Federal Register Vol. 83, No.124,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 124 (June 27, 2018)

Page Range30031-30284
FR Document

83_FR_124
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 30091 - Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
83 FR 30194 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 30035 - Occupational Safety and Health StandardsPDF
83 FR 30035 - The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993PDF
83 FR 30035 - Federal Sector Equal Employment OpportunityPDF
83 FR 30206 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 30077 - Federal Travel Regulation (FTR); Removal of the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) Deduction Table, Allocation of M&IE Rates To Be Used in Making Deductions From the M&IE Allowance, and the Glossary of AcronymsPDF
83 FR 30041 - Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection and Captain of the Port ZonePDF
83 FR 30158 - Applications for New Awards; Training Program for Federal TRIO ProgramsPDF
83 FR 30151 - Applications for New Awards; Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP)PDF
83 FR 30164 - Town of Bedford; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
83 FR 30162 - American Municipal Power, Inc.; Notice of FilingPDF
83 FR 30166 - Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, LP; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 30165 - Midship Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Midcontinent Supply Header Interstate Pipeline ProjectPDF
83 FR 30162 - CXA La Paloma, LLC v. California Independent System Operator Corporation; Notice of ComplaintPDF
83 FR 30161 - City of Falmouth, Kentucky; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
83 FR 30163 - Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceedings and Refund Effective DatePDF
83 FR 30162 - Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 30164 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 30165 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 30186 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 30183 - National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 30091 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-day Findings for Three SpeciesPDF
83 FR 30184 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 30185 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 30213 - Notice of Release From Federal Grant Assurance Obligations for San Luis Obispo Airport (SBP), San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 30149 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 30080 - Removing Outmoded Regulations Regarding the National Health Service Corps ProgramPDF
83 FR 30081 - Removing Outmoded Regulations Regarding the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund ProgramPDF
83 FR 30079 - Removing Outmoded Regulations Regarding the Rural Physician Training Grant Program, Definition of “Underserved Rural Community”PDF
83 FR 30054 - Mercury; Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury InventoryPDF
83 FR 30167 - Final Strategic Plan To Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Supporting the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 30173 - Guidance for Creating Generic Names for Confidential Chemical Substance Identity Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 30180 - The Food and Drug Administration's Comprehensive, Multi-Year Nutrition Innovation Strategy; Public Meeting; Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 30218 - Autocar Industries, LLC and Autocar, LLC, Grant of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
83 FR 30168 - TSCA Chemical Substances; Unique Identifier Assignment and Application Policy; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 30171 - Guidance on Expanded Access to TSCA Confidential Business Information; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 30095 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-IIPDF
83 FR 30214 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
83 FR 30150 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Annual Performance Report (APR)PDF
83 FR 30150 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; High School Equivalency Program (HEP) Annual Performance ReportPDF
83 FR 30116 - Smart Grid Advisory Committee Charter RenewalPDF
83 FR 30116 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent LicensePDF
83 FR 30116 - Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality AwardPDF
83 FR 30202 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 30227 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: VBA Call Center Satisfaction SurveyPDF
83 FR 30226 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Request for Substitution of Claimant Upon Death of ClaimantPDF
83 FR 30226 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Application for Reimbursement of Licensing or Certification Test FeesPDF
83 FR 30227 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Eating Disorders in Veterans: Prevalence, Comorbidity, Risk, and Healthcare UsePDF
83 FR 30228 - Agency Information Collection Activity: VHA Homeless Programs Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) for VeteransPDF
83 FR 30182 - Meeting of the Tick-Borne Disease Working GroupPDF
83 FR 30180 - Availability of Program Application Instructions for Tribal MIPPA Program FundsPDF
83 FR 30120 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 30119 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 30117 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 30211 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Request for Department of State Personal Identification CardPDF
83 FR 30120 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Pile Driving Activities for the Restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott BayPDF
83 FR 30145 - Patent Cooperation Treaty Collaborative Search and Examination Pilot Project Between the IP5 OfficesPDF
83 FR 30191 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Availability of Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Lake, County, FLPDF
83 FR 30214 - Notice of Funding Opportunity for America's Marine Highway ProjectsPDF
83 FR 30192 - Filing of Plats of Survey: CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 30191 - Filing of Plats of Survey: IdahoPDF
83 FR 30178 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 30101 - Revision of the Land Management Plans for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho StatesPDF
83 FR 30211 - CSX Transportation, Inc.-Abandonment Exemption-in Fulton County, Ga.PDF
83 FR 30184 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 30183 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 30184 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 30183 - National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 30186 - Center for Scientific Review Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 30147 - Manual for Courts-Martial; Proposed AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 30224 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple IRS Information Collection RequestsPDF
83 FR 30223 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple Fiscal Service Information Collection RequestsPDF
83 FR 30195 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 30195 - 60-Day Notice for the “Final Descriptive Reports for Recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts Grant Awards”PDF
83 FR 30193 - Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From China; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year ReviewsPDF
83 FR 30118 - Evaluation of State Coastal Management ProgramsPDF
83 FR 30119 - Evaluation of Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 30118 - Evaluation of Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 30212 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Tarrant County CollegePDF
83 FR 30212 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received: PlaneSense, Inc.PDF
83 FR 30113 - Request for Comments on the Cross-Agency Priority Goal: Leveraging Data as a Strategic AssetPDF
83 FR 30205 - Joint Industry Plan; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of the Forty-Third Amendment to the Joint Self-Regulatory Organization Plan Governing the Collection, Consolidation and Dissemination of Quotation and Transaction Information for Nasdaq-Listed Securities Traded on Exchanges on an Unlisted Trading Privileges BasisPDF
83 FR 30209 - Consolidated Tape Association; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of the Twenty-Ninth Substantive Amendment to the Second Restatement of the CTA Plan and the Twenty-First Amendment to the Restated CQ PlanPDF
83 FR 30206 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Futures Association; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Technical Amendment to the Interpretive Notice to NFA Compliance Rule 2-9: Special Supervisory Requirements for Members Registered as Broker-Dealers Under Section 15(b)(11) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934PDF
83 FR 30203 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Futures Association; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Change to the Interpretive Notice to NFA Compliance Rule 2-9: Enhanced Supervisory Requirements: Requiring NFA Members To Maintain a Record of All Electronic Written CommunicationsPDF
83 FR 30208 - Impact Shares Trust I, et al.PDF
83 FR 30106 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2018PDF
83 FR 30036 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Technical Amendment; Removal of Obsolete Drawbridge Operating RegulationsPDF
83 FR 30036 - National Security Education Program (NSEP) Grants to Institutions of Higher EducationPDF
83 FR 30199 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Changes to Construction Fitness-for-Duty CommitmentsPDF
83 FR 30174 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
83 FR 30176 - Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
83 FR 30175 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
83 FR 30082 - IP CTS Modernization and ReformPDF
83 FR 30102 - Inviting Applications for the Rural Business Development Grant Program To Provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation SystemsPDF
83 FR 30095 - Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Teleconference MeetingPDF
83 FR 30222 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
83 FR 30222 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Forms 5310 and 6088PDF
83 FR 30221 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
83 FR 30039 - Safety Zone; Lakewood Independence Day Fireworks; Lake Erie, Lakewood, OHPDF
83 FR 30193 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
83 FR 30220 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Loans in Areas Having Special Flood HazardsPDF
83 FR 30188 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 30044 - Safety Zone; Town of Hamburg July 3rd Party, Lake Erie, Blasdell, NYPDF
83 FR 30225 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Notice of DisagreementPDF
83 FR 30187 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 30032 - Modification of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Route in the Vicinity of Newberry, MIPDF
83 FR 30031 - Modification of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Richmond, INPDF
83 FR 30033 - Amendment of Restricted Area R-2302; Flagstaff, AZPDF
83 FR 30034 - Revocation of Restricted Area R-2530, Sierra Army Depot, CAPDF
83 FR 30195 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Unit Nos. 3 and 4PDF
83 FR 30046 - Safety Zone; Boaters Against Cancer Fireworks Display; Lake Ontario, Kendall, NYPDF
83 FR 30089 - Special Local Regulation; Ohio River, Owensboro, KYPDF
83 FR 30178 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 30031 - Temporary Extension of Applicability of Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal PropertyPDF
83 FR 30048 - Air Plan Approval; Alaska; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
83 FR 30050 - Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Update To Include New Jersey State RequirementsPDF
83 FR 30194 - National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee (NISPPAC)PDF
83 FR 30232 - Regulatory Relief: Aviation Training Devices; Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other ProvisionsPDF

Issue

83 124 Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Meetings: Plant Variety Protection Board, 30095 2018-13751 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30178-30180 2018-13793 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Removal of Obsolete Drawbridge Operating Regulations; Technical Amendment, 30036-30039 2018-13760 Safety and Security Zones: New York Marine Inspection and Captain of the Port Zone, 30041-30044 2018-13863 Safety Zones: Boaters Against Cancer Fireworks Display; Lake Ontario, Kendall, NY, 30046-30048 2018-13735 Lakewood Independence Day Fireworks, Lake Erie, Lakewood, OH, 30039-30041 2018-13747 Town of Hamburg July 3rd Party, Lake Erie, Blasdell, NY, 30044-30046 2018-13743 PROPOSED RULES Special Local Regulations: Ohio River, Owensboro, KY, 30089-30091 2018-13734 Commerce Commerce Department See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Cross-Agency Priority Goal: Leveraging Data as Strategic Asset, 30113-30116 2018-13768
Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Program Application Instructions for Tribal Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act Program Funds, 30180 2018-13811 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards, 30220-30221 2018-13745 Defense Department Defense Department RULES National Security Education Program Grants to Institutions of Higher Education, 30036 2018-13759 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30149 2018-13838 Manual for Courts-Martial, 30147-30149 2018-13783 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: College Assistance Migrant Program Annual Performance Report, 30150 2018-13824 High School Equivalency Program Annual Performance Report, 30150-30151 2018-13823 New Awards; Applications: Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program, 30151-30158 2018-13856 Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs, 30158-30161 2018-13862 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alaska; Interstate Transport Requirements for 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 30048-30049 2018-13721 Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations: New Jersey State Requirements, 30050-30054 2018-13577 Reporting Requirements for TSCA Mercury Inventory: Mercury, 30054-30077 2018-13834 NOTICES Final Strategic Plan to Promote Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Supporting Toxic Substances Control Act, 30167-30168 2018-13833 Guidance: Creating Generic Names for Confidential Chemical Substance Identity Reporting under Toxic Substances Control Act, 30173-30174 2018-13832 Expanded Access to TSCA Confidential Business Information, 30171-30173 2018-13828 TSCA Chemical Substances: Unique Identifier Assignment and Application Policy, 30168-30171 2018-13829 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission RULES Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity; CFR Correction, 30035 2018-13907 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes; Modifications: Routes in the Vicinity of Newberry, MI, 30032-30033 2018-13740 Routes in the Vicinity of Richmond, IN, 30031-30032 2018-13739 Regulatory Relief: Aviation Training Devices; Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other Provisions, 30232-30284 2018-12800 Restricted Areas; Amendments: R-2302; Flagstaff, AZ, 30033-30034 2018-13738 Restricted Areas; Revocations: R-2530, Sierra Army Depot, CA, 30034-30035 2018-13737 NOTICES Exemption Petitions; Summaries: PlaneSense, Inc., 30212 2018-13769 Tarrant County College, 30212-30213 2018-13770 Requests to Release Airport Land: Federal Grant Assurance Obligations for San Luis Obispo Airport, San Luis Obispo, CA, 30213-30214 2018-13839 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES IP CTS Modernization and Reform, 30082-30088 2018-13753 PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Reconsiderations of Actions in Rulemaking Proceedings, 30091 C1--2018--12786 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30174-30178 2018-13754 2018-13755 2018-13756 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 30187-30190 2018-13741 2018-13744 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Town of Bedford, 30164 2018-13855 Combined Filings, 30164-30166 2018-13846 2018-13847 Complaints: CXA La Paloma, LLC v. California Independent System Operator Corp., 30162 2018-13851 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Midship Pipeline Co., LLC; Proposed Midcontinent Supply Header Interstate Pipeline Project, 30165 2018-13852 Filings: American Municipal Power, Inc., 30162 2018-13854 Institutions of Section 206 Proceedings: Ameren Illinois Co., et al., 30163-30164 2018-13849 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: City of Falmouth, KY, 30161-30162 2018-13850 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co., LP, 30166-30167 2018-13853 Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., 30162-30163 2018-13848 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Compliance Waivers; Petitions, 30214 2018-13826 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 30178 2018-13733 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 90-Day Findings for Three Species, 30091-30094 2018-13843 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for Sand Skink, Lake, County, FL; Availability, 30191 2018-13799 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Meetings: Comprehensive, Multi-Year Nutrition Innovation Strategy, 30180-30182 2018-13831 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II, 30095-30101 2018-13827 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Land Management Plans: Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho States, 30101-30102 2018-13792 General Services General Services Administration RULES Federal Travel Regulations: Removal of Meals and Incidental Expenses Deduction Table, Allocation of Meals and Incidental Expenses Rates to be Used in Making Deductions from Meals and Incidental Expenses Allowance, and Glossary of Acronyms, 30077-30079 2018-13866 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

RULES National Health Service Corps Program, 30080-30081 2018-13837 Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Program, 30081-30082 2018-13836 Rural Physician Training Grant Program, Definition of Underserved Rural Community, 30079-30080 2018-13835 NOTICES Meetings: Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, 30182-30183 2018-13812
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

RULES Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property: Temporary Extension of Applicability, 30031 2018-13725
Information Information Security Oversight Office NOTICES Meetings: National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee, 30194-30195 2018-13399 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30221-30223 2018-13748 2018-13749 2018-13750 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from China, 30193 2018-13775 Joint Joint Board for Enrollment of Actuaries NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee, 30193-30194 2018-13746 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

See

Wage and Hour Division

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Surveys: California, 30192-30193 2018-13797 Idaho, 30191-30192 2018-13796 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 30194 2018-13920 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Funding Opportunities: America's Marine Highway Projects, 30214-30218 2018-13798 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration See

Information Security Oversight Office

National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Final Descriptive Reports for Recipients of National Endowment for the Arts Grant Awards, 30195 2018-13777 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Autocar Industries, LLC and Autocar, LLC, 30218-30220 2018-13830 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Charter Renewals: Smart Grid Advisory Committee, 30116 2018-13822 Meetings: Judges Panel of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, 30116-30117 2018-13820 Prospective Grants of Exclusive Patent Licenses, 30116 2018-13821 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 30184-30186 2018-13785 2018-13841 2018-13842 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 30183 2018-13788 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 30183-30184 2018-13786 National Eye Institute, 30183 2018-13844 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 30184 2018-13787 National Institute of Mental Health, 30186-30187 2018-13845 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 30184 2018-13789 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30117-30120 2018-13807 2018-13808 2018-13809 2018-13810 Meetings: Evaluation of Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, 30118-30119 2018-13772 Evaluation of Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, 30119 2018-13773 Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs, 30118 2018-13774 Takes of Marine Mammals: Incidental to Pile Driving Activities for Restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay, 30120-30145 2018-13803 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Amendment Applications: Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Changes to Construction Fitness-for-Duty Commitments, 30199-30202 2018-13757 Licenses; Amendments; Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Unit Nos. 3 and 4, 30195-30199 2018-13736 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures, 30195 2018-13778 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration RULES Occupational Safety and Health Standards; CFR Correction, 30035 2018-13909 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Patent Cooperation Treaty Collaborative Search and Examination Pilot Project between IP5 Offices, 30145-30147 2018-13800 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 30202-30203 2018-13819 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Rural Business Development Grant Program to Provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation Systems, 30102-30106 2018-13752 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Farm Labor Housing Loans and Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2018, 30106-30113 2018-13761 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Impact Shares Trust I, et al., 30208-30209 2018-13762 Filings: Consolidated Tape Assn., 30209-30210 2018-13766 Joint Industry Plan, 30205-30206 2018-13767 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 30206 2018-13888 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: National Futures Assn., 30203-30207 2018-13763 2018-13764 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Department of State Personal Identification Card, 30211 2018-13806 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: CSX Transportation, Inc. in Fulton County, GA, 30211-30212 2018-13791 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30223-30225 2018-13779 2018-13780
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30225-30226 2018-13742 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Reimbursement of Licensing or Certification Test Fees, 30226 2018-13816 Eating Disorders in Veterans: Prevalence, Comorbidity, Risk, and Healthcare Use, 30227 2018-13815 Request for Substitution of Claimant Upon Death of Claimant, 30226-30227 2018-13817 VBA Call Center Satisfaction Survey, 30227-30228 2018-13818 VHA Homeless Programs Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) for Veterans, 30228-30229 2018-13814 Wage Wage and Hour Division RULES Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; CFR Correction, 30035 2018-13908 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, 30232-30284 2018-12800 Reader Aids

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

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

83 124 Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary 6 CFR Chapter I Temporary Extension of Applicability of Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

ACTION:

Notification of temporary extension of the applicability of regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, has temporarily extended the applicability of certain regulations governing conduct on federal property to a certain area within the United States Border Patrol's El Centro Sector allowing for their enforcement. This temporary administrative extension enables DHS to protect and secure federal property at or near the project area for replacement border barrier near the city of Calexico, California, including but not limited to, project sites, staging areas, access roads, and buildings temporarily erected to support construction activities, and to carry out DHS's statutory obligations to protect and secure the nation's borders. The project area for border barrier replacement is situated within a geographic area that starts at the Calexico West Port of Entry, and extends approximately three miles west along the southern U.S. border.

DATES:

Pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 1315(d), the extension began on May 20, 2018 and will continue for the duration of the construction activities related to the border barrier replacement project near the city of Calexico, California.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joshua A. Vayer, Division Director, Protective Operations Division, Federal Protective Service, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Pursuant to section 1706 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (Nov. 25, 2002), as codified at 40 U.S.C. 1315, the Secretary of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting the buildings, grounds, and property owned, occupied, or secured by the federal government (including any agency, instrumentality, or wholly owned or mixed ownership corporation thereof) and the persons on the property. To carry out this mandate, the Department is authorized to enforce the applicable federal regulations for the protection of persons and property set forth in 41 CFR part 102-74, subpart C.1 These regulations govern conduct on federal property and set forth the relevant criminal penalties. Although these regulations apply to all property under the authority of the General Services Administration and to all person entering in or on such property,2 the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 1315(d)(2)(A) to extend the applicability of these regulations to any property owned or occupied by the federal government and to enforce them.

1 Although these regulations were issued prior to the Homeland Security Act, per section 1512 of the Act, these regulations remain the relevant regulations for purposes of the protection and administration of property owned or occupied by the federal government.

2See 41 CFR 102-74.365.

Temporary Administrative Extension of Applicability of Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property to Certain Areas in the Vicinity of the Border Near the City of Calexico

DHS is replacing existing border fence with bollard wall near the city of Calexico in the United States Border Patrol's El Centro Sector pursuant to several statutory and executive directives.3 In order to protect and secure the property at or near the border barrier replacement project area, including, but not limited to, project sites, staging areas, access roads, and buildings temporarily erected to support construction activities, I temporarily extended the applicability, allowing the enforcement, of regulations governing the conduct of individuals on federal property to areas in or around the border barrier replacement project area, pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 1315(d)(2)(A). The project area for border barrier replacement wall and fence replacement is situated within a geographic area that starts at the Calexico West Port of Entry, and extends to approximately three miles west along the southern U.S. border. Specifically, I temporarily extended the applicability, allowing the enforcement, of the regulations in 41 CFR part 102-74, subpart C, for the protection and administration of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property at or near the border barrier replacement project area near the city of Calexico, California.

3 The statutory and executive directives relating to the construction of the border wall replacement fencing include, but are not limited to, section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Public Law 104-208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-554 (Sept. 30, 1996) (8 U.S.C. 1103 note), as amended by the REAL ID Act of 2005, Public Law 109-13, Div. B, 119 Stat. 231, 302, 306 (May 11, 2005) (8 U.S.C. 1103 note), the Secure Fence Act of 2006, Public Law 109-367, section 3, 120 Stat. 2638 (Oct. 26, 2006) (8 U.S.C. 1103 note), and the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008, Public Law 110-161, Div. E, Title V, section 564, 121 Stat. 2090 (Dec. 26, 2007) (8 U.S.C. 1103 note); Section 2 of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, Public Law l09-367, 120 Stat. 2638 (Oct. 26, 2006) (8 U.S.C. 1701 note); and E.O. 13767.

The regulations in 41 CFR part 102-74, subpart C, will remain applicable and enforceable at these locations for the duration of the construction related to the border barrier replacement near the city of Calexico, California.

Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2018-13725 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-10-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1144; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-30] RIN 2120-AA66 Modification of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Richmond, IN AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule, correction.

SUMMARY:

This action corrects a final rule published in the Federal Register of May 29, 2018, that amends five VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) Federal airways (V-12, V-214, V340, V-467, and V517) and one low altitude area navigation (RNAV) route (T-213). This action removes V-467 as the FAA inadvertently listed the route as being amended when, in fact, it already has been removed in a previous rulemaking.

DATES:

Effective date 0901 UTC September 13, 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:

Colby Abbott, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

The FAA published a final rule in the Federal Register (83 FR 24403; May 29, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-1144 amending VOR Federal airways V-12, V-214, V-340, V-467, and V-517, and low altitude RNAV route T-213. Subsequent to publication, the FAA identified that one VOR Federal airway, V-467, already has been removed in a previous rulemaking (83 FR 13404; March 29, 2018). This action removes reference to V-467 in the preamble and the regulatory text.

Correction to Final Rule

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Modification of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Richmond, IN, published in the Federal Register of May 29, 2018 (83 FR 24403), FR Doc. 2018-11327, is corrected as follows:

§ 71.1 [Amended]
On page 24403, column 1, line 15; column 2, line 32; and column 3, line 11, remove the text “V-467.” On page 24403, column 3, lines 49 thru 56, remove the text that reads “V-467: V-467 extends between the Richmond, IN, VORTAC and the Detroit, MI, VOR/DME. This rule removes the airway segment between the Richmond, IN, VORTAC and the Waterville, OH, VOR/DME. The unaffected portion of the existing airway remains as charted.” On page 22404, column 3, lines 39 and 40, under Paragraph 6010(a) Domestic VOR Federal Airways, remove the text that reads: V-467 [Amended]

From Waterville, OH; to Detroit, MI.”

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2018. Rodger A. Dean Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2018-13739 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0222; Airspace Docket No. 18-AGL-2] RIN 2120-AA66 Modification of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Route in the Vicinity of Newberry, MI AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airway V-316 in the vicinity of Newberry, MI. The FAA is taking this action due to the planned decommissioning of the Newberry, MI, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) navigation aid (NAVAID), which provides navigation guidance for portions of the above route. The Newberry VOR/DME is a non-federal NAVAID owned by the State of Michigan that is planned to be decommissioned in September 2018.

DATES:

Effective date 0901 UTC, September 13, 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 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:

Colby Abbott, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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 the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies the route structure in the National Airspace System as necessary to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air traffic.

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for Docket No. FAA-2018-0222 (83 FR 12885; March 26, 2018) to amend VOR Federal airway V-316 due to the planned decommissioning of the Newberry, MI, VOR/DME. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. No comments were received.

VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) 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 VOR Federal airways listed in this document would be subsequently published 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

The FAA is amending Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify VOR Federal airway V-316 due to the planned decommissioning of the Newberry, MI, VOR/DME. The V-316 change is described below.

V-316: V-316 extends between the Ironwood, MI, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) and the Sudbury, ON, Canada, VOR/DME, excluding the airspace within Canada. The airway segment between the Sawyer, MI, VOR/DME and the Sault Ste Marie, MI, VOR/DME is removed. The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

The radials in the route description below are unchanged and stated in True degrees.

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 Department of Transportation (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 of modifying VOR Federal airway V-316 near Newberry, MI qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 1500, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, Paragraph 5-6.5a, which categorically excludes from further environmental impact review rulemaking actions that designate or modify classes of airspace areas, airways, routes, and reporting points (see 14 CFR part 71, Designation of Class A, B, C, D, and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points). As such, this action is not expected to result in any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, the FAA has reviewed this action for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis. The FAA has determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact study.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

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 and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6010(a)  Domestic VOR Federal Airways. V-316

From Ironwood, MI; to Sawyer, MI. From Sault Ste Marie, MI; thence via Sault Ste Marie 091° radial to Elliot Lake, ON, Canada, NDB; thence to Sudbury, ON, Canada, via the 259° radial to Sudbury. The airspace within Canada is excluded.

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2018. Rodger A. Dean Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2018-13740 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0520; Airspace Docket No. 18-AWP-9] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Restricted Area R-2302; Flagstaff, AZ AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

This action changes the time of designation and controlling agency of restricted area R-2302, Flagstaff AZ. The FAA is taking this administrative action in response to the United States Army's limited utilization of the airspace while updating the responsible controlling agency. There are no changes to the boundaries; designated altitudes; or activities conducted within the affected restricted area.

DATES:

Effective date: 0901 UTC, September 13, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Ready, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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 the 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 administratively amends the time of designation and controlling agency for restricted area R-2302, Flagstaff, AZ.

History

The FAA evaluates utilization of special use airspace annually. For the past five years the utilization of restricted area R-2302 has declined steadily. The FAA in coordination with the United States Army, has concluded the restricted area is still needed, but at an on-call basis only. Therefore, the airspace will be activated by a Notice to Airman (NOTAM), four hours in advance as opposed to active continuously Monday through Saturday from 0800 to 2400. Additionally, the controlling agency has changed from Albuquerque Air Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) to Phoenix Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) due to a recent alignment of assigned airspace thus making the restricted area fall completely within Phoenix TRACONs assigned airspace.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 by revising the time of designation and controlling agency listed for restricted area R-2302, Flagstaff, AZ. The time of designation is changed from “active daily, 0800-2400 MST, Monday through Saturday;” to “intermittent by NOTAM only, 4 hours in advance, between 0800 to 2400 MST, Monday through Saturday”. Additionally, the controlling agency for R-2302 is changed from “Albuquerque ARTCC” to “Phoenix TRACON”. These are administrative changes and do not affect the boundaries, designated altitudes, or activities conducted within the restricted area; therefore, notice and public procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

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 Department of Transportation (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 of updating the time of designation and controlling agency for restricted area R-2302; Flagstaff, AZ, qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, paragraph 5-6.5.d, “Modification of the technical description of special use airspace (SUA) that does not alter the dimensions, altitudes, or times of designation of the airspace (such as changes in designation of the controlling or using agency, or correction of typographical errors).” This airspace action is an administrative change to the description of restricted area R-2302; Flagstaff, AZ, to update the time of designation and controlling agency name. It does not alter the dimensions, altitudes, time of designation, or use of the airspace. Therefore, this airspace action is not expected to result in any significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, this action has been reviewed for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis, and it is determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

The Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 73, as follows:

PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 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.

§ 73.23 [Amended]
2. Section 73.23 is amended as follows: R-2302 Flagstaff, AZ [Amended]

By removing “Time of designation. Active daily, 0800-2400 MST, Monday through Saturday” and adding in their place “Time of designation. Intermittent by NOTAM only, 4 hours in advance, between 0800 to 2400 MST, Monday-Saturday.

By removing “Controlling agency. Albuquerque ARTCC,” and adding in their place “Controlling agency. FAA, Phoenix TRACON.”

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2018. Rodger A. Dean, Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2018-13738 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0476; Airspace Docket No. 18-AWP-8] RIN 2120-AA66 Revocation of Restricted Area R-2530, Sierra Army Depot, CA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action removes restricted area R-2530 Sierra Army Depot, CA. This restricted area was originally established in 1963 for the purpose of neutralization of ammunition through a process known as burning. The United States Army has advised there are no future plans for this restricted area and has concurred with the FAA's plan for removal. Therefore, the FAA has determined that a valid requirement for the airspace no longer exists.

DATES:

Effective date: July 27, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Ready, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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 the 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 returns restricted area R-2530 Sierra Army Depot, CA, as it is no longer needed for its designated purpose within the National Airspace System (NAS).

The Rule

This action amends 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 73 by removing Restricted area R-2530 Sierra Army Depot, CA. The United States Army no longer has a use for the restricted area, which was originally established for neutralization of ammunition through a process known as burning. The process was considered a hazard to aircraft since an uncontrolled explosion may have occurred at any time during the burning operation. The FAA has determined that a valid requirement for the airspace no longer exists and the restricted area is being returned to the NAS.

Since this action reduces restricted airspace, the solicitation of comments would only delay the return of airspace to public use without offering any meaningful right or benefit to any segment of the public; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

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 Department of Transportation (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 of revoking of R-2530 Sierra Army Depot, CA, qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, paragraph 5-6.5.c, “Actions to return all or part of special use airspace (SUA) to the National Airspace System (NAS), such as revocation of airspace, a decrease in dimensions, or a reduction in times of use (e.g., from continuous to intermittent, or use by a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)).” This action returns restricted airspace to the NAS. Therefore, this airspace action is not expected to result in any significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAAO 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, this action has been reviewed for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis, and it is determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

The Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 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.

§ 73.25 [Amended]
2. Section 73.25 is amended as follows: R-2530 Sierra Army Depot, CA [Removed]
Issued in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2018. Rodger A. Dean, Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2018-13737 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Wage and Hour Division 29 CFR Part 825 The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 CFR Correction In Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 500 to 899, revised as of July 1, 2017, on page 821, in § 825.120, paragraph (a)(4) is amended as follows: —Remove the third sentence of the paragraph; —Add a sentence following the first sentence of the paragraph; and —Add a sentence following the last sentence of the paragraph.

The additions read as follows:

§ 825.120 Leave for pregnancy or birth.

(a) * * *

(4) * * * Circumstances may require that FMLA leave begin before the actual date of birth of a child. * * * For example, a pregnant employee may be unable to report to work because of severe morning sickness.

[FR Doc. 2018-13908 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION 29 CFR Part 1614 Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity CFR Correction

In Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 900 to 1899, revised as of July 1, 2017, on page 302, in § 1614.304, paragraph (b)(4) is reinstated to read as follows:

§ 1614.304 Contents of petition.

(b) * * *

(4) A copy of the decision issued by the MSPB; and

[FR Doc. 2018-13907 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1910 Occupational Safety and Health Standards CFR Correction
§ 1910.1043 [Amended]
In Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910 (§ 1910.1000 to end of part 1910), revised as of July 1, 2017, on page 297, paragraphs § 1910.1043(i)(1)(i)(A) through (F) are removed.
[FR Doc. 2018-13909 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 206 [Docket ID: DOD-2017-OS-0055] RIN 0790-AJ93 National Security Education Program (NSEP) Grants to Institutions of Higher Education AGENCY:

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule will remove DoD's regulation that relates to the administration of the Boren grants program as sections pertinent to the public were incorporated into the revision of DoD's regulation titled “National Security Education Program (NSEP) and NSEP Service Agreement” on December 5, 2016. This rule has been superseded, is unnecessary, and can be removed.

DATES:

This rule is effective on June 27, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Sam Eisen at 571-256-0760.

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 its content was incorporated into another CFR part for which public comment was taken.

The removal of this part eliminates text which has been superseded at 32 CFR part 208, therefore, it will not change the regulatory impact on the public. This removal is administrative in nature and does not result in a burden reduction or cost savings to the public.

DoD internal guidance concerning the administration of the Boren grants program will continue to be published in DoD Instruction 1025.02 available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/102502_dodi_2017.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 206

Colleges and universities, Grant programs—education.

PART 206—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 206 is removed. Dated: June 21, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2018-13759 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0443] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Technical Amendment; Removal of Obsolete Drawbridge Operating Regulations AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is removing the existing operation regulations for 33 drawbridges across various waterways and in various locations, across the east coast and western rivers of the United States. These drawbridges have either been replaced with a fixed bridge, removed from the waterway, altered with CG approval in such a manner that the drawspan is no longer moveable or the approaching rail lines or roadways have been removed with the drawspan open to navigation and inoperable. These 33 operating regulations are no longer applicable or necessary.

DATES:

This rule is effective June 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0443. 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 rule, call or email Mr. Chris Jaufmann, Office of Bridge Programs; United States Coast Guard Headquarters; telephone 202-372-1512, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department Of Homeland Security FR Federal Register Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

The Coast Guard is issuing this 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 notice and comment procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) due to the fact that the 33 drawbridges identified either do not exist or no longer function as a drawbridge. Therefore, their regulations are no longer applicable and need to be removed. It is unnecessary to publish a NPRM because drawbridge regulations are only used for bridges that have an operational span that is intended to be opened for the passage of waterway traffic. These bridges are no longer operational.

For the same reasons stated in the preceding paragraph, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The bridges at issue no longer have an operational span and therefore have no need of a drawbridge regulation. The removal of the regulation will not affect mariners currently operating on this waterway. Therefore, a delayed effective date is unnecessary.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499.

The elimination of these drawbridges necessitates the removal of their corresponding drawbridge operation regulation in 33 CFR part 117 subpart B.

IV. Discussion of Final Rule

The Coast Guard is removing restrictions and the regulatory burdens related to the draw operations for these 33 bridges that no longer function as drawbridges. In the regulatory section of this final rule, the 33 bridges are presented numerically based on their section number and, if applicable, paragraph lettering under 33 CFR part 117 subpart B.

This final rule will update 33 CFR part 117 subpart B by removing language that governs the operating schedule of the aforementioned bridges, which in fact, in their current state, are no longer drawbridges. The removal of these obsolete regulations will not affect waterway or land traffic.

The following bridges remain across their respective waterways and remain in use in their transportation function, however; have been converted to fixed bridges:

—§ 117.125(b) Black River; Black Rock, AR; Burlington Northern RR Bridge; Mile 68.4; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.125(c) Black River; Pocahontas, AR; Arkansas State HWY Dept. Bridge; Mile 90.1; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.125(e) Black River; Corning, AR; Union Pacific RR Bridge; Mile 144.4; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.125(f) Black River; Corning, AR; Arkansas State HWY Dept. Bridge; Mile 152.2; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.127 Current River; Biggers, AR; Arkansas Highway Bridge; Mile 10.2; Eight Coast Guard District —§ 117.527 Kennebunk River; Between Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, ME; Dock Square Drawbridge; Mile 1; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.591(b) Charles River and its Tributaries; Boston, MA; Charleston Bridge; Mile 0.4; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.609(b) Mystic River; Somerville, MA; Wellington Bridge; Mile 2.5; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.613 North River; Norwell, MA; Plymouth County (Bridge Street) Bridge; Mile 4.0; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.738 Overpeck Creek; Ridgefield Park; Conrail and the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Bridges; Mile 0.0; First Coast Guard District.

The following bridges are no longer functional drawbridges. These bridges have either had their operable drawspan removed or the bridge was removed in whole from the waterway:

—§ 117.125(d) Black River; Pocahontas, AR; Burlington Northern RR Bridge; Mile 90.4; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.127 Current River; Biggers, AR; Burlington Northern RR Bridge; Mile 12.2; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.272 Boot Key Harbor; Between Marathon and Boot Key, FL; Boot Key Harbor Drawbridge; Mile 0.13; Seventh Coast Guard District. —§ 117.531(c)(2) Piscataqua River; Portsmouth, ME; Sarah M. Long (Route 1 Bypass) Secondary Recreation Draw; Mile 2.5; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.599 Fort Point Channel; Boston, MA; Northern Avenue Bridge; Mile 0.1; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.601 Malden River; Between Medford and Everett, MA; S16 Bridge; Mile 0.3; First Coast Guard District.

The following bridges remain in the waterway and are open to navigation. However, the rail line, including the bridge, are no longer in use.

—§ 117.139(a) White River; DeValls Bluff; AR; Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Bridge; Mile 122; Eighth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.521 Back Cove; Portland, ME; Canadian National Railroad Bridge; Mile 0.2; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.605(b) Merrimack River; Newburyport, MA; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Railroad Bridge; Mile 3.4; First Coast Guard District.

The following drawbridges have been removed from the waterway and replaced with fixed bridges:

—§ 117.139(a) White River; DeValls Bluff, AR; US70 Highway Bridge; Mile 121.7; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.261(b) Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from St. Mary's River to Key Largo; Jacksonville Beach, FL; McCormick Bridge; Mile 747.5; Seventh Coast Guard District. —§ 117.261(qq) Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from St. Mary's River to Key Largo; Key Largo, FL; Jewfish Creek; Mile 1134; Seventh Coast Guard District. —§ 117.287(i) Gulf Intracoastal Waterway; Clearwater, FL; Belleair Beach Drawbridge; Mile 131.8; Seventh Coast Guard District. —§ 117.309 Nassau Sound; Between Amelia Island and Talbot Island, FL; Fernandina Port Authority (SR-A-1-A) Bridge; Mile 0.4; Seventh Coast Guard District. —§ 117.317(j) Okeechobee Waterway; Punta Rassa, FL; Sanibel Causeway Bridge; Mile 151; Seventh Coast Guard District. —§ 117.483 Ouachita River; Harrisonburg, LA; S8 Bridge; Mile 57.5; Eight Coast Guard District. —§ 117.529 Narraguagus River; Millbridge, ME; Highway Bridge; Mile 1.8; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.739(n)(1) Passaic River; Wallington, NJ; Gregory Avenue Bridge; Mile 14; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.779 Eastchester Bay (Arm of); Between Rodman Neck and City Island, NY; Highway Bridge; Mile 2.2; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.805 Peekskill (Annsville) Creek; Peekskill, NY; Conrail Bridge; Mile 0; First Coast Guard District. —§ 117.1059(d) Snohomish River, Steamboat Slough, and Ebey Bay; Everett, WA; SR 2 Highway Bridges; Mile 6.9; Thirteenth Coast Guard District. —§ 117.1059(h) Snohomish River, Steamboat Slough, and Ebey Bay; Marysville, WA; SR 529 Highway Bridge; Mile 1.6; Thirteenth Coast Guard District. In accordance with § 117.1059(h), the drawtender at the SR 529 Highway Bridge across Ebey Slough, mile 1.6 at Marysville would control the openings at that bridge and the openings for the SR 529 Highway Bridge across the Snohomish River, mile 3.6 at Everett and the twin, SR 529 Highway Bridges across Steamboat Slough, mile 1.1 and 1.2 respectively near Marysville; Monday through Friday. The drawtender at SR 529 Highway Bridge across the Snohomish River, mile 3.6 at Everett would control bridge openings at all other times. Due to the replacement of the SR 529 Highway Bridge across Ebey Slough, mile 1.6 at Marysville with a fixed bridge, the duties of the drawtender were no longer needed and are now the full responsibility of the drawtender at the SR 529 Highway Bridge across the Snohomish River, mile 3.6 at Everett. Operation and contact information for the bridges remains the same and this action will not affect waterway and land traffic. 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.

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, it 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. See OMB's Memorandum “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs'” (April 5, 2017). DHS considers this final rule to be a deregulatory action.

As previously explained the above 33 listed bridges, have either been removed from the waterway or converted/replaced to or by a fixed bridge. The removal of their operating schedules from 33 CFR 117 Subpart B will have no effect on the movement of waterway or land traffic, but will serve to remove an outdated and obsolete provision from the CFR.

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 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.

For the reasons stated in section IV.A above this final rule would 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, above.

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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.

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 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 guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

Bridges.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Revise § 117.125 to read as follows:
§ 117.125 Black River.

The Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, mile 3.4 at Paoquet need not open for the passage of vessels.

§ 117.127 [Removed]
3. Remove § 117.127. 4. Revise paragraph (a) in § 117.139 to read as follows:
§ 117.139 White River.

(a) The draws of the St. Louis Southwestern railroad bridge, mile 98.9 at Clarendon, the Missouri Pacific railroad bridge, mile 196.3 at Augusta and the Missouri Pacific railroad bridge, mile 254.8 at Newport, shall open on signal if at least eight hours notice is given. The draws of any of these bridges need not be opened for a vessel that arrives later than two hours after the time specified in the notice, unless a second notice of at least eight hours is given.

§ 117.261 [Amended]
5. Amend § 117.261 by removing and reserving paragraphs (b) and (qq).
§ 117.272 [Removed]
6. Remove § 117.272.
§ 117.287 [Amended]
7. Amend § 117.287 by removing paragraph (i).
§ 117.309 [Removed]
8. Remove § 117.309.
§ 117.317 [Amended]
9. Amend § 117.317 by removing paragraph (j) and redesignating paragraph (k) as paragraph (j).
§ 117.483 [Removed]
10. Remove § 117.483.
§ 117.521 [Removed]
11. Remove § 117.521.
§ 117.527 [Removed]
12. Remove § 117.527.
§ 117.529 [Removed]
13. Remove § 117.529.
§ 117.531 [Amended]
14. Amend § 117.531 by removing and reserving paragraph (c)(2).
§ 117.591 [Amended]
15. Amend § 117.591 by removing paragraph (b) and redesignating paragraphs (c) through (f) as paragraphs (b) through (e).
§ 117.599 [Removed]
16. Remove § 117.599.
§ 117.601 [Removed]
17. Remove § 117.601.
§ 117.605 [Amended]
18. Amend § 117.605 by removing paragraph (b) and redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (b). 19. Revise § 117.609 to read as follows:
§ 117.609 Mystic River.

The draw of the S99 Alford Street Bridge, mile 1.4, shall open on signal; except that, Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays, the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m., 9:10 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., daily. From November 1 through March 31, between 3 p.m. and 7 a.m., at least an eight-hour advance notice is required for bridge openings by calling the number posted at the bridge.

§ 117.613 [Removed]
20. Remove § 117.613.
§ 117.738 [Removed]
21. Remove § 117.738. 22. Revise paragraph (n) in § 117.739 to read as follows:
§ 117.739 Passaic River.

(n) West Eighth Street Bridge, mile 15.3, at Garfield need not open for the passage of vessels.

§ 117.779 [Removed]
23. Remove § 117.779.
§ 117.805 [Removed]
24. Remove § 117.805. 25. In § 117.1059: a. Revise paragraph (c). b. Remove paragraphs (d) and (h). c. Redesignate paragraphs (e), (f) and (g) as (d), (e) and (f). d. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (f).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 117.1059 Snohomish River, Steamboat Slough, and Ebey Slough.

(c) The draws of the twin, SR 529, highway bridges across the Snohomish River, mile 3.6, at Everett shall open on signal if notice is provided at least one hour in advance. Notice for openings shall be given by marine radio, telephone or other means to the drawtender at the twin, SR 529, Highway Bridges across the Snohomish River, mile 3.6. One signal opens both draws. During freshets, a drawtender shall be in constant attendance, and the draws shall open on signal when so ordered by the District Commander.

(f) The draws of the twin SR 529, highway bridges across Steamboat Slough, miles 1.1 and 1.2, near Marysville, shall open on signal if notice is provided at least four hours in advance. Notice for openings shall be given by marine radio or telephone to the drawtender at the twin, SR 529, Highway Bridges across the Snohomish River, mile 3.6. One signal opens both draws. During freshets, a drawtender shall be in constant attendance, and the draws shall open on signal when so ordered by the District Commander.

Brian L. Dunn, Chief, Bridge Program, Coast Guard Headquarters.
[FR Doc. 2018-13760 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0467] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Lakewood Independence Day Fireworks; Lake Erie, Lakewood, OH AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 420-foot radius of the launch site at Lakewood Park, Lakewood, OH. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of Lake Erie during the Lakewood Independence Day fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Buffalo.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 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-2018-0467 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 LT Ryan Junod, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland; telephone 216-937-0124, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of enhancing safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in the vicinity of the fireworks display.

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 would be contrary to the rule's objectives of enhancing safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of 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 Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a fireworks display presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, dangerous projectiles, and falling or burning debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display takes place.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone on July 4, 2018, from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie; Lakewood, OH contained within 420-foot radius of: 41°29′50″ N, 081°47′52″ W.

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

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 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 conclusion that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. We anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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 establishes a temporary safety zone. 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.T09-0467 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0467 Safety Zone; Lakewood Independence Day Fireworks; Lake Erie, Lakewood, OH.

(a) Location. This zone will encompass all U.S waterways within a 420-foot radius of the fireworks launch site located at position 41°29′50″ N, 081°47′52″ W, Lakewood, OH (NAD 83).

(b) Enforcement period. This regulation is effective and will be enforced from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 p.m. on July 4, 2018.

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

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

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

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

Dated: June 21, 2018. Joseph S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2018-13747 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0799] RIN 1625-AA87 Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection and Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is modifying the safety and security zone surrounding the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island in order to increase navigational safety in New York Harbor. This modification authorizes certain vessels to transit underneath the bridge, reducing vessel congestion in the adjacent Anchorage Channel. All other persons and vessels continue to be prohibited from accessing the zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port New York or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective on June 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0799 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 MST1 Kristina Pundt, Waterways Management at U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York, telephone 718-354-4352, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking ANPRM Advance notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code COTP Captain of the Port NPS National Park Service II. Background Information and Regulatory History

On November 27, 2002, the Coast Guard published a NPRM entitled, “Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection and Captain of the Port Zone” in the Federal Register (67 FR 70892). The NPRM proposed to establish a permanent safety and security zone encompassing all waters within 150 yards of Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. We received no comments on the proposed rule. No public hearing was requested and none was held. The current 150-yard permanent safety and security zone around the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island became effective in January 2003 as enacted by a final rule entitled, “Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection Zone and Captain of the Port Zone” published in the Federal Register (68 FR 2886, January 22, 2003).

On May 6, 2008, the Coast Guard published a NPRM entitled, “Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection Zone and Captain of the Port” in the Federal Register (73 FR 24889). The NPRM proposed to modify several aspects of the permanent safety and security zone regulations within the New York Captain of the Port Zone. We received 15 comments regarding the proposed rule. A public meeting was requested to discuss the proposed expansion of the Liberty and Ellis Island safety and security zone to include all waters within 400 yards of these two islands and the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. On February 12, 2009, the Coast Guard published a final rule entitled, “Safety and Security Zones New York Marine Inspection Zone and Captain of the Port Zone” in the Federal Register (74 FR 7184). However, based on the comments received, the Coast Guard did not expand the Liberty and Ellis Island safety and security zone. As a result, a public meeting was unnecessary and the zone remained 150 yards.

On November 3, 2016, the Coast Guard published an ANPRM entitled, “Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection and Captain of the Port Zone” in the Federal Register (81 FR 76545). The ANPRM solicited public comments on a potential rulemaking to modify the existing safety and security zone around the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. In response to public requests, the comment period was reopened for an additional 60 day period on February 14, 2017 (82 FR 10558). We received 125 comments regarding the advance notice of proposed rulemaking. Out of the 125 comments received, 123 comments were in support of modifying the existing safety and security zone around the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island, almost all of which emphasized improving navigation safety. The sole comment opposing modification of the zone, provided by the National Park Service, expressed security concerns regarding Ellis and Liberty Islands due to their historical symbolism. The singular neutral comment received was unclear as to the commenter's view on the proposed safety and security zone modification. The comment addressed the federal job hiring process and stated that all security zones should be eliminated, both of which are outside the purview of this rulemaking.

In response to the comments received on the above mentioned ANPRM, on April 20, 2018, the Coast Guard published a NPRM entitled, “Safety and Security Zones; New York Marine Inspection and Captain of the Port Zone” in the Federal Register (83 FR 17513). The NPRM solicited public comments on our proposed regulatory action related to the safety and security zone modification. During the comment period that ended May 21, 2018, we received 40 comments.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), the Coast Guard finds that an exception exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. This safety and security zone modification allows greater access to a previously restricted area. Although the current regulation allows vessels to transit under the Ellis Island Bridge with COTP permission, this modification grants standing COTP approval for certain vessels to transit underneath the bridge during specific time periods. Thus, this modification lessens the regulatory burden on these vessels by allowing transit through the safety and security zone without needing to seek prior COTP permission. As this rule relieves a restriction, the Coast Guard finds that delaying the effective date of this rule is unnecessary.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP New York has determined that the vessel congestion in the Anchorage Channel presents a hazard to mariners within New York Harbor. The purpose of this safety and security zone modification is to increase navigational safety within New York Harbor. By permitting greater access for human powered vessels to transit underneath the bridge between Ellis Island and Liberty State Park, the vessel congestion in the adjacent Anchorage Channel will be reduced.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, we received 40 comments on our NPRM published April 20, 2018. Of the 40 comments received, 39 were in support of modifying the existing safety and security zone to allow transit underneath the Ellis Island Bridge, stating navigational safety will improve. The sole neutral comment addressed the United States' trade relations with China and is outside the purview of this rulemaking.

We received 25 comments recommending the 16 foot vessel length either be eliminated or increased. 10 comments noted that many kayaks are greater than 16 feet in length, with some of these comments specifically noting that many sea kayaks are 18 feet or longer. 4 comments discussed that many canoes or row gigs navigating this area are longer than 16 feet, ranging between 25 to 35 feet. We received other comments stating human powered vessels in New York Harbor can exceed 45 feet. Based on these comments, we are changing the regulatory text of the NPRM to reflect that human powered vessels with a length equal to or less than 25 feet may transit the zone. Increasing the permissible length to equal to or less than 25 feet balances the need for ensuring navigational safety and providing adequate security for Ellis and Liberty Islands. In addition, mariners with human powered vessels greater than 25 feet in length may request COTP permission to transit the zone and these requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

We received 15 comments regarding access to the safety and security zone during weekdays and throughout the year. These comments noted that the congestion in the Anchorage Channel poses a navigational safety concern to human powered vessels regardless of the day of the week or season of the year. Commenters further stated that many human powered vessel trips are based upon favorable tides and weather.

Due to agency resource constraints, pre-approved access to the zone cannot be extended to encompass all weekdays without compromising the required security posture necessary to protect these national symbols. Similarly, extending pre-approved access beyond the summer boating season poses an unacceptable risk due to the lack of sufficient resources to adequately maintain the required security presence such access demands. Vessel congestion in New York Harbor is greatest on weekend days during the summer months. Limiting pre-approval to certain vessels transiting the zone on weekends during the peak summer boating season, will help ensure adequate security for Ellis and Liberty Islands and well as increase navigational safety. Mariners may request COTP authorization to access the zone on weekdays and throughout the year and each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

We received 11 comments requesting an expansion of the time of day vessels are permitted to access the zone. Commenters requested vessels be permitted to transit from sunrise to sunset, one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset, and 24 hour access to the zone. Commenters noted that many human powered vessel trips are based upon favorable tides, which do not necessary align with the times specified in the NRPM. The Coast Guard believes that security concerns warrant the need to limit the duration of time that transit is permissible. Visibility is greatly reduced outside of the times specified in the NPRM. Where there is reduced visibility the security threat is enhanced and necessitates limiting the pre-approved access of the zone during daylight hours. Also, due to Coast Guard and NPS resource constraints, adequate security is unable to be provided at all times. The most congested time of day in New York harbor is during the daytime. Providing pre-approved COTP access to the zone during the busiest time of day allows the Coast Guard to balance the navigational safety concerns faced by human powered vessel users with the security concerns of these historical landmarks.

We received 3 comments recommending there be a way to contact the agencies through use of a VHF radio, in addition to the phone number contact. The Coast Guard is changing the regulatory text of the NPRM to add VHF Channel 13 as an additional notification method.

Additional changes to the regulatory text between the NPRM and the Final Rule are incorporated below to improve understanding of the modification imposed by this rule. Based on the comments addressing concerns with the restriction on vessel length, weekday transit, and duration of time that transit is permissible, 33 CFR 165.169(b) provides that any person or vessel may request COTP authorization to access the zone throughout the year and each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The text in the NPRM referred to the zone as a “security zone.” Per 33 CFR 165.169, it remains both a safety and security zone. Both the preamble and the regulatory text now reflect this fact.

This rule modifies an existing safety and security zone. The modification allows certain vessels to transit underneath the Ellis Island Bridge on weekends and Federally Observed Holidays on a Friday or Monday, beginning on Memorial Day Weekend through October 1, between one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Vessels making this transit (a) must be able to safely navigate underneath the bridge, (b) be human powered vessels with a length equal to or less than 25 feet and (c) meet the horizontal and vertical navigational bridge clearances. This rule allows for pre-approved COTP permission to transit the zone when meeting the conditions listed in the regulatory text. In accordance with 33 CFR 165.169(b), any person or vessel may still request COTP permission to access the Ellis Island Bridge security zone at any time and each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The modified regulatory text is at the end of this document.

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 modification allowing increased access to a previously restricted area. While the current regulation allows vessels to transit under the Ellis Island Bridge with COTP authorization, this modification grants standing COTP approval for certain vessels to transit underneath the bridge during specific time periods. Thus, this modification lessens the regulatory burden on these vessels by allowing transit through the security zone without needing to seek prior COTP permission. Moreover, the Coast Guard will make the boating public aware of this modification through publication in the Local Notice to Mariners, enhancing public notice of the reduction of the regulatory burden on certain vessels.

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 received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this 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.

While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the security 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 will 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 Order13132.

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.

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 modifies a security zone surrounding the bridge between Liberty State Park and Ellis Island in order to permit greater vessel access. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(b) 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. In § 165.169, revise paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:
§ 165.169 Safety and Security Zones: New York Marine Inspection Zone and Captain of the Port Zone.

(a) * * *

(4) Liberty and Ellis Islands—(i) Location. All waters within 150 yards of Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and the Ellis Island Bridge.

(ii) Ellis Island Bridge. In addition to any person or vessel authorized pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, vessels may transit underneath the Ellis Island Bridge subject to the following conditions:

(A) Dates/Times: On weekends only, to include Federally Observed Holidays on a Friday or Monday, from Memorial Day Weekend through October 1 each year, between one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset.

(B) Vessel types: Human powered vessels equal to or less than twenty five feet. Human powered vessels must be able to safely navigate under the bridge.

(C) Notification: Human powered vessels desiring to transit shall contact the United States Park Police Command Center at 212-363-3260 or VHF CH 13 regarding intentions of passage prior to entering the safety and security zone and transiting under the Ellis Island Bridge.

(D) Route: Transits through the safety and security zone and under the bridge shall occur only at the designated route marked with lights and signage.

(E) Passage: Vessels transiting under the Ellis Island Bridge shall make expeditious passage and not stop or loiter within the safety and security zone.

(iii) Enforcement period. The safety and security zone described in this subsection is effective at all times. Although certain vessels have permission to enter the safety and security zone to transit under the Ellis Island Bridge subject to the conditions outlined in paragraphs (a)(4)(ii)(A)-(E) of this section, the safety and security zone is in effect permanently and can be enforced at any time. When deemed necessary the COTP may rescind the permission granted in paragraphs (a)(4)(ii)(A)-(E) of this section for any period of time.

Dated: June 4, 2018. M. H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
[FR Doc. 2018-13863 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0595] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Town of Hamburg July 3rd Party, Lake Erie, Blasdell, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 420-foot radius of the launch site located at Woodlawn Beach, Lake Erie, Blasdell, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of Lake Erie during Town of Hamburg July 3rd Party. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 p.m. on July 3, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0595 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 LT Michael Collet, Chief Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 716-843-9322, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest by inhibiting the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels form the hazards associated with a fireworks display.

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 because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of 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 Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a fireworks display presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, dangerous projectiles, and falling or burning debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display takes place.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone on July 3, 2018, from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Woodlawn Beach; Lake Erie, Blasdell, NY contained within 420-foot radius of: 42°47′27.34″ N, 078°51′19.67″ W.

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

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 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 conclusion that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. We anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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 establishes a temporary safety zone. 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.T09-0595 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0595 Safety Zone; Town of Hamburg July 3rd Party, Lake Erie, Blasdell, NY.

(a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Woodlawn Beach; Lake Erie, Blasdell, NY contained within a 420-foot radius of: 42°47′27.34″ N, 078°51′19.67″ W.

(b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 p.m. on July 3, 2018.

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

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

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

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

Dated: June 21, 2018. Joseph S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2018-13743 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0617] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Boaters Against Cancer Fireworks Display; Lake Ontario, Kendall, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 210-foot radius of the launch site located at Bald Eagle Marina, Kendall, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of the Lake Ontario during Boaters Against Cancer fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 9:45 p.m. until 10:35 p.m. on June 30, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0617 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 LT Michael Collet, Chief Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 716-843-9322, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of the fireworks display.

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 would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of 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 Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a fireworks display presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, dangerous projectiles, and falling or burning debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display takes place.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone on June 30, 2018, from 9:45 p.m. until 10:35 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Ontario; Kendall, NY contained within 210-foot radius of: 43°22′02.04″ N, 078°01′48.06″ W.

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

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 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 conclusion that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. We anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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 establishes a temporary safety zone. 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.T09-0617 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0617 Safety Zone; Boaters Against Cancer Fireworks Display; Lake Ontario, Kendall, NY.

(a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Ontario; Kendall, NY contained within a 210-foot radius of: 43°22′02.04″ N, 078°01′48.06″ W.

(b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 9:45 p.m. until 10:35 p.m. on June 30, 2018.

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

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

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

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

Dated: June 20, 2018. Joseph S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2018-13735 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2017-0745; FRL-9980-00-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; Alaska; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Clean Air Act requires each State Implementation Plan (SIP) to contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. On March 10, 2016, the State of Alaska made a submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address these requirements. The EPA is approving the submission as meeting the requirement that each SIP contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).

DATES:

This final rule is effective July 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2017-0745. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through https://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section for additional availability information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeff Hunt at (206) 553-0256, or [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Background Information II. Final Action III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background Information

On May 2, 2018, the EPA proposed to approve Alaska's submission as meeting the requirement that each SIP contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state (83 FR 19191). An explanation of the Clean Air Act requirements, a detailed analysis of the submission, and the EPA's reasons for proposing approval were provided in the notice of proposed rulemaking, and will not be restated here. The public comment period for the proposal ended June 1, 2018. We received no adverse comments.1

1 We received two comments in support of our proposed approval. The first was submitted by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The second was submitted anonymously. The anonymous commenter suggested additional areas for EPA research, primarily regarding PM2.5 impacts on environmental justice communities, but was overall supportive of our proposed approval.

II. Final Action

The EPA is approving Alaska's March 10, 2016, submission certifying that the current Alaska SIP is sufficient to meet the interstate transport requirements of Clean Air Act section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, as described in the proposal for this action.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 27, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (See section 307(b)(2)).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: June 14, 2018. Chris Hladick, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

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

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart C—Alaska 2. In § 52.70, amend the table in paragraph (e) by adding the entry “Interstate Transport Requirements-2012 PM2.5 NAAQS” after the entry “Infrastructure Requirements—2010 SO2 NAAQS” to read as follows:
§ 52.70 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Alaska Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Infrastructure and Interstate Transport *         *         *         *         *         *         * Interstate Transport Requirements—2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 3/10/2016 6/27/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] Approves SIP for purposes of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Regulations Approved but not Incorporated by Reference *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-13721 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 55 [EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0723; FRL-9977-64—Region 2] Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Update To Include New Jersey State Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing the update of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations proposed in the Federal Register on February 13, 2018. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements for the corresponding onshore area (COA), which is typically the state geographically closest to the OCS source. The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources for which the State of New Jersey is the COA. The intended effect of approving the updated OCS requirements for the State of New Jersey is to regulate emissions from OCS sources in accordance with the requirements onshore. The requirements discussed below are incorporated by reference into the Code of Federal Regulations and are listed in the appendix to the OCS air regulations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective on July 27, 2018.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0723. The index to the docket is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Viorica Petriman, Air Programs Branch, Permitting Section, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007, (212) 637-4021, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, the terms “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On February 13, 2018 (83 FR 6136), EPA proposed to incorporate requirements into the OCS Air Regulations at 40 CFR part 55 1 pertaining to the State of New Jersey. Section 328(a) of the CAA requires that for such sources located within 25 miles of a State's seaward boundary, the requirements shall be the same as would be applicable if the sources were located in the corresponding onshore area (COA). Because the OCS requirements are based on onshore requirements, and onshore requirements may change, section 328(a)(1) requires that the EPA update the OCS requirements as necessary to maintain consistency with onshore requirements.

    1 The reader may refer to the Proposed Rulemaking, December 5, 1991 (56 FR 63774), and the preamble to the final rule promulgated September 4, 1992 (57 FR 40792) for further background and information on the OCS regulations.

    To comply with the statutory mandate of Section 328(a)(1) of the CAA, the EPA must incorporate by reference all relevant state rules into part 55 so they can be applied to OCS sources located offshore. 40 CFR 55.12 specifies certain times at which part 55's incorporation by reference of a state's rules must be updated. One such time a consistency update must occur is when any OCS source applicant submits a Notice of Intent (NOI) under 40 CFR 55.4 for a new or a modified OCS source. 40 CFR 55.4(a) requires that any OCS source applicant must submit to EPA a NOI before performing any physical change or change in method of operation that results in an increase in emissions. EPA must conduct any necessary consistency update when it receives an NOI, and prior to receiving any application for a preconstruction permit from the OCS source applicant. 40 CFR 55.6(b)(2) and 55.12(f).

    On December 21, 2017, the EPA received a NOI for a new OCS source off the coast of New Jersey. In today's action, the EPA is updating the “New Jersey” section of Appendix A to 40 CFR part 55 to incorporate by reference the relevant New Jersey air pollution control rules that are currently in effect.

    EPA has evaluated the proposed regulations to ensure that they are rationally related to the attainment or maintenance of Federal or state ambient air quality standards (AAQS) or part C of title I of the Act, that they are not designed expressly to prevent exploration and development of the OCS, and that they are applicable to OCS sources. 40 CFR 55.1. The EPA has also evaluated the rules to ensure they are not arbitrary and capricious. 40 CFR 55.12(e). The EPA has excluded New Jersey's administrative or procedural rules,2 and requirements that regulate toxics which are not related to the attainment and maintenance of Federal and State AAQS.

    2 Each COA, which has been delegated the authority to implement and enforce part 55, will use its administrative and procedural rules as onshore. However, in those instances where EPA has not delegated authority to implement and enforce part 55, as in New Jersey, EPA will use its own administrative and procedural requirements to implement the substantive requirements. See 40 CFR 55.14(c)(4).

    To comply with the statutory mandate of Section 328(a) of the CAA, the EPA must incorporate by reference applicable rules in effect for onshore sources into part 55. This limits EPA's flexibility in deciding which requirements will be incorporated into 40 CFR part 55 and prevents EPA from making substantive changes to the requirements it incorporates. As a result, EPA may be incorporating rules into 40 CFR part 55 that do not conform to all of EPA's state implementation plan (SIP) guidance or certain requirements of the CAA. Inclusion in the OCS rule does not imply that a rule meets the requirements of the CAA for SIP approval, nor does it imply that the rule will be approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP.

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period, which closed on March 15, 2018. During this period, we received 12 public comments. None of the comments are relevant to today's action, which simply incorporates by reference current New Jersey air pollution control rules into the OCS regulations applicable to all OCS sources and makes no findings regarding any specific OCS source. Thus, no EPA response to public comments is warranted.

    III. EPA Action

    In this document, EPA is taking final action to incorporate the proposed changes into 40 CFR part 55. EPA is approving this action under section 328(a)(1) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 7627. Section 328(a) of the Act requires that EPA establish requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries that are the same as onshore requirements. To comply with this statutory mandate, the EPA must incorporate applicable onshore rules into 40 CFR part 55 as they exist onshore.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the NJDEP air rules that are applicable to OCS sources and which are described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 55 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 2 Office. Please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to establish requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries that are the same as onshore air control requirements. To comply with this statutory mandate, the EPA must incorporate applicable onshore rules into part 55 as they exist onshore. 42 U.S.C. 7627(a)(1); 40 CFR 55.12. Thus, in promulgating OCS consistency updates, the EPA's role is to maintain consistency between OCS regulations and the regulations of onshore areas, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action simply updates the existing OCS requirements to make them consistent with requirements onshore, without the exercise of any policy discretion by the EPA. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

    • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 04-4);

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this final rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 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, nor does it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 27, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 55

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures, Air pollution control, Hydrocarbons, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, Outer Continental Shelf, Ozone, Particulate matter, Permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: April 19, 2018. Peter D. Lopez, Regional Administrator, Region 2.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 55, is amended as follows:

    PART 55—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 55 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Section 328 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.) as amended by Public Law 101-549.

    2. Section 55.14 is amended by revising the sixth sentence in paragraph (e) introductory text and paragraph (e)(15)(i)(A) to read as follows:
    § 55.14 Requirements that apply to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries, by State.

    (e) * * * Copies of rules pertaining to particular states or local areas may be inspected or obtained from the EPA Docket Center—Public Reading Room, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004 or the appropriate EPA regional offices: U.S. EPA, Region 1 (Massachusetts), One Congress Street, Boston, MA 02114-2023; U.S. EPA, Region 2 (New Jersey and New York), 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866; U.S. EPA, Region 3 (Delaware), 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-5000; U.S. EPA, Region 4 (Florida and North Carolina), 61 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, GA 30303; U.S. EPA, Region 9 (California), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; and U.S. EPA, Region 10 (Alaska), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. * * *

    (15) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) State of New Jersey Requirements Applicable to OCS Sources, January 16, 2018.

    3. Appendix A to part 55 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) under the heading “New Jersey” to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 55—Listing of State and Local Requirements Incorporated by Reference Into Part 55, by State NEW JERSEY

    (a) * * *

    (1) The following State of New Jersey requirements are applicable to OCS Sources, as of January 16, 2018. New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection—New Jersey Administrative Code. The following sections of Title 7:

    Chapter 27 Subchapter 2—Control and Prohibition of Open Burning (Effective 6/20/1994) N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.2. Open burning for salvage operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.3. Open burning of refuse N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.4. General provisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.6. Prescribed burning N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.7. Emergencies N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.8. Dangerous material N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.12. Special permit N.J.A.C. 7:27-2.13. Fees Chapter 27 Subchapter 3—Control and Prohibition of Smoke From Combustion of Fuel (Effective 2/4/2002) N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.2. Smoke emissions from stationary indirect heat exchangers N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.3. Smoke emissions from marine installations N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.4. Smoke emissions from the combustion of fuel in mobile sources N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.5. Smoke emissions from stationary internal combustion engines and stationary turbine engines N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.6. Stack test N.J.A.C. 7:27-3.7. Exceptions Chapter 27 Subchapter 4—Control and Prohibition of Particles From Combustion of Fuel (Effective 4/20/2009) N.J.A.C. 7:27-4.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-4.2. Standards for the emission of particles N.J.A.C. 7:27-4.3. Performance test principle N.J.A.C. 7:27-4.4. Emissions tests N.J.A.C. 7:27-4.6. Exceptions Chapter 27 Subchapter 5—Prohibition of Air Pollution (Effective 10/12/1977) N.J.A.C. 7:27-5.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-5.2. General provisions Chapter 27 Subchapter 6—Control and Prohibition of Particles From Manufacturing Processes (Effective 6/12/1998) N.J.A.C. 7:27-6.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-6.2. Standards for the emission of particles N.J.A.C. 7:27-6.3. Performance test principles N.J.A.C. 7:27-6.4. Emissions tests N.J.A.C. 7:27-6.5. Variances N.J.A.C. 7:27-6.7. Exceptions Chapter 27 Subchapter 7—Sulfur (Effective 11/6/2017) N.J.A.C. 7:27-7.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-7.2. Control and prohibition of air pollution from sulfur compounds Chapter 27 Subchapter 8—Permits and Certificates for Minor Facilities (and Major Facilities Without an Operating Permit) (Effective 1/16/2018) N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.2. Applicability N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.3. General provisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.4. How to apply, register, submit a notice, or renew N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.5. Air quality impact analysis N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.6. Service fees N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.7. Operating certificates N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.8. General permits N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.9. Environmental improvement pilot tests N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.11. Standards for issuing a permit N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.12. State of the art N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.13. Conditions of approval N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.14. Denials N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.15. Reporting requirements N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.16. Revocation N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.17. Changes to existing permits and certificates N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.18. Permit revisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.19. Compliance plan changes N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.20. Seven-day notice changes N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.21. Amendments N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.23. Reconstruction N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.24. Special provisions for construction but not operation N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.25. Special provisions for pollution control equipment or pollution prevention process modifications N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.27. Special facility-wide permit provisions Appendix 1 Chapter 27 Subchapter 9—Sulfur in Fuels (Effective 9/20/2010) N.J.A.C. 7:27-9.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-9.2. Sulfur content standards N.J.A.C. 7:27-9.3. Exemptions N.J.A.C. 7:27-9.4. Waiver of air quality modeling Chapter 27 Subchapter 10—Sulfur in Solid Fuels (Effective 9/6/2011) N.J.A.C. 7:27-10.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-10.2. Sulfur contents standards N.J.A.C. 7:27-10.3. Expansion, reconstruction or construction of solid fuel burning units N.J.A.C. 7:27-10.4. Exemptions N.J.A.C. 7:27-10.5. SO2 emission rate determinations Chapter 27 Subchapter 11—Incinerators (Effective 5/4/1998) N.J.A.C. 7:27-11.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-11.2. Construction standards N.J.A.C. 7:27-11.3. Emission standards N.J.A.C. 7:27-11.4. Permit to construct; certificate to operate N.J.A.C. 7:27-11.5. Operation N.J.A.C. 7:27-11.6. Exceptions Chapter 27 Subchapter 12—Prevention and Control of Air Pollution Emergencies (Effective 5/20/1974) N.J.A.C. 7:27-12.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-12.2. Emergency criteria N.J.A.C. 7:27-12.3. Criteria for emergency termination N.J.A.C. 7:27-12.4. Standby plans N.J.A.C. 7:27-12.5. Standby orders Table I Emission Reduction Objectives Table II Emission Reduction Objectives Table III Emission Reduction Objectives Chapter 27 Subchapter 16—Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution by Volatile Organic Compounds (Effective 1/16/2018) N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.1A. Purpose, scope, applicability, and severability N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.2. VOC stationary storage tanks N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.3. Gasoline transfer operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.4. VOC transfer operations, other than gasoline N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.5. Marine tank vessel loading and ballasting operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.6. Open top tanks and solvent cleaning operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.7. Surface coating and graphic arts operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.8. Boilers N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.9. Stationary combustion turbines N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.10. Stationary reciprocating engines N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.12. Surface coating operations at mobile equipment repair and refinishing facilities N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.13. Flares N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.16. Other source operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.17. Alternative and facility-specific VOC control requirements N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.18. Leak detection and repair N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.19. Application of cutback and emulsified asphalts N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.21. Natural gas pipelines N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.22. Emission information, record keeping and testing N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.23. Procedures for demonstrating compliance N.J.A.C. 7:27-16.27. Exceptions Appendix I Appendix II Chapter 27 Subchapter 18—Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution From New or Altered Sources Affecting Ambient Air Quality (Emission Offset Rules) (Effective 11/6/2017) N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.2. Facilities subject to this subchapter N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.3. Standards for issuance of permits N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.4. Air quality impact analysis N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.5. Standards for use of emission reductions as emission offsets N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.6. Emission offset postponement N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.7. Determination of a net emission increase or a significant net emission increase N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.8. Banking of emission reductions N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.9. Secondary emissions N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.10. Exemptions N.J.A.C. 7:27-18.12. Civil or criminal penalties for failure to comply Chapter 27 Subchapter 19—Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution From Oxides of Nitrogen (Effective 1/16/2018) N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.2. Purpose, scope and applicability N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.3. General provisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.4. Boilers serving electric generating units N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.5. Stationary combustion turbines N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.6. Emissions averaging N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.7. Industrial/commercial/institutional boilers and other indirect heat exchangers N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.8. Stationary reciprocating engines N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.11. Emergency generators—recordkeeping N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.13. Alternative and facility-specific NOX emission limits N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.14. Procedures for obtaining approvals under this subchapter N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.15. Procedures and deadlines for demonstrating compliance N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.16. Adjusting combustion processes N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.17. Source emissions testing N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.18. Continuous emissions monitoring N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.19. Recordkeeping and recording N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.20. Fuel switching N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.21. Phased compliance—repowering N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.23. Phased compliance—use of innovative control technology N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.25. Exemption for emergency use of fuel oil N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.26. Penalties Chapter 27 Subchapter 20—Used Oil Combustion (Effective 9/6/2011) N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.2. General provisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.3. Burning of on-specification used oil in space heaters covered by a registration N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.4. Burning of on-specification used oil in space heaters covered by a permit N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.5. Demonstration that used oil is on-specification N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.6. Burning of on-specification oil in other combustion units N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.7. Burning of off-specification used oil N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.8. Ash standard N.J.A.C. 7:27-20.9. Exception Chapter 27 Subchapter 21—Emission Statements (Effective 1/16/2018) N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.2. Applicability N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.3. General provisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.4. Procedures for submitting an emission statement N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.5. Required contents of an emission statement N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.6. Methods to be used for quantifying actual emissions N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.7. Recordkeeping requirements N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.8. Certification of information N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.9. Request for extensions N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.10. Determination of non-applicability N.J.A.C. 7:27-21.11. Severability Appendix 1 Chapter 27 Subchapter 22—Operating Permits (Effective 1/16/2018) N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.2. Applicability N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.3. General provisions N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.4. General application procedures N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.5. Application procedures for initial operating permits N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.6. Operating permit application contents N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.7. Application shield N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.8. Air quality simulation modeling and risk assessment N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.9. Compliance plans N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.10. Completeness reviews N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.11. Public comment N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.12. EPA comment N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.13. Final action on an application N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.14. General operating permits N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.15. Temporary facility operating permits N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.16. Operating permit contents N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.17. Permit shield N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.18. Source emissions testing and monitoring N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.19. Recordkeeping, reporting and compliance certification N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.20. Administrative amendments N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.21. Changes to insignificant source operations N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.22. Seven-day-notice changes N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.23. Minor modifications N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.24. Significant modifications N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.24A. Reconstruction N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.25. Department initiated operating permit modifications N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.26. MACT and GACT standards N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.27. Operating scenarios N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.28A. Emissions trading N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.28B. Facility-specific emissions averaging programs N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.29. Facilities subject to acid deposition control N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.30. Renewals N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.31. Fees N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.32. Hearings and appeals N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.33. Preconstruction review N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.34. Early reduction of HAP emissions N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.35. Advances in the art of air pollution Appendix Table A Chapter 27B Subchapter 1—Sampling and Analytical Procedures for Determining Emissions of Particles From Manufacturing Processes and From Combustion of Fuels (Effective 6/21/1976) N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.2. Acceptable test methods N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.3. Operating conditions during the test N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.4. Sampling facilities to be provided by the person responsible for emissions N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.5. Sampling train N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.6. Performance test principle N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.7. General testing requirements N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.8. Required test data N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.9. Preparation for sampling N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.10. Sampling N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.11. Sample recovery N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.12. Analysis N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.13. Calculations N.J.A.C. 7:27B-1.14. Validation of test Chapter 27B Subchapter 2—Procedures for Visual Determination of the Opacity (Percent) and Shade or Appearance (Ringelmann Number) of Emissions From Sources (Effective 6/21/1976) N.J.A.C. 7:27B-2.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27B-2.2. Acceptable observation methods N.J.A.C. 7:27B-2.3. Observation principle N.J.A.C. 7:27B-2.4. General observation requirements N.J.A.C. 7:27B-2.5. Required observation data N.J.A.C. 7:27B-2.6. Certification References Appendix Chapter 27B Subchapter 3—Air Test Method 3: Sampling and Analytical Procedures for the Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds From Source Operations (Effective 12/1/2008) N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.1. Definitions N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.2. Sampling and analytical protocol: Acceptable test methods N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.3. Operating conditions during the test N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.4. Sampling facilities N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.5. Source operations and applicable test methods N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.6. Procedures for the determinations of vapor pressures of a single known VOC or mixtures of known and/or unknown VOC N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.7. Procedures for the direct measurement of volatile organic compounds using a flame ionization detector (FID), a photoionization detector (PID) or a non-dispersive infrared analyzer (NDIR) N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.8. Procedures for the direct measurement of volatile organic compounds using a gas chromatograph (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FID) or other suitable detector N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.9. Procedures for the sampling and remote analysis of known volatile organic compounds using a gas chromatograph (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FID) or other suitable detector N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.10. Procedures for the determination of volatile organic compounds in surface coating formulations N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.11. Procedures for the determination of volatile organic compounds emitted from transfer operations using a flame ionization detector (FID) or non-dispersive infrared analyzer (NDIR) N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.12. Procedures for the determination of volatile organic compounds in cutback and emulsified asphalts N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.13. Procedures for the determination of leak tightness of gasoline delivery vessels N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.14. Procedures for the direct detection of fugitive volatile organic compound leaks N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.15. Procedures for the direct detection of fugitive volatile organic compound leaks from gasoline tank trucks and vapor collection systems using a combustible gas detector N.J.A.C. 7:27B-3.18. Test methods and sources incorporated by reference
    [FR Doc. 2018-13577 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 713 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0421; FRL-9979-74] RIN 2070-AK22 Mercury; Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    As required under section 8(b)(10)(D) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is finalizing reporting requirements for applicable persons to provide information to assist in the preparation of an “inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States,” where “mercury” is defined as “elemental mercury” and “a mercury compound.” The requirements apply to any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process. Based on the inventory of information collected, the Agency is directed to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and . . . recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use.” At this time, EPA is not making such identifications or recommendations.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0421, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Thomas Groeneveld, National Program Chemicals Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 566-1188; 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. Executive Summary A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or if you otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. 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 the following:

    • Gold ore mining (NAICS code 212221).

    • Lead ore and zinc ore mining (NAICS code 212231).

    • All other metal ore mining (NAICS code 212299).

    • Asphalt shingle and coating materials manufacturing (NAICS code 324122).

    • Synthetic dye and pigment manufacturing (NAICS code 325130).

    • Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing (NAICS code 325180).

    • All other basic organic chemical manufacturing (NAICS code 325199).

    • Plastics material and resin manufacturing (NAICS code 325211).

    • Pesticide and other agricultural chemical manufacturing (NAICS code 325320).

    • Medicinal and botanical manufacturing (NAICS code 325411).

    • Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing (NAICS code 325412).

    • Biological product (except diagnostic) manufacturing (NAICS code 325414).

    • Paint and coating manufacturing (NAICS code 325510).

    • Adhesive manufacturing (NAICS code 325520).

    • Custom compounding of purchased resins (NAICS code 325991).

    • Photographic film, paper, plate, and chemical manufacturing (NAICS code 325992).

    • All other miscellaneous chemical product and preparation manufacturing (NAICS code 325998).

    • Unlaminated plastics film and sheet (except packaging) manufacturing (NAICS code 326113).

    • Unlaminated plastics profile shape manufacturing (NAICS code 326121).

    • Urethane and other foam product (except polystyrene) manufacturing (NAICS code 326150).

    • All other plastics product manufacturing (NAICS code 326199).

    • Tire manufacturing (NAICS code 326211).

    • All other rubber product manufacturing (NAICS code 326299).

    • Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy manufacturing (NAICS code 331110).

    • Rolled steel shape manufacturing (NAICS code 331221).

    • Alumina refining and primary aluminum production (NAICS code 331313).

    • Secondary smelting and alloying of aluminum (NAICS code 331314).

    • Nonferrous metal (except aluminum) smelting and refining (NAICS code 331410).

    • Secondary smelting, refining, and alloying of nonferrous metal (except copper and aluminum) (NAICS code 331492).

    • Iron foundries (NAICS code 331511).

    • Steel foundries (except investment) (NAICS code 331513).

    • Fabricated structural metal manufacturing (NAICS code 332312).

    • Industrial valve manufacturing (NAICS code 332911).

    • Ammunition except small arms manufacturing (NAICS code 332993).

    • Small arms, ordnance, and ordnance accessories manufacturing (NAICS code 332994).

    • All other miscellaneous fabricated metal product manufacturing (NAICS code 332999).

    • Food product machinery manufacturing (NAICS code 333294).

    • Office machinery manufacturing (NAICS code 333313).

    • Other commercial and service industry machinery manufacturing (NAICS code 333319).

    • Heating equipment (except warm air furnaces) manufacturing (NAICS code 333414).

    • Air-conditioning and warm air heating equipment and commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment manufacturing (NAICS code 333415).

    • Pump and pumping equipment manufacturing (NAICS code 333911).

    • Bare printed circuit board manufacturing (NAICS code 334412).

    • Semiconductor and related device manufacturing (NAICS code 334413).

    • Other electronic component manufacturing (NAICS code 334419).

    • Electromedical and electrotherapeutic apparatus manufacturing (NAICS code 334510).

    • Search, detection, navigation, guidance, aeronautical, and nautical system and instrument manufacturing (NAICS code 334511).

    • Automatic environmental control manufacturing for residential, commercial, and appliance use (NAICS code 334512).

    • Instruments and related products manufacturing for measuring, displaying, and controlling industrial process variables (NAICS code 334513).

    • Totalizing fluid meter and counting device manufacturing (NAICS code 334514).

    • Instrument manufacturing for measuring and testing electricity and electrical signals (NAICS code 334515).

    • Analytical laboratory instrument manufacturing (NAICS code 334516).

    • Watch, clock, and part manufacturing (NAICS code 334518).

    • Other measuring and controlling device manufacturing (NAICS code 334519).

    • Electric lamp bulb and part manufacturing (NAICS code 335110).

    • Commercial, industrial, and institutional electric lighting fixture manufacturing (NAICS code 335122).

    • Other lighting equipment manufacturing (NAICS code 335129).

    • Electric house wares and household fan manufacturing (NAICS code 335211).

    • Household vacuum cleaner manufacturing (NAICS code 335212).

    • Household cooking appliance manufacturing (NAICS code 335221).

    • Household refrigerator and home freezer manufacturing (NAICS code 335222).

    • Household laundry equipment manufacturing (NAICS code 335224).

    • Other major household appliance manufacturing (NAICS code 335228).

    • Switchgear and switchboard apparatus manufacturing (NAICS code 335313).

    • Relay and industrial control manufacturing (NAICS code 335314).

    • Primary battery manufacturing (NAICS code 335912).

    • Current-carrying wiring device manufacturing (NAICS code 335931).

    • All other miscellaneous electrical equipment and component manufacturing (NAICS code 335999).

    • Automobile manufacturing (NAICS code 336111).

    • Light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing (NAICS code 336112).

    • Heavy duty truck manufacturing (NAICS code 336120).

    • Motor home manufacturing (NAICS code 336213).

    • Travel trailer and camper manufacturing (NAICS code 336214).

    • Other aircraft parts and auxiliary equipment manufacturing (NAICS code 336413).

    • Boat building (NAICS code 336612).

    • Motorcycles and parts manufacturing (NAICS code 336991).

    • Surgical and medical instrument manufacturing (NAICS code 339112).

    • Costume jewelry and novelty manufacturing (NAICS code 339914).

    • Game, toy, and children's vehicle manufacturing (NAICS code 339932).

    • Sign manufacturing (NAICS code 339950).

    • Other chemical and allied products merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 424690).

    • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences (except biotechnology) (NAICS code 541712).

    • Hazardous waste treatment and disposal (NAICS code 562211).

    • Other nonhazardous waste treatment and disposal (NAICS code 562219).

    • Materials recovery facilities (NAICS code 562920).

    • National security (NAICS code 928110).

    B. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is issuing a final rule under TSCA section 8(b)(10) to require reporting to assist in the preparation of “an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States,” where “mercury” is defined as “elemental mercury” and “a mercury compound.” Hereinafter “mercury” will refer to both elemental mercury and mercury compounds collectively, except where separately identified. This final rule requires reporting from any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process. EPA published its initial inventory report in the Federal Register on March 29, 2017 (Ref. 1), which noted data gaps and limitations encountered by the Agency in its historic reliance on publicly available data on the mercury market in the United States. As stated in the initial inventory report, “[f]uture triennial inventories of mercury supply, use, and trade are expected to include data collected directly from persons who manufacture or import mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process” (Ref. 1). These reporting requirements will help the Agency narrow such data gaps, prepare subsequent, triennial publications of the inventory, and execute the mandate to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and . . . recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use” (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)).

    In addition, this information could be used by the U.S. Government to assist in its national reporting regarding its implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury (Minamata Convention), to which the United States is a Party (Ref. 2). The Minamata Convention is an international environmental agreement that has as its objective the protection of human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of elemental mercury and mercury compounds. Article 21 of the Convention requires Parties to include in their national reports, among other information, information demonstrating that the Party has met the requirements of Article 3 on Mercury Supply Sources and Trade and of Article 5 on Manufacturing Processes in Which Mercury or Mercury Compounds Are Used. EPA intends to use the collected information from the mercury inventory to implement TSCA and assist in its national reporting for the Minamata Convention as well as to shape the Agency's efforts to reduce the use of mercury in commerce. In so doing, the Agency will conduct a timely evaluation and refinement of these reporting requirements so that they are efficient and non-duplicative for reporters.

    EPA issued the proposed rule for this action in the Federal Register on October 26, 2017 with a December 26, 2017 deadline for comments (Ref. 3); in response to two requests, the deadline was extended to January 11, 2018 (Ref. 4). Based on comments received, the Agency modified the regulatory text to improve the logic and flow of sections, to clarify various terms and reporting requirements, and to eliminate several quantitative reporting requirements. Such issues are discussed in greater detail in Unit III. and the Response to Comments document for this rule (Ref. 5).

    The reporting requirements for supply, use, and trade of mercury include activities that are established TSCA terms: Manufacture, import, distribution in commerce, storage, and export. The reporting requirements also apply to otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process. Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process, are required to report amounts of mercury in pounds (lbs.) used in such activities during a designated reporting year. Reporters also are required to identify specific mercury compounds, mercury-added products, manufacturing processes, and how mercury is used in manufacturing processes, as applicable, from preselected lists. For certain activities, reporters are required to provide additional, contextual data (e.g., NAICS codes for mercury or mercury-added products distributed in commerce).

    The finalized reporting requirements do not apply to: (1) Persons who do not first manufacture, import, or otherwise intentionally use mercury; (2) persons who only generate, handle, or manage mercury-containing waste; (3) persons who only manufacture mercury as an impurity; and (4) persons engaged in activities involving mercury not with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage (see Unit III.D.2.). Within the category of persons who must report, there are certain persons who are not required to provide specific data elements. To avoid reporting that is unnecessary or duplicative, the Agency is finalizing certain exemptions for persons who already report for mercury and mercury-added products to the TSCA section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule and the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) Mercury-added Products Database, respectively. Such reporters are not required to respond to certain data elements of the mercury reporting application that are comparable to data they also report in response to CDR and IMERC reporting requirements.

    C. Why is the Agency taking this action?

    EPA is issuing this final rule under TSCA section 8(b)(10) to require reporting to assist in the preparation of the statutorily-required inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States. As indicated in the initial inventory report (Ref. 1), this final rule will support future triennial publications of the mercury inventory by establishing reporting requirements and an electronic application and database to collect, store, and analyze information provided by applicable respondents. In administering this mercury inventory, the Agency will “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and . . . recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use” (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)).

    D. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    EPA is issuing this rule pursuant to TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D) to implement the direction at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B) that “[n]ot later than April 1, 2017, and every 3 years thereafter, the Administrator shall carry out and publish in the Federal Register an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States.” TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D) requires EPA to promulgate a final rule by June 22, 2018 that establishes reporting requirements applicable to any person who manufactures mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process to assist in the preparation of the inventory.

    In addition, the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires Federal agencies to manage information resources to reduce information collection burdens on the public; increase program efficiency and effectiveness; and improve the integrity, quality, and utility of information to all users within and outside an agency, including capabilities for ensuring dissemination of public information, public access to Federal Government information, and protections for privacy and security (44 U.S.C. 3506).

    TSCA section 2 expresses the intent of Congress that EPA carry out TSCA in a reasonable and prudent manner and in consideration of the impacts that any action taken under TSCA may have on the environment, the economy, and society. EPA will manage and leverage its information resources, including information technology, and the Agency is requiring the use of electronic reporting to implement the mercury inventory reporting requirements of TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D) in a reasonable and prudent manner.

    E. What are the estimated incremental impacts of the final rule?

    EPA prepared an economic analysis of the potential impacts associated with this rulemaking (Ref. 6). The chief benefit of the final rule is the collection of detailed data on mercury, which will serve as a basis to recommend actions to further reduce mercury use in the United States, as required at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(C). Another benefit is the use of information collected under the final rule to help the United States implement its obligations under the Minamata Convention. While there are no quantified benefits for the final rule, the statutory mandate specifically calls for and authorizes a rule to support an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States, to identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury, and to recommend actions to achieve further reductions in mercury use. As described in the Agency's economic analysis, unquantified benefits include providing increased information on mercury and assisting in the reduction of mercury use (Ref. 6). To the extent that the information gathered through this rule is used to reduce mercury use, benefits to society may result from a reduction in exposure.

    Table 1—Summary of Costs and Benefits Category Description Benefits The final rule will provide information on mercury and mercury-added products to which the Agency (and the public) does not currently have access. To the extent that the information gathered through this final rule is used to reduce mercury use, benefits to society may result from a reduction in risk. Costs Estimated industry costs and burden total $5.83 million and 72,600 hours (for 750 respondents) for the first year of reporting, with an individual estimate of $7,800 and 97 hours. For future triennial reporting cycles, industry costs and burden will be $4.04 million and 50,200 hours, with an individual estimate of $5,400 and 67 hours. These estimates include compliance determination, rule familiarization, CBI substantiation, electronic reporting, and recordkeeping, in addition to completing reporting requirements. Effects on State, Local, and Tribal Governments Government entities are not expected to be subject to the rule's requirements, which apply to entities that manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. The final rule does not have a significant intergovernmental mandate, significant or unique effect on small governments, or have Federalism implications. Small Entity Impacts The final rule will impact 211 companies that meet the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) definitions for their respective NAICS classifications: Four small entities (1.85%) are expected to incur impacts of 1% percent or greater. No small entity assessed is expected to incur an impact of greater than 3%. Five companies could not be verified as small entities. Even if the entities whose status is “undetermined” were assumed to be impacted small entities, this would result in only nine entities (4.17%). Therefore, EPA certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Environmental Justice and Protection of Children The information obtained from the reporting required by this final rule will be used to inform the Agency's decision-making process regarding chemicals to which minority or low-income populations or children may be disproportionately exposed. This information will also assist the Agency and others in determining whether elemental mercury and mercury compounds addressed in this final rule present potential risks, allowing the Agency and others to take appropriate action to investigate and mitigate those risks. II. Background A. Recent Amendments to TSCA and the Initial Inventory

    The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) (Pub. L. 114-182, 130 Stat. 448), enacted on June 22, 2016, implemented reforms to TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.). Among other changes to TSCA, the Lautenberg Act amended TSCA section 8(b) to require EPA to establish: (1) An inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States; and (2) reporting requirements by rule applicable to any person who manufactures mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process not later than June 22, 2018 (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)). Information collected per the reporting requirements will be used to periodically update the mercury inventory; identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and recommend actions, including proposed revisions of federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(B) and (C)). The Lautenberg Act also added certain mercury compounds to the TSCA section 12(c) ban on export of elemental mercury and authorized EPA to ban the export of additional mercury compounds by rule. Additional information on the Lautenberg Act is available on EPA's website at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicalsunder-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act.

    Prior to developing its initial inventory, EPA reviewed federal and state reports and databases, among other sources, to assemble a collection of available information on mercury, mercury-added products, and manufacturing processes involving mercury (Ref. 1). In reviewing data obtained, the Agency found that its baseline of data lacked the specificity and level of detail required to develop a mercury inventory responsive to TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D) or to be useful to inform mercury use reduction efforts for both the public and private sectors (Ref. 1). In 2015, to develop its understanding of domestic mercury supply and trade, the Agency collected information on the quantity of mercury sold in the United States for the years 2010 and 2013 from five companies identified as the primary recyclers and distributors of mercury in the United States (Ref. 7), which revealed a gap between available data on the amount of mercury within sold mercury-added products and the amount of bulk elemental mercury sold in the United States. Additional Agency research identified a data gap for the amount of mercury in exported mercury-added products. The Agency also is seeking to identify and differentiate between the amount of mercury in imported versus domestically manufactured mercury-added products. EPA is committed to further addressing such data gaps and considers the national mercury inventory mandated by Congress to be an instrumental means to establish the requisite body of information to support achievement of that goal.

    B. Stakeholder Involvement

    In developing the proposed rule, the Agency coordinated with the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association, which administers the IMERC database, as directed by TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(ii).

    C. Public Comments

    During the public comment period (October 26, 2017 to January 11, 2018) for the proposed rule, EPA received 89 comments. After careful review, the Agency determined that 27 of those comments were substantively or procedurally relevant to the proposed rule, while 55 comments were not applicable, germane, or responsive. EPA received six comments generally supportive of the proposed rule and one comment related to mercury use, but exceeded the Agency's understanding of the statutory scope of “mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States.” All comments received are identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0421 and available at https://www.regulations.gov. Included in this docket is the Response to Comments document for this rule (Ref. 5).

    III. Provisions of This Final Rule

    This final rule provides for the collection of information that allows EPA to implement statutory requirements at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B), which directs that “[n]ot later than April 1, 2017, and every 3 years thereafter, the Administrator shall carry out and publish in the Federal Register an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States”. Based on the inventory, the Agency is directed to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and . . . recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use.” EPA's rationale for fulfilling specific statutory provisions and terms, including summaries of public comments received and Agency responses and determinations for the final rule, are set forth by topic as follows. Some of these issues are discussed in greater detail in the Response to Comments document for this rule (Ref. 5), which is available at docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0421 at https://www.regulations.gov.

    A. Definition of Mercury

    TSCA section 8(b)(10)(A) states “notwithstanding [TSCA] section 3(2)(B), the term `mercury' means . . . elemental mercury; and . . . a mercury compound.” As such, the definition for mercury at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(A) supersedes the exclusions for “chemical substances” described in TSCA section 3(2)(B) that would otherwise apply to mercury, mercury-added products, or otherwise intentional uses of mercury in manufacturing processes. For example, any “drug, cosmetic, or device” as described in TSCA section 3(2)(B)(vi), should such items contain mercury, are not excluded from reporting under this final rule.

    The Agency proposed that where EPA distinguishes between elemental mercury and mercury compounds, elemental mercury be limited to elemental mercury as described by its Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CASRN 7439-97-6) and mercury compounds be inclusive of all instances where elemental mercury or a mercury compound is reacted with another chemical substance. Examples of mercury compounds in the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory are listed in Table 2.

    Table 2—List of Mercury Compounds Chemical Abstracts
  • Service Registry No.
  • Mercury compound
    10045-94-0 Nitric acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 100-57-2 Mercury, hydroxyphenyl-. 10112-91-1 Mercury chloride (Hg2Cl2). 10124-48-8 Mercury amide chloride (Hg(NH2)Cl). 103-27-5 Mercury, phenyl(propanoato-.kappa.O)-. 10415-75-5 Nitric acid, mercury(1+) salt (1:1). 104-60-9 Mercury, (9-octadecenoato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 1191-80-6 9-Octadecenoic acid (9Z)-, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 12068-90-5 Mercury telluride (HgTe). 13170-76-8 Hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 13302-00-6 Mercury, (2-ethylhexanoato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 1335-31-5 Mercury cyanide oxide (Hg2(CN)2O). 1344-48-5 Mercury sulfide (HgS). 1345-09-1 Cadmium mercury sulfide. 13876-85-2 Mercurate(2-), tetraiodo-, copper(1+) (1:2), (T-4)-. 138-85-2 Mercurate(1-), (4-carboxylatophenyl)hydroxy-, sodium (1:1). 141-51-5 Mercury, iodo(iodomethyl)-. 14783-59-6 Mercury, bis[(2-phenyldiazenecarbothioic acid-.kappa.S) 2-phenylhydrazidato-.kappa.N2]-, (T-4)-. 15385-58-7 Mercury, dibromodi-, (Hg-Hg). 15785-93-0 Mercury, chloro[4-[(2,4-dinitrophenyl)amino]phenyl]-. 15829-53-5 Mercury oxide (Hg2O). 1600-27-7 Acetic acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 1785-43-9 Mercury, chloro(ethanethiolato)-. 19447-62-2 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)[4-[2-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]diazenyl]phenyl]-. 20582-71-2 Mercurate(2-), tetrachloro-, potassium (1:2), (T-4)-. 20601-83-6 Mercury selenide (HgSe). 21908-53-2 Mercury oxide (HgO). 22450-90-4 Mercury(1+), amminephenyl-, acetate (1:1). 24579-90-6 Mercury, chloro(2-hydroxy-5-nitrophenyl)-. 24806-32-4 Mercury, [.mu.-[2-dodecylbutanedioato(2-).kappa.O1:.kappa.O4]]diphenyldi-. 26545-49-3 Mercury, (neodecanoato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 27685-51-4 Cobaltate(2-), tetrakis(thiocyanato-.kappa.N)-, mercury(2+) (1:1), (T-4)-. 29870-72-2 Cadmium mercury telluride ((Cd,Hg)Te). 3294-57-3 Mercury, phenyl(trichloromethyl)-. 33770-60-4 Mercury, [3,6-dichloro-4,5-di(hydroxy-.kappa.O)-3,5cyclohexadiene-1,2-dionato(2-)]-. 3570-80-7 Mercury, bis(acetato-.kappa.O)[.mu.-(3′,6′-dihydroxy-3oxospiro[isobenzofuran-1(3H),9′-[9H]xanthene]-2′,7′diyl)]di-. 537-64-4 Mercury, bis(4-methylphenyl)-. 539-43-5 Mercury, chloro(4-methylphenyl)-. 54-64-8 Mercurate(1-), ethyl[2-(mercapto-.kappa.S)benzoato(2-).kappa.O]-, sodium (1:1). 55-68-5 Mercury, (nitrato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 56724-82-4 Mercury, phenyl[(2-phenyldiazenecarbothioic acid.kappa.S) 2-phenylhydrazidato-.kappa.N2]-. 587-85-9 Mercury, diphenyl-. 592-04-1 Mercury cyanide (Hg(CN)2). 592-85-8 Thiocyanic acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 593-74-8 Mercury, dimethyl-. 59-85-8 Mercurate(1-), (4-carboxylatophenyl)chloro-, hydrogen. 623-07-4 Mercury, chloro(4-hydroxyphenyl)-. 62-38-4 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 62638-02-2 Cyclohexanebutanoic acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 627-44-1 Mercury, diethyl-. 6283-24-5 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)(4-aminophenyl)-. 628-86-4 Mercury, bis(fulminato-.kappa.C)-. 629-35-6 Mercury, dibutyl-. 63325-16-6 Mercurate(2-), tetraiodo-, (T-4)-, hydrogen, compd. with 5-iodo-2-pyridinamine (1:2:2). 63468-53-1 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)(2-hydroxy-5-nitrophenyl)-. 63549-47-3 Mercury, bis(acetato-.kappa.O)(benzenamine)-. 68201-97-8 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)diamminephenyl-, (T-4)-. 72379-35-2 Mercurate(1-), triiodo-, hydrogen, compd. with 3-methyl2(3H)-benzothiazolimine (1:1:1). 7439-97-6 Mercury. 7487-94-7 Mercury chloride (HgCl2). 7546-30-7 Mercury chloride (HgCl). 7616-83-3 Perchloric acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 7774-29-0 Mercury iodide (HgI2). 7783-33-7 Mercurate(2-), tetraiodo-, potassium (1:2), (T-4)-. 7783-35-9 Sulfuric acid, mercury(2+) salt (1:1). 7783-39-3 Mercury fluoride (HgF2). 7789-47-1 Mercury bromide (HgBr2). 90-03-9 Mercury, chloro(2-hydroxyphenyl)-. 94070-93-6 Mercury, [.mu.-[(oxydi-2,1-ethanediyl 1,2benzenedicarboxylato-.kappa.O2)(2-)]]diphenyldi-.

    The Agency received a comment requesting an explanation for the Agency decision to not adopt the definition for “mercury compound” used by the Minamata Convention (“any substance consisting of atoms of mercury and one or more atoms of other chemical elements that can be separated into different components only by chemical reactions”) (Ref. 8). Another commenter requested that the Agency clarify whether there is a concentration limit for classifying a material as elemental mercury and if EPA intends to require parties to report the manufacture or use of all mercury compounds, or only those that are listed on the TSCA Inventory (Ref. 9).

    Consistent with the discussion in the proposed rule, the Agency did not define specific terms for purposes of the mercury inventory in the regulatory text. Instead, the Agency considered and synthesized descriptions of applicable definitions found in TSCA and implementing regulations, as well as the Minamata Convention. To that end, EPA proposed that “elemental mercury be limited to elemental mercury (CASRN 7439-97-6) and mercury compounds be inclusive of all instances where elemental mercury or a mercury compound is reacted with another chemical substance” (Ref. 3). In regard to the definition of “mercury compound” set forth in the Minamata Convention, EPA finds the language in the proposed rule to be clear and comparable to the definition under the Minamata Convention. EPA is therefore retaining its proposed characterization. EPA also provides an extensive, though not comprehensive, list of compounds for which reporting is required based on CASRN. EPA's statutory obligations are to prepare the mercury inventory (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(B)) and to develop identifications and recommendations to reduce the use of mercury (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)); nonetheless, EPA believes the resulting reporting will assist the United States in implementing the Minamata Convention.

    In regard to establishing a concentration limit for elemental mercury, the statutory text at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(A)(i) uses the term “elemental mercury” without qualification. Therefore, the Agency believes that it is appropriate to identify elemental mercury by use of its CASRN and without a concentration limit.

    B. Explanation of Supply, Use, and Trade

    1. Overview of the Proposed Scope. Pursuant to TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B), EPA interprets the scope of the mercury inventory to include activities within the domestic and global commodity mercury market that fall under “supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States.” An inventory that adequately accounts for mercury in supply, use, and trade includes activities of persons who must report as described in TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i): Manufacture, import, and otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. As such, the Agency proposed that persons required to report to the mercury inventory also include information on distribution in commerce, storage, and export to provide for the requisite inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States (Ref. 3).

    2. Comments Related to Terminology. The Agency received comments requesting clarification of the descriptions of various terms, including: Mercury handled as waste, including elemental mercury destined for long-term storage; otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process; impurities present in a final product; commercial purposes; mercury-added products and components; and “persons.” As described in Unit III.A., the Agency did not define specific terms for purposes of the mercury inventory in the regulatory text. Instead, the Agency considered and synthesized descriptions of applicable definitions found in TSCA and implementing regulations, as well as the Minamata Convention.

    Mercury Handled as Waste, Including Elemental Mercury Destined for Long-Term Storage. EPA received comments on reporting of mercury by facilities that certify that their stored elemental mercury will not be sold,1 including instances where mercury is produced as a mining byproduct and is managed as a hazardous waste (Ref. 10; Ref. 11; Ref. 12). Other comments addressed imported mercury-containing materials or wastes from which mercury can be recovered. Commenters emphasized that any exemption should only apply to mercury that is clearly not intended to be used for commercial purposes (Ref. 10; Ref. 11).

    1 Under section 6939f(g)(2) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (42 U.S.C. 6939f(g)(2)), U.S. Department of Energy is required to establish a facility by 2019 “for the purpose of long-term management and storage of elemental mercury generated within the United States.” Until that facility is operational, the elemental mercury can be stored at facilities with RCRA permits, or onsite at some mining operations that generate elemental mercury. In both cases, the facility is allowed to store elemental mercury waste (without regard to the RCRA prohibition on hazardous waste storage in lieu of treatment and disposal) until the planned DOE facility is operational and accepts elemental mercury for long-term management and storage. All facilities or companies storing waste in this manner, whether in the mining sector or not, are required to certify in writing to the DOE that they will store the mercury under certain conditions set forth in RCRA, including not selling the mercury.

    EPA agrees with the commenters that elemental mercury waste, whether generated from mining or another process, that is being stored (or accumulated on-site and destined for storage) for eventual transfer to the DOE long-term mercury storage facility, should not be subject to the reporting requirements because it is waste, which is exempt from this rule in accordance with TSCA section 8(10)(D)(iii). If any person manufactures elemental mercury, including recovery from waste or as a byproduct from mining or any other activity, and has not made the decision to store it for transfer to the DOE storage facility or to otherwise handle it as waste, then that person must report that mercury. The Agency considers such mercury to be a commodity, not waste, and, therefore, part of the U.S. mercury supply.

    EPA partially agrees with the comment that any mercury available for sale or otherwise available for commercial use including incidentally produced mercury should be captured in the inventory. Mercury produced as a byproduct and sold or otherwise made available for commercial use, for example by mines, must be reported (unless managed as waste), even if it may be considered incidentally produced. However, mercury that is present after the production of a commodity (e.g., coal ash or cement), but serves no function in the final product, is not subject to reporting requirements set forth by this rule.

    EPA agrees with the same commenter that if mercury-containing materials or waste are imported into the United States and the mercury is then recovered from such materials/waste, then this mercury must be reported upon recovery unless the mercury is immediately managed as waste under RCRA. An importer of such material or waste would only report the mercury if it is the same entity that recovers the mercury.

    Otherwise Intentionally Use Mercury in a Manufacturing Process. Commenters suggested that defining “otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process” in the regulatory text would clarify reporting requirements (Ref. 13) and requested that EPA limit “manufacturing process” to the actual chemistry performed during such a process (Ref. 14).

    In general, the Agency agrees with these comments. Notwithstanding differences in the statutory text (i.e., “add” and “uses” in the context of how the mercury is used in a manufacturing process (see 15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)(i) and (D)(i)), EPA believes that Congress meant to emphasize instances where persons intentionally introduce mercury into U.S. supply, use, and trade. As such, EPA agrees with commenters that, in the context of intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process, it is the intentional use of elemental mercury or a mercury compound for a specific purpose (e.g., a catalyst, cathode, reactant, reagent, etc.) that triggers reporting requirements. The Agency also appreciates the suggestion of how it might qualify persons and activities subject to reporting requirements by adding “intentional” in applicable regulatory text. However, to the extent that terms in the regulatory text are drawn from 15 U.S.C. 2602 and 2607(b)(10), the Agency prefers to align with the statutory terms as much as possible. EPA further clarified interpretations of these terms in this rule. Forthcoming support and outreach materials, which will be available on the EPA website six months prior to the reporting deadline, also will attempt to illustrate such terms and issues.

    Impurities Present in a Final Product. The Agency received comments regarding inconsistencies related to if and how impurities would be reported by persons who intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. The commenters argue that EPA's proposal to not require reporting of impurities for manufactured mercury and mercury-added products is inconsistent with the requirement to report impurities in end products that result from the intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process (Ref. 8; Ref. 15). The commenters opined that reporting mercury present as an impurity (i.e., reporting unintentional presence) would be overly burdensome, unreasonable, and would not add any real value to the mercury inventory (Ref. 8; Ref. 15).

    In the proposed rule, the Agency described impurities in regard to whether “such chemical substances are intentionally generated and whether such substances are used for commercial purposes.” In order to clarify, EPA finds the definition of “impurity” at 40 CFR 704.3 to be instructive: “chemical substance which is unintentionally present with another chemical substance.” Thus, after reconsideration, the Agency determined that to require reporting of amounts of mercury unintentionally present in a final product would contradict the logic set forth by the Agency regarding the intentional addition of mercury where mercury remains present in the final product for a particular purpose (Ref. 3). EPA believes the quantity of mercury used in the manufacturing process, how the mercury is used and for what purpose, to which NAICS code a final product is distributed, and to which country(ies) the final product is exported provide adequate information about manufacturing processes that involve the intentional use of mercury to support the supply, use, and trade national inventory. Thus, the unintentional quantity of mercury in final products that result from such processes is not required. Should the Agency need additional information regarding any mercury present as an impurity, it may seek such information from the reporter, as necessary. Therefore, the Agency is not requiring the reporting of impurities for the mercury inventory and revised the regulatory text accordingly.

    Commercial Purposes. The Agency received a comment that requested clarity on the use of “commercial purpose,” particularly within the context of the proposed rule preamble, which discussed certain byproducts and impurities the Agency proposed excluding from reporting (Ref. 11). Another commenter suggested that EPA's intentions would be clearer if it specified that to be reportable, the activities (e.g., manufacture, import, otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process) must be for commercial purposes (Ref. 10).

    In the proposed rule, the Agency discussed its attempt to build on existing regulatory text applicable to TSCA section 8 reporting (Ref. 3). TSCA section 8(f) states “[f]or purposes of [TSCA section 8], the terms `manufacture' and `process' mean manufacture or process for commercial purposes.” Thus, EPA reads “for commercial purposes” to apply to the TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i) terms “manufactures” (including imports) and “otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process” (i.e., comparable to “process” as defined at TSCA section 3(13)).

    As used in 40 CFR 704.3, the terms defined with “for commercial purposes” incorporate “. . . with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage . . .” for certain persons (e.g., manufacturers, importers, and processors). In the proposed rule, the Agency described its rationale for instances where mercury would not be reported by focusing on “whether such chemical substances are intentionally generated and whether [byproducts and impurities] are used for commercial purposes” (Ref. 3). In the proposed regulatory text, however, EPA used a structure that used both sets of terms in the same sentence (e.g., “purpose of obtaining . . . commercial advantage” (must be reported) and “not used for commercial purposes” (not to be reported)). Based on comments received, the Agency amended the regulatory text to clarify this concept.

    The Agency determined that the terms “with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage” are more consistent with the statutory mandate at 15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)(i) to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury” (emphasis added). EPA believes such terms (e.g., “with the purpose of obtaining”) more accurately align with the Agency's emphasis on the intent of persons required to report as opposed to “for commercial purposes.” In addition, the Agency interprets “commercial advantage” to extend to benefits beyond profits, such as not incurring additional operational costs by continuing to use mercury rather than use non-mercury substances or technologies. Thus, to be required to report to the mercury inventory, persons must intentionally engage in activities that introduce mercury into supply, use, and trade in the United States with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage. This interpretation and revised descriptions of supply, use and trade activities are discussed further in Unit III.B.5.

    In the regulatory text of the final rule, therefore, the Agency omitted the use of “commercial purposes” and clarified how “with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage” applies to activities for which reporting is required, as well as persons who must report.

    Mercury-added Products and Components. A commenter recommended that the Agency adopt the definition of the term “mercury-added product” as set forth in the Minamata Convention (Ref. 16), while another commenter requested that EPA clarify the distinction related to a “product that contains a component that is a mercury-added product” (Ref. 17). Other commenters requested clarifications, such as: Whether certain uses of mercury qualified as a component that is a mercury-added product (Ref. 9; Ref. 13; Ref. 17); how reporting requirements would apply to manufacturers who first incorporate mercury into a product versus subsequent manufacturers of products that contain the original mercury-added product (e.g., the manufacture or import of Thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative) and the manufacture or import of a vaccine containing Thimerosal) (Ref. 13); distinguishing between mercury-containing products involving chemical synthesis, alloy generating, blending and mixing operations versus articles with mercury-containing components (Ref. 9); and whether the proposed exemption for imported products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product would apply to exported products (Ref. 18).

    In the proposed rule, EPA did not define “mercury-added product,” but provided examples of intentional addition of mercury to a product by persons who manufacture a mercury-added product: “inserting mercury into a switch or battery, or mixing a mercury compound with other substances to formulate a topical antiseptic” (Ref. 3). In addition to the definition of “mercury-added product” in Article 2 of the Minamata Convention (i.e., “a product or product component that contains mercury or a mercury compound that was intentionally added”), EPA also considered IMERC's definition, which is “any formulated or fabricated product that contains mercury, a mercury compound, or a component containing mercury, when the mercury is intentionally added to the product (or component) for any reason.” The Agency sees merit in both definitions, but believes the definition in the Minamata Convention is more consistent with EPA's interpretation of the instruction at 15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)(i) to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury.” The Agency is of the view that the manufacture (other than import) of a mercury-added product is the “intentional addition of mercury where mercury remains present in the final product for a particular purpose” (Ref. 3). In other words, the intentional addition of mercury is the essential act by a manufacturer (other than importer) who makes a mercury-added product and, thus, triggers applicable reporting requirements.

    In regard to a “component,” EPA views this term as being similar to the definition of “article” in 40 CFR 704.3. The Agency views the inclusion of a mercury-added product that is a component within an assembled product differently from the act of intentionally inserting mercury (i.e., chemical substance) into the component itself. As a result, the Agency is not requiring information to be reported on the manufacture (including import) of assembled products that include a component that is a mercury-added product. The Agency's rationale for reporting requirements applicable to products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product is provided in Unit III.D.1.b.

    The example of the manufacture and use of Thimerosal illustrates when something is or is not a component. EPA agrees that only the domestic manufacturer who intentionally adds mercury to a product, or an importer who imports a product where mercury (e.g., chemical substance) was inserted into the product, would report under this rule; subsequent manufacturers (including importers) of products that contain the original mercury-added product as a component would not report under this rule. Thimerosal is a mercury compound (e.g., listed under CASRN 54-64-8 on EPA's TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory list), and is subject to reporting as a mercury compound or, if intentionally combined with other substances, is subject to reporting as a mercury-added product because the mercury compound is being intentionally added to the product. Therefore, Thimerosal is not a component.

    Persons. One commenter requested that the Agency specify the basis for defining what “person” means in the context of who may be subject to reporting (Ref. 19). EPA finds the definition at 40 CFR 704.3 to be instructive, in which a “person” includes “any individual, firm, company, corporation, joint venture, partnership, sole proprietorship, association, or any other business entity; any State or political subdivision thereof; any municipality; any interstate body; and any department, agency, or instrumentality of the Federal Government.”

    3. Requests for Exemptions or Exclusions from Reporting. The Agency also received specific requests for exemptions from reporting to the mercury inventory, including: Specific industry sectors (Ref. 16; Ref. 20; Ref. 21); specific activities (Ref. 22); use of tools and equipment (Ref. 14); distribution of products originating from others (Ref. 9); replacement parts (Ref. 16; Ref. 17); recycled waste (Ref. 17); and products excluded from the Minamata Convention on Mercury (Ref. 9). Given the level of specificity of such requests and explanation of Agency determinations, these discussions are set forth in the Response to Comments document for this rule (Ref. 5).

    4. Exports of Certain Mercury Compounds. In regard to certain exports of mercury, the Agency notes that the export of elemental mercury has been prohibited since January 1, 2013 (15 U.S.C. 2611(c)(1)) and therefore the Agency is not requiring reporting on the export of elemental mercury from the United States. TSCA, as of January 1, 2020, will also prohibit the export of certain mercury compounds: Mercury (I) chloride or calomel; mercury (II) oxide; mercury (II) sulfate; mercury (II) nitrate; and cinnabar or mercury sulphide (the statute uses the term “mercury sulphide” which is an alternative spelling of “mercury sulfide” as found in Table 2) (15 U.S.C. 2611(c)(7)).

    In the proposed rule, the Agency noted that the inventory would benefit from the recent totals of at least one cycle of reporting prior to the effective date of the prohibition for exporting mercury compounds subject to TSCA section 12(c)(7) to measure trends in supply, use, and trade and provide a baseline for comparison of the changes in the amounts of other mercury compounds exported after the 2020 effective date (Ref. 3). The Agency received comments supporting the collection of such data: (1) To fulfill the express Congressional mandate to provide data on trade; (2) to determine the precise impact of the mercury compound export ban and associated trends, which would allow EPA to recommend whether the export ban should be further expanded to other compounds; and (3) to uphold obligations of the United States under the Minamata Convention (Ref. 11; Ref. 12). Thus, the Agency requires one-time reporting for those five compounds. Conversely, reporting for exports of mercury compounds that are not prohibited from export by TSCA section 12(c)(7) is required for every collection period. EPA previously determined that mercury-added products (including those containing elemental mercury or mercury compounds prohibited from export) generally are not prohibited from export and, therefore, are subject to the reporting requirements set forth in this rule.

    5. Revised Descriptions of Supply, Use and Trade Activities. Based on comments received and the discussion presented elsewhere in Unit III.D., EPA modified the specific descriptions of supply, use, and trade activities to more accurately reflect the language of TSCA section 8(f) and the Agency's interpretation of the statutory mandate at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(C)(i). Thus, the Agency is requiring reporting of the following activities when intentionally undertaken to introduce mercury into supply, use, and trade in the United States with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage:

    • Import of mercury;

    • Manufacture (other than import) of mercury;

    • Import of a mercury-added product;

    • Manufacture (other than import) of a mercury-added product; or

    • Intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process.

    In addition, the following activities are part of supply, use, and trade of mercury:

    • Distribution in commerce, including domestic sale or transfer, of mercury;

    • Distribution in commerce, including domestic sale or transfer, of mercury-added products or products that result from the intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process;

    • Storage of mercury;

    • Export of a mercury compound (unless specifically prohibited); or

    • Export of mercury-added products or products that result from the intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process.

    As described in greater detail in Unit III.D., persons must first engage in the manufacture (including import) of mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process to be required to report to the mercury inventory.

    C. Coordination With Existing Reporting Programs

    TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(ii) directs the Agency to “coordinate the reporting . . . with the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse” to avoid duplication. Furthermore, TSCA section 8(a)(5)(a) states “[i]n carrying out [TSCA section 8], the Administrator shall, to the extent feasible . . . not require reporting which is unnecessary or duplicative.” The Agency seeks to avoid collecting data on mercury that would duplicate information already reported to existing state and federal programs, and to coordinate with and complement those reporting programs as much as possible. While developing this rule (Ref. 3), EPA reviewed four data collection systems applicable to supply, use, and trade of mercury (including mercury-added products and mercury used in manufacturing processes):

    • The IMERC Mercury-added Products Database, an online reporting database managed by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA), which provides publicly available, national data on mercury used in products;

    • The TSCA section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting rule, which collects manufacturing, processing, and use information on certain chemical substances manufactured (including imported) in the United States;

    • The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program, which collects data on toxic chemical releases to air, water and land from industrial facilities and pollution prevention activities in the United States; and

    • The U.S. International Trade Commission Interactive Trade DataWeb (USITC DataWeb), which provides U.S. international trade statistics and U.S. tariff data to the public.

    After reviewing these reporting programs, EPA designed the reporting requirements in this rule to be least burdensome for reporters already familiar with IMERC, CDR, TRI, and USITC DataWeb protocols (Ref. 3). Therefore, the Agency is incorporating comparable reporting concepts and tools from each program, as well as not requiring reporting in certain instances to increase the efficacy while decreasing the burden to the greatest extent practicable for reporting to a national mercury inventory.

    1. Reporting Requirements for Existing CDR and IMERC Reporters. The Agency received several comments related to persons who submit mercury-related information to the Chemical Data Reporting database or the IMERC Mercury-added Products Database. In regard to reporting requirements applicable to both CDR and IMERC reporters, two commenters identified discrepancies (e.g., non-alignment of reporting year/frequency and efforts to prohibit duplicative reporting) in the Agency's bifurcated reporting requirements for persons currently required to report to the IMERC Mercury-Added Products Database and under the CDR rule, and those who are not (Ref. 11; Ref. 12). Another commenter expressed concerns regarding the non-alignment of EPA and IMERC reporting years (Ref. 23). Some commenters argued that reporting such information to multiple systems would not be economically burdensome because the costs are relatively small and would not be duplicative because the reporting to different systems would occur in different years (Ref. 11; Ref. 12). Of particular concern to one commenter was a possible negative impact on the accuracy of the mercury inventory and the EPA's ability to make recommendations to reduce the use of mercury (Ref. 11). Conversely, two commenters supported the proposed approach to not require reporting from persons reporting comparable information to IMERC, although one commenter also supported alignment of the reporting years and requested that EPA codify a full exemption for manufacturers, including importers, that already report to IMERC (Ref. 17; Ref. 24). Finally, the Agency received comments recommending that EPA adopt IMERC's submission deadline for reporting (April 1, 2020 and every three years thereafter) (Ref. 9; Ref. 18; Ref. 23; Ref. 24). Such issues are discussed in greater detail in the Response to Comments document for this rule (Ref. 5).

    As discussed in the proposed rule, EPA cited TSCA section 8(a)(5)(A) as a basis for avoiding the collection of data that duplicated information already reported to the four data collection systems applicable to the supply, use, and trade of mercury: IMERC, CDR, TRI, and USITC DataWeb (Ref. 3). The Agency considered multiple, existing reporting systems that gather comparable data related to mercury pursuant to statutory text (15 U.S.C. 2607(a)(5)(A)). EPA also considered provisions of TSCA section 8(a)(5) that direct the Agency to “minimize the cost of compliance with this section and the rules issued thereunder on small manufacturers and processors; and . . . apply any reporting obligations to those persons likely to have information relevant to the effective implementation of this subchapter” (15 U.S.C. 2607(a)(5)(B) and (C)). In regard to comments arguing that requiring reporting for comparable data in two different systems is not duplicative if the reporting occurs in different years, the Agency maintains that this is a duplication of effort and EPA does not agree with the commenters' argument that the addition or avoidance of burden is not significant if it is relatively small. The language at TSCA section 8(a)(5) directs the Agency avoid duplicative reporting and reduce burden “to the extent feasible.” Because EPA is able to obtain comparable data via EPA's CDR program or in coordination with IMERC, the Agency finds not requiring the reporting of overlapping reporting to the mercury inventory to be a feasible approach. To the extent that data elements may not align per differences in reporting years and frequency, the Agency does not view such discrepancies to be prohibitive of its ability to carry out statutory obligations at TSCA sections 8(b)(10)(B) and (C).

    Based on comments received, the Agency is clarifying that a person who currently reports to CDR or IMERC is not categorically exempt from the mercury inventory reporting requirements set forth in this rule. Instead, the bifurcated reporting structure is designed to omit only those quantitative data elements already collected by CDR and IMERC to avoid duplication in the collection, calculation, verification, review, certification, reporting, and maintenance of records pursuant to TSCA section 8(a)(5). The Agency's goal is to create a “comprehensive inventory such that existing data gaps would be eliminated, where feasible [and] . . . complement amounts of quantitative mercury data already collected by, but without overlapping with, reporting requirements,” as well as “decrease the burden of reporting to the greatest extent practicable” (Ref. 3). These goals are guided by statutory mandates not only in TSCA section 8(b)(10), but also in TSCA section 8(a)(5). Thus, while recognizing that there is a non-alignment of CDR and IMERC reporting years, the Agency believes supplementing data reported through this rule with data from CDR and IMERC creates a totality of available data that will provide an adequate basis to observe long-term trends in mercury supply, use, and trade. As such, the Agency determined that requiring reporting for comparable data to two systems would be duplicative even if the CDR and IMERC data represent information from different years. Therefore, requiring duplicative data to be reported from reporters who also report to CDR and IMERC would result in additional burden and is unnecessary.

    Finally, EPA understands the interest in aligning with IMERC's submission deadline. However, the statutorily mandated publication date for the mercury inventory was April 1, 2017 and every three years thereafter, which falls on IMERC's data submission date. EPA has a legal responsibility to publish on or before the date set forth in TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B), which means that EPA must publish the inventory on or before the day IMERC reporters must submit data to IMERC. While mindful of incongruities in reporting frequency and years, EPA believes that the reporting schedule and achieve this goal to the greatest extent practicable. As a result, the reporting requirements, including efforts to incorporate data collected by CDR and IMERC while avoiding overlap among CDR and IMERC data elements, will enhance its ability to collect and publish robust data on mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(B)) and to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and . . . recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use” (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)).

    2. Reporting Requirements for Products Regulated by Other Federal Agencies. One commenter requested that EPA not require reporting for uses of mercury regulated by other federal agencies (e.g., pharmaceuticals) (Ref. 13). The commenter cited drugs, as regulated by FDA, and animal vaccines, as regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and noted that FDA and USDA regulations already require reporting information regarding the use of mercury in these products and, therefore, should not be collected by EPA.

    The Agency disagrees. While these agencies may regulate mercury, they do not collect the data necessary to support the national inventory required by TSCA section 8(b)(10). As such, EPA does not view the reporting requirements to be duplicative of the requirements highlighted by the commenter and, therefore, is not exempting reporting of such uses of mercury.

    D. Persons and Information Subject to This Rulemaking

    TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i) states “any person who manufactures mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process shall make periodic reports to the Administrator.” As explained in Unit III.B., EPA interprets the statutory text at TSCA sections 8(b)(10)(B), 8(b)(10)(D)(i), and 8(b)(10)(D)(iii) as applying to intentional acts that introduce mercury into supply, use, and trade in the United States. EPA reads TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i) to narrow potential reporters to persons who first manufacture mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process prior to other activities such as storage, distribution, and export. Descriptions of persons who must report under this rule and tables illustrating applicable reporting requirements are detailed in Unit III.D.1.

    1. Persons Who Must Report. In addition to persons described in the following subsections and tables, EPA will provide examples of persons who will and will not be required to report under this regulation in reporting instructions and other support materials.

    a. Persons Who Manufacture (Including Import) Mercury. As described in Unit III.C., the Agency sought to decrease the burden of reporting to the greatest extent practicable by, among other things, complementing without overlapping existing reporting requirements related to mercury and mercury-added products. As such, persons who manufacture (including import) in excess of 2,500 lbs. for elemental mercury or in excess of 25,000 lbs. for mercury compounds for a specific reporting year are not required to report amounts manufactured (including imported) or exported that are already reported per the CDR rule. Such persons, however, are required to provide quantitative data on storage and distribution in commerce, as well as qualitative and contextual information related to all applicable data elements under the proposed rule (see Table 3. Information to Report—Mercury). In further efforts to decrease reporting burdens, the Agency will provide pre-selected lists of mercury compounds to streamline reporting requirements as much as possible.

    Table 3—Information to Report—Mercury Persons who must report Applicable reporting requirements Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury in amounts greater than or equal to 2,500 lbs. for elemental mercury or greater than or equal to 25,000 lbs. for mercury compounds for a specific reporting year (i.e., current CDR reporters) —Country(ies) of origin for imported mercury.
  • —Country(ies) of destination for exported mercury.
  • —Amount of mercury stored (lbs.).
  • —Amount of mercury distributed in commerce (lbs.).
  • —NAICS code(s) for mercury distributed in commerce.
  • All other persons who manufacture (including import) mercury —Amount of mercury manufactured (lbs.).
  • —Amount of mercury imported (lbs.).
  • —Country(ies) of origin for imported mercury.
  • —Amount of mercury exported (lbs.), except mercury prohibited from export at 15 U.S.C. 2611(c)(1) and (7).
  • —Country(ies) of destination for exported mercury.
  • —Amount of mercury stored (lbs.).
  • —Amount of mercury distributed in commerce (lbs.).
  • —NAICS code(s) for mercury distributed in commerce.
  • —As applicable, specific mercury compound(s) from preselected list.
  • b. Persons Who Manufacture or Import Mercury-added Products. EPA proposed to require reporting for the manufacture (including import) of mercury-added products, except for: (1) Import of an assembled product that contains mercury solely within a component that is a mercury-added product; and (2) domestic manufacture of an assembled product unless the person first manufactures or imports the mercury-added product that can be used as a component. The Agency determined that this distinction was appropriate after reviewing the data reported to the IMERC Mercury-Added Products Database and comparing the companies that reported national sales data for individual mercury-added products (including components), as well as items that contain a component that is a mercury-added product (Ref. 25). For example, the IMERC database lists a product name (e.g., flat panel display, projection TV, make and model of vehicle) and component (e.g., lamp, bulb). In the proposed rule, the Agency cited concerns that requiring reporting for assembled products where mercury is present solely within a previously manufactured component would result in double counting and thereby could negatively affect the reliability of future mercury inventory updates, as well as the potential to create undue burden for certain importers (Ref. 3). The Agency based this determination on its emphasis on the intentional insertion of mercury into a product as the introduction of mercury via a mercury-added product into supply, use, and trade in the United States. For imported assembled products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product, the Agency also considered the degree to which certain importers would know the mercury content, if any, of the assembled products they import, as well as the additional breadth, and therefore burden, that including such imports at this time would entail. The Agency notes that its specific reporting requirements (see Unit III.D.4.b.) include mercury-added products that are likely to be used as components in assembled products. As discussed in this section, EPA's combined general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements are designed not only to provide information that are expected to identify mercury-added products that are components within assembled products, but also to avoid unnecessary, duplicative, and burdensome reporting as much as feasible (15 U.S.C. 2607(a)(5)).

    The Agency received comments related to instances where mercury is present in a product as a component that is a mercury-added product. Some commenters requested that the Agency require reporting for the manufacture (including import) of such products (Ref. 11; Ref. 12; Ref. 20; Ref. 23), while other commenters supported the proposed approach to not require such reporting (e.g., advanced manufacturing equipment that contains components that are mercury-added products and supply chains where the mercury-added product may be incorporated into several iterations of other components before being used in a final assembled product) (Ref. 9; Ref. 13; Ref. 17; Ref. 18; Ref. 26). Commenters requesting that the Agency require reporting for products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product believe that the proposed approach would underestimate mercury use in products and hamper EPA's ability to fill data gaps and make further recommendations for mercury reductions. The commenters also argued that not requiring reporting for products that contain mercury-added components is neither authorized by nor consistent with the purpose of the statute and is inconsistent with IMERC and Minamata Convention definitions of “mercury-added product.” Such issues are discussed in greater detail in the Response to Comments document for this rule (Ref. 5).

    The statutory text describes who must report to the mercury inventory: “any person who manufactures mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process . . . at such time and including such information as the Administrator shall determine by rule” (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(D)(i)). In addition to the development of the inventory itself (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(B)), the Agency interprets the ultimate purpose of the inventory as identifying manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury and recommending actions to achieve further reductions in mercury use (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)). When developing this rule, the Agency considered statutory requirements applicable to all of TSCA section 8: Prohibition of “unnecessary or duplicative” reporting (15 U.S.C. 2607(a)(5)(A)) and minimization of the cost of compliance for small manufacturers and processors (15 U.S.C. 2607(a)(5)(B)). Thus, EPA will carry out an inventory and require reporting consistent with the statute that avoids duplication of information already reported to existing state and federal programs and avoids unnecessary reporting burdens.

    TSCA section 8(b)(10)(C)(i) mandates that in carrying out the inventory, EPA must “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury.” Some commenters suggested that the statute requires EPA to collect information on all products that contain mercury, including those that contain mercury only because they include a mercury-added product as a component. EPA interprets the statutory text to only require the identification of the types of products where mercury is intentionally added such that EPA would be able to make recommendations for reducing such use. Based on its review of the information available in the IMERC database (Ref. 25), EPA believes that it will be able to identify the various types of mercury-added products where mercury is intentionally added (e.g., mercury-added lamps) without requiring the reporting on the manufacture of more complex products where mercury is contained within a component (e.g., vehicle containing mercury-added lamp in headlight).

    In identifying products where mercury is intentionally added, the Agency interprets the statute as giving it discretion over what information it may require to be reported, including from certain manufacturers and types of products. TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i) requires periodic reports to assist in the preparation of the inventory “at such time and including such information as the Administrator shall determine by rule.” EPA has determined that fulfilling the mandate to identify products that intentionally add mercury and make recommendations to achieve reduction in mercury use does not require reporting for assembled products, as EPA is not convinced that all products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product should be viewed as “products that intentionally add mercury.” For example, a domestic automobile manufacturer may not know that a component of the car contains mercury and arguably, therefore, has not intentionally added mercury to the car for the purposes of TSCA section 8(b)(10)(C)(i). Similarly, an automobile importer may not know that a component of the car contains mercury. Since the import is the manufacture for purposes of TSCA, the product arguably is not a product to which mercury has intentionally been added per TSCA section 8(b)(1)(C)(i) for this reason as well.

    The addition of a mercury-added product as a component to a more complex, assembled product does not change the nature or the quantity of mercury within the component, and, for a product assembled domestically, would result in the double counting of that specific quantity of mercury since EPA would receive reports both on the manufacture of the component and the manufacture of the assembled product. Even without receiving reports from manufacturers of assembled products, EPA can glean information about types of mercury-added products from the reports by manufacturers/importers of mercury-added products, which can be used as components. The information reported on NAICS codes by a person who manufactures (or imports) mercury-added products that can be used as components (e.g., mercury-added lamp), can be used to help the Agency identify the types of domestically manufactured assembled products (e.g., light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing (NAICS code 336112)) likely to contain components that are mercury-added products. Thus, the full set of reporting requirements work together to account for and describe mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States, while avoiding unnecessary or duplicative reporting.

    With respect to imports, based on the Agency's review of the information available in the IMERC database (Ref. 25) and its rationale set forth in the preceding paragraph, EPA believes that the reporting requirements similarly will enable it to identify the types of mercury-added products imported into the United States (i.e., both mercury-added products that can be used as components and those assembled products that contain a mercury-added component). Reporting is required for the import of mercury-added products that can be used as components in assembled products. This will give EPA a clearer understanding of the types of components that exist along with information on the quantity of mercury in those components. While reporting is not required on the import of assembled products that contain mercury-added components, the reporting requirements and data collected from manufacturers/importers of mercury products that can be used as components are expected to help alleviate the uncertainties associated with the types of imported assembled products that may contain such components. For example, the Agency can use NAICS codes reported for domestically-manufactured assembled products to better understand the specific types of imported assembled products that may contain mercury within a component part. In this context, the reporting requirements can enhance the understanding of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States while helping to minimize the cost of compliance for importers of assembled products.

    The baseline direction from Congress was to identify products that intentionally add mercury. EPA concludes this is best done, at this stage, by requiring reporting only from the manufacturers who initially insert mercury into products and importers of mercury-added products that may be used as components in assembled products, but not assembled products themselves. EPA is not requiring a reporter who manufactures (including imports) mercury components to identify whether or how the mercury-added product is used as a component; instead, EPA intends to use NAICS codes to identify such uses. By design, the general reporting requirements first identify the total quantity of mercury in products manufactured (other than imported), distributed in commerce, or exported for a reporting year (i.e., prioritize reporting on the amounts of mercury in supply, use, and trade activities (see Unit III.B.5.)). Thereafter, specific and contextual reporting requirements (e.g., the category/sub-category of mercury-added products and NAICS code(s) for manufacturing categories, and countries of origin and destination for imports and exports) further illustrate how reported quantities of mercury move through supply, use, and trade. EPA believes this is appropriate because it can collect quantitative data from persons who report for domestic manufacture and import of mercury-added products that can be used as components, and use contextual (i.e., qualitative) reporting to better understand how those components are incorporated into assembled products. The Agency could, as appropriate, use such domestic quantitative data in concert with other available data on imported assembled products in a specific product category to draw comparisons and, should they be relevant, focus recommendations for reducing mercury for both domestic and foreign assembled products. Even if this approach is not able to directly account for amounts of mercury within the mercury-added products that are components of assembled products, the Agency determined that its ability to identify categories—and potentially more specific types—of assembled products will allow it to satisfy mandates at TSCA sections 8(b)(10)(B) and (C). While a reporter would not be required to identify whether or how the mercury-added product is used as a component, the reporting requirements should provide ample information to shed light on the use of the mercury, to satisfy the mandate to identify products that intentionally add mercury, including components being manufactured domestically and imported, and allow EPA to “recommend actions [. . .] to achieve further reductions in mercury use” including recommendations related to products containing mercury components (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)(ii)).

    EPA is mindful that the global implementation of the Minamata Convention should result in a decrease in the manufacture, import, and export of many mercury-added products that are commonly used as components in products, discourage the use of such products as components, and generally increase the knowledge of manufacturers, importers, exporters, and consumers regarding the types of assembled products that contain components that are mercury-added products. EPA will evaluate whether this expected downward trend comes to fruition by monitoring trends in the importation of mercury components and its described approach to better understand the types of domestically-manufactured and imported assembled products that may contain mercury in a component part. As necessary, the Agency will use such data to consider modifying reporting requirements or to recommend appropriate actions to reduce the use of mercury.

    As described in Unit III.C., persons who report to IMERC identify the amount of mercury sold in mercury-added products that may be manufactured, distributed, or imported. The Agency considers the amount of mercury reported to IMERC as sold to be comparable to the amount of mercury to be reported under the rule as distributed in commerce. As such, EPA is not requiring persons who report to IMERC to report amounts of mercury distributed in commerce in mercury-added products. However, those persons must report quantitative and qualitative information for other applicable data elements (e.g., manufacture, import, and export of mercury-added products). Such persons are also required to report contextual information applicable to amounts, if any, of mercury in mercury-added products manufactured, imported, distributed in commerce, or exported (see Table 4. Information to Report—Mercury-Added Products). In further efforts to decrease reporting burdens, the Agency will provide pre-selected lists of mercury-added product categories to streamline reporting requirements as much as possible.

    Table 4—Information to Report—Mercury-Added Products Persons who must report Applicable reporting requirements Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury-added products, except a product that contains a component that is a mercury-added product, who currently report to IMERC —Amount of mercury in manufactured products (lbs.).
  • —Amount of mercury in imported products (lbs.).
  • —Country(ies) of origin for imported products.
  • —Amount of mercury in exported products (lbs.).
  • —Country(ies) of destination for exported products.
  • —NAICS code(s) for products distributed in commerce.
  • —As applicable, specific product category(ies) and subcategory(ies) from pre-selected list.
  • All other persons who manufacture (including import) mercury-added products, except a product that contains a component that is a mercury-added product —Amount of mercury in manufactured products (lbs.).
  • —Amount of mercury in imported products (lbs.).
  • —Country(ies) of origin for imported products.
  • —Amount of mercury in exported products (lbs.).
  • —Country(ies) of destination for exported products.
  • —Amount of mercury in products distributed in commerce (lbs.).
  • —NAICS code(s) for products distributed in commerce.
  • —As applicable, specific product category(ies) and subcategory(ies) from pre-selected list.
  • c. Persons Who Otherwise Intentionally Use Mercury in a Manufacturing Process. As described in Unit III.B., TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i) includes persons who intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process amongst those who must report. The Agency believes that persons who otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process may currently report to existing data collection programs in the United States, but because the reporting requirements for the mercury inventory differ from those programs, EPA does not view the reporting requirements to be duplicative or unnecessary. As such, the general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements are intended to provide a complete picture of uses for which little information is currently available (see Table 5. Information to Report—Otherwise Intentional Use of Mercury in a Manufacturing Process). As discussed in Unit III.D.1.b., the combination of general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements will assist the Agency to adequately “identify any processes . . . that intentionally add mercury” 15 U.S.C. 2607 8(b)(10)(C)(i). In further efforts to decrease reporting burdens, the Agency will provide pre-selected lists of manufacturing processes and attendant uses of mercury to streamline reporting requirements as much as possible.

    Table 5—Information to Report—Otherwise Intentional Use of Mercury in a Manufacturing Process Persons who must report Applicable reporting requirements Persons who otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process, other than the manufacture of a mercury compound or a mercury-added product —Amount of mercury intentionally used (lbs.) in pre-selected list of manufacturing processes.
  • —Amount of mercury stored (lbs.).
  • —Country(ies) of destination for exported final product(s).
  • —NAICS code(s) for mercury in final product(s) distributed in commerce.
  • —As applicable, specific manufacturing process from preselected list.
  • —As applicable, specific use of mercury in manufacturing process from pre-selected list.
  • 2. Persons Not Required to Report. The Agency received various comments requesting clarification of persons who would not be required to report to the mercury inventory.

    i. Persons Who Do Not First Manufacture, Import, or Otherwise Intentionally Use Mercury. EPA determined that persons who only trade (e.g., brokering, selling wholesale, shipping, warehousing, repackaging, or retail sale), but do not manufacture or import mercury or mercury-added products, should not be subject to the proposed reporting requirements (Ref. 3). Aside from its reading of TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i), the Agency is concerned that requiring reporting from such entities risks: (1) Double counting of mercury as it moves through supply chains; and (2) undue burden or liability on entities that are not likely to be aware if or how mercury is present in products that they trade. Several commenters requested clarifications regarding this determination, including modifications to ensure that the exclusion will not result in transactions involving mercury that go unreported within the context of supply, use, and trade and to prevent duplicative reporting by focusing on products traded instead of the persons engaged in trade (Ref. 11; Ref. 12). Another commenter suggested that such an exemption should not apply to any persons that would be defined as a manufacturer, importer, or exporter (Ref. 12).

    EPA interprets the statutory text on who should report at 15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(D)(i) as applicable to “intentional acts that introduce mercury into supply, use, and trade in the United States.” EPA specified in the proposed rule that this applies to “persons who first manufacture mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process” (emphasis added) (Ref. 3). EPA recognizes that certain transactions (e.g., resale, incorporation of a purchased component that is a mercury-added product into equipment) may not be captured with this structure. However, the Agency believes that focusing on the initial introduction of mercury to the market prevents the possibility of double counting or undue burden (see 15 U.S.C. 2607(a)(5)(A and B)) which could occur if entities that do not first introduce mercury to supply, use, and trade were required to report to the inventory. EPA revised the regulatory text in the final rule to improve clarity.

    ii. Persons Who Generate, Handle, or Manage Mercury-containing Waste. Persons “engaged in the generation, handling, or management of mercury-containing waste, unless that person manufactures or recovers mercury in the management of that waste” are not required to report to the mercury inventory (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(D)(iii)). EPA interprets the statute here to mean for immediate or eventual commercial purposes (see also “Mercury Handled as Waste, Including Elemental Mercury Destined for Long-Term Storage” in Unit III.B.2). EPA will provide examples of such persons in reporting instructions and other support materials.

    iii. Persons Who Manufacture Mercury as an Impurity. Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury as an impurity are not required to report to the mercury inventory (see also “Impurities Present in a Final Product” in Unit III.B.2.). EPA will provide examples of such persons in reporting instructions and other support materials.

    iv. Persons Engaged in Activities Involving Mercury Not with the Purpose of Obtaining an Immediate or Eventual Commercial Advantage. Persons who do not manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage are not required to report to the mercury inventory (see also “Commercial Purposes” in Unit III.B.2.). In addition, EPA will provide examples of such persons in reporting instructions and other support materials.

    v. Manufacture or Import of a Product that Contains a Component that is a Mercury-added Product. EPA maintains that requiring reporting on the use of a mercury-added product as a component in the manufacture (other than import) of another product for a person who did not first manufacture (other than import) the mercury-added product would constitute double counting. The Agency's rationale is explained in detail in Unit III.D.1.b. To the extent that the Agency is not requiring persons who import products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product to report, the reporting requirements do not prevent the identification of such products. The decision to not require reporting on such products also will not prevent the Agency from making recommendations “to achieve further reductions in mercury use” (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)(ii)). In order to clarify and streamline reporting requirements related to products that contain a component that is a mercury-added product, the Agency modified the structure of the regulatory text in this final rule. In addition, EPA will provide examples of such persons in reporting instructions and other support materials. Those materials will be available on the EPA website six months prior to the reporting deadline.

    3. Reporting Units and Threshold. As discussed in Unit III.C., the Agency compared existing state and federal reporting databases applicable to the supply, use, and trade of mercury. EPA conducted this review in an attempt not only to eliminate duplicative reporting requirements, but also to incorporate applicable features of such programs, including the consideration of respective reporting thresholds.

    The statutory text at TSCA section 8(b)(10) is silent on a reporting threshold; however, TSCA section 8(b)(10)(C) directs the Agency to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury.” Based on: (1) The interpretation that the direction to “identify any” applies to any amount of mercury in a manufacturing process or product; and (2) concerns related to the potential adverse effects on human health and the environment resulting from releases of mercury, EPA proposed to apply the reporting requirements to any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process regardless of the amount of mercury at issue (Ref. 3).

    The Agency received comments in support of the proposal to not establish a de minimis threshold for reporting (Ref. 11; Ref. 12; Ref. 23), as well as comments suggesting EPA establish minimum units for which persons should report and a threshold under which persons should not report to the mercury inventory (Ref. 15; Ref. 21; Ref. 24; Ref. 26; Ref. 27). Specific recommendations from commenters included: a minimum reportable value of 1 pound (Ref. 27), parts per million amounts for impurities (Ref. 15), and less than 1 kilogram for an annual total for certain activities (Ref. 28). Commenters also expressed concerns with the reasonableness and burden associated with being able to detect, as well as calculate annual totals, for trace amounts of mercury in certain products and processes (Ref. 15; Ref. 24). Finally, commenters recommended that reporting thresholds be established in SI/metric units due to prevalent market practices for identifying mercury content in products and for greater consistency with IMERC reporting requirements (Ref. 18; Ref. 23).

    EPA appreciates the suggestion to offer multiple/alternative units of measurement for reporting amounts of mercury. However, EPA believes that the pound (lb.) as a unit of measurement is the best choice based on it being a unit familiar to most potential reporters and consistent with the reporting provided by IMERC, CDR, and TRI. The reporting application is designed such that persons seeking to report amounts equal to or less than one pound during a reporting year would be directed to round amounts of mercury to “1 lb.”

    In regard to a reporting threshold, EPA understands that certain persons may use small amounts of mercury over the course of a reporting year, but believes that it is not appropriate to establish a de minimis threshold. As explained in the proposed rule (Ref. 3), this decision is based on a review of statutory text at 15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C), which EPA interprets to require reporting for any amount of mercury. However, to address the concerns expressed, and as an alternative to a reporting threshold, EPA accepts the suggestions of commenters to offer a minimum unit. Any person that manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products or any person that otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process in an amount equal to or less than one pound during a reporting year would be directed to round amounts of mercury to “1 lb.” Because the Agency is not requiring reporting for impurities (see also “Impurities Present in a Final Product” in Unit III.B.2.), EPA believes the suggested parts per million unit of measurement associated with impurities is no longer applicable. In instances where persons subject to the reporting requirements may be using mercury in small amounts on a per unit basis, the Agency will provide additional examples in reporting instructions and support materials designed to assist reporters. Those materials will be available on the EPA website six months prior to the reporting deadline.

    4. Reporting Requirements. TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B) sets the general scope of the inventory as the “mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States.” EPA interprets the core elements to be covered in the mercury inventory to be the amount of mercury used in the activities within the mercury market described in Unit III.B. (i.e., manufacture, import, export, storage, distribution in commerce, and otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process). EPA also determined that, for certain data elements, requiring reporting of more specific information would help to better contextualize reported quantities of mercury used in domestic and global supply, use, and trade. The general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements are described in this section.

    a. General Reporting Requirements. EPA considers “supply” to include manufacture and storage, “use” to include otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process, and “trade” to include import, export, and distribution in commerce. The Agency determined that accounting for such activities is necessary to fulfill statutory mandates at TSCA sections 8(b)(10)(B) and (C). Therefore, for persons required to report (as described in Unit III.D.), EPA is requiring reporting quantitative data for mercury, mercury-added products, and otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process (as qualified from existing terms as discussed in Unit III.B.) as follows:

    i. Importers of mercury: Amount of mercury imported per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury stored per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury distributed in commerce per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury exported per year (lbs.).

    ii. Manufacturers (other than importers) of mercury: Amount of mercury manufactured (other than imported) per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury stored per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury distributed in commerce per year (lbs.). Amount of mercury exported per year (lbs.).

    iii. Importers of a mercury-added product: Amount of mercury in imported products per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury in products distributed in domestic commerce per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury in exported products per year (lbs.).

    iv. Manufacturers (other than importers) of a mercury-added product: Amount of mercury in manufactured (other than imported) products per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury in products distributed in commerce per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury in exported products per year (lbs.).

    v. Persons who intentionally use mercury in manufacturing processes: Amount of mercury used in a manufacturing process per year (lbs.); Amount of mercury stored per year (lbs.).

    EPA understands that certain persons may report for multiple activities associated with supply, use, and trade of mercury. For example, a person may import mercury and manufacture mercury-added products. As such, the Agency is designing the quantitative data elements for reporting requirements such that a person could report both as an “importer of mercury” and “manufacturer of mercury-added products,” but only report for the specific activity in which they engage. The Agency expects there may be certain persons engaged in the supply, use, and trade of mercury who might not be accounted for in the inventory, but EPA views this omission of prospective reporters as an opportunity to limit undue burden and avoid double counting. Thus, the Agency is limiting the persons who must report at TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D)(i) to only those persons described in Unit III.D.

    b. Specific Reporting Requirements. To better understand the categories of mercury-added products and otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process, the Agency is requiring reporters to identify the specific categories and subcategories of products and functional uses for which quantitative data is reported. The Agency believes this is an appropriate interpretation of the direction to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury,” which, in turn, could inform how to “recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use” (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)). Persons required to report must provide the total amount of mercury used during the reporting year in pounds for general reporting activities associated with supply, use, and trade, rather than per category and subcategory. EPA based this decision on issues concerning burden and confidential business information that could be created by reporting quantitative information for increasingly specific categories and subcategories.

    i. Mercury-added products. Based on the current knowledge of mercury-added products available in the marketplace, including skin products manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States (Ref. 29), EPA is finalizing the following list of categories and subcategories of mercury-added products:

    Batteries: Button cell, silver; Button cell, zinc-air; Button cell, alkaline; Stacked button cell batteries; Manganese oxide; Silver oxide; Mercuric oxide, non-button cell; Button cell, mercuric oxide; Button cell, zinc carbon; Other (specify).

    Dental amalgam.

    Formulated products (includes uses in cosmetics, pesticides, and laboratory chemicals): Skin-lightening creams; Lotions; Soaps and sanitizers; Topical antiseptics; Bath oils and salts; Preservatives (e.g., for use in vaccines and eye-area cosmetics when no preservative alternatives are available); Pharmaceuticals (including prescription and over-the-counter drug products); Cleaning products (not registered as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act); Pesticides; Paints; Dyes; Reagents (e.g., catalysts, buffers, fixatives); Other (specify).

    Lighting, lamps, bulbs: Linear fluorescent; Compact fluorescent; U-tube and circular fluorescent; Cold cathode fluorescent; External electrode fluorescent; Mercury vapor; Metal halide; High pressure sodium; Mercury short arc; Neon; Other (specify).

    Measuring instruments: Barometer; Fever thermometer; Flow meter; Hydrometer; Hygrometer/psychrometer; Manometer; Non-fever thermometer; Pyrometer; Sphygmomanometer; Other (specify).

    Pump seals.

    Switches, relays, sensors, valves: Tilt switch; Vibration switch; Float switch; Pressure switch; Temperature switch; Displacement relay; Wetted reed relay; Contact relay; Flame sensor; Thermostat; Other (specify).

    Miscellaneous mercury-added products: Wheel weights; Wheel rotation balancers/stabilizers; Firearm recoil suppressors; Carburetor synchronizers; Joint support/shock absorption bands; Other (specify).

    ii. Intentional mercury use in manufacturing processes. EPA received comment on the proposed rule and has refined the following manufacturing processes for which mercury may be intentionally used: Chlorine production (e.g., mercury-cell chlor-alkali process); Acetaldehyde production; Sodium/potassium methylate/ethylate production; Polyurethane/plastic production; Other (specify). Based on public comment, EPA has also refined the following list of uses of mercury in the manufacturing processes: Catalyst; Cathode; Reactant; Reagent; Other (specify).

    Two commenters proposed revisions to specific information to be collected applicable to the intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process (Ref. 15; Ref. 28). One commenter noted that in a mercury cell electrolyzer, the mercury serves solely as the cathode in the electrolysis process which breaks down the sodium chloride molecule and recommended that EPA should therefore add the term “cathode” to the Table 4 list as one of the selections (Ref. 15). Another commenter requested the removal of “[v]inyl chloride monomer production” as a specific manufacturing process because the vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) process is no longer used and is not expected to be used, by any manufacturer in the United States and that all VCM producers utilize ethylene, rather than acetylene, as the feedstock, which does not require any use of mercury (Ref. 28).

    The Agency appreciates and agrees with these comments. EPA amended the regulatory text for reporting requirements for specific data to add the term “Cathode” as an option to identify how mercury is used in manufacturing processes and to remove the term “Vinyl chloride monomer production” from the options of categories of manufacturing processes for which mercury may be intentionally used.

    c. Contextual Reporting Requirements. Within certain sectors of the mercury market, the Agency determined that additional data requirements are important to provide context to the quantitative data reported. To fully understand the supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States, EPA is finalizing the following reporting requirements:

    i. For imports of mercury or mercury-added products: Country of origin.

    ii. For mercury or mercury-added products distributed in commerce: Identify the applicable purchasing or receiving industry sectors via NAICS codes.

    iii. For exported mercury or mercury-added products: Destination country.

    The Agency determined that the combination of general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements provides for the body of information required to fulfill statutory mandates of TSCA sections 8(b)(10)(B) and (C). As much as possible, the Agency designed all requirements to be answered only where a reporter engages in the specific activity from the inclusive list of options. In fact, EPA believes that it is unlikely that the typical reporter would be engaged in and, as a result, be required to respond to all, or even many, of the reporting requirements.

    Aside from issue-specific discussions of reporting requirements presented elsewhere in Unit III.D., commenters generally supported the Agency's proposed general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements, emphasized the utility requiring reporting of NAICS to help track mercury supply and use flows, and noted the consistency and comprehensiveness of EPA mercury-added product categories and subcategories. The Agency appreciates this feedback from potentially affected persons.

    5. Consideration of Small Entities. Based on EPA's economic analysis of this final rule (Ref. 6), approximately 40 percent of the respondents will be small entities. However, small businesses are not exempt from reporting requirements because, unlike the exemption for small manufacturers and processors provided under TSCA sections 8(a)(1)(A) and (B), reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with TSCA section 8(b) are applicable to all affected entities. EPA requested public comment on what kinds of information would be particularly important to address for small entities (e.g., outreach and webinars for small businesses to introduce the online reporting environment and application, explain requirements, and offer Q&A and other support) (Ref. 3).

    The Agency received a comment related to the EPA's estimation of costs and burdens for the proposed rule (Ref. 27), which expressed concerns that initial estimates may be low given the scope of products, processes, and other information that EPA proposed to require (Ref. 27). EPA prepared the economic analysis using the best available methods, consistent with EPA's Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses (see https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/guidelines-preparing-economic-analyses). While individual reporters may experience costs either higher or lower than those estimated in the analysis, the Agency believes that the average costs for the categories of reporters described are well represented.

    The Agency also received a comment related to the potential burden to small businesses (Ref. 30), which expressed concerns about how the estimated initial and subsequent annual costs may impose a major burden for a small manufacturer, particularly when added to other regulatory costs. EPA intends to minimize the burden on all respondents, including small entities, as much as possible. The Agency will develop reporting instructions tailored to small entities who will be required to comply with the reporting requirements. EPA expects to conduct outreach and webinars for small businesses to introduce the reporting database, explain requirements, and offer Q&A and other support. Those materials will be available on the EPA website six months prior to the reporting deadline. Under TSCA section 26(d), EPA also provides specialized assistance to respondents, particularly to small entities, including technical and other non-financial assistance to manufacturers (including importers) and processors of chemical substances. EPA's TSCA Hotline assists small businesses complying with TSCA rules and provides various materials such as copies of Federal Register notices, advisories, and other information upon request. Contact information for the TSCA Hotline is listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    E. Frequency of Inventory Publication

    TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B) sets the date for publication of initial and subsequent, triennial iterations of the mercury inventory to commence on April 1, 2017. Therefore, EPA expects to publish the first mercury inventory supported by the finalized reporting requirements by April 1, 2020 and every three years thereafter.

    F. Frequency of Data Collection and Reporting Deadline

    TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D) provides the authority to promulgate this rule to assist in the preparation of the triennial inventory publication, but TSCA offers no guidance on the frequency of collection or reporting deadline. To minimize reporting obligations, the Agency compared the respective collection frequencies and reporting deadlines for IMERC, the CDR rule, and the TRI program to when EPA is required to publish the mercury inventory. TSCA section 8(b)(10)(B) sets a publication date for the mercury inventory that falls on the reporting deadline for IMERC: April 1 in a triennial cycle starting in April 2017. Data collected under the CDR rule is submitted to the Agency on a quadrennial cycle; the next reporting cycle will occur from 2016-2019, with a reporting deadline of September 2020. The TRI program collects and publishes data on an annual cycle with a reporting deadline of July 1 of each year.

    Based on such considerations, the Agency determined that coinciding with the triennial IMERC frequency of collection is appropriate given the mercury inventory publication schedule is also triennial. The Agency is setting the mercury inventory reporting deadline to coincide with the TRI program deadline to align with a date with which certain, potential reporters might already be familiar. Therefore, EPA is establishing a July 1st reporting deadline for 2019 and every three years thereafter. Data submitted should cover only the calendar year preceding the year in which the reporting deadline occurs (e.g., data for calendar year January 1 to December 31, 2018 are reported on or before July 1, 2019).

    G. Recordkeeping

    Consistent with the triennial reporting and publication cycle for the mercury inventory, EPA is requiring that each person who is subject to the reporting requirements must retain records that document any information reported to EPA. Records relevant to a reporting year must be retained for a period of 3 years beginning on the last day of the reporting year. Submitters are encouraged to retain their records longer than 3 years to ensure that past records are available as a reference when new submissions are being generated.

    H. Reporting Requirements and Confidential Business Information

    Reporters to the information collection of this rule may claim that their submitted information is CBI per statutory provisions for CBI under TSCA section 14.

    The Agency received several comments concerning CBI, including suggestions to allow reporting in ranges and not demarcating specific amounts of mercury in exports going to specific countries (Ref. 27), as well as limiting reporting to a total amount of mercury used in a year (as opposed to specific amounts in import, export, manufacture, and other activities) (Ref. 15; Ref. 24; Ref. 28) to obviate the potential for persons to elect to claim data as CBI. Commenters were particularly concerned where reporting by a few or only a single facility engaged in a particular manufacturing process could allow competitors to calculate proprietary information. Other commenters requested an allowance for trade associations to collectively submit information on behalf of their members, which expressed a preference for collective reporting to protect against the release of proprietary sales data and other CBI (Ref. 9; Ref. 18).

    EPA's mercury reporting application will allow multiple roles in creating, certifying, and submitting data. However, to maintain the alignment of general, specific, and contextual reporting requirements, EPA requires that separate reports be filed for each person/company (i.e., not submitted in aggregate if an agent assists multiple persons/companies to develop its report). In addition, the reporting application is designed as a tool for data collection only and will accept CBI claims submitted in accordance with TSCA section 14. Unlike information provided to IMERC, CDR, and TRI, the data received in support of the mercury inventory will not be publicly accessible in an online database. EPA intends to use these data to fulfill the statutory requirements to publish an inventory (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(B)) and make required identifications and recommendations related to mercury use (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(C)). EPA does not foresee receiving and handling such information as CBI as a potential hindrance to Agency processes. As necessary, EPA will follow established publication policies to aggregate data for public release and will not compromise confidential business information.

    I. Electronic Reporting

    As set forth in the proposed rule, the Agency determined that mandatory electronic reporting would: (1) Streamline the reporting process and reduce the administrative costs associated with information submission and recordkeeping; (2) eliminate paper-based submissions as part of broader government efforts to move to modern, electronic methods of information gathering; (3) allow for more efficient data transmittal and a reduction in errors with the built-in validation procedures; and (4) reduce the reporting burden for submitters by reducing the cost and time required to review. EPA is requiring electronic reporting of the mercury inventory data, using an Agency-provided, web-based reporting software to submit mercury inventory reports through the internet to EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX). CDX provides the capability for submitters to access their data through the use of web services. For more information about CDX, go to http://epa.gov/cdx.

    The Agency received comments related to the proposal to require electronic reporting, which suggested that EPA should be prepared to provide additional assistance to companies that may be challenged by an electronic reporting system (Ref. 11; Ref. 23). The Agency appreciates these comments and will develop reporting instructions and support materials to assist with reporting to the mercury inventory. Those materials will be available on the EPA website six months prior to the reporting deadline. In addition, the EPA CDX maintains a helpdesk contract to provide support for CDX users.

    IV. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically referenced in this document. The docket includes these documents and other information considered by EPA, including documents that are referenced within the documents that are included in the docket, even if the referenced document is not physically located in the docket. For assistance in locating these other documents, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    1. EPA. Mercury; Initial Inventory Report of Supply, Use, and Trade. (82 FR 15522; March 29, 2017). 2. UNEP. Minamata Convention on Mercury. (No date). Available at http://www.mercuryconvention.org. [Accessed August 4, 2017]. 3. EPA. Mercury; Reporting Requirements for Toxic Substances Control Act Mercury Inventory—Proposed Rule. (82 FR 49564; October 26, 2017). 4. EPA. Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory: Mercury—Proposed Rule; Extension of Comment Period. (82 FR 60168; December 17, 2017). 5. EPA. Mercury; Reporting Requirements for Toxic Substances Control Act Mercury Inventory—Response to Comments. June 20, 2018. 6. EPA. Economic Analysis for the Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory. June 20, 2018. 7. EPA. Subpoena and Information Request. March 20, 2015. Available at https://www.epa.gov/mercury/2015-subpoena-and-information-request-epa-mercuryrecyclers. 8. Comment submitted by Kathleen M. Roberts, Executive Director, North American Metals Council. 9. Comment submitted by Lawrence E. Culleen, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP for the Chemical Users Coalition. 10. Comment submitted by Peter Webster, General Counsel U.S., Barrick Gold North America, Inc. 11. Comment submitted by David Lennett, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council. 12. Comment submitted by Carolyn Hanson, Acting Executive Director, Environmental Council of the States. 13. Comment submitted by Stephen Tarnowski, Office of Corporate Staff Counsel, Merck & Co, Inc. 14. Comment submitted by Ross Eisenberg, Vice President, Energy and Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers. 15. Comment submitted by Kenneth G. Akins, Director, Environmental, Westlake Chemical Corporation. 16. Comment submitted by Charles Franklin, Vice President and Counsel, Government Affairs, Portland Cement Association. 17. Comment submitted by Amandine Muskus, Manager, Environment & Energy Association of Global Automakers, Inc.; Stacy Tatman, Director of Environmental Affairs, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. 18. Comment submitted by Chris Cleet, QEP, Senior Director of Environment and Sustainability, Information Technology Industry Council; Katie Reilly, Senior Manager, Environmental and Sustainability Policy, Consumer Technology Association; Kyle Pistor, Vice President, Government Relations, National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 19. Anonymous public comment (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0421-0062). 20. Comment submitted by Phillip K. Bell, President, Steel Manufacturers Association. 21. Comment submitted by David Hickey, Vice President, Advocacy, International Sign Association. 22. Comment submitted by Michele P. Wilson, Environmental Compliance, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC. 23. Comment submitted by Chuck Schwer, Vermont Department of Environmental, Conservation, Chairperson, and Tom Metzner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Chairperson, Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse. 24. Comment submitted by Theodore B. Lynn, Ph.D., Director of Research, Dexsil Corporation. 25. NEWMOA. Mercury-Added Products Database. (No date). Available at http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/mercury/imerc/notification/. [Accessed August 4, 2017]. 26. Comment submitted by David Isaacs, Semiconductor Industry Association. 27. Comment submitted by James C. Lee, Senior Compliance Analyst, Hach Company. 28. Comment submitted by Richard Krock, Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, Vinyl Institute. 29. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products. (July 26, 2016). Available at https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm294849.htm. [Accessed October 3, 2017]. 30. Anonymous public comment (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0421-0038). 31. EPA. Collection of Information for Mercury Inventory Reporting Rule; EPA ICR No. 2567.02; OMB Control No.: 2070-0207. June 20, 2018. 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 a significant regulatory action that was 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). Any changes made in response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket for this action.

    B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This action is subject to the requirements for regulatory actions specified in Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017). EPA prepared an analysis of the estimated costs and benefits associated with this action. This analysis, “Economic Analysis for the Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory” (Economic Analysis, Ref. 6), is available in the docket and is summarized in Unit I.E.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The information collection activities in this rule have been submitted for approval to OMB under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. The Information Collection Request (ICR) document that the EPA prepared has been assigned EPA ICR number 2567.02 and OMB Control No. 2070-0207 (Ref. 31). You can find a copy of the ICR in the docket for this rule, and it is briefly summarized here.

    The reporting requirements identified in the final rule would provide EPA with information necessary to prepare and periodically update an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States, as required by TSCA section 8(b)(10)(D). These reporting requirements would help the Agency to prepare subsequent, triennial publications of the inventory, as well as to carry out the requirement of TSCA section 8(b)(10)(C) to identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury and recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use. EPA intends to use information collected under the rule to assist in efforts to reduce the use of mercury in products and processes and to facilitate reporting on implementation of the Minamata Convention by the United States. Respondents may claim some of the information reported to EPA under the final rule as CBI under TSCA section 14. TSCA section 14(c) requires a supporting statement and certification for confidentiality claims asserted after June 22, 2016.

    EPA estimated total burden and costs to industry associated with the information collection activities in the final rule over the first three years after its promulgation (Ref. 6). For the 750 companies anticipated to be subject to the reporting requirements, the average per respondent burden hours for Year 1 (of a triennial cycle for submitting information) was estimated to be 96.76 hours (Ref. 6). Years 2 and 3 are not data collection years, so there is no cost associated with the rule during these years (Ref. 6). Therefore, the average for total burden hours per the three-year reporting cycle is 32.25 hours per year (Ref. 6).

    Respondents/affected entities: Manufacturers, importers, and processors of mercury.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(D)).

    Estimated number of respondents: 750.

    Frequency of response: Triennially.

    Total estimated annual burden: 24,189 hours (averaged over 3 years). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated annual cost: $1,942,190 (averaged over 3 years), includes $0 annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.

    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 the EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9. Submit your comments on the Agency's need for this information, the accuracy of the provided burden estimates and any suggested methods for minimizing respondent burden to the EPA using the docket identified at the beginning of this rule. You may also send your ICR-related comments to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs via email to [email protected], Attention: Desk Officer for the EPA. Since OMB is required to make a decision concerning the ICR between 30 and 60 days after receipt, OMB must receive comments no later than July 27, 2018.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. The small entities subject to the requirements of this action include those that manufacture, including import, mercury or mercury-added products (manufacturers), or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process (processors). To identify the number of firms that are subject to the rule and considered small under SBA size standards, EPA compared the appropriate SBA size definition to the company's revenue or number of employees, as identified using Dun and Bradstreet or other market research websites. Of the 506 parent companies that are subject to the rule, 211 companies (42 percent) meet the SBA small business definitions for their respective NAICS classifications.

    The small entity analysis estimated that no parent company would incur an impact of 3 percent or greater, and 4 parent companies (1.85 percent of total entities) would incur an impact of 1 to 3 percent. Details of this analysis are included in the accompanying Economic Analysis for this rule (Ref. 6).

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531 through 1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. As such, the requirements of sections 202, 203, 204, or 205 of UMRA do not apply to this action.

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

    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). 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, as specified in the Order. Thus, E.O. 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) 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. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk, nor is this action economically significant as the impact of this action will be less than $100 million.

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

    This final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not expected to affect energy supply, distribution, or use.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    Since this action does not involve any technical standards, section 12(d) of NTTAA, 15 U.S.C. 272 note, does not apply to this section.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) because it does not establish an environmental health or safety standard. This action establishes an information requirement and does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment.

    VI. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 713

    Environmental protection, Exports, Imports, Manufacturing, Mercury, Trade practices.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter R, is amended by adding a new part 713 to read as follows:

    PART 713—REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TSCA INVENTORY OF MERCURY SUPPLY, USE, AND TRADE Sec. 713.1 Purpose, scope, and compliance. 713.5 Mercury for which information must be reported. 713.7 Persons who must report. 713.9 General requirements for which information must be reported. 713.11 Specific requirements for which information must be reported. 713.13 Contextual requirements for which information must be reported. 713.15 Reporting information to EPA. 713.17 When to report. 713.19 Recordkeeping requirements. 713.21 Electronic filing. Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)(D).

    § 713.1 Purpose, scope, and compliance.

    (a) This part specifies reporting and recordkeeping procedures under section 8(b)(10) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. 2607(b)(10)) for certain manufacturers (including importers) and processers of mercury as defined in section 8(b)(10)(A) to include elemental mercury and mercury compounds. Hereinafter “mercury” will refer to both elemental mercury and mercury compounds collectively, except where separately identified. Section 8(b)(10)(D) of TSCA authorizes the EPA Administrator to require reporting from any person who manufactures mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process to carry out and publish in the Federal Register an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States. In administering this mercury inventory, EPA is directed to identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury and to recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use. EPA intends to use the collected information to implement TSCA and shape the Agency's efforts to recommend actions, both voluntary and regulatory, to reduce the use of mercury in commerce. In so doing, the Agency will conduct timely evaluation and refinement of these reporting requirements so that they are efficient and non-duplicative for reporters.

    (b) This part applies to the activities associated with the periodic publication of information on mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States. Except as described at § 713.7, the reporting requirements for mercury supply, use, and trade apply to the following activities:

    (1) Activities undertaken with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage:

    (i) Import of mercury;

    (ii) Manufacture (other than import) of mercury;

    (iii) Import of a mercury-added product;

    (iv) Manufacture (other than import) of a mercury-added product; and

    (v) Intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process.

    (2) Activities undertaken in relationship to those activities described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section:

    (i) Distribution in commerce, including domestic sale or transfer, of mercury;

    (ii) Distribution in commerce, including domestic sale or transfer, of a mercury-added product;

    (iii) Storage of mercury (including import);

    (iv) Export of a mercury compound (unless specifically prohibited); and

    (v) Export of a mercury-added product.

    (c) Section 15(3) of TSCA makes it unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to submit information required under this part. In addition, TSCA section 15(3) makes it unlawful for any person to fail to: Establish or maintain records, or permit access to records required by this part. Section 16 of TSCA provides that any person who violates a provision of TSCA section 15 is liable to the United States for a civil penalty and may be criminally prosecuted. Pursuant to TSCA section 17, the Federal Government may seek judicial relief to compel submission of TSCA section 8 information and to otherwise restrain any violation of TSCA section 15.

    (d) Each person who reports under this part must certify the accuracy and maintain records of the information reported under this part and, in accordance with TSCA, permit access to, and the copying of, such records by EPA officials.

    § 713.5 Mercury for which information must be reported.

    (a) Elemental mercury (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number 7439-97-6); or

    (b) A mercury compound, including but not limited to the mercury compounds listed in Table 1 of this part by Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number:

    Table 1—Mercury Compounds Chemical Abstracts
  • Service Registry No.
  • Mercury compound
    10045-94-0 Nitric acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 100-57-2 Mercury, hydroxyphenyl-. 10112-91-1 Mercury chloride (Hg2Cl2). 10124-48-8 Mercury amide chloride (Hg(NH2)Cl). 103-27-5 Mercury, phenyl(propanoato-.kappa.O)-. 10415-75-5 Nitric acid, mercury(1+) salt (1:1). 104-60-9 Mercury, (9-octadecenoato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 1191-80-6 9-Octadecenoic acid (9Z)-, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 12068-90-5 Mercury telluride (HgTe). 13170-76-8 Hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 13302-00-6 Mercury, (2-ethylhexanoato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 1335-31-5 Mercury cyanide oxide (Hg2(CN)2O). 1344-48-5 Mercury sulfide (HgS). 1345-09-1 Cadmium mercury sulfide. 13876-85-2 Mercurate(2-), tetraiodo-, copper(1+) (1:2), (T-4)-. 138-85-2 Mercurate(1-), (4-carboxylatophenyl)hydroxy-, sodium (1:1). 141-51-5 Mercury, iodo(iodomethyl)-. 14783-59-6 Mercury, bis[(2-phenyldiazenecarbothioic acid-.kappa.S) 2-phenylhydrazidato-.kappa.N2]-, (T-4)-. 15385-58-7 Mercury, dibromodi-, (Hg-Hg). 15785-93-0 Mercury, chloro[4-[(2,4-dinitrophenyl)amino]phenyl]-. 15829-53-5 Mercury oxide (Hg2O). 1600-27-7 Acetic acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 1785-43-9 Mercury, chloro(ethanethiolato)-. 19447-62-2 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)[4-[2-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]diazenyl]phenyl]-. 20582-71-2 Mercurate(2-), tetrachloro-, potassium (1:2), (T-4)-. 20601-83-6 Mercury selenide (HgSe). 21908-53-2 Mercury oxide (HgO). 22450-90-4 Mercury(1+), amminephenyl-, acetate (1:1). 24579-90-6 Mercury, chloro(2-hydroxy-5-nitrophenyl)-. 24806-32-4 Mercury, [.mu.-[2-dodecylbutanedioato(2-).kappa.O1:.kappa.O4]]diphenyldi-. 26545-49-3 Mercury, (neodecanoato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 27685-51-4 Cobaltate(2-), tetrakis(thiocyanato-.kappa.N)-, mercury(2+) (1:1), (T-4)-. 29870-72-2 Cadmium mercury telluride ((Cd,Hg)Te). 3294-57-3 Mercury, phenyl(trichloromethyl)-. 33770-60-4 Mercury, [3,6-dichloro-4,5-di(hydroxy-.kappa.O)-3,5cyclohexadiene-1,2-dionato(2-)]-. 3570-80-7 Mercury, bis(acetato-.kappa.O)[.mu.-(3',6'-dihydroxy-3oxospiro[isobenzofuran-1(3H),9'-[9H]xanthene]-2',7'diyl)]di-. 537-64-4 Mercury, bis(4-methylphenyl)-. 539-43-5 Mercury, chloro(4-methylphenyl)-. 54-64-8 Mercurate(1-), ethyl[2-(mercapto-.kappa.S)benzoato(2-).kappa.O]-, sodium (1:1). 55-68-5 Mercury, (nitrato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 56724-82-4 Mercury, phenyl[(2-phenyldiazenecarbothioic acid.kappa.S) 2-phenylhydrazidato-.kappa.N2]-. 587-85-9 Mercury, diphenyl-. 592-04-1 Mercury cyanide (Hg(CN)2). 592-85-8 Thiocyanic acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 593-74-8 Mercury, dimethyl-. 59-85-8 Mercurate(1-), (4-carboxylatophenyl)chloro-, hydrogen. 623-07-4 Mercury, chloro(4-hydroxyphenyl)-. 62-38-4 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)phenyl-. 62638-02-2 Cyclohexanebutanoic acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 627-44-1 Mercury, diethyl-. 6283-24-5 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)(4-aminophenyl)-. 628-86-4 Mercury, bis(fulminato-.kappa.C)-. 629-35-6 Mercury, dibutyl-. 63325-16-6 Mercurate(2-), tetraiodo-, (T-4)-, hydrogen, compd. with 5-iodo-2-pyridinamine (1:2:2). 63468-53-1 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)(2-hydroxy-5-nitrophenyl)-. 63549-47-3 Mercury, bis(acetato-.kappa.O)(benzenamine)-. 68201-97-8 Mercury, (acetato-.kappa.O)diamminephenyl-, (T-4)-. 72379-35-2 Mercurate(1-), triiodo-, hydrogen, compd. with 3-methyl2(3H)-benzothiazolimine (1:1:1). 7439-97-6 Mercury. 7487-94-7 Mercury chloride (HgCl2). 7546-30-7 Mercury chloride (HgCl). 7616-83-3 Perchloric acid, mercury(2+) salt (2:1). 7774-29-0 Mercury iodide (HgI2). 7783-33-7 Mercurate(2-), tetraiodo-, potassium (1:2), (T-4)-. 7783-35-9 Sulfuric acid, mercury(2+) salt (1:1). 7783-39-3 Mercury fluoride (HgF2). 7789-47-1 Mercury bromide (HgBr2). 90-03-9 Mercury, chloro(2-hydroxyphenyl)-. 94070-93-6 Mercury, [.mu.-[(oxydi-2,1-ethanediyl 1,2benzenedicarboxylato-.kappa.O2)(2-)]]diphenyldi-.
    § 713.7 Persons who must report.

    (a) Any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury, except:

    (1) A person who does not manufacture (including import) mercury with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage;

    (2) A person who manufactures (including imports) mercury only as an impurity; or

    (3) A person engaged only in the generation, handling, or management of mercury-containing waste, including recovered mercury that is discarded or elemental mercury that is managed for long-term storage and management under section 6939f(g)(2) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act;

    (b) Any person who manufactures (including imports) a mercury-added product, except:

    (1) A person who does not manufacture (including import) a mercury-added product with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage;

    (2) A person engaged only in the import of a product that contains a component that is a mercury-added product; or

    (3) A person engaged only in the manufacture (other than import) of a product that contains a component that is a mercury-added product who did not first manufacture (including import) the component that is a mercury-added product; and

    (c) Any person who otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process, except a person who does not intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage.

    § 713.9 General requirements for which information must be reported.

    Except as described at § 713.7:

    (a) Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury in amounts greater than or equal to 2,500 pounds (lbs.) for elemental mercury or greater than or equal to 25,000 lbs. for mercury compounds for a specific reporting year must report, as applicable:

    (1) Amount of mercury stored (lbs.); and

    (2) Amount of mercury distributed in commerce (lbs.).

    (b) All other persons who manufacture (including import) mercury must report, as applicable:

    (1) Amount of mercury manufactured (other than imported) (lbs.);

    (2) Amount of mercury imported (lbs.);

    (3) Amount of mercury exported (lbs.), except mercury prohibited from export at 15 U.S.C. 2611(c)(1) and (7);

    (4) Amount of mercury stored (lbs.); and

    (5) Amount of mercury distributed in commerce (lbs.).

    (c) Persons who report sales of mercury-added products to the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) must report, as applicable:

    (1) Amount of mercury in manufactured (other than imported) products (lbs.);

    (2) Amount of mercury in imported products (lbs.); and

    (3) Amount of mercury in exported products (lbs.).

    (d) All other persons who manufacture (including import) mercury-added products must report, as applicable:

    (1) Amount of mercury in manufactured (other than imported) products (lbs.);

    (2) Amount of mercury in imported products (lbs.);

    (3) Amount of mercury in exported products (lbs.); and

    (4) Amount of mercury in products distributed in commerce (lbs.).

    (e) Persons who otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process must report, as applicable:

    (1) Amount of mercury otherwise intentionally used (lbs.) in a manufacturing process; and

    (2) Amount of mercury stored (lbs.).

    § 713.11 Specific requirements for which information must be reported.

    Except as described at § 713.7:

    (a) Any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury must specify, as applicable, the specific mercury compound(s) from a pre-selected list (as listed in Table 1 of this part).

    (b) Any person who manufactures (including imports) a mercury-added product must specify as applicable, the specific category(ies) and subcategory(ies) from a pre-selected list, as listed in Table 2 of this part:

    Table 2—Categories and Subcategories of Mercury-Added Products Category Subcategory Batteries —Button cell, silver.
  • —Button cell, zinc-air.
  • —Button cell, alkaline.
  • —Stacked button cell batteries.
  • —Manganese oxide.
  • —Silver oxide.
  • —Mercuric oxide, non-button cell.
  • —Button cell, mercuric oxide.
  • —Button cell, zinc carbon.
  • —Other (specify).
  • Dental amalgam [No subcategories]. Formulated products (includes uses in cosmetics, pesticides, and laboratory chemicals) —Skin-lightening creams.
  • —Lotions.
  • —Soaps and sanitizers.
  • —Bath oils and salts.
  • —Topical antiseptics.
  • —Preservatives (e.g., for use in vaccines and eye-area cosmetics when no preservative alternatives are available).
  • —Pharmaceuticals (including prescription and over-the-counter drug products).
  • —Cleaning products (not registered as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act).
  • —Pesticides.
  • —Paints.
  • —Dyes.
  • —Reagents (e.g., catalysts, buffers, fixatives).
  • —Other (specify).
  • Lighting, lamps, bulbs —Linear fluorescent.
  • —Compact fluorescent.
  • —U-tube and circular fluorescent.
  • —Cold cathode fluorescent.
  • —External electrode fluorescent.
  • —Mercury vapor.
  • —Metal halide.
  • —High pressure sodium.
  • —Mercury short arc.
  • —Neon.
  • —Other (specify).
  • Measuring instruments —Barometer.
  • —Fever thermometer.
  • —Flow meter.
  • —Hydrometer.
  • —Hygrometer/psychrometer.
  • —Manometer.
  • —Non-fever thermometer.
  • —Pyrometer.
  • —Sphygmomanometer.
  • —Other (specify).
  • Pump seals [No subcategories]. Switches, relays, sensors, valves —Tilt switch.
  • —Vibration switch.
  • —Float switch.
  • —Pressure switch.
  • —Temperature switch.
  • —Displacement relay.
  • —Wetted reed relay.
  • —Contact relay.
  • —Flame sensor.
  • —Thermostat.
  • —Other (specify).
  • Miscellaneous/novelty mercury-added products —Wheel weights.
  • —Wheel rotation balancers/stabilizers.
  • —Firearm recoil suppressors.
  • —Carburetor synchronizers.
  • —Joint support/shock absorption bands.
  • —Other (specify).
  • (c) Any person who otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process, other than the manufacture of a mercury compound or a mercury-added product, must identify, as applicable:

    (1) The specific manufacturing process for which mercury is otherwise intentionally used from a pre-selected list, as listed in Table 3 of this part:

    Table 3—Manufacturing Process for Which Mercury Is Otherwise Intentionally Used Chlorine production (e.g., mercury-cell chlor-alkali process). Acetaldehyde production. Sodium/potassium methylate/ethylate production. Polyurethane/plastic production. Other (specify).

    (2) The specific use of mercury in a manufacturing process from a pre-selected list, as listed in Table 4 of this part:

    Table 4—Specific Use of Mercury in a Manufacturing Process Catalyst. Cathode. Reactant. Reagent. Other (specify).
    § 713.13 Contextual requirements for which information must be reported.

    Except as described at § 713.7:

    (a) Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury in amounts greater than or equal to 2,500 lbs. for elemental mercury or greater than or equal to 25,000 lbs. for mercury compounds for a specific reporting year must report, as applicable:

    (1) Country(ies) of origin for imported mercury;

    (2) Country(ies) of destination for exported mercury; and

    (3) NAICS code(s) for mercury distributed in commerce.

    (b) All other persons who manufacture (including import) mercury must report, as applicable:

    (1) Country(ies) of origin for imported mercury;

    (2) Country(ies) of destination for exported mercury; and

    (3) NAICS code(s) for mercury distributed in commerce.

    (c) Persons who report sales of mercury-added products to IMERC must report, as applicable:

    (1) Country(ies) of origin for imported products;

    (2) Country(ies) of destination for exported products; and

    (3) NAICS code(s) for products distributed in commerce.

    (d) All other persons who manufacture (including import) mercury-added products must report, as applicable:

    (1) Country(ies) of origin for imported products;

    (2) Country(ies) of destination for exported products; and

    (3) NAICS code(s) for products distributed in commerce.

    (e) Persons who otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process, other than the manufacture of a mercury compound or a mercury-added product, must report, as applicable:

    (1) Country(ies) of destination for exported final product(s); and

    (2) NAICS code(s) for mercury in final product(s) distributed in commerce.

    § 713.15 Reporting information to EPA.

    Any person who must report under this part must report for the submission period described at § 713.17:

    (a) Quantities of mercury in pounds per applicable activity listed under the general requirements for which information must be reported described at § 713.9;

    (b) Specific requirements for which information must be reported described at § 713.11;

    (c) Contextual requirements for which information must be reported described at § 713.13; and

    (d) According to the procedures described at § 713.21.

    § 713.17 When to report.

    (a) Any person who must report under this part must report for the reporting year described as follows. A reporting year is the year during which mercury activity, required to be reported by this rule, has occurred. The 2018 reporting year is from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Subsequent reporting years are from January 1 to December 31 at 3-year intervals, beginning in 2021.

    (b) All information reported for an applicable reporting year must be submitted on or before the first day of July following the reporting year. The submission deadline for the 2018 reporting year is July 1, 2019. Subsequent submission deadlines are on or before the first day of July following the reporting year, in 3-year intervals, beginning in 2022.

    (c) The data from the 2018 reporting year will be used for the 2020 mercury inventory, the data from the 2021 reporting year will be used for the 2023 mercury inventory, and so forth at three-year intervals.

    § 713.19 Recordkeeping requirements.

    Each person who is subject to the reporting requirements of this part must retain records that document any information reported to EPA. Records relevant to a reporting year must be retained for a period of 3 years beginning on the last day of the reporting year. Submitters are encouraged to retain their records longer than 3 years to ensure that past records are available as a reference when new submissions are being generated.

    § 713.21 Electronic filing.

    (a) You must use the Mercury Electronic Reporting (MER) application to complete and submit required information as set forth in § 713.17. Submissions may only be made as set forth in this section.

    (b) Submissions must be sent electronically to EPA via CDX.

    (c) Access MER and instructions, as follows:

    (1) By website. Access MER via the CDX homepage at https://cdx.epa.gov/ and follow the appropriate links.

    (2) By phone or email. Contact the EPA TSCA Hotline at (202) 554-1404 or [email protected]

    [FR Doc. 2018-13834 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 41 CFR Parts 300-3 and 301-11, Appendices B and D to Chapter 301, and Parts 302-9 and 302-11 [FTR Amendment 2018-01; FTR Case 2018-301; Docket No. 2018-0007, Sequence 1] RIN 3090-AJ99 Federal Travel Regulation (FTR); Removal of the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) Deduction Table, Allocation of M&IE Rates To Be Used in Making Deductions From the M&IE Allowance, and the Glossary of Acronyms AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    GSA is amending the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), to remove the meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) deduction table, Allocation of M&IE Rates To Be Used in Making Deductions From the M&IE Allowance, and the Glossary of Acronyms.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective August 13, 2018 without further action, unless adverse comments are received by July 27, 2018. GSA will consider whether these comments are significant enough to publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to FTR Case 2018-301 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “FTR Case 2018-301”, under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and select “Search”. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “FTR Case 2018-301” and follow the instructions provided at the “Comment Now” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FTR Case 2018-301” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Lois Mandell, 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FTR Case 2018-301 in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For clarification of content, contact Ms. Jill Denning, Program Analyst, Office of Government-wide Policy, at 202-208-7642 or [email protected]. Contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, 202-501-4755, for information pertaining to status or publication schedules. Please cite FTR case 2018-301.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Public Participation

    GSA is publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule as this is a noncontroversial action, and GSA anticipates no significant adverse comments. A significant adverse comment is defined as one where the comment explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In determining whether a significant adverse comment is sufficient to terminate a direct final rulemaking, GSA will consider whether the comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. GSA notes that comments that are frivolous, insubstantial, or outside the scope of the rule would not be considered adverse under this procedure. A comment recommending a rule change in addition to the rule would not be considered a significant adverse comment, unless the comment states why the rule would be ineffective without the additional change. In addition, if a significant adverse comment applies to part of a rule and that part can be severed from the remainder of the rule (e.g., where a rule deletes several unrelated regulations), GSA may adopt as final those parts of the rule that are not the subject of a significant adverse comment. For further information about commenting on this rule, please see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    B. Background

    As part of a comprehensive review of the FTR, GSA is removing the M&IE deduction table from appendix B to chapter 301, Allocation of M&IE Rates To Be Used in Making Deductions From the M&IE Allowance; and all of appendix D to chapter 301, Glossary of Acronyms. The table in appendix B is publicly available on the internet at https://www.gsa.gov/mie thus its publication in the FTR is no longer necessary. In addition, GSA will amend FTR § 301-11.18 to remove reference to the table in appendix B to chapter 301.

    With the exception of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Free on Board (FOB), the acronyms in appendix D to chapter 301 are either defined in the Glossary of Terms section at FTR § 300-3.1, spelled out within the text of the regulations themselves, or are commonly known acronyms that can be found in sources outside the FTR, making appendix D duplicative. In accordance with this amendment the acronyms for FEMA, FHA and FOB are now spelled out within the text of the FTR where they appear. In addition, a website link has been updated in the section accompanying the FEMA acronym.

    C. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 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). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule is not a significant regulatory action, and therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993.

    D. Executive Order 13771

    This final rule is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

    E. Executive Order 13777

    This final rule was identified by GSA's Regulatory Reform Task Force as a rule that improves efficiency by reducing costs—in this case, printing fewer hardcopy pages of the FTR, but maintaining the same information online.

    F. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This direct final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. This direct final rule is also exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act per 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), because it applies to agency management or personnel.

    G. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to the FTR do not impose recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, contractors, or members of the public that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

    H. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This direct final rule is also exempt from Congressional review prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency management and personnel.

    List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 300-3 and 301-11, Appendices B and D to Chapter 301, and Parts 302-9 and 302-11

    Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.

    Dated: June 20, 2018. Emily W. Murphy, Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, GSA amends 41 CFR parts 300-3 and 301-11, appendices B and D to chapter 301, and parts 302-9 and 302-11 as follows:

    PART 300-3—GLOSSARY OF TERMS 1. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 300-3 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 49 U.S.C. 40118; 5 U.S.C. 5738; 5 U.S.C. 5741-5742; 20 U.S.C. 905(a); 31 U.S.C. 1353; E.O. 11609, as amended, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 586, Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-126, Revised May 22, 1992.

    2. Amend § 300-3.1 by revising the definition of “Approved accommodation” to read as follows:
    § 300-3.1 What do the following terms mean?

    Approved accommodation—Any place of public lodging that is listed on the national master list of approved accommodations. The national master list of all approved accommodations is compiled, periodically updated, and published in the Federal Register by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Additionally, the approved accommodation list is available on the U.S. Fire Administration's internet site at https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/hotel/.

    PART 301-11—PER DIEM EXPENSES 3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 5707.

    4. Amend § 301-11.18 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows.
    § 301-11.18 What M&IE rate will I receive if a meal(s) is furnished by the Government or is included in the registration fee?

    (a) Except as provided in § 301-11.17 or in paragraph (b) of this section, your M&IE allowance must be adjusted for meals furnished to you by the Government (including meals furnished under the authority of chapter 304 of this title) by deducting the appropriate amount shown at www.gsa.gov/mie. * * *

    5. Revise appendix B to chapter 301 to read as follows: Appendix B to Chapter 301—Allocation of M&IE Rates To Be Used in Making Deductions From the M&IE Allowance

    For the meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) deduction amounts for localities in CONUS, non-foreign areas, and foreign areas, visit http://www.gsa.gov/mie. Any updates to the amounts will be noted in FTR Per Diem Bulletins, issued periodically and available on the internet.

    Appendix D to Chapter 301 [Removed and Reserved] 6. Remove and reserve appendix D to chapter 301. PART 302-9—ALLOWANCES FOR TRANSPORTATION AND EMERGENCY OR TEMPORARY STORAGE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE 7. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 302-9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 5737a; 5 U.S.C. 5738; 20 U.S.C. 905(a); E.O. 11609, as amended, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 586.

    8. Amend § 302-9.143 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 302-9.143 When I am authorized to transport a POV, may I have the manufacturer or the manufacturer's agent transport a new POV from the factory or other shipping point directly to my post of duty?

    (b) The POV is transported Free on Board (FOB)—shipping point, consigned to you and/or a member of your immediate family, or your agent; and

    PART 302-11—ALLOWANCES FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS 9. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 302-11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 5738 and 20 U.S.C. 905(c).

    10. Amend § 302-11.200 by revising paragraph (f)(1) to read as follows:
    § 302-11.200 What residence transaction expenses will my agency pay?

    (f) * * *

    (1) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or VA fees for the loan application;

    [FR Doc. 2018-13866 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 5a RIN 0906-AB17 Removing Outmoded Regulations Regarding the Rural Physician Training Grant Program, Definition of “Underserved Rural Community” AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action removes the outmoded regulations for the Rural Physician Training Grant Program, Definition of “Underserved Rural Community.” Funding was authorized at section 749B(i) Public Health Service Act for fiscal years 2010-2013, but never appropriated for the Rural Physician Training Grant Program, and the program was not implemented. Therefore, this regulation is no longer relevant, and HRSA suggested the regulations defining underserved rural communities for the Rural Physician Training Grant Program be removed.

    DATES:

    This action is effective July 27, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sweta Maheshwari J.D., Legislative Analyst, Division of Policy and Shortage Designation, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11W21A, Rockville, MD 20857, by phone at (301) 945-3527, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In response to Executive Order 13563, Section 6(a), which urges agencies to repeal existing regulations that are outmoded from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), HHS is removing 42 CFR part 5a. HHS believes that there is good cause to bypass notice and comment and proceed to a final rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The action is non-controversial, as it merely removes an obsolete provision from the CFR. This rule poses no new substantive requirements on the public. Thus, we view notice and comment as unnecessary.

    Background

    The Rural Physician Training Grant Program (Program), Definition of “Underserved Rural Community” regulation was issued via an interim final rule with request for comment on May 26, 2010 pursuant to Section 749B(f) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 293m(f)). The regulation has not been updated since it was issued.

    Funding was authorized at section 749B(i) (42 U.S.C. 293m(i)) for fiscal years 2010-2013, but was never appropriated for the Program; therefore, it was not implemented. This rule defines “underserved rural communities,” including census track information, Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSAs), and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) for Program purposes. If the Program were to be funded, HRSA would be able to define underserved rural communities for the purpose of the program through policy documents.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and 13777

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 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 13771 directs agencies to categorize all impacts which generate or alleviate costs associated with regulatory burden and to determine the actions net incremental effect.

    Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action that is likely to result in a rule: (1) Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any 1 year, or adversely and materially affecting a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or Tribal governments or communities (also referred to as “economically significant”); (2) creating a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfering with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially altering the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raising novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

    A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). HHS submits that this final rule is not “economically significant” as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. This rule has not been designated as a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Executive Order 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” was issued on January 30, 2017. HHS identifies this final rule as a deregulatory action (removing an obsolete rule from the Code of Federal Regulations). For the purposes of Executive Order 13771, this final rule is not a substantive rule; rather it is administrative in nature and provides no cost savings.

    Executive Order 13777, titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” was issued on February 24, 2017. As required by Section 3 of this Executive Order, HHS established a Regulatory Reform Task Force (HHS Task Force). Pursuant to Section 3(d)(ii), the HHS Task Force evaluated this rulemaking and determined that these regulations are “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.” Following this finding, the HHS Task Force advised the HRSA Administrator to initiate this rulemaking to remove the obsolete regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the regulatory flexibility analysis provided for under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not affect any information collections.

    Dated: June 4, 2018. George Sigounas, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration. Approved: June 21, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 5a

    Health care, Health care professionals, Public health, Rural health.

    PART 5a—[REMOVED] For reasons set out in the preamble, and under the authority at 5 U.S.C. 301, HHS amends 42 CFR chapter I by removing part 5a.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13835 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 23 RIN 0906-AB15 Removing Outmoded Regulations Regarding the National Health Service Corps Program AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action removes outmoded regulations for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Program. The regulations were promulgated to implement Section 338G of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, relating to private practice loans. The regulations have not been updated since they were issued in 1986. The regulations are no longer relevant or needed as the NHSC has not made private practice loan opportunities available since the 1980s, and does not plan to do so in the foreseeable future. The removal of these regulations will not create any challenges for other programs, as the law and regulations apply solely to NHSC clinicians.

    DATES:

    This action is effective July 27, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sweta Maheshwari J.D., Legislative Analyst, Division of Policy and Shortage Designation, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11W21A, Rockville, MD 20857, by phone at (301) 945-3527, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In response to Executive Order 13777 and Executive Order 13563, Sec. 6(a), which direct agencies to repeal existing regulations that are “outmoded” from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), HHS is removing 42 CFR part 23, subpart B (§§ 23.21 through 23.35) and subpart C (§ 23.41). Furthermore, HHS has determined that there is good cause to bypass notice and comment and proceed to a final rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The action is non-controversial, as it merely removes certain provisions from the CFR that are obsolete. Given the length of time (approximately 30 years) since the private practice loan provision has been utilized, it is HHS's assessment that the agency is unlikely to receive any comments opposing the repeal of these regulations. Thus, a comment period prior to finalization of this rule is unnecessary. This rule poses no new substantive requirements or burdens on the public.

    Background

    In 1986, HHS issued implementing regulations, as directed in Section 338G of the PHS Act, specifying the interest rate and loan repayment terms for private practice special loans to former Corps members and interest rate and loan repayment terms for private practice start-up loans to NHSC scholarship recipients.

    The provision for Special Loans for Former Corps Members to Enter Private Practice authorized the Secretary to make a one-time loan up to $25,000 to a Corps member. In exchange, the Corps member reciprocated by committing to serve as a full-time private practice provider in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for a minimum of two years. The intent of these regulations was to retain Corps members in HPSAs after the completion of their service obligation. The regulation is no longer relevant as the NHSC has not made such loan opportunities available since the 1980s and, therefore, no longer needs to set repayment terms for private practice start-up loans. HRSA does not intend to restart this loan program, as the NHSC program currently has a retention rate of 88%, making additional incentives unnecessary.

    Section 338G also authorizes Private Start-Up Loans. At the time the statute was enacted, only the NHSC Scholarship Program existed. Scholars were able to apply for up to $25,000 to purchase or lease the equipment and supplies needed for providing health services in their private practices. The intention of the program was to offer further incentives to recruit health professions students into the program. The regulation is no longer relevant since the NHSC has not made such loan opportunities available since the 1980s and, therefore, no longer has need to set repayment terms for private practice start-up loans. Furthermore, the NHSC Scholarship Program is significantly oversubscribed, and no further incentives are necessary to recruit health professions students.

    Removing these regulations will not have an impact on the NHSC program. There is no specific appropriations authority to support Section 338G of the PHS Act; the authorization of appropriation at 338H supports all the activities under Subpart III (which includes the NHSC Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs). The repeal of these regulations will not create any challenges for other programs, as the law and regulations apply solely to NHSC clinicians.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and 13777

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 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 13771 directs agencies to categorize all impacts which generate or alleviate costs associated with regulatory burden and to determine the actions net incremnatal effect.

    Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action that is likely to result in a rule: (1) Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any 1 year, or adversely and materially affecting a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or Tribal governments or communities (also referred to as “economically significant”); (2) creating a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfering with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially altering the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raising novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

    A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). HHS submits that this final rule is not “economically significant” as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. This rule has not been designated as a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Executive Order 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” was issued on January 30, 2017. HHS identifies this final rule as a deregulatory action (removing an obsolete rule from the Code of Federal Regulations). For the purposes of Executive Order 13771, this final rule is not a substantive rule; rather it is administrative in nature and provides no cost savings.

    Executive Order 13777, titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” was issued on February 24, 2017. As required by Section 3 of this Executive Order, HHS established a Regulatory Reform Task Force (HHS Task Force). Pursuant to Section 3(d)(ii), the HHS Task Force evaluated this rulemaking and determined that these regulations are “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.” Following this finding, the HHS Task Force advised the HRSA Administrator to initiate this rulemaking to remove the obsolete regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the regulatory flexibility analysis provided for under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not affect any information collections.

    Dated: June 4, 2018. George Sigounas, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration. Approved: June 21, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 23

    Health, Health professions.

    For reasons set out in the preamble, and under the authority at 5 U.S.C. 301, HHS amends 42 CFR part 23 as follows:

    PART 23—NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE CORPS 1. The authority citation for part 23 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 333, 338E(c), and 338C(e)(1), Public Health Service Act. 90 Stat. 2272, as amended, 95 Stat. 905, 97 Stat. 1345 (42 U.S.C. 254f et seq.), 95 Stat. 912 (42 U.S.C. 254p(c)), 95 Stat. 910 (42 U.S.C. 254n(e)(1)).

    Subparts B and C [Removed] 2. Remove subpart B, consisting of §§ 23.21 through 23.35, and subpart C, consisting of § 23.41.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13837 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 130 RIN 0906-AB13 Removing Outmoded Regulations Regarding the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Program AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action removes the outmoded regulations for the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Program. The program and its implementing regulation have been rendered obsolete by the statutory language in the authorizing legislation stating that the Fund should terminate on the expiration of the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Act. The statute was enacted on November 12, 1998; thus, the fund expired on November 12, 2003.

    DATES:

    This action is effective July 27, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sweta Maheshwari J.D., Legislative Analyst, Division of Policy and Shortage Designation, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11W21A, Rockville, MD 20857, by phone at (301) 945-3527, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In response to Executive Order 13563, Sec. 6(a), which urges agencies to repeal existing regulations that are outmoded from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), HHS is removing 42 CFR part 130. HHS believes that there is good cause to bypass notice and comment and proceed to a final rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). The action is non-controversial, as it merely removes a provision from the CFR that is obsolete. This rule poses no new substantive requirements on the public.

    Background

    The Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-369) established the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Program designed to provide payments to individuals with blood-clotting disorders, such as hemophilia, who contracted HIV through the use of antihemophilic factor administered between July 1, 1982, and December 31, 1987. The Act also provided for payments to certain persons who contracted HIV from an individual as described above and certain specified survivors.

    HHS promulgated 42 CFR part 130 to establish the proper regulatory framework for program implementation. The regulation can be conceptualized as four parts: The process for payment, the documentation required to prove eligibility, the petition process, and the reconsideration process. The Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund was authorized with a directive to pay $100,000 in compensation to eligible individuals. At that time, however, no funds were appropriated to implement this statute. In FY 2000, Congress appropriated $75 million and, in FY 2001, Congress appropriated $580 million, for a total of $655 million. The appropriated amounts provided sufficient funding to make compassionate payments on all eligible petitions received by the program. The program received over 6,000 petitions resulting in approved payments over $550 million.

    The statutory language in the authorizing legislation stated that the “Fund shall terminate upon the expiration of the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.” The statute was enacted on November 12, 1998; thus, the fund expired on November 12, 2003. The program is no longer in effect or funded. The repeal of this regulation should not create any challenges for other programs, as the regulation was strictly for the implementation of the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund program, which has not been in operation for almost 14 years.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and 13777

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 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 13771 directs agencies to categorize all impacts which generate or alleviate costs associated with regulatory burden and to determine the actions net incremnatal effect.

    Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action that is likely to result in a rule: (1) Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any 1 year, or adversely and materially affecting a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or Tribal governments or communities (also referred to as “economically significant”); (2) creating a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfering with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially altering the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raising novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

    A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). HHS submits that this final rule is not “economically significant” as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. This rule has not been designated as a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Executive Order 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” was issued on January 30, 2017. HHS identifies this final rule as a deregulatory action (removing an obsolete rule from the Code of Federal Regulations). For the purposes of Executive Order 13771, this final rule is not a substantive rule; rather it is administrative in nature and provides no cost savings.

    Executive Order 13777, titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” was issued on February 24, 2017. As required by Section 3 of this Executive Order, HHS established a Regulatory Reform Task Force (HHS Task Force). Pursuant to Section 3(d)(ii), the HHS Task Force evaluated this rulemaking and determined that these regulations are “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.” Following this finding, the HHS Task Force advised the HRSA Administrator to initiate this rulemaking to remove the obsolete regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the regulatory flexibility analysis provided for under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not affect any information collections.

    Dated: June 4, 2018. George Sigounas, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration. Approved: June 21, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 130

    Health care, Hemophilia, HIV/AIDS.

    PART 130—[REMOVED] For reasons set out in the preamble, and under the authority at 5 U.S.C. 301, HHS amends 42 CFR chapter I by removing part 130.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13836 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 64 [CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123; FCC 18-79] IP CTS Modernization and Reform AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule and clarification.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission alters the methodology for setting provider compensation rates for internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) and establishes interim compensation rates for Fund Years 2018-19 and 2019-20. The Commission also adopts rules that address the provision of volume control on IP CTS devices, require the accuracy of IP CTS information disseminated by providers, and prohibit the provision of service to ineligible users. Finally, the Commission declares that speech-to-text automation, without the participation of a communications assistant (CA), may be used to generate IP CTS captions.

    DATES:

    Effective dates: 47 CFR 64.604(c)(10) and (c)(13)(i)-(ii) are effective July 27, 2018. The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of 47 CFR 64.604(c)(11)(v) and the amendments to 47 CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(D)(1), (6), and (c)(13)(iii)-(iv) of the Commission's rules, which contain modified information collection requirements that have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. The IP CTS compensation rate adopted for the 2018-19 Fund Year shall be effective July 1, 2018.

    Applicability date: IP CTS providers must comply with the requirement to ensure that any volume control or other amplification feature can be adjusted separately and independently of the caption feature on or before December 8, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Scott, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC, at (202) 418-1264, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling in CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 13-24; document FCC 18-79, adopted on June 7, 2018 and released on June 8, 2018. Document FCC 18-79 concerns the modernization and reform of the Commission's rules for IP CTS. The Commission previously sought comment on these issues in Misuse of internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Difficulties, published at 78 FR 54201, September 3, 2013 (2013 IP CTS Reform FNPRM). A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Further Notice) and Notice of Inquiry are contained in document FCC 18-79 and address additional issues concerning the funding, administration, and user eligibility for this service, as well as performance goals and metrics to ensure service quality for users. The Further Notice and Notice of Inquiry will be published elsewhere in the Federal Register. The full text of document FCC 18-79 will be available for public inspection and copying via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), and during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected], or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (844) 432-2272 (videophone), or (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Congressional Review Act

    The Commission sent a copy of document FCC 18-79 to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    The Report and Order in document FCC 18-79 contains modified information collection requirements, which are not effective until approval is obtained from OMB. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, will invite the general public to comment on these information collection requirements as required by the PRA. The Commission will publish a separate document in the Federal Register announcing approval of the information collection requirements. Pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission previously sought comment on how the Commission might “further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” 2013 IP CTS Reform FNPRM.

    Synopsis IP CTS Compensation

    1. IP CTS, a form of telecommunications relay services (TRS) supported by the Interstate TRS Fund (TRS Fund), allows individuals with hearing loss to both read captions and use their residual hearing to understand a telephone conversation. IP CTS providers receive compensation from the TRS Fund on a per-minute basis. The compensation rate has been determined using a methodology known as the Multistate Average Rate Structure (MARS) Plan, which calculates the weighted average per-minute compensation paid by state TRS programs to providers of intrastate CTS for the prior calendar year.

    2. The Commission's mandate in determining TRS compensation rates is to ensure that the rates correlate to actual reasonable costs. MARS is no longer an effective methodology to accomplish this. The Commission therefore terminates use of the MARS methodology.

    3. The per-minute costs currently reported by IP CTS providers are not comparable to those for CTS—largely, it appears, because demand for IP CTS now greatly exceeds the demand for CTS. Specifically, from 2011 to 2017, annual CTS minutes declined from approximately 40 million to 19.9 million, while annual IP CTS minutes grew from approximately 29 million to 362 million—an amount that is more than 18 times greater than annual CTS minutes. Average per-minute expenses for IP CTS dropped from $2.0581 in 2011 to $1.2326 in 2017, while the MARS rate increased from $1.7630 to $1.9467 for the same period. The 2017-18 MARS rate exceeds the average 2017 IP CTS expenses by approximately 58 percent. This divergence invalidates the rationale for continuing to use a MARS-based rate to determine IP CTS compensation.

    4. Setting a Rate Closer to Reasonable IP CTS Costs. The Commission finds it important to act without delay to bring provider compensation more in line with reported provider costs. IP CTS minutes have increased dramatically over the last nine years and the contribution base for the TRS Fund has been shrinking, requiring interstate and international telecommunications and VoIP service providers, and their subscribers, to contribute an ever-larger percentage of revenues to support these services. The Commission is also concerned that excessive compensation for IP CTS may increase provider incentives to recruit and register IP CTS users, regardless of their actual need for the service, leading to even greater potential for waste of TRS Fund dollars.

    5. The Commission concludes that the most recently filed cost and demand data are sufficiently reliable to serve as a basis for setting interim IP CTS rates. As with video relay service (VRS) compensation rates, a weighted average of the historical per-minute expenses reported by providers for 2017 and the projected per-minute expenses for 2018, which for IP CTS is approximately $1.28 per minute, provides a reasonable baseline for taking initial steps to move the IP CTS compensation rate toward actual cost. Further, the Commission finds it reasonable to allow an operating margin between 7.6% to 12.35% for IP CTS providers in the same “zone of reasonableness” that applies to VRS providers given the service sector similarities between VRS and IP CTS, and that the bulk of costs for both are attributable to labor rather than capital. Adding an operating margin within that reasonable range to the average IP CTS expenses of $1.28 results in a total average cost between approximately $1.38 and $1.44.

    6. While the Commission's goal is to move the IP CTS rate to a cost-based level, immediately reducing the IP CTS compensation rate to this extent could produce a disruption in the IP CTS market and potentially negative consequences for both providers and consumers. Initial rate reductions of approximately 10 percent per year, over two years, will strike a reasonable balance between the need to bring IP CTS rates in line with costs and reduce the TRS Fund contribution burden, and avoiding rate shock for IP CTS providers and potential disruption of the provision and quality of service for consumers. This approach will allow a reasonable opportunity for higher-cost providers to adjust to average-cost-based compensation by reducing unnecessary expenses—and thereby encourage multiple providers to remain in the IP CTS market. Finally, allowing the compensation rate to stay, for the present, at levels well above average allowable costs allows IP CTS providers to continue participating in research and thus will “not discourage or impair the development of improved technology.” 47 U.S.C. 225(d)(2).

    7. Applying these interim rates for a period of two years will allow the Commission to fully evaluate the appropriateness of some categories of allowable costs for this service, as well as the extent to which compensation for this service should be subject to price-cap-index adjustments. In addition, this period will afford the Commission an opportunity to determine how best a fully automated method of providing IP CTS should be compensated.

    8. The Commission directs that the IP CTS compensation rate be reduced in two steps of approximately 10 percent each: First, a $0.19467 reduction from the $1.9467 per minute rate currently in effect, to a rate of $1.75 per minute for the 2018-19 Fund Year, from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019; and second, a further $0.17 reduction of the compensation rate from $1.75 to $1.58 per minute for the 2019-20 Fund Year, from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. These reductions will save the TRS Fund a minimum of $399 million over two years, as compared to applying the MARS rate. If the Commission finds that actual costs are substantially below the interim rates, the Commission may adjust those rates accordingly.

    9. While the use of provider cost data adds complexity, and may require detailed analysis, it would not be reasonable for the Commission, in order to avoid such complexity, to continue to rely on a proxy that does not bear a reasonable relationship to actual costs. Any burden arising from switching to a more complex rate methodology is outweighed by the benefits of having a more accurate compensation rate, including the benefit of savings to the Fund.

    10. Setting interim rates for two years, rather than a single year, will provide a greater degree of rate certainty for providers and can mitigate the risk of rewarding inefficiency, discouraging innovation, and incentivizing providers to incur unnecessary costs, all potential effects of annual cost-of-service rate setting. A multi-year approach allows individual providers to gain additional profit during each multi-year period from any innovations and efficiency enhancing measures that reduce their per-minute costs during that period.

    11. The TRS Fund administrator's cost calculations used to establish the interim rates are based on the same categories of provider costs that generally have been deemed allowable in calculating rates for other forms of TRS. Provider objections to these categories raise no significant arguments that have not been addressed and previously resolved in the Commission's prior rulings.

    12. Collecting Additional Cost Information for Setting Future IP CTS Rates. The Commission remains concerned that some of the expenses incurred by IP CTS providers have not been reported in sufficient detail to enable the Fund administrator to confirm their allowability and reasonableness. Some IP CTS providers, who contract with other entities for the provision of call centers, CA staffing, and other services, as well as the licensing of intellectual property, report payments to contractors as “subcontractor expenses,” with no breakdown into specific expense reporting categories. Given that the expenses classified in this manner comprise an unusually large portion of total reported IP CTS costs, such reporting obscures the nature of a substantial portion of reported IP CTS costs and hinders review of such costs incurred by such providers to assess their allowability and reasonableness. Accordingly, the Commission directs the TRS Fund administrator to require IP CTS providers that contract for the supply of services used in the provision of TRS to include information about payments under such contracts classified according to the substantive cost categories specified by the administrator, including, e.g., allocation of subcontractor expenses between call center expenses and intellectual property licensing fees, and how the provider determined or calculated the portion of contractual payments attributable to each cost category. All cost reports submitted in the future by IP CTS providers shall provide such a breakdown and explanation. The Commission also directs the Fund administrator, to the extent that the administrator reasonably deems necessary for the purpose of determining the allowability and reasonableness of costs reported to be incurred in the provision of TRS, to require providers to submit additional detail on such contractor expenses, including the submission of complete copies of such contracts and related correspondence or other records and information relevant to determining the nature of the services provided and the allocation of the costs of such services to cost categories. This additional transparency will help the Commission ensure that the costs reported by providers are reasonable.

    13. The Commission believes that its current authority to collect the above information is contained in rules that require TRS providers to provide the TRS Fund administrator “true and adequate data, and other historical, projected and state rate related information reasonably requested to determine the TRS Fund revenue requirements and payments,” and which authorize both the TRS Fund administrator and the Commission “to examine and verify TRS provider data as necessary to assure the accuracy and integrity of TRS Fund payments.” 47 CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(D)(1), (6). To further clarify such authority, however, and to provide for greater consistency in the rules, the Commission amends its rules to explicitly provide for the collection of information laid out in the preceding paragraph. In addition, the Commission further amends its rules to provide that, in the course of an audit or otherwise upon demand, an IP CTS provider must make documentation, including contracts with entities providing services or equipment directly related to the provision of IP CTS, available to the Commission, the TRS Fund administrator, or any person authorized by the Commission or TRS Fund administrator to conduct an audit.

    Measures To Limit Unnecessary IP CTS Use and Waste of the TRS Fund

    14. The dramatic growth in IP CTS call volume appears to result in part from provider practices that promote over-use of IP CTS, including by people with hearing loss who may be able to achieve functionally equivalent telephone service using other forms of off-the-shelf or assistive technologies. The Commission concludes that the following steps are needed to minimize such unnecessary use, and the consequent waste of TRS Fund resources.

    15. Volume Control and Caption Settings. The Commission amends its rules to prohibit IP CTS providers from linking the volume control and captioning functions of an IP CTS device or software application. Allowing users to enable volume control only when captions are turned on promotes waste, in that it forces the costly generation of captions even when the user only requires increased volume to communicate effectively by phone. In addition, decoupling these features will enable consumers who are not registered IP CTS users to access the amplification features of IP CTS devices without the captions. Compliance with a delinking requirement will not impose a substantial cost on IP CTS providers, and any likely cost will be more than offset by the efficiency gain resulting from the reduction in unnecessary captioning services.

    16. The compliance deadline for making this change is December 8, 2018. IP CTS providers must ensure that all IP CTS devices—as well as user software for such devices—that they newly distribute to users after December 8, 2018 are configured to allow volume control to be adjusted independently of the captioning feature. The Commission also requires providers to ensure that all previously distributed devices are delinked by December 8, 2018.

    17. Website, Advertising and Educational Information Notifications. The Commission amends its rules to require IP CTS providers to include both of the following factual notifications in a clear and prominent location on their advertising brochures, websites, user manuals, and other informational materials and websites:

    • IP captioned telephone service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone.

    • There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.

    The first part of the notification is not required from those IP CTS providers who do not use live CAs. In the case of websites, The Commission requires such language to be included on the home page, each page that provides consumer information about IP CTS, and each page that provides information on how to order IP CTS or IP CTS equipment.

    18. Requiring these notifications will enhance the Commission's efforts to prevent casual or inadvertent use of IP CTS and will not impose a significant burden that outweighs their benefits. When captioning devices are turned on by default, it is critical to make potential users aware through “multiple and repeated sources of information” that IP CTS involves significant costs and must not be used by individuals who do not need it. Persons that truly need this free service for functionally equivalent telephone service have every incentive to obtain it. Rather than deter IP CTS use by such individuals, these notices will help to ensure that individuals who might be attracted to it are aware of its functions and financing.

    19. General Prohibition on Providing Service to Users Who Do Not Need It. The Commission modifies the current prohibition on VRS providers engaging in fraudulent, abusive, and wasteful practices by amending it to include IP CTS providers. As amended, the rule prohibits both IP CTS and VRS providers from engaging in practices that the provider knows or has reason to know will cause or encourage (1) the unauthorized use of TRS, (2) false or unverified TRS Fund compensation claims, (3) the making of TRS calls that would not otherwise be made, and (4) the use of TRS by consumers who do not need the service in order to communicate by telephone in a functionally equivalent manner.

    20. The Commission clarifies that “unauthorized use” of IP CTS, under clause (1) above, means use by an individual who is not registered with a provider. Further, a practice is prohibited where it artificially stimulates TRS usage, enables or encourages participation by unauthorized users, or uses financial incentives to attract new TRS users or to increase usage. However, the Commission allows IP CTS providers to be compensated for calls made by unregistered users when such calls are made from temporary, public IP CTS devices set up in emergency shelters. When service for such a device is initiated at the shelter, the IP CTS provider must notify the TRS Fund administrator of the date of such activation and termination.

    21. In addition, an IP CTS provider shall not seek payment from the TRS Fund for any minutes of service that it knows or has reason to know are resulting from such prohibited practices. Any IP CTS provider that becomes aware of such practices being or having been committed by any person shall, as soon as practicable, report such practices to the Commission or the TRS Fund administrator. All monies paid from the TRS Fund to providers who are found by the Commission to be in violation of this new IP CTS rule shall be recoverable by the TRS Fund administrator, and such providers may also be subject to forfeitures and other enforcement actions.

    Declaratory Ruling on Automatic Speech Recognition

    22. In document FCC 18-79, the Commission determines that the provision of CTS and IP CTS using automated speech recognition (ASR) to generate captions without the involvement of a CA is a form of relay service eligible for compensation from the TRS Fund if provided in compliance with applicable TRS mandatory minimum standards. Specifically, the Commission concludes that such services are included within the statutory definition of TRS, as “telephone transmission services that provide the ability” to engage in communication by wire or radio “in a manner that is functionally equivalent” to voice communications service. 47 U.S.C. 225(a)(3).

    Benefits of ASR

    23. The use of ASR to generate captions for CTS and IP CTS has several benefits. First, ASR can better achieve near simultaneous communication than is possible with CA-assisted captions. Second, the substantially lower costs of operation for ASR can allow for the provision of IP CTS with far greater efficiency. Finally, as a fully automated method of generating captions that is not dependent on human intervention, ASR can allow enhanced call privacy and ensure the seamless continuation of communications when exigent circumstances, such as severe weather events, threaten IP CTS call center operations.

    24. Improvements in accuracy, coupled with ASR's advantages in speed and privacy, have made ASR a viable alternative to the use of human relay intermediaries for CTS and IP CTS. IP CTS providers and others have shown heightened interest in utilizing this method for the provision of captions, and the Commission has received two applications for certification to provide IP CTS using ASR. Additionally, ASR-only products are being trialed and adopted internationally as a means of generating captions from speech, for people with hearing and speech disabilities.

    25. The Commission is not mandating ASR as the sole means of offering IP CTS. IP CTS providers will be able to choose among three methods of providing Fund-supported IP CTS: (1) IP CTS using fully automated ASR; (2) IP CTS using CA-assisted ASR; and (3) stenographic-supported IP CTS. Consumers will continue to be able to select an IP CTS provider based on the overall quality of service each provider offers by means of the available methods. As IP CTS providers begin offering fully automated ASR, the Commission will be able to gather data that can inform the Commission's adoption of further measures to improve its utility. Any provider offering ASR must ensure that its service complies with the mandatory minimum standards of § 64.604 of the Commission's rules in order to obtain and retain certification to provide IP CTS.

    Consistency With Commission Precedent

    26. The use of ASR is consistent with the Commission's prior rulings authorizing CTS in both its analog and internet forms. The definition of IP CTS does not specify how captions must be generated, including whether they should be generated through automation or human-assisted methods. In this regard, the Commission already has approved a form of IP CTS that relies on automated speech recognition programs (assisted by CAs) to convert speech to captions during an IP CTS call. The only differences between ASR and CA-assisted ASR is that with CA-assisted ASR, CAs “train” speech recognition programs to understand their voices when they re-voice a caller's speech, and have a limited opportunity to make corrections to the captions that are produced. Advancements in ASR reduce the need for such training and human editing, and use of this technology for IP CTS without CA involvement does not fundamentally change the functional role of the service, which is to produce captions from a user's speech.

    Statutory Authority

    27. Using ASR for the provision of IP CTS is fully consistent with the Commission's statutory authority. The provision of IP CTS utilizing ASR will contribute to functional equivalence by enabling providers to enhance the privacy, ensure seamless communications, and reduce the latency of IP CTS offerings. Section 225 of the Act is neutral as to the technology and method used to achieve functional equivalency and expressly requires the Commission to encourage technological innovation in TRS. Further, offering an ASR option that will largely eliminate personnel costs associated with IP CTS will help fulfill Congress's directive to provide TRS in the most efficient manner.

    Provider Certification and Other Requirements

    28. The Commission authorizes the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) to review and approve applications for certification to provide IP CTS by means of ASR in whole or in part. The Bureau may determine on a case-by-case basis the extent to which an applicant's proposed method of providing ASR will enable it to provide IP CTS in a manner that meets the Commission's minimum TRS standards for functionally equivalent service. To assist the Bureau in making this assessment, where use of ASR in conjunction with CA-assisted caption generation is proposed, applicants should include in their certification applications a detailed description of the criteria that will be used to determine when to use and transfer between each of these methods. Applicants should support all claims regarding their use of ASR and its efficacy through documentary and other evidence and should provide information about measures they will take to ensure the confidentiality of call content. The Bureau will not approve any application to provide IP CTS using ASR that does not demonstrate that the applicant will meet the Commission's mandatory minimum standards for functional equivalency.

    29. Certifications for the provision of IP CTS using ASR may be granted on a conditional basis, to enable the Commission's assessment of an applicant's actual performance in meeting or exceeding the mandatory minimum standards. In addition, to the extent deemed necessary, certification of a provider may be conditioned on the submission of periodic data to help confirm whether ASR-driven IP CTS is providing functionally equivalent service.

    30. If a currently operating IP CTS provider wishes to incorporate ASR in its offerings, it must first receive approval from the Bureau to provide IP CTS in this manner. In order to obtain approval, any provider operating under conditional certification or interim eligibility must update its application for permanent certification to describe the change, and may be asked to provide additional data—beyond what was submitted in its initial application for certification—to demonstrate how modifications to its service will ensure the provision of a relay service that is functionally equivalent to voice telephone service through compliance with the Commission's mandatory minimum standards.

    Compensation

    31. The Commission reminds all providers that its rules require TRS providers seeking compensation from the TRS Fund to “provide the administrator with true and adequate data, and . . . information reasonably requested to determine the TRS Fund revenue requirements and payments.” 47 CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(D)(1). Requests from the TRS Fund administrator for information that would help establish whether payments are justified and help determine the costs for ASR IP CTS could reasonably include:

    • A breakdown, in the provider's monthly call detail report, indicating minutes for which ASR is substituted for CA-assisted IP CTS;

    • Estimates of the difference in the costs incurred to handle ASR and CA-assisted calls, with a detailed breakdown of the specific variable costs incurred for each type of call, as well as underlying assumptions and calculations; and

    • Documentation of incremental costs incurred in providing ASR, including any incremental costs associated with engineering and technical implementation, marketing, administrative and management support (including oversight, evaluation, and recordkeeping) and, for hybrid forms of IP CTS, any costs associated with enabling transfers back and forth between ASR and CA-assisted IP CTS.

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    32. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended, the Commission incorporated an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) into the 2013 IP CTS Reform FNPRM. The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the 2013 IP CTS Reform FNPRM, including comment on the IRFA. No comments were received in response to the IRFA.

    Need For, and Objectives of, the Rules

    33. Document FCC 18-79 adopts an interim rate for IP CTS reflecting a weighted, cost-of-service methodology based on an analysis of providers' actual and projected costs.

    34. In addition, the Commission directs the TRS Fund administrator to require IP CTS providers that contract for the supply of services used in the provision of TRS to include information about payments under such contracts classified according to the substantive cost categories specified by the administrator.

    35. Document FCC 18-79 also adopts three rule changes to facilitate the Commission's efforts to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse and improve its ability to efficiently manage the IP CTS program. First, the Commission prohibits linking volume control and captioning use on IP CTS devices. Second, the Commission requires IP CTS providers to include the following notifications in a clear and prominent location on their advertising brochures, websites, user manuals, and other informational materials and websites:

    • IP captioned telephone service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone.

    • There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.

    The first part of the notification is not required from those IP CTS providers who do not use live CAs. Third, the Commission adopts a general prohibition against providing IP CTS to consumers who do not genuinely need the service. Providers that become aware of prohibited practices must report them to the Commission or the TRS Fund administrator.

    Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    36. No comments were filed in response to the IRFA.

    Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

    37. The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    Small Entities Impacted

    38. The rules adopted in document FCC 18-79 will affect obligations of IP CTS providers. These services can be included within the broad economic category of All Other Telecommunications.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    39. The rule implementing a general prohibition against providing IP CTS to consumers who do not genuinely need the service and the requirement to separate volume control and captioning functions on IP CTS devices do not create direct reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements on IP CTS providers.

    40. In transitioning away from the MARS methodology for IP CTS, the Commission will require IP CTS providers to file annual cost and demand data reports with the TRS Fund administrator. There is no additional burden on IP CTS providers to file these reports, as IP CTS providers have been voluntarily submitting such reports to the TRS Fund administer since 2011. The Commission has received approval to require the collection of such information pursuant to the PRA, and the Commission is requiring the IP CTS providers to submit their cost and demand data for 2017. In addition, the Commission is requiring providers to supplement their cost data filings with information about payments made by providers to subcontractors for the provision of call centers, CA staffing, and other services by classifying such payments according to the substantive cost categories specified by the administrator. These requirements, which place minimal additional filing burdens on IP CTS providers, will be offset by the benefit to the TRS Fund and its contributors by the increased precision of calculating cost-based rates resulting from increased accuracy of TRS cost data submitted to the TRS Fund administrator.

    41. The adoption of a requirement for IP CTS providers to include a notice on IP CTS websites and informational materials to inform consumers about the process, cost, and source of funding will place only a minimal burden on IP CTS providers. It will be offset by the benefit to the TRS Fund and contributors to the Fund resulting from the reduction of casual or inadvertent use of IP CTS that such notice may provide by educating consumers via multiple sources of information.

    42. The requirement for providers that become aware of prohibited practices to report them to the Commission or the TRS Fund administrator should not be burdensome and is needed to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of the TRS Fund.

    Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    43. The interim rates for IP CTS will apply only to providers who are or may become certified by the Commission to offer IP CTS in accordance with its rules. The Commission adopts these interim rates to: (1) Ensure that rates compensate providers for their reasonable cost; (2) reduce waste of TRS Fund resources and the amounts that TRS Fund contributors pay to the fund; and (3) ensure that TRS is made available to the extent possible and in the most efficient manner. The requirement to file cost and demand data annually will not increase the burden on IP CTS providers because they have been submitting such data to the TRS Fund administrator since 2011. The Commission is requiring providers to supplement their cost data filings with information about payments made by providers to subcontractors for the provision of call centers, CA staffing, and other services by classifying such payments according to the substantive cost categories specified by the administrator. This requirement, which places minimal additional filing burdens on IP CTS providers, will be offset by the benefit to the TRS Fund and its contributors by the increased precision of calculating cost-based rates resulting from increased accuracy of TRS cost data submitted to the TRS Fund administrator.

    44. Separating the volume control and captioning functions on IP CTS devices will place a minor burden on IP CTS providers and device manufacturers to reconfigure the functionality. Such costs will be offset from the likely decrease in waste and misuse of IP CTS, as individuals will be able to use a device's amplification features without also being required to use the device's captioning features. Providers have until December 8, 2018, to ensure that new and previously distributed devices are in compliance.

    45. The general prohibition on practices resulting in IP CTS use by ineligible individuals, the requirement for providers that become aware of prohibited practices to report them to the Commission or the TRS Fund administrator, and the requirement for IP CTS providers to include notices on their informational materials and websites should not be burdensome and are necessary to combat waste, fraud, and abuse. These requirements will help ensure the efficiency of the TRS program, control the expenditure of public funds, reduce the amounts paid by contributors to the TRS Fund, and ensure the future viability of the TRS Fund and the provision of IP CTS.

    Federal Rules Which Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With, the Commission's Proposals

    46. None.

    Ordering Clauses

    Pursuant to sections 1, 2, 201(b), and 225 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 201(b), 225, document FCC 18-79 is adopted, and part 64 of Title 47 is amended.

    The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of document FCC 18-79, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64

    Individuals with disabilities, Telecommunications.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 64 as follows:

    PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS 1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 202, 225, 251(e), 254(k), 403(b)(2)(B), (c), 616, 620, Pub. L. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 202, 218, 222, 225, 226, 227, 228, 251(e), 254(k), 616, 620, and the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 64.604 by revising paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(D)(1) and (6), (c)(10), adding paragraph (c)(11)(v), and revising paragraph (c)(13) to read as follows:
    § 64.604 Mandatory minimum standards.

    (c) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (D) Data collection and audits. (1) TRS providers seeking compensation from the TRS Fund shall provide the administrator with true and adequate data, and other historical, projected and state rate related information reasonably requested to determine the TRS Fund revenue requirements and payments. TRS providers shall provide the administrator with the following: total TRS minutes of use, total interstate TRS minutes of use, total TRS investment in general in accordance with part 32 of this chapter, and other historical or projected information reasonably requested by the administrator for purposes of computing payments and revenue requirements. In annual cost data filings and supplementary information provided to the administrator regarding such cost data, IP CTS providers that contract for the supply of services used in the provision of TRS shall include information about payments under such contracts, classified according to the substantive cost categories specified by the administrator. To the extent that a third party's provision of services covers more than one cost category, the resubmitted cost reports must provide an explanation of how the provider determined or calculated the portion of contractual payments attributable to each cost category. To the extent that the administrator reasonably deems necessary, providers shall submit additional detail on such contractor expenses, including but not limited to complete copies of such contracts and related correspondence or other records and information relevant to determining the nature of the services provided and the allocation of the costs of such services to cost categories.

    (6) Audits. The Fund administrator and the Commission, including the Office of Inspector General, shall have the authority to examine and verify TRS provider data as necessary to assure the accuracy and integrity of TRS Fund payments. TRS providers must submit to audits annually or at times determined appropriate by the Commission, the fund administrator, or by an entity approved by the Commission for such purpose. A TRS provider that fails to submit to a requested audit, or fails to provide documentation necessary for verification upon reasonable request, will be subject to an automatic suspension of payment until it submits to the requested audit or provides sufficient documentation. In the course of an audit or otherwise upon demand, an IP CTS provider must make available any relevant documentation, including contracts with entities providing services or equipment directly related to the provision of IP CTS, to the Commission, the TRS Fund administrator, or any person authorized by the Commission or TRS Fund administrator to conduct an audit.

    (10) IP CTS settings. Each IP CTS provider shall ensure that, for each IP CTS device it distributes, directly or indirectly:

    (i) The device includes a button, key, icon, or other comparable feature that is easily operable and requires only one step for the consumer to turn on captioning; and

    (ii) On or after December 8, 2018, any volume control or other amplification feature can be adjusted separately and independently of the caption feature.

    (11) * * *

    (v) IP CTS providers shall ensure that their informational materials and websites used to market, advertise, educate, or otherwise inform consumers and professionals about IP CTS include the following language in a prominent location in a clearly legible font: “FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.” For IP CTS provider websites, the language shall be included on the website's home page, each page that provides consumer information about IP CTS, and each page that provides information on how to order IP CTS or IP CTS equipment. IP CTS providers that do not make any use of live CAs to generate captions may shorten the notice to leave out the second, third, and fourth sentences.

    (13) Unauthorized and unnecessary use of VRS or IP CTS. (i) A VRS or IP CTS provider shall not engage in any practice that the provider knows or has reason to know will cause or encourage:

    (A) False or unverified claims for TRS Fund compensation;

    (B) Unauthorized use of VRS or IP CTS;

    (C) The making of VRS or IP CTS calls that would not otherwise be made; or

    (D) The use of VRS or IP CTS by persons who do not need the service in order to communicate in a functionally equivalent manner.

    (ii) A VRS or IP CTS provider shall not seek payment from the TRS Fund for any minutes of service it knows or has reason to know are resulting from the practices listed in paragraph (c)(13)(i) of this section or from the use of IP CTS by an individual who does not need captions to communicate in a functionally equivalent manner.

    (iii) Any VRS or IP CTS provider that becomes aware of any practices listed in paragraphs (c)(13)(i) or (ii) of this section being or having been committed by any person shall, as soon as practicable, report such practices to the Commission or the TRS Fund administrator.

    (iv) An IP CTS provider may complete and request compensation for IP CTS calls to or from unregistered users at a temporary, public IP CTS device set up in an emergency shelter. The IP CTS provider shall notify the TRS Fund administrator of the dates of activation and termination for such device.

    [FR Doc. 2018-13753 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    83 124 Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0548] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Ohio River, Owensboro, KY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary special local regulation for all navigable waters of the Ohio River, extending the entire width of the river, from mile marker (MM) 754.0 to MM 760.0. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of persons, vessels, and the marine environment during the Owensboro Airshow. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from being in the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0548 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:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Petty Officer Riley Jackson, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 502-779-5348, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register MM Mile marker NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    The City of Owensboro notified the Coast Guard that it would be conducting an airshow practice over the Ohio River from mile marker (MM) 754.0 to MM 760.0 from noon to 4 p.m. on September 13, 2018. Over the years, there have been unfortunate instances of aircraft mishaps that involve crashing during performances at various air shows around the world. Occasionally, these incidents result in a wide area of scattered debris in the water that can damage property or cause significant injury or death to the public observing the air shows. The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that a special local regulation is necessary to protect the public from potential hazards associated with the aerial flight demonstration.

    This proposed rulemaking adds an extra day to the recurring special local regulation for the Owensboro Airshow listed in our regulation for marine events within the Eighth Coast Guard District, 33 CFR 100.801, Table 1, Line 43. The airshow is requiring another day of practice flights for the Blue Angels that will be participating in this year's event.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of persons, vessels, and the marine environment on the navigable waters of the Ohio River before, during, and after the Owensboro Airshow. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a temporary special local regulation for all navigable waters of the Ohio River from MM 754.0 to MM 760.0 from noon to 4 p.m. on September 13, 2018. The regulated area would cover all navigable waters of the Ohio River, extending the entire width of the river, between MM 754.0 and MM 760.0 in Owensboro, KY. The duration of the special local regulation is intended to ensure the safety of persons, vessels, and the marine environment on these navigable waters before, during, and after the Owensboro Airshow.

    No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of USCG Sector Ohio Valley. They may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 16 or by telephone at 1-800-253-7465. A designated representative may be a Patrol Commander (PATCOM). The PATCOM would be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. The PATCOM may be contacted on Channel 16 VHF-FM (156.8 MHz) by the call sign “PATCOM”. All persons and vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels are considered spectators. The “official patrol vessels” consist of any Coast Guard, state, or local law enforcement and sponsor provided vessels assigned or approved by the COTP to patrol the regulated area.

    Spectator vessels desiring to transit the regulated area may do so only with prior approval of the PATCOM and, when so directed by that officer, would be operated at a minimum safe navigation speed in a manner which will not endanger any other vessels. No spectator vessel shall anchor, block, loiter, or impede the through transit of official patrol vessels in the regulated area during the effective dates and times, unless cleared for entry by or through an official patrol vessel. Any spectator vessel may anchor outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, or loiter in a navigable channel. Spectator vessels may be moored to a waterfront facility within the regulated area in such a way that they shall not interfere with the progress of the air show.

    The COTP or a designated representative may forbid and control the movement of all vessels in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel shall come to an immediate stop and comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the regulated area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

    The COTP or a designated representative may terminate the operation of any vessel at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property. The COTP or a designated representative would terminate enforcement of the special local regulation at the conclusion of the air show. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public of the enforcement times and date for this regulated area through Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Broadcasts (MSIBs) as appropriate.

    The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (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 temporary special local regulation. This proposed special local regulation restricts transit on a four-mile stretch of the Ohio River for four hours on one day. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue Broadcast Notices to Mariners, Local Notices to Mariners, and Marine Safety Information Bulletins about this special local regulation so that waterway users may plan accordingly for this short restriction on transit, and the rule would allow vessels to request permission to enter the regulated area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the temporary special local regulation may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Directive 023-01, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a special local regulation that would prohibit entry on a four-mile stretch of the Ohio River on one day. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L61 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that 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.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 100.35T08-0548 to read as follows:
    § 100.35T08-0548 Special Local Regulation; Ohio River, Owensboro, KY.

    (a) Location. The following area is a temporary special local regulation: All navigable waters of the Ohio River, extending the entire width of the river, between mile marker (MM) 754.0 and MM 760.0, Owensboro, KY.

    (b) Effective period. This section is effective from noon through 4 p.m. on September 13, 2018.

    (c) Special local regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 100.801, entry into this area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of USCG Sector Ohio Valley. They may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 16 or by telephone at 1-800-253-7465. A designated representative may be a Patrol Commander (PATCOM). The PATCOM will be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. The PATCOM may be contacted on Channel 16 VHF-FM (156.8 MHz) by the call sign “PATCOM”.

    (2) All persons and vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels are considered spectators. The “official patrol vessels” consist of any Coast Guard, state, or local law enforcement and sponsor provided vessels assigned or approved by the COTP to patrol the regulated area.

    (3) Spectator vessels desiring to transit the regulated area may do so only with prior approval of the PATCOM and when so directed by that officer will be operated at a minimum safe navigation speed in a manner which will not endanger any other vessels.

    (4) No spectator vessel shall anchor, block, loiter, or impede the through transit of official patrol vessels in the regulated area during the effective dates and times, unless cleared for entry by or through an official patrol vessel.

    (5) Any spectator vessel may anchor outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, or loiter in a navigable channel. Spectator vessels may be moored to a waterfront facility within the regulated area in such a way that they shall not interfere with the progress of the air show.

    (6) The COTP or a designated representative may forbid and control the movement of all vessels in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel shall come to an immediate stop and comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the regulated area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

    (7) The COTP or a designated representative may terminate the operation of any vessel at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property.

    (8) The COTP or a designated representative will terminate enforcement of the special local regulation at the conclusion of the air show.

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

    Dated: June 21, 2018. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13734 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 54 and 64 [WC Docket No. 10-90, 14-58, 07-135 and CC Docket No. 01-92; Report No. 3091] Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding Correction

    In proposed rule document 2018-12786, appearing on pages 27746-27747 in the Issue of Thursday, June 14, 2018, make the following correction:

    On page 27746, in the third column, under the heading “DATES:” the entry “June 25, 2018” is corrected to read “July 9, 2018”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2018-12786 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [4500030115] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-day Findings for Three Species AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of petition findings and initiation of status reviews.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-day findings on three petitions to add or remove species from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the three petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate reviews of the status of these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that these status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding these species. Based on the status reviews, we will issue 12-month findings, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act.

    DATES:

    These findings were made on June 27, 2018. As we commence work on the status reviews, we seek any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, these species or their habitats. Any information received during our work on the status reviews will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Supporting documents: Summaries of the bases for the petition findings contained in this document are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). In addition, supporting information in preparing these findings is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Submitting information: If you have new scientific or commercial data or other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species for which we are making these petition findings, or their habitats, please submit that information by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket number (see the table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Then, click on the Search button. After finding the correct document, you may submit information by clicking on “Comment Now!” If your information will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see the table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Species common name Contact person Dixie Valley toad Carolyn Swed, 775-861-6337; [email protected]. Oregon vesper sparrow Jeffrey Dillon, 503-231-6179; [email protected]. Yellow-billed cuckoo Jennifer Norris, 916-414-6600; [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) in 50 CFR part 17. Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to add a species to the Lists (i.e., “list” a species), remove a species from the Lists (i.e., “delist” a species), or change a listed species' status from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered (i.e., “reclassify” a species) presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and publish the finding promptly in the Federal Register.

    Our regulations establish that substantial scientific or commercial information with regard to a 90-day petition finding refers to “credible scientific or commercial information in support of the petition's claims such that a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the action proposed in the petition may be warranted” (50 CFR 424.14(h)(1)(i)).

    A species may be determined to be an endangered species or a threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The five factors are:

    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A);

    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B);

    (c) Disease or predation (Factor C);

    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); or

    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence (Factor E).

    These factors represent broad categories of natural or human-caused actions or conditions that could have an effect on a species' continued existence. In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as well as other actions or conditions that may ameliorate any negative effects or may have positive effects.

    We use the term “threat” to refer in general to actions or conditions that are known to, or are reasonably likely to, affect individuals of a species negatively. The term “threat” includes actions or conditions that have a direct impact on individuals (direct impacts), as well as those that affect individuals through alteration of their habitat or required resources (stressors). The term “threat” may encompass—either together or separately—the source of the action or condition or the action or condition itself. However, the mere identification of any threat(s) may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the information in the petition is substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The information presented in the petition must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these threats may be affecting the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of an endangered species or threatened species under the Act.

    If we find that a petition presents such information, our subsequent status review will evaluate all identified threats by considering the individual-, population-, and species-level effects and the expected response by the species. We will evaluate individual threats and their expected effects on the species, then analyze the cumulative effect of the threats on the species as a whole. We also consider the cumulative effect of the threats in light of those actions and conditions that are expected to have positive effects on the species—such as any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts that may ameliorate threats. It is only after conducting this cumulative analysis of threats and the actions that may ameliorate them, and the expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future, that we can determine whether the species meets the definition of an endangered species or threatened species under the Act.

    If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, the Act requires us to promptly commence a review of the status of the species, and we will subsequently complete a status review in accordance with our prioritization methodology for 12-month findings (81 FR 49248; July 27, 2016).

    Summaries of Petition Findings

    The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the table below and the bases for the findings, along with supporting information, are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number.

    Table: Status Reviews Common name Docket no. URL to docket on http://www.regulations.gov Dixie Valley toad FWS-R8-ES-2018-0018 https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R8-ES-2018-0018. Oregon vesper sparrow FWS-R1-ES-2018-0019 https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R1-ES-2018-0019. Yellow-billed cuckoo FWS-R8-ES-2018-0027 https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R8-ES-2018-0027. Evaluation of a Petition To List the Dixie Valley Toad as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range

    The Dixie Valley toad (Anaxyrus williamsi) is a small toad found in four spring-fed wetlands in Dixie Valley, Churchill County, Nevada.

    Petition History

    On September 18, 2017, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity requesting that the Dixie Valley toad be listed as threatened or endangered under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted for the Dixie Valley toad due to potential threats associated with the following: Development of geothermal energy and difficulty in associated mitigation, decrease in spring discharge, changes in water temperature, and groundwater extraction (Factor A); and chytridiomycosis disease and predation by the invasive American bullfrog (Factors C and E). However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either endangered species under section 3(6) of the Act or threatened species under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2018-0018 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Evaluation of a Petition To List the Oregon Vesper Sparrow as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range

    The Oregon vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus affinis) is a medium- to large-sized migratory sparrow with a restricted range. The breeding range currently consists of the States of Washington (South Puget lowlands, San Juan Island, lower Columbia River islands, and Mason County) and Oregon (Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue Valleys). The winter range consists of areas in California—the lowlands west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, from the San Francisco Bay area through the San Joaquin Valley to coastal southern California.

    Petition History

    On November 8, 2017, we received a petition from the American Bird Conservancy requesting that the Oregon vesper sparrow be listed as endangered or threatened and critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Oregon vesper sparrow due to potential threats associated with the following: Habitat loss and degradation (Factor A); land use/management impacts to nesting birds (Factor E); and existing regulatory mechanisms that may be inadequate to address impacts of these threats (Factor D) (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either endangered species under section 3(6) of the Act or threatened species under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2018-0019 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Evaluation of a Petition To Delist the Western Distinct Population Segment of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Species and Range

    The yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) occurs in North America across the continental United States and parts of British Columbia and Mexico. The species winters in Central and South America. The Western Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the yellow-billed cuckoo (western yellow-billed cuckoo) occurs generally in the area west of the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia to Mexico. The western DPS of the yellow-billed cuckoo is listed as a threatened species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List; 50 CFR 17.11(h)).

    Petition History

    On May 4, 2017, we received a petition from the American Stewards of Liberty, Arizona Cattlemen's Association, Arizona Mining Association, Hereford Natural Resource Conservation District, Jim Chilton, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Public Lands Council, WestLand Resources, Inc., and Winkelman Natural Resource Conservation District, requesting that the western DPS of the yellow-billed cuckoo be removed from the List due to an error in our DPS analysis. They also provided information in their petition indicating the species should be delisted as a result of its utilization of additional habitat. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that delisting the western DPS of the yellow-billed cuckoo may be warranted due to information on additional habitat being used by the species (Factor A). While we did not find the petition provided substantial information indicating the entity may warrant delisting due to an error in our DPS analysis, because the petitioners did provide substantial information regarding additional habitat use by the species, we will review the DPS as part of our status review of the species. During our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, as well as revisit our DPS determination. Thus, for this species, the Service requests information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, including the factors identified in this finding as well as information pertaining to the DPS (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2018-0027 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Request for Information for Status Reviews

    When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial information indicating that listing, reclassification, or delisting of a species may be warranted, we are required to review the status of the species (a status review). For the status review to be complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request information on these species from governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information on:

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

    (a) Habitat requirements;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

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

    (d) Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends.

    (2) The five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above) that are the basis for making a listing, reclassification, or delisting determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Act, including past and ongoing conservation measures that could decrease the extent to which one or more of the factors affect the species, its habitat, or both.

    (3) The potential effects of climate change on the species and its habitat, and the extent to which it affects the habitat or range of the species.

    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.

    You may submit your information concerning these status reviews by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    It is important to note that the standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act's standard that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. In making a 90-day finding, we consider information in the petition and sources cited in the petition, as well as information that is readily available, and we evaluate merely whether that information constitutes “substantial information” indicating that the petitioned action “may be warranted.” In a 12-month finding, we must complete a thorough status review of the species and evaluate the best scientific and commercial data available to determine whether a petitioned action “is warranted.” Because the Act's standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that the 12-month finding will result in a “warranted” finding.

    Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the petitions summarized above for the Dixie Valley toad, Oregon vesper sparrow, and yellow-billed cuckoo present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, we are initiating status reviews to determine whether these actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of each status review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether the petitioned action is not warranted, warranted, or warranted but precluded by pending proposals to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species.

    Authors

    The primary authors of this document are staff members of the Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Authority:

    The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 15, 2018. James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Exercising the Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13843 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    83 124 Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document No. AMS-ST-18-0043] Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Teleconference Meeting AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board (Board). The meeting is being held to discuss a variety of topics including, but not limited to, work and outreach plans, subcommittee activities, and program activities. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Room 3543, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20250.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffery Haynes, Acting Commissioner, Plant Variety Protection Office, USDA, AMS, Science and Technology Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-1066; Fax: (202) 260-8976, or Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the provisions of section 10(a) of the FACA (5 U.S.C., Appendix 2), this notice informs the public that the Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is sponsoring a meeting of the Board on August 14, 2018. The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.) provides legal protection in the form of intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants, which are reproduced sexually by seed or are tuber-propagated. A certificate of Plant Variety Protection is awarded to an owner of a crop variety after an examination shows that it is new, distinct from other varieties, genetically uniform and stable through successive generations. The term of protection is 20 years for most crops and 25 years for trees, shrubs, and vines. The PVPA also provides for a statutory Board (7 U.S.C. 2327). The Board is composed of 14 individuals who are experts in various areas of development and represent the seed industry sector, academia and government. The duties of the Board are to: (1) Advise the Secretary concerning the adoption of rules and regulations to facilitate the proper administration of the FACA; (2) provide advisory counsel to the Secretary on appeals concerning decisions on applications by the PVP Office and on requests for emergency public-interest compulsory licenses; and (3) advise the Secretary on any other matters under the Regulations and Rules of Practice and on all questions under Section 44 of the FACA, “Public Interest in Wide Usage” (7 U.S.C. 2404).

    Meeting Agenda: The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the PVPO 2018 program activities, the electronic application system, and cooperation with other countries. The Board plans to discuss program activities that encourage the development of new plant varieties and address appeals to the Secretary. The meeting will be open to the public. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to pre-register by August 3, 2018, by contacting Jeffery Haynes, acting commissioner, at Telephone: (202) 720-1066; Fax: (202) 260-8976, or Email: [email protected].

    Meeting Accommodation: The meeting at USDA will provide reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this public meeting, please notify Jeffery Haynes at: Telephone: (202) 720-1066; Fax: (202) 260-8976, or Email: [email protected].

    Determinations for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. Minutes of the meeting will be available for public review 30 days following the meeting on the internet at http://www.ams.usda.gov/PVPO.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13751 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Information Collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a new collection for the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II (SNMCS-II). The purpose of SNMCS-II is to provide a comprehensive picture of school food service operations and the nutritional quality, cost, and acceptability of meals served in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be received on or before August 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be sent to: John Endahl, Office of Policy Support, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1004, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of John Endahl at 703-305-2576 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to John Endahl at 703-305-2127.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were 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 use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title: School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II.

    Form Number: N/A.

    OMB Number: Not yet assigned.

    Expiration Date: Not yet determined.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    Abstract: SNMCS-II will provide a comprehensive picture of the NSLP and SBP, and will provide critical information about the nutritional quality, cost, and acceptability of school meals seven years after major reforms began being phased in during the 2012-2013 school year (SY). SNMCS-II will collect a broad range of data from nationally representative samples of public school food authorities (SFAs), public, non-charter schools, students, and parents/guardians during SY 2019-2020. These data will provide Federal, State, and local policymakers with current information about how federally sponsored school meal programs are operating by updating the information that was collected in SY 2014-2015 for the first School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS-I). In addition, findings from SNMCS-II will be compared to those from SNMCS-I to explore trends in key domains including the nutrient content of school meals, meal costs and revenues, and student participation, plate waste, and dietary intakes. SNMCS-II will also estimate the costs of producing reimbursable school meals in up to five States and Territories outside of the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia (DC), and examine the relationship of costs to revenues in those five outlying areas. Section 28(a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act authorizes this assessment of the cost of producing meals, and the nutrient profile of meals under the NSLP and SBP.

    The sample frame of SFAs is divided into four groups, including the outlying areas. Samples in Groups 1, 2, and 3 are limited to the contiguous 48 States and DC. The outlying areas sample includes SFAs and schools in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Data collected from the Group 1 sample will provide the precision required for national estimates of SFA-level characteristics and food service operations. Data collected from the Group 2 sample will be used to address study objectives related to the school nutrition environment and food service operations; the food and nutrient content of school meals; student participation in the NSLP and SBP; student/parent satisfaction with the school meal programs; and students' characteristics and dietary intakes. Data collected from the Group 3 sample will be used to address study objectives related to the school nutrition environment and food service operations; the food and nutrient content of school meals; the costs to produce reimbursable school lunches and breakfasts, including indirect and local administrative costs, and the ratios of revenues to costs; and plate waste in the school meals programs. Data collected from the outlying areas sample will be used to estimate the costs of producing reimbursable school meals and the ratios of revenues to costs.

    There is pre-testing burden that is associated with this collection. This burden was reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget on March 19, 2018 under OMB# 0584-0606 FNS Generic Clearance for Pre-Testing, Pilot, and Field Test Studies (School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II, Outlying Areas Cost Study Feasibility Assessment). This burden is not included in the burden estimates for this collection.

    Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments respondent groups include: (1) State Child Nutrition Agency directors; (2) State Education Agency finance officers; (3) school district superintendents; (4) SFA directors; (5) local educational agency business managers; (6) menu planners; (7) school nutrition managers (SNMs); (8) principals; and (9) school study liaisons appointed by principals. Private Sector For-Profit Business respondents include food service management company managers. Individual respondents include: (1) Students (first grade through high school) and (2) their parents/guardians.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: A total of 12,979 members of the public will be initially contacted to participate in the study. This includes 4,954 from State, Local, and Tribal Governments, 25 from Private Sector For-Profit Businesses, and 8,000 Individuals. Initial contact will vary by type of respondent and may include study notification, recruiting, or data collection. FNS anticipates that approximately 12,904 of this sample will respond to initial contact and 75 will not respond. Some respondents who respond to the initial contact may subsequently become non-respondents to one or more components of the data collection. The number of unique respondents expected to provide data for the study is 7,886.

    The Group 1 completed sample includes 125 SFAs but no schools. Group 1 SFA directors will participate in the SFA Director Survey.

    The Group 2 completed sample comprises 125 SFAs, 250 schools, and 2,000 students and their parents/guardians. SFA and school staff will participate in the SFA Director and School Planning Interviews; SFA Director, SNM, and Principal Surveys; the Basic Menu Survey, A la Carte Foods Checklist, and Meal Pattern Crediting Report; and Cafeteria Observation Guide and Competitive Foods Checklists. Students and parents/guardians will complete the Student Interview, including height and weight measurement; 24-dietary recall; and Parent Interview.

    The Group 3 completed sample includes 250 SFAs and 750 schools. SFA and school staff will participate in the SFA Director and School Planning Interviews; SFA Cost Interview and Food Cost Worksheet; SFA Follow-Up Web Survey and Cost Interview; SNM Cost Interview; Principal Cost Interview; SFA Director, SNM, and Principal Surveys; the Expanded Menu Survey, A la Carte Foods Checklist, and Meal Pattern Crediting Report; and Cafeteria Observation Guide and Competitive Foods Checklists. Forty State Education Agency finance officers will complete the State Agency Indirect Cost Survey. Plate waste will be observed for 3,900 reimbursable lunches and 2,000 reimbursable breakfasts at a subsample of 130 schools among this Group 3 sample.

    In the outlying areas, following recruitment, SFA and school staff in 33 SFAs and 216 schools will complete the SFA Director and School Planning Interviews; SFA Cost Interview and Food Cost Worksheet; SFA Follow-Up Web Survey and Cost Interview; SNM Cost Interview; Principal Cost Interview; and the Expanded Menu Survey. Up to 5 State Education Agency finance officers will complete the State Agency Indirect Cost Survey and the State Child Nutrition Agency directors in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands will complete the SFA Cost Interview and SFA Follow-Up Cost Interview to capture the State agencies' involvement in SFAs' food service operations.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: All respondents will be asked to respond to each specific data collection activity only once. The overall average number of responses per respondent across the entire collection is 3.52.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 45,653.

    Estimated Time per Response: 33 minutes (0.55 hours). The estimated response varies from 1 minute to 10.25 hours, depending on the data collection activity and the respondent group, as shown in the table below.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 25,184 hours. This includes 24,950 hours for respondents and 234 hours for non-respondents. See the table below for each type of respondent.

    Dated: June 20, 2018. Brandon Lipps, Administrator Food and Nutrition Service. Affected public Data collection activity Respondents Response Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden
  • hours per
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • burden
  • estimate
  • (hours)
  • Non-Response Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden
  • hours per
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • burden
  • estimate
  • (hours)
  • Grand total
  • annual
  • burden
  • estimate
  • (hours)
  • State Study Notification and SFA Data Request Email (a)(b)(c) State Child Nutrition Agency Directors (Groups 1, 2, 3, outlying areas) 54 1 54 0.40 21.60 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 21.60 State Telephone Interview (SFA Cost Interview, provide financial records) State Child Nutrition Agency Directors (outlying areas) 2 1 2 3.08 6.16 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 6.16 State Telephone Interview (SFA Follow-Up Cost Interview, provide financial records) State Child Nutrition Agency Directors (outlying areas) 2 1 2 2.00 4.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 4.00 State Self-Administered Form (study letter, State Agency Indirect Cost Survey) (a)(b)(c) State Education Agency Finance Officers (Group 3, outlying areas) 45 1 45 0.17 7.65 9 1 9 0.07 0.63 8.28 Local and Tribal Recruitment (a)(c) Superintendents (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 438 1 438 0.33 144.54 35 1 35 0.07 2.45 146.99 Local and Tribal Study Notification (a) SFA Directors (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 473 1 473 0.10 47.30 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 47.30 Local and Tribal Recruitment (c) SFA Directors (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 438 1 438 0.28 122.64 35 1 35 0.07 2.45 125.09 Local and Tribal Telephone Survey (SFA Director Planning Interview, study confirmation) SFA Directors (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 438 1 438 0.58 254.04 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 254.04 Local and Tribal Web Survey Advance Letter (a)(c) SFA Directors (Group 1) 139 1 139 0.05 6.95 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 6.95 Local and Tribal Web Survey Invitation SFA Directors (Groups 1, 2, 3) 555 1 555 0.02 11.10 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 11.10 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (SFA Director Survey) (b)(c) SFA Directors (Group 1) 125 1 125 0.83 103.75 14 1 14 0.07 0.93 104.68 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (SFA Director Survey) (b)(c) SFA Directors (Group 2) 125 1 125 0.83 103.75 14 1 14 0.07 0.93 104.68 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (SFA Director Survey) (b)(c) SFA Directors (Group 3) 250 1 250 0.83 207.50 27 1 27 0.07 1.80 209.30 Local and Tribal Web Survey Reminder SFA Directors (Groups 1, 2, 3) 278 1 278 0.15 41.70 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 41.70 Local and Tribal School Roster Request Email SFA Directors (Group 2) 98 1 98 1.00 98.00 32 1 32 0.07 2.24 100.24 Local and Tribal On-Site Data Collection Logistics Email SFA Directors (Groups 2, 3) 390 1 390 0.05 19.50 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 19.50 Local and Tribal In-person Interview (SFA Cost Interview, Food Cost Worksheet, provide records) SFA Directors (Group 3) 250 1 250 3.25 812.50 14 1 14 0.14 1.96 814.46 Local and Tribal Telephone Interview (SFA Cost Interview, Food Cost Worksheet, provide records) (b) SFA Directors (outlying areas) 33 1 33 3.25 107.25 2 1 2 0.14 0.28 107.53 Local and Tribal In-person or Telephone Interview (SFA Cost Interview, provide records) (a)(b)(c) LEA Business Managers (Group 3, outlying areas) 283 1 283 3.08 871.64 16 1 16 0.07 1.12 872.76 Local and Tribal Follow-Up Web Survey Invitation SFA Directors (Group 3, outlying areas) 283 1 283 0.05 14.15 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 14.15 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (SFA Follow-Up Web Survey) (c) SFA Directors (Group 3, outlying areas) 269 1 269 0.50 134.50 14 1 14 0.07 0.93 135.43 Local and Tribal Telephone Interview (SFA Follow-Up Cost Interview, provide financial records) SFA Directors (Group 3, outlying areas) 269 1 269 2.00 538.00 14 1 14 0.07 0.93 538.93 Local and Tribal Telephone Interview (SFA Follow-Up Cost Interview, provide financial records) (c) LEA Business Managers (Group 3, outlying areas) 269 1 269 2.00 538.00 14 1 14 0.07 0.93 538.93 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (Meal Pattern Crediting Report) (a)(b)(c) Menu Planners (Groups 2, 3) 375 1 375 1.50 562.50 15 1 15 0.07 1.05 563.55 Local and Tribal Study Notification (a) School Nutrition Managers (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 1,541 1 1,541 0.13 200.33 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 200.33 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (School Planning Interview) (c) School Nutrition Managers (Group 3, outlying areas) 966 1 966 0.25 241.50 50 1 50 0.07 3.50 245.00 Local and Tribal On-Site Data Collection Logistics Email School Nutrition Managers (Groups 2, 3) 1,040 1 1,040 0.05 52.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 52.00 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (Basic Menu Survey, A la Carte Foods Checklist, SNM Survey) (b)(c) School Nutrition Managers (Group 2) 250 1 250 8.25 2,062.50 13 1 13 0.14 1.78 2,064.28 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (Expanded Menu Survey, A la Carte Foods Checklist, SNM Survey) (b)(c) School Nutrition Managers (Group 3) 750 1 750 10.25 7,687.50 39 1 39 0.14 5.33 7,692.83 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (Expanded Menu Survey) (b)(c) School Nutrition Managers (outlying areas) 216 1 216 8.34 1,801.44 11 1 11 0.07 0.75 1,802.19 Local and Tribal In-person or Telephone Interview (SNM Cost Interview) School Nutrition Managers (Group 3, outlying areas) 966 1 966 1.00 966.00 50 1 50 0.07 3.33 969.33 Local and Tribal Interviewer-Completed Observation (Self-Serve/Made-to-Order Bar Form) School Nutrition Managers (Group 3) 173 1 173 0.17 28.83 9 1 9 0.07 0.60 29.43 Local and Tribal Interviewer-Completed Observation (Cafeteria Observation Guide) School Nutrition Managers (Groups 2, 3) 1,000 1 1,000 0.08 83.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 83.00 Local and Tribal Interviewer-Completed Observation (Point-of-Sale Form) School Nutrition Managers (Group 2) 250 1 250 0.08 20.83 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 20.83 Local and Tribal In-person Data Request (Reimbursable Meal Sale Data Request) School Nutrition Managers (Group 2) 250 1 250 0.17 41.67 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 41.67 Local and Tribal Interviewer-Completed Observation (Plate Waste Observation Booklet) School Nutrition Managers (Group 3) 130 1 130 0.17 21.67 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 21.67 Local and Tribal Study Notification and On-Site Data Collection Logistics Email (a) Principals (Groups 2, 3) 1,040 1 1,040 0.18 187.20 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 187.20 Local and Tribal Study Notification (a) Principals (outlying areas) 227 1 227 0.13 29.51 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 29.51 Local and Tribal Web Survey Invitation Principals (Groups 2, 3) 1,000 1 1,000 0.02 20.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 20.00 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (Principal Survey) (b)(c) Principals (Groups 2, 3) 900 1 900 0.50 450.00 100 1 100 0.07 6.67 456.67 Local and Tribal Web Survey Reminder Principals (Groups 2, 3) 500 1 500 0.15 75.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 75.00 Local and Tribal In-person Interview (Principal Cost Interview) Principals (Group 3) 750 1 750 0.75 562.50 39 1 39 0.07 2.60 565.10 Local and Tribal Telephone Interview (Principal Cost Interview) (b)(c) Principals (outlying areas) 216 1 216 0.75 162.00 11 1 11 0.07 0.73 162.73 Local and Tribal Self-Administered Web Survey (School Planning Interview) (a)(b)(c) School Liaisons (Group 2) 264 1 264 0.25 66.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 66.00 Local and Tribal On-Site Data Collection Logistics Email School Liaisons (Group 2) 250 1 250 0.05 12.50 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 12.50 Local and Tribal School Roster Request Email School Liaisons (Group 2) 70 1 70 1.00 70.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 70.00 Subtotal State, Local, and Tribal Governments 4,879 18,630 19,620.70 75 577 43.94 19,664.64 Private Sector For-Profit Study Notification (a) Food Service Management Company Manager (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 25 1 25 0.07 1.75 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 1.75 Private Sector For-Profit Recruitment (c) Food Service Management Company Manager (Groups 2, 3, outlying areas) 24 1 24 0.25 6.00 1 1 1 0.07 0.07 6.07 Subtotal Private Sector For-Profit Businesses 25 49 7.75 0 1 0.07 7.82 Individual Study Notification (a) Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 4,000 1 4,000 0.13 520.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 520.00 Individual Study Consent Form (c) Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 3,712 1 3,712 0.10 371.20 288 1 288 0.07 20.16 391.36 Individual Survey Invitation Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 2,222 1 2,222 0.02 44.44 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 44.44 Individual Self-Administered Web Survey or Telephone Interview (Parent Interview) (b)(c) Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 2,000 1 2,000 0.42 833.33 222 1 222 0.07 15.54 848.87 Individual Self-Administered Form (dietary recall reminder, Food Diary, Day 1/Day 2) Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 1,066 1 1,066 0.19 198.99 196 1 196 0.02 3.92 202.91 Individual Telephone Interview (24-Hour Dietary Recall, Day 1) Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 820 1 820 0.25 205.00 91 1 91 0.07 6.37 211.37 Individual Telephone Interview (24-Hour Dietary Recall, Day 2) (c) Parents/Guardians (Group 2) 246 1 246 0.75 184.50 105 1 105 0.07 7.00 191.50 Individual Study Assent Form (a) Students (Group 2) 4,000 1 4,000 0.05 200.00 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 200.00 Individual Study Reminder, Day 1 Students (Group 2) 2,857 1 2,857 0.02 57.14 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 57.14 Individual In-person Interview (Student Interview, 24-Hour Dietary Recall, Day 1) (b)(c) Students (Group 2) 2,000 1 2,000 1.12 2,240.00 857 1 857 0.14 119.98 2,359.98 Individual Study Reminder, Day 2 Students (Group 2) 857 1 857 0.02 17.14 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 17.14 Individual Telephone Interview (24-Hour Dietary Recall, Day 2) (c) Students (Group 2) 600 1 600 0.75 450.00 257 1 257 0.07 17.13 467.13 Subtotal Individuals 8,000 24,380 5,321.74 0 2,016 190.10 5,511.84 Grand Total 12,904 43,059 0.58 24,950.19 75 2,594 0.09 234.11 25,184.30
    [FR Doc. 2018-13827 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Revision of the Land Management Plans for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho States AGENCY:

    USDA Forest Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice of the opportunity to object to the Revised Land Management Plans for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.

    SUMMARY:

    The USDA Forest Service has prepared Revised Land Management Plans (Forest Plans) for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests (also termed the Blue Mountains Forests). The Forest Service has also prepared a single Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and a combined Draft Record of Decision. This notice is to inform the public that a 60-day objections period is being initiated for individuals or entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the revision of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plans during the opportunities for public comment provided during the planning process for that decision. Objections must be based on previously submitted substantive formal comments attributed to the objector unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment.

    DATES:

    The Revised Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plans, FEIS, Draft Record of Decision, and other supporting documentation are available on the following web page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/BlueMountainsPlanRevision.

    A legal notice of the initiation of the 60-day objection period is being published in The Oregonian, which is the newspaper of record for Regional Forester decisions in the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service. The 60-day objection period will begin the day following the date of the publication of the legal notice in The Oregonian. A copy of the legal notice will be posted on web page listed above.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic objections must be submitted to the Objection Reviewing Officer via email to [email protected], with a subject line stating: “Objection regarding the Revised Blue Mountains Forest Plans.” Electronic submissions must be submitted in a format (Word, PDF, or Rich Text) that is readable and searchable with optical character recognition software.

    Faxed objections must be sent and addressed to “Chris French, Objection Reviewing Officer” at (202) 649-1172 and must include a subject line stating: “Objection regarding the Revised Blue Mountains Forest Plans.” The fax coversheet should specify the number of pages being submitted.

    Hardcopy objections may be submitted by regular mail, private carrier, or hand delivery to the following address: USDA Forest Service, Attn: Chris French, Objection Reviewing Officer, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, EMC-PEEARS, Mailstop 1104, Washington, DC 20250. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Hardcopy submissions must include a subject line on page one stating: “Objection regarding the Revised Blue Mountains Forest Plans.”

    Individuals who need to use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) to transmit objections may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Team Leader, Peter Fargo, 1550 Dewey Ave., Suite A, Baker City, OR 97814, (541) 523-1231.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The decision to approve the Revised Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plans will be subject to the objection process identified in 36 CFR part 219 subpart B (219.50 to 219.62). Individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the revision of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plans during the opportunities for public comment, as provided in 36 CFR part 219 subpart A, during the planning process for that decision may file an objection. Objections must be based on previously submitted substantive formal comments attributed to the objector unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment. The burden is on the objector to demonstrate compliance with requirements for objection. All objections must be filed, in writing, with the reviewing officer for the Revised Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plans. Objections received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who object, will be considered part of the public record on these proposed actions and will be available for public inspection. At a minimum, an objection must include the following (36 CFR 219.54(c)):

    (1) The objector's name and address along with a telephone number or email address if available. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to an objection, the Forest Service will attempt to verify the identity of the objector to confirm objection eligibility;

    (2) Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection);

    (3) Identification of the lead objector, when multiple names are listed on an objection. The Forest Service will communicate to all parties to an objection through the lead objector. Verification of the identity of the lead objector must also be provided if requested;

    (4) The name of the Plan Revision(s) being objected to, and the name and title of the responsible official;

    (5) A statement of the issues and/or parts of the Plan Revision(s) to which the objection applies;

    (6) A concise statement explaining the objection and suggesting how the proposed plan decision may be improved. If the objector believes that the plan revision is inconsistent with law, regulation, or policy, an explanation should be included;

    (7) A statement that demonstrates the link between the objector's prior substantive formal comments and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment; and

    (8) All documents referenced in the objection (a bibliography is not sufficient), except that the following need not be provided:

    a. All or any part of a Federal law or regulation,

    b. Forest Service Directive System documents and land management Plans or other published Forest Service documents,

    c. Documents referenced by the Forest Service in the planning documentation related to the proposal subject to objection, and

    d. Formal comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during the plan revision comment period.

    Prior to the issuance of the reviewing officer's written response, either the reviewing officer or the objector may request to meet to discuss issues raised in the objection. Interested persons who wish to participate in meetings to discuss issues raised by objectors must have previously submitted substantive formal comments related to the objection issues. Interested persons must file a request to participate as an interested person within 10 days after legal notice of objections received has been published. Requests must be sent to the same email or address identified for filing objections, above, and the interested person must identify the specific issues they have interest in discussing. During the objection meeting, interested persons will be able to participate in discussions related to issues on the agenda that they have listed in their request to be an interested person.

    Responsible Official

    The Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest Region (1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, (503) 808-2200) is the responsible official who will approve the final Records of Decision for the Revised Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plans.

    Reviewing Officer

    The Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System is the delegated reviewing officer for the Chief of the Forest Service (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)).

    Dated: May 30, 2018. Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13792 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Inviting Applications for the Rural Business Development Grant Program To Provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation Systems AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is to invite applications for grants to provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation (RT) systems under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to provide Technical Assistance for RT systems and for RT systems to Federally Recognized Native American Tribes' (FRNAT) (collectively “Programs”) and the terms provided in such funding. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from funds appropriated for the RBDG program.

    DATES:

    See under Supplementary Information section.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit applications in paper format to the USDA Rural Development State Office for the State where the Project is located. A list of the USDA Rural Development State Office contacts can be found at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cindy Mason at (202) 690-1433, [email protected], and Sami Zarour at (202) 720-9549, [email protected], Specialty Programs Division, Business Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, MS 3226, Room 4204-South, Washington, DC 20250-3226, or call 202-720-1400. For further information on this notice, please contact the USDA Rural Development State Office in the State in which the applicant's headquarters is located.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Preface

    The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America. www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:

    • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life

    All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.

    Overview

    Solicitation Opportunity Title: Rural Business Development Grants.

    Announcement Type: Initial Announcement.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.351.

    Dates: Completed applications must be received in the USDA Rural Development State Office no later than 4:30 p.m. (local time) on September 25, 2018, to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Applications received after this date will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.

    A. Program Description

    1. Purpose of the Program. The purpose of this program is to improve the economic conditions of Rural Areas.

    2. Statutory Authority. This program is authorized under section 310B(c) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1932(c)). Regulations are contained in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E. The program is administered on behalf of Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) at the State level by the USDA Rural Development State Offices. Assistance provided to Rural Areas under the program has historically included the provision of on-site Technical Assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related nonprofit and for-profit organizations in Rural Areas; the development of training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in Rural Areas.

    Awards under the RBDG passenger transportation program will be made on a competitive basis using specific selection criteria contained in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E, and in accordance with section 310B(c) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1932(c)). Information required to be in the application package includes Standard Form (SF) 424, “Application for Federal Assistance;” environmental documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, “Environmental Policies and Procedures;” Scope of Work Narrative; Income Statement; Balance Sheet or Audit for previous 3 years; AD-1047, “Debarment/Suspension Certification;” AD-1048, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion;” AD-1049, “Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements;” SF LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities;” RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement;” RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement;” and a letter providing Board authorization to obtain assistance. For the FRNAT grant, which must benefit FRNATs, at least 75 percent of the benefits of the Project must be received by members of FRNATs. The Project that scores the greatest number of points based on the RBDG selection criteria and the discretionary points will be selected for each grant.

    For the funding for Technical Assistance for RT systems, applicants must be qualified national organizations with experience in providing Technical Assistance and training to rural communities nationwide for the purpose of improving passenger transportation service or facilities. To be considered “national,” RBS requires a qualified organization to provide evidence that it can operate RT assistance programming nation-wide. An entity can qualify if they can work in partnership with other entities to fulfill the national requirement as long as the applicant will have ultimate control of the grant administration. For the funding for RT systems to FRNATs, an entity can qualify if they can work in partnership with other entities to support all federally recognized tribes in all states, as long as the applicant will have ultimate control of the grant administration. There is not a requirement to use the grant funds in a multi-State area. Grants will be made to qualified national organizations for the provision of Technical Assistance and training to Rural communities for the purpose of improving passenger transportation services or facilities.

    3. Definition of Terms. The definitions applicable to this notice are published at 7 CFR 4280.403.

    4. Application Awards. The Agency will review, evaluate, and score applications received in response to this notice based on the provisions in 7 CFR 4280, subpart E and as indicated in this notice. However, the Agency advises all interested parties that the applicant bears the burden in preparing and submitting an application in response to this notice.

    B. Federal Award Information

    Type of Award: Grants.

    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2018.

    Available Funds: Anyone interested in submitting an application for funding under this program is encouraged to consult the Rural Development Web Newsroom website at http://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas for funding information.

    Approximate Number of Awards: To be determined based on the number of qualified applications received. Historically two awards have been made.

    Expected Amounts of Individual Awards and Amount of Funding per Federal Award: $500,000 and $250,000 depending on the number of applicants.

    Maximum Awards: A total of $500,000 will be awarded for technical assistance for rural transportation systems and a maximum of $250,000 for FRNATs.

    Award Date: Prior to September 30, 2018.

    Performance Period: October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019.

    Renewal or Supplemental Awards: None.

    C. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants.

    To be considered eligible, an entity must be a qualified national organization serving Rural Areas as evidenced in its organizational documents and demonstrated experience, per 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E. Grants will be competitively awarded to qualified national organizations.

    The Agency requires the following information to make an eligibility determination that an applicant is a national organization. These applications must include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) An original and one copy of SF 424, “Application for Federal Assistance (for non-construction);”

    (b) Copies of applicant's organizational documents showing the applicant's legal existence and authority to perform the activities under the grant;

    (c) A proposed scope of work, including a description of the proposed Project, details of the proposed activities to be accomplished and timeframes for completion of each task, the number of months for the duration of the Project, and the estimated time it will take from grant approval to beginning of Project implementation;

    (d) A written narrative that includes, at a minimum, the following items:

    (i) An explanation of why the Project is needed, the benefits of the proposed Project, and how the Project meets the grant eligible purposes;

    (ii) Area to be served, identifying each governmental unit, i.e., tribe, town, county, etc., to be affected by the Project;

    (iii) Description of how the Project will coordinate Economic Development activities with other Economic Development activities within the Project area;

    (iv) Businesses to be assisted, if appropriate, and economic development to be accomplished;

    (v) An explanation of how the proposed Project will result in newly created, increased, or supported jobs in the area and the number of projected new and supported jobs within the next 3 years;

    (vi) A description of the applicant's demonstrated capability and experience in providing the proposed Project assistance, including experience of key staff members and persons who will be providing the proposed Project activities and managing the Project;

    (vii) The method and rationale used to select the areas and businesses that will receive the service;

    (viii) A brief description of how the work will be performed, including whether organizational staff or consultants or contractors will be used; and

    (ix) Other information the Agency may request to assist it in making a grant award determination.

    (e) The latest 3 years of financial information to show the applicant's financial capacity to carry out the proposed work. If the applicant is less than 3 years old, at a minimum, the information should include all balance sheet(s), income statement(s), and cash flow statement(s). A current audited report is required if available;

    (f) Documentation regarding the availability and amount of other funds to be used in conjunction with the funds from RBDG;

    (g) A budget which includes salaries, fringe benefits, consultant costs, indirect costs, and other appropriate direct costs for the Project.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching. Matching funds are not required.

    3. Other.

    Applications will only be accepted from qualified national organizations to provide Technical Assistance for RT. There are no “responsiveness,” or “threshold” eligibility criteria for these grants. There is no limit on the number of applications an applicant may submit under this announcement. In addition to the forms listed under program description, Form AD-3030 “Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,” must be completed in the affirmative.

    None of the funds made available may be used to enter into a contract, memorandum of understanding, or cooperative agreement with, make a grant to, or provide a loan or loan guarantee to, any corporation that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.

    None of the funds made available may be used to enter into a contract, memorandum of understanding, or cooperative agreement with, make a grant to, or provide a loan or loan guarantee to, any corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.

    4. Completeness Eligibility.

    Applications will not be considered for funding if they do not provide sufficient information to determine eligibility or are missing required elements.

    D. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package.

    For further information, entities wishing to apply for assistance should contact the USDA Rural Development State Office provided in the ADDRESSES section of this notice to obtain copies of the application package.

    Prior to official submission of grant applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, as long as such requests are made prior to August 16, 2018. Technical assistance is not meant to be an analysis or assessment of the quality of the materials submitted, a substitute for agency review of completed applications, nor a determination of eligibility, if such determination requires in-depth analysis. The Agency will not solicit or consider scoring or eligibility information that is submitted after the application deadline. The Agency reserves the right to contact applicants to seek clarification information on materials contained in the submitted application.

    Applications must be submitted in paper format. Applications submitted to a USDA Rural Development State Office must be received by the closing date and local time.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

    An application must contain all of the required elements. Each application received in a USDA Rural Development State Office will be reviewed to determine if it is consistent with the eligible purposes contained in section 310B(c) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1932(c)). Each selection priority criterion outlined in 7 CFR 4280.435 must be addressed in the application. Failure to address any of the criterion will result in a zero-point score for that criterion and will impact the overall evaluation of the application. Copies of 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E, will be provided to any interested applicant making a request to a USDA Rural Development State Office.

    All Projects to receive Technical Assistance through these passenger transportation grant funds are to be identified when the applications are submitted to the USDA Rural Development State Office. Multiple Project applications must identify each individual Project, indicate the amount of funding requested for each individual Project, and address the criteria as stated above for each individual Project.

    For multiple-Project applications, the average of the individual Project scores will be the score for that application.

    The applicant documentation and forms needed for a complete application are located in the Program Description section of this notice, and 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E.

    (a) There are no specific formats, specific limitations on number of pages, font size and type face, margins, paper size, number of copies, and the sequence or assembly requirements.

    (b) The component pieces of this application should contain original signatures on the original application.

    (c) Since these grants are for Technical Assistance for transportation purposes, no additional information requirements other than those described in this notice and 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E are required.

    3. Unique entity identifier and System for Award Management.

    All applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705-5711 or at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or Federal awarding agency that is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c) or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR 25.110(d) is required to: (i) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. The Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

    4. Submission Dates and Times.

    (a) Application Deadline Date: No later than 4:30 p.m. (local time) on September 25, 2018.

    Explanation of Deadlines: Applications must be in the USDA Rural Development State Office by the local deadline date and time as indicated above. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day.

    (b) The deadline date means that the completed application package must be received in the USDA Rural Development State Office by the deadline date established above. All application documents identified in this notice are required.

    (c) If complete applications are not received by the deadline established above, the application will neither be reviewed nor considered under any circumstances.

    (d) The Agency will determine the application receipt date based on the actual date postmarked.

    (e) This notice is for RT Technical Assistance grants only and therefore, intergovernmental reviews are not required.

    (f) These grants are for RT Technical Assistance grants only, no construction or equipment purchases are permitted. If the grantee has a previously approved indirect cost rate, it is permissible, otherwise, the applicant may elect to charge the 10 percent indirect cost permitted under 2 CFR 200.414(f) or request a determination of its Indirect Cost Rate. Due to the time required to evaluate Indirect Cost Rates, it is likely that all funds will be awarded by the time the Indirect Cost Rate is determined. No foreign travel is permitted. Pre-Federal award costs will only be permitted with prior written approval by the Agency.

    (g) Applicants must submit applications in hard copy format as previously indicated in the Application and Submission Information section of this notice. If the applicant wishes to hand deliver its application, the addresses for these deliveries can be located in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    (h) If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    E. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria.

    All eligible and complete applications will be evaluated and scored based on the selection criteria and weights contained in 7 CFR 4280.435 and will select grantees subject to the grantees' satisfactory submission of the additional items required by 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E and the USDA Rural Development Letter of Conditions. Failure to address any one of the criteria in 7 CFR 4280.435 by the application deadline will result in the application being determined ineligible, and the application will not be considered for funding. The amount of an RT grant may be adjusted, at the Agency's discretion, to enable the Agency to award RT grants to the applications with the highest priority scores in each category.

    2. Review and Selection Process.

    The State Offices will review applications to determine if they are eligible for assistance based on requirements contained in 7 CFR 4280.416 and 4280.417. If determined eligible, your application will be submitted to the National Office. Funding of Projects is subject to the applicant's satisfactory submission of the additional items required by that subpart and the USDA Rural Development Letter of Conditions. The Agency reserves the right to award additional discretionary points under 7 CFR 4280.435(k).

    In awarding discretionary points, the Agency scoring criteria regularly assigns points to applications that direct loans or grants to Projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. This emphasis will support Rural Development's mission of improving the quality of life for Rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.

    F. Federal Award Administration Information

    1. Federal Award Notices.

    Successful applicants will receive notification for funding from their USDA Rural Development State Office. Applicants must comply with all applicable statutes and regulations before the grant award will be approved. Unsuccessful applications will receive notification by mail.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.

    Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in 7 CFR 4280.408, 4280.410, and 4280.439. Awards are subject to USDA Departmental Grant Regulations at 2 CFR Chapter IV which incorporates the new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 2 CFR part 200.

    All successful applicants will be notified by letter, which will include a Letter of Conditions, and a Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions. This letter is not an authorization to begin performance. If the applicant wishes to consider beginning performance prior to the grant being officially closed, all pre-award costs must be approved in writing and in advance by the Agency. The grant will be considered officially awarded when all conditions in the Letter of Conditions have been met and the Agency obligates the funding for the Project.

    Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E; the Grants and Agreements regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture codified in 2 CFR Chapter IV, and successor regulations.

    In addition, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation (see 2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-282) reporting requirements (see 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt under 2 CFR 170.110(b)).

    The following additional requirements apply to grantees selected for this program:

    (a) Form RD 4280-2 “Rural Business-Cooperative Service Financial Assistance Agreement.”

    (b) Letter of Conditions.

    (c) Form RD 1940-1, “Request for Obligation of Funds.”

    (d) Form RD 1942-46, “Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions.”

    (e) Form AD-1047, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters-Primary Covered Transactions.”

    (f) Form AD-1048, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered Transactions.”

    (g) Form AD-1049, “Certification Regarding a Drug-Free Workplace Requirement (Grants).”

    (h) Form AD-3030, “Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.” Must be signed by corporate applicants who receive an award under this notice.

    (i) Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.” Each prospective recipient must sign Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement, which assures USDA that the recipient is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 7 CFR part 15, and other Agency regulations. That no person will be discriminated against based on race, color or national origin, in regard to any program or activity for which the recipient receives Federal financial assistance. That nondiscrimination statements are in advertisements and brochures.

    Collect and maintain data provided by recipients on race, sex, and national origin and ensure recipients collect and maintain this data. Race and ethnicity data will be collected in accordance with OMB Federal Register notice, “Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity,” (62 FR 58782), October 30, 1997. Sex data will be collected in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These items should not be submitted with the application but should be available upon request by the Agency.

    The applicant and the ultimate recipient must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Executive Order 12250, Executive Order 13166 Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E.

    (j) SF LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,” if applicable.

    (k) Form SF 270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement.”

    3. Reporting.

    (a) A Financial Status Report and a Project performance activity report will be required of all grantees on a quarterly basis until initial funds are expended and yearly thereafter, if applicable, based on the Federal fiscal year. The grantee will complete the Project within the total time available to it in accordance with the Scope of Work and any necessary modifications thereof prepared by the grantee and approved by the Agency. A final Project performance report will be required with the final Financial Status Report. The final report may serve as the last quarterly report. The final report must provide complete information regarding the jobs created and supported as a result of the grant if applicable. Grantees must continuously monitor performance to ensure that time schedules are being met, projected work by time periods is being accomplished, and other performance objectives are being achieved. Grantees must submit an original of each report to the Agency no later than 30 days after the end of the quarter. The Project performance reports must include, but not be limited to, the following:

    (1) A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives established for that period;

    (2) Problems, delays, or adverse conditions, if any, which have affected or will affect attainment of overall Project objectives, prevent meeting time schedules or objectives, or preclude the attainment of particular Project work elements during established time periods. This disclosure shall be accompanied by a statement of the action taken or planned to resolve the situation;

    (3) Objectives and timetable established for the next reporting period;

    (4) Any special reporting requirements, such as jobs supported and created, businesses assisted, or Economic Development which results in improvements in median household incomes, and any other specific requirements, should be placed in the reporting section in the Letter of Conditions; and

    (5) Within 90 days after the conclusion of the Project, the grantee will provide a final Project evaluation report. The last quarterly payment will be withheld until the final report is received and approved by the Agency. Even though the grantee may request reimbursement on a monthly basis, the last 3 months of reimbursements will be withheld until a final Project, Project performance, and financial status report are received and approved by the Agency.

    G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact(s)

    For general questions about this announcement, please contact your USDA Rural Development State Office provided in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    H. Civil Rights Requirements

    All grants made under this notice are subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as required by the USDA (7 CFR part 15, subpart A) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title IX, Executive Order 13166 (Limited English Proficiency), Executive Order 11246, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974.

    I. Other Information Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirement contained in this notice is approved by OMB under OMB Control Number 0570-0070.

    Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act

    All applicants, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, must have a DUNS number, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705-5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Similarly, all applicants must be registered in SAM prior to submitting an application. Applicants may register for the SAM at http://www.sam.gov. All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive total compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170.

    Nondiscrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD 3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410;

    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

    (3) Email: [email protected] USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: June 20, 2018. Bette B. Brand, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13752 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2018 AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Housing Service (RHS) announces the timeframe to submit pre-applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) loans and Section 516 FLH grants for the construction of new off-farm FLH units and related facilities for domestic farm laborers and for the purchase and substantial rehabilitation of non-FLH property. The intended purpose of the loans and grants are to increase the number of available housing units for domestic farm laborers. This Notice describes the method used to distribute funds, the application process, and submission requirements.

    The Agency will publish the amount of funding received from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Pub. L. 115-141, March 23, 2018) on its website at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk.

    Pursuant to section 759 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Pub. L. 115-141, March 23, 2018), the Agency will set aside 10 percent of the FLH funds for project proposals in persistent poverty counties. The Agency will also assign additional points to pre-applications for projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates equal to or greater than 20 percent over the last 30 years. This emphasis will support Rural Development's mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.

    DATES:

    The deadline for receipt of all applications in response to this Notice is 5:00 p.m., local time to the appropriate Rural Development State Office on August 27, 2018. Rural Development will not consider any application that is received after the deadline unless the date and time is extended by another Notice published in the Federal Register. Applicants mailing applications must provide sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the deadline. Acceptance by a post office or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX) and postage due applications will not be accepted.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applicants wishing to submit an application in response to this Notice must contact the Rural Development State Office serving the State of the proposed off-farm FLH project in order to receive further information and copies of the application package. You may find the addresses and contact information for each State Office at, http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices. Rural Development will date and time stamp incoming applications to evidence timely receipt and; upon request, will provide the applicant with a written acknowledgment of receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mirna Reyes-Bible, Senior Finance and Loan Analyst, Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0781 (Room 1263-S), USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-0781, telephone: (202) 720-1753 (this is not a toll free number), or via email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Preface

    The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America at: www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:

    • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service.

    Funding Opportunity Title: Notice of Solicitation Applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2018.

    Announcement Type: Solicitation of pre-applications from qualified applicants for FY 2018.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA): 10.405 and 10.427.

    A. Federal Award Description

    Pre-applications will only be accepted through the date and time listed in this Notice. All awards are subject to availability of funding. Individual requests may not exceed $3 million (total loan and grant). A State Office may not receive more than 30 percent of FLH funding available in FY 2018.

    If there are insufficient applications from around the country to exhaust the Section 514 and Section 516 funds available, the Agency may then exceed the 30 percent cap per State. Section 516 off-farm FLH grants may not exceed 90 percent of the total development cost (TDC) of the housing as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11.

    If leveraged funds are going to be used and are in the form of tax credits, the applicant must include in its pre-application written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). All applications that receive any leveraged funds must have firm commitments in place within 12 months of the issuance of a “Notice of Pre-Application Review Action,” Handbook Letter 106 (3560). Applicants without written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by HFA must certify in writing they will apply for tax credits to HFA and obtain a firm commitment within 12 months of the issuance of a “Notice of Pre-Application Review Action.”

    Rental Assistance (RA) and operating assistance will be available for new construction in FY 2018. Operating assistance is explained at 7 CFR 3560.574 and may be used in lieu of tenant-specific RA in off-farm FLH projects that serve migrant farm workers as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11, that are financed under Section 514 or Section 516 (h) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484 and 1486(h) respectively), and otherwise meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.574.

    In order to maximize the use of our limited supply of FLH funds, we may contact eligible Notice of Solicitation Applications (NOSA) responses selected for an award in point score order starting with the higher scores, with proposals to modify the transaction's proportions of grant and loan funds. In addition, if funds remain after the highest scoring eligible NOSA responses are selected for awards, we may contact those eligible responses not selected for awards, in point score order starting with the highest scores, to ascertain whether those respondents will accept those remaining funds.

    B. Eligibility Information 1. Eligibility

    Housing Eligibility—housing that is constructed with FLH loans and/or grants must meet Rural Development's design and construction standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C. Once constructed, off-farm FLH must be managed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. In addition, off-farm FLH must be operated on a non-profit basis and tenancy must be open to all qualified domestic farm laborers, regardless at which farm they work. Section 514(f)(3) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484(f)(3)) defines domestic farm laborers to include any person regardless of the person's source of employment, who receives a substantial portion of his/her income from the primary production of agricultural or aqua cultural commodities in the unprocessed or processed stage, and also includes the person's family.

    Tenant Eligibility—tenant eligibility is limited to persons who meet the definition of a “disabled domestic farm laborer,” or a “domestic farm laborer,” or “retired domestic farm laborer,” as defined in Section 514(f)(3) of the Housing Act of 1949, as further amended through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. See 42 U.S.C. 1484(f)(3).

    Applicant Eligibility—

    (a) To be eligible to receive a Section 516 grant for off-farm FLH, the applicant must be a broad-based non-profit organization, including community and Faith-Based organizations, a non-profit organization of farm workers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, an agency or political subdivision of a State or local Government, or a public agency (such as a housing authority). The applicant must be able to contribute at least one-tenth of the TDC from non-Rural Development resources which can include leveraged funds.

    (b) To be eligible to receive a Section 514 loan for off-farm FLH, the applicant must be a broad-based non-profit organization, including community and Faith-Based organizations, a non-profit organization of farm workers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, an agency or political subdivision of a State or local Government, a public agency (such as a housing authority), or a limited partnership which has a non-profit entity as its general partner, and

    (i) Be unable to provide the necessary housing from its own resources;

    (ii) Except for State or local public agencies and Indian tribes, be unable to obtain similar credit elsewhere at rates that would allow for rents within the payment ability of eligible residents.

    (iii) Broad-based non-profit organizations must have a membership that reflects a variety of interests in the area where the housing will be located.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching—Section 516 grants for off-farm FLH may not exceed 90 percent of the TDC as provided in 7 CFR 3560.562(c)(1).

    3. Other Requirements—the following requirements apply to loans and grants made in response to this Notice:

    (a) 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E, regarding equal opportunity requirements;

    (b) For grants only, 2 CFR parts 200 and 400, which establishes the uniform administrative and audit requirements for grants and cooperative agreements to State and local Governments and to non-profit organizations;

    (c) 7 CFR part 1901, subpart F, regarding historical and archaeological properties;

    (d) 7 CFR part 1970, regarding environmental review and documentation requirements;

    (e) 7 CFR part 3560, subpart L, regarding the loan and grant authorities of the off-farm FLH program;

    (f) 7 CFR part 1924, subpart A, regarding planning and performing construction and other development;

    (g) 7 CFR part 1924, subpart C, regarding the planning and performing of site development work;

    (h) For construction financed with a Section 516 grant, the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276(a)-276(a)-5) and implementing regulations published at 29 CFR parts 1, 3, and 5;

    (i) All other requirements contained in 7 CFR part 3560, regarding the Sections 514/516 off-farm FLH programs; and

    (j) Please note that grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and maintain registration in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting a pre-application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in the CCR database at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the Agency. Similarly, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

    C. Application and Submission Information 1. Pre-Application Submission

    The application process will be in two phases: The initial pre-application (or proposal) and the submission of a final application. Only those pre-applications or proposals that are selected for further processing will be invited to submit final applications. In the event that a proposal is selected for further processing and the applicant declines, the next highest ranked unfunded pre-application may be selected for further processing. All pre-applications for Sections 514 and 516 funds must be filed with the appropriate Rural Development State Office and must meet the requirements of this Notice. Incomplete pre-applications will not be reviewed and will be returned to the applicant. No pre-application will be accepted after the deadline unless date and time are extended by another Notice published in the Federal Register.

    Pre-applications can be submitted either electronically using the FLH Pre-Application form found at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-labor-housing-direct-loans-grants or in hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Office where the project will be located. Follow the link to find the appropriate Rural Development State Office address for requesting and submitting a pre-application at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/offices/state-offices. Applicants are strongly encouraged; but not required, to submit the pre-application electronically. The electronic form contains a button labeled “Send Form.” By clicking on the button, the applicant will see an email message window with an attachment that includes the electronic form the applicant filled out as a data file with a .pdf extension. In addition, an auto-reply acknowledgement will be sent to the applicant when the electronic Loan Proposal form is received by the Agency unless the sender has software that will block the receipt of the auto-reply email. The State Office will record pre-applications received electronically by the actual date and time when all attachments are received at the State Office.

    Submission of the electronic Section 514 Loan Proposal form does not constitute submission of the entire proposal package which requires additional forms and supporting documentation as listed within this Notice. You may use one of the following options for submitting the entire proposal package comprising of all required forms and documents. On the Loan Proposal form you can indicate the option you will be using to submit each required form and document.

    (a) Electronic Media Option. Submit all forms and documents as read-only Adobe Acrobat files on electronic media such as CDs, DVDs or USB drives. For each electronic device submitted, the applicant should include a Table of Contents of all documents and forms on that device. The electronic media should be submitted to the Rural Development State Office listed in this Notice where the property is located. Any forms and documents that are not sent electronically, including the check for credit reports, must be mailed to the Rural Development State Office.

    (b) Email Option. On the Loan Proposal form you will be asked for a submission email address. This email address will be used to establish a folder on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) server with your unique email address. Once the Loan Proposal form is processed, you will receive an additional email notifying you of the email address that you can use to email your forms and documents. Please Note: All forms and documents must be emailed from the same submission email address. This will ensure that all forms and documents you send will be stored in the folder assigned to that email address. Any forms and documents that are not sent via the email option must be submitted on an electronic media or in hard copy to the Rural Development State Office.

    (c) Hard Copy Submission to the Rural Development State Office. If you are unable to send the proposal package electronically using either of the options listed above, you may send a hard copy of all forms and documents to the Rural Development State Office where the property is located. Hard copy pre-applications received on or before the deadline will receive the close of business time of the day received as the receipt time. Assistance for filing electronic and hard copy pre-applications can be obtained from any Rural Development State Office.

    For electronic submissions, there is a time delay between the time it is sent and the time it is received depending on network traffic. As a result, last-minute submissions sent before the deadline date and time could be received after the deadline date and time because of the increased network traffic. Applicants are reminded that all submissions received after the deadline date and time will be rejected, regardless of when they were sent.

    If a pre-application is accepted for further processing, the applicant must submit a complete, final application, acceptable to Rural Development prior to the obligation of Rural Development funds. If the pre-application is not accepted for further processing the applicant will be notified of appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

    2. Pre-Application Requirements

    (a) The pre-application must contain the following:

    (1) A summary page listing the following items. This information should be double-spaced between items and not be in narrative form.

    i. Applicant's name.

    ii. Applicant's Taxpayer Identification Number.

    iii. Applicant's address.

    iv. Applicant's telephone number.

    v. Name of applicant's contact person, telephone number, and address.

    vi. Amount of loan and/or grant requested.

    vii. For grants of Federal financial assistance (including loans and grants, cooperative agreements, etc.), the applicant's DUNS number and registration in the CCR database in accordance with 2 CFR part 25. As required by OMB, all grant applicants must provide a DUNS number when applying for Federal grants, on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number at (866) 705-5711 or via the internet at: http://www.dnb.com/. Additional information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the Grants.gov website at www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may register for the CCR at: https://www.uscontractorregistration.com/ or by calling (877) 252-2700.

    (2) Awards made under this Notice are subject to the provisions contained in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Pub. L. 115-141, March 23, 2018) sections 745 and 746 regarding corporate felony convictions and corporate Federal tax delinquencies.

    (3) A narrative verifying the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility requirements stated earlier in this Notice. If an applicant is selected for further processing, Rural Development will require additional documentation as set forth in a Conditional Commitment in order to verify the entity has the legal and financial capability to carry out the obligation of the loan.

    (4) Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance,” can be obtained at: http://www.grants.gov or from any Rural Development State Office listed in Section VII of this Notice.

    (5) For loan pre-applications, current (within 6 months of pre-application date) financial statements with the following paragraph certified by the applicant's designated and legally authorized signer:

    “I/we certify the above is a true and accurate reflection of our financial condition as of the date stated herein. This statement is given for the purpose of inducing the United States of America to make a loan or to enable the United States of America to make a determination of continued eligibility of the applicant for a loan as requested in the loan application of which this statement is a part.”

    (6) For loan pre-applications, a check for $24 from applicants made out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This will be used to pay for credit reports obtained by Rural Development.

    (7) Evidence that the applicant is unable to obtain credit from other sources. Letters from credit institutions which normally provide real estate loans in the area should be obtained and these letters should indicate the rates and terms upon which a loan might be provided. (Note: Not required from State or local public agencies or Indian tribes.)

    (8) If an FLH grant is desired, a statement concerning the need for an FLH grant. The statement should include preliminary estimates of the rents required with and without a grant.

    (9) A statement of the applicant's experience in operating labor housing or other rental housing. If the applicant's experience is limited, additional information should be provided to indicate how the applicant plans to compensate for this limited experience (i.e., obtaining assistance and advice of a management firm, non-profit group, public agency, or other organization which is experienced in rental management and will be available on a continuous basis).

    (10) A brief statement explaining the applicant's proposed method of operation and management (i.e., on-site manager, contract for management services, etc.). As stated earlier in this Notice, the housing must be managed in accordance with the program's management regulation, 7 CFR part 3560.

    (11) Provide your entity's projected Return on Investment (ROI) for the requested funds to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of your proposal. Please include the methodology and assumptions you used in the ROI calculation. Also include a detailed examination of outputs and outcomes.

    (12) Applicants must also provide:

    (i) A copy of, or an accurate citation to, the special provisions of State or Tribal law under which they are organized, a copy of the applicant's charter, Articles of Incorporation, and by-laws;

    (ii) The names, occupations, and addresses of the applicant's members, directors, and officers; and

    (iii) If a member or subsidiary of another organization, the organization's name, address, and nature of business.

    (13) A preliminary market survey or market study to identify the supply and demand for farm labor housing in the market area. The market area must be clearly identified and may include only the area from which tenants can reasonably be drawn for the proposed project. Documentation must be provided to justify a need within the intended market area for the housing of domestic farm laborers. The documentation must take into account disabled and retired farm workers. The preliminary survey should address or include the following items:

    (i) The annual income level of farmworker families in the area and the probable income of the farm workers who will likely occupy the proposed housing;

    (ii) A realistic estimate of the number of farm workers who remain in the area where they harvest and the number of farm workers who normally migrate into the area. Information on migratory workers should indicate the average number of months the migrants reside in the area and an indication of what type of family groups are represented by the migrants (i.e., single individuals as opposed to families);

    (iii) General information concerning the type of labor intensive crops grown in the area and prospects for continued demand for farm laborers;

    (iv) The overall occupancy rate for comparable rental units in the area and the rents charged and customary rental practices for these units (i.e., will they rent to large families, do they require annual leases, etc.);

    (v) The number, condition, adequacy, rental rates and ownership of units currently used or available to farm workers;

    (vi) A description of the units proposed, including the number, type, size, rental rates, amenities such as carpets and drapes, related facilities such as a laundry room or community room and other facilities providing supportive services in connection with the housing and the needs of the prospective tenants such as a health clinic or day care facility, estimated development timeline, estimated TDC, and applicant contribution; and

    (vii) The applicant must also identify all other sources of funds, including the dollar amount, source, and commitment status. (Note: A Section 516 grant may not exceed 90 percent of the TDC of the housing.)

    (14) The applicant must submit a checklist, certification, and signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer, as applicable, for any energy programs the applicant intends to participate in.

    (15) The following forms are required:

    (i) A prepared HUD Form 935.2A, “Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan (AFHM) Multi-Family Housing,” in accordance with 7 CFR 1901.203(c). The plan will reflect that occupancy is open to all qualified “domestic farm laborers,” regardless of which farming operation they work and that they will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, marital or familial status or National origin in regard to the occupancy or use of the units. The form can be found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=935-2a.PDF.

    (ii) A proposed operating budget utilizing Form RD 3560-7, “Multiple Family Housing Project Budget/Utility Allowance,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-7.PDF.

    (iii) An estimate of development cost utilizing Form RD 1924-13, “Estimate and Certificate of Actual Cost,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1924-13.PDF.

    (iv) Form RD 3560-30, “Certification of no Identity of Interest (IOI),” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-30.PDF and Form RD 3560-31, “Identity of Interest Disclosure/Qualification Certification,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-31.PDF.

    (v) Form HUD 2530, “Previous Participation Certification,” can be found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=2530.pdf.

    (vi) If requesting RA or Operating Assistance, Form RD 3560-25, “Initial Request for Rental Assistance or Operating Assistance,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-25.PDF.

    (vii) Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD400-4.PDF. Applicants for revitalization, repair, and rehabilitation funding are to apply through the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration program.

    (viii) Evidence of compliance with Executive Order 12372. The applicant must send a copy of Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance,” to the applicant's State clearinghouse for intergovernmental review. If the applicant is located in a State that does not have a clearinghouse, the applicant is not required to submit the form. Applications from Federally recognized Indian tribes are not subject to this requirement.

    (16) Evidence of site control, such as an option contract or sales contract. In addition, a map and description of the proposed site, including the availability of water, sewer, and utilities and the proximity to community facilities and services such as shopping, schools, transportation, doctors, dentists, and hospitals.

    (17) Preliminary plans and specifications, including plot plans, building layouts, and type of construction and materials. The housing must meet Rural Development's design and construction standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C and must also meet all applicable Federal, State, and local accessibility standards.

    (18) A supportive services plan, which describes services that will be provided on-site or made available to tenants through cooperative agreements with service providers in the community, such as a health clinic or day care facility. Off-site services must be accessible and affordable to farm workers and their families. Letters of intent from service providers are acceptable documentation at the pre-application stage.

    (19) A Sources and Uses Statement which shows all sources of funding included in the proposed project. The terms and schedules of all sources included in the project should be included in the Sources and Uses Statement.

    (20) A separate one-page information sheet listing each of the “Pre-Application Scoring Criteria,” contained in this Notice, followed by a reference to the page numbers of all relevant material and documentation that is contained in the proposal that supports the criteria.

    (21) Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to include a checklist of all of the pre-application requirements and to have their pre-application indexed and tabbed to facilitate the review process;

    (22) Evidence of compliance with the requirements of the applicable State Housing Preservation Office (SHPO), and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). A letter from SHPO and/or THPO where the off-farm FLH project is located, signed by their designee will serve as evidence of compliance.

    (23) Environmental information pursuant to the requirements in 7 CFR 1970.

    D. Pre-Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria. Section 514 FLH loan funds and Section 516 FLH grant funds will be distributed to States based on a national competition, as follows:

    (a) Rural Development State Office will accept, review, and score pre-applications in accordance with this Notice. The scoring factors are:

    (1) The presence of construction cost savings, including donated land and construction leverage assistance, for the units that will serve program-eligible tenants. The savings will be calculated as a percentage of the Rural Development TDC. The percentage calculation excludes any costs prohibited by Rural Development as loan expenses, such as a developer's fee. Construction cost savings includes, but is not limited to, funds for hard construction costs, and State or Federal funds which are applicable to construction costs. A minimum of 10 percent cost savings is required to earn points; however, if the total percentage of cost savings is less than 10 percent and the proposal includes donated land, 2 points will be awarded for the donated land. To count as cost savings for purposes of the selection criteria, the applicant must submit written evidence from the third-party funder that an application for those funds has been submitted and accepted points will be awarded in accordance with the following table using rounding to the nearest whole number.

    Percentage Points 75 or more 20 60-74 18 50-59 16 40-49 12 30-39 10 20-29 8 10-19 5 0-9 0

    (2) The presence of operational cost savings, such as tax abatements, non-Rural Development tenant subsidies or donated services are calculated on a per-unit cost savings for the sum of the savings. Savings must be available for at least 5 years and documentation must be provided with the application demonstrating the availability of savings for 5 years. To calculate the savings, take the total amount of savings and divide it by the number of units in the project that will benefit from the savings to obtain the per-unit cost savings. For non-Rural Development tenant subsidy, if the value changes during the 5-year calculation, the applicant must use the lower of the non-Rural Development tenant subsidy to calculate per-unit cost savings. For example, a 10-unit property with 100 percent designated farm labor housing units receiving $20,000 per year non-Rural Development subsidy yields a cost savings of $100,000 ($20,000 × 5 years); resulting to a $10,000 per-unit cost savings ($100,000/10 units).

    Use the following table to apply points:

    Per-unit cost savings Points Above $15,000 50 $10,001—$15,000 35 $7,501—$10,000 20 $5,001—$7,500 15 $3,501—$5,000 10 $2,001—$3,500 5 $1,000—$2,000 2

    (3) 10 points will be awarded to projects in persistent poverty counties. A county is considered persistently poor if 20 percent or more of its population was living in poverty over the last 30 years (measured by the 1990, 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses and 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-year estimates).

    (4) Presence of tenant services.

    Two points will be awarded for each resident service included in the tenant services plan up to a maximum of 10 points. Plans must detail how the services are to be administered, who will administer them, and where they will be administered. All tenant service plans must include letters of intent that clearly state the service that will be provided at the project for the benefit of the residents from any party administering each service, including the applicant. These services may include, but are not limited to, transportation related services, on-site English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, move-in funds, emergency assistance funds, homeownership counseling, food pantries, after school tutoring, and computer learning centers.

    (5) Energy Initiative Scoring Points (the aggregate points for all the Energy Initiative categories may not exceed 20 points).

    Properties may receive points for energy initiatives in the categories of energy conservation, energy generation, water conservation and green property management. Depending on the scope of work (SOW), properties may earn “energy initiative” points in either one of two categories: (1) New Construction or (2) Purchase and Rehabilitation of an Existing Non-Farm Labor Housing Building. Projects will be eligible for one category of the two, but not both.

    Energy programs including LEED for Homes, Green Communities, etc., will each have an initial checklist indicating prerequisites for participation in its energy program. The applicable energy program checklist will establish whether prerequisites for the energy program's participation will be met. All checklists must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable and the project has been enrolled in these programs if enrollment is applicable to that program. In addition, projects that apply for points under the energy generation category must include calculations of savings of energy. Compare property energy usage of three scenarios: (1) Property built to required code of State with no renewables, to (2) property as-designed with commitments to stated energy conservation programs without the use of renewables and (3) property as-designed with commitments to stated energy conservation programs and the use of proposed renewables. Use local average metrics for weather and utility costs and detail savings in kilowatts and dollars. Provide payback calculations. These calculations must be done by a licensed engineer or credentialed renewable energy provider. Include with application, the provider/engineer's credentials including qualifications, recommendations, and proof of previous work. The checklist, affidavit, calculations and qualifications of engineer/energy provider must be submitted together with the loan application.

    Enrollment in the EPA Portfolio Manager Program. All projects awarded scoring points for energy initiatives must enroll the project in the EPA Portfolio Manager Program to track post-construction energy consumption data. More information about this program may be found at: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager.

    (ii) Energy Conservation for New Construction or Purchase and Rehabilitation of an Existing Non-Farm Labor Housing Building. Projects may be eligible for scoring points when the pre-application includes a written certification by the applicant to participate and achieve certification in the following energy efficiency programs. The points will be allocated as follows:

    • Participation in the EPA's Energy Star for Homes V3 program. (2 points) http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.pt_bldr.

    OR

    • Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners. (4 points) http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities.

    OR

    • Participation in one of the following programs will be awarded points for certification.

    Note:

    Each program has four levels of certification. State the level of certification that the applicant plans will achieve in their certification:

    • LEED for Homes program by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC): http://www.usgbc.org.

    —Certified Level (2 points), OR —Silver Level (4 points), OR —Gold Level (6 points), OR —Platinum Level (8 points)

    Applicant must state the level of certification that the applicant's plans will achieve in their certification in its pre-application.

    OR

    • Home Innovation's and The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) ICC 700 National Green Building Standard TM: http://www.nahb.org/.

    —Green-Bronze Level (2 points), OR —Silver Level (4 points), OR —Gold Level (6 points), OR —Emerald Level (8 points).

    Applicant must state the level of certification that the applicant's plans will achieve in their certification in its pre-application.

    AND

    • Participation in the Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready program. (2 points) http://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-home.

    AND

    • Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards. Applicants who participate in a city, county, or municipality program (2 points).

    (iii) Energy Conservation for Rehabilitation. Pre-applications for the purchase and rehabilitation of non-program MFH and related facilities in rural areas may be eligible for scoring points when the pre-application includes a written certification by the applicant to participate in one of the following energy efficiency programs. Again, the certification must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable. Points will be awarded as follows:

    • Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners (3 points) http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities. At least 30 percent of the points needed to qualify for the Green Communities program must be earned under the Energy Efficiency section of Green Communities.

    AND

    • Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards. Applicants who participate in a city, county or municipality program (2 points). The applicant should be aware of and look for additional requirements that are sometimes embedded in the third-party program's rating and verification systems.

    (iv) Energy Generation. Pre-applications for new construction or purchase and rehabilitation of non-program multi-family projects which participate in the above-mentioned programs and receive scoring points for installation of on-site renewable energy sources. Energy analysis of preliminary building plans using industry-recognized simulation software must document the projected total energy consumption of all of the building components and building site usage. Projects with an energy analysis of the preliminary or rehabilitation building plans that propose a 10 percent to 100 percent energy generation commitment (where generation is considered to be the total amount of energy needed to be generated on-site to make the building a net-zero consumer of energy) will be awarded points as follows:

    • 0 to 9 percent commitment to energy generation—0 points • 10 to 20 percent commitment to energy generation—1 point • 21 to 40 percent commitment to energy generation—2 points • 41 to 60 percent commitment to energy generation—3 points • 61 to 80 percent commitment to energy generation—4 points • 81-100 percent or more commitment to energy generation—5 points

    Projects may participate in Power Purchase Agreements or Solar Leases to achieve their on-site renewable energy generation goals provided that the financial obligations of the lease/purchase agreements are clearly documented and included in the application, and qualifying ratios continue to be achieved.

    An additional 1 point will be awarded for off-grid systems, or elements of systems, provided that at least 5 percent of on-site renewable system is off-grid. See www.dsireusa.org for State and local specific incentives and regulations of energy initiatives.

    (v) Water Conservation in Irrigation Measures. Projects may be awarded 1 point for the use of an engineered recycled water (gray water or storm water) for landscape irrigation covering 50 percent or more of the property's site landscaping needs.

    (vi) Property Management Credentials. Projects may be awarded 1 point if the designated property management company or individuals that will assume maintenance and operations responsibilities upon completion of construction work have a Credential for Green Property Management. Credentialing can be obtained from the National Apartment Association (NAA), National Affordable Housing Management Association, The Institute for Real Estate Management, U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Operations and Maintenance (LEED OM), or another source with a certifiable credentialing program. Credentialing must be illustrated in the resume(s) of the property management team and included with the pre-application.

    The National Office will rank all pre-applications nationwide and distribute funds to States in rank order, within funding and RA limits. When proposals have an equal score, preference will be given first to Indian tribes as defined in § 3560.11 and then local non-profit organizations or public bodies whose principal purposes include low-income housing that meet the conditions of § 3560.55(c) and the following conditions:

    • Is exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Service code;

    • Is not wholly or partially owned or controlled by a for-profit or limited-profit type entity;

    • Whose members, or the entity, do not share an identity of interest with a for-profit or limited-profit type entity;

    • Is not co-venturing with another entity; and

    • The entity or its members will not be receiving any direct or indirect benefits pursuant to Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

    If there are two or more applications that have the same score and both cannot be funded, a lottery in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.56(c)(2) will be used to break the tie. If insufficient funds or RA remain for the next ranked proposal, that applicant will be given a chance to modify their pre-application to bring it within remaining funding levels. This will be repeated for each next ranked eligible proposal until an award can be made or the list is exhausted.

    Rural Development will notify all applicants whether their applications have been accepted or rejected and provide appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11, as appropriate.

    E. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices

    Applicants must submit their initial applications by the due date specified in this Notice. Once the applications have been scored and ranked by the National Office, the National Office will advise State Offices of the proposals selected for further processing, State Offices will respond to applicants by letter.

    If the application is not accepted for further processing, the applicant will be notified of appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

    2. Administrative and National Policy

    All FLH loans and grants are subject to the Restrictive-Use Provisions contained in 7 CFR 3560.72(a)(2).

    3. Reporting

    Borrowers must maintain separate financial records for the operation and maintenance of the project and for tenant services. Tenant services will not be funded by Rural Development. Funds allocated to the operation and maintenance of the project may not be used to supplement the cost of tenant services, nor may tenant service funds be used to supplement the project operation and maintenance. Detailed financial reports regarding tenant services will not be required unless specifically requested by Rural Development, and then only to the extent necessary for Rural Development and the borrower to discuss the affordability (and competitiveness) of the service provided to the tenant. The project audit, or verification of accounts on Form RD 3560-10, “Borrower Balance Sheet,” together with an accompanying Form RD 3560-7, Multiple Family Housing Project Budget Utility Allowance,” must allocate revenue and expense between project operations and the service component.

    F. Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Requirements

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program. Political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of a complaint form, call, (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410;

    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

    (3) Email at: [email protected].

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Joel C. Baxley, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13761 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket Number USBC-2018-0011] Request for Comments on the Cross-Agency Priority Goal: Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset AGENCY:

    Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In March 2018, the Trump Administration launched the President's Management Agenda (PMA). It lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. The PMA established a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset with an intended purpose of guiding development of a comprehensive long-term Federal Data Strategy to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, facilitate oversight, and promote transparency (https://www.performance.gov/CAP/CAP_goal_2.html). This notice seeks comment on best strategies and processes for achieving this CAP goal.

    In addition to this request, two additional future requests for comment in September and December will inform draft federal data practices and a year-1 action plan.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by July 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. We will not accept comments by fax or paper delivery. Include the Docket ID and the phrase “Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset Phase 1 Comments” at the beginning of your comments. Also indicate which questions described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of this notice are addressed in your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically under Docket ID USBC-2018-0011. Information on using regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “How to Use This Site.”

    Privacy Note: Comments and information submitted in response to this notice may be made available to the public through relevant websites. Therefore, commenters should only include in their comments information that they wish to make publicly available on the internet. Note that responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as public comments that may be made available to the public.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Hawk, Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce, [email protected] or (202) 482-2134.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose

    The Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, performing the nonexclusive duties and functions of the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the Federal Chief Information Officer, the Chief Statistician of the United States, and executives from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is charged with developing a comprehensive Federal Data Strategy under the PMA CAP goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset. Under this goal, the Federal Government should leverage programmatic, statistical, and mission-support data as a strategic asset to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, facilitate oversight, and promote transparency. The Federal Government's role in collecting and disseminating data is rooted in the U.S. Constitution. Advances in data science have transformed the production and use of data across society, business, and government. The Federal Government needs a robust, integrated approach to creating, acquiring, using, and disseminating data to deliver on mission, serve customers, and steward resources while respecting privacy and confidentiality. Over the next year, an interdisciplinary team from multiple federal agencies will develop work products, including principles, practices, and action steps for a unified approach to federal data stewardship and use, and will test potential plans as part of The Data Incubator Project (described below). Stakeholder engagement is critical to developing a data strategy that is viable and sustainable. This Federal Register notice is the first of three notices and requests for comment to seek public input on the strategy and process. This notice seeks comments on a four-part strategy to:

    1. Manage government data as a strategic asset;

    2. enable the American public, businesses, and researchers to effectively and efficiently access and use data;

    3. improve the use of data for federal decision-making and accountability, including for policy-making, innovation, oversight, and learning; and

    4. facilitate the use of federal data by interested parties to enhance the accessibility and usefulness of that data through commercial ventures, or innovation, or for additional public uses.

    Request for Comments

    This is a general solicitation of comments from the public that offers businesses, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, government entities, and other interested parties the opportunity to offer best practices and use cases to support the Federal Data Strategy. Comments also are sought on draft Principles for a Comprehensive Federal Data Strategy. Finally, commenters are invited to list additional mechanisms that the Federal Government should use to seek interested parties' input on the data strategy. It is for information-gathering and fact-finding purposes only, and should not be construed as a request for proposals or as an obligation on the part of the U.S. Department of Commerce or federal agencies to agree with submitted comments or to incorporate recommendations identified in public comments regarding specific work products.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce requests that respondents briefly address the following questions, where possible and applicable. Respondents are encouraged to focus on questions informed by relevant expertise or perspectives. Clearly indicate which question(s) you address in your response and any evidence to support assertions, where practicable.

    Best Practices Related to the Four Pillars of the Federal Data Strategy

    1. Enterprise Data Governance. Briefly describe which best practices the Federal Government should consider as it sets priorities for managing government data as a strategic asset, including establishing data policies, specifying roles and responsibilities for data privacy, security, and confidentiality protection, and monitoring compliance with standards and policies throughout the information lifecycle.

    2. Access, Use, and Augmentation. List a few best practices that the Federal Government should consider as it develops policies and practices to enable interested parties to effectively and efficiently access and use data assets by: (1) Making data available more quickly and in more useful formats; (2) maximizing the amount of non-sensitive data shared with the public; and (3) leveraging new technologies and best practices to increase access to sensitive or restricted data while protecting privacy, security, and confidentiality, and the interests of data providers.

    3. Decision-Making and Accountability. Which best practices should the Federal Government consider to improve the use of data assets for decision-making and accountability? Specifically, list best practices for:

    • Providing high quality and timely information to inform decision-making and learning;

    • facilitating external research on the effectiveness of government programs and policies which will inform future policymaking; and

    • fostering public accountability and transparency by providing accurate and timely spending information, performance metrics, and other administrative data.

    4. Commercialization, Innovation, and Public Use. Outline best practices that the Federal Government should consider to facilitate the use of Federal Government data interested parties to enhance the accessibility and usefulness of the data through commercial ventures, or innovation, or for additional public uses. Of particular interest are examples of how the Federal Government can promote data use by the private sector and scientific and research communities, by state and local governments for public policy purposes, for education, and in enabling civic engagement. Please include up to four examples of:

    • How enabling external users to access and use government data for commercial or additional public purposes spurs innovative technological solutions and fills gaps in government capacity and knowledge; and

    • how supporting the production and dissemination of comprehensive, accurate, and objective statistics on the state of the nation helps businesses and markets operate more efficiently.

    Interim Work Products

    5. Principles. The interagency team on Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset has written a draft set of principles for a comprehensive data strategy. Please review and provide feedback on their clarity, appropriateness, completeness, and potential duplications.

    Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset: Principles for a Comprehensive Federal Data Strategy

    The following broad principles are intended to guide the development of a comprehensive data strategy that encompasses the breadth of data the Federal Government acquires, uses, and disseminates for program, statistical, and mission-support purposes. These principles include concepts reflected in existing principles, such as those for the protection of personal information, for federal statistical agencies, and for federal evidence building. The principles will inform the development of practices and action steps for the Federal Data Strategy throughout the data lifecycle.

    Stewardship

    1. Exercise Responsibility: Practice effective data stewardship and governance by maintaining modern data security practices, protecting individual privacy, and maintaining promised confidentiality.

    2. Uphold Ethics: Consider, monitor, and assess the implications of federal data practices for the public and provide sufficient checks and balances to protect and serve the public interest.

    3. Promote Transparency: Articulate purposes for acquiring, using, and disseminating data and comprehensively document processes and products to inform data users.

    Quality

    4. Integrate Intentionality: Create, acquire, use, and disseminate data deliberately and thoughtfully, considering quality, consistency, privacy, value, reuse, and interoperability from the start.

    5. Ensure Relevance: Validate that data are high quality, useful, understandable, timely, and needed.

    6. Create Value: Coordinate and prioritize data needs and uses, harness data from multiple sources, and acquire new data only when necessary.

    Continuous Improvement

    7. Demonstrate Responsiveness: Improve data sharing and access with ongoing input from users and other stakeholders.

    8. Prioritize Best Practices: Model, assess, and continuously update best practices throughout the data lifecycle.

    9. Invest in Learning: Promote a culture of continuous and collaborative learning with data and about data.

    10. Practice Accountability: Audit data practices, document and learn from results, and make changes as needed based on findings.

    Sources for Development of Above Principles

    European Statistical System Code of Practice (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/quality/european-statistics-code-of-practice); Fair Information Practice Principles as cited in (https://cep.gov/cep-final-report.html); First Principles of Project Management, (http://www.maxwideman.com/papers/principles/defns.htm); Guiding Principles for Evidence-Based Policymaking (https://cep.gov/cep-final-report.html); Key Principles of Government Information from the American Library Association, (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/govinfo/keyprinciples); OMB Statistical Standards (https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-regulatory-affairs/statistical-programs-standards/); Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, Sixth Edition, (https://www.nap.edu/read/24810/chapter/1).

    6. Call for Use Cases. What Use Cases should the Federal Government consider in developing the Federal Data Strategy?

    Federal Data Strategy: Call for Use Cases

    To solve the most pressing issues facing the nation, we must leverage data as a strategic asset. The United States Federal Data Strategy seeks to replicate, scale, and prioritize key data use cases to serve the public.

    What is a Use Case?

    For the purposes of the Federal Data Strategy, a “Use Case” is a data practice or method that leverages data to support an articulable Federal agency mission or public interest outcome. The Federal Data Strategy is seeking best practices, missed opportunities, common solutions, and game changers that can help inform the four strategy areas:

    1. Enterprise Data Governance. What data governance and stewardship practices should the Federal Government be employing and why?

    2. Use, Access, and Augmentation. What data interoperability techniques or coordination tactics would better serve agency missions and the public?

    3. Decision-making and Accountability. How can the Federal Government better assist policy-makers with data?

    4. Commercialization, Innovation, and Public Use. What data solutions could address a pervasive problem in government service delivery or the public sphere?

    Example Use Case Submissions

    • Economic Development—State and local authorities increasingly need detailed local information about their economies to make informed decisions. The US Census Bureau's Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program (https://lehd.ces.census.gov/) produces new, cost effective, public-use information combining federal, state and Census Bureau data on employers and employees under the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership (https://lehd.ces.census.gov/state_partners/).

    • National Security—Preventing and minimizing adverse effects of cyber-attacks is imperative to national security in the 21st century. National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Vulnerability Database (https://nvd.nist.gov/) and the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute's Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (https://cve.mitre.org/) list enable automation of vulnerability management, security measurement, and compliance.

    • Education—Students seek colleges that give them the best return on their investment. The College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/) provides up-to-date, comprehensive, and reliable information about college costs, student loan amounts, student ability to repay loans, and their expected earnings.

    • Public Safety—Emergency responders rely on up-to-date addresses for timely response. The Federal Geospatial Data Committee (https://www.fgdc.gov/topics/national-address-database) recognizes the need for a free, open, and up-to-date National Address Database (NAD) (https://www.transportation.gov/nad) to serve these critical needs as well as a broad range of government services such as mail delivery, permitting, and school siting. Based on a minimum content approach, the Department of Transportation and the US Census Bureau's NAD pilot collected and standardized addresses from 22 state partners.

    • Health—Local communities and health professionals reacting to the opioid crisis require timely data to assess impact and deliver effective interventions. The Department of Health and Human Services' 5 Point Strategy to Combat the Opioids Crisis includes Point 2, Better Data (https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/hhs-response/better-data/index.html)—supporting more timely, specific public health data and reporting, and accelerating the Center for Disease Control's reporting of drug overdose data.

    Why does the Federal Data Strategy need Use Cases?

    While many high-level civic data challenges have been identified—archaic data management practices and IT legacy systems, issues with data sharing and interoperability, and a lack of secondary use considerations—the Federal Government lacks an overall approach to prioritize data infrastructure improvements that serve the public. The Federal Data Strategy is seeking priority data use cases to ensure it is comprehensive and actionable.

    How will the Federal Data Strategy incorporate Use Cases?

    These use cases will be identified and discussed in the Federal Data Strategy, and a select number of ready use cases will be assessed more deeply in The Data Incubator Project.

    What is The Data Incubator Project?

    A select number of Use Cases deemed “ripe for testing” will be included in The Data Incubator Project. To be “ripe for testing,” these Use Cases must demonstrate potential for replication, scaling, and mission impact. They also must have a ready team for further exploration and assessment purposes. The Data Incubator Project is not a new platform or set of resources, but rather is focused research aimed at identifying methods for the Federal Data Strategy and for agencies going forward. The Federal Data Strategy team will seek academic, private sector, and NGO partnerships to further our learning from The Data Incubator Project.

    How can I submit a Use Case?

    Please submit information about Use Cases in response to this RFC by July 27, 2018.

    To ensure complete use case entries, please provide as much contextual information as possible, such as: contact information for follow-up questions, the Federal agencies or bureaus related to the relevant data, related reference materials (including URLs) such as documentation about the data, practice, or goal of the project, and why this Use Case should be included in Federal Data Strategy development.

    Stakeholder Engagement

    7. What are the best mechanisms for engaging stakeholders in the development of the data strategy? What platforms and processes are both comprehensive and efficient for collecting stakeholder feedback on interim work products and input on next steps?

    Guidance for Submitting Documents

    We ask that each respondent include the name and address of his or her institution or affiliation, and the name, title, mailing and email addresses, and telephone number of a contact person for his or her institution or affiliation, if any. No specific information pertaining to the respondent is required, other than that necessary for self-identification, as a condition of the agency's full consideration of the comment.

    Dated: June 20, 2018. Karen Dunn Kelley, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, Performing the Nonexclusive Duties and Functions of the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13768 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Advisory Committee Charter Renewal AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee charter renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hereby gives notice that the Department of Commerce Acting Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration has determined that charter renewal of the NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee (Committee) is necessary and in the public interest. The renewed charter can be found on the Committee website at the following URL link: https://www.nist.gov/file/443231.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Cuong Nguyen, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8200, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8200; telephone 301-975-2254, fax 301-948-5668; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee was established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. The Committee is composed of nine to fifteen members, appointed by the Director of NIST, who were selected on the basis of established records of distinguished service in their professional community and their knowledge of issues affecting Smart Grid deployment and operations. The Committee advises the Director of NIST in carrying out duties authorized by section 1305 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-140). The Committee provides input to NIST on Smart Grid standards, priorities, and gaps, on the overall direction, status, and health of the Smart Grid implementation by the Smart Grid industry, and on the direction of research and standards activities. Background information on the Committee is available at http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/.

    The Committee functions solely as an advisory body and in compliance with provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Pursuant to section 9(c) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C., App., as amended, copies of the Committee's charter were furnished to the Library of Congress and to the following committees of Congress:

    • Senate Committee on Appropriations • Senate Committee on Finance • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation • House Committee on Appropriations • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Kevin A. Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13822 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce, is contemplating the grant of an exclusive license in the United States of America, its territories, possessions and commonwealths, to NIST's interest in the invention embodied in U.S. Patent 9,726,553 B2, titled “Optical Temperature Sensor and Use of Same” (NIST Docket 13-006) to Fluke Corporation, a subsidiary of Fortive, Inc. The grant of the license would be for manufacture of optical thermometers in all fields.

    DATES:

    The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless NIST receives, by July 12, 2018, written evidence and argument which establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information related to this license may be submitted to NIST, Technology Partnerships Office, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2200, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, or emailed to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald G. Archer, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology Partnerships Office, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2200, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, (301) 975-2522, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a notice in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i) that NIST is contemplating the grant of an exclusive license in the United States of America, its territories, possessions and commonwealths, to NIST's interest in the invention embodied in 9,726,553 B2, titled “Optical Temperature Sensor and Use of Same” (NIST Docket 13-006) to Fluke Corporation, a subsidiary of Fortive, Inc. The grant of the license would be for manufacture of optical thermometers in all fields.

    The prospective exclusive license will be royalty bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published Notice, NIST receives written evidence and argument which establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The Patent was filed on June 11, 2014, issued on August 8, 2017, and describes an optical resonator thermometer.

    Kevin A. Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13821 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Judges Panel) will meet in closed session on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The purpose of this meeting is to review the results of examiners' scoring of written applications. Panel members will vote on which applicants merit site visits by examiners to verify the accuracy of quality improvements claimed by applicants. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The entire meeting will be closed to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Fangmeyer, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1020, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1020, telephone number (301) 975-2360, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3711a(d)(1) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award will meet on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Judges Panel is composed of twelve members, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, with a balanced representation from U.S. service, manufacturing, nonprofit, education, and health care industries. Members are selected for their familiarity with quality improvement operations and competitiveness issues of manufacturing companies, service companies, small businesses, nonprofits, health care providers, and educational institutions. The purpose of this meeting is to review the results of examiners' scoring of written applications. Panel members will vote on which applicants merit site visits by examiners to verify the accuracy of quality improvements claimed by applicants. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed.

    The Acting Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the Assistant General Counsel for Employment, Litigation and Information, formally determined on March 7, 2018, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended by Section 5(c) of the Government in the Sunshine Act, Public Law 94-409, that the meeting of the Judges Panel may be closed to the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4) because the meeting is likely to disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) because for a government agency the meeting is likely to disclose information that could significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action. The meeting, which involves examination of current Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Award) applicant data from U.S. organizations and a discussion of these data as compared to the Award criteria in order to recommend Award recipients, will be closed to the public.

    Kevin A. Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13820 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Permit Family of Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0327.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 37,105.

    Average Hours per Response: Renewal of Atlantic Tunas Dealer Permit application, 5 minutes; renewal applications for the following vessel permits—Atlantic Tunas, HMS Charter/Headboat, HMS Angling, and Swordfish General Commercial, 10 minutes; initial Atlantic Tunas Dealer Permit application, 15 minutes; initial applications for the following vessel permits—Atlantic Tunas, HMS Charter/Headboat, HMS Angling, and Swordfish General Commercial, 35 minutes; One-time application for the IMO/LP number, 30 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 9,971.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for the revision and extension of a current information collection, which includes both vessel and dealer permits.

    Under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. ), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for management of the Nation's marine fisheries. In addition, NMFS must comply with the United States’ obligations under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. ). NMFS issues permits to fishing vessels and dealers in order to collect information necessary to comply with domestic and international obligations, secure compliance with regulations, and disseminate necessary information.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 635.4 require that vessels participating in commercial and recreational fisheries for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) and dealers purchasing Atlantic HMS from a vessel obtain a Federal permit issued by NMFS. This action addresses the renewal of permit applications currently approved under PRA 0648-0327, including both vessel and Atlantic Tunas Dealer permits. Vessel permits include Atlantic Tunas (except Longline permits, which are approved under OMB Control No. 0648-0205), HMS Charter/Headboat, HMS Angling, and Swordfish General Commercial permits. This action also includes the one-time requirement for commercial vessels greater than 20 meters in length to obtain a International Maritime Organization/Lloyd's Registry (IMO/LR) number.

    The primary reason for the revision of this information collection is to reflect that HMS International Trade Permits have been removed from this collection as they were discontinued in 2016, and replaced with the International Fishing Trade Permit (IFTP). The IFTP is covered under OMB Control No. 0648-0732. Thus, the burden and costs associated with renewal and issuance of an initial HMS ITP are no longer applicable to this collection of information.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually and on occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

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

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

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13807 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold a public meeting to solicit comments on the performance evaluation of the Hawaii Coastal Management Program.

    DATES:

    Hawaii Coastal Management Program Evaluation: The public meeting will be held on August 29, 2018, and written comments must be received on or before September 7, 2018.

    For specific dates, times, and locations of the public meetings, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the program or reserve NOAA intends to evaluate by any of the following methods:

    Public Meeting and Oral Comments: A public meeting will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii. For the specific location, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Written Comments: Please direct written comments to Ralph Cantral, Senior Advisor, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2413, or via email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ralph Cantral, Senior Advisor, Policy, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2413, by phone at (843) 740-1143, or via email to [email protected] Copies of the previous evaluation findings and 2016-2020 Assessment and Strategy may be viewed and downloaded on the internet at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations. A copy of the evaluation notification letter and most recent progress report may be obtained upon request by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) requires NOAA to conduct periodic evaluations of federally approved state and territorial coastal programs. The process includes one or more public meetings, consideration of written public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. During the evaluation, NOAA will consider the extent to which the state has met the national objectives, adhered to the management program approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance under the CZMA. When the evaluation is completed, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings.

    You may participate or submit oral comments at the public meeting scheduled as follows:

    Date: August 29, 2018.

    Time: 6:00 p.m., local time.

    Location: Hawaii State Capital Auditorium, 415 Beretania Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

    Written public comments must be received on or before September 7, 2018.

    Dated: June 14, 2018. Keelin Kuipers, Acting Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13774 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Evaluation of Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve; Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold a public meeting to solicit comments for the performance evaluation of the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve.

    DATES:

    Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve Evaluation: The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, and written comments must be received on or before Friday, August 17, 2018.

    For the specific date, time, and location of the public meetings, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the reserve by any of the following methods:

    Public Meeting and Oral Comments: A public meeting will be held in Vermillion, Ohio for the Old Woman Creek Reserve. For the specific location, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Written Comments: Please direct written comments to Ralph Cantral, Senior Advisor, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2413, or via email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ralph Cantral, Senior Advisor, Policy, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2413, by phone at (843) 740-1143, or via email to [email protected] Copies of the previous evaluation findings, Management Plan, and Site Profile may be viewed and downloaded on the internet at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations. A copy of the evaluation notification letter and most recent performance report may be obtained upon request by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Sections 312 and 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) require NOAA to conduct periodic evaluations of federally-approved National Estuarine Research Reserves. The process includes a public meeting, consideration of written public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. For the evaluation of National Estuarine Research Reserves, NOAA will consider the extent to which the state has met the national objectives, adhered to its management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance under the Coastal Zone Management Act. When the evaluation is completed, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings.

    You may participate and submit oral comments at the public meeting scheduled as follows:

    Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

    Time: 5:00 p.m., local time.

    Location: Ritter Public Library Community Room, 5680 Liberty Avenue, Vermillion, Ohio 44089.

    Written comments must be received on or before August 8, 2018.

    Dated: June 7, 2018. Keelin Kuipers, Acting Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13772 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Evaluation of Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve; Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold a public meeting to solicit comments for the performance evaluation of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve.

    DATES:

    Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve Evaluation: The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, and written comments must be received on or before Friday, August 31, 2018.

    For the specific date, time, and location of the public meetings, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the reserve by any of the following methods:

    Public Meeting and Oral Comments: A public meeting will be held in Darien, Georgia for the Sapelo Island Reserve. For the specific location, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Written Comments: Please direct written comments to Pam Kylstra, Evaluator, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2413, or via email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pam Kylstra, Evaluator, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2413, by phone at (843) 740-1259, or via email to [email protected] Copies of the previous evaluation findings, Management Plan, and Site Profile may be viewed and downloaded on the internet at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations. A copy of the evaluation notification letter and most recent performance report may be obtained upon request by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Sections 312 and 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) require NOAA to conduct periodic evaluations of federally-approved National Estuarine Research Reserves. The process includes a public meeting, consideration of written public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. For the evaluation of National Estuarine Research Reserves, NOAA will consider the extent to which the state has met the national objectives, adhered to its management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance under the Coastal Zone Management Act. When the evaluation is completed, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings.

    You may participate and submit oral comments at the public meeting scheduled as follows:

    Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

    Time: 6:30 p.m., local time.

    Location: Sapelo Island Visitors Center, 1766 Landing Road, Darien, GA 31305.

    Written comments must be received on or before August 31, 2018.

    Dated: June 7, 2018. Keelin Kuipers, Acting Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13773 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Recreational Angler Survey of Sea Turtle Interactions.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 12,300.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 minutes each for angler intercept interviews and sea turtle incidental take capture forms.

    Burden Hours: 1,025.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for a new information collection.

    NOAA NMFS would like to conduct an intercept survey to assess the extent of interactions between recreational anglers on piers and other shore-based fishing structures, and sea turtles. This survey will also assess the feasibility of an intercept survey for this purpose in terms response rates and data collection. The survey will be administered on piers and other fixed structures nationwide, but focused within NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region and Southeast Region, and will survey approximately 36,000 individual recreational fishermen. The respondents will be verbally asked a series of questions, no longer than 5 minutes, and the interviewer will record answers. Members of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network will also complete sea turtle incidental take capture forms when applicable.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

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

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

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13808 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: West Coast Limited Entry Groundfish Fixed Gear Economic Data Collection.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 320.

    Average Hours per Response: Initial telephone screen, 2 minutes; follow-up detailed survey, 22 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 64.

    Needs and Uses: This is a request for a new information collection.

    The Northwest Fisheries Science Center is conducting a cost and earnings survey of active vessels operating with a limited entry groundfish permit that has a fixed gear (longline and/or pot) endorsement. Commercial fisheries economic data collections implemented by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) have contributed to legally mandated analyses required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MFCMS), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), and Executive Order 12866 (E.O. 12866).

    Surveys implemented by the NWFSC since 2005 have covered West Coast harvesters, processors, and coastal communities. These surveys have focused on the federally managed groundfish and salmon fisheries as well as the closely related crab and shrimp fisheries. This document describes a data collection covering catcher vessels operate with a limited entry groundfish permit that has a fixed gear (longline and/or pot) endorsement. During 2012 there were 169 vessels active on the West Coast that held a federal groundfish limited entry permit with a fixed gear endorsement. These 169 vessels landed $46.5 million of fish on the West Coast, including $25.3 million of groundfish (including $22.5 million of sablefish) and $16.6 million of crab.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

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

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

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13809 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Washington and Oregon Charter Vessel Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 320.

    Average Hours per Response: Initial telephone screen: 2 minutes; follow-up detailed survey: 22 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 64.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for a new information collection.

    The Northwest Fisheries Science Center will conduct a cost and earnings survey of active marine charter fishing vessel companies in Washington and Oregon. The data collected will be used by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to address statutory and regulatory mandates to determine the quantity and distribution of net benefits derived from living marine resources as well as to predict the economic impacts from proposed management options on charter fishing businesses, shore side industries, and fishing communities. In particular, these economic data collection programs contribute to legally mandated analyses required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MFCMS), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), and Executive Order 12866 (E.O. 12866).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

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

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

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13810 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG291 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Pile Driving Activities for the Restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the Seattle Department of Transportation (Seattle DOT) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving activities for the restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington (Season 2). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than July 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Egger, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the applications and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-construction-activities. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

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

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

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

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

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

    National Environmental Policy Act

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action (i.e., the issuance of an incidental harassment authorization) with respect to potential impacts on the human environment.

    This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in Categorical Exclusion B4 (incidental harassment authorizations with no anticipated serious injury or mortality) of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. Accordingly, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the issuance of the proposed IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review.

    Summary of Request

    On January 27, 2018, NMFS received a request from the Seattle DOT for a second IHA to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving activities for the restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington. A revised request was submitted on May 18, 2018 which was deemed adequate and complete. Seattle DOT's request is for take of 12 species of marine mammals, by Level B harassment and Level A harassment (three species only). Neither Seattle DOT nor NMFS expects serious injury or mortality to result from this activity and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    NMFS previously issued an IHA to Seattle DOT for related work for Season 1 of this activity (82 FR 47176; October 11, 2017). Seattle DOT complied with all the requirements (e.g., mitigation, monitoring, and reporting) of the previous IHA and information regarding their monitoring results may be found in the Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities and Estimated Take sections.

    This proposed IHA would cover the second season of work for the Pier 62 Project for which Seattle DOT obtained a prior IHA (82 FR 47176; October 11, 2017) and intends to request take authorization for subsequent facets of the project. The second season of the larger project is expected to primarily involve the remaining pile driving for Pier 62 and Pier 63. If the Seattle DOT encounters delays due to poor weather conditions, difficult pile driving, or other unanticipated challenges, an additional in-water work season may be necessary. If so, a separate IHA would be prepared for the third season of work.

    Description of Specified Activities Overview

    The proposed project will replace Pier 62 and make limited modifications to Pier 63 on the Seattle waterfront of Elliott Bay, Seattle, Washington. The existing piers are constructed of creosote-treated timber piles and treated timber decking, which are failing. The proposed project would demolish and remove the existing timber piles and decking of Pier 62, and replace them with concrete deck planks, concrete pile caps, and steel piling. The majority of the timber pile removal required by the project occurred during the 2017-2018 in-water work season (Season 1).

    The footprint of Pier 62 will remain as it currently is, with a small amount of additional over-water coverage (approximately 3,200 square feet) created by a new float system added to the south side of Pier 62. This float system is intended for moorage of transient, small-boat traffic, and will not be designed to accommodate mooring or berthing for larger vessels. This includes removing 815 timber piles, and will require installation of 180 steel piles for Pier 62. To offset the additional over-water coverage associated with the new float system, approximately 3,700 square feet of Pier 63 will be removed. This includes removing 65 timber piles, and will require installation of nine steel piles to provide structural support for the remaining portion of Pier 63.

    Dates and Duration

    In-water construction for this application is proposed from August 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019. Pile removal and installation will occur during daylight hours, typically during a work shift of eight hours or less. Timber pile removal for the remaining piles of the Pier 62 Project is estimated to occur on 10 days during the 2018-2019 in-water work window. Pile installation will occur via vibratory and impact hammers. Vibratory hammer use is estimated to occur on up to 53 days, and impact hammer use may occur on up to 64 days, for a total of up to 117 days of pile installation. Therefore, the total number of working days for the project is 127. It is expected that many of the pile installation days will involve both a vibratory and an impact hammer, resulting in fewer cumulative days of pile installation. It is anticipated that the contractor will complete the pile installation during the 2018-2019 in-water work window. In-water work may occur within a modified or shortened work window (September through February) to reduce or minimize effect on juvenile salmonids.

    Specific Geographic Region

    Pier 62 and Pier 63 are located on the downtown Seattle waterfront on Elliot Bay in King County, Washington just north of the Seattle Aquarium (see Figure 1 from the Seattle DOT application). The project will occur between Pike Street and Lenora Street, an urban embayment in central Puget Sound. This is an important industrial region and home to the Port of Seattle, which ranked 8th in the top 10 metropolitan port complexes in the U.S. in 2015. This area includes the proposed construction zone, Elliott Bay, and a portion of Puget Sound.

    Detailed Description of the Specific Activity

    During Season 1, Pier 62 was fully removed, including all support piles, structural components, and decking. The 3,700-square-foot portion of Pier 63 was also removed. A total of 831 piles were removed from Pier 62 and Pier 63 (see Table 1 below). Timber pile removal work in Season 2 (2018-2019 in-water work window) may occur for an estimated 10 days (49 remaining timber piles, if the contractor encounters deteriorated piles that pose a safety hazard or are within the area where grated decking or habitat improvements are to be installed. Seattle DOT estimates 10 days will be needed to remove the old timber piles, 53 days for vibratory installation of steel piles, and 64 days for impact installation of steel piles for a total of 127 in-water construction days for both Pier 62 and Pier 63 (see Table 1 below). Seattle DOT expects most days for vibratory and impact installation of steel piles will overlap, for a total of fewer than 127 days.

    Table 3—Pile Installation and Removal Plan Activity Pile type Number
  • of piles
  • Completed
  • during
  • season 1
  • Actual
  • duration
  • season 1
  • (days)
  • Remaining
  • work
  • season 2
  • Anticipated duration season 2 Hours
  • per day
  • Hammer type Single source sound levels Additive
  • source sound
  • levels
  • Remove Creosote-treated timber, 14-inch 1 880 831 piles removed 19 49 timber piles 10 days 8 Vibratory 2 161 dBRMS Steel template pile, 24-inch 2 2 Daily 3 Vibratory 4 177 dBRMS Install Steel pile, 30-inch 189 2 steel sheet piles installed 1 189 steel piles 53 days
  • 64 days 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • Vibratory
  • Impact
  • 6 177 dBRMS
  • 9 189 dBRMS
  • 7 180 dBRMS
  • 10 189 dBRMS
  • Steel template pile, 24-inch 2 2 Daily 3 Vibratory 4 177 dBRMS Notes: 1. Assumed to be 14-inch diameter. 2. Hydroacoustic monitoring during Pier 62 Season 1 showed unweighted RMS ranging from 140 dB to 169 dB, the 75th percentile of these values is 161 dBRMS and was used to calculate thresholds. 3. The two template piles will be installed and removed daily. The time associated with this activity is included in the overall 8-hour pile driving day associated with installation of the 30-inch steel piles. 4. Assumed to be no greater than vibratory installation of the 30-inch steel pile. 6. Source sound from Port Townsend Test Pile Project (WSDOT 2010). 7. For simultaneous operation of two vibratory hammers installing steel pipe piles, the 180 dBRMS value is based on identical single-source levels, adding three dB based on WSDOT rules for decibel addition (2018). 8. Approximately 20 percent of the pile driving effort is anticipated to require an impact hammer, which results in approximately 11 cumulative days of impact hammer activity. However, the impact hammer activity is sporadic, often occurring for short periods each day. A total of 64 days represents the number of days in which pile installation with an impact hammer could occur, with the anticipation that each day's impact hammer activity would be short. 9. Source level from Colman Dock Test Pile Project (WSDOT 2016). 10. For simultaneous operation of one impact hammer and one vibratory hammer installing 30-inch piles, the original dBRMS estimates differ by more than 10 dB, so the higher value, 189 dBRMS, is used based on WSDOT rules for decibel addition (2018). RMS—root mean square: The square root of the energy divided by the impulse duration. This level is the mean square pressure level of the pulse. It has been used by NMFS to describe disturbance-related effects (i.e., harassment) to marine mammals from underwater impulse-type noises. WSDOT—Washington State Department of Transportation.

    Approximately 20 percent of the pile driving effort is anticipated to require an impact hammer. However, the impact hammer activity is sporadic, often occurring for short periods each day. A total of 64 days represents the number of days in which pile installation with an impact hammer could occur, with the anticipation that each day's impact hammer activity would be short.

    The 14-inch (in) timber piles will be removed with a vibratory hammer or pulled with a clamshell bucket. The 30-in steel piles will be installed with a vibratory hammer to the extent possible. The maximum extent of pile removal and installation activities are described in Table 1.

    An impact hammer will be used for proofing steel piles or when encountering obstructions or difficult ground conditions. In addition, a pile template will be installed to ensure the piles are placed properly. The template, which consists of two temporary 24-inch pipe piles connected by a structural steel frame, is both installed and removed with a vibratory hammer; the contractor positions the template, installs a set of piles, then moves the template to a new area. Template piles typically do not need to be installed as deep as the structural piles; the necessary embedment will vary depending on the substrate conditions. The Seattle DOT anticipates moving the template daily, but this will not increase the total number of vibratory pile driving days. The contractor may elect to operate multiple pile crews for the Pier 62 Project. As a result, more than one vibratory or impact hammer may be active at the same time. The Seattle DOT will not operate more than two vibratory hammers concurrently. For the Pier 62 Project, there is a low likelihood that multiple impact hammers would operate in a manner that piles would be struck simultaneously; however, as a conservative approach we used multiple-source decibel rule when determining the Level A and B harassment zones for this project. Table 2 provides guidance on adding decibels to account for multiple sources (WSDOT 2015a):

    Table 2—Multiple Source Decibel Addition When two decibel
  • values differ by:
  • Add the following to the higher decibel value:
    0-1 dB 3 dB 2-3 dB 2 dB 4-9 dB 1 dB >10 dB or more 0 dB

    The Seattle DOT anticipates proofing 10 piles, spread over the different geological zones and construction zones of the pier foundation. For this proofing effort, one impact crane would be mobilized. In addition to proofing, if a pile reaches refusal (i.e., can be driven no farther) with a vibratory hammer, an impact hammer would be used to drive the pile to the required depth or embedment. It is not possible to anticipate which piles will need to be driven with an impact hammer.

    It is not possible to know in advance the location of the crews and hammers on a given day, nor how many crews will be working each day. The multiple-source decibel addition method does not result in significant increases in the noise source when an impact hammer and vibratory hammer are working at the same time, because the difference in noise sources is greater than 10 dB. For periods when two vibratory hammers are operating simultaneously, an increase in noise level could be generated, and this will be accounted for when determining Level A Harassment Zones (PTS isopleths) and Level B Harassment Zones for all marine mammal hearing groups.

    If the Seattle DOT encounters delays due to poor weather conditions, difficult pile driving, or other unanticipated challenges, an additional in-water work season may be necessary. If so, a separate IHA would be prepared for the third season of work. In-water work will occur within the designated work window (August through February).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    The marine mammal species under NMFS's jurisdiction that have the potential to occur in the construction area include Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), both southern resident and transient killer whales (Orcinus orca), humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), and minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) (Table 3). Of these, the southern resident killer whale (SRKW) and humpback whale are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pertinent information for each of these species is presented in this document to provide the necessary background to understand their demographics and distribution in the area.

    Table 3—Marine Mammal Species Potentially Present in Region of Activity Common name Scientific name Stock ESA/
  • MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin, most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • PBR Annual
  • M/SI 3
  • Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Eschrichtiidae: Gray whale Eschrichtius robustus Eastern North Pacific -; N 20,990 (0.05; 20,125; 2011) 624 132 Family Balaenidae: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae novaeangliae California/Oregon/Washington E; D 1,918 (0.03; 1,876; 2017) 11.0 ≥9.2 Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata scammoni California/Oregon/Washington -; N 636 (0.72, 369, 2014) 3.5 ≥1.3 Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae: Killer whale Orcinus orca Eastern North Pacific Offshore -; N 240 (0.49, 162, 2014) 1.6 0 Killer whale Orcinus orca Eastern North Pacific Southern Resident E; D 83 (na, 83, 2016) 0.14 0 Long-beaked common dolphin Dephinus delphis California -; N 101,305 (0.49; 68,432, 2014) 657 ≥35.4 Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus California/Oregon/Washington Offshore -; N 1,924 (0.54; 1,255, 2014) 11 ≥1.6 Family Phocoenidae (porpoises): Harbor Porpoise Phocoena phocoena Washington Inland Waters -; N 11,233 (0.37; 8,308; 2015) 66 ≥7.2 Dall's Porpoise Phocoenoides dalli California/Oregon/Washington -; N 25,750 (0.45, 17,954, 2014) 172 0.3 Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions): California sea lion Zalophus californianus U.S. -; N 296,750 (na, 153,337, 2011) 9,200 389 Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus Eastern DPS -; N 41,638 (-; 41,638; 2015) 2,498 108 Family Phocidae (earless seals): Harbor seal Phoca vitulina Washington Northern Inland Waters stock -; N 11,036 (0.15, -, 1999) Undet. 9.8 Northern elephant seal Mirounga angustirostris California breeding -; N 179,000 (na; 81,368, 2010) 4,882 8.8  1—Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock.  2—NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable.  3—These values, found in NMFS's SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). Annual mortality/serious injury (M/SI) often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value or range. A CV associated with estimated mortality due to commercial fisheries is presented in some cases.

    Sections 3 and 4 of the application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/marine-mammal-stock-assessments) and more general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's website for whales (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/whales), dolphins and porpoises (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/dolphins-porpoises), and pinnipeds (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/seals-sea-lions).

    Table 3 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in Elliott Bay and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA and potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2017). PBR is defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality from anthropogenic sources are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats.

    Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study or survey area. NMFS's stock abundance estimates for most species represent the total estimate of individuals within the geographic area, if known, that comprises that stock. For some species, this geographic area may extend beyond U.S. waters. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in the NMFS's U.S. 2017 Draft SARs for the Pacific (Carretta et al., 2017), Alaska (Muto et al., 2017) or the 2016 SARs (Carretta et al., 2016) if species numbers haven't changed. All values presented in Table 3 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2017 Draft SARs (Carretta et al., 2017; Muto et al., 2017) or 2016 SARs (Carretta et al. 2016). Additional information may be found in the 2015 Pacific Navy Marine Species Density Database (U.S. Department of the Navy (U.S. Navy) 2015) and can also be accessed online at: http://nwtteis.com/Portals/NWTT/files/supporting_technical/REVISED_NWTT_FINAL_NMSDD_Technical_Report_04_MAY_2015.pdf.

    All species that could potentially occur in the proposed survey areas are included in Table 3. As described below, all 12 species temporally and spatially co-occur with the activity to the degree that take is reasonably likely to occur, and we have proposed authorizing it.

    Summary of Season 1 Pier 62 Marine Mammal Occurrence

    Marine mammal monitoring during pile driving/removal activities occurred for 21 days, between December 29, 2017, and February 21, 2018. Throughout the Season 1 monitoring season, a total of 167 California sea lions and 72 harbor seals were observed, mostly at the Alki and Magnolia sites, but only a few were taken by Level B harassment. Eight California sea lions and ten harbor seals were taken by Level B harassment. There were no takes by Level A harassment nor any serious injuries or mortalities. No other species were observed.

    Harbor Seal

    Individual harbor seals occur along the Elliott Bay shoreline. There is one documented harbor seal haulout area near Bainbridge Island, approximately 6 miles (9.66 km) from Pier 62. The haulout, which is estimated at less than 100 animals, consists of intertidal rocks and reef areas around Blakely Rocks and is within the area of potential effects but at the outer extent near Bainbridge Island (Jefferies et al. 2000), though harbor seals also make use of docks, buoys and beaches in the area. The level of use of this haulout during the fall and winter is unknown, but is expected to be much less than during the spring and summer, as air temperatures become colder than water temperatures, resulting in seals in general hauling out less. Harbor seals are perhaps the most commonly observed marine mammal in the area of potential effects.

    Six harbor seals were observed (and taken) within the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zone during vibratory activity during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Higher numbers of harbor seals were observed at the Alki and Magnolia sites; however, those animals were outside the Level B zone for vibratory pile removal so were not considered as “taken” under the previous IHA for Season 1. The number of harbor seals observed from all three monitoring locations (Alki, Magnolia and around the construction site) combined ranged from 0 to 11 per day, with an average of 3 harbor seals per day.

    Marine mammal monitoring also occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project (EBSP), during which 267 harbor seals were documented as takes in the Pier 62 Project area (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). Numbers of harbor seals observed on the project varied from zero to seven per day, with an average of 1, 1, 2, and 3 observed daily in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. Additional marine mammal monitoring results in the vicinity of the projects, are as follows:

    2016 Seattle Test Pile Project: 56 Harbor seals were observed over 10 days in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs. The maximum number sighted during one day was 13 (Washington State Ferries (WSF) 2016).

    2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project: Six harbor seals were observed during this one-day project in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs (WSF 2012).

    2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 Project: 281 Harbor seals were observed over 29 days in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs (HiKARI 2012).

    Northern Elephant Seal

    No elephant seals were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Marine mammal monitoring also occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the EBSP, during which no elephant seals were observed in the project area (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). Similarly, no elephant seals were observed during monitoring for the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project, the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project, or the 2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 Project (WSF 2016).

    California Sea Lion

    California sea lions are often observed in the area of potential effects. There are four documented haulout sites near Bainbridge Island, approximately six miles from Pier 62, and two documented haulout sites between Bainbridge Island and Magnolia (Jefferies et al. 2000). The nearest documented California sea lion haulout sites are 3 km (2 miles) southwest of Pier 62, although sea lions also make use of docks and buoys in the area.

    Eight California sea lions were observed (and taken) within the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zone during vibratory activity during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Higher numbers of California sea lions were observed at the Alki and Magnolia sites; however, those animals were outside the Level B zone for vibratory pile removal so were not considered as “taken” under the previous IHA for Season 1. The number of sea lions observed from all three monitoring locations (Alki, Magnolia and around the construction site) combined ranged from 0 to 13 per day, with an average of 8 sea lions per day.

    Marine mammal monitoring also occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the EBSP, during which 951 California sea lions were documented as takes in the project area (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). California sea lions were frequently observed (average seven per day in 2014 and 2015, three per day in 2016 and 2017, and a maximum of 15 over a day) hauled out on two navigational buoys within the project area (near Alki Point) and swimming along the shoreline. Additional marine mammal monitoring results in the vicinity of the projects, are as follows:

    2016 Seattle Test Pile project: 12 California sea lions were observed over 10 days in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs. The maximum number sighted during one day was four (WSF 2016).

    2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile project: 15 California sea lions were observed during this one-day project in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs (WSF 2012).

    2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 project: 382 California sea lions were observed over 29 days in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs. The maximum number sighted during one day was 37; however seals, may have been double counted during these observations (HiKARI 2012).

    Steller Sea Lion

    Steller sea lions are a rare visitor to the Pier 62 area of potential effects. Steller sea lions use haulout locations in Puget Sound. The nearest haulout to the project area is located approximately six miles away (9.66 km). This haulout is composed of net pens offshore of the south end of Bainbridge Island. The population of Steller sea lions at this haulout has been estimated at less than 100 individuals (Jeffries et al. 2000).

    No steller sea lions were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Marine mammal monitoring occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the EBSP, during which three Steller sea lions were observed and documented as takes in the project area (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017).

    No Steller sea lions were observed during monitoring for the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project or the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project (WSF 2016).

    Killer Whale

    The Eastern North Pacific SRKW and West Coast Transient (transient) stocks of killer whale may be found near the project site. The SRKW live in three family groups known as the J, K and L pods. The Southern Residents are listed as endangered under the ESA. Transient killer whales generally occur in smaller (less than 10 individuals), less structured pods (NMFS 2013). According to the Center for Whale Research (CWR) (2015), they tend to travel in small groups of one to five individuals, staying close to shorelines, often near seal rookeries when pups are being weaned. The transient killer whale sightings have become more common since mid-2000. Unlike the SRKW pods, transients may be present in an area for hours or days as they hunt pinnipeds.

    A long-term database maintained by the Whale Museum contains sightings and geospatial locations of SRKWs, among other marine mammals, in inland waters of Washington State (Osborne 2008). Data are largely based on opportunistic sightings from a variety of sources (i.e., public reports, commercial whale watching, Soundwatch, Lime Kiln State Park land-based observations, and independent research reports), but the database is regarded as a robust but difficult to quantify inventory of occurrences. The data provide the most comprehensive assemblage of broad-scale habitat use by the SRKW in inland waters.

    Based on reports from 1990 to 2008, the greatest number of unique killer whale sighting-days near or in the area of potential effects occurred from November through January, although observations were made during all months except May (Osborne 2008). Most observations were of SRKWs passing west of Alki Point (82 percent of all observations), which lies on the edge or outside the area of potential effects; this pattern is potentially due to the high level of human disturbance or highly degraded habitat features currently found within Elliott Bay. J Pod, with an estimated 23 members, is the pod most likely to appear year-round near the San Juan Islands, in the lower Puget Sound near Seattle, and in Georgia Strait at the mouth of the Fraser River. J Pod tends to frequent the west side of San Juan Island in mid to late spring (CWR 2011, 2017).

    An analysis of sightings in 2011 described an estimated 93 sightings of SRKWs near the area of potential effects (Whale Museum 2011). During this same analysis period, 12 transient killer whales were also observed near the area of potential effects. The majority of all sightings in this area are of groups of killer whales moving through the main channel between Bainbridge Island and Elliott Bay and outside the area of potential effects (Whale Museum 2011). The purely descriptive format of these observations makes it impossible to discern what proportion of the killer whales observed entered the area of potential effects; however, it is assumed that individuals do enter this area on occasion.

    No killer whales were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Marine mammal monitoring also occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) of the EBSP, during which two killer whales were documented as takes in the project area (unknown if SRKW or transient), and one pod of six whales was also observed in Elliott Bay more than 30 minutes before or after pile driving activity (no take documented; Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). This pod of six whales were not identified as SRKW or transients.

    During the 2016 Seattle Test Pile project, 0 SRKW were observed over 10 days in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs (WSF 2016). During the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile project, 0 SRKW were observed during this one day project in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs (WSF 2012). On February 5, 2016, a pod of up to 7 transients were reported in the area (Orca Network Archive Report 2016a).

    Long-Beaked Common Dolphin

    No long-beaked common dolphins were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Marine mammal monitoring also occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) of the EBSP, during which no long-beaked common dolphins were observed in the project area (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).

    No long-beaked common dolphins were observed during monitoring for the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project, the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project, or the 2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 project. However, there were reported sightings in the Puget Sound in the summer of 2016. Beginning on June 16, long-beaked common dolphins were observed near Victoria, British Columbia. Over the following weeks, a pod of 15 to 20 (including a calf) was observed in central and southern Puget Sound. They were positively identified as long-beaked common dolphins (Orca Network 2016a). This is the first confirmed observation of a pod of long-beaked common dolphins in Washington waters—NMFS states that as of 2012, long-beaked common dolphins had not been observed during surveys in Washington waters (Carretta et al. 2016). Two individual long-beaked common dolphins were observed in 2011, one in August and one in September (Whale Museum 2015).

    Bottlenose Dolphin

    NOAA offshore surveys from 1991 to 2014 resulted in no sightings during study transects off the Oregon or Washington coasts (NOAA 2017d). However, in October 2017, multiple sightings of a bottlenose dolphin were reported to Orca Network throughout the Puget Sound and in Elliott Bay. Two bottlenose dolphins were observed in Elliott Bay in one week of monitoring (WSDOT 2017) and a group of seven dolphins were observed in 2017 and were positively identified as part of the CA coastal stock (Cascadia Research Collective, 2017). It is acknowledged that bottlenose dolphins could occur within the project area.

    No bottlenose dolphins were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. In addition, no bottlenose dolphins were observed during monitoring for the EBSP, the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project or the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017; WSF 2012, 2016).

    Gray Whale

    Gray whale sightings are typically reported in February through May and include an observation of a gray whale off the ferry terminal at Pier 52 heading toward the East Waterway in March 2010 (CWR 2011). Three gray whales were observed near the project area during 2011 (Whale Museum 2011), but the narrative format of the observations make it difficult to discern whether these individuals entered the area of potential effects. It is assumed that gray whales might rarely occur in the area of potential effects.

    No gray whales were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. No gray whales were observed during monitoring for Seasons 1, 2,3, or 4 of the EBSP (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017), the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project, the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project, or the 2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 Project (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016; WSF 2016a).

    Humpback Whale

    Prior to 2016, humpback whales were listed under the ESA as an endangered species worldwide. Following a 2015 global status review (Bettridge et al., 2015), NMFS established 14 distinct population segments (DPS) with different listing statuses (81 FR 62259; September 8, 2016) pursuant to the ESA. The DPSs that occur in U.S. waters do not necessarily equate to the existing stocks designated under the MMPA and shown in Table 3. Because MMPA stocks cannot be portioned, i.e., parts managed as ESA-listed while other parts managed as not ESA-listed, until such time as the MMPA stock delineations are reviewed in light of the DPS designations, NMFS considers the existing humpback whale stocks under the MMPA to be endangered and depleted for MMPA management purposes (e.g., selection of a recovery factor, stock status). Within U.S. west coast waters, three current DPSs may occur: the Hawaii DPS (not listed), Mexico DPS (threatened), and Central America DPS (endangered).

    Humpback whales are only rare visitors to Puget Sound. There is evidence of increasing numbers in recent years (Falcone et al. 2005). A rare encounter with one and possibly two humpbacks occurred in Hood Canal (well away from the area of potential effects) as recently as February 2012 (Whale Museum 2012). Humpbacks do not visit Puget Sound every year and are considered rare in the area of potential effects (Whale Museum 2011); however, they have the potential to occur at least during the Pier 62 Project construction period.

    No humpback whales were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Marine mammal monitoring also occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) of the EBSP, during which two humpback whales were observed in the project area (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). In addition, no humpback whales were observed during monitoring for the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project, the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project, or the 2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 Project (WSF 2016a).

    Minke Whale

    Minke whales are relatively common in the San Juan Islands and Strait of Juan de Fuca (especially around several of the banks in both the central and eastern Strait), but are relatively rare in Puget Sound (WSF 2016a). No minke whales were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. No minke whales were observed during monitoring for Season 1, 2, 4, or 4 of the EBSP, the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project, the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project, or the 2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 Project (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016; WSF 2016).

    Harbor Porpoise and Dall's Porpoise

    No harbor porpoise or Dall's porpoise were observed during Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project. Marine mammal monitoring occurred on 175 days during Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) of the EBSP, during which one harbor porpoise was observed and documented as a take in the project area; no Dall's porpoises were observed (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016. 2017).

    During the 2012 Seattle Aquarium Pier 60 Project, five harbor porpoises and one Dall's porpoise were observed over 29 days in the area that corresponds to the upcoming project ZOIs, with a maximum of three observed in one day (HiKARI 2012). Neither harbor porpoise nor Dall's porpoise were observed during monitoring for the 2012 Seattle Slip 2 Batter Pile Project or the 2016 Seattle Test Pile Project (WSF 2016).

    Marine Mammal Hearing

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

    Low-frequency cetaceans (mysticetes): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 7 hertz (Hz) and 35 kilohertz (kHz);

    Mid-frequency cetaceans (larger toothed whales, beaked whales, and most delphinids): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 Hz and 160 kHz;

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

    Pinnipeds in water; Phocidae (true seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 50 Hz to 86 kHz; and

    Pinnipeds in water; Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between 60 Hz and 39 kHz.

    The pinniped functional hearing group was modified from Southall et al. (2007) on the basis of data indicating that phocid species have consistently demonstrated an extended frequency range of hearing compared to otariids, especially in the higher frequency range (Hemilä et al., 2006; Kastelein et al., 2009; Reichmuth and Holt, 2013).

    For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016a) for a review of available information. Twelve marine mammal species (8 cetacean and 4 pinniped (2 otariid and 2 phocid) species) have the reasonable potential to co-occur with the proposed survey activities. Please refer to Table 3. Of the cetacean species that may be present, three are classified as low-frequency cetaceans (i.e., all mysticete species), three are classified as mid-frequency cetaceans (i.e., all delphinid and ziphiid species), and two are classified as high-frequency cetaceans (i.e., harbor and Dall's porpoise).

    Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

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

    The Seattle DOT's Pier 62 Project using in-water pile driving and pile removal could adversely affect marine mammal species and stocks by exposing them to elevated noise levels in the vicinity of the activity area.

    Exposure to high intensity sound for a sufficient duration may result in auditory effects such as a noise-induced threshold shift (TS)—an increase in the auditory threshold after exposure to noise (Finneran et al. 2005). Factors that influence the amount of threshold shift include the amplitude, duration, frequency content, temporal pattern, and energy distribution of noise exposure. The magnitude of hearing threshold shift normally decreases over time following cessation of the noise exposure. The amount of threshold shift just after exposure is the initial threshold shift. If the threshold shift eventually returns to zero (i.e., the threshold returns to the pre-exposure value), it is a temporary threshold shift (Southall et al. 2007).

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

    For marine mammals, published data are limited to the captive bottlenose dolphin, beluga, harbor porpoise, and Yangtze finless porpoise (Finneran et al., 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010a, 2010b; Finneran and Schlundt, 2010; Lucke et al., 2009; Mooney et al., 2009a, 2009b; Popov et al., 2011a, 2011b; Kastelein et al., 2012a; Schlundt et al., 2000; Nachtigall et al., 2003, 2004). For pinnipeds in water, data are limited to measurements of TTS in harbor seals, an elephant seal, and California sea lions (Kastak et al., 1999, 2005; Kastelein et al., 2012b).

    Lucke et al. (2009) found a TS of a harbor porpoise after exposing it to airgun noise with a received SPL at 200.2 dB (peak-to-peak) re: 1 μPa, which corresponds to a sound exposure level (SEL) of 164.5 dB re: 1 μPa2 s after integrating exposure. Because the airgun noise is a broadband impulse, one cannot directly determine the equivalent of rms SPL from the reported peak-to-peak SPLs. However, applying a conservative conversion factor of 16 dB for broadband signals from seismic surveys (McCauley et al. 2000) to correct for the difference between peak-to-peak levels reported in Lucke et al. (2009) and rms SPLs, the rms SPL for TTS would be approximately 184 dB re: 1 μPa, and the received levels associated with PTS (Level A harassment) would be higher. However, NMFS recognizes that TTS of harbor porpoises is lower than other cetacean species empirically tested (Finneran and Schlundt 2010; Finneran et al. 2002; Kastelein and Jennings 2012).

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

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

    Masking occurs at the frequency band that the animals utilize. Therefore, since noise generated from vibratory pile driving activity is mostly concentrated at low frequency ranges, it may have less effect on high frequency echolocation sounds by odontocetes (toothed whales). However, lower frequency man-made noises are more likely to affect detection of communication calls and other potentially important natural sounds such as surf and prey noise. It may also affect communication signals when they occur near the noise band and thus reduce the communication space of animals (e.g., Clark et al. 2009) and cause increased stress levels (e.g., Foote et al. 2004; Holt et al. 2009).

    Unlike TS, masking, which can occur over large temporal and spatial scales, can potentially affect the species at population, community, or even ecosystem levels, as well as individual levels. Masking affects both senders and receivers of the signals and could have long-term chronic effects on marine mammal species and populations. Recent science suggests that low frequency ambient sound levels have increased by as much as 20 dB (more than three times in terms of sound pressure level) in the world's ocean from pre-industrial periods, and most of these increases are from distant shipping (Hildebrand 2009). For Seattle DOT's Pier 62 Project, noises from vibratory pile driving and pile removal contribute to the elevated ambient noise levels in the project area, thus increasing potential for or severity of masking. Baseline ambient noise levels in the vicinity of project area are high due to ongoing shipping, construction and other activities in the Puget Sound.

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

    The onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise depends on both external factors (characteristics of noise sources and their paths) and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography) and is also difficult to predict (Southall et al., 2007). Currently NMFS uses a received level of 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) to predict the onset of behavioral harassment from impulse noises (such as impact pile driving), and 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous noises (such as vibratory pile driving). For the Seattle DOT's Pier 62 Project, both of these noise levels are considered for effects analysis because Seattle DOT plans to use both impact and vibratory pile driving, as well as vibratory pile removal.

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

    Habitat—The primary potential impacts to marine mammal habitat are associated with elevated sound levels produced by pile driving and removal associated with marine mammal prey species. However, other potential impacts to the surrounding habitat from physical disturbance are also possible. Prey species for the various marine mammals include marine invertebrates and fish species. Short-term effects would occur to marine invertebrates during removal of existing piles. This effect is expected to be minor and short-term on the overall population of marine invertebrates in Elliott Bay. Construction will also have temporary effects on salmonids and other fish species in the project area due to disturbance, turbidity, noise, and the potential resuspension of contaminants. All in-water work will occur during the designated in-water work window, to minimize effects on juvenile salmonids with the exception of some Chinook salmon that may be found along the seawall into October. Additionally, marine resident fish species are only present in limited numbers along the seawall during the in-water work season and primarily occur during the summer months, when work would not be occurring (Anchor QEA 2012).

    SPLs from impact pile driving has the potential to injure or kill fish in the immediate area. These few isolated fish mortality events are not anticipated to have a substantial effect on prey species population or their availability as a food resource for marine mammals.

    Studies also suggest that larger fish are generally less susceptible to death or injury than small fish. Moreover, elongated forms that are round in cross section are less at risk than deep-bodied forms. Orientation of fish relative to the shock wave may also affect the extent of injury. Open water pelagic fish (e.g., mackerel) seem to be less affected than reef fishes. The results of most studies are dependent upon specific biological, environmental, explosive, and data recording factors.

    The huge variation in fish populations, including numbers, species, sizes, and orientation and range from the detonation point, makes it very difficult to accurately predict mortalities at any specific site of detonation. Most fish species experience a large number of natural mortalities, especially during early life-stages, and any small level of mortality caused by the Seattle DOT's impact pile driving will likely be insignificant to the population as a whole.

    For non-impulsive sound such as that of vibratory pile driving, experiments have shown that fish can sense both the strength and direction of sound (Hawkins 1981). Primary factors determining whether a fish can sense a sound signal, and potentially react to it, are the frequency of the signal and the strength of the signal in relation to the natural background noise level.

    The level of sound at which a fish will react or alter its behavior is usually well above the detection level. Fish have been found to react to sounds when the sound level increased to about 20 dB above the detection level of 120 dB (Ona 1988); however, the response threshold can depend on the time of year and the fish's physiological condition (Engas et al. 1993).

    During construction activity of the Pier 62 Project, only a small fraction of the available habitat would be ensonified at any given time. Disturbance to fish species would be short-term and fish would return to their pre-disturbance behavior once the pile driving activity ceases. Thus, the proposed construction would have little, if any, impact on the abilities of marine mammals to feed in the area where construction work is proposed.

    Finally, the time of the proposed construction activity would avoid the spawning season of the ESA-listed salmonid species between March and July.

    Short-term turbidity is a water quality effect of most in-water work, including pile driving. Cetaceans are not expected to be close enough to the Pier 62 Project to experience turbidity, and any pinnipeds will be transiting the terminal area and could avoid localized areas of turbidity. Therefore, the impact from increased turbidity levels is expected to be discountable to marine mammals.

    For these reasons, any adverse effects to marine mammal habitat in the area from the Seattle DOT's proposed Pier 62 would not be significant.

    Estimated Take

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

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

    Authorized takes would primarily be by Level B harassment, as exposure to pile driving activities has the potential to result in disruption of behavioral patterns for individual marine mammals. There is also some potential for auditory injury (Level A harassment) to result, primarily for high frequency species due to larger predicted auditory injury zones. Auditory injury is unlikely to occur for mid-frequency species and most pinnipeds. The proposed mitigation and monitoring measures (i.e., shutdown zones, use of a bubble curtain, etc. as discussed in detail below in “Proposed Mitigation” section), are expected to minimize the severity of such taking to the extent practicable. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Described in the most basic way, we estimate take by considering: (1) Acoustic thresholds above which NMFS believes the best available science indicates marine mammals will be behaviorally harassed or incur some degree of permanent hearing impairment; (2) the area or volume of water that will be ensonified above these levels in a day; (3) the density or occurrence of marine mammals within these ensonified areas; and, (4) and the number of days of activities. Below, we describe these components in more detail and present the proposed take estimates.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Using the best available science, NMFS has developed acoustic thresholds that identify the received level of underwater sound above which exposed marine mammals would be reasonably expected to be behaviorally harassed (equated to Level B harassment) or to incur PTS of some degree (equated to Level A harassment).

    Level B Harassment for non-explosive sources—Though significantly driven by received level, the onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise exposure is also informed to varying degrees by other factors related to the source (e.g., frequency, predictability, duty cycle), the environment (e.g., bathymetry), and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography, behavioral context) and can be difficult to predict (Southall et al. 2007, Ellison et al. 2011). Based on what the available science indicates and the practical need to use a threshold based on a factor that is both predictable and measurable for most activities, NMFS uses a generalized acoustic threshold based on received level to estimate the onset of behavioral harassment. NMFS predicts that marine mammals are likely to be behaviorally harassed in a manner we consider Level B harassment when exposed to underwater anthropogenic noise above received levels of 120 dB re 1 μPa root mean square (rms) for continuous (e.g., vibratory pile-driving, drilling) sources and above 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for non-explosive impulsive (e.g., impact pile driving sources. Seattle DOT's proposed activity includes the use of continuous (vibratory pile driving and removal) and impulsive (impact pile driving) sources, and therefore the 120 and 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) are applicable.

    Level A harassment for non-explosive sources—NMFS's Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (NMFS, 2016a) identifies dual criteria to assess auditory injury (Level A harassment) to five different marine mammal groups (based on hearing sensitivity) as a result of exposure to noise from two different types of sources (impulsive or non-impulsive). Seattle DOT's proposed activity includes the use of continuous (vibratory pile driving and removal) and impulsive (impact pile driving) sources.

    These thresholds were developed by compiling and synthesizing the best available science and soliciting input multiple times from both the public and peer reviewers to inform the final product, and are provided in Table 4 below. The references, analysis, and methodology used in the development of the thresholds are described in NMFS 2016 Technical Guidance, which may be accessed at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/document/underwater-acoustic-thresholds-onset-permanent-and-temporary-threshold-shiftshttp://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm.

    Table 4—Thresholds Identifying the Onset of Permanent Threshold Shift Hearing group PTS onset thresholds Impulsive Non-impulsive Low-Frequency (LF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 219 dB
  • L E,LF,24h: 183 dB
  • L E,LF,24h: 199 dB
    Mid-Frequency (MF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 230 dB
  • L E,MF,24h: 185 dB
  • L E,MF,24h: 198 dB
    High-Frequency (HF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 202 dB
  • L E,HF,24h: 155 dB
  • L E,HF,24h: 173 dB
    Phocid Pinnipeds (PW)
  • (Underwater)
  • L pk,flat: 218 dB
  • L E,PW,24h: 185 dB
  • L E,PW,24h: 201 dB
    Otariid Pinnipeds (OW)
  • (Underwater)
  • L pk,flat: 232 dB
  • L E,OW,24h: 203 dB
  • L E,OW,24h: 219 dB
    * Dual metric acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds: Use whichever results in the largest isopleth for calculating PTS onset. If a non-impulsive sound has the potential of exceeding the peak sound pressure level thresholds associated with impulsive sounds, these thresholds should also be considered. Note: Peak sound pressure (Lpk) has a reference value of 1 μPa, and cumulative sound exposure level (LE) has a reference value of 1μPa2s. In this Table, thresholds are abbreviated to reflect American National Standards Institute standards (ANSI 2013). However, peak sound pressure is defined by ANSI as incorporating frequency weighting, which is not the intent for this Technical Guidance. Hence, the subscript “flat” is being included to indicate peak sound pressure should be flat weighted or unweighted within the generalized hearing range. The subscript associated with cumulative sound exposure level thresholds indicates the designated marine mammal auditory weighting function (LF, MF, and HF cetaceans, and PW and OW pinnipeds) and that the recommended accumulation period is 24 hours. The cumulative sound exposure level thresholds could be exceeded in a multitude of ways (i.e., varying exposure levels and durations, duty cycle). When possible, it is valuable for action proponents to indicate the conditions under which these acoustic thresholds will be exceeded.
    Ensonified Area

    Here, we describe operational and environmental parameters of the activity that fed into identifying the area ensonified above the acoustic thresholds.

    Background noise is the sound level that would exist without the proposed activity (pile driving and removal, in this case), while ambient sound levels are those without human activity (NOAA 2009). The marine waterway of Elliott Bay is very active, and human factors that may contribute to background noise levels include ship traffic. Natural actions that contribute to ambient noise include waves, wind, rainfall, current fluctuations, chemical composition, and biological sound sources (e.g., marine mammals, fish, and shrimp; Carr et al. 2006). Background noise levels were compared to the relevant threshold levels designed to protect marine mammals to determine the Level B Harassment Zones for noise sources. Based on hydroacoustic monitoring conducted during Season 1 of the Pier 62 Project to determine background noise in the vicinity of the project, the background level of 124 dB rms was used to calculate the attenuation for vibratory pile driving and removal in Season 2 (Greenbusch Group 2018). Although NMFS's harassment threshold is typically 120 dB for continuous noise, recent site-specific measurements collected by The Greenbusch Group (2018) as required by the Season 1 IHA indicate that ambient sound levels are typically higher than this sound level and ranged from 117 dB to 145 dB. Therefore, we used the, 124 dB rms (also the same noise level as Season 1), as the relevant threshold for Season 2 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project, assuming that any noise generated by the project below 124 dB would be subsumed by the existing background noise and have little likelihood of causing additional behavioral disturbance.

    The source level of vibratory removal of 14-in timber piles is based on hydroacoustic monitoring measurements conducted at the Pier 62 project site during Season 1 vibratory removal (Greenbusch Group 2018). The recorded source level ranged from 140 to 169 dB rms re 1 micropascal (μPa) at 10 meters (m) from the pile, with the 75th percentile at 161 dB rms. This level, 161 dB rms, was chosen as the source value for vibratory timber removal in Season 2 because it is a conservative estimate of potential noise generation; 75 percent of the timber pile removal noise generated in Season 1 was on average lower than 161 dB rms. The sound source levels for installation of the 30-in steel piles and 24-in template piles are based on surrogate data compiled by WSDOT. This value was also used for other pile driving projects (e.g., WSDOT Seattle Multimodal Construction Project—Colman Dock (82 FR 31579; July 7, 2017)) in the same area as the Seattle Pier 62 project. In February of 2016, WSDOT conducted a test pile project at Colman Dock. The measured results from Colman Dock were used for that project and also here to provide source levels for the prediction of isopleths ensonified over thresholds for the Seattle Pier 62 project. The results showed that the sound pressure level (SPL) root-mean-square (rms) for impact pile driving of a 36-in steel pile is 189 dB re 1 µPa at 14 m from the pile (WSDOT 2016b). This value is also used for impact driving of the 30-in steel piles, which is a precautionary approach. Source level of vibratory pile driving of 36-in steel piles is based on test pile driving at Port Townsend in 2010 (Laughlin 2011). Recordings of vibratory pile driving were made at a distance of 10 m from the pile. The results show that the SPLrms for vibratory pile driving of 36-in steel pile was 177 dB re 1 µPa (WSDOT 2016a). The source sound level of 177 dB is used for vibratory steel installation of 30-in piles and 24-in template piles. The template pile activity occurs in conjunction with vibratory installation of 30-in steel piles. As such, the template pile activity is conservatively included as part of 30-in vibratory steel installation for the purposes of estimating take and monitoring the project activities. Sound generated by template pile activity (removal and installation of 24-in steel piles) is expected to be quieter than sound generated during vibratory steel installation of 30-in piles, because the piles are smaller and do not need to be driven as deep as structural, permanent 30-in steel piles.

    The method of incidental take requested is Level B acoustical harassment of marine mammals within the 160 dB rms disturbance threshold (impact pile driving); the 120 dB rms disturbance threshold (vibratory pile driving); and the 120 dB rms disturbance threshold for vibratory removal of piles. Therefore, three different Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones were established and will be in place during pile driving installation or removal (Table 5). Measured ambient noise levels in the area are 124 dB; therefore, NMFS only considers take likely to occur in the area ensonified above 124 dB, as pile driving noise below 124 dB would likely be masked or their impacts diminished such that any reactions would not be considered take as a result of the high ambient noise levels.

    For the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones, sound waves propagate in all directions when they travel through water until they dissipate to background levels or encounter barriers that absorb or reflect their energy, such as a landmass. Therefore, the area of the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones was determined using land as the boundary on the north, east and south sides of the project. On the west, land was also used to establish the zone for vibratory driving. From Alki on the south and Magnolia on the north, a straight line of transmission was established out to Bainbridge Island. For impact driving (and vibratory removal), sound dissipates much quicker and the impact zone stays within Elliott Bay. Pile-related construction noise would extend throughout the nearshore and open water environments to just west of Alki Point and a limited distance into the East Waterway of the Lower Duwamish River, a highly industrialized waterway. Because landmasses block in-water construction noise, a “noise shadow” created by Alki Point is expected to be present immediately west of this feature (refer to Seattle DOT's application for maps depicting the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones).

    Table 5—Level B Zone Harassment/Monitoring Zones Descriptions and Duration of Activity Sound source Activity Construction
  • method
  • Level B
  • threshold
  • (m)
  • Level B
  • harassment
  • zones
  • (km2) 2
  • Days of
  • activity
  • 1 Removal of 14-in Timber Piles Vibratory 1 1,848 4.8 10 2 Installation of 30-in Steel Piles and Temporary 24-in Template Steel Piles Vibratory 1 54,117 91 53 3 Installation of 30-in Steel Piles Impact 2,929 2.3 64 Notes: 1 The Level B thresholds for vibratory installation and removal were calculated to 124 dB rms as the actual ambient noise level rather than 120 dB. 2 The Level B Harassment Zones are not based on the distances given but represent actual ensonified area given the surrounding land configuration of Elliott Bay.

    When NMFS Technical Guidance (NMFS 2016) was published, in recognition of the fact that ensonified area/volume could be more technically challenging to predict because of the duration component in the new thresholds, we developed a User Spreadsheet that includes tools to help predict a simple isopleth that can be used in conjunction with marine mammal density or occurrence to help predict takes. We note that because of some of the assumptions included in the methods used for these tools, we anticipate that isopleths produced are typically going to be overestimates of some degree, which will result in some degree of overestimate of Level A harassment take. However, these tools offer the best way to predict appropriate isopleths when more sophisticated 3D modeling methods are not available, and NMFS continues to develop ways to quantitatively refine these tools, and will qualitatively address the output where appropriate. For stationary sources such as vibratory and impact pile driving, NMFS's User Spreadsheet predicts the closest distance at which, if a marine mammal remained at that distance the whole duration of the activity, it would not incur PTS. Inputs used in the User Spreadsheet, and the resulting isopleths/Level A Harassment Zones are reported below.

    The PTS isopleths were identified for each hearing group for impact and vibratory installation and removal methods that will be used in the Pier 62 Project. The PTS isopleth distances were calculated using the NMFS acoustic threshold calculator (NMFS 2016), with inputs based on measured and surrogate noise measurements taken during the EBSP and from WSDOT, and estimating conservative working durations (Table 6 and Table 7).

    Table 6—NMFS Technical Acoustic Guidance User Spreadsheet Input To Predict PTS Isopleths/Level A Harassment [User Spreadsheet Input] Spreadsheet Tab Used Sound source 1 (A) Vibratory pile driving
  • (removal)
  • Sound source 2 (A) Vibratory pile driving
  • (installation)
  • Sound source 3 (E.1) Impact pile driving
  • (installation)
  • Source Level (rms SPL) a 161 dB b 180 dB Source Level (Single Strike/shot SEL) c 176 dB Weighting Factor Adjustment (kHz) 2.5 2.5 2 (a) Number of strikes in 1 h 20 (a) Activity Duration (h) within 24-h period 8 8 4 Propagation (xLogR) 15 15 15 Distance of source level measurement (meters) † 10 10 14 a Greenbusch Group 2018. Pier 62 Project—Draft Acoustic Monitoring Season 1 (2017/2018) Report. Prepared for City of Seattle Department of Transportation. April 9, 2018. b Source level for 30-in steel piles was from test pile driving at Port Townsend Ferry Terminal in 2010. SPLrms for vibratory pile driving was 177 dB re 1 μPa. and 3 dB was added for use of two hammers. c Source information is from the Underwater Sound Level Report: Colman Dock Test Pile Project 2016.
    Table 7—NMFS Technical Acoustic Guidance User Spreadsheet Output for Predicted PTS Isopleths and Level A Harassment Daily Ensonified Areas [User Spreadsheet Output] Sound source type PTS isopleth (meters) Low-frequency
  • cetaceans
  • Mid-frequency
  • cetaceans
  • High-frequency
  • cetaceans
  • Phocid
  • pinnipeds
  • Otariid Pinnipeds
    1—Vibratory (pile removal) 27.3 2.4 40.4 16.6 1.2 2—Vibratory (installation) 504.8 44.7 746.4 306.8 21.5 3—Impact (installation) 88.6 3.2 105.6 47.4 3.5 Level A Harassment Daily ensonified area (km2) a Vibratory (pile removal) 0.001171 0.0000091 0.002564 0.000433 0.0000023 Vibratory (installation) 0.400275 0.003139 0.875111 0.147853 0.000726 Impact (installation) 0.012331 0.000016 0.017517 0.003529 1.92423E-05 Note: a Daily ensonified areas were divided by two to only account for the ensonified area within the water and not over land.
    Marine Mammal Occurrence and Take Calculation and Estimation

    In this section we provide the information about the presence, density, or group dynamics of marine mammals that informed the take calculation and we describe how the marine mammal occurrence information is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate. In some cases (e.g., harbor seals and California sea lions) we used local monitoring to calculate estimated take; however, We also present take estimates (where available) using the species density data from the 2015 Pacific Navy Marine Species Density Database (U.S. Navy 2015), as a comparison for estimated take of marine mammals. For harbor porpoise, we estimated take using the density estimates provided in Jefferson et al., 2016 as this is the best available density information for this species.

    Where species density is available, take estimates are based on average marine mammal density in the project area multiplied by the area size of ensonified zones within which received noise levels exceed certain thresholds (i.e., Level A and B harassment) from specific activities, then multiplied by the total number of days such activities would occur.

    Unless otherwise described, incidental take is estimated by the following equation:

    Incidental take estimate = species density * zone of influence * days of pile-related activity

    However, adjustments were made for nearly every marine mammal species, whenever their local abundance is known through monitoring during Season 1 activities and other monitoring efforts. In those cases, the local abundance data was used for take calculations for the authorized take instead of general animal density (see below).

    Harbor Seal

    The take estimate for harbor seals for Pier 62 is based on local seal abundance information using the maximum number of seals (13) sighted in one day during the 2016 Seattle Test Pile project multiplied by the total of 127 pile driving days for the Seattle DOT Pier 62 Project Season 2 for 1,651 seals. Fifty-three of the 127 days of activity would involve installation by vibratory pile driving, which has a much larger Level A Harassment Zone (306.8 m) than the Level A Harassment Zones for vibratory removal (16.6 m) and impact pile driving (47.4 m). Harbor seals may be difficult to observe at greater distances, therefore, during vibratory pile driving, it may not be known how long a seal is present in the Level A Harassment Zone. We estimate that four instances of harbor seals may occur by Level A harassment during these 53 days. Four instances of potential take by Level A harassment was based the local observational data for harbor seals, the larger ensonified area during vibratory pile driving for installation, and our best professional judgment that an animal would remain within the injury zone for prolonged exposure of intense noise. The instances of take by Level B harassment (1,651 seals) was adjusted to exclude those already counted for instances of take bye Level A harassment, so the proposed authorized instances of take by Level B harassment is 1,647 harbor seals.

    As a comparison, using U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015) for the inland waters of Puget Sound, potential take of harbor seal is shown in Table 8. Based on these calculations, instances of take by Level A is estimated at 10 harbor seals from vibratory pile driving and instances of take by Level B is estimated at 6,107 harbor seals from all sound sources. However, observational data from previous projects on the Seattle waterfront have documented only a fraction of what is calculated using the Navy density estimates for Puget Sound. For example, between zero and seven seals were observed daily for the EBSP and 56 harbor seals were observed over 10 days in the area with the maximum number of 13 harbor seals sighted during the 2016 Seattle Test Pile project (WSF 2016). During marine mammal monitoring for Season 1 of the Seattle DOT Pier 62 Project, 10 harbor seals were observed within the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zone during vibratory activity. Project activities in Season 1, primarily timber vibratory removal, had a smaller Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zone than vibratory steel installation (the primary activity for Seasons 2), so it is expected that harbor seal observations and takes in Season 2 will be greater and will more closely resemble observational data from other monitoring efforts such as EBSP and Seattle Test Pile Project.

    Table 8—Harbor Seal Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound source Species density Level A
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • take
  • Level A
  • Estimated take
  • Level B
  • 1 1.219 0.000176 4.8 10 0 58. 2 1.219 0.147853 91 53 10 5,879 (*Adjusted 5,869). 3 1.219 0.003529 2.3 64 0 180. Note: km2—square kilometers. * Number of Level B takes was adjusted to exclude those already counted for Level A takes.
    Northern Elephant Seal

    For the Northern elephant seal, the Whale Museum (as cited in WSDOT 2016a) reported one sighting in the relevant area between 2008 and 2014. In addition, based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), potential take of northern elephant seal is expected to be zero. Therefore, the Seattle DOT is requesting authorization for an instance of take by Level B harassment of one northern elephant seal.

    California Sea Lion

    The take estimate of California sea lions for Pier 62 is based on Season 1 marine mammal monitoring for the Seattle DOT Pier 62 Project and four seasons of local sea lion abundance information from the EBSP. Marine mammal visual monitoring during the EBSP indicates that a maximum of 15 sea lions were observed in a day during 4 years of project monitoring (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Based on a total of 127 pile driving days for the Seattle Pier 62 project Season 2, it is estimated that up to 1,905 California sea lions (15 sea lions multiplied by 127 days) could be exposed to noise levels associated with “take.” Since the calculated Level A Harassment Zones of otariids are all very small (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that any sea lions would be taken by Level A harassment. Therefore, all California sea lion takes estimated here are expected to be takes by Level B harassment and NMFS proposes to authorize instances of take by Level B harassment of 1,905 California sea lions.

    As a comparison, using the U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015) for the inland waters of Washington, including Eastern Bays and Puget Sound, potential take of California sea lion is shown in Table 9. The estimated instances of take by Level B harassment is 636 California sea lions. However, the Seattle DOT believes that this estimate is unrealistically low, based on local marine mammal monitoring.

    Sound source Species
  • density
  • Level A
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A take
  • Estimated
  • Level B take
  • 1 0.1266 2.26E-06 4.8 10 0 6 2 0.1266 0.000726 91 53 0 611 3 0.1266 1.92423E-05 2.3 64 0 19 Note: km 2—square kilometers.
    Steller Sea Lion

    No local monitoring data of Steller sea lions is available. Therefore, the estimated take for Steller sea lions is based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), and is shown in Table 10. Since the calculated Level A Harassment Zones of otariids are all very small (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that any Steller sea lions would be taken by Level A harassment. The Seattle DOT is requesting authorization instances of take by Level B harassment of 185 Steller sea lions.

    Table 10—Steller Sea Lion Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound source Species density Level A
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A
  • take
  • Estimated
  • Level B
  • take
  • 1 0.0368 2.26E-06 4.8 10 0 2 2 0.0368 0.000726 91 53 0 178 3 0.0368 1.92423E-05 2.3 64 0 5 Note: km 2—square kilometers.
    Southern Resident Killer Whale

    The take estimate of SRKW for Pier 62 is based on local data and information from the Center for Whale Research (CWR). J-pod is the pod most likely to appear in the lower Puget Sound near Seattle with a group size of approximately 23 SRKW in 2017, 24 in 2016, and 29 in 2015. (CWR 2017). Therefore, NMFS proposes to authorize instances of take by Level B harassment of 23 SRKW based on a single occurrence of one pod (i.e., J Pod—23 individuals) that would be most likely to be seen near Seattle. Since the Level A Harassment Zones of mid-frequency cetaceans are small (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that any SRKW would be taken by Level A harassment.

    The Seattle DOT will coordinate with the Orca Network and the CWR in an attempt to avoid all take of SRKW, but it may be possible that a group may enter the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones before Seattle DOT could shut down due to the larger size of the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones particularly during vibratory pile driving (installation).

    As a comparison, using the U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015) the density for the SRKW is variable across seasons and across the range. The inland water density estimates vary from 0.000000 to 0.000090/km2 in summer, 0.001461 to 0.004760/km2 in fall, and 0.004761 to 0.020240/km2 in winter. Therefore, estimated takes as shown in Table 11 are based on the highest density estimated during the winter season (0.020240/km2) for the SRKW population. With the variable winter density, estimates can range from 24 to 102 SRKW, with the upper take estimate greater than the estimated population size.

    Table 11—Southern Resident Killer Whale Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound source Species
  • density
  • Level A
  • ZOI (km2)
  • Level B
  • ZOI (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A
  • take
  • Estimated
  • Level B
  • take
  • 1 0.020240 0.0000091 4.8 10 0 1 2 0.020240 0.003139 91 53 0 98 3 0.020240 0.000016 2.3 64 0 3 Note: km2—square kilometers.
    Transient Killer Whale

    The take estimate of transient killer whales for Pier 62 is based on local data. Seven transients were reported in the project area (Orca Network Archive Report 2016a). Therefore, NMFS proposes to authorize instances of take by Level B harassment of 42 transient killer whales, which would cover up to 2 groups of up to 7 transient whales entering into the project area and remaining there for three days. Since the Level A Harassment Zones of mid-frequency cetaceans are small (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that any transient killer whales would be taken by Level A harassment.

    As a comparison, based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), potential take of transient killer whale is shown in Table 12. As with the SRKW, the density estimate of transient killer whales is variable between seasons and regions. Density estimates range from 0.000575 to 0.001582/km2 in summer, from 0.001583 to 0.002373/km2 in fall, and from 0.000575 to 0.001582/km2 in winter. Work could occur throughout summer, fall and winter, so the highest estimate, fall density, was used to conservatively estimate take. For instances of take by Level B harassment, this results in a take estimate of twelve SRKW. However, the Seattle DOT believes that this estimate is low based on local data of seven transients that were reported in the area (Orca Network Archive Report 2016a).

    Table 12—Transient Killer Whale Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound source Species
  • density
  • Level A
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A
  • take
  • Estimated
  • Level B
  • take
  • 1 0.002373 0.000004 4.8 10 0 0 2 0.002373 0.003139 91 53 0 12 3 0.002373 0.000016 2.3 64 0 0 Note: km2—square kilometers.
    Long-beaked Common Dolphin

    The take estimate of Long-beaked common dolphin for Pier 62 is based on local monitoring data.. In 2016, the Orca Network (2016c) reported a pod of up to 20 long-beaked common dolphins. Therefore, the Seattle DOT is requesting authorization for instances of take by Level B harassment of 20 long-beaked common dolphins. Since the Level A Harassment Zones of mid-frequency cetaceans are all very small (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that the long-beaked common dolphin would be taken by Level A harassment. Based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), potential instances take of long-beaked common dolphin is expected to be zero; therefore, we believe it more appropriate to use local monitoring data.

    Bottlenose Dolphin

    The take estimate of bottlenose dolphin for Pier 62 is based on local monitoring data. In 2017 the Orca Network (2017) reported sightings of a bottlenose dolphin in Puget Sound and in Elliott Bay, and WSDOT observed two bottlenose dolphins in one week during monitoring for the Colman Dock Multimodal Project (WSDOT 2017). In addition, a group of seven dolphins were observed in 2017 and were positively identified as part of the CA coastal stock (Cascadia Research Collective, 2017). Bottlenose dolphins typically travel in groups of 2 to 15 in coastal waters (NOAA 2017). Therefore, the Seattle DOT is requesting instances of takes by Level B harassment of seven bottlenose dolphins. Since the Level A Harassment Zones of mid-frequency cetaceans are all very small (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that the common bottlenose dolphin would be taken by Level A harassment. Based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), instances of potential take by Level B harassment of bottlenose dolphin is expected to be zero; therefore, we believe it more appropriate to use local monitoring data.

    Harbor Porpoise

    Species density estimates from Jefferson et al. (2016), is the best available density data available for the potential take of harbor porpoise and is shown in Table 13. Instances of take by Level A harassment is estimated at 32 harbor porpoises and instances of take by Level B harassment is estimated at 3,431 exposures to harbor porpoises. Therefore, NMFS proposes to authorize instances take by Level A harassment of 32 harbor porpoises and instances of take by Level B harassment of 3,431 harbor porpoises.

    Table 13—Harbor Porpoise Estimated Take Based on Jefferson et al., (2016) Sound source Species
  • density
  • Level A
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A
  • take
  • Estimated
  • Level B
  • take
  • 1 0.69 0.002564 4.8 10 0 33. 2 0.69 0.875111 91 53 32 3,328 (* Adjusted 3,296). 3 0.69 0.017517 2.3 64 0 102. Note: km2—square kilometers * Number of Level B takes was adjusted to exclude those already counted for Level A takes. Take is instances not individuals.
    Dall's Porpoise

    No local monitoring data of Dall's porpoise is available. Therefore, the estimated instances of take for Dall's porpoise is based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), as shown in Table 14. Based on these calculations, NMFS proposes to authorize instances of take by Level A harassment of two Dall's porpoise and instances take by Level B harassment of 196 Dall's porpoise.

    Table 14—Dall's Porpoise Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound
  • source
  • Species
  • density
  • Level A ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A
  • take
  • Estimated
  • Level B
  • take
  • 1 0.039 0.002564 4.8 10 0 2. 2 0.039 0.875111 91 53 2 190 (* Adjusted 188). 3 0.039 0.017517 2.3 64 0 6. Note: km2—square kilometers. * Number of Level B takes was adjusted to exclude those already counted for Level A takes.
    Humpback Whale

    Based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), potential take of humpback whale is shown in Table 15. Although the standard take calculations would result in an estimated take of less than one humpback whale, to be conservative, the Seattle DOT is requesting authorization for instances of take by Level B harassment of five humpback whales based on take during previous work in Elliott Bay where two humpback whales were observed, including one take, during the 175 days of work during the previous four years (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). Since the Level A Harassment Zones of low-frequency cetaceans are smaller during vibratory removal (27.3 m) or impact installation (88.6 m) compared to the Level A Harassment Zone for vibratory installation (504.8 m) (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that any humpbacks would be taken by Level A harassment during removal or impact installation. We also do not believe any humpbacks would be taken during vibratory installation due to the ability to see humpbacks easily during monitoring and additional coordination with the Orca Network and the CWR which would enable the work to be shut down before a humpback would be taken by Level A harassment.

    Table 15—Humpback Whale Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound
  • source
  • Species
  • density
  • Level A ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A take
  • Estimated
  • Level B take
  • 1 0.00001 0.001171 4.8 10 0 0 2 0.00001 0.400275 91 53 0 0 3 0.00001 0.012331 2.3 64 0 0 Note: km2—square kilometers.
    Gray Whale

    No local monitoring data of gray whales is available. Therefore, the instances of estimated take for gray whales is based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), as shown in Table 16. Therefore, the Seattle DOT is requesting authorization for instances of take by Level B harassment of four gray whales. Since the Level A Harassment Zones of low-frequency cetaceans are smaller during vibratory removal (27.3 m) or impact installation (88.6 m) compared to the Level A Harassment Zone for vibratory installation (504.8 m) (Table 7), we do not consider it likely that any gray whales would be taken by Level A harassment during removal or impact installation. We also do not believe any gray whales would be taken by Level A harassment during vibratory installation due to the ability to see gray whales easily during monitoring and additional coordination with the Orca Network and the CWR, which would enable the work to be shut down before a gray whale would be taken by Level A harassment.

    Table 16—Gray Whale Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Sound
  • source
  • Species
  • density
  • Level A ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A take
  • Estimated
  • Level B take
  • 1 0.00051 0.001171 4.8 10 0 0 2 0.00051 0.400275 91 53 0 3 3 0.00051 0.012331 2.3 64 0 1 Note: km2—square kilometers.
    Minke Whale

    Between 2008 and 2014, the Whale Museum (as cited in WSDOT 2016a) reported one sighting in the relevant area. To be conservative the Seattle DOT is requesting authorization for instances of take by Level B harassment of two minke whales, based on previous sightings in the construction area by the Whale Museum. Based on the low probability that a minke whale would be observed during the project and then also enter into a Level A zone, we do not consider it likely that any minke whales would be taken by Level A harassment. As a comparison, based on U.S. Navy species density estimates (U.S. Navy 2015), the instance of potential take of minke whales is expected to be zero (Table 17).

    Table 17—Minke Whale Estimated Take Based on NMSDD Presented for Comparison Level B
  • zone
  • Species
  • density
  • Level A ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Level B ZO I
  • (km2)
  • Days of
  • activity
  • Estimated
  • Level A take
  • Estimated
  • Level B take
  • 1 0.00003 0.001171 4.8 10 0 0 2 0.00003 0.400275 91 53 0 <1 3 0.00003 0.012331 2.3 64 0 0 Note: km2—square kilometers.

    The summary of the authorized take by Level A and Level B Harassment is described below in Table 18.

    Table 18—Summary of Requested Incidental Take by Level A and Level B Harassment Species Stock size Authorized
  • Level A take
  • Authorized
  • Level B take
  • Authorized total take % of
  • population
  • Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) 11,036 4 1,647 a 1,651 14.96. Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) 179,000 0 1 b 1 Less than 1. California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) 296,750 0 1,905 c 1,905 Less than 1. Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) 41,638 0 185 185 Less than 1. Southern resident killer whale DPS (Orcinus orca) 83 0 23 (single occurrence of one pod) d 23 (single occurrence of one pod) 27.1. Transient killer whale (Orcinus orca) 240 0 42 e 42 17.5. Long-beaked common dolphin (Dephinus capensis) 101,305 0 20 f 20 Less than 1. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) 1,924 0 7 g 7 Less than 1. Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) 11,233 32 3,431 3,463 30.82. Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) 25,750 2 196 198 Less than 1. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) 1,918 0 5 h 5 Less than 1. Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 20,990 0 4 4 Less than 1. Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) 636 0 2 i 2 Less than 1. Note: a The take estimate is based on a maximum of 13 seals observed on a given day during the 2016 Seattle Test Pile project. The number of Level B takes was adjusted to exclude those already counted for Level A takes. b The take estimate is based on The Whale Museum (as cited in WSDOT 2016a) reporting one sighting of a northern elephant seal in the area between 2008 and 2014. c The take estimate is based on a maximum of 15 California sea lions observed on a given day during 4 monitoring seasons of the EBSP project. d The take estimate is based on a single occurrence of one pod of SRKW (i.e., J-pod of 24 SRKW) that would be most likely to be seen near Seattle. e The take estimate is based on local data which is greater than the estimates produced using the Navy density estimates. f The take estimate is based on the Orca Network (2016c) reporting a pod of up to 20 long-beaked common dolphins. g The take estimate is based on local data. A group of seven dolphins were observed in Puget Sound in 2017 and were positively identified as part of the CA coastal stock (Cascadia Research Collective, 2017). . h The take estimate is based on take during previous work in Elliott Bay, where two humpback whales were observed and is greater than what was calculated using 2015 Navy density estimates. i The take estimate is based on The Whale Museum (as cited in WSDOT 2016a) reporting one sighting in the relevant area. Although the take calculations would result in an estimated take of less than one minke whale, to be conservative the Seattle DOT is requesting take of two minke whales.
    Proposed Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, “and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking” for certain subsistence uses (latter not applicable for this action). NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation may or may not be appropriate to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully consider two primary factors:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat. This considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range). It further considers the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented (probability of accomplishing the mitigating result if implemented as planned) the likelihood of effective implementation (probability implemented as planned), and;

    (2) the practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost, impact on operations.

    Several measures for mitigating effects on marine mammals and their habitat from the pile installation and removal activities at Pier 62 are described below.

    Timing Restrictions

    All work will be conducted during daylight hours.

    Pre-Construction Briefing

    Seattle DOT shall conduct briefings for construction supervisors and crews, the monitoring team, and Seattle DOT staff prior to the start of all pile driving activity, and when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, the marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    Bubble Curtain

    A bubble curtain will be used during pile driving activities with an impact hammer to reduce sound levels. Seattle DOT has stated as part of their specified activity that they and has agreed to employ a bubble curtain during impact pile driving of steel piles and will implement the following bubble curtain performance standards:

    (i) The bubble curtain must distribute air bubbles around 100 percent of the piling perimeter for the full depth of the water column.

    (ii) The lowest bubble curtain ring will be deployed on or as close to the mudline for the full circumference of the ring as possible, without causing turbidity.

    (iii) Seattle DOT will require that construction contractors train personnel in the proper balancing of air flow to the bubblers, and will require that construction contractors submit an inspection/performance report for approval by Seattle DOT within 72 hours following the performance test. Corrections to the attenuation device to meet the performance standards will occur prior to impact driving.

    Shutdown Zones

    Shutdown Zones will be implemented to protect marine mammals from Level A harassment (Table 20 below). The PTS isopleths described in Table 7 were used as a starting point for calculating the shutdown zones; however, Seattle DOT will implement a minimum shutdown zone of a 10 m radius around each pile for all construction methods for all marine mammals. Therefore, in some cases the shutdown zone will be slightly larger than was calculated for the PTS isopleths as described in Table 7 (i.e., for mid-frequency cetaceans and otariid pinnipeds). Outside of any Level A take authorized, if a marine mammal is observed at or within the Shutdown Zone, work will shut down (stop work) until the individual has been observed outside of the zone, or has not been observed for at least 15 minutes for all marine mammals. A determination that the shutdown zone is clear must be made during a period of good visibility (i.e., the entire shutdown zone and surrounding waters must be visible to the naked eye). If a marine mammal approaches or enters the shutdown zone during activities or pre-activity monitoring, all pile driving activities at that location shall be halted or delayed, respectively. If pile driving is halted or delayed due to the presence of a marine mammal, the activity may not resume or commence until either the animal has voluntarily left and been visually confirmed beyond the shutdown zone and 15 minutes have passed without re-detection of the animal. Pile driving activities include the time to install or remove a single pile or series of piles, as long as the time elapsed between uses of the pile driving equipment is no more than thirty minutes.

    Table 20—Shutdown Zones for Various Pile Driving Activities for Marine Mammal Hearing Groups Sound source type Shutdown Zones
  • (meters)
  • Low-frequency cetaceans Mid-frequency cetaceans High-
  • frequency cetaceans
  • Phocid pinnipeds Otariid pinnipeds
    1—Vibratory (pile removal) 27 10 40 17 10 2—Vibratory (installation) 505 45 746 307 22 3—Impact (installation) 89 10 106 47 10
    Additional Shutdown Measures

    For in-water heavy machinery activities other than pile driving, if a marine mammal comes within 10 m, operations shall cease and vessels shall reduce speed to the minimum level required to maintain steerage and safe working conditions.

    Seattle DOT will implement shutdown measures if the cumulative total number of individuals observed within the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones (below in Table 21) for any particular species reaches the number authorized under the IHA and if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zone during in-water construction activities.

    Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones

    Seattle DOT will monitor the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones as described in Table 21.

    Table 21—Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones for Various Pile Driving Activities Activity Construction
  • method
  • Level B threshold
  • (m)
  • Level B ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Removal of 14-in Timber Piles Vibratory 1,848 4.8 Installation of 30-in Steel Piles Vibratory 54,117 91 Installation of 30-in Steel Piles Impact 2,929 2.3
    Soft-Start for Impact Pile Driving

    Each day at the beginning of impact pile driving or any time there has been cessation or downtime of 30 minutes or more without impact pile driving, Seattle DOT will use the soft-start technique by providing an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 30-secondwaiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets.

    Additional Coordination

    The project team will monitor and coordinate with local marine mammal networks on a daily basis (i.e., Orca Network and/or the CWR) for sightings data and acoustic detection data to gather information on the location of whales prior to pile removal or pile driving activities. The project team will also coordinate with WSF to discuss marine mammal sightings on days when pile driving and removal activities are occurring on their nearby projects. Marine mammal monitoring will be conducted to collect information on the presence of marine mammals within the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones for this project. In addition, reports will be made available to interested parties upon request. With this level of coordination in the region of activity, Seattle DOT will get real-time information on the presence or absence of whales before starting any pile driving or removal activities.

    During Season 1, Seattle DOT carried out additional voluntary mitigation measures during pile driving and removal activities to minimize impacts from noise on the Seattle Aquarium's captive marine mammals as well as for air and water quality concerns. These measures were successfully coordinated and implemented, and Seattle DOT will implement the same measures during Season 2 work, as follows:

    1. If aquarium animals are determined by the Aquarium veterinarian to be distressed, Seattle DOT will coordinate with Aquarium staff to determine appropriate next steps, which may include suspending pile driving work for 30 minutes, provided that suspension does not pose a safety issue for the Pier 62 project construction crews.

    2. Seattle DOT will make reasonable efforts to take at least one regularly scheduled 20-minute break in pile driving each day.

    3. Seattle DOT will regularly communicate with the Aquarium staff when pile driving is occurring.

    4. Seattle DOT will further coordinate with the Aquarium to determine appropriate methods to avoid and minimize impacts to water quality.

    5. Seattle DOT does not anticipate the project resulting in impacts associated with airborne dust. If, during construction, odors associated with the project are an issue, Seattle DOT will coordinate with its contractor to determine appropriate mitigation measures.

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

    Proposed Monitoring and Reporting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    Marine mammal monitoring will be conducted at all times during in-water pile driving and pile removal activities in strategic locations around the area of potential effects as described below:

    During pile removal or installation with a vibratory hammer, three to four monitors would be used, positioned such that each monitor has a distinct view-shed and the monitors collectively have overlapping view-sheds (refer to Appendix A, Figures 1-3 of the Seattle DOT's application).

    During pile driving activities with an impact hammer, one monitor, based at or near the construction site, will conduct the monitoring.

    In the case(s) where visibility becomes limited, additional land-based monitors and/or boat-based monitors may be deployed.

    Monitors will record take when marine mammals enter the relevant Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones based on type of construction activity.

    If a marine mammal approaches a Shutdown Zone, the observation will be reported to the Construction Manager and the individual will be watched closely. If the marine mammal crosses into a Shutdown Zone, a stop-work order will be issued. In the event that a stop-work order is triggered, the observed marine mammal(s) will be closely monitored while it remains in or near the Shutdown Zone, and only when it moves well outside of the Shutdown Zone or has not been observed for at least 15 minutes for pinnipeds and small cetaceans and 30 minutes for large whales will the lead monitor allow work to recommence.

    Protected Species Observers

    Seattle DOT will employ NMFS-approved protected species observers (PSOs) to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its Pier 62 Project. The PSOs will observe and collect data on marine mammals in and around the project area for 30 minutes before, during, and for 30 minutes after all pile removal and pile installation work. NMFS-approved PSOs will meet the following requirements:

    1. Independent observers (i.e., not construction personnel) are required.

    2. At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    3. Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience.

    4. Where a team of three or more observers are required, one observer should be designated as lead observer or monitoring coordinator. The lead observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    5. NMFS will require submission and approval of observer CVs.

    6. PSOs will monitor marine mammals around the construction site using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 x 42 power) and/or spotting scopes. Due to the different sizes of the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones from different pile sizes, several different Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones and different monitoring protocols corresponding to a specific pile size will be established.

    7. If marine mammals are observed, the following information will be documented:

    (A) Date and time that monitored activity begins or ends;

    (B) Construction activities occurring during each observation period;

    (C) Weather parameters (e.g., percent cover, visibility);

    (D) Water conditions (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    (E) Species, numbers, and, if possible, sex and age class of marine mammals;

    (F) Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel and distance from pile driving activity;

    (G) Distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from the marine mammals to the observation point;

    (H) Locations of all marine mammal observations; and

    (I) Other human activity in the area.

    Acoustic Monitoring

    In addition, acoustic monitoring will occur on up to six days per in-water work season to evaluate, in real time, sound production from construction activities and will capture all hammering scenarios that may occur under the proposed project. Background noise recordings (in the absence of pile-related work) will also be made during the study to provide a baseline background noise profile. Acoustic monitoring will follow NMFS's 2012 Guidance Documents: Sound Propagation Modeling to Characterize Pile Driving Sounds Relevant to Marine Mammals; Data Collection Methods to Characterize Impact and Vibratory Pile Driving Source Levels Relevant to Marine Mammals; and Data Collection Methods to Characterize Underwater Background Sound Relevant to Marine Mammals in Coastal Nearshore Waters and Rivers of Washington and Oregon.

    The results and conclusions of the acoustic monitoring will be summarized and presented to NMFS with recommendations on any modifications to this plan or Shutdown Zones.

    Reporting Measures Marine Mammal Monitoring Report

    Seattle DOT will submit a draft marine mammal monitoring report within 90 days after completion of the in-water construction work, the expiration of the IHA (if issued), or 60 days prior to the requested date of issuance of any subsequent IHA, whichever sooner. The report would include data from marine mammal sightings as described: Date, time, location, species, group size, and behavior, any observed reactions to construction, distance to operating pile hammer, and construction activities occurring at time of sighting and environmental data for the period (i.e., wind speed and direction, sea state, tidal state, cloud cover, and visibility). The marine mammal monitoring report will also include total takes, takes by day, and stop-work orders for each species. NMFS will have an opportunity to provide comments on the report, and if NMFS has comments, Seattle DOT will address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days.

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the IHA, such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality, Seattle DOT would immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the following information:

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

    • Name and type of vessel involved;

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

    • Description of the incident;

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

    • Water depth;

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

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

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

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

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

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

    Reporting of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    In the event that Seattle DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), Seattle DOT will immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with Seattle DOT to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that Seattle DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), Seattle DOT will report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS Stranding Hotline and/or by email to the NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator within 24 hrs of the discovery. Seattle DOT would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident.

    Acoustic Monitoring Report

    Seattle DOT will submit an Acoustic Monitoring Report within 90 days after completion of the in-water construction work or the expiration of the IHA (if issued), whichever comes earlier. The report will provide details on the monitored piles, method of installation, monitoring equipment, and sound levels documented during both the sound source measurements and the background monitoring. NMFS will have an opportunity to provide comments on the report or changes in monitoring for a third season (if needed), and if NMFS has comments, Seattle DOT will address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days. If no comments are received from NMFS within 30 days, the draft report will be considered final. Any comments received during that time will be addressed in full prior to finalization of the report.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

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

    No serious injury or mortality is anticipated or authorized for the Pier 62 Project (Season 2). Takes that are anticipated and authorized are expected to be limited to short-term Level A and Level B (behavioral) harassment. Marine mammals present in the vicinity of the action area and taken by Level A and Level B harassment would most likely show overt brief disturbance (startle reaction) and avoidance of the area from elevated noise levels during pile driving and pile removal. However, many marine mammals showed no observable changes during Season 1 of the Pier 62 project and similar project activities for the EBSP.

    A fair number of instances of takes are expected to be repeat takes of the same animals. This is particularly true for harbor porpoise, because they generally use subregions of Puget Sound, and the abundance of the Seattle sub-region from the Puget Sound Study was estimated to be 147 animals, which is much lower than the calculated take. Very few harbor porpoises have been observed during past projects in Elliott Bay (ranging from one to five harbor porpoises).

    There are two endangered species that may occur in the project area, humpback whales and SRKW. However, few humpbacks are expected to occur in the project area and few have been observed during previous projects in Elliott Bay. SRKW have occurred in small numbers in the project area. Seattle DOT will shut down in the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones should they meet or exceed the take of one occurrence of one pod (J-pod, 24 whales).

    There is ESA-designated critical habitat in the vicinity of Seattle DOT's Pier 62 Project for SRKW. However, this IHA is authorizing the harassment of marine mammals, not the production of sound, which is what would result in adverse effects to critical habitat for SRKW.

    There is one documented harbor seal haulout area near Bainbridge Island, approximately 6 miles (9.66 km) from Pier 62. The haulout, which is estimated at less than 100 animals, consists of intertidal rocks and reef areas around Blakely Rocks and is at the outer edge of potential effects at the outer extent near Bainbridge Island (Jefferies et al. 2000). The recent level of use of this haulout is unknown. Harbor seals also make use of docks, buoys, and beaches in the project area, as noted in marine mammal monitoring reports for Season 1 of the Pier 62 Project and for the EBSP (Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017).The observational data from previous projects on the Seattle waterfront have documented only a fraction of what is calculated using the Navy density estimates for Puget Sound; therefore, we believe the actual take will be much lower than the calculated take. Similarly, the nearest Steller sea lion haulout to the project area is located approximately 6 miles away (9.66 km) and is also on the outer edge of potential effects. This haulout is composed of net pens offshore of the south end of Bainbridge Island. There are four documented California sea lion haulout areas near Bainbridge Island as well, approximately six miles from Pier 62, and two documented haulout areas between Bainbridge Island and Magnolia (Jefferies et al. 2000). The haulouts consist of buoys and floats, and some are within the area of potential effects, but at the outer extent, and some are just outside the area of potential effects (Jefferies et al. 2000). California sea lions were also frequently observed during marine mammal monitoring for Season 1 of the Pier 62 project (average of eight sea lions) at the Alki monitoring site and were frequently observed resting on two buoys in the southwest area of Elliott Bay. California sea lions were also frequently observed during the EBSP (average seven per day in 2014 and 2015, and three per day in 2016 and 2017; Anchor QEA 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017), resting on two navigational buoys within the project area (near Alki Point) and swimming along the shoreline near the project.

    The project also is not expected to have significant adverse effects on affected marine mammal habitat, as analyzed in the “Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and their Habitat” section. Project activities would not permanently modify existing marine mammal habitat. The activities may kill some fish and cause other fish to leave the area temporarily, thus impacting marine mammals' foraging opportunities in a limited portion of the foraging range; but, because of the short duration of the activities and the relatively small area of the habitat that may be affected, the impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term negative consequences. Therefore, given the consideration of potential impacts to marine mammal prey species and their physical environment, Seattle DOT's Pier 62 Project would not adversely affect marine mammal habitat.

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

    • No serious injury or mortality is anticipated or authorized.

    • Takes that are anticipated and authorized are expected to be limited to short-term Level B harassment (behavioral) and a small number of takes of Level A harassment for three species.

    • The project also is not expected to have significant adverse effects on affected marine mammals' habitat.

    • There are no known important feeding or pupping areas. There are haulouts for California sea lions, harbor seals and Steller sea lions. However, they are at the most outer edge of the potential effects and approximately 6.6 miles from Pier 62. There are no other known important areas for marine mammals.

    • For nine of the twelve species, take is less than one percent of the stock abundance. Instances of take for the other three species (harbor seals, killer whales, and harbor porpoise) range from about 15-31 percent of the stock abundance. One occurrence of J-pod of SRKW would account for 29 percent of the stock abundance. However, when the fact that a fair number of these instances are expected to be repeat takes of the same animals is considered, particularly for harbor porpoise, the number of individual marine mammals taken is significantly lower.

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

    Small Numbers

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

    Take of nine of the twelve species is less than one percent of the stock abundance. Instances of take for the SRKW and transient killer whales, harbor seals, and harbor porpoise ranges from about 15-31 percent of the stock abundance. However, when the fact that a fair number of these instances are expected to be repeat takes of the same animals is considered, the number of individual marine mammals taken is significantly lower. Specifically, for example, Jefferson et al., 2016 conducted harbor porpoise surveys in eight regions of Puget Sound, and estimated an abundance of 147 harbor porpoise in the Seattle area (1,798 porpoise in North Puget Sound and 599 porpoise in South Puget Sound). While individuals do move between regions, we would not realistically expect that 3000+ individuals would be exposed around the pile driving for the Seattle DOT's Pier 62 Project. Considering these factors, as well as the general small size of the project area as compared to the range of the species affected, the numbers of marine mammals estimated to be taken are small proportions of the total populations of the affected species or stocks. Further, for SRKW we acknowledge that 27.1 percent of the stock is authorized to be taken by Level B harassment, but we believe that a single, brief incident of take of one group of any species represents take of small numbers for that species. We believe transient killer whales also represents small numbers, as the estimated take is very conservative. Estimated take was derived on local data of seven transients that were observed. However to be conservative, it was assumed that up to two groups of seven transient killer whales may pass through Elliott Bay and stay in the area for up to three days for a total of 42 takes (17.5 percent of the stock). We also believe harbor seal take represents small numbers. Although 14.96 percent of the stock is authorized, the estimated take was based on a maximum number of harbor seals observed in a day (13) and is therefore conservative as to what has been observed previously. Observations from Season 1 of the Pier 62 project ranged from 0 to 11 harbor seals daily. Based on the analysis contained herein of the proposed activity (including the mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS preliminarily finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population sizes of the affected species or stocks.

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal stocks or species implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has preliminary determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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

    NMFS is proposing to authorize take of SRKW and humpback whales, which are listed under the ESA. The Permit and Conservation Division has requested initiation of Section 7 consultation with the West Coast Regional Office for the issuance of this IHA. NMFS will conclude the ESA consultation prior to reaching a determination regarding the proposed issuance of the authorization.

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to Seattle DOT for conducting piledriving activities at Pier 62 (Season 2), Elliott Bay, Seattle, Washington from August 2018 through February 2019, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. This section contains a draft of the IHA itself. The wording contained in this section is proposed for inclusion in the IHA (if issued).

    The proposed IHA language is provided next.

    1. This Authorization is valid from August 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019.

    2. This Authorization is valid only for activities associated with in-water construction work at the Seattle Department of Transportation's (Seattle DOT) Pier 62 Project (Season 2) in Elliott Bay, Seattle, Washington.

    3. General Conditions

    (a) The species authorized for taking, by Level A harassment and Level B harassment, and in the numbers shown in Table 18 are: Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), both southern resident killer whale (SRKW) and transient killer whale (Orcinus orca), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), and minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

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

    Impact pile driving;

    Vibratory pile driving; and

    Vibratory pile removal

    4. Prohibitions

    The taking, by incidental harassment only, is limited to the species listed under condition 3(a) above and by the numbers listed in Table 18 of this notice. The taking by serious injury or death of these species or the taking by harassment, injury or death of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited unless separately authorized or exempted under the MMPA and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this Authorization.

    5. Mitigation Measures

    The holder of this Authorization shall be required to implement the following mitigation measures:

    (a) Timing Restriction

    In-water construction work shall occur only during daylight hours.

    (b) Pre-Construction Briefing

    Seattle DOT shall conduct briefings for construction supervisors and crews, the monitoring team, and Seattle DOT staff prior to the start of all pile driving activity, and when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, the marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    (c) Bubble Curtain

    A bubble curtain shall be used during pile driving activities with an impact hammer and will be conducted using the following bubble curtain performance standards:

    (i) The bubble curtain must distribute air bubbles around 10 percent of the piling perimeter for the full depth of the water column.

    (ii) The lowest bubble curtain ring shall be deployed on or as close to the mudline for the full circumference of the ring as possible, without causing turbidity.

    (iii) Seattle DOT shall require that construction contractors train personnel in the proper balancing of air flow to the bubblers, and shall require that construction contractors submit an inspection/performance report for approval by Seattle DOT within 72 hours following the performance test. Corrections to the attenuation device to meet the performance standards shall occur prior to impact driving.

    (d) Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones

    Seattle DOT shall implement the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones as described in Table 5 of this notice.

    (e) Shutdown Zones

    (i) Seattle DOT shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is detected within or approaching the Shutdown Zones as outlined in Table 7. Seattle DOT shall implement a minimum shutdown zone of 10 m radius around each pile for all construction methods for all marine mammals.

    (ii) If a marine mammal is observed at or within the Shutdown Zone, work shall stop until the individual has been observed outside of the zone, or has not been observed for at least 15 minutes for all marine mammals.

    (iii) A determination that the shutdown zone is clear must be made during a period of good visibility (i.e., the entire shutdown zone and surrounding waters must be visible to the naked eye).

    (iv) If a marine mammal approaches or enters the shutdown zone during activities or pre-activity monitoring, all pile driving activities at that location shall be halted or delayed, respectively. If pile driving is halted or delayed due to the presence of a marine mammal, the activity may not resume or commence until either the animal has voluntarily left and been visually confirmed beyond the shutdown zone and 15 minutes have passed without re-detection of the animal. Pile driving activities include the time to install or remove a single pile or series of piles, as long as the time elapsed between uses of the pile driving equipment is no more than thirty minutes.

    (f) Additional Shutdown Measures

    (i) For in-water heavy machinery activities other than pile driving, if a marine mammal comes within 10 m, operations shall cease and vessels shall reduce speed to the minimum level required to maintain steerage and safe working conditions.

    (ii) Seattle DOT shall implement shutdown measures if the cumulative total of individuals observed within the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones for any particular species exceeds the number authorized under the IHA and if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones during in-water construction activities.

    (g) Soft-Start for Impact Pile Driving

    Each day at the beginning of impact pile driving or any time there has been cessation or downtime of 30 minutes or more without pile driving, contractors shall initiate soft-start for impact hammers by providing an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 30-second waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets.

    (h) Additional Coordination

    The project team shall monitor and coordinate with local marine mammal sighting networks (i.e., The Orca Network and/or The Center for Whale Research) on a daily basis for sightings data and acoustic detection data to gather information on the location of whales prior to initiating pile removal or pile removal activities. The project team shall also coordinate with WSF to discuss marine mammal sightings on days when pile driving and removal activities are occurring on their nearby projects. In addition, reports shall be made available to interested parties upon request. With this level of coordination in the region of activity, Seattle DOT shall obtain real-time information on the presence or absence of whales before starting any pile driving or removal activities.

    In addition, to minimize impacts from noise on the Seattle Aquarium's captive marine mammals as well as for air and water quality concerns, Seattle DOT shall implement the following:

    (i) If aquarium animals are determined by the Aquarium veterinarian to be distressed, Seattle DOT shall coordinate with Aquarium staff to determine appropriate next steps, which may include suspending pile driving work for 30 minutes, provided that suspension does not pose a safety issue for the Pier 62 project construction crews.

    (ii) Seattle DOT shall make reasonable efforts to take at least one regularly scheduled 20-minute break in pile driving each day.

    (iii) Seattle DOT shall regularly communicate with the Aquarium staff when pile driving is occurring.

    (iv) Seattle DOT shall further coordinate with the Aquarium to determine appropriate methods to avoid and minimize impacts to water quality.

    (v) Seattle DOT does not anticipate the project resulting in impacts associated with airborne dust. If, during construction, odors associated with the project are an issue, Seattle DOT shall coordinate with its contractor to determine appropriate mitigation measures.

    6. Monitoring

    (a) Protected Species Observers

    Seattle DOT shall employ NMFS-approved PSOs to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its construction project. NMFS-approved PSOs shall meet the following qualifications.

    (i) Independent observers (i.e., not construction personnel) are required.

    (ii) At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    (iii) Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience.

    (iv) Where a team of three or more observers are required, one observer should be designated as lead observer or monitoring coordinator. The lead observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    (v) NMFS shall require submission and approval of observer CVs.

    (b) Monitoring Protocols

    PSOs shall be present on site at all times during pile removal and driving. Marine mammal visual monitoring will be conducted for different Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones based on different sizes of piles being driven or removed.

    (i) A 30-minute pre-construction marine mammal monitoring shall be required before the first pile driving or pile removal of the day. A 30-minute post-construction marine mammal monitoring shall be required after the last pile driving or pile removal of the day. If the constructors take a break between subsequent pile driving or pile removal for more than 30 minutes, then additional 30-minute pre-construction marine mammal monitoring shall be required before the next start-up of pile driving or pile removal.

    (ii) During pile removal or installation with a vibratory hammer, three to four monitors shall be used, positioned such that each monitor has a distinct view-shed and the monitors collectively have overlapping view-sheds.

    (iii) During pile driving activities with an impact hammer, one monitor, based at or near the construction site, shall conduct the monitoring.

    (iv) Where visibility becomes limited, additional land-based monitors and/or boat-based monitors shall be deployed.

    (v) Monitors shall record take when marine mammals enter their relevant Level B Harassment/Monitoring Zones based on type of construction activity.

    (vi) If a marine mammal approaches a Shutdown Zone, the observation shall be reported to the Construction Manager and the individual shall be watched closely. If the marine mammal crosses into a Shutdown Zone, a stop-work order shall be issued. In the event that a stop-work order is triggered, the observed marine mammal(s) shall be closely monitored while it remains in or near the Shutdown Zone, and only when it moves well outside of the Shutdown Zone or has not been observed for at least 15 minutes for pinnipeds and small cetaceans and 15 minutes for large whales will the lead monitor allow work to recommence.

    (vii) PSOs shall monitor marine mammals around the construction site using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 x 42 power) and/or spotting scopes.

    (viii) If marine mammals are observed, the following information shall be documented:

    (A) Date and time that monitored activity begins or ends;

    (B) Construction activities occurring during each observation period;

    (C) Weather parameters (e.g., percent cover, visibility);

    (D) Water conditions (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    (E) Species, numbers, and, if possible, sex and age class of marine mammals;

    (F) Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel and distance from pile driving activity;

    (G) Distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from the marine mammals to the observation point;

    (H) Locations of all marine mammal observations; and

    (I) Other human activity in the area.

    (ix) Acoustic Monitoring—Seattle DOT shall conduct acoustic monitoring up to six days per in-water work season to evaluate, in real time, sound production from construction activities and shall capture all hammering scenarios that may occur under the planned project. Background noise recordings (in the absence of pile-related work) shall also be made during the study to provide a baseline background noise profile. Acoustic monitoring shall follow NMFS's 2012 Guidance Documents: Sound Propagation Modeling to Characterize Pile Driving Sounds Relevant to Marine Mammals; Data Collection Methods to Characterize Impact and Vibratory Pile Driving Source Levels Relevant to Marine Mammals; and Data Collection Methods to Characterize Underwater Background Sound Relevant to Marine Mammals in Coastal Nearshore Waters and Rivers of Washington and Oregon.

    7. Reporting

    (a) Marine Mammal Monitoring

    (i) Seattle DOT shall submit a draft marine mammal monitoring report within 90 days after completion of the in-water construction work, the expiration of the IHA (if issued), whichever comes earlier. The report shall include data from marine mammal sightings as described in 6(b)(viii).The marine mammal monitoring report shall also include total takes, takes by day, and stop-work orders for each species.

    (ii) If no comments are received from NMFS, the draft report shall be considered the final report. Any comments received during that time shall be addressed in full prior to finalization of the report.

    (iii) In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the IHA (if issued), such as an injury (Level A harassment) of unauthorized species, or serious injury, or mortality of any species, Seattle DOT shall immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the following information:

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

    • Name and type of vessel involved;

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

    • Description of the incident;

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

    • Water depth;

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

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

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

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

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

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

    (b) Reporting of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    (i) In the event that Seattle DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), Seattle DOT shall immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the same information identified in 7(a)(iii). Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS shall work with Seattle DOT to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    (ii) In the event that Seattle DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), Seattle DOT shall report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS Stranding Hotline and/or by email to the NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator within 24 hrs of the discovery. Seattle DOT shall provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident.

    (c) Acoustic Monitoring Report

    Seattle DOT shall submit an Acoustic Monitoring Report within 90 days after completion of the in-water construction work, expiration of the IHA (if issued), or 60 days prior to the requested date of issuance of any subsequent IHA, whichever sooner. The report shall provide details on the monitored piles, method of installation, monitoring equipment, and sound levels documented during both the sound source measurements and the background monitoring. NMFS shall have an opportunity to provide comments on the report or changes in monitoring for the second season, and if NMFS has comments, Seattle DOT shall address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days. If no comments are received from NMFS within 30 days, the draft report shall be considered final. Any comments received during that time shall be addressed in full prior to finalization of the report.

    8. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein or if NMFS determines the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals.

    9. A copy of this Authorization must be in the possession of each contractor who performs the construction work at the Pier 62 Project.

    Request for Public Comments

    We request comment on our analyses, the proposed authorization, and any other aspect of this Notice of Proposed IHA for the proposed pile driving activities by Seattle DOT. We also request comment on the potential for renewal of this proposed IHA as described in the paragraph below. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the request for MMPA authorization.

    On a case-by-case basis, NMFS may issue a subsequent one-year IHA without additional notice when (1) another year of identical or nearly identical activities as described in the Specified Activities section is planned or (2) the activities would not be completed by the time the IHA expires and a subsequent IHA would allow for completion of the activities beyond that described in the Dates and Duration section, provided all of the following conditions are met:

    • A request for renewal is received no later than 60 days prior to expiration of the current IHA.

    • The request for renewal must include the following:

    (1) An explanation that the activities to be conducted beyond the initial dates either are identical to the previously analyzed activities or include changes so minor (e.g., reduction in pile size) that the changes do not affect the previous analyses, take estimates, or mitigation and monitoring requirements.

    (2) A preliminary monitoring report showing the results of the required monitoring to date and an explanation showing that the monitoring results do not indicate impacts of a scale or nature not previously analyzed or authorized.

    • Upon review of the request for renewal, the status of the affected species or stocks, and any other pertinent information, NMFS determines that there are no more than minor changes in the activities, the mitigation and monitoring measures remain the same and appropriate, and the original findings remain valid.

    Elaine T. Saiz, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13803 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2018-0032] Patent Cooperation Treaty Collaborative Search and Examination Pilot Project Between the IP5 Offices AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), referred to collectively as the IP5 Offices, will launch a pilot project on Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This will be the third such pilot. The USPTO, the EPO, and the KIPO conducted two previous pilots in 2010 and in 2011-2012. The third pilot is needed to further develop and test the concept amongst all the IP5 Offices. In particular, this IP5 pilot project aims at assessing user interest for a CS&E product and the expected efficiency gains for the IP5 Offices.

    DATES:

    Pilot Effective date: July 1, 2018.

    Duration: Requests to participate in the PCT CS&E pilot project may be filed with international applications filed through the receiving Office of one of the IP5 Offices or the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) until June 30, 2020. During each year, the USPTO, in its capacity as the main International Searching Authority, will accept a total of 50 international applications into the pilot.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Inquiries regarding the handling of any specific application participating in the pilot may be directed to Daniel Hunter, Director of International Work Sharing, Planning, and Implementation, Office of International Patent Cooperation, by telephone at (571) 272-8050 or by email to [email protected] Inquiries concerning this notice may be directed to Michael Neas, Deputy Director, International Patent Legal Administration, by phone (571) 272-3289 or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Concept

    The concept of CS&E under the PCT refers to the collaboration of examiners from different International Searching Authorities in different regions and with different working languages on one international application for the establishment of an international search report and written opinion under PCT Chapter I, which, although remaining the opinion of the chosen International Search Authority, is based on contributions from all participating IP5 Offices.

    Under the pilot project, the examiner of the IP5 Office from the chosen International Searching Authority under PCT Rule 35 for a given international application (“the main examiner”) works on the application by conducting the search and examination and by establishing a provisional international search report and written opinion. These provisional work products are transmitted to examiners from the other participating IP5 Offices in their capacity as an International Searching Authority (“the peer examiners”). Each peer examiner provides the main examiner with his contribution, in light of the provisional international search report and written opinion. The final international search report and written opinion are subsequently established by the main examiner after having taken into consideration the contributions of the peer examiners. Further details regarding the implementation of the CS&E concept within the framework of this pilot project are provided below.

    II. Framework

    Under the pilot project, with a view to assessing the users' interest for a CS&E product, international applications processed under the collaborative scheme will be selected by applicants (“applicant-driven approach”), whereas, under the two previous pilot projects, the applications were selected by the participating IP5 Offices.

    Applicants wishing to participate in the pilot project must submit a request for participation in the pilot on a standard participation form and file it together with the international application at the receiving Office of one of the IP5 Offices or the International Bureau. The participation form is available in all official languages of the IP5 Offices on WIPO's website at http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/filing/cse.html.

    For international applications filed in English, requests for participation in the pilot may be filed beginning July 1, 2018. Each applicant will be able to select only a limited number of international applications for inclusion in the program.

    Initially, only international applications filed in English will be accepted into the pilot. Eventually, international authorities that work in languages other than English will accept international applications filed in those languages into the pilot. Each main International Searching Authority that will accept international applications filed in a language other than English will inform the applicants accordingly by a communication published on its website. Such communication will specify the additional languages that will be accepted by a main International Searching Authority for the purposes of this pilot and the date as of which requests for participation in the pilot may be filed in such languages. The USPTO in its capacity as an International Searching Authority only accepts applications in English.

    The receiving Office will transmit the participation form to the International Bureau and the main International Searching Authority as part of the record copy and search copy, respectively. Upon receipt of the search copy, the main International Searching Authority will determine if the request for participation in the pilot may be accepted based on whether the applicable requirements detailed below in part III are met. The International Searching Authority will notify the applicant and the International Bureau of the acceptance or refusal of the request for participation in the pilot using Form PCT/ISA/224 (Communication in Cases for Which No Other Form Is Applicable).

    The main International Searching Authority will perform the search and examination as it would for any other international application not processed under this pilot. It will establish a provisional international search report (Form PCT/ISA/210) (or, where appropriate, declaration of non-establishment of international search report (Form PCT/ISA/203)) and written opinion (Form PCT/ISA/237), and, where applicable, a record of the search strategy. The form and content of the record of the search strategy will generally be according to the current practice of each International Searching Authority.

    The main International Searching Authority will transmit the above mentioned provisional work products to the peer International Searching Authorities, where a peer examiner will prepare a contribution to the final work product, taking into consideration the provisional work products prepared by the main International Searching Authority and performing additional searching to the extent deemed necessary.

    With respect to the handling of cases lacking unity of invention by the peer International Searching Authorities, a principle of the first invention will be followed. This means that each main International Searching Authority proceeds with the non-unity procedure according to its own standard practice, while the provisional work products submitted to the peer International Searching Authorities are based only on the invention first mentioned in the claims as determined by the main International Searching Authority. Peer examiners will focus their searches on what they determine to be the first invention, regardless of whether the provisional work products are directed to one or more inventions.

    Each peer International Searching Authority will transmit its contribution to the main International Searching Authority using a standard peer contribution form. Depending on its practice, each peer International Searching Authority will either record its contribution directly on the peer contribution form or use the peer contribution form as a cover sheet for the standard forms PCT/ISA/210 and PCT/ISA/237. Peer contribution forms and peer contributions attached to such forms, if any, will be made available as separate documents in WIPO's PATENTSCOPE.

    The main International Searching Authority will consider the contributions received from the peer International Searching Authorities and prepare the final international search report (Form PCT/ISA/210) (or, where appropriate, declaration of non-establishment of international search report (Form PCT/ISA/203)) and written opinion (Form PCT/ISA/237) in light of these contributions. The main International Searching Authority will strive to establish these final work products within the time limit under PCT Rule 42.1; however, compliance with this time limit may not be guaranteed due to the collaborative nature of the pilot project, which inherently results in additional administrative burdens. The final work products will be transmitted to the applicant and the International Bureau.

    Final CS&E work products will be identified, either by a direct indication in box V of Form PCT/ISA/237 or at the top of a supplemental sheet referenced in said box, as the result of the collaboration under the pilot, which does not necessarily reflect the opinions of all IP5 Offices. Only the final CS&E work product may serve as a basis for requesting participation in a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program.

    All exchanges of documents and information among the IP5 Offices will be carried out via an ePCT-based platform allowing a secure and confidential data transmission. This ePCT-based platform is provided and maintained by the International Bureau.

    In this pilot project, the international search fee charged by each IP5 Office remains unchanged. Therefore, applicants participating in this pilot will pay only the standard fee for a PCT Chapter I search at the chosen International Searching Authority. However, if following this pilot the CS&E product is implemented as a regular product under the PCT, applicants will have to pay a specific fee for such product (the CS&E fee). The maximum prospective amount of the CS&E fee is the aggregated amount of the search fees of the participating International Searching Authorities plus an administrative fee to cover the collaboration costs.

    Towards the end of the pilot project, participating applicants will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their interest for a regular CS&E product under the PCT. Responses to the questionnaire will be taken into account by the IP5 Offices in the assessment of the pilot project.

    III. Requirements and Limitations for Participation

    Applicants who would like to participate in the pilot project must be aware of both the following requirements to be met by applicants and the following limitations set by the IP5 Offices.

    A. Requirements To Be Met by Applicants

    The following requirements must be met by applicants wishing to participate in the pilot project:

    (a) The request for participation in the pilot must be submitted on the standard participation form and filed together with the international application.

    (b) The participation form and the international application must be filed at the receiving Office of one of the IP5 Offices or at the International Bureau as receiving Office, and the applicant must select one of the IP5 Offices as the main International Searching Authority under PCT Rule 35. For example, U.S. applicants filing with the USPTO or the International Bureau as receiving Office may select the USPTO, the EPO, the KIPO, or the JPO as International Searching Authority, subject to certain limitations as described in the PCT Applicant's Guide, Annex C/US.

    (c) Where the participation form and the international application are filed with the USPTO, they must be filed in electronic form via the USPTO's EFS-Web system. The participation form must be loaded into EFS-Web as a separate document using document description “Request to Participate in PCT CS&E Pilot.” This is true even where the participation form is prepared using WIPO's ePCT system since EFS-Web only extracts the PCT Request form and Fee Calculation sheet from ePCT or PCT Safe zip files.

    (d) The participation form and the international application must be filed in English when they are filed with the USPTO. As noted above, the other IP5 Offices will initially only accept applications filed in English and will announce when they are prepared to accept applications in languages other than English.

    B. Limitations Set by the IP5 Offices

    The following limitations related to organizational aspects of the pilot must be complied with for the main International Searching Authority to accept a request for participation in the pilot:

    (a) The applicant must not have had ten international applications accepted in the pilot by the same main International Searching Authority.

    (b) The main International Searching Authority must not have accepted 100 international applications into the pilot. The USPTO, in its capacity as the main International Searching Authority, will accept 50 applications during the first year of the pilot, that is from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, and 50 applications during the second year of the pilot, that is from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.

    (c) The main International Searching Authority must not determine that there is a defect in the application (e.g., the application does not contain a sequence listing portion of the description and/or a copy of a sequence listing in computer readable form as provided for in the Administrative Instructions under the PCT) impeding the processing of the application according to the timeline for the collaborative process.

    IV. Duration

    The pilot project is divided into two phases, a preparatory phase and an operational phase. The preparatory phase started on June 2, 2016, and was dedicated to the administrative and practical preparations required for a smooth functioning of the pilot. The operational phase will start on July 1, 2018, and will be dedicated to the processing of applications under the collaborative scheme, the monitoring of applications for evaluation purposes, and the assessment of the outcome of the pilot. The operational phase will last for a period of three years ending on July 1, 2021, and will include an evaluation of the impact of the pilot on examination during the subsequent national/regional stages. Requests for participation in the pilot will be accepted only during the first two years of the operational phase, i.e., from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13800 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2018-OS-0039] Manual for Courts-Martial; Proposed Amendments AGENCY:

    Joint Service Committee on Military Justice (JSC), Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed amendments to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2016 ed.) and notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense requests comments on proposed changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2016 ed.) (MCM). The proposed changes concern the rules of procedure and evidence applicable in trials by courts-martial as well as amendments to portions of the MCM discussing the punitive articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The approval authority for these changes is the President. These proposed changes have not been coordinated within the Department of Defense under DoD Directive 5500.01, “Preparing, Processing and Coordinating Legislation, Executive Orders, Proclamations, Views Letters, and Testimony,” June 15, 2007, and do not constitute the official position of the Department of Defense, the Military Departments, or any other Government agency.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed changes must be received no later than August 27, 2018. A public meeting for comments will be held on July 11, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces building, 450 E Street NW, Washington DC 20442-0001.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lieutenant Alexandra Nica, JAGC, USN, Executive Secretary, JSC, (202) 685-7058, [email protected] The JSC website is located at http://jsc.defense.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is provided in accordance with DoD Instruction 5500.17, “Role and Responsibilities of the Joint Service Committee (JSC) on Military Justice,” February 21, 2018.

    The JSC invites members of the public to comment on the proposed changes; such comments should address specific recommended changes and provide supporting rationale.

    This notice also sets forth the date, time, and location for a public meeting of the JSC to discuss the proposed changes.

    This notice is intended only to improve the internal management of the Federal Government. It is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

    The proposed amendments to the MCM are as follows:

    Section 1. Part II of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States as amended by E.O. 13825 is further amended as follows:

    (a) R.C.M. 705(d)(1) is amended and reads as follows:

    “(1) In general. Subject to such limitations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe pursuant to R.C.M. 705(a), a plea agreement that limits the sentence that can be imposed by the court-martial for one or more charges and specifications may contain:

    (A) A limitation on the maximum punishment that can be imposed by the court-martial;

    (B) a limitation on the minimum punishment that can be imposed by the court-martial;

    (C) limitations on the maximum and minimum punishments that can be imposed by the court-martial; or,

    (D) a specified sentence or portion of a sentence that shall be imposed by the court-martial.”

    (b) R.C.M. 916(e) is amended and reads as follows:

    “(e) Self-defense.

    (1) Homicide or assault cases involving deadly force. It is a defense to a homicide, assault involving deadly force, or battery involving deadly force that the accused:

    (A) Apprehended, on reasonable grounds, that death or grievous bodily harm was about to be inflicted wrongfully on the accused; and

    (B) Believed that the force the accused used was necessary for protection against death or grievous bodily harm.

    (2) Certain aggravated assault cases. It is a defense to assault with a dangerous weapon or assault in which substantial or grievous bodily harm is inflicted that the accused:

    (A) Apprehended, on reasonable grounds, that bodily harm was about to be inflicted wrongfully on the accused; and

    (B) In order to deter the assailant, offered but did not actually inflict or attempt to inflict substantial or grievous bodily harm.

    (3) Other assaults. It is a defense to any assault punishable under Article 89, 91, or 128 and not listed in paragraphs (e)(1) or (2) of this rule that the accused:

    (A) Apprehended, upon reasonable grounds, that bodily harm was about to be inflicted wrongfully on the accused; and

    (B) Believed that the force that the accused used was necessary for protection against bodily harm, provided that the force used by the accused was less than the force inflicting substantial or grievous bodily harm.”

    (c) R.C.M. 920(g) is new and reads as follows:

    “(g) Waiver. Instructions on a lesser included offense shall not be given when both parties waive such an instruction. After receiving applicable notification of those lesser included offenses of which an accused may be convicted, the parties may waive the reading of a lesser included offense instruction. A written waiver is not required. The accused must affirmatively acknowledge that he or she understands the rights involved and affirmatively waives the instruction on the record. The accused's waiver must be made freely, knowingly, and intelligently. In the case of a joint or common trial, instructions on a lesser included offense shall not be given as to an individual accused when that accused and the government agree to waive such an instruction.”

    (d) R.C.M. 1208(c) is new and reads as follows:

    “(c) Effective date of sentences. The effective date of portions of a sentence adjudged at a new trial, other trial, or rehearing shall be calculated without regard to any previous adjudged sentence. The effective dates shall not relate back to any previously adjudged sentence.”

    Section 2. Part III of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States as amended by E.O. 13825 is further amended as follows:

    (a) Mil. R. Evid. 315(b)(3) is new and reads as follows:

    “(3) “Warrant for Wire or Electronic Communications” means a warrant issued by a military judge pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2703(a), (b)(1)(A), or (c)(1)(A) in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 846(d)(3) and R.C.M. 309(b)(2) and R.C.M. 703A.”

    (b) Mil. R. Evid. 315(d) is amended and reads as follows:

    “(d) Who May Authorize. A search authorization under this rule is valid only if issued by an impartial individual in one of the categories set forth in subdivisions (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3). Only a military judge may issue a warrant for wire or electronic communications under this rule. An otherwise impartial authorizing official does not lose impartiality merely because he or she is present at the scene of a search or is otherwise readily available to persons who may seek the issuance of a search authorization; nor does such an official lose impartiality merely because the official previously and impartially authorized investigative activities when such previous authorization is similar in intent or function to a pretrial authorization made by the United States district courts.

    (1) Commander. A commander or other person serving in a position designated by the Secretary concerned as either a position analogous to an officer in charge or a position of command, who has control over the place where the property or person to be searched is situated or found, or, if that place is not under military control, having control over persons subject to military law or the law of war;

    (2) Military Judge or Magistrate. A military judge or magistrate if authorized under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary concerned; or

    (3) Other competent search authority. A competent, impartial official as designated under regulations by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary concerned as an individual authorized to issue search authorizations under this rule.”

    Section 3. Part IV of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States as amended by E.O. 13825 is further amended as follows:

    (a) Paragraph 20.c is amended as follows:

    “c. Explanation.

    (1) In general. The prevention of inappropriate sexual activity by trainers, recruiters, and drill instructors with recruits, trainees, students attending service academies, and other potentially vulnerable persons in the initial training environment is crucial to the maintenance of good order and military discipline. Military law, regulation, and custom invest officers, non-commissioned officers, drill instructors, recruiters, cadre, and others with the right and obligation to exercise control over those they supervise. In this context, inappropriate sexual activity between recruits/trainees and their respective recruiters/trainers is inherently destructive to good order and discipline.

    (2) Prohibited activity. The responsibility for identifying relationships subject to this offense and those outside the scope of this offense is entrusted to the individual Services to determine and specify by appropriate regulations. This offense is intended to cover those situations which involve the improper use of authority by virtue of an individual's position in either a training or recruiting environment. Not all contact or associations are prohibited by this article. Service regulations must consider circumstances where pre-existing relationships (for example, marriage relationships) exist. Additionally, this offense only criminalizes activity occurring when there is a training or recruiting relationship between the accused and the alleged victim of this offense.

    (3) Knowledge. The accused must have actual or constructive knowledge that a person was a “specially protected junior member of the armed forces” or an “applicant for military service” (as those terms are defined in this offense). Knowledge may be proved by circumstantial evidence.

    (4) Consent. Consent is not a defense to this offense.”

    (d) Paragraph 69.c.(1) is amended and reads as follows:

    “(1) “Access” means to gain entry to, instruct, cause input to, cause output from, cause data processing with, or communicate with, the logical, arithmetical, or memory function resources of a computer, computer system, or computer network.”

    (e) Paragraph 89.c.(2) is amended and reads as follows:

    “(2) Personnel action. For purposes of this offense, “personnel action” means—

    (a) any action taken against a Servicemember that affects, or has the potential to affect, that Servicemember's current position or career, including promotion, disciplinary or other corrective action, transfer or reassignment, performance evaluations, decisions concerning pay, benefits, awards, or training, relief or removal, separation, discharge, referral for mental health evaluations, and any other personnel actions as defined by law or regulation, such as DoD Directive 7050.06 (17 April 2015); or,

    (b) any action taken against a civilian employee that affects, or has the potential to affect, that person's current position or career, including promotion, disciplinary or other corrective action, transfer or reassignment, performance evaluations, decisions concerning pay, benefits, awards, or training, relief and removal, discharge, and any other personnel actions as defined by law or regulation such as 5 U.S.C. 2302.”

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13783 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0037] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Logistics Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24 Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to ODASD (Supply Chain Integration), 3500 Defense Pentagon RM 1E518, Washington DC 20301-3500, Anthony VanBuren, [email protected] or (571) 372-5259.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Associated Form; and OMB Number: Defense Materiel Disposition Procedures for the Sale of DoD Materiel; DRMS 1645, DRMS 2006, SF 114-A; OMB Control Number 0704-0534.

    Needs and Uses: This collection allows the Department of Defense (DoD) and its representatives to assess the ability of prospective purchasers to comply with applicable laws and regulations before the sale of materiel. Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) Form 1645, “Statement of Intent,” and Standard Form (SF) 114-A, “Sale of Government Property—Item Bid Page—Sealed Bid,” are used to identify the nature of the purchaser's business, where the materials will be stored, and what the buyer's intentions are with the materiel (i.e., use the materiel as intended, re-sell to others, scrap the materiel for recovery of contents, or re-refine or re-process the materiel). These forms are used to determine if DRMS Form 2006, “Pre-Award/Post-Award On-Site Review,” will also be needed; DRMS Form 2006 allows DoD components to determine if the purchaser is capable of meeting environmental and hazardous material handling responsibilities, in compliance with CFR part 102 of Title 41. Compliance with this regulation must be ascertained before DoD components may make an award of hazardous and dangerous property.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Annual Burden Hours: 232.

    Number of Respondents: 72.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.63.

    Annual Responses: 189.

    Average Burden per Response: 1.23 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13838 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0068] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Annual Performance Report (APR) AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0068. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Room 107-13, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Michelle Georgia, 202-453-5501.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Annual Performance Report (APR).

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0727.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 50.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,150.

    Abstract: The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) office staff collects information for the CAMP Annual Performance Report (APR) in compliance with Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title IV, Sec. 418A; 20 U.S.C. 1070d-2 (special programs for students whose families are engaged in migrant and seasonal farm-work), and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 2 CFR 200.238. CFR states that recipients of multi-year discretionary grants must submit an APR demonstrating that that substantial progress has been made towards meeting the approved objectives. The CAMP office staff requests to continue a customized APR that goes beyond the generic 524B APR to facilitate the collection of more standardized and comprehensive data to inform GPRA, to improve the overall quality of data collected, and to increase the quality of data that can be used to inform policy decisions.

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13824 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0067] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; High School Equivalency Program (HEP) Annual Performance Report AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0067. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Room 107-13, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Michelle Georgia, 202-453-5501.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: High School Equivalency Program (HEP) Annual Performance Report.

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0684.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 51.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,173.

    Abstract: The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) office staff collects information for the HEP Annual Performance Report (APR) in compliance with Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title IV, Sec. 418A; 20 U.S.C. 1070d-2 (special programs for students whose families are engaged in migrant and seasonal farmwork), and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 2 CFR 200.238. CFR states that recipients of multi-year discretionary grants must submit an APR demonstrating that that substantial progress has been made towards meeting the approved objectives. The HEP office staff requests to continue a customized APR that goes beyond the generic 524B APR to facilitate the collection of more standardized and comprehensive data to inform GPRA, to improve the overall quality of data collected, and to increase the quality of data that can be used to inform policy decisions.

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13823 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP) AGENCY:

    Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.259A.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: June 27, 2018.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 9, 2018. We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we can anticipate the number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by sending a short email message. This short email should provide the applicant organization's name and address. Please send this email notification to [email protected] with “Intent to Apply” in the email subject line. Applicants that do not provide this email notification may still apply for funding.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 27, 2018.

    Pre-Application Teleconference Information: The Department will hold a pre-application meeting via teleconference for prospective applicants on July 9, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The teleconference is intended to provide technical assistance to all interested grant applicants. Information regarding the teleconference can be found on the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network at http://cte.ed.gov/.

    ADDRESSES:

    For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Mayo, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Potomac Center Plaza, Room 11075, Washington, DC 20202-7241. Telephone: (202) 245-7792. Email: [email protected].

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP) provides grants to eligible community-based organizations to plan, conduct, and administer programs, or portions of programs, that are for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and authorized by and consistent with the purposes of section 116 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Act). Section 116(e) of the Act provides that programs, services, and activities funded under NHCTEP must support and improve career and technical education programs. (20 U.S.C. 2326(e))

    Background: Under section 116(h) of the Act, eligible community-based organizations receive NHCTEP grants to plan, conduct, and administer programs, or portions thereof that are consistent with the purposes of section 116 of the Act, for the benefit of Native Hawaiians. Section 116(e) of the Act provides that educational programs, services, and activities funded under NHCTEP must support and help to improve career and technical education programs. (20 U.S.C. 2326(e)). This requirement, along with the statutory definition of “career and technical education,” aligns NHCTEP with other programs authorized under the Act that offer a sequence of courses that provides individuals with coherent and rigorous content.

    Under section 3(5)(A) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 2302(5)(A)), the Department awards grants under this competition to carry out career and technical education projects that provide organized educational activities offering a sequence of courses that—

    (a) Provides individuals with coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions;

    (b) Provides technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or an associate degree; and

    (c) Includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of an industry, including entrepreneurship, of an individual. Projects may include prerequisite courses (other than remedial courses) that meet the definition of “career and technical education,” in section 3(5)(A) of the Act. (20 U.S.C. 2302(5)(A)). In addition, at the secondary level, coherent and rigorous academic curriculum in reading or language arts and in mathematics must be aligned with challenging academic content standards and student academic achievement standards that the State in which the applicant is located has established under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).

    Note:

    Contacts for State ESEA programs may be found on the internet at: www.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html.

    Priority: This notice contains one invitational priority. The invitational priority is from the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Secretary's Supplemental Priorities).

    Invitational Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    This priority is:

    Creating or expanding opportunities for students to obtain recognized postsecondary credentials in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science.

    For the purposes of this invitational priority, computer science means the study of computers and algorithmic processes and includes the study of computing principles and theories, computational thinking, computer hardware, software design, coding, analytics, and computer applications.

    Computer science often includes computer programming or coding as a tool to create software, including applications, games, websites, and tools to manage or manipulate data; or development and management of computer hardware and the other electronics related to sharing, securing, and using digital information.

    In addition to coding, the expanding field of computer science emphasizes computational thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving to equip students with the skills and abilities necessary to apply computation in our digital world.

    Computer science does not include using a computer for everyday activities, such as browsing the internet; use of tools like word processing, spreadsheets, or presentation software; or using computers in the study and exploration of unrelated subjects. (See definition of “computer science” in the Secretary's Supplemental Priorities)

    Requirements: Requirements 1-6 are from the notice of final requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program (notice of final requirements), published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2009 (74 FR 12341). Requirement 7 is from section 315 of the Act.

    Requirement 1—Authorized Programs:

    (a) In accordance with section 116(e) of the Act, under this program, NHCTEP projects must—

    (1) Develop new programs, services, or activities or improve or expand existing programs, services, or activities that are consistent with the purposes of the Act. In other words, the Department will support “expansions” or “improvements” that include, but are not necessarily limited to, the expansion of effective programs or practices; upgrading of activities, equipment, or materials; increasing staff capacity; adoption of new technology; modification of curriculum; or implementation of new policies to improve program effectiveness and outcomes; and

    (2) Fund a CTE program, service, or activity that—

    (i) Is a new program, service, or activity that was not provided by the applicant during the instructional term (a defined period, such as a semester, trimester, or quarter, within the academic year) that preceded the request for funding under NHCTEP;

    (ii) Will improve or expand an existing CTE program; or

    (iii) Inherently improves CTE. A program, service, or activity “inherently improves CTE” if it—

    (A) Develops new CTE programs of study for approval by the appropriate accreditation agency;

    (B) Strengthens the rigor of the academic and career and technical components of funded programs;

    (C) Uses curriculum that is aligned with industry-recognized standards and will result in students attaining industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees;

    (D) Integrates academics (other than remedial courses) with CTE programs through a coherent sequence of courses to help ensure learning in the core academic and career and technical subjects;

    (E) Links CTE at the secondary level with CTE at the postsecondary level and facilitates students' pursuit of a baccalaureate degree;

    (F) Expands the scope, depth, and relevance of curriculum, especially content that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of an industry and a variety of hands-on, job-specific experiences; or

    (G) Offers—

    (1) Work-related experience, internships, cooperative education, school-based enterprises, studies in entrepreneurship, community service learning, and job shadowing that are related to CTE programs;

    (2) Coaching/mentoring, support services, and extra help for students after school, on the weekends, or during the summer, so they can meet higher standards;

    (3) Career guidance and academic counseling for students participating in CTE programs under NHCTEP;

    (4) Placement services for students who have successfully completed CTE programs and attained a technical skill proficiency that is aligned with industry-recognized standards;

    (5) Professional development programs for teachers, counselors, and administrators;

    (6) Strong partnerships among grantees and local educational agencies, postsecondary institutions, community leaders, adult education providers, and, as appropriate, other entities, such as employers, labor organizations, parents, and local partnerships, to enable students to achieve State academic standards and attain career and technical skills;

    (7) The use of student assessment and evaluation data to improve continually instruction and staff development; or

    (8) Research, development, demonstration, dissemination, evaluation and assessment, capacity-building, and technical assistance, related to CTE programs.

    Requirement 2—Evaluation:

    To help ensure the high quality of NHCTEP projects and the achievement of the goals and purposes of section 116(h) of the Act, each grantee must budget for and conduct an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of its project. An independent evaluator must conduct the evaluation. The evaluation must—

    (a) Be appropriate for the project and be both formative and summative in nature; and

    (b) Include—

    (1) Collection and reporting of the performance measures for NHCTEP that are identified in the Performance Measures section of this notice; and

    (2) Qualitative and quantitative data with respect to—

    (i) Academic and career and technical competencies demonstrated by the participants and the number and kinds of academic and work credentials acquired by individuals, including their participation in programs providing skill proficiency assessments, industry certifications, or training at the associate degree level that is articulated with an advanced degree option;

    (ii) Enrollment, completion, and placement of participants by gender, for each occupation for which training was provided;

    (iii) Job or work skill attainment or enhancement, including participation in apprenticeship and work-based learning programs, and student progress in achieving technical skill proficiencies necessary to obtain employment in the field for which the student has been prepared, including attainment or enhancement of technical skills in the industry the student is preparing to enter;

    (iv) Activities, during the formative stages of the project, to help guide and improve the project, as well as a summative evaluation that includes recommendations for disseminating information on project activities and results;

    (v) The number and percentage of students who obtained industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees;

    (vi) The outcomes of students' technical assessments, by type and scores, if available;

    (vii) The rates of attainment of a proficiency credential or certificate, in conjunction with a secondary school diploma;

    (viii) The effectiveness of the project, including a comparison between the intended and observed results and a demonstration of a clear link between the observed results and the specific treatment given to project participants;

    (ix) The extent to which information about or resulting from the project was disseminated at other sites, such as through the grantee's development and use of guides or manuals that provide step-by-step directions for practitioners to follow when initiating similar efforts; and

    (x) The impact of the project, e.g., follow-up data on students' employment, sustained employment, promotions, further and continuing education or training, or the impact the project had on Native Hawaiian economic development or career and technical education activities.

    Requirement 3—Student Stipends:

    A portion of an award under this program may be used to provide stipends (as defined in the Definitions section of this notice) to help students meet the costs of participation in a NHCTEP project.

    (1) To be eligible for a stipend a student must—

    (i) Be enrolled in a CTE project funded under this program;

    (ii) Be in regular attendance in a NHCTEP project and meet the training institution's attendance requirement;

    (iii) Maintain satisfactory progress in his or her program of study according to the training institution's published standards for satisfactory progress; and

    (iv) Have an acute economic need that—

    (A) Prevents participation in a project funded under this program without a stipend; and

    (B) Cannot be met through a work-study program.

    (2) The amount of a stipend is the greater of either the minimum hourly wage prescribed by State or local law or the minimum hourly wage established under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    (3) A grantee may award a stipend only if the stipend combined with other resources the student receives does not exceed the student's financial need. A student's financial need is the difference between the student's cost of attendance and the financial aid or other resources available to defray the student's cost of attending a NHCTEP project.

    (4) To calculate the amount of a student's stipend, a grantee must multiply the number of hours a student actually attends CTE instruction by the amount of the minimum hourly wage that is prescribed by State or local law, or by the minimum hourly wage that is established under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The grantee must reduce the amount of a stipend if necessary to ensure that it does not exceed the student's financial need.

    Example: If a grantee uses the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum hourly wage of $7.25 and a student attends classes for 20 hours a week, the student's stipend would be $145 for the week during which the student attends classes ($7.25 × 20 = $145.00). If the program lasts 16 weeks and the student's total financial need is $2,000, the grantee must reduce the weekly stipend to $125, because the total stipend for the course would otherwise exceed the student's financial need by $320 (or $20 a week).

    Note:

    Grantees must maintain records that fully support their decisions to award stipends to students, as well as the amounts that are paid, such as proof of a student's enrollment in a NHCTEP project, stipend applications, timesheets showing the number of hours of student attendance that are confirmed in writing by an instructor, student financial status information, and evidence that a student could not participate in the NHCTEP project without a stipend. (See generally 20 U.S.C. 1232f; 34 CFR 75.700-75.702; 75.730; and 75.731.)

    (5) An eligible student may receive a stipend when taking a course for the first time. However, generally a stipend may not be provided to a student who has already taken, completed, and had the opportunity to benefit from a course and is merely repeating the course.

    (6) An applicant must include in its application the procedure it intends to use to determine student eligibility for stipends and stipend amounts, and its oversight procedures for the awarding and payment of stipends.

    Requirement 4—Direct Assistance to Students:

    A grantee may provide direct assistance (as defined elsewhere in this notice under the heading Definitions) to a student only if the following conditions are met:

    (1) The recipient of the direct assistance is an individual who is a member of a special population (as defined in section 3(29) of the Act) and who is participating in a NHCTEP project.

    (2) The direct assistance is needed to address barriers to the individual's successful participation in a NHCTEP project.

    (3) The direct assistance is part of a broader, more generally focused program or activity for addressing the needs of an individual who is a member of a special population.

    Note:

    Direct assistance to individuals who are members of special populations is not, by itself, a “program or activity for special populations.”

    (4) The grant funds used for direct assistance must be expended to supplement, and not supplant, assistance that is otherwise available from non-Federal sources. For example, generally, a community-based organization could not use NHCTEP funds to provide child care for single parents if non-Federal funds previously were made available for this purpose, or if non-Federal funds are used to provide child care services for single parents participating in non-career and technical education programs and these services otherwise (in the absence of NHCTEP funds) would have been available to CTE students.

    (5) In determining how much of the NHCTEP grant funds it will use for direct assistance to an eligible student, a grantee—

    (i) May only provide assistance to the extent that it is needed to address barriers to the individual's successful participation in CTE; and

    (ii) Considers whether the specific services to be provided are a reasonable and necessary cost of providing career and technical education programs for special populations. However, the Secretary does not envision a circumstance in which it would be a reasonable and necessary expenditure of NHCTEP project funds for a grantee to utilize a majority of a project's budget to pay direct assistance to students, in lieu of providing the students served by the project with CTE.

    Requirement 5—Career and Technical Education Agreement:

    Any applicant that is not proposing to provide CTE directly to Native Hawaiian students and proposes instead to pay one or more qualified educational entities to provide such CTE to Native Hawaiian students must include with its application a written CTE agreement between the applicant and the educational entity. The written agreement must describe the commitment between the applicant and the educational entity and must include, at a minimum, a statement of the responsibilities of the applicant and the entity. The agreement must be signed by the appropriate individuals on behalf of each party, such as the authorizing official or administrative head of the applicant Native Hawaiian community-based organization.

    Requirement 6: Supplement-Not-Supplant:

    Grantees may not use funds under NHCTEP to replace otherwise available non-Federal funding for “direct assistance to students” (as defined elsewhere in this notice under the heading Definitions) and family assistance programs. For example, NHCTEP funds must not be used to supplant non-Federal funds to pay the costs of students' tuition, dependent care, transportation, books, supplies, and other costs associated with participation in a CTE program.

    Further, funds under NHCTEP may not be used to replace Federal student financial aid. The Act does not authorize the Secretary to fund projects that serve primarily as entities through which students may apply for and receive tuition and other financial assistance.

    Requirement 7—Additional Statutory Requirement Limiting Services:

    Section 315 of the Act prohibits the use of funds received under the Act to provide vocational and technical education programs to students prior to the seventh grade, except that equipment and facilities purchased with funds under the Act may be used by such students. (20 U.S.C. 2395)

    Definitions: These definitions are from the Act and the notice of final requirements. The source of each definition is noted after the definition.

    Acute economic need means an income that is at or below the national poverty level according to the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines. (Notice of Final Requirements)

    Career and technical education (CTE) means organized educational activities that—

    (a) Offer a sequence of courses that—

    (1) Provides individuals with coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions;

    (2) Provides technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or an associate degree; and

    (3) May include prerequisite courses (other than a remedial course) that meet the requirements of this definition; and

    (b) Include competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of an industry, including entrepreneurship, of an individual. (20 U.S.C. 2302(5))

    Coherent sequence of courses means a series of courses in which career and academic education is integrated, and that directly relates to, and leads to, both academic and occupational competencies. The term includes competency-based education and academic education, and adult training or retraining, including sequential units encompassed within a single adult retraining course, that otherwise meets the requirements of this definition. (Notice of Final Requirements)

    Direct assistance to students means tuition, dependent care, transportation, books, and supplies that are necessary for a student to participate in a project funded under this program. (Notice of Final Requirements)

    Individual with a disability means an individual with any disability (as defined in section 12102 of title 42) (20 U.S.C. 2302(17)

    Individual with limited English proficiency means a secondary school student, an adult, or an out-of-school youth, who has limited ability in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, and—

    (a) Whose native language is a language other than English; or

    (b) Who lives in a family or community environment in which a language other than English is the dominant language. (20 U.S.C. 2302(16))

    Native Hawaiian means any individual any of whose ancestors were natives, prior to 1778, of the area which now comprises the State of Hawaii. (20 U.S.C. 2326(a)(4))

    Special populations means—

    (a) Individuals with disabilities;

    (b) Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children;

    (c) Individuals preparing for nontraditional fields;

    (d) Single parents, including single pregnant women;

    (e) Displaced homemakers; and

    (f) Individuals with limited English proficiency. (20 U.S.C. 2302(29))

    Stipend means a subsistence allowance—

    (a) For a student who is enrolled in a CTE program funded under the NHCTEP;

    (b) For a student who has an acute economic need that cannot be met through work-study programs; and

    (c) That is necessary for the student to participate in a project funded under this program. (Notice of Final Requirements)

    Support services means services related to curriculum modification, equipment modification, classroom modification, supportive personnel, and instructional aids and devices. (20 U.S.C. 2302(31))

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2301, et seq., particularly 2326(a)-(g).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The notice of final requirements published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2009 (74 FR 12341). (e) The Secretary's Supplemental Priorities published on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096).

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $2,753,000, for the first 12 months of the project period. Funding for years two and three is subject to the availability of funds and to a grantee meeting the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 or in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $250,000 to $500,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $276,000.

    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months. The Secretary may extend the performance periods of funded NHCTEP grantees for an additional two years, should Congress continue to appropriate funds under the Act.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible to apply under this competition:

    (a) Community-based organizations primarily serving and representing Native Hawaiians. For purposes of the NHCTEP, a community-based organization means a public or private organization that provides career and technical education, or related services, to individuals in the Native Hawaiian community.

    (b) Any community-based organization may apply individually or as part of a consortium with one or more eligible community-based organizations. (Eligible applicants seeking to apply for funds as a consortium must meet the requirements in 34 CFR 75.127-75.129.)

    2. (a) Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    (b) Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. In accordance with section 311(a) of the Act, funds under this program may not be used to supplant non-Federal funds used to carry out CTE activities. Further, the prohibition against supplanting also means that grantees are required to use their negotiated restricted indirect cost rates under this program. (34 CFR 75.563)

    We caution applicants not to plan to use funds under NHCTEP to replace otherwise available non-Federal funding for direct assistance to students and family assistance programs. For example, NHCTEP funds must not be used to supplant non-Federal funds with Federal funds in order to pay the costs of students' tuition, dependent care, transportation, books, supplies, and other costs associated with participation in a CTE program.

    Funds under NHCTEP should not be used to replace Federal student financial aid. The Act does not authorize the Secretary to fund projects that serve primarily as entities through which students may apply for and receive tuition and other financial assistance.

    (c) Limitation on Services: Section 315 of the Act prohibits the use of funds received under the Act to provide CTE programs to students prior to the seventh grade.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    2. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

    3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    4. Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us of their intent to submit an application. To do so, please email [email protected] with the subject line “Intent to Apply,” and include the applicant's name and a contact person's name and email address. Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information provided.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from the notice of final requirements, and are as follows.

    The maximum possible score for addressing each criterion is indicated in parentheses.

    (a) Quality of the Project Design (35 points). In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, we consider the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to and will successfully address the needs of the target population or other identified needs (as evidenced by such data as local labor market demand, occupational trends, and surveys). (Up to 5 points)

    (2) The extent to which goals, objectives, and outcomes are clearly specified and measurable. (For example, we look for clear descriptions of proposed student career and technical education activities; recruitment and retention strategies; expected student enrollments, completions, and placements in jobs, military specialties, and continuing education/training opportunities; the number of teachers, counselors, and administrators to be trained; and identification of requirements for each program of study to be provided under the project, including related training areas and a description of performance outcomes.) (Up to 10 points)

    (3) The extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies (e.g., community, State, and other Federal resources) and organizations providing services to the target population in order to improve services to students and strengthen outcomes for the proposed project. (Up to 5 points)

    (4) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project will create and offer activities that focus on enabling participants to obtain the skills necessary to gain employment in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations in emerging fields or in a specific career field. (Up to 5 points)

    (5) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project will create opportunities for students to acquire skills identified by the State at the secondary level or by industry-recognized career and technical education programs for licensure, degree, certification, or as required by a career or profession. (Up to 5 points)

    (6) The extent to which the proposed project will provide opportunities for high-quality training or professional development services that—

    (i) Are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among instructional personnel;

    (ii) Will improve and increase instructional personnel's knowledge and skills to help students meet challenging and rigorous academic and career and technical skill proficiencies;

    (iii) Will advance instructional personnel's understanding of effective instructional strategies that are supported by scientifically based research; and

    (iv) Include professional development plans that clearly address ways in which learning gaps will be addressed and how continuous review of performance will be conducted to identify training needs. (Up to 5 points)

    (b) Quality of the Management Plan (15 points). In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, we consider the following factors:

    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and the milestones and performance standards for accomplishing project tasks. (Up to 5 points)

    (2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and other key project personnel, including instructors, are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. (Up to 5 points)

    (3) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project. (Up to 5 points)

    (c) Quality of Project Personnel (25 points). In determining the quality of project personnel, we consider the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (Up to 5 points)

    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training, expertise, and experience, of the project director. (Up to 10 points)

    (3) The qualifications, including relevant training, expertise, and experience, of key project personnel, especially the extent to which the project will use instructors who are certified to teach in the field in which they will provide instruction. (Up to 5 points)

    (4) The qualifications, including training, expertise, and experience, of project consultants. (Up to 5 points)

    (d) Adequacy of Resources (20 points). In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, we consider the following factors:

    (1) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization(s) and the entities to be served, including the evidence and relevance of commitments (e.g., articulation agreements, memoranda of understanding, letters of support, or commitments to employ project participants) of the applicant, local employers, or entities to be served by the project. (Up to 10 points)

    (2) The extent to which the budget is adequate and costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives and design of the proposed project. (Up to 5 points)

    (3) The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends. (Up to 5 points)

    (e) Quality of the Project Evaluation (25 points). In determining the quality of the evaluation, we consider the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation proposed by the grantee are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.1 (Up to 10 points)

    1 This may include the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measures.

    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and the performance measures discussed elsewhere in this notice and will produce quantitative and qualitative data, to the extent possible. (Up to 5 points)

    (3) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and continuous improvement toward achieving intended outcomes. (Up to 5 points)

    (4) The quality of the proposed evaluation to be conducted by an external evaluator with the necessary background and technical expertise to carry out the evaluation. (Up to 5 points)

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition, the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20.

    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    5. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Federal departments and agencies must clearly describe the goals and objectives of their programs, identify resources and actions needed to accomplish these goals and objectives, develop a means of measuring progress made, and regularly report on their achievement. One important source of program information on successes and lessons learned is the project evaluation conducted under individual grants. The Department has established the following core factors and measures for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the NHCTEP and projects supported under this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these core factors and measures.

    (a) Number of Secondary, Postsecondary, and Adult Projects. The number of secondary, postsecondary, and adult projects that—

    (1) Apply industry-recognized skill standards so that students can earn skill certificates in those projects; and

    (2) Offer skill competencies, related assessments, and industry-recognized skill certificates in an area of study offered by secondary and postsecondary institutions.

    (b) Secondary Projects. The percentage of participating secondary career and technical education students who—

    (1) Meet or exceed State proficiency standards in reading/language arts and mathematics;

    (2) Attain a secondary school diploma or its State-recognized equivalent, or a proficiency credential in conjunction with a secondary school diploma;

    (3) Attain career and technical education skill proficiencies aligned with industry-recognized standards; and

    (4) Are placed in postsecondary education, advanced training, military service, or employment in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations or in current or emerging occupations.

    (c) Postsecondary Projects. The percentage of participating postsecondary students in career and technical education programs who—

    (1) Receive postsecondary degrees, certificates, or credentials;

    (2) Attain career and technical education skill proficiencies aligned with industry-recognized standards;

    (3) Receive industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees;

    (4) Are retained in postsecondary education or transfer to a baccalaureate degree program; and

    (5) Are placed in military service or apprenticeship programs, or are placed in employment, receive an employment promotion, or retain employment.

    Note:

    All grantees must submit an annual performance report addressing these performance measures, to the extent feasible and to the extent that they apply to each grantee's NHCTEP project.

    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

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

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Michael E. Wooten, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13856 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs (Training Program), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.103A.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: June 27, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 27, 2018.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Suzanne Ulmer or, if unavailable, Carmen Gordon, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 278-44, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7700. Email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Training Program provides grants to train the staff and leadership personnel employed in, participating in, or preparing for employment in, projects funded under the Federal TRIO Programs, so as to improve the operation of these projects.

    Priorities: This notice contains six absolute priorities and three invitational priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv) and 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the absolute priorities are selected from section 402G(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), and the regulations for this program at 34 CFR 642.24.

    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet these absolute priorities.

    In accordance with 34 CFR 642.7, each application must clearly identify the specific absolute priority for which a grant is requested. An applicant must submit a separate application for each absolute priority it proposes to address. If an applicant submits more than one application for the same absolute priority, we will accept only the application with the latest “date/time received” validation.

    These priorities are:

    Absolute Priority 1. Training to improve reporting of student and project performance and the evaluation of project performance in order to design and operate a model project funded under the Federal TRIO Programs.

    Estimated number of awards: 2.

    Maximum award amount: $265,764.

    Absolute Priority 2. Training on budget management and the statutory and regulatory requirements for operation of projects funded under the Federal TRIO Programs.

    Estimated number of awards: 2.

    Maximum award amount: $265,764.

    Absolute Priority 3. Training on assessment of student needs; retention and graduation strategies; and the use of appropriate educational technology in the operation of projects funded under the Federal TRIO programs.

    Estimated number of awards: 1.

    Maximum award amount: $344,945.

    Absolute Priority 4. Training on assisting students in receiving adequate financial aid from programs assisted under title IV of the HEA and from other programs, on college and university admissions policies and procedures, and on proven strategies to improve the financial literacy and economic literacy of students, including topics such as basic personal finance information, household money management and financial planning skills, and basic economic decision making skills.

    Estimated number of awards: 2.

    Maximum award amount: $265,764.

    Absolute Priority 5. Training on strategies for recruiting and serving hard to reach populations, including students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths (as this term is defined in section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a)), students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system, or other disconnected students.

    Estimated number of awards: 1.

    Maximum award amount: $344,945.

    Absolute Priority 6. Training on general project management for new project directors who have been in their positions less than two years, including training on the content of absolute priorities 1 through 5. The training should provide new directors with the basic tools required to be a successful TRIO project director.

    Estimated number of awards: 2.

    Maximum award amount: $294,464.

    Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address the following priorities.

    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications for this competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    These priorities are:

    Invitational Priority 1:

    Applications that propose projects designed to address one or more of the following priority areas:

    (a) Implementing strategies that ensure education funds are spent in a way that increases their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, including by reducing waste or achieving better outcomes.

    (b) Supporting training toward innovative strategies or research that have the potential to lead to significant and wide-reaching improvements in the delivery of educational services.

    (c) Reducing compliance burden within the grantee's operations (including on partners working to achieve grant objectives or being served by the grant) in a manner that decreases paperwork or staff time spent on administrative functions, or other measurable ways that help education providers to save money, benefit more students, or improve results.

    Invitational Priority 2:

    Applications that propose projects designed to assist TRIO grantees with the ongoing implementation of the evidence-based strategies for which they received competitive preference in their approved applications.

    Invitational Priority 3:

    Applications that propose projects designed to assist TRIO grantees with improving student achievement or other educational outcomes in one or more of the following areas: Science, technology, engineering, math, or computer science (as defined in the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096): Specifically, supporting programs that lead to recognized postsecondary credentials (as defined in section 3(52) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) or skills that align with the skill needs of industries in the State or regional economy involved for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, including computer science.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-17.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75 (except for 75.215 through 75.221), 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 642.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian Tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education (IHEs) only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 provided $1,010,000,000 for the Federal TRIO Programs for FY 2018, of which we intend to use an estimated $2,873,402 for Training Program awards.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $265,764-$344,945.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $287,340.

    Maximum Award and Minimum Participants: We will not make an award exceeding the maximum award amount listed here for a single budget period of 12 months. Projects proposed under each absolute priority also must propose to serve the minimum number of applicable participants listed here.

    Under Absolute Priorities 1, 2, and 4, the maximum award amount is $265,764 and the minimum number of participants is 231. Under Absolute Priorities 3 and 5, the maximum award amount is $344,945 and the minimum number of participants is 300. Under Absolute Priority 6, the maximum award amount is $294,464 and the minimum number of participants is 256.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 24 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs and other public and private nonprofit institutions and organizations.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    2. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    3. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 642.31. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations and Application Review Information sections of this notice.

    4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative, which includes the budget narrative and invitational priority, to no more than 55 pages and (2) use the following standards.

    Note:

    Applications that do not follow the page limit and formatting recommendations will not be penalized.

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins.

    • Double-space all text in the application narrative, and single-space titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions.

    • Use a 12-point font.

    • Use an easily readable font such as Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance face sheet (SF 424); Part II, the Budget Information Summary form (ED Form 524); Part III-A, the Program Profile form; Part III-B, the one-page Project Abstract form; or Part IV, the Assurances and Certifications. The recommended page limit also does not apply to a table of contents, which we recommend that you include in the application narrative.

    5. Content and Form of Application Submission: You should indicate the absolute priority addressed in your application both on the one-page abstract and on the Training Program Profile Sheet. You must include your complete response to the selection criteria and absolute priorities in the application narrative. Other requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 642.21 and are as follows:

    (a) Plan of operation. (20 points)

    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows the quality of the plan of operation for the project.

    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

    (i) High quality in the design of the project;

    (ii) An effective plan of management that ensures proper and efficient administration of the project;

    (iii) A clear description of how the objectives of the project relate to the purpose of the program;

    (iv) The way the applicant plans to use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective; and

    (v) A clear description of how the applicant will provide equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as—

    (A) Members of racial or ethnic minority groups;

    (B) Women;

    (C) Individuals with disabilities; and

    (D) The elderly.

    (b) Quality of key personnel. (20 points)

    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows the qualifications of the key personnel the applicant plans to use on the project.

    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

    (i) The qualifications of the project director;

    (ii) The qualifications of each of the other key personnel to be used in the project;

    (iii) The time that each person referred to in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section plans to commit to the project; and

    (iv) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as—

    (A) Members of racial or ethnic minority groups;

    (B) Women;

    (C) Individuals with disabilities; and

    (D) The elderly.

    (3) To determine the qualifications of a person, the Secretary considers evidence of past experience and training, in fields related to the objectives of the project, as well as other information that the applicant provides.

    (c) Budget and cost effectiveness. (10 points)

    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows that the project has an adequate budget and is cost effective.

    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

    (i) The budget for the project is adequate to support the project activities; and

    (ii) Costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the project.

    (d) Evaluation plan. (10 points)

    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows the quality of the evaluation plan for the project.

    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows methods of evaluation that are appropriate for the project and, to the extent possible, are objective and produce data that are quantifiable.

    (e) Adequacy of resources. (15 points)

    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows that the applicant plans to devote adequate resources to the project.

    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

    (i) The facilities that the applicant plans to use are adequate; and

    (ii) The equipment and supplies that the applicant plans to use are adequate.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary also may consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    For this competition, a panel of non-Federal reviewers will review each application in accordance with the selection criteria in 34 CFR 642.21. The individual scores of the reviewers will be added and the sum divided by the number of reviewers to determine the peer review score received in the review process. Additionally, in accordance with 34 CFR 642.22, the Secretary will award prior experience points to eligible applicants by evaluating the applicant's current performance under its expiring Training Program grant. Pursuant to 34 CFR 642.22(b)(1), prior experience points, if any, will be added to the application's averaged peer review score to determine the total score for each application.

    Under section 402A(c)(3) of the HEA, the Secretary is not required to make awards under the Training Program in the order of the scores received.

    In the event a tie score exists, the Secretary will select for funding the applicant that has the greatest capacity to provide training to eligible participants in all regions of the Nation in order to assure accessibility to the greatest number of prospective training participants, consistent with 34 CFR 642.20(e).

    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators, and we send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN) or an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20.

    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    5. Performance Measures: The success of the Training Program is measured by its cost-effectiveness based on the number of TRIO project personnel receiving training each year; the percentage of Training Program participants that, each year, evaluate the training as benefiting them in increasing their qualifications and skills in meeting the needs of disadvantaged students; and the percentage of Training Program participants that, each year, evaluate the training as benefiting them in increasing their knowledge and understanding of the Federal TRIO Programs. All grantees will be required to submit an annual performance report documenting their success in training personnel working on TRIO-funded projects, including the average cost per trainee and the trainees' evaluations of the effectiveness of the training provided. The success of the Training Program also is assessed on the quantitative and qualitative outcomes of the training projects based on project evaluation results.

    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to one of the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations via the Federal Digital System at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

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

    Dated: June 22, 2018. Frank T. Brogan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Delegated the duties of the Assistant Secretary, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Delegated the duties of the Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13862 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-176-000] City of Falmouth, Kentucky; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on June 20, 2018, the City of Falmouth, Kentucky (Falmouth or Petitioner) filed a petition for a declaratory order requesting the Commission confirm that when Falmouth changes power suppliers on May 1, 2019, Falmouth will be able to continue to obtain transmission service over the facilities of East Kentucky Power Cooperative at the same rates, and under the same terms and conditions, as would have applied for deliveries to Falmouth's load had it remained a power supply customer of Kentucky Utilities Company, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on July 19, 2018.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13850 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-177-000] CXA La Paloma, LLC v. California Independent System Operator Corporation; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on June 20, 2018, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824e and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, CXA La Paloma, LLC (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO or Respondent) alleging that, CAISO's continued reliance on short-term, interim, stopgap mechanisms for resource adequacy has created a resource adequacy regime that is unjust and unreasonable and unduly discriminatory. CXA La Paloma, LLC requests that the Commission order CAISO to implement a centralized resource adequacy procurement process including a downward sloped demand curve, uniform locational pricing, and several other key features, all as more fully explained in the complaint.

    CXA La Paloma, LLC certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for Respondent as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondents' answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondents' answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 10, 2018.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13851 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-175-000] American Municipal Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on June 20, 2018, American Municipal Power, Inc. submitted a filing of proposed cost-based revenue requirement for the provision of Reactive Supply and Voltage Control from Generation or Other Sources Service under Schedule 2 of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Open Access Transmission Tariff.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 11, 2018.

    Dated: June 21, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-13854 Filed 6-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-501-000] Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on June 11, 2018, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. (Southern Star), 4700 Highway 56, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301, filed a prior notice application pursuant to sections 157.205, and 157.208 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and Southern Star's