative processing of appeals within the component issuing the response. Components adjudicating appeals will issue a decision on an appeal, within 20-working days of its date of receipt, plus any extension authorized by § 1.6(d).

    (c) Appeals officials. Each component will provide for review of appeals by an official different from the official or officials designated to make initial determinations on requests.

    (d) Components' responses to appeals. The decision on an appeal will be made in writing.

    (1) If the component grants the appeal in whole or in part, it will inform the requester of any conditions surrounding the granting of the request (e.g., payment of fees). If the component grants only a portion of the appeal, it will treat the portion not granted as a denial.

    (2) If the component denies the appeal, either in part or in whole, it will inform the requester of that decision and of the following:

    (i) The reasons for denial, including any FOIA exemptions asserted;

    (ii) The name and title or position of each person responsible for denial of the appeal;

    (iii) The availability of mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation; and

    (iv) The right to judicial review of the denial in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4).

    (e) Legal sufficiency review of an appeal. If a component makes the determination to deny an appeal in whole or in part, that component will send a copy of all records to the Assistant General Counsel, General Law and Research Division that the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) would need to examine to provide a legal sufficiency review of the component's decision.

    (1) Frequently, these records will include a copy of the unredacted records requested, a copy of the records marked to indicate information the component proposes to withhold, all correspondence relating to the request, and a proposed determination letter. When the volume of records is so large as to make sending a copy impracticable, the component will enclose an informative summary and representative sample of those records. The component will not deny an appeal until it receives concurrence from the Assistant General Counsel.

    (2) With regard to appeals involving records of (OIG), the records in question will be referred to the OIG Office of Counsel, which will coordinate all necessary reviews.

    (f) Submission of an appeal before judicial review. Before seeking review by a court of a component's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.

    § 1.10 Authentication and certification of records.

    (a) In general. Requests seeking either authenticated or certified copies of records will generally be processed under the FOIA. FOIA search, review and duplication fees, where applicable, may also apply. However, because the costs for authenticated and certified copies are outside the FOIA, the provisions of § 1.12 that call for the automatic waiver of FOIA fees under $25.00 do not apply.

    (b) Authentication of records. (1) Authentication provides confirmation by a USDA officer that a certified copy of a record is what it purports to be, an accurate duplicate of the original record.

    (2) When a request is received for an authenticated copy of a record that the component determines may be made available, under the FOIA, each component will send an authentic (i.e., correct) copy of the record to the Assistant General Counsel responsible for the applicable component program or other designee of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Assistant General Counsel for the applicable component program or other designee of the Secretary of Agriculture will certify the copy to be authentic and affix the seal of the USDA to it.

    (3) The Hearing Clerk in the Office of Administrative Law Judges may authenticate copies of records for the Hearing Clerk. The Director of the National Appeals Division may authenticate copies of records for the National Appeals Division. The Inspector General is the official that authenticates copies of records for the OIG.

    (4) When any component determines that a record for which authentication is requested may be made available only in part, because certain portions of it are exempt from release under the FOIA, the component will process the record under the FOIA and make any needed redactions, including notations on the record as to the FOIA exemption(s) which require(s) the removal of the information redacted. In such an instance, the component will supply a copy of the record both in its unredacted state and in its redacted state to the party authorized to perform authentication, along with a copy of the proposed determination letter regarding the withholding of the information redacted.

    (5) The cost for authentication of records is $10.00 per page.

    (c) Certification of records. (1) Certification is the procedure by which a USDA officer confirms that a copy of a record is a true reproduction of the original.

    (2) When a request is received for a certified copy of a record that the component determines may be made available under the FOIA, each component will prepare a correct copy and a statement attesting that the copy is a true and correct copy.

    (3) When any component determines that a record for which a certified copy is requested may be made available only in part, because certain portions of it are exempt from release under the FOIA, the component will process the record under the FOIA and make any needed redactions, including notations on the record as to the FOIA exemption(s) which require(s) the removal of the information redacted.

    (4) The cost for certification of records is $5.00 per page.

    § 1.11 Preservation of records.

    Components will preserve all correspondence and records relating to requests and appeals received under this subpart, as well as copies of all requested records, until disposition or destruction of such correspondence and records is authorized pursuant to title 44 of the United States Code or the General Record Schedule 14 of the National Archives and Records Administration. Records will not be disposed of, or destroyed, while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or civil action under the FOIA.

    § 1.12 Fees and fee schedule.

    (a) Authorization to set FOIA fees. The Chief Financial Officer is delegated authority to promulgate regulations providing for a uniform fee schedule applicable to all components of the USDA regarding requests for records under this subpart. The regulations providing for a uniform fee schedule are found in Appendix A to this subpart.

    (b) In general. Components will charge for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of Appendix A to this subpart and the Uniform Freedom of Information Fee Schedule and Guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB Guidelines).

    (c) Guidance for lowering FOIA fees. Components will ensure that searches, review, and duplication are conducted in the most efficient and least expensive manner practicable.

    (d) Communicating with requesters on fee issues. In order to resolve any fee issues that arise under this subpart, a component may contact a requester for additional information.

    (e) Notifying requesters of estimated fees. When a component determines or estimates that the processing of a FOIA request will incur chargeable FOIA fees, in accordance with Appendix A and the OMB Guidelines, the component will notify the requester in writing of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, including a breakdown of the fees for search, review or duplication, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated.

    (f) Requester commitment to pay estimated fees. In cases in which a requester has been notified that the processing of his or her request will incur chargeable FOIA fees, the component providing such notification will not begin processing the request until the requester commits in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee, or designates the amount of fees that he or she is willing to pay, or in the case of a requester who has not yet been provided with his or her statutory entitlements, designates that he or she seeks only that which can be provided by these statutory entitlements. The requester must provide the commitment or designation in writing, and must, when applicable, designate an exact dollar amount he or she is willing to pay.

    (g) Tolling of request for fee issues. If the requester has indicated a willingness to pay some designated amount of fees, but the component estimates that the total fee will exceed that amount, the component will toll the processing of the request when it notified the requester of the estimated fees in excess of the amount the requester is willing to pay. Once the requester responds, the time to respond will resume from where it was at the date of the notification.

    (h) Assisting requesters wishing to lower fees. Components will make available their FOIA Public Liaison or other FOIA professional to assist any requester in reformulating a request to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.

    (i) Timing of Bills of Collection. Except in instances where advance payment is required, or where requesters have previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee within 30 calendar days of the billing date, components may issue Bills for Collection for FOIA fees owed at the same time that they issue their responses to FOIA requests.

    (j) Advance payment of FOIA fees when estimated fees exceed $250.00. When a component determines or estimates that a total fee to be charged for the processing of a FOIA request is likely to exceed $250.00, it may require the requester to make an advance payment up to the amount of the entire anticipated fee before beginning to process the request. In cases in which a component requires advance payment, the request will be closed unless the advance payment is received within 20-working days of the date of the request for advance payment. However, a component may elect to process a request prior to collecting fees exceeding $250.00 when it receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment.

    (k) Special services. For services not covered by the FOIA or by Appendix A, as described in § 1.10, components may set their own fees in accordance with applicable law. Although components are not required to provide special services, such as providing multiple copies of the same record, or sending records by means other than first class mail, if a component chooses to do so as a matter of administrative discretion, the direct costs of these services will be charged.

    (l) Aggregating requests. When a component reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to divide a single request into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding fees, the component may aggregate those requests and charge accordingly. Components may presume that multiple requests of this type made within a 30-calendar day period have been made in order to avoid fees. For requests separated by a longer period, components will aggregate them only where there is a reasonable basis for determining that aggregation is warranted in view of all of the circumstances involves. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters will not be aggregated for fee purposes.

    (m) Payment of FOIA fees. Requesters must pay FOIA fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States. Components are not required to accept payments in installments.

    (n) Failure to pay properly charged fees. When a requester has previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee to any component or agency within 30 calendar days of the billing date, a component may require that the requester pay the full amount due, plus any applicable interest on that prior request, and the component may require that the requester make an advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee before the component begins to process a new request or continues to process a pending request or any pending appeal. Where a component has a reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented the requester's identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may require that the requester provide proof of identity.

    (o) Restrictions on charging fees. If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a request, as provided in § 1.6(b), and if unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), it may not charge search fees for the processing of the request, or duplication fees for the processing of the request if the requester is classified as an educational institution requester, a noncommercial scientific institution requester, or a representative of the news media, as defined in Appendix A, unless:

    (1) The component notifies the requester, in writing, within the statutory 20-working day time period, that unusual or exceptional circumstances as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request;

    (2) More than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request; and

    (3) The component has discussed with the requester by means of written mail, electronic mail, or by telephone (or has made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request.

    (p) Waivers of chargeable fees. (1) In general. Records responsive to a request will be furnished without charge or at a reduced rate below the rate established in Appendix A, where a component determines, based on available evidence, that the requester has demonstrated that:

    (i) Disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest as defined in paragraph (p)(3) of this section, because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and;

    (ii) Disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester as defined in paragraph (p)(4) of this section.

    (2) Adjudication of fee waivers. Each fee waiver request is judged on its own merit.

    (3) Factors for consideration of public interest. In deciding whether disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, components will consider all four of the following factors:

    (i) The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.

    (ii) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities to be “likely to contribute” to an increased public understanding of those operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not contribute to such understanding where nothing new would be added to the public's understanding.

    (iii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the requester's individual understanding. A requester's expertise in the subject area as well as his or her ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public will be considered. It will be presumed that a representative of the news media, as defined in Appendix A, will satisfy this consideration.

    (iv) The public's understanding of the subject in question must be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant degree. However, components will not make value judgments about whether the information at issue is “important” enough to be made public.

    (4) Factors for consideration of commercial interest. In deciding whether disclosure of the requested information is in the requester's commercial interest, components will consider the following two factors:

    (i) Components will identify any commercial interest of the requester, as defined in Appendix A. Requesters may be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.

    (ii) A waiver or reduction of fees is justified where the public interest is greater than any identified commercial interest in disclosure. Components ordinarily will presume that where a news media requester has satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return will not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

    (5) Partial fee waivers. Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver will be granted for those records only.

    (6) Timing of requests for fee waivers. Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to the component and should address the criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, the requester will be required to pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received.

    Appendix A—Fee Schedule

    Section 1. In General. This schedule sets forth fees to be charged for providing copies of records—including photographic reproductions, microfilm, maps and mosaics, and related services—requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The fees set forth in this schedule are applicable to all components of the USDA.

    Section 2. Definitions.

    (a) Types of FOIA fees. The FOIA defines the following types of FOIA fees that may be charged for responding to FOIA requests.

    (1) Search fees.

    (i) Searching is the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. Search time includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within records and the reasonable efforts expended to locate and retrieve information from electronic records.

    (ii) Search time is charged in quarter-hour increments within the USDA, and includes the direct costs incurred by a component in searching for records responsive to a request. It does not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space and heating or lighting of the facility in which the records are maintained.

    (iii) Components may charge for time spent searching for requested records even if they do not locate any responsive records or if they determine that the records that they locate are entirely exempt from disclosure.

    (iv) USDA components will charge for search time at the actual salary rate of the individual who conducts the search, plus 16 percent of the salary rate (to cover benefits.) This rate was adopted for consistency with the OMB Fee Guidelines that state that agencies should charge fees that recoup the full allowable direct costs that they incur in searching for responsive records.

    (v) Search time also includes the direct costs associated with conducting any search that requires the creation of a new computer program to locate the requested records. Components will notify requesters of the costs of creating such a program, and requesters must agree to pay the associated costs before these costs may be incurred.

    (2) Review fees.

    (i) Reviewing is the process of examining records located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of the records is exempt from disclosure. The process of review also includes the process of preparing records for disclosure, for example, doing all that it necessary to redact them and prepare them for release. Review time also includes time spent considering any formal objection to disclosure of responsive records made by a business submitter as discussed in § 1.8 Requirements for processing requests seeking business information. However, it does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of the nine FOIA exemptions.

    (ii) Review time is charged in quarter-hour increments within the USDA, and includes the direct costs incurred by a component in preparing records responsive to a request for disclosure. It does not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space and heating or lighting of the facility in which the records are maintained.

    (iii) UDSA components may charge for time spent reviewing requested records even if they determine that the records reviewed are entirely exempt from disclosure.

    (iv) USDA components will charge for review time at the actual salary rate of the individual who conducts the review, plus 16 percent of the salary rate (to cover benefits.) This rate was adopted for consistency with the OMB Fee Guidelines that state that agencies should charge fees that recoup the full allowable direct costs that they incur in reviewing records for disclosure.

    (v) Review time also includes the direct costs associated with the cost of computer programming designed to facilitate a manual review of the records, or to perform electronic redaction of responsive records, particularly when records are maintained in electronic form. Components will notify requesters of the costs performing such programming, and requesters must agree to pay the associated costs before these costs may be incurred.

    (3) Duplication fees.

    (i) Duplicating is the process of producing copies of records or information contained in records requested under the FOIA. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among other forms.

    (ii) Duplication is generally charged on a per-unit basis. The duplication of paper records will be charged at a rate of $.05 per page within the USDA. The duplication of records maintained in other formats will include all direct costs incurred by a component in performing the duplication, including any costs associated in acquiring special media, such as CDs, disk drives, special mailers, and so forth, for transmitting the requested records or information. It does not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space and heating or lighting of the facility in which the records are maintained.

    (iii) Duplication generally does not include the cost of the time of the individual making the copy. This time is generally factored into the per page cost of duplication. However, when duplication requires the handling of fragile records, or paper records that cannot be safely duplicated in high-speed copiers, components may also charge for the time spent duplicating these records. In such an instance, the cost of this time will be added to the per-page charge, and an explanation provided to the requester in the component's itemization of FOIA fees charges. Components may describe this time as time spent in duplicating fragile records.

    (iv) USDA components will charge for time spent in duplicating fragile records at the actual salary rate of the individual who performs the duplication, plus 16 percent of the salary rate (to cover benefits). This rate was adopted for consistency with the OMB Fee Guidelines that state that agencies should charge fees that recoup the full allowable direct costs that they incur in duplicating requested records.

    (v) Where paper records must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records in an electronic format, duplication costs will also include the direct costs associated with scanning those materials, including the time spent by the individual performing the scanning. Components may describe this time as time spent in scanning paper records.

    (vi) However, when components ordinarily scan paper records in order to review and/or redact them, the time required for scanning records will not be included in duplication fees, but in review fees, when these are applicable. When components who ordinarily scan paper records in order to review and/or redact them, release records in an electronic format to requesters who are not to be charged review fees, duplication fees will not include the time spent in scanning paper records. In such instances, duplication fees may only include the direct costs of reproducing the scanned records. In such instances, components may not charge duplication fees on a per-page basis.

    (b) Categories of FOIA requesters for fee purposes. The FOIA defines the following types of requesters for the charging of FOIA fees.

    (1) Commercial requesters.

    (i) Commercial requesters are requesters who ask for information for a use or a purpose that furthers commercial, trade or profit interests, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. Components will determine, whenever reasonably possible, the use to which a requester will put the requested records. When it appears that the requester will put the records to a commercial use, either because of the nature of the request itself or because a component has reasonable cause to doubt a requester's stated use, the component may provide the requester a reasonable opportunity to submit further clarification. A component's decision to place a requester in the commercial use category will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the requester's intended use of the information.

    (ii) Commercial requesters will be charged applicable search fees, review fees, and duplication fees.

    (iii) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a commercial request, as provided in § 1.6(b), and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), it may not charge search fees for the processing of the request. It may, however, still charge applicable review and duplication fees.

    (iv) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a commercial request, as provided in § 1.6(b), when unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in section § 1.6(d), and the component notifies the requester, in writing, within the statutory 20-working day time period, that unusual or exceptional circumstances as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, and the component has discussed with the requester by means of written mail, electronic mail, or by telephone (or has made not less than three good faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request, the component may charge any search fees for the processing of the request, as well as any applicable review and duplication fees. Otherwise, it may only charge applicable review and duplication fees.

    (2) Educational institution requesters.

    (i) Educational institution requesters are requesters who are affiliated with a school that operates a program of scholarly research, such as a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education. To be in this category, a requester must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought to further scholarly research. Records sought by students at an educational institution for use in fulfilling their degree requirements do not necessarily qualify for educational institution status. Students must document how the records they are requesting will further the scholarly research aims of the institution in question.

    (ii) Educational institution requesters are entitled to receive 100 pages of duplication without charge. Following the exhaustion of this entitlement, they will be charged fees for the duplicating of any additional pages of responsive records released. They may not be charged search fees or review fees.

    (iii) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to an educational use request, as provided in § 1.6(b), and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), it may not charge duplication fees for the processing of the request.

    (iv) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to an educational use request, as provided in § 1.6(b), when unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), and the component notifies the requester, in writing, within the statutory 20-working day time period, that unusual or exceptional circumstances as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, and the component has discussed with the requester by means of written mail, electronic mail, or by telephone (or has made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request, the component may charge duplication for the processing of the request. Otherwise, it may not charge duplication fees.

    (3) Noncommercial scientific institution requesters.

    (i) Noncommercial scientific institution requesters are requesters who are affiliated with an institution that is not operated on a “commercial” basis, as that term is defined in paragraph (b)1(i) of this section, and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. To be in this category, a requester must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought to further scientific research.

    (ii) Noncommercial scientific institution requesters are entitled to receive 100 pages of duplication without charge. Following the exhaustion of this entitlement, they will be charged fees for the duplicating of any additional pages of responsive records released. They may not be charged search fees or review fees.

    (iii) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a noncommercial scientific institution request, as provided in § 1.6(b), and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), it may not charge duplication fees for the processing of the request.

    (iv) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a noncommercial scientific institution request, as provided in § 1.6(b), when unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), and the component notifies the requester, in writing, within the statutory 20-working day time period, that unusual or exceptional circumstances as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, and the component has discussed with the requester by means of written mail, electronic mail, or by telephone (or has made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request, the component may charge duplication for the processing of the request. Otherwise, it may not charge duplication fees.

    (4) Representatives of the news media.

    (i) Representatives of the news media are persons or entities organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public that actively gather information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses their editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distribute that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals (but only in those instances where they can qualify as disseminators of “news”) who make their products available for purchase or subscription by the general public, including news organizations that disseminate solely on the internet. For “freelance” journalists to be regarded as working for a news organization, they must demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that organization. A publication contract would be the clearest proof, but components will also look to the past publication record of a requester in making this determination. To be in this category, a requester must not be seeking the requested records for a commercial use. However, a request for records supporting the news-dissemination function of the requester will not be considered to be for a commercial use.

    (ii) Representatives of the news media are entitled to receive 100 pages of duplication without charge. Following the exhaustion of this entitlement, they will be charged fees for the duplication of any additional pages of responsive records released. They may not be charged search or review fees.

    (iii) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a news-media use request, as provided in § 1.6(b), and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), it may not charge duplication fees for the processing of the request.

    (iv) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to a news-media request, as provided in § 1.6(b), when unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), and the component notifies the requester, in writing, within the statutory 20-working day time period, that unusual or exceptional circumstances as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, and the component has discussed with the requester by means of written mail, electronic mail, or by telephone (or has made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request, the component may charge duplication for the processing of the request. Otherwise, it may not charge duplication fees.

    (5) All other requesters.

    (i) All other requesters are individuals and entities who do not fall into any of the four categories described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this section. Requesters seeking information for personal use, public interest groups, and nonprofit organizations are examples of requesters who might fall into this group.

    (ii) All other requesters are entitled to receive 100 pages of duplication without charge. Following the exhaustion of this entitlement, they will be charged fees for the duplicating of any additional pages of responsive records released. All other requesters are also entitled to receive 2 hours of search time without charge. Following the exhaustion of this entitlement, they may be charged search fees for any remaining search time required to locate the records requested. They may not be charged review fees.

    (iii) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to an all-other request, as provided in § 1.6(b), and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), it may not charge search fees for the processing of the request.

    (iv) If a component fails to comply with the statutory time limits in which to respond to an all-other request, as provided in § 1.6(b), when unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, as discussed in § 1.6(d), and the component notifies the requester, in writing, within the statutory 20-working day time period, that unusual or exceptional circumstances as those terms are defined by the FOIA apply to the processing of the request, more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, and the component has discussed with the requester by means of written mail, electronic mail, or by telephone (or has made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request, the component may charge search fees for the processing of the request as well as any applicable duplication fees. Otherwise, it may only charge only applicable duplication fees.

    Section 3. Charging fees.

    (a) In general. When responding to FOIA requests, components will charge all applicable FOIA fees that exceed the USDA charging threshold, as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted under § 1.12(p), or statutory time limits on processing are not met, and when unusual or exceptional circumstances apply, components do not meet all of the three conditions for charging as set forth in § 1.12(o).

    (b) USDA fee charging threshold. The OMB Fee Guidelines state that agencies will not charge FOIA fees if the cost of collecting the fee would be equal to or greater than the fee itself. This limitation applies to all requests, including those seeking records for commercial use. At the USDA, the cost of collecting a FOIA fee is currently established as $25.00. Therefore, when calculating FOIA fees, components will charge requesters all applicable FOIA fees when these fees equal or exceed $25.01.

    (c) Charging interest. Components may charge interest on any unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the date of billing the requester. Interest charges will be assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717 and will accrue from the billing date until payment is received by the component. Components will follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749), as amended, and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

    (d) NARA retrieval fees. For requests that require the retrieval of records stored by a component at a Federal records center operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), additional costs will be charged in accordance with the Transactional Billing Rate Schedule established by NARA.

    (e) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires a component to set and collect fees for particular types of records. In instances where records responsive to a request are subject to a statutorily-based fee schedule program, the component will inform the requester of the contact information for that program.

    (f) Social Security Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers. Components may not require requesters to provide Social Security Numbers or Tax Identification Numbers in order to pay FOIA fees due.

    Table 1 of Appendix to Subpart A—FOIA Fee Schedule Type of request Type of charge Price Commercial Requesters Duplication charges $0.05 per page. When the component has to copy fragile records, the charge is $0.05 per page plus the copying time involved, which includes the actual hourly salary rate of the employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate. Search charges Actual hourly salary rate of employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate. Review charges Actual hourly salary rate of employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate. Educational or Non-Commercial Scientific Requesters Duplication charges No charge for first 100 pages, then $0.05 per page.
  • When the component has to copy fragile records, the charge is $0.05 per page plus the copying time involved, which includes the actual hourly salary rate of the employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate.
  • Search charges Free. Review charges Free. Representatives of the News Media Duplication charges No charge for first 100 pages, then $0.05 per page.
  • When the component has to copy fragile records, the charge is $0.05 per page plus the copying time involved, which includes the actual hourly salary rate of the employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate.
  • Search charges Free. Review charges Free. All Other Requesters Duplication charges No charge for first 100 pages, then $0.05 per page. When the component has to copy fragile records, the charge is $0.05 per page plus the copying time involved, which includes the actual hourly salary rate of the employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate. Search charges No charge for first two (2) hours of search time, then actual hourly salary rate of employee involved, plus 16% of the hourly salary rate. Review charges Free.
    Dated: May 25, 2018. Stephen L. Censky, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-11868 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 107 RIN 3245-AG66 Small Business Investment Company Program—Impact SBICs AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) is withdrawing its proposed rule published on February 3, 2016. In the proposed rule, SBA would have defined a new class of small business investment companies (SBICs) that would seek to generate positive and measurable social impact in addition to financial return. With the creation of this class of “Impact SBICs,” SBA sought to expand the pool of investment capital available primarily to underserved communities and innovative sectors as well as support the development of America's growing impact investing industry. SBA is withdrawing the proposed rule because SBA has determined that the cost is not commensurate with the benefits.

    DATES:

    SBA is withdrawing the proposed rule published on February 3, 2016 (81 FR 5666) as of June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theresa Jamerson, Office of Investment and Innovation, (202) 205-7563, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background Information

    SBA's efforts in the impact investing space began on April 7, 2011 through a policy letter (“Impact Policy”), which was subsequently updated on September 26, 2012 and September 25, 2014. The purpose of the Impact Policy was to license small business investment companies (“SBICs”) focused on generating both a positive and measurable social impact in addition to a financial return as “Impact SBICs.” Licensed Impact SBICs were expected to provide at least 50% of their financings in “impact investments” as defined by the Impact Policy.

    SBA published a Proposed Rule on February 3, 2016 (81 FR 5666) (the “Proposed Rule”) to permanently define Impact SBICS and set forth regulations applicable to Impact SBICs with respect to licensing, leverage eligibility, fees, reporting and compliance requirements. The intent of the rule was to encourage qualified private equity fund managers with a focus on social impact to apply to the SBIC program. As part of the Proposed Rule, SBA would have provided the following three key benefits: (1) Impact SBIC applicants would have received a 60% discount on the licensing fee; (2) Impact SBICs would have received a 10% discount on the examination base fee; and (3) Impact SBICs could have simultaneously applied as an Early Stage SBIC not subject to the call and timing provisions identified under 13 CFR 107.300. Given these benefits, the proposed rule also imposed certain penalties if an Impact SBIC did not adhere to its impact strategy or the Impact SBIC rules.

    II. Reason for Withdrawal

    In determining whether to publish a final rule, SBA evaluated the results of the Impact Policy and the comments received in response to the Proposed Rule. In six years under the Impact Policy, few qualified funds applied to be licensed as Impact SBICs, and SBA licensed only nine Impact SBICs. SBA believes that many of these SBICs would have applied to the SBIC program regardless of the existence of the Impact Policy. SBA determined that the cost of the Impact Policy was not commensurate with the benefits. On September 28, 2017, SBA provided notice to program stakeholders that SBA was cancelling the Impact Policy and would no longer accept applications to be licensed as an Impact SBIC on or after November 1, 2017.

    Although SBA proposed licensing and examination fee discounts to provide further incentives for Impact SBICs as part of the Proposed Rule, SBA received one comment that all SBICs should be treated similarly in fee structure and no discounts should be offered. Three comments stated that the discounts are too small to provide an incentive sufficient to result in the formation of Impact SBICs, although two of these commenters stated that they nonetheless appreciated the discount.

    Because Impact SBICs would have received certain benefits under the Proposed Rule, the Proposed Rule also identified penalties if an Impact SBIC failed to meet the requirements set forth in the rule, including failing to invest at least 50% of its financing dollars in impact investments and, for Impact SBICs using a Fund-Identified Impact Investment Strategy, failing to comply with certain specific measurement and reporting obligations. SBA received four comments stating that the Proposed Rule should not apply to Impact SBICs licensed prior to the effective date of any final rule, two comments stating that SBA should adjust the rules to reflect the policies under which the Impact SBICs were licensed, and one comment that suggested that existing Impact SBICs should be allowed the option to either complete their license under the relevant Impact Policy under which they were licensed or opt in to these new regulations. In reviewing these comments, SBA determined that finalizing the rule would not likely result in an increase in the number of Impact SBICs in the program and would likely result in fewer Impact SBIC applications than SBA received under the Impact Policy. Although SBA licensed two Impact SBICs in each of FY 2015 and FY 2016, after publication of the proposed rule, SBA did not license any Impact SBICs in FY 2017.

    SBA also considered costs in determining whether to withdraw the Proposed Rule. As noted in the Proposed Rule, due to the risk associated with this class of SBICs, and based on the amount of leverage SBA expected to allocate to the Impact SBIC program, the Proposed Rule was expected to increase the cost to all SBICs issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures by increasing the annual fee payable by all such SBICs by approximately 6.1 basis points. For an SBIC issuing $100 million in SBA-guaranteed debentures, this would equate to $61,000 per year. SBICs typically issue Debentures over a 4 to 6-year period (using multiple commitments) and begin paying back leverage as the fund harvests its investments. As a result, based on Debenture pools since 1992 that have been fully repaid, the average hold period is approximately 6 years, this would equate to $366,000 in total additional fees for the SBIC. If the SBIC held the leverage outstanding for its full ten-year term, this would equate to $610,000 for a single SBIC. Between FYs 2012 and 2017, SBA approved, on average, $2.28 billion aggregate debenture commitments per year. If an additional 6.1 basis point charge were in effect, SBICs would incur over $1.4 million per year in additional fees, or approximately $8.3 million over the average 6-year average holding period for SBIC debentures. This is capital that SBICs could otherwise deploy to small businesses.

    The withdrawal of the Proposed Rule has no effect on currently licensed Impact SBICs. Currently licensed Impact SBICs must continue to operate under the Impact Policy under which they were licensed (i.e., the Impact Policy issued in 2011, 2012 or 2014, as applicable). SBA will continue to follow SBA regulations and credit policies applicable to all SBICs with respect to approving leverage commitments and draws for Impact SBICs licensed with the intent of issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures. It should be noted that SBA allocated debentures for Impact SBICs in both FY 2018 and FY 2019 to accommodate existing Impact SBICs. SBA will determine the allocations of leverage for Impact SBICs for subsequent Fiscal Years after taking into account projected need by Impact SBICs in existence at that time.

    Executive Order 13771

    The withdrawal of the NPRM qualifies as a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017).

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, the Proposed Rule published at 81 FR 5666 on February 3, 2016, is withdrawn.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 634(b)(6).

    Dated: May 12, 2018. Linda E. McMahon, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12031 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 107 RIN 3245-AG68 Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC); Early Stage Initiative AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) is withdrawing its proposed rule published on September 19, 2016. SBA proposed making changes to its Early Stage Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) initiative, which was launched in 2012. SBA is withdrawing the proposed rule because very few qualified funds applied to the Early Stage SBIC initiative, the costs were not commensurate with the results and the comments to the proposed rule did not demonstrate broad support for a permanent Early Stage SBIC program.

    DATES:

    SBA is withdrawing the proposed rule published on September 19, 2016 (81 FR 64075) as of June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theresa Jamerson, Office of Investment and Innovation, (202) 205-7563, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background Information

    In the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (Act), Congress created the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program to “stimulate and supplement the flow of private equity capital and long-term loan funds which small-business concerns need for the sound financing of their business operations and for their growth, expansion, and modernization, and which are not available in adequate supply . . . .” 15 U.S.C. 661. Congress intended that the program “be carried out in such manner as to insure the maximum participation of private financing sources.” Id. In accordance with that policy, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) does not invest directly in small businesses. Rather, through the SBIC program, SBA licenses and provides debenture leverage to SBICs. SBICs are privately-owned and professionally managed for-profit investment funds that make loans to, and investments in, qualified small businesses using a combination of privately raised capital and debenture leverage guaranteed by SBA. SBA will guarantee the repayment of debentures issued by an SBIC (Debentures) up to a maximum amount of $150 million per SBIC based on the amount of the SBIC's qualifying private capital, defined in SBA regulations as Regulatory Capital (consisting of paid-in capital contributions from private investors plus binding capital commitments from Institutional Investors, as defined in existing § 107.50). SBA will typically provide an SBIC with up to two “tiers” of leverage (a two-to-one match between leverage and Regulatory Capital).

    The standard Debenture requires semi-annual interest payments. Consequently, most SBICs finance later stage small businesses with positive operating cash flow, and most structure their investments as loans or mezzanine debt in an amount that is at least sufficient to cover the SBIC's Debenture interest payments. Early stage companies typically do not have positive operating cash flow and therefore cannot make current interest or dividend payments. As a result, investments in early stage companies do not fit naturally with the structure of debenture leverage.

    Early stage businesses without the necessary assets or cash flow for traditional bank funding face difficult challenges accessing capital. As a result of this capital gap, on April 27, 2012, SBA published a final rule (77 FR 25042) to define a new sub-category of SBICs. SBA's intent was to license over a 5-year period (fiscal years 2012 through 2016) venture funds focused on early stage businesses. Because Early Stage SBICs present a higher credit risk than traditional SBICs, that rule authorized SBA to guarantee Debentures in an amount equal to each Early Stage SBIC's Regulatory Capital (one tier of leverage, rather than the two tiers typically available to traditional SBICs), up to a maximum of $50 million. SBA targeted an allocation of $200 million per year ($1 billion total) of its SBIC Debenture authorization over these years to this effort.

    In order to determine potential changes needed to attract sufficient interest from qualified early stage fund managers to apply for the Early Stage SBIC program, SBA sought input from the public through an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on March 18, 2015 (80 FR 14034). Based on comments on the ANPRM and additional discussions SBA held with industry participants, SBA published a proposed rule (81 FR 64075) on September 19, 2016, to make changes to make the Early Stage SBIC program more attractive and make the program a permanent part of the SBIC program. These changes included: (1) Extending the program past FY 2016; (2) modifying Early Stage licensing procedures to be more consistent with other SBICs by allowing Early Stage SBIC applicants to apply at any time and allowing existing Early Stage SBICs to apply for a subsequent license; (3) allowing Early Stage SBICs to use a line of credit without SBA's prior approval; and (4) increasing the maximum leverage from $50 million to $75 million.

    II. Reason for Withdrawal

    In determining whether to publish a final rule, SBA evaluated the results of the Early Stage SBIC Initiative, the costs of the initiative and the comments received on the proposed rule.

    Between 2012 and June 2016, SBA received 62 applications to the Early Stage SBIC program, but licensed only 5 Early Stage SBICs. Those applicants that were not licensed failed to meet SBA's licensing criteria. Many of the applicants had management teams with limited track records and few positive realizations. Although SBA sought to increase the number of applicants to the Early Stage SBIC initiative, at the end of FY 2016, none of the SBIC applicants utilizing an early stage investment strategy in SBA's licensing pipeline sought to issue SBA-guaranteed Debentures or to be licensed as an Early Stage SBIC. SBA has and will continue to license qualifying early stage venture funds that do not intend to issue SBA-guaranteed Debentures. Although venture capital funds pursuing an early stage investment strategy are not prohibited from applying to the program as a leveraged SBIC, SBIC guaranteed Debentures are not well-suited to an early stage investing strategy since many early stage investments do not provide ongoing cash flows needed to pay the current interest and annual charges associated with SBA guaranteed debentures. Based on its evaluation of the Early Stage initiative, SBA concluded that there are insufficient qualified early stage fund management teams that are interested in using SBA-guaranteed leverage under the terms needed to make the Early Stage SBIC initiative a permanent part of the SBIC program.

    SBA also considered costs in determining whether to withdraw the proposed rule. As noted in the April 27, 2012, final rule, due to the risk associated with this class of SBICs, SBA increased the annual charge for all SBICs issuing Debenture leverage in order to implement the Early Stage SBIC initiative. The September 2016 Early Stage SBIC proposed rule stated that because Early Stage SBICs invest in early stage investments with higher risk, the rule would continue to apply a higher annual charge payable by all SBICs issuing SBA-guaranteed Debentures. SBA expected to allocate no more than approximately $200 million in leverage commitments to Early Stage SBICs each year after FY 2017, which allocation was expected to increase the cost to all SBICs issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures by increasing the annual fee payable by all such SBICs by approximately 14 basis points. For an SBIC issuing $100 million in SBA-guaranteed Debentures, 14 basis points would equate to $140,000 per year. SBICs typically issue Debenture leverage over 4 to 6 years (using multiple commitments) and begin paying back leverage as the fund harvests its investments after that period. Based on Debenture pools since 1992 that have been fully repaid, the average hold period is approximately 6 years. Therefore the 14 basis points addition for an SBIC issuing $100 million in SBA-guaranteed Debentures would equate to $840,000. If the SBIC held the leverage for the full 10-year term, this would equate to $1,400,000 for a single SBIC over that timeframe. Between FYs 2012 and 2017, SBA approved on average $2.28 billion aggregate debenture commitments per year. If an additional 14 basis point charge were in effect, SBICs would incur over $3.2 million per year in additional fees, or approximately $19 million over the average 6 year holding period for SBIC-guaranteed Debentures. This is capital that SBICs could otherwise deploy to small businesses. Additionally, SBA must expend additional administrative costs to oversee these SBICs and to maintain subsidy formulation and re-estimate models. SBA received four comment letters on the proposed rule. Among other things, these comments requested changes to the payment structure of the Early Stage debenture—partial, as opposed to full prepayments—which structure SBA has determined is not workable. Another comment suggested that the amount of leverage SBA intended to allocate to Early Stage SBICs on an annual basis was perceived as a limit which placed unacceptable risk to management teams that would otherwise be interested in applying to the program. As discussed above, in order to determine the annual charge as required by the Act, if the proposed rule became final, SBA would be required to allocate an amount of leverage to Early Stage SBICs on an annual basis. Other comments suggested concerns or requested clarifications. It was not evident to SBA from these comments that the proposed rule was broadly supported by SBIC program stakeholders.

    The withdrawal of the proposed rule does not impact the Early Stage regulations contained in 13 CFR part 107 or the five currently licensed Early Stage SBICs. Such Early Stage SBICs remain subject to the Act, applicable regulations at 13 CFR part 107 and SBA policies.

    Executive Order 13771

    The withdrawal of the proposed rule qualifies as a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs'” (April 5, 2017).

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, the proposed rule published at 81 FR 64075 on September 16, 2016 is withdrawn.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 634(b)(6).

    Dated: May 12, 2018. Linda E. McMahon, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12030 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0509; Product Identifier 2017-NM-076-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Embraer 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 certain Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 190 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of bushing migration and loss of nut torque on the engine pylon lower inboard and outboard link fittings. This proposed AD would require modification of the attaching parts of the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) pylon lower link fittings, inboard and outboard positions. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 26, 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 Embraer S.A., Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brazil; telephone: +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax: +55 12 3927-7546; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.flyembraer.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-2018-0509; 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:

    Krista Greer, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3221.

    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-2018-0509; Product Identifier 2017-NM-076-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

    Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian AD 2017-04-01, effective April 25, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 190 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    This [Brazilian] AD was prompted by reports of bushing migration and loss of nut torque on the engine pylon lower inboard and outboard link fittings. We are issuing this [Brazilian] AD to prevent loss of integrity of the engine pylon lower link fittings, which could result in separation of the engine from the wing.

    This [Brazilian] AD requires modifications of the attaching parts of the left handle (LH) and right handle (RH) pylon lower link fittings, inboard and outboard positions.

    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-2018-0509.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Embraer S.A. has issued Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 04, dated December 7, 2017; and Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018. The service information describes procedures for modification of the attaching parts of the LH and RH pylon lower link fittings, inboard and outboard positions. 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 the same type designs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 85 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 Modification Up to 270 work-hours × $85 per hour = $22,950 $3,200 Up to $26,150 Up to $2,222,750.

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all available costs in our cost estimate.

    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): Embraer S.A.: Docket No. FAA-2018-0509; Product Identifier 2017-NM-076-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 26, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2014-16-16, Amendment 39-17940 (79 FR 48018, August 15, 2014) (“AD 2014-16-16”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Embraer S.A. airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category.

    (1) Model ERJ 190-100 STD, -100 LR, and -100 IGW airplanes; and Model ERJ 190-200 STD, -200 LR, and -200 IGW airplanes; as identified in Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 04, dated December 7, 2017.

    (2) Model ERJ 190-100 ECJ airplanes as identified in Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/pylons.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of bushing migration and loss of nut torque on the engine pylon lower inboard and outboard link fittings. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of integrity of the engine pylon lower link fittings, and possibly resulting in separation of the engine from the wing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definitions

    (1) Group 1 airplanes are defined as: Serial numbers 19000002, 19000004, 19000006 through 19000108 inclusive, 19000110 through 19000139 inclusive, 19000141 through 19000158 inclusive, 19000160 through 19000176 inclusive, 19000178 through 19000202 inclusive, 19000204 through 19000224 inclusive, 19000226 through 19000235 inclusive, 19000237 through 19000242 inclusive, 19000244 through 19000260 inclusive, 19000262 through 19000277 inclusive, 19000279 through 19000295 inclusive, 19000297 through 19000306 inclusive, 19000308 through 19000316 inclusive, 19000318 through 19000361 inclusive, 19000363 through 19000437 inclusive, 19000439 through 19000452 inclusive, 19000454 through 19000466 inclusive, 19000468 through 19000525 inclusive, 19000527 through 19000533 inclusive, 19000535 through 19000558 inclusive, 19000560 through 19000570 inclusive, 19000572 through 19000610 inclusive, 19000612 through 19000631 inclusive, and 19000633 through 19000636 inclusive.

    (2) Group 2 airplanes are defined as: Serial numbers 19000637 through 19000640 inclusive, 19000642 through 19000655 inclusive, 19000657 through 19000682 inclusive, 19000684 through 19000686 inclusive, 19000688, 19000689, and 19000692 through 19000694 inclusive.

