Federal Register Vol. 83, No.154,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 154 (August 9, 2018)

Page Range39323-39579
FR Document

83_FR_154
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 39397 - Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability ProgramPDF
83 FR 39579 - Continuation of U.S. Drug Interdiction Assistance to the Government of ColombiaPDF
83 FR 39351 - Limited Extension of Select Compliance Dates for Occupational Exposure to Beryllium in General IndustryPDF
83 FR 39494 - Notice Before Waiver With Respect To Land at Hanover County Municipal Airport, Hanover, VirginiaPDF
83 FR 39439 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
83 FR 39439 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 39463 - Advisory Committees on the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, and Civil Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence; Hearings on Proposed Amendments to the Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Evidence RulesPDF
83 FR 39462 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil ProcedurePDF
83 FR 39462 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Advisory; Committee on Rules of Appellate ProcedurePDF
83 FR 39464 - NCUA Suspension and Debarment ProceduresPDF
83 FR 39492 - Defense Trade Advisory Group; Notice of Open MeetingPDF
83 FR 39493 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and SupportPDF
83 FR 39436 - Interim Registration Review Decisions for Several Pesticides; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 39437 - Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 39373 - Cerevisane (Cell Walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain LAS117); Exemption From the Requirement of a TolerancePDF
83 FR 39369 - Air Quality Designations for the 2012 Primary Annual Fine Particle (PM2.5PDF
83 FR 39454 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Biometric IdentityPDF
83 FR 39455 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 39505 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39361 - Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Milwaukee Open Water SwimPDF
83 FR 39361 - Safety Zone; Lake Michigan, Whiting, IndianaPDF
83 FR 39459 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) Grant OpportunityPDF
83 FR 39462 - Certain LED Lighting Devices, LED Power Supplies, and Components Thereof; Commission Determination To Amend the Notice of Investigation To Delete an Erroneously Included RespondentPDF
83 FR 39461 - Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber From Korea and TaiwanPDF
83 FR 39460 - Certain Jump Rope Systems; Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Finding Sole Respondent in Default; Request for Written Submissions on Remedy, Bonding, and the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 39363 - Safety Zones; Discovery World Fireworks, Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, WIPDF
83 FR 39494 - Foxville and Northern Railroad Company LLC-Lease and Operation Exemption-Badin Business Park, LLCPDF
83 FR 39410 - Certain Uncoated Paper From Indonesia: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017PDF
83 FR 39496 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of an Approved Information Collection Request: Commercial Driver Licensing and Test StandardsPDF
83 FR 39495 - Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; CRST Expedited (CRST)PDF
83 FR 39498 - Hours of Service of Drivers: HEPACO, LLC; Heritage Environmental Services, LLC; Lewis Environmental, Inc.; and Moran Environmental Recovery, LLC; Application for ExemptionPDF
83 FR 39493 - Industry Advisory Group: Notice of Open MeetingPDF
83 FR 39500 - National Hazardous Materials Route RegistryPDF
83 FR 39402 - Tongass National Forest, Petersburg Ranger District, Alaska; Central Tongass Project Environmental Impact StatementPDF
83 FR 39430 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39424 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39428 - Notice of Availability of a Request for Information: Expressions of Interest in Conducting Collaborative Research and Development on Innovative Approaches for Exploiting Environmental DataPDF
83 FR 39507 - Pipeline Safety: Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility User FeePDF
83 FR 39508 - Pipeline Safety: Information Collection Activities, Revision to OPID Assignment Request and National Registry NotificationPDF
83 FR 39411 - Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2017-2018PDF
83 FR 39422 - Certain Steel Nails From Malaysia: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39420 - Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39418 - Certain Pasta From Italy: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission; 2016PDF
83 FR 39431 - BP Energy Company; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas on a Short-Term BasisPDF
83 FR 39441 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Disclosures in Professional and Consumer Prescription Drug PromotionPDF
83 FR 39449 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Quantitative Data on Tobacco Products and CommunicationsPDF
83 FR 39441 - Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 39440 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH)PDF
83 FR 39439 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39476 - Homestake Mining Company of California; Grants Reclamation Project; Groundwater Monitoring PlanPDF
83 FR 39429 - Notice of Availability of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Data Buoy CenterPDF
83 FR 39470 - Homestake Mining Company of California; Grants Reclamation Project; Zeolite Water Treatment SystemsPDF
83 FR 39454 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
83 FR 39479 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 39409 - Notice of Public Meeting of the South Carolina Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 39505 - Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program Grants: Availability of Final CircularPDF
83 FR 39398 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Commercial Accountability Measure Framework Adjustment 13PDF
83 FR 39432 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 39435 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC Line Ka1 North Launcher/Receiver Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
83 FR 39433 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization: Persimmon Creek Wind Farm 1, LLCPDF
83 FR 39434 - Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests: Great Lakes Hydro AmericaPDF
83 FR 39453 - Determination That PROLIXIN (Fluphenazine Hydrochloride) Tablets, 1 Milligram, 2.5 Milligrams, 5 Milligrams, and 10 Milligrams, Was Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
83 FR 39448 - Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 39450 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Derived From Genetically Engineered PlantsPDF
83 FR 39463 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
83 FR 39492 - Administrative Declaration of a Disaster for the State of IowaPDF
83 FR 39457 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation (HSAR) Solicitation of Proposal Information for Award of Public ContractsPDF
83 FR 39412 - Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper From Canada: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
83 FR 39479 - Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Locating and Paying ParticipantsPDF
83 FR 39480 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 39414 - Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper From Canada: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
83 FR 39511 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects CommitteePDF
83 FR 39511 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project CommitteePDF
83 FR 39510 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint CommitteePDF
83 FR 39510 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project CommitteePDF
83 FR 39511 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Improvements Project CommitteePDF
83 FR 39510 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project CommitteePDF
83 FR 39440 - Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 39469 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Subcommittee on Thermal-Hydraulic PhenomenaPDF
83 FR 39486 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of the Principal Morley Short Duration Index ETF Under Rule 14.11(c)(4)PDF
83 FR 39481 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide for the Delivery of Certain Transaction Data Relating to Variable Annuity and Variable Life Insurance Subaccounts and Implement Fees Associated With This Proposed FeaturePDF
83 FR 39490 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Certain Terms Under Chapter I, Section 1 of the Options RulesPDF
83 FR 39484 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend BX Options Rules at Chapter I, Section 1 To Define Certain TermsPDF
83 FR 39488 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Amending the Exchange's Rules Relating to Reserve Orders, Primary Pegged Orders, and Setter Priority for UTP Securities Trading on the Exchange's Pillar PlatformPDF
83 FR 39510 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project CommitteePDF
83 FR 39331 - Partnership Representative Under the Centralized Partnership Audit Regime and Election To Apply the Centralized Partnership Audit RegimePDF
83 FR 39485 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39483 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39480 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39405 - Technical Assistance and Training Grant ProgramPDF
83 FR 39472 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4 Ventilation System ChangesPDF
83 FR 39474 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Tier 1 and Tier 2* Editorial and Consistency ChangesPDF
83 FR 39475 - Dry Storage and Transportation of High Burnup Spent Nuclear FuelPDF
83 FR 39424 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Gustavus Ferry Terminal Improvements ProjectPDF
83 FR 39365 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; 2011 Base Year Inventory for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the Baltimore, Maryland Nonattainment AreaPDF
83 FR 39387 - Air Plan Approval; AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN; Interstate Transport for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
83 FR 39323 - Repeal of Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations; Technical Amendments to FHFA RegulationsPDF
83 FR 39384 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Augusta, GA, and Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace, Waynesboro, GAPDF
83 FR 39386 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Knoxville, TN; and Establishment of Class E Airspace, Madisonville, TNPDF
83 FR 39361 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Burlington, NJ and Bristol, PAPDF
83 FR 39377 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39380 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 39382 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus HelicoptersPDF
83 FR 39326 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39514 - Guidance Regarding the Transition Tax Under Section 965 and Related ProvisionsPDF
83 FR 39376 - Meeting of the National Organic Standards BoardPDF
83 FR 39409 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Kentucky Advisory CommitteePDF

Issue

83 154 Thursday, August 9, 2018 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Development of Standards for Substances to be Used in Organic Production: National Organic Standards Board; Meeting, 39376 2018-16386 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39430-39431 2018-17034 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 39440-39441 2018-17042 Safety and Occupational Health Study Section, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 39441 2018-17043 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: Revisions to Payment Policies under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; etc., 39397-39398 C1--2018--14985 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Kentucky Advisory Committee, 39409 2018-16332 South Carolina Advisory Committee, 39409 2018-17033 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Delaware River, Burlington, NJ and Bristol, PA, 39361 2018-16845 Safety Zones: Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone; Milwaukee Open Water Swim, 39361 2018-17075 Discovery World Fireworks, Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, WI, 39363-39365 2018-17069 Lake Michigan, Whiting, IN, 39361-39363 2018-17074 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Blanket Authorizations to Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas: BP Energy Co.; Short-Term Basis, Application, 39431-39432 2018-17046
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality Designations: Florida; 2012 Primary Annual Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 39369-39373 2018-17080 Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maryland; 2011 Base Year Inventory for 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Baltimore, Maryland Nonattainment Area, 39365-39369 2018-16992 Tolerance Exemptions: Cerevisane (Cell Walls of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Strain LAS117), 39373-39375 2018-17081 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee; Interstate Transport for 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 39387-39397 2018-16991 NOTICES Registration Reviews: Several Pesticides; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments, 39437-39438 2018-17082 Several Pesticides; Interim Decisions, 39436-39437 2018-17083 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39439 2018-17040 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus SAS Airplanes, 39326-39331 2018-16504 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters, 39382-39384 2018-16638 Airbus SAS Airplanes, 39377-39380 2018-16733 Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines, 39380-39382 2018-16649 Amendment of Class E Airspace; Establishment of Class E Airspace: Augusta GA; Waynesboro, GA, 39384-39385 2018-16869 Knoxville, TN; Madisonville, TN, 39386-39387 2018-16865 NOTICES Land Waivers: Hanover County Municipal Airport, Hanover, VA, 39494 2018-17102 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations; Proposals, 39455-39457 2018-17077 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Great Lakes Hydro America, 39434 2018-17027 Combined Filings, 39432-39433 2018-17030 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC: Line KA1 North Launcher/Receiver Project, 39435-39436 2018-17029 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Persimmon Creek Wind Farm 1, LLC, 39433-39434 2018-17028 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations: Repeal and Technical Amendments, 39323-39326 2018-16972 Federal Housing Finance Board Federal Housing Finance Board RULES Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations: Repeal and Technical Amendments, 39323-39326 2018-16972 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Commercial Driver Licensing and Test Standards, 39496-39498 2018-17064 Commercial Driver's License Standards; Exemption Applications: CRST Expedited, 39495-39496 2018-17063 Hours of Service of Drivers; Exemption Applications: HEPACO, LLC; Heritage Environmental Services, LLC; Lewis Environmental, Inc.; and Moran Environmental Recovery, LLC, 39498-39500 2018-17062 National Hazardous Materials Route Registry, 39500-39504 2018-17060 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39505 2018-17076 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 39439-39440 2018-17094 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 39439 2018-17093 Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities, 39440 2018-17010 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning Program and State Planning and Research Program Grants, 39505-39507 2018-17032 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Disclosures in Professional and Consumer Prescription Drug Promotion, 39441-39448 2018-17045 Generic Clearance for Collection of Quantitative Data on Tobacco Products and Communications, 39449-39450 2018-17044 Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants, 39450-39453 2018-17024 Drug Products Not Withdrawn from Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: PROLIXIN (Fluphenazine Hydrochloride) Tablets, 1 Milligram, 2.5 Milligrams, 5 Milligrams, and 10 Milligrams, 39453-39454 2018-17026 Guidance: Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances, 39448-39449 2018-17025 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Tongass National Forest, Petersburg Ranger District, Alaska; Central Tongass Project, 39402-39405 2018-17059 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39459-39460 2018-17073 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation: Solicitation of Proposal Information for Award of Public Contracts, 39457-39459 2018-17021
Interior Interior Department See

Geological Survey

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Partnership Representative under Centralized Partnership Audit Regime and Election to Apply Centralized Partnership Audit Regime, 39331-39351 2018-17002 PROPOSED RULES Guidance Regarding Transition Tax under Section 965 and Related Provisions, 39514-39575 2018-16476 NOTICES Meetings: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee, 39510 2018-17014 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project Committee, 39511 2018-17015 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects Committee, 39511 2018-17016 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project Committee, 39510 2018-17013 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Improvements Project Committee, 39511 2018-17012 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project Committee, 39510-39511 2018-17011 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project Committee, 39510 2018-17003 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 39411-39412 2018-17051 Certain Pasta from Italy, 39418-39420 2018-17048 Certain Steel Nails from Malaysia, 39422-39424 2018-17050 Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada, 39414-39418 2018-17017 Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia, 39410-39411 2018-17066 Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China, 39420-39422 2018-17049 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada, 39412-39414 2018-17020 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Jump Rope Systems, 39460-39461 2018-17070 Certain LED Lighting Devices, LED Power Supplies, and Components Thereof, 39462 2018-17072 Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber from Korea and Taiwan, 39461-39462 2018-17071 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure, 39462-39463 2018-17090 Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure, 39462 2018-17091 Advisory Committees on Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, and Civil Procedure, and Federal Rules of Evidence, 39463 2018-17092 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Air Act, 39463-39464 2018-17023 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Suspension and Debarment Procedures, 39464-39469 2018-17086 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 39454 2018-17036 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Commercial Accountability Measure Framework Adjustment 13, 39398-39401 2018-17031 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39424, 39430 2018-17055 2018-17056 2018-17057 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: National Data Buoy Center, 39429-39430 2018-17038 Requests for Information: Expressions of Interest in Conducting Collaborative Research and Development on Innovative Approaches for Exploiting Environmental Data, 39428-39429 2018-17054 Takes of Marine Mammals: Gustavus Ferry Terminal Improvements Project, 39424-39428 2018-16993 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Dry Storage and Transportation of High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel, 39475-39476 2018-16994 Exemptions and Combined License Amendments: Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc: Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4: Tier 1 and Tier 2 Editorial and Consistency Changes, 39474-39475 2018-16995 Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc: Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4: Ventilation System Changes, 39472-39474 2018-16996 License Amendment Applications: Homestake Mining Co. of California; Grants Reclamation Project; Groundwater Monitoring Plan, 39476-39479 2018-17039 Homestake Mining Co. of California; Grants Reclamation Project; Zeolite Water Treatment Systems, 39470-39472 2018-17037 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Thermal-Hydraulic Phenomena, 39469-39470 2018-17009 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration RULES Limited Extension of Select Compliance Dates for Occupational Exposure to Beryllium in General Industry, 39351-39360 2018-17106 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Locating and Paying Participants, 39479 2018-17019 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: OPID Assignment Request and National Registry Notification, 39508-39509 2018-17052 Pipeline Safety: Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility User Fee, 39507-39508 2018-17053 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 39479-39480 2018-17035 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 39480 2018-17018 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Colombia; Continuation of Drug Interdiction Assistance (Presidential Determination No. 2018-10 of July 20, 2018), 39577-39579 2018-17261 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program, 39405-39408 2018-16997 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39480-39481, 39483-39486 2018-16998 2018-16999 2018-17000 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 39486-39488 2018-17008 Nasdaq BX, Inc., 39484-39485 2018-17005 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 39490-39492 2018-17006 National Securities Clearing Corp., 39481-39483 2018-17007 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 39488-39490 2018-17004 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Iowa, 39492 2018-17022 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support, 39493-39494 2018-17084 Meetings: Defense Trade Advisory Group, 39492-39493 2018-17085 Industry Advisory Group, 39493 2018-17061 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Leases and Operation Exemptions: Foxville and Northern Railroad Co., LLC; Badin Business Park, LLC, 39494 2018-17067 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Biometric Identity, 39454-39455 2018-17079 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, 39514-39575 2018-16476 Part III Presidential Documents, 39577-39579 2018-17261 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.

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83 154 Thursday, August 9, 2018 Rules and Regulations FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD 12 CFR Parts 900, 906, and 956 Through 999 FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1200, 1206, 1223, and 1261 RIN 2590-AA91 Repeal of Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations; Technical Amendments to FHFA Regulations AGENCY:

Federal Housing Finance Agency; Federal Housing Finance Board.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is repealing two parts of the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) regulations, which define terms used in Finance Board regulations, and which describe the process by which the Finance Board conducted its monthly interest rate survey (MIRS). The repealed definitions are either obsolete or duplicate definitions that FHFA has previously adopted. The regulation relating to the MIRS has become outdated because it does not accurately describe the manner in which FHFA currently conducts the survey. Although FHFA intends to continue to conduct the MIRS in the same manner as it is doing presently, there is no need to carry over this provision into its own regulations. This final rule also repeals a number of subchapters of the Finance Board regulations that it had previously reserved, but which no longer serve any purpose because they include no regulatory text, corrects inaccurate cross-references in regulations described in this rulemaking, and amends a table to update information relating to information collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

DATES:

This rule is effective on September 10, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vickie R. Olafson, Assistant General Counsel, [email protected], (202) 649-3025 (this is not a toll-free number), Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf is (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Analysis

Effective July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) 1 created FHFA as a new independent agency of the Federal Government, and transferred to FHFA the supervisory and oversight responsibilities of the Finance Board over the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks), the oversight responsibilities of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) over the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (the Enterprises), and certain functions of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.2 Under section 1313(a) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act), FHFA is responsible for ensuring that the Banks and the Enterprises operate in a safe and sound manner, including that they maintain adequate capital and internal controls, that their activities foster liquid, efficient, competitive and resilient national housing finance markets, and that they carry out their public policy missions through authorized activities.3 The Banks and the Enterprises remain subject to, and continue to operate under, regulations promulgated by the Finance Board and by OFHEO and HUD, respectively, until such regulations are superseded by regulations issued by FHFA.4 The Finance Board regulations that are the subject of this rulemaking have remained in effect pursuant to that authority.

1 HERA, Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654.

2See id. at section 1101, 122 Stat. 2661-62 (codified at 12 U.S.C. 4511, 4511 note, and 4513).

3 12 U.S.C. 4513(a).

4 12 U.S.C. 4511 note.

On April 3, 2018, FHFA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to repeal certain outdated Finance Board regulations.5 FHFA proposed to repeal definitions under the Finance Board regulations that are obsolete or that duplicate FHFA definitions, and to repeal an outdated Finance Board regulation that describes the process the Finance Board used to conduct the MIRS. FHFA also proposed to repeal subchapters of the Finance Board regulations that were reserved and no longer serve any regulatory purpose. The comment period ended on May 18, 2018. FHFA received no comments in response to any part of the proposed rulemaking, and thus is finalizing the amendments to the Finance Board regulations as proposed.

5 Repeal of Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations, 83 FR 14205 (Apr. 3, 2018).

A. Definitions—Finance Board Part 900

FHFA proposed repealing the Finance Board definitions located in Subchapter A, which consists of part 900 of the Finance Board regulations, and includes definitions of forty-two terms that had been used throughout the Finance Board regulations. In 2013 FHFA carried over into its own regulations (at part 1201) most of the Finance Board definitions, but did not repeal the Finance Board definitions at that time because a number of substantive Finance Board regulations that used those terms remained in effect.6 FHFA has now proposed repealing all of the definitions within part 900 of the Finance Board regulations because, since 2013, FHFA has relocated or repealed all of the substantive Finance Board regulations, other than those relating to Bank capital requirements, which are the subject of a separate rulemaking.7 The final rule is identical to the proposed rule on this topic.

6See Relocation of Regulations, 78 FR 2319 (Jan. 11, 2013).

7See Federal Home Loan Bank Capital Requirements, 82 FR 30776 (proposed July 3, 2017). As noted in the proposed rule, certain of those defined terms, such as “capital plan,” “excess stock,” and “advance,” are used within the Finance Board capital regulations at parts 930 and 932, which likely will remain in effect during an extended transition period to the new FHFA Bank capital regulations. 83 FR 14205, 14206. Each of those terms is well understood by the Banks and has been carried over into the FHFA definitions at part 1201 without substantive change, and to the extent any interpretive questions may arise with respect to parts 930 and 932 after the definitions in part 900 are repealed, the Banks may look to the identical definitions in part 1201 of the FHFA regulations to address those questions. Id.

B. Finance Board Part 906

FHFA proposed repealing subchapter B, consisting of part 906 of the Finance Board Regulations that contains reserved subparts A and C, and subpart B, § 906.5. Section 906.5 describes the manner in which the Finance Board conducted the “Monthly Survey of Rates and Terms on Conventional One-Family Non-farm Mortgage Loans,” commonly referred to as the “Monthly Interest Rate Survey” or “MIRS.” The MIRS is a monthly survey of mortgage lenders that solicits information on the terms and conditions on all conventional, single-family, fully amortizing, purchase-money mortgage loans closed during the last five working days of the preceding month. It was originally conducted by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), and was continued by the Finance Board, in accordance with the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, the legislation that abolished the FHLBB and established the Finance Board as its successor. FHFA also has continued to conduct the survey and publish the data tables monthly, as successor to the Finance Board.

Historically, two housing finance benchmarks have been based on data obtained through the MIRS: (1) The “national average one-family house price,” which, between 1980 and 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were statutorily required to use in making annual adjustments to the conforming loan limit; 8 and (2) the Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Index, which at one time was widely used by lenders in determining the appropriate periodic interest rate adjustment on their ARM loans.

8 The Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 tied the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits to MIRS. See Public Law 96-399, Title III, section 313(a), (b), 94 Stat. 1644-45 (Oct. 8, 1980).

Adjustments in the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are no longer based on data collected through the MIRS. Some lenders, however, may still use FHFA's ARM Index, which is derived from MIRS data, as one factor in pricing mortgage loans that they originate. In addition, businesses, trade associations, and government agencies at both the federal and state level rely upon the MIRS data for various business and regulatory purposes.

FHFA intends to continue conducting the MIRS and publishing the data results on its website monthly. Because the current MIRS regulation includes an outdated description of the manner in which the survey is conducted, however, and is not necessary in order to implement the statutory mandate that FHFA conduct the survey, FHFA has determined that the regulation is unnecessary.9 Given the absence of any comments on the proposed rule, the final rule is also identical to the proposed rule on this topic.

9See Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, Public Law 101-73, Title IV, section 402(e), 103 Stat. 359-360 (Aug. 9, 1989), codified at 12 U.S.C. 1437 note (regarding the continuation of the ARM Index).

C. Finance Board Parts 956-999 [Reserved] and Subchapters F-M [Reserved]

The proposal also would have repealed subchapters F-M, consisting of parts 956-999 of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which are Finance Board provisions that are designated as “[r]eserved.” These reserved parts are currently the only items under subchapters F-M of chapter IX of title 12, and because they contain no substantive provisions there is nothing to revise and relocate to the FHFA regulations. Consequently, FHFA has determined that unless it affirmatively removes the reference to those parts as being reserved and removes subchapters F-M, those references and empty subchapters F-M would remain in the CFR after FHFA has removed or relocated all of the other substantive Finance Board regulations. Accordingly, in the interest of ensuring that all Finance Board regulations that will not be carried forward into the FHFA regulations are removed from the CFR, the final rule adopts the proposed provision to repeal without change.

D. Other Amendments

FHFA is also using this final rule as a vehicle to address six other matters, each of which is technical in nature, that FHFA had not included in the proposed rule.

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) 10 and the implementing regulations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 11 require FHFA to display a currently valid control number for each collection of information the Agency conducts or sponsors. To satisfy this requirement, § 1200.4(b) of FHFA's regulations includes a table identifying each section of the regulations that contains an information collection requirement and showing, for each of those collections, the control number assigned by OMB and the expiration date of that control number. FHFA is using this final rule as a means to update the information contained in that table to reflect recent OMB actions and approvals.

10 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

11 5 CFR part 1320.

Separately, § 1261.9(c) of FHFA's Federal Home Loan Bank directorship regulations includes an inaccurate cross-reference to a provision within FHFA's minority and women inclusion regulations. The regulation currently refers to 12 CFR 1207.21(b)(5), which FHFA relocated in 2017 to 12 CFR 1223.21(b)(7).12 The cross-referenced provision requires the regulated entities to have policies to encourage the consideration of diversity when nominating or soliciting nominations for positions on their boards of directors. FHFA is also using this final rule as a means to correct the cross reference within 12 CFR 1261.9(c).

12 The relocation and redesignation occurred in two phases. In March 2017, FHFA redesignated the Minority and Women Inclusion (MWI) regulations that apply to the regulated entities from 12 CFR part 1207 to 12 CFR part 1223, as a result of which § 1207.21(b)(5) became § 1223.21(b)(5). See Minority and Women Outreach Program, 82 FR 14992, 14993 (Mar. 24, 2017). In July 2017, FHFA again amended the MWI regulations that apply to the regulated entities by, among other things, redesignating § 1223.21(b)(5) as § 1223.21(b)(7). See 82 FR 34388, 34395-96 (July 25, 2017).

This final rule also corrects inaccurate cross-references that had not been updated in four other regulations, as follows. First, the reference to “12 U.S.C. 3645” in § 1206.3(a)(3) is replaced with “12 U.S.C. 4635.” Second, the reference to “§ 1223.21(b)(6)” in § 1223.3(b) is replaced with “§ 1223.21(b)(9).” Third, the reference to “§ 1207.3(b)” in § 1223.21(b)(9) is replaced with “§ 1223.3(b).” Fourth, the reference to “§§ 1207.20 and 1207.21” in § 1223.23(b)(20) is replaced with “§§ 1223.20 and 1223.21.”

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) provides that an agency may amend its regulations without going through a notice and comment rulemaking if it finds good cause that it would be “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” 13 Each of the six amendments described above is technical in nature and does not present any issues on which public comment would be necessary. Moreover, it is consistent with the public interest for FHFA to correct inaccurate citations within its regulations and to ensure that it periodically updates the information pertaining to OMB control numbers and the expiration dates for its collections of information. Accordingly, FHFA finds that there is good cause for amending these two provisions without an opportunity for prior notice and comment.

13 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

II. Considerations of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

Section 1313(f) of the Safety and Soundness Act requires the FHFA Director, when promulgating regulations “of general applicability and future effect” relating to the Banks, to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises as they may relate to the Banks' cooperative ownership structure, mission of providing liquidity to members, affordable housing and community development mission, capital structure, and joint and several liability.14 As was stated in the proposed rule, FHFA has determined that no such analysis is required in this case because the final rule would not impose any new obligations on the Bank or have any future effect on their rights and responsibilities.

14 12 U.S.C. 4513(f).

III. Paperwork Reduction Act

The PRA requires that FHFA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public.15 Under the PRA and OMB's implementing regulations, an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid control number assigned by OMB.16 The MIRS addressed by 12 CFR 906.5 is a collection of information that OMB has approved under control number 2590-0004, which is due to expire on September 30, 2020.

15See 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), (d).

16See 44 U.S.C. 3512(a); 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi).

Although the final rule removes the descriptive provision regarding the MIRS that now appears at 12 CFR 906.5, that removal does not change any aspect of the information collection; that is, FHFA will continue to conduct the survey in accordance with the terms of the existing PRA clearance. Therefore, FHFA has not submitted to OMB a request to approve a revision to control number 2590-0004.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a final regulation that has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must include a regulatory flexibility analysis describing the regulation's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be undertaken if the agency has certified that the regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of this rulemaking and certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the amendments are entirely technical in nature. Even if the final rule were to have an economic impact, it would apply only to the regulated entities, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

V. Congressional Review Act

FHFA has determined that this regulatory action does not qualify as either a “rule” or a “major rule” under the Congressional Review Act. See 5 U.S.C. 804(2), (3).

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 900

Federal home loan banks, Office of finance, Regulated entity.

12 CFR Part 906

Conventional one-family non-farm mortgage loans, Government contracts, Minority businesses, Monthly interest rate survey, Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1200

Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia.

12 CFR Part 1206

Federal home loan banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1223

Civil rights, Equal employment opportunity, Government contracts, Minority businesses.

12 CFR Part 1261

Banking, Banks, Conflicts of interest, Elections, Ethical conduct, Federal home loan banks, Financial disclosure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority and Issuance

Accordingly, for reasons stated in the preamble and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4511, 4512, 4513, and 4526, FHFA amends subchapters A, B, and F-M of chapter IX and subchapters A and D of chapter XII of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

CHAPTER IX—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD SUBCHAPTER A—[REMOVED AND RESERVED] 1. Remove and reserve subchapter A, consisting of part 900. SUBCHAPTER B—[REMOVED AND RESERVED] 2. Remove and reserve subchapter B, consisting of part 906. SUBCHAPTERS F-M—[REMOVED] 3. Remove reserved subchapters F-M, consisting of reserved parts 956 through 999. CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY SUBCHAPTER A—ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS PART 1200—ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS 4. The authority citation for part 1200 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552, 12 U.S.C. 4512, 12 U.S.C. 4526, 44 U.S.C. 3506.

5. In § 1200.4, revise the table in paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 1200.4 OMB control numbers assigned under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(b) * * *

12 CFR part or section where identified and described OMB
  • control No.
  • Expiration
  • date
  • 1222.22 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.23 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.24 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.25 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.26 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1223.23 2590-0014 07/31/2018 1261.7 2590-0006 02/28/2021 1261.12 2590-0006 02/28/2021 1261.14 2590-0006 02/28/2021 1263.2 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.4 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.5 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.6 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.7 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.8 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.9 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.11 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.12 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.13 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.14 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.15 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.16 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.17 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.18 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.19 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.24 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.26 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1263.31 2590-0003 03/31/2020 1264.4 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1264.5 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1264.6 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1266.17 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1268.7 2590-0008 02/29/2016 1277.22 2590-0002 04/30/2020 1277.28 2590-0002 04/30/2020 1290.2 2590-0005 03/31/2020 1290.3 2590-0005 03/31/2020 1290.4 2590-0005 03/31/2020 1290.5 2590-0005 03/31/2020 1291.5 2590-0007 03/31/2020 1291.6 2590-0007 03/31/2020 1291.7 2590-0007 03/31/2020 1291.8 2590-0007 03/31/2020 1291.9 2590-0007 03/31/2020
    PART 1206—ASSESSMENTS 6. The authority citation for part 1206 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4516.

    § 1206.3 [Amended]
    7. Amend § 1206.3(a)(3) by removing the reference “12 U.S.C. 3645” and adding in its place the reference “12 U.S.C. 4635”. SUBCHAPTER B—ENTITY REGULATIONS PART 1223—MINORITY AND WOMEN INCLUSION 8. The authority citation for part 1223 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4520 and 4526; 12 U.S.C. 1833e; E.O. 11478.

    § 1223.3 [Amended]
    9. Amend § 1223.3(b) by removing the reference “§ 1223.21(b)(6)” and adding in its place the reference “§ 1223.21(b)(9)”.
    § 1223.21 [Amended]
    10. Amend § 1223.21(b)(9) by removing the reference “§ 1207.3(b)” and adding in its place the reference “§ 1223.3(b)”.
    § 1223.23 [Amended]
    11. Amend § 1223.23(b)(20) by removing the reference “§§ 1207.20 and 1207.21” and adding in its place the reference “§§ 1223.20 and 1223.21”. SUBCHAPTER D—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS PART 1261—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK DIRECTORS 12. The authority citation for part 1261 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432, 4511 and 4526.

    § 1261.9 [Amended]
    13. Amend § 1261.9(c) introductory text by removing the reference “§ 1207.21(b)(5)” and adding in its place the reference “§ 1223.21(b)(7)”. Dated: August 2, 2018. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16972 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0165; Product Identifier 2017-NM-122-AD; Amendment 39-19342; AD 2018-16-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A318-111 and -112 airplanes, Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, and -115 airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, and -216 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -211, -212, and -213 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of a production quality deficiency on the inner retainer installed on link assemblies of the aft engine mount, which could result in failure of the retainer. This AD requires modifying and re-identifying the aft engine mount assemblies. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 13, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For Airbus SAS service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com.

    For Goodrich Aerospace service information identified in this final rule, contact Goodrich Corporation, Aerostructures, 850 Lagoon Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910-2098; phone: 619-691-2719; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.goodrich.com/TechPubs.

    You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0165.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0165; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model A318-111 and -112 airplanes, Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, and -115 airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, and -216 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -211, -212, and -213 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 9, 2018 (83 FR 10411). The NPRM was prompted by a report of a production quality deficiency on the inner retainer installed on link assemblies of the aft engine mount, which could result in failure of the retainer. The NPRM proposed to require modifying and re-identifying the aft engine mount assemblies.

    We are issuing this AD to address non-conforming retainers of the aft engine mount. This condition could result in loss of the locking feature of the nuts of the inner and outer pins; loss of the pins will result in the aft mount engine link no longer being secured to the aft engine mount, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0251, dated December 15, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A318-111 and -112 airplanes, Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, and -115 airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, and -216 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -211, -212, and -213 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During in-service inspections, several aft engine mount inner retainers, fitted on aeroplanes equipped with CFM56-5A/5B engines, were found broken. Investigation identified that the main cause of crack initiation was the vibration dynamic effect that affects the retainers, and that the “dull” surface finish pitting is an aggravating factor when compared with the “bright” surface finishing.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to in-flight loss of an aft engine mount link, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and/or injury to persons on the ground.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A71N001-12 (later revised) and EASA issued AD 2013-0050 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-14-06, Amendment 39-17901 (79 FR 42655, July 23, 2014)], later superseded by EASA AD 2015-0021 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2016-14-09, Amendment 39-18590 (81 FR 44989, July 12, 2016) (“AD 2016-14-09”)], requiring repetitive detailed inspections (DET) of all aft engine mount inner retainers and, depending on findings, their replacement.

    After EASA AD 2015-0021 was issued, a production quality deficiency was identified by Airbus and Goodrich Aerostructures, the engine mount retainer manufacturer, on the inner retainer, Part Number (P/N) 238-0252-505, installed in the three link assemblies of the engine mount fitted on CFM56-5A/5B engines. Airbus issued AOT A71N011-15 and Service Bulletin (SB) A320-71-1070, providing a list of affected parts and applicable corrective actions.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2016-0010 (later revised), retaining the requirements of EASA AD 2015-0021, which was superseded, and in addition requiring the identification and replacement of all non-conforming aft engine mount inner retainers [EASA AD 2016-0010 R1 corresponds to FAA AD 2017-04-10, Amendment 39-18805 (82 FR 11791, February 27, 2017) (“AD 2017-04-10”)].

    After that [EASA] AD was issued, a new engine mount retainer was developed by Goodrich Aerostructures to improve the retainer efficiency. For retrofit purposes, Goodrich Aerostructures issued SB RA32071-164, and Airbus issued SB A320-71-1071, providing instructions to modify and re-identify the engine mount assemblies as instructed in the Goodrich Aerostructures SB. Subsequently, it was observed that, on aeroplanes equipped with certain engines fitted with a Turbine Rear Frame (TRF) with 4 lugs configuration, the installation of the new engine mount retainers can lead to interference, and Goodrich Aerostructures revised SB RA32071-164, providing instructions not to install the new engine retainers on affected engines. Airbus SB A320-71-1071 is expected to be revised accordingly. For engines fitted with a TRF with 4 lugs, a new installation (potentially requiring different engine mount retainers) is being developed by Goodrich Aerospace and Airbus.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2017-0138, retaining the requirements of EASA AD 2016-0010R1, which was superseded, and, except for aeroplanes equipped with engines fitted with a TRF with 4 lugs configuration, requiring modification and identification of aft engine mount assemblies as terminating action for the repetitive inspections of the retainers. That [EASA] AD also included additional instructions applicable to installation of engines fitted with a TRF with 4 lugs configuration.

    Since EASA AD 2017-0138 was issued, it was determined that installation of new engine mount assemblies must not be allowed for some specific engine configurations, and that installation of Goodrich Aerostructures SB RA32071-164 alone can be referred to, in order to accomplish the terminating action as required by that [EASA] AD.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2017-0138, which is superseded, adds reference to Goodrich Aerostructures SB RA32071-164 * * *, and introduces new requirement for aeroplanes equipped with engines fitted with a TRF with 4 lugs configuration.

    This AD does not supersede AD 2017-04-10. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD is more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This AD requires modifying and re-identifying the aft engine mount assemblies. Accomplishment of the required actions terminates the repetitive detailed inspections required by paragraph (l) of AD 2016-14-09, and serve as a method of compliance for the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2017-04-10. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0165.

    Comments

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

    Support for the NPRM

    Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) supported the intent of the NPRM.

    Request To Refer to Current Revision of Service Information

    Airbus SAS noted that it issued Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, and requested that this revision of the service bulletin be included in the final rule. The original issue of Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, dated November 8, 2016, was referred to in the proposed AD.

    We agree with the commenter's request. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, clarifies certain notes and references but makes no substantive changes to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, dated November 8, 2016, as proposed in the NPRM. Furthermore, while Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017, expands the effectivity, the applicability of this AD has not been changed. We have revised the preamble of this final rule and paragraph (h) of this AD to include Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017. We have also added paragraph (n) to this AD to provide credit for actions done prior to the effective date of this AD using the original issue of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, dated November 8, 2016. We redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus SAS has issued Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017. Goodrich Aerostructures has issued Service Bulletin RA32071-164, Revision 1, dated July 19, 2017. The service information describes procedures for modifying and re-identifying the aft engine mount retainer assembly. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 500 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Modification and re-identification 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 $3,152 $4,852 $2,426,000
    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-16-02 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19342; Docket No. FAA-2018-0165; Product Identifier 2017-NM-122-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 13, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2016-14-09, Amendment 39-18590 (81 FR 44989, July 12, 2016) (“AD 2016-14-09”); and AD 2017-04-10, Amendment 39-18805 (82 FR 11791, February 27, 2017) (“AD 2017-04-10”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus SAS airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Model A318-111 and -112 airplanes.

    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, and -115 airplanes.

    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, and -216 airplanes.

    (4) Model A321-111, -112, -211, -212, and -213 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Powerplant.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a production quality deficiency on the inner retainer installed on link assemblies of the aft engine mount, which could result in failure of the retainer. We are issuing this AD to address non-conforming retainers of the aft engine mount. This condition could result in loss of the locking feature of the nuts of the inner and outer pins; loss of the pins will result in the aft mount engine link no longer being secured to the aft engine mount, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definitions

    (1) For the purpose of this AD: A Group 1 airplane has an aft engine mount assembly installed, having a part number (P/N) identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD. A Group 2 airplane does not have any aft engine mount assembly installed having a part number identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD.

    ER09AU18.000

    (2) For the purpose of this AD, a 4-lugs engine is a CFM56-5A1, CFM56-5A3, CFM56-5A4, CFM56-5A4/F, CFM56-5A5, or CFM56-5A5/F engine, fitted with a turbine rear frame (TRF) having a part number as identified in figure 2 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

    ER09AU18.001 (h) Modification

    For Group 1 airplanes: Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, except for 4-lugs engines, modify the aft engine mount assembly, having a part number identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD, and re-identify it with the corresponding part number identified as “New P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017; or Goodrich Aerostructures Service Bulletin RA32071-164, Revision 1, dated July 19, 2017.

    (i) Other Acceptable Method of Compliance

    Replacement on an airplane of each aft engine mount assembly, identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD, with a corresponding aft engine mount assembly, identified as “New P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD, is an acceptable method to comply with the requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD for that airplane.

    (j) Identification of Certain Airplanes That Do Not Have Affected Parts

    An airplane on which Airbus Modification 158435 has been embodied in production and on which it can be positively determined that no aft engine mount assembly, identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD, is installed, is considered a Group 2 airplane. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination, if it can be conclusively determined that no aft engine mount assembly identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD is installed. Group 2 airplanes are not affected by the requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (k) Parts Installation Prohibition

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes: Do not install an aft engine mount assembly identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD on any airplane after modification of the airplane as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, or after any replacement specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes: As of the effective date of this AD, do not install an aft engine mount assembly identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD on any airplane.

    (3) For airplanes equipped with a 4-lugs engine (left-hand (LH) or right-hand (RH) side): As of the effective date of this AD, do not modify any aft engine mount assembly identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD, as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, and do not install on an affected engine pylon (LH or RH) any aft engine mount assembly identified as “New P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD.

    (l) 4-Lugs Engine Installation

    (1) From the effective date of this AD, it is allowed to install or reinstall a 4-lugs engine on an airplane (LH or RH) provided that the airplane is equipped with an aft engine mount assembly identified as “Old P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD on the affected engine pylon (LH or RH).

    (2) For airplanes equipped with a 4-lugs engine (LH or RH), and on which, prior to the effective date of this AD, an aft engine mount assembly identified as “New P/N” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) of this AD has been installed on the affected engine pylon (LH or RH), or on which the aft engine part assembly has been modified as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, obtain repair instructions using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA), and accomplish those instructions accordingly. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (m) Terminating Action and Method of Compliance

    (1) Modification of an airplane as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, or as specified in paragraph (i) of this AD, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive detailed inspections required by paragraph (l) of AD 2016-14-09 for that airplane.

    (2) Modification of an airplane as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, or as specified in paragraph (i) of this AD, is a method of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2017-04-10 for that airplane.

    (n) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, dated November 8, 2016, and the actions were not performed on 4-lugs engines.

    (o) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (p) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), are not allowed.

    (q) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0251 dated December 15, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0165.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

    (3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (r)(3) and (r)(5) of this AD.

    (r) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1071, Revision 01, dated October 17, 2017.

    (ii) Goodrich Aerostructures Service Bulletin RA32071-164, Revision 1, dated July 19, 2017.

    (3) For Airbus SAS service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (4) For Goodrich Aerospace service information identified in this AD, contact Goodrich Corporation, Aerostructures, 850 Lagoon Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910-2098; phone: 619-691-2719; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.goodrich.com/TechPubs.

    (5) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on July 23, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16504 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [TD 9839] RIN 1545-BN41 Partnership Representative Under the Centralized Partnership Audit Regime and Election To Apply the Centralized Partnership Audit Regime AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulation and removal of temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations regarding the designation and authority of the partnership representative under the centralized partnership audit regime, which was enacted into law on November 2, 2015 by section 1101 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA). These final regulations affect partnerships for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. This document also contains final regulations and removes temporary regulations regarding the election to apply the centralized partnership audit regime to partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018 under section 1101(g)(4) of the BBA. These final regulations affect partnerships for taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018.

    DATES:

    Effective date: These regulations are effective on August 9, 2018.

    Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see §§ 301.6223-1(h), 301.6223-2(f), and 301.9100-22(e).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the regulations under §§ 301.6223-1 and 301.6223-2, Joy E. Gerdy Zogby of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration), (202) 317-4927; concerning § 301.9100-22, Jennifer M. Black of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration), (202) 317-6834 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document contains final regulations to amend the Procedure and Administration Regulations (26 CFR part 301) under Subpart—Tax Treatment of Partnership Items to implement the rules for the partnership representative under the centralized partnership audit regime enacted by section 1101 of the BBA, Public Law 114-74. Section 1101 of the BBA was amended on December 18, 2015, by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, Public Law 114-113, and on March 23, 2018 by the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2018, which was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, Public Law 115-141. Section 301.6223-1 provides the rules regarding the designation of the partnership representative, § 301.6223-2 provides the rules regarding the authority of the partnership representative, and § 301.9100-22 provides the rules for making the election under section 1101(g)(4) of the BBA with respect to returns filed for partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018.

    On August 5, 2016, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (81 FR 51795) temporary regulations (TD 9780) regarding the time, form, and manner for making an election to apply the centralized partnership audit regime to partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018. On the same day, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (81 FR 51835) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-105005-16) cross-referencing the temporary regulations. No comments were received in response to the proposed regulations, and no hearing was requested or held.

    On June 14, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (82 FR 27334) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-136118-15) regarding a number of provisions of the centralized partnership audit regime, including section 6223, relating to the partnership representative (June 14 NPRM). A public hearing regarding the proposed regulations was held on September 18, 2017. The Treasury Department and the IRS also received written public comments in response to the proposed regulations, including comments regarding the partnership representative under section 6223.

    On November 30, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (82 FR 56765) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-119337-17) regarding international rules under the centralized partnership audit regime. On December 19, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (82 FR 27071) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-120232-17) regarding certain procedural rules under the centralized partnership audit regime, including proposed § 301.6231-1 regarding notices that are required to be mailed to partnerships (December 19 NPRM). On January 2, 2018, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (82 FR 28398) final regulations for electing out of the partnership audit regime. On February 2, 2018, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (83 FR 4868) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-118067-17) regarding rules for adjusting tax attributes under the centralized partnership audit regime.

    After careful consideration of all written public comments and statements made during the public hearing relating to section 6223, the portions of the June 14 NPRM relating to section 6223 are adopted as amended by this Treasury Decision. These amendments are discussed in the next section. Examples were revised to conform to the amendments discussed in the next section, and clarifying and editorial revisions were also made. The Treasury Department and the IRS received no comments with respect to proposed § 301.9100-22 and made no substantive revisions to the proposed regulations. Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the proposed regulations without any substantive change. Minor editorial changes were made. The temporary regulations are removed.

    Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions 1. Partnership Representative

    In response to the June 14 NPRM, the Treasury Department and the IRS received 33 written comments, and five statements were provided at the public hearing. All comments (both written and provided orally at the public hearing) were considered, and written comments are available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov or upon request. This preamble addresses only the comments or portions of comments relating to the proposed regulations under section 6223, which are the proposed regulations from the June 14 NPRM being finalized in this Treasury Decision. Comments, or any portion of a comment, that relate to other aspects of the proposed regulations in the June 14 NPRM that have not yet been finalized will be addressed when final regulations regarding those provisions are published. The comments relating to the proposed regulations under section 6223 cover a broad range of topics, including eligibility to serve as the partnership representative, designating and changing a partnership representative, and the binding effect and authority of the partnership representative. These comments were considered and revisions to the regulations were made in response to the comments.

    A. Eligibility To Serve as the Partnership Representative

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(1) provided that a partnership may designate any person that has a substantial presence in the United States and that has the capacity to act to be the partnership representative. If an entity is designated as the partnership representative, the partnership must appoint a designated individual to act on the entity's behalf. See proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(2), (3), and (4).

    One comment recommended that § 301.6223-1(b)(1) explicitly provide that a disregarded entity can serve as the partnership representative. This comment has been adopted. Any person as defined in section 7701(a)(1), including an entity, can serve as the partnership representative provided that person meets the requirements of § 301.6223-1(b). Therefore, § 301.6223-1(b)(1) has been revised to clarify that a disregarded entity can be a partnership representative. Because a disregarded entity is not an individual and is an entity partnership representative, the partnership must appoint a designated individual to act on behalf of the disregarded entity in accordance with § 301.6223-1(b)(3). In addition, both the disregarded entity and the designated individual must have substantial presence as described in § 301.6223-1(b)(2).

    Section 301.6223-1(b)(1) has also been revised to clarify that a partnership may designate itself as its own partnership representative. The rules regarding eligibility to serve as a partnership representative are designed to permit the partnership to designate the person it believes is most appropriate to serve as partnership representative, provided that person meets the requirements of § 301.6223-1(b)(2) (substantial presence) and § 301.6223-1(b)(3) (designated individual). Therefore, a partnership may serve as its own partnership representative if the partnership has substantial presence in the United States and also appoints a designated individual that has a substantial presence in the United States to act on the partnership's behalf in the partnership's role as partnership representative.

    One comment recommended that the regulations confirm that, in the case of an entity designated as partnership representative, the designated individual does not have to be an employee of that entity. Nothing in the regulations requires that the designated individual be an employee of the entity partnership representative. As explained in part 4.F. of the preamble to the June 14 NPRM, an entity with no employees is permitted to be the partnership representative provided the partnership appoints a designated individual to act on behalf of that entity and both the entity and the designated individual have substantial presence in the United States. Because the plain language of the regulation does not require the designated individual to be an employee of the entity partnership representative, no clarification is necessary and the comment was not adopted.

    Another comment suggested that a partnership should not be required to appoint a designated individual to act for an entity partnership representative until the IRS issues a notice of administrative proceeding (NAP) or the partnership files a valid administrative adjustment request (AAR) under section 6227. This comment was not adopted. The purpose of the designated individual requirement is to have an individual identified who can act on behalf of the entity partnership representative prior to the beginning of an administrative proceeding under subchapter C of chapter 63 (administrative proceeding). If no designated individual is appointed and the IRS initiates an administrative proceeding, neither the partnership nor the IRS will know who has the authority to act on behalf of the entity partnership representative. This could delay the beginning of the proceeding and consequently slow down the administrative proceeding.

    As explained in part 2.D. of the preamble to the June 14 NPRM, these types of delays frequently occurred under TEFRA. Under TEFRA, partnerships and the IRS often spent a significant amount of time establishing that a person designated as the tax matters partner (TMP) was qualified to be the TMP or, in the case of an entity TMP, identifying and locating an individual to act on the entity's behalf. Also as explained in part 2.D. of the preamble to the June 14 NPRM, the introduction of the partnership representative concept under the centralized partnership audit regime was intended to address the shortcomings of the TMP rules. Accordingly, the proposed regulations required the partnership to identify and appoint a designated individual prior to the start of an administrative proceeding to avoid a delay related to locating and confirming the identity of an individual to act on behalf of an entity partnership representative. With that objective in mind, the final regulations maintain the rule that in the case of an entity partnership representative, the partnership must appoint a designated individual at the time the partnership representative is designated.

    Another comment suggested that the entity partnership representative itself, rather than the partnership, should appoint the designated individual. The partnership makes the initial designation of the partnership representative on the partnership's return. When an entity is chosen, the partnership must appoint a designated individual to act on behalf of the entity partnership representative. See § 301.6223-1(c)(2). While this rule requires that the partnership appoint the designated individual, nothing in the regulations precludes the entity partnership representative from identifying who the designated individual should be and communicating that decision to the partnership. Ultimately, however, the partnership must determine who will be the partnership representative. Determining who will be the designated individual to act on behalf of an entity partnership representative is part of that determination. Therefore, the final regulations retain the rule that the partnership must appoint the designated individual on its partnership return for the relevant taxable year.

    This rule ensures that designation of the entity partnership representative and appointment of the designated individual occur simultaneously on the partnership return with the result that it will be clear to both the partnership and the IRS at the time the partnership return is filed who has the authority to act on behalf of the partnership for the taxable year for which the return is filed for purposes of the centralized partnership audit regime. As discussed previously in this section of the preamble, under TEFRA, the IRS spent significant time and resources determining who was the TMP. If that TMP was an entity, the IRS and taxpayers spent additional time and resources determining who could act on behalf of the entity TMP under state law. Moreover, in cases where state law permitted an entity to act on behalf of an entity TMP, the IRS and the partnership had to identify an individual who could act on behalf of that entity to determine someone who could ultimately act on behalf of the entity TMP. The rule under § 301.6223-1(c)(2) allows the IRS and the partnership to readily identify who can act on behalf of the partnership representative without having to inquire into who has the state law authority to act on behalf of the entity partnership representative. Because the partnership makes the designated individual appointment under the final regulations, the rule eliminates the time spent determining who can act for the partnership.

    This rule is also necessary because under the centralized partnership audit regime an entity partnership representative can only act through a designated individual. To achieve this, the partnership must appoint the designated individual for the entity partnership representative to take action under the centralized partnership audit regime. Prior to the appointment of a designated individual, the entity partnership representative does not have the ability to act under the centralized partnership audit regime. Accordingly, the comment recommending the partnership representative make the designated individual appointment was not adopted, and § 301.6223-1(b)(3)(ii) has been modified to clarify that the partnership must appoint the designated individual.

    i. Substantial Presence

    Section 6223(a) provides that a partnership representative must have a substantial presence in the United States. Proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(2) provided that a person has substantial presence in the United States for purposes of section 6223 if the person is able to meet in person with the IRS in the United States at a reasonable time and place, has a United States street address and telephone number where the person can be reached during normal business hours, and has a United States taxpayer identification number (TIN). Several comments suggested that the first two criteria for substantial presence were too vague and recommended clarification of what is considered reasonable with respect to the time and place for meetings between the partnership representative and the IRS and whether the reference to normal business hours is determined based on the IRS's business hours or based on the partnership's business hours.

    Section 301.6223-1(b)(2) is designed to allow the partnership and the IRS maximum flexibility to determine mutually convenient times to meet, to schedule phone calls, and to share information, while at the same time ensuring that the partnership and its books and records are available to the IRS during the administrative proceeding. Because what constitutes a reasonable time and place depends on the facts and circumstances, providing specific rules by regulation applicable to every circumstance that could arise in an administrative proceeding is not feasible and, even if it were, doing so would interfere with rather than facilitate a productive environment for the administrative proceeding. There are existing regulations relating to the reasonable time and place for an examination in § 301.7605-1 that are applicable to the centralized partnership audit regime. Section 301.7605-1(a) states: “The time and place of examination . . . are to be fixed by an officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service, and officers and employees are to endeavor to schedule a time and place that are reasonable under the circumstances.” To address the comment, the regulations under § 301.6223-1(b)(2) have been clarified to include a cross-reference to these provisions.

    With respect to the comment regarding the meaning of “normal business hours,” the Treasury Department and the IRS agree that this terminology is confusing. In addition, cross-referencing the rules for the time and place of examination under § 301.7605-1 makes this term unnecessary. Therefore, the final regulations remove the reference in § 301.6223-1(b)(2)(ii) to normal business hours. The partnership representative still must have a telephone number with a United States area code, but the reference to normal business hours has been removed to avoid confusion regarding what constitutes normal business hours.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS also revised the phrase in § 301.6223-1(b)(2)(i)—“The person is available to meet in person with the IRS”—to read—“The person makes themselves available to meet in person with the IRS.” This change was made to distinguish between a partnership representative who is generally available to meet and works with the IRS to facilitate communications and a partnership representative who is generally available but refuses to meet with the IRS. Examples have also been added under § 301.6223-1(b)(4) to illustrate this clarification.

    Another comment recommended that regulations under proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(2) establish a “safe harbor” for substantial presence that would allow the partnership to designate a location in the United States for purposes of communications between the partnership representative and the IRS, similar to how businesses designate a registered agent and an address for accepting service of process. Section 301.6223-1(b)(2)(ii) requires the partnership to provide a United States street address and phone number where the partnership representative can be reached by United States mail and telephone. This rule already allows the partnership to designate a location within the United States for communications between the partnership representative and the IRS, including receipt of formal documents from the IRS. However, in addition to having a United States street address and telephone, a partnership representative must also make themselves available to meet in person with the IRS. As discussed in part 2.D of the preamble to the June 14 NPRM, the purpose of the substantial presence requirement is to “ensure that the person selected to represent the partnership will be available to the IRS in the United States when the IRS seeks to communicate or meet with the representative.” Because the partnership representative must make themselves available to meet with the IRS, the partnership representative may have any telephone number with a United States area code and a street address in any location in the United States, provided the telephone number and street address allow the IRS to contact the partnership representative. Consequently, an explicit “safe harbor” for substantial presence is unnecessary, and the comment has not been adopted.

    ii. Capacity To Act

    One of the components of eligibility to serve as a partnership representative or designated individual under the proposed regulations was the capacity to act. Proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4) described five specific events that cause a person to lose the capacity to act for purposes of section 6223 and included a catch-all provision for any unforeseen circumstances in which the IRS reasonably determined a person may no longer have the capacity to act. If a partnership representative lost the capacity to act under proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4), the IRS could determine that the designation of the partnership representative or appointment of a designated individual was not in effect. See proposed § 301.6223-1(f). Additionally, where all general partners lost the capacity to act, a partner other than a general partner could sign a revocation of the partnership representative. See proposed § 301.6223-1(e).

    In response to the capacity-to-act requirements in the proposed regulations, one comment recommended that the list of circumstances under proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4) be expanded to include other specific situations such as when the person has been convicted of a felony or a crime that involves dishonesty or breach of trust, when the person is in bankruptcy or receivership, or when the person is known to be under criminal investigation for a violation of the Code. The same comment recommended that standards or limitations be included within the catch-all provision under proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4)(vi), which provides that a person loses the capacity to act in “any similar situation where the IRS reasonably determines the person may no longer have capacity to act.” Another comment suggested that if a partnership becomes aware that the partnership representative lacks the capacity to act, the regulations should require the partnership to revoke that partnership representative's designation.

    The capacity-to-act requirement was intended to correspond to situations where the person would not be able to represent the partnership during the administrative proceeding, for instance, when the person died, was legally incapacitated, or was otherwise unable to act during the administrative proceeding. After reviewing the comments regarding capacity to act, the Treasury Department and the IRS reevaluated whether such a requirement is needed. Rather than creating a regulatory requirement for who should be the partnership representative or a designated individual, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that partnerships are in the best position to make the decision as to who can best represent them before the IRS. For the reasons discussed below, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that regulations regarding capacity to act would provide an unnecessary limitation on the partnership's choice of who it believes is the best person to act on the partnership's behalf. Therefore, the comments have not been adopted, and the capacity-to-act requirement has been removed from the final regulations.

    Under the proposed regulations, the partnership had complete control over who is designated as the partnership representative and appointed as a designated individual so long as the person designated or appointed satisfies the substantial presence requirement. Further, the partnership had the unilateral power to revoke the partnership representative for any reason. Therefore, the partnership can adequately protect itself if the concept of capacity is removed since it can revoke the partnership representative.

    Beyond requiring a partnership representative to have a substantial presence in the United States, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that it is not the proper role of the IRS to make further inquiries into whether, in the view of the IRS, the designated partnership representative or designated individual is the right person to represent the partnership. For example, some partnerships may not wish to be represented by a partnership representative that has filed for bankruptcy. But, in other cases, the partnership may determine that the partnership representative's bankruptcy status is not relevant to whether the person can serve as partnership representative.

    By setting forth specific capacity factors, like bankruptcy, for making someone ineligible to act on behalf of the partnership, the regulations would be unnecessarily supplanting the partnership's judgment with that of the government. Accordingly, the final regulations remove the capacity-to-act requirement entirely because the partnership should have as much flexibility as possible in determining a partnership representative so long as the person meets the substantial presence requirements. Because this section has been removed, the cross-reference to that section in § 301.6223-1(e) has also been removed. In addition, because this section has been removed, the comment suggesting that the IRS clarify that the partnership must require a revocation if it becomes aware that one of the capacity-to-act circumstances applies to its partnership representative is inapplicable and therefore is not adopted.

    Although the capacity-to-act section has been removed from the final regulations, the IRS may still determine that a designation of the partnership representative is not in effect due to circumstances that would have resulted in a partnership representative not having capacity to act because at least some of the capacity-to-act requirements overlapped with substantial presence. For instance, the IRS may determine that a partnership representative designation is not in effect if the partnership representative is incarcerated because that partnership representative cannot make herself available to the IRS, which means the partnership representative does not satisfy the substantial presence requirement. Having a separate capacity-to-act requirement was duplicated in these circumstances.

    Two of the specified circumstances listed in proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4) involve determinations by a court that restrict a partnership representative's or designated individual's ability to serve. These circumstances would likely arise very rarely, and the IRS would likely not know these circumstances exist unless they were brought to the IRS's attention by a partner or the partnership itself. In the case of a court order stating that a person does not have capacity to manage his or her estate, the IRS may not know about this issue because the very nature of such a proceeding is sensitive and may not be made public. In the case of a court order in which an injunction was sought, the most likely parties to seek such an injunction would be partners or the partnership itself. The partnership, generally through its reviewed year partners, may revoke a partnership representative designation without the need for a court order, which would alleviate the need for a partnership or partner to pursue a court-ordered injunction. Even if such a court order existed, the IRS would need to review the court order to determine to what degree it inhibited a partnership representative from acting on behalf of the partnership. Because these circumstances would be rare, and because there would need to be actual knowledge of the court order as well as at least some interpretation of that court order, the Treasury Department and the IRS have removed these circumstances, which were previously listed in proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4), from the regulations.

    B. Designating or Changing a Partnership Representative or a Designated Individual

    Multiple comments recommended changes to the timing and mechanics for designating, appointing, and changing a partnership representative and designated individual. The comments included suggestions about the timing of when a change should occur, the effective date of such a change, notice requirements surrounding the change, and who can revoke a designation.

    One comment suggested clarification regarding whether a partnership that has elected out of the centralized partnership audit regime under section 6221(b) must designate a partnership representative. A partnership that has elected out of the centralized partnership audit regime is not required to designate a partnership representative. The partnership representative is the person who has the sole authority to act on behalf of the partnership under the centralized partnership audit regime. If a partnership is not subject to the centralized partnership audit regime, a partnership representative has no authority with respect to the partnership. Nothing in the regulations requires a partnership that has elected out of the regime to designate a partnership representative. Therefore, the comment was not adopted.

    i. Time for Changing the Partnership Representative

    Under proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(2) and (e)(2), a partnership representative designation can only be changed after the IRS mails a NAP or in conjunction with the filing of a valid AAR by the partnership under section 6227. Several comments suggested that proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(2) and (e)(2) be revised to allow for changes to the partnership representative at any time after the original designation. One comment specifically recommended that the IRS adopt a system to monitor designations of and changes to partnership representatives in the same way that the IRS monitors the last known address of taxpayers.

    Allowing partnerships to change the partnership representative designation with the IRS at any time after the original designation is unnecessary and burdensome from a tax administration perspective and may increase burden for partnerships that are not selected for an administrative proceeding and have not filed an AAR. This is because the responsibilities and authority of a partnership representative are generally applicable only if a partnership is selected for examination as part of an administrative proceeding or the partnership files an AAR. In many cases, allowing partnerships to change the partnership designation before an administrative proceeding begins or before the partnership files an AAR means that the partnership would be filing a request to change a partnership representative that never takes, or plans to take, any action under the centralized partnership audit regime.

    Further, preparing and filing a request to change a designation of a partnership representative requires partnerships to expend time and resources. Because the partnership representative designation may differ each year, tracking which partnership representatives were listed on which returns, and if a change were made, tracking those changes, can become complex. A partnership agreement requiring consultation with the partners (which may differ from year to year) when there is a change in the partnership representative adds further complexity.

    For its part, the IRS would have to process requests to change a designation and associate that change with the correct partnership account even if the IRS never selects the partnership taxable year for an administrative proceeding and, therefore, never interacts with the partnership representatives. Currently, the IRS does not have a system to process these changes outside of the administrative proceeding process or when an AAR is filed.

    A comment recommended that the IRS develop a system to track changes in the designation of the partnership representative that is similar to the system used to monitor a taxpayer's last known address. Development of such a system would be very costly with little benefit to be gained because, as discussed above, the majority of changes would be for partnerships whose partnership representatives would never take any action on behalf of such partnerships.

    Accordingly, the final regulations maintain the rule that a partnership representative may only be changed in the context of an administrative proceeding or in conjunction with the filing of a valid AAR. As the IRS gains experience with the centralized partnership audit regime, and methods are identified to alleviate the administrative and regulatory burden created by changes to a partnership representative designation before the commencement of an administrative proceeding, the rules may be revisited in future forms, instructions, or other guidance.

    To address the aspect of the comments that reflect a desire to be able to change the partnership representative prior to the beginning of the administrative proceeding, § 301.6223-1(e)(2) has been revised to allow the partnership to change the partnership representative through revocation when the partnership is notified that the partnership return is selected for examination as part of an administrative proceeding, in addition to when the NAP is mailed. In general, the IRS will issue the partnership, but not the partnership representative, a notice of selection for examination prior to mailing the NAP to inform the partnership that it is being selected for examination. Under the proposed regulations, the partnership was not able to change the partnership representative until it received the NAP.

    This rule will provide the partnership an opportunity to change its partnership representative before an administrative proceeding commences, allowing the partnership to be represented by the partnership representative of its choice throughout the administrative proceeding. Because the notice of selection for examination is only issued to the partnership, and not the partnership representative, this rule allows the partnership to make a change to the partnership representative without the involvement of the partnership representative (whom the partnership may be removing for cause). As a result of the revised rule, the NAP can be sent to the partnership's preferred partnership representative at the time the administrative proceeding begins. The rule also allows the partnership to change a designated individual prior to the beginning of the administrative proceeding.

    Other comments suggested that the designation of the partnership representative should be required on an annual basis, that the currently designated partnership representative should have the sole authority to represent the partnership for all open years, and that partnerships should be required to designate one partnership representative for all years in the context of a multi-year administrative proceeding.

    Under § 301.6223-1(c), a partnership must designate the partnership representative on the partnership return for that partnership taxable year, that is, Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income. Identification of a partnership representative on an annual basis with the return provides certainty regarding who is the partnership representative for a particular taxable year. The other systems suggested in the comments would be difficult to administer and could result in the IRS having to determine that no designation of a partnership representative is in effect because of this uncertainty.

    Designation of a partnership representative on the return for that taxable year is also not an undue burden on the partnership. The identification, selection, and designation of the partnership representative is wholly within the discretion of the partnership (provided the person designated meets the requirements under § 301.6223-1(b)). Nothing in the proposed regulations prevents a partnership from designating the same partnership representative on each partnership return it files or, once administrative proceedings with respect to more than one taxable year have commenced, designating one partnership representative (through the revocation procedures described in proposed § 301.6223-1(e)) to act for the partnership for all years subject to the administrative proceeding.

    Further, the partnership representative plays an important role in representing the interests of the partnership and, by extension, the partners for the taxable year subject to an administrative proceeding. The make-up of the partners in a partnership may change from tax year to tax year, and the economic arrangements within the partnership and between partners may also change. The partnership and its partners for each particular taxable year are in the best position to determine who the partnership representative should be if that particular taxable year is subject to an administrative proceeding. For these reasons, the comments have not been adopted.

    ii. Resignation

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(d) provided the rules for resignations of partnership representatives and designated individuals. Proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(1) provided that a resignation by a partnership representative “may” include a designation of a successor partnership representative. However, when the resignation was made with the filing of an AAR, proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(2) provided that the partnership representative “must” designate a successor partnership representative. Proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(3) provided that a resigning designated individual “may, but is not required to,” designate a successor.

    One comment noted the differences in the quoted language of these provisions and recommended that the final regulations be clarified to explain the consequences, if any, of those differences. The comment also questioned why the proposed regulations required designation of a successor partnership representative in the case of an AAR resignation, but not in the case of resignation that occurs during an administrative proceeding. The comment suggested that the rules should require designation of a successor for all resignations. In contrast, another comment recommended that a partnership representative never be permitted to designate a successor partnership representative and suggested that the partnership have a 30-day window after a resignation to designate a successor partnership representative.

    After considering these comments, the final regulations remove the ability of a resigning partnership representative or designated individual to designate a successor. Under the proposed rule, a resigning partnership representative had the power to designate a partnership representative even though the partnership might not approve of the new partnership representative. For instance, this could occur in a situation where the partnership representative is resigning due to an adverse relationship with the partnership. To avoid this result, the resignation of a partnership representative or designated individual should be the final action of that person for purposes of the centralized partnership audit regime.

    For similar reasons, a resigning partnership representative should not be able to resign by filing an AAR. The partnership representative or designated individual may be revoked simultaneously with the filing of an AAR, though an AAR may not be filed solely for that purpose. See proposed § 301.6227-1(a). However, it is unfair to the partnership to allow a resigning partnership representative to request adjustments to items of a partnership. Accordingly, the final regulations have been revised to prohibit a resignation at the time of the filing of an AAR.

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(3) provided that a resignation of a designated individual is “subject to the time of resignation restrictions described in [proposed] § 301.6223-1(d)(2),” that is, the timing rules that apply to a resignation of a partnership representative. One comment requested clarification of whether the ability of a designated individual to resign is subject to all of the restrictions in proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(2) or whether the quoted language means some restrictions do not apply. As discussed above, the final regulations have been revised to remove the ability of a partnership representative to resign with the filing of an AAR; a partnership representative may resign only after a NAP has been issued by the IRS, or at such other time as prescribed by the IRS in other guidance. The final regulations have also been revised to provide that the rules governing when and how a partnership representative may resign also apply to designated individuals. Section 301.6223-1(d) provides specific rules explaining how a designated individual resigns. Therefore, clarification is not necessary, and the comment was not adopted.

    iii. Revocation

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(3)(i) provided that a revocation must be signed by a person who was a general partner at the close of the taxable year for which the partnership representative designation is in effect as shown on the partnership return for that taxable year. One comment suggested that the language “as shown on the partnership return” be deleted to make clear that a partnership is not limited to revoking only the initial partnership representative designated on the partnership return.

    The purpose of the quoted language was to describe how to determine whether a person was a general partner at the close of the taxable year, that is, by looking to the partnership return for that taxable year. It was not intended to describe what type of partnership representative designation can be revoked by the partnership. A partnership can revoke any designation of a partnership representative, including a designation made by the IRS, provided permission is granted by the IRS. See § 301.6223-1(e)(6). Sections 301.6223-1(e)(1) and (e)(4) have been revised to clarify this point.

    The comment also suggested that any partner of the partnership, instead of only a general partner, should be able to sign a revocation provided that partner certifies the partner has the authority to do so. This comment was adopted in the final regulations. The final regulations allow any partner who was a partner during the partnership taxable year to which the revocation relates, not just a general partner, to sign a revocation. Allowing any partner for the taxable year to which the revocation relates to sign the revocation provides maximum flexibility to the partnership to determine which partners should have that authority.

    The rules under proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(3)(ii) made clear that for purposes of determining who may sign a revocation for a limited liability company (LLC), a member-manager is treated as a general partner and any other member is treated as a non-general partner. These rules were necessary to clarify in the context of LLCs which members can sign a revocation. As discussed above in this section of the preamble, however, the proposed regulations have been revised to permit any partner during the taxable year to which the revocation relates, not just a general partner, to sign a revocation. Therefore, § 301.6223-1(e)(3)(ii) has been removed from the regulations because the rule equating member-managers with general partners is no longer necessary.

    The comment also recommended that the “catch-all” provision under proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4)(vi) (regarding capacity to act) also apply in determining whether partners other than a general partner can sign a revocation. Proposed § 301.6223-1(b)(4) has been removed from the final regulations and is no longer referenced in § 301.6223-1(e); therefore, this comment was not adopted. The references to capacity to act were necessary when only certain partners could revoke the designation. Because the regulations have been revised to allow any partner for the partnership taxable year to which the revocation relates to sign the revocation, there is no need to describe situations in which general partners do not have the capacity to act and no need for the associated catch-all provision.

    Lastly, the comment recommended that the regulations explicitly provide that a partnership can revoke a partnership representative designation for any reason. As discussed in section 2.C. of this preamble, nothing in the regulations requires the partnership to have a specific reason, or any reason at all, for a revocation. However, this comment was adopted to clarify that neither a revocation nor a resignation requires any particular reason. The final regulations also clarify that a revocation may occur regardless of when and how the designation was made, except with respect to a designation made by the IRS. See § 301.6223-1(e)(6).

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(3)(ii) applied the rules for signing a revocation to LLCs and provided that for purposes of the proposed regulations the term LLC means an organization that, among other things, “is classified as a partnership for Federal tax purposes.” A comment recommended that the phrase “is classified as a partnership for Federal tax purposes” be removed from the definition of LLC because the quoted language creates confusion about whether the LLC has to be currently classified as a partnership for the proposed rules regarding revocation to apply. As discussed in this section of the preamble, § 301.6223-1(e)(3)(ii) has been removed from the regulations because the paragraph is no longer necessary in light of the changes to the revocation process.

    While considering these comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS had the opportunity to reevaluate the portion of the rule in proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(3) that required a person revoking a designation to be a partner at the close of the taxable year and determined that this rule is unnecessarily restrictive. This is because being a partner on the last day of the taxable year is not meaningful so long as the person is a partner during the taxable year. For instance, a person who is a partner on the last day of the taxable year could be a partner with a small interest in the partnership or could have acquired their interest in the partnership on the next to last day of the partnership taxable year, whereas a person who is a partner during the year but not on the last day of the year could have owned a very large interest in the partnership or could have been a partner for all days during the year, except the last day.

    Further, while the partnership return identifies partners during the taxable year, it is not readily apparent from the face of the return or the Schedules K-1 who was a partner on the last day of the partnership taxable year. Therefore, the IRS could not easily determine if the partner signing the revocation was a partner on the last day of the taxable year.

    Finally, there may be more partner turnover during a partnership's taxable year as a result of fewer partnership short taxable years after the repeal of technical terminations under section under 708(b)(1). See section 13504 of “[a]n Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,” Public Law 115-97. Generally, under a technical termination under section 708(b)(1)(B), when 50 percent or more of a partnership's capital and profits are sold or exchanged during any 12 month period, the partnership taxable year ended, causing a short partnership taxable year. However, after repeal of the technical termination rule, there can be significant partner turnover during a partnership's full taxable year without resulting in an early close of the partnership taxable year. Thus, partners who dispose of their partnership interest, and who would have been partners for a full taxable year at the close of a short partnership taxable year when there was a technical termination, are now partners for only part of a full 12 month partnership taxable year.

    Accordingly, the final regulations have been revised to allow any person who was a partner at any time during the taxable year to which the revocation relates to sign the revocation. The final regulations were also revised to provide that the Treasury Department and the IRS may in the future provide forms, instructions, or other guidance that would allow the partnership to revoke the designation of a partnership representative if there are no reviewed year partners (as defined in proposed § 301.6241-1(a)(9)) at the time of revocation.

    One comment also suggested that a partnership should be able to revoke an appointment of a designated individual without first revoking the entity partnership representative designation. This comment was adopted in § 301.6223-1(e). However, to ensure that the IRS has a contact point for the partnership, the regulations under § 301.6223-1(e)(1) have also been revised to provide that if a partnership revokes the appointment of a designated individual and not the entity partnership representative, the partnership must appoint a successor designated individual at the same time of the revocation. Similar to the rules under the regulations with respect to the partnership representative resignation, failure to follow the rules of § 301.6223-1(e), including failure to appoint a successor designated individual, results in an invalid revocation of the designated individual.

    iv. Effective Date of a Resignation or Revocation

    The proposed regulations provided that a resignation or revocation of the partnership representative (or designated individual, if applicable) is effective 30 days from the date on which the IRS receives written notification of the resignation or the revocation. See proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(1), (e)(1). One comment recommended that the IRS refrain from requiring time-sensitive actions or responses from the partnership during this 30-day period. Another comment recommended that a resignation or revocation of a partnership representative be immediately effective in certain situations, including when the partnership representative is the subject of a court order determining the partnership representative is incompetent or enjoining the partnership representative from serving as the partnership representative, the partnership representative is incarcerated, the partnership representative has become the subject of a criminal tax investigation, the partnership representative has been convicted of a felony or of a crime that involves dishonesty or breach of trust, or the partnership representative has become the subject of bankruptcy or receivership proceedings.

    In response to these comments, § 301.6223-1(d) and (e) are revised to provide that generally a partnership representative resignation or revocation is effective immediately upon receipt by the IRS. In cases where there is a revocation of a partnership representative designated by the IRS, the final regulations provide that the revocation is effective on the date the IRS sends notification that it determined that the revocation is valid.

    The comment requesting that the revocation or resignation be immediately effective on the date it is signed or sent was not adopted. Until it is received by the IRS, the IRS cannot be aware of a revocation or resignation to give it effect. Before the revocation or resignation is received, the IRS will continue to work with the person designated to represent the partnership as the partnership representative. Nothing in the regulations prevents a partnership or partnership representative from providing a revocation or resignation directly to the IRS employee handling the administrative proceeding to ensure that the IRS has received prompt notification of the change.

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(1) and (e)(1) provided that the IRS will notify the partnership and other affected persons (the resigning partnership representative or designated individual or the partnership representative (and designated individual, if applicable) whose status is being revoked) when the IRS receives a resignation or revocation. To provide assurance that the IRS has received and processed a resignation or revocation, these sections of the final regulations have been revised to provide that, no later than 30 days after receipt of a valid notification of a revocation or resignation, the IRS will notify the partnership and the resigning partnership representative or designated individual or the partnership representative (and designated individual, if applicable) whose status is being revoked of its acceptance.

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(4) provided that a partnership cannot revoke the designation of a partnership representative designated by the IRS unless the partnership receives permission from the IRS. The final regulations under § 301.6223-1(e)(6) are clarified to provide that the IRS will not unreasonably withhold such permission. To avoid confusion, § 301.6223-1(e)(3) and (6) have been revised to provide that when permission is granted, the IRS will send the notification described in paragraph § 301.6223-1(e)(1). The effective date of the revocation is the date of that notification, which, if the IRS is granting permission for the revocation of the IRS-designated partnership representative, will be sent no later than 30 days after receipt of the revocation.

    v. Notification of Change

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(1) provided that a resigning partnership representative must notify the partnership and the IRS of the resignation, and proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(1) provided that when a partnership revokes a partnership representative designation, the partnership must notify the partnership representative and the IRS. Proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(3)(iii)(A)(2) required a notification of revocation to include a certification from the partner signing the revocation that the person has provided a copy of the revocation to the partnership and to the partnership representative whose designation is being revoked. Failure to include that certification rendered the revocation invalid. One comment recommended clarification on how this certification should be made when the partnership representative is deceased or dissolved or the partnership is no longer in contact with the partnership representative. The comment suggested that sending the copy of the revocation to the last known address should be sufficient. The comment also suggested that the regulations clarify whether there are any other restrictions on the method of notifying the partnership representative, such as proof of delivery or electronic delivery.

    State law and any contractual arrangement between the parties generally control the terms of the relationship between the partnership and the partnership representative. Except as necessary to carry out the statute, the regulations implementing the centralized partnership audit regime attempt not to impose requirements with respect to interactions between the partnership and the partnership representative. The requirements in proposed § 301.6223-1(d)(1) and (e)(1) that the partnership notify the partnership representative and that the partnership representative notify the partnership were not consistent with this approach. Therefore, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that including these requirements would unnecessarily create regulatory burdens on partnerships and partnership representatives without any significant benefit to tax administration. Accordingly, the final regulations have been revised to remove these requirements. Consequently, a resigning partnership representative and a partnership making a revocation must now only notify the IRS of the change in designation. As long as they notify the IRS as required under the regulations, the partnership and the partnership representative may agree to other notification requirements and are in the best position to determine if such requirements are necessary.

    Another comment suggested that, in the case of an entity partnership representative, notification by the IRS of a revocation (as well as other notifications) should also be required to be sent to the designated individual. This comment was not adopted. In the case of a change to an entity partnership representative, the IRS will only send one notification and plans to adopt procedures under which such a notification will be sent to the partnership representative and addressed to the attention of the designated individual. This procedure should avoid the need to send duplicate notifications, which is burdensome for the IRS, while also allowing the partnership, the entity partnership representative, and the designated individual to arrange their affairs in a way to ensure that important notifications from the IRS are received by the appropriate persons.

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(1) required the IRS to notify the partnership and the affected partnership representative of a revocation. This requirement has been revised to provide that the IRS will only give notification of a revocation made after the issuance of a notice of selection for examination or a NAP. In contrast, the final regulations do not require the IRS to give notification of a revocation made simultaneously with an AAR. This change is warranted because in some cases, the IRS might accept an AAR as filed without further interaction with the partnership or communication with the partnership representative. Requiring the IRS to provide notification of a change in partnership representative when an AAR is filed is unnecessary unless the IRS selects the partnership for an examination as part of an administrative proceeding, in which case the partnership and the new partnership representative will receive a NAP, which is confirmation that the IRS received the change made on the AAR. The partnership can also confirm with the IRS at that time of receipt of the notice of selection for examination that the IRS received the change of partnership representative.

    In addition, the final regulations clarify that the failure of the IRS to send any notifications under §§ 301.6223-1(d) and (e) to acknowledge receipt of a valid resignation or revocation does not invalidate the resignation or revocation. The notification provides the partnership with information about when the change in partnership representative became effective. However, the mere fact that a party does not receive an IRS notification does not mean that the resignation or revocation is not a valid change in partnership representative. A resignation or revocation that is valid under paragraph (d) or (e) of § 301.6223-1 is valid regardless of whether the IRS sends notification of receipt.

    C. IRS Designation of Partnership Representative i. Determination That a Designation Is Not in Effect

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(f) provided the IRS may determine a designation is not in effect under certain circumstances. Under proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(1), if the IRS makes a determination that a designation is not in effect, the IRS will notify the partnership and “the most recent partnership representative for that partnership taxable year” of that determination. One comment noted that there may be circumstances where there was never a partnership representative for the taxable year and recommended the regulations be clarified on this point. The comment describes an example where the partnership representative designated on the partnership return lacks substantial presence and concludes that there would be no partnership representative in that case.

    This conclusion is incorrect. A partnership representative designated under § 301.6223-1 is in effect unless and until the IRS determines otherwise. See § 301.6223-1(b)(1). Therefore, a person designated on a partnership return as the partnership representative is the partnership representative for that taxable year even if the person lacks substantial presence as defined in § 301.6223-1(b)(2) unless and until the IRS makes a determination, in accordance with § 301.6223-1(f), that the designation is not in effect. Accordingly, prior to the issuance of a notification from the IRS under § 301.6223-1(f)(1) that the partnership representative designation is not in effect, the designation of the partnership representative on the partnership return is in effect, even if the person designated lacks substantial presence in the United States.

    Because a designated partnership representative is in effect unless and until the IRS determines otherwise, the vast majority of partnerships will have a partnership representative designation in effect because they will have designated the partnership representative on the return as required under § 301.6223-1(c). As a result, in most cases there will be a partnership representative to whom the notification must be sent. However, there may be situations in which the partnership failed to make a valid designation in accordance with § 301.6223-1(c). To address these situations, the comment was adopted and § 301.6223-1(f)(1) has been revised to clarify that the IRS is not required to notify the most recent partnership representative if the partnership failed to designate one.

    Another comment recommended that any determination that a designation is not in effect should not be made effective until a new partnership representative has been designated, either by the partnership or the IRS. This comment was not adopted. If there has been a determination that a partnership representative designation is not in effect for a taxable year, the IRS has determined that the partnership representative is no longer a valid partnership representative for purposes of conducting an administrative proceeding of that partnership with respect to that taxable year. To keep the designation in place would run counter to this determination and would hinder the partnership administrative proceeding. If, for example, the partnership representative no longer meets the substantial presence requirements under § 301.6223-1(b) because the partnership representative has left the country and, as a result, is unreachable, neither the partnership nor the IRS benefits from having that partnership representative designation remain in place until a new partnership representative is designated. The best result for both the partnership and the IRS is for the partnership to designate a new partnership representative who can move the administrative proceeding forward, which the partnership will have the opportunity to do prior to the IRS designating one under the rules in § 301.6223-1(f). Delaying the effective date of the determination that no partnership representative is in effect slows down the administrative proceeding, which does not benefit the partnership or the IRS.

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(2) provided a list of reasons why the IRS might determine that a partnership representative designation is not in effect. Proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(2) provided that the IRS may determine a designation is not in effect when, among other circumstances, the IRS has received multiple revocations within a 90-day period. See proposed § 301.6223-1(e)(7). One comment suggested that the regulations should limit the discretion of the IRS to determine that a designation is not in effect under proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(2) to situations where the IRS determines the multiple revocations represent an effort to delay or obstruct the administrative proceeding.

    While there may be benign reasons for multiple revocations, the practical effect is the same regardless of the reason. The IRS's receipt of multiple revocations and designations will delay the administrative proceeding and prevent the IRS from effectively conducting an administrative proceeding. The administrative proceeding should not be delayed, intentionally or unintentionally, due to an inability to settle on a partnership representative.

    Additionally, requiring the IRS to determine if multiple revocations were due to inadvertence or a desire to delay or obstruct the administrative proceeding adds additional burden that would be costly for both the partnership and the IRS to resolve. It would also inevitably lead to disputes between the IRS and partnerships regarding factually intensive questions underlying the intent of revocations. Any time and resources devoted to discerning the purpose behind each revocation ultimately delays the entire administrative proceeding. There may be situations in which partners genuinely disagree as to who had authority to appoint the partnership representative or who the partnership representative should be. However, these disputes are best resolved by the partners themselves. The IRS should not be the arbiter of disputes between partners. Consequently, this comment has not been adopted.

    There may be circumstances, however, when multiple revocations are necessary due to circumstances outside of the partnership's control, such as death or serious health issues or due to a ministerial error. To accommodate these types of circumstances, the proposed regulations provided the IRS with the discretion to keep the partnership designation in effect even though multiple revocations were received within a 90-day period. The proposed regulations did not require the IRS to make a determination that the designation is no longer in effect, but rather provided the IRS with the ability to make such a determination when appropriate. In retaining this rule, the final regulations accommodate situations where multiple revocations are not the result of bad faith and the IRS determines that allowing such revocations does not interfere with the IRS's ability to conduct the administrative proceeding.

    Section 301.6223-1(f)(5) of the proposed regulations provided that the multiple-revocation rule was triggered if the IRS receives more than one revocation for the same partnership taxable year within a 90-day period. The final regulations remove the language “signed by different partners” from that provision. The fact that multiple revocations are received within 90 days is all that is required for the IRS to exercise its discretion under § 301.6223-1(f)(2). The number of partners involved is not relevant to whether multiple revocations are received and whether that could slow down the administrative proceeding. Accordingly, the regulations have been revised to make clear that the receipt of multiple revocations, not the receipt of multiple revocations signed by different partners, is what is required for the provision in § 301.6223-1(f) to be satisfied.

    In addition, the rule in the proposed regulations allowing the partnership the option to appoint a partnership representative before one is designated by the IRS has been revised in the case of multiple revocations. The final regulations provide that if the IRS determines a designation is not in effect in the case of multiple revocations, the IRS will designate a partnership representative, and unlike the general rule for IRS designation of a partnership representative, the partnership will not be given 30 days to designate a partnership representative. The stricter rule in the case of multiple revocations is necessary because providing the partnership another opportunity to designate a partnership representative would only perpetuate the existing problem and may delay the administrative proceeding. The final regulations also make clear that the multiple revocations rule applies to multiple revocations of a designated individual as well. Although the IRS may designate a new partnership representative in the case of multiple revocations, like any other IRS designation of a partnership representative, the partnership may revoke that partnership representative designation with the consent of the IRS.

    In order to clarify the operation of the 90-day period under the multiple revocation rule, § 301.6223-1(e)(7) was revised to provide that if the IRS receives a revocation (the current revocation), and, within the 90-day period prior to receiving the current revocation, the IRS had received another revocation for the same partnership taxable year, the IRS may determine that a designation is not in effect. This change clarifies that the multiple revocation rule may apply to any revocation received by the IRS. When the IRS receives a revocation, the IRS may look back to the preceding 90 days and determine whether it had received a prior revocation for the same taxable year. If it had, the multiple revocation rule applies.

    A time limitation for the IRS to notify the partnership that the designation is not in effect was also added to the multiple revocation rule in § 301.6223-1(e)(7)(ii). That time limitation provides that if the IRS plans to determine a designation is not in effect due to receipt of multiple revocations, the IRS must do so within 90 days of the receipt of the current revocation the IRS is considering. For example, assume the partnership files two revocations with respect to the same taxable year—one on May 31, 2019 and one on August 25, 2019. With respect to the August 25th revocation, the IRS received the May 31st revocation within the 90-day period prior to August 25, 2019, meaning the multiple revocation rule under § 301.6223-1(e)(7)(i) applies. Under the time limitation provided in § 301.6223-1(e)(7)(ii), the IRS would then have 90 days from August 25, 2019 to determine a designation is not in effect. If, during that 90-day period starting with August 25, 2019, the IRS received another revocation, the multiple revocation rule under § 301.6223-1(e)(7)(i) would again be triggered, and pursuant to § 301.6223-1(e)(7)(ii), the IRS would have another 90 days from that additional revocation to determine a designation is not in effect. The time limitation under § 301.6223-1(e)(7)(ii) provides certainty for the partnership and the IRS regarding when the IRS may determine that a designation is not in effect after multiple revocations have been filed.

    Another comment recommended that a partnership that makes a “technically faulty” designation and receives notification from the IRS that no designation of a partnership representative is in effect should be given an opportunity to cure that designation before the IRS designates a new partnership representative. Nothing in the regulations prevents the IRS from providing the partnership with an opportunity to cure a defective designation prior to the IRS making its own designation. The IRS will provide additional guidance to its agents regarding designation of a partnership representative, and the IRS intends to generally recommend providing an opportunity to cure a defective designation. The IRS, however, may not allow for such an opportunity in all cases due to time restraints, multiple revocations, or the particular circumstances. Accordingly, this comment was not adopted. However, as the Treasury Department and the IRS develop more experience in this area, additional guidance may be issued.

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(2) has also been amended to add a new paragraph (vii), which provides that the IRS may determine that a designation is not in effect for any other reason described in published guidance. This paragraph was added to allow flexibility to add other circumstances that may require the IRS to determine the designation is not in effect as the Treasury Department and the IRS gain more experience with the centralized partnership audit regime.

    The final regulations also provide that the IRS is under no obligation to search for information about whether any of the circumstances listed in § 301.6223-1(f)(2) exists. In addition, the final regulations clarify that even if the IRS has knowledge that one of the circumstances listed in § 301.6223-1(f)(2) exists, the IRS is not required to determine that a designation is not in effect. This clarification was added for the reasons stated above in this section of the preamble. For instance, partners may have filed multiple revocations within 90 days, but if there was a valid reason for the multiple revocations, the IRS may not need to determine the partnership representative designation is not in effect.

    ii. IRS Designation

    Numerous comments recommended changes to the rules under proposed § 301.6223-1(f) governing IRS designation of a partnership representative when no designation is in effect. Several comments recommended that the regulations impose restrictions on whom the IRS may designate to serve as the partnership representative. Two comments suggested prohibiting the IRS from designating an IRS employee, agent, or contractor as the partnership representative. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that an IRS employee, agent, or contractor who has no affiliation with the partnership subject to an administrative proceeding should not be designated as the partnership representative. An IRS employee, agent, or contractor may be a partner in the partnership subject to an administrative proceeding, however. Provided this interest in the partnership is unrelated to the individual's affiliation with the IRS, the individual's affiliation with the IRS should not preclude designation as the partnership representative. Accordingly, § 301.6223-1(f)(5) was revised to provide that the IRS may not designate an IRS employee, agent, or contractor as the partnership representative unless the individual is a partner in the partnership subject to an administrative proceeding. Even if the IRS employee, agent, or contractor is a partner in such partnership, however, the IRS intends to avoid designating such an individual as the partnership representative if another suitable person is available.

    Several comments recommended that the IRS be required to select a current partner to serve as the partnership representative. Another comment recommended that the IRS be required to select the partner with the largest profits interest. Another comment requested that the regulations include an ordering rule (that is, the IRS selects a partner first; if no partner is available, an employee, etc.). Another comment recommended that where the partnership is in bankruptcy, the IRS should select the trustee to serve as the partnership representative.

    Imposing regulatory restrictions on whom the IRS can designate as the partnership representative could adversely affect the IRS's ability to select a suitable partnership representative, which harms both the IRS and the partnership. In some cases, a current partner might be the appropriate selection. In other cases, a former partner or an employee of the partnership might be more appropriate. For example, a current year partner might be more appropriate in a case where the current year partner is the person with access to the books and records of the partnership. However, a former partner has the advantage of being a partner from the year subject to an administrative proceeding and may be able to communicate with reviewed year partners more efficiently when seeking to modify the imputed underpayment. In the context of a partnership in bankruptcy, a non-member manager of the partnership, more familiar with the partnership's day-to-day business might be a more appropriate partnership representative than the bankruptcy trustee hired during the administrative proceeding. The Treasury Department and the IRS do not yet have experience with the new centralized partnership audit regime. As such, it would be unwise at this time to restrict whom the IRS may designate to be the partnership representative (other than as described earlier in this section). Consequently, comments recommending these types of restrictions were not adopted.

    One comment asked that the final regulations clarify that the IRS may select an entity partnership representative and that if it does so, the IRS must provide the partnership with the contact information of the designated individual. This comment was adopted. Therefore, if the IRS does designate an entity to be the partnership representative, the IRS will also appoint a designated individual and provide the contact information of the designated individual to the partnership. See § 301.6223-1(f)(5)(i).

    Proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(5)(ii) provides a list of factors the IRS “may” consider when designating a partnership representative. A comment suggested that proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(5)(ii) be revised to provide that the IRS “will ordinarily” consider “one or more” of those factors. The IRS intends to consider these factors when designating a partnership representative. Because the suggested language “will ordinarily” more accurately reflects the IRS's intent this comment has been adopted. However, the final regulations have also been revised to clarify that the IRS is not obligated to search for information about the factors to be considered and that IRS knowledge of any of the factors does not obligate the IRS to select a particular person as partnership representative. This clarification is particularly important in the case of a partnership that is nonresponsive because the IRS may not be able to consider certain factors where the partners are unreachable and certain information is not readily attainable. The IRS, therefore, will ordinarily consider these factors, but the IRS may not consider the factors in every case.

    The final regulations have also been revised to clarify that these factors are not the equivalent of requirements for eligibility to be designated by the IRS as a partnership representative. Only one factor may be applicable to the person designated as partnership representative and yet that person may be the one who is appropriate to designate based on who is available and willing to serve and the unique facts and circumstances of the partnership, the administrative proceeding, or other issues. Accordingly, § 301.6223-1(f)(5)(ii) has been revised to clarify that the IRS will ordinarily consider one or more of the factors when determining whom to designate as partnership representative, no single factor is determinative, and a person may be designated by the IRS as partnership representative even if none of the factors is applicable.

    Several comments requested changes to the factors listed in proposed § 301.6223-1(f)(5)(ii). One comment recommended that the IRS generally consider the profits interests of the partners. Considering the profits interest of a partner is reasonable because profits interest can in some circumstances directly affect how the results of an administrative proceeding will affect an individual partner. Additionally, because profits interest is a factor that can be determined from the face of the partnership return for most partnerships, consideration of a partner's profits interest when designating a partnership representative is administrable for the IRS. Therefore, § 301.6223-1(f)(5)(ii) has been revised to adopt this comment.

    One comment suggested that the IRS should consider the person's involvement in the partnership's business in determining whether to designate that person as the partnership representative. The regulations already contain factors that consider the person's overall knowledge of the partnership and its books and records. These factors already incorporate consideration of the person's involvement in the partnership's business. Because the proposed factor duplicates those already included, this comment was not adopted.

    Several comments made suggestions with respect to the partnership's inability to revoke a partnership representative designation made by the IRS without having IRS consent of that revocation. One comment disagreed in general with this rule and recommended that the partnership be able to revoke a partnership designation made by the IRS without the consent of the IRS. Another comment stated that the partnership should be involved in the IRS's designation of a partnership representative. Another comment suggested that the partnership should be able to revoke a partnership representative designated by the IRS if there is a bona fide dispute over the capacity of the partnership representative designated by the IRS.

    The rule that the partnership must seek the IRS's permission before revoking an IRS-designated partnership representative is premised on the fact that the partnership has not properly designated a partnership representative on its own. If the IRS has to make a designation, the partnership has either failed to designate its own choice for partnership representative or has made multiple revocations.

    Allowing the partnership to unilaterally revoke a partnership representative that had been designated by the IRS undermines the purpose of the IRS designation. For an administrative proceeding to function properly and without delay and for the partnership to be represented in that administrative proceeding, a person who can act for the partnership and who is an eligible partnership representative must be designated. Additionally, because the IRS only designates a partnership representative when a partnership has failed to properly make its own designation, the partnership is ultimately in control over whether the IRS will need to designate a partnership representative. Consequently, the final regulations retain the rule that a partnership may revoke a partnership representative designated by the IRS only with the consent of the IRS, and the comments were not adopted.

    D. Authority of the Partnership Representative i. Binding Effect of Actions Taken by the Partnership Representative

    One comment suggested that, given that partnerships are formed under state law, state law should control the designation and authority of the partnership representative. Another comment suggested that the final regulations should clarify that the principles of agency law apply to the partnership representative, and that the partnership representative “will be operating as the agent on behalf of the partnership subject to the same control by the partnership as any principal would have over an agent.” These comments relate to proposed § 301.6223-2(c), which provided that no state law, partnership agreement, or other document could limit the authority of the partnership representative. Because the authority of the partnership representative under federal law preempts any state law requirements these comments were not adopted. The language of § 301.6223-2(d) (which corresponds with proposed § 301.6223-2(c)) has been revised to clarify that this rule is applicable only with respect to the centralized partnership audit regime. Accordingly, the final regulations provide that the failure to adhere to state law requirements has no effect on actions taken by the partnership representative with respect to the centralized partnership regime.

    The regulations are drafted to provide significant flexibility to the partnership to determine who will represent it and for the partnership and the partnership representative to negotiate the terms of their relationship. The Treasury Department and the IRS have attempted to refrain from creating unnecessary regulatory burdens. The partnership and the partnership representative are free to enter into contractual agreements to define the scope and limits of their relationship. However, because the IRS is not a party to these agreements, it is not bound by them. Any remedy the partnership would have against the partnership representative if the partnership representative failed to act in accordance with those agreements would be under state law with respect to the partnership representative.

    Section 301.6223-2(d) is not intended to prevent partnerships from taking advantage of state law remedies for partnerships who wish to restrict a partnership representative's authority under state law. Rather, the regulations leave the enforcement of such restrictions to the relevant parties, which simplifies the administrative proceeding consistent with the design of the centralized partnership audit regime. Under TEFRA, significant resources were often expended by the IRS and the partnership to determine what state law restrictions might affect who could act for the partnership and under what circumstances. The centralized partnership audit regime removes this aspect of TEFRA.

    ii. Authority

    One comment recommended that where there is a question regarding a person's authority to serve as the partnership representative, the partnership should provide a notice signed by all the partners in the partnership as conclusive evidence that a particular person has the authority to serve as the partnership representative. This comment was not adopted because under section 6223 the authority of a person to act as partnership representative is based on whether the person was properly designated as the partnership representative in accordance with section 6223 and the regulations, not on whether state law or notice from the partners confirms such authority.

    One comment suggested that clarifying language be added to the end of a sentence in § 301.6223-2(a) providing that a notice of final partnership adjustment is final when not contested by the partnership representative “on behalf of the partnership.” The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that as drafted § 301.6223-2(a) was confusing. It is the partnership that contests the notice of final partnership adjustment, even if it does so through the partnership representative. Accordingly, the final regulations clarify this language by revising § 301.6223-2(a) to remove the reference to the partnership representative.

    E. Other Comments and Changes

    A comment recommended that proposed § 301.6223-2 be clarified to provide that a partnership representative may engage a person to act on behalf of the partnership representative under a power of attorney during the administrative proceeding (referred to as a “POA”) and that the POA can participate in meetings or receive copies of correspondence. Nothing in the regulations prevents the partnership representative from engaging a POA for this purpose. Language has been added to § 301.6223-2(d) to clarify this issue. Language has also been added to § 301.6223-1(a) to clarify that appointment of a POA does not designate the POA as partnership representative.

    A new paragraph (c) has been added to the final regulations to address the effect of withdrawal of a NAP on actions taken by a partnership representative. Proposed § 301.6231-1(f) (December 19 NPRM) allows the IRS to withdraw a NAP after it has been issued. Proposed § 301.6231-1(f) further provides that the withdrawn NAP has no effect for purposes of the centralized partnership audit regime.

    The partnership representative may have taken actions before withdrawal of the NAP. In addition, after the NAP has been issued, but before the NAP has been withdrawn, the partnership representative may have changed. Section 301.6223-2(c) has been added to the final regulations to clarify that even though the withdrawn NAP has no effect, any actions taken by a partnership representative (or successor partnership representative after a change in partnership representative that occurred after the issuance of the NAP and before the NAP was withdrawn) are binding on the partnership, even though the NAP has been withdrawn. An example was also added to illustrate this clarification under § 301.6223-2(c) regarding withdrawal of the NAP. See § 301.6223-2(e), Example 6. As a result of this new paragraph (c), proposed § 301.6223-2(c) was moved to § 301.6223-2(d).

    One comment suggested that a partnership representative should have to affirm that he or she will serve as the partnership representative by checking a box on the partnership return where the designation is made. The comment suggested that having such an affirmation will save time at the beginning of the administrative proceeding.

    Adopting this comment would not save time at the beginning of the administrative proceeding because even if the box was checked by the partnership representative at the time the return is filed, by the time the IRS commences the administrative proceeding, the partnership representative may no longer be available or willing to serve. Similarly, a partnership representative might erroneously not check the box at the time the return is filed but be willing to serve at the time the administrative proceeding commences. Whether the partnership representative checked the box at one point in time is not the right proxy for whether the partnership representative is willing to serve as the partnership representative at some other point in time. Rather than add this unnecessary requirement, the regulations provide that the person designated as the partnership representative is the partnership representative until there is a resignation, revocation, or the IRS determines no designation is in effect. Once the administrative proceeding begins, an unwilling partnership representative may resign or the partnership may revoke the partnership representative and designate a successor. Accordingly, this comment was not adopted.

    One comment suggested that the partnership representative be required to notify partners of significant developments (for example, extensions of the period of limitations, settlements, petitioning a court, etc.). There is no requirement in the statute for the partnership representative to notify any partner of significant developments. This is a departure from TEFRA, which required certain notifications and provided participation rights for certain partners. The proposed regulations adhered to the legislative judgment that the partnership representative is the sole representative of the partnership, and the actions of the partnership representative bind the partners. Nothing in the proposed regulations prevents the partnership from contracting with the partnership representative to require the partnership representative to notify the partnership or the partners of any developments, significant or otherwise.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that the government should not mandate how and when the partnership representative communicates with partners or other persons. By remaining silent on this issue, the regulations allow a partnership, its partners, and the partnership representative to arrange their own affairs without unnecessary regulatory requirements that interfere with these relationships. Accordingly, this comment was not adopted.

    Proposed § 1.6223-1(a) provided that a partnership representative must update the partnership representative's contact information when such information changes as required by forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS. One comment requested that a partnership representative only be required to update its contact information upon the selection of the partnership for an examination or the filing of an AAR. At this time, there is no requirement that the partnership representative update contact information prior to selection for examination or the filing of an AAR. Experience with the new regime may inform the Treasury Department and the IRS that updating contact information prior to selection for an examination or filing an AAR is helpful or important. The final regulations have been clarified to provide that contact information must be updated if required by forms, instructions, or other guidance published by the IRS.

    2. Election Into Centralized Partnership Audit Regime

    The Treasury Department and the IRS received no comments with respect to proposed § 301.9100-22 and made no substantive revisions to the proposed regulations. Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the proposed regulations without any substantive change. Minor editorial changes were made. The temporary regulations are removed.

    Special Analyses

    This regulation is not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required.

    It is hereby certified that these rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although these rules may affect a substantial number of small entities, the economic impact is not substantial because these rules merely provide clarifying guidance on the statutory requirements to designate a partnership representative. These rules reduce the existing burden on partnerships to comply with the statutory requirements by providing clear rules and guidance regarding the statutory requirements for partnerships required to designate a partnership representative under section 6223 and for partnerships to make an election for the centralized partnership audit regime to apply to taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018. For the reasons stated, the final rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. Chapter 6) is not required.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business, and no comments were received.

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    IRS Revenue Procedures, Revenue Rulings, Notices and other guidance cited in this preamble are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these final regulations are Joy E. Gerdy Zogby of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration) and Jennifer M. Black of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *.

    Par. 2. Section 301.6223-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 301.6223-1 Partnership representative.

    (a) Each partnership must have a partnership representative. A partnership subject to subchapter C of chapter 63 of the Internal Revenue Code (subchapter C of chapter 63) for a partnership taxable year must designate a partnership representative for the partnership taxable year in accordance with this section. There may be only one designated partnership representative for a partnership taxable year at any time. The designation of a partnership representative for a partnership taxable year under this section remains in effect until the date on which the designation of the partnership representative is terminated by valid resignation (as described in paragraph (d) of this section), valid revocation (as described in paragraph (e) of this section), or a determination by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the designation is not in effect (as described in paragraph (f) of this section). A designation of a partnership representative for a partnership taxable year under paragraphs (e) or (f) of this section supersedes all prior designations of a partnership representative for that year. If required by forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS, a partnership representative must update the partnership representative's contact information when such information changes. Only a person designated as a partnership representative in accordance with this section will be recognized as the partnership representative under section 6223. A power of attorney (including a Form 2848, Power of Attorney) may not be used to designate a partnership representative. See § 301.6223-2(a), (b), and (c) with regard to the binding effect of actions taken by the partnership representative. See § 301.6223-2(d) with regard to the sole authority of the partnership representative to act on behalf of the partnership. See paragraph (f) of this section for rules regarding designation of a partnership representative by the IRS.

    (b) Eligibility to serve as a partnership representative—(1) In general. Any person (as defined in section 7701(a)(1)) that meets the requirements of paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, as applicable, is eligible to serve as a partnership representative, including a wholly owned entity disregarded as separate from its owner for federal tax purposes. A person designated under this section as partnership representative is deemed to be eligible to serve as the partnership representative unless and until the IRS determines that the person is ineligible. A partnership can designate itself as its own partnership representative provided it meets the requirements of paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section.

    (2) Substantial presence in the United States. A person must have substantial presence in the United States to be the partnership representative. A person has substantial presence in the United States for the purposes of this section if—

    (i) The person makes themselves available to meet in person with the IRS in the United States at a reasonable time and place as determined by the IRS in accordance with § 301.7605-1; and

    (ii) The person has a United States taxpayer identification number, a street address that is in the United States and a telephone number with a United States area code.

    (3) Eligibility of an entity to be a partnership representative—(i) In general. A person who is not an individual may be a partnership representative only if an individual who meets the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section is appointed by the partnership as the sole individual through whom the partnership representative will act for all purposes under subchapter C of chapter 63. A partnership representative meeting the requirements of this paragraph (b)(3) is an entity partnership representative, and the individual through whom such entity partnership representative acts is the designated individual. Designated individual status automatically terminates on the date that the designation of the entity partnership representative for which the designated individual was appointed is no longer in effect in accordance with paragraph (d), (e), or (f) of this section.

    (ii) Appointment of a designated individual. A designated individual must be appointed by the partnership at the time of the designation of the entity partnership representative in the manner prescribed by the IRS in forms, instructions, and other guidance. Accordingly, if the entity partnership representative is designated on the partnership return for the taxable year in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the designated individual must be appointed by the partnership at that time. Similarly, if the entity partnership representative is designated under paragraph (e) of this section (regarding revocation and subsequent designation after revocation of a partnership representative), the designated individual must be appointed at that time. If the partnership fails to appoint a designated individual at the time and in the manner set forth in this paragraph (b)(3)(ii), the IRS may determine that the entity partnership representative designation is not in effect under paragraph (f) of this section.

    (4) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (b).

    Example 1.

    Partnership designates PR as its partnership representative for its 2018 tax year on its timely filed 2018 partnership return. The IRS initiates an administrative proceeding with respect to Partnership's 2018 tax year. PR has a United States taxpayer identification number, a United States street address, and a phone number with a United States area code. The IRS contacts PR and requests an in-person meeting with respect to the administrative proceeding. PR works with the IRS and agrees to meet. PR has substantial presence in the United States because she meets all the requirements under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

    Example 2.

    The facts are the same as in Example 1 of this paragraph (b)(4), except that PR is an entity and Partnership appointed DI, a designated individual to act on behalf of PR for its 2018 tax year on its timely filed 2018 partnership return. DI has a United States taxpayer identification number and a phone number with a United States area code. However, the address provided for DI is not a United States address. Accordingly, PR is not an eligible partnership representative because PR is an entity and DI does not satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section. Although DI does not have substantial presence in the United States under paragraph (b)(2) of this section and therefore PR is not an eligible partnership representative, until there is a resignation or revocation under paragraph (d) or (e) of this section or until the IRS determines the partnership representative designation is no longer in effect under paragraph (f) of this section, the designation of PR as the partnership representative remains in effect in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, and Partnership and all its partners are bound by the actions of PR as the partnership representative.

    Example 3.

    The facts are the same as in Example 1 of this paragraph (b)(4), except PR works in a foreign country and spends the majority of her time there. Unless PR otherwise fails to meet one of the requirements under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, PR has substantial presence in the United States. However, even if PR fails to meet one of the requirements under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, until there is a resignation or revocation under paragraph (d) or (e) of this section or until the IRS determines the partnership representative designation is no longer in effect under paragraph (f) of this section, the designation of PR as the partnership representative remains in effect in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, and Partnership and all its partners are bound by the actions of PR as the partnership representative.

    (c) Designation of partnership representative by the partnership—(1) In general. The partnership must designate a partnership representative separately for each taxable year. The designation of a partnership representative for one taxable year is effective only for the taxable year for which it is made.

    (2) Designation. Except in the case of a designation of a partnership representative (and the appointment of the designated individual, if applicable) after an event described in paragraph (d) of this section (regarding resignation), paragraph (e) of this section (regarding revocation by the partnership), or paragraph (f) of this section (regarding designation made by the IRS), or except as prescribed in forms, instructions, and other guidance, designation of a partnership representative (and the appointment of the designated individual, if applicable) must be made on the partnership return for the partnership taxable year to which the designation relates and must include all of the information required by forms, instructions, and other guidance, including information about the designated individual if paragraph (b)(3) of this section applies. The designation of the partnership representative (and the appointment of the designated individual, if applicable) is effective on the date that the partnership return is filed.

    (3) Example. The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (c).

    Example.

    Partnership properly designates PR1 as its partnership representative for taxable year 2018 on its 2018 partnership return. Partnership designates PR2 as its partnership representative for taxable year 2021 on its 2021 partnership return. In 2022, the IRS mails Partnership a notice of administrative proceeding under section 6231(a)(1) with respect to Partnership's 2018 taxable year. PR1 is the partnership representative for the 2018 partnership taxable year, notwithstanding the designation of PR2 as partnership representative for the 2021 partnership taxable year.

    (d) Resignations—(1) In general. A partnership representative or designated individual may resign as partnership representative or designated individual, as applicable, for a partnership taxable year for any reason by notifying the IRS in writing of the resignation in accordance with forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS. A resigning partnership representative may not designate a successor partnership representative. A resigning designated individual may not designate a successor designated individual or partnership representative. No later than 30 days after the IRS receives a written notification of resignation, the IRS will send written confirmation of receipt of the written notification to the partnership and the resigning partnership representative (to the attention of the designated individual if appropriate). A failure by the IRS to send any notification under this paragraph (d) does not invalidate a valid resignation made pursuant to this paragraph (d). A failure by the partnership representative (or designated individual, if the designated individual is the person resigning) to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (d) is treated as if there were no resignation, and the partnership representative designation (and designated individual appointment, if applicable) remains in effect until the designation (or appointment) is terminated by valid resignation (as described in this paragraph (d)), valid revocation by the partnership (as described in paragraph (e) of this section), or a determination by the IRS that the designation is not in effect (as described in paragraph (f) of this section). See § 301.6223-2 for binding nature of actions taken by the partnership representative or designated individual on behalf of a partnership representative, if applicable, prior to resignation.

    (2) Time for resignation. A partnership representative or designated individual may submit the written notification of resignation described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section to the IRS only after the IRS issues a notice of administrative proceeding (NAP) under section 6231(a)(1) for the partnership taxable year for which the partnership representative designation is in effect or at such other time as prescribed by the IRS in forms, instructions, or other guidance. If the IRS withdraws the NAP pursuant to § 301.6231-1(f), any valid resignation by the partnership representative or designated individual under this paragraph (d) prior to the withdrawal of the NAP remains in effect.

    (3) Effective date of resignation. A valid resignation is immediately effective upon the IRS's receipt of the written notification described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. As of the effective date of the resignation—

    (i) The resigning partnership representative (and designated individual, if applicable) may not take any action on behalf of the partnership with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the resignation;

    (ii) The partnership representative designation is no longer in effect with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the resignation;

    (iii) In the case of a resigning entity partnership representative, the appointment of the designated individual is no longer in effect with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the resignation; and

    (iv) In the case of a resigning designated individual, the designation of the entity partnership representative is no longer in effect with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the resignation.

    (e) Revocations—(1) In general. A partnership may revoke a designation of a partnership representative or appointment of a designated individual for a partnership taxable year for any reason by notifying the IRS in writing of the revocation in accordance with forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS. The partnership may make such revocation regardless of when and how the designation or appointment was made, except as provided in paragraph (e)(6) of this section (regarding designation by the IRS). The revocation must include the designation of a successor partnership representative (and the appointment of a designated individual, if applicable). In the case of a revocation of only the designated individual appointment, the partnership must designate a successor designated individual. No later than 30 days after the IRS receives a written notification of revocation submitted at the time described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the IRS will send written confirmation of receipt of the written notification to the partnership, the revoked partnership representative or, in the case of a revocation of only the appointment of a designated individual, to the revoked designated individual, and to the newly designated partnership representative. In the case of a revocation of an entity partnership representative, the notification will be sent to the entity partnership representative, to the attention of the designated individual. A failure by the IRS to send any notification under this paragraph (e) does not invalidate a valid revocation made pursuant to this paragraph (e). A failure by the partnership to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (e), including failure to designate a successor, is treated as if no revocation has occurred and the partnership representative designation (and designated individual appointment, if applicable) remains in effect until the designation (or appointment) is terminated either by valid resignation (as described in paragraph (d) of this section), valid revocation by the partnership (as described in this paragraph (e)), or determination by the IRS that the designation is not in effect (as described in paragraph (f) of this section). See § 301.6223-2 for binding nature of actions taken by the partnership representative or designated individual on behalf of a partnership representative, if applicable, prior to revocation.

    (2) Time for revocation—(i) Revocation during an administrative proceeding. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section or in forms, instructions, or other guidance prescribed by the IRS, a partnership may revoke a designation of a partnership representative or appointment of a designated individual only after the IRS issues a notice of selection for examination or a NAP under section 6231(a)(1) for the partnership taxable year for which the designation or appointment is in effect. If the IRS withdraws the NAP pursuant to § 301.6231-1(f), any valid revocation of a partnership representative designation or designated individual appointment under this paragraph (e) prior to the withdrawal of the NAP remains in effect.

    (ii) Revocation with an AAR. The partnership may revoke a designation of a partnership representative or appointment of a designated individual for the taxable year prior to receiving a notice of selection for examination or a NAP by filing a valid administrative adjustment request (AAR) in accordance with section 6227 for a partnership taxable year. A partnership may not use the form prescribed by the IRS for filing an AAR solely for the purpose of revoking a designation of a partnership representative or appointment of a designated individual. See § 301.6227-1 for the rules regarding the time and manner of filing an AAR.

    (3) Effective date of revocation. Except as described in paragraph (e)(6)(ii) of this section (regarding the effective date of a revocation of a partnership representative designated by the IRS under paragraph (f)(5) of this section), a valid revocation is immediately effective upon the IRS's receipt of the written notification described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section. A revocation of a partnership representative designation and a designation of a new partnership representative (and appointment of a new designated individual, if applicable) is effective on the date the partnership files a valid AAR. Similarly, a revocation of a designated individual appointment and appointment of a new designated individual is effective on the date the partnership files a valid AAR. As of the effective date of the revocation—

    (i) The revoked partnership representative (and designated individual, if applicable) may not take any action on behalf of the partnership with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the revocation;

    (ii) The designation of the revoked partnership representative is no longer in effect, and the successor partnership representative designation (and designated individual appointment, if applicable) is in effect with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the revocation;

    (iii) In the case of a revoked entity partnership representative, the appointment of the designated individual is no longer in effect with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the revocation; and

    (iv) In the case of a revoked designated individual where the designation of the entity partnership representative has not been revoked, the revoked designated individual may not take any action on behalf of the partnership with respect to the partnership taxable year affected by the revocation, the appointment of the revoked designated individual is no longer in effect, and the appointment of the successor designated individual is in effect.

    (4) Partners who may sign revocation. A revocation under this paragraph (e) must be signed by a person who was a partner at any time during the partnership taxable year to which the revocation relates or as provided in forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS.

    (5) Form of the revocation. The written notification of revocation described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section must include the items described in this paragraph (e)(5). A notification of revocation described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section that does not include each of the following items is not a valid revocation:

    (i) A certification under penalties of perjury that the person signing the notification is a partner described in paragraph (e)(4) of this section authorized by the partnership to revoke the designation of the partnership representative (or appointment of the designated individual, if applicable).

    (ii) A statement that the person signing the notification is revoking the designation of the partnership representative (or appointment of the designated individual, if applicable);

    (iii) A designation of a successor partnership representative (and appointment of a designated individual, if applicable) in accordance with this section and forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS; and

    (iv) In the case of a revocation of an appointment of a designated individual, appointment of a successor designated individual in accordance with this section and forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS.

    (6) Partnership representative designated by the IRS—(i) In general. If a partnership representative is designated (and a designated individual is appointed, if applicable) by the IRS pursuant to paragraph (f)(5) of this section, the partnership may only revoke that designation (or the appointment of the designated individual, if applicable) with the permission of the IRS, which the IRS will not unreasonably withhold.

    (ii) Effective date of revocation. The effective date of any revocation submitted in accordance with paragraph (e)(6)(i) of this section is the date on which the IRS sends notification that the revocation is valid.

    (7) Multiple revocations—(i) In general. The IRS may determine that a designation is not in effect under paragraph (f) of this section if:

    (A) The IRS receives a revocation of a designation of a partnership representative or appointment of a designated individual, and

    (B) Within the 90-day period prior to the date the revocation described in paragraph (e)(7)(i)(A) of this section was received, the IRS received another revocation for the same partnership taxable year.

    (ii) Time limitation. The IRS may not determine that a designation is not in effect in accordance with paragraph (e)(7)(i) of this section later than 90 days after the IRS's receipt of the revocation described in paragraph (e)(7)(i)(A) of this section.

    (8) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (e).

    Example 1.

    Partnership properly designates PR, an individual, as partnership representative for its 2018 taxable year on its timely filed 2018 partnership return. In 2020, Partnership mails written notification to the IRS to revoke designation of PR as its partnership representative for Partnership's 2018 taxable year. The revocation is not made in connection with an AAR for Partnership's 2018 taxable year, and the IRS has not mailed Partnership a notice of selection for examination or a NAP under section 6231(a)(1) with respect to Partnership's 2018 taxable year. Because the revocation was not made when permitted under paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the revocation is not effective and B remains the partnership representative for Partnership's 2018 taxable year unless and until B's status as partnership representative is properly revoked under paragraph (e) of this section or terminated in accordance with paragraph (d) (regarding resignation) or (f) (regarding IRS designation) of this section.

    Example 2.

    During an administrative proceeding with respect to Partnership's 2018 taxable year, Partnership provides the IRS with written notification to revoke its designation of PR, an individual, as its partnership representative for the 2018 taxable year. The written notification does not include a designation of a new partnership representative for Partnership's 2018 taxable year. Because the revocation does not include a designation of a new partnership representative as required under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the revocation is not effective and PR remains the partnership representative for Partnership's 2018 taxable year unless and until B's status as partnership representative is properly revoked under paragraph (e) of this section or terminated in accordance with paragraph (d) (regarding resignation) or (f) (regarding IRS designation) of this section.

    (f) Designation of the partnership representative by the IRS—(1) In general. If the IRS determines that a designation of a partnership representative is not in effect for a partnership taxable year in accordance with paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the IRS will notify the partnership that a partnership representative designation is not in effect. The IRS will also notify the most recent partnership representative for the partnership taxable year, except as described in paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section. In the case of an entity partnership representative, the notification will be sent to the entity partnership representative, to the attention of the designated individual. The determination that a designation is not in effect is effective on the date the IRS mails the notification. Except as described in paragraph (f)(4) of this section, the partnership may designate, in accordance with paragraph (f)(3) of this section, a successor partnership representative (and designated individual, if applicable) eligible under paragraph (b) of this section within 30 days of the date the IRS mails the notification. In the case of a resignation of a partnership representative, this notification may include the written confirmation of receipt described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. See paragraph (f)(2)(iv) of this section. If the partnership does not designate a successor within 30 days from the date of IRS notification, the IRS will designate a partnership representative in accordance with paragraph (f)(5) of this section. A partnership representative designation made in accordance with paragraphs (c), (e), or (f) of this section remains in effect until the IRS determines the designation is not in effect. See § 301.6223-2 for binding nature of actions taken by the partnership representative or designated individual on behalf of a partnership representative, if applicable, prior to a determination by the IRS that the designation is not in effect.

    (2) IRS determination that partnership representative designation not in effect. The IRS may, but is not required to, determine that a partnership representative designation is not in effect. The IRS is not obligated to search for or otherwise seek out information related to the circumstances in which the IRS may determine a partnership representative designation is not in effect, and the fact that the IRS is aware of any such circumstances does not obligate the IRS to determine that a partnership representative designation is not in effect. The IRS may determine that the partnership representative designation is not in effect if the IRS determines that—

    (i) The partnership representative or the designated individual does not have substantial presence as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section;

    (ii) The partnership failed to appoint a designated individual as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, as applicable;

    (iii) The partnership failed to make a valid designation as described in paragraph (c) of this section;

    (iv) The partnership representative or designated individual resigns as described in paragraph (d) of this section;

    (v) The partnership has made multiple revocations as described in paragraph (e)(7) of this section; or

    (vi) The partnership representative designation is no longer in effect as described in other published guidance.

    (3) Designation by the partnership during the 30-day period. Designation of a partnership representative (and appointment of a designated individual, if applicable) by the partnership during the 30-day period described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section must be made in accordance with forms, instructions, and other guidance prescribed by the IRS. If the partnership fails to provide all information required by forms, instructions, and other guidance, the partnership will have failed to make a designation (and appointment, if applicable). If the partnership does not fully comply with the requirement of this paragraph (f)(3) within the 30-day period described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the IRS will designate a partnership representative (and appoint a designated individual, if applicable).

    (4) No opportunity for designation by the partnership in the case of multiple revocations. In the event that the IRS determines a partnership representative designation is not in effect due to multiple revocations as described in paragraph (e)(7) of this section, the partnership will not be given an opportunity to designate the successor partnership representative prior to the designation by the IRS as described in paragraph (f)(5) of this section. However, see paragraph (e)(6) of this section regarding revocation of a partnership representative designated by the IRS.

    (5) Designation by the IRS—(i) In general. The IRS designates a partnership representative under this paragraph (f)(5) by notifying the partnership of the name, address, and telephone number of the new partnership representative. If the IRS designates an entity partnership representative, the IRS will also appoint a designated individual to act on behalf of the entity partnership representative. The designation of a partnership representative (and appointment of a designated individual, if applicable) by the IRS is effective on the date on which the IRS mails the notification of the designation (and appointment, if applicable) to the partnership. The IRS will also mail a copy of the notification of the designation (and appointment, if applicable) to the new partnership representative (through the new designated individual, if applicable) that has been designated (and appointed, if applicable) by the IRS under this section.

    (ii) Factors considered when partnership representative designated by the IRS. The IRS will ordinarily consider one or more of the factors set forth in this paragraph (f)(5)(ii) when determining whom to designate as partnership representative. No single factor is determinative, and other than as described in paragraph (f)(5)(iii) of this section, the IRS may exercise its discretion to designate a person as partnership representative even if none of the factors are applicable to such person. The factors are not requirements for eligibility to be designated by the IRS as partnership representative; the only requirements for eligibility are described under paragraph (b) of this section. The IRS is not obligated to search for or otherwise seek out information related to the factors, and the fact that the IRS is aware of any information related to such factors does not obligate the IRS to designate a particular person. Although the IRS may designate any person to be the partnership representative, a principal consideration in determining whom to designate as a partnership representative is whether there is a reviewed year partner that is eligible to serve as the partnership representative in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section or whether there is a partner at the time the partnership representative designation is made that is eligible to serve as the partnership representative. Other factors that will ordinarily be considered by the IRS in determining whom to designate as a partnership representative include, but are not limited to:

    (A) The views of the partners having a majority interest in the partnership regarding the designation;

    (B) The general knowledge of the person in tax matters and the administrative operation of the partnership;

    (C) The person's access to the books and records of the partnership;

    (D) Whether the person is a United States person (within the meaning of section 7701(a)(30)); and

    (E) The profits interest of the partner in the case of a partner.

    (iii) IRS employees. The IRS will not designate a current employee, agent, or contractor of the IRS as the partnership representative unless that employee, agent, or contractor was a reviewed year partner or is currently a partner in the partnership.

    (6) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (f).

    Example 1.

    The IRS determines that Partnership has designated a partnership representative that does not have substantial presence in the United States as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The IRS may, but is not required to, determine that the designation is not in effect and designate a new partnership representative after following the procedures in this paragraph (f).

    Example 2.

    Partnership designates as its partnership representative a corporation but fails to appoint a designated individual to act on behalf of the corporation as required under paragraph (b)(3) of this section. The IRS may, but is not required to, determine that the partnership representative designation is not in effect and may designate a new partnership representative after following the procedures in this paragraph (f).

    Example 3.

    The partnership representative resigns pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section. The IRS mails Partnership a notification informing Partnership that no designation is in effect and that the IRS plans to designate a new partnership representative. Partnership fails to respond within 30 days of the date the IRS mails the notification. The IRS must designate a partnership representative pursuant to this paragraph (f).

    Example 4.

    Partnership designated on its partnership return a partnership representative, PR1. After Partnership received a NAP, Partnership submits to the IRS the form described in paragraph (e)(4) of this section requesting the revocation of PR1's designation as partnership representative and designating PR2 as the partnership representative. Sixty days later, Partnership signs and submits a form described in paragraph (e)(4) of this section requesting the revocation of PR2's designation as partnership representative and designating PR3 as the partnership representative. The IRS accepts the revocation of PR2 and designation of PR3 as valid and effective upon receipt pursuant to paragraph (e)(3) of this section. However, because PR2's revocation was within 90 days of PR1's revocation, the IRS may determine within 90 days of IRS's receipt of PR2's revocation, pursuant to paragraphs (e)(7) and (f)(2) of this section, that there is no designation in effect due to multiple revocations. The IRS may then designate a new partnership representative pursuant to this paragraph (f) without allowing Partnership an opportunity to designate a partnership representative within the 30-day period described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

    (g) Reliance on forms required by this section. The IRS may rely on any form or other document filed or submitted under this section as evidence of the designation, resignation, or revocation on such form and as evidence of the date on which such form was filed or submitted relating to a designation, resignation, or revocation.

    (h) Applicability date—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (h)(2) of this section, this section applies to partnership taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.

    (2) Election under § 301.9100-22 in effect. This section applies to any partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018 for which a valid election under § 301.9100-22 is in effect.

    Par. 3. Section 301.6223-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 301.6223-2 Binding effect of actions of the partnership and partnership representative.

    (a) Binding nature of actions by partnership and final decision in a partnership proceeding. The actions of the partnership and the partnership representative taken under subchapter C of chapter 63 of the Internal Revenue Code (subchapter C of chapter 63) and any final decision in a proceeding brought under subchapter C of chapter 63 with respect to the partnership bind the partnership, all partners of the partnership (including partnership-partners as defined in § 301.6241-1(a)(7) that have a valid election under section 6221(b) in effect for any taxable year that ends with or within the taxable year of the partnership), and any other person whose tax liability is determined in whole or in part by taking into account directly or indirectly adjustments determined under subchapter C of chapter 63 (for example, indirect partners as defined in § 301.6241-1(a)(4)). For instance, a settlement agreement entered into by the partnership representative on behalf of the partnership, a notice of final partnership adjustment (FPA) with respect to the partnership that is not contested by the partnership, or the final decision of a court with respect to the partnership if the FPA is contested, binds all persons described in the preceding sentence.

    (b) Actions by the partnership representative before termination of designation. A termination of the designation of a partnership representative because of a resignation under § 301.6223-1(d) or a revocation under § 301.6223-1(e), or as a result of a determination by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under § 301.6223-1(f) that the designation is not in effect, does not affect the validity of any action taken by that partnership representative during the period prior to such termination. For example, if a partnership representative properly designated under § 301.6223-1 consented to an extension of the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) in accordance with § 301.6235-1(d), that extension remains valid even after termination of the designation of that partnership representative.

    (c) Actions by the partnership representative upon withdrawal of notice of administrative proceeding. If the IRS issues a notice of administrative proceeding (NAP) under section 6231(a)(1) and subsequently withdraws such NAP pursuant to § 301.6231-1(f), any actions taken by a partnership representative (or successor partnership representative after a change to the partnership representative that occurred after the issuance of the NAP and before the NAP was withdrawn) are binding as described in paragraph (a) of this section even though the NAP has been withdrawn and has no effect for purposes of subchapter C of chapter 63.

    (d) Partnership representative has the sole authority to act on behalf of the partnership—(1) In general. The partnership representative has the sole authority to act on behalf of the partnership for all purposes under subchapter C of chapter 63. In the case of an entity partnership representative, the designated individual has the sole authority to act on behalf of the partnership representative and the partnership. Except for a partner that is the partnership representative or the designated individual, no partner, or any other person, may participate in an administrative proceeding without the permission of the IRS. The failure of the partnership representative to follow any state law, partnership agreement, or other document or agreement has no effect on the authority of the partnership representative or the designated individual as described in section 6223, § 301.6223-1, and this section. Nothing in this section affects, or otherwise restricts, the ability of a partnership representative to authorize a person to represent the partnership representative, in the partnership representative's capacity as the partnership representative, before the IRS under a valid power of attorney in a proceeding involving the partnership under subchapter C of chapter 63.

    (2) Designation provides authority to bind the partnership—(i) Partnership representative. A partnership representative, by virtue of being designated under section 6223 and § 301.6223-1, has the authority to bind the partnership for all purposes under subchapter C of chapter 63.

    (ii) Designated individual. A partnership that is required to appoint a designated individual described under § 301.6223-1(b)(3)(i) acts through such designated individual. By virtue of being appointed as part of the designation of the partnership representative under § 301.6223-1, the designated individual has the sole authority to bind the partnership representative and therefore the partnership, its partners, and any other person as described in paragraph (a) of this section for all purposes under subchapter C of chapter 63 so long as the partnership representative designation and designated individual appointment are in effect.

    (e) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section.

    Example 1.

    Partnership designates a partnership representative, PR, on its timely filed partnership return for 2020. PR is a partner in Partnership. The partnership agreement for Partnership includes a clause that requires PR to consult with an identified management group of partners in Partnership before taking any action with respect to an administrative proceeding before the IRS. The IRS initiates an administrative proceeding with respect to Partnership's 2020 taxable year. During the course of the administrative proceeding, PR consents to an extension of the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) allowing additional time for the IRS to mail an FPA. PR failed to consult with the management group of partners prior to agreeing to this extension of time. PR's consent provided to the IRS to extend the time period is valid and binding on Partnership because, pursuant to section 6223, PR, as the designated partnership representative, has authority to bind Partnership and all its partners.

    Example 2.

    Partnership designates a partnership representative, PR, on its timely filed partnership return for 2020. PR is not a partner in Partnership. During an administrative proceeding with respect to Partnership's 2020 taxable year, PR agrees to certain partnership adjustments and within 45 days after the issuance of the FPA elects the alternative to payment of the imputed underpayment under section 6226. Certain partners in Partnership challenge the actions taken by PR during the administrative proceeding and the validity of the section 6226 statements furnished to those partners, alleging that PR was never authorized to act on behalf of Partnership under state law or the partnership agreement. Because PR was designated by Partnership as the partnership representative under section 6223 and this section, PR was authorized to act on behalf of Partnership for all purposes under subchapter C of chapter 63, and the IRS may rely on that designation as conclusive evidence of PR's authority to act on behalf of Partnership.

    Example 3.

    Partnership designates an entity partnership representative, EPR, and appoints an individual, A, as the designated individual on its timely filed partnership return for 2020. EPR is a C corporation. A is unaffiliated with EPR and is not an officer, director, or employee of EPR. During an administrative proceeding with respect to Partnership's 2020 taxable year, A, acting for EPR, agrees to an extension of the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) from March 15, 2024 to December 31, 2024. The IRS mails an FPA with respect to the 2020 partnership taxable year on December 13, 2024, before expiration of the extended period of limitations on making adjustments as agreed to by EPR, but after the expiration of the unextended period of limitations on making adjustments. Partnership challenges the FPA as untimely, alleging that A was not authorized under state law to act on behalf of EPR and thus the extension agreement was invalid. Because A was appointed by the partnership as the designated individual to act on behalf of EPR, A was authorized to act on behalf of EPR for all purposes under subchapter C of chapter 63, and the IRS may rely on that appointment as conclusive evidence of A's authority to act on behalf of EPR and Partnership.

    Example 4.

    The partnership representative, PR, consents to an extension of the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) and § 301.6235-1(d) for Partnership for the partnership taxable year. After signing the consent, PR resigns as partnership representative in accordance with § 301.6223-1(d). The consent to extend the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) remains valid even after PR resigns.

    Example 5.

    Partnership designates a partnership representative who does not make themselves available to meet with the IRS in person in the United States as required by § 301.6223-1(b). Although the partnership representative does not have substantial presence in the United States within the meaning of § 301.6223-1(b)(2), until a termination occurs under § 301.6223-1(d) or (e) or the IRS determines the partnership representative designation is no longer in effect under § 301.6223-1(f), the partnership representative designation remains in effect, and Partnership and all its partners are bound by the actions of the partnership representative.

    Example 6.

    Partnership designates PR1 as the partnership representative on its timely filed partnership return for 2020. On September 1, 2022, the IRS sends a NAP for the 2020 taxable year to Partnership and PR, and Partnership revokes PR1's designation and designates PR2 as the partnership representative in accordance with § 301.6223-1(e). On November 1, 2023, PR2 consents to an extension of the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) and § 301.6235(d) for Partnership's 2020 taxable year. On December 1, 2023, the IRS then withdraws the NAP. PR2 remains the partnership representative, and the consent to extend the period of limitations on making adjustments under section 6235(b) remains valid even after the NAP is withdrawn.

    (f) Applicability date—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, this section applies to partnership taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.

    (2) Election under § 301.9100-22 in effect. This section applies to any partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018 for which a valid election under § 301.9100-22 is in effect.

    Par. 4. Section 301.9100-22 is added to read as follows:
    § 301.9100-22 Time, form, and manner of making the election under section 1101(g)(4) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 for returns filed for partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018.

    (a) Election. Pursuant to section 1101(g)(4) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Public Law 114-74 (BBA), a partnership may elect at the time and in such form and manner as described in this section for amendments made by section 1101 of the BBA, except section 6221(b) as added by the BBA, to apply to any return of the partnership filed for an eligible taxable year as defined in paragraph (d) of this section. An election is valid only if made in accordance with this section. Once made, an election may only be revoked with the consent of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An election is not valid if it frustrates the purposes of section 1101 of the BBA. A partnership may not request an extension of time under § 301.9100-3 for an election described in this section.

    (b) Election on notification by the IRS—(1) Time for making the election. Except as described in paragraph (c) of this section, an election under this section must be made within 30 days of the date of notification to a partnership, in writing, that a return of the partnership for an eligible taxable year has been selected for examination (a notice of selection for examination).

    (2) Form and manner of making the election—(i) In general. The partnership makes an election under this section by providing a written statement with the words “Election under Section 1101(g)(4)” written at the top that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section to the individual identified in the notice of selection for examination as the IRS contact regarding the examination.

    (ii) Statement requirements. A statement making an election under this section must be in writing and be dated and signed by the tax matters partner, as defined under section 6231(a)(7) (prior to amendment by the BBA), and the applicable regulations, or an individual who has the authority to sign the partnership return for the taxable year under section 6063, the regulations thereunder, and applicable forms and instructions. The fact that an individual dates and signs the statement making the election described in this paragraph (b) shall be prima facie evidence that the individual is authorized to make the election on behalf of the partnership. A statement making an election must include—

    (A) The partnership's name, taxpayer identification number, and the partnership taxable year for which the election described in this paragraph (b) is being made;

    (B) The name, taxpayer identification number, address, and daytime telephone number of the individual who signs the statement;

    (C) Language indicating that the partnership is electing application of section 1101(c) of the BBA for the partnership return for the eligible taxable year identified in the notice of selection for examination;

    (D) The information required to properly designate the partnership representative as defined by section 6223 as amended by the BBA, which must include the name, taxpayer identification number, address, and daytime telephone number of the partnership representative and any additional information required by applicable regulations, forms and instructions, and other guidance issued by the IRS;

    (E) The following representations—

    (1) The partnership is not insolvent and does not reasonably anticipate becoming insolvent before resolution of any adjustment with respect to the partnership taxable year for which the election described in this paragraph (b) is being made;

    (2) The partnership has not filed, and does not reasonably anticipate filing, voluntarily a petition for relief under title 11 of the United States Code;

    (3) The partnership is not subject to, and does not reasonably anticipate becoming subject to, an involuntary petition for relief under title 11 of the United States Code; and

    (4) The partnership has sufficient assets, and reasonably anticipates having sufficient assets, to pay a potential imputed underpayment with respect to the partnership taxable year that may be determined under subchapter C of chapter 63 of the Internal Revenue Code as amended by the BBA; and

    (F) A representation, signed under penalties of perjury, that the individual signing the statement is duly authorized to make the election described in this paragraph (b) and that, to the best of the individual's knowledge and belief, all of the information contained in the statement is true, correct, and complete.

    (iii) Notice of Administrative Proceeding. Upon receipt of the election described in this paragraph (b), the IRS will promptly mail a notice of administrative proceeding to the partnership and the partnership representative, as required under section 6231(a)(1) as amended by the BBA. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the IRS will not mail the notice of administrative proceeding before the date that is 30 days after receipt of the election described in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (c) Election for the purpose of filing an administrative adjustment request (AAR) under section 6227 as amended by the BBA—(1) In general. A partnership that has not been issued a notice of selection for examination as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may make an election with respect to a partnership return for an eligible taxable year for the purpose of filing an AAR under section 6227 as amended by the BBA. Once an election under this paragraph (c) is made, all of the amendments made by section 1101 of the BBA, except section 6221(b) as added by the BBA, apply with respect to the partnership taxable year for which such election is made.

    (2) Time for making the election. No election under this paragraph (c) may be made before January 1, 2018.

    (3) Form and manner of making an election. An election under this paragraph (c) must be made in the manner prescribed by the IRS for that purpose in accordance with applicable regulations, forms and instructions, and other guidance issued by the IRS.

    (4) Effect of filing an AAR before January 1, 2018. Except in the case of an election made in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, an AAR filed on behalf of a partnership before January 1, 2018, is deemed for purposes of paragraph (d)(2) of this section, to be an AAR filed under section 6227(c) (prior to amendment by the BBA) or an amended return of partnership income, as applicable.

    (d) Eligible taxable year—(1) In general. For purposes of this section, the term eligible taxable year means any partnership taxable year beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018, except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    (2) Exception if AAR or amended return filed or deemed filed. Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, a partnership taxable year is not an eligible taxable year for purposes of this section if for the partnership taxable year—

    (i) The tax matters partner has filed an AAR under section 6227(c) (prior to amendment by the BBA),

    (ii) The partnership is deemed to have filed an AAR under section 6227(c) (prior to the amendment by the BBA) in accordance with paragraph (c)(4) of this section, or

    (iii) An amended return of partnership income has been filed or has been deemed to be filed under paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

    (e) Applicability date. These regulations are applicable to returns filed for partnership taxable years beginning after November 2, 2015 and before January 1, 2018.

    § 301.9100-22T [Removed]
    Par. 5. Section 301.9100-22T is removed.
    Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: July 20, 2018. David J. Kautter, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-17002 Filed 8-6-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1910 [Docket ID OSHA-H005C-2006-0870] RIN 1218-AD19 Limited Extension of Select Compliance Dates for Occupational Exposure to Beryllium in General Industry AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    With this final rule, OSHA is extending the compliance date for certain ancillary requirements of the general industry beryllium standard to December 12, 2018. This standard protects workers from the hazards of beryllium exposure. OSHA has determined that this final rule will maintain essential safety and health protections for workers while OSHA prepares a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to clarify specific provisions of the beryllium standard in accordance with a settlement agreement entered into with stakeholders. The December 12, 2018, compliance date affects only certain ancillary provisions, i.e., methods of compliance, beryllium work areas, regulated areas, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, communication of hazards, and recordkeeping.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective August 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For purposes of 28 U.S.C. 2112(a), OSHA designates Edmund Baird, Acting Associate Solicitor of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, to receive petitions for review of the final rule. Contact the Acting Associate Solicitor at the Office of the Solicitor, Room S-4004, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-5445.

    Citation Method

    In the docket for the beryllium rulemaking, found at http://www.regulations.gov, every submission was assigned a document identification (ID) number that consists of the docket number (OSHA-H005C-2006-0870) followed by an additional four-digit number. For example, the document ID number for OSHA's Preliminary Economic Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is OSHA-H005C-2006-0870-0426. Some document ID numbers include one or more attachments, such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) prehearing submission (see Document ID OSHA-H005C-2006-0870-1671).

    When citing exhibits in the docket, OSHA includes the term “Document ID” followed by the last four digits of the document ID number, the attachment number or other attachment identifier, if applicable, and page numbers (designated “p.” or “Tr.” for pages from a hearing transcript). In a citation that contains two or more document ID numbers, the document ID numbers are separated by semicolons.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Press inquiries: Mr. Frank Meilinger, OSHA Office of Communications; telephone: (202) 693-1999; email: [email protected]

    General information and technical inquiries: Mr. William Perry or Ms. Maureen Ruskin, Directorate of Standards and Guidance; telephone: (202) 693-1950; email: [email protected]

    Copies of this Federal Register document and news releases: Electronic copies of these documents are available at OSHA's web page at https://www.osha.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Explanation of Regulatory Action A. Introduction

    This final rule extends the compliance date to December 12, 2018, for certain ancillary provisions of the beryllium rule for general industry, specifically provisions related to methods of compliance, beryllium work areas, regulated areas, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, communication of hazards, and recordkeeping. This rule does not affect the new permissible exposure limits (PELs) for general industry, construction, and shipyards or the general industry provisions for exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and medical removal, which OSHA began enforcing on May 11, 2018. This final rule also does not affect the March 11, 2019, compliance date for the provisions on change rooms and showers in paragraph (i) (hygiene areas and practices) or the March 10, 2020, compliance date for implementation of the engineering controls required by paragraph (f) (methods of compliance). Finally, this rule does not affect the applicability of paragraph (a) (scope and application) or paragraph (b) (definitions). (Document ID 2156). OSHA has determined that this final rule will maintain essential safety and health protections for workers while OSHA prepares a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to clarify specific provisions of the beryllium standard in accordance with a settlement agreement entered into with stakeholders. The revisions that OSHA plans to propose are designed to enhance worker protections by ensuring that the rule is well-understood and compliance is simple and straightforward.

    B. Summary of Economic Impact

    OSHA has determined that this final rule is not economically significant. The rule revises 29 CFR 1910.1024(o)(2) to extend the deadline for compliance with certain provisions of the general industry beryllium standard until December 12, 2018. OSHA's final economic analysis shows that this compliance date extension will result in a net cost savings for the affected industries. At a 3 percent discount rate over 10 years, the extension will result in net annual cost savings of $0.76 million per year; at a discount rate of 7 percent over 10 years, the net annual cost savings is $1.73 million per year. When the Department uses a perpetual time horizon, the annualized cost savings of the final rule is $1.65 million with a 7 percent discount rate. The detailed final economic analysis, which includes more information on OSHA's cost/cost savings estimates for this final rule, can be found in the “Agency Determinations” section of this preamble. The rule is also an Executive Order (E.O.) 13771 deregulatory action.

    C. Regulatory Background

    OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for occupational exposure to beryllium in the Federal Register on August 7, 2015. (80 FR 47566). In the NPRM, the agency made a preliminary determination that employees exposed to beryllium and beryllium compounds at the previous PEL faced a significant risk to their health and that promulgating the NPRM's proposed standard would substantially reduce that risk. The NPRM invited interested stakeholders to submit comments on a variety of issues.

    OSHA held a public hearing in Washington, DC, on March 21 and 22, 2016. The agency heard testimony from a number of organizations, including public health groups, industry representatives, and labor unions. Following the hearing, participants had an opportunity to submit additional evidence and data, as well as final briefs, arguments, and summations (Document ID 1756, Tr. 326).

    On January 9, 2017, after considering the entire record, OSHA issued a final rule with separate standards for general industry, shipyards, and construction, in order to tailor requirements to the circumstances found in these sectors. See 82 FR 2470. The general industry standard became effective on March 10, 2017, and the compliance date for most of the standard's provisions was March 12, 2018. However, on March 2, 2018, OSHA issued a memorandum stating that no provisions of the general industry standard would be enforced until May 11, 2018.1 Two subsequent enforcement delays followed—the first, on May 9, 2018, delayed enforcement until June 25, 2018, of some of the general industry standard's ancillary provisions (related to methods of compliance, beryllium work areas, regulated areas, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, communication of hazards, and recordkeeping). The second delay, on June 21, 2018, postponed enforcement of those provisions until August 9, 2018.

    1 On May 7, 2018, OSHA published a Direct Final Rule (DFR) which became effective July 6, 2018. (83 FR 19936; 83 FR 31045). The DFR clarified the definitions of “beryllium work area,” “emergency,” “dermal contact,” and “beryllium contamination.” It also clarified OSHA's intent with respect to provisions for disposal and recycling of materials that contain or are contaminated with beryllium, and with respect to provisions that the agency intends to apply only where skin can be exposed to materials containing at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight.

    Following promulgation of the final rule in January 2017, several general industry employers, including Materion Corporation (“Materion”), challenged the rule in federal court. As part of a settlement agreement with Materion,2 OSHA is planning to propose revisions to certain provisions in the general industry standard and to rely on its de minimis policy while the rulemaking is pending so that employers may comply with the proposed revisions to the standard without risk of a citation.3 The revisions OSHA plans to propose under the settlement agreement are generally designed to clarify the standard in response to stakeholder questions or to simplify compliance, while in all cases maintaining a high degree of protection from the adverse health effects of beryllium exposure (Document ID 2156).

    2 The Materion settlement agreement can be viewed on regulations.gov (Document ID 2156): https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSHA-H005C-2006-0870-2156.

    3 The OSH Act allows the Secretary of Labor to prescribe procedures for issuing notices instead of citations for “de minimis violations” that have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. 29 U.S.C. 658(a). OSHA's de minimis policy is set forth in its Field Operations Manual, available at https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-00-160.pdf. OSHA considers it a de minimis condition when an employer “complies with a proposed OSHA standard or amendment or a consensus standard rather than with the standard in effect at the time of the inspection and the employer's action clearly provides equal or greater employee protection.” De minimis conditions do not result in citations or penalties. See 29 CFR 1903.15(c) (“Penalties shall not be proposed for de minimis violations which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health.”); See Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following a Federal OSHA Inspection, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3000.pdf.

    D. Summary of Public Comments and Explanation of Final Action

    On June 1, 2018, OSHA published a proposed rule to extend the compliance date to December 12, 2018 for certain ancillary requirements of the general industry beryllium standard. (83 FR 25536). OSHA explained that the proposed extension would give the agency time to prepare and publish a planned NPRM to amend the general industry standard before employers would be required to comply with certain ancillary provisions affected by that NPRM. That in turn would allow employers to comply with the proposed provisions without risk of a citation until any such changes are finalized (Document ID 2156).

    In the proposal, OSHA requested comments from the public on both the duration and scope of the proposed compliance date extension (83 FR 25539). OSHA asked commenters to include a rationale for any concerns they had with the proposal, as well as for any alternatives they suggested. OSHA also requested comments on the “Agency Determinations” section of the proposal, including the preliminary economic analysis and other regulatory effects on employers and workers.

    OSHA received ten comments in response to the proposal (Document IDs 2159-2168). The comments generally focused on three issues arising from the proposed extension: (1) Whether to extend the compliance date, (2) the scope of any extension, and (3) the appropriate duration of any extension. Below we examine these three issues, in that order—by summarizing the comments and then explaining the agency's determinations based on the record as a whole. We then address two miscellaneous comments.

    1. Extension of the Compliance Date for Certain Ancillary Provisions in the General Industry Standard

    Five commenters supported the agency's proposed extension of the compliance date for ancillary provisions affected by OSHA's forthcoming, substantive NPRM. (See Document ID 2161; 2165-2168). For example, Century Aluminum Company stated that “the affected portions of the Standard should be delayed to allow OSHA time to prepare and publish the substantive proposed rule so that employers do not take unnecessary and costly measures.” (Document ID 2165, p.1). It added that the proposed delay would also limit confusion among employers and other stakeholders. (Document ID 2165, p.1). Materion similarly observed that the proposed extension would address the concern that beginning enforcement of provisions affected by the NPRM could result in employer confusion or improper implementation of the relevant provisions of the rule. (Document ID 2161, p.2). Airborn Inc., Mead Metals, Inc., and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) supported Materion's comments and registered their own support for the extension. (Document ID 2166, p.1; 2167, p.1; 2168, pp.1-2). These three stakeholders agreed that an extension is “necessary to give OSHA enough time to draft and publish” the forthcoming, substantive NPRM. (Document ID 2166, p.1; 2167, p.1; 2168, p.1). NAM added that the proposed extension was “another positive step toward a more effective general industry standard for the benefit of workers.” (Document ID 2168, p.2). NAM also expressed its appreciation for “OSHA's recognition of employers' reasonable and practical concerns regarding compliance in anticipation of [the forthcoming, substantive NPRM].” (Document ID 2168, p.2).

    Four other commenters, the United Steelworkers (USW), Public Citizen, UNITE HERE! International Union (UNITE HERE), and the National Employment Law Project (NELP), opposed the proposed extension. (Document ID 2160; 2162-2164). These commenters argued that the extension would be unnecessary and unjustified, and would delay the implementation of important protections for workers. (See, e.g., Document ID 2160, pp. 1-2). For example, Public Citizen maintained that “[e]xpeditious implementation of the ancillary provisions in general industry is absolutely necessary to enhance the benefits of the newly adopted PEL, ultimately providing another level of protection in occupational settings.” (Document ID 2162, p.3). It argued that delaying implementation would allow employers to continue to expose workers to unsafe levels of beryllium, ensuring “the occurrence of even more cases of beryllium sensitization, chronic beryllium disease, . . . . lung cancer,” and other adverse health effects. (Document ID 2162, p.3).

    OSHA understands Public Citizen's concerns; the agency's goal is to protect the health and safety of workers. That is why OSHA has narrowly tailored the scope of the compliance date extension to cover only provisions that will be affected by the forthcoming, substantive NPRM. OSHA is enforcing, and will continue to enforce, many of the provisions that provide critical protection to general industry employees. This final rule does not affect critical worker protections afforded by enforcement of the revised lower PEL, the new short-term exposure limit (STEL), and requirements for exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and medical removal.

    Moreover, in adopting this final rule, OSHA recognizes that the goal of worker protection can be frustrated where employers do not clearly understand OSHA's requirements or how to implement them. OSHA appreciates the concerns of those stakeholders who note that, until OSHA releases its planned NPRM, employers may lack clarity regarding how to implement and comply with the beryllium standard. OSHA has determined that it would be undesirable, for both the agency and those it regulates, to begin enforcement of certain ancillary provisions of the standard that will likely be affected by the upcoming rulemaking—a scenario that could result in employers taking unnecessary measures to comply with provisions to which OSHA intends to propose clarifications.

    NELP and Public Citizen also asserted that the proposed compliance-date extension conflicted with OSHA's finding that a comprehensive standard is needed to protect workers exposed to beryllium. (Document ID 2162; 2163). OSHA disagrees with that assertion that this extension is in conflict with OSHA's findings. OSHA believes that a comprehensive standard is critically important for the protection of workers exposed to beryllium in general industry settings. However, the benefits of a comprehensive standard may not be fully realized where employers do not clearly understand, and have trouble implementing, its requirements. OSHA finds that this limited, short-term extension of the compliance date for certain ancillary requirements of the standard will give the agency the time necessary to ensure that employers have clear direction on how to protect workers exposed to beryllium. Additionally, as noted previously, OSHA will continue to maintain essential safety and health protections for workers through ongoing enforcement of many of the beryllium standard's key provisions. Enforcement of other OSHA standards, such as the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) and Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records (29 CFR 1910.1020) will also provide other important protections for workers in general industry. In particular, employers are, and will remain, obligated to label hazardous chemicals containing beryllium, ensure that safety data sheets are readily available, and train workers on the hazards of beryllium in accordance with the Hazard Communication Standard. OSHA encourages employers to review their hazard communication programs, employee training, and other hazard communication practices (such as workplace labeling) to ensure continued compliance with the Hazard Communication Standard.

    USW and UNITE HERE also questioned OSHA's justification for the proposed extension of compliance dates. USW objected to OSHA's preliminary determination that beginning enforcement of the ancillary provisions identified in the proposal before publication of the substantive NPRM could result in employer confusion or improper implementation of the relevant provisions of the rule. (Document ID 2160, p.2). USW argued that employers could avoid confusion by complying with the revisions that are identified in the settlement agreement. (Document ID 2160, p.2). In addition, USW and UNITE HERE claimed that OSHA proposed this extension to “demonstrate that it has taken deregulatory action.” (Document ID 2160, p.2; 2164).

    OSHA does not agree with the USW that this extension of compliance dates is unnecessary because employers can rely on the regulatory revisions identified in the settlement agreement before publication of the substantive NPRM. The settlement agreement contains only a redlined version of the relevant regulatory text. It does not include a full summary and explanation of the revisions, in which OSHA explains the meaning of the proposed revisions to the regulatory text and, in some cases, provides further information and examples to aid compliance. For example, OSHA is planning to propose changes to paragraph (j)(3), to address reuse of beryllium-containing materials in addition to disposal and recycling, because in some cases materials may be directly reused without being recycled. In the summary and explanation for the proposed rule, OSHA will explain the intended meaning of the term “reuse” and the circumstances under which the cleaning and bagging requirements included in paragraph (j)(3) would apply to the reuse of materials that contain beryllium.

    OSHA also disagrees with USW and UNITE HERE's characterization of the rationale for this extension. Although OSHA noted in the proposal that the proposed extension was “expected to be an . . . E.O.[ ] 13771 deregulatory action,” it included that statement to carry out its obligations under E.O. 13771, not to justify the rulemaking. As stated above, the reason for this rulemaking is to provide OSHA sufficient time to promulgate proposed clarifications to the general industry standard, so that employers can easily understand and properly implement the standard in order to keep workers healthy and safe.

    Based on the record as a whole, OSHA finds the arguments in favor of the proposed extension of compliance dates to be more persuasive than those against the proposal. Therefore, the agency has decided to adopt the proposed extension of compliance dates to allow time for the preparation and publication of the planned, substantive NPRM.

    2. Scope of the Extension

    Having determined that an extension of the compliance date for certain ancillary provisions in the beryllium standard for general industry is appropriate, OSHA next addresses comments regarding which provisions will be included in the extension. In the NPRM, OSHA proposed extending the compliance date for the following provisions: Beryllium work areas and regulated areas (paragraph (e)), written exposure control plans (paragraph (f)(1)), personal protective clothing and equipment (paragraph (h)), hygiene areas and practices (paragraph (i) except for change rooms and showers), housekeeping (paragraph (j)), communication of hazards (paragraph (m)), and recordkeeping (paragraph (n)). OSHA requested comments on the proposed scope of the extension.

    Several commenters objected to the scope of the proposed compliance-date extension. For example, USW asserted that the underlying settlement agreement only “affects beryllium products whose content is less [than] 1% by weight, but which does not generate exposures above the PEL.” (Document ID 2160, p. 1). Therefore, USW argued, “[t]here is no basis for staying ancillary provisions of the standard in workplaces where exposures to beryllium are above the PEL.” (Document ID 2160, pp. 1-2). UNITE HERE also asserted that the proposed extension of compliance dates should be limited to provisions that OSHA intends to change. (Document ID 2164). It further argued that “there is no justification to delay any provision of the standard to the extent that it would regulate exposures above the PEL.” (Document ID 2164). NELP similarly commented that the proposal was “broad and needlessly pushes back compliance dates of important worker protections to a highly toxic substance.” (Document ID 2163, p.1).

    Century Aluminum, however, argued that OSHA should not extend the compliance date for only certain portions of affected paragraphs, as proposed by some of the other commenters. Beyond making it clear that the compliance dates for engineering and work practice controls (March 10, 2020) and change rooms and showers (March 11, 2019) remain unchanged, Century Aluminum asserted that differentiating by portions of affected paragraphs would lead to substantial confusion among employers and other stakeholders.4

    4 Materion commented that the proposed extension of compliance dates did not cover all of the provisions that could be affected by the forthcoming, substantive NPRM. (Document ID 2161, p.1). Specifically, Materion noted that the NPRM could also affect the requirements for medical surveillance and change rooms. (Document ID 2161, p.1 (citing Document ID 2156, Appendix B)). However, Materion did not ask OSHA to make any changes to the scope of the extension based on its comment. Rather, its comment appeared to serve as a recommendation to other employers to “take careful note of the proposed changes identified in the settlement agreement, and to take them into account when implementing their compliance programs for medical surveillance and change rooms.” (Document ID 2161, p.1). OSHA notes that, until the NPRM is published, employers may comply with the medical surveillance provisions as clarified by the definitions of “CBD diagnostic center,” “chronic beryllium disease,” and “confirmed positive” that OSHA has agreed to propose, which are available in the docket (Document ID 2156) and in OSHA's interim enforcement guidance (https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2018-05-09).

    OSHA agrees with Century Aluminum's assessment that an extension of compliance dates that differentiated between individual subparagraphs of the affected ancillary provisions, as suggested by USW and UNITE HERE, would create substantial confusion.5 In addition, OSHA does not find that the extension should be limited to only those situations where beryllium exposures do not exceed the PEL. Contrary to USW's assertion, the substantive changes OSHA intends to propose to the beryllium standard for general industry do apply to processes that generate exposures above the PEL, and they are not limited to products whose beryllium content is less than one percent by weight. For example, changes to provisions for methods of compliance, personal protective clothing and equipment, housekeeping, and hygiene areas and practices involve all beryllium-containing materials where exposures may occur. Therefore, OSHA's rationale for the extension of compliance dates applies to all general industry workplaces within the scope of the beryllium standard, including those where beryllium exposures may exceed the PEL. Finally, as to UNITE HERE's comment that the extension should be limited to provisions that OSHA intends to change in the final standard, OSHA has reexamined each of the provisions covered by the proposed extension and confirmed that the final extension of compliance dates applies only to paragraphs affected by the upcoming, substantive NPRM.

    5 OSHA recognizes that three paragraphs, i.e., the paragraphs related to change rooms and showers in paragraph (i) and the requirement in paragraph (f)(2) for the implementation for engineering controls, have different compliance dates than those set for other paragraphs in paragraphs (i) and (f). However, this is a function of the way the compliance date provisions were structured in the January 9, 2017, final rule, and those dates were set based on specific findings made by the agency in that rulemaking. The agency believes employers have had ample notice of when the agency intends to begin enforcement of these particular provisions.

    After considering these comments, OSHA has decided to retain the scope of the extension as proposed. The extension of compliance dates, therefore, will apply to the following provisions: Beryllium work areas and regulated areas (paragraph (e)), written exposure control plans (paragraph (f)(1)), personal protective clothing and equipment (paragraph (h)), hygiene areas and practices (paragraph (i) except for change rooms and showers), housekeeping (paragraph (j)), communication of hazards (paragraph (m)), and recordkeeping (paragraph (n)).

    3. Duration of the Extension

    Having determined that it is appropriate to extend the compliance date for certain ancillary provisions in the general industry beryllium standard, the remaining issue is the duration of the extension. In the NPRM, OSHA proposed extending the relevant compliance date until December 12, 2018. OSHA requested comments on the duration of the extension.

    Very few commenters expressly opined on the duration of the proposed compliance date extension, and those who did disagreed as to whether a longer or shorter extension was appropriate. For example, Century Aluminum asked OSHA to consider extending the relevant compliance date for an additional three months, to March 11, 2019. (Document ID 2165, pp. 1-2). It argued that “[a]n additional three months would give OSHA the time to receive comments on the substantive proposed rule and publish a final rule.” (Document ID 2165, p.1). It further stated that a longer extension would prevent confusion and unnecessary costs:

    A delay until the substantive rulemaking is completed would also prevent a situation where employers comply with the de minimis policy, only to have to change practices if the final rule does not adopt all of the revisions in the proposed rule. The costs of such a midstream about-face could be significant. Moreover, aligning the compliance date with March 11, 2019, which is the compliance date for the change rooms and showers required by paragraph (i) of the Standard, would simplify compliance efforts and limit confusion among affected entities. Finally, the additional few months would allow state plans time to consider whether to adopt any revisions OSHA makes to the Standard without causing significant disruption in their respective states.

    (Document ID 2165, p.2). USW and UNITE HERE, on the other hand, recommended that the proposed extension continue until thirty days after the substantive NPRM is issued or December 12, 2018, whichever comes first. USW maintained that the potentially shorter extension would allow time for employers to conform their practices to the content of the NPRM, while providing workers with necessary protections as soon as possible.

    After considering these comments, OSHA is not persuaded that it should alter the duration of the proposed extension. Although OSHA appreciates Century Aluminum's points, the agency must balance arguments in favor of a longer extension against the concerns raised by commenters, such as USW, that an unnecessarily lengthy extension could deny general industry workers certain protections afforded to them under the affected ancillary provisions. Moreover, although OSHA understands Century Aluminum's concern about the potential increase in costs that could result if the provisions adopted as a result of the planned substantive rulemaking do not mirror those proposed in the substantive NPRM, the agency cannot, at this time, estimate with much certainty when any final rule will be promulgated.6 OSHA also rejects USW and UNITE HERE's call for compliance dates based on the publication of the substantive NPRM; a timeline based on a currently uncertain date would be more difficult and confusing for employers and workers. The agency finds that the proposed compliance date of December 12, 2018, appropriately balances the concerns raised by stakeholders, will provide the agency sufficient time to draft and publish the NPRM, and will give employers sufficient time to comply. Therefore, OSHA has decided to extend the compliance date for the identified provisions until December 12, 2018, as proposed.

    6 Although not suggested by Century Aluminum, OSHA also notes that an indefinite extension of compliance deadlines, i.e., a compliance date determined by the date the substantive rulemaking is completed, is likely to result in greater, not less, confusion.

    4. Miscellaneous Comments

    OSHA also received two comments that did not directly relate to the proposed extension of compliance dates. The first, from Materion, is related to a statement the agency made in the proposal. (Document ID 2161, p.2). Specifically, OSHA stated that it “expects to publish the planned, substantive NPRM well in advance of the compliance dates” for change rooms and showers (March 11, 2019) and engineering controls (March 10, 2020). Materion maintained that “it is reasonable and necessary for OSHA to not only publish the NPRM, but complete its final changes to the General Industry Standard for beryllium well ahead of March 11, 2019, since the revisions OSHA plans to propose are primarily clarifying or simplifying in nature . . . and designed to enhance worker protections by ensuring that the rule is well-understood and compliance is simple and straightforward.” (Document ID 2161, p.2 (citing Document ID 2156)). Materion further commented that “[e]mployees will benefit most by completion of all changes as soon as possible, and certainly before early 2019.” (Document ID 2161, p.2).

    OSHA understands Materion's concern, and agrees that prompt finalization of any substantive revisions to the general industry standard for beryllium would be ideal. Therefore, the agency will proceed with the substantive rulemaking as expeditiously as possible. However, OSHA will also need to ensure that stakeholders have a meaningful opportunity to comment on the forthcoming proposal and that the agency has adequate time to consider and address stakeholder comments. Consequently, at this time the agency does not have a specific target date for conclusion of the substantive rulemaking.

    The second comment that was not directly related to the proposed extension of compliance dates was submitted by an anonymous commenter, who indicated strong support for the beryllium rule generally. (Document ID 2159). The commenter submitted summary statistics on relationships between beryllium exposure and the prevalence of beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease in a cohort at a beryllium precision machining facility and stated that the results support the control of workplace beryllium exposures. However, this commenter did not address how the data or conclusions provided related to the proposed extension of compliance dates or otherwise offer any comments on the specific terms of the proposed extension. To the extent that this commenter intended to argue that the proposed extension of compliance dates would have a detrimental impact on worker health, that comment is addressed above in response to similar concerns expressed by USW, Public Citizen, UNITE HERE, and NELP.

    II. Agency Determinations A. Final Economic Analysis and Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1532(a)) require that OSHA estimate the benefits, costs, and net benefits of regulations, and analyze the effects of certain rules that OSHA promulgates. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility.

    This final rule is not an “economically significant regulatory action” under E.O. 12866 or UMRA, or a “major rule” under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Neither the benefits nor the costs of this final rule would exceed $100 million in any given year. This final rule to extend the compliance date for certain ancillary provisions in the beryllium standard would result in cost savings. Cost savings arise in this context because a delay in incurred costs for employers would allow them to invest the funds (and earn an expected return at the going interest rate) that would otherwise have been spent to comply with the beryllium standard. OSHA did not receive any comments on the preliminary economic analysis OSHA prepared for the proposal.

    At a discount rate of 3 percent, this final compliance-date extension yields annualized cost savings of $0.76 million per year for 10 years. At a discount rate of 7 percent, this final rule yields an annualized cost savings of $1.73 million per year for 10 years. When the Department uses a perpetual time horizon to allow for cost comparisons under E.O. 13771 (82 FR 9339, Jan. 30, 2017), the annualized cost savings of this final compliance date extension are $1.65 million at a discount rate of 7 percent.

    1. Changes to the Baseline: Updating to 2017 Dollars and Removing Familiarization Costs; Discussion of Overhead Costs

    More than one year has elapsed since promulgation of the beryllium standards on January 9, 2017, so OSHA has updated the projected costs for general industry contained in the final economic analysis that accompanied the rule from 2015 to 2017 dollars, using the latest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage data (for 2016) and inflating them to 2017 dollars. Additionally, although familiarization costs were included in the cost estimates developed in the 2017 economic analysis, OSHA expects that those costs have already been incurred by affected employers, and is excluding them from its analysis of the cost savings associated with this extension of compliance dates. Thus, baseline costs for this final economic analysis (FEA) are the projected costs from the 2017 economic analysis, updated to 2017 dollars, less familiarization costs.

    OSHA notes that it did not include an overhead labor cost in the 2017 analysis, and has not accounted for such costs in this FEA. There is not one broadly accepted overhead rate, and the use of overhead to estimate the marginal costs of labor raises a number of issues that should be addressed before applying overhead costs to analyze the cost implications of any specific regulation. There are several ways to look at the cost elements that fit the definition of overhead, and there is a range of overhead estimates currently used within the federal government—for example, the Environmental Protection Agency has used 17 percent,7 and government contractors have reportedly used 50 percent for on-site (i.e., company site) overhead.8 Some overhead costs, such as advertising and marketing, may be more closely correlated with output than with labor. Other overhead costs vary with the number of new employees. For example, rent or payroll processing costs may change little with the addition of 1 employee in a 500-employee firm, but may change substantially with the addition of 100 employees. If an employer is able to rearrange current employees' duties to implement a rule, then the marginal share of overhead costs, such as rent, insurance, and major office equipment (e.g., computers, printers, copiers), would be very difficult to measure with accuracy.

    7 Cody Rice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Wage Rates for Economic Analyses of the Toxics Release Inventory Program,” June 10, 2002 (document ID 2025). This analysis itself was based on a survey of several large chemical manufacturing plants: Heiden Associates, Final Report: A Study of Industry Compliance Costs Under the Final Comprehensive Assessment Information Rule, Prepared for the Chemical Manufacturers Association, December 14, 1989.

    8 Grant Thornton LLP, 2017 Government Contractor Survey, https://www.grantthornton.com/-/media/content-page-files/public-sector/pdfs/surveys/2018/2017-government-contractor-survey. According to Grant Thornton's 2017 Government Contractor Survey, on-site rates are generally higher than off-site rates, because the on-site overhead pool includes the facility-related expenses incurred by the company to house the employee, while no such expenses are incurred or allocated to the labor costs of direct charging personnel who work at the customer site.

    If OSHA had included an overhead rate when estimating the marginal cost of labor, without further analyzing an appropriate quantitative adjustment, and adopted for these purposes an overhead rate of 17 percent on base wages, the cost savings of this final rule would increase to approximately $0.82 million per year, at a discount rate of 3 percent, or to approximately $1.87 million per year, at a discount rate of 7 percent.9 The addition of 17-percent overhead on base wages would therefore increase cost savings by approximately 8 percent above the primary estimate at either discount rate.

    9 OSHA used an overhead rate of 17 percent on base wages in a sensitivity analysis in the final economic analysis (OSHA-2010-0034-4247, p. VII-65) in support of the March 25, 2016, final respirable crystalline silica standards (81 FR 16286) and in the preliminary economic analysis in support of the June 27, 2017, beryllium proposal for the construction and shipyard sectors (82 FR 29201).

    2. Changes to the Standard: Nine-Month Extension of the Compliance Date for Some Ancillary Provisions

    The general industry beryllium standard went into effect on May 20, 2017, with most compliance obligations beginning on March 12, 2018. OSHA is finalizing the extension of the compliance date for specific provisions until December 12, 2018. The compliance date for the updated PELs, as well as for the exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and medical removal requirements, and for provisions for which the standard already establishes compliance dates in 2019 and 2020, do not change as a result of this rule. The applicability of the scope and application paragraph and the definitions also do not change as a result of this rule, except that employers may comply with the definitions of “CBD diagnostic center,” “chronic beryllium disease,” and “confirmed positive” that will be proposed in the later substantive rulemaking NPRM (Document ID 2156). The purpose of this final rule is to provide time for OSHA to issue a planned NPRM that will affect the parts of the standard that are covered by this compliance-date extension before that compliance date is reached, so that OSHA may rely on its de minimis policy and employers may comply with the proposed provisions without risk of a citation.

    OSHA estimated the cost savings of the final rule relative to baseline costs, where baseline costs reflect the costs of compliance without the final rule's changes to the compliance date. OSHA calculated the cost savings by lagging the first-year costs for the affected provisions by nine months and then calculating the present value of the delayed costs over the 10 years following the new compliance date. Annualizing the present value of cost savings over ten years, the result is an annualized cost savings of $0.76 million per year at a discount rate of 3 percent, or $1.73 million per year at a discount rate of 7 percent. When the Department uses a perpetual time horizon to allow for cost comparisons under E.O. 13771, the annualized cost savings of this compliance date extension is $1.65 million at a discount rate of 7 percent.

    The undiscounted cost savings by provision and year are presented below in Table 1. As shown in Table 1, and described elsewhere in this final rule, the cost savings described in this FEA reflect savings only for provisions covered by the compliance date extension. OSHA estimated no cost savings for the PELs, exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, or medical removal provisions (as they are not covered by the extension), or for any provisions for which the rule already establishes compliance dates in 2019 (change rooms/showers) or 2020 (engineering controls).10 The cost savings by year and discount rate are shown below in Table 2.

    10 Note that the labor costs associated with time spent changing clothes are generally triggered by wearing personal protective equipment, as required by paragraph (h) of the beryllium standard. OSHA is extending the compliance date for paragraph (h). Thus, employers will not incur the labor costs associated with changing time for personal protective equipment until December 12, 2018, so OSHA is generally accounting for those cost savings in this FEA. OSHA has not accounted for any cost savings related to the use of head covers, however. Head covers may be used to prevent contamination of employees' hair, potentially precluding the need for showers under paragraph (i)(3) of the standard. Because this final rule does not extend the compliance date for showers, OSHA has not accounted for head covers for purposes of estimating the cost savings associated with this final rule.

    3. Economic and Technological Feasibility

    In the final economic analysis for the 2017 general industry beryllium standard, OSHA concluded that the rule was technologically feasible. OSHA has determined that this final rule is also technologically feasible because it does not change any of the rule's substantive requirements, and, if adopted, would simply give employers more time to comply with some of the rule's ancillary requirements. Furthermore, OSHA previously concluded that the beryllium standard was economically feasible. As this final rule does not impose any new substantive requirements, and results in cost savings, OSHA has concluded that the final rule is also economically feasible.

    4. Effects on Benefits

    The planned rulemaking to revise the general industry beryllium standard is intended to be responsive to questions and concerns expressed by stakeholders regarding ancillary provisions of the rule. Safety and health programs can be ineffective if employers and other stakeholders are unclear about OSHA requirements. Hence, by addressing stakeholder questions and concerns, the planned rulemaking will make it more likely that the regulated community will realize the full benefits of the rule, as estimated in the 2017 final economic analysis. Although it is not possible to quantify the effect of stakeholder uncertainty on the projected benefits of the rule, OSHA believes that the short-term loss of benefits associated with this extension of initial compliance dates will be more than offset in the long term by the benefits resulting from the agency's effort to clarify the rule. OSHA has determined that this final rule will maintain essential safety and health protections for workers.

    5. Certification of No Significant Impact on a Substantial Number of Small Entities

    This final rule will result in cost savings for affected employers, and those savings fall below levels that could be said to have a significant positive economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.11 Therefore, OSHA certifies that this final rule does not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    11 OSHA investigated whether the projected cost savings would exceed 1 percent of revenues or 5 percent of profits for small entities and very small entities for every industry. To determine if this was the case, OSHA returned to its original regulatory flexibility analysis (2017) for small entities and very small entities. OSHA found that the cost savings of this final rule are such a small percentage of revenues and profits for every affected industry that OSHA's criteria would not be exceeded for any industry.

    BILLING CODE 4510-26-P ER09AU18.003 BILLING CODE 4510-26-C Table 2—Cost Savings Due to Compliance Date Extension Year t Undiscounted
  • costs by year
  • Discounted
  • costs—3%
  • Discounted
  • costs—7%
  • Baseline 1 1.00 $53,861,070 $52,292,301 $50,337,449 2 2.00 31,965,865 30,130,893 27,920,224 3 3.00 31,965,865 29,253,295 26,093,668 4 4.00 31,965,865 28,401,257 24,386,605 5 5.00 31,965,865 27,574,036 22,791,220 6 6.00 31,965,865 26,770,909 21,300,205 7 7.00 31,965,865 25,991,173 19,906,734 8 8.00 31,965,865 25,234,149 18,604,424 9 9.00 31,965,865 24,499,174 17,387,312 10 10.00 31,965,865 23,785,605 16,249,825 Total 293,932,792 244,977,667 Annualized—10 Years 34,457,890 34,879,308 Discounting Option 1 1 1.75 53,861,070 51,145,783 47,846,852 2 2.75 31,965,865 29,470,268 26,538,787 3 3.75 31,965,865 28,611,911 24,802,605 4 4.75 31,965,865 27,778,554 23,180,004 5 5.75 31,965,865 26,969,470 21,663,556 6 6.75 31,965,865 26,183,952 20,246,314 7 7.75 31,965,865 25,421,312 18,921,788 8 8.75 31,965,865 24,680,886 17,683,914 9 9.75 31,965,865 23,962,025 16,527,023 10 10.75 31,965,865 23,264,102 15,445,816 Total 287,488,264 232,856,658 Annualized—10 Years 33,702,395 33,153,550 Difference from Baseline −755,495 −1,725,759
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not change the information collections already approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB approved the information collection request for the general industry beryllium standard under OMB Control Number 1218-0267, with an expiration date of April 30, 2020. OSHA received no comments on the information collection request in response to the proposal.

    C. Federalism

    OSHA reviewed this final rule in accordance with the Executive Order on Federalism (E.O. 13132, 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 10, 1999)), which requires that Federal agencies, to the extent possible, refrain from limiting state policy options, consult with states prior to taking any actions that would restrict state policy options, and take such actions only when clear constitutional authority exists and the problem is national in scope. E.O. 13132 provides for preemption of state law only with the expressed consent of Congress. Federal agencies must limit any such preemption to the extent possible.

    Under Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.), Congress expressly provides that states and U.S. territories may adopt, with Federal approval, a plan for the development and enforcement of occupational safety and health standards. OSHA refers to such states and territories as “State Plan States.” Occupational safety and health standards developed by State Plan States must be at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the Federal standards. 29 U.S.C. 667. Subject to these requirements, State Plan States are free to develop and enforce under state law their own requirements for safety and health standards.

    OSHA previously concluded from its analysis that promulgation of the beryllium standard complies with E.O. 13132 (82 FR at 2633). In states without an OSHA-approved State Plan, this final rule limits state policy options in the same manner as every standard promulgated by OSHA. For State Plan States, Section 18 of the OSH Act, as noted in the previous paragraph, permits State Plan States to develop and enforce their own beryllium standards provided these requirements are at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the requirements specified in this final rule.

    D. State Plans

    When Federal OSHA promulgates a new standard or a more stringent amendment to an existing standard, State Plans must amend their standards to reflect the new standard or amendment, or show OSHA why such action is unnecessary, e.g., because an existing state standard covering this area is “at least as effective” as the new Federal standard or amendment (29 CFR 1953.5(a)). The state standard must be at least as effective as the final Federal rule. State Plans must adopt the Federal standard or complete their own standard within six months of the promulgation date of the final Federal rule. When OSHA promulgates a new standard or amendment that does not impose additional or more stringent requirements than an existing standard, State Plans do not have to amend their standards, although OSHA may encourage them to do so. The 21 states and 1 U.S. territory with OSHA-approved occupational safety and health plans covering the private sector and state and local governments are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans that apply to state and local government employees only.

    The new amendments to OSHA's beryllium final rule do not impose any new requirements on employers. Accordingly, State Plans do not have to amend their standards to extend the compliance dates for their beryllium rules, but they may do so within the limits of this final rule.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    When OSHA issued the final rule establishing standards for occupational exposure to beryllium, it reviewed the rule according to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) and E.O. 13132 (64 FR 43255 (Aug. 10, 1999)). OSHA concluded that the final rule did not meet the definition of a “Federal intergovernmental mandate” under the UMRA because OSHA standards do not apply to state or local governments except in states that voluntarily adopt State Plans. OSHA further noted that the rule did not impose costs of over $100 million per year on the private sector. (82 FR at 2634.)

    As discussed above in Section II.A of this preamble, OSHA has determined that this extension does not impose any costs on private-sector employers beyond those costs already identified in the final rule for beryllium in general industry. Because OSHA reviewed the total costs of the beryllium rule under UMRA, no further review of those costs is necessary. Therefore, for purposes of UMRA, OSHA certifies that this final rule does not mandate that state, local, or tribal governments adopt new, unfunded regulatory obligations of, or increase expenditures by the private sector by, more than $100 million in any year.

    F. Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    OSHA reviewed this final rule in accordance with E.O. 13175 (65 FR 67249) and determined that it does not have “tribal implications” as defined in that order. This rule does not have substantial direct effects 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.

    G. Legal Considerations

    The purpose of the OSH Act is “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” 29 U.S.C. 651(b). To achieve this goal, Congress authorized the Secretary of Labor to promulgate and enforce occupational safety and health standards. 29 U.S.C. 654(b), 655(b). A safety or health standard is a standard “which requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment or places of employment.” 29 U.S.C. 652(8). A standard is reasonably necessary or appropriate within the meaning of Section 652(8) when a significant risk of material harm exists in the workplace and the standard would substantially reduce or eliminate that workplace risk. See Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. Am. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607 (1980). In the beryllium rulemaking, OSHA made such a determination with respect to beryllium exposure in general industry (82 FR at 2479). This final rule does not impose any new requirements on employers. Therefore, this rule does not require an additional significant risk finding. See Edison Elec. Inst. v. OSHA, 849 F.2d 611, 620 (D.C. Cir. 1988).

    In addition to materially reducing a significant risk, a health standard must be technologically and economically feasible. United Steelworkers of Am., AFL-CIO-CLC v. Marshall, 647 F.2d 1189, 1251 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (OSHA must reduce risk “as far as it c[an] within the limits of [technological and economic] feasibility.”). A standard is technologically feasible when the protective measures it requires already exist, when available technology can bring the protective measures into existence, or when that technology is reasonably likely to develop. See Am. Textile Mfrs. Inst. v. OSHA, 452 U.S. 490, 513 (1981); Am. Iron & Steel Inst. v. OSHA, 939 F.2d 975, 980 (D.C. Cir. 1991). And a rule is economically feasible if it does not “threaten massive dislocation to, or imperil the existence of, [an] industry.” United Steelworkers, 647 F.2d at 1265 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). In 2017, OSHA found the beryllium standard to be technologically and economically feasible. (82 FR at 2471). This final rule is technologically and economically feasible as well because it does not require employers to implement any additional protective measures and does not impose any additional costs on employers.

    List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 1910

    Beryllium, Occupational safety and health.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on August 6, 2018. Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Amendments to Standards

    For the reasons stated in the preamble of this final rule, OSHA amends 29 CFR part 1910 as follows:

    PART 1910—OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS Subpart Z—Toxic and Hazardous Substances 1. The authority citation for subpart Z of 29 CFR part 1910 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912); 29 CFR part 1911; and 5 U.S.C. 553, as applicable.

    Section 1910.1030 also issued under Public Law 106-430, 114 Stat. 1901. Section 1910.1201 also issued under 40 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.

    2. Amend § 1910.1024 by revising paragraph (o)(2) to read as follows:
    § 1910.1024 Beryllium.

    (o) * * *

    (2) Compliance dates. (i) Obligations contained in paragraphs (c), (d), (g), (k), and (l) of this standard: March 12, 2018;

    (ii) Change rooms and showers required by paragraph (i) of this standard: March 11, 2019;

    (iii) Engineering controls required by paragraph (f) of this standard: March 10, 2020; and

    (iv) All other obligations of this standard: December 12, 2018.

    [FR Doc. 2018-17106 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0228] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Burlington, NJ and Bristol, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation; cancellation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is canceling the temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the SR 413/Burlington-Bristol bridge, which carries SR 413 across the Delaware River, mile 117.8, between Burlington, NJ and Bristol, PA. The cancellation of the deviation is necessary to remove operational restrictions placed on the bridge not utilized to facilitate bridge maintenance.

    DATES:

    The temporary deviation published on April 26, 2018, 83 FR 18226 is cancelled as of August 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-0228 is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Michael Thorogood, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6557, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 26, 2018, we published a temporary deviation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Burlington, NJ and Bristol, PA” in the Federal Register (83 FR 18226). This temporary deviation was to facilitate bridge maintenance and painting of the vertical lift span of the drawbridge from May 1, 2018, through September 30, 2018. During the planned maintenance period, a work platform would have reduced one half of the bridge span vertical clearance to approximately 58 feet above mean high water in the closed position and approximately 132 feet above mean high water in the open position.

    The temporary deviation is being cancelled due to delays in performing bridge maintenance outside the navigation span, thereby eliminating the need for a temporary deviation to facilitate bridge maintenance in the navigation span. Due to the cancellation of the work, this platform will not be installed and the bridge will operate under its regular operating schedule in 33 CFR 117.716. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the cancellation date of the deviation.

    Dated: August 2, 2018. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16845 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0693] Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Milwaukee Open Water Swim AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone on the Milwaukee River, between the I-794 overpass to where the Milwaukee River and Kinnickinnic River meet in Milwaukee, WI for the Milwaukee Open Water Swim on August 11, 2018 to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the event. During the enforcement periods, the operator of any vessel in the regulated area must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign. During the enforcement period, vessels and persons are prohibited from transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within this safety zone without approval from the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or his or her designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929(f)(18) will be enforced from 6 a.m. through 10 a.m. on August 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email marine event coordinator MSTC Kaleena Carpino, Prevention Department, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI; telephone (414) 747-7148, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Safety Zone; Milwaukee Open Water Swim listed as (f)(18) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929 on August 11, 2018 from 6 a.m. through 10 a.m. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways of the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, WI. This safety zone will encompass all waters of the Milwaukee River from the I-794 overpass to where the Milwaukee River and Kinnickinnic River meet (NAD 83).

    Pursuant to 33 CFR 165.929, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone during an enforcement period is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or his or her designated on-scene representative. Those seeking permission to enter the safety zone may request permission from the Captain of Port Lake Michigan via Channel 16, VHF-FM. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter the safety zone shall obey the directions of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or his or her designated representative. While within a safety zone, all vessels shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or his or her designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or at (414) 747-7182.

    Dated: July 24, 2018. Thomas J. Stuhlreyer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17075 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0659] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Lake Michigan, Whiting, Indiana AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on Lake Michigan in the vicinity of Whiting, Indiana. This zone is necessary to protect spectators and vessels from potential hazards associated with a competition involving motorized personal watercraft. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 6:50 a.m. on August 11, 2018 through 5:10 p.m. on August 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0659 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this rule, call or email LT John Ramos, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (630) 986-2155, 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 doing so would be impracticable. The Coast Guard did not receive the final details of this competition in time to publish an NPRM. As such, it is impracticable to publish an NPRM because we lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect participants, mariners and vessels from the hazards associated with this event.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish safety zones: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 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.

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone from 6:50 a.m. through 5:10 p.m. on August 11 and August 12, 2018 for a competition utilizing motorized personal watercraft will take place in the vicinity of Lake Front Park in Whiting, Indiana. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that a competition of this nature poses a significant risk to public safety and property. Such hazards include potential for collision with spectators and participants. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the competition takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that this temporary safety zone is necessary to protect the public during the watercraft competition. This rule safety zone will be enforced from 6:50 a.m. until 5:10 p.m. on August 11, 2018 and August 12, 2018. The safety zone will encompass all navigable waters of Lake Michigan near Lake Front Park, bounded by a line drawn from the shore at 41°40.725 N, 087°28.633 W, then northeast to 41°40.891 N, 087°28.468 W, then northwest to 41°41.494 N, 087°29.559 W, then southwest back to the shore at 41°41.235 N, 087°29.779 W.

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or a designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or at (414) 747-7182.

    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.

    We conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced on two days from 6:50 a.m. until 5:10 p.m. on August 11, 2018 and August 12, 2018. 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.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons cited in the Regulatory Planning and Review section. Additionally, before the enforcement of the zone, we will issue local Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners so vessel owners and operators can plan accordingly. 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, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves establishment of a safety zone on Lake Michigan near North Avenue Beach in Chicago, IL. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(c) 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.T09-0659 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0659 Safety Zone; Lake Michigan, Whiting, Indiana.

    (a) Location. All navigable waters of Lake Michigan near Lake Front Park, bounded by a line drawn from the shore at 41°40.725 N, 087°28.633 W, then northeast to 41°40.891 N, 087°28.468 W, then northwest to 41°41.494 N, 087°29.559 W, then southwest back to the shore at 41°41.235 N, 087°29.779 W.

    (b) Enforcement period. This rule will be effective from 6:50 a.m. on August 11, 2018 through 5:10 p.m. on August 12, 2018. It will be enforced from 6:50 a.m. through 5:10 p.m. on both days, August 11 and 12, 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 Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative.

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

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

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or an on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or an on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or at (414) 747-7182. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or an on-scene representative.

    Dated: July 24, 2018. Thomas J. Stuhlreyer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17074 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0724] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Discovery World Fireworks, Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, WI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on Lake Michigan in the Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, WI, for all navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of 43°01.980′ N, 087°53.580 W. This action is necessary to protect spectators, mariners, vessels, and property from potential 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 Lake Michigan or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 9 p.m. through 11 p.m. on August 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0724 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 document, call or email the marine event coordinator, MSTC Kaleena Carpino, Prevention Department, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI; telephone (414) 747-7148, 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 doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The final details for this event were not known to the Coast Guard until there was insufficient 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 both impracticable and contrary to the public interest because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect the public, vessels, mariners, and property from the hazards associated with the fireworks display on August 11, 2018.

    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 for the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph, waiting for a 30 day notice period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

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

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone on August 11, 2018, from 9 p.m. through 11 p.m., for a fireworks display in Milwaukee Harbor on Lake Michigan. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that this fireworks display will pose a significant risk to public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, falling and burning debris, and collisions among spectator vessels.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    With the aforementioned hazards in mind, the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that this temporary safety zone is necessary to protect persons and vessels during the fireworks display in the waters of Milwaukee Harbor on Lake Michigan. This zone is effective and will be enforced from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. on August 11, 2018. The safety zone will encompass all navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of 43°01.980′ N, 087°53.580′ W. (NAD 83).

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or his or her designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or his or her 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 size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for only two hours. Under certain conditions, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    This rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in the affected portion of Milwaukee Harbor on Lake Michigan between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on August 11, 2018. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons cited in the Regulatory Planning and Review section. Additionally, before the enforcement of the zone, we will issue local Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Public Notice of Safety Zone so vessel owners and operators can plan accordingly.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of a safety zone surrounding a fireworks display on Milwaukee Harbor in Lake Michigan. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L[60(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.T09-0724 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0724 Safety Zone; Discovery World Fireworks, Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee WI.

    (a) Location. All navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of 43°01.980′ N, 087°53.580 W.

    (b) Effective and enforcement period. This rule is effective and will be enforced from 9 p.m. through 11 p.m. on August 11, 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 Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative.

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

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

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

    Dated: July 24, 2018. Thomas J. Stuhlreyer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17069 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0396; FRL-9981-96—Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; 2011 Base Year Inventory for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the Baltimore, Maryland Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a state implementation plan (SIP) revision for the 2011 base year inventory for the Baltimore, Maryland moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The State of Maryland submitted the emission inventory through the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to meet the nonattainment requirements for moderate ozone nonattainment areas for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is approving the 2011 base year emissions inventory for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS as a revision to the Maryland state implementation plan (SIP) in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0396. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Rehn, (215) 814-2176, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated a revised ozone NAAQS of 0.08 ppm, averaged over eight hours. 62 FR 38855. This 8-hour ozone NAAQS was determined to be more protective of public health than the previous 1979 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See 44 FR 8202 (February 8, 1979). In 2008, EPA revised the 8-hour ozone NAAQS from 0.08 to 0.075 ppm. See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008).1

    1 On October 1, 2015, EPA strengthened the 8-hour ozone NAAQS to 0.070 ppm. See 80 FR 65292 (October 16, 2015). This rulemaking addresses the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and does not address the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    On May 21, 2012, the Baltimore, Maryland area was designated as moderate nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 77 FR 30088. The designation of the Baltimore, Maryland area as moderate nonattainment was effective July 20, 2012. The Baltimore, Maryland nonattainment area is comprised of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. Under section 172(c)(3) of the CAA, Maryland is required to submit a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual emissions from all sources of the relevant pollutants in its moderate nonattainment area.

    On October 3, 2017 (82 FR 46010 and 82 FR 45997), EPA simultaneously published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) and a direct final rule (DFR) for the State of Maryland approving the SIP revision. EPA received adverse comments on the rulemaking and withdrew the DFR prior to the effective date of December 4, 2017. In this final rulemaking, EPA is responding to the comments submitted on the proposed revision to the Maryland SIP and is approving Maryland's 2011 base year emissions inventory for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    Under CAA section 172(c)(3), states are required to submit a comprehensive, accurate, and current account of actual emissions from all sources (point, nonpoint, nonroad, and onroad) in the nonattainment area. CAA section 182(a)(1) and (b) requires that areas designated as nonattainment and classified as moderate submit an inventory of all sources of ozone precursors no later than 2 years after the effective date of designation.

    On December 30, 2016, MDE submitted a formal revision (SIP #16-16) to its SIP. The SIP revision consists of the 2011 base year inventory for the Baltimore, Maryland nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In accordance with EPA's requirements for ozone SIP planning, “Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements,” MDE selected 2011 for its base year emissions inventory. See 80 FR 12263 (March 6, 2015). MDE's 2011 base year inventory includes emissions estimates covering the general source categories of stationary point, area (nonpoint), quasi-point, nonroad mobile, onroad mobile, and Marine-Air-Rail (M-A-R).

    EPA reviewed Maryland's 2011 base year emission inventory's results, procedures, and methodologies for the Baltimore, Maryland moderate nonattainment area and found them to meet the applicable requirements for approval under sections 110, 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1) and (b) of the CAA.

    Other specific requirements of Maryland's 2011 base year emissions inventory for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and the rationale for EPA's proposed action are explained in the prior direct final rule (DFR) and its accompanying NPR and will not be restated here. EPA received public comments on the NPR that will be addressed in section III of this rulemaking.

    III. Response to Comments

    During the comment period, EPA received several anonymous comments on this rulemaking. EPA is responding to the comments submitted specific to this action on the proposed revision to the Maryland SIP. All other comments received were not specific to this action and thus are not addressed here.

    Comment 1: The Commenter claims Maryland assumed Stage II controls were in effect even though the State has “exercised enforcement discretion for new and existing sources effectively eliminating all reductions from any [Stage II] controls.” Commenter provides a memorandum from MDE's Air & Radiation Management Administration (ARMA) titled “Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems—Enforcement Discretion Policy (March 20, 2014).”

    Response 1: EPA notes that Maryland's 2011 base year emissions inventory analysis for the 2008 ozone NAAQS was performed for calendar year 2011 using 2011 emissions data. Maryland continued to implement and enforce the Stage II program prior to issuance of MDE's enforcement policy on March 6, 2014, suspending state enforcement of the program from that time forward. Maryland intended to subsequently repeal the Stage II rule and to submit to EPA a SIP revision to remove the program from the SIP. Maryland submitted a SIP revision to EPA to remove the Stage II program from the SIP on August 28, 2017. However, the Stage II program was in operation and was being enforced in 2011. Therefore, EPA believes Maryland correctly estimated its 2011 emission inventory to include the Stage II program as an implemented, enforceable emission control measure. Therefore, EPA finds Maryland correctly estimated its emissions inventory to reflect Stage II as a control measure in place in the 2011 base year inventory period.

    Comment 2: Commenter claims that the emissions calculations for “Open Burning—Land Clearing” uses an ozone season of only 92 days, which is not even half of the full ozone season.

    Response 2: Maryland chose to use the peak ozone period of June to August (92 days) for the “Open Burning—Land Clearing” emissions calculations as their ozone season.2 Under EPA's “Emissions Inventory Guidance for Implementation of Ozone and Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and Regional Haze Regulations (July 2017),” the state shall “select the representative months and work week days to include in the calculation of the ozone season day emissions. The temporal basis for these emissions should be representative of the conditions leading to nonattainment, as recommended by the state.” 3 EPA finds that Maryland's calculations in the 2016 SIP submittal comply with the current guidance in choosing to select June to August as the ozone season for the “Open Burning—Land Clearing” emissions calculations, as Maryland states these months are typically peak ozone season.

    2See EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0396-0005, page 109.

    3See https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-07/documents/ei_guidance_may_2017_final_rev.pdf, page 72.

    Comment 3: Maryland assumed that “commercial and industrial sources only operated 6 days a week instead of 7.” Commenter notes that “nothing in Maryland prevents businesses from operating 7 days a week and so Maryland should have used 7 days a week.”

    Response 3: While Commenter is not specific as to which commercial and industrial sources are of concern, EPA's Emission Inventory Improvement Program (EIIP) guidance (May 2001) provides flexibility in the operation days. For example, the guidance for solvent cleaning operations states, “Daily variations may apply for some of the industries. Some industries operate seven days per week, others only five days. Some industries are likely to operate two or three shifts per day, others may only have one.” Therefore, “the default value of uniform activity through the year is six days per week.” 4 EPA finds that Maryland performed the calculations in accordance with the EIIP guidance.5

    4See https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/iii06fin.pdf, page 6.3-9.

    5See https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-emissions-inventory-improvement-program-eiip for all EIIP technical reports.

    Comment 4: Commenter claims Maryland's inspection and maintenance (I/M) program is improperly represented in the emission modeling parameters selected by Maryland in the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) modeling used to estimate the highway mobile source emissions portion of the emission inventory, which are used to calculate emissions benefits from the I/M program. The commenter claims MOVES parameters for I/M program coverage incorrectly included an I/M program motorist compliance rate of over 96% when the state is known to “have a large number of (vehicle) failures that never return to get rechecked.” Additionally, the commenter states that “Maryland allows for almost 6 months of extensions after first testing and finding a problem that has to be fixed. This means that if a car is failing in the second half of the year it is possible to have a violating vehicle for the rest of the year meaning compliance is not achieved.” Commenter would like EPA to require Maryland to use actual I/M data collected by the Maryland program to be used to set the I/M program parameters of the MOVES model instead of MOVES default parameters as this would reduce the reductions attributed to the I/M program and change the area's overall emissions inventory.

    Response 4: The I/M program motorist compliance rate is represented by the number of complying vehicles (i.e., vehicles with a confirmed final I/M test outcome, either passing the test or receiving a waiver from doing so) divided by the number of vehicles subject to testing in the area × 100. Maryland collects statistics for its Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) on an ongoing basis, and per a requirement of the federal requirements for I/M programs, annually reports program summary data to EPA for the prior calendar year. For purposes of the 2011 base year inventory, the relevant I/M annual report from Maryland to EPA was submitted on August 15, 2012, representing calendar year 2011.6 For 2011, MDE reported that a total of 1,562,895 vehicles were tested under the VEIP program. Of these, 1,424,557 vehicles initially passed and 138,338 vehicles failed the VEIP test. Of the initial failures, 14,442 ultimately received a test “waiver” outcome after spending money for repairs up to a limit established by the VEIP program (but still not passing a test). Therefore, a total of 1,438,99 out of 1,562,895 vehicles received some form of final VEIP test outcome (either a passing test or a waiver) by the end of calendar year 2011, for a 92% compliance rate. However, Maryland calculated an overall 97% I/M program motorist compliance rate for the 2011 calendar year, when taking into account vehicles that received legally granted compliance extensions, but received a final outcome by the following July.7 Maryland's 2011 I/M report tracks outcomes for these delayed compliance vehicles from the end of 2011 through July 2012 and factors them into an adjusted compliance rate for calendar year 2011. In doing so, MDE has attempted to account for many of the initially failing vehicles in the 2011 calendar year that did not receive a final I/M test outcome by the end of 2011. Taking into account these late complying vehicles, as well as vehicles that were identified as having been scrapped or relocated outside the I/M program area, MDE's calculated motorist compliance rate reached 96%, very near to the compliance rate assumed by MDE in the MOVES modeling performed to support the 2011 base year emission inventory.8 EPA finds that the MDE made a reasonable estimate of I/M program motorist compliance rate for its base year inventory. Based on our review of state-reported 2011 I/M program data, EPA disagrees with the Commenter that the I/M program motorist compliance rate assumed by MDE for the base year inventory was not achieved in practice. See 40 CFR part 51.351(12).

    6See Maryland's I/M annual report for calendar year 2011, dated July 2012, as submitted to EPA from MDE via letter to Brian Rehn from Marcia Ways, dated July 15, 2012.

    7See Maryland's July 2012 IM Annual Report to EPA, dated July 2012, pages 4-17 for further details on MD's motorist compliance rate, based on actual 2011 I/M program data.

    8See EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0396-0005, page 261.

    Comment 5: Commenter requests that EPA fully evaluate all calculations to ensure Maryland has used the proper methodologies and assumptions.

    Response 5: EPA has reviewed the stationary point source, area source, highway mobile, and nonroad mobile source sector emissions estimates for the 2011 base year inventory and is satisfied that MDE has followed the appropriate guidelines and used the latest available information to support its base year inventory estimates. EPA has reviewed the 2011 base year inventory for the Baltimore, Maryland moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and finds that Maryland has followed the guidance for a base year inventory submission.

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving the Maryland SIP revision which includes the 2011 base year inventory for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Baltimore, Maryland moderate nonattainment area because the inventory was prepared in accordance with requirements in sections 110, 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1) and (b) of the CAA and its implementing regulations including 40 CFR 51.915.

    After receipt of adverse public comment on our prior direct final rule, EPA published an action to withdrawal the direct final rule (82 FR 66611, November 22, 2017). This withdrawal occurred prior to the effective date for the direct final action, preventing 40 CFR 52.1075(r) from being added to the SIP through the direct final action. With this final rule, EPA is now adding 40 CFR 52.1075(r) to Maryland's SIP.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 9, 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 approving Maryland's 2011 base year inventory for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Baltimore, Maryland moderate nonattainment area may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 26, 2018. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart V—Maryland 2. In § 52.1070, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry for “2011 Base Year Emissions Inventory for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.1070 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Non-Regulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Material Name of non-
  • regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable
  • geographic
  • area
  • State submittal date EPA approval date Additional
  • explanation
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2011 Base Year Emissions Inventory for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard Baltimore, Maryland 2008 Ozone Moderate Nonattainment Area 12/30/2016 8/9/2018 [Insert Federal Register citation] See § 52.1075(r).
    3. Section 52.1075 is amended by adding paragraph (r) to read as follows:
    § 52.1075 Base year emissions inventory.

    (r) EPA approves as a revision to the Maryland state implementation plan the 2011 base year emissions inventory for the Baltimore, Maryland moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards submitted by the Maryland Department of the Environment on December 30, 2016. The 2011 base year emissions inventory includes emissions estimates that cover the general source categories of stationary point, quasi-point, area (nonpoint), nonroad mobile, onroad mobile, and Marine-Air-Rail (M-A-R). The inventory includes actual annual emissions and typical summer day emissions for the months of May through September for the ozone precursors, VOC and NOX.

    [FR Doc. 2018-16992 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 81 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0918; FRL-9981-95-OAR] Air Quality Designations for the 2012 Primary Annual Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Areas in Florida AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is establishing initial air quality designations for the 2012 primary annual fine particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for the remaining undesignated areas in the state of Florida. When the EPA designated the majority of areas in the country for this NAAQS in December 2014 and March 2015, the EPA deferred initial area designations for certain areas, including all of the Florida, because the EPA could not determine using available data whether the areas were meeting or not meeting the NAAQS. In August 2016, the EPA designated most of the state of Florida (62 of 67 counties). Following the August 2016 designation action, two areas (five counties) in Florida remained undesignated. The EPA could not determine at that time whether the areas were meeting or not meeting the NAAQS. Florida has now submitted complete, quality-assured, and certified air quality monitoring data for the period 2015-2017 for the areas identified in this action. Based on these data, the EPA is designating the remaining five counties as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0918. All documents in the docket are listed in the index at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in the docket or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, William Jefferson Clinton West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue 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 Air Docket is (202) 566-1742.

    In addition, the EPA has established a website for the rulemakings to initially designate areas for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS at: https://www.epa.gov/particle-pollution-designations. This website includes the EPA's final PM2.5 designations actions, as well as state and tribal initial recommendation letters, the EPA's modification letters, technical support documents, responses to comments and other related technical information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general questions concerning this action, please contact: Carla Oldham, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Policy Division, C539-04, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541-3347, email at [email protected] The Region 4 contact is Madolyn Sanchez, U.S. EPA, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960, telephone (404) 562-9644, email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On December 14, 2012, the EPA promulgated a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS to provide increased protection of public health from fine particle pollution (78 FR 3086; January 15, 2013). In that action, the EPA strengthened the primary annual PM2.5 standard from 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12.0 μg/m3, which is attained when the 3-year average of the annual arithmetic means does not exceed 12.0 μg/m3. Section 107(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. 7407(d), governs the process for initial area designations after the EPA establishes a new or revised NAAQS. Under CAA section 107(d), each governor is required to, and each tribal leader may, if they so choose, recommend air quality designations to the EPA by a date that cannot be later than 1 year after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. The EPA considers these recommendations as part of its duty to promulgate the area designations and boundaries for the new or revised NAAQS. If, after careful consideration of these recommendations, the EPA believes that it is necessary to modify a state's recommendation and intends to promulgate a designation different from a state's recommendation, the EPA must notify the state at least 120 days prior to promulgating the final designation and the EPA must provide the state an opportunity to demonstrate why any proposed modification is inappropriate. These modifications may relate either to an area's designation or to its boundaries.

    On December 18, 2014, the Administrator of the EPA signed a final action promulgating initial designations for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for the majority of the United States, including areas of Indian country (80 FR 2206 FR; January 15, 2015). In that action, the EPA also deferred initial area designations for certain areas where available data, including air quality monitoring data, were insufficient to determine whether the area met or did not meet the NAAQS, but where forthcoming data were likely to result in complete and valid air quality data sufficient to determine whether these areas meet the NAAQS. Accordingly, the EPA stated that it would use the additional time available as provided under section 107(d)(1)(B) of the CAA to assess relevant information and subsequently promulgate initial designations for the identified areas through a separate rulemaking action or actions. The deferred areas included the entire state of Tennessee, except three counties in the Chattanooga area; several areas in the state of Georgia, including two neighboring counties in the bordering states of Alabama and South Carolina; the entire state of Florida; and areas of Indian country located in these areas.

    In separate actions published on April 15, 2015 (80 FR 18535), September 6, 2016 (81 FR 61136), and May 19, 2017 (82 FR 22888), the EPA promulgated designations of unclassifiable/attainment for all remaining deferred areas in the state of Georgia (including two neighboring counties in the bordering states of Alabama and South Carolina), all of the remaining deferred areas in the state of Tennessee, and 62 counties in the state of Florida, including areas of Indian country located in those areas.

    II. Purpose and Designation Decisions Based on 2015-2017 Data

    The purpose of this action is to announce and promulgate initial area designations of unclassifiable/attainment for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for the remaining five undesignated counties in the state of Florida. The counties are: Alachua County, Broward County, Gilchrist County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County. Alachua and Gilchrist Counties make up the Gainesville, FL Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA). Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties make up the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Counties CBSA. The EPA initially deferred designating these counties in the EPA's January 15, 2015, rulemaking.1 Since then, the state of Florida has submitted to the EPA complete, quality-assured, and certified air quality monitoring data from 2015-2017 for the two CBSAs.2 The air quality data indicate that the CBSAs are attaining the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. In addition, because there are no nearby violating areas, the counties in these CBSAs are not causing or contributing to a violation of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in a nearby area. Therefore, the EPA is designating the remaining five undesignated counties in these CBSAs as unclassifiable/attainment. These designations are consistent with Florida's recommended area designations and boundaries for these areas for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The table at the end of this final rule (amendments to 40 CFR 81.310—Florida) lists all areas for which the EPA has promulgated an initial designation in Florida. Areas of Indian country located in the listed areas are included in the designated areas.

    1See also the technical support document for the deferred Florida areas in the rulemaking docket, documents numbered EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0918-0323 and EPA-HQ-2012-0918-0332.

    2 Monitoring requirements are in accordance with 40 CFR part 58. Design values are calculated in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, Appendix N.

    III. Environmental Justice Considerations

    When the EPA establishes a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to designate all areas of the U.S. as either nonattainment, attainment, or unclassifiable. The EPA provided a meaningful opportunity for members of the public to participate in the development of the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS that underlies the present action, including conducting an outreach and information call with environmental justice organizations on August 9, 2012.

    As part of the process of reviewing the PM air quality criteria and revising the primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the EPA identified persons from lower socioeconomic strata as an at-risk population for PM-related health effects. As a result, the EPA carefully evaluated the potential impacts on low-income and minority populations. Based on this evaluation and consideration of public comments, the EPA eliminated spatial averaging provisions as part of the form of the primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS in order to avoid potential disproportionate impacts on at-risk populations, including populations from lower socioeconomic strata. See 78 FR at 3267 (January 15, 2013).

    This final action addresses designation determinations for certain areas in Florida for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The CAA requires the EPA to determine through a designation process whether an area meets or does not meet any new or revised national primary or secondary NAAQS. The promulgation of area designations facilitates public understanding and awareness of the air quality in an area. For this action, the complete and valid monitoring data from Florida indicate that all the areas at issue in this action are meeting the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Furthermore, no area affected by this action is contributing to a violation of the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS in a nearby area.

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

    This action is exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget because it responds to the CAA requirement to promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS.

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

    This action is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because actions such as air quality designations after promulgating a new revised NAAQS are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This action fulfills the non-discretionary duty for the EPA to promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS and does not contain any information collection activities.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    This designation action under CAA 107(d) is not subject to the RFA. The RFA applies only to rules subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other statute. Section 107(d)(2)(B) of the CAA explicitly provides that designations are exempt from the notice and comment provisions of the APA. In addition, designations under CAA section 107(d) are not among the list of actions that are subject to the notice and comment procedures of CAA section 307(d).

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538 and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action implements mandates specifically and explicitly set forth in the CAA for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS (40 CFR 50.18). The CAA establishes the process whereby states take primary responsibility for developing plans to meet the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications. It will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. The CAA provides for states and eligible tribes to develop plans to regulate emissions of air pollutants within their areas, as necessary, based on the designations. The TAR provides tribes the opportunity to apply for eligibility to develop and implement CAA programs, such as programs to attain and maintain the PM2.5 NAAQS, but it leaves to the discretion of the tribe the decision of whether to apply to develop these programs and which programs, or appropriate elements of a program, the tribe will seek to adopt. This rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health of environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). The documentation for this determination is contained in Section III of this preamble, “Environmental Justice Considerations.”

    L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

    M. Judicial Review

    Section 307 (b)(1) of the CAA indicates which Federal Courts of Appeal have venue for petitions of review of final actions by the EPA. This section provides, in part, that petitions for review must be filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: (i) When the agency action consists of “nationally applicable regulations promulgated, or final actions taken by the Administrator,” or (ii) when such action is locally or regionally applicable, if “such action is based on a determination of nationwide scope or effect and if in taking such action the Administrator finds and publishes that such action is based on such a determination.”

    This final action, in conjunction with the previous final actions designating areas across the U.S. for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS, is “nationally applicable” within the meaning of section 307(b)(1). At the core of this final action is the EPA's interpretations of the definitions of nonattainment, attainment and unclassifiable under section 107(d)(1) of the CAA, and its application of those interpretations to areas across the country. For the same reasons, the Administrator is also determining that the final designations are of nationwide scope and effect for the purposes of section 307(b)(1) of the CAA. This is particularly appropriate because, in the report on the 1977 Amendments that revised section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, Congress noted that the Administrator's determination that an action is of “nationwide scope or effect” would be appropriate for any action that has a scope or effect beyond a single judicial circuit. H.R. Rep. No. 95-294 at 323, 324, reprinted in 1977 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1402-03. Here, the scope and effect of this final action extends to numerous judicial circuits since the designations apply to areas across the country. In these circumstances, section 307(b)(1) and its legislative history calls for the Administrator to find the action to be of “nationwide scope or effect” and for venue to be in the D.C. Circuit.

    Thus, any petitions for review of final designations must be filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit within 60 days from the date final action is published in the Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Dated: July 31, 2018. Andrew R. Wheeler, Acting Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 81 is amended as follows:

    PART 81—DESIGNATIONS OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    Subpart C—Section 107 Attainment Status Designations 2. Section 81.310 is amended by revising the table titled, “Florida—2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS (Primary)” to read as follows:
    § 81.310 Florida. Florida—2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS [Primary] Designated area 1 Designation Date 2 Type Classification Date 2 Type Statewide: Alachua County 9/10/2018 Unclassifiable/Attainment Baker County Unclassifiable/Attainment Bay County Unclassifiable/Attainment Bradford County Unclassifiable/Attainment Brevard County Unclassifiable/Attainment Broward County 9/10/2018 Unclassifiable/Attainment Calhoun County Unclassifiable/Attainment Charlotte County Unclassifiable/Attainment Citrus County Unclassifiable/Attainment Clay County Unclassifiable/Attainment Collier County Unclassifiable/Attainment Columbia County Unclassifiable/Attainment DeSoto County Unclassifiable/Attainment Dixie County Unclassifiable/Attainment Duval County Unclassifiable/Attainment Escambia County Unclassifiable/Attainment Flagler County Unclassifiable/Attainment Franklin County Unclassifiable/Attainment Gadsden County Unclassifiable/Attainment Gilchrist County 9/10/2018 Unclassifiable/Attainment Glades County Unclassifiable/Attainment Gulf County Unclassifiable/Attainment Hamilton County Unclassifiable/Attainment Hardee County Unclassifiable/Attainment Hendry County Unclassifiable/Attainment Hernando County Unclassifiable/Attainment Highlands County Unclassifiable/Attainment Hillsborough County Unclassifiable/Attainment Holmes County Unclassifiable/Attainment Indian River County Unclassifiable/Attainment Jackson County Unclassifiable/Attainment Jefferson County Unclassifiable/Attainment Lafayette County Unclassifiable/Attainment Lake County Unclassifiable/Attainment Lee County Unclassifiable/Attainment Leon County Unclassifiable/Attainment Levy County Unclassifiable/Attainment Liberty County Unclassifiable/Attainment Madison County Unclassifiable/Attainment Manatee County Unclassifiable/Attainment Marion County Unclassifiable/Attainment Martin County Unclassifiable/Attainment Miami-Dade County 9/10/2018 Unclassifiable/Attainment Monroe County Unclassifiable/Attainment Nassau County Unclassifiable/Attainment Okaloosa County Unclassifiable/Attainment Okeechobee County Unclassifiable/Attainment Orange County Unclassifiable/Attainment Osceola County Unclassifiable/Attainment Palm Beach County 9/10/2018 Unclassifiable/Attainment Pasco County Unclassifiable/Attainment Pinellas County Unclassifiable/Attainment Polk County Unclassifiable/Attainment Putnam County Unclassifiable/Attainment St. Johns County Unclassifiable/Attainment St. Lucie County Unclassifiable/Attainment Santa Rosa County Unclassifiable/Attainment Sarasota County Unclassifiable/Attainment Seminole County Unclassifiable/Attainment Sumter County Unclassifiable/Attainment Suwanee County Unclassifiable/Attainment Taylor County Unclassifiable/Attainment Union County Unclassifiable/Attainment Volusia County Unclassifiable/Attainment Wakulla County Unclassifiable/Attainment Walton County Unclassifiable/Attainment Washington County Unclassifiable/Attainment 1 Includes areas of Indian country located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified. 2 This date is October 6, 2016, unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17080 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0315; FRL-9980-51] Cerevisane (Cell Walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain LAS117); Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) in or on all food commodities when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices. Lesaffre Yeast Corporation submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) under FFDCA.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective August 9, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before October 9, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0315, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. 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:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a(g), any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0315 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before October 9, 2018. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0315, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background

    In the Federal Register of March 6, 2018 (83 FR 9471) (FRL-9973-27), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide tolerance petition (PP 6F8535) by Technology Sciences Group Inc., 712 Fifth Street, Suite A, Davis, CA 95616 (on behalf of Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, 7475 W Main St., Milwaukee, WI 53214). The petition requested that 40 CFR 180 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the systemic resistance inducer (SRI) cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) in or on all food commodities. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner, Technology Sciences Group Inc., (on behalf of Lesaffre Yeast Corporation), which is available in the docket via http://www.regulations.gov. There were no relevant comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    III. Final Rule A. EPA's Safety Determination

    Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings but does not include occupational exposure. Pursuant to FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(B), in establishing or maintaining in effect an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance, EPA must take into account the factors set forth in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C), which require EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance or tolerance exemption and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .” Additionally, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D) requires that EPA consider “available information concerning the cumulative effects of [a particular pesticide's] . . . residues and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.” FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C) provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    EPA evaluated the available toxicity and exposure data on cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) and considered their validity, completeness, and reliability, as well as the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    Cerevisane is a whole cell wall extract of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a common source of yeast, commonly used in the manufacturing of beers, wines, and liquor intended for human consumption because of its ability to ferment sugars into ethanol.

    Cerevisane is a systemic resistance inducer (SRI) that aids in the up-regulation of plant defense genes resulting in physiological changes, including the reinforcement of plant cell walls and the production of antimicrobial compounds, e.g., hydrogen peroxide (an oxidant active against a wide variety of microorganisms) and phytoalexins (which inhibit mycelium growth and the fruitification of susceptible fungal pathogens), that impart resistance against fungal diseases.

    Based on the data submitted in support of this petition and the Agency's assessment of that data, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and children from aggregate exposures to a cerevisane (cells walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117). This conclusion is based on the lack of toxicity associated with this pesticide chemical residue; the available toxicology data indicate that the active ingredient is of low toxicity and is not a developmental toxicant or a mutagen; therefore, no toxicological endpoints were identified. Accordingly, given the lack of threshold effects, the FQPA Safety Factor need not be retained. The Agency has conducted a qualitative assessment of exposure and determined that dietary and drinking water exposure from the pesticide use is expected to be negligible since significant residues are not expected due to low application rates and rapid degradation rates following application. Non-occupational exposures are not expected since cerevisane (cells walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) is not intended for residential use. Given the lack of toxicity, this minimal exposure aggregated with the background levels already present in commonly consumed foods that contain baker's yeast, or beer, wine, and liquor do not pose a risk of concern. A full explanation of the data upon which EPA relied, its risk assessment, and other supporting documents is available in the docket for this action as described under ADDRESSES.

    Based on its safety determination, EPA is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) in or on all food commodities when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices.

    B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes due to the lack of concern about safety for cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) at any exposure level.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to EPA. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); nor is it considered a regulatory action under Executive Order 13771, entitled “Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs” (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance exemption in this action, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes. As a result, this action does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, EPA has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, EPA has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require EPA's consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    V. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule 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. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 31, 2018. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. Add § 180.1357 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 180.1357 Cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117); exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Residues of the biochemical pesticide cerevisane (cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain LAS117) are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance in or on all food commodities, when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices.

    [FR Doc. 2018-17081 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 154 Thursday, August 9, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 205 [Document Number AMS-NOP-18-0029; NOP-18-01] Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to assist the USDA in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production and to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on any other aspects of the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).

    DATES:

    The Board will receive public comments via webinars on October 16 and 18, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. An in-person meeting will be held October 24-26, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In-person oral comments will be heard on Wednesday, October 24, and possibly Thursday, October 25, 2018. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comment at either the webinar or face-to-face meeting is 11:59 p.m. ET, October 4, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The webinars are virtual and will be accessed via the internet and/or phone. Access information will be available on the AMS website prior to the webinars. The in-person meeting will take place at the Intercontinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel, 11 Kellogg Boulevard East, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101, United States. Detailed information pertaining to the webinars and in-person meeting can be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/event/national-organic-standards-board-nosb-meeting-st-paul-mn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Michelle Arsenault, Advisory Committee Specialist, National Organic Standards Board, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2642-S, Mail Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268; Phone: (202) 720-3252; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NOSB makes recommendations to the USDA about whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production and/or handling, assists in the development of standards for organic production, and advises the Secretary on other aspects of the implementation of the OFPA. The NOSB is holding a public meeting to discuss and vote on proposed recommendations to the USDA, to receive updates from the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) on issues pertaining to organic agriculture, and to receive comments from the organic community. The meeting and webinars are open to the public. No registration is required except to sign up for oral comments. All meeting documents, including the meeting agenda, NOSB proposals and discussion documents, instructions for submitting and viewing public comments, and instructions for requesting time for oral comments, will be available on the AMS website at https://www.ams.usda.gov/event/national-organic-standards-board-nosb-meeting-st-paul-mn. Please check the website periodically for updates. Meeting topics will encompass a wide range of issues, including substances petitioned for addition to or deletion from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), substances on the National List that are under sunset review, and guidance on organic policies. Participants and attendees may take photos and video at the meeting, but not in a manner that disturbs the proceedings.

    Public Comments: Comments should address specific topics noted on the meeting agenda.

    Written comments: Written public comments will be accepted on or before 11:59 p.m. ET on October 4, 2018, via http://www.regulations.gov: Document #AMS-NOP-18-0029. Comments submitted after this date will be provided to the NOSB, but Board members may not have adequate time to consider those comments prior to making recommendations. The NOP strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically. However, written comments may also be submitted (i.e., postmarked) via mail to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by or before the deadline.

    Oral Comments: The NOSB is providing the public multiple dates and opportunities to provide oral comments and will accommodate as many individuals and organizations as time permits. Persons or organizations wishing to make oral comments must pre-register by 11:59 p.m. ET, October 4, 2018, and can register for only one speaking slot: Either during the webinars scheduled for October 16 and 18, or at the in-person meeting, scheduled for October 24-26, 2018. Due to the limited time allotted for in-person public comments during the in-person meeting, commenters are strongly encouraged to comment during the webinar(s). Instructions for registering and participating in the webinar can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/NOSBMeetings.

    Meeting Accommodations: The meeting hotel is ADA Compliant, and the USDA provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this public meeting, please notify the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Determinations for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Dated: July 26, 2018. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16386 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0705; Product Identifier 2018-NM-077-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that during removal of left-hand (LH) gear rib 5, four failed fasteners were discovered. This proposed AD would require a one-time ultrasonic inspection of the LH and right-hand (RH) wing rib 5-to-rear spar attachments for cracked or failed fasteners, and if necessary, a detailed inspection of the gear rib 5 and spar web for cracks and damage, a rotating probe test of the gear rib and spar web bolt holes for cracks and damage, reaming the gear rib and the spar web bolt holes, and replacement of cracked or failed fasteners. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; phone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0705; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3223.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0705; Product Identifier 2018-NM-077-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0102, dated April 27, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During removal of the left hand (LH) rib 5, two of the fasteners (bolts) attaching the rib to the wing inner rear spar were found to have failed and two more failed during their removal. Two of the bolts were found separated from the bolt shanks when the overcoat sealant was being removed, and the other two bolt heads broke away during removal.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.

    To address this possible unsafe condition, Airbus issued [Service Bulletin] SB A320-57-1167 to provide inspection instructions. After that SB was issued, a potential manufacturing issue was identified on early production A321 [airplanes] concerning reports of fasteners “jamming” during installation on spar assemblies. A process change was introduced in production line, and SB A320-57-1167 was revised, changing the affected population to include all A321 aeroplanes delivered before the introduction of that process change.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time special detailed [ultrasonic] inspection (SDI) of the wing rib 5-to-rear spar attachments, both LH and right hand (RH) wings, [and if necessary, a detailed inspection of the gear rib 5 and spar web for cracks and damage (cracks along the length of the bolt or broken bolt), a rotating probe test of the gear rib and spar web bolt holes for cracks and damage (cracks in the bolt holes), reaming the gear rib and the spar web bolt holes] and, depending on findings, accomplishment of a repair [replacement of cracked or failed (broken) fasteners (bolts)]. This [EASA] AD also requires the reporting of findings.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0705.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus SAS has issued Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018. This service information describes procedures for a one-time special detailed (ultrasonic) inspection of the LH and RH wing rib 5-to-rear spar attachments for cracked or failed (broken) fasteners (bolts), and if necessary, a detailed inspection of the gear-rib-5 and spar web for cracks and damage (cracks along the length of the bolt or broken bolt), a rotating probe test of the gear rib and spar web bolt holes for cracks and damage (cracks in the bolt holes), reaming the gear rib and the spar web bolt holes, and replacement of the cracked or damaged (broken) fasteners (bolts). This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information.” This proposed AD also would require sending the inspection results to Airbus SAS.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    The MCAI specifies credit for actions accomplished in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, dated August 10, 2011. The MCAI also discusses a potential manufacturing issue that was identified on early production Model A321 airplanes concerning reports of fasteners “jamming” during installation on spar assemblies. The corrective action specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, dated August 10, 2011, includes the same process that produced “jamming” previously. Therefore, this proposed AD does not include credit for actions accomplished using the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, dated August 10, 2011.

    Explanation of Change to Applicability

    We have revised the applicability of this AD to identify model designations as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected model.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 29 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • 16 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,360 $0 $1,360 $39,440

    We estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the proposed reporting requirement in this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of reporting the inspection results on U.S. operators to be $2,465, or $85 per product.

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

    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions Labor cost Parts
  • cost
  • Cost per
  • product
  • 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 $0 $1,700
    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2018-0705; Product Identifier 2018-NM-077-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that during removal of left-hand (LH) gear rib 5, four failed fasteners (bolts attaching the gear rib to the wing inner rear spar) were discovered. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked or failed (broken) fasteners (bolts) of the rib 5-to-rear spar attachment, which could lead to reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection of the Rib 5-to-Rear Spar Attachment Fasteners (Bolts)

    Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD, do a special detailed (ultrasonic) inspection of the LH and right-hand (RH) wing rib 5-to-rear spar attachment fasteners (bolts) for cracked or failed (broken) fasteners (bolts), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018.

    (h) Replacement of Cracked or Failed Fasteners (Bolts)

    If any cracked or failed (broken) fastener (bolt) is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3) and (h)(4) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) Do a detailed inspection of the gear rib 5 and spar web for cracks and damage (cracks along the length of the bolt or broken bolt), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018. If any crack or damage is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, obtain corrective actions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus SAS's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA); and accomplish the corrective actions within the compliance time specified therein. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (2) If no cracks or damage are found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD: Do a rotating probe test of the gear rib and spar web bolt holes for cracks and damage (cracks in the bolt holes), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018. If any crack or damage is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, obtain corrective actions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS's EASA DOA; and accomplish the corrective actions within the compliance time specified therein. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA authorized signature.

    (3) If no cracks or damage are found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD: Ream the gear rib and the spar web bolt holes, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018. If an oversize larger than 0.794 millimeter (0.0313 inch) is required, before further flight, obtain corrective actions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS's EASA DOA; and accomplish the corrective actions within the compliance time specified therein. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA authorized signature.

    (4) Replace any cracked or failed fasteners (bolts) in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018.

    (i) Reporting

    Within 90 days after the special detailed inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, report the inspection results (both positive and negative) to Airbus SAS in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1167, Revision 01, dated January 16, 2018. If operators have reported findings as part of obtaining any corrective actions approved by the EASA DOA, operators are not required to report those findings as specified in this paragraph.

    (j) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

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

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0102, dated April 27, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0705.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3223.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; phone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on July 27, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16733 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0611; Product Identifier 2018-NE-21-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of intermediate-pressure compressor (IPC) rotor seal failures. This proposed AD would require initial and repetitive on-wing borescope inspections (BSI) of affected IPC rotor seals, and removing any cracked parts from service. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE24 8BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-249936; email: [email protected]; internet: https://customers.rolls-royce.com/public/rollsroycecare. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0611; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin M. Clark, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7088; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0611; Product Identifier 2018-NE-21-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2018-0095, dated April 24, 2018 (referred to hereinafter as “the MCAI”), to address the unsafe condition on these products. The MCAI states:

    During an engine shop visit, an affected seal was found with cracking at the seal head. Propagation of such cracking may lead to failure, causing secondary impact damage to the IPC module.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to engine power loss, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, RR published the NMSB, providing instructions for on-wing borescope inspections. RR previously issued NMSB TRENT 1000 72-J353, which contains instructions for in-shop inspections.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive borescope inspections of the front face of the affected seals and, depending on the findings, accomplishment of applicable corrections action(s).

    You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0611.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed RR Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-J353, Revision 2, dated February 14, 2018; RR Service Bulletin (SB) Trent 1000 72-J704, Initial Issue, dated June 23, 2017; and RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ929, Initial Issue, dated November 23, 2017. RR NMSB Trent 1000 72-J353, Revision 2, dated February 14, 2018, describes procedures for performing BSI of the front and rear face of the IPC rotor seal and defines acceptance and rejection criteria. RR SB Trent 1000 72-J704, Initial Issue, dated June 23, 2017, introduces a revised IPC. RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ929, Initial Issue, dated November 23, 2017, describes procedures for performing BSI of the front face of the IPC rotor seal and defines acceptance and rejection criteria.

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

    FAA's Determination

    This product has been approved by EASA, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the European Community, EASA has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require initial and repetitive on-wing BSI of affected IPC rotor seals, and removing any cracked parts from service.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 28 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspect IPC rotor seal 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 $0 $595 $16,660
    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

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

    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Rolls-Royce plc: Docket No. FAA-2018-0611; Product Identifier 2018-NE-21-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engine models with intermediate-pressure compressor (IPC) rotor seal, part number (P/N) KH77674, installed.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7230, Turbine Engine Compressor Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of IPC rotor seal failures. We are issuing this AD to prevent an IPC rotor seal failure. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the IPC rotor seal, loss of engine thrust control, and reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Perform an on-wing borescope inspection (BSI) of the IPC rotor seal using paragraph 3, Accomplishment Instructions, of RR Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-AJ929, Initial Issue, dated November 23, 2017, as follows:

    (i) For engines with an IPC rotor seal with 300 cycles since new (CSN) or more as of the effective date of this AD, perform a BSI before the IPC rotor seal accumulates 400 flight cycles (FC) after the effective date of this AD.

    (ii) For engines with an IPC rotor seal with less than 300 CSN as of the effective date of this AD, perform a BSI before the IPC rotor seal accumulates 300 CSN or within 100 FC after the effective date of this AD, whichever is later.

    (iii) For engines that were modified to incorporate RR Service Bulletin (SB) Trent 1000 72-J704, Initial Issue, dated June 23, 2017, before the effective date of this AD, perform a BSI before the IPC rotor seal accumulates 400 FC since the shop visit modification or before the next flight, whichever occurs later.

    (2) Repeat the on-wing BSI at intervals in accordance with Figure 2 of RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ929, Initial Issue, dated November 23, 2017.

    (3) An in-shop inspection in accordance with paragraph 3, Accomplishment Instructions, of RR NMSB Trent 1000 72-J353, Revision 2, dated February 14, 2018, may be substituted for an on-wing BSI as required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD, within the compliance times specified by paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD.

    (4) If a crack is found on the front face of the seal that is at or beyond the rejection limits specified in Figures 1, 2, and 3 of RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ929, Initial Issue, dated November 23, 2017, replace the IPC rotor seal with a part eligible for installation before further flight.

    (h) Operating Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not operate an aircraft that has two engines installed that are both required by this AD to complete either the 50 FC interval inspections or the single 100 FC fly-on period as specified in Figures 1, 2, and 3 of RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ929, Initial Issue, dated November 23, 2017.

    (i) Non-Required Action

    No reporting requirement contained within any of the Alert NMSBs referenced in paragraphs (g)(1), (2), and (3) of this AD are required by this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kevin M. Clark, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7088; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2018-0095, dated April 24, 2018, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2018-0611.

    (3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE24 8BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-249936; email: [email protected]; internet: https://customers.rolls-royce.com/public/rollsroycecare. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on July 30, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16649 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0694; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-068-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of each life raft inflation cylinder percussion system bellcrank (bellcrank). This proposed AD is prompted by reports of jammed bellcranks. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0694; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.helicopters .airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2016-0200, dated October 11, 2016 (AD 2016-0200), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model EC 225 LP helicopters. EASA advises of a report of the left-hand and right-hand bellcranks becoming jammed. EASA states an investigation determined the bellcranks were jammed by the accumulation of a foreign coating material in the bellcrank hole. EASA further states that investigation of an additional incident of a jammed bellcrank determined that corrosion in the bellcrank hole caused the jam. This condition, according to EASA, could result in failure of the life rafts to release in an emergency and subsequent injury to occupants during an otherwise survivable accident. To address this, EASA AD 2016-0200 requires repetitive cleaning and lubrication of each bellcrank and pivot link.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05A050, Revision 0, dated July 22, 2016, which contains procedures for cleaning and lubricating each bellcrank and pivot link of the life raft inflation cylinder percussion system and removing any corrosion if necessary.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require, before further flight and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 6 months, cleaning and lubricating each bellcrank and pivot link.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 5 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, we estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Cleaning and lubricating both bellcranks and pivot links would require about 16 work-hours, and required materials costs would be minimal, for a cost of $1,360 per helicopter and $6,800 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. “Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,” describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2018-0694; Product Identifier 2016-SW-068-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225 LP helicopters with a life raft installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a jammed bellcrank in a life raft jettison inflation cylinder percussion system (bellcrank). This condition could result in failure of a life raft to release in an emergency and subsequent injury to occupants.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 9, 2018.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    Before further flight, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6 months:

    (1) Clean each bellcrank and pivot link and inspect each bellcrank hole for corrosion. If there is any corrosion in a bellcrank hole:

    (i) Remove the corrosion without exceeding a maximum depth of 0.1 millimeter (0.004 inch).

    (ii) Clean each pivot link using 400-grain abrasive paper.

    (iii) Apply corrosion protectant (Alodine 1200 or equivalent) to each bellcrank hole.

    (2) Lubricate each bellcrank hole with grease before assembling the bellcrank.

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (g) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05A050, Revision 0, dated July 22, 2016, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0200, dated October 11, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2564 Life Raft.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 23, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16638 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0369; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASO-8] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Augusta, GA, and Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace, Waynesboro, GA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface in Augusta, GA, by recognizing the name change of Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field (formerly Augusta Regional at Bush Field Airport); removing Burke County Airport and Millen Airport from the airspace designation and establishing these two airports under Waynesboro, GA, designation; and updating the geographic coordinates of Daniel Field, Augusta, GA, and Millen Airport, Waynesboro, GA. This action would accommodate airspace reconfiguration due to the decommissioning of the Millen non-directional radio beacon (NDB) and cancellation of the NDB approach at Millen Airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at these airports.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to: The U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; Telephone: (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA-2018-0369; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASO-8, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

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

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (Docket No. FAA-2018-0369 and Airspace Docket No. 18-ASO-8) and be submitted in triplicate to DOT Docket Operations (see ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number.) You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2018-0369; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASO-8.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

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

    Availability of NPRMs

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA proposes an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field, Augusta, GA, by updating the airport name (formerly Augusta Regional at Bush Field Airport); amending the geographic coordinates of Daniel Field to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; and by removing Burke County Airport and Millen Airport from the Augusta, GA designation and re-establishing these two airports under Waynesboro, GA designation due to the decommissioning of the Millen NDB, and cancellation of the NDB approach.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be established at Burke County Airport, Waynesboro, GA within a 6.7-mile (from a 6.6-mile) radius of the airport.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be established at Millen airport within a 7.4-mile (from a 7.3-mile) radius of the airport. The geographic coordinates would be adjusted to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    The changes would enhance the safety and management of IFR operations at these airports.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 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 Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO GA E5 Augusta, GA [Amended] Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field, GA (Lat. 33°22′12″ N, long. 81°57′52″ W) Daniel Field (Lat. 33°28′00″ N, long. 82°02′22″ W) Emory NDB (Lat. 33°27′46″ N, long. 81°59′49″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8.6-mile radius of Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field, and within 3.2 miles either side of the 168° bearing from the airport extending from the 8.6-mile radius to 12.5 miles south of the airport, and within a 7-mile radius of Daniel Field Airport, and within 8 miles west and 4 miles east of the 349° bearing from the Emory NDB extending from the 7-mile radius to 16 miles north of the Emory NDB.

    ASO GA E5 Waynesboro, GA [New] Burke County Airport, GA (Lat. 33°02′29″ N, long. 82°00′10″ W) Millen Airport (Lat. 32°53′35″ N, long. 81°57′55″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.7-mile radius of Burke County Airport, and within a 7.4-mile radius of Millen Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on July 30, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16869 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1214; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-24] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Knoxville, TN; and Establishment of Class E Airspace, Madisonville, TN AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking proposes to move Monroe County Airport, Madisonville, TN, associated with the Knoxville, TN, McGhee-Tyson Airport, and establish it as stand-alone airspace with its own designation. This proposal is necessary to further the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at this airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Bldg. Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: 1 (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA-2017-1214; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-24, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: History

    The FAA published a NPRM for Docket No. FAA-2017-1214 in the Federal Register (83 FR 19474; May 3, 2018) to amend Class E airspace in Knoxville, TN, by amending McGhee-Tyson Airport, Knoxville Downtown Island Airport, and University of Tennessee Medical Center Heliport. The comment period closed June 18, 2018. No comments were received. Subsequent to publication, the FAA determined that Monroe County Airport, Madisonville, TN, which is listed in the legal description for McGhee-Tyson Airport, should be removed from the Knoxville, TN, airspace designation for the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and be established under its own designation of Madisonville, TN. The FAA seeks comments on this SNPRM.

    Comments Invited

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

    Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations .gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-1214; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-24.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

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

    Availability of SNPRMs

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Supplemental Proposal

    The FAA is considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by removing the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Monroe County Airport, Knoxville, TN, from the Knoxville, TN, designation associated with McGhee-Tyson Airport. Airspace would then be established for Monroe County Airport under its own designation of Madisonville, TN, within an 8.5-mile radius of the airport.

    This change does not affect the other proposed amendments as published in the NPRM.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 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 Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO TN E5 Knoxville, TN [Amended] McGhee-Tyson Airport, TN (Lat. 35°48′34″ N, long. 83°59′43″ W) Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, TN (Lat. 35°51′28″ N, long. 83°31′43″ W) Knoxville Downtown Island Airport, TN (Lat. 35°57′50″ N, long. 83°52′25″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 15.4-mile radius of McGhee-Tyson Airport, and within a 13-mile radius of Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, and from the 080° bearing from Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport clockwise to the 210° bearing extending from the 13-mile radius southeast to the 33-mile radius centered on Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, and within an 8-mile radius of Knoxville Downtown Island Airport.

    ASO TN E5 Madisonville, TN [New] Monroe County Airport, TN, (Lat. 35°32′43″ N, long. 84°22′49″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8.5-mile radius of Monroe County Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on July 30, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16865 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0334; FRL-9982-00—Region 4] Air Plan Approval; AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN; Interstate Transport for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee addressing the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) interstate transport infrastructure SIP requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP.” EPA is proposing to approve the interstate transport portions of these infrastructure SIPs for the aforementioned states as demonstrating that air emissions in the states do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0334 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Wong of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Wong can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-8726 or via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On December 14, 2012, EPA revised the primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS to 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). See 78 FR 3086 (January 15, 2013). An area meets the standard if the three-year average of its annual average PM2.5 concentration (at each monitoring site in the area) is less than or equal to 12.0 μg/m3. States were required to submit infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS to EPA no later than December 14, 2015.

    CAA section 110(a)(1) requires states to submit SIP revisions within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS in order to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the new or revised NAAQS. CAA section 110(a)(2) outlines the applicable requirements of such SIP submissions, which EPA has historically referred to as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as monitoring, basic program requirements (e.g., permitting), and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the newly established or revised NAAQS. Thus, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for infrastructure SIPs, and section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for the infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. The contents of an infrastructure SIP submission may vary depending upon the data and analytical tools available to the state, as well as the provisions already contained in the state's implementation plan at the time in which the state develops and submits the submission for a new or revised NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(2)(D) has two subsections: 110(a)(2)(D)(i) and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) includes four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), require plans to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (prong 1) and from interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (prong 2). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (prong 3) or from interfering with measures to protect visibility in another state (prong 4). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.1

    1 EPA highlighted the statutory requirement to submit infrastructure SIPs within three years of promulgation of a new NAAQS in an October 2, 2007, guidance document entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (2007 guidance). EPA has issued additional guidance documents and memoranda, including a September 13, 2013, guidance document titled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2)” (2013 guidance).

    Through this notice, EPA is proposing to approve the prong 1 and prong 2 portions of infrastructure SIP submissions transmitted under cover letter by: Alabama (dated December 9, 2015); Florida (dated December 14, 2015); Georgia (dated December 14, 2015); Kentucky (dated February 8, 2016); Mississippi (dated December 8, 2015); North Carolina (dated December 4, 2015); South Carolina (dated December 14, 2015); and Tennessee (dated December 16, 2015), as demonstrating that these states do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.2 All other applicable infrastructure SIP requirements for these SIP submissions have been or will be addressed in separate rulemakings. A brief background regarding the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS is provided below. For comprehensive information on the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, please refer to the Federal Register notice cited above.

    2 EPA notes that the Agency may not have received the submissions until after the date of the cover letter.

    II. What approach is EPA using to evaluate these SIP submissions?

    In several federal rulemakings, EPA has developed and consistently applied a framework for addressing prongs 1 and 2 of the interstate transport requirements with respect to the PM2.5 NAAQS. That framework has four basic steps, including: (1) Identifying downwind receptors that are expected to have problems attaining or maintaining the NAAQS; (2) identifying which upwind states contribute to these identified problems in amounts sufficient to warrant further review and analysis; (3) for states identified as contributing to downwind air quality problems, identifying upwind emissions reductions necessary to prevent an upwind state from significantly contributing to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS downwind; and (4) for states that are found to have emissions that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS downwind, reducing the identified upwind emissions through adoption of permanent and enforceable measures. This framework was most recently applied with respect to PM2.5 in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), designed to address the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 standards as well as the 1997 ozone standards.

    EPA provided additional information in a memorandum published on March 17, 2016, titled “Information on the Interstate Transport `Good Neighbor' Provision of the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)” (2016 memorandum).3 The 2016 memorandum provides information relevant to EPA Regional Office review of the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) “good neighbor” provision in infrastructure SIPs with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, describes EPA's past approach to addressing interstate transport, and provides EPA's general review of relevant modeling data and air quality projections as they relate to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. This proposed rulemaking considers information provided in that memorandum.

    3 This memorandum is available in the docket for this rulemaking and at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/good-neighbor-memo_implementation.pdf.

    In particular, the 2016 memorandum provides states and EPA Regional offices with information that is central to the first step in the 4-step framework for determining whether an upwind area contributes significantly to downwind air quality problems, which is the identification of the downwind receptors that may present nonattainment or maintenance problems at the appropriate time. Specifically, the 2016 memorandum provides projected future year annual PM2.5 design values for monitors in the United States based on quality assured and certified ambient monitoring data and air quality modeling. The memorandum further describes how these projected potential design values can be used to help determine which monitors should be further evaluated to potentially address whether emissions from other states significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS at those sites. The 2016 memorandum explains that for the purposes of addressing intestate transport for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, it may be appropriate to evaluate projected air quality in 2021, which is the attainment deadline for 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS nonattainment areas classified as moderate.

    In CSAPR, EPA defined nonattainment receptors as those monitoring sites that are projected to exceed the NAAQS in the appropriate future analytic year, while maintenance receptors are monitoring sites that are projected to have difficulty maintaining the relevant NAAQS in a scenario that considers historical variability in air quality at that receptor (81 FR 74504, 74531, October 26, 2016). Accordingly, EPA used the average projected design value to identify potential “nonattainment” receptors, and the maximum projected design value to identify potential “maintenance” receptors. Since modeling results are only available for 2017 and 2025, one way to assess potential receptors for 2021 is to assume that receptors projected to have average and/or maximum design values above the NAAQS in both 2017 and 2025 are also likely to be either nonattainment or maintenance receptors in 2021. Similarly, it may be reasonable to assume that receptors that are projected to attain the NAAQS in both 2017 and 2025 are also likely to be attainment receptors in 2021. Where a potential receptor is projected to be nonattainment or maintenance in 2017, but projected to be attainment in 2025, further analysis of the emissions and modeling may be needed to make a further judgement regarding the receptor status in 2021.

    Based on this approach, according to the 2016 memorandum, all the potential nonattainment receptors and most of the maintenance receptors are in California, located in the San Joaquin Valley or South Coast nonattainment areas. However, there is also one potential maintenance receptor in Shoshone County, Idaho, and one potential maintenance receptor in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. All other monitors in the United States that had at least one complete (and valid) PM2.5 design value for the annual average 2012 NAAQS in the 2009-2013 period are projected to attain and maintain the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in 2017 and 2025.

    The 2016 memorandum also notes that because of data quality problems, nonattainment and maintenance projections were not conducted for monitors in all or portions of Florida, Illinois, Idaho (outside of Shoshone County), Tennessee and Kentucky. EPA notes, however, that data quality problems have subsequently been resolved for all of the aforementioned areas. These areas have current design values 4 below the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS and are expected to continue to maintain the NAAQS due to downward emission trends for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) and therefore are not considered potential receptors for the purpose of interstate transport for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    4 Current design values include the 2015-2017 available and certified data that states submitted to EPA on May 1, 2018, through the Air Quality System.

    Therefore, from “Step 1” of this evaluation, the areas identified as “potential downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors” are:

    • Seventeen potential receptors in California, located in the San Joaquin Valley or South Coast nonattainment areas;

    • Shoshone County, Idaho; and

    • Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

    As stated above, “Step 2” is the identification of states contributing to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors, such that further analysis is required to identify necessary upwind reductions. For this step, EPA will be specifically determining if emissions from the eight southeastern states contribute to the potential downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors identified in Step 1.

    For the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA used air quality modeling and an air quality threshold of one percent of the PM2.5 NAAQS to identify upwind states that contribute to, and are thus “linked” to, projected nonattainment or maintenance receptors (76 FR 48237, August 8, 2011).5 If an upwind state impacts a downwind receptor by less than the one percent threshold, EPA determined that the state is not “linked” and therefore does not contribute to nonattainment at the receptor. Likewise, if there is no linkage to a maintenance receptor (based, again, on an impact of less than the one percent threshold), EPA determined the upwind state does not contribute to maintenance concerns at that receptor. EPA has not set an air quality threshold for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and does not have air quality modeling showing impacts on projected nonattainment or maintenance receptors for this NAAQS.

    5 The 2012 contribution modeling is documented in EPA's “Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document” (June 2011) located in the docket for this proposed rulemaking and at https://www.epa.gov/csapr/cross-state-air-pollution-final-and-proposed-rules titled Contributions of 8-hour ozone, annual PM 2.5 , and 24-hour PM 2.5 from each state to each monitoring site (Excel). EPA used the CAMx version 5.3 to simulate ozone and PM2.5 concentrations for the 2005 base year and the 2012 and 2014 future year scenarios. CAMx was also used for the 2012 source apportionment modeling to quantify interstate transport of ozone and PM2.5.

    In the absence of contribution modeling, EPA believes that a proper and well-supported weight of evidence approach can provide sufficient information for purposes of evaluating the impact of the southeastern states on potential downwind receptors with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. As part of this weight of evidence approach, EPA considered the CSAPR air quality modeling conducted for purposes of evaluating upwind state impacts on downwind air quality with respect to the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS of 15.0 µg/m3 (as well as the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS and 1997 Ozone NAAQS). Although not conducted for purposes of evaluating the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, as noted above, this modeling can inform EPA's analysis regarding both the general magnitude of downwind PM2.5 impacts and the downwind distance in which states may contribute to receptors with respect to the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS of 12.0 µg/m3. In particular, if the same one percent contribution threshold used in CSAPR for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS applied to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA could consider the fact that a particular state's impact was below that value (that is, 0.12 µg/m3). EPA notes the Agency has not set an air quality threshold for the 2012 p.m.2.5 NAAQS and the Agency does not have air quality modeling showing impacts on projected nonattainment or maintenance receptors for the 2012 p.m.2.5 NAAQS. In addition, EPA considers geographical information (primarily the distance between the southeastern states and the downwind receptors), including whether the receptors are upwind or downwind, and other information (e.g., emission trends, air quality data, regulation of PM2.5 and precursors) provided in the states' submittals. EPA notes that no single piece of information, by itself, is fully conclusive. Instead, the total weight of all the evidence taken together is used to evaluate significant contributions to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in another state.

    EPA addresses Step 1 of the framework in section III, below, by discussing each of the potential downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors. EPA mentions the California and Idaho receptors only briefly because they have little relevance for the eight southeastern states, as explained below. In section IV, below, EPA addresses Step 2 of the framework by discussing the southeastern states' impacts on the potential receptors. This proposed rulemaking considers the analyses from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee as well as additional supplemental analysis conducted by EPA during review of these submittals.6

    6 Because EPA proposes to find that Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, individually, does not have emissions that contribute to any nonattainment or maintenance receptor in any other state, it is not necessary to evaluate steps 3 and 4 of the analytical framework described above.

    III. Potential Receptors

    As noted above, in Step 1 of the framework, EPA identifies the potential downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors.

    A. California

    California has seventeen potential receptors, located in the San Joaquin Valley or South Coast nonattainment areas. However, the nearest southeastern state is well over 1,000 miles—and downwind—from California. With this large distance and a general prevailing west to east wind flow, there is no evidence that any southeastern state will impact the California potential receptors, and as a result, EPA concludes that sources in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance.

    B. Shoshone County, Idaho

    Shoshone County, Idaho, has a potential maintenance receptor, but as with California, this receptor is well over 1,000 miles, and upwind from, the nearest southeastern state. With this distance and prevailing wind direction, there is no evidence that any southeastern state will impact this area, and as a result, EPA concludes that sources in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance.

    C. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

    In the eastern United States, the modeling results provided in the 2016 memorandum show that the Liberty monitor (AQS: 42-003-0064), located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (hereinafter referred to as the Liberty monitor or Allegheny County monitor), was projected to be above the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in the 2017 modeling (as a maintenance receptor). This monitor is, consistent with the projection, currently violating the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS based on available and certified 2015-2017 ambient data measuring 13.0 µg/m3. However, the monitor is projected to both attain and maintain the NAAQS in 2025. The 2016 memorandum indicates that under such a condition (where EPA's photochemical modeling indicates an area will attain and maintain the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in 2025 but not in 2017) further analysis of the site should be performed to determine if the site may be a nonattainment or maintenance receptor in 2021. A simple linear interpolation between the 2017 and 2025 projected design values for the Allegheny County monitor leads to a projected 2021 design value of 11.42 μg/m3 and a maximum design value of 11.91 μg/m3, which are both below the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, indicating the monitor is likely to attain the standard by the attainment deadline of 2021.7

    7 As noted in the 2016 memorandum, additional information about emissions and trends may be needed to further support this conclusion. Provided in the docket to this proposed rulemaking are the infrastructure SIP submissions which include information related to air quality data and trends in all states that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking (Docket ID: EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0334).

    In addition to the modeling information, emissions and air quality data trends can help corroborate the interpolated 2021 values. Over the last decade, local and regional emissions reductions of primary PM2.5, SO2, and NOX, have led to large reductions in annual PM2.5 design values in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The 2015-2017 annual average PM2.5 design value for the Liberty monitor is 13.0 µg/m3, which is above the standard. Even so, expected emissions reductions in the next four years will lead to additional reductions in measured PM2.5 concentrations at the Liberty monitor.

    There are both local and regional components to the measured PM2.5 levels in Allegheny County and the greater Pittsburgh area. Previous CSAPR modeling showed that regional precursor emissions from upwind states contribute to PM2.5 nonattainment at the Liberty monitor. In recent years, large SO2 and NOX reductions from power plants have occurred in Pennsylvania and states upwind from the greater Pittsburgh region. Projected power plant closures and additional emission controls in upwind states will help further reduce both direct PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors. Regional emissions reductions will continue to occur from current on-the-books federal and state regulations such as the federal on-road and non-road vehicle programs and various rules for major stationary emission sources. Additionally, local reductions to both direct PM2.5 and SO2 emissions are expected and should also contribute to a further decline in Allegheny County's monitored PM2.5 concentrations. The Allegheny SO2 SIP also projects lower SO2 emissions resulting from vehicle fuel standards, reductions in general emissions due to declining population in the Greater Pittsburgh region, and several shutdowns of significant sources of emissions in Allegheny County.

    In addition, in a supplemental analysis for this proposed rulemaking, EPA conducted a long-term trend analysis of the PM2.5 ambient air quality data using the Mann-Kendall trend test to detect increasing or decreasing trends at PM2.5 monitoring sites in Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Delaware and Lebanon counties), Ohio (Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties) 8 and southeastern Region 4 states as an additional weight of evidence. EPA found downward trends in all of those counties during the 2008-2017 time period. This trends analysis is discussed in the Technical Support Document (TSD) entitled Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Trend Analysis found in the docket for this proposed action (Docket ID: EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0334). Not only have emissions trended downward in Allegheny County because of reductions from CSAPR implementation across the CSAPR states, emissions have trended downward nearly universally among PM air quality monitors in CSAPR states.9 This trend is reinforced by the air quality data presented in the 2016 memorandum.

    8 EPA's 2016 memorandum does not identify the Cleveland, Ohio Area (Cuyahoga and Lorain counties), Lebanon and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania as a projected nonattainment or maintenance area in 2017 or 2025; therefore, these areas were not considered potential receptors for purposes of interstate transport the 2012 PM2.5 standard. Furthermore, monitors in the Cuyahoga (Harvard Yard monitor AQS ID: 39-035-0065) and Lorain (AQS ID: 39-093-3002) are measuring below the annual standard at 11.7 µg/m3 and 7.6 µg/m3 respectively, based on 2015-2017 data. Similarly, monitors in Delaware and Lebanon counites are also measuring below the 2012 PM2.5 standard based on 2015-2017 design values.

    9 As described in the TSD, EPA found the same trend during 2008-2017 in Cuyahoga and Lancaster Counties in Ohio, which are near Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.

    Thus, EPA's modeling projections, the recent downward trends in local and upwind states' emissions, the expected downward trend in emissions between 2017 and 2021 and the downward trend in upwind monitored PM2.5 sites all indicate that the Liberty monitor will attain and be able to maintain the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS by 2021. Accordingly, EPA proposes to determine that Allegheny County is unlikely to have either nonattainment or maintenance problems in 2021 and therefore should not be considered a receptor for purposes of interstate transport for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    IV. EPA's Review of How the Southeast States Addressed Prongs 1 and 2

    The following discussion summarizes EPA's individual analyses for the portions of submissions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee intended to meet the prong 1 and prong 2 requirements of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA's analysis is based on the supplemented CSAPR framework evaluation and information included in the states' submissions as a collective weight of evidence demonstration. The analysis focuses on evaluating whether there will be any downwind maintenance or nonattainment receptors in 2021, as discussed above, and the extent, if any, to which emissions from each of the eight states may impact any such downwind receptor. EPA evaluated the contribution modeling conducted in support of CSAPR (CSAPR contribution modeling) to determine if any of the eight southeastern states were projected to contribute greater than one percent of the annual standard (0.12 µg/m3) at certain downwind receptors with potential nonattainment/maintenance issues.10 For Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, there are no impacts at any potential downwind receptor by at least that amount, which EPA considers an important indication that none of those states will contribute to such a receptor. EPA also considered information provided in the individual 2012 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submissions and other information.

    10 The 2012 contribution modeling is documented in EPA's “Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document” (June 2011) located in the docket for this proposed rulemaking and at https://www.epa.gov/csapr/cross-state-air-pollution-final-and-proposed-rules titled Contributions of 8-hour ozone, annual PM 2.5, and 24-hour PM 2.5 from each state to each monitoring site (Excel). EPA used the CAMx version 5.3 to simulate ozone and PM2.5 concentrations for the 2005 base year and the 2012 and 2014 future year scenarios. CAMx was also used for the 2012 source apportionment modeling to quantify interstate transport of ozone and PM2.5.

    A. Alabama

    Alabama concluded in its December 9, 2015, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that it does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) There are no designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas in Alabama or in surrounding states; (2) available monitoring data in Alabama and the surrounding states for 2012-2014 show design values below the standard; (3) emissions of the PM precursors NOX and SO2 from point sources in Alabama have decreased by 10 and 46 percent, respectively, for the years 2009-2013; and (4) there are federal and SIP-approved state regulations in place to control PM2.5 precursors. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve Alabama's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    Alabama's submission examined available PM2.5 monitoring data from 2012-2014 in the State and surrounding states. According to this data, the highest design value during this period was 11.6 μg/m3 at the North Birmingham monitor (AQS: 01-073-0023) in Alabama. Available quality-assured, certified data for 2015-2017 in Alabama and in the neighboring states is also below the standard. The highest valid 2015-2017 design value in Alabama was 11.0 μg/m3 at the Arkadelphia near-road site (01-073-2059) in Jefferson County. The highest valid design values in the neighboring states for 2015-2017 was 10.5 μg/m3 at the near-road site near Georgia Institute of Technology Fulton County, Georgia (13-121-0056). EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicates Alabama monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in Alabama are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    The NOX and SO2 point source emissions data provided in Alabama's submittal show that these emissions have decreased in the State by 10 and 46 percent, respectively, for 2009-2013. Furthermore, as noted in the submittal, several coal-fired electricity generating units (EGUs) in Alabama were scheduled for retirement in 2016, further reducing NOX and SO2 emissions.11

    11 EPA identified four EGUs in Alabama that have retired units in the state including Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Colbert Fossil Plant, Colbert County, AL (units 1-5 retired April 30, 2016); Alabama Power Plant Barry, Mobile County, AL (unit 3 retired on August 24, 2015), TVA Widows Creek Fossil Plant, Jackson County, AL (units 1-6 retired June 25, 2014; units 7 and 8 retired April 30, 2016) and Alabama Power Plant Gorgas, Walker County, AL (retired units 6 and 7 on August 24, 2015). Source https://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/business-center.

    In its submittal, Alabama identifies SIP-approved regulations at Alabama Administrative Code Chapter 335-3-8 that require controls and emission limits for certain NOX emitting sources in the State. These regulations include the SIP-approved portion of the NOX SIP call that requires certain NOX emitting sources to comply with a capped NOX emission budget. The State also identifies SIP-approved regulations at Alabama Administrative Code Chapter 335-3-5 that require controls and emission limits for certain SO2 emitting sources in the State. Alabama further notes that it has implemented several federal programs that, while not relied upon to address its “good neighbor” obligations for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, have reduced PM2.5 precursor emissions within the State. Alabama also controls certain sources that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in ambient air through its SIP-approved permitting regulations at Alabama Administrative Code Chapter 335-3-14. These permitting requirements help ensure that no new or modified sources in the State subject to these permitting regulations will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    EPA evaluated whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which Alabama's emissions are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling indicates that Alabama will not contribute greater than one percent of the 2012 standard (or 0.12 μg/m3) to the Liberty monitor in Allegheny County. This result is consistent with the fact that the monitor is approximately 600 miles northeast of the Alabama border.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve Alabama's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    B. Florida

    Florida concluded in its December 14, 2015, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that emissions from sources in Florida do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) There are no designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas in Florida or in surrounding states; (2) PM2.5 concentrations in the Southeast are in compliance with the standard; (3) modeling conducted by EPA in support of CSAPR indicates that Florida's contribution to any designated 2012 PM2.5 nonattainment area is less than 0.1 percent of the standard; (4) emissions of NOX and SO2 in Florida have decreased over the past decade; and (5) Florida has SIP-approved permitting regulations in place addressing certain activities that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in ambient air. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve Florida's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    Florida's submittal considered EPA's CSAPR contribution modeling and concluded that Florida's contribution to the designated nonattainment areas for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS is less than 0.013 μg/m3 (approximately 0.1 percent of the standard). The State's submittal also notes that NOX and SO2 emissions in Florida have decreased by 50 percent and 70 percent, respectively, over the past decade. Florida states that these reductions lower Florida's potential impact on PM2.5 concentrations in other states.

    Florida also identified SIP-approved regulations in the Florida Administrative Code, including Chapters 62-210, 62-212, and 62-296, that provide for the implementation of a permitting program required under Title I, Parts C and D of the CAA for certain activities that contribute to ambient PM2.5 concentrations. These permitting requirements help ensure that no new or modified sources in the State subject to these permitting regulations will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Chapter 62-296 also contains additional SIP-approved regulations that control certain sources that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in the ambient air.

    Furthermore, as Florida notes in its submittal, the nearest designated nonattainment area is over 1,000 kilometers (or 621.371 miles) from its northern border, and most of the direct and precursor PM2.5 emissions in the State are located in central and south Florida. Available quality-assured, certified data for 2015-2017 in Florida and in the neighboring states is also below the standard. The highest valid 2015-2017 design value in Florida was 8.0 μg/m3 at the Sydney site (AQS ID: 12-057-3002) in Hillsborough County. The highest valid design value in the neighboring states was 11.0 μg/m3 at the Arkadelphia near-road site (AQS ID: 01-073-2059) in Jefferson County, Alabama. EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicates that Florida monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in Florida are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which Florida's emissions are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling indicates that Florida's contribution to the Liberty monitor is less than one percent of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS which is consistent with Florida's determination that sources in the State will not contribute to greater than one percent of the standard. In addition, the Allegheny County Liberty monitoring site is approximately 700 miles from the Florida state border.

    Based on weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve Florida's SIP submission on grounds that it addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    C. Georgia

    Georgia concluded in its December 14, 2015, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that it does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) Modeling conducted by EPA in support of CSAPR indicates that Georgia's contribution to any designated 2012 PM2.5 nonattainment area is less than one percent of the standard; and (2) Georgia has SIP-approved permitting regulations that control certain sources that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in ambient air. Furthermore, there are currently no designated nonattainment areas in Georgia or in the surrounding states. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve Georgia's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    Based on Georgia's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling, the State concluded that its maximum potential contribution to the designated nonattainment areas for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS is less than 0.081 μg/m3 (less than 0.7 percent of the standard), and therefore, sources in the State do not contribute to downwind receptors with potential downwind nonattainment and/or maintenance issues. In addition, Georgia identifies SIP-approved permitting regulations in Georgia Rules for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02 and -.03 that implement the permitting programs required under Title I, Parts C and D of the CAA for certain activities that contribute to ambient PM2.5 concentrations. These permitting requirements help ensure that no new or modified sources in the State subject to these permitting regulations will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Georgia also identified several SIP-approved Rules that require enforceable limits and control measures for PM2.5 and precursor emissions within the State as well as other federally-enforceable measures not part of the approved SIP that require reduction in SO2 emission for certain sources in the State. Available quality-assured, certified data for 2015-2017 indicate that the highest design value in Georgia was 10.5 μg/m3 at the near road site by Georgia Institute of Technology in Fulton County (AQS ID: 13-121-0056). The highest design value in the surrounding states was 11.0 μg/m3 at the Arkadelphia near-road site in Jefferson County, Alabama (AQS ID: 01-073-2059). EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicated that Georgia monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in Georgia are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which Georgia's emissions are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. Georgia's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling, as provided in the State's 2015 SIP submittal, indicates that sources in the State will contribute less than one percent of the 2012 standard to the Liberty monitor which is consistent with EPA's review of the projected contribution modeling. In addition, the Allegheny Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) is approximately 500 miles away from the Georgia state border.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve Georgia's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    D. Kentucky

    Kentucky concluded in its February 8, 2016, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that the Commonwealth will not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) Available monitoring data in Kentucky and in the surrounding states for 2012-2014 (with the exception of the Cleveland, Ohio nonattainment area) have shown design values below the standard; (2) air quality monitors between Kentucky and the Cleveland Area (the only designated 2012 PM2.5 nonattainment area in a neighboring state) show attainment from 2012-2014; and (3) Kentucky has SIP-approved regulations to assure that the State is not interfering with attainment or maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve Kentucky's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the Commonwealth will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    Kentucky's SIP submission indicates that the most significant sources of PM2.5 and its precursors are coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers, and other combustion sources.

    Kentucky's 2015 infrastructure SIP submission identifies several SIP-approved regulations that regulate sources of PM2.5 precursor emissions (as well as other federally-enforceable measures not part of the federally-approved SIP); reductions in PM2.5 precursor emissions in Kentucky due to permanent and enforceable emission reduction measures; and the downward trend of PM2.5 monitored concentrations in Kentucky and surrounding states.12

    12 Kentucky also identifies the Cleveland Area (Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties) as the only PM2.5 nonattainment area in a neighboring state. This area is approximately 200 miles from the Kentucky border. The Cuyahoga County Harvard Yard monitor (AQS ID: 39-035-0065) and Lorain monitor (AQS ID: 39-093-3002) in the Cleveland Area are both are measuring below the annual standard at 11.7 μg/m3 and 7.6 μg/m3 respectively, based on 2015-2017 air quality data. EPA's 2016 memorandum does not identify the Cleveland Area as a projected potential nonattainment or maintenance area in 2017 or 2025. Therefore, this area was not considered a downwind receptor for the 2012 PM2.5 standard.

    Kentucky identifies SIP-approved permitting regulations at 40 Kentucky Administrative Rules (KAR) 51:017 and 51:052 used to control certain sources that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in ambient air. These permitting requirements help ensure that no new or modified sources in the Commonwealth subject to these permitting regulations will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Kentucky also controls emissions of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors at certain sources through source-specific measures pursuant to other SIP-approved regulations such as 40 KAR 51:150 (NOX requirements for stationary internal combustion engines). Kentucky also identifies CSAPR as yielding residual NOX and SO2 emission reductions.

    Kentucky examined available PM2.5 monitoring data from 2012-2014 in the Commonwealth and in surrounding states. According to this data, the highest valid design values in Kentucky and surrounding states (excluding the Cleveland Area) was 11.8 μg/m3 at the W. 18th St. monitor in Marion County, Indiana. Available quality-assured, certified data for 2015-2017 in Kentucky and the surrounding states are also below the standard. The highest design value in Kentucky was 9.7 μg/m3 at the Southwick (AQS ID: 21-111-0043) site in Jefferson County. The highest valid design value in the neighboring states was 11.7 μg/m3 at the Harvard Yard monitor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, within the Cleveland Area. Furthermore, the monitors between the Commonwealth and the Cleveland Area show attaining 2015-2017 design values. EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicates that Kentucky monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in Kentucky are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which source emissions in Kentucky emissions are linked. As discussed in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that the monitor is likely to attain and maintain by 2021. EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling indicates that sources in the Commonwealth contribute 0.273 μg/m3 to the Liberty monitoring site which is greater than one percent of the 2012 standard. EPA notes that current SO2 emissions in Kentucky are 204,812 tons,13 lower than modeled SO2 emissions of 520,546 tons for the CSAPR.14 Kentucky's highest contribution when considering all Allegheny monitors is at the Liberty monitor. The Allegheny County Liberty monitoring site is approximately 400 miles upwind from the Kentucky border.

    13 The 2014 NEI v2 emissions are available in the docket for this rulemaking.

    14 The CSAPR modeled SO2 emissions numbers, for the 2012 contribution case, can be found in this TSD in Table 7-4 at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-06/documents/epa-hq-oar-2009-0491-4522.pdf.

    As discussed in section III.C, above, local and regional emissions reductions of primary PM2.5, SO2, and NOX, have led to large reductions in annual PM2.5 design values in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Based on EPA's modeling projections, the recent downward trend in local and regional emissions reductions, the expected continued downward trend in emissions between 2017 and 2021, and the downward trend in monitored PM2.5 concentrations, EPA expects that the Liberty monitor will attain and be able to maintain the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS by the 2021 attainment deadline without additional PM2.5 precursor emission reductions from Kentucky. As mentioned above, the 2015-2017 annual average PM2.5 design value for the Liberty monitor is 13.0 μg/m3, which is above the 2012 PM2.5 standard. Even so, expected emissions reductions in the next four years will lead to additional reductions in measured PM2.5 concentrations at the Liberty monitor. Therefore, EPA proposes to determine that additional emission reductions from sources in the Commonwealth are not necessary to satisfy the Commonwealth's obligations under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA. For these reasons, EPA proposes to determine that Kentucky's emissions will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve Kentucky's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the Commonwealth's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the Commonwealth will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    E. Mississippi

    Mississippi concluded in its December 8, 2015, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that it does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) There are no designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas in Mississippi or in surrounding states; (2) available monitoring data in Mississippi and in the surrounding states for 2011-2014 show annual average concentrations below the standard; and (3) there are SIP-approved state regulations in place to control emissions of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve Mississippi's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    Mississippi's 2015 submittal identifies SIP-approved permitting regulations at Mississippi Administrative Code APC-S-2 used to control sources of precursor emissions that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in ambient air. These permitting requirements help ensure that no new or modified sources in the State subject to these permitting regulations will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Mississippi's SIP submittal also reviewed available PM2.5 monitoring data from 2009-2014 in the State and in surrounding states. The State concluded that design values during this period were generally trending downward and the highest design value for 2012-2014 was 11.3 μg/m3 at a monitor in Alabama. EPA's review of available quality-assured, certified data for 2015-2017 determined that the highest design value in Mississippi was 8.9 μg/m3 at the Hattiesburg, Mississippi site (AQS ID: 28-035-0004). In the neighboring states, the highest valid 2015-2017 design value was 11.0 μg/m3 at the Arkadelphia near-road site in Jefferson County, Alabama (AQS ID: 01-073-2059). EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicated that Mississippi monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017.15 More information on air quality trends in Mississippi are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    15 Due to incomplete data as a result of quality assurance findings in a Technical Systems Audit conducted by the EPA, none of the PM2.5 monitoring sites in Mississippi collected enough data to produce a valid annual mean during 2012-2014. Despite this missing data, in EPA's assessment, the trends analysis still provides informative results for the Mississippi sites. Most of the sites did collect complete annual means during the most recent years, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Also, many of the sites collected five, six, or seven valid annual means during the 2008-2017 period, which met the minimum completeness criteria developed for the trends analysis.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which Mississippi's emissions are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling indicates that Mississippi does not contribute greater than one percent of the 2012 standard to that site. This is consistent with the fact that the monitor is approximately 600 miles northeast of the Mississippi state border.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve Mississippi's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    F. North Carolina

    North Carolina concluded in its December 4, 2015, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that it does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) There are no designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas in North Carolina or in surrounding states; (2) available monitoring data in North Carolina and in the surrounding states for 2011-2014 show design values below the standard; (3) PM2.5, NOX, and SO2 emissions in the State have declined since 1996; and (4) there are federal and SIP-approved state regulations in place to ensure that North Carolina is not interfering with attainment or maintenance of the standard in downwind states. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve North Carolina's SIP submission on the grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    The State's implementation plan submittal reviewed emissions data and projections from 1996-2017 and concluded that PM2.5, NOX, and SO2 emissions within North Carolina declined by approximately 36, 48, and 80 percent, respectively, from 1996-2011 and are projected to decrease by an additional 31, 39, and 50 percent, respectively, from 2011-2017 due to state and federal programs.16 The State estimates that emissions of these pollutants will continue to decrease beyond 2017.

    16 See Table 3—Trends in North Carolina's Annual Statewide Emissions (Thousand Tons/Year) in North Carolina's 2015 SIP submission. For 1990 through 2011, emissions are from the EPA's National Emissions Inventory located at http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. For 2013, emissions were estimated by the State. For 2017, emissions are from the EPA's 2017 v6.2 modeling platform emissions summary, located at: ftp://ftp.epa.gov/EmisInventory/2011v6/v2platform/reports/2017eh_cb6v2_v6_11g_state_sector_totals.xlsx.

    North Carolina reviewed EPA's air quality modeling analyses conducted in support of the decision to revise the annual PM2.5 standard to 12.0 μg/m3 where EPA concluded that all states downwind of North Carolina would attain the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS by 2020; one year prior to the 2021 attainment year for the three areas in Pennsylvania designated as moderate nonattainment areas (see Table 2 in North Carolina's December 4, 2015 submittal). North Carolina does not believe that it has any significant contribution to annual PM2.5 concentrations in these areas in Pennsylvania because the entire state of North Carolina and the states between North Carolina and Pennsylvania (i.e., Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland) were attaining the annual standard at the time of the State's submittal in 2015.

    North Carolina's SIP submission also cites to a number of State regulations that address additional control measures, means, and techniques to reduce relevant emissions in North Carolina.17 Several of these measures, means, and techniques are SIP-approved, such as 15A North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) 02D.1409 (addressing NOX emissions from certain stationary internal combustion engines) and the NOX and SO2 emissions caps under the State's 2002 Clean Smokestack Act (CSA) 18 that apply to certain coal-fired power plants in the State. North Carolina also identifies a number of federal programs such as CSAPR that, while not relied upon to address its “good neighbor” obligations for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, reduce emissions of PM2.5 and/or PM2.5 precursors.19

    17 North Carolina identifies a number of SIP-approved state regulations that control emissions or PM2.5 precursors within the State as well as some State regulations that are not part of the federally-approved SIP.

    18 EPA approved the CSA emissions caps into North Carolina's SIP on September 26, 2011. See 76 FR 59250. The first cap was effective in 2007 and a significant step forward towards complying with 1997 PM2.5 and 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    19 CSAPR currently caps EGUs in the State at specific NOX and SO2 emission budgets.

    In addition, North Carolina examined available PM2.5 monitoring data from 2011-2014 in the State and surrounding states. According to this data, the highest valid design value for 2012-2014 was 10.9 μg/m3 at the Macon Allied monitor in Bibb County, Georgia (AQS ID: 13-021-0007). The highest valid 2015-2017 design values in North Carolina is 8.8 μg/m3 at two sites (Durham Armory site in Durham County; AQS ID: 37-063-0015, Millbrook School site in Wake County; AQS ID: 37-183-0014). The highest valid design value in the neighboring states was 10.5 μg/m3 at the near road site by Georgia Institute of Technology in Fulton County, Georgia (AQS ID: 13-121-0056). Also, EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicates that North Carolina monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in North Carolina are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which source emissions in North Carolina emissions are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling indicates that North Carolina does not contribute greater than one percent of the 2012 standard.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve North Carolina's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    G. South Carolina

    South Carolina concluded in its December 14, 2015, PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that it does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) There are no designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas in South Carolina or in surrounding states; (2) available monitoring data in South Carolina for 2010-2014 show design values below the standard and PM2.5 concentrations have declined over the majority of the Southeast since 2006; (3) estimated PM2.5 emissions from title V sources in the State have declined overall from 2003-2014; 20 and (4) there are SIP-approved state regulations in place to control PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve South Carolina's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    20 Title V of the CAA requires major sources of air pollutants, and certain other sources, to obtain and operate in compliance with an operating permit.

    South Carolina's SIP submission identifies SIP-approved permitting regulations at South Carolina Code of Regulations 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 and Standard No. 7.1 used to control certain sources that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in ambient air. These permitting requirements help ensure that no new or modified sources in the State subject to these permitting regulations will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. South Carolina also controls emissions of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors at certain sources through source-specific measures pursuant to other SIP-approved regulations such as Regulation 61-62.2 (prohibitions on open burning), Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 1 (emissions from fuel burning operations), and Regulation 61-62.6 (control of fugitive particulate matter).

    In addition, South Carolina provided estimated PM2.5 emissions data for title V sources in the State showing that these emissions have decreased by approximately 66 percent from 2003-2014, and the State reports that PM2.5 emissions continue to decrease in South Carolina. Furthermore, there are currently no designated nonattainment areas in South Carolina or in the surrounding states. South Carolina examined PM2.5 monitoring data from 2005-August 2015 in the State and determined that the design values have been below the standard since 2010. The State also determined that PM2.5 design values over most of the Southeast have declined since 2006. Available certified design value for 2015-2017 in South Carolina and in the surrounding states is also below the standard. The highest valid 2015-2017 design value in South Carolina was 9.1 μg/m3 at the Greenville ESC site in Greenville County (AQS ID: 45-045-0015). The highest valid design value in the neighboring states was 10.5 μg/m3 at the near road site by Georgia Institute of Technology in Fulton County, Georgia (AQS ID: 13-121-0056). EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicates that South Carolina monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in South Carolina are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which source emissions in South Carolina are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling indicates that North Carolina will not contribute greater than one percent of the 2012 standard to the Liberty monitor. This is consistent with the fact that the monitor is approximately 365 miles northeast of the South Carolina border.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve South Carolina's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    H. Tennessee

    Tennessee concluded in its December 16, 2015 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission that it does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state for the following reasons: (1) There are no designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas in Tennessee or in surrounding states; (2) available monitoring data in Tennessee show design values below the standard and PM2.5 concentrations have declined over the majority of the Southeast since 2006; (3) estimated PM2.5 precursor emissions from Tennessee EGUs have declined; and (4) there are SIP-approved state regulations in place to control PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions. Based on the rationale discussed below, EPA proposes to approve Tennessee's SIP submission on grounds that it has adequate provisions to ensure that emissions from sources within the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    Tennessee indicated that a number of SO2 control measures are being implemented at many of the State's largest sources. For example, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is subject to a Federal Facilities Compliance Agreement (FFCA) 21 and a consent decree 22 that require TVA to retire several coal-fired units and to take a number of other measures to reduce SO2 emissions. Tennessee estimated that the retirements alone will decrease emissions by roughly 27,268 tons of SO2 from 2014 levels, a 46 percent reduction. Additionally, the FFCA and the consent decree require certain TVA coal-fired units to install selective catalytic reduction system and flue gas desulfurization system controls and require units with these controls to operate the controls continuously.

    21 Federal Facilities Compliance Agreement Between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Valley Authority, In the Matter of: Tennessee Valley Authority, Docket No. CAA-04-2010-1760. The FFCA is available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/tva-ffca.pdf.

    22State of Alabama et. al. v. TVA, Civil Action No. 3:11-cv-00170 (E.D. Tenn., approved June 30, 2011) imposes certain requirements on various TVA facilities that are enforceable in accordance with the terms of that agreement. The consent decree is available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/tvacoal-fired-cd.pdf.

    Additionally, Tennessee notes that all coal-fired EGUs in the State are subject to 40 CFR 63 Subpart UUUUU, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which require further unit level reductions to emissions of mercury, particulate matter, SO2, hydrogen chloride, and several other hazardous pollutants. Tennessee estimated that PM2.5 emissions data for title V sources in the state have decreased by approximately 66 percent from 2003-2014, and are expected to continue to decrease. Tennessee also identified several SIP-approved Tennessee Air Pollution Control Rules that require enforceable limits and control measures for PM2.5 and precursor emissions 23 within the State as well as other federally-enforceable measures not part of the federal-approved SIP that require reduction in SO2 emissions for certain sources in the State. Currently available quality-assured, certified data for 2015-2017 in Tennessee and in the surrounding states is below the annual standard. The highest valid 2015-2017 design value in Tennessee was 10.0 µg/m3 at the Air Lab site in Knox County (AQS ID: 47-093-1013). The highest valid design value in the neighboring states was 11.0 µg/m3 at the Arkadelphia near-road site in Jefferson County, Alabama (AQS ID: 01-073-2059). EPA's 10-year trend analysis indicate that Tennessee monitors generally exhibited a decreasing trend in PM2.5 concentrations from 2008 to 2017. More information on air quality trends in Tennessee are provided in the TSD included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    23 See Table 1 in Tennessee's SIP submittal.

    EPA's supplemental analysis focused on whether there are maintenance or nonattainment receptors for 2021 to which source emissions in Tennessee emissions are linked. As noted in section III.C above, EPA's 2016 memorandum identifies the Allegheny County Liberty monitor (AQS ID: 42-003-0064) as a potential maintenance receptor in 2017, but indicates that it is likely to attain and maintain the annual standard in 2021. Tennessee's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling, as provided in the State's 2015 SIP submittal, indicates that sources in the State contribute 0.133 μg/m3 to the Liberty monitoring site which is greater than one percent of the 2012 standard and consistent with EPA's review of the CSAPR contribution modeling.24 The Allegheny County monitor is approximately 300 miles upwind from the Tennessee border. EPA notes that current precursor SO2 emissions in Tennessee are 58,450 tons,25 lower than modeled SO2 emissions of 324,377 tons, for the CSAPR.26

    24 See Table 4 in Tennessee's SIP submittal.

    25 The 2014 NEI v2 emissions are available in the docket for this rulemaking.

    26 The CSAPR modeled SO2 emissions numbers, for the 2012 contribution case, can be found in this TSD in Table 7-4 at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-06/documents/epa-hq-oar-2009-0491-4522.pdf.

    Tennessee's 2015 SIP submission identifies several SIP-approved regulations that regulate sources of PM2.5 precursor emissions (as well as other federally-enforceable measures not part of the federally-approved SIP), reductions in PM2.5 precursor emissions due to permanent and enforceable emission reduction measures, and the downward trend of PM2.5 monitored concentrations in Tennessee and surrounding states. Additionally, as discussed in section III.C above, both local and regional emissions reductions of primary PM2.5, SO2, and NOX, have led to large reductions in annual PM2.5 design values in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The Liberty monitor is already close to attaining the NAAQS. As mentioned above, the 2015-2017 annual average PM2.5 design value for the Liberty monitor is 13.0 μg/m3, which is above the 2012 PM2.5 standard. Even so, expected emissions reductions in the next four years will lead to additional reductions in measured PM2.5 concentrations at the Liberty monitor. Based on EPA's modeling projections, the recent downward trend in local and regional emissions reductions, the expected continued downward trend in emissions between 2017 and 2021, and the downward trend in monitored PM2.5 concentrations, EPA expects that the Liberty monitor will attain and be able to maintain the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS by the 2021 attainment deadline without additional PM2.5 precursor emission reductions from Tennessee. Therefore, EPA proposes to determine that additional emission reductions from sources in Tennessee are not necessary to satisfy the State's obligations under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA. For these reasons, EPA proposes to determine that Tennessee's emissions will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

    Based on the weight of the evidence presented above, EPA proposes to approve Tennessee's SIP submission on grounds that it adequately addresses the State's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) good neighbor obligation for the 2012 PM2.5 standard and that the State will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    IV. Proposed Action

    As described above, EPA is proposing to approve the portions of the aforementioned infrastructure submissions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee addressing prongs 1 and 2 of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Are not significant regulatory actions 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);

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

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

    • Are 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.);

    • Do 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);

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

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

    • Are not significant regulatory actions subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • Are 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 rulemaking does not involve technical standards; and

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

    The SIPs subject to these proposed actions, with the exception of the South Carolina SIP, are not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. With respect to the South Carolina SIP, EPA notes that the Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within South Carolina, and pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, S.C. Code Ann. 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the Catawba Indian Nation and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” Thus, the South Carolina SIP applies to the Catawba Reservation; however, because the proposed action related to South Carolina is not proposing to approve any specific rule into the South Carolina SIP, but rather proposing to find that the State's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements, EPA proposes to determine that there are no substantial direct effects on the Catawba Indian Nation. EPA has also preliminarily determined that the proposed action related to South Carolina's SIP will not impose any substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 31, 2018. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16991 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 405, 410, 411, 414, 415, and 495 [CMS-1693-P] RIN 0938-AT31 Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program Correction

    In proposed rule document 2018-14985, appearing on pages 35704 through 36368 in the issue of Friday, July 27, 2018, make the following correction:

    On page 35978, Figure A is corrected to read as set forth below.

    EP09AU18.002
    [FR Doc. C1-2018-14985 Filed 8-6-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 180220191-8191-01] RIN 0648-BH80 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Commercial Accountability Measure Framework Adjustment 13 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes modifications to the commercial summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass accountability measures, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The proposed change would adjust the accountability measures based on the status of the stocks. This rule is intended to provide additional flexibility in determining when accountability measures are appropriate, similar to how the accountability measures are applied towards the recreational fisheries for these species.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    An environmental assessment (EA) was prepared for this action and describes the proposed measures and other considered alternatives, and provides an analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. Copies of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measure Framework, including the EA, are available on request from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 North State Street, Dover, DE 19901. These documents are also accessible via the internet at http://www.mafmc.org/s/sfsbsb-commercial-AM-FW-draftEA.pdf.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0080, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0080,

    2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

    —OR—

    Mail: Submit written comments to Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on the Proposed Rule to Modify the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measures.”

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Gilbert, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9244.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    General Background

    The summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries are managed cooperatively under the provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, in consultation with the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The management units specified in the FMP include summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the southern border of North Carolina northward to the U.S./Canada border, and scup (Stenotomus chrysops) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from 35°13.3′ N lat. (the approximate latitude of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina). States manage these three species within 3 nautical miles (4.83 km) of their coasts, under the Commission's management plan for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The applicable species-specific Federal regulations govern vessels and individual fishermen commercially fishing in Federal waters of the exclusive economic zone, as well as vessels possessing a summer flounder, scup, or black sea bass Federal charter/party vessel permit, regardless of where they fish. This rule proposes to modify current Federal regulations that require accountability measures (AM) when the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) is exceeded for any of these three species. AMs and ACLs are only required in the Federal FMP and, as such, no joint action is needed with the Commission.

    There are currently two types of commercial sector AMs for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The first is a pound-for-pound landings overage repayment that is applied when the commercial quota is exceeded. This AM is functioning as intended and would not be adjusted by this action. The second is a non-landings based AM that is applied to the commercial annual catch target (ACT) when the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) has been exceeded and the overage is caused by commercial fishery discards. This action would adjust this non-landings based AM for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The proposed revisions are designed to better account for the variability in commercial discard estimates and provide additional flexibility to these AMs based on stock status and the biological consequences, if any, of estimated discard overages. NMFS adopted similar AMs for the recreational fisheries managed by the Council in 2013 (78 FR 76759; December 19, 2013).

    Proposed Action

    The Council reviewed the proposed regulations and deemed them necessary and appropriate to implement consistent with section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Management Act.

    Incorporate Stock Status in Non-Landings AM Determination

    This rule proposes the following system of AMs to be applied when discards cause the commercial ACL to be exceeded.

    (1) If the current biomass (B) is above the biomass target (BMSY) (i.e., B/BMSY ≥ 1), no overage payback is required.

    (2) If the current biomass is above the biomass threshold (i.e., not overfished), but below the biomass target (1 ≥ B/BMSY1/2), and the stock is not under a rebuilding plan, then the following non-landing payback is applied:

    a. If fishery discards cause the commercial ACL to be exceeded, but not the acceptable biological catch (ABC), no overage is required; or

    b. If the fishery discards casue the commercial ACL to be exceeded, and the ABC is exceeded, then a scaled, single-year adjustment to the commercial ACT would be made based on stock biomass (as explained below), so that the adjustment is larger the closer the overall biomass is to the threshold.

    (3) If the stock is overfished (i.e., the most recent estimate of biomass is below the threshold, or B/BMSY < 1/2), under a rebuilding plan, or the biological reference points (i.e., stock status) are unknown, then a pound-for-pound payback is required for any non-landings overage.

    Scaled Payback Calculation

    The Council recommends that the amount of a payback (if determined to be appropriate under criteria 2b, as defined above) be scaled relative to the biomass. The payback would be calculated as the difference between the catch and the ACL (i.e., the overage amount) and the payback coefficient. The payback coefficient is equal to the difference between the most recent estimate of BMSY and the current biomass, divided by 1/2 BMSY.

    This would result in a smaller payback the closer the estimated biomass is to the target and a larger payback the farther away the estimated biomass is from the target. This scaling is intended to minimize impacts of a payback for healthy stocks, while still accounting for the biological consequences of the overage. As previously noted under criterion 3, this scaling would not be used if the stock was overfished (i.e., if B/BMSY < 1/2), or if the stock status is unknown. In those cases, the payback would be equal to the full amount of the overage.

    Classification

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

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

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

    The Council conducted an evaluation of the potential socioeconomic impacts of the proposed measures in conjunction with an environmental assessment. According to the commercial ownership database, 910 affiliate firms landed summer flounder, scup, and/or black sea bass during 2014-2016, with 906 of those business affiliates categorized as small business and four categorized as large business. Summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass represented approximately 12 percent of the average gross receipts of the small entities considered and 3 percent of the average receipts of the large entities considered over this time period. This action does not affect the for-hire recreational fishery.

    Analyses indicate that the proposed action would range from no payback or to a pound-for-pound payback (status quo) and is not expected to substantially change fishing effort or the spatial and/or temporal distribution of current fishing effort. The proposed non-landing AM payback alternative is expected to minimize the frequency and magnitude of non-landing annual catch limit overage repayments. This alternative would make regulated small entities no worse off than they would be if no action was taken, and better off under current and expected future stock conditions.

    There are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements contained in any of the alternatives considered for this action.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.103, paragraph (b)(3) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.103 Summer flounder accountability measures.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Non-landing accountability measure. In the event that the commercial ACL is exceeded and that the overage has not been accommodated through the landings-based AM, then the following procedure will be followed:

    (i) Overfishing, rebuilding, or unknown stock status. If the most recent estimate of biomass is below the BMSY threshold (i.e., B/BMSY is less than 0.5), the stock is under a rebuilding plan, or the biological reference points (B or BMSY) are unknown, and the commercial ACL has been exceeded, then the exact amount, in pounds, by which the most recent year's commercial catch estimate exceeded the most recent year's commercial ACL will be deducted, in the following fishing year from the commercial ACT, as a single-year adjustment.

    (ii) If biomass is above the threshold, but below the target, and the stock is not under rebuilding. If the most recent estimate of biomass is above the biomass threshold (B/BMSY is greater than 0.5), but below the biomass target (B/BMSY is less than 1.0), and the stock is not under a rebuilding plan, then the following AMs will apply:

    (A) If the Commercial ACL has been exceeded, but not the overall ABC, then no single-year AM payback is required.

    (B) If the Commercial ACL and ABC have been exceeded, then a scaled single-year adjustment to the commercial ACT will be made, in the following fishing year. The ACT will be reduced by the exact amount, in pounds, of the product of the overage, defined as the difference between the commercial catch and the commercial ACT, and the payback coefficient. The payback coefficient is the difference between the most recent estimate of biomass and BMSY (i.e., BMSY − B) divided by one-half of BMSY.

    (iii) If biomass is above BMSY. If the most recent estimate of biomass is above BMSY (i.e., B/BMSY is greater than 1.0), then no single-year AM payback is required.

    3. In § 648.123, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.123 Scup accountability measures.

    (b) Non-landing accountability measure. In the event that the commercial ACL has been exceeded and the overage has not been accommodated through the landings-based AM, then the following procedure will be followed:

    (1) Overfishing, rebuilding, or unknown stock status. If the most recent estimate of biomass is below the BMSY threshold (i.e., B/BMSY is less than 0.5), the stock is under a rebuilding plan, or the biological reference points (B or BMSY) are unknown, and the commercial ACL has been exceeded, then the exact amount, in pounds, by which the most recent year's commercial catch estimate exceeded the most recent year's commercial ACL will be deducted, in the following fishing year from the commercial ACT, as a single-year adjustment.

    (2) If biomass is above the threshold, but below the target, and the stock is not under rebuilding. If the most recent estimate of biomass is above the biomass threshold (B/BMSY is greater than 0.5), but below the biomass target (B/BMSY is less than 1.0), and the stock is not under a rebuilding plan, then the following AMs will apply:

    (i) If the Commercial ACL has been exceeded, but not the overall ABC, then no single-year AM payback is required.

    (ii) If the Commercial ACL and ABC have been exceeded, then a scaled single-year adjustment to the commercial ACT will be made, in the following fishing year. The ACT will be reduced by the exact amount, in pounds, of the product of the overage, defined as the difference between the commercial catch and the commercial ACT, and the payback coefficient. The payback coefficient is the difference between the most recent estimate of biomass and BMSY (i.e., BMSY − B) divided by one-half of BMSY.

    (3) If biomass is above BMSY. If the most recent estimate of biomass is above BMSY (i.e., B/BMSY is greater than 1.0), then no single-year AM payback is required.

    4. In § 648.143, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.143 Black sea bass accountability measures.

    (b) Non-landing accountability measure. In the event that the commercial ACL has been exceeded and the overage has not been accommodated through the landings-based AM, then the following procedure will be followed:

    (1) Overfishing, rebuilding, or unknown stock status. If the most recent estimate of biomass is below the BMSY threshold (i.e., B/BMSY is less than 0.5), the stock is under a rebuilding plan, or the biological reference points (B or BMSY) are unknown, and the commercial ACL has been exceeded, then the exact amount, in pounds, by which the most recent year's commercial catch estimate exceeded the most recent year's commercial ACL will be deducted, in the following fishing year from the commercial ACT, as a single-year adjustment.

    (2) If biomass is above the threshold, but below the target, and the stock is not under rebuilding. If the most recent estimate of biomass is above the biomass threshold (B/BMSY is greater than 0.5), but below the biomass target (B/BMSY is less than 1.0), and the stock is not under a rebuilding plan, then the following AMs will apply:

    (i) If the Commercial ACL has been exceeded, but not the overall ABC, then no single-year AM payback is required.

    (ii) If the Commercial ACL and ABC have been exceeded, then a scaled single-year adjustment to the commercial ACT will be made, in the following fishing year. The ACT will be reduced by the exact amount, in pounds, of the product of the overage, defined as the difference between the commercial catch and the commercial ACT, and the payback coefficient. The payback coefficient is the difference between the most recent estimate of biomass and BMSY (i.e., BMSY − B) divided by one-half of BMSY.

    (3) If biomass is above BMSY. If the most recent estimate of biomass is above BMSY (i.e., B/BMSY is greater than 1.0), then no single-year AM payback is required.

    [FR Doc. 2018-17031 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 154 Thursday, August 9, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Tongass National Forest, Petersburg Ranger District, Alaska; Central Tongass Project Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze a variety of resource management actions to implement over the course of 15 years. The purpose of the project is to meet multiple resource goals and objectives (i.e., needs) identified in the 2016 Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) using an integrated approach. Some of the project area needs include improving forest ecosystem health, supporting community resilience through economic development opportunities within Southeast Alaska communities, providing sustainable recreation opportunities to local visitors and the tourism industry, and offering a variety of wood products to regional mills and local communities. A variety of management activities (the Proposed Action) address these needs. Implementation of the management activities will often include one or more Supporting Actions, such as quarry development or sign installation. At the same time that it would approve the proposed project, the Forest Service may approve a project-specific Forest Plan amendment to ensure the project is consistent with the plan. This notices also identifies the substantive provisions of the 2012 Planning Rule that are likely to be directly related to a proposed forest plan amendment.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by September 24, 2018. The publication date of this Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this scoping opportunity. If the comment period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, comments will be accepted until the end of the next Federal working day (11:59 p.m.). The draft EIS is expected in April of 2019, and the final EIS is expected in May of 2020.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Petersburg Ranger District, c/o Carey Case, P.O. Box 1328, Petersburg, Alaska 99833, Attn: Central Tongass Project. Comments may also be hand-delivered to the Petersburg Ranger District, 12 North Nordic Drive, Petersburg, Alaska 99833; sent via email to [email protected]; facsimile to (907) 772-5995; or submitted electronically at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=53098.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Zimmerman, District Ranger, or Carey Case, Project Leader, at the Petersburg Ranger District, P.O. Box 1328, Petersburg, Alaska 99833, or by telephone (907) 772-3871. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Central Tongass project area encompasses National Forest System (NFS) lands and lands of other ownership, as authorized by other land owners, within the Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts (3.7 million acres) to facilitate integrated and economical projects across all lands. Other than for invasive treatments, Wilderness will not be considered for resource management actions. The project area includes, but is not limited to, Mitkof, Kupreanof, Kuiu, Wrangell, Zarembo and Etolin Islands and the Alaska mainland.

    Purpose and Need for Action

    This action is needed to meet Forest Plan goals and objectives, and to support local and regional economies. The needs for this project have been identified by comparing the existing conditions within the project area with the desired conditions (desired long-term landscape attributes) defined in the Tongass Forest Plan (Chapter 2). Where desired conditions are not being met, a need exists. For this project, four categories of needs were identified: Watershed Restoration and Improvement, Vegetation Management, Access Management, and Sustainable Recreation Management.

    Watershed Restoration and Improvement: A need exists to maintain or restore the natural range of habitat conditions in the project area to support viable wildlife, fish, and plant populations for subsistence, traditional and cultural uses, and to sustain diversity. In some watersheds, this need includes riparian ecosystem function improvements or enhancements, water quality maintenance and protection, fish habitat improvements, and native plant population protection.

    Vegetation Management: A need exists for NFS lands to regularly provide forest products, such as saw timber, to support Southeast Alaska communities. By providing forest products on a regular basis, the Forest Service can better support local employment, increase revenue returns, and maintain flexibility and stability in the timber sale program. A need also exists for young-growth forest management to sustain productive timber stands for future use, and to improve habitat for wildlife and fish.

    Access Management: A long-term need exists to design, construct, maintain, and manage a cost-effective transportation system that supports management activities and provides Forest users access to subsistence, recreation and traditional use opportunities.

    Sustainable Recreation Management: Within the project area, a need exists to (1) maintain existing recreation sites and facilities to provide for the health and safety of all users, (2) construct or reconstruct facilities in locations where the needs for the facilities are supported by either known use, partnerships for long-term maintenance, or repeated safety concerns, or (3) remove facilities that are no longer needed or are not affordable (Forest Plan, p. 2-4).

    The purpose of the Central Tongass Project is to meet the identified needs to improve forest ecosystem health, support community resiliency, and provide economic development opportunities on the Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts. This project will be designed to meet Forest Plan goals and objectives, and land use designation goals, objectives, and desired conditions using an integrated land management approach. Forest-wide goals and objectives this project aims to address include, but are not limited to, Local and Regional Economies, Biodiversity, Timber, Wildlife, Transportation, Fish, Recreation and Tourism, and Young Growth Direction (Forest Plan, pp. 2-2 to 2-6, 5-2 to 5-3, 5-6, 5-8, 5-13 and 5-14).

    Proposed Action

    The Forest Service proposes a multi-year project to implement a variety of activities over the next 15 years within the Central Tongass project area. The project area includes NFS lands and lands of other ownership. Wilderness areas are not included in the land base available for proposed activities, with the exception of invasive plant treatments. The Proposed Action encompasses a range of management activities that address the broader needs identified within the Purpose and Need, and seeks to balance commercial and non-commercial opportunities and provide and maintain high-quality experiences for all Forest users over the long-term, while maintaining or improving land and resource conditions.

    The Proposed Action was developed by comparing existing conditions within the project area to the Forest's desired landscape attributes, and considering best-available science and public input.

    A guide will be developed to ensure the implementation of site-specific activities is consistent with the Central Tongass Project environmental analysis. Conditions such as stand age, use levels, and proximity to sensitive habitat will be evaluated before implementation may occur. If the effects of implementing a site-specific activity is expected to be outside the range of effects disclosed in the environmental analysis, the activity will not be implemented as part of the Central Tongass Project.

    Individual activity cards will define each activity and guide its implementation over the life of the project. Information provided on the cards will include objectives and methods of implementation, resource-specific guidelines, activity design features, conditions that trigger implementation, and integration opportunities to maximize shared resources between program areas.

    Watershed Restoration and Improvement

    Watershed restoration and improvement activities on all lands within the project area include: Stream and floodplain restoration, fish habitat improvements, and invasive plant management.

    To restore proper stream and floodplain functioning conditions, the Forest Service proposes instream wood placement on up to 700 acres (approximately 13 miles of stream) using heavy equipment and/or a helicopter, and instream wood placement on up to 1,720 acres (approximately 54 miles of stream) using hand tools.

    To sustain the diversity and production of fish and other freshwater organisms, the Forest Service proposes fisheries improvements such as pool habitat creation, fish pass construction, natural instream barrier modifications, stocking and lake fertilization on up to 15 sites that collectively include no more than 25 miles of stream and 2 lakes.

    The Forest Service proposes to use an integrated pest management strategy to treat invasive plant infestations on NFS and neighboring lands. Treatments proposed include manual methods such as hand-pulling or tarping; mechanical methods such as mowing or torching; and herbicide application including wicking/wiping, stem injection, foliar spot spray, or broadcast spray. Proposed herbicides include aminopyralid or aquatic-approved glyphosate and imazapyr. When deciding whether or not to treat an invasive plant, the Forest Service will consider the following factors: The target species' Alaska Natural Heritage Program invasiveness ranking, the location of the target species, its pathway of spread, and the management objective for the infestation. If the Forest Service decides to treat, the most cost-efficient and effective treatment method will be selected. Herbicide treatment areas may include terrestrial and emergent (plants rooted in water with foliage above the water surface) vegetation. Subsurface aquatic plant treatment is not proposed. To provide the flexibility to treat new infestations, the Proposed Action also includes a management strategy called early detection-rapid response.

    Vegetation Management

    Vegetation management activities include: Old-growth and young-growth commercial harvest and silvicultural intermediate treatments (young-growth pre-commercial thinning treatments, and wildlife habitat improvement treatments). Old-growth and young-growth activities will occur in 10 timber analysis areas (TAAs) within the project area. These analysis areas have developed road systems and encompass the majority of the suitable lands for timber harvest, as defined under the Forest Plan. Consequently, TAAs are a primary factor in determining where to plan timber harvest for this project. The TAAs are located on Mitkof, Kupreanof, Kuiu, Wrangell, Zarembo and Etolin islands, and at Thomas Bay on the Alaska mainland.

    The Forest Service proposes to commercially harvest up to 9,500 acres (approximately 150 million board feet [MMBF]) of old-growth timber, and up to 4,000 acres (approximately 80 MMBF) of young-growth timber from stands on suitable lands within the project's 15-year timeframe. Timber harvest methods include even-aged and two-aged management prescriptions (conventional ground-based logging methods), and uneven-aged management prescriptions (helicopter yarding). Commercial harvest of old-growth and young-growth timber includes microsale and large, small, and salvage sale opportunities.

    The Forest Service proposes to treat up to 3,000 acres of young-growth stands annually, or 45,000 acres total over the next 15 years that are approaching, have reached, or are in the stem exclusion stage of stand development. Young-growth treatments (activities) include pre-commercial thinning for timber stand improvement and wildlife and riparian habitat improvement (such as to create or maintain wildlife gaps, openings, corridors and trees; girdle and prune trees; and treat slash).

    Access Management

    Access management activities include (1) new NFS road construction, (2) NFS road reconstruction, (3) temporary road construction, (4) aquatic organism passage and fish habitat connectivity, and (5) construction, reconstruction, decommissioning and maintenance of marine access facilities, such as log transfer facilities, docks, mooring buoys, boat ramps and boat launches. Road storage and decommissioning are Supporting Actions.

    The Forest Service proposes approximately 24 miles of NFS road construction, 63 miles of NFS road reconstruction, and 88 miles of temporary road construction for timber harvest and other resource management activities.

    The Forest Service proposes to replace, remove, or improve up to 150 stream crossing structures where fish passage is inhibited (“red pipes”) using heavy equipment, hand tools, or explosives to rectify fish migration or movement barriers and provide effective flood resiliency.

    The Forest Service proposes up to 33 new stream crossing structures, such as culverts and bridges, to support proposed vegetation and access management activities.

    The Forest Service proposes to maintain or improve 14 existing marine access facilities (MAFs), and construct up to 4 MAF sites for log transfer and public access within the Central Tongass project area. Additionally, up to 69 marine access facility sites, such as docks, boat ramps and floats, may be maintained, constructed, or improved for public access. These sites are typically not associated with a road system, but used for access to shoreline or inland water facilities such as cabins, shelters, or trailheads.

    Sustainable Recreation Management

    Proposed recreation activities on NFS and neighboring lands include maintenance, improvements, new construction, and decommissioning of some existing recreation facilities. Recreation facilities include cabins, shelters, picnic areas, campgrounds, dispersed camping sites, outhouses, viewing areas and platforms. Trail construction, reconstruction, decommissioning, and maintenance may also occur, and includes pedestrian trails, motorized trails, snow trails, canoe and kayak portages, and conversion of existing trails from boardwalk to gravel.

    Recreation management activities including trail building will be prioritized during implementation based on the following conditions (1) health and safety concerns for recreation users, (2) availability of internal or external funding sources, (3) current and projected use levels and degraded resource conditions from human use such as vegetation trampling, site hardening, soil erosion, and (4) feasibility due to topography.

    The Forest Service proposes constructing up to 6 new cabins, 30 day use/picnic areas, 6 platforms for interpretative or wildlife viewing use, and 10 dispersed camp sites (including tent platforms). The Forest Service also proposes decommissioning up to 15 cabins, constructing up to 10 new shelters and/or converting cabins to shelters, and constructing or replacing up to 75 outhouses. The Forest Service proposes up to 300 miles of pedestrian trail construction (this includes new construction and/or converting existing boardwalk trail to gravel trail), up to 60 miles of new motorized trails, and up to 105 miles of winter trails.

    Supporting Actions

    Supporting Actions will be implemented, as needed, in support of the management activities described above. They include actions such as road maintenance and reconditioning, road decommissioning, road storage, sign installation, quarry development, soil restoration, cone collection, and timber stand establishment (planting and interplanting).

    Forest Plan Amendment

    A project-specific Forest Plan amendment may be proposed to allow the project to proceed in a manner that fulfills the project's stated purpose and need while being consistent with the Plan. The amendment would be to relax the Scenic Integrity Objectives (SIOs) (Forest Plan, p. 4-54) on portions of the TAAs on Mitkof, Zarembo, and Wrangell Islands, and Portage Bay located on Kupreanof Island, to improve timber sale economics for the commercial timber sales undertaken as part of this project only. If this Forest Plan amendment is included in the Central Tongass Project, the 2012 Planning Rule (36 CFR 219.13(b)(2)) requires the Responsible Official to identify which substantive requirements of the Rule are likely to be directly related to a proposed land management plan amendment. At this time, the Responsible Official believes the following requirements of the Rule are likely to apply: 36 CFR 219.8(b)(2); 36 CFR 219.10(a)(1); and 36 CFR 219.10(b)(1)(i).

    Possible Alternatives

    Other alternatives will be developed based on any significant issues identified in public comments and from internal Forest Service considerations. A no action alternative, which represents no change and serves as the baseline for the comparison among the action alternatives, will be analyzed as well.

    Responsible Official

    The Responsible Official for the decision on this project is M. Earl Stewart, Forest Supervisor, Tongass National Forest, Federal Building, 648 Mission Street, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Given the purpose and need of the project, the Responsible Official will review the no action, the proposed action, other alternatives, and the environmental consequences to make decisions that include: (1) Whether to select the proposed action or another alternative; (2) mitigation measures and monitoring requirements; (3) the range of treatments or activities to be authorized including commercial and pre-commercial timber treatments, restoration activities, invasive plant treatments, habitat improvement, road construction and reconstruction, and recreation development or decommissioning opportunities; (4) whether a project-specific Forest Plan amendment related to Scenery Integrity Objectives is necessary; and (5) whether there may be a significant restriction of subsistence uses.

    Permits or Licenses Required

    All necessary permits would be obtained prior to project implementation, and may include the following:

    (1) State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES):

    • General permit for Log Transfer Facilities in Alaska;

    • Review Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan;

    • Certification of Compliance with Alaska Water Quality Standards (401 Certification) Chapter 20;

    • Storm Water Discharge Permit/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System review (Section 402 of the Clean Water Act);

    • Solid Waste Disposal Permit.

    (2) U.S. Army Corp of Engineers:

    • Approval of discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act;

    • Approval of the construction of structures or work in navigable waters of the United States under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.

    (3) State of Alaska, Division of Natural Resources (DNR):

    • Authorization for occupancy and use of tidelands and submerged lands.

    (4) State of Alaska, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)

    • Fish Habitat Concurrence (Title 16).

    Scoping Process

    This Notice of Intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the EIS. The Forest Service is seeking information, comments, and assistance from Tribal Governments; Federal, State, and local agencies; and individuals and organizations interested in or affected by the proposed activities. There will also be public meetings and subsistence hearings held in Kake, Petersburg, and Wrangell, Alaska. In addition to this Notice of Intent, a legal notice will be placed in the Ketchikan Daily News, the official newspaper of record for this project. Courtesy notifications will be placed in the Petersburg Pilot and the Wrangell Sentinel, local community newspapers. Project information, updates, and documents will be provided throughout the process on the project web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/landmanagement/projects/?cid=fseprd568085. Individuals may also provide comments and sign up to be on the electronic mailing list at that site.

    The Central Tongass Project is an activity implementing the Forest Plan and is subject to the notification requirements and objection procedures of 36 CFR 218, subparts A and B, which states that only individuals or entities who submit timely and specific written comments about this proposed project during this or another public comment period established by the Responsible Official will be eligible to file an objection. If a Forest Plan amendment is included in the Central Tongass Project, it would only apply to the Central Tongass Project; therefore, the notification requirements of 36 CFR 219 are not required.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a manner to be useful to the agency's preparation of the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous commenters will not gain standing to object as defined in 36 CFR 218.2.

    Dated: July 23, 2018. Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17059 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Funding Announcement (NOFA) under the Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United State Department of Agriculture, announces an additional application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 for the Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program (TAT). This Notice seeks applications emphasizing priorities for either a national water and wastewater infrastructure application assistance and project development program or a national apprenticeship/workforce development program.

    DATES:

    Applications for the TAT grants will only be accepted electronically according to the following deadline:

    Submit grant applications at https://www.grants.gov (Grants.gov) and follow the instructions found on that website. Electronic submissions of applications must be received by September 10, 2018 to be eligible for grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for grant funding. Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, if such requests are made prior to August 24, 2018. 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.

    ADDRESSES:

    All grant applications must be submitted electronically at https://www.grants.gov/ (Grants.gov), following the instructions you find on that website. The FY 2018 Application Guide may be obtained from the Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-waste-disposal-technical-assistance-training-grants.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LaVonda Pernell, Community Program Specialist, Water Program Division, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, by email at [email protected] or by telephone: (202) 720-9635.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

    Funding Opportunity Title: Technical Assistance and Training Grants (TAT).

    Announcement Type: Funding Announcement/Solicitation of Applications.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.761.

    Dates: Completed TAT grant applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov no later than September 10, 2018 to be eligible for funding.

    Overview

    This Notice announces that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is accepting applications for an additional application window for the Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program (TAT). For FY 2018, RUS received a budget appropriation of $40 million for the TAT Program. In response to the application filing period of October 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, as outlined in 7 CFR 1775, Subpart B, § 1775.10 (a), the Agency received 28 applications that will not use up all of the appropriation. This Notice will make available the remaining funds under the TAT Program, for either a national water and wastewater infrastructure application assistance and project development program or a national apprenticeship/workforce development program.

    On March 23, 2018, President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill with $21.2 billion for new infrastructure spending on transportation, energy and water projects in FY 2018. The intent of this notice is to advise the public of the funds available to support applications emphasizing either of two priorities for technical assistance and training activities. Applications may emphasize technical assistance and training activities to: Provide application assistance and project development that facilitate efforts by rural communities to access funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, particularly those communities in smaller, lower income, and persistent poverty areas; or to provide technical assistance and training to personnel to improve the management, operation, and maintenance of water and waste facilities through a national apprenticeship/workforce development program. The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America which can be found 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 A. Program Description

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) provides financial and technical assistance to help communities bring safe drinking water and sanitary, environmentally sound waste disposal facilities to rural Americans in greatest need. The additional funding provided for TAT grants will allow rural communities to better identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste disposal problems, assist applicants in preparing applications for water and waste loans and grants, and/or improve operation and maintenance of existing water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas. Qualified private non-profit organizations may apply.

    B. Federal Award Information

    Available funds for this funding opportunity will not exceed the $13,000,000.00 remaining from the $40 million in appropriated funds and additional program carryover funds. TAT grants will be awarded by September 30, 2018.

    C. Eligibility Information

    1. In accordance with 7 CFR 1775.35, an organization is eligible to receive a TAT grant if it:

    a. Is a private, non-profit organization that has tax-exempt status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS);

    b. Is legally established and located within one of the following:

    i. A State within the United States

    ii. the District of Columbia

    iii. the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

    iv. United States territory;

    c. Has the legal capacity and authority to carry out the grant purpose and scope;

    d. Has a proven record of successfully providing technical assistance and/or training to rural areas;

    e. Has capitalization acceptable to the Agency;

    f. Has no delinquent debt to the federal government or no outstanding judgments to repay a federal debt;

    g. Demonstrates that it possesses the financial, technical, and managerial capability to comply with federal and State laws and requirements; and

    h. Contracts with a nonaffiliated organization for not more than 49 percent of the grant to provide the proposed assistance.

    2. Eligibility requirements for a project.

    Qualified projects from an eligible applicant must provide technical assistance and training to RUS eligible water and sewer utilities in rural areas for application assistance and project development to achieve the objectives outlined in 7 CFR 1775.

    D. Application and Submission Information

    1. The FY 2018 Application Guide may be obtained from the Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-waste-disposal-technical-assistance-training-grants. Applicants must submit electronic applications at Grants.gov https://www.grants.gov.

    2. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System for Awards Management (SAM) Grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in SAM 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 subawards and executive compensation in accordance to 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). An applicant, unless excepted under 2 CFR 25.110(b), (c), or (d), is required to:

    a. Be registered in SAM before submitting its application;

    b. Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and

    c. 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 DUNS 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. As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all grant applications 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 1-866-705-5711 or via internet at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Additional information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may register for SAM at https://www.sam.gov or by calling 1-866-606-8220. The applicant must provide documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number. If the applicant does not provide documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number, the application will not be considered for funding.

    You will need the following information when requesting a DUNS number:

    a. Legal Name of the Applicant;

    b. Headquarters name and address of the Applicant;

    c. The names under which the Applicant is doing business as (dba) or other name by which the organization is commonly recognized;

    d. Physical address of the Applicant;

    e. Mailing address (if separate from headquarters and/or physical address) of the Applicant;

    f. Telephone number;

    g. Contact name and title; and

    h. Number of employees at the physical location.

    3. The application and any materials sent with it become Federal records by law and cannot be returned to you. RUS may request original signatures on electronically submitted documents later.

    4. Content of Application:

    a. To be considered for assistance, you must be an eligible entity and must submit a complete application by the deadline date. You must consult the cost principles and general administrative requirements for grants pertaining to their organizational type in order to prepare the budget and complete other parts of the application. You also must demonstrate compliance (or intent to comply), through certification or other means, with a number of public policy requirements as demonstrated in the forms below.

    b. Applicants must complete and submit the following forms to apply for a Technical Assistance and Training grant:

    i. Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance”.

    ii. Standard Form 424A, “Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs”.

    iii. Standard Form 424B, “Assurances—Non-Construction Programs”.

    iv. Standard Form LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activity”.

    v. AD-3030, “Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicant”.

    vi. AD-3031, “Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicant”.

    vii. Form RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement”.

    viii. Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964).” (This assurance agreement requires the collection of race, color, national origin, and ethnicity data on program beneficiaries.)

    ix. Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if applicable, applicant must include approved cost agreement rate schedule).

    x. In accordance with 7 CFR 1775, subpart A § 1775.5(j), applicants must certify there is no duplication with the National Forest-Dependent Rural Communities Economic Diversification Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6613).

    c. All applications shall be accompanied by the following supporting documentation in concise written narrative form:

    i. Evidence of applicant's legal existence and authority.

    ii. Evidence of tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    iii. A short statement of applicant's experience in providing services similar to those proposed.

    iv. A brief description of successfully completed projects including the need that was identified, and objectives accomplished.

    v. The latest financial information to show the applicant's financial capacity to carry out the proposed work.

    vi. A list of proposed services to be provided.

    vii. An estimated breakdown of costs (direct and indirect) including those to be funded by grantee as well as other sources. Sufficient detail should be provided to permit the approval official to determine reasonableness, applicability, and eligibility.

    viii. Evidence that a Financial Management System is in place or proposed.

    ix. A description of national reach and capability.

    x. A description of the type of technical assistance and/or training to be provided and the tasks to be contracted.

    xi. A clear explanation of how the proposed services differ from other similar services being provided in the same area and measures to be taken to avoid duplication of federal effort.

    xii. Number of personnel on staff or to be contracted to provide the service and their experience with similar projects.

    xiii. A statement indicating the maximum number of months it would take to complete the project.

    xiv. Explanation of the cost effectiveness of project.

    d. Applicants must also submit a flexible work plan/project proposal that will outline the project in sufficient detail to provide the readers with a clear understanding of how the proposed technical assistance and/or training will increase water and wastewater systems' access to funding for infrastructure projects; and/or increase water and wastewater systems' ability to recognize the need for updated or new infrastructure.

    e. The applicant must provide evidence of compliance with other federal statutes, including but not limited to the following:

    i. Debarment and suspension information is required in accordance with 2 CFR part 417 (Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension) supplemented by 2 CFR part 180, if it applies. The section heading is “What information must I provide before entering into a covered transaction with the Federal Government?” located at 2 CFR 180.335. It is part of OMB's Guidance for Grants and Agreements concerning Government-wide Debarment and Suspension.

    ii. All your organization's known workplaces by including the actual address of buildings (or parts of buildings) or other sites where work under the award takes place. Workplace identification is required under the drug-free workplace requirements in Subpart B of 2 CFR part 421, which adopts the Government-wide Drug-Free Workplace Act.

    iii. 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Assistance Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards).

    iv. 2 CFR part 182 (Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)) and 2 CFR part 421 (Requirements for Drug Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)).

    v. Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.” For information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to http://www.LEP.gov.

    E. Application Review Information

    1. RUS will acknowledge the application's receipt by email to the applicant. The application will be reviewed for completeness to determine if it contains all of the items required. If the application is incomplete or ineligible, RUS will return it to the Applicant with an explanation. RUS reserves the right to request additional information once an application is determined to be complete to address application assistance and project development or workforce development needs that are known or anticipated at the time of evaluation or to minimize the risk of duplication of other federal efforts. The RUS grant offer to successful applicants will be based on the submitted application and may be more narrowly tailored than the submitted application to meet rural community needs at the time of the offer or over the course of the grant period.

    2. A review team, composed of at least two members, will evaluate all applications and proposals. They will make overall recommendations based on factors such as eligibility, application completeness, and conformity to application requirements. They will score the applications based on criteria in paragraph C of this section.

    3. All applications that are complete and eligible will be scored and ranked competitively. The categories for scoring criteria used are the following:

    Scoring criteria Points Scope of Assistance (National or Multi-State) Up to 15. Degree of expertise Up to 10. Applicant Resources (staff and contract personnel) Up to 10. Goals/Objectives: Goals/objectives are clearly defined and tied to need, results and measurable outcomes Up to 15. Extent to which the work plan clearly articulates a well thought out approach to accomplishing objectives; and clearly defines how the applicant would respond to communities served by the TAT grant Up to 40. Financial Controls Up to 5. Type of technical assistance applicant is providing Up to 20. Project duration Up to 5. Administrator Discretion: RUS Administrator may provide additional points based on the following factors: Geographic, economic, or agency priority issues Up to 15. F. Federal Award Administration Information

    1. RUS will rank all qualifying applications by their final score. Applications will be selected for funding based on the highest scores. The agency expects to award two grants under this notice. The agency reserves the right to make no grant awards if all applications are incomplete and/or score below 65 points. Each applicant will be notified via email of the agency's funding decision.

    2. In making its decision about your application, RUS may determine that your application is:

    a. Eligible and selected for funding;

    b. Eligible and offered fewer funds than requested;

    c. Eligible but not selected for funding; or

    d. Ineligible for the grant.

    3. Applicants selected for funding will complete a grant agreement suitable to RUS, which outlines the terms and conditions of the grant award. Pursuant to the grant agreement, grant funds may be released over the course of the grant period in reimbursement for the performance of eligible, approved activities which do not duplicate similar federal efforts or tasks. The grant agreement may also include reporting and pre-approval requirements consistent with 7 CFR part 1775 which if not met, may result in a delay in reimbursement, disallowance of expense or a suspension of the grant.

    4. Grantees will be reimbursed as follows:

    a. SF-270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement,” will be completed by the grantee and submitted to either the State or National Office not more frequently than monthly.

    b. Upon receipt of a properly completed SF-270, payment will ordinarily be made within 30 days.

    5. Any change in the scope of the project, budget adjustments of more than 10 percent of the total budget, or any other significant change in the project must be reported to and approved by the approval official by written amendment to the Grant. Any change not approved may be cause for termination of the grant.

    6. Rates Requirements.

    All laborers, apprentices and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this Act shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with Title 40 United States Code, Subtitle II, Part A, chapter 31, subchapter IV, section 3141. Further details on eligible applicants and projects may be found in the relevant regulations listed in Section II.C.

    7. Reporting Requirements.

    a. Grantees shall constantly 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.

    b. SF-269, “Financial Status Report (short form),” and a project performance activity report will be required of all grantees on a quarterly basis, due 30 days after the end of each quarter.

    c. A final project performance report will be required with the last SF-269 due 90 days after the end of the last quarter in which the project is completed. The final report may serve as the last quarterly report.

    d. All grantees are to submit an original of each report to the National Office. The project performance reports should detail, in a narrative format, activities that have transpired for the specific time period.

    e. The grantee will provide an audit report or financial statements in accordance with Uniform Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200, subpart F.

    G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    A. Website: http://www.usda.gov/rus/water. RUS' website maintains up-to-date resources and contact information for TAT Grants program.

    B. Phone: 202-720-9635.

    C. Email: [email protected].

    D. Main point of contact: LaVonda Pernell, Community Program Specialist, Water and Environmental Programs, Water Programs Division, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    H. Civil Rights

    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, Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) Email: [email protected]. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: August 2, 2018. Edna Primrose, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16997 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Kentucky Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Kentucky (State) Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Thursday August 23, 2018, for continuing committee discussion of project proposal topic.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday August 23, 2018 at 1:00 (EST).

    Public Call Information: The meeting will be by teleconference. Toll-free call-in number: 1-855-710-4182, conference ID: 8689555.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hinton, DFO, at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 1-855-710-4182, conference ID: 8689555. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by May 14, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to the Southern Region, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to the Regional Director, Jeffrey Hinton at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Division at (312) 353-8312.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Southern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Kentucky Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional representative at the above email.

    Agenda Welcome and attendance of advisory committee members Dr. Betty Griffin, Chairman/Jeff Hinton, Regional Director, USCCRSRO Kentucky Advisory Committee update/discussion of project proposal topics Dr. Betty Griffin, Chairman, Advisory Committee Open Comment Advisory Committee Public Participation Adjournment Dated: July 26, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16332 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the South Carolina Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the South Carolina Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, August 13, 2018, for the purpose of beginning work on its project regarding civil rights issues and policing in the state.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be by teleconference. Toll-free call-in number: 1-888-455-2265, conference ID: 1690755.

    FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hinton, DFO, at [email protected] or 404-562-7006.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Program Unit Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 230 S Dearborn, Suite 2120, Chicago, IL 60604. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Regional Director, Jeffrey Hinton at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Program Unite Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Program Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, South Carolina Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Introductions Professor Seth Stoughton, University of South Carolina School of Law Discussion on Policing Project Open Comment Adjournment Dated: August 5, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17033 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-560-828] Certain Uncoated Paper From Indonesia: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) continues to find that the one subject producer/exporter of subject merchandise did not sell certain uncoated paper from Indonesia at less that normal value during the period of review (POR), August 26, 2015, through February 28, 2017. No interested party submitted comments on the preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Blaine Wiltse or David Crespo, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6345 or (202) 482-3693, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On April 9, 2018, Commerce published the Preliminary Results. 1 Although we invited parties to comment on the preliminary results of the review,2 no interested party submitted comments. Accordingly, no decision memorandum accompanies this Federal Register notice. Commerce conducted this administrative review in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    1See Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017, 83 FR 15129 (April 9, 2018) (Preliminary Results), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (PDM).

    2See Preliminary Results, 83 FR at 15130.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise under review includes uncoated paper in sheet form; weighing at least 40 grams per square meter but not more than 150 grams per square meter; that either is a white paper with a GE brightness level 3 of 85 or higher or is a colored paper; whether or not surface-decorated, printed (except as described below), embossed, perforated, or punched; irrespective of the smoothness of the surface; and irrespective of dimensions (Certain Uncoated Paper).

    3 One of the key measurements of any grade of paper is brightness. Generally speaking, the brighter the paper the better the contrast between the paper and the ink. Brightness is measured using a GE Reflectance Scale, which measures the reflection of light off a grade of paper. One is the lowest reflection, or what would be given to a totally black grade, and 100 is the brightest measured grade. “Colored paper” as used in this scope definition means a paper with a hue other than white that reflects one of the primary colors of magenta, yellow, and cyan (red, yellow, and blue) or a combination of such primary colors.

    Certain Uncoated Paper includes (a) uncoated free sheet paper that meets this scope definition; (b) uncoated ground wood paper produced from bleached chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp (BCTMP) that meets this scope definition; and (c) any other uncoated paper that meets this scope definition regardless of the type of pulp used to produce the paper.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are (1) paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics and (2) lined paper products, typically school supplies, composed of paper that incorporates straight horizontal and/or vertical lines that would make the paper unsuitable for copying or printing purposes. For purposes of this scope definition, paper shall be considered “printed with final content” where at least one side of the sheet has printed text and/or graphics that cover at least five percent of the surface area of the entire sheet.

    On September 1, 2017, Commerce determined that that imports of uncoated paper with a GE brightness of 83 +/− 1% (83 Bright paper), otherwise meeting the description of in-scope merchandise, constitute merchandise “altered in form or appearance in minor respects” from in-scope merchandise that are subject to this order.4

    4See Certain Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, and Portugal: Affirmative Final Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 82 FR 41610 (September 1, 2017).

    Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) categories 4802.56.1000, 4802.56.2000, 4802.56.3000, 4802.56.4000, 4802.56.6000, 4802.56.7020, 4802.56.7040, 4802.57.1000, 4802.57.2000, 4802.57.3000, and 4802.57.4000. Some imports of subject merchandise may also be classified under 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.5000, 4802.62.6020, 4802.62.6040, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, 4802.69.3000, 4811.90.8050 and 4811.90.9080. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Analysis

    In the Preliminary Results, we determined that the sole mandatory respondent, APRIL,5 did not make sales of subject merchandise at prices below normal value during the POR. As no parties commented on the Preliminary Results, we are adopting the decisions outlined in the PDM in these final results of review. For additional details, see the PDM, which is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the PDM can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and the electronic versions of the PDM are identical in content.

    5 In the Preliminary Results, Commerce determined to collapse, and treat as a single entity, the mandatory respondent, PT Anugerah Kertas Utama, PT Riau Andalan Kertas, and APRIL Fine Paper Macao Offshore Limited (collectively, APRIL), and its two affiliated parties, PT Sateri Viscose International and A P Fine Paper Trading (Hong Kong) Limited. The collapsed entity is hereinafter collectively referred to as APRIL. See Preliminary Results PDM at 3 and 5-6.

    Final Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we are assigning a dumping margin of zero to APRIL for the period August 26, 2015, through February 28, 2017, as follows:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • PT Anugerah Kertas Utama/PT Riau Andalan Kertas/PT Sateri Viscose International/A P Fine Paper Trading (Hong Kong) Limited/APRIL Fine Paper Macao Offshore Limited (collectively, APRIL) 0.00
    Assessment Rates

    Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Because APRIL's weighted-average dumping margin in the final results of this review is zero, we will instruct CBP to liquidate APRIL's entries without regard to antidumping duties. In addition, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by APRIL for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company or companies involved in the transaction. The all-others rate is 2.10 percent.6 We will also instruct CBP to take into account the “provisional measures cap” in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(d).

    6See Certain Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, the People's Republic of China, and Portugal: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determinations for Brazil and Indonesia and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 11174 (March 3, 2016).

    Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for APRIL will be zero; (2) for previously-investigated companies not participating in this review, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, or the original less-than-fair value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent segment for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 2.10 percent, the all-others rate made effective by the LTFV investigation. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as the only reminder to importers of their responsibility, under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2), to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

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

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and sections 19 CFR 351.213(h) and 351.221(b)(5).

    Dated: August 6, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17066 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-552-802] Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2017-2018 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is rescinding the administrative review, in part, of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) for the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Gorelik, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6905.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On April 16, 2018, based on timely requests for review for 94 companies by Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (the petitioner),1 97 companies by the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA),2 and by various Vietnamese companies,3 Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from Vietnam covering the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.4

    1See the petitioner's Request for Administrative Review, dated February 28, 2018.

    2See ASPA's Request for Administrative Review, dated February 27, 2018.

    3See, e.g., Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company's submission, “Request for Review,” dated February 27, 2018.

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 16298 (April 16, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

    On July 11, 2018, Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company withdrew its request for administrative review.5 On July 11, 2018, both the petitioner and ASPA also withdrew their respective requests for an administrative review of Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company and its various name iterations, as listed in the Initiation Notice. 6 Subsequently, on July 12, 2018, the petitioner and ASPA also withdrew their respective requests for administrative review of Seavina Joint Stock Company and its various name iterations, as listed in the Initiation Notice. 7 No other party requested a review of Seavina Joint Stock Company.

    5See Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company's Letter, “Withdrawal of Request for Review,” dated July 11, 2018.

    6See the petitioners' Submission, “Domestic Producers' Partial Withdrawal of Review Requests,” dated July 11, 2018, and ASPA's Submission, “Partial Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated July 11, 2018.

    7See ASPA's Submissions, “Partial Withdrawal of Review for Administrative Review,” dated July 12, 2018 and the petitioner's Submission, “Partial Withdrawal of Review Requests,” dated July 12, 2018.

    Partial Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), Commerce will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party that requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Because all requests for administrative review of Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company and Seavina Joint Stock Company were withdrawn within 90 days of the date of publication of the Initiation Notice, and no other interested party requested a review of these companies, Commerce is rescinding this review with respect to Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company and Seavina Joint Stock Company, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1). The administrative review remains active with respect to all other companies initiated for review.

    Assessment

    Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, during the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Notifications

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17051 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-122-861] Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper From Canada: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) determines that certain uncoated groundwood paper (UGW paper) from Canada is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Goldberger or Terre Keaton Stefanova, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4136 or (202) 482-1280.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 19, 2018, Commerce published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of UGW paper from Canada, in which we also postponed the final determination to August 1, 2018.1 A summary of the events that occurred since Commerce published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures, 83 FR 11960 (March 19, 2018) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is UGW paper from Canada. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in March and April 2018, we conducted verifications of the sales and cost information submitted by Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales, Inc. and Catalyst Paper General Partnership (collectively, Catalyst); Resolute FP Canada Inc. and Donohue Malbaie Inc. (collectively, Resolute); and White Birch Paper Canada Company, Papier Masson WB LP, FF Soucy WB LP, and Stadacona WB LP (collectively, White Birch Paper) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by Catalyst, Resolute, and White Birch Paper.3

    3 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum “Verification of the Cost Response of White Birch Paper Canada Company in the Antidumping Duty Less Than Fair Value Investigation of Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated April 20, 2018; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Questionnaire Responses of Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales, Inc. and Catalyst Paper General Partnership (collectively, Catalyst) in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated May 18, 2018; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of White Birch Paper in the Antidumping Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated May 21, 2018; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of White Birch Paper in the Antidumping Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated May 24, 2018; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Resolute FP Canada Inc. and Donohue Malbaie Inc. (collectively, Resolute),” dated May 31, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Cost Response of Catalyst in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated May 31, 2018; and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of Resolute in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated June 5, 2018.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for Catalyst, Resolute, and White Birch Paper. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculation” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    “All Others” Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated “all others” rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act provides that if the estimated weighted-average dumping margins for all individually investigated exporters and producers are zero or de minimis or determined entirely under section 776 of the Act, then Commerce may use any reasonable method to establish the estimated all others rate, including averaging the estimated weighted-average dumping margins determined for the individually investigated exporters and producers.

    Commerce has continued to calculate zero rates for Resolute and White Birch Paper. Further, because of the substantial change to the scope of this investigation at the time of the Preliminary Determination, we find that Catalyst can no longer be considered an “individually investigated” exporter or producer, within the meaning of section 735(c) of the Act.4 Therefore, there are no margins for “individually investigated” respondents in this investigation that are not zero. Consequently, we assigned the “all others” rate pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act by averaging the margins for the “individually investigated” respondents. Specifically, we assigned the zero rate calculated for Resolute and White Birch Paper as the rate for “all others” producers and exporters in this investigation.5

    4 However, pursuant to section 735(a) of the Act, we continue to reach an affirmative final determination with respect to Catalyst, and we have used the record evidence and verification findings with respect to Catalyst to calculate its weighted-average dumping margin. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 2.

    5 For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 2.

    Final Determination

    The final estimated weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales, Inc. and Catalyst Paper General Partnership 16.88 Resolute FP Canada Inc. and Donohue Malbaie Inc 0.00 White Birch Paper Canada Company, Papier Masson WB LP, FF Soucy WB LP, and Stadacona WB LP 0.00 All Others 0.00
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of UGW paper from Canada, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 19, 2018, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register, other than entries of UGW paper produced and exported by Resolute, and produced and exported by White Birch, because their rates are zero. Entries for the companies subject to the “all others” rate will be subject to suspension of liquidation at the “all others” rate.

    Further, Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of UGW paper from Canada no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by Commerce, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise, other than those produced and exported by Resolute, and those produced and exported by White Birch, because their rates are zero, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

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

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 1, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, Performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation includes certain paper that has not been coated on either side and with 50 percent or more of the cellulose fiber content consisting of groundwood pulp, including groundwood pulp made from recycled paper, weighing not more than 90 grams per square meter. Groundwood pulp includes all forms of pulp produced from a mechanical pulping process, such as thermo-mechanical process (TMP), chemi-thermo mechanical process (CTMP), bleached chemi-thermo mechanical process (BCTMP) or any other mechanical pulping process. The scope includes paper shipped in any form, including but not limited to both rolls and sheets.

    Certain uncoated groundwood paper includes but is not limited to standard newsprint, high bright newsprint, book publishing, and printing and writing papers. The scope includes paper that is white, off-white, cream, or colored.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are imports of certain uncoated groundwood paper printed with final content of printed text or graphic. Also excluded are papers that otherwise meet this definition, but which have undergone a supercalendering process.6 Additionally, excluded are papers that otherwise meet this definition, but which have undergone a creping process over the entire surface area of the paper.

    6 Supercalendering imparts a glossy finish produced by the movement of the paper web through a supercalender which is a stack of alternating rollers of metal and cotton (or other softer material). The supercalender runs at high speed and applies pressure, heat, and friction which glazes the surface of the paper, imparting gloss to the surface and increasing the paper's smoothness and density.

    Also excluded are uncoated groundwood construction paper and uncoated groundwood manila drawing paper in sheet or roll format. Excluded uncoated groundwood construction paper and uncoated groundwood manila drawing paper: (a) Have a weight greater than 61 grams per square meter; (b) have a thickness greater than 6.1 caliper, i.e., greater than .0061” or 155 microns; (c) are produced using at least 50 percent thermomechanical pulp; and (d) have a shade, as measured by CIELAB, as follows: L* less than or 75.0 or b* greater than or equal to 25.0.

    Also excluded is uncoated groundwood directory paper that: (a) Has a basis weight of 34 grams per square meter or less; and (b) has a thickness of 2.6 caliper mils or 66 microns or less.

    Certain uncoated groundwood paper is classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in several subheadings, including 4801.00.0120, 4801.00.0140, 4802.61.1000, 4802.61.2000, 4802.61.3110, 4802.61.3191, 4802.61.6040, 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.6140, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, and 4802.69.3000. Subject merchandise may also be imported under several additional subheadings including 4805.91.5000, 4805.91.7000, and 4805.91.9000.7 Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    7 The following HTSUS numbers are no longer active as of January 1, 2017: 4801.00.0020, 4801.00.0040, 4802.61.3010, 4802.61.3091, and 4802.62.6040.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Changes Since the Preliminary Determination V. Discussion of the Issues General Comment 1: Whether There was Sufficient Industry Support to Initiate this Investigation Comment 2: Respondent Selection and Calculation of the “All Others” Rate Comment 3: Differential Pricing Methodology Catalyst Comment 4: Fixed Asset Impairment for Catalyst Comment 5: Treatment of Catalyst's Home Market Barter Sales Comment 6: Treatment of Catalyst's Sales Which May Have Been Destined for Mexico Comment 7: Insurance Recovery Costs for Catalyst Comment 8: Catalyst's Home Market Bank Charges Comment 9: Errors in Catalyst's Preliminary Determination Margin Program Comment 10: Verification Corrections for Catalyst Resolute Comment 11: Resolute's Short-Term U.S. Dollar Borrowing Rate Comment 12: Treatment of Resolute's Corporate Level Costs VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17020 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-122-862] Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper From Canada: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain uncoated groundwood paper (UGW paper) from Canada. The period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Crespo or Whitley Herndon, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3693 or (202) 482-6274, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This final determination is made in accordance with section 705 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The events that occurred since Commerce published the Preliminary Determination1 on January 16, 2018, are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum also details the changes we made since the Preliminary Determination to the subsidy rates calculated for the mandatory respondents and all other producers/exporters. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 83 FR 2133 (January 16, 2018) (Preliminary Determination) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum. See also Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: Amended Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination, 83 FR 16050 (April 13, 2018).

    2See Memorandum “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is UGW paper from Canada. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The subsidy programs under investigation and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice as Appendix II.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, January 2018 through May 2018 Commerce conducted verifications related to the subsidy information reported by the Government of Canada, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Québec, as well as Catalyst,3 Kruger,4 Resolute,5 and White Birch.6 We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting records and original source documents provided by the respondents.7

    3 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Catalyst Paper Corporation: Catalyst Paper, Catalyst Pulp Operations Limited, and Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales Inc. (collectively Catalyst). These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    4 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Kruger Trois-Rivieres L.P.: Kruger Publication Papers Inc., Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited, Kruger Energy Bromptonville LP, Kruger Holdings L.P., Kruger Holdings GP Inc., and Kruger Inc. (collectively Kruger). These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    5 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Resolute FP Canada Inc.: Resolute FP Canada, Fibrek General Partnership (Fibrek), and Resolute Growth (collectively Resolute). These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    6 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with White Birch Paper Canada Company NSULC: Papier Masson WB (White Birch) LP, FF Soucy WB LP, and Stadacona WB LP (collectively White Birch). These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    7See Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of Catalyst Paper Corporation,” dated February 13, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of British Columbia and, in Part, the Government of Canada,” dated February 13, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of White Birch Paper Canada Company,” dated March 28, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador,” dated April 17, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of Canada,” dated April 18, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of Nova Scotia,” dated May 18, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of Resolute FP Canada Inc.,” dated June 6, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of Québec,” dated June 6, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of Ontario,” dated June 7, 2018; Memorandum “Verification of Kruger's Questionnaire Responses,” dated June 7, 2018; and Memorandum “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses of the Government of Québec,” dated June 18, 2018.

    Methodology

    Commerce conducted this investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, Commerce determines that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that confers a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.8 For a full description of the methodology underlying our final determination, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    8See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; see section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; see section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our review and analysis of the comments received from parties, and minor corrections presented at verification, we made certain changes to the respondents' subsidy rate calculations since the Preliminary Determination and the Post-Preliminary Analysis Memorandum.9 As a result of these changes, we have also revised the “all-others” rate. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and accompanying memoranda.10 Although there was a substantial change to the scope of the investigation after the Preliminary Determination, we did not, nor did any party suggest, that we collect revised sales or export information from the respondents. Therefore, we have not reconsidered our respondent selection and we continue to treat all respondents as “individually investigated.”

    9See Memorandum “Post-Preliminary Analysis of Countervailing Duty Investigation: Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada,” dated June 18, 2018 (Post-Preliminary Analysis Memorandum).

    10See Memoranda “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: Final Determination Calculation Memorandum for Catalyst,” “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: Final Determination Calculation Memorandum for Resolute FP Canada and its cross-owned affiliates (Resolute),” “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: Final Determination Calculation Memorandum for White Birch Paper Canada Company (White Birch),” and “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: All Others Rate Calculation for Final Determination,” each dated concurrently with this notice.

    “All-Others” Rate

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) of the Act, Commerce must determine an estimated “all-others” rate for all exporters and producers not individually examined. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that, for companies not individually investigated, Commerce will determine an “all-others” rate equal to the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis countervailable subsidy rates, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Where all of the rates for investigated companies are zero or de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act instructs Commerce to establish an “all-others” rate using “any reasonable method.”

    In this investigation, Commerce calculated individual estimated countervailable subsidy rates for Catalyst, Kruger, and Resolute that are not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available. Therefore, pursuant to section 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, Commerce calculated the “all-others” rate using a weighted-average of the individual estimated subsidy rates calculated for these examined respondents (excluding the de minimis rate determined for White Birch) using each company's business proprietary data for the merchandise under consideration.11

    11See Memorandum “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada: All Others Rate Calculation for Final Determination,” date concurrently with this notice.

    Final Determination

    We determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Ad valorem
  • subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Catalyst Paper Corporation 12 3.38 Kruger Trois-Rivieres L.P 13 9.53 Resolute FP Canada Inc 14 9.81 White Birch Paper Canada Company NSULC 15 * 0.82 All-Others 8.54 * (de minimis)
    Disclosure

    Commerce intends to disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    12 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Catalyst Paper Corporation: Catalyst Paper, Catalyst Pulp Operations Limited, and Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales Inc. These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    13 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Kruger Trois-Rivieres L.P.: Kruger Publication Papers Inc., Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited, Kruger Energy Bromptonville LP, Kruger Holdings L.P., Kruger Holdings GP Inc., and Kruger Inc.

    14 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Resolute FP Canada Inc.: Resolute FP Canada, Fibrek General Partnership (Fibrek), and Resolute Growth. These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    15 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce has found the following companies to be cross-owned with White Birch Paper Canada Company NSULC: Papier Masson WB (White Birch) LP, FF Soucy WB LP, and Stadacona WB LP. These findings are unchanged for purposes of the Final Determination.

    Suspension of Liquidation

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination and pursuant to section 703(d)(1)(B) and (2) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise from Canada (other than those produced and exported by White Birch because its preliminary rate was de minimis), that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after January 16, 2018, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination. In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we subsequently instructed CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after May 16, 2018, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries from January 16, 2018, through May 15, 2018 (with the exception entries produced and exported by White Birch).

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act, requiring a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of subject merchandise, other than those produced and exported by White Birch because its rate is de minimis, in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 705(b) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of UGW paper from Canada no later than 45 days after our final determination.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    In the event that the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to the APO of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: August 1, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation includes certain paper that has not been coated on either side and with 50 percent or more of the cellulose fiber content consisting of groundwood pulp, including groundwood pulp made from recycled paper, weighing not more than 90 grams per square meter. Groundwood pulp includes all forms of pulp produced from a mechanical pulping process, such as thermo-mechanical process (TMP), chemi-thermo mechanical process (CTMP), bleached chemi-thermo mechanical process (BCTMP) or any other mechanical pulping process. The scope includes paper shipped in any form, including but not limited to both rolls and sheets.

    Certain uncoated groundwood paper includes but is not limited to standard newsprint, high bright newsprint, book publishing, and printing and writing papers. The scope includes paper that is white, off-white, cream, or colored.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are imports of certain uncoated groundwood paper printed with final content of printed text or graphic. Also excluded are papers that otherwise meet this definition, but which have undergone a supercalendering process.16 Additionally, excluded are papers that otherwise meet this definition, but which have undergone a creping process over the entire surface area of the paper.

    16 Supercalendering imparts a glossy finish produced by the movement of the paper web through a supercalender which is a stack of alternating rollers of metal and cotton (or other softer material). The supercalender runs at high speed and applies pressure, heat, and friction which glazes the surface of the paper, imparting gloss to the surface and increasing the paper's smoothness and density.

    Also excluded are uncoated groundwood construction paper and uncoated groundwood manila drawing paper in sheet or roll format. Excluded uncoated groundwood construction paper and uncoated groundwood manila drawing paper: (a) Have a weight greater than 61 grams per square meter; (b) have a thickness greater than 6.1 caliper, i.e., greater than .0061” or 155 microns; (c) are produced using at least 50 percent thermomechanical pulp; and (d) have a shade, as measured by CIELAB, as follows: L* less than or 75.0 or b* greater than or equal to 25.0.

    Also excluded is uncoated groundwood directory paper that: (a) Has a basis weight of 34 grams per square meter or less; and (b) has a thickness of 2.6 caliper mils or 66 microns or less.

    Certain uncoated groundwood paper is classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in several subheadings, including 4801.00.0120, 4801.00.0140, 4802.61.1000, 4802.61.2000, 4802.61.3110, 4802.61.3191, 4802.61.6040, 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.6140, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, and 4802.69.3000. Subject merchandise may also be imported under several additional subheadings including 4805.91.5000, 4805.91.7000, and 4805.91.9000.17 Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    17 The following HTSUS numbers are no longer active as of January 1, 2017: 4801.00.0020, 4801.00.0040, 4802.61.3010, 4802.61.3091, and 4802.62.6040.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum Summary Background Case History Period of Investigation Scope of the Investigation Scope Comments Subsidies Valuation Information A. Allocation Period B. Attribution of Subsidies C. Denominators D. Creditworthiness E. Equityworthiness F. Loan Benchmarks and Interest Rates Analysis of Programs A. Programs Determined To Be Countervailable B. Programs Determined Not to Provide Measurable Benefits During the POI C. Programs Determined Not To Be Used During the POI D. Programs Determined To Be Not Countervailable in this Investigation E. Programs Not Further Examined F. Programs Deferred Until a Subsequent Administrative Review Analysis of Comments General Issues Comment 1: Whether Commerce Should Adjust Its Calculation of the All-Others Rate to Exclude Rates Based on AFA Comment 2: Whether Commerce Established the Requisite Level of Industry Support for Initiating This Investigation Comment 3: Whether Commerce Must Examine the Full Scope of Downstream Effects Comment 4: Whether Commerce Properly Requested Respondent Interested Parties to Report “Other Assistance” Comment 5: Whether to Continue to Find Certain Programs Not Used, Not Measurable, or Having No Benefit Bankruptcy/Change in Ownership Issues Comment 6: Whether Subsidies Received Prior to 2011 Were Extinguished by Resolute's Emergence from Bankruptcy Comment 7: Whether Resolute's Acquisition of Fibrek Extinguished Any Prior Fibrek Subsidies Comment 8: Whether White Birch's Bankruptcy Proceedings Constitute a CIO Sales Denominator Issues Comment 9: Whether Commerce Should Revise Kruger's Denominators Comment 10: Whether Commerce Should Revise Resolute's Denominators Comment 11: Whether Commerce Should Revise White Birch's Denominators Unreported Assistance Issues Comment 12: Whether Electricity Sold by PREI Provides a Countervailable Subsidy to Catalyst Comment 13: Whether Commerce Should Assign an AFA Rate to Kruger for its Failure to Report Payments Related to the Hydro-Québec Connection of Electricity Sub-Station Program Comment 14: Whether Commerce Should Assign an AFA Rate for CBPP's Failure to Report Payments Received for Two Studies Comment 15: Whether Commerce Should Apply AFA to White Birch's Two Undisclosed Tax Credits General Stumpage and Wood Fiber LTAR Issues Comment 16: Whether Commerce Must Use In-Jurisdiction Benchmarks to Determine Whether a Benefit Has Been Provided Comment 17: Whether Commerce Must Conduct a Stumpage Pass-Through Analysis Comment 18: Whether Woodchips from Sawmills Are Subsidized Comment 19: Whether Commerce Must Compare Average Benchmark Prices to Average Transaction Prices Ontario Stumpage Issues Comment 20: Whether Pulpwood is Subsidized Comment 21: Whether Ontario's Stumpage Market is Distorted Québec Stumpage Issues Comment 22: Whether Québec's Public Stumpage Market Is Distorted Comment 23: Whether Commerce Erred in Calculating a Benefit for White Birch under the Provision of Stumpage for LTAR Program Nova Scotia Benchmark Issues Comment 24: Whether Commerce Should Use a Nova Scotia Benchmark as a Basis of Finding Subsidization of Stumpage in Ontario and Québec Comment 25: Whether the Nova Scotia Benchmark Should be Adjusted Log Export Restraint Issues Comment 26: Whether the Log and Wood Residue Export Restraints Provide a Financial Contribution Comment 27: Whether the Export Permitting Process Materially Restrains Export Activity Comment 28: Whether to Apply Adverse Inferences to Catalyst's Log Delivery Costs Comment 29: Whether Commerce May Use NAWFR Benchmark Information Comment 30: The Appropriate Benchmark Source for the British Columbia Log and Wood Residue Export Restraints Comment 31: Whether to Exclude U.S. Exports to the UAE from the Benchmark Data Comment 32: The Appropriate Freight Amounts to Apply to the Benchmark Values Comment 33: The Appropriate Freight Amounts to Apply to Catalyst's Purchases of Woodchips, Sawdust, and Hog Fuel Comment 34: Whether Commerce Should Exclude Logs and Chips Dedicated to the Production of Kraft Pulp Comment 35: Whether to Account for Negative Transactions in Catalyst's Wood Purchase Database Purchase of Goods for MTAR Issues Comment 36: Whether the Purchase of Electricity was a Purchase of a Good or Service Comment 37: Whether Commerce Erred in Using Sales of Electricity as the Benchmark for Provincial Utility Purchases of Electricity Comment 38: Whether Purchases of Electricity Were “Market Based” Comment 39: Whether Commerce Should Use a Different Benchmark for Purchases of Electricity from the IESO Comment 40: Whether Commerce Used the Wrong Benchmark for Countervailing Hydro-Québec's Purchases of Electricity from KEBLP Comment 41: Whether the Provincial Utility Purchases of Electricity Are Tied to Sales of Non-Subject Merchandise Comment 42: Whether Commerce Should Countervail BC Hydro's EPAs Comment 43: Whether Commerce Used the Wrong Benchmark for Countervailing BC Hydro's Purchases of Electricity Comment 44: The Appropriate Benefit Calculation for BC Hydro EPAs Comment 45: Whether BC Hydro's EPAs are De Facto Specific Comment 46: Whether Commerce Should Include all Elements of Kruger's Electric Service Rates in its Benchmark Comment 47: Whether Hydro-Québec's Purchase of Electricity for MTAR was Specific Comment 48: Whether the IESO Purchases Electricity Comment 49: Whether the IESO's Purchase of Electricity for MTAR is Specific Comment 50: Whether Commerce Should Countervail Tariff 29 and/or Use it as a Benchmark Comment 51: Whether the Government of Canada's Provision of C$130 Million for Resolute's Expropriated Assets Provides a Benefit Tax Program Issues Comment 52: Whether the ACCA for Class 29 Assets Tax Program is Specific Comment 53: Whether the School Tax Credit for Class 4 Major Industrial Properties Provides a Financial Contribution Comment 54: Whether the School Tax Credit for Class 4 Major Industrial Properties is Specific Comment 55: Whether the Coloured Fuel Tax Rate Provides a Financial Contribution Comment 56: Whether the Coloured Fuel Tax Rate is Specific Comment 57: Whether Catalyst Benefited from the Coloured Fuel Tax Rate Comment 58: Whether the Powell River City Tax Exemption Program Provides a Financial Contribution Comment 59: The Appropriate Benefit Calculation for the Powell River City Tax Exemption Program Comment 60: Whether Commerce Properly Determined the Amount of the Subsidy Kruger Received from Property Tax Exemptions Comment 61: Whether the Québec SR&ED Tax Credit 18 is De Facto Specific

    18 Also called the Québec Scientific Research and Development Tax Credit in the Preliminary Determination.

    Comment 62: Whether the Tax Credit for the Acquisition of Manufacturing and Processing Equipment in Québec is Specific Comment 63: Whether the Tax Credit for Pre-Competitive Research is Specific Comment 64: Whether the Credit for Fees and Dues Paid to a Research Consortium is Specific Comment 65: Whether Québec's Tax Credit for Construction and Repair of Roads and Bridges Provides a Financial Contribution and a Benefit Grant Program Issues: Electricity Comment 66: Whether Agreements to Curtail Consumption of Electricity are Grants Comment 67: Whether the Power Smart Subprograms are De Jure/De Facto Specific Comment 68: The Appropriate Benefit for the Power Smart: Load Curtailment Program Comment 69: The Correct Calculation for the BC Hydro Power Smart TMP and Incentives Subprograms Comment 70: Whether Hydro-Québec's IEO Program Is Specific Comment 71: Whether Hydro-Québec's Industrial Systems Program/Energy Efficiency Program is Countervailable Comment 72: Whether the Hydro-Québec Special L Rate for Industrial Customers Affected by Budworm Confers a Benefit Comment 73: Whether the IESO Demand Response Is Specific Comment 74: Whether the Ontario IEI Program is Specific Comment 75: Whether the Ontario IEI Program is Tied to Non-Subject Merchandise Comment 76: Whether Capacity Assistance Payments to CBPP Are Specific Comment 77: Whether the Capacity Assistance Fees Paid to CBPP Provided a Benefit Grant Program Issues: Other Comment 78: Whether the Canada-BC Job Grant Program is Specific Comment 79: Whether Emploi-Québec Programs are Specific Comment 80: Whether Emploi-Québec Programs are Recurring Comment 81: Whether the PCIP Provides a Benefit Comment 82: Whether the Paix des Braves Program Provides a Countervailable Benefit Comment 83: Whether the Investment Program in Public Forests Affected by Natural or Anthropogenic Disturbance Provides a Countervailable Benefit Comment 84: Whether the FPInnovations Ash Development Project Provides a Countervailable Benefit Comment 85: Whether the PAREGES Program is Specific and Confers a Benefit Comment 86: Whether the Ontario Forest Roads Funding Program is Countervailable Comment 87: Whether the EcoPerformance Program is Specific and Confers a Benefit Equity Program Issues Comment 88: Whether Preferred Shares Issued by Kruger Inc./KPPI in 2012 were Debt or Equity Comment 89: Whether Any Benefit in the 2012 Debt-to-Equity Conversion Is Attributable to Kruger Inc. Comment 90: How to Determine the Benefit for KPPI's 2012 Loan Forgiveness Comment 91: Whether IQ's 2015 Investment in KHLP Was Tied to Non-Subject Merchandise Comment 92: Whether the Equityworthiness Analysis for KHLP in 2015 is Correct Comment 93: Whether KHLP was Equityworthy Loan Program Issues Comment 94: Whether CBPP was Creditworthy Comment 95: Whether Commerce Erred in Calculating the Benchmark for CBPP's 2014 Loan Comment 96: Whether Interest Due from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Loan to CBPP and Paid in 2017 Provided No Benefit in the POI Comment 97: Whether Commerce Erred in Its Benefit Calculation for the IQ Loan Guarantee to KEBLP Company-Specific Issues Catalyst Comment 98: How to Treat Catalyst's Unreported Log and Wood Fiber Purchases Resolute Comment 99: Whether Commerce Should Use Resolute's Revised SR&ED Tax Credit White Birch Comment 100: Whether Commerce Correctly Determined the Dates of Approval for the MFOR Worker Training Grants to White Birch's Stadacona Mill Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2018-17017 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-475-819] Certain Pasta From Italy: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission; 2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is conducting an administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain pasta from Italy. The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Kolberg, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1785.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 13, 2017, Commerce published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the CVD order on certain pasta from Italy for the POR.1 From October 10, 2017 to December 12, 2017, eight of the producers/exporters of subject merchandise subject to this review timely withdrew their request for review. Thus, we are rescinding this review with respect to these eight producers/exporters. Commerce is conducting this review of one remaining producer/exporter of subject merchandise: GR.A.M.M. S.r.l. (GR.A.M.M.). On March 29, 2018, Commerce postponed the deadline for issuing the preliminary results of this administrative review until August 3, 2018.2 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided in the Appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Memorandum, “Certain Pasta from Italy: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” dated March 29, 2018.

    3See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission: Certain Pasta from Italy; 2016,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    Imports covered by the order are shipments of certain non-egg dry pasta in packages of five pounds four ounces or less, whether or not enriched or fortified or containing milk or other optional ingredients such as chopped vegetables, vegetable purees, milk, gluten, diastasis, vitamins, coloring and flavorings, and up to two percent egg white. The pasta covered by the scope of the order is typically sold in the retail market, in fiberboard or cardboard cartons, or polyethylene or polypropylene bags of varying dimensions. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.4

    4See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Partial Rescission

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), Commerce will rescind an administrative review, “in whole or in part, if a party that requested a review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review.” The requests for review for the following companies were withdrawn within the 90-day limit: Alessio Panarese Soceieta Agricola, Antico Pastificio Morelli 1860 S.r.l., Colussi Spa, Ghigi 1870 S.p.A., Industria Alimentare Colavita, S.p.A., Pastificio Fratelli DeLuca S.r.l., Pastificio Mennucci SpA, and Tesa SrL.5 Therefore, Commerce is rescinding the review, in part, with respect to these companies.

    5See Tesa SrL's, “Pasta from Italy; Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated October 10, 2017; see also Ghigi 1870 S.p.A.'s, “Pasta from Italy; Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated October 17, 2017; see also Industria Alimentare Colavita, S.p.A.'s Letter, “Certain Pasta from Italy: Withdrawal of Request for CVD Administrative Review of Indalco S.p.A.,” dated December 10, 2017; see also Pastificio Mennucci SpA's Letter, “Pasta from Italy; Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated December 12, 2017; see also Colussi Spa's Letter, “Pasta from Italy; Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated December 12, 2017; see also Alessio Panarese Soceieta Agricola's, Pastificio Fratelli DeLuca S.r.l.'s, and Antico Pastificio Morelli 1860 S.r.l.'s Letter, “Certain Dry Pasta from Italy, C-475-819; Withdrawal of Request for Review,” dated December 12, 2017.

    Methodology

    We are conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found to be countervailable, we preliminarily find that there is a subsidy, i.e., a government-provided financial contribution that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.6 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    6See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution, section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit, and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    We preliminarily find the following net countervailable subsidy rate for the mandatory respondent, GR.A.M.M. for the period January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016:

    Company Net subsidy rate
  • ad valorem
  • GR.A.M.M. S.r.l 1.21 percent.
    Assessment Rates

    Consistent with section 751(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2), upon issuance of the final results, Commerce will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. For companies for which this review is rescinded, Commerce will instruct CBP to assess countervailing duties on all appropriate entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, during the period January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    In accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, Commerce also intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties in the amount shown above for GR.A.M.M. with regard to shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this review. For all non-reviewed firms, we will instruct CBP to continue to collect cash deposits at the most recent company specific or all-others rate applicable to the company. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose to parties in this review the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of publication of these preliminary results.7 Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) on the preliminary results no later than 30 days from the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.8 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2), rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.9 All briefs must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

    7See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) and 351.309(d)(1).

    9 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Issues addressed at the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the date and time for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.10 Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their comments, no later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h), unless this deadline is extended.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    These preliminary results and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum: I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Partial Rescission of the Administrative Review V. Subsidy Valuation Information VI. Analysis of Programs VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17048 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-992] Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that the 27 companies subject to this administrative review are part of the China-wide entity because none filed a separate rate application (SRA) and/or a separate rate certification (SRC). The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2016, through October 31, 2017. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chloee Sagmoe or Kathryn Wallace, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone at (202) 482-2000 or (202) 482-6251.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 1, 2017, Commerce published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on monosodium glutamate (MSG) from the People's Republic of China (China).1 In response, on November 30, 2017, Ajinomoto North America, Inc. (the petitioner) requested a review of 27 companies.2 Commerce initiated a review of all 27 companies on January 11, 2018.3 For a list of these companies, see the Appendix to this notice. The deadline for interested parties to submit an SRA or an SRC was February 11, 2018.4 No party submitted an SRA or an SRC. On May 5, 2018, the petitioner requested that Commerce place the Remand Redetermination of the investigation of MSG from China 5 on the record of this proceeding.6 The petitioners asked that Commerce utilize the recalculated dumping margin of mandatory respondent, Meihua Bio-Technology Co., Ltd. (Mehia), as the basis for the China-wide entity rate.7 No other party filed comments.

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 82 FR 50620 (November 1, 2017).

    2See Ajinomoto's letter, “Monosodium Glutamate from China: Request for Administrative Review,” (November 30, 2017), at Attachment 1 (listing 27 companies for which Ajinomoto sought a review).

    3See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 1329 (January 11, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

    4See Initiation Notice.

    5See Remand Redetermination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Analysis Memorandum for Langfang Meihua Bio-Technology Co., Ltd. dated August 7, 2017 filed in the Ajinomoto North America, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 14-00351, Slip Op. 17-48 (April 25, 2017) (Remand Redetermination).

    6See Ajinomoto's letter, “Antidumping Duty Review of Monosodium Glutamate from China: Comments on PRC-Wide AFA Rate,” (May 7, 2018).

    7Id.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this order is MSG, whether or not blended or in solution with other products. Specifically, MSG that has been blended or is in solution with other product(s) is included in this scope when the resulting mix contains 15 percent or more of MSG by dry weight. Products with which MSG may be blended include, but are not limited to, salts, sugars, starches, maltodextrins, and various seasonings. Further, MSG is included in this order regardless of physical form (including, but not limited to, in monohydrate or anhydrous form, or as substrates, solutions, dry powders of any particle size, or unfinished forms such as MSG slurry), end-use application, or packaging. MSG in monohydrate form has a molecular formula of C5H8NO4Na—H2O, a Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number of 6106-04-3, and a Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII) number of W81N5U6R6U. MSG in anhydrous form has a molecular formula of C5H8NO4Na, a CAS registry number of l42-47-2, and a UNII number of C3C196L9FG. Merchandise covered by the scope of this order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheading 2922.42.10.00. Merchandise subject to the order may also enter under HTS subheadings 2922.42.50.00, 2103.90.72.00, 2103.90.74.00, 2103.90.78.00, 2103.90.80.00, and 2103.90.90.91. The tariff classifications, CAS registry numbers, and UNII numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope is dispositive.8

    8See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Second Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amended Antidumping Order, 80 FR 487 (January 6, 2015).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As noted above, the petitioner asked Commerce to place the Remand Redetermination on the record of this proceeding and to use that information to calculate a dumping margin for the China-wide entity equal to the highest transaction-specific margin calculated for Meihua.9 We have not done so. Commerce no longer considers the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to an antidumping duty administrative reviews.10 Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless Commerce specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.11 In this administrative review, no party requested a review of the China-wide entity. Moreover, we have not self-initiated a review of the China-wide entity. Because no review of the China-wide entity is being conducted, the China-wide entity's entries are not subject to the review and the rate applicable to the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of this review.

    9See Ajinomoto's letter, “Antidumping Duty Review of Monosodium Glutamate from China: Comments on PRC-Wide AFA Rate,” (May 7, 2018).

    10See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65970 (November 4, 2013).

    11 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    None of the 27 companies subject to this review filed an SRA or an SRC. Commerce preliminarily determines that these companies have not demonstrated their eligibility for separate rate status and are part of the China-wide entity. Commerce also preliminarily determines that the 27 companies subject to review are part of the China-wide entity. The China-wide entity rate is 40.41 percent.12

    12See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Second Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amended Antidumping Duty Order, 80 FR 487 (January 6, 2015).

    Public Comment

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results and may submit case briefs and/or written comments, filed electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS), within 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.13 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main Commerce building. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.14 Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument a statement of the issue, a brief summary of the argument, and a table of authorities.15

    13See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) and (2).

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(c) and (d); see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to Commerce within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice.16 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) The number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20230.17 Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of our analysis of all issues raised in the case briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    16See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    17See 19 CFR 310(d).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results of this review, Commerce will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise covered by this review.18 We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate entries containing subject merchandise exported by the companies under review that we determine in the final results to be part of the China-wide entity at the China-wide entity rate of 40.41 percent. Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this review in the Federal Register.19

    18See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    19 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this review for shipments of the subject merchandise from China entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For companies that have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed Chinese and non-Chinese exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all Chinese exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the China-wide entity (i.e., 40.41 percent); and (4) for all non-Chinese exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the Chinese exporter that supplied that non-Chinese exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 315.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h) and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Companies Covered by this Review 1. Anhui Fresh Taste International Trade Co., Ltd. 2. Baoji Fufeng Biotechnologies Co., Ltd. 3. Blu Logistics (China) Co., Ltd. 4. Bonroy Group Limited 5. Forehigh Trade and Industry Co., Ltd. 6. Fujian Province Jianyang Wuyi MSG Co., Ltd. 7. Golden Banyan Foodstuffs Industry Co., Ltd. 8. Henan Lotus Flower Gourmet Powder Co. 9. Hong Kong Sungiven International Food Co., Limited 10. Hulunbeier Northeast Fufeng Biotechnologies Co., Ltd. 11. K&S Industry Limited 12. King Cheong Hong International 13. Langfang Meihua Bio-Technology Co., Ltd. 14. Liangshan Linghua Biotechnology Co., Ltd. 15. Lotus Health Industry Holding Group 16. Meihua Group International Trading (Hong Kong) Limited, 17. Meihua Holdings Group Co., Ltd., Bazhou Branch 18. Neimenggu Fufeng Biotechnologies Co., Ltd. 19. Pudong Prime Int'l Logistics, Inc. 20. Qinhuangdao Xingtai Trade Co., Ltd. 21. S.D. Linghua M.S.G. Incorporated Co. 22. Shandong Linghua Monosodium Glutamate Incorporated Company 23. Shanghai Totole Food Ltd. 24. Shijiazhuang Standard Imp & Exp Co., Ltd. 25. Sunrise (HK) International Enterprise Limited 26. Tongliao Meihua Biological Sci-Tech Co., Ltd. 27. Zhejiang Medicines & Health
    [FR Doc. 2018-17049 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-557-816] Certain Steel Nails From Malaysia: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain steel nails from Malaysia. This review covers the sales of two mandatory respondents, both of which we preliminarily determine to have made sales at less than normal value during the period of review, covering July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. In addition, we are rescinding the review in part with respect to 15 companies for which the request for review was timely withdrawn.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edythe Artman or Madeline Heeren, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3931 or (202) 482-9179, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    These preliminary results of review are made in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). On September 13, 2017, Commerce published the notice of initiation for the administrative review.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of the review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, located in room B8094 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Steel Nails from Malaysia; 2016-2017”, dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the scope of the order are certain steel nails from Malaysia. For a complete description of the scope, see Appendix I of this notice.

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    In the Initiation Notice, we initiated a review of 19 companies. Subsequently, the petitioner, Mid Continent Steel & Wire, Inc., withdrew its request for review of 15 of the companies. No other parties had requested a review of these companies. Thus, in response to the petitioner's timely filed withdrawal request and pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding the administrative review of the following companies: Airlift Trans Oceanic Pvt. Ltd.; Astrotech Steels Private Ltd.; Caribbean International Co. Ltd.; Dahnay Logistics Pvt. Ltd.; Flyjac Logistics Private Ltd.; Full Well Freight (Thailand) Co.; Hecny Transportation; Jinhai Hardware Co. Ltd.; Orient Containers Sdn. Bhd.; Orient Express Container Co., Ltd.; Scanwell Logistics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd; Shanghai Haoray International Trade Co. Ltd.; Sino Connections Logistics; Tag Fasteners Sdn. Bhd.; and Topocean Consolidation Services.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying the preliminary results, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that, for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the following weighted-average dumping margins exist: 3

    3 Commerce has preliminarily determined to collapse, and treat as a single entity, affiliates Inmax Sdn. Bhd. and Inmax Industries Sdn. Bhd. (collectively, Inmax) and Region International Co. Ltd. and Region System Sdn. Bhd. (collectively Region). For a full discussion of the collapsing criteria, see the company-specific analysis memorandum, dated concurrently with this notice.

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Inmax Sdn. Bhd. and Inmax Industries Sdn. Bhd 0.00 Region International Co. Ltd. and Region System Sdn. Bhd 1.33
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce will disclose to parties to the proceeding any calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results of review within five days after the date of publication of this notice.4 Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than seven days after the date on which the last verification report is issued in this administrative review.5 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the deadline for filing case briefs.6 Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.7 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.8

    4See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    8See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice.9 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues parties intend to discuss. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.10 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    9See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    Unless extended, Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of our analysis of all issues raised in the case briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.11 The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.12 We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review.

    11See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    12See section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Inmax and Region listed above will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which they were reviewed; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or in the investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be the all-others rate of 2.66 percent. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and sections 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1) and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the antidumping duty order is certain steel nails having a nominal shaft length not exceeding 12 inches.13 Certain steel nails include, but are not limited to, nails made from round wire and nails that are cut from flat-rolled steel. Certain steel nails may be of one piece construction or constructed of two or more pieces. Certain steel nails may be produced from any type of steel, and may have any type of surface finish, head type, shank, point type and shaft diameter. Finishes include, but are not limited to, coating in vinyl, zinc (galvanized, including but not limited to electroplating or hot dipping one or more times), phosphate, cement, and paint. Certain steel nails may have one or more surface finishes. Head styles include, but are not limited to, flat, projection, cupped, oval, brad, headless, double, countersunk, and sinker. Shank styles include, but are not limited to, smooth, barbed, screw threaded, ring shank and fluted. Screw-threaded nails subject to this proceeding are driven using direct force and not by turning the nail using a tool that engages with the head. Point styles include, but are not limited to, diamond, needle, chisel and blunt or no point. Certain steel nails may be sold in bulk, or they may be collated in any manner using any material.

    13 The shaft length of certain steel nails with flat heads or parallel shoulders under the head shall be measured from under the head or shoulder to the tip of the point. The shaft length of all other certain steel nails shall be measured overall.

    Excluded from the scope of this order are certain steel nails packaged in combination with one or more non-subject articles, if the total number of nails of all types, in aggregate regardless of size, is less than 25. If packaged in combination with one or more non-subject articles, certain steel nails remain subject merchandise if the total number of nails of all types, in aggregate regardless of size, is equal to or greater than 25, unless otherwise excluded based on the other exclusions below.

    Also excluded from the scope are certain steel nails with a nominal shaft length of one inch or less that are (a) a component of an unassembled article, (b) the total number of nails is sixty (60) or less, and (c) the imported unassembled article falls into one of the following eight groupings: (1) Builders' joinery and carpentry of wood that are classifiable as windows, French-windows and their frames; (2) builders' joinery and carpentry of wood that are classifiable as doors and their frames and thresholds; (3) swivel seats with variable height adjustment; (4) seats that are convertible into beds (with the exception of those classifiable as garden seats or camping equipment); (5) seats of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials; (6) other seats with wooden frames (with the exception of seats of a kind used for aircraft or motor vehicles); (7) furniture (other than seats) of wood (with the exception of i) medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture; and ii) barbers' chairs and similar chairs, having rotating as well as both reclining and elevating movements); or (8) furniture (other than seats) of materials other than wood, metal, or plastics (e.g., furniture of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials). The aforementioned imported unassembled articles are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4418.10, 4418.20, 9401.30, 9401.40, 9401.51, 9401.59, 9401.61, 9401.69, 9403.30, 9403.40, 9403.50, 9403.60, 9403.81 or 9403.89.

    Also excluded from the scope of this order are steel nails that meet the specifications of Type I, Style 20 nails as identified in Tables 29 through 33 of ASTM Standard F1667 (2013 revision).

    Also excluded from the scope of this order are nails suitable for use in powder-actuated hand tools, whether or not threaded, which are currently classified under HTSUS subheadings 7317.00.20.00 and 7317.00.30.00.

    Also excluded from the scope of this order are nails having a case hardness greater than or equal to 50 on the Rockwell Hardness C scale (HRC), a carbon content greater than or equal to 0.5 percent, a round head, a secondary reduced-diameter raised head section, a centered shank, and a smooth symmetrical point, suitable for use in gas-actuated hand tools.

    Also excluded from the scope of this order are corrugated nails. A corrugated nail is made up of a small strip of corrugated steel with sharp points on one side.

    Also excluded from the scope of this order are thumb tacks, which are currently classified under HTSUS subheading 7317.00.10.00.

    Certain steel nails subject to this order are currently classified under HTSUS subheadings 7317.00.55.02, 7317.00.55.03, 7317.00.55.05, 7317.00.55.07, 7317.00.55.08, 7317.00.55.11, 7317.00.55.18, 7317.00.55.19, 7317.00.55.20, 7317.00.55.30, 7317.00.55.40, 7317.00.55.50, 7317.00.55.60, 7317.00.55.70, 7317.00.55.80, 7317.00.55.90, 7317.00.65.30, 7317.00.65.60 and 7317.00.75.00. Certain steel nails subject to this order also may be classified under HTSUS subheadings 7907.00.60.00, 7806.00.80.00, 7318.29.00.00, 8206.00.00.00 or other HTSUS subheadings.

    While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Partial Rescission of Administrative Review 5. Collapsing of Affiliated Companies 6. Date of Sale 7. Comparisons to Normal Value A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis 8. Product Comparisons 9. Export Price 10. Normal Value A. Home Market Viability as Comparison Market B. Level of Trade C. Sales to Affiliates D. Cost of Production 1. Cost Averaging Methodology A. Significance of Cost Changes B. Linkage Between Sales and Cost Information 2. Calculation of COP 3. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 4. Results of the Cost of Production Test E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices F. Price-to-Constructed Value Comparison 11. Currency Conversion 12. Verification 13. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17050 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-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: International Dolphin Conservation Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0387.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collections).

    Number of Respondents: 279.

    Average Hours per Response: 35 minutes for a vessel permit application; 10 minutes for an operator permit application, a notification of vessel arrival or departure, a change in permit operator; a notification of a net modification or a monthly tuna storage removal report; 30 minutes for a request for a waiver to transit the ETP without a permit (and subsequent radio reporting) or for a special report documenting the origin of tuna (if requested by the NOAA Administrator); 10 hours for an experimental fishing operation waiver; 15 minutes for a request for a Dolphin Mortality Limit; 35 minutes for written notification to request active status for a small tuna purse seine vessel; 5 minutes for written notification to request inactive status for a small tuna purse seine vessel or for written notification of the intent to transfer a tuna purse seine vessel to foreign registry and flag; 60 minutes for a tuna tracking form or for a monthly tuna receiving report; 30 minutes for IMO application or exemption request; 30 minutes for chain of custody recordkeeping reporting requirement.

    Burden Hours: 248.

    Needs and Uses: This request is to extend this information collection.

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects information to implement the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (Act). The Act allows entry of yellowfin tuna into the United States (U.S.), under specific conditions, from nations in the International Dolphin Conservation Program that would otherwise be under embargo. The Act also allows U.S. fishing vessels to participate in the yellowfin tuna fishery in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) on terms equivalent with the vessels of other nations. NOAA collects information to allow tracking and verification of “dolphin-safe” and “non-dolphin safe” tuna products from catch through the U.S. market.

    The regulations implementing the Act are at 50 CFR parts 216 and 300. The recordkeeping and reporting requirements at 50 CFR parts 216 and 300 form the basis for this collection of information. This collection includes permit applications, notifications, tuna tracking forms, reports, and certifications that provide information on vessel characteristics and operations in the ETP, the origin of tuna and tuna products, chain of custody recordkeeping requirements and certain other information necessary to implement the Act.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion, monthly and upon request.

    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: August 6, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17056 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG383 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Gustavus Ferry Terminal Improvements Project AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) for activities that were not conducted under an existing IHA. NMFS previously issued an IHA to ADOT&PF to incidentally take seven species of marine mammal, by Level A and Level B harassment, during construction activities associated with the Gustavus Ferry Terminal Improvements project in Gustavus, Alaska. The IHA, issued on April 4, 2017 (82 FR 17209; April 10, 2017), is valid from December 15, 2017 through December 14, 2018. However, ADOT&PF was unable to conduct any of the work and, therefore, has requested that NMFS re-issue the IHA with the dates changed to accommodate the analyzed work with minor modifications to the number of piles driven. The proposed IHA would authorize work for the ferry improvements project between December 15, 2018 and December 14, 2019. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on the proposed issuance of an IHA to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. Take numbers would be the same as authorized previously, and the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements would remain the same as authorized for the 2017-2018 IHA referenced above.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/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:

    Rob Pauline, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the application, supporting documents, list of the references cited in this document, Federal Register notice of proposed IHA (81 FR 40852; June 23, 2016), Federal Register notice of issuance of the final 2017-2018 IHA (82 FR 17209; April 10, 2017) and the issued 2017-2018 IHA 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, 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. We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA process or making a final decision on the IHA request.

    History of Request

    On July 31, 2015, NMFS received an application from ADOT&PF requesting the take of marine mammals incidental to reconstructing the existing ferry terminal at Gustavus, Alaska, referred to as the Gustavus Ferry Terminal. NMFS published a notice of a proposed IHA and request for comments in the Federal Register on June 23, 2016 (81 FR 40852). We subsequently published the final notice of our issuance of the IHA on April 10, 2017 (82 FR 17209), making the IHA valid for December 15, 2017 through December 14, 2018. In-water work associated with the project was expected to be completed within the one-year timeframe of the IHA. The specified activities were expected to result in the take of seven species of marine mammals including harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), killer whale (Orcinus orca), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

    On May 8, 2018, ADOT&PF informed NMFS that work on the project would be postponed due to design revisions and local community considerations and that no work would be completed under the 2017-2018 IHA. ADOT&PF requested that a new IHA be issued that would be valid from December 15, 2018 through December 14, 2019. Under this proposed IHA, ADOT&PF would conduct pile driving activities between the in water work window dates of March 1, 2019, through May 31, 2019 and September 1, 2019, through November 30, 2019. Although the proposed activities would undergo minor modifications, the number of authorized takes would remain unchanged from those listed in the 2017-2018 Authorization.

    Description of the Proposed Activity and Anticipated Impacts

    The 2018-2019 proposed IHA would cover the same construction associated with the modernization of the Gustavus Ferry Terminal that the 2017-2018 did, with minor revisions to the number and types of piles that would be installed and removed. NMFS refers the reader to the documents related to the previously issued 2017-2018 IHA for more detailed description of the project activities. These previous documents include the Federal Register notice of the issuance of the 2017-2018 IHA for ADOT&PF's Gustavus Ferry Terminal Improvements project (82 FR 17209; April 10, 2017), ADOT&PF's application, the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (81 FR 40852; June 23, 2016) and all associated references and documents. A detailed description of the proposed vibratory and impact pile driving activities at the ferry terminal improvements project is found in these documents. The description remains accurate with the exception of the minor modifications noted above.

    Detailed Description of the Action

    Differences between the 2017-2018 IHA and the proposed 2018-2019 IHA are shown in Table 1. Generally speaking, pile driving and removal would occur over the same number of days (50) with installation and removal of 16 additional piles over 21 additional hours. These changes represent a 3.5 percent increase in the number of piles installed and a 21.9 percent increase in the number of piles removed. The duration of impact driving would remain the same while the time spent vibratory driving would increase by 18.4 percent. The additional time required for vibratory driving is due to the increase in anticipated number of piles removed. Note that these proposed changes would have a nominal impact on the calculated Level A harassment isopleths and no effect on Level B harassment isopleths. Therefore, the sizes of the Level A harassment and Level B harassment zones would remain unchanged.

    Table 1—Gustavus Ferry Pile Installation and Removal Summary Pile size (inches) Number of piles—
  • 2017-2018 IHA
  • Number of piles—
  • 2018-2019
  • Proposed IHA
  • 30 14 18. 24 40 34 install/12 remove. 18 0 4 remove. 16 0 4 install/4 remove. 12.75 3 install/16 remove 3 install/9 remove. Total installed/total Piles 57/73 59/89.
    Driving time duration 2017-2018 IHA
  • (hours)
  • 2018-2019
  • Proposed IHA
  • (hours)
  • Impact Driving 57 57. Vibratory Driving 114 135. Total 171 192.
    Description of Marine Mammals

    A description of the marine mammals in the area of the activities is found in these previous documents, which remains applicable to the proposed 2018-2019 IHA as well. In addition, NMFS has reviewed recent draft Stock Assessment Reports, information on relevant Unusual Mortality Events, and recent scientific literature, and determined that no new information affects our original analysis of impacts under the 2017-2018 IHA.

    Potential Effects on Marine Mammals

    A description of the potential effects of the specified activities on marine mammals and their habitat may be found in these previous documents, which remains applicable to the issuance of the proposed 2018-2019 IHA. There is no new information on potential effects.

    Estimated Take

    A detailed description of the methods and inputs used to estimate authorized take is found in these previous documents. The methods of estimating take for the proposed 2018-2019 IHA are identical to those used in the 2017-2018 IHA. The source levels remain unchanged from the previously issued IHA, and NMFS' 2016 acoustic technical guidance was used to address new acoustic thresholds in the notice of issuance of the 2017-2018 IHA. Specifically, observational data was used to calculate daily take rates in the absence of density data. Since the number of pile-driving days (50) planned for both the 2017-2018 IHA and the proposed 2018-2019 IHA are the same, the total estimated take projections will be identical.

    Description of Proposed Mitigation, Monitoring and Reporting Measures

    A description of proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures is found in the previous documents, which are identical to those contained in this proposed 2018-2019 IHA. The following measures would apply to ADOT&PF's mitigation requirements:

    • Establishment of Shutdown Zone—For all pile driving activities, ADOT&PF will establish a shutdown zone. The purpose of a shutdown zone is generally to define an area within which shutdown of activity would occur upon sighting of a marine mammal (or in anticipation of an animal entering the defined area). In this case, shutdown zones are intended to contain areas in which sound pressure levels (SPLs) equal or exceed acoustic injury criteria for some authorized species, based on NMFS' acoustic technical guidance published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2016 (81 FR 51693).

    • Establishment of Monitoring Zones—ADOT&PF must identify and establish Level A harassment zones. These zones are areas beyond the shutdown zones where animals may be exposed to sound levels that could result in permanent threshold shift (PTS). ADOT&PF will also identify and establish Level B harassment disturbance zones which are areas where SPLs equal or exceed 160 dB rms for impact driving and 120 dB rms during vibratory driving. Observation of monitoring zones enables observers to be aware of and communicate the presence of marine mammals in the project area and outside the shutdown zone and thus prepare for potential shutdowns of activity. NMFS has established monitoring protocols described in the Federal Register notice of the issuance (82 FR 17209; April 10, 2017) which are based on the distance and size of the monitoring and shutdown zones. These same protocols are contained in this proposed 2018-2019 IHA.

    • Temporal and Seasonal Restrictions—Work may only occur during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted and all in-water construction will be limited to the periods between March 1 and May 31, 2018, and September 1 and November 30, 2018.

    • Soft Start—The use of a soft-start procedure is believed to provide additional protection to marine mammals by providing warning and/or giving marine mammals a chance to leave the area prior to the hammer operating at full capacity. For impact pile driving, contractors will be required to implement soft start procedures. Soft Start is not required during vibratory pile driving and removal activities.

    • Visual Marine Mammal ObservationMonitoring must be conducted by qualified marine mammal observers (MMOs), who are trained biologists, with minimum qualifications described in the Federal Register notice of the issuance of the 2017-2018 IHA (82 FR 17209; April 4, 2017). In order to effectively monitor the pile driving monitoring zones, two MMOs must be positioned at the best practical vantage point(s). If waters exceed a sea-state which restricts the observers' ability to make observations within the shutdown zone (e.g., excessive wind or fog), pile installation and removal will cease. Pile driving will not be initiated until the entire shutdown zone is visible. MMOs shall record specific information on the sighting forms as described in the Federal Register notice of the issuance of the 2017-2018 IHA (82 FR 17209; April 10, 2017). At the conclusion of the in-water construction work, ADOT&PF will provide NMFS with a monitoring report which includes summaries of recorded takes and estimates of the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed.

    Determinations

    ADOT&PF proposes to conduct activities similar to those covered in the previous 2017-2018 IHA. As described above, the number of estimated takes of the same stocks of marine mammals is the same as those authorized in the 2017-2018 IHA that were found to meet the negligible impact and small numbers standards. Our analysis showed that less than 9.07 percent of the populations of affected stocks, with the exception of minke and killer whales, could be taken by harassment. For Northern resident and West Coast transient killer whales, the percentages, when instances of take are compared to abundance, are 48.2 percent and 51.8 percent, respectively. However, the takes estimated for these stocks (up to 126 instances assuming all takes are accrued to a single stock) are not likely to represent unique individuals. Instead, we anticipate that there will be multiple takes of a smaller number of individuals.

    The Northern resident killer whale stock are most commonly seen in the waters around the northern end of Vancouver Island, and in sheltered inlets along B.C.'s Central and North Coasts. They also range northward into Southeast Alaska in the winter months. Pile driving operations are not permitted from December through February. It is unlikely that such a large portion of Northern resident killer whales with ranges of this magnitude would be concentrated in and around Icy Passage.

    NMFS believes that small numbers of the West coast transient killer whale stock would be taken based on the limited region of exposure in comparison with the known distribution of the transient stock. The West coast transient stock ranges from Southeast Alaska to California, while the proposed project activity would be stationary. A notable percentage of West coast transient whales have never been observed in Southeast Alaska. Only 155 West coast transient killer whales have been identified as occurring in Southeast Alaska according to Dahlheim and White (2010). The same study identified three pods of transients, equivalent to 19 animals that remained almost exclusively in the southern part of Southeast Alaska (i.e. Clarence Strait and Sumner Strait). This information indicates that only a small subset of the entire West coast Transient stock would be at risk for take in the Icy Passage area because a sizable portion of the stock has either not been observed in Southeast Alaska or consistently remains far south of Icy Passage.

    There is no current abundance estimate for minke whale since population data on this species is dated. However, the proposed take of 42 minke whales may be considered small. A visual survey for cetaceans was conducted in the central-eastern Bering Sea in July-August 1999, and in the southeastern Bering Sea in 2000. Results of the surveys in 1999 and 2000 provide provisional abundance estimates of 810 and 1,003 minke whales in the central-eastern and southeastern Bering Sea, respectively (Moore et al., 2002). Additionally, line-transect surveys were conducted in shelf and nearshore waters in 2001-2003 from the Kenai Fjords in the Gulf of Alaska to the central Aleutian Islands. Minke whale abundance was estimated to be 1,233 for this area (Zerbini et al., 2006). However, these estimates cannot be used as an estimate of the entire Alaska stock of minke whales because only a portion of the stock's range was surveyed. (Allen and Anglis 2012). Clearly, 42 authorized takes should be considered a small number, as it constitutes only 5.2 percent of the smallest abundance estimate generated during the surveys just described and each of these surveys represented only a portion of the minke whale range.

    Note that the numbers of animals authorized to be taken for all species, with the exception of Northern resident and West coast transient killer whales, would be considered small relative to the relevant stocks or populations even if each estimated taking occurred to a new individual—an extremely unlikely scenario.

    The proposed 2018-2019 IHA includes mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements that are identical to those depicted in the 2017-2018 IHA, and there is no new information suggesting that our analysis or findings should change.

    Based on the information contained here and in the referenced documents, NMFS has determined the following: (1) The required mitigation measures will effect the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat; (2) the authorized takes will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks; (3) the authorized takes represent small numbers of marine mammals relative to the affected stock abundances; and (4) ADOT&PF's activities will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on taking for subsistence purposes as no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals are implicated by this action.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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

    In order to comply with the ESA, NMFS Alaska Regional Office (AKR) Protected Resources Division issued a Biological Opinion on March 21, 2017 under section 7 of the ESA, on the issuance of an IHA to ADOT&PF under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA. This consultation concluded that the project was likely to adversely affect but unlikely to jeopardize the continued existence of the threatened Mexico DPS of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) or the endangered western DPS of Steller sea lion (Eumatopias jubatus), or adversely modify designated critical habitat for Steller sea lions. In a memo dated June 13, 2018, NMFS AKR concluded that re-initiation of section 7 consultation is not necessary for the issuance of the proposed 2018-2019 IHA. The only modification to the project is a time shift of one year. No additional take has been requested by ADOT&PF or is proposed for authorization by NMFS. All mitigation measures described in the Biological Opinion would be implemented to reduce harassment of marine mammals and document take of marine mammals. For these reasons, we anticipate no new or changed effects of the action beyond what was considered in the 2017 Biological Opinion.

    Proposed Authorization and Request for Public Comments

    As a result of these determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to ADOT&PF for the Gustavus Ferry Terminal Improvements project in Gustavus, AK from December 15, 2018 through December 14, 2019, provided the previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements from the 2017-2018 IHA are incorporated. We request comment on our analyses and the proposed issuance of the IHA which would be identical to the previous IHA (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-alaska-dot-gustavus-ferry-terminal-improvement-project). We also request comment on the potential for renewal of this proposed IHA as described in the paragraph below. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the request for MMPA authorization.

    On a case-by-case basis, NMFS may issue a second one-year IHA without additional notice when (1) another year of identical or nearly identical activities as described in the Specified Activities section is planned or (2) the activities would not be completed by the time the IHA expires and a second IHA would allow for completion of the activities beyond that described in the Dates and Duration section, provided all of the following conditions are met:

    • A request for renewal is received no later than 60 days prior to expiration of the current IHA;

    • The request for renewal must include the following:

    (1) An explanation that the activities to be conducted beyond the initial dates either are identical to the previously analyzed activities or include changes so minor (e.g., reduction in pile size) that the changes do not affect the previous analyses, take estimates, or mitigation and monitoring requirements; and

    (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; and

    • Upon review of the request for renewal, the status of the affected species or stocks, and any other pertinent information, NMFS determines that there are no more than minor changes in the activities, the mitigation and monitoring measures remain the same and appropriate, and the original findings remain valid.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16993 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG376 Notice of Availability of a Request for Information: Expressions of Interest in Conducting Collaborative Research and Development on Innovative Approaches for Exploiting Environmental Data AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking expression of interest from private firms interested in entering into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NOAA to conduct collaborative research and development (R&D) on new and innovative approaches that could lead to new and better ways of processing, exploiting and disseminating space-based Earth and space weather observations from NOAA developed and deployed satellites, with a wide range of applications, societal and economic benefits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on September 24, 2018. Any questions pertaining to this Request for Information must be submitted no later than August 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document by the following method:

    Email: [email protected]. Please include the subject heading of “Response to Collaborative R&D RFI”. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, or Adobe PDF formats only.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA. Comments containing references, studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies or electronic links of the referenced materials. Comments that contain profanity, vulgarity, threats, or other inappropriate language will not be considered.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek Parks, Technology Transfer Program Manager, Technology Partnerships Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Room 2617, 1305 East West Hwy, Bldg. SSMC4, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3278. (Phone: 301-628-1010, email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking expression of interest from private firms interested in entering into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NOAA to conduct collaborative research and development (R&D) on new and innovative approaches that could lead to new and better ways of processing, exploiting and disseminating space-based Earth and space weather observations from NOAA developed and deployed satellites, with a wide range of applications, societal and economic benefits.

    The initial period of performance for this CRADA is expected to be from fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year 2021 (three years), with extensions possible if all parties agree.

    This notice does not constitute an Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposal and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government. No contracts will be awarded as a result of this notice. No reimbursement will be made for any costs associated with providing information in response to this notice or for any follow-up requests for information. NOAA may contact respondents for clarification and discussion of the submitted responses.

    Synopsis

    NOAA wishes to conduct collaborative R&D with one or more private firms or non-government groups on new techniques to be used, new products to be generated, enhancement of the use of satellite data in existing or new applications, and exploring potential new services that will enhance the value and enable wider use of data obtained from NOAA's space-based assets. General areas of R&D interest include, but are not limited to, exploring creating new products and eliciting new information for geophysical applications benefiting citizens, communities, local, state and federal governments and the private sector, and the use of new numerical approaches such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to maximize the information gathered from satellite observations. Some potential R&D topics on specific uses of data could include: (1) Atmospheric composition for air quality, and visibility applications, (2) atmospheric data for measuring instability and therefore severe weather and turbulence applications, (3) ocean and coastal data for ecosystems, severe weather, inundation, and water quality management, (4) land data for multiple applications such as wildfires, agriculture, droughts, flooding, urban planning, etc., (5) information delivery systems for extreme environmental conditions, (6) satellite-based data of volcanic ash for aviation safety and societal applications, (7) day-night band for new applications such as detection of fires, population migration, etc., (8) satellite data for renewable energy availability, (9) space-based data for measuring economic vulnerability (to space weather, to drought, etc.), (10) compositing multiple geophysical data sets to generate user-ready decision-making products for different economic sectors (insurance, health, transportation, tourism, education, energy, agriculture, etc.), and (11) cloud information for better characterizing the state of the atmosphere in all sky situations for use as initial conditions in numerical model forecasts.

    Documentation of Interest

    Responders may document their interest in entering into a CRADA with a comment to Derek Parks, Technology Transfer Program Manager. See contact information above in ADDRESSES. Responders must include, in writing, detailed information regarding their technical qualifications, the company name, address, point of contact, telephone number, and business size. Information submitted should be pertinent and specific in the technical areas described above under consideration. Any other specific and pertinent information as pertains to this particular undertaking that would enhance the information submitted will be considered by the agency.

    Additional information requested:

    (A) Institution's name, address, point of contact, phone number and email address.

    (B) If a business, include the firm's DUNS number and Cage Code as provided under the SAM system.

    (C) If a business, then state the firm's SBA certified small business concern status or other socioeconomic status. Specifically identify if your firm is HUBZone-certified, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Women Owned, or in the SBA's 8(a) program. If your institution is not a small business, please state that it is a large business, FFRDC, university, UARC, or other.

    (D) Institution's previous work experience that is similar to that described above.

    (E) Any other pertinent documentation or information.

    (F) Responses should be no more than 10 pages.

    All information submitted in response to this notice is voluntary; the United States Government will not pay for information requested nor will it compensate any respondent for any cost incurred in developing information provided to the United States Government. No hard copy submittals will be accepted or considered. All responses to this Request for Information shall be submitted only via email to [email protected] (see ADDRESSES).

    Dated: August 2, 2018. Sid Boukabara, Senior Scientist for Strategic Initiatives, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA Satellite and Information Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17054 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-HR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notice of Availability of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Data Buoy Center AGENCY:

    National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    DATES:

    The PEA and Finding of No Significant Impact are available for public inspection for 30 days after posting.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Final PEA can be accessed at:http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/pea/ndbc_final_pea_20180104.pdf.

    The Finding of No Significant Impact is available for public inspection for 30 days after posting. It can be found at:http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/pea/ndbc_fonsi_signed_20180102.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joe Swaykos, National Data Buoy Center, Bldg. 3205, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529; phone (228) 688-4766; fax (228) 688-1364; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), a part of the National Weather Service (NWS), designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of moored buoys and coastal stations throughout the world's oceans, seas, and lakes for the purpose of civil earth marine observations. NDBC has prepared a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) to analyze the continued operational activities of its network of moored buoys and coastal stations. The NDBC PEA has been created in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

    The expected outcome from a Programmatic Environmental Assessment is either (a) finding of no significant impact; (b) identification of the need for an environmental impact statement; or (c) the proposed action is covered by a categorical exclusion established by the parent agency. In the case of the NDBC PEA a finding of no significant impact was made.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Joseph A. Pica, Director, Office of Observation, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17038 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KE-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: Pacific Island Pelagic Longline Fisheries; Short-tailed Albatross-Fisheries Interaction Recovery Reporting.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0456.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 1.

    Burden Hours: 3.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection. Federal regulations require the operator of a vessel with a Hawaii longline limited access permit vessel to notify NMFS if an endangered short-tailed albatross is hooked or entangled during fishing operations. Following the retrieval of the albatross from the ocean the vessel operator must record the condition of the bird on a recovery data form. A veterinarian will use the information to provide advice to the captain for caring for the bird. If the albatross is dead, the captain must attach an identification tag to the carcass to assist the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists in subsequent studies. This collection of information is one of the terms and conditions contained in the Endangered Species Act Section 7 biological opinion issued by USFWS, and is intended to maximize the probability of the long-term survival of short-tailed albatrosses accidentally taken by longline gear.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: 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: August 6, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17057 Filed 8-8-18; 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: Certification Requirements for Distributors of NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts/NOAA Hydrographic Products.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0508.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 8.

    Average Hours per Response: 1 hour to provide a distribution report twice a year, 12 hours for reporting of errors in the ENC (approximately 4 per month, usually each distributor will catch the same issue).

    Burden Hours: 88.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    NOS Office of Coast Survey manages the Certification Requirements for Distributors of NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts (NOAA ENCs®). The certification allows entities to download, redistribute, repackage, or in some cases reformat, official NOAA ENCs and retain the NOAA ENC's official status. The regulations for implementing the Certification are at 15 CFR part 995. The recordkeeping and reporting requirements of 15 CFR part 995 form the basis for this collection of information. This information allows the Office of Coast Survey to administer the regulation, and to better understand the marketplace resulting in products to that meet the needs of the customer in a timely and efficient manner.

    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; business or other for-profits organizations.

    Frequency: Semiannually 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: August 6, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17055 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force [Docket ID: USAF-2018-HQ-0003] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Web-based Legal Information Online System (WebLIONS); OMB Control Number 0701-XXXX.

    Type of Request: New.

    Number of Respondents: 191,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 191,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 3 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 9,550.

    Needs and Uses: Requesting authorization to collect information on individuals who seek assistance from the Air Force in resolving their personal legal issues. Air Force personnel use WebLIONS to create and maintain records on these individuals in order to perform their official duties and to manage the legal assistance program. The system allows personnel to review and track cases, as well as perform conflict checks. It is also consulted by attorneys and paralegals when they are generating legal documents for their clients.

    Affected Public: Individual or Households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number, and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: August 6, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17034 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 18-69-LNG] BP Energy Company; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas on a Short-Term Basis AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on June 15, 2018, by BP Energy Company (BPEC), requesting blanket authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) previously imported into the United States from foreign sources in an amount up to the equivalent of 30 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas on a short-term or spot market basis. BPEC requests this authorization for a two-year period commencing on July 15, 2018, or as soon thereafter as the requested authorization is granted. BPEC seeks authorization to export the LNG from the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG, LP Terminal (Cove Point Terminal) located in Calvert County, Maryland, to any country with the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy. BPEC states that it is authorized in DOE/FE Order No. 4199 to import the equivalent of up to 1,200 Bcf of natural gas from various international sources by vessel for a two-year period beginning on August 22, 2018, and extending through August 21, 2020. BPEC further states that it does not seek authorization to export any domestically produced natural gas or LNG. BPEC is requesting this authorization on its own behalf and as agent for other parties who hold title to the LNG at the time of export. The Application was filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details can be found in BPEC's Application, posted on the DOE/FE website at: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/07/f53/18-69-LNG.pdf. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic Filing by email: [email protected]

    Regular Mail: U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.

    Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beverly Howard or Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9387; (202) 586-9478. Cassandra Bernstein or R.J. Colwell, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy Forrestal Building, Room 6D-033, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9793 or 586-8499. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DOE/FE Evaluation

    The Application will be reviewed pursuant to section 3 of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b. In reviewing this Application, DOE will consider domestic need for the natural gas, as well as any other issues determined to be appropriate, including whether the arrangement is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. Parties that may oppose this application should comment in their responses on these issues.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its NEPA responsibilities.

    Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Interested parties will be provided 30 days from the date of publication of this Notice in which to submit comments, protests, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention.

    Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to [email protected], with FE Docket No. 18-69-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 18-69-LNG. PLEASE NOTE: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.

    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation and International Engagement docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on August 1, 2018. Amy Sweeney, Director, Division of Natural Gas Regulation, Office of Fossil Energy. [FR Doc. 2018-17046 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-119-000.

    Applicants: NextEra Energy, Inc., 700 Universe, LLC, Southern Company—Florida LLC, Oleander Power Project, Limited Partnership.

    Description: Errata to July 3, 2018 Joint Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of NextEra Energy, Inc., et. al.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-131-000.

    Applicants: Oleander Power Project, Limited Partnership, Power Holdings, LLC.

    Description: Application Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Oleander Power Project, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG18-118-000.

    Applicants: Whalley Computer Associates, Inc.

    Description: Self-Certification of EG or FC of Whalley Computer Associates, Inc.

    Filed Date: 8/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180802-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/23/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1222-003.

    Applicants: PSEG Energy Resources & Trade LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing KEC Effective Date to be effective 7/4/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180802-5018.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2115-001.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to Reactive Power Rate Filing to be effective 10/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5068.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2118-000; ER18-2003-000;ER18-2066-000; ER18-2067-000;ER18-1981-000; ER18-2032-000.

    Applicants: Armadillo Flats Wind Project, LLC, Lorenzo Wind, LLC, Minco Wind IV, LLC, Minco Wind V, LLC, Pratt Wind, LLC, Wildcat Ranch Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to July 31, 2018 et al. Armadillo Flats Wind Project, LLC tariff filing, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20180801-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/22/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2142-000.

    Applicants: Summer Solar LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Shared Facilities Agreement to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180802-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2143-000.

    Applicants: Big Sky North, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Shared Facilities Agreement to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180802-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2145-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 1067R9 East Texas Electric Cooperative NITSA and NOA to be effective1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2146-000.

    Applicants: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 10/3/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5067.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2147-000.

    Applicants: Bayshore Solar C, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Bayshore Solar C, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2148-000.

    Applicants: Bayshore Solar A, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Bayshore Solar A, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5074.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2149-000.

    Applicants: Bayshore Solar B, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Bayshore Solar B, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5075.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2150-000.

    Applicants: Antelope Big Sky Ranch LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Antelope Big Sky Ranch LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2151-000.

    Applicants: Antelope DSR 1, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Antelope DSR 1, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5089.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2152-000.

    Applicants: Antelope DSR 2, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Antelope DSR 2, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2153-000.

    Applicants: Antelope DSR 3, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Antelope DSR 3, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2154-000.

    Applicants: Elevation Solar C LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Elevation Solar C LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2155-000.

    Applicants: Solverde 1, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Solverde 1, LLC Amended SFA to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2156-000.

    Applicants: Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B LLC Amended SFA to be effective8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2157-000.

    Applicants: Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MAIT submits ECSAs, SA Nos. 4969, 4970, 4973, 4974 to be effective 10/5/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2158-000.

    Applicants: Stillwater Wind, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authority to be effective 8/6/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2159-000.

    Applicants: Crazy Mountain Wind LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authority to be effective 8/6/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2160-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Power and Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Concurrence to WEPCo and WPL Balancing Area Operations Coordination Agreement to be effective 10/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/3/18.

    Accession Number: 20180803-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/24/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17030 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-2140-000] Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization: Persimmon Creek Wind Farm 1, LLC

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Persimmon Creek Wind Farm 1, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is August 23, 2018.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic 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.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17028 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [P-2423-029] Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests: Great Lakes Hydro America

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Request for a temporary variance from elevation requirements.

    b. Project No.: 2423-029.

    c. Date Filed: July 10, 2018.

    d. Applicant: Great Lakes Hydro America, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Riverside Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on Androscoggin River in Coos County, New Hampshire.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Ms. Kelly Maloney, Great Lakes Hydro America, LLC, 150 Main Street, Lewiston, ME 04240, (207) 755-5605.

    i. FERC Contact: Anumzziatta Purchiaroni, (202) 502-6191, [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: August 20, 2018.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/doc-sfiling/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2423-029.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee requests Commission approval for a temporary modification from the normal reservoir elevation to perform flashboards repairs at the project that were damaged and washed out since April 2018. Since that time, the licensee has been operating the project at dam crest elevation of 1,074.4 feet United States Geologic Datum (USGS), depending on flow spilling over the crest of the dam. The licensee plans to return the reservoir to the normal headwater level of 1,076.8 feet NGVD, at the end of September 2018, right after the flashboard repair work is completed. The licensee states that minimum flows for the bypassed reach will continue to be passed through leakage and the designated pipes within the spillway.

    l. Locations of the Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document (i.e., P-2423-029). You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Motions to Intervene or Protests: Anyone may submit comments, a motion to intervene, or a protest in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, motions to intervene, or protests must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, MOTION TO INTERVENE, or PROTEST as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17027 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-508-000] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC Line Ka1 North Launcher/Receiver Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the proposed Line KA1 North Launcher/Receiver Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) in Fayette and Madison Counties, Kentucky. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies about issues regarding the project. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from its action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires the Commission to discover concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please submit your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 4, 2018.

    You can make a difference by submitting your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Commission staff will consider and address all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on June 20, 2018, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP18-508-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable easement agreement. You are not required to enter into an agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if you and the company do not reach an easement agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings in court. In such instances, compensation would be determined by a judge in accordance with state law.

    Columbia provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know? This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist you at (866) 208-3676 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. Using eComment is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister. You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making; a comment on a particular project is considered a Comment on a Filing; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP18-508-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Proposed Project

    The Line KA1 North Launcher/Receiver Project involves the installation of two 16-inch × 12-inch bi-directional pig 1 launcher/receivers on Columbia's existing Line KA1 North pipeline and other modifications at seven discrete points along the pipeline within Fayette and Madison Counties, Kentucky. According to Columbia, these modifications are necessary to enable the use of smart pigs and cleaning pigs within the Line KA1 North pipeline, which would protect the pipeline from corrosion and provide advanced monitoring capabilities to maintain the pipeline's integrity between Columbia's existing Bybee and Muth Measurement and Regulation Stations.

    1 A pig is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called eLibrary or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 8.75 acres of land. Following construction, Columbia would maintain about 3.28 acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities. Approximately 0.02 acre of temporary access road, 3.42 acres of staging area, and 2.03 acres of temporary workspace would be allowed to revert to preconstruction conditions.

    The EA Process

    The EA will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    Commission staff will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EA will present Commission staff's independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary.3 Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, the Commission may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. Commission staff will consider and address all comments on the EA before making recommendations to the Commission. To ensure Commission staff has the opportunity to address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    3 For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    With this notice, the Commission is asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate in the preparation of the EA.4 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. Commission staff will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that information related to this environmental review is sent to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project.

    If the Commission publishes and distributes the EA, copies of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of a CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached “Mailing List Update Form” (appendix 2).

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website at www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on General Search and enter the docket number in the Docket Number field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP18-508). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public sessions or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17029 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0751; FRL-9981-15] Interim Registration Review Decisions for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decisions for the chemicals listed in the Table in Unit IV of this Notice.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the pesticide specific contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the Table in Unit IV.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8827; email address: [email protected]

    II. Background

    Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. As part of the registration review process, the Agency has completed interim decisions for all pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    III. Authority

    EPA is conducting its registration review of the chemicals listed in the Table in Unit IV pursuant to section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Procedural Regulations for Registration Review at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. Section 3(g) of FIFRA provides, among other things, that the registrations of pesticides are to be reviewed every 15 years. Under FIFRA, a pesticide product may be registered or remain registered only if it meets the statutory standard for registration given in FIFRA section 3(c)(5) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(5)). When used in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, the pesticide product must perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment; that is, without any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, or a human dietary risk from residues that result from the use of a pesticide in or on food.

    IV. What action is the agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58, this notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decisions for the pesticides shown in the following table. The interim registration review decisions are supported by rationales included in the docket established for each chemical.

    Table—Registration Review Interim Decisions Being Issued Registration review case name and
  • No.
  • Docket ID No. Chemical review manager and contact information
    Boric Acid/Sodium Salts, Case 0024 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0306 Moana Appleyard, [email protected], (703) 308-8175. Potato Coleopteran, Case 6503 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0200 Alan Reynolds, [email protected], (703) 605-0515. Cloransulam-methyl, Case 7243 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0855 Patricia Biggio, [email protected], (703) 347-0547. Cymoxanil, Case 7023 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0148 Veronica Dutch, [email protected], (703) 308-8585. Kresoxim-methyl, Case 7026 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0861 Bilin Basu, [email protected], (703) 347-0455. Quinoxyfen, Case 7037 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0771 Katherine St. Clair, [email protected], (703) 347-8778. Sucrose, Case 5117 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0751 Cody Kendrick, [email protected], (703) 347-0468.

    The proposed interim registration review decisions for the chemicals in the table above were posted to the docket and the public was invited to submit any comments or new information relevant to the proposals. EPA has addressed the comments or information received during the 60-day comment period for the proposed interim decisions for each pesticide listed in the Table. Comments from the 60-day comment period that were received may or may not have affected the Agency's interim decision. Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), the registration review case docket for the chemicals listed in the Table will remain open until all actions required in the interim decision have been completed.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-/reevaluation.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 26, 2018. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17083 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0720; FRL-9981-14] Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration reviews of dithiopyr, fluthiacet-methyl, hydramethylnon (pyrimidinone), and trifluralin.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, to the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the Table in Unit IV, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the Table in Unit IV.

    For general questions on the registration review program, contact: Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8827; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager identified in the Table in Unit IV.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low-income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. Background

    Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. As part of the registration review process, the Agency has completed comprehensive draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for all pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. After reviewing comments received during the public comment period, EPA may issue a revised risk assessment, explain any changes to the draft risk assessment, and respond to comments and may request public input on risk mitigation before completing a proposed registration review decision for the pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    III. Authority

    EPA is conducting its registration review of the chemicals listed in the Table in Unit IV pursuant to section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Procedural Regulations for Registration Review at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. Section 3(g) of FIFRA provides, among other things, that the registrations of pesticides are to be reviewed every 15 years. Under FIFRA, a pesticide product may be registered or remain registered only if it meets the statutory standard for registration given in FIFRA section 3(c)(5) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(5)). When used in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, the pesticide product must perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment; that is, without any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, or a human dietary risk from residues that result from the use of a pesticide in or on food.

    IV. What action is the Agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58, this notice announces the availability of EPA's human health and ecological risk assessments for the pesticides shown in the following Table, and opens a 60-day public comment period on the risk assessments.

    Table—Draft Risk Assessments Being Made Available for Public Comment Registration review case name and number Docket ID number Chemical review manager and contact information Dithiopyr, Case 7225 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0750 Veronica Dutch, [email protected], (703) 308-8585. Fluthiacet-methyl, Case 7280 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0285 Caitlin Newcamp, [email protected], (703) 347-0325. Hydramethylnon, Case 2585 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0869 Christian Bongard, [email protected], (703) 347-0337. Trifluralin, Case 0179 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0417 Patricia Biggio, [email protected], (703) 347-0547.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.53(c), EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice of availability, for interested parties to provide comments and input concerning the Agency's draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for the pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. The Agency will consider all comments received during the public comment period and make changes, as appropriate, to a draft human health and/or ecological risk assessment. EPA may then issue a revised risk assessment, explain any changes to the draft risk assessment, and respond to comments.

    Information submission requirements. Anyone may submit data or information in response to this document. To be considered during a pesticide's registration review, the submitted data or information must meet the following requirements:

    • To ensure that EPA will consider data or information submitted, interested persons must submit the data or information during the comment period. The Agency may, at its discretion, consider data or information submitted at a later date.

    • The data or information submitted must be presented in a legible and useable form. For example, an English translation must accompany any material that is not in English and a written transcript must accompany any information submitted as an audiographic or videographic record. Written material may be submitted in paper or electronic form.

    • Submitters must clearly identify the source of any submitted data or information.

    • Submitters may request the Agency to reconsider data or information that the Agency rejected in a previous review. However, submitters must explain why they believe the Agency should reconsider the data or information in the pesticide's registration review.

    As provided in 40 CFR 155.58, the registration review docket for each pesticide case will remain publicly accessible through the duration of the registration review process; that is, until all actions required in the final decision on the registration review case have been completed.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 24, 2018. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17082 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice: 2018-1430] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The Multi-Buyer Policy: Reasonable Spread of Risk (RSOR) Exclusions Worksheet will be used by external customers, current policyholders and portfolio managers to determine eligibility of Export-Import Bank support under the RSOR Policy. Program changes that were made in 2017 have resulted in revitalized demand of the RSOR product in the marketplace. This form will be available on EXIM's website and will standardize the collection of required information into a user friendly format that can be submitted electronically via email or as an attachment to an EXIM Online application. This form will be available on EXIM's website and will standardize the collection of required information into a user friendly format that can be submitted electronically via email or as an attachment to an EXIM Online application.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 10, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV (EIB 18-01) or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20038, Attn: EXIM form (EIB 18-01). The information collection tool can be reviewed at: https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/eib18-01.pdf.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB18-01 Multi-Buyer Policy: Reasonable Spread of Risk (RSOR) Exclusions Worksheet.

    Number: XXXX-XXXX.

    Type of Review: New.

    Need and Use: The Multi-Buyer Policy: Reasonable Spread of Risk (RSOR) Exclusions Worksheet will be used by external customers, current policyholders and portfolio managers to determine eligibility of Export-Import Bank support under the Reasonable Spread of Risk Policy.

    Affected Public: This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 60.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 15 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting or Use: As needed.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing Time per Year: 60 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $2,550 (time * wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $3,060.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17040 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than September 4, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Kathryn Haney, Director of Applications) 1000 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. CapStar Financial Holdings, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee; to merge with Athens Bancshares Corporation, and thereby directly acquire Athens Federal Community Bank, National Association, both of Athens, Tennessee.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 6, 2018. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17093 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than August 27, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Mark A. Rauzi, Vice President), 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Patricia Fishback, Brookings, South Dakota, individually and as trustee of the Robert E. Fishback GRAT A Trust, Brookings, South Dakota; to retain voting shares of Fishback Financial Corporation, Brookings, South Dakota (FFC BHC) and thereby indirectly retain shares of First Bank & Trust, Brookings, South Dakota (FBT Brookings) and First Bank & Trust, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FBT Sioux Falls). In addition, Mary Beth Fishback, Brookings, South Dakota and eighteen (18) trusts (with Mary Beth Fishback; Robert Fishback, Thomas Fishback, and Van Fishback, all of Brookings, South Dakota; and Ann Rivlin of Madison, Wisconsin each as trustee of one or more of these trusts), for retroactive approval to join the Fishback family shareholder group.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President), 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Kevin Page, Trustee of the Kevin Page Trust, Fort Worth, Texas, Dana Page, Co-Trustee of the Dana Page Trust, Austin, Texas, Meghan Anderson Smith, Co-Trustee of the Meghan Anderson Smith Trust, Fremont, Nebraska, Whitney Anderson, Co-Trustee of the Whitney Anderson Trust, Coppell, Texas, Eric Jones, Trustee of the Eric Jones Trust, Blue Lake, California, and Christopher Marious Jones, Co-Trustee of the Christopher Marious Jones Trust, Los Angeles, California; to retain shares of Page Bancshares, Inc., Liberty, Missouri, and thereby retain shares of Pony Express Bank, Braymer, Missouri.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 6, 2018. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17094 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities

    The companies listed in this notice have given notice under section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843) (BHC Act) and Regulation Y, (12 CFR part 225) to engage de novo, or to acquire or control voting securities or assets of a company, including the companies listed below, that engages either directly or through a subsidiary or other company, in a nonbanking activity that is listed in § 225.28 of Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.28) or that the Board has determined by Order to be closely related to banking and permissible for bank holding companies. Unless otherwise noted, these activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Each notice is available for inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notice also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the question whether the proposal complies with the standards of section 4 of the BHC Act.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding the applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than August 23, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Ivan Hurwitz, Vice President) 33 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10045-0001. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Standard Chartered Bank, London, England; through its subsidiary, Standard Chartered Holdings, Inc., New York, New York, to engage through a newly formed entity, The Consortium, LLC, in data processing activities, pursuant to section 225.28(b)(14) of Regulation Y.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 3, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17010 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket Number: NIOSH 278] Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH) AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the CDC announces the following meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH). This meeting is open to the public, limited only by the space available. The meeting room accommodates approximately 33 people. The meeting is also open to the public via webcast. If you wish to attend in person or by webcast, please see the NIOSH website to register (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/) or call (404-498-2539) at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Teleconference is available toll-free; please dial (888) 397-9578, Participant Pass Code 63257516. Adobe Connect webcast will be available at https://odniosh.adobeconnect.com/nioshbsc/ for participants wanting to connect remotely. This meeting is open to the public, limited only by the space available. The public is welcome to participate during the public comment period, 12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., EDT, September 27, 2018. Please note that the public comment period ends at the time indicated above. Each commenter will be provided up to five minutes for comment. A limited number of time slots are available and will be assigned on a first come-first served basis. Written comments will also be accepted from those unable to attend the public session via an on-line form at the following website: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/contact.html.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on September 27, 2018, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Patriots Plaza I, 395 E Street SW, Room 9000, Washington, DC 20201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alberto Garcia, M.S., Executive Secretary, BSC, NIOSH, CDC, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS-R5, Cincinnati, OH 45226, telephone (513) 841-4596, fax (513) 841-4506, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose: The Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and by delegation the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are authorized under Sections 301 and 308 of the Public Health Service Act to conduct directly or by grants or contracts, research, experiments, and demonstrations relating to occupational safety and health and to mine health. The Board of Scientific Counselors provides guidance to the Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on research and prevention programs. Specifically, the Board provides guidance on the Institute's research activities related to developing and evaluating hypotheses, systematically documenting findings and disseminating results. The Board evaluates the degree to which the activities of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: (1) Conform to appropriate scientific standards, (2) address current, relevant needs, and (3) produce intended results.

    Matters to be Considered: The agenda for the meeting addresses occupational safety and health issues related to: NIOSH confronts the Opioid Crisis; 21st Century Surveillance Report; and Enhancing the Transparency of NIOSH Science. An agenda is also posted on the NIOSH website (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/). Members of the public who wish to address the NIOSH BSC are requested to contact the Executive Secretary for scheduling purposes (see contact information below). Alternatively, written comments to the BSC may be submitted via an on-line form at the following website: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/contact.html. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Sherri A. Berger, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17042 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Closed Meeting

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c) (4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Name of Committee: Safety and Occupational Health Study Section (SOHSS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

    Dates: October 16-October 18, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT.

    Place: Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Agenda: The meeting will convene to address matters related to the conduct of Study Section business and for the study section to consider safety and occupational health-related grant applications.

    For Further Information Contact: Nina Turner, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26506, (304) 285-5976; [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Sherri Berger, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17043 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0558] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Disclosures in Professional and Consumer Prescription Drug Promotion AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, Fax: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-NEW and title “Disclosures in Professional and Consumer Prescription Drug Promotion.” Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ila S. Mizrachi, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-7726, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Disclosures in Professional and Consumer Prescription Drug Promotion OMB Control Number 0910-NEW I. Background

    Section 1701(a)(4) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300u(a)(4)) authorizes FDA to conduct research relating to health information. Section 1003(d)(2)(C) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 393(d)(2)(C)) authorizes FDA to conduct research relating to drugs and other FDA regulated products in carrying out the provisions of the FD&C Act.

    FDA regulates prescription drug advertising and promotional labeling directed to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and consumers (section 502(a) and (n), respectively, of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 352(a) and (n))). In the course of promoting their products, pharmaceutical sponsors (sponsors) may present a variety of information including the indication, details about the administration of the product, efficacy information, and clinical trial data. To present often complicated information concisely, sponsors may not include relevant information in the body of the text or visual display of the claim. Additionally, sponsors may not always present limitations to the claim in the main body of the text or display. In these cases, sponsors typically include disclosures of information somewhere in the promotional piece.

    There is limited published research on disclosures in prescription drug promotion, either directed to consumers or to HCPs. The use of disclosures is one method of communicating information to HCPs and consumers about scientific and clinical data, the limitations of that data, and practical utility of that information. These disclosures may influence HCP and consumer comprehension and decision making, and may affect how and what treatment HCPs prescribe for their patients. Previous research on the effectiveness of disclosures has been conducted primarily in the dietary supplement arena (Refs. 1-4). Thus, the proposed research will examine the effectiveness of clear and conspicuous disclosures in prescription drug promotion directed to both populations. The purpose of our study is to determine how useful disclosures regarding prescription drug information are when presented prominently and adjacent to claims.1 Specifically, are HCPs and consumers able to use disclosures to effectively frame information in efficacy claims in prescription drug promotion?

    1 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which regulates the advertising of non-prescription drug products as well as other non-FDA regulated products (e.g., package goods, cars, etc.) issued a specific position on disclosures (Ref. 5) for the advertising it regulates. Specifically, FTC explains that disclosures must be “clear and conspicuous”; in other words, in understandable language, located near the claim to be further clarified, and not hidden or minimized by small font or other distractions.

    To address this research question, we have designed a set of studies that cover both consumers and HCPs, as well as three presentations addressing different types of information: Scope of treatment, ease of use, and statistical significance (see table 1). The scope of treatment information to be tested can be thought of as disease-awareness information; that is, a broader discussion of a medical condition that includes disease characteristics beyond what the promoted drug has been shown to treat. The disclosure for this condition will focus on the disease characteristics that the product has been shown to treat. The ease of use information to be tested is a simple claim of easy drug administration, followed by a disclosure that includes material information about drug administration. Finally, the statistical significance information to be tested includes a presentation of efficacy analyses, followed by a disclosure revealing that the results of the presented analyses were not statistically significant, and thus must be viewed with considerable caution. We selected these types of information because they are commonly seen in promotional material.

    Each participant will view three different professionally developed mock promotional print pieces for different prescription drug products that mimic currently available promotion. For each of the three promotional pieces, they will be randomized to see an ad with a weak disclosure, a strong disclosure, or no disclosure. We will manipulate the strength of disclosure by including additional concluding information (strong) or not (weak) in the disclosure statement. In all cases, disclosures will be adjacent to claims and written in font clear enough to be detected.

    Table 12—Identical Study Designs for Samples of HCPs and Consumers Type of claim Level of disclosure Weak Strong Control Study A: HCPs Scope of Treatment Evidence Only Evidence + Conclusion No Disclosure Ease of Use Evidence Only Evidence + Conclusion No Disclosure Statistical Significance Evidence Only Evidence + Conclusion No Disclosure Study B: Consumers Scope of Treatment Evidence Only Evidence + Conclusion No Disclosure Ease of Use Evidence Only Evidence + Conclusion No Disclosure Statistical Significance Evidence Only Evidence + Conclusion No Disclosure

    We will analyze the results of the scope of treatment disclosures, the ease of use disclosures, and the statistical significance disclosures independently of each other, even though each participant will see one of each. The claims and disclosures are different enough that practice effects should be moderated, but we will counterbalance the order of ads shown to minimize potential bias.

    Because promotional pieces intended for HCPs and consumers have different levels of complexity and medical depth, and because the amount of knowledge expected between the two groups differs, the studies will use separate mock promotional pieces and ask slightly different comprehension questions of each group. We will maintain as much similarity across groups as possible for descriptive comparisons.

    Both consumers and HCPs will be recruited from internet panels. Because promotional pieces will represent three different medical conditions, we will obtain a general population sample of consumers and a HCP sample of primary care physicians. We will exclude individuals who are employees of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or who work in pharmaceutical, advertising, or marketing settings because their knowledge and experiences may not reflect those of the typical healthcare provider or consumer. Eligible participants who agree to participate voluntarily in this survey will view mock promotional pieces and answer questions about their comprehension of the main messages in the promotion, perceptions of the product, attention to disclosures and intention to ask a HCP about it (consumers) or to prescribe the product (HCPs). Questionnaires are available upon request.

    Pretests will be conducted before conducting the main studies to ensure the mock promotional pieces are realistic and that the questionnaire flows well and questions are reasonable. We will supplement the findings of the pretests with two small eye-tracking studies. Researchers use eye-tracking technology to capture viewing behavior that is independent of self-report. The technology measures where and for how long participants glanced at or examined particular parts of a display. It has been used in studies of consumer print advertising (Refs. 6-8) and internet promotion (Refs. 9 and 10). To our knowledge, there is little or no published research using eye-tracking technology with HCPs.

    We will use these small eye-tracking studies to determine what parts of each promotional piece consumers and HCPs actually viewed. Specifically, we will be able to determine whether they looked at the disclosure statement at all, and we can obtain a rough idea of how long they looked at it. This data will complement the self-reported items on the questionnaire. Moreover, we will use this data, as well as the pretest data, to improve the main studies. For this part of the study, 20 consumers and 20 HCPs will view the promotional pieces.

    In the Federal Register of June 14, 2017 (82 FR 27268), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. Four comments were received. Responses to those comments follow. For brevity, some public comments are paraphrased and therefore may not reflect the exact language used by the commenter. We assure commenters that the entirety of their comments was considered even if not fully captured by our paraphrasing in this document. The following acronyms are used here: DTC = direct-to-consumer; HCP = healthcare professional; FDA and “The Agency” = Food and Drug Administration; OPDP = FDA's Office of Prescription Drug Promotion.

    The first public comment responder (regulations.gov tracking number lkl-8y39-rtyb) included 25 individual comments, to which we have responded.

    Comment 1a (summarized): FDA is conducting too much research without articulating a clear, overarching research agenda or adequate rationales on how the proposed research related to the goal of further protecting public health. The Agency should publish a comprehensive list of its prescription drug advertising and promotion studies from the past 5 years and articulate a clear vision for its research priorities for the near future.

    Response 1a: OPDP's mission is to protect the public health by helping to ensure that prescription drug information is truthful, balanced, and accurately communicated, so that patients and healthcare providers can make informed decisions about treatment options. OPDP's research program supports this mission by generating scientific evidence to help ensure that our policies related to prescription drug promotion will have the greatest benefit to public health. Toward that end, we have consistently conducted research to evaluate the aspects of prescription drug promotion that we believe are most central to our mission, focusing in particular on three main topic areas: Advertising features, including content and format; target populations; and research quality. Through the evaluation of advertising features we assess how elements such as graphics, format, and disease and product characteristics impact the communication and understanding of prescription drug risks and benefits; focusing on target populations allows us to evaluate how understanding of prescription drug risks and benefits may vary as a function of audience; and our focus on research quality aims at maximizing the quality of research data through analytical methodology development and investigation of sampling and response issues.

    Because we recognize the strength of data and the confidence in the robust nature of the findings is improved through the results of multiple converging studies, we continue to develop evidence to inform our thinking. We evaluate the results from our studies within the broader context of research and findings from other sources, and this larger body of knowledge collectively informs our policies as well as our research program. Our research is documented on our homepage, which can be found at: https://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/centersoffices/officeofmedicalproductsandtobacco/cder/ucm090276.htm. The website includes links to the latest Federal Register notices and peer-reviewed publications produced by our office. The website maintains information on studies we have conducted, dating back to a survey of DTC attitudes and behaviors conducted in 1999.

    Comment 1b (The commenter provided a summary of the comments followed by a more detailed description of the same comments. For brevity, the summary of comments has been omitted and only the specific comments [1b through 1y] are provided below. The commenter's full comments may be accessed at regulations.gov via tracking number lkl-8y39-rtb) (verbatim): It is not clear from this description whether the study will yield useful information to evaluate whether disclosures provide appropriate contextual information in certain communications, whether such disclosures can be made more effective, and where the disclosures are necessary to ensure communications are truthful and non-misleading. The Agency should provide significantly more detail regarding the design of the study, the proposed disclosures, the mock promotional pieces, and the information it seeks to collect.

    Response 1b: We have provided the purpose of the study, the design, the population of interest, and have provided the questionnaire to numerous individuals upon request. These materials have proven sufficient for others to comment publicly, and for academic experts to peer-review the study successfully. We do not make draft stimuli public during this time because of concerns that this may contaminate our participant pool and compromise the research.

    Comment 1c (summarized): After pretesting, the Agency should make available revised questionnaires, data collection methodologies, and stimuli.

    Response 1c: In this current notice, we provide the revised design as based on academic peer reviewers, cognitive interviewing, and public comments. The revised questionnaire is also available upon request. Our full stimuli are under development during the PRA process. We do not make draft stimuli public during this time because of concerns that this may contaminate our participant pool and compromise the research. Individuals are welcome to inquire about the progress of the study and any changes from the pretests will be communicated at that time.

    Comment 1d (summarized): FDA should base mock promotional stimuli on realistic promotional pieces.

    Response 1d: We have done this. Our stimuli are modified from actual promotional pieces in the marketplace to disguise the original product.

    Comment 1e (summarized): It is unclear whether such disclosures will contain relevant information ordinarily provided in promotional materials.

    Response 1e: The goal of our research is to obtain answers to questions about prescription drug promotion that will inform the Agency and stakeholders. Thus, we strive in all of our studies to make our mock promotional pieces as realistic as possible. That includes any disclosures that we may include in testing. Also, please see response to comment 1d.

    Comment 1f (verbatim): FDA seems to have an overly broad conception of the need for disclosures for “scope of treatment” communications. In the Notice, FDA describes this type of communication as “a disease-awareness claim; that is, a broader discussion of a medical condition that may include disease characteristics beyond what the promoted drug has been shown to treat.” Where a disease awareness communication discusses a disease in a manner beyond what the promoted drug has been shown to treat, but does so in a balanced manner without implying any particular treatment benefits from the associated drug, it should be viewed as providing helpful general background information on the disease, and not as making an off-label claim for the drug. In those circumstances, there should be no need for any disclosure about the limits of use of the drug. FDA should clarify its understanding of “scope of treatment” claims and make its proposed claims and disclosures available for public comment.

    Response 1f: Previous research has demonstrated that presenting study participants with information about the consequences of a disease, particularly when the information was integrated into one print ad with information about a particular drug, resulted in false beliefs that the advertised drug prevented those consequences.2 The “scope of treatment” claims that are included in this research are embedded in mock promotional materials, juxtaposed with specific efficacy information about the mock drug products. As such, they will likely imply “particular treatment benefits from the associated drug.” This research will help us to evaluate the usefulness of a disclosure in relation to this type of information when it is found in promotional pieces. Also, please see response to comment 1c.

    2 Aikin, K.J., H.W. Sullivan, and K.R. Betts, (2016). “Disease information in direct-to-consumer prescription drug print ads.” Journal of Health Communication, 21(2), pp. 228-239.

    Comment 1g (verbatim): FDA states that the “ease of use” claim “is a simple claim of easy drug administration that omits specific important details that contribute to a more difficult drug administration than suggested.” This statement appears to imply that all ease of use claims are misleading, where the Agency perhaps intends to clarify that validated and non-misleading “ease of use” claims may require a disclosure or more context. FDA should clarify its understanding of “ease of use” claims, and, in testing, ensure it does not test overly misleading base claims for “ease of use” that would be difficult to contextualize with a disclosure statement and hence would bias the results of its study. Such claims should be made available for public comment.

    Response 1g: FDA did not intend to imply that all ease of use claims are misleading or that all ease of use claims would necessarily require a disclosure. FDA agrees that some ease of use statements require a disclosure or more context and intends to evaluate one such example with this research. We have revised the description of the study in this notice to clarify. Also, please see response to comment 1c.

    Comment 1h (verbatim): FDA states that the “statistical significance” claim “will be one in which the disclosure reveals that the presented analyses were not statistically significant, and thus must be viewed with considerable caution.” It is not clear what content FDA intends to test for this type of claim. We encourage FDA to clarify how it intends to present “not statistically significant” analyses for testing in order to ensure such claims are presented with appropriate contextual information. Such claims should be made available for public comment.

    Response 1h: Please see responses to comment 1c, 1d, and 1e.

    Comment 1i (summarized): The Agency should clarify what distinctions will be made between HCP and consumer pieces.

    Response 1i: As our mock promotional pieces have been adapted from existing materials in the public domain, the materials directed to HCPs and to consumers vary in similar ways to what can currently be seen in the public domain. For example, materials directed to HCPs tend to have more data, more technical medical language, and more text in general. Consumer pieces are generally written in plainer language and generally do not include as much data and statistical information. Our pieces are highly realistic as they were developed from actual promotional pieces.

    Comment 1j (verbatim): The Agency proposes that consumer and HCP subjects will be recruited from internet panels, indicating that the study will be conducted using an electronic format. Because the proposed research topic is not dependent on an electronic medium, FDA should consider testing non-electronic media as well, including printed promotional pieces.

    Response 1j: Although our study will be conducted via the internet, we will show participants mock print materials in .pdf format.

    Comment 1k (verbatim): The Agency proposes to use eye-tracking studies to complement the self-reported items on the questionnaire and to improve the main studies. [The commenter] encourages the Agency to use this technology in conjunction with other inputs (for example, qualitative research) to understand why subjects are looking at a portion of the proposed materials, rather than to draw conclusions that such portions were viewed. Additionally, an explanation of the use of eye-tracking technology should also be included during the subject enrollment process.

    Response 1k: FDA plans to collect and analyze eye-tracking (physical measures of attention) data in conjunction with other measures, including cognitive interviews. To avoid the potential for priming effects, the eye-tracking component of the study will not be explained to recruited individuals before they report for their in-person sessions. However, participants will be made aware of the eye-tracking component during the informed consent process.

    Comment 1l (summarized): The commenter recommends increasing the sample size of the eye-tracking components to ensure more robust data.

    Response 1l: Our primary method of analysis of the eye-tracking data will be examination of gaze plots coupled with self-report data provided by participants. Thus, eye-tracking results will be examined on an individual, rather than aggregate, level. Furthermore, the eye-tracking studies included in this research are intended as qualitative, formative studies; they will be used to inform any necessary changes to the stimuli before the main studies. Formative eye-tracking studies such as these are often executed with sample sizes as small as five participants.3 In our experience, a sample of 20 participants in each population ensures that we will collect fully useable data from a minimum of 15 participants in each population. Used as an observation tool, eye-tracking complements the other data collected to increase discoverability of specific events and confidence in our qualitative findings.

    3 Pernice, K. and J. Nielsen, (2009). “How to Conduct Eyetracking Studies.” https://media.nngroup.com/media/reports/free/How_to_Conduct_Eyetracking_Studies.pdf.

    Comment 1m (summarized): The commenter recommends limiting the participant sample to disease sufferers rather than a general population sample.

    Response 1m: We carefully consider the type of sample to use in each of our studies. In the current study, the population of sufferers for the conditions addressed by our stimuli (i.e., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic iron overload, and high blood pressure) are varied. Because we are showing participants more than one ad, we chose not to select diagnosed populations or specialists.

    Comment 1n (summarized): FDA should recruit a demographically and geographically diverse sample.

    Response 1n: We agree and we plan to recruit individuals with a range of gender, race, ethnicity, and, as much as possible within an internet sample, socioeconomic status. For the consumer sample, we aim for a sample with 60 percent of people who have some college or less. An advantage of sampling via internet panel is that we have access to individuals in all parts of the United States.

    Comment 1o (verbatim): FDA should capture whether subjects comprehend certain information disclosed in the mock promotional pieces, even if the subject does not recall information on the specifics. Currently, open-ended and recall questions (e.g., Consumer Questionnaire Q2-Q3; HCP Questionnaire Q2-Q3) ask test subjects to identify certain information regarding the featured drug products (what a mock drug product is specifically “used for” or “not approved for”). It is not clear why such an open-ended format or questions are necessary for the research purpose of the study, as subjects could recognize a limit to the efficacy being presented even if they do not follow or recall all of the details of a disclosure.

    Response 1o: We do intend to capture what information has been observed in the mock promotional pieces, and we do this through the open-ended and recall questions. It is common practice to include open-ended and closed-ended questions in one research study, as they tend to complement each other. Open-ended questions allow responses that have not been prompted by particulars, which is not the case with closed-ended questions. Closed-ended questions provide a more efficient way of obtaining information.

    Comment 1p (summarized): FDA should ensure that terms used in the consumer pieces are consumer-friendly.

    Response 1p: We agree and always review our mock consumer pieces for lay language. The terms mentioned by the commenter (e.g., chronic iron overload, COPD, lung function, scientific evidence, effectiveness, statistically significant) will be used in the HCP materials. However, we also strive to make our materials as realistic as possible, and in this case, we have modified existing DTC pieces for consumers. If they used a term (e.g., COPD), and OPDP reviewers agreed that this is common and acceptable, we maintained it in our mock pieces.

    Comment 1q (summarized): FDA should consider changing the sliding scale format of Q4.

    Response 1q: We carefully develop each question of our questionnaires, taking into account language and response options. No cognitive interview participant reported confusion with this sliding scale question. Without scientific justification for changing the response format of this question, we will maintain the current format.

    Comment 1r (verbatim): In a study setting, subjects may be prone to pay attention to more or all of the information presented throughout the study, including claims designed to be intentionally misleading. As a result, subjects are more likely to be biased based on the strength or weakness of the claims and disclosures presented. The Agency should address what efforts it will take to avoid response bias by presenting these varying degrees of disclosures.

    Response 1r: The study is designed so that participant will be randomly assigned to condition. Moreover, the only aspect of the participants' experiences that will be varied in the study will be the manipulations that we have described. Any individual differences in attention or ability or potential biases should be spread across experimental conditions. Thus, if we find differences between and among conditions, we can be reasonably sure that the manipulations caused the differences. We have not found in the past that our participants spend an inordinate amount of time viewing stimuli, but we will be careful to place the research in context when we interpret the data.

    Comment 1s (verbatim): The Consent Text introduction should not state that the survey is being conducted “on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” This statement could potentially influence subjects' responses to study questions. Instead, this information might be provided at the conclusion of the study.

    Response 1s: In previous studies, we took this same view and typically used “Department of Health and Human Services.” We will incorporate this change.

    Comment 1t (verbatim): Questions regarding statements in ads (Consumer Questionnaire Q10, Q20, Q30; HCP Questionnaire Q12, Q22, Q33) should be the first questions presented following the subjects' viewing of a promotional piece. A subject will likely recall the statements that appeared in the promotional piece most accurately immediately after reviewing the piece and before answering other questions that could influence their selection of answers.

    Response 1t: As with all other aspects of study design, we carefully develop questionnaires with order effects in mind. Therefore, we chose to include questions regarding perception of efficacy or ease of use, information seeking, and behavioral intention first because it is important that participant responses to these items be based solely on the information presented in the ads. The questions referenced by the commenter also include incorrect recall items, which could potentially bias responses to later questions if the order was changed. Additionally, repeated exposures to the correct recall items in the above-referenced questions could have a reinforcing effect that could confound results.

    Comment 1u (verbatim): In the Consumer Questionnaire, an “FDA employee” category, similar to S7 and S8, should be added to the Screener Survey. These individuals should also be terminated from the study.

    Response 1u: We will revise question S8 to read, “Do you work for a pharmaceutical company, an advertising agency, a market research company, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services?” to capture these individuals, as suggested.

    Comment 1v (verbatim): In the Consumer Questionnaire, Q8-Q9 should be presented prior to Q6-Q7 in order to prevent bias in favor of non-HCP sources. Similarly, Q19 should appear before Q18, and Q28 should appear before Q27.

    Response 1v: We will reorder the questionnaire as the commenter suggested.

    Comment 1w (summarized): We recommend that Q8-Q9, Q19, and Q28 be expanded to more fully evaluate the role of the prescriber in aiding consumers' understanding of disclaimers in promotional materials.

    Response 1w: HCPs are often a very important source of information about prescription drugs. However, when prescription drugs are promoted directly to consumers, they may be more likely to look for information on their own before taking steps to consult their HCPs. We have taken this into account in this study by examining the responses of both consumers and HCPs.

    Comment 1x (verbatim): In the HCP Questionnaire, Q5, Q7, and Q29 should be omitted. Comparative efficacy is highly dependent on the particular HCP subject's experience outside the experiment setting; this question thus may lead to highly variable results. Further, how the drug featured in the mock promotional communication compares to other prescription medications has no relevance to FDA's stated study goals. Questions regarding comparative efficacy should thus be omitted from the proposed HCP Questionnaire.

    Response 1x: Comparative efficacy questions are another way to assess how HCPs respond to prescription drug promotion. Any subjective experiences outside the experiment setting should fall out because HCPs will be randomly assigned to conditions. The questions are relevant to our study because HCPs make comparative decisions each time they make a prescribing decision.

    Comment 1y (verbatim): In the HCP Questionnaire, Q34 does not appear to provide appropriate programming instructions for the scenario in which Q33_A=01 and Q33_D=01. FDA should confirm that Q33 may be asked if subjects select both Q33_A and Q33_D, and provide that this question may be repeated for both responses. The variable label text for Q34 should also be rewritten as follows: “How much did the statement [disclosure] influence your assessment of the scientific evidence for [D]esyflux?”

    Response 1y: Q33 asks whether participants have seen any of the listed statements. Q34 is asked for each of Q33_A and Q33_D when they respond affirmatively to that statement in Q33. Thus, participants who chose option 01 for both items will see two separate questions. We will make the suggested changes to Q34.

    The second public comment responder (regulations.gov tracking number lkl-8y11-169c) included four individual comments, to which we have responded.

    Comment 2a (summarized): FDA should give consideration to the representativeness of online study volunteers to the general public who will view print ads.

    Response 2a: This is an excellent point and one to which we have given much thought. As with all research, there is a tradeoff of efficiencies when it comes to collecting information from volunteers. Recruiting from internet panels is a relatively economical way to achieve large sample sizes from all across the United States, making it possible to achieve geographic and urban/rural diversity in a way that was not previously possible. However, it is true that members of lower socioeconomic classes do not have the same access to computers and the internet, and therefore our sample may be skewed toward individuals who have higher education and/or income. We have attempted to mitigate this issue by aiming for recruitment of 60 percent of individuals with some or no college and 40 percent of individuals with a college degree or more.

    While it is important to note that random assignment of respondents to experimental conditions provides us the ability to make causal claims about our findings, we do note that truncating the population from which we sample is a limitation of the study and will describe this in any publication or presentation that results from the data.

    Comment 2b (verbatim): We suggest that the study include electronic advertisements in addition to print advertisements to account for and reflect changes in consumer consumption of media, including the increase of electronic promotion and advertising of products by sponsors.

    Response 2b: We agree that more information and promotion is moving to electronic presentations, including the internet, mobile applications, and other communication formats. However, the questions we ask in this current study are fundamental questions that should not differ based on presentation format. Moreover, our print ads are similar to what might be shown on a website, which is a prominent electronic format. We have other studies ongoing that are examining other electronic presentation modes (e.g., 82 FR 32842, July 18, 2017).

    Comment 2c (summarized): If the three levels of disclosure are to be strong, weak, and none, we recommend considering the following levels of disclosure:

    • Additional concluding information makes it strong • Less additional information makes it weak • No additional information makes it none

    Response 2c: Thank you for clearly investing time and energy in responding to this study design. The suggested levels of disclosure are effectively the same as what we have included in our study design. The weak disclosure provides some additional information, while the strong disclosure provides both the additional information and an explicit conclusion based on the information.

    Comment 2d (summarized): FDA should keep in mind that stronger disclosures may be longer, therefore eye-tracking time may reflect length, not necessarily effectiveness.

    Response 2d: The commenter is correct in that a longer block of text will generally result in a longer gaze fixation. We have taken steps to keep the stronger disclosures as close as possible in length to the weaker disclosures. However, as noted previously, eye-tracking outcomes will be analyzed qualitatively. Our primary interest is whether the disclosure was attended to—the length of attention is of less interest in this case.

    The third public comment responder (regulations.gov tracking number lkl-8y16-bf58) included five individual comments, to which we have responded.

    Comment 3a (summarized): The commenter assumes that stimuli will conform to FDA regulations and requirements in non-study aspects and will not overdramatize claims versus disclosures.

    Response 3a: All stimuli will conform to FDA regulations, as reviewed by OPDP reviewers. Additionally, we have designed the materials to fall within realistic parameters, thus the claims and disclosures are representative of what we may see in the marketplace.

    Comment 3b (summarized): The commenter includes a section titled “Comments on the Brief Summary and Provision of Risk Information in Advertising” wherein FDA is encouraged to continue to consider the purpose and practical limits of advertising.

    Response 3b: FDA agrees that a consideration of the purpose and practical limits of prescription drug promotion will guide the development of research projects. Otherwise, the comment appears to fall outside the scope of this particular proposed research.

    Comment 3c (summarized): Add “Don't Know” options for questions about perceived effectiveness in the consumer questionnaire.

    Response 3c: Questions about perceived effectiveness by definition involve subjective rather than objective assessments of effectiveness. Participants have the option to skip these questions if they wish.

    Comment 3d (verbatim): We suggest also including questions to capture whether respondents have a general understanding that there are limitations to the data and information being presented, even if they do not recall specific information and disclosure statements.

    Response 3d: This is a good suggestion, but it is important to phrase such questions appropriately. For example, simply asking participants if they believe the data is thorough and complete or that the data has limitations is not likely to yield useful information. However, there are several validated skepticism scales that approach this idea of trusting the validity of presented information. Although these items are not tied to data specifically, they will provide some information for us about how much individuals rely on the data. We have added two questions near the end of the survey to address this issue.

    Comment 3e (summarized): The commenter recommends deleting “. . . from a source other than your healthcare provider” from questions 6 and 7.

    Response 3e: Because we ask about seeking information from a HCP in other questions, we will retain this distinction in Q6 and Q7 for clarity.

    The fourth public comment responder (regulations.gov tracking number lkl-8y38-n0p8) included eight individual comments, to which we have responded.

    Comment 4a (summarized): The commenter is supportive of the research.

    Response 4a: Thank you for your support.

    Comment 4b (summarized): The commenter suggests carefully selecting medical conditions to ensure a range of therapeutic areas. Specifically, they suggest one life-threatening condition (e.g., cardiovascular conditions leading to stroke), one chronic condition (e.g., atopic dermatitis), and one non-life-threatening and non-chronic condition (e.g., urinary tract infection).

    Response 4b: FDA believes this proposed range of medical conditions is a great way to choose therapeutic categories. For the current study, however, we limited ourselves to medical conditions that have existing promotional pieces that include a variety of limitations that can be feasibly explained in a disclosure. We will keep the commenter's approach in mind and apply it in future research when possible.

    Comment 4c (summarized): The commenter suggests selecting a diversity of participants, including gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc., to better represent the population at large. Also, FDA should consider inclusion and exclusion criteria for HCPs and consumers carefully.

    Response 4c: We agree that these characteristics are important and strive to obtain representativeness across a variety of personal demographics. Although we will aim to recruit a diverse group of participants with sufficient variation on demographic characteristics such as gender, race, age, and education, we note that this study features random assignment to condition, whereby these demographic characteristics should have an equal chance of occurring. In terms of HCPs, we will include them if they are primary care physicians, and will work to recruit a sample with sufficient diversity on demographic characteristics as noted above.

    Comment 4d (verbatim): It is critical that FDA evaluates the merits of unbiased introduction by not presenting a promotional piece to HCPs with specialty in the same therapeutic category.

    Response 4d: For this study, we will be recruiting only primary care physicians and not specialists. Thus, while any given participant may have experience treating one or more of the conditions represented by our stimuli, none should have specialties in the respective therapeutic categories.

    Comment 4e (summarized): The commenter encourages the use of a health literacy competency tool such as a readability calculator to ensure consumers can understand the language.

    Response 4e: We agree that the plain language communication of information is critical for the best public health outcomes. Nevertheless, our aim in this study is to test promotional materials that are available in the public domain. Although we have disguised the products and campaigns in our mock stimuli, all pieces are derived directly from promotion in the marketplace. We feel this is important to ensure that our study is relevant.

    Comment 4f (summarized): The commenter recommends recruiting through hospitals, doctor offices, and clinics rather than via the internet. The commenter suggests that this will expand on the pool of participants, help minimize potential bias, and ensure the entire population of the United States is represented as not everyone has access to or uses the internet.

    Response 4f: Please see our response to comment 2a.

    Comment 4g (summarized): The commenter recommends conducting subgroup analyses, such as with older adults.

    Response 4g: We will examine covariates including age, race, and education level to determine whether these variables have any effect on our findings. This study is not designed to conduct between-subgroup analyses. If we detect relevant trends, such subgroup analyses may become good candidates for future studies.

    Comment 4h (verbatim): [The commenter] recommends that the FDA communicate the actions they will take based on the study results and analysis. We also encourage FDA to provide further communication about when FDA will publish the study results, how the study results will be applied, and how this will impact the work of FDA.

    Response 4h: Please see our response to comment 1a.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 2—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average burden per response Total hours 2
    Consumers Pretest Screener 833 1 833 0.03 (2 minutes) 25 Pretest 500 1 500 0.33 (20 minutes) 165 Eye-Tracking Screener 80 1 80 0.08 (5 minutes) 7 Eye-Tracking Study 20 1 20 1 20 Main Study Screener 2,500 1 2,500 0.03 (2 minutes) 75 Main Study 1,500 1 1,500 0.33 (20 minutes) 495 HCPs Pretest Screener 735 1 735 0.03 (2 minutes) 22 Pretest 500 1 500 0.33 (20 minutes) 165 Eye-Tracking Screener 80 1 80 0.08 (5 minutes) 7 Eye-Tracking Study 20 1 20 1 20 Main Study Screener 2,206 1 2,206 0.03 (2 minutes) 67 Main Study 1,500 1 1,500 0.33 (20 minutes) 495 Total 1,563 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information. 2 Rounded to the next full hour.
    II. References

    The following references are on display in the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852 and are available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available electronically at https://www.regulations.gov. FDA has verified the website addresses, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but websites are subject to change over time.

    1. Dodge, T. and A. Kaufman. “What Makes Consumers Think Dietary Supplements Are Safe and Effective? The Role of Disclaimers and FDA Approval.” Health Psychology, 26(4), 513-517. (2007). 2. Dodge, T., D. Litt, and A. Kaufman. “Influence of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act on Consumer Beliefs About the Safety and Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements.” Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. 16(3), 230-244. (2011). 3. Mason, M.J., D.L. Scammon, and X. Feng. “The Impact of Warnings, Disclaimers and Product Experience on Consumers' Perceptions of Dietary Supplements.” Journal of Consumer Affairs, 41(1), 74-99. (2007). 4. France, K.R. and P.F. Bone. “Policy Makers' Paradigms and Evidence from Consumer Interpretations of Dietary Supplement Labels.” Journal of Consumer Affairs, 39(1), 27-51. (2005). 5. FTC. “Full Disclosure.” Accessed at: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2014/09/full-disclosure (September 23, 2014) Last accessed on June 22, 2018. 6. Higgins, E., M. Leinenger, and K. Rayner. “Eye Movements When Viewing Advertisements.” Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 210. (2014). 7. Pieters, R., M. Wedel, and R. Batra. “The Stopping Power of Advertising: Measures and Effects of Visual Complexity.” Journal of Marketing, 74(5), 48-60. (2010). 8. Thomsen, S. and K. Fulton. “Adolescents' Attention to Responsibility Messages in Magazine Alcohol Advertisements: An Eye-Tracking Approach.” Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 27-34. (2007). 9. Simola, J., J. Kuisma, A. Öörni, L. Uusitalo, et al. “The Impact of Salient Advertisements on Reading and Attention on Web pages.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17(2), 174-190. (2011). 10. Wedel, M. and R. Pieters. “A Review of Eye-Tracking Research in Marketing.” In Review of Marketing Research, vol. 4 (pp. 123-147), N. K. Malhotra (Ed.). Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe. (2008). Dated: August 3, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17045 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-2614] Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a final guidance for industry entitled “Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances.” This guidance has been developed to provide manufacturers with recommendations for submission of new drug applications (NDAs), investigational new drug applications (INDs), or abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs), as appropriate, for orally administered immediate-release (IR) drug products that contain highly soluble drug substances. The guidance is intended to describe when a standard release test and criteria may be used in lieu of extensive method development and acceptance criteria-setting exercises.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-2614 for “Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Lostritto, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Bldg. 51, Rm. 4132, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-1697.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances.” This guidance finalizes the draft guidance for industry entitled “Dissolution Testing and Specification Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Forms Containing Biopharmaceutics Classification System Class 1 and 3 Drugs” (August 2015) (FR 80 46019), and the recommendations in this guidance clarify the recommendations in the guidance for industry entitled “Dissolution Testing of Immediate Release Solid Oral Dosage Forms” (August 1997) (FR 62 44974) for high solubility drug substances in IR drug products that meet the conditions described in section III of this guidance. For drug substances that do not meet the conditions in this guidance, sponsors/applicants should follow the recommendations provided in the August 1997 guidance.

    The title of this guidance has been revised to better reflect its focus on the solubility of the drug substance in the drug product. Therefore, a direct reference to biopharmaceutics classification system class 1 and class 3 is not necessary because permeability requirements are not within the focus of this guidance.

    Drug absorption from a solid dosage form after oral administration depends on the release of the drug substance from the drug product, the dissolution or solubilization of the drug under physiological conditions, and the permeation across the gastrointestinal membrane. NDAs and ANDAs submitted to FDA contain bioavailability (BA) or bioequivalence (BE) data and in vitro dissolution data that, together with chemistry, manufacturing, and controls data, characterize the quality and performance of the drug product. In vitro dissolution data are generally obtained from: (1) Batches used in pivotal clinical and/or BA/BE studies, (2) batches used as stability registration batches, and (3) batches used in other human studies conducted during product development. In general, knowledge about the solubility, permeability, dissolution, and pharmacokinetics of a drug product is considered when defining dissolution acceptance criteria for the drug approval process.

    Immediate-release solid oral dosage form drug products containing high solubility drug substances are considered to be relatively low risk regarding the impact of dissolution on in vivo performance, provided the in vitro performance meets or exceeds the recommendations discussed within this guidance. This guidance establishes standard dissolution methodology and acceptance criteria that are appropriate for highly soluble drug substances that are formulated in IR dosage form. The availability of these standards will facilitate the rapid development of dissolution methodology and related acceptance criteria with no requirement to show discriminatory ability of the dissolution method for these products during drug product development. In addition, these standards will facilitate FDA's evaluation of the data submitted in the application.

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on “Dissolution Testing and Acceptance Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products Containing High Solubility Drug Substances.” It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR parts 312 and 314 have been approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0014 and 0910-0001, respectively.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17025 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0180] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Quantitative Data on Tobacco Products and Communications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, Fax: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0810. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Sanford, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-8867, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Generic Clearance for the Collection of Quantitative Data on Tobacco Products and Communications; OMB Control Number 0910-0810—Extension

    In order to conduct educational and public information programs relating to tobacco use as authorized by section 1003(d)(2)(D) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 393(d)(2)(D)), FDA's Center for Tobacco Products will create and use a variety of media to inform and educate the public, tobacco retailers, and health professionals about the risks of tobacco use, how to quit using tobacco products, and FDA's role in regulating tobacco.

    To ensure that these health communication messages have the highest potential to be received, understood, and accepted by those for whom they are intended, the Center for Tobacco Products will conduct research and studies relating to the control and prevention of disease. In conducting such research, FDA will employ formative pretests. Formative pretests are conducted on a small scale, and their focus is on developing and assessing the likely effectiveness of communications with specific target audiences. This type of research involves: (1) Assessing audience knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and other characteristics for the purpose of determining the need for and developing health messages, communication strategies, and public information programs and (2) pretesting these health messages, strategies, and program components while they are in developmental form to assess audience comprehension, reactions, and perceptions.

    Formative pretesting is a staple of best practices in communications research. Obtaining voluntary feedback from intended audiences during the development of messages and materials is crucial for the success of every communication program. The purpose of obtaining information from formative pretesting is that it allows FDA to improve materials and strategies while revisions are still affordable and possible. Formative pretesting can also avoid potentially expensive and dangerous unintended outcomes caused by audiences' interpreting messages in a way that was not intended by the drafters. By maximizing the effectiveness of messages and strategies for reaching targeted audiences, the frequency with which tobacco communication messages need to be modified should be greatly reduced.

    The voluntary information collected will serve the primary purpose of providing FDA information about the perceived effectiveness of messages, advertisements, and materials in reaching and successfully communicating with their intended audiences. Quantitative testing messages and other materials with a sample of the target audience will allow FDA to refine messages, advertisements, and materials, including questionnaires or images, directed at consumers while the materials are still in the developmental stage.

    In the Federal Register of February 13, 2018 (83 FR 6190), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. One PRA-related comment was received.

    Comment: The comment recommends that FDA should research and develop communications about educating adults about the continuum of risk, and educating adults to not provide tobacco products to youth.

    Response: FDA appreciates the comment. The content and focus on studies submitted through this generic clearance will depend on Agency priorities and needs, and is not yet determined at this time.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Screener 130,500 1 130,500 0.083 (5 minutes) 10,831 Self-Administered Surveys 27,000 1 27,000 0.33 (20 minutes) 8,910 Total 19,741 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    The number of respondents to be included in each new survey will vary, depending on the nature of the material or message being tested and the target audience. The burden for this information collection extension is proposed to increase by 12,613 hours since the last OMB approval. The burden increase is due to an increase in the number of respondents and the categories of respondents.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17044 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-2495] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Derived From Genetically Engineered Plants AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the information collection associated with the guidance to assist manufacturers who wish to voluntarily label their foods (human and animal) as being made with or without bioengineering, or the use of bioengineered ingredients