    (h) Left-Hand (LH) Pylon Lower Link Fitting Attaching Parts Modification

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes as identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Within 15,000 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace the plain bushings of the lower inboard and outboard link fittings, install the lock washers with the L-profile on the fuse pin's head side, and replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART I” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 04, dated December 7, 2017.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes as identified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD: Within 15,000 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART I” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 04, dated December 7, 2017.

    (3) For airplanes identified as Group 1 in Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018: Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the plain bushings of the lower inboard and outboard link fittings, install the lock washers with the L-profile on the fuse pin's head side, and replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART I” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018.

    (4) For airplanes identified as Group 2 in Embraer Service Bulletin Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018: Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART I” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018.

    (i) Right-Hand (RH) Pylon Lower Link Fitting Attaching Parts Modification

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes as identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Within 15,000 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace the plain bushings of the lower inboard and outboard link fittings, install the lock washers with the L-profile on the fuse pin's head side, and replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART II” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 04, dated December 7, 2017.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes as identified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD: Within 15,000 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART II” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 04, dated December 7, 2017.

    (3) For airplanes identified as Group 1 in Embraer Service Bulletin Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018: Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the plain bushings of the lower inboard and outboard link fittings, install the lock washers with the L-profile on the fuse pin's head side, and replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART II” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018.

    (4) For airplanes identified as Group 2 in Embraer Service Bulletin Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018: Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the internal shear pin of the fuse pins with new ones having larger head diameter, in accordance with “PART II” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 02, dated May 9, 2018.

    (j) Terminating Action for AD 2014-16-16

    (1) Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable, terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1), (h)(1), and (i)(1) of AD 2014-16-16 for that LH pylon lower link fitting.

    (2) Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(3) or (h)(4) of this AD, as applicable, terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g)(2), (h)(2), and (i)(2) of AD 2014-16-16 for that LH pylon lower link fitting.

    (3) Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, as applicable, terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1), (h)(1), and (i)(1) of AD 2014-16-16 for that RH pylon lower link fitting.

    (4) Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (i)(3) or (i)(4) of this AD, as applicable, terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g)(2), (h)(2), and (i)(2) of AD 2014-16-16 for that RH pylon lower link fitting.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), (i)(1), and (i)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, dated September 22, 2015; Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 01, dated January 18, 2016; Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 02, dated September 12, 2016; or Embraer Service Bulletin 190-54-0016, Revision 03, dated May 18, 2017.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (h)(3), (h)(4), (i)(3), and (i)(4) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, dated October 2, 2015; Embraer Service Bulletin 190LIN-54-0008, Revision 01, dated April 13, 2017.

    (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 Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC); or ANAC's authorized Designee. If approved by the ANAC Designee, the approval must include the Designee's authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (l)(3)(i) and (l)(3)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. If a step or substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled 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 RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Brazilian AD 2017-04-01, effective April 25, 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-2018-0509.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Krista Greer, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3221.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Embraer S.A., Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brazil; telephone: +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax: +55 12 3927-7546; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.flyembraer.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 31, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12228 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0505; Product Identifier 2017-NM-178-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 A350-941 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic engine-driven pump, which could cause a fast temperature rise of the hydraulic fluid. This proposed AD would require modifying the hydraulic monitoring and control application (HMCA) software. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 26, 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—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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-2018-0505; 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:

    Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    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-2018-0505; Product Identifier 2017-NM-178-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 2017-0200, dated October 10, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In the Airbus A350 design, the hydraulic fluid cooling system is located in the fuel tanks. Recently, an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic engine-driven pump (EDP) was found. Such EDP failure may cause a fast temperature rise of the hydraulic fluid.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, combined with an inoperative fuel tank inerting system, could lead to an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the affected fuel tank.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued a Major Event Revision (MER) of the A350 Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) that incorporates restrictions to avoid an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic system. Consequently, EASA issued Emergency AD 2017-0154-E to require implementation of these dispatch restrictions.

    Since EASA Emergency AD 2017-0154-E was issued, following further investigation, Airbus issued another MER of the A350 MMEL that expands the number of restricted MMEL items. At the same time, Airbus revised Flight Operation Transmission (FOT) 999.0068/17, to inform all operators about the latest MMEL restrictions. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2017-0180, retaining the requirements of EASA Emergency AD 2017-0154-E, which was superseded, and requiring implementation of the new Airbus A350 MMEL MER and, consequently, restrictions for aeroplane dispatch.

    Since EASA AD 2017-0180 was issued, Airbus developed a software (SW) update of the Hydraulic Monitoring and Control Application (HMCA) SW S4.2, introduction of which avoids uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic system. HMCA SW S4.2 is embodied in production through Airbus modification (mod) 112090, and introduced in service through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A350-29-P012.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2017-0180, which is superseded, and requires modification of the aeroplane by installing HMCA SW S4.2.

    This [EASA] AD is still considered to be an interim action and further 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-2018-0505.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A350-29-P012, dated October 6, 2017. The service information describes procedures for modifying the HMCA software by installing HMCA software S4.2 upgrades. 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 7 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
    2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $450 $620 $4,340
    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-2018-0505; Product Identifier 2017-NM-178-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 26, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic Power.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of an overheat failure mode of the hydraulic engine-driven pump, which could cause a fast temperature rise of the hydraulic fluid. We are issuing this AD to address high hydraulic fluid temperature combined with an inoperative fuel tank inerting system, which could result in uncontrolled overheating of the hydraulic system and consequent ignition sources inside the fuel tank, which, combined with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definition of Airplane Groups

    (1) Group 1 are airplanes on which the hydraulic monitoring and control application (HMCA) software (SW) S4.2 is not installed.

    (2) Group 2 are post-mod 112090 airplanes on which the HMCA SW S4.2 is installed.

    (h) Software Modification

    For Group 1 airplanes: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, modify the HMCA software by installing HMCA SW S4.2, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-29-P012, dated October 6, 2017. Where paragraphs 3.C.(1)(a) and 3.C.(2)(a) of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-29-P012, dated October 6, 2017, identify “SOFTWARE-**” and indicate that the “Software becomes” new software: For purposes of this AD, the new software titles/descriptions might not match exactly with the airplane and the service information; the old and new software titles/descriptions are for reference only as an aid to operators.

    (i) Parts Prohibition

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD: No person may install an HMCA software pre-mod HMCA SW S4.2, on any airplane.

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes: After accomplishment of the modification required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes: As of the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Other Acceptable Installation Method

    Installation of an HMCA SW standard approved after the effective date of this AD is acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, provided the conditions required by paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD are met.

    (1) The HMCA SW standard must be approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; 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.

    (2) The installation must be accomplished in accordance with the modification instructions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0200, dated October 10, 2017, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0505.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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 29, 2018. Jeffrey E. Duven, Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12230 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0506; Product Identifier 2018-NM-045-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by the discovery of inadequate corrosion protection in certain areas of the horizontal stabilizer and the rear fuselage cone structure. This proposed AD would require application of sealant and protective treatment on the affected areas of the horizontal stabilizer and the rear fuselage cone structure and, for certain airplanes, modification of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) torsion box and re-identification of the elevator. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 26, 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—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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-2018-0506; 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:

    Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    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-2018-0506; Product Identifier 2018-NM-045-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 2018-0036, dated February 7, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In some areas of the Horizontal Tail Plane (HTP) [horizontal stabilizer] and fuselage Section (S) 19 [rear fuselage cone structure], the interfay sealant for multimaterial joints (hybrid joints) was only applied on the surface in direct contact with aluminium parts and not between all surfaces of the joint parts. This situation does not ensure full barrier properties. To avoid any risk of water ingress in multi-material-stacks involving aluminium, it is necessary to apply interfay sealant between all assembled parts, even between parts made of corrosion resistant material. This ensures a double barrier in the joint and prevents subsequent potential galvanic corrosion on the aluminum holes on top of the single barrier already applied in aluminium parts.

    This condition, if not corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the HTP and fuselage at S19.

    To address this unsafe condition, Airbus developed production mod [Modification] 106695 for fuselage at S19 and mod 107824 for HTP to improve protection against corrosion, and issued [Airbus] SB [Service Bulletin] A350-53-P029 (Airbus mod 110281) and [Airbus] SB A350-55-P003 (Airbus mod 107877 and mod 108494) to provide modification instructions for in-service pre-mod aeroplanes.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires application of sealant and protective treatment on the affected areas of the HTP and fuselage at S19 and, for certain aeroplanes, modification of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) torsion box [and re-identification of the elevator].

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A350-53-P029, dated November 17, 2017. This service information describes procedures to apply sealant and protective treatment on the affected areas of the rear fuselage cone structure.

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A350-55-P003, dated November 6, 2017. This service information describes procedures to apply sealant and protective treatment on the affected areas of the horizontal stabilizer, modify the THS torsion box in zone 330 and 340, and re-identify the elevator in zone 335 and 345.

    The 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 designs.

    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:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Up to 57 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,845 Unavailable Up to $4,845 Up to $29,070.

    According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all known costs in our cost estimate.

    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-2018-0506; Product Identifier 2018-NM-045-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 26, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 106695 (or retrofit Modification 110281) and Modification 107824 (or retrofit Modification 107877 and retrofit Modification 108494) have been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage; 55, Stabilizers.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the discovery of inadequate corrosion protection in certain areas of the horizontal stabilizer and the rear fuselage cone structure. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer and the rear fuselage cone structure.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definitions

    (1) For the purpose of this AD, Group 1 airplanes are those with manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) listed in Section 1.A., “Applicability” of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-53-P029, dated November 17, 2017.

    (2) For the purpose of this AD, Group 2 airplanes are those with MSNs listed in Section 1.A., “Applicability” of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-55-P003, dated November 6, 2017.

    (h) Modification

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes: Before exceeding 36 months since the date of issuance of the original standard airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, apply sealant and protective treatment on the affected areas of the rear fuselage cone structure, as defined in, and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-53-P029, dated November 17, 2017.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes: Before exceeding 36 months since the date of issuance of the original standard airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, accomplish concurrently the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-55-P003, dated November 6, 2017.

    (i) Apply sealant and protective treatment on the affected areas of the horizontal stabilizer, as defined in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-55-P003, dated November 6, 2017.

    (ii) Modify the trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) torsion box in zone 330 and 340, and re-identify the elevator in zone 335 and 345.

    (i) 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 (j)(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.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): 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.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0036, dated February 7, 2018, 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-2018-0506.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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 25, 2018. Jeffrey E. Duven, Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12229 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0508; Product Identifier 2018-NM-012-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 certain Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 26, 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—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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-2018-0508; 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:

    Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    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-2018-0508; Product Identifier 2018-NM-012-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 2018-0004, dated January 9, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR) for the Airbus A350, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Airbus A350 ALS Part 3 document. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [which is safety-significant latent failures that would, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition].

    EASA previously issued [EASA] AD 2017-0029 to require the actions as specified in Airbus A350 ALS Part 3 Revision 03.

    Since this [EASA] AD was issued, Airbus published Revision 04 of Airbus A350 ALS Part 3, to introduce new and more restrictive CMRs.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2017-0029, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ALS.

    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-2018-0508.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued A350 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 3, Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), Revision 04, dated December 15, 2017. The service information describes mandatory maintenance tasks that operators must perform at specified intervals. 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 (i) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued operational safety of the airplane.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    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.

    Airworthiness Limitations Based on Type Design

    The FAA recently became aware of an issue related to the applicability of ADs that require incorporation of an ALS revision into an operator's maintenance or inspection program.

    Typically, when these types of ADs are issued by civil aviation authorities of other countries, they apply to all airplanes covered under an identified type certificate (TC). The corresponding FAA AD typically retains applicability to all of those airplanes.

    In addition, U.S. operators must operate their airplanes in an airworthy condition, in accordance with 14 CFR 91.7(a). Included in this obligation is the requirement to perform any maintenance or inspections specified in the ALS, and in accordance with the ALS as specified in 14 CFR 43.16 and 91.403(c), unless an alternative has been approved by the FAA.

    When a type certificate is issued for a type design, the specific ALS, including revisions, is a part of that type design, as specified in 14 CFR 21.31(c).

    The sum effect of these operational and maintenance requirements is an obligation to comply with the ALS defined in the type design referenced in the manufacturer's conformity statement. This obligation may introduce a conflict with an AD that requires a specific ALS revision if new airplanes are delivered with a later revision as part of their type design.

    To address this conflict, the FAA has approved alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) that allow operators to incorporate the most recent ALS revision into their maintenance/inspection programs, in lieu of the ALS revision required by the AD. This eliminates the conflict and enables the operator to comply with both the AD and the type design.

    However, compliance with AMOCs is normally optional, and we recently became aware that some operators choose to retain the AD-mandated ALS revision in their fleet-wide maintenance/inspection programs, including those for new airplanes delivered with later ALS revisions, to help standardize the maintenance of the fleet. To ensure that operators comply with the applicable ALS revision for newly delivered airplanes containing a later revision than that specified in an AD, we plan to limit the applicability of ADs that mandate ALS revisions to those airplanes that are subject to an earlier revision of the ALS, either as part of the type design or as mandated by an earlier AD.

    This proposed AD therefore applies to all Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness that was issued on or before the date of approval of the ALS revision identified in this proposed AD. Operators of airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued after that date must comply with the airworthiness limitations specified as part of the approved type design and referenced on the type certificate data sheet.

    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 this figure 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-2018-0508; Product Identifier 2018-NM-012-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 26, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A350-941 airplanes, certificated in any category, with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued on or before December 15, 2017.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. We are issuing this AD to address safety-significant latent failures that would, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition.

    (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 Airbus A350 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 3, Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), Revision 04, dated December 15, 2017. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions is at the applicable times specified in Airbus A350 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 3, Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), Revision 04, dated December 15, 2017; or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD; whichever occurs later.

    (h) 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 (i)(1) of this AD.

    (i) 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 (j)(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.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0004, dated January 9, 2018, 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-2018-0508.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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 31, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12233 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0404; Product Identifier 2018-NE-15-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines (IAE) Turbofan engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of in-flight engine shutdowns and aborted take-offs as the result of certain parts affecting the durability of the rear high-pressure compressor (HPC) rotor hub knife edge seal. This proposed AD would require replacing the diffuser case air seal assembly, the high-pressure turbine (HPT) 2nd-stage vane assembly, and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly with parts eligible for installation. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 26, 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 International Aero Engines, 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; internet: http://fleetcare.pw.utc.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

    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-2018-0404; or in person at Docket Operations 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 Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin M. Clark, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7088; fax: 781-238-7199; 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-2018-0404; Product Identifier 2018-NE-15-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 NPRM.

    Discussion

    In-flight engine shutdowns and aborted take-offs have occurred on certain IAE turbofan engines as the result of a failed knife edge seal on engine serial numbers (ESNs) P770450 through P770614. In response to these events, the European Aviation Safety Agency published AD 2018-0041R1, dated March 23, 2018 (corrected on April 4, 2018). Additionally, the FAA published AD 2018-04-01 (83 FR 6791, February 15, 2018), for all Airbus Model A320-271N, A321-271N, and A321-272N airplanes. Both ADs describe procedures to de-pair affected airplanes and to discontinue extended operations (ETOPS) for airplanes with at least one affected engine.

    An analysis by the manufacturer of these engine failures has shown that production modifications to the diffuser case air seal assembly and the 2nd-stage HPT vane assemblies, beginning with ESN P770450, negatively affected the durability of the rear HPC rotor hub knife edge seal. The modifications caused the knife edge seal on the rear HPC rotor hub to experience high-cycle fatigue and failure. This condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed Pratt & Whitney Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018. The ASB describes procedures for removing production modifications to the diffuser case air seal assembly, HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, beginning with ESN P770450, which resulted in an unanticipated increase in stress at the rear HPC rotor hub knife edge seal.

    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 removing from service and replacing the diffuser case air seal assembly, P/N 30G4993-01; the HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572; and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672, with parts eligible for installation.

    Interim Action

    We consider this proposed AD interim action. The manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 16 engines installed on 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
    Removing modifications 0 work-hours × $85 per hour = $0 $44,000 $44,000 $704,000
    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 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 engines, propellers, and associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation 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): International Aero Engines: Docket No. FAA-2018-0404; Product Identifier 2018-NE-15-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 26, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with engine serial numbers (ESNs) P770450 through P770614.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7230, Turbine Engine Compressor Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of in-flight engine shutdowns and aborted take-offs that were the result of a failed knife edge seal on ESNs P770450 through P770614. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the rear high-pressure compressor rotor hub knife edge seal. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    At the next engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, do the following:

    (1) Remove from service the diffuser case air seal assembly, part number (P/N) 30G4993-01, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (2) Remove from service the high-pressure turbine (HPT) 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (3) Remove from service HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (h) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, an “engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges (lettered flanges). The separation of engine flanges solely for the purpose of transportation of the engine without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, ECO 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. You may email your request 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.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kevin M. Clark, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7088; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact International Aero Engines, 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; internet: http://fleetcare.pw.utc.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

    Issued in Burlington, MA, on June 6, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12452 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1031; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-21] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ephrata, WA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and modify Class E surface area airspace at Ephrata Municipal Airport, Ephrata, WA. This action also proposes to update the geographic coordinates of the airport in the associated Class E airspace areas to match the FAA's aeronautical database. These changes are necessary to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System. Also, an editorial change would be made to the Class E surface airspace legal description replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement”.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-1031; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-21, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Farnsworth, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198-6547; telephone (206) 213-2244.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-1031; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-21”. The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

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

    Availability of NPRMs

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface and modifying Class E surface area airspace at Ephrata Municipal Airport, Ephrata, WA.

    Class E surface area airspace would be modified to a 4.2-mile radius of the airport (from a 4.4-mile radius of the Ephrata Municipal Airport and within 2.7 miles each side of the Ephrata VORTAC 043° and 233° radials extending from the 4.4-mile radius to 7 miles northeast of the VORTAC). The exclusionary language noting Moses Lake, WA, Class D airspace would be removed as it is not needed to define the boundary.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet would be established within 4.2 miles northwest and 6.6 miles southeast of the 043° and 223° bearings from the airport extending from the airport reference point to 11.1 miles northeast and 6.3 miles southwest of the airport, respectively.

    Additionally, this action proposes to update the geographic coordinates for the associated Class E airspace areas to match the FAA's aeronautical database. Also, an editorial change would be made to the Class E airspace legal descriptions replacing Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ANM WA E2 Ephrata, WA [Amended] Ephrata Municipal Airport, WA (Lat. 47°18′2″ N, long. 119°31′01″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4.2-mile radius of Ephrata Municipal Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    ANM WA E5 Ephrata, WA [New] Ephrata Municipal Airport, WA (Lat. 47°18′29″ N, long. 119°31′01″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within 4.2 miles northwest and 6.6 miles southeast of the 043° and 223° bearings from Ephrata Municipal Airport extending from the airport reference point to 11.1 miles northeast and 6.3 miles southwest of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 4, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12413 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Parts 210, 229, 230, 232, 240, 270, and 274 [Release No. 33-10503; 34-83376; IC-33113; File No. S7-12-18] RIN 3235-AM28 Request for Comment on Fund Retail Investor Experience and Disclosure AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is seeking public comment from individual investors and other interested parties on enhancing disclosures by mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), and other types of investment funds to improve the investor experience and to help investors make more informed investment decisions. Specifically, we are seeking comment to learn how investors, like you, use these disclosures and how you believe funds can improve disclosures to help you make investment decisions. We are particularly interested in your input on the delivery, design, and content of fund disclosures. In addition to or in place of responses to questions in this release, investors seeking to comment on the investor experience and improving fund disclosure may want to submit a short Feedback Flier on Improving Fund Disclosure.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before October 31, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (https://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected]. Please include File Number S7-12-18 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number S7-12-18. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method of submission. Commenters are encouraged to identify the number of the specific question(s) to which they are responding. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's website (https://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml). Comments are also available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. Investors seeking to comment on the investor experience and improving fund disclosure may want to submit a short Feedback Flier on Improving Fund Disclosure, available at Appendix B.

    Studies, memoranda, or other substantive items may be added by the Commission or staff to the comment file during this request for comment. A notification of the inclusion in the comment file of any such materials will be made available on the Commission's website. To ensure direct electronic receipt of such notifications, sign up through the “Stay Connected” option at www.sec.gov to receive notifications by email.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Kosoff, Senior Special Counsel; or Angela Mokodean, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6921, Division of Investment Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-8626.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission is seeking public comment from individual investors and other interested parties on enhancing investment company disclosures to improve the investor experience and to help investors make more informed investment decisions.

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Fund Disclosure A. Fund Disclosure and Other Fund Information B. Delivery of Fund Information 1. Timing of Disclosure Delivery 2. Method of Disclosure Delivery a. Investors' Use of the internet b. Form and Manner of Delivery c. Promoting Electronic Disclosures C. Design 1. Plain Language 2. Using Technology To Improve the Design of Fund Disclosures 3. Use of Summaries and the Summary Prospectus 4. Location and Order of Information 5. Structuring Disclosures D. Content 1. Strategies 2. Risks 3. Fees and Expenses 4. Performance 5. Management Discussion of Fund Performance 6. Fund Advertising 7. Other Types of Funds E. Opportunities for Ongoing Assessment of Disclosure Effectiveness III. General Request for Comment Appendix A: Hypothetical Mutual Fund Summary Prospectus Appendix B: Feedback Flier on Improving Fund Disclosure I. Introduction

    Today the Commission is continuing its efforts to enhance the information that is available to you, the investor, to help you make informed investment decisions. We have previously taken steps to improve the effectiveness of mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, and other types of public investment fund (“fund”) disclosures.1 We are now requesting comment from you and other interested parties on ways to enhance fund disclosures, including the delivery, design, and content of fund disclosures, to improve the investor experience and help investors make more informed investment decisions.2

    1See, e.g., Enhanced Disclosure and New Prospectus Delivery Option for Registered Open-End Management Investment Companies, Securities Act Release No. 8998 (Jan. 13, 2009) [74 FR 4546, 4558 (Jan. 26, 2009)], available at https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2009/33-8998.pdf (“Summary Prospectus Adopting Release”) (adopting an improved disclosure framework for mutual funds that was intended to address concerns that had been raised regarding the length, complexity, and usefulness of mutual fund prospectuses and to make use of technological advances to enhance the provision of information to mutual fund investors).

    The Commission staff has also taken steps to improve fund disclosures. See, e.g., Letter from Barry D. Miller, Associate Director, Division of Investment Management, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, to Karrie McMillan, General Counsel, Investment Company Institute (Jul. 30, 2010), available at https://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/guidance/ici073010.pdf.

    2 We are seeking your input to help inform our consideration of whether to, for instance, propose future changes to fund disclosures.

    Our mission is to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation. Disclosure is the backbone of the federal securities laws and is a principal tool we use to fulfill our mission. Disclosure can provide you with the information you need to evaluate investment choices and make informed investment decisions. We recognize that investors have different levels of knowledge and experience, and we seek to promote disclosure that is inviting and usable by a broad spectrum of investors.

    Fund disclosures are especially important because millions of American investors invest in funds to help them reach important financial goals, such as saving for retirement and their children's educations. As of the end of 2017, more than 100 million individuals representing nearly 60 million households owned funds.3 Given these numbers,4 it is vital that investors obtain the information necessary to help them decide how to invest their assets.

    3 Investment Company Institute, 2018 Investment Company Fact Book, at ii (2018), available at https://www.ici.org/pdf/2018_factbook.pdf.

    4 Funds managed 24 percent of household financial assets at year-end 2017. Id. at 36.

    Disclosures can take many forms, and funds provide disclosure on paper as well as through electronic media. Regardless of the medium used, an effective disclosure system should help investors:

    • Find what they need;

    • Understand what they find; and

    • Use what they find to make informed investment decisions.

    A modern fund disclosure system should provide investors streamlined and user-friendly information that is material to an investment decision, while providing them the ability to access additional, more in-depth information on-demand. We developed our current disclosure requirements at a time when investors received information primarily on paper. Some have criticized fund prospectuses and other required disclosure documents for containing long narratives; generic, redundant, and even at times irrelevant disclosures; legalese; and extensive disclosure that may serve more to protect funds from liability rather than to inform investors.

    As technology evolves, the Commission seeks to improve the fund disclosure system to reflect the way investors currently seek, receive, view, and digest information. Advances in technology have made available new, innovative, and effective ways to improve the delivery, design, and content of fund disclosures. Electronic-based disclosures allow for more interactive, user-friendly design features tailored to meet individual investors' needs and improve investor engagement. Technology could also improve the content of fund disclosures by, for example, allowing investors to customize certain fund disclosures, such as fees and expenses, based on an investor's individual circumstances.

    This request for comment, as well as investor testing of disclosure alternatives,5 are two key initiatives the Commission is using to assess our current disclosure framework for funds. Through modernization of current disclosure requirements, the Commission can create a disclosure system that is better suited to meet the needs of 21st century investors. To that end, we are seeking your input on a wide range of issues relevant to fund disclosures. We have tailored our request to get information on your experience with the delivery, design, and content of fund disclosures. In addition to the specific issues highlighted for comment, we invite investors and other members of the public to address any other matters you believe are relevant to fund disclosure requirements.6

    5 The Commission's Office of the Investor Advocate (“OIAD”) currently is engaging in investor testing through its Policy Oriented Stakeholder and Investor Testing for Innovative and Effective Regulation (“POSITIER”) initiative. POSITIER seeks to provide the Commission and its staff with data regarding investor preferences, comprehension, and attitudes about investing. Under this initiative, OIAD has launched a specific study program to examine the topic of retail disclosure effectiveness. This study program seeks to identify and test ways to increase investor understanding of key investment features and, in turn, help improve investment outcomes for individual investors. See SEC's Office of the Investor Advocate to Hold Evidence Summit, Launch Investor Research Initiative, Securities and Exchange Commission Press Release, Mar. 2, 2017, available at https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2017-59.html.

    6 The Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has published guidance on how you can write and submit a comment to us. See Investor Bulletin: Suggestions for How Individual Investors Can Comment on SEC Rulemaking (Dec. 12, 2017), available at https://www.investor.gov/additional-resources/news-alerts/alerts-bulletins/investor-bulletin-suggestions-how-individual.

    We have generally directed questions in this request for comment to you, the investor. If you seek to comment on the investor experience and improving fund disclosure, in addition to or in place of responses to questions in this release, you may want to submit a short Feedback Flier on Improving Fund Disclosure, available at Appendix B.7

    7 The Commission determines that using this short-form Feedback Flier document to obtain information from investors is in the public interest and will protect investors and therefore is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. See Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) section 19(e) and (f). Additionally, for the purpose of developing and considering any potential rules relating to this Request for Comment, the agency may gather information from and communicate with investors or other members from the public. Id. section 19(e)(1) and (f).

    We recognize that others have an interest in effective disclosure and can provide valuable perspectives. Therefore, we welcome input on these issues from all interested parties, including academics, literacy and design experts, market observers, and fund advisers and boards of directors, particularly comments pertaining to the following:

    • How funds currently provide information;

    • How investors currently access and use this information; and

    • The potential costs and benefits of alternative approaches to our current fund disclosure framework.

    II. Fund Disclosure A. Fund Disclosure and Other Fund Information

    There is a wide variety of fund information available to investors, including disclosure documents we require by regulation and materials that funds and others prepare at their discretion, such as sales materials. Together, these materials may be available in many forms, such as print or electronically (including through social media), and they may be static (such as a document) or interactive (such as a calculator or fund comparison tool).

    Required Fund Disclosures. Required fund disclosures include the following:

    Prospectus. A prospectus provides key information about a fund to help investors make informed investment decisions. This document (or a summary version known as a “summary prospectus”) is typically available at the time of purchase. Funds typically deliver prospectuses or summary prospectuses to investors before or at the time of confirmation of a purchase of fund shares and each year for as long as they continue to own fund shares. Appendix A to this release contains a hypothetical summary prospectus solely for illustrative purposes. A summary prospectus generally includes a description of:

    ○ The fund's investment objectives or goals;

    ○ The fund's fees and expenses;

    ○ Its principal strategies for achieving those investment objectives or goals;

    ○ The principal risks of investing in the fund;

    ○ The fund's and a broad-based index's past performance;

    ○ The fund's advisers and portfolio managers;

    ○ How to purchase and sell fund shares;

    ○ Tax information; and

    ○ The compensation paid to intermediaries,8 such as your financial professional and/or his or her firm.9

    8 An intermediary is an entity (such as a broker-dealer or bank) that you may use to purchase fund shares.

    9 A fund's full prospectus includes additional information.

    Statement of additional information (“SAI”). The SAI provides additional information that some investors may find useful, but that we do not consider essential information for all investors. The SAI largely expands on information that is contained in the prospectus. It is available online or upon request.

    Shareholder reports. Shareholder reports include both annual and semiannual reports, which describe how the fund has operated and include the fund's holdings and financial statements. The annual report also discusses the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the fund's performance during its last fiscal year.

    Proxy statements. A proxy statement informs investors about when and where a shareholder meeting is taking place, describes the matters shareholders will vote on, and explains how to vote shares. Funds send this document (or a brief notice describing basic details about the meeting and how to access the full proxy materials) to investors in advance of the shareholder meeting.

    Other information. Funds are required to make additional information available on EDGAR 10 that is not required to be delivered to investors. This information includes a fund's holdings for its first and third quarter-ends and its proxy voting record.

    10 EDGAR is the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval System. EDGAR contains the filings of all public companies and certain individuals who are required to file documents with the Commission. Information about paper filings since 1986 and complete electronic filings since 1996 onward are available. EDGAR may be accessed from the Commission's public website, www.sec.gov.

    Other Fund Information

    • A fund may prepare advertising materials to inform potential or current investors about the fund. Fund advertisements may take many forms and can include materials in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, mailings, fact sheets, fund commentaries, newsletters, and on various web-based platforms (including mobile devices, such as smartphones). Fund advertisements must comply with certain regulatory requirements.11

    11See rule 482 under the Securities Act. Rule 482 is discussed in detail in the section titled Fund Advertising, below.

    • Financial professionals, analysts, and the media may produce other materials that provide information about funds, such as research or analyst reports, tools or other services for researching and comparing funds, fund ratings, and news articles.

    Investor.gov. The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy maintains a website at www.Investor.gov that provides a variety of publications to help you understand the various features and risks of common investment products.

    Given the volume and complexity of fund information, the delivery, design, and content of fund disclosures have significant effects on investors' ability to access and use important information. One way to assess the effectiveness of our disclosure regime is to examine how investors use fund disclosures today.

    Request for Comment

    1. How do you select funds for investment? What do you look at before deciding on an investment? Do you look at fund disclosure documents or other publications or websites? If so, which do you primarily look at? Do you use online investment tools or other tools before making an investment?

    2. What information do you want to know when you make an investment and monitor an investment you own? What information do you not receive that you would like to receive?

    3. Do you rely on any of the disclosure documents we describe above, such as the fund summary prospectus, prospectus, shareholder report, or statement of additional information to invest or continue to hold an investment? If not, why not? If you do rely on any of the disclosure documents, which parts do you rely on and why?

    4. Do you rely on certain disclosure when purchasing shares of a fund and different disclosures when holding or selling shares? If so, why?

    5. How well do current fund disclosures assist you in your investment decision-making? What disclosures could funds improve? How does technology help you make investment decisions?

    6. When making investment decisions, do you rely entirely, partially, or not at all on the advice of a financial professional? Does the assistance of a financial professional affect whether and how you use fund disclosures?

    7. Are current fund disclosures understandable? Do you have access to sufficient information, tools, and analysis to help you evaluate potential investment choices and your current investments?

    8. How do you compare different investment choices? Are there types of interactive comparison tools that you use? Are there other tools that would be helpful but do not appear to exist?

    9. If the current tools available for comparing investment choices are not helpful, have you seen tools or features that compare other types of non-financial products (such as cars or cellphone plans) that are helpful? If so, what are they, and why are those tools more helpful?

    10. Should we provide prominent links on our website to tools you can use to compare investment choices or products, such as FINRA's Fund Analyzer, which is available at https://tools.finra.org/fund_analyzer/?

    11. Recent data indicates that approximately 21 percent of Americans do not speak English in their homes.12 Is the current disclosure regime effective for Americans whose primary language is not English or who have limited English proficiency? If not, what improvements do you recommend?

    12See Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/ (estimating that as of 2015, approximately 79 percent of Americans spoke English in the home).

    B. Delivery of Fund Information

    When and how investors receive information can be as important as the content and design of disclosures. Today, there is a lot of information about funds available online. The challenge is whether an investor can easily find, access, and compare the information at a time when the information is useful to the investor. Two important considerations to the delivery of fund information are the following:

    • When investors receive fund disclosure relative to their investment decisions; and

    • How investors receive fund disclosures, including the form of disclosure (paper or electronic) and the manner of delivery (such as whether an investor receives a copy of the disclosure or a notice that the disclosure is available online or in paper on request).

    The Commission is seeking input with respect to all aspects of the timing and delivery of information to fund investors with the goal of improving the investor experience and helping investors make more informed investment decisions.

    1. Timing of Disclosure Delivery

    A well-functioning fund disclosure regime should provide material information to investors. It should also provide that information at a time when it can be useful to an investor.13 Regulatory documents, such as a prospectus, are typically available before an investment decision. Specifically, any summary prospectus, prospectus, or SAI is available upon request from the fund and may be available on a fund's website. You also can request these documents from your financial professional. In addition, funds and financial professionals typically make other materials available that describe the fund, which may also help an investor make an investment decision.

    13 We recognized this principle when we adopted rule 159 under the Securities Act in 2005. See Securities Offering Reform, Securities Act Release No. 8591 (Jul. 19, 2005) [70 FR 44722, 44765 (Aug. 3, 2005)], available at https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/33-8591fr.pdf.

    The federal securities laws do not require delivery of the prospectus at the time you make an investment decision to purchase fund shares. However, investors generally must receive a prospectus or summary prospectus before or at the time they receive a document confirming their purchase of fund shares.

    We are seeking input on whether investors are able to obtain the information they need before investing and after investing.

    Request for Comment

    12. What information (such as investment objectives, fees and expenses, strategies, risks, and performance) is important to you before you purchase fund shares? What information is important to you after you have made an investment? If you rely on the advice of a financial professional, would your conversations with him or her be more helpful if you received the prospectus before or during your discussion?

    13. What information do you receive at or before your purchase of fund shares? Do you typically receive a prospectus (or summary prospectus) at the time of or before your purchase of fund shares? Is there sufficient information about funds available such that delivery of a prospectus before you purchase fund shares is unnecessary? If so, what information do you review?

    14. Fund advertisements must include language that tells investors how to obtain a fund's prospectus or summary prospectus and that advises investors to read the prospectus carefully before investing in a fund. Below is an example.

    An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund. You can get a free copy of the prospectus and summary prospectus by calling the Fund at (800) xxx-xxxx, by clicking here, or from your financial professional. You should read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing. Does this notice effectively inform you about how to obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus and of the importance of reviewing a prospectus before making an investment decision? If it is not effective, how could we improve it?

    15. Do you ever seek out fund information on your own without the help of a financial professional? If so, were you able to find the information easily at the time you were looking for it? If not, what were the problems?

    16. Securities regulators in certain other jurisdictions require delivery to investors of a summary document describing the key features of a fund at or before the purchase of fund shares. This type of document generally is known as a “point-of-sale” disclosure. Should we consider a similar point-of-sale disclosure requirement? 14

    14 We have considered other point-of-sale disclosure in the past. See Confirmation Requirements and Point of Sale Disclosure Requirements for Transactions in Certain Mutual Funds and Other Securities, and Other Confirmation Requirement Amendments, and Amendments to the Registration Form for Mutual Funds, Investment Company Act Release No. 26341 (Jan. 29, 2004) [69 FR 6438 (Feb. 10, 2004)]; Point of Sale Disclosure Requirements and Confirmation Requirements for Transactions in Mutual Funds, College Savings Plans, and Certain Other Securities, and Amendments to the Registration Form for Mutual Funds, Investment Company Act Release No. 26778 (Feb. 28, 2005) [70 FR 10521 (Mar. 4, 2005)].

    2. Method of Disclosure Delivery a. Investors' Use of the Internet

    Americans' preference for consuming information through electronic media has grown substantially as the use of the internet has grown.15 By mid-2017, 95 percent of households owning mutual funds had some form of internet access (up from 68 percent in 2000).16 While much fund information is available in an electronic format, many of these disclosures are an electronic rendering of paper documents (such as a PDF). Technology, including email and web-based information, can speed up the delivery of information and enhance disclosure.

    15See Amy Mitchell, Jeffrey Gottfried, Michael Barthel and Elisa Shearer, The Modern News Consumer: News Attitudes and Practices in the Digital Era, Pew Research Center, Jul. 7, 2016, available at http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2016/07/07104931/PJ_2016.07.07_Modern-News-Consumer_FINAL.pdf.

    16See ICI Research Perspective: Ownership of Mutual Funds, Shareholder Sentiment, and Use of the Internet, Investment Company Institute, at 18 (Oct. 2017), available at https://www.ici.org/pdf/per23-07.pdf.

    Because internet access and technology enable varied methods for providing information and investor preferences may be changing in light of advancing technology, we are seeking information about your current use of the internet to communicate about and find information on fund investments. This information will help us improve funds' ability to get investors the information they need.

    Request for Comment

    17. Do you use the internet to access your personal financial information such as your investment accounts? How often do you do so? Do you ever use the internet to research funds or to find information about your current fund investments? If so, do you look for information on a fund's website, on your financial professional's website, or elsewhere? For example, do you use your brokerage firm's website for fund research? When researching fund information online, do you prefer to use a computer, tablet, smartphone, or a different device?

    18. If you do not use electronic media to receive or access information about funds, what are your reasons (such as lack of access to the internet, privacy concerns, preference for reading paper, discomfort with technology, or lack of time or interest)?

    19. How do you prefer to receive communications about fund investments (for example, mail delivery, email, website availability, mobile applications, or a combination)? How do you currently receive communications about your investments?

    20. Do you maintain an active email address on file with a fund in which you are invested or with your financial professional? Why or why not? Have you chosen to have your fund documents delivered by email? Why or why not? Do you log in to your funds' or financial professionals' website? If so, how often do you log in and what do you look at?

    21. Is there particular website content that you like to access, such as blogs, videos, fund screeners, interactive calculators, performance presentations, fact sheets, research reports, or social media posts?

    b. Form and Manner of Delivery

    Increasingly, investors are relying on electronic media to get their news and information. We believe this includes information about their investments. Investors' increasing use of electronic media may change the way they like to receive information, including the form of disclosure delivery (paper versus electronic) and the manner of delivery (such as whether they receive full disclosure documents or notices that disclosure is available online or in paper on request).

    Currently investors receive fund prospectuses and shareholder reports (as well as other documents such as account statements and confirmations) in paper through the mail unless they choose electronic delivery.17 As discussed above, a fund typically delivers a copy of the paper prospectus or summary prospectus to an investor before or at the time of confirmation of a purchase of fund shares and each year after that. A fund also may send investors a paper copy of a “sticker”—that is, a supplement to a previously sent prospectus or summary prospectus—to reflect certain changes that occur during the year.

    17 On June 5, 2018, we adopted amendments that will permit funds to deliver to their investors a notice alerting them that the fund's most recent annual or semiannual report is available online at a specified website instead of delivering them a full report in paper. See Optional Internet Availability of Investment Company Shareholder Reports, Investment Company Act Release No. 33115 (Jun. 5, 2018).

    Using electronic delivery more broadly could benefit funds and their investors. For example, funds and their shareholders (who ultimately bear the costs of sending paper documents) could potentially save money if a fund has to print and mail fewer paper documents. Electronic disclosure also could enhance design features that are unavailable in paper documents, such as improved searchability, easy reference to additional detail through hyperlinks, and the ability to compare multiple funds simultaneously. These features could improve the usefulness of fund disclosures for investors.

    While there are benefits associated with electronic disclosure, there are potential concerns as well. Electronic delivery may vary in effectiveness depending on investor preferences and needs. Some investors may not be comfortable with using technology to access fund disclosures. Further, a small subset of investors do not have access to the internet, although the percentage of investors with internet access continues to increase.18 Other investors may simply prefer to read information on paper and may process that information better when read on paper rather than electronically. Investors who do not want to or who are unable to access electronic disclosure may be able to rely on a financial professional to provide the relevant disclosure in paper. However, to the extent these investors do not rely on a financial professional to assist with their investments, they may have difficulty accessing electronic fund disclosures.

    18See supra note 16 and accompanying text.

    Different disclosure documents may arrive in different ways. For example, an investor may receive a brief notice in the mail telling him or her how to get proxy materials in paper or online, while he or she would receive a full copy of a fund's prospectus or summary prospectus.

    In light of the technological advances made in recent years and the increased reliance by investors on electronic media, we are seeking comment on the form and manner of disclosure delivery.

    Request for Comment

    22. Do you prefer to access some types of information (such as a prospectus (or summary prospectus), shareholder reports, and proxy statements) electronically and to receive other types in paper? If so, which types of information do you wish to access electronically versus receive in paper?

    23. Do you currently receive the right amount of fund information in the mail? If you receive too much or too little information by mail, have you found it difficult to tell your broker, investment adviser, or fund that you want to receive more or less paper?

    24. Should we continue to require funds to deliver a paper copy of their prospectuses or summary prospectuses unless you have chosen to receive these documents electronically? Alternatively, should we permit funds to email this information to you and not send paper copies without having to ask you for permission first, if the fund has an email address on file for you? Are there other means such as text messages, notification via an app, or social media that funds should use to effectively communicate information (or the availability of information) to investors? Under an electronic delivery approach, how should investors be able to request delivery of paper disclosures?

    25. Do you prefer to receive a prospectus or summary prospectus directly, or would you prefer to receive a brief notice (such as a postcard or an email containing a link to the document) informing you that new or amended fund disclosure is available? Are you more likely to read, retain, or act on a fund disclosure document if you receive it directly by mail or electronic communication (such as email) rather than simply being notified that it is available? If you prefer to receive a brief notice, how frequently should you receive this notice, and how should funds provide the notice (for example, paper, email, text, or robocall)? Alternatively, would you prefer not to receive communication from a fund and to find information independently about the fund online at a time of your choosing? If yes, should we permit this approach for all information, or should there be an exception for certain types of fund information, such as tax information and proxy materials? Are you more likely to read, retain, or act on a fund disclosure document if you receive it directly by mail or electronic communication (such as email)?

    26. Do you have different informational needs or interests for new fund investments as opposed to your existing fund investments? For example, would you like a fund to send you a copy of its prospectus or summary prospectus when you first buy a fund's shares but prefer that the fund not send you a copy of the prospectus in subsequent years, except upon request? For your existing fund investments, would you like to receive a copy of the prospectus or other notice only if the fund has a material change (like a material change in its principal investment strategy or a material increase in fees)? If so, should the fund explain or highlight the material change(s) for you in some manner?

    c. Promoting Electronic Disclosures

    As discussed above and in section II.C.2, electronic delivery of fund disclosures could have significant benefits for funds and investors, such as cost savings and enhanced features improving the usefulness of disclosures. We are seeking comment on what, if anything, the Commission should do to encourage funds to deliver documents electronically in an investor friendly manner, and to encourage investors to take advantage of the benefits that electronic delivery can provide, while minimizing the drawbacks.

    Request for Comment

    27. How should funds more effectively use technology and communication methods to help investors focus on important fund information?

    28. Should we accommodate changes in the ways investors review electronic documents, such as the increasing use of mobile devices? If so, how? How likely are you to read fund disclosures on your mobile device?

    29. What features in electronic disclosures (such as hyperlinks, searchability, and the ability to save on your computer) do you find most useful? How can more funds be encouraged to make these features available? Are there any features that funds should be required to make available?

    30. Are there steps funds could take to help overcome barriers to electronic delivery in light of various concerns, such as privacy or discomfort with technology? Are there ways that funds can make electronic disclosures more user-friendly, especially for those averse to using the internet in making investment decisions?

    31. Do cybersecurity issues make you reluctant to open an attachment, click on a link, or log in to a fund website based on links embedded in emails? How can funds make electronic access more secure, and how can they make you feel safer when receiving documents or other communications electronically? Are there protocols that the Commission could require to help make electronic delivery safer for investors?

    32. Would you be more likely to access electronic information about funds, or access such information more frequently, if we required funds to disclose certain updated information online (for example, updated performance)?

    C. Design

    The design of information can influence an investment decision. For this reason, the Commission has established requirements for certain disclosure documents to help ensure that key information is presented clearly, is easy to find, and facilitates comparisons between funds. These requirements prescribe, for example, the order, content, form, and timing of certain information.

    Technology can be a powerful tool to enhance the design of disclosures and the investor experience of consuming them. As an example, a glossary of terms and definitions may be necessary for a paper-based document, but web-based disclosures could take advantage of pop-ups, hovers, or other tools to provide definitions when the investor needs them.

    The Commission is seeking input with respect to all aspects of the way fund information is presented to investors and how to design disclosures to improve the investor experience and help investors make more informed investment decisions.

    1. Plain Language

    Plain language disclosure makes information more accessible to investors and promotes investor engagement in financial decision-making. Currently, funds are required to follow a plain English rule to make their prospectuses clear, concise, and understandable.19 More detailed standards apply to certain sections of the prospectus, such as the summary section and the description of risk factors. Under the rule, funds generally must follow these plain English principles, among others:

    19See rule 421 under the Securities Act.

    • Short sentences;

    • Descriptive headings;

    • Understandable language (generally avoiding reliance on glossaries, defined terms, and legal jargon or highly technical business terms);

    • Active voice; and

    • Tabular presentations or bullet lists, particularly when presenting complex material.

    Plain language plays an important role in investors' ability to use fund disclosures. We are seeking comment on the effectiveness of our current plain English framework and how to improve the readability and usefulness of fund disclosures for investors.

    Request for Comment

    33. Are required fund disclosures (such as a prospectus, shareholder report, and proxy statements) easy to read?

    34. Should we do more to promote less technical writing in fund disclosures? For example, should we:

    • Replace technical terms, such as “front-end load” or “12b-1 fees”? Alternatively, are these terms so well-established that replacing them would confuse investors?

    • Require certain fund disclosure documents or sections of such documents to have specific readability scores? 20

    20 Other financial regulators have required that disclosures describing financial products meet minimum readability standards. See, e.g., NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (Model 275-1) (2003) (requiring that certain insurance policies have a minimum score of 40 on the Flesch Reading Ease Test or equivalent comparable test).

    • Add more sample language to Commission forms that funds can use to introduce a given topic in their disclosures using basic, understandable terms? 21 Which parts of the prospectus would benefit from additional explanation of the purpose of the disclosure?

    21 Commission forms and rules sometimes include sample language that a fund must include, with modifications as warranted, to introduce a subject and explain the relevance of related disclosure. As an example, Item 3 of Form N-1A provides sample language for a mutual fund to explain the relevance of its fee and expense table, the example regarding the cost of investing in the fund, and the fund's portfolio turnover.

    • Encourage or require greater use of personal pronouns (such as “you”) in disclosures to speak directly to the reader?

    35. Would you prefer more use of visual presentations (such as tables, charts, and graphs) in fund disclosures? Are there particular types of fund information that you would prefer to receive as visual presentations? Do you find the current visuals in fund disclosures (such as graphs showing the performance history of a fund) useful, or can they be too complex?

    36. Should we modify the format of prospectuses or other required fund disclosures to make them more user-friendly? For example, should certain summary or other disclosure be presented in a question-and-answer (Q&A) format? 22 If a Q&A format is used, should we standardize the questions, or should funds have the flexibility to develop different questions based on their facts and circumstances?

    22 Funds sometimes include Q&As in proxy materials to help investors understand the matters on which they are voting, and other jurisdictions have required Q&A-based fund disclosure. See also Canadian Securities Administrators National Instrument 81-101F3, Contents of Fund Facts Document, available at http://ccmr-ocrmc.ca/wp-content/uploads/81-101_ni_f3_en.pdf.

    37. A fund's name is often the first piece of information you see about a fund. If a fund name includes a particular type of investment, industry, country, or geographic region, what conclusions do you draw about how the fund invests? More generally, do you believe that a fund's name conveys information about the fund's investments and investment risks?

    38. The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy maintains a website at www.Investor.gov that provides a variety of publications to help you understand the various features and risks of common investment products.23 Should we require fund disclosure documents to include a link to that website or its relevant publications to help investors make more informed investment decisions? In the alternative, should we require an investment education section within each prospectus that describes the basic features and risks of the relevant investment type? Are there additional ways the Commission could promote the overall financial education of fund investors?

    23See, e.g., Mutual Funds and ETFs: A Guide for Investors, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, available at https://www.investor.gov/sites/default/files/mutual-funds.pdf.

    2. Using Technology To Improve the Design of Fund Disclosures

    Recent technological developments could enable more interactive, user-friendly disclosure that funds can tailor to individual investors' needs. Among other things, technology could help investors do the following:

    Find information of interest. For instance, while the electronic version of a paper-based disclosure may currently include hyperlinks in the table of contents section, funds could use other technological tools to help an investor better navigate or filter the disclosure to find and understand information of interest.

    Understand fund disclosures. Potential tools that funds could use to make their disclosures more understandable include pop-ups or hovers to provide plain language definitions or background on more complex issues.

    Personalize fund disclosure based on individual needs and circumstances. Funds or others could use technology to generate personalized fund data or illustrations based on investor inputs, such as fees and expenses on a specific investment size.

    Access more current information about funds. Technology could allow a fund to make static disclosure more useful by continuously updating information, such as fund performance.

    Given advances in technology, we are seeking comment on ways funds could better use technology to make disclosure more useful and engaging for individual investors.

    Request for Comment

    39. How can we encourage or require funds to display fund information in a more user-friendly manner? For example, are there ways a fund could use web-based disclosure to present prospectus information to make the information more accessible and useful to you than an electronic rendering of a paper document (such as a PDF)?

    40. Should fund disclosures be more personalized to enhance your understanding and engagement? If so, how? For example, should we encourage or require funds to use tools in electronic disclosures to help investors filter information to align with their areas of interest or personalize information based on their individual circumstances?

    41. We require certain fund disclosures to include hyperlinks to other pieces of information (such as a fund website or another fund document). Should we require other technologies in addition to or in lieu of hyperlinks to connect information (such as QR codes 24 )?

    24 A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode capable of encoding information such as a website addresses, text information, or contact information. These codes are becoming increasingly popular in print materials and can be read using the camera on a smartphone. These codes can provide an easier way for investors to get more information about funds.

    42. Should interactive fee calculators and performance presentations or other interactive tools supplement or replace certain required fund disclosures? If so, how would these tools integrate into the current disclosure regime?

    43. How important are design elements—such as larger font sizes, greater use of white space, colors, or visuals, or the use of audio or video disclosures—to investors?

    44. Assuming that more interactive and visually appealing disclosures may be more costly and that you will ultimately pay those costs, would you be willing to pay more for these enhanced features?

    45. What do investors want to see done to give funds the ability to use technology creatively to effectively convey information to investors?

    3. Use of Summaries and the Summary Prospectus

    Concise, user-friendly disclosure assists investors in making their investment decisions. To promote these principles, in January 2009, the Commission amended the registration form used by mutual funds and ETFs to provide investors with streamlined and user-friendly information that is key to an investment decision.25 Specifically, the Commission added a new summary section to mutual fund and ETF prospectuses and allowed these funds to deliver a shorter summary prospectus to investors, subject to certain conditions. The key information in the summary section includes a fund's investment objectives and strategies, risks, costs, and performance. Having this information in a standardized order in all mutual fund and ETF prospectuses helps investors compare multiple funds.

    25See Summary Prospectus Adopting Release, supra note 1.

    A fund's summary prospectus includes the same key information that the fund provides in the summary section of its prospectus. Appendix A to this release contains a hypothetical summary prospectus solely for illustrative purposes. A fund that uses a summary prospectus must provide its prospectus, SAI, and recent shareholder reports on a website and deliver these documents by paper or email upon an investor's request. Under this layered approach to disclosure, investors receive key information directly and have access to more detailed information.

    We generally believe that investors benefit from clear and accurate summary disclosure of key information. Specifically, summary disclosure, along with access to more detailed information, can assist investors in making more informed investment decisions. We are seeking comment on the effectiveness of the summary prospectus for mutual funds and ETFs and whether a similar summary disclosure framework might improve other fund disclosures.

    Request for Comment

    46. Should we do more to encourage or require shorter, “summary” disclosures, with additional information available online or upon request? For example, should we require summary versions of other required fund disclosures, such as shareholder reports?

    47. Do you use the summary prospectus in making investment decisions? Does the summary prospectus contain the right amount and type of information to assist you in making an investment decision? Would other information, such as measures of leverage 26 or derivative exposure, help you make an informed investment decision? Are there disclosure items currently required in the summary prospectus that we should eliminate?

    26 Funds employing leverage typically seek to enhance returns by borrowing money to make additional investments, or investing in certain financial instruments that do not require full payment at the time of entering into the trade. While leverage can enhance positive returns, it also can magnify fund losses.

    48. Currently, we only permit funds to disclose certain pieces of information in their summary prospectuses. Should the summary prospectus also alert you to important imminent events, such as impending liquidations, mergers, or large distributions that might have a significant impact on your investment decisions?

    49. Do you think summary prospectuses are too short, too long, or an appropriate length? The Commission intended each summary prospectus to consist of three or four pages, but allows funds flexibility to set the length.27 However, many summary prospectuses exceed this intended length. Certain foreign jurisdictions have adopted summary disclosure documents that include page limits. For example, Canada's Fund Facts document cannot exceed four pages, and the European Union's Key Investor Information Document (“KIID”) cannot exceed two pages.28 Should we limit the length of summary prospectuses, or should we continue to provide funds with flexibility in this area?

    27Id. at note 14. We have observed summary prospectuses of up to 19 pages in length.

    28 A sample Canadian Fund Facts document is available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Securities-Category8/ni_20130613_81-101_implementation-state-2-pos.pdf#page=51, and a sample European KIID is available at https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/2015/11/10_794.pdf#page=5.

    50. How can technology enhance the usefulness of summary disclosure for investors? Should electronic versions of summary documents provide the ability to more easily access additional, detailed information by clicking on a piece of information? Should we encourage technology that can aggregate fund information from multiple funds so an investor can see a summary of his or her entire portfolio? If so, what is the best way to encourage this type of technology? Would investors be willing to pay for these technological enhancements?

    4. Location and Order of Information

    Logical organization of information can help investors easily find desired information at the appropriate level of detail. As previously discussed, the current disclosure framework for most funds consists of a prospectus (and a summary prospectus for most mutual funds and ETFs), SAI, and annual and semiannual shareholder reports. The prospectus and SAI generally describe how the fund will operate on an ongoing basis, and the shareholder reports reflect how the fund operated in the past. In addition, funds often make additional information available on their websites.

    In certain contexts, such as in summary prospectuses, we require funds to disclose required information in a standardized order. We also require that certain information appear in a fund's prospectus as opposed to its SAI. However, we currently allow funds to choose how to order many individual items within a required disclosure document.

    Fund websites can also be a valuable tool for providing information to investors in real-time. For example, performance information can quickly become out-of-date, so referring investors to a website for more current performance information may be preferred. Funds may also have certain arrangements in place with financial professionals with respect to the amount of sales charge imposed.29 Since the list of financial professionals and the terms of the agreements may change frequently, it may be more appropriate to disclose this information on a website rather than in a fund prospectus.

    29 Currently, funds are required to disclose intermediary specific sales load variations in the prospectus. See Item 12(a) of Form N-1A, Item 7(c) of Form N-3, and Item 6(c) of Form N-4.

    Because of the importance of providing investors fund information in a location where they can reasonably expect to find the information they want, we are seeking comments on how to rationalize and improve the requirements associated with the location and order of fund information.

    Request for Comment

    51. Does the current disclosure framework of a summary prospectus, prospectus, SAI, and annual and semiannual reports provide you the necessary information to make informed investment decisions? Should funds provide additional information? Would a one-page sheet at the beginning of each prospectus (or summary prospectus with key information such as historical performance, fees, portfolio managers, date of inception and whether the fund employs leverage to a significant extent) be helpful to investors? If so, should this one-page sheet be standardized?

    52. Is there information that is currently located in the summary prospectus, prospectus, SAI, or annual report that would be more appropriate in a different regulatory document or online?

    53. Are there any disclosure materials that you receive separately, for example a summary prospectus or annual report, that you would prefer to receive in a single, combined document? If you would prefer to receive these disclosures as a single unified document, when should it be delivered?

    54. Does the standardized order of information in a mutual fund or ETF summary prospectus help you more easily locate specific information or compare multiple funds? If so, would you find it helpful if information appeared in a set order in any other fund disclosure documents?

    55. Currently, a single prospectus, SAI, or shareholder report may include information about many funds. Do you find these documents difficult to navigate? Should we limit these documents to one fund per document? Does your response depend if it imposes additional costs on investors? Alternatively, should we require that all the information about a single fund appear in one place in a multi-fund document?

    56. Currently, while funds' regulatory documents are freely available through the Commission's EDGAR system, most funds include a number of those regulatory documents (such as a prospectus and shareholder report) on their websites. However, they often do not post all of them (such as a fund's quarterly holdings and proxy voting record). Do you typically obtain fund information through EDGAR, through the fund's website, or through a different (such as a, third-party) source—or some combination of these? Would it be useful to you to be able to access all required fund disclosures in one centralized location on a fund's website?

    5. Structuring Disclosures

    Structuring disclosures can enhance investors' access to information and improve the quality of available information. Even if investors do not know what structured disclosure is, they benefit from structured disclosure when they research and compare funds using various online tools. Structured disclosure consists of disclosure items that are machine-readable (meaning they can be understood by a computer or other electronic device) because the disclosure text has been labeled (sometimes referred to as “tagged”) using an electronic reporting language, such as eXtensible Markup Language (“XML”) or eXtensible Business Reporting Language (“XBRL”). Tagging disclosures allows investors and other market participants to more easily access, share, and analyze fund information across different systems or platforms. Figure 1 below illustrates the difference between disclosure as you might see it (left image) and structured disclosure as a computer sees it (right image). (To be clear, disclosure, to you, would appear as the example on the left—whether it is structured or

    unstructured. Structured disclosure adds the machine-readable information in the example on the right—either in a separate data file that a fund would submit to the Commission, or as a layer of information invisibly embedded within an electronic document—so that the disclosure can be easily read and processed by computers as data.) EP11JN18.000

    Structured disclosure offers many benefits to investors and other market participants because it enhances their ability to use technology to process and synthesize information, allowing for more timely and in-depth analysis of fund information. Structured disclosure can help investors and other market participants to more easily retrieve, aggregate, and analyze information from disclosures across funds and time periods. For example, investors and other market participants can analyze data points to observe trends (such as changes in fund fees over time), examine portfolio data, create ratios, or perform other analyses. Narrative disclosures also can be structured and analyzed to, for example, examine how different funds are describing a portfolio strategy or conduct comparisons against peers. For these reasons, countries around the world, including the United States, are increasingly using structured disclosure for reporting. In addition, unlike other data sources, this data comes directly from information filed with the Commission, which may improve the quality of the data.

    Currently, mutual funds and ETFs are required to submit interactive data files (formatted using XBRL) containing their risk/return summary information, which includes objectives, fees, principal strategies, principal risks, and performance disclosures.30 Money market funds also electronically file a monthly report on Form N-MFP that contains detailed information about fund holdings in the XML format. Other funds will also be required to provide portfolio-level data to the Commission on a monthly basis and census-type information to the Commission on an annual basis in the XML format.31

    30See General Instruction C.3.g(i), (iv) to Form N-1A.

    31See Investment Company Reporting Modernization, Investment Company Act Release No. 32314 (Oct. 13, 2016) [81 FR 81870 (Nov. 18, 2016)]; Investment Company Reporting Modernization, Investment Company Act Release No. 32936 (Dec. 8, 2017) [82 FR 58731 (Dec. 14, 2017)].

    Because of the benefits that structuring disclosures can provide, we are seeking comment on whether and how to improve our current structured disclosure reporting regime to increase the usefulness of structured disclosure.

    Request for Comment

    57. How are you currently using fund data (such as fees, holdings, or performance-related data)? Which data, in particular, are you using and how do you access the data? Do you obtain the data from fund or third party websites, or directly from the Commission's website?

    58. We currently provide risk/return summary information (that is, objectives, fees, principal strategies, principal risks, and performance disclosures) extracted from mutual fund XBRL filings on our website for download.32 Should we provide other fund industry and fund-specific census-type and portfolio information data sets on our website for download? If so, what additional information should we provide, and how would you use that information?

    32See https://www.sec.gov/dera/data/mutual-fund-prospectus-risk-return-summary-data-sets.

    59. Is there additional mutual fund or ETF information that we should require in a structured disclosure format? If so, what information?

    60. Are there other formats for structuring disclosures that would make disclosures more accessible or useful to you and other data users? Are other standards, besides XBRL and XML, becoming more widely used or otherwise superior to these formats in allowing you and other data users to easily retrieve, aggregate, and analyze fund data? If so, what are those standards? What would be the advantages and drawbacks of these formats to investors, funds, and other data users, compared to XBRL or XML?

    61. To what extent is the information currently provided in a structured disclosure format readily available through other sources, such as third-party data aggregators (like Morningstar and Lipper)? If you use third parties, do you pay for the information? Do you access structured disclosure directly from EDGAR or from fund websites for a significant number of funds without using third-party data aggregators? Has the availability of structured disclosure reduced your dependence on, or the costs associated with, using data aggregators?

    D. Content

    The content of fund disclosures should provide the basis for an investment decision. For this reason, the Commission has established requirements to help ensure that funds' presentations of certain key information (such as objectives, fees, strategies, and risks) is clear, is not misleading, and facilitates comparisons between funds. We are seeking input with respect to the content of fund disclosures to improve the investor experience, which could lead to more informed investment decisions.

    1. Strategies

    A fund's investment strategies tell you how the fund intends to achieve its investment objective. They indicate the approach the fund's adviser takes in deciding which investments to buy or sell. A fund's principal investment strategies refer to the strategies that the fund expects to have the greatest anticipated importance in achieving its objectives and that the fund anticipates will have a significant effect on its risks and returns. Principal strategy disclosure must also discuss the type(s) of investments in which the fund will principally invest. For example, a fund may employ a strategy to invest in multiple asset classes (such as equities and bonds), invest a large amount of assets in a particular industry, or invest in a specific geographic region.

    To effectively select and invest in funds to meet their financial objectives, it is important for investors to understand how a fund is investing. However, the staff has observed significant variations in funds' approaches to principal strategy disclosure that may impact investors' ability to effectively use this information. This disclosure sometimes includes lengthy and highly technical descriptions of fund strategies that can make it difficult for investors to identify and understand how the fund will invest. For example, several mutual funds in Morningstar's Large-Cap Value category describe their principal strategies in under 100 words in the summary section of the prospectus, while other funds in the same category use more than 1,000 words. Some of the longest principal strategies disclosure the staff has observed exceed 5,000 words. While we recognize that some principal investment strategies are more complex, we believe that streamlined, plain English disclosures could enhance the investor experience and contribute to more informed investment decisions.

    Several factors may be contributing to lengthy, complex, and hard to understand disclosure regarding principal investment strategies. These include the following:

    • Disclosing information about certain investment types the fund is not likely to use.

    • Including an extensive discussion of principal strategies and risks in the summary prospectus for a mutual fund or ETF since there is no page limit or limit to the number of strategies or risks a fund may disclose in its summary prospectus.

    • Discussing both principal and non-principal strategies in the same section of the prospectus (although this is not permitted in the summary section of mutual fund and ETF prospectuses or the summary prospectuses).

    • The strategy itself is complex.

    In addition, it may be difficult for retail investors to understand strategy disclosure when such disclosure: (1) Involves certain complex financial transactions, particularly when described using highly technical language; or (2) assumes its readers have a high degree of financial knowledge.

    We are seeking input on the current framework for disclosing principal investment strategies and how we could improve this framework to help you better understand how funds invest.

    Request for Comment

    62. Understanding how a fund will invest your money is important to making an investment decision. Do fund prospectuses and other disclosures adequately describe a fund's strategies? How can funds improve these disclosures?

    63. Do you learn about a fund's strategies by looking at a fund's name, its fund category, its prospectus (or summary prospectus), or other materials (such as website disclosure or third-party resources)?

    64. Should we address the length and complexity of principal strategies disclosure, and if so, how? Should we establish additional guidelines—such as specific thresholds to determine which strategies are considered “principal” (such as if a stated percentage of the fund's assets are devoted to a strategy, it is deemed to be (or presumed to be) a principal strategy)—or impose limits on the length of principal strategies disclosure in a summary section? If so, what would be an appropriate threshold, or limitation on length? Should funds disclose strategies in order of importance or in some other standardized way to help you better understand the key strategies of the fund?

    65. Would visual presentations of strategies better help you understand a fund's disclosure, and if so, how? Can graphs, tables, or other visual tools adequately describe strategies? For example, would inclusion of a graphic representation of a fund's holdings improve a fund's principal strategies disclosure? Would the effectiveness of visual presentations depend on the medium in which they are viewed (such as paper, electronic, or mobile device)?

    66. Some funds employ a “go anywhere” strategy. Under this approach, a fund's manager may invest in a broad array of asset classes, and can target what the manager believes are the best investments, rather than be limited to a particular investment focus. Are there better ways to promote understanding of “go anywhere” funds' strategies? Are there ways to highlight the distinctions between “go anywhere” funds across different fund complexes?

    67. Funds may use leverage to magnify returns (both positively and negatively). Leverage can come from a fund borrowing money to make additional investments or through the use of certain financial instruments, such as derivatives. Some funds try to specify their level of leverage (such as to produce twice the returns on an index), while others reserve more discretion with respect to their use of leverage. However, many investors do not adequately understand the impact of leverage on their investments. Do you believe that funds adequately explain the use and effects of leverage on their portfolios? For instance, do funds make clear that leverage can result in higher returns but also come with the risk of more severe losses? If not, how can we improve the disclosure?

    68. Are there certain fund types—whether defined by structure, by type of investment, or by investment strategy (such as open-end or closed-end, or fixed income or equity)—for which we should require more or less detailed strategies disclosure? If so, what are those types of funds and what disclosures should we add or subtract?

    2. Risks

    All investments in funds involve risk of financial loss. The reward for taking on investment risk is the potential for a greater investment return. When evaluating funds for investment, it is important to determine if the fund satisfies your investment objective and matches your risk tolerance, as well as the risks in your overall portfolio. A fund's risks vary considerably with the nature of its investments.

    We require funds to highlight the principal risks associated with an investment in the fund. Principal risks include, for example, those risks that are reasonably likely to adversely affect the fund's net asset value, yield, and total return. For example, a fund investing in stocks of companies with small market capitalization would discuss market risk as a general risk of holding stocks, as well as the specific risks associated with investing in small capitalization companies (that is, that these stocks may be more volatile and have returns that vary, sometimes significantly, from the overall stock markets).

    However, the sometimes lengthy and highly technical descriptions of fund risks can make it difficult for investors to identify and understand the key risks of a fund. For example, as with principal investment strategies, investors may find it difficult to identify and understand the principal risks of investing in a fund because prospectuses may (1) disclose risks associated with strategies the fund has yet to undertake, (2) include overly long discussions of risks, or (3) discuss both principal and non-principal risks in certain non-summary sections of the prospectus. In addition, some funds disclose a wide variety of principal risks that have little potential impact on the fund. Currently, funds are not required to disclose risks in a particular order (such as by order of importance) or to try to quantify their risks in any way.

    To effectively select and invest in funds to meet their financial objectives, it is important that investors understand the principal risks associated with a fund. As with strategy disclosure, however, the staff has observed significant variations in funds' approaches to principal risk disclosure that may impact investors' ability to effectively use this information. For example, some mutual funds in Morningstar's Large-Cap Value category describe just a few principal risks in less than 200 words in the summary section of the prospectus, while other funds in the same category list 20 or more principal risks using more than 2,500 words in its summary section of the prospectus. Some of the longest principal risks disclosures the staff has observed exceed 7,000 words. While we recognize that some principal investment strategies give rise to more complex or varied risks than others and that certain funds or fund complexes may present different risks (such as risks associated with a new adviser), we believe refinements to principal risk disclosure would contribute to the investor experience and to more informed investment decisions.

    We are seeking input on the current framework for disclosing risks and how we could improve this framework to help you better understand the key risks associated with your fund investments.

    Request for Comment

    69. Do fund prospectuses and other disclosures adequately describe the level of risk associated with a fund? How can funds improve these disclosures?

    70. How do you learn about a fund's risks? What information is most useful to you in evaluating a fund's risks, and what do you want to know? Are there any metrics (such as standard deviation) that you consider?

    71. Should we establish additional guidelines—such as specific thresholds to determine which risks are considered “principal,” page limits, or limits on the number of principal risks a fund may disclose—to further standardize principal risk disclosure? If so, what would be an appropriate threshold, page limit, or numeric limit on the number of items disclosed?

    72. Would visual presentations of risks better help you understand a fund's risks? Can risks be adequately described using graphs, tables, or other visual tools? For example, would a standardized risk measure or risk rating be useful to understand a fund's risk? Both the Fund Facts document required by Canadian securities regulators and the KIID required by the European Union require funds to quantify their level of risk.33 The Canadian form requires that a fund rank its risk level on a 5-point scale (Low, Low to Medium, Medium, Medium to High, and High). The European form requires that a fund rank its risk level on a 7-point scale. Should we also require a risk rating? If so, what type of scale should we use (for instance, a 10-point scale or low/medium/high risk)? What inputs should determine a fund's rating on the scale? Should the fund's rating on the scale be chosen at the fund manager's discretion, or should a standardized metric be used? Are there other presentations of risks that you think may be useful to investors?

    33 A sample Canadian Fund Facts document is available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Securities-Category8/ni_20130613_81-101_implementation-state-2-pos.pdf#page=51, and a sample European KIID is available at https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/2015/11/10_794.pdf#page=5.

    73. Many funds list their principal risks in a way that does not reflect the relative importance of each risk to a fund, such as listing risks in alphabetical order. Would ranking risks in order of importance better help you understand the key risks of the fund? How should a fund determine the importance of a particular risk factor? For example, how should a fund weigh the likelihood and magnitude of a particular risk in determining a ranking? For instance, which would have a higher ranking: A common event that can subject a fund to small losses, or rare occurrences that could lead to significant losses? If we require a ranking, how often should funds be required to reassess the ranking?

    74. Would it be helpful if funds disclosed one or more quantitative measures of risk (such as historic volatility, standard deviation, Sharpe ratio)? 34 If yes, which risk measures should be disclosed?

    34 Although we previously inquired about quantitative measures, we are asking for responses to similar questions in this area to learn current investor preferences in this area. See Improving Descriptions of Risk by Mutual Funds and Other Investment Companies, Investment Company Act Release No. 20974 (Mar. 29, 1995) [60 FR 17172 (Apr. 4, 1995)].

    3. Fees and Expenses

    When considering investing in a fund, fees and expenses are an important factor investors should consider. Even seemingly small differences in fees and expenses can significantly affect a fund's investment returns over time. Funds must disclose information about fees and expenses in a standardized format to help investors compare that information across funds. Typically, the information appears in two sections: A fee table, which shows shareholder transaction fees and annual fund operating expenses, and an expense example.

    Shareholder transaction fees are charges that investors pay directly. They typically appear as a percentage of the amount invested including (1) sales charges (also known as “loads”), which generally pay investment professionals compensation for selling a fund to an investor; and (2) other applicable fees related to redemptions, exchanges, and account minimums. Some shareholder transaction fees appear as a dollar amount in the fee table.

    Annual fund operating expenses are charges that an investor pays indirectly because these charges are paid out of fund assets. Annual fund operating expenses appear as a percentage of net assets and generally include (1) “management fees,” which are paid to the fund's investment adviser for deciding which investments the fund buys and sells and for providing other related services; (2) “Rule 12b-1 fees,” which pay for marketing and selling fund shares; and (3) “other expenses,” which represent various categories, such as auditing, legal, custodial, transfer agency fees, and interest expense.

    • The expense example is a hypothetical calculation that shows the estimated expenses that an investor will pay for investing in a fund over different time periods. The expense example appears in dollar amounts, based on a hypothetical investment of $10,000, and assumes a 5 percent annual return over the course of 1, 3, 5, and 10 years.35

    35 If a fund imposes a fee or other charge when an investor sells (redeems) his or her shares, the fund must disclose two expense examples. The first example shows the estimated expenses of investing in the fund if the investor continues to hold his or her shares throughout the 1, 3, 5, and 10 year periods. The second example shows an investor's estimated investment expense if he or she sells (redeems) shares at the end of the 1, 3, 5, or 10 year periods.

    We are seeking comment on how to improve the disclosure requirements associated with fees and expenses to promote more informed investment decisions.

    Request for Comment

    75. Fund fees and expenses are a key consideration in an investment decision because fees and expenses can significantly affect a fund's investment returns over time. Do funds disclose fund fees and expenses in an effective manner? How could funds improve the disclosure of fund fees and expenses? Would fund fees and expenses be more readily understandable if they were presented as dollar amounts or expressed as a percentage? Would it be helpful if the actual fees and expenses associated with your investment in the fund were included in other fund documents, such as your account statements? 36

    36 The Commission's Investor Advisory Committee (“IAC”) has recommended that the Commission explore ways to improve mutual fund cost disclosures, with the goal of enhancing investors' understanding of the actual costs they bear when investing in mutual funds and the impact of those costs on total accumulations over the life of their investment. The IAC has suggested that, in the short term, the best way to make investors more aware of costs is through standardized disclosure of actual dollar amount costs on customer account statements. The IAC was established to advise the Commission on, among other things, regulatory priorities, fee structures, the effectiveness of disclosure, and initiatives to protect investor interests and to promote investor confidence. See Recommendation of the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee Regarding Mutual Fund Cost Disclosure (Apr. 14, 2016), available at https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/investor-advisory-committee-2012/iac-041416-recommendation-investor-as-purchaser.

    76. Investors may make better investment decisions if they are alerted to the need to focus on certain information. Should we require a fund to add a statement to its prospectus that emphasizes the importance of understanding fees and expenses? What should this statement be?

    77. Annual fund operating expenses currently appear as separate line items, such as management fees, rule 12b-1 fees, and other expenses, that add up to a final line item reflecting total annual fund operating expenses. Is the current format useful, or would you prefer to have a simpler presentation that, for example, includes only a single line item for total annual fund operating expenses or a graphical representation of fees like a fee meter (which is a graphic that shows how a fund's fees compares to other funds)?

    78. Do you believe it would be helpful to include a “fees and expenses benchmark” that could help you compare the fees of the fund to fees of similar funds and understand the relative size of a fund's fees? For example, would it be helpful to include a benchmark or fee meter that would rank fees and expenses as low, medium, or high? If so, how should we define “similar funds”?

    79. A fund's transaction costs (such as the costs of buying and selling a fund's investments and certain foreign taxes) can be significant.37 Such costs may exceed a fund's total annual operating expenses and negatively affect a fund's performance. A fund must disclose its portfolio turnover rate (that is, the percent of the portfolio the fund typically trades in one year), which is an indication of one type of transaction cost (for instance, a high portfolio turnover may indicate higher transaction costs).38 Do you find the current presentation of portfolio turnover to be useful to understanding transaction costs incurred by the fund? Do you want to see additional information about these costs? If so, which information? Is there a more effective format for communicating transaction costs to investors? If so, which format?

    37See, e.g., Concept Release: Request for Comments on Measures to Improve Disclosure of Mutual Fund Transaction Costs, Investment Company Act Release No. 26313 (Dec. 18, 2003) [68 FR 74819 (Dec. 24, 2003)].

    38 Item 3 of Form N-1A.

    80. A portion of the transaction costs for an equity fund often pays for research provided by third-party broker-dealers that is used by the adviser in making investment decisions. These costs do not appear in the fee table or expense example. What disclosure, if any, should funds provide about these costs (known as “soft dollars”)? 39

    39 We have considered enhancing fund soft dollar disclosure requirements in the past. See, e.g., Commission Guidance Regarding the Duties and Responsibilities of Investment Company Boards of Directors With Respect to Investment Adviser Portfolio Trading Practices, Investment Company Act Release No. 28346 (Jul. 30, 2008) [73 FR 45646 (Aug. 6, 2008)], available at https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2008/34-58264.pdf.

    81. The expense example disclosed in a fund's prospectus should help investors quickly compare the cost of investing in a fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example presents expenses based on certain assumptions, such as a fixed investment amount and rate of return over specified periods. Do you find the expense example useful and easy to understand? Are the assumptions in the calculation appropriate? How could we improve the expense example? Are you able to determine your own costs of investing in a fund based on the expense example, or would you prefer to receive a customized calculation of your specific expenses from the fund? Would you like to (or do you currently) use an online tool to calculate a personalized expense amount based on your actual investment in a fund?

    82. A fund's fee table discloses costs charged by the fund but not external costs charged by your financial professional. Do you currently have sufficient information about external costs to understand the true cost of your investment? Would it be useful for you to see the total amount you pay annually for investing in a fund, including external costs? Because external costs are shareholder specific and the fund does not have access to this information, what would be the most effective method of communicating this information?

    4. Performance

    When considering whether to invest in a fund, investors may consider the fund's investment performance. However, consideration of a fund's performance has certain limitations. In particular, past performance cannot predict future performance. Therefore, fund prospectuses are required to state that a fund's past performance is not necessarily an indication of how the fund will perform in the future. Any top performing fund in a given year can easily underperform the following year.

    Investors should consider performance information in light of a number of other factors, including the following:

    • The fund's fees and expenses, which reduce the fund's overall investment return;

    • The investor's age, income, other investments, or debt, all of which may affect his or her financial situation and risk tolerance;

    • The performance of the asset classes the fund invests in and its benchmark; and

    • Market and economic conditions. While a particular investment return might be above average during a period of economic downturn, that same return could be below average during a period of generally favorable economic conditions.

    Notwithstanding the limitations of performance information, it can—if used wisely—contribute to a more informed investment decision. For example, one potential use of performance information is that it can tell an investor how volatile (or stable) a fund has been over a period of time. Generally, the more volatile a fund, the greater the investment risk.

    In an effort to balance the limitations of fund performance information with its potential usefulness and investor demand for this information, we have established standards for how funds present their performance in fund prospectuses. Under these standards, the prospectus is generally required to include:

    • A bar chart displaying the fund's performance for each of the past 10 years (or since the fund's creation if the fund has less than 10 years of performance history);

    • A table comparing the fund's performance for the last 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods to a broad-based securities market index; and

    • The fund's performance for its best and worst calendar quarters.

    We are soliciting comment on how to improve the presentation of fund performance so investors can make more informed investment decisions.

    Request for Comment

    83. How do you consider performance information when making an investment decision? For example, do you use it to evaluate the risk of a fund, or do you use it for some other purpose, such as to assess the skill of the investment manager? How could funds improve the presentation of performance information? Should past performance information be emphasized or de-emphasized in fund disclosures? Should short-term performance periods (such as 1-year) be de-emphasized and longer-term performance periods be emphasized?

    84. A mutual fund or ETF's performance presentation in the Risk/Return Summary section of its prospectus and fund advertisements must include a statement to the effect that the fund's past performance is not necessarily an indication of how the fund will perform in the future.40 Is this performance disclaimer sufficiently clear to investors, or can it be improved?

    40 Item 4(b)(2)(i) of Form N-1A.

    85. A mutual fund or ETF's performance presentation in the Risk/Return Summary section of its prospectus and fund advertisements must also explain that performance information shows how the fund's returns have varied. Is it clear that the performance information is included to show variability of returns, rather than any indication that the fund will perform similarly in the future? How can we improve this disclosure to reflect the risks of relying too heavily on past performance?

    86. The performance table in the Risk/Return Summary must show the returns of an appropriate broad-based securities market index in addition to the performance of the fund.41 Should funds disclose how they determined that their benchmark is an appropriate broad-based benchmark? Should we require new funds that do not yet have past performance to disclose their intended benchmark performance index?

    41 Item 4(b)(2)(iii) of Form N-1A.

    87. Beyond the required comparison of fund performance to that of an appropriate broad-based securities market index, are there other performance comparisons that you would find useful, such as a comparison between the fund's performance and that of a peer group of funds? For example, should a small-cap fund be required to compare its performance to an index comprised of small-cap funds or to all funds with a similar investment strategy? If we take such an approach, how should the Commission define “peer group” to help ensure meaningful comparisons?

    88. The Risk/Return Summary requires average annual total returns for 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods before taxes as well as after-taxes on distributions and after-taxes on distributions and redemption.42 Do you find the after-tax information helpful?

    42 Item 4(b)(iii) of Form N-1A.

    89. Under certain circumstances, our staff has not objected to a fund including in its performance record or otherwise disclosing the performance of an unregistered predecessor account of the fund (such as a hedge fund that converted to a mutual fund) or other similarly managed accounts of the adviser or portfolio manager.43 Is this information helpful to investors, or do you find it to be of limited relevance or confusing?

    43 With respect to certain commodity funds, this disclosure may be required. See CFTC Regulation 4.25(c).

    90. Should the Commission take steps to encourage or require more funds to include interactive performance presentations on their websites? Which of these features or presentations are most helpful for you in understanding performance information? Are there features or presentations that are confusing?

    91. The investment decisions and trading strategies of a fund's portfolio manager(s) often drive fund performance. Is information about the identity, experience, and background of fund portfolio managers important to you when considering an investment? Is the current information about fund portfolio managers sufficient? If not, why not? If a fund is managed by a team of managers, should the fund disclose information about each of the team members?

    5. Management Discussion of Fund Performance

    To understand a fund's performance over the prior year, it is useful for an investor to receive information about relevant factors that affected the fund's performance. Management's Discussion of Fund Performance (“MDFP”) is a section of a mutual fund or ETF's annual report in which fund managers discuss the factors, such as market conditions and investment strategies, that materially affected the fund's performance during its most recently completed fiscal year. Unlike the prospectus, which focuses on how a fund intends to invest, the MDFP describes how the fund actually invested in the prior year and why it performed as it did.

    In this discussion, management usually identifies which holdings of the fund contributed to or detracted significantly from the fund's performance. A required line graph compares the fund's performance during the last 10 years (or for the life of the fund, if shorter) of a hypothetical $10,000 initial investment against an appropriate broad-based securities market index (such as the S&P 500). In addition, the fund must include a table with the fund's average annual returns for the most recent 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods.44 Many funds also voluntarily provide additional information, such as a fund president's letter to shareholders, interviews with portfolio managers, market commentary, and other similar information that is intended to assist investors in understanding fund performance and market conditions. Some funds include specific portfolio statistics, such as top ten holdings, geographic and sector exposures, and summary statistics with respect to debt yields and maturities.

    44See Item 27(b)(7)(ii) of Form N-1A.

    The MDFP can be an important communications tool that helps investors understand fund performance, the strategies the fund has used, and the risks it has taken on. This can help investors make decisions about whether to buy, sell, or continue to hold fund shares. While most funds meet the basic requirements of the MDFP, the staff has observed diversity in practice in the level of fund-specific detail or insight management provides and the degree to which funds use generic or boilerplate language that does not change much from year to year.

    As the MDFP is important to help investors understand performance, we are seeking comments on how to improve the MDFP requirements to enhance the investor experience and promote more informed investment decisions.

    Request for Comment

    92. How do you use the MDFP, and what parts of it do you consider helpful? Is there any additional information that you would like to have to better understand your fund's performance? Are there more effective ways to present or supplement MDFP, for example, by linking the section to an online video presentation?

    93. A fund must disclose its MDFP over the past year in its annual report. Would it be useful to you if funds also included MDFP in their semiannual reports?

    94. Does MDFP disclosure adequately describe how a fund has performed over the prior period? Do funds adequately explain market conditions and trends and how they relate to the fund's performance during the relevant period? Do fund MDFP disclosures adequately explain the investments and strategies that significantly contributed to or detracted from the fund's performance? Would additional graphics or narrative discussion of fund holdings be helpful to investors? If so, what kind of information would be useful? If not, why not? Are there any best practices in MDFP disclosure that we should encourage or require?

    95. Should the MDFP requirements include a standardized format, such as a Q&A format? If so, what standardized sections or information should be included? What are the advantages and disadvantages of including more standardized information?

    96. The MDFP requirements are currently the same for all mutual funds (other than money-market funds) and ETFs. Should there be special requirements for different types of funds (such as a target date fund comparing its actual holdings to how it expected to invest at a given time))?

    6. Fund Advertising

    Investors often rely on advertising materials made available by a fund to make investment decisions. This information may take many forms and can include materials in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, direct mail advertisements, fact sheets, newsletters, and on various web-based platforms. The Commission has adopted special advertising rules for funds; the most important of these is rule 482 under the Securities Act.

    Rule 482 contains requirements for fund advertisements that are intended to provide investors information that is balanced and informative, particularly in the area of investment performance. For example, a fund is required to include in its advertisements the following:

    • Disclosure advising investors to consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses, and other information described in the fund's prospectus, and highlighting the availability of the fund's prospectus.

    • If performance data is provided for mutual funds, ETFs, or certain variable insurance products, certain standardized performance information, information about any sales loads or other nonrecurring fees, and a legend warning that past performance does not guarantee future results.45

    45 Funds that include performance information in their advertisements must make updated performance information available and provide a toll-free number or web address for obtaining updated performance information. See rule 482(b)(3)(i) under the Securities Act. Further, to the extent a fund provides updated performance information, it must include in its prospectus information about how investors can obtain updated performance information. See Item 4(b)(2)(i) of Form N-1A.

    • If the fund is a money market fund, a cautionary statement disclosing the particular risks associated with investing in a money market fund.

    The rule also sets forth specific requirements regarding (1) the prominence of certain disclosures, (2) advertisements that make tax representations, (3) advertisements used before the effectiveness of the fund's registration statement, and (4) the timeliness of performance data.

    Because fund advertisements (including information on fund websites) are so commonplace and are a principal source of information for fund investors, we are seeking comments on how to improve the requirements associated with fund advertisements to enhance the investor experience and promote more informed investment decisions.

    Request for Comment

    97. Have you ever made an investment decision or looked more closely at a fund based on an advertisement? If so, what type of advertisement was it (such as radio, TV, internet, or print)? What aspects of the advertisement motivated you to invest in or look more closely at a fund?

    98. In some countries, funds are required to state whether you are reading an advertisement or a prospectus. For example, the European Union's KIID includes standardized language explaining that it is not marketing material and that it is required by law to help you understand the nature and the risks of investing in the fund.46 Are you able to distinguish a fund advertisement from a document required by law (such as a summary prospectus or shareholder report)? Do you think it is necessary for you to know the difference? Do you rely more on one type of document over another?

    46See Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) 583/2010, available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:176:0001:0015:en:PDF.

    99. Many funds have fund fact sheets, which are short documents (typically one or two pages) that include select information about the fund. Do you think fund fact sheets are more readable than SEC-required disclosure documents, such as summary prospectuses? If so, why? Do you think that fund fact sheets provide sufficient information for you to make an investment decision?

    100. Do you think fund advertisements provide a clear discussion of the potential risks and returns of an investment in a fund?

    101. Have you observed any fund advertisements that you believe are misleading or otherwise problematic? If so, why do you believe they were misleading or otherwise problematic? Should certain fund advertisements be required to include warnings analogous to those in advertisements for pharmaceuticals or prescription medications?

    102. Do the advertising rules effectively operate with respect to newer advertising media, such as websites, smartphone applications, and email? For instance, should there be special requirements, such as embedded hyperlinks in web-based advertisements to the fund prospectus? Are there special issues we should consider about how you access and view information? For example, a printed disclaimer at the bottom of a video may be effective on a 50-inch TV or on a computer monitor, but may be less effective on a 5-inch mobile device. In addition to performance data, are there other types of information that we should standardize in advertisements? For instance, should we require fee information in an advertisement to be consistent with the figures shown in the fee table section of the fund's prospectus?

    103. Rule 482 includes special disclosure requirements for certain funds such as money market funds. Are there other types of funds for which special disclosures should be required in fund advertisements?

    7. Other Types of Funds

    In addition to mutual funds and ETFs, there are other types of funds available to investors to help them achieve their investment goals. The most common of these funds include the following:

    Closed-End Funds. Invests the money raised in its offering in stocks, bonds, and/or other investments. Closed-end funds typically sell a fixed number of shares in traditional underwritten offerings. Closed-end fund shares are not redeemable (that is shares cannot be returned to the fund for their net asset value); instead, investors sell closed-end fund shares in secondary market transactions, usually on a securities exchange, or to the fund if it offers to repurchase shares.

    Business Development Companies. Closed-end funds that primarily invests in small and developing businesses and that generally makes available significant managerial assistance to such businesses.

    Unit Investment Trusts. Invests the money raised from many investors in its one-time public offering in a generally fixed portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other investments.

    Variable Insurance Products. Offers investors insurance benefits (such as protection against outliving your assets) coupled with the ability to participate in the securities markets (through investments in mutual funds) while deferring taxes on gains until the assets are withdrawn.

    Because of the unique nature of these types of funds, they are subject to different disclosure requirements. We are seeking input on how to appropriately tailor disclosure requirements to these types of funds.

    Request for Comment

    104. Different types of funds are subject to different disclosure requirements and file on different disclosure forms. Are there disclosure requirements that we should standardize across the various types of funds (such as fees, performance presentations, and MDFP)? If so, please identify them.

    105. Are the various disclosure forms well-tailored to the types of funds that must use the forms? If not, how can we improve the forms? Should we eliminate or consolidate some forms that funds no longer use or use infrequently?

    106. Should we permit funds other than mutual funds and ETFs, such as closed-end funds, to use a summary prospectus? 47 If so, what information should we include in a summary prospectus for such funds?

    47 As noted in the Commission's Spring 2018 Regulatory Flexibility Act agenda, the Commission also may consider a rule proposal designed to provide variable annuity investors with more user-friendly disclosure and to improve and streamline the delivery of information about variable annuities through increased use of the internet and other electronic means of delivery. See https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain?operation=OPERATION_GET_AGENCY_RULE_LIST&currentPub=true&agencyCd=3235&Image58.x=58&Image58.y.

    107. Should we expand the MDFP requirement, which currently applies to mutual funds and ETFs, to cover other types of funds (such as closed-end funds)?

    108. Closed-end funds are not required to show performance information in their prospectuses in the same chart and table format required for mutual funds and ETFs. Should the Commission require that closed-end funds present performance information in the same format as mutual funds and ETFs? Are there other types of performance metrics for evaluating closed-end fund performance that may be useful to investors?

    E. Opportunities for Ongoing Assessment of Disclosure Effectiveness

    Capital markets are evolving continuously in response to technology and innovation. While these developments present regulatory challenges, they also allow us to explore ways to improve fund disclosure effectiveness. We are seeking comments on opportunities the Commission should consider in order for it to assess disclosure effectiveness on an ongoing basis to improve the investor experience and promote more informed investment decisions.

    Request for Comment

    109. We seek to engage directly with America's investors on fund disclosure matters. Do you have suggestions for other ways we can increase our direct engagement with investors, like you, on key topics? For example, should we expand our use of investor testing, focus groups, surveys, online chats, and town halls? If so, in which forum would you be most likely to participate?

    16. Should we conduct pilot programs to test potential disclosure alternatives suggested by fund professionals and/or investor advocacy groups?

    110. Should we consider the use of committees or roundtables as formats to engage investors and market participants on fund disclosure matters? For example, should we establish an advisory committee on fund disclosure, or are there existing committees under which the function should be performed, such as our Investor Advisory Committee? Should we sponsor annual roundtables on fund disclosure matters with representatives from the asset management profession, other financial professionals, academics, and investor advocacy groups? Where should those roundtables be held (in Washington, DC, or other locations)?

    111. Are there any other approaches we should consider to assess the effectiveness of fund disclosure?

    III. General Request for Comment

    In addition to the specific issues highlighted for comment, we invite investors and other members of the public to address any other matters that they believe are relevant to improving fund disclosure requirements or improving the investor experience and contributing to more informed investment decisions.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: June 5, 2018. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    BILLING CODE 8011-01-P EP11JN18.001 EP11JN18.002 EP11JN18.003 EP11JN18.004 EP11JN18.005 EP11JN18.006
    [FR Doc. 2018-12408 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-C
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0481; FRL-9978-82—Region 9] Air Quality State Implementation Plans: Arizona; Approval and Conditional Approval of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Maricopa County Air Quality Department; Stationary Source Permits AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing action on revisions to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) portion of the state implementation plan (SIP) for the State of Arizona. We are proposing full approval of three rules and conditional approval of three rules submitted by the MCAQD. The revisions update the MCAQD's New Source Review (NSR) permitting program for new and modified sources of air pollution. We are taking comments on this proposed rule and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by July 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0481 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 removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shaheerah Kelly, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4156, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revisions? II. The EPA's Evaluation A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? III. Proposed Action and Public Comment IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Definitions

    For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or initials as follows:

    (i) The word or initials ADEQ mean or refer to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

    (ii) The word or initials CAA or Act mean or refer to the Clean Air Act, unless the context indicates otherwise.

    (iii) The initials CFR mean or refer to Code of Federal Regulations.

    (iv) The initials or words EPA, we, us or our mean or refer to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    (v) The word or initials MCAQD or Department mean or refer to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, the agency with jurisdiction over stationary sources within Maricopa County, Arizona.

    (vi) The initials NAAQS mean or refer to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

    (vii) The initials NSR mean or refer to New Source Review.

    (viii) The initials NNSR mean or refer to nonattainment New Source Review.

    (ix) The initials PSD mean or refer to Prevention of Significant Deterioration.

    (x) The initials SIP mean or refer to State Implementation Plan.

    (xi) The word State means or refers to the State of Arizona.

    (xii) The word TSD means or refers to the Technical Support Document.

    I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the submitted rules addressed by this action with the dates that the rules were adopted by the MCAQD and submitted to EPA by the ADEQ, which is the governor's designee for Arizona SIP submittals. These rules constitute the MCAQD's air quality preconstruction NSR permit program.

    1 Rule 210 also contains requirements to address the CAA title V requirements for operating permit programs, but we are not evaluating the rule for title V purposes at this time. We will evaluate Rule 210 for compliance with the requirements of title V of the Act and the EPA's implementing regulations in 40 CFR part 70 following receipt of an official part 70 program submittal from Maricopa County containing this rule.

    Table 1—MCAQD Submitted Rules Regulation & Rule No. Rule title Adoption or
  • amendment
  • date
  • Submitted
    Regulation I, Rule 100 General Provisions; General Provisions and Definitions 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 200 Permits and Fees; Permit Requirements 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 210 1 Permits and Fees; Title V Permit Provisions 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 220 Permits and Fees; Non-Title V Permit Provisions 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 230 Permits and Fees; General Permits 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 240 Permits and Fees; Federal Major New Source Review 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 241 Permits and Fees; Minor New Source Review 9/7/2016 11/25/2016

    On October 31, 2016, the EPA determined that the submittal for the MCAQD's Rules 100, 200, 210, 220, 230, and 240 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V. Additionally, on January 17, 2017, the EPA determined that the submittal for the MCAQD Rule 241 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V.2 These NSR rule submittals, which we refer to collectively herein as “MCAQD's NSR submittal” or “the submittal,” represent a comprehensive revision to the MCAQD's preconstruction review and permitting program and are intended to satisfy the requirements under part D (NNSR) of title I of the Act as well as the general preconstruction review requirements under section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    2 Copies of the completeness letters are in the docket for today's rulemaking.

    In a letter dated April 6, 2018, the ADEQ requested that the rules or rule sections listed in Table 2 be withdrawn from the May 18, 2016 SIP submittal. Therefore, these rules or rule sections are not part of the submitted rules that the EPA is evaluating and proposing action on in this notice.

    Table 2—Withdrawn MCAQD Rules or Rule Sections Regulation, rule, & section No. Title Adoption or
  • amendment
  • date
  • Submitted
    Regulation I, Rule 100, Section 200.24 Definition of “Begin Actual Construction” 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation I, Rule 100, Section 200.73 Definition of “Modification” 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation I, Rule 100, Section 200.104(c) Definition of “Regulated Air Pollutant” 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 230 Permits and Fees; General Permits 2/3/2016 5/18/2016 Regulation II, Rule 240, Section 305 Permit Requirements for New Major Sources or Major Modifications located in Attainment or Unclassifiable Areas 2/3/2016 5/18/2016
    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    The existing SIP-approved NSR program for new or modified stationary sources in Maricopa County consists of the rules identified in Table 3. Collectively, these rules establish the NSR permit requirements for stationary sources under the MCAQD's jurisdiction.

    The rules listed in Table 1 will replace the existing SIP-approved NSR program rules listed in Table 3, in their entirety, except for certain definitions the EPA has identified that must be retained in the SIP.3 The MCAQD made significant revisions to its NSR program, including, for example, switching from separate preconstruction and operating permit programs to a “unitary” permit program.4 The EPA's action on this SIP submittal will update the MCAQD portion of the Arizona SIP.

    3 See Section 4.8.1.5 in our TSD in the docket for this action for a list of these definitions.

    4 The MCAQD combined its “installation” (referred to in EPA regulations as “construction”) and “operating” permit programs to form a “unitary” permit program that authorizes both construction and operation of a stationary source in a single permit document. A single permit application is submitted by a stationary source to satisfy both the NSR and Title V Operating permit program requirements. Also, the public notification and review process for the combined permit action is designed to satisfy both the NSR and operating permit program requirements.

    5 The excluded definitions were removed from the SIP-approved version of Rule 2 on June 18, 1982 (47 FR 26382).

    6 The NSR SIP Submittal identifies Rule 20 in the list of SIP rules intended to be replaced by the submitted revised rules. While Rule 20 is not listed in the current approved SIP (see 40 CFR 52.120), it is not entirely clear that it was ever removed from the SIP. Therefore, for completeness we are listing the rule.

    7 This approval action was approved by the EPA on August 10, 1988 (53 FR 30224), then vacated and restored on January 29, 1991 (56 FR 3219).

    8Id.

    9 While Rule 21, Section F is not listed in the current approved SIP (see 40 CFR 52.120), it is not entirely clear that it was ever removed from the SIP. Therefore, for completeness we are listing the rule.

    Table 3—MCAQD's Current Sip-Approved Rules Regulation, rule, & section No. Rule title SIP approval date Federal
  • Register
  • citation
  • Regulation I, Rule 1 General Provisions; Emissions Regulated: Policy, Legal Authority 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080 Regulation I, Rule 2, No. 11 “Alteration or Modification” and No. 33 “Existing Source” General Provisions; Definitions 6/18/1982 47 FR 26382 Regulation I, Rule 2 (excluding Nos. 18, 49, 50, 52, 54 and 57) 5 General Provisions; Definitions 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation I, Rule 3 General Provisions; Air Pollution Prohibited 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation I, Rule 100, Section 108 General Provisions; Hearing Board 8/10/2015 80 FR 47859 Regulation I, Rule 100, Section 500 General Provisions; Monitoring and Records 11/5/2012 77 FR 66405 Regulation II, Rule 20 6 Permits and Fees; Permits Required 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080 Regulation II, Rule 21.0, (paragraphs A-C; subparagraphs D.1.a-d; and paragraph E only) 7 Permits and Fees; Procedures for Obtaining an Installation Permit 1/29/1991 56 FR 3219 Regulation II, Rule 21.0, (subparagraph D.1 and subparagraphs D.1.e, f and g only) 8 Permits and Fees; Procedures for Obtaining an Installation Permit 1/29/1991 56 FR 3219 Regulation II, Rule 21, Section F 9 Permits and Fees; Procedures for Obtaining an Installation Permit 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080 Regulation II, Rule 21, Section G Permits and Fees; Procedures for Obtaining an Installation Permit 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation II, Rule 23 Permits and Fees; Permit Classes 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080 Regulation II, Rule 25 Permits and Fees; Emissions Test Methods and Procedures 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation II, Rule 26 Permits and Fees; Air Quality Models 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation II, Rule 26 Permits and Fees; Portable Equipment 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080 Regulation II, Rule 220 Permits and Fees; Permits to Operate 1/6/1992 57 FR 354 Regulation IV, Rule 40 Production of Records: Monitoring, Testing, and Sampling Facilities; Record Keeping and Reporting 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation IV, Rule 43 Production of Records: Monitoring, Testing, and Sampling Facilities; Right of Inspection 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080 Regulation VII, Rule 71 Ambient Air Quality Standards; Anti-degradation 4/12/1982 47 FR 15579 Regulation VIII, Rule 80 Validity and Operation; Validity 7/27/1972 37 FR 15080
    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revisions?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that include a pre-construction permit program for new or modified stationary sources of pollutants, including a permit program as required by part D of title I of the CAA.

    The purpose of the MCAQD's NSR submittal, which includes Rules 100, 200, 210, 220, 240, and 241, is to implement the county's preconstruction permit program for new and modified minor sources, and new and modified major stationary sources for areas designated nonattainment for at least one National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

    A portion of Maricopa County (Phoenix-Mesa, AZ) is currently designated as a Moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and as a Marginal nonattainment area for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. Additionally, a different portion of the county (Phoenix Planning Area) is currently designated as a Serious nonattainment area for the 1987 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. See 40 CFR 81.303.

    We present our evaluation under the CAA and the EPA's implementing regulations applicable to SIP submittals and NSR permit programs in general terms below. We provide a more detailed analysis in our TSD, which is available in the docket for this proposed action.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules?

    The EPA has reviewed the MCAQD rules listed in Table 1 for compliance with the CAA's general requirements for SIPs in CAA section 110(a)(2), and for the nonattainment NSR programs in part D of title I (sections 172 and 173). The EPA also evaluated the rules for compliance with the CAA requirements for SIP revisions in CAA sections 110(l) and 193. In addition, the EPA evaluated the submitted rules for consistency with the regulatory provisions of 40 CFR part 51, subpart I (Review of New Sources and Modifications) (i.e., 40 CFR 51.160-51.165) and 40 CFR 51.307.

    Among other things, section 110 of the Act requires that SIP rules be enforceable, and provides that the EPA may not approve a SIP revision if it would interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (RFP) or any other requirement of the CAA. In addition, section 110(a)(2) and section 110(l) of the Act require that each SIP or revision to a SIP submitted by a state must be adopted after reasonable notice and public hearing.

    Section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act requires each SIP to include a program to regulate the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the SIP as necessary to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.160-51.164 provide general programmatic requirements to implement this statutory mandate commonly referred to as the “general” or “minor” NSR program. These NSR program regulations impose requirements for approval of state and local programs that are more general in nature as compared to the specific statutory and regulatory requirements for NSR permitting programs under part D of title I of the Act.

    Part D of title I of the Act contains the general requirements for areas designated nonattainment for a NAAQS (section 172), including preconstruction permit requirements for new major sources and major modifications proposing to construct in nonattainment areas (section 173). 40 CFR 51.165 sets forth the EPA's regulatory requirements for SIP-approval of a nonattainment NSR permit program.

    The protection of visibility requirements that apply to NSR programs are contained in 40 CFR 51.307. This provision requires that certain actions be taken in consultation with the local Federal Land Manager if a new major source or major modification may have an impact on visibility in any mandatory Federal Class I Area.

    Section 110(l) of the Act prohibits the EPA from approving any SIP revisions that would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and RFP or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. Section 193 of the Act, which only applies in nonattainment areas, prohibits the modification of a SIP-approved control requirement in effect before November 15, 1990, in any manner unless the modification insures equivalent or greater emission reductions of such air pollutant.

    Our TSD, which can be found in the docket for this rule, contains a more detailed discussion of the approval criteria.

    B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

    The EPA has reviewed the submitted rules in accordance with the rule evaluation criteria described above. With respect to procedural requirements, CAA sections 110(a)(2) and 110(l) require that revisions to a SIP be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and public hearing. Based on our review of the public process documentation included in the May 18, 2016 and November 25, 2016 SIP submittals, we find that the MCAQD has provided sufficient evidence of public notice, and an opportunity for comment and a public hearing prior to adoption and submittal of these rules to the EPA.

    With respect to substantive requirements, we have reviewed the submitted rules in accordance with the evaluation criteria discussed above. We are proposing to fully approve Rules 210, 240 and 241 as part of the MCAQD's general and major source NSR permitting program because we have determined that these rules satisfy the substantive statutory and regulatory requirements for NSR permit programs as contained in part D of title I of the Act (sections 172, 173 and 182(a)), the part D requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C), 40 CFR 51.160-51.165, and 40 CFR 51.307.

    In addition, we are proposing a conditional approval of Rules 100, 200, and 220 because we have determined that while they mostly satisfy the statutory and regulatory requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) and part D of title I of the Act, the rules also contain eight deficiencies that prevent full approval. Below we describe the eight identified deficiencies. Our TSD contains a more detailed evaluation and recommendations for program improvements.

    1. Definitions of “PM2.5” and “PM10” (Rule 200, Sections 201 and 315)

    The EPA finds the definitions of “PM2.5” and “PM10” in Rule 100, Sections 200.91 and 200.92, deficient because they do not provide that gaseous emissions, which form particulates, are included in the respective definitions. The MCAQD may correct this deficiency by adding language to clarify that gaseous emissions are included in these definitions.

    2. Good Engineering Practice Stack Height Provisions (Rule 200, Sections 201 and 315)

    An NSR program is required to contain provisions to satisfy the requirements of 40 CFR 51.164, pertaining to stack height procedures. The NSR program must contain provisions ensuring that a source with a stack height that exceeds good engineering practice (GEP), or that uses any other dispersion technique, does not affect the amount of emissions control required. 40 CFR 51.164 also includes specific requirements that must be met before a permit may be issued for any stack that exceeds GEP and a clarifying statement that the regulation does not restrict the actual stack height of any source.

    Rule 200, Section 201 defines the term GEP Stack Height as “stack height meeting the requirements described in Rule 240 (Federal Major NSR) of these rules.” (Emphasis added) This definition is inconsistent with the definition for this term provided in 40 CFR 51.100(ii), which provides a numerical value, or formulas for calculating a numerical value, relevant to stack height. Rule 240, Section 306 does not contain any “requirements for stack height,” but instead provides criteria for determining if a stack height exceeds GEP, and a prohibition on stack height exceeding GEP from affecting the degree of emission limitation required by any source for control of any air pollutants. Because Rule 240, Section 306 does not provide any specific requirements for stack height, this definition lacks clarity and practical enforceability. Therefore, the EPA finds this definition deficient. The MCAQD may correct this deficiency by removing this definition or revising it in Rule 200 to read “as defined in 40 CFR 51.100(ii),” which will ensure the definition of GEP Stack Height is consistent with the EPA definition.

    Rule 200, Section 315 states that “the degree of emission limitation required of any source of any pollutant shall not be affected by so much of any source's stack height that exceeds good engineering practice or by any other dispersion technique as determined by the procedures of 40 CFR 51.118 and the EPA regulations cross-referenced therein.” (Emphasis added) While this language satisfies the first sentence of 40 CFR 51.164, it does not include provisions (1) excluding certain stacks (as provided in 40 CFR 51.118(b)); (2) allowing stacks to exceed GEP in specified circumstances; or (3) clarifying that these provisions do not limit the stack height of any source. In addition, despite the language of Rule 200, Section 315, 40 CFR 51.118 does not include any procedures for determining if the degree of emission limitation is or is not affected by a stack height that exceeds GEP or by any other dispersion technique. Therefore, the EPA finds Rule 200, Section 315 to be deficient. The MCAQD may correct this deficiency by moving or adding the provisions of Rule 240, Section 306 to Rule 200, Section 315.

    3. Exemption for Agricultural Equipment Used in Normal Farm Operations (Rule 200, Section 305.1.c)

    While the EPA agrees that, in general, certain types of equipment may be exempted from the minor NSR program, the MCAQD must provide a basis under 40 CFR 51.160(e) to demonstrate that regulation of the equipment exempted in Rule 200, Section 305.1.c is not needed for the MCAQD's program to meet federal NSR requirements for attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS or review for compliance with the control strategy.

    Such demonstration must address: (1) Identification of the types of equipment that the MCAQD considers to be “agricultural equipment used in normal farm operations” and whether this type of equipment could potentially be expected to occur at a stationary source subject to title V of the CAA, 40 CFR parts 60, 61, and 63, or part C or D of title I of the CAA, and, if so, whether such equipment is subject to NSR review at such sources; and (2) the MCAQD's basis for determining that “agricultural equipment used in normal farm operations” does not need to be regulated as part of the MCAQD's minor NSR program under 40 CFR 51.160(e).

    4. Notification and Implementation Provisions for Certain Changes That Do Not Require a Non-Title V Revision (Rule 220, Section 404.3)

    Rule 200, Section 404.3 provides criteria for replacing or changing certain equipment if the source provides written notification to the Control Officer within 7 or 30 days in advance of the change. The EPA is concerned that two of the listed provisions (subparagraphs e. and f.) allow changes with potentially significant emission increases and should not be listed as changes that can be made after providing only a notification to the MCAQD. Subparagraph f. allows changes associated with an emission increase greater than 10 percent of the major source threshold (greater than 10 tpy for most criteria pollutants and 25 tpy for some other pollutants), if the increase does not trigger a new applicable requirement. These allowable emission increase thresholds are greater than some of the public notice thresholds provided in Rule 100, Section 200.98. Because the rule contains conflicting requirements—a notification and implementation provision allowing changes without a permit revision versus a public notice requirement for changes with emission increases equal or greater than these amounts, the EPA finds the provisions contained in subparagraph f. to be deficient. Likewise, the provision in subparagraph e. is for reconstructed sources, which are defined, in part, as sources where the fixed capital cost of the new components exceeds 50 percent of the fixed capital cost that would be required to construct a comparable new facility. This type of change is not likely to result in an insignificant revision; therefore, the EPA finds that this provision is also deficient. These deficiencies may be addressed by adding language stating that the provisions of Section 404.3 only apply to changes that do not require a permit revision pursuant to Section 403.2. (See language contained in Rule 200, Section 404.3, subparagraph b.)

    5. Expiration of NSR Terms and Conditions

    The MCAQD's permit programs now rely on a single unitary permit to satisfy both NSR and title V program requirements. Rule 210, Section 402 and Rule 220, Section 402, both specify that a Title V and Non-Title V permit, respectively, shall remain in effect for no more than 5 years.

    The MCAQD's permit program must ensure that all NSR terms and conditions contained in either type of permit do not expire even if the Title V or Non-Title V permit expires. Rule 200, Section 403.2 provides that if a timely and complete application for a permit renewal is submitted, then the permit will not expire until the renewal permit has been issued or denied. However, Rule 200, Section 403.2 does not specifically ensure the continuity of the NSR terms and conditions when a Title V or Non-Title V permit expires. The lack of such a provision is a NSR program deficiency. The MCAQD may correct this deficiency by adding a provision similar to paragraph B of ADEQ's R18-2-303.

    6. Inappropriate Rule References of Appendix G in Rules 100 and 200

    Appendix G (Incorporated Materials) is referenced throughout the submitted rules as containing pertinent requirements for provisions contained in the MCAQD's rules, but it is not included in the existing SIP, nor has it been included in the SIP submittal. For this reason, the following sections of the submitted rules, which reference Appendix G for the applicability of specified provisions, are deficient.

    • Rule 100, Section 200.14 (Definition of “AP-42”) • Rule 100, Section 200.80 (Definition of “Non-Precursor Organic Compound”) • Rule 100, Section 200.103 (Definition of “Reference Method”) • Rule 100, Section 503 (Emission Statements Required as Stated in the Act) • Rule 200, Section 315 (Stack Height Provisions)

    The MCAQD may correct these deficiencies by removing the references to Appendix G and, where appropriate, citing to the appropriate CFR provision without incorporating the provision by reference into a specific MCAQD rule.

    7. Inappropriate Rule References of Arizona Testing Manual in Rules 100 and 200

    Rules 100 and 200 both include references to the Arizona Testing Manual (ATM). Rule 100, Section 200.17 defines the term “ATM” as Sections 1 and 7 of the ATM for Air Pollutant Emissions, amended as of March 1992 (and no future editions). However, only Section 1 of the ATM is approved in the Arizona SIP. This provision is deficient for two separate reasons. First, Rule 100 cross-references and relies on provisions that are not SIP approved. Second, the ATM is significantly out of date, and therefore it is not appropriate to be relied upon as the sole basis for testing procedures as specified in Section 408 of Rule 200. The MCAQD may correct this deficiency by revising Section 408 to specify current EPA test methods or alternative test methods approved by the Director and the EPA in writing.

    8. Definitions To Be Retained in the SIP

    The MCAQD's SIP submittal states that the Department is seeking to delete certain definitions from the approved SIP by replacing the rules containing these definitions with newly submitted rules that no longer contain these definitions (in effect, these definitions would be repealed from the SIP). However, these definitions are used in other SIP rules and therefore cannot be repealed from the SIP without further justification. Therefore, these definitions will be retained in the SIP. For a list of these definitions see Section 4.8.1.5 of our TSD, which is available in the docket for this proposed action.

    III. Proposed Action and Public Comment

    If a portion of a plan revision meets all the applicable CAA requirements, CAA section 110(k)(3) authorizes the EPA to approve the plan revision in part. As such we are proposing full approval of MCAQD Rules 210, 240, and 241. In addition, CAA section 110(k)(4) authorizes the EPA to conditionally approve a plan revision based on a commitment by the state to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain but not later than one year after the date of the plan approval. In letters dated April 2, 2018 and April 6, 2018, the MCAQD and the ADEQ committed to adopt and submit specific enforceable measures to address the identified deficiencies in Rules 100, 200, and 220 within one year after the date of final approval.10 Accordingly, pursuant to section 110(k)(4) of the Act, the EPA is proposing a conditional approval of submitted Rules 100, 200, and 220. We are proposing to conditionally approve these rules based on our determination that, separate from the deficiencies listed in Section II.B of this notice, the rules satisfy the substantive statutory and regulatory requirements for a general NSR permit program as contained in 40 CFR 51.160-51.164, as well as a nonattainment NSR permit program as set forth in the applicable provisions of part D of title I of the Act (sections 172, 173 and 182(a)), 40 CFR 51.165, and 40 CFR 51.307. Moreover, we conclude that if the MCAQD and the ADEQ submit the changes listed in their commitment letters, the identified deficiencies will be cured.

    10 See Section 9.2 of the TSD for additional information about how the MCAQD will correct the identified deficiencies. The April 2, 2018 and April 6, 2018 commitment letters from the MCAQD and the ADEQ are contained in the docket for today's rulemaking.

    In support of this proposed action, we have concluded that our conditional approval of the submitted rules would comply with section 110(l) of the Act because the amended rules, as a whole, would not interfere with continued attainment of the NAAQS in Maricopa County. The intended effect of our proposed conditional approval action is to update the applicable SIP with current MCAQD rules and provide the MCAQD the opportunity to correct the identified deficiencies, as discussed in their commitment letter dated April 2, 2018. If we finalize this action as proposed, our action would be codified through revisions to 40 CFR 52.120 (Identification of plan) and 40 CFR 52.119 (Part D conditional approval).

    If the ADEQ and MCAQD meet their commitment to submit the required revisions and/or demonstrations within 12 months of the EPA's final action on this SIP submittal, and the EPA approves the submission, then the deficiencies listed above will be cured. However, if the MCAQD or the ADEQ fails to submit these revisions and/or demonstrations within the required timeframe, the conditional approval will become a disapproval and the EPA will issue a finding of disapproval. The EPA is not required to propose the finding of disapproval. Further, a finding of disapproval would start an 18-month clock to apply sanctions under CAA section 179(b) and a two-year clock for a federal implementation plan under CAA section 110(c)(1).

    We will accept comments from the public on the proposed approval and conditional approval of the MCAQD rules listed in Table 1 of this notice for the next 30 days.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the 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, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the MCAQD rules listed in Table 1 of this notice, except for the rules or rule sections listed in Table 2 of this notice. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA because this action does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities beyond those imposed by state law.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, will result from this action.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175, because the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction, and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    Section 12(d) of the NTTAA directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. The EPA believes that this action is not subject to the requirements of section 12(d) of the NTTAA because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA.

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

    The EPA lacks the discretionary authority to address environmental justice in this rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: May 18, 2018. Deborah Jordan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12390 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R03-RCRA-2017-0553; FRL-9979-06—Region 3] District of Columbia: Proposed Authorization of District Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The District of Columbia (the District) has applied to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of revisions to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA has reviewed the District's application, and has determined that these revisions satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization. As a result, by this proposed rule, EPA is proposing to authorize the District's revisions and is seeking public comment prior to taking final action.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule must be received by July 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-RCRA-2017-0553, by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Mail: Sara Kinslow, U.S. EPA Region III, RCRA Waste Branch, Mailcode 3LC32, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029.

    4. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    You may view and copy the District's application from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the following locations: District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment, Environmental Services Administration, Hazardous Waste Branch, 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC, Phone number: (202) 654-6031, Attn: Barbara Williams; and EPA Region III, Library, 2nd Floor, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029, Phone number: (215) 814-5254.

    Instructions: EPA must receive your comments by July 11, 2018. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-RCRA-2017-0553. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The Federal regulations website, http://www.regulations.gov, is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. (For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm).

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulation.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Kinslow, U.S. EPA Region III, RCRA Waste Branch, Mailcode 3LC32, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029; Phone: 215-814-5577.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

    States that have received final authorization from EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program is revised to become more stringent or broader in scope, States must revise their programs and apply to EPA to authorize the revisions. Authorization of revisions to State programs may be necessary when Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other revisions occur. Most commonly, States must revise their programs because of revisions to EPA's regulations in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 268, 270, 273, and 279.

    B. What decisions are proposed in this rule?

    On August 15, 2012, the District submitted a final program revision application (with subsequent corrections) seeking authorization of revisions to its hazardous waste program that correspond to certain Federal rules promulgated between January 14, 1985 and July 1, 2004. EPA concludes that the District's application to revise its authorized program meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA, as set forth in RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), and 40 CFR part 271. Therefore, EPA proposes to authorize revisions to the District's hazardous waste program with the revisions described in its authorization application, and as listed below in Section G of this document.

    The District has responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities within its borders and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized States before they are authorized for the requirements. Thus, EPA will implement those HSWA requirements and prohibitions for which the District has not been authorized, including issuing HSWA permits, until the District is granted authorization to do so.

    C. What is the effect of today's proposed authorization decision?

    This proposal to authorize revisions to the District's authorized hazardous waste program will not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which the District has requested federal authorization are already effective under District law and are not changed by today's action. The District has enforcement responsibilities under its District hazardous waste program for violations of its program, but EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to:

    • Perform inspections, and require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports;

    • Enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits; and

    • Take enforcement actions regardless of whether the District has taken its own actions.

    D. What happens if EPA receives comments on this proposed action?

    If EPA receives comments on this proposed action, we will address those comments in our final action. If you want to comment on this proposed action, you must do so at this time. You may not have another opportunity to comment.

    E. What has the District of Columbia previously been authorized for?

    The District initially received final authorization effective March 22, 1985 (50 FR 9427, March 8, 1985) to implement its base hazardous waste management program. EPA granted authorization for revisions to the District's regulatory program on September 10, 2001, effective November 9, 2001 (66 FR 46961).

    The District's previously-authorized hazardous waste program was administered through the District of Columbia Department of Health. However, on February 15, 2006, the District established the District Department of Environment (DDOE) and reassigned the hazardous waste program to DDOE. On July 23, 2015, DDOE was renamed as the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). This name change occurred after the District submitted a program revision application. As such, both DDOE and DOEE appear in the District's final program revision application (and subsequent corrections). The DOEE's Hazardous Waste Branch within its Toxic Substances Division has authority to implement the District's hazardous waste program.

    F. What revisions is EPA proposing with this proposed action?

    On August 15, 2012, the District submitted a final program revision application (with subsequent corrections), seeking authorization of additional revisions to its program in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. As described in Section F, the District has proposed to transfer the authority to administer the approved program from the District of Columbia Department of Health to DOEE. The District's revision application also includes the District's statutory and regulatory changes to the District's authorized hazardous waste program, including adoption of the Federal hazardous waste regulations published through July 1, 2004 (RCRA Cluster XIV), with certain exceptions described in Section H. The District's revised statutes and regulations are equivalent to, and no less stringent than, the analogous Federal requirements.

    The District seeks authority to administer the Federal requirements that are listed in Table 1 below. Effective October 28, 2005, the District incorporates by reference these Federal provisions. This table lists the District's analogous requirements that are being recognized as no less stringent than the analogous Federal requirements.

    The District's regulatory references are to Title 20 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR), Chapters 42 and 43, as amended effective October 28, 2005. The District's statutory authority for its hazardous waste program is based on the District of Columbia Hazardous Waste Management Act of 1977, DC Official Code § 8-1301 et seq. The District's application also includes a revised Program Description, which provides a description of the hazardous waste regulatory program in the District.

    In this proposed rule, EPA proposes, subject to public review and comment, that the District's hazardous waste program revision application satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization. Therefore, EPA is proposing to authorize the District for the following program revisions:

    Table 1—The District of Columbia's Analogs to the Federal Requirements Federal requirement Analogous District of Columbia authority 40 CFR part 260—Hazardous Waste Management System: General, as of July 1, 2004 Title 20 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (20 DCMR) 4200, 4202.1, 4260.1 through 4260.7 (except 4260.4(e)). (More stringent provisions: 4206.2). 40 CFR part 261—Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4261.1 through 4261.6, and 4261.8 through 4261.10. (More stringent provisions: 4204.1, 4206.2, and 4261.7). 40 CFR part 262—Standards Applicable to the Generators of Hazardous Waste, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4201.9, 4204.1, 4204.3 through 4204.5, 4262.1 through 4262.3, 4262.5, and 4262.7. (More stringent provisions: 4205.1, 4206.1, 4206.2, 4262.4, and 4262.6). 40 CFR part 263—Standards Applicable to the Transporters of Hazardous Waste, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4204.1, 4204.2, 4204.5, and 4263.1. (More stringent provisions: 4205.1, 4206.2, and 4263.2 through 4263.5). 40 CFR part 264—Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4201.9, 4204.2, 4264.1 through 4264.2(a)(3), and 4264.2(b) through 4264.12. (More stringent provisions: 4202.3 introduction and (a) through (e), (h), and (k), 4205.1, 4206.1, 4206.2, and 4264.2(a)(4)). 40 CFR part 265—Interim Status Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4201.9, 4265.1 through 4265.2(a)(3), 4265.2(b) through 4265.6, and 4265.8 through 4265.11. (More stringent provisions: 4202.3 introduction and (a) through (e), (h), and (k), 4205.1, 4206.2, 4265.2(a)(4), 4265.7. 40 CFR part 266—Standards for the Management of Specific Hazardous Wastes and Specific Types of Hazardous Waste Management Facilities, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4201.9 and 4266.1 through 4266.3. (More stringent provisions: 4206.2). 40 CFR part 268—Land Disposal Restrictions, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4268.1 through 4268.3. (More stringent provisions: 4202.2, 4202.3(e), and 4206.2). 40 CFR part 270—The Hazardous Waste Permit Program, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4270.1, 4270.2, 4270.4 through 4270.14, 4271.1 through 4271.4(a), 4271.6 through 4271.9(a), 4316. (More stringent provisions: 4206.2, 4270.3, 4271.4(b), 4271.5, 4271.9(b). 40 CFR part 273—Standards for Universal Waste Management, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4273.1 and 4273.5. (More stringent provisions: 4206.2 and 4273.2 through 4273.4). 40 CFR part 279—Standards for the Management of Used Oil, as of July 1, 2004 20 DCMR 4279.1, 4279.2, 4279.4, 4279.7(c), 4279.9, and 4279.10. (More stringent provisions: 4202.3 (introduction), and (i), 4205.1, 4206.1, 4206.2, 4279.3, 4279.5 through 4279.7(b), and 4279.8). G. Where are the revised District rules different from the Federal rules? 1. District of Columbia Requirements That Are Broader in Scope

    The District hazardous waste program contains certain provisions that are broader than the scope of the Federal program. These broader in scope provisions are not part of the program EPA is proposing to authorize. EPA cannot enforce requirements that are broader in scope, although compliance with such provisions is required by District law. Examples of broader in scope provisions of the District's program include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) 20 DCMR 4260.4(e) defines, and 20 DCMR Section 4203 identifies specific procedures for listing, solid wastes that are not considered hazardous wastes under 40 CFR part 261, but which the District may determine to regulate as hazardous wastes under 20 DCMR Chapters 42 and 43. Such District-only wastes would make the District's universe of regulated hazardous waste larger than EPA's and, therefore, broader in scope.

    (b) At 20 DCMR Section 4390, the District requires permit application fees from generators, owners or operators of transfer facilities, and hazardous waste storage, treatment, and disposal facilities.

    2. District of Columbia Requirements That Are More Stringent Than the Federal Program

    The District hazardous waste program contains several provisions that are more stringent than the RCRA program as codified in the July 1, 2004 edition of Title 40 of the CFR. More stringent provisions are part of a Federally-authorized program and are, therefore, Federally-enforceable. Under this proposed action, EPA would authorize the District program for each more stringent provision. The specific more stringent provisions are also noted in Table 1. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) At 20 DCMR 4261.7, the District subjects generators of no more than 100 kilograms in a calendar month to the notification requirements at 20 DCMR 4204.1, rather than the reduced requirements in the Federal regulations for this group of generators. Additionally, the District does not incorporate the Federal provision at 40 CFR 261.5(j) that allows conditionally exempt small quantity generator waste that is mixed with used oil to be managed as used oil. Instead, the District requires such a mixture to be managed as hazardous waste.

    (b) In addition to the requirements of 40 CFR part 265, subpart I, 20 DCMR 4265.7 requires generators storing waste in containers to also comply with the containment system requirements of 40 CFR 264.175 and the closure requirements of 40 CFR 264.178.

    (c) At 20 DCMR 4262.4, the District limits hazardous waste satellite accumulation to 90 days (180 days or 270 days for generators of greater than 100 kilograms but less than 1,000 kilograms), and requires that containers in satellite accumulation areas are marked with an accumulation start date. The Federal requirements do not have a dating requirement or time limit for satellite accumulation as long as no more than 55 gallons of non-acute waste or one quart of acute waste is accumulated.

    (d) In the District, transfer facilities are considered to be storage facilities and subject to full regulation under 20 DCMR Chapters 42 and 43, rather than the reduced requirements of the federal regulations. The District requirements are found at 20 DCMR 4264.2(a)(4) and 4265.2(a)(4).

    (e) The District has a prohibition at 20 DCMR 4202.3 on any land-based treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste within the District. This prohibition includes surface impoundments, waste piles, landfills, road treatment, and any other land application of hazardous waste. The District also prohibits land disposal, incineration, and underground injection of hazardous waste, and prohibits burning, processing, or incineration of hazardous waste, hazardous waste fuels, or mixtures of hazardous wastes and other materials in any type of incinerator, boiler, or industrial furnace. The Federal program does not include such prohibitions.

    (f) Unlike the Federal program, the District (at 20 DCMR 4202.3) prohibits the burning of both on- and off-specification used oil in the District, and prohibits the use of used oil as a dust suppressant.

    3. Federal Requirements for Which the District of Columbia Is Not Seeking Authorization

    A number of the District's regulations are not part of the program revisions EPA is proposing to authorize. Those provisions include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) The District has regulations defining how program information is to be shared with the public, but is not seeking authorization for the Availability of Information requirements relative to RCRA section 3006(f).

    (b) The District is not seeking authority for the Federal corrective action program. EPA will continue to administer this part of the program.

    (c) The District has incorporated the Federal hazardous waste export provisions as codified in the July 1, 2004 edition of Title 40, parts 262 and 264 of the CFR into 20 DCMR Sections 4262 and 4264. However, the District is not seeking authorization for these provisions at this time. EPA will continue to implement those requirements as appropriate.

    (d) 20 DCMR Section 4266 incorporates the mixed waste provisions as codified in the July 1, 2004 edition of Title 40 of the CFR, but the District has not yet been authorized, nor is the District now seeking authorization, to implement the mixed waste regulations. The provisions at 20 DCMR 4266.1 and 4266.3 will become effective in the District when the District is authorized for the mixed waste rules.

    H. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

    The District will continue to issue permits covering all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits that EPA issued prior to the effective date of this authorization in accordance with the signed Memorandum of Agreement, dated March 10, 2017, which is included with this program revision application. Until such time as formal transfer of EPA permit responsibility to the District occurs and EPA terminates its permit, EPA and the District agree to coordinate the administration of permits in order to maintain consistency. EPA will not issue any new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in Section G after the effective date of this authorization. EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which the District is not yet authorized.

    I. How would this proposed action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 115) in the District of Columbia?

    The District is not seeking authority to operate the program on Indian lands, since there are no Federally-recognized Indian Lands in the District.

    J. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This authorization revises the District's authorized hazardous waste management program pursuant to Section 3006 of RCRA and imposes no requirements other than those currently imposed by District law. This authorization complies with applicable executive orders and statutory provisions as follows:

    1. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), Federal agencies must determine whether the regulatory action is “significant”, and therefore subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and the requirements of the E.O. The E.O. defines “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way, the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the E.O. EPA has determined that this authorization is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of E.O. 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review.

    2. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because this authorization does not establish or modify any information or recordkeeping requirements for the regulated community and only seeks to authorize the pre-existing requirements under State law and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law.

    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing, and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    3. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), generally requires Federal agencies to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. For purposes of assessing the impacts of this authorization on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business defined by the Small Business Administration's size regulations at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district, or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. I certify that this authorization will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the authorization will only have the effect of authorizing pre-existing requirements under State law and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law.

    4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the Administrator publishes with the rule an explanation why the alternative was not adopted. Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including tribal governments, it must have developed under section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements. This authorization contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. It imposes no new enforceable duty on any State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Similarly, EPA has also determined that this authorization contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small government entities. Thus, this authorization is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 203 of the UMRA.

    5. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This authorization does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government, as specified in E.O. 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This document authorizes pre-existing State rules. Thus, E.O. 13132 does not apply to this authorization. In the spirit of E.O. 13132, and consistent with EPA policy to promote communications between EPA and State and local governments, EPA specifically solicited comment on this authorization from State and local officials.

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

    Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951, November 9, 2000), requires the EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This authorization does not have tribal implications, as specified in E.O. 13175 because EPA retains its authority over Indian Country. Thus, E.O. 13175 does not apply to this authorization.

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

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the E.O. has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not subject to E.O. 13045 because it proposes to approve a State program.

    8. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This authorization is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined under E.O. 12866, as discussed in detail above.

    9. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (“NTTAA”), (Pub. L. 104-113, 12(d)) (15 U.S.C. 272), directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Federal agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. This authorization does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. EPA has determined that this authorization will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations. This authorization does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment because this document authorizes pre-existing State rules which are equivalent to and no less stringent than existing Federal requirements.

    11. The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801-808

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801-808, 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 document 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 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).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous waste, Hazardous waste transportation, Indian lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    This proposed action is issued under the authority of sections 2002(a), 3006 and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, 6974(b).

    Dated: May 2, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12507 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 721 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159; FRL-9978-76] RIN 2070-AK45 Asbestos; Significant New Use Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos as defined under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. The proposed significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article) is manufacturing (including importing) or processing for certain uses identified by EPA as no longer ongoing. The Agency has found no information indicating that the following uses are ongoing, and therefore, the following uses are subject to this proposed SNUR: Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other building material (other than cement). Persons subject to the SNUR would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing any manufacturing (including importing) or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for a significant new use. The required notification initiates EPA's evaluation of the conditions of use associated with the intended use within the applicable review period. Manufacturing (including importing) and processing (including as part of an article) for the significant new use may not commence until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with that determination.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159, 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: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 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:

    For technical information contact: Robert Courtnage, National Program Chemicals Division (Mail Code 7404T), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 566-1081; email address: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture (including import), process, or distribute in commerce asbestos as defined by TSCA Title II, Section 202 (15 U.S.C. 2642) (including as part of an article). The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Construction (NAICS code 23)

    • Manufacturing (NAICS codes 31-33)

    • Wholesale Trade (NAICS code 42)

    • Transportation (NAICS code 48)

    This action may also affect certain entities through pre-existing import certification and export notification rules under TSCA (15 U.S.C.2601 et seq.). Persons who import or process any chemical substance governed by a final SNUR are subject to the TSCA section 13 (15 U.S.C. 2612) import certification requirements and the corresponding regulations at 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127 (see also 19 CFR 127.28). Those persons must certify that the shipment of the chemical substance complies with all applicable rules and orders under TSCA, including any SNUR requirements. The EPA policy in support of import certification appears at 40 CFR part 707, subpart B.

    In addition, asbestos, as defined in this proposed rule, is already subject to TSCA section 6(a) (40 CFR part 763, subparts G and I) rules that trigger the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b); see also 40 CFR 721.20). Any person who exports or intends to export asbestos must comply with the export notification requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D; however, although EPA is proposing to make inapplicable the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) for persons who import or process any asbestos as part of an article in a category listed in Table 2, the Agency is not proposing to require export notification for articles containing asbestos.

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the technical information contact listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(2)) authorizes EPA to determine that a use of a chemical substance is a “significant new use.” EPA must make this determination by rule after considering all relevant factors, including those listed in TSCA section 5(a)(2) (see Unit IV). Once EPA determines that a use of a chemical substance is a significant new use, TSCA section 5(a)(1) requires persons to submit a significant new use notice (SNUN) to EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance for that use (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(1)(B)(i)). TSCA further prohibits such manufacturing (including importing) or processing from commencing until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with that determination (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(1)(B)(ii)). As described in Unit V., the general SNUR provisions are found at 40 CFR part 721, subpart A.

    C. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is proposing a SNUR for asbestos, using the definition in TSCA Title II, Section 202, which defines asbestos as the “asbestiform varieties of six fiber types—chrysotile (serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite.” The proposed significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article) is manufacturing (including importing) or processing for certain uses no longer ongoing. The Agency found no information indicating that the following uses are ongoing, and therefore, the following uses are subject to this proposed SNUR: Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other building material (other than cement).

    The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Pub. L. 114-182, 130 Stat. 448) amended TSCA in June 2016. The new law includes statutory requirements related to the risk evaluations of conditions of use for existing chemicals. Based on the 2014 update of EPA's TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, in December of 2016, EPA designated asbestos as one of the first 10 chemical substances subject to the Agency's initial chemical risk evaluations (81 FR 91927), as required by TSCA section 6(b)(2)(A) (15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(2)(A)).

    EPA is separately conducting a risk evaluation of asbestos under its conditions of use, pursuant to TSCA section 6(b)(4)(A). Through scoping and subsequent research for the asbestos risk evaluation, EPA identified several conditions of use of asbestos to include in the risk evaluation. Those include imported raw bulk chrysotile asbestos for the fabrication of diaphragms for use in chlorine and sodium hydroxide production and several imported chrysotile asbestos-containing materials, including sheet gaskets for use in titanium dioxide chemical production, brake blocks for use in oil drilling, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings and other vehicle friction products, other gaskets and packing, cement products, and woven products. This proposed significant new rule would not identify as significant new uses those uses that EPA believes are currently ongoing. EPA is requesting public comment on this proposal and welcomes specific and verifiable documentation of any ongoing uses not identified by the Agency as well as additional uses not identified as no longer ongoing. This proposed SNUR would require persons that intend to manufacture (including import) or process any form of asbestos as defined under Title II of TSCA (including as part of an article) for a significant new use, consistent with the requirements at 40 CFR 721.25, to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing such manufacturing (including importing) or processing. This proposed SNUR would preclude the commencement of such manufacturing (including importing) or processing until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with that determination.

    D. Why is the Agency taking this action?

    This proposed SNUR is necessary to ensure that EPA receives timely advance notice of any future manufacturing (including importing) or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for new uses that may produce changes in human and environmental exposures, and to ensure that an appropriate determination (relevant to the risks associated with such manufacturing (including importing), processing, and use) has been issued prior to the commencement of such manufacturing (including importing) or processing. Today's action is furthermore necessary to ensure that manufacturing (including importing) or processing for the significant new use cannot proceed until EPA has responded to the circumstances by taking the required actions under Sections 5(e) or 5(f) of TSCA in the event that EPA determines any of the following: (1) That the significant new use presents an unreasonable risk under the conditions of use (without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant by EPA); (2) that the information available to EPA is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the health and environmental effects of the significant new use; (3) that, in the absence of sufficient information, the manufacturing (including importing), processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of the substance, or any combination of such activities, may present an unreasonable risk (without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant by EPA); or (4) that there is substantial production and sufficient potential for environmental release or human exposure (as defined in TSCA section 5(a)(3)(B)(ii)(II)).

    There is a strong causal association between asbestos exposure and lung cancer and mesotheliomas (tumors arising from the thin membranes that line the chest (thoracic) and abdominal cavities and surround internal organs) (Ref. 1; Ref. 2; Ref. 3; Ref. 4; Ref. 5; Ref. 6). In addition, other cancers, as well as non-cancer effects, such as respiratory and immune effects, have been associated with asbestos exposure (Ref. 7).

    Agency research conducted in support of the TSCA risk evaluation of asbestos revealed that the use of asbestos has declined dramatically in the United States since the 1970s when asbestos use was at its peak. EPA is taking action in this proposed rule to ensure that EPA receives timely advance notice and makes an appropriate determination prior to the commencement of manufacturing (including importing) or processing for any significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article) as identified in Table 2. The rationale and objectives for this proposed SNUR are explained in detail in Unit III.

    E. What are the estimated incremental impacts of this action?

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUR reporting requirements for potential manufacturers (including importers) and processors of the chemical substance included in this proposed rule. This Economic Analysis (Ref. 8), which is available in the docket, is discussed in Unit IX. and is briefly summarized here.

    In the event that a SNUN is submitted, costs are estimated to be less than $10,000 per SNUN submission for large business submitters and $8,000 for small business submitters. In addition, for persons exporting a substance that is the subject of a SNUR, a one-time notice to EPA must be provided for the first export or intended export to a particular country, which is estimated to be approximately $96 per notification. However, asbestos is already subject to TSCA section 6(a) rules (40 CFR part 763, subparts G and I) that trigger the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b); see also 40 CFR 721.20), and the Agency is not proposing to require export notifications for articles containing asbestos as articles are generally excluded from the TSCA section 12(b) export notification requirements. Therefore, EPA assumes no additional costs under TSCA section 12(b) for this proposed rule.

    The proposed rule may also affect firms that plan to import or process articles that may be subject to the SNUR. Although there are no specific requirements in the rule for these firms, they may choose to undertake some activity to assure themselves they are not undertaking a new use. In the accompanying Economic Analysis for this proposed SNUR (Ref. 8), example steps (and their respective costs) that an importer or processor might take to identify asbestos in articles are provided. These steps can include gathering information through agreements with suppliers, declarations through databases or surveys, or use of a third-party certification system. Additionally, importers may require suppliers to provide certificates of testing analysis of the products or perform their own laboratory testing of certain articles. EPA is unable to predict, however, what, if any, particular steps an importer might take; thus, potential total costs were not estimated.

    II. Chemical Substances Subject to This Proposed Rule and Associated Background Information A. What chemicals are included in the proposed SNUR?

    This proposed SNUR applies to asbestos, using the definition in TSCA Title II (added to TSCA in 1986), Section 202, which defines asbestos as the “asbestiform varieties of six fiber types—chrysotile (serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite.” This proposed SNUR Applies to the manufacturing (including importing) or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for certain uses no longer ongoing. EPA found no information indicating that the following uses are ongoing, and therefore, the following uses are subject to this proposed SNUR: Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other building material (other than cement). Under this proposed SNUR, the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) would not apply to persons who import or process asbestos as part of an article (which includes as a component of an article) because there is reasonable potential for exposure to asbestos if the substance is incorporated into articles and then imported or processed. However, in accordance with the impurity exclusion at 40 CFR 721.45(d), this proposed significant new use rule would not apply to persons who manufacture (including import) or process asbestos (including as part of an article) only as an impurity.

    B. What are the production volumes and uses of asbestos?

    Asbestos has not been mined or otherwise produced in the United States since 2002; therefore, any new raw bulk asbestos used in the United States is imported. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), approximately 300 metric tons of raw bulk asbestos was imported into the United States in 2017 (Ref. 9). Chrysotile is the only form of raw bulk asbestos currently imported, and the chlor-alkali industry is the only known importer (Ref. 9). EPA did not identify any domestic entity that uses raw bulk asbestos other than the chlor-alkali industry, which uses chrysotile asbestos to fabricate diaphragms for use in chlorine and sodium hydroxide production.

    In an effort to identify national import volumes and conditions of use for the asbestos risk evaluation under TSCA section 6(b)(4)(A), EPA searched a number of available data sources including EPA's Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) database, USGS's Mineral Commodities Summary and the Minerals Yearbook, the U.S. International Trade Commission's Dataweb, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) System, and the Use and Market Profile for Asbestos (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0085). Based on this search, EPA published a preliminary list of information and sources related to asbestos conditions of use (see Preliminary Information on Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution, Use, and Disposal: Asbestos, EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0005) prior to a February 2017 public meeting on the scoping efforts for the risk evaluation convened to solicit public comment. EPA also convened meetings with companies, associated industry groups, chemical users and other stakeholders to aid in identifying conditions of use and verifying conditions of use identified by EPA. On June 22, 2017, EPA published the Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0086), which further provided opportunity for the public and private sector to identify conditions of use of asbestos in the United States.

    During the public comment period for the Preliminary Information on Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution, Use, and Disposal: Asbestos (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0005), one company identified the use of asbestos-containing gaskets, which are imported, for use during the production of titanium dioxide. During stakeholder discussions another company confirmed importing and distributing brake blocks for use in drawworks by the oil industry. EPA believes that aftermarket automotive brakes/linings and other vehicle friction products, other gaskets and packing, cement products, and woven products containing asbestos could also be imported, as reported by USGS (Ref. 10) and also appear in data from ACE (Ref. 11); however, the volume of products and the quantity of asbestos within imported products is unknown. ACE is not a publicly accessible database because it contains information that is protected under the provisions of Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905), and the information in ACE related to importer identity cannot be released.

    C. What are the potential health effects of asbestos?

    Asbestos was listed as a known human carcinogen in the National Toxicology Program's First Annual Report on Carcinogens in 1980 (Ref. 1). In 1988, EPA assessed the health hazards and effects caused by exposure to asbestos under the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program, and determined that asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer and mesotheliomas (tumors arising from the thin membranes that line internal organs) (Ref. 2). Many authorities have established that there is causal association between asbestos and lung cancer and mesotheliomas (Ref. 1; Ref. 3; Ref. 4). EPA also noted in the Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos that there is a causal association between exposure to asbestos and cancer of the larynx and cancer of the ovary (Ref. 4). There is also suggestive evidence of a positive association between asbestos and cancer of the pharynx (Ref. 4; Ref. 12), stomach (Ref. 3; Ref. 4), and colorectum (Ref. 1; Ref. 3; Ref. 4; Ref. 12; Ref. 13; Ref. 14). All types of asbestos fibers have been reported to cause mesothelioma. (Ref. 4).

    Increases in lung cancer mortality have been reported in both workers and residents exposed to various asbestos fiber types as well as fiber mixtures (Ref. 4). There is evidence in in-vitro, animal, and human studies that asbestos is genotoxic, meaning asbestos can damage an organism's genetic material (Ref. 3). There is also evidence that asbestos exposure is associated with adverse respiratory system effects, such as asbestosis and immunotoxicity (Ref. 3; Ref. 7).

    D. What are the potential routes and sources of exposure to asbestos?

    The greatest risk of exposure to asbestos occurs when the substance is in a friable state, meaning the fibers can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to a powder under hand pressure (Ref. 3). During use and over time, non-friable asbestos has the potential to become friable (Ref. 3). For example, testing has shown that non-friable asbestos-containing material can become friable during use such as cutting, crumbling, and tearing, and as a result of such use, asbestos fibers can be released into the air (Ref. 15). Similarly, non-friable asbestos-containing building materials can release fibers if disturbed during building repair or demolition (Ref. 16). Exposures to workers, consumers and the general population, as well as environmental receptors, may occur from industrial releases and use of asbestos-containing products. Based on EPA's research conducted during the early stages of the TSCA risk evaluation, most of the ongoing uses of asbestos pertain to industrial and commercial uses (Ref. 7).

    The primary exposure route for asbestos is inhalation. Asbestos fibers can be released into the air during processing of raw bulk asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Weathering and the disturbance and/or degradation of asbestos-containing products can also cause asbestos fibers to be suspended in air (Ref. 3). Fibers can then enter the lungs through inhalation. Exposures to asbestos can potentially occur via oral and dermal routes; however, EPA anticipates that the most likely exposure route is inhalation.

    III. Rationale and Objectives A. Rationale

    EPA is concerned about the potential for adverse health effects of asbestos based on established sound scientific data indicating that asbestos is a known human carcinogen. Asbestos was listed as a human carcinogen in the National Toxicology Program's First Annual Report on Carcinogens in 1980 (Ref. 1).

    Asbestos, in particular chrysotile asbestos, has several unique properties, including low electrical conductivity while maintaining high tensile strength, high friction coefficient, and high resistance to heat (Ref. 17). These properties made asbestos ideal for use in friction materials (e.g., brakes), insulation (e.g., sound, heat, and electrical), and building materials (e.g., cement pipes, roofing compounds, flooring) over the past century. However, the use of asbestos has declined dramatically due to health concerns and consumer preference (Ref. 17), which has led to the elimination of some exposure scenarios associated with such uses. According to USGS, in 1973, national consumption, including manufacturing/importing and processing, of raw bulk asbestos peaked around 800,000 metric tons and has since fallen approximately 99 percent to between 300 and 800 metric tons in recent years (Ref. 9). Today, most manufactured products in the United States are now asbestos-free (Ref. 17).

    In 1989, EPA published a final rule Asbestos: Manufacture, Importation, Processing, and Distribution in Commerce Prohibitions (54 FR 29460, July 12, 1989) (FRL-3476-2), which was intended “to prohibit, at staged intervals, the future manufacture, importation, processing and distribution in commerce of asbestos in almost all products, as identified in the rule . . .” and to “reduce the unreasonable risks presented to human health by exposure to asbestos during activities involving these products.” The 1989 final rule applied to the asbestos product categories identified in the Regulatory Impact Analysis of Controls on Asbestos and Asbestos Products, which was conducted in support of the rule (Ref. 20). However, the ban against most of the asbestos product categories was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991. In addition to the asbestos products that remain banned after the court ruling, which are identified in Table 1 below, any new use of asbestos was also banned. The prohibition on any new uses of asbestos is for uses initiated for the first time after August 25, 1989. As a point of clarification, in this proposed rulemaking, a significant new use of asbestos addresses multiple uses that were initiated prior to August 25, 1989, for which manufacturing and processing are no longer ongoing in the United States.

    Table 1—Asbestos Containing Product Categories Banned Under TSCA Section 6 Product category Definition
  • (40 CFR 763.163)
  • Corrugated Paper Corrugated paper means an asbestos-containing product made of corrugated paper, which is often cemented to a flat backing, may be laminated with foils or other materials, and has a corrugated surface. Major applications of asbestos corrugated paper include: Thermal insulation for pipe coverings; block insulation; panel insulation in elevators; insulation in appliances; and insulation in low-pressure steam, hot water, and process lines. Rollboard Rollboard means an asbestos-containing product made of paper that is produced in a continuous sheet, is flexible, and is rolled to achieve a desired thickness. Asbestos rollboard consists of two sheets of asbestos paper laminated together. Major applications of this product include: Office partitioning; garage paneling; linings for stoves and electric switch boxes; and fire-proofing agent for security boxes, safes, and files. Commercial Paper Commercial paper means an asbestos-containing product that is made of paper intended for use as general insulation paper or muffler paper. Major applications of commercial papers are insulation against fire, heat transfer, and corrosion in circumstances that require a thin, but durable, barrier. Specialty Paper Specialty paper means an asbestos-containing product that is made of paper intended for use as filters for beverages or other fluids or as paper fill for cooling towers. Cooling tower fill consists of asbestos paper that is used as a cooling agent for liquids from industrial processes and air conditioning systems. Flooring Felt Flooring felt means an asbestos-containing product that is made of paper felt intended for use as an underlayer for floor coverings, or to be bonded to the underside of vinyl sheet flooring. New Uses * The commercial uses of asbestos not identified in § 763.165 the manufacture, importation or processing of which would be initiated for the first time after August 25, 1989. * Note: A “new use” as defined in 40 CFR 763.163 is distinct from a significant new use per TSCA section 5(a)(2), which is explained for the purposes of this proposed rule in Table 2.

    As part of the information gathering activity associated with the current asbestos risk evaluation, the Agency researched market availability for the asbestos product categories subject to the 1989 asbestos ban and phase-out rule that was later overturned. EPA identified several asbestos product categories where manufacturing (including importing) and processing for the use is no longer ongoing. Through further refinement of the Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, the Agency determined that asbestos-containing cement products (e.g., pipe, shingles and replacement parts) are the only condition of use of asbestos in building materials; therefore, this proposed SNUR also applies to all asbestos-containing building materials other than asbestos cement products. These product categories and descriptions are listed in Table 2, and manufacturing and processing for these product categories are significant new uses subject to this proposed rulemaking. The product category descriptions are based on the product category descriptions presented in the Regulatory Impact Analysis of Controls on Asbestos and Asbestos Products for the 1989 final rule (Ref. 20) and may not be all-encompassing.

    Table 2—Product Categories of Proposed Significant New Uses of Asbestos Product category Description of the product category Arc Chutes Ceramic arc chutes containing asbestos were used to guide electric arcs in motor starter units in electric generating plants. Beater-Add Gaskets Asbestos fibers were incorporated within various elastomeric binders and other fillers to form the beater-add paper. These products were used extensively for internal combustion applications and for the sealing component of spiral wound gaskets. Gaskets were used to seal one compartment of a device from another in non-dynamic applications such as engine and exhaust manifolds. Extruded Sealant Tape and Other Tape Sealant tape was made from a semi-liquid mixture of butyl rubber and asbestos. On exposure to air, the sealant solidified forming a rubber tape about an inch wide and an eighth of an inch thick. The tape acted as a gasket for sealing building windows, automotive windshields, and mobile home windows. It was also used in the manufacture of parts for the aerospace industry and in the manufacture of insulated glass. Filler for Acetylene Cylinders Asbestos was used to produce a sponge-like filler, which held the liquefied acetylene gas (acetone) in suspension in the steel cylinder and puled the acetone up through the tank as the gas was released through the oxyacetylene torch. The torch was used to weld or cut metal and sometimes used as an illuminant gas. The filler also acted as an insulator that offered fire protection in case the oxidation of the acetylene became uncontrollable. High-Grade Electrical Paper The major use of asbestos electrical paper was insulation for high temperature, low voltage applications such as in motors, generators, transformers, switch gears, and other heavy electrical apparatuses. Millboard Asbestos millboard was essentially a heavy cardboard product that was used for gasketing, insulation, fireproofing, and resistance against corrosion and rot. Millboard was used in many industrial applications to include linings in boilers, kilns, and foundries; insulation in glass tank crowns, melters, refiners, and sidewalls in the glass industry; linings for troughs and covers in the aluminum, marine, and aircraft industries; and thermal protection in circuit breakers in the electrical industry. In addition, thin millboard was inserted between metal to produce gaskets. Commercial applications for millboard included fireproof linings for safes, dry-cleaning machines, and incinerators. Missile Liner A missile liner was an asbestos and rubber compound used to insulate the outer casing of the rocket from the intense heat generated in the rocket motor while the rocket fuel was burned. Rockets and rocket boosters were used to propel a number of objects including military weapons and the space shuttle. Adhesives, Sealants, and Roof and Non-Roof Coatings The automobile industry historically used asbestos in a wide variety of adhesive, sealant, and coating applications. The aerospace industry used asbestos in extremely specialized applications such as firewall sealants and epoxy adhesives. Non-roof coatings were used to prevent corrosion (e.g., as vehicle undercoatings and underground pipe coatings). Roof coatings were used to repair and patch roofs, seal around projections such as chimneys and vent pipes, and bond horizontal and vertical surfaces. Pipeline Wrap Pipeline wrap was an asbestos felt product primarily used by the oil and gas industry for coating its pipelines. Asbestos pipeline wrap was also used in the coal tar enamel method of coating pipes, some above-ground applications (such as for special piping in cooling towers), and was also used by the chemical industry for underground hot water and steam piping. Reinforced Plastics Asbestos-reinforced plastics were used for electro-mechanical parts in the automotive and appliance industries and as high-performance plastics for the aerospace industry. Asbestos-reinforced plastic was typically a mixture of some type of plastic resin (usually phenolic or epoxy), a general filler (often chalk or limestone), and raw asbestos fiber. Roofing Felt Asbestos roofing felt was single or multi-layered grade and used for built-up roofing. Asbestos was used in roofing felts because of its dimensional stability and resistance to rot, fire, and heat. Separators in Fuel Cells and Batteries In very specialized aerospace applications, asbestos functioned as an insulator and separator between the negative and positive terminals of a fuel cell/battery. Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile Vinyl-asbestos floor tile was used in commercial, residential, and institutional buildings in heavy traffic areas such as supermarkets, department stores, commercial plants, kitchens, and “pivot points”—entry ways and areas around elevators Any Other Building Materials (other than cement) * Examples include insulation, plasters, mastics, textured paints (e.g., simulates stucco), and block filler paints (e.g., for coating masonry). * Note: Not a product category described in the same terms in the Regulatory Impact Analysis; this broader product category is used generally to describe a number of specific product categories identified during the TSCA section 6 risk evaluation process.

    As part of the current asbestos risk evaluation process, the Agency identified conditions of use to be considered under the TSCA risk evaluation. Those include: Imported raw bulk chrysotile asbestos for the fabrication of diaphragms for use in chlorine and sodium hydroxide production and several imported chrysotile asbestos-containing materials including sheet gaskets for use in titanium dioxide chemical production, brake blocks for use in oil drilling, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings and other vehicle friction products, other gaskets and packing, cement products, and woven products. These ongoing uses identified by EPA are not among the significant new uses identified in this proposal and therefore would not require a significant new use notification submission to the Agency. EPA requests comment regarding any ongoing uses not identified by the Agency and welcomes specific and verifiable documentation. EPA also requests comment on additional uses not identified as no longer ongoing.

    In the absence of this proposed rule, the importing or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for the significant new uses proposed in this rule may begin at any time, without prior notice to EPA. Thus, EPA is concerned that commencement of the manufacturing (including importing) or processing for the significant new uses of asbestos identified in Table 2 could significantly increase the volume of manufacturing (including importing) and processing of asbestos as well as the magnitude and duration of exposure to humans over that which would otherwise exist currently. EPA has preliminarily concluded that action on this chemical substance is warranted and therefore proposes that any manufacturing (including importing) or processing of asbestos (including as part of an article), using the definition under Title II of TSCA, for any use identified in Table 2 would be a significant new use.

    Consistent with EPA's past practice for issuing SNURs under TSCA section 5(a)(2), EPA's decision to propose a SNUR for a particular chemical use need not be based on an extensive evaluation of the hazard, exposure, or potential risk associated with that use. If a person decides to begin manufacturing (including importing) or processing asbestos (including as part of an article) for a use identified in Table 2, the notice to EPA allows the Agency to evaluate the use according to the specific parameters and circumstances surrounding the conditions of use.

    B. Rationale for Making Inapplicable the Exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) for Persons Who Import or Process Asbestos

    Chemical substances that are part of an article may still result in exposure if the chemical substance has certain physical-chemical properties—as in the case of asbestos, fibers can degrade with use and become friable over time where human exposures can occur leading to increased risks for disease (Ref. 3; Ref. 15; Ref. 16). During use and over time, non-friable asbestos has the potential to become friable (Ref. 3). For example, testing has shown that non-friable asbestos-containing material can become friable during use such as cutting, crumbling, and tearing, and as a result of such use, asbestos fibers can be released into the air (Ref. 15). Similarly, non-friable asbestos-containing building materials can release fibers if disturbed during building repair or demolition (Ref. 16). Therefore, EPA is proposing to make inapplicable the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) for persons who import or process any asbestos as part of an article for the proposed significant new uses, which are identified in Table 2. A person who imports or processes asbestos (including as part of an article) for a proposed significant new use identified in Table 2 would be subject to the significant new use notification requirements in this proposed rule. No person would be able to begin importing or processing asbestos (including as part of an article) for a proposed significant new use without first submitting a SNUN to EPA and until the Agency has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with that determination.

    As requested in Unit XII., EPA asks for comment on the Agency's understanding of ongoing uses. When submitting a comment to the Agency, EPA requests specific and verifiable information that provides evidence of ongoing uses beyond those identified in this proposed rule.

    C. Objectives

    Based on the considerations in Unit III.A., EPA wants to achieve the following objectives with regard to the significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article) as designated in this proposed rule:

    1. EPA would receive notice of any person's intent to manufacture (including import) or process asbestos (including as part of an article) for the described significant new use before that activity begins.

    2. EPA would have an opportunity to review and evaluate data submitted in a SNUN before the notice submitter begins manufacturing (including importing) or processing asbestos (including as part of an article) for the described significant new use.

    3. EPA would be able to either determine that the significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk, or take necessary regulatory action associated with any other determination before the described significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article) occurs.

    IV. Significant New Use Determination

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA states that EPA's determination that a use of a chemical substance is a significant new use must be made after consideration of all relevant factors including:

    1. The projected volume of manufacturing and processing of a chemical substance.

    2. The extent to which a use changes the type or form of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance.

    3. The extent to which a use increases the magnitude and duration of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance.

    4. The reasonably anticipated manner and methods of manufacturing, processing, distribution in commerce, and disposal of a chemical substance.

    In addition to these factors enumerated in TSCA section 5(a)(2), the statute authorizes EPA to consider any other relevant factors.

    Both federal and state environmental protection agencies and occupational safety and health organizations provide existing regulation pertaining to certain aspects of the manufacturing (including importing), processing, use, and/or disposal of asbestos in order to protect consumers, workers, and the environment. EPA believes the significant new uses of asbestos identified in Table 2 could increase the volume of manufacturing (including importing) and processing of asbestos, as well as the duration and magnitude of human and environmental exposure to the substance, reverse the declining trend of national import volumes of the substance, and reintroduce exposure scenarios that have become obsolete over the past several decades. It is imperative that EPA be notified of any intended significant new use of asbestos identified in Table 2 and be provided the opportunity to evaluate such proposed new use. Once a SNUR is finalized, failure to notify EPA and file a SNUN prior to manufacturing or processing for the significant new uses would constitute a violation of TSCA and would be subject to penalties, accordingly.

    To determine what would constitute a significant new use of asbestos as discussed in this unit, EPA considered relevant information about the toxicity or expected toxicity of the substance, likely human exposures and environmental releases associated with possible uses, and the four factors listed in Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA. In addition to these factors enumerated in TSCA section 5(a)(2), the statute authorizes EPA to consider any other relevant factors.

    The article exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) is based on an assumption that people and the environment will generally not be exposed to chemical substances in articles (Ref. 18). However, even when contained in an article, asbestos can become friable over time with use (Ref. 3; Ref. 15; Ref. 16). Based on this understanding, upon submission of a SNUN, EPA intends to evaluate the potential risk of exposure to human health and the environment for any proposed significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article). This understanding warrants making the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) inapplicable to importers or processors of articles containing asbestos. Considering the potential friability of asbestos, even when incorporated in articles, and the health risks associated with exposure to asbestos, EPA proposes to affirmatively find under TSCA section 5(a)(5) that notification is justified by the reasonable potential for exposure to asbestos through the articles subject to this SNUR. EPA intends to evaluate such potential uses whether in the form of an article or not before those uses would begin for any associated risks or hazards that might exist. EPA has reason to anticipate that importing or processing asbestos as part of an article would create the potential for exposure to asbestos, and that EPA should have an opportunity to review the intended use before such use could occur. Persons subject to this proposed SNUR are required to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to commencing manufacturing (including importing) or processing of the substance for the new use. This required notification provides EPA with the opportunity to evaluate an intended significant new use of the regulated chemical substance and, if necessary, an opportunity to protect against potential unreasonable risks.

    V. Applicability of General Provisions

    General provisions for SNURs appear under 40 CFR part 721, subpart A. These provisions describe persons subject to the rule, recordkeeping requirements, and exemptions to reporting requirements.

    Provisions relating to user fees appear at 40 CFR part 700. According to 40 CFR 721.1(c), persons subject to SNURs must comply with the same notice requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as submitters of Premanufacture Notices (PMNs) under TSCA section 5(a)(1)(A). In particular, these requirements include the information submission requirements of TSCA sections 5(b) and 5(d)(1), the exemptions authorized by TSCA sections 5(h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and (h)(5), and the regulations at 40 CFR part 720. Once EPA receives a SNUN, EPA must either determine that the significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury or take such regulatory action as is associated with an alternative determination before the manufacturing (including importing) or processing for the significant new use can commence. If EPA determines that the significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk, EPA is required under TSCA section 5(g) to make public, and submit for publication in the Federal Register, a statement of EPA's finding.

    VI. Applicability of Rule to Uses Occurring Before Effective Date of the Final Rule

    EPA designates June 1, 2018 (the date of web posting of this proposed rule) as the cutoff date for determining whether the new use is ongoing. The objective of EPA's approach is to ensure that a person cannot defeat a SNUR by initiating a significant new use before the effective date of the final rule. In developing this proposed rule, EPA has recognized that, given EPA's general practice of posting proposed and final SNURs on its website a week or more in advance of Federal Register publication, this objective could be thwarted even before that publication.

    Persons who begin commercial manufacturing (including importing) or processing of the chemical substance (to include importing or processing articles and components thereof containing the chemical substance) for a significant new use identified as of June 1, 2018 would have to cease any such activity upon the effective date of the final rule. To resume their activities, these persons would have to first comply with all applicable SNUR notification requirements and wait until all TSCA prerequisites for the commencement of manufacturing (including importing) or processing have been satisfied (see Federal Register documents of April 24, 1990 (55 FR 17376) (FRL-3658-5) and November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85472) (FRL-9945-53) for additional information).

    VII. Development and Submission of Information

    EPA recognizes that TSCA section 5 does not usually require developing new information (e.g., generating test data) before submission of a SNUN; however, there is an exception: Development of information is required where the chemical substance subject to the SNUR is also subject to a rule, order, or consent agreement under TSCA section 4 (see TSCA section 5(b)(1)). Also pursuant to TSCA section 4(h), which pertains to reduction of testing of vertebrate animals, EPA encourages consultation with the Agency on the use of alternative test methods and strategies (also called New Approach Methodologies or NAMs), if available, to generate any recommended test data. EPA encourages dialogue with Agency representatives to help determine how best the submitter can meet both the data needs and the objective of TSCA section 4(h).

    In the absence of a TSCA section 4 test rule covering the chemical substance, persons are required to submit only information in their possession or control and to describe any other information known to or reasonably ascertainable by them (15 U.S.C. 2604(d); 40 CFR 721.25, and 40 CFR 720.50). However, as a general matter, EPA recommends that SNUN submitters include information that would permit a reasoned evaluation of risks posed by the chemical substance during its manufacturing (including importing), processing, use, distribution in commerce, or disposal. EPA encourages persons to consult with the Agency before submitting a SNUN. As part of this optional pre-notice consultation, EPA would discuss specific information it believes may be useful in evaluating a significant new use.

    Submitting a SNUN that does not itself include information sufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation may increase the likelihood that EPA will either respond with a determination that the information available to the Agency is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the health and environmental effects of the significant new use or, alternatively, that in the absence of sufficient information, the manufacturing (including importing), processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of the chemical substance may present an unreasonable risk of injury.

    SNUN submitters should be aware that EPA will be better able to evaluate SNUNs and define the terms of any potentially necessary controls if the submitter provides detailed information on human exposure and environmental releases that may result from the significant new uses of the chemical substance.

    VIII. SNUN Submissions

    EPA recommends that submitters consult with the Agency prior to submitting a SNUN to discuss what information may be useful in evaluating a significant new use. Discussions with the Agency prior to submission can afford ample time to conduct any tests that might be helpful in evaluating risks posed by the substance. According to 40 CFR 721.1(c), persons submitting a SNUN must comply with the same notice requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as persons submitting a PMN, including submission of test data on health and environmental effects as described in 40 CFR 720.50. SNUNs must be submitted on EPA Form No. 7710-25, generated using e-PMN software, and submitted to the Agency in accordance with the procedures set forth in 40 CFR 721.25 and 40 CFR 720.40. E-PMN software is available electronically at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/newchems.

    IX. Economic Analysis A. SNUNs

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUR reporting requirements for potential manufacturers (including importers) and processors of the chemical substance included in this proposed rule (Ref. 8). In the event that a SNUN is submitted, average costs are estimated at approximately $9,937 per SNUN submission for large business submitters and $7,537 for small business submitters. These estimates include the cost to prepare and submit the SNUN, and the payment of a user fee. Businesses that submit a SNUN would be subject to either a $2,500 user fee required by 40 CFR 700.45(b)(2)(iii), or, if they are a small business with annual sales of less than $40 million when combined with those of the parent company (if any), a reduced user fee of $100 (40 CFR 700.45(b)(1)). On February 26, 2018, EPA proposed raising the fee for SNUNs to $2,800 for small businesses and $16,000 for other businesses (83 FR 8212). Further, on November 30, 2017, EPA determined that revisions to the current small business size standards for TSCA reporting and recordkeeping requirements are warranted (82 FR 56824). Businesses that submit a SNUN are also estimated to incur average costs of $67 for rule familiarization. First time submitters will incur an average cost of $128 for Central Data Exchange (CDX) registration and associated activities. Companies manufacturing, importing, or processing asbestos or articles containing asbestos will incur an average cost of $80 for notifying their customers of SNUR regulatory activities.

    The costs of submitting a SNUN will not be incurred by any company unless a company decides to pursue a significant new use as defined in this proposed SNUR. Additionally, these estimates reflect the costs and fees as they are known at the time this rule is promulgated. EPA's complete economic analysis is available in the public docket for this proposed rule (Ref. 8).

    B. Export Notification

    Under Section 12(b) of TSCA and the implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 707, subpart D, exporters must notify EPA if they export or intend to export a chemical substance or mixture for which, among other things, a rule has been proposed or promulgated under TSCA section 5. As explained in Unit I., export notifications are required for asbestos, but not for articles containing asbestos. EPA is not proposing that asbestos-containing articles be subject to the export notification requirements; therefore, EPA assumes no additional costs under TSCA section 12(b) for this proposed rule.

    In general, for persons exporting a substance that is the subject of a SNUR, a one-time notice to EPA must be provided for the first export or intended export to a particular country. The total costs of export notification will vary by chemical, depending on the number of required notifications (i.e., the number of countries to which the chemical is exported). While EPA is unable to make any estimate of the likely number of export notifications for the chemical covered in this proposed SNUR, as stated in the accompanying economic analysis of this proposed SNUR, the estimated cost of the export notification requirement on a per unit basis is approximately $96.

    C. Import or Processing Chemical Substances as Part of an Article

    In making inapplicable the exemption relating to persons that import or process certain chemical substances as part of an article, this action may affect firms that plan to import or process types of articles that may contain the asbestos. Some firms have an understanding of the contents of the articles they import or process. However, EPA acknowledges that importers and processors of articles may have varying levels of knowledge about the chemical content of the articles that they import or process. These parties may need to become familiar with the requirements of the rule. And, while not required by the SNUR, these parties may take additional steps to determine whether the subject chemical substance is part of the articles they are considering for importing or processing. This determination may involve activities such as gathering information from suppliers along the supply chain and/or testing samples of the article itself. Costs vary across the activities chosen and the extent of familiarity a firm has regarding the articles it imports or processes. Cost ranges are presented in the Understanding the Costs Associated with Eliminating Exemptions for Articles in SNURs (Ref. 19). Based on available information, EPA believes that article importers or processors that choose to investigate their products would incur costs at the lower end of the ranges presented in the Economic Analysis. For those companies choosing to undertake actions to assess the composition of the articles they import or process, EPA expects that importers or processors would take actions that are commensurate with the company's perceived likelihood that a chemical substance might be a part of an article for the significant new uses subject to this proposed rulemaking (identified in Table 2) and the resources it has available. Example activities and their costs are provided in the accompanying Economic Analysis of this proposed rule (Ref. 8).

    X. Alternatives

    Before proposing this SNUR, EPA considered the following alternative regulatory action: Promulgate a TSCA section 8(a) Reporting Rule.

    Under a TSCA section 8(a) rule, EPA could, among other things, generally require persons to report information to the Agency when they intend to manufacture (including import) or process a listed chemical for a specific use or any use. However, for asbestos, the use of TSCA section 8(a) rather than SNUR authority would have several limitations. First, if EPA were to require reporting under TSCA section 8(a) instead of TSCA section 5(a), that action would not ensure that EPA receives timely advance notice of future manufacturing (including importing) or processing of asbestos (including as part of an articles and components thereof) for new uses that may produce changes in human and environmental exposures. Nor would action under 8(a) ensure that an appropriate determination (relevant to the risks of such manufacturing (including importing) or processing) has been issued prior to the commencement of such manufacturing (including importing) or processing. Furthermore, a TSCA section 8(a) rule would not ensure that manufacturing (including importing) or processing for the significant new use cannot proceed until EPA has responded to the circumstances by taking the required actions under Sections 5(e) or 5(f) of TSCA in the event that EPA determines any of the following: (1) That the significant new use presents an unreasonable risk under the conditions of use (without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant by EPA); (2) that the information available to EPA is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the health and environmental effects of the significant new use; (3) that in the absence of sufficient information, the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of the substance, or any combination of such activities, may present an unreasonable risk (without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant by EPA); or (4) that there is substantial production and sufficient potential for environmental release or human exposure (as defined in TSCA section 5(a)(3)(B)(ii)(II)).

    In addition, EPA may not receive important information from small businesses, because such firms generally are exempt from TSCA section 8(a) reporting requirements (see TSCA sections 8(a)(1)(A) and 8(a)(1)(B)). In view of the level of health concerns about asbestos if used for a proposed significant new use, EPA believes that a TSCA section 8(a) rule for this substance would not meet EPA's regulatory objectives.

    XI. Scientific Standards, Evidence, and Available Information

    EPA has used scientific information, technical procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies, and models consistent with the best available science, as applicable. These sources supply information relevant to whether a particular use would be a significant new use, based on relevant factors including those listed under TSCA section 5(a)(2). As noted in Unit III., EPA's decision to promulgate a SNUR for a particular chemical use need not be based on an extensive evaluation of the hazard, exposure, or potential risk associated with that use.

    The clarity and completeness of the data, assumptions, methods, quality assurance, and analyses employed in EPA's decision are documented, as applicable and to the extent necessary for purposes of this proposed significant new use rule, in Unit II. and in the references cited throughout the preamble of this proposed rule. EPA recognizes, based on the available information, that there is variability and uncertainty in whether any particular significant new use would actually present an unreasonable risk. For precisely this reason, it is appropriate to secure a future notice and review process for these uses, at such time as they are known more definitively. The extent to which the various information, procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies or models used in EPA's decision have been subject to independent verification or peer review is adequate to justify their use, collectively, in the record for a significant new use rule.

    XII. Request for Comment A. Do you have comments or information about ongoing uses?

    EPA welcomes comment on all aspects of this proposed rule. EPA based its understanding of the use profile of this chemical on the published literature, the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting submissions, market research, review of Safety Data Sheets, and extensive research conducted during the early stages of the TSCA risk evaluation for asbestos. To confirm EPA's understanding, the Agency is requesting public comment on all aspects of this proposed rule. In providing comments on an ongoing use of asbestos, it would be helpful to provide specific information and documentation sufficient for EPA to substantiate any assertions of use.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. It is EPA's policy to include all comments received in the public docket without change or further notice to the commenter and to make the comments available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless a comment includes information claimed to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2, subpart B.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets#tips.

    XIII. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically referenced in this document. The docket, EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159, includes these documents and other information considered by EPA, including documents that are referenced within the documents that are included in the docket, even if the referenced document is not physically located in the docket. For assistance in locating these other documents, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    1. National Toxicology Program. (NTP, 2016). Report on Carcinogens, Fourteenth Edition.; Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. Retrieved from https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/asbestos.pdf. 2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1988). IRIS summary for asbestos (CASRN 1332-21-4). Washington, DC: Integrated Risk Information System. Retrieved from http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris/iris_documents/documents/subst/0371_summary.pdf. 3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (ATSDR, 2001). Toxicological profile for asbestos (update). Retrieved from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp.asp?id=30&tid=4. 4. International Agency for Research on Cancer. (IARC, 2012). A review of human carcinogens. Part C: Arsenic, metals, fibres, and dusts [IARC Monograph]. Lyon, France: World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100C/mono100C.pdf. 5. International Agency for Research on Cancer. (IARC, 1977). IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risk of chemicals to man: Asbestos. Lyon, France: World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol1-42/mono14.pdf. 6. International Agency for Research on Cancer. (IARC, 1987). Asbestos and certain asbestos compounds [IARC Monograph]. In IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans (pp. 106-116). Lyon, France. Retrieved from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/suppl7/index.php. 7. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 2017). Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos. Retrieved from https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0086. 8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 2018). Economic Analysis for the Proposed Significant New Use Rule for Asbestos. 9. U.S. Geological Survey. (USGS, 2018). Mineral Commodity Summaries 2018. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved from https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2018/mcs2018.pdf. 10. U.S. Geological Survey. (USGS, 2017). Mineral Commodity Summaries: Asbestos. Retrieved from https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/asbestos/mcs-2017-asbes.pdf. 11. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2017). Automated Commercial Environment System (ACE). 12. National Research Council. (NRC, 2006). Asbestos: Selected cancers. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Asbestos: Selected Health Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 13. National Research Council. (NRC, 1983). Drinking Water and Health. Washington, DC: Safe Drinking Water Committee, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.17226/326. 14. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1980). Ambient water quality criteria for asbestos [EPA Report]. (EPA/440/5-80/022). Washington, DC. 15. Anderson, P.H. and Farino, W.J. (1982). Analysis of Fiber Release from Certain Asbestos Products. Draft Final Report. Prepared by GCA Corporation for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/9101PBZ6.PDF?Dockey=9101PBZ6.PDF. 16. 40 CFR part 61, subpart M, Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). 17. Virta, R. (2011). Asbestos. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/0471238961.0119020510151209.a01.pub3/pdf. 18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1984). Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances; Certain Chemicals. 49 FR 35014, September 5, 1984 (FRL-2541-8). 19. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 2013). Understanding the Costs Associated with Eliminating Exemptions for Articles in SNURs. May 1, 2013. 20. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1989). Regulatory Impact Analysis of Controls on Asbestos and Asbestos Products: Final Report: Volume III. (5601989ICF001). Washington, DC: Office of Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

    B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This action is not expected to be a regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017), because this action is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Burden is defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(b). The information collection activities associated with existing chemical SNURs are already approved under OMB control number 2070-0038 (EPA ICR No. 1188); and the information collection activities associated with export notifications are already approved under OMB control number 2070-0030 (EPA ICR No. 0795). If an entity were to submit a SNUN to the Agency, the burden is estimated to be approximately 100 hours per response (slightly less for submitters who have already registered to use the electronic submission system).

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information that requires OMB approval under the PRA, unless it has been approved by OMB and displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in Title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register, are listed in 40 CFR, part 9, and included on the related collection instrument, or form, as applicable.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., I certify that promulgation of this SNUR would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rationale supporting this conclusion is as follows.

    A SNUR applies to any person (including small or large entities) who intends to engage in any activity described in the rule as a “significant new use.” By definition of the word “new” and based on all information currently available to EPA, it appears that no small or large entities presently engage in such activities. Since this proposed SNUR will require a person who intends to engage in such activity in the future to first notify EPA by submitting a SNUN, no economic impact will occur unless someone files a SNUN to pursue a significant new use in the future or forgoes profits by avoiding or delaying the significant new use. Although some small entities may decide to conduct such activities in the future, EPA cannot presently determine how many, if any, there may be. However, EPA's experience to date is that, in response to the promulgation of SNURs covering over 1,000 chemical substances, the Agency receives only a handful of notices per year. During the six-year period from 2005-2010, only three submitters self-identified as small in their SNUN submissions (Ref. 8). EPA believes the cost of submitting a SNUN is relatively small compared to the cost of developing and marketing a chemical new to a firm or marketing a new use of the chemical and that the requirement to submit a SNUN generally does not have a significant economic impact.

    Therefore, EPA believes that the potential economic impact of complying with this proposed SNUR is not expected to be significant or adversely impact a substantial number of small entities. In a SNUR that published as a final rule on August 8, 1997 (62 FR 42690) (FRL-5735-4), the Agency presented its general determination that proposed and final SNURs are not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Based on EPA's experience with proposing and finalizing SNURs, State, local, and Tribal governments have not been impacted by these rulemakings, and EPA does not have any reason to believe that any State, local, or Tribal government would be impacted by this rulemaking. As such, the requirements of sections 202, 203, 204, or 205 of UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, do not apply to this action.

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action will not have federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it will not have substantial direct effect on 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.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because it will not have any effect on tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because this action does not address environmental health or safety risks, and EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order.

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

    This action is not a “significant energy action” as defined in Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not likely to have any effect on energy supply, distribution, or use.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve any technical standards, and is therefore not subject to considerations under section 12(d) of NTTAA, 15 U.S.C. 272 note.

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

    This action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). This action does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 721

    Environmental protection, Asbestos, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 31, 2018. Tala R. Henry, Acting Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

    Therefore, for the reasons stated in the preamble, the Environmental Protection Agency proposes that 40 CFR chapter I be amended as follows:

    PART 721—SIGNIFICANT NEW USES OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, and 2625(c).

    2. Add § 721.11095 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.11095 Asbestos.

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new use subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified as asbestos (as defined by 15 U.S.C. 2642(3) as the asbestiform varieties of chrysotile (serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) The significant new use is: Manufacturing (including importing) or processing for any of the following uses:

    (i) Arc chutes;

    (ii) Beater-add gaskets;

    (iii) Extruded sealant tape and other tape;

    (iv) Filler for acetylene cylinders;

    (v) High grade electrical paper;

    (vi) Millboard;

    (vii) Missile liner;

    (viii) Adhesives, sealants, roof and non-roof coatings;

    (ix) Pipeline wrap;

    (x) Reinforced plastics;

    (xi) Roofing felt;

    (xii) Separators in fuel cells and batteries;

    (xiii) Vinyl-asbestos floor tile; or

    (xiv) Other building products (other than cement products).

    (b) Specific requirements. (1) Section 721.45(f) does not apply to this section. A person who intends to manufacture (including import) or process the substance identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for the significant new use identified in (a)(2) of this section as part of an article is subject to the notification provisions of § 721.25.

    (2) [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2018-12513 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 46 CFR Parts 10, 11, and 15 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0100] RIN 1625-AC46 Amendments to the Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training Regulations AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to revise its merchant mariner credentialing regulations to remove obsolete portions of the radar observer requirements and harmonize the radar observer endorsement with the merchant mariner credential. Under this proposed rule, an active mariner who serves in a relevant position for 1 year in the previous 5 years using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar, or has served as a qualified instructor for a Coast Guard-approved radar course at least twice within the past 5 years, would not be required to complete a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course in order to renew his or her radar observer endorsement. This proposed rule would not change the existing requirements for mariners seeking an original radar observer endorsement or mariners who do not have either 1 year of relevant sea service on board radar-equipped vessels in the previous 5 years or service as a qualified instructor for a Coast Guard-approved radar course at least twice within the past 5 years. Elimination of the requirement to take a radar refresher or re-certification course every 5 years would reduce burden on affected mariners without impacting safety.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0100 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about this document call or email Mr. Davis Breyer, Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1445, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents for Preamble I. Public Participation and Request for Comments II. Abbreviations III. Basis and Purpose IV. Background V. Discussion of Proposed Rule VI. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review B. Small Entities C. Assistance for Small Entities D. Collection of Information E. Federalism F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. Taking of Private Property H. Civil Justice Reform I. Protection of Children J. Indian Tribal Governments K. Energy Effects L. Technical Standards M. Environment I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    The Coast Guard views public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this proposed rule for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this proposed rule, and all public comments, are available in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov, and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.

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

    II. Abbreviations BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics CFR Code of Federal Regulations CGAA 2015 Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register MERPAC Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee MMLD Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation MMC Merchant Mariner Credential OMB Office of Management and Budget § Section STCW International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended STCW Code Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code U.S.C. United States Code III. Basis and Purpose

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to amend the radar observer endorsement requirements by removing obsolete portions and harmonizing the expiration dates of the radar observer endorsement and the merchant mariner credential (MMC).

    The Coast Guard is authorized to determine and establish the experience and professional qualifications required for the issuance of officer credentials pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 7101. Authority under 46 U.S.C. 7101 has been delegated to the Commandant of the Coast Guard by Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(92)(e). The specifics of these professional qualifications and the Coast Guard's evaluation process are prescribed by 46 CFR parts 10 and 11, and the manning requirements are in 46 CFR part 15.

    Section 304 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (CGAA 2015), Public Law 114-120, February 8, 2016 (codified as a statutory note to 46 U.S.C. 7302), requires the harmonization of expiration dates of a mariner's radar observer endorsement with his or her MMC and the medical certificate, subject to certain exceptions.1 Furthermore, the CGAA 2015 specifies that the process to harmonize cannot require a mariner to renew the MMC before it expires. This proposed rule would meet the statutory requirement with regard to the radar observer endorsement. The requirement regarding the medical certificate is already met through policy.2

    1 Public Law 114-120, sec. 304(c), creates an exception for individuals (1) holding a merchant mariner credential with—(A) an active Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping endorsement; or (B) Federal first-class pilot endorsement; or (2) who have been issued a time-restricted medical certificate.

    2 CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-18: Guidelines for Requesting Harmonization of Expiration Dates of Merchant Mariner Credentials and Mariner Medical Certificates when Applying for an Original or Renewal Merchant Mariner Credential. https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/5ps/MMC/CG-MMC-2%20Policies/CG-MMC%2001-18%20Harmonization.pdf?ver=2018-03-02-071916-180.

    IV. Background

    Currently, 46 CFR 11.480 requires that a mariner with a radar observer endorsement complete a Coast Guard-approved radar observer refresher or re-certification course every 5 years to maintain a valid radar observer endorsement on his or her MMC. The MMC is typically valid for a 5-year period in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 7302(f). Under the current regulation, the radar observer endorsement must be added to the MMC. However, the course completion certificate dictates the validity of the radar observer endorsement. This requires the mariner to carry the MMC and have the course completion certificate available in order to demonstrate compliance with the regulations. Under current regulation, it is not possible to harmonize the expiration dates of the radar course completion certificate and the MMC.

    The Coast Guard sought comments from the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) about harmonization. In September 2015, at Meeting 43, MERPAC recommended that the Coast Guard review whether requiring a radar refresher or re-certification course for mariners with relevant and recent underway service on a vessel equipped with radar should be considered adequate experience for renewal (MERPAC Recommendation 2015-56).3 MERPAC recommended the Coast Guard consider the history of the radar observer endorsement, the current state of radar observer training and prevalence of radar, and the concept that knowledge and skills will degrade with time if not used or refreshed through training. MERPAC also recommended the Coast Guard consider whether the radar observer endorsement must be on the credential.

    3See Task Statement #91 from MERPAC https://homeport.uscg.mil/Lists/Content/DispForm.aspx?&ID=805&Source=https://homeport.uscg.mil/missions/ports-and-waterways/safety-advisory-committees/merpac/task-statements-2.

    The Coast Guard first added a requirement to prove continued competence in radar operation every 5 years by completing a professional examination or completing a Coast Guard-approved course in 1958 (23 FR 3447, May 21, 1958). As discussed in that final rule, the merchant mariner license endorsement “Radar Observer” has its roots in a report by the Technical Staff of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries to the U.S. House of Representatives concerning the S.S. Andrea Doria and the M.V. Stockholm collision.4 That report recommended providing adequate training for deck officers and requiring certification of officers such as radar observers. The International Maritime Organization included a requirement for radar training in its International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW) and the STCW Code.5

    4 The S.S. Andrea Doria and the M.V. Stockholm collision occurred off Nantucket in heavy fog at approximately 10:30 p.m. on July 25, 1956, and resulted in multiple fatalities.

    5 In response to increased marine casualties because of untrained mariners, the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978 and the International Maritime Organization, through adoption of STCW resolution 18, “Radar simulator training” and resolution 20, “Training in the use of collision avoidance aids” developed training standards centered on live marine radar equipment, including radar simulators.

    The Coast Guard believes that the potential for accidents continues, and that it is important for mariners to continue to benefit from training to be proficient in the use of radar as both a navigation and collision avoidance tool. The Coast Guard also believes that radar is now a commonly used navigation and collision avoidance tool. Radar carriage requirements, both in the United States and internationally, have increased in the last 60 years, and the current domestic training requirements have been in place for the last 35 years. Currently, mariners on vessels outfitted with radar maintain proficiency in the use of radar through its constant use to navigate and prevent collisions. Therefore, the Coast Guard has concluded that the current requirement for the completion of a radar refresher or re-certification course for mariners with relevant and recent service in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board vessels equipped with radar is not necessary. Completion of refresher training is unnecessarily burdensome to mariners who routinely use radar.

    Section 304 of the CGAA 2015 requires the harmonization of expiration dates of a mariner's radar observer endorsement with his or her MMC, and prohibits requiring a mariner to renew a credential before it expires. In this context, the Coast Guard believes that the MMC is the primary credential documenting the individual's qualifications to perform specific functions on board a ship, and should be the point of alignment when harmonizing the expiration dates of a mariner's endorsements.

    In looking at this requirement, the Coast Guard also considered Executive Order 13771 of January 30, 2017, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance of April 5, 2017, on that Executive order; and Executive Order 13777 of February 24, 2017, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. These directives require agencies to review regulations in order to provide a reduction of regulatory costs to members of the public. Elimination of the requirement to take a radar refresher or re-certification course every 5 years will eliminate an unnecessary burden on the active mariner and make harmonization possible.

    V. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    In this proposed rule, the Coast Guard proposes to revise its regulations so that the mariner who serves in a relevant position on board a radar-equipped vessel for 1 year in the previous 5 years is not required to complete a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course per 46 CFR 11.480 to renew their radar observer endorsement. The proposed requirement for 1 year of sea service within the past 5 years is consistent with similar existing sea service requirements found in, for example, 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1), Requirements for Renewal of an MMC; 46 CFR 11.302(c), Basic Training; and 46 CFR 11.303(c), Advanced Firefighting. For the purposes of this proposed rule, relevant sea service means having served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on a radar-equipped vessel.

    Additionally, mariners who provide evidence of being a qualified instructor and having taught a Coast Guard-approved radar endorsement refresher or re-certification course at least twice within the past 5 years would not be required to complete a radar refresher or re-certification course. The 5-year interval is based on both national and STCW endorsement requirements that follow recognized principles and standards of maritime skill acquisition and retention. The provision to allow renewal of the endorsement by an instructor of the radar course is the same provision that currently exists under 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1)(v) for MMC renewals. This provision would be applied to the radar observer endorsement.

    This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement to carry a certificate of training if the radar observer endorsement is on the MMC, and would allow the endorsement and MMC to expire at the same time.

    The Coast Guard did consider removing the radar refresher or re-certification course requirement altogether. However, the Coast Guard believes that the competencies required by a radar observer would degrade if the mariner does not use them on board vessels or periodically refresh them by teaching or completing a course. The concept that knowledge and skills will degrade with time if not used or refreshed has been applied in other basic maritime training arenas, such as the STCW requirements for basic training and a firefighting refresher course every 5 years, and is a recognized factor within the education industry. While there are few specific studies in skill degradation in the maritime industry, this issue has been the subject of discussion for decades in other industries, including the aviation industry, which is very similar to the maritime industry.6 Also, radar continues to be incorporated into other shipboard systems and continues to change with advancements in technology. The radar observer must keep current with these changes through onboard utilization of skills or a formal course of instruction. As a result, the Coast Guard did not pursue removing refresher training altogether.

    6 Michael W. Gillen, “Degradation of Piloting Skills (Master's Thesis), University of North Dakota, Grand Forks (2008), assesses professional aircraft pilots' basic instrument skills in the age of highly automated cockpits. In addition to the specific findings related to the aircraft pilots, the document contains a literature review of applicable background studies concerning the general theory of learning related to skill acquisition, retention, and declination. The referenced literature includes a discussion of the inverse nature of practice and completion time—previous studies showed that the time required to perform a task declined at a decreasing rate as experience with the task increased. Results from some of these previous studies indicated a rapid rate of learning depreciation.

    Arthur Winfred, Jr., Bennett Winston, Jr., Pamela L. Stanush, and Theresa L. McNelly, “Factors That Influence Skill Decay and Retention: A Quantitative Review and Analysis”, 11(1) Human Performance 57 (1998), presents a review of skill retention and skill decay literature about factors that influence the loss of trained skills or knowledge over extended periods of non-use. Results indicated that there is substantial skill loss after more than 365 days of non-use or non-practice. Physical, natural, and speed-based tasks—such as checklist and repetitive tasks—were less susceptible to skill loss than decision-making tasks that are cognitive, artificial, and accuracy-based. Collision avoidance and navigation using radar can be considered examples of the latter category.

    John M. O'Hara, “The Retention of Skills Acquired Through Simulator-based Training”, 33(9) Ergonomics 1143 (1990), examines the loss of skills among two groups of merchant marine cadets that were tested for watchstanding skills immediately preceding and following a 9-month simulator-based training program. The mitigation of decay as a function of a retraining experience was also evaluated. The results indicated that watchstanding skills improved following training and declined over the 9-month retention interval, and that refresher training was effective in terms of skill loss mitigation for some skill areas.

    In summary, the Coast Guard is proposing to continue to require attendance at a radar refresher or re-certification course for mariners seeking to renew a radar observer endorsement who do not have 1 year of relevant sea service in the previous 5 years using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar. As discussed earlier, mariners with radar observer endorsements who do have 1 year of relevant sea service within the previous 5 years and served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board a radar-equipped vessel, or who have met certain instructor requirements, would be able to renew the radar observer endorsement without completing a course. In addition, the radar observer endorsement would expire with the MMC, and the mariner with a radar observer endorsement would no longer be required to present a course completion certificate within 48 hours of the demand to do so by an authorized official.

    Following is a section-by-section discussion of the proposed changes.

    46 CFR 11.480 Radar Observer

    This proposed rule would revise 46 CFR 11.480(d), (e), (f), (g), and (h). Pursuant to these changes, a current course completion certificate from a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course in accordance with 46 CFR 11.480 would no longer be the only determinant of a mariner's continued competency as a radar observer.

    The proposed rule would revise 46 CFR 11.480 to apply the provisions of 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1)(v) to the radar observer endorsement. A qualified instructor who has taught a Coast Guard-approved radar observer course at least twice within the past 5 years would not be required to complete a refresher or re-certification course because he or she will have met the standards to receive a course completion certificate. During the course approval process in accordance with 46 CFR subpart D, instructors are evaluated to determine whether they are qualified to teach the course; a qualified instructor does not need to complete a refresher or re-certification course.

    This proposed rule would allow mariners to use recent sea service in place of completing a radar refresher or re-certification course. Mariners able to provide evidence of 1 year of relevant sea service within the last 5 years in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar would not be required to attend a course to obtain a course completion certificate.

    If the radar observer endorsement is on the MMC, then the radar observer endorsement is valid for the same period as the MMC. The validity of the MMC will coincide with the validity of the radar endorsement if the applicant provides the following information: (1) Evidence of 1 year of sea service within the last 5 years in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board radar-equipped vessels; (2) evidence of having been a qualified instructor who has taught a Coast Guard-approved radar observer course at least twice within the past 5 years; or (3) successful completion of a Coast Guard-approved radar course within the past 5 years. If the applicant does not provide evidence of meeting the requirements for the radar observer endorsement, the endorsement will not be placed on the MMC.

    46 CFR 15.815

    The Coast Guard proposes to revise § 15.815 to eliminate the requirement that a person required to hold a radar endorsement must have his or her course completion certificate readily available. Having the course completion certificate available is not necessary if the MMC reflects a radar observer endorsement, because the radar observer endorsement indicates adequate training or experience demonstrated through one of the three methods described in this proposed rule.

    The proposed rule would revise § 15.815(d) to allow the mariners listed in § 15.815(a), (b), and (c), to sail without a radar observer endorsement provided that they hold, and have immediately available, a course completion certificate, issued within the last 5 years, from a Coast Guard-approved radar course. This would create flexibility for mariners who were not qualified for the radar observer endorsement at their last credential application but have subsequently completed a Coast Guard-approved radar course and hold a course completion certificate.

    46 CFR 10.232

    Finally, the Coast Guard proposes to add a corresponding requirement to § 10.232(a) so that the sea service letter indicates whether the vessel the mariner has served on is equipped with radar, and that the mariner served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes. While certain vessels are required to carry radar, some vessels are not required to do so, such as offshore supply vessels of less than 100 gross tons and mechanically propelled vessels of less than 1,600 gross tons in ocean or coastwise service. This proposed rule would ensure that mariners serving in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar will get credit towards renewal of the radar observer endorsement, regardless of whether the vessel was required to carry radar.

    VI. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. A summary of our analyses based on these statutes or Executive orders follows.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This proposed rule is not designated a significant regulatory action by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it. OMB considers this rule to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. See the OMB Memorandum titled “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017).

    This regulatory analysis provides an evaluation of the economic impacts associated with this proposed rule. The Coast Guard proposes to revise its regulations so that the mariner who served on board a radar-equipped vessel for 1 year in the previous 5 years, in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes, is not required to complete a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course to renew their radar observer endorsement, as discussed in section V of this proposed rule. Additionally, mariners who provide evidence of being a qualified instructor and having taught a Coast Guard-approved radar endorsement refresher or re-certification course at least twice within the past 5 years would not be required to complete a radar refresher or re-certification course. Table 1 provides a summary of the affected population, costs, and cost savings after implementation of this proposed rule. The total 10-year discounted cost savings of the rule would be $47,678,762 and the annualized total cost savings would be $6,788,383, both discounted at 7 percent. We expect that an average of 7,037 mariners would benefit from this proposed rule each year. The proposed rule would result in cost savings to these mariners for no longer incurring the costs to complete the radar observer refresher course. There would be no impact to those mariners seeking an original radar observer endorsement or who do not have 1 year of relevant sea service in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board radar-equipped vessels on board radar-equipped vessels in the previous 5 years. This proposed rule would not impose costs on industry.

    Table 1—Summary of the Impacts of Proposed Rule Change Description Affected population Costs Cost savings Revise 46 CFR 11.480 (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) Revise the merchant mariner credentialing regulations to allow mariners who are qualified instructors and mariners with 1 year of sea service in the previous 5 years using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on radar-equipped vessels to retain their radar observer endorsement without being required to take a radar renewal or re-certification course Total of 35,183 mariners would no longer be required to take radar refresher or re-certification course. Annual average of 7,037 mariners per year benefit from proposed rule (rounded) No cost $6,788,830 annualized and $47,678,762 10-year present value monetized industry benefits (cost savings) (7% discount rate). Revise 46 CFR 15.815 Remove requirement that a person with a radar observer endorsement must have a certificate of training readily available 35,183 mariners No cost No cost savings. Revise 46 CFR 10.232(a)(2) Add requirement that sea service letters include the information that the vessel the mariner has served on is radar equipped and the mariner served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes 35,183 mariners No quantifiable cost. Cost to add one line item to company's regular update to the service letter is too small to quantify No cost savings.

    The proposed revisions to 46 CFR 11.480 would result in cost savings to those mariners who no longer would have to complete the radar observer refresher course.

    The proposed revisions to 46 CFR 15.815 would eliminate the requirement that a person holding a radar endorsement must also have his or her course completion certificate readily available. While the mariner would no longer physically have to carry the certificate, the mariner would still have to physically carry an MMC that reflects a radar observer endorsement. The costs of obtaining the copy of the certificate are included in the cost of the completion of the course. Therefore, any cost savings from these revisions are included in the calculations of the cost savings to the revisions to 46 CFR 11.480. Those mariners who do not have an MMC that reflects a radar observer endorsement would be allowed to sail if they hold, and have immediately available, a course completion certificate, issued within the last 5 years, from a Coast Guard-approved radar course. There is no impact to these mariners, as they currently have to carry a certificate to show course completion.

    The proposed revisions to 46 CFR 10.232 would add a requirement that the sea service letter indicate whether the mariner served on a vessel equipped with radar, and if the mariner served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes. The operating companies that use service letters are already required to provide mariner service information. The companies would have to add a line item once per vessel, and then the letter would be available for all other mariners serving on a radar-equipped vessel using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes. The companies generally produce a service letter once every 5 years to provide the employees the documentation necessary to renew their credentials. Because the cost to add one line item is a minimal burden and could be included in the company's regular updates to the service letter, we consider the proposed revisions to 46 CFR 10.232 to have no additional burden or cost savings to industry.

    Affected Population

    We expect that this proposed rule would affect mariners with a radar observer endorsement and mariners who would need one in the future. More specifically, it would affect those mariners with at least 1 year of sea service in the previous 5 years in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board a radar-equipped vessel, as they will no longer be required to complete a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course per 46 CFR 11.480 in order to renew their radar observer endorsement. It would also affect mariners who have served as instructors for a Coast Guard-approved radar course at least twice within the past 5 years, the majority of whom hold a valid endorsement and would be included in the affected population. The radar observer endorsement would expire with the MMC and the mariner would no longer be required to carry the course completion certificate so that it can be presented to the Coast Guard upon demand.

    We used data from the Coast Guard's Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation (MMLD) system to estimate the average number of mariners affected by this proposed rule. The MMLD system is used to produce MMCs at the National Maritime Center. Table 2 below shows the radar endorsement data from the MMLD system used to estimate the affected population. The MMLD system does not have exam data prior to 2011 for the mariners who took the rules of the road exam to renew an MMC.

    Table 2—Mariners Holding Radar Observer Endorsements Year Mariners who hold a radar observer endorsement
  • (current total
  • population)
  • Mariners who took rules of the road exam to renew MMC Mariners who
  • benefit from
  • proposed rule
  • 2011 37,612 488 37,124 2012 38,114 572 37,542 2013 37,011 638 36,373 2014 35,262 671 34,591 2015 34,280 716 33,564 2016 34,546 777 33,769 2017 34,076 755 33,321 Average Total Mariners 35,843 660 35,183 Impacted per Year 7,169 132 7,037

    The “Mariners Who Hold a Radar Observer Endorsement” column shows the number of unique mariners who, on January 1 of each year, held a valid MMC with a radar observer endorsement. Per § 11.480, each applicant for a renewal of a radar observer endorsement must complete the appropriate Coast Guard-approved refresher or re-certification course, receive the appropriate course completion certificate, and present the certificate or a copy of the certificate to the Coast Guard. A radar observer endorsement is typically valid for 5 years from the date of completion of the Coast Guard-approved course. From 2011 to 2017, there was an average of 35,843 total mariners with a valid MMC with a radar observer endorsement. The Coast Guard does not have more detailed information as to the expiration for each mariner's radar observer endorsement. Therefore, we divided the total mariners by 5 to estimate that an average of 7,169 mariners currently would need to take the radar renewal course each year (35,843 total mariners/5, rounded to nearest whole number).

    Under this proposed rule, the Coast Guard expects that a portion of the total mariners would not have 1 year of sea service in the last 5 years in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board radar-equipped vessels. There are some mariners who are inactive but still complete the requirements to renew an MMC. The requirements for the renewal of an MMC are in § 10.227. In order to renew their credentials, mariners must present acceptable documentary evidence of at least 1 year of sea service during the past 5 years, or pass a comprehensive, open-book exercise that includes a rules of the road examination. Mariners who take the rules of the road exam are tracked in the MMLD database. The “Mariners Who Took Rules of the Road Exam to Renew MMC” column in table 3 shows the number of the unique mariners in the “Mariners Who Hold a Radar Observer Endorsement (Current Total Population)” column who took the rules of the road examination as part of the MMC renewal process for their existing valid MMC, not the number of mariners who took the rules of the road exam in that given year. Therefore, we used this as a proxy to estimate the number of mariners who did not have 1 year of sea service in the last 5 years. Under this proposed rule, an average of 660 total mariners would still have had to take a radar refresher or re-certification course in order to maintain the radar observer endorsement. The Coast Guard does not have more detailed information as when each mariner took the radar refresher or re-certification course over the 5-year period. We divided the total mariners by 5 to find an average of 132 mariners would still need to take the exam each year (660 total mariners/5).

    We subtracted the number in the “Mariners Who Took Rules of the Road Exam to Renew MMC” column from the number in the “Mariners Who Hold a Radar Observer Endorsement” column to find the mariners who, under this proposed rule, would not have had to take a radar refresher or re-certification course when they last renewed their MMC. From 2011 to 2017, there was an average of 35,183 mariners who held radar observer endorsements and had at least 1 year of relevant sea service during the past 5 years. This number represents the total number of mariners expected to benefit from this proposed rule. We divided the total number of mariners expected to benefit from this proposed rule by 5 to find the average mariners that would benefit each year (35,183 total mariners/5). This comes out to an average of 7,037 mariners per year that would no longer have to take a radar refresher or re-certification course (rounded to nearest whole number).

    Costs

    The regulatory changes in this proposed rule would not impose any costs to industry or government.

    Cost Savings

    The cost savings to industry are the difference between the current baseline cost to industry and the cost to industry if the regulatory changes in this proposed rule are implemented.

    Baseline Cost to Industry

    To estimate the cost savings to industry, we first estimated the current costs to industry. The costs to industry include the cost of the refresher or re-certification course, the time to take the course, and time and mileage costs to travel to take the course. The mariners incur costs for the radar refresher or re-certification course. To estimate the cost of the course, the Coast Guard researched and found a sample of course costs from five training centers that offer Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification courses. The cost of the courses ranged from $199 to $250. We took an average of the 5 estimates to find the average cost of the courses is $228 (($199 + $250 + $225 + $225 + $243)/5, rounded to nearest dollar).7 8 9 10 11

    7 Maritime Professional Training, course cost of $199, found at http://www.mptusa.com/course/149-Radar-Observer-Recertification-Renewal.

    8 Compass Courses, course cost of $250, found at http://compasscourses.com/maritime-safety-training-courses/radar-re-certification/.

    9 The Marine Training Institute, course cost of $225, found at http://themarinetraininginstitute.com/ecdis-radar-recertification/.

    10 Calhoon MEBA Engineering School, course cost of $225, found at http://rro.cutwater.org/.

    11 Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies, course cost of $243, found at https://www.mitags-pmi.org/courses/view/Radar_Observer_Recertification.

    We then estimated the cost of the time for the mariners to take the refresher or re-certification course. The 5 training centers state that the radar renewal course is 1-day. For the purposes of complying with service requirements, a day is defined as 8 hours (46 CFR 10.107, Definitions in subchapter B).12 We obtained the wage rate of a mariner from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), using Occupational Series 53-5021, Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels (May 2016). The BLS reports that the mean hourly wage rate for a Captain, Mate, or Pilot is $39.19.13 To account for employee benefits, we used a load factor of 1.52, which we calculated from 2016 4th quarter BLS data.14 The loaded wage for a mariner is estimated at $59.57 ($39.19 wage rate × 1.52 load factor). We multiplied the loaded wage rate by the hourly burden to find the current cost for a mariner to take the radar renewal course is $476.56 ($59.57 wage rate × 8 hour burden).

    12 46 CFR 10.107, https://ecfr.io/Title-46/pt46.1.10#se46.1.10_1107.

    13 Mean wage, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes535021.htm.

    14 Employer Costs for Employee Compensation provides information on the employer compensation and can be found in table 9 at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03172017.pdf. The loaded wage factor is equal to the total compensation of $28.15 divided by the wages and salary of $18.53. Values for the total compensation, wages, and salary are for all private industry workers in the transportation and material moving occupations, 2016 4th quarter. We use 2016 data to keep estimated cost savings in 2016 dollars.

    We then estimated the cost for the mariners to travel to take the refresher or re-certification course. The radar refresher or re-certification course must be taken in person at a training center. This means the mariners incur costs for time to travel to take the course. We estimated mileage using travel costs assumptions from the Implementation of the 1995 Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements Final Rule. 15 On average, a mariner commutes 50 miles to a training course one-way, or 100 miles round trip. The Federal Highway Administration reports the average commute speed for private vehicles is 28.87 miles per hour.16 We divided the average round trip mileage to the training center by the average commute time to find that it takes an average of 3.46 hours for a mariner to travel to the training center (100 miles/28.87 miles per hour, rounded). We multiplied this by the loaded hourly wage rate to find that the hourly burden per mariner to travel to the training center to take the refresher or re-certification course is $206.11 (3.46 hours × $59.57).

    15 Found at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=USCG-2004-17914. Non-commuting driving time estimate found on page 132 of the Regulatory Analysis and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, located under Supporting Documents.

    16 “Summary of Travel Trends: 2009 National Household Travel Survey”, table 27, found at http://nhts.ornl.gov/2009/pub/stt.pdf.

    The mariners also incur additional mileage costs for traveling to the training facility to take the 1-day course, such as gas and wear and tear on their vehicles. We used the U.S. General Services Administration privately owned vehicle mileage reimbursement rate of $0.54 per mile to estimate this additional cost.17 We multiplied this rate by the 100 miles round trip to the training facility to estimate that the mariners incur a cost of $54 per mariner for the additional mileage costs.

    17 Found at https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/transportation-airfare-rates-pov-rates-etc/privately-owned-vehicle-pov-rates/pov-mileage-rates-archived. We use the 2016 rate to keep all costs in 2016 dollars.

    Table 3 summarizes the costs per mariner to take the radar refresher or re-certification course. Adding the cost of the 1-day course, the opportunity cost of time to take the course, and the opportunity cost of roundtrip travel time and mileage costs to get to the training center, we found that it costs $964.67 per mariner to take the radar refresher or re-certification course.

    Table 3—Costs per Mariner for Radar Refresher or Re-Certification Course Cost category Cost 1-Day Course $228.00 Opportunity Cost of Time (8 hours) Spent in Training Facility 476.56 Opportunity Cost of Roundtrip Travel Time to Training Center 206.11 Mileage Costs 54.00 Total 964.67

    To find the baseline total cost for all mariners to take the radar refresher or re-certification course, we multiplied the total cost per mariner of $964.67 by the annual average mariners who currently hold radar observer endorsements. As shown in table 2, we found this is an annual average of 7,169 mariners. Therefore, the total baseline annual average cost for all mariners is $6,915,719 (7,169 mariners × $964.67 per mariner, rounded).

    Costs to Industry After Implementation of the Regulatory Changes Proposed

    Revising § 11.480 so that mariners who serve on board a radar-equipped vessel for 1 year in the previous 5 years are not required to take a radar refresher or re-certification course to renew their radar observer endorsement would reduce the number of mariners who would need to take the radar refresher or re-certification course. As shown in table 2 in the “Affected Population” subsection, an average of 132 mariners would still need to take the radar refresher or re-certification course each year. These mariners would continue to have the same costs per mariner shown in table 3. Multiplying the cost per mariner by the average mariners that would still need to take the course each year, we found the total annual cost to industry that would remain under this proposed rule would be $127,336 (132 mariners × $964.67 per mariner).

    Cost Savings

    To find the total cost savings of this proposed rule, we subtracted the costs to industry after implementation of the proposed rule from the baseline costs. Subtracting $127,336 from $6,915,719, we found the total cost savings of this proposed rule would be $6,788,383. Table 4 shows the total 10-year undiscounted industry cost savings of this proposed rule would be $67,883,830. The 10-year estimated discounted cost savings to industry would be $47,678,762, with an annualized cost savings of $6,788,383, using a 7-percent discount rate. Using a perpetual period of analysis, we estimated the total annualized cost savings of the proposed rule would be $5,541,343 in 2016 dollars, using a 7-percent discount rate.

    Table 4—Total Estimated Cost Savings of the Proposed Rule Over a 10-Year Period of Analysis [Discounted at 7 and 3 percent] Year Total undiscounted costs Total, discounted 7% 3% 1 $6,788,383 $6,344,283 $6,590,663 2 6,788,383 5,929,237 6,398,702 3 6,788,383 5,541,343 6,212,332 4 6,788,383 5,178,825 6,031,390 5 6,788,383 4,840,023 5,855,719 6 6,788,383 4,523,386 5,685,164 7 6,788,383 4,227,464 5,519,577 8 6,788,383 3,950,901 5,358,812 9 6,788,383 3,692,431 5,202,730 10 6,788,383 3,450,870 5,051,194 Total 67,883,830 47,678,762 57,906,284 Annualized 6,788,383 6,788,383 B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

    This proposed rule reduces the burden on industry by removing the requirement to attend a radar refresher or re-certification course every 5 years for mariners who have 1 year of relevant sea service in the previous 5 years in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board radar-equipped vessels, or for Coast Guard-approved radar course qualified instructors who have taught the class at least twice within the past 5 years. The MMC and radar observer endorsement is in the mariner's name and not the company's name, so we assume the affected mariners would receive the cost savings from this proposed rule. We do not have further information that any companies would reimburse the mariners for these costs and would acquire the costs savings.

    Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule reduces the burden associated with mariners taking the radar refresher or re-certification course and will not adversely affect small entities as defined by the Small Business Administration in 13 CFR 121.201. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment to the docket at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. In your comment, explain why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this proposed rule would economically affect it.

    C. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

    D. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. The information collection associated with this proposed rule is the currently approved collection 1625-0040 (MMC Application).18 The proposed revisions to 46 CFR 15.815 would eliminate the requirement that a person holding a radar endorsement must also have his or her course completion certificate readily available. While the mariner would no longer physically have to carry the certificate, the mariner would still have to carry an MMC that reflects a radar observer endorsement. Those mariners who do not have an MMC that reflects a radar observer endorsement would be allowed to sail provided that they hold, and have immediately available, a course completion certificate, issued within the last 5 years, from a Coast Guard-approved radar refresher or re-certification course. There is no impact to these mariners, as they currently have to carry a certificate to show course completion.

    18 The full title of COI 1625-0040 is “Application for Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), Application for Medical Certificate, Application for Medical Certificate—Short Form, Small Vessel Sea Service (Optional) Form, DOT/USCG Periodic Drug Testing (Optional) Form, and Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or Other Convictions (Optional) Form.”

    The proposed revisions to 46 CFR 10.232 would add a requirement that the sea service letter indicates whether the mariner served on a vessel equipped with radar, and if the mariner served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes. In place of an indication on an application or by separate certification that a mariner completed a Coast Guard-approved radar observer course, a statement would be added to the already-required sea service letter. The operating companies that use service letters are already required to provide mariner service information. The companies would have to add a line item once per vessel, and then the letter would be available for all other mariners serving on a radar-equipped vessel using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes. The companies generally produce a service letter once every 5 years to provide the employees the documentation necessary to renew their credentials. Because the cost to add one line item is a minimal burden and could be included in the company's regular updates to the service letter, we consider the proposed revisions to 46 CFR 10.232 to have no additional burden to industry. Therefore, the proposed revisions would not change the burden in the currently approved collection 1625-0040.

    E. Federalism

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

    It is well settled that States may not regulate in categories reserved for regulation by the Coast Guard. It is also well settled that all of the categories covered in 46 U.S.C. 3306, 3703, 7101, and 8101 (design, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, equipping, personnel qualification, and manning of vessels), as well as the reporting of casualties and any other category in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel's obligations, are within the field foreclosed from regulation by the States. See the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 (2000). Because this proposed rule involves the credentialing of mariners under 46 U.S.C. 7101, it relates to personnel qualifications and, as a result, is foreclosed from regulation by the States. Therefore, because the States may not regulate within these categories, this proposed rule is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

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

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    G. Taking of Private Property

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

    H. Civil Justice Reform

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

    I. Protection of Children

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

    J. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    K. Energy Effects

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

    L. Technical Standards

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

    This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    M. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD (COMDTINST 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 made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary (draft) Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” section of this preamble. This proposed rule would be categorically excluded under categorical exclusion (CATEX) numbers L52, L56, L57, and L62 of DHS Directive 023-01(series). As such, CATEX L52 pertains to regulations concerning vessel operation safety standards, CATEX L56 pertains to regulations concerning the training, qualifying, and licensing of maritime personnel, CATEX L57 pertains to regulations concerning manning of vessels, and CATEX L62 pertains to regulations in aid of navigation. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects 46 CFR Part 10

    Penalties, Personally identifiable information, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seamen.

    46 CFR Part 11

    Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools, Seamen.

    46 CFR Part 15

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seamen, Vessels.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 46 CFR parts 10, 11, and 15 as follows:

    1. The authority citation for part 10 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    14 U.S.C. 633; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, 2110; 46 U.S.C. chapter 71; 46 U.S.C. chapter 73; 46 U.S.C. chapter 75; 46 U.S.C. 2104; 46 U.S.C. 7701, 8903, 8904, and 70105; Executive Order 10173; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 10.232 by redesignating paragraphs (a)(2)(vii) through (a)(2)(x) as paragraphs (a)(2)(viii) through (a)(2)(xi), respectively and add new paragraph (a)(2)(vii) to read as follows:
    § 10.232 Sea service.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (vii) For those seeking to renew a radar observer endorsement, whether the vessel is equipped with radar and if the mariner served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.

    PART 11—REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICER ENDORSEMENTS 1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    14 U.S.C. 633; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, and 2110; 46 U.S.C. chapter 71; 46 U.S.C. 7502, 7505, 7701, 8906, and 70105; Executive Order 10173; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Section 11.107 is also issued under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    2. Amend § 11.480 as follows: a. In paragraph (d), remove the text “paragraph (e)” and add, in its place, the text “paragraphs (f) or (g)”; and b. Revise paragraphs (e) through (h) to read as follows:
    § 11.480 Radar observer.

    (e) A radar observer endorsement issued under this section is valid until the expiration of the mariner's MMC.

    (f) A mariner may also renew his or her radar observer endorsement by providing evidence of meeting the requirements located in 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1)(v).

    (g) The Coast Guard will accept on-board training and experience through acceptable documentary evidence of 1 year of relevant sea service within the last 5 years in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar as meeting the refresher or re-certification requirements of paragraph (d) of this section.

    (h) An applicant for renewal of a license or MMC who does not provide evidence of meeting the renewal requirements of paragraphs (d), (f), or (g) of this section will not have a radar observer endorsement placed on his or her MMC.

    PART 15—MANNING REQUIREMENTS 1. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 2101, 2103, 3306, 3703, 8101, 8102, 8103, 8104, 8105, 8301, 8304, 8502, 8503, 8701, 8702, 8901, 8902, 8903, 8904, 8905(b), 8906 and 9102; sec. 617, Pub. L. 111-281, 124 Stat. 2905; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 15.815 by revising paragraph (d) and removing paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 15.815 Radar observers.

    (d) In the event that a person described in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section does not hold an endorsement as radar observer, he or she must have immediately available a valid course completion certificate from a Coast Guard-approved radar course.

    Jeffrey G. Lantz, Director, Office of Commercial Regulations and Standards.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12502 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Chapter III [Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0037] Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) Which May Be a Barrier to the Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems (ADS) in Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operations; Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public listening session.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA announces a public listening session on June 19, 2018, to solicit information on issues relating to the design, development, testing, and integration of ADS-equipped CMVs on our Nation's roadways. The listening session will provide interested parties with an opportunity to assist the Agency's future rulemaking efforts by sharing their views on the FMCSRs as they relate to the development and safe integration of ADS. It will also allow FMCSA to share with stakeholders the Agency's ADS strategy and open a channel for two-way communication. This listening session will supplement the information gathered from FMCSA's previous requests for comment on issues related to automation by targeting stakeholders from whom they have not previously received comments, including academia, insurance groups, and technology providers and developers. Attendees are also encouraged to share any data or analysis on this topic with Agency representatives.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Tuesday, June 19, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), at the University of Michigan's Mcity in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Research Auditorium, 2800 Plymouth Street, Bldg. 10, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

    Please use the following link to RSVP and find additional information about this public meeting as it approaches: https://fmcsaads.eventbrite.com/. Information about this listening session can also be found at: https://www.transportation.gov/AV.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. William Cunnane, Program Specialist, Program Integration Office, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, email: [email protected]

    Services for Individuals with Disabilities: For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, please contact Victoria Waters at (734) 647-4217 by June 12, 2018.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FMCSA is responsible for overseeing the safety of CMVs, their drivers, and those motor carriers operating CMVs in interstate commerce. The Agency works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, safety groups, and organized labor to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

    The FMCSRs provide rules to support the safe operation of CMVs, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, which includes vehicles with a gross vehicle weight/gross combination weight or gross vehicle weight rating/gross combination weight rating, whichever is greater, of 10,001 pounds or more; passenger-carrying vehicles designed or used to transport nine to 15 passengers for direct compensation; passenger-carrying vehicles designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers; and any size vehicle transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.

    On September 12, 2017, the Department published the Automated Driving Systems (ADS): A Vision for Safety 2.0. (the Voluntary Guidance), adopting the SAE International (SAE) J3016 standard's definitions for levels of automation.1 The SAE definitions divide vehicles into levels based on “who does what, when.” Generally:

    1 Publication No. DOT HS 812 442.

    SAE Level 0, No Driving Automation; the driver performs all driving tasks.

    SAE Level 1, Driver Assistance; the vehicle is controlled by the driver, but some driving assist features may be included in the vehicle design.

    SAE Level 2, Partial Driving Automation; the vehicle has combined automated functions, like acceleration and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times.

    SAE Level 3, Conditional Driving Automation; the driver is a necessity, but is not required to monitor the environment. The driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times with notice.

    SAE Level 4, High Driving Automation; the vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under certain conditions. The driver may have the option to control the vehicle.

    SAE Level 5, Full Driving Automation: the vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under all conditions.

    Using the SAE levels described above, the Department draws a distinction between Levels 0-2 and 3-5 based on whether the human driver or the automated system is primarily responsible for monitoring the driving environment. For the purposes of this public meeting, FMCSA's primary focus is SAE Levels 3-5 ADS.

    FMCSA encourages the development of these advanced safety technologies for use in CMVs. The Agency also recognizes the need to work with the States and localities to ensure that all testing and use of these advanced safety systems supports the safe operation and deployment of ADS-equipped CMVs.

    II. FMCSA's 2018 Request for Comments

    On March 28, 2018, FMCSA published “Request for Comments (RFC) Concerning Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) Which May Be a Barrier to the Safe Testing and Deployment of Automated Driving Systems-Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles on Public Roads.” 2 The notice solicited public comments on existing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that may need to be updated, modified, or eliminated to facilitate the safe introduction of automated driving systems (ADS)-equipped commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) onto our Nation's roadways. The Agency indicated that it had commissioned the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) to conduct a preliminary review of the FMCSRs to identify regulations that may relate to the development, testing, and safe deployment of ADS. The Agency requested comments on this report in the RFC, including whether any of FMCSA's current safety regulations presented barriers to innovation and research related to ADS-equipped CMVs. Further, FMCSA requested comments on certain FMCSRs likely to be affected as ADS-equipped CMVs are increasingly integrated into our roadways, including regulations concerning hours of service and driver fatigue, the use of electronic devices, roadside inspection, and Commercial Driver's License requirements.

    2 Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0037 [March 26, 2018-May 10, 2018].

    To further support FMCSA's effort to understand necessary changes to the FMCSRs, FMCSA requested information from companies and others engaged in the design, development, testing, and integration of ADS-equipped CMVs into their fleets. Specifically, the Agency requested information about: (1) The scenarios and environments in which ADS is being tested and will soon be integrated into CMVs operating on public roads or in interstate commerce; (2) the operational design domains (ODD) in which these systems are being operated, tested, and deployed; and (3) suggested measures to ensure the protection of any proprietary or confidential business information shared with the Agency on this topic.

    The comment period ended on May 10, 2018. Interested parties can view the comments the Agency received at www.regulations.gov (docket number FMCSA-2018-0037).

    In the Spring Regulatory and Deregulatory Agenda issued after the publication of the March 28 RFC notice, FMCSA announced the initiation of rulemaking concerning ADS-equipped CMVs beginning with an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which is currently scheduled to be published in December 2018 (“Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems-Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles,” 2126-AC17).

    III. Meeting Participation

    FMCSA hopes to supplement the information gathered from the RFC by targeting stakeholders from whom they have not previously received many comments, including academia, insurance groups, and technology providers and developers. The listening session will provide interested parties an opportunity to assist the Agency's future rulemaking efforts by sharing their views on the FMCSRs as they relate to the development and safe integration of ADS through oral presentations. FMCSA also hopes to use this listening session as a platform to share the Agency's ADS strategy with the public. The Agency will provide the public with all relevant details and the opportunity to register for this meeting at https://fmcsaads.eventbrite.com/. Information about this listening session can also be found at: https://www.transportation.gov/AV.

    Oral comments from the public will be heard during the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments to public docket referenced at the beginning of this notice using any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W12-140, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Issued on: June 5, 2018. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12499 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    83 112 Monday, June 11, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 6, 2018.

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

    Comments regarding this information collection received by July 11, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

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

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

    Title: 7 CFR part 15 subpart D—Data Collection Requirements.

    OMB Control Number: 0503-0022.

    Summary of Collection: Under 7 CFR 15d.4(5) The Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OSCAR) shall require agencies to collect the race, ethnicity, and gender of applicants and program participants, who choose to provide such information on a voluntary basis. Currently, Section 14006 of the 2008 Farm Bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to annually compile for each county and State in the United States program application and participation rate date regarding socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers for each program of USDA that serves agricultural producers or landowners.

    Need and Use of the Information: The requested information will help USDA determine if programs and services are reaching the needs of the general public, beneficiaries, recipients, partners, and other stakeholders and supports USDA's planning, outreach, and compliance efforts. The uniform collection of REG data allows USDA to administer programs from a proactive rather than a reactive position and enables the Department to assess the accomplishment of program delivery mandates and objectives. Failure to collect this information will have negative impact on USDA's outreach and compliance activities.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 1,190.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (once).

    Total Burden Hours: 39.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12449 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-9R-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on the following information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulatory Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078. Fax: (202) 720-8435 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for revision.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulations Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078, Fax: (202) 720-8435 or email: [email protected]

    Title: Advance of Loan Funds and Budgetary Control and Other Related Burdens.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0015.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The Rural Utilities Service administers the electric loan and loan guarantee program authorized under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) In order to protect and ensure the Government's security interest in loans, and in exercise of due diligence, electric borrowers furnish information to RUS regarding the condition, financial or otherwise, related to expenditure of loan funds. This Information Collection is necessary to comply with applicable provisions of the RUS loan contract. RUS Borrowers submit requisitions to RUS for funds for project costs incurred. Insured loan funds will be advanced only for projects which are included in the RUS approved borrowers workplan or approved amendment and in an approved loan, as amended. The process of loan advances establishes the beginning of the audit trail of the use of loan funds which is required to subsequent RUS compliance audits.

    The RUS Form 595 is used as a requisition for advances of funds. The form helps to assure that loan funds are advanced only for the budget purposes and amount approved by RUS. According to the applicable provisions of the RUS loan contract, borrowers must certify with each request for funds to be approved for advance, which such funds are for projects previously approved. When a prospective borrower requests and is granted a RUS loan, a loan contract is established between the Federal government, acting through the RUS Administrator, and the borrower. At the time this contract is entered into, the borrower must provide RUS with a list of projects for which loan funds will be spent, along with an itemized list of the estimated costs of these projects. Thus, the borrower receives a loan based upon estimated cost figures.

    RUS Form 219, Inventory of Work Orders, is one of the documents the borrower submits to RUS to support actual expenditures and an advance of loan funds. The form also serves as a connecting link and provides an audit trail that originates with the advance of funds and terminates with evidence supporting the propriety of expenditures for construction or retirement projects.

    Estimate of Burden: The Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.56 hours per response.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for profit.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 600.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 15.5.

    Estimated Number of Total Responses: 9,320.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 14,570 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Regulations Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-7853, Fax: (202) 720-8435 or email: [email protected] All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: May 29, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12414 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P0
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulatory Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078. FAX: (202) 720-8435. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulatory Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078, FAX: (202) 720-8435. Email: [email protected]

    Title: Substantially Underserved Trust Areas.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0147.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The RUS provides loan, loan guarantee and grant programs for rural electric, water and waste, and telecommunications and broadband infrastructure. The SUTA initiative gives the Secretary of Agriculture certain discretionary authorities relating to financial assistance terms and conditions that can enhance the financing possibilities in areas that are underserved by certain RUS electric, water and waste, and telecommunications and broadband programs. The data covered by this collection of information are those materials necessary to allow the agency to determine applicant and community eligibility and an explanation and documentation of the high need for the benefits of the SUTA provisions. Program specific application materials, which funds are being applied for, are covered by the information collection package for the specific RUS program.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 30 hours per response.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 30.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Regulatory Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, at (202) 720-7853, FAX: (202) 720-8435. Email: [email protected]

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

    Dated: May 29, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12415 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-34-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 230—Greensboro, North Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Patheon Softgels (Pharmaceutical Products); High Point, North Carolina

    The Piedmont Triad Partnership, grantee of FTZ 230, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Patheon Softgels (Patheon), located in High Point, North Carolina. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on May 31, 2018.

    Patheon already has authority to produce certain prescription pharmaceutical products and soft gelatin capsules within Subzone 230C. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Patheon from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below and in the existing scope of authority, Patheon would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Gelatin encapsulated ibuprofen capsules (duty-free). Patheon would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Ponceau R4 (food coloring—for use only in production for export); ibuprofen active pharmaceutical ingredients; medium chain triglycerides; and, polyethylene glycol (duty rate ranges from 8.8ct/kg to 6.5%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 23, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Wedderburn at [email protected] or (202) 482-1963.

    Dated: June 5, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12496 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-37-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 113—Ellis County, Texas; Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area); Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Ellis County Trade Zone Corporation, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 113, requesting authority to reorganize the zone to expand its service area under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on June 4, 2018.

    FTZ 113 was approved by the FTZ Board on December 21, 1984 (Board Order 283, 50 FR 300, January 3, 1985) and reorganized under the ASF on September 24, 2010 (Board Order 1708, 75 FR 61706, October 6, 2010). The zone currently has a service area that includes Ellis County, Texas.

    The applicant is now requesting authority to expand the service area of the zone to include Navarro County, Texas, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the expanded service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed expanded service area is adjacent to the Dallas/Fort Worth Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is August 10, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to August 27, 2018.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: June 5, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12497 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-33-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 12—McAllen, Texas; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. (Indoor and Outdoor Power Tools and Related Components); Mission, Texas

    Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. (Black & Decker) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Mission, Texas. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on June 1, 2018.

    The Black & Decker facility is located within FTZ 12—Site 4. The facility will be used for the manufacture/assembly of cordless indoor and outdoor power tools and of power tool components (batteries, plastic injection molded parts, cordless motors, and certain subassemblies), and for the packaging/kitting of power tools with their components. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Black & Decker from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Black & Decker would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Plastic injection molded components; DC motors exceeding 74.6 watts but <735 watts; DC motors exceeding 750 watts; core subassemblies; armature subassemblies; field assemblies; magnet ring subassemblies; lithium ion batteries; hammer drills; drill/drivers; circular saws; jigsaws; impact wrenches; impact drivers; grease guns; string trimmers; hedge trimmers; and, lawnmowers (duty rates range from free to 4%). Black & Decker would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Resins (polyethylene; thermoplastic elastomers (TPE); polypropylene; polystyrene; acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS); polymers of styrene; polycarbonate/ABS—cycoloy blend; TPE styrene-based styrene ethylene butylene styrene block copolymer (SEBS); acetyl; epoxy powder; polycarbonate (PC); polybutylene terephthalate (PBT); xenoy blend—PC/PBT; polyethylene terephthalate (PET); polyester; saturated polyester; glass filled nylon; polyamide; thermoplastic elastomer—urethane based (TPU)); hoses with couplers; plastic labels; plastic blade sheaths; plastic cord clamps; rubber belts; rubber o-rings; rubber valve seals; rubber retaining ring bullets; metal screws; self-tapping steel bolts; metal threaded screws; steel nuts; steel wave washers; steel clamp washers; steel cotter pins; steel retaining rings; steel pins; rear door rods; steel detent springs; steel belt hooks; steel fuse straps; steel pipe plugs; steel power straps; allen wrenches; lawnmower blades; pump housings; fans; fan and insert assemblies; fan subassemblies; back wheel shafts; battery housing lids; battery rails; blade insulators; bottom battery wells; handle brackets; brackets; brake retaining plates; brake rings; mower start buttons; bail handle cams; cord holders; mower decks; rear doors; flaps; frames; front deck inserts; front and rear decks; height adjust handles; housings (base cover; assembly; side cover; handle cover; height adjustment; storage); rear volute inserts; knobs; bail catch levers; mounting plates; brake pads; plate covers; axle retention plates; machined plates; mulch plugs; linkage connection rods; safety bails; spacers; front and rear wheel assemblies; front axles; height adjust keys; link arm subassemblies; top battery wells; drill/drivers; hammer drills; circular saws; jigsaws; reciprocating saws; impact wrenches; impact drivers; 2-speed actuators; actuators; aux frames; aux handles; motor cases; battery charger handles; bumpers; field cases; handle clamps; rod area covers; fan baffles; forward/reverse bars; gear case clamps; gear case covers; grease tubes; guards; housing covers; knobs for saws; linkages; mounts; PCA board mounts; pistons; support plates; threaded plates; powdered metal bushings; retaining rings; sensor caps; shoe subassemblies; blade spacers; speed buttons; spindle lock plates; subassemblies (cap, housing, handle, pole top, pole, ratchet spool; front end drill, front end impact driver, guard); valve caps; valve outlets; outer clamp washers; yokes; purge valves; valve bodies; valve plungers; ball bearings; needle bearings; output crank and spindles; driven pulleys; gear cases; gearboxes with inserts; pinions; ring gears; DC motors—output less than 750W; DC motors—output >750W <75 kW; armature assemblies; rotor spacers; commutators; rotor core assemblies; field assemblies; flux extenders; laminations; magnet ring assemblies; ring gear mounts; rotor and motor adaptor assemblies; rotor spacers; rotor stacks; shafts; stator stacks; stator core assemblies; stator inserts; tang base assemblies; tang mounts; tang segments; chargers; magnets; lithium ion batteries; assembly housings; cell holders for batteries; front insert covers; cover housings; latches for batteries; lithium ion cells; flashlights; spotlights; motor starter switches; battery modules; electronic modules; light ring assemblies; magnet winding wire; insulated wire; electric insulators; and, plastic insulator fittings (duty rates range from free to 12.5%). The request indicates that certain types of PET resin are subject to antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders if imported from certain countries. The FTZ Board's regulations (15 CFR 400.14(e)) require that merchandise subject to AD/CVD orders, or items which would be otherwise subject to suspension of liquidation under AD/CVD procedures if they entered U.S. customs territory, be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 23, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: June 5, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12494 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-11-2018) Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 23—Buffalo, New York; Authorization of Proposed Production Activity; Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America; Subzone 23E (Solar Panels/Modules); Buffalo, New York

    On February 5, 2018, Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility within Subzone 23E, in Buffalo, New York.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (83 FR 6161, February 13, 2018). On June 5, 2018, the applicant was notified of the FTZ Board's decision that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification was authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: June 5, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-12495 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-904] Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain activated carbon from the People's Republic of China (China) would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Palmer, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-9068.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 1, 2018, Commerce initiated the second sunset review of the antidumping duty order on certain activated carbon from China, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.218(c)(2).1 The Department received a notice of intent to participate from Calgon Carbon Corporation, Norit Americas, Inc., and ADA Carbon Solutions LLC (collectively, the domestic interested parties) within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i).2 The domestic interested parties claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as manufacturers of a domestic like product in the United States.

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Review, 83 FR 4641 (February 1, 2018); see also Notice of Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Activated Carbon from the People's Republic of China, 72 FR 20988 (April 27, 2007) (Order).

    2See Letter from domestic interested parties, re: “Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review of the Antidumping Order on Certain Activated Carbon from the People's Republic of China—Domestic Interested Parties' Intent to Participate,” dated February 14, 2018.

    We received a complete substantive response from the domestic interested parties within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).3 We received no responses from respondent interested parties. As a result, the Department conducted an expedited sunset review of the Order, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2).

    3See Letter from domestic interested parties, re: “Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review of the Antidumping Order on Certain Activated Carbon from the People's Republic of China—Domestic Industry's Substantive Response,” dated March 5, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the Order is certain activated carbon. For a complete description of the scope of this Order, see the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.4

    4See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Activated Carbon from the People's Republic of China” (Issues and Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The issues discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the dumping margin likely to prevail if the Order was to be revoked. Parties may find a complete discussion of all issues raised in the review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum which is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Services System (ACCESS). Access to ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be access directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Final Results of Review

    Pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain activated carbon from China would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and that the magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail would be weighted-average dumping margins up to 228.11 percent.

    Notification to Interested Parties

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

    We are issuing and publishing these results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: June 1, 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. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. History of the Order V. Legal Framework VI. Discussion of the Issues 1. Likelihood of Continuation or Recurrence of Dumping 2. Magnitude of the Dumping Margin Likely to Prevail VII. Final Results of Sunset Review VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-12476 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-848] Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily finds that Teh Fong Ming International Co., Ltd. (TFM), the sole producer and/or exporter subject to this administrative review, has made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Aplicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael A. Romani or Minoo Hatten, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0198, and (202) 482-1690, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain stilbenic optical brightening agents (OBAs) from Taiwan. The period of review (POR) is May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the Order1 is OBAs and is currently classifiable under subheadings 3204.20.8000, 2933.69.6050, 2921.59.4000 and 2921.59.8090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). While the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive. A full description of the scope of the Order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2

    1See Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents from Taiwan: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 27419 (May 10, 2012) (Order).

    2 A full description of the scope of the Order is contained in the Memorandum, “Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents from Taiwan: Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Constructed export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for TFM for the period May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017.

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Teh Fong Ming International Co., Ltd 1.31
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results.3

    3See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Public Comment

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii), interested parties may submit cases briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.4 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.5

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2) and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS which is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov. An electronically filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If TFM's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for each importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).7 If TFM's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, we will instruct CBP not to assess duties on any of its entries in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews. 8

    7 In these preliminary 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 Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    8See Final Modification for Reviews, 77 FR at 8102.

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by TFM for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of OBAs from Taiwan entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for TFM will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers 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 recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the producer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 6.19 percent.9 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    9 The all-others rate established in the Order.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary 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 antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: June 4, 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. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum Summary Background Scope of the Order Discussion of the Methodology Comparisons to Normal Value A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis Product Comparisons Date of Sale Constructed Export Price Normal Value A. Home Market Viability and Comparison Market B. Cost of Production C. Level of Trade D. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value Denial of Request to Reconsider Rejection of Late Submission Currency Conversion Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-12478 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-489-501] Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products From Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that producers and/or exporters subject to this administrative review made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Baker, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-2924.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on welded carbon steel standard pipe and tube products (welded pipe and tube) from Turkey. The period of review (POR) is May 1, 2016, to April 30, 2017. Commerce published the notice of initiation of this administrative review on July 6, 2017.1 The preliminary results are listed below in the section titled “Preliminary Results of Review.”

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 31292, 31297 (July 6, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    This review covers 14 companies: Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S. (Borusan Istikbal) and Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Borusan Mannesmann) (collectively, Borusan); 2 Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S., Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S., and Toscelik Metal Ticaret A.S. (Toscelik Metal) (collectively, Toscelik); 3 Borusan Birlesik Boru Fabrikalari San ve Tic (Borusan Birlesik); Borusan Gemlik Boru Tesisleri A.S. (Borusan Gemlik); Borusan Ihracat Ithalat ve Dagitim A.S. (Borusan Ihracat); Borusan Ithicat ve Dagitim A.S. (Borusan Ithicat); Tubeco Pipe and Steel Corporation (Tubeco); Erbosan Erciyas Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Erbosan); and Yucel Boru ve Profil Endustrisi A.S. (Yucel), Yucelboru Ihracat Ithalat ve Pazarlama A.S. (Yucelboru), and Cayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Cayirova).

    2 In prior segments of this proceeding, we treated Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S. as a single entity. See, e.g., Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2013-2014, 80 FR 76674, 76674 n.2 (December 10, 2015) (Welded Pipe and Tube from Turkey 2013-2014). We preliminarily determine that there is no evidence on the record for altering our treatment of Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S., as a single entity. The record does not support treating the following companies as part of the Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S./Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S. entity: (1) Borusan Birlesik; (2) Borusan Gemlik; (3) Borusan Ihracat; (4) Borusan Ithicat; and (5) Tubeco. Accordingly, as discussed infra, each of these five companies will be assigned the rate applicable to companies not selected for individual examination in this review.

    3 In prior segments of this proceeding, we treated Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S., Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S., and Toscelik Metal as a single entity. See, e.g., Welded Pipe and Tube from Turkey 2013-2014. We preliminarily determine that there is no evidence on the record for altering our treatment of Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S., Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S., and Toscelik Metal as a single entity.

    On January 23, 2018, Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20, 2018, through January 22, 2018.4 The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review became February 5, 2018. On January 31, 2018, we extended the deadline for the preliminary results to May 14, 2018.5 On May 7, 2018, we further extended the deadline for the preliminary results, until June 4, 2018.6

    4See Memorandum, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    5See Memorandum, “Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated January 31, 2017.

    6See Memorandum, “Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated May 7, 2018.

    For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this administrative review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.7

    7See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey; 2016-2017” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is welded pipe and tube. The welded pipe and tube subject to the order is currently classifiable under subheading 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, and 7306.30.50.90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of the topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included in the Appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in Commerce's Central Records Unit, located at Room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    On July 22, 2017, Cayirova, Yucel, and Yucelboru submitted a letter to Commerce certifying that they each individually had no sales, shipments, or entries of the subject merchandise to the United State during the POR.8 On July 24, 2017, Erbosan submitted a letter to Commerce certifying that it had no sales, shipments, or entries of the subject merchandise to the United States during the POR.9 Erbosan further certified that it did not know or have reason to know that any of its customers would subsequently export or sell Erbosan's merchandise to the United States during the POR. On August 7, 2017, Borusan Istikbal, Borusan Birlesik, Borusan Gemlik, Borusan Ihracat, Borusan Ithicat, and Tubeco submitted a letter to Commerce certifying that they each individually had no sales, shipments, or entries of the subject merchandise to the United States during the POR.10 On April 25, 2018, consistent with our practice, we issued a “No Shipment Inquiry” to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to confirm that there were no entries of welded pipe and tube from Turkey exported by Erbosan, Borusan Istikbal, Borusan Birlesik, Borusan Gemlik, Borusan Ihracat, Borusan Ithicat, Tubeco, Cayirova, Yucel, or Yucelboru during the POR.11 With one exception, we received no information from CBP regarding the existence of entries of subject merchandise from these companies during the POR. The one exception was information concerning one of the companies (whose name is business proprietary) that indicated it had shipments to the United States during the POR. We intend to seek additional information from CBP concerning these alleged shipments, and solicit comments from interested parties concerning them.12

    8See Letter from Cayirova, Yucel, and Yucelboru, Re: Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey; Notification of No Shipments, dated July 22, 2017.

    9See Letter from Erbosan, Re: No Shipment Certification of Erbosan Erciyas Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. in the 2016-2017 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order Involving Certain Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe from Turkey, dated July 24, 2017.

    10See Letter from Borusan Istikbal, Borusan Birlesik, Borusan Gemlik, Borusan Iharcat, Borusan Ithicat, and Tubeco, Re: Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey, Case No. A-489-501: No Shipment Letter, dated August 7, 2017.

    11See CBP message number 8115302, dated April 25, 2018.

    12See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 4.

    Based on the foregoing, we preliminarily determine that Erbosan, Borusan Birlesik, Borusan Gemlik, Borusan Ihracat, Borusan Ithicat, Tubeco, Cayirova, Yucel, and Yucelboru each had no shipments during the POR. Also, consistent with our practice, we find that it is not appropriate to rescind the review with respect to these nine companies, but rather to complete the review with respect to them, and to issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of this review.13 Thus, if we continue to find that Erbosan, Borusan Birlesik, Borusan Gemlik, Borusan Ihracat, Borusan Ithicat, Tubeco, Cayirova, Yucel, and Yucelboru had no shipments of subject merchandise in the final results, we will instruct CBP to liquidate any existing entries of subject merchandise produced by them, but exported by other parties, at the rate for the intermediate reseller, if available, or at the all-others rate.14

    13See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    14See, e.g., Magnesium Metal from the Russian Federation: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 26922, 26923 (May 13, 2010), unchanged in Magnesium Metal from the Russian Federation: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 56989 (September 17, 2010).

    Furthermore, as noted above, Borusan Istikbal also submitted a no-shipment certification on August 8, 2017. However, also as noted above, we continue to find Borusan Istikbal to be part of the single entity, Borusan, and we find no record evidence that warrants altering this treatment. Therefore, because we find that Borusan had shipments during this POR, we have not made a preliminary determination of no-shipments with respect to Borusan Istikbal.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the weighted-average dumping margins for the period May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017 are as follows:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S./Borusan Istikbal Ticaret T.A.S 11.33 Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S./Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S./Toscelik Metal Ticaret A.S 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.15 Interested parties may submit cases briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.16 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the due date for filing case briefs.17 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.18 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.19

    15See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    16See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    17See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    18See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    19See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.20 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. In order to be properly filed, all ACCESS submissions must be successfully electronically filed in their entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

    20See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless otherwise extended, we intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

    If either Borusan's or Toscelik's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Where either a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    With respect to Erbosan, Borusan Birlesik, Borusan Gemlik, Borusan Ihracat, Borusan Ithicat, Tubeco, Cayirova, Yucel, and Yucelboru, if we continue to find that these companies had no shipments of subject merchandise in the final results, we will instruct CBP to liquidate any existing entries of merchandise produced by these companies, but exported by other parties, at the rate for the intermediate reseller, if available, or at the all-others rate.21

    21See, e.g., Magnesium Metal from the Russian Federation: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 26922, 26923 (May 13, 2010), unchanged in Magnesium Metal from the Russian Federation: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 56989 (September 17, 2010).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Toscelik will be zero, unless there is a change in Toscelik's dumping margin in the final results of this review; (2) the cash deposit rate for Borusan will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (3) for other manufacturers and exporters 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 that manufacturer or exporter participated; (4) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, then the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of subject merchandise; and (5) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 14.74 percent, the all-others rate established in the LTFV investigation.22 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    22See Antidumping Duty Order; Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey, 51 FR 17784 (May 15, 1986).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary 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 antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: June 4, 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. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Particular Market Situation 5. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments 6. Comparisons to Normal Value 7. Product Comparisons 8. Date of Sale 9. Export Price 10. Normal Value 11. Currency Conversion 12. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-12480 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-991] Chlorinated Isocyanurates From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has completed its administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on (chloro isos) from the People's Republic of China (China) for the January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015, period of review (POR), and determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of chloro isos. The final net subsidy rates are listed below in “Final Results of Administrative Review.”

    DATES:

    Applicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christian Llinas or Omar Qureshi, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone 202.482.4877 or 202.482.5307, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 13, 2014, Commerce published the CVD Order on chloro isos from China.1 On December 4, 2017, Commerce published the Preliminary Results of this administrative review in the Federal Register.2 We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. On January 16, 2018, we received case briefs from the petitioners,3 the Government of China (GOC), and from the mandatory respondents, Heze Huayi 4 and Kangtai.5 6 On January 29, 2018, we received rebuttal briefs from the petitioners, the GOC, and from the mandatory respondents, Heze Huayi and Kangtai.7

    1See Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 79 FR 67424 (November 13, 2014).

    2See Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015, 82 FR 57209 (December 4, 2017) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (Preliminary Results).

    3 Bio-Lab, Inc., Clearon Corporation, and Occidental Chemical Corporation (collectively, “the petitioners”).

    4 Heze Huayi Chemical Co., Ltd. (Heze Huayi).

    5 Juancheng Kangtai Chemical Co., Ltd. (Kangtai).

    6See Petitioners' Letter, “Case Brief of Bio-Lab, Inc., Clearon Corp. and Occidental Chemical Corporation,” dated January 16, 2018; GOC's Letter, “GOC Administrative Case Brief: Second Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China (C-570-991),” dated January 16, 2018; and Heze Huayi and Kangtai's Letter, “Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China: Case Brief,” dated January 16, 2018.

    7See Petitioners' Letter, Rebuttal Brief of Bio-Lab, Inc., Clearon Corp. and Occidental Chemical Corporation.” dated January 29, 2018; GOC's Letter, “GOC Administrative Rebuttal Brief: Second Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China (C-570-991),” dated January 29, 2018; Heze Huayi and Kangtai's Letter, “Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China: Rebuttal Brief,” dated January 29, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are chloro isos, which are derivatives are cyanuric acid, described as chlorinated s-triazine triones.8 Chloro isos are currently classifiable under subheadings 2933.69.6015, 2933.69.6021, 2933.69.6050, 3808.50.4000, 3808.94.5000, and 3808.99.9500 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written product description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    8 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Preliminary Results.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the parties' briefs are listed in the Appendix to this notice and addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and all supporting documentation, we made a change to Heze Huayi's countervailable subsidy rate to account for transpositional errors made in Heze Huayi's calculations. We made no changes from the Preliminary Results.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we find that there is a subsidy, i.e., a government-provided financial contribution that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.9 The Issues and Decision Memorandum contains a full description of the methodology underlying the Department's conclusions, including any determination that relied upon the use of adverse facts available pursuant to sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    9See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    Final Results of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(b)(5), we determine the following net subsidy rates for the 2015 administrative review:

    Company Subsidy
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • Hebei Jiheng Chemical Co., Ltd 25.19 Heze Huayi Chemical Co., Ltd 2.84 Juancheng Kangtai Chemical Co., Ltd 1.53
    Assessment Rates

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2), Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review, to liquidate shipments of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by the companies listed above, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015, at the ad valorem rates listed above.

    Cash Deposit Instructions

    In accordance with section 751(a)(1) of the Act, Commerce intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties in the amounts shown for each of the respective companies listed above. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Administrative Protective Orders

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

    We are issuing and publishing these final results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: June 5, 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. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. List of Interested Party Comments IV. Scope of the Order V. Changes Since the Preliminary Results VI. Subsidies Valuation Information VII. Benchmarks VIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences IX. Programs Determined to Be Countervailable X. Programs Determined Not to Confer Measurable Benefits XI. Programs Determined Not to Be Used During the POR XII. Analysis of Comments XIII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2018-12483 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-869] Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products From Japan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that sales of subject merchandise by Toyo Kohan Co., Ltd. (Toyo Kohan) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metals Corporation (NSSMC) were made at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Moses Song, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5041.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On May 1, 2017, Commerce published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain nickel-plated, flat-rolled steel from Japan.1 On May 22, 2017, Toyo Kohan requested that Commerce conduct an administrative review of its sales to the United States during the POR.2 On May 30, 2017, the petitioner, Thomas Steel Strip Corporation (Thomas Steel or the petitioner), requested that Commerce conduct administrative reviews of Toyo Kohan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC).3 On July 6, 2017, in response to these timely requests, and in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), Commerce published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain nickel-plated, flat-rolled steel from Japan with respect to both Toyo Kohan and NSSMC.4

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 82 FR 20315 (May 1, 2017).

    2See Letter from Toyo Kohan to Commerce regarding “Toyo Kohan's Request for Antidumping Administrative Review, Diffusion-Annealed Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products from Japan,” dated May 22, 2017.

    3See Letter from Thomas Steel to Commerce regarding “Diffusion-Annealed Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel from Japan: Request for Third Administrative Review of Antidumping Order,” dated May 30, 2017.

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 31292, 31294 (July 6, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is June 4, 2018.5

    5See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Scope of the Order

    The diffusion-annealed, nickel-plated flat-rolled steel products included in this order are flat-rolled, cold-reduced steel products, regardless of chemistry; whether or not in coils; either plated or coated with nickel or nickel-based alloys and subsequently annealed (i.e., “diffusion-annealed”); whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other metallic or nonmetallic substances; and less than or equal to 2.0 mm in nominal thickness. For purposes of this order, “nickel-based alloys” include all nickel alloys with other metals in which nickel accounts for at least 80 percent of the alloy by volume.

    Imports of merchandise included in the scope of this order are classified primarily under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7212.50.0000 and 7210.90.6000, but may also be classified under HTSUS subheadings 7210.70.6090, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7219.90.0020, 7219.90.0025, 7219.90.0060, 7219.90.0080, 7220.90.0010, 7220.90.0015, 7225.99.0090, or 7226.99.0180. The foregoing HTSUS subheadings are provided only for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Act. For Toyo Kohan, export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the memorandum from James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations, to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, titled “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products from Japan; 2016-2017” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), which is issued concurrent with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). Access to ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties 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. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Application of Adverse Facts Available

    Pursuant to section 776(a) of the Act, we are preliminarily relying upon facts otherwise available to assign a weighted-average dumping margin to NSSMC in this review because NSSMC did not respond to our AD Questionnaire.6 Therefore, we preliminarily find that necessary information is not on the record of this review, and that NSSMC withheld information requested by Commerce, failed to provide information by the specified deadlines, and significantly impeded the conduct of the review. Further, we preliminarily determine that NSSMC failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of its ability to comply with requests for information and, thus, we are preliminarily applying total AFA to NSSMC, in accordance with section 776(b) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusion regarding the application of AFA, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    6See Letter from Commerce to NSSMC, regarding the antidumping duty questionnaire, dated July 18, 2017 (AD Questionnaire).

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that, for the period May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017, the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the respondents:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Toyo Kohan Co., Ltd 4.53 Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation 77.70
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce will disclose to parties to the proceeding the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results of review within five days after the date of publication of this notice.7 Interested parties may submit case briefs to Commerce in response to these preliminary results no later than 30 days after the publication of these preliminary results.8 Rebuttal briefs, the content of which is limited to the issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days from the deadline date for the submission of case briefs.9

    7See 19 CFR 351.224(b)

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) and (2).

    Parties who submit arguments in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.10 Executive summaries should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes. Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.11 In order to be properly filed, ACCESS must successfully receive an electronically-filed document in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Case and rebuttal briefs must be served individually on all interested parties.12

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    11See generally 19 CFR 351.303.

    12See 19 CFR 351.303(f).

    Within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice, interested parties may request a public hearing on arguments raised in the case and rebuttal briefs.13 Unless Commerce specifies otherwise, the hearing, if requested, will be held two days after the date for submission of rebuttal briefs.14 Hearing requests should be electronically submitted to Commerce via ACCESS.15 Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, must successfully receive an electronically-filed document in its entirety by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs.16 Parties will be notified of the time and location of the hearing.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    14See 19 CFR 351.310(d)(1).

    15See generally, 19 CFR 351.303.

    16See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Commerce intends to publish the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of issues addressed in any case or rebuttal brief, no later than 120 days after publication of the preliminary results, unless extended.17

    17See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act; 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of this administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries.18 If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for an importer's examined sales and the total entered value of such sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, then we will instruct CBP to liquidate that respondent's entries without regards to antidumping duties in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews, i.e., “{w}here the weighted-average margin of dumping for the exporter is determined to be zero or de minimis, no antidumping duties will be assessed.” 19 Further, if an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, then we will instruct CBP to liquidate that importer's entries without regards to antidumping duties.20 The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    18See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    19See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8102 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    20See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Toyo Kohan for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.21 The all-others rate is 45.42 percent.22

    21See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    22See Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products from Japan: Antidumping Duty Order, 79 FR 30816, 30817 (May 29, 2014) (Order).

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for companies subject to this review will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, no cash deposit will be required); (2) for merchandise exported by a producer or exporter not covered in this review but covered in a prior, completed segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair value investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established a prior, completed segment of this proceeding for the most recent period for the producer of the subject merchandise; or (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will be the all-others rate of 45.42 percent established in the investigation.23 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    23See Order, 79 FR at 30817.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: June 4, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Application of Facts Available and Use of Adverse Inference A. Application of Facts Available B. Use of Adverse Inference C. Selection and Corroboration of the Adverse Facts Available Rate V. Comparisons to Normal Value VI. Product Comparisons VII. Discussion of Methodology A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis C. Date of Sale D. Export Price E. Normal Value 1. Home Market Viability 2. Level of Trade 3. Sales to Affiliated Customers 4. Cost of Production Analysis 5. Cost of Production Test 6. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices 7. Price-to-Constructed Value Comparisons 8. Constructed Value F. Currency Conversion VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-12477 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-489-816] Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that producers/exporters subject to this review made sales of the subject merchandise at less than normal value. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dmitry Vladimirov, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0665.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Turkey. The period of review (POR) is September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017. The review covers six producers/exporters of the subject merchandise. We selected Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Yücel Boru İthalat-İhracat ve Pazarlama A.Ş (collectively, Yücel) 1 for individual examination.

    1 We previously determined these companies to constitute a single entity. See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Turkey: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Final Determination of Critical Circumstances in Part, 79 FR 41971, 41973 (July 18, 2014).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain OCTG. The merchandise subject to the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7304.29.10.10, 7304.29.10.20, 7304.29.10.30, 7304.29.10.40, 7304.29.10.50, 7304.29.10.60, 7304.29.10.80, 7304.29.20.10, 7304.29.20.20, 7304.29.20.30, 7304.29.20.40, 7304.29.20.50, 7304.29.20.60, 7304.29.20.80, 7304.29.31.10, 7304.29.31.20, 7304.29.31.30, 7304.29.31.40, 7304.29.31.50, 7304.29.31.60, 7304.29.31.80, 7304.29.41.10, 7304.29.41.20, 7304.29.41.30, 7304.29.41.40, 7304.29.41.50, 7304.29.41.60, 7304.29.41.80, 7304.29.50.15, 7304.29.50.30, 7304.29.50.45, 7304.29.50.60, 7304.29.50.75, 7304.29.61.15, 7304.29.61.30, 7304.29.61.45, 7304.29.61.60, 7304.29.61.75, 7305.20.20.00, 7305.20.40.00, 7305.20.60.00, 7305.20.80.00, 7306.29.10.30, 7306.29.10.90, 7306.29.20.00, 7306.29.31.00, 7306.29.41.00, 7306.29.60.10, 7306.29.60.50, 7306.29.81.10, and 7306.29.81.50.

    The merchandise subject to the order may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7304.39.00.24, 7304.39.00.28, 7304.39.00.32, 7304.39.00.36, 7304.39.00.40, 7304.39.00.44, 7304.39.00.48, 7304.39.00.52, 7304.39.00.56, 7304.39.00.62, 7304.39.00.68, 7304.39.00.72, 7304.39.00.76, 7304.39.00.80, 7304.59.60.00, 7304.59.80.15, 7304.59.80.20, 7304.59.80.25, 7304.59.80.30, 7304.59.80.35, 7304.59.80.40, 7304.59.80.45, 7304.59.80.50, 7304.59.80.55, 7304.59.80.60, 7304.59.80.65, 7304.59.80.70, 7304.59.80.80, 7305.31.40.00, 7305.31.60.90, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.90, 7306.50.50.50, and 7306.50.50.70.

    While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2

    2See the Memorandum, “Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Preliminary Finding of No Shipments

    The record evidence in this review indicates that Tosçelik Profil ve Sac Endüstrisi A.Ş. and Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S. (collectively, Tosçelik) 3 had no exports, sales, or entries of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR. Accordingly, we preliminarily determine that Tosçelik had no shipments during the POR. For additional information on our preliminary finding of no shipments, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    3 We previously determined these companies to constitute a single entity. See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 42285 (September 7, 2017) (unchanged in Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 1240 (January 10, 2018)).

    Methodology

    Commerce conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in Commerce's Central Records Unit, located at Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017.

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Yücel Boru İthalat-İhracat ve Pazarlama A.Ş 1.59 Çayirova Boru San A.Ş 1.59 HG Tubulars Canada Ltd 1.59 Yücelboru İhracat, Ithalat 1.59
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.4 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.5

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    5See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, must submit a written request to the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the final results, Commerce shall determine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. If Yücel's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis in the final results of this review, we will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for each importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). If Yücel's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, we will instruct CBP not to assess duties on any of its entries in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews. 7

    7See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8102 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Yücel for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    For the companies which were not selected for individual examination, Çayirova Boru San A.Ş., HG Tubulars Canada Ltd., and Yücelboru İhracat, Ithalat, we will instruct CBP to apply the rates listed above to all entries of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by these firms.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of OCTG from Turkey entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for companies subject to this review will be the rates established in the final results of the review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers 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 recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the producer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 35.86 percent,8 the all-others rate established in the less-than-fair-value investigation, adjusted for the export-subsidy rate established in the companion countervailing duty investigation. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 53691, 53693 (September 10, 2014).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary 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 antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221.

    Dated: June 5, 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. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Allegation of a Particular Market Situation V. Preliminary Finding of No Shipments VI. Rates for Respondents Not Selected for Individual Examination VII. Discussion of the Methodology Comparisons to Normal Value A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of Differential Pricing Analysis Product Comparisons Date of Sale Export Price Normal Value A. Home Market Viability and Comparison Market B. Level of Trade C. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of Cost of Production 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test D. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices VIII. Currency Conversion IX. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-12479 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-064] Stainless Steel Flanges From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) determines that stainless steel flanges from the People's Republic of China (China) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ian Hamilton or Kabir Archuletta, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4798 or (202) 482-2593, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This final determination is made in accordance with section 735(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). On March 28, 2018, Commerce published the preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV in the investigation of stainless steel flanges from China.1 We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Determination. We received no comments from interested parties.

    1See Stainless Steel Flanges from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 83 FR 13244 (March 28, 2018) (Preliminary Determination), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are stainless steel flanges from China. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    As noted above, we received no comments in response to the Preliminary Determination. For the purposes of the final determination, Commerce has made no changes to the Preliminary Determination.

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    We continue to find that the mandatory respondent in this investigation, Shanxi Guanjiaying Flange Forging Group Co., Ltd (GJY), did not provide requested information, withheld requested information, significantly impeded this investigation, and did not cooperate to the best of its ability to comply with Commerce's request for information in failing to submit a complete and reliable sales reconciliation, as detailed in the Preliminary Determination and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 Accordingly, we continue to determine it appropriate to apply facts otherwise available, with an adverse inference, in accordance with sections 776(a)-(b) of the Act.3 As AFA, we have continued to apply the highest dumping margin contained in the Petition, 257.11 percent, as explained in the Preliminary Determination and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.4

    2See Preliminary Determination, 83 FR at 13244; see also Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 8-10.

    3 Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 10-15.

    4See Stainless Steel Flanges from India and the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 82 FR 42649 (September 11, 2017); see also Petitioners' Letter, “Stainless Steel Flanges from the People's Republic of China and India: Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated August 16, 2017 (Petition); Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 13-15.

    In accordance with the Preliminary Determination, we continue to grant GJY a separate rate because evidence on the record supports an absence of de jure and de facto government control.5 Hydro-Fluids Controls Limited (HFC), Songhai Flange Manufacturing Co., Ltd (Songhai), and Dongtai QB Stainless Steel Co., Ltd (Dongtai), were also selected as mandatory respondents, but withdrew from participation in this investigation and did not respond to requests for information.6 Thus, we continue to find that HFC, Songhai, and Dongtai did not demonstrate that they are eligible for a separate rate and are part of the China-wide entity. We also continue to find that, in addition to the mandatory respondents that did not respond to our requests for information, Commerce did not receive timely responses to its Quantity and Value (Q&V) questionnaire from numerous Chinese exporters and/or producers of the merchandise under consideration that were named in the Petition and to whom Commerce issued Q&V questionnaires.7 Because these companies, which comprise part of the China-wide entity, failed to submit the requested Q&V information, we determine that the China-wide entity did not cooperate to the best of its ability. Therefore, for this final determination, Commerce continues to find that the China-wide entity failed to provide necessary information, withheld information requested by Commerce, failed to provide information in a timely manner, and significantly impeded this proceeding by not submitting the requested information. As a result, Commerce continues to find that use of facts available, with an adverse inference, is warranted in determining the rate of the China-wide entity, pursuant to sections 776(a)(1), (a)(2)(A)-(C), and 776(b) of the Act.8

    5See Policy Bulletin 05.1, Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries, dated April 5, 2005, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    6See HFC's Letter, “Certain Stainless Steel Flanges from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal from Active Participation by Hydro-Fluid Controls Limited,” dated October 12, 2017; Songhai's Letter, “Certain Stainless Steel Flanges from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal from Active Participation by Songhai Flange Manufacturing Co. Ltd.,” dated October 13, 2017; Dongtai's Letter, “Certain Stainless Steel Flanges from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal from Active Participation by Dongtai QB Stainless Steel Co., Ltd,” dated November 28, 2017.

    7See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 10; see also Petition; Memorandum, “Quantity and Value Questionnaires Delivery Confirmation,” dated September 20, 2017.

    8See, e.g., Notice of Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances and Postponement of Final Determination: Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 68 FR 4986, 4991-92 (January 31, 2003); unchanged in Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Critical Circumstances: Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 68 FR 37116 (June 23, 2003).

    China-Wide Rate

    In selecting the AFA rate for the China-wide entity, Commerce's practice is to select a rate that is sufficiently adverse to ensure that the uncooperative party does not obtain a more favorable result by failing to cooperate than if it had fully cooperated. Specifically, it is Commerce's practice to select, as an AFA rate, the higher of: (a) the highest dumping margin alleged in the petition; or, (b) the highest calculated dumping margin of any respondent in the investigation. As AFA, Commerce has assigned to the China-wide entity the rate of 257.11 percent, which is the highest dumping margin alleged in the Petition.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, Commerce stated that it would calculate producer/exporter combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation.9 Because Commerce continues to use facts otherwise available with an adverse inference in determining the rate for the only respondent that demonstrated eligibility for a separate rate in this investigation, GJY, Commerce did not calculate producer/exporter combination rates for that company.

    9See Stainless Steel Flanges from India and the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 82 FR 42649, 42653 (September 11, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • Shanxi Guanjiaying Flange Forging Group Co., Ltd 257.11 China-wide Entity 257.11
    Disclosure

    Normally, Commerce discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with a final determination within five days of its public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because Commerce applied adverse facts available to the individually examined company participating in this investigation, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, and the applied adverse facts available rate is based solely on the Petition, there are no calculations to disclose.

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of stainless steel flanges from China, as described in the Appendix to this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 28, 2018, the date of publication in the Federal Register of the affirmative Preliminary Determination.

    Further, pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, Commerce will also instruct CBP to collect a cash deposit as follows: (1) The rate for the exporters listed in the chart above will be the rate we have determined in this final determination; (2) for all Chinese exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash-deposit rate will be the China-wide rate; and (3) for all non-Chinese exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash-deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the Chinese exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-Chinese exporter. These suspension-of-liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice. Because there has been no demonstration that an adjustment for domestic subsidies is warranted, Commerce has not made any such adjustment to the rate assigned to GJY or the China-wide entity. Additionally, Commerce is making no adjustments for export subsidies to the antidumping cash deposit rate in this investigation because we have made no findings in the companion countervailing duty investigation that any of the programs are export subsidies.10

    10See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Stainless Steel Flanges from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, 83 FR 15790 (April 12, 2018); see also, e.g., Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe from Pakistan: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures, 81 FR 36867 (June 8, 2016) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 13.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of stainless steel flanges from China no later than 45 days after this final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by Commerce, antidumping duties on all imports of the merchandise under consideration entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

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

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: June 4, 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. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain forged stainless steel flanges, whether unfinished, semi-finished, or finished (certain forged stainless steel flanges). Certain forged stainless steel flanges are generally manufactured to, but not limited to, the material specification of ASTM/ASME A/SA182 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications. Certain forged stainless steel flanges are made in various grades such as, but not limited to, 304, 304L, 316, and 316L (or combinations thereof). The term “stainless steel” used in this scope refers to an alloy steel containing, by actual weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements.

    Unfinished stainless steel flanges possess the approximate shape of finished stainless steel flanges and have not yet been machined to final specification after the initial forging or like operations. These machining processes may include, but are not limited to, boring, facing, spot facing, drilling, tapering, threading, beveling, heating, or compressing. Semi-finished stainless steel flanges are unfinished stainless steel flanges that have undergone some machining processes.

    The scope includes six general types of flanges. They are: (1) Weld neck, generally used in butt-weld line connection; (2) threaded, generally used for threaded line connections; (3) slip-on, generally used to slide over pipe; (4) lap joint, generally used with stub-ends/butt-weld line connections; (5) socket weld, generally used to fit pipe into a machine recession; and (6) blind, generally used to seal off a line. The sizes and descriptions of the flanges within the scope include all pressure classes of ASME B16.5 and range from one-half inch to twenty-four inches nominal pipe size. Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are cast stainless steel flanges. Cast stainless steel flanges generally are manufactured to specification ASTM A351.

    The country of origin for certain forged stainless steel flanges, whether unfinished, semi-finished, or finished is the country where the flange was forged. Subject merchandise includes stainless steel flanges as defined above that have been further processed in a third country. The processing includes, but is not limited to, boring, facing, spot facing, drilling, tapering, threading, beveling, heating, or compressing, and/or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the stainless steel flanges.

    Merchandise subject to the investigation is typically imported under headings 7307.21.1000 and 7307.21.5000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). While HTSUS subheadings and ASTM specifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-12482 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-058, A-428-845, A-533-873, A-475-838, A-580-892, A-441-801] Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From the People's Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Germany, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Amended Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value for the People's Republic of China and Switzerland AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission (the ITC), Commerce is issuing antidumping duty orders on certain cold-drawn mechanical tubing of carbon and alloy steel (cold-drawn mechanical tubing) from the People's Republic of China (China), the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany), India, Italy, the Republic of Korea (Korea), and Switzerland. In addition, Commerce is amending its final determination of sales at less than fair value (LTFV) for China and Switzerland as a result of ministerial errors.

    DATES:

    Applicable June 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Stolz at (202) 482-4474 or Keith Haynes at (202) 482-5139 (China), Frances Veith at (202) 482-4295 (Germany), Susan Pulongbarit at (202) 482-4031 or Omar Qureshi at (202) 482-5307 (India), Carrie Bethea at (202) 482-1491 (Italy), Annathea Cook at (202) 482-0250 (Korea), and Laurel LaCivita at (202) 482-4243 (Switzerland), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In accordance with sections 735(a), 735(d), and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.210(c), Commerce published its affirmative final determinations in the LTFV investigations of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland on April 16, 2018.1 In addition, Commerce made affirmative determinations of critical circumstances with respect to China and Italy, in part, and with respect to Korea, pursuant to section 735(a)(3) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.206.2

    1See Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Final Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 83 FR 16322 (April 16, 2018) (China Final); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the Federal Republic of Germany: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 83 FR 16326 (April 16, 2018) (Germany Final); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from India: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value, 83 FR 16296 (April 16, 2018) (India Final); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Italy: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 83 FR 16289 (April 16, 2018) (Italy Final); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 83 FR 16319 (April 16, 2018) (Korea Final); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Switzerland: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 83 FR 16293 (April 16, 2018) (Switzerland Final).

    2See China Final, 83 FR at 16322; Italy Final, 83 FR at 16290; and Korea Final, 83 FR at 16320.

    Commerce received numerous ministerial error allegations and comments in the various investigations. A ministerial error is defined as an error in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function, clerical error resulting from inaccurate copying, duplication, or the like, and any other similar type of unintentional error which the Secretary considers ministerial.3

    3See section 735(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f).

    On April 17, 2018, Goodluck India Limited (Goodluck) alleged that Commerce made a ministerial error in the India Final. 4 However, we find that the alleged error is methodological, rather than ministerial, in nature.5

    4See Goodluck's letter, “Goodluck's Final Determination Ministerial Error Comments: Antidumping Duty Investigation on Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from India (A-533-873),” dated April 17, 2018 (Goodluck's Allegation).

    5See Memorandum, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from India: Ministerial Error Allegation Memorandum,” dated May 16, 2018.

    On April 23, 2018, the petitioners 6 alleged that Commerce made certain ministerial errors in the Germany Final with respect to Benteler Steel/Tube GmbH (Benteler), Salzgitter Mannesmann Line Pipe GmbH (Salzgitter Line Pipe) and Salzgitter Mannesmann Precision GmbH (Salzgitter Precision).7 On April 30, 2018, Benteler submitted rebuttal comments to the petitioners' allegation.8 Neither Salzgitter Line Pipe nor Salzgitter Precision submitted rebuttal comments. However, we find that the alleged errors regarding our Final Determination with respect to Benteler's margin calculation and our treatment of Salzgitter Line Pipe, Salzgitter Precision, or any other Salzgitter company are methodological, rather than ministerial, in nature.9

    6 ArcelorMittal Tubular Products, Michigan Seamless Tube, LLC, Plymouth Tube Co. USA, PTC Alliance Corp., Webco Industries, Inc., and Zekelman Industries, Inc. (collectively, the petitioners).

    7See the petitioners' letter, “Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Germany—Petitioners' Ministerial Error Allegations Regarding BENTELER Steel/Tube GmbH,” dated April 23, 2018 (Petitioners' Allegation regarding Benteler); the petitioners' letter, “Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Germany—Petitioners' Ministerial Error Allegations Regarding Salzgitter Mannesmann Line Pipe GmbH and Salzgitter Mannesmann Precision GmbH,” dated April 23, 2018 (Petitioners' Allegation regarding Salzgitter).

    8See Benteler's letter, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Germany: Reply to Ministerial Error Comments for the Final Determination,” dated April 30, 2018 (Benteler's Rebuttal Comments).

    9See Memorandum, “Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the Federal Republic of Germany: Ministerial Error Allegation Memorandum,” dated June 6, 2018.

    On April 23, 2018, Benteler Rothrist AG (Benteler Rothrist) alleged that Commerce made certain ministerial errors in the Switzerland Final. 10 On April 30, 2018, the petitioners submitted rebuttal comments to Benteler Rothrist's allegation.11 See the “Amendment to Switzerland Final” section below for further information.

    10See Benteler Rothrist's letter, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Switzerland: Ministerial Error Comments for the Final Determination,” dated April 23, 2018 (Benteler Rothrist's Allegation).

    11See the petitioners' letter, “Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Switzerland—Petitioners' Response to Benteler Rothrist's Ministerial Error Allegation,” dated April 30, 2018 (Petitioners' Rebuttal Comments to Benteler Rothrist).

    On April 24, 2018, the petitioners alleged that Commerce made certain ministerial errors in the China Final with respect to Zhangjiagang Huacheng Import & Export Co., Ltd. (Huacheng).12 On April 30, 2018, Huacheng submitted rebuttal comments to the petitioners' allegation.13 See the “Amendment to China Final” section below for further discussion.

    12See the petitioners' letter, “Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from China—Petitioners' Ministerial Error Allegations,” dated April 24, 2018 (Petitioners' China Allegation).

    13See Huacheng's letter, “Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China; Reply to Petitioner's Ministerial Error Comments,” dated April 30, 2018 (Huacheng's Rebuttal Comments).

    On May 31, 2018, the ITC notified Commerce of its affirmative determination that an industry in the United States is materially injured within the meaning of section 735(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, by reason of LTFV imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland, and of its determination that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Italy, and Korea.14

    14See letter from the ITC to the Honorable Gary Taverman, May 31, 2018 (Notification of ITC Final Determinations) (ITC Letter); see also ITC publication 4790 (May 2018), Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland, Investigation Nos. 731-TA-1362-1367 (Final).

    Scope of the Orders

    The product covered by these orders is cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland.15 For a complete description of the scope of these orders, see the Appendix to this notice.

    15 At Appendix I of the India Final and the Italy Final, we inadvertently published an incorrect scope of the investigation. See Appendix 1 of this notice for a complete description of the scope of these orders.

    Amendment to China Final

    Commerce reviewed the record and agrees that one of the two alleged errors referenced in the petitioners' allegation constitutes a ministerial error within the meaning of section 735(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f).16 Specifically, Commerce erroneously valued international freight for shipments of subject merchandise to a particular U.S. destination using inconsistent values.17 Additionally, we find that the second alleged error regarding the surrogate international freight rate calculation for those U.S. destinations for which no rates were available is not an error in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.224(f).18 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(e), Commerce is amending the China Final to correct the ministerial error described above by applying a single international freight surrogate value for shipments of subject merchandise to the U.S. destination in question. Based on our correction, Huacheng's estimated weighted-average dumping margin increases from 44.92 percent to 45.15 percent.19 Because Huacheng's estimated weighted-average dumping margin is the sole basis for the estimated weighted-average dumping margin for the separate rate companies which were not individually examined, the correction noted above also increases the estimated weighted-average dumping margin for the non-examined, separate rate companies from 44.92 to 45.15 percent, as reflected in the rate chart below. In addition, consistent with the China Final, we have continued to adjust the antidumping duty cash deposit rates for Huacheng and the separate-rate companies by 0.02 percent to account for appropriate export subsidies determined in the companion countervailing duty investigation.20

    16See Memorandum, “Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Allegation of Ministerial Errors in the Final Determination,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (China Amended Final Determination Memorandum).

    17Id.

    18Id.

    19See China Amended Final Determination Memorandum.

    20See China Final, 83 FR at 16324 (citing Countervailing Duty Investigation of Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 82 FR 58175 (December 11, 2017) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Amendment to Switzerland Final

    Commerce reviewed the record and agrees that one of the two alleged errors referenced in Benteler Rothrist's allegation constitutes a ministerial error within the meaning of section 735(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f).21 Specifically, Commerce inadvertently included certain prototype and developmental project sample sales it had found to be sold outside the ordinary course of trade in the margin calculation for Benteler Rothrist.22 Additionally, we find that the alleged ministerial error regarding our application of adverse facts available (AFA) for certain of Benteler Rothrist comparison market sales is methodological, rather than ministerial, in nature.23 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(e), Commerce is amending the Switzerland Final to reflect the correction of the ministerial error described above. Based on our correction, Benteler Rothrist's estimated weighted-average dumping margin decreased from 12.50 percent to 7.66 percent.24 Because the Switzerland “all-others” rate is based in part on Benteler Rothrist's estimated weighted-average dumping margin, the correction noted above also decreases the all-others rate determined in the Switzerland Final from 13.55 percent to 9.00 percent, as reflected in the rate chart below.25

    21See Memorandum, “Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Switzerland: Ministerial Error Allegation Memorandum,” dated June 6, 2018.

    22Id.

    23Id.

    24Id.

    25See Memorandum, “Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Switzerland: Calculation of the All-Others Rate in the Amended Final Determination,” dated June 6, 2018.

    Antidumping Duty Orders

    In accordance with sections 735(b)(1)(A)(i) and 735(d) of the Act, the ITC has notified Commerce of its final determination that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of the LTFV imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland.26 Therefore, in accordance with section 735(c)(2) of the Act, we are issuing these antidumping duty orders. Because the ITC determined that imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland are materially injuring a U.S. industry, unliquidated entries of such merchandise from these countries, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, are subject to the assessment of antidumping duties.

    26See ITC Letter.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 736(a)(1) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by Commerce, antidumping duties equal to the amount by which the normal value of the merchandise exceeds the export price (or constructed export price) of the merchandise, for all relevant entries of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland. Antidumping duties will be assessed on unliquidated entries of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 22, 2017, the date of publication of the preliminary determination,27 but will not include entries occurring after the expiration of the provisional measures period and before publication of the ITC's final injury determination as further described below.

    27Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 55574 (November 22, 2017) (China Prelim); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the Federal Republic of Germany: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 55558 (November 22, 2017) (Germany Prelim); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from India: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 55567 (November 22, 2017) (India Prelim); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from Italy: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 55561 (November 22, 2017) (Italy Prelim); Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 55541 (November 22, 2017) (Korea Prelim); and Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Switzerland: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 55571 (November 22, 2017) (Switzerland Prelim).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation on all relevant entries of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland, effective the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determinations. These instructions suspending liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    We will also instruct CBP to require cash deposits equal to the amounts as indicated below. Accordingly, effective on the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determinations, CBP will require, at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this subject merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margins listed below.28 The “all others” rate applies to all producers or exporters not specifically listed, as appropriate. For the purpose of determining cash deposit rates, the estimated weighted-average dumping margins for imports of subject merchandise from China and India have been adjusted, as appropriate, for export subsidies found in the final determinations of the companion countervailing duty investigations of this merchandise imported from China and India.29

    28See section 736(a)(3) of the Act.

    29See China Final and India Final.

    Provisional Measures

    Section 733(d) of the Act states that instructions issued pursuant to an affirmative preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months, except where exporters representing a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise request Commerce to extend that four-month period to no more than six months. At the request of exporters that account for a significant proportion of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland, Commerce extended the four-month period to six months in each proceeding.30 In the underlying investigations, Commerce published the preliminary determinations on November 22, 2017. Therefore, the extended period, beginning on the date of publication of the preliminary determination, ended on May 20, 2018. Furthermore, section 737(b) of the Act states that definitive duties are to begin on the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determination.

    30See China Prelim, Germany Prelim, India Prelim, Italy Prelim, Korea Prelim, and Switzerland Prelim.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 733(d) of the Act and our practice,31 we will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation and to liquidate, without regard to antidumping duties, unliquidated entries of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after May 21, 2018, until and through the day preceding the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determinations in the Federal Register. Suspension of liquidation and the collection of cash deposits will resume on the date of publication of the ITC's final determinations in the Federal Register.

    31See, e.g., Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination for India and Taiwan, and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 48390 (July 25, 2016).

    Critical Circumstances

    With regard to the ITC's negative critical circumstances determination on imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Italy, and Korea discussed above, we will instruct CBP to lift suspension and to refund any cash deposits made to secure the payment of estimated antidumping duties with respect to entries of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Italy, and Korea, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after August 24, 2017 (i.e., 90 days prior to the date of publication of the preliminary determinations), but before November 22, 2018 (i.e., the date of publication of the preliminary determination for each of these investigations).

    Estimated Weighted-Average Dumping Margins

    The estimated weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    China Producer Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash
  • deposit
  • rate
  • (percent) 32
  • Jiangsu Huacheng Industry Pipe Making Corporation, and Zhangjiagang Salem Fine Tubing Co., Ltd Zhangjiagang Huacheng Import & Export Co., Ltd 33 45.15 45.13 Anji Pengda Steel Pipe Co., Ltd Anji Pengda Steel Pipe Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Changshu Fushilai Steel Pipe Co., Ltd Changshu Fushilai Steel Pipe Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Changshu Special Shaped Steel Tube Co., Ltd Changshu Special Shaped Steel Tube Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Jiangsu Liwan Precision Tube Manufacturing Co., Ltd Suzhou Foster International Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Zhangjiagang Precision Tube Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Zhangjiangang Tube) Suzhou Foster International Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Wuxi Dajin High-Precision Cold-Drawn Steel Tube Co., Ltd Wuxi Huijin International Trade Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Zhangjiagang Shengdingyuan Pipe-Making Co., Ltd Zhangjiagang Shengdingyuan Pipe-Making Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Zhejiang Minghe Steel Pipe Co., Ltd Zhejiang Minghe Steel Pipe Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 Zhejiang Dingxin Steel Tube Manufacturing Co., Ltd Zhejiang Dingxin Steel Tube Manufacturing Co., Ltd 45.15 45.13 China-Wide Entity 34 * 186.89 186.89 * (Based on AFA).
    Germany Exporter or producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • BENTELER Steel/Tube GmbH/BENTELER Distribution International GmbH 35 3.11 Mubea Fahrwerksfedern GmbH * 209.06 Salzgitter Mannesmann Line Pipe GmbH * 209.06 All-Others 3.11 * (AFA).
    India Exporter or producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash-deposit
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • Goodluck India Limited * 33.80 33.70 Tube Products of India, Ltd. a unit of Tube Investments of India Limited (collectively, TPI) 8.26 5.87 All-Others 8.26 5.87 * (AFA).
    Italy Exporter or producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Dalmine, S.p.A * 68.95 Metalfer, S.p.A * 68.95 All-Others 47.87 * (AFA).
    Korea Exporter or producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Sang Shin Ind. Co., Ltd * 48.00 Yulchon Co., Ltd * 48.00 All-Others 30.67 * (AFA).
    Switzerland Exporter or producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Benteler Rothrist AG 7.66 Mubea Prazisionsstahlrohr AG 30.48 All-Others 9.00

    This notice constitutes the antidumping duty orders with respect to cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland pursuant to section 736(a) of the Act. Interested parties can find a list of antidumping duty orders currently in effect at http://enforcement.trade.gov/stats/iastats1.html.

    32 Commerce normally adjusts antidumping duty cash deposit rates to offset for certain subsidies found in companion countervailing duty proceedings. Accordingly, the rate charts for China and India, below, include an additional column to indicate the applicable cash deposit rates adjusted for certain subsidies in the companion countervailing duty investigations. As there were no companion countervailing duty investigations with respect to Germany, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland, the rate charts listed below with respect to those countries include only a column for the weighted-average margin determined in those investigations.

    33 In the China Prelim, Commerce found that Zhangjiagang Huacheng Import & Export Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Huacheng Industry Pipe Making Corporation, and Zhangjiagang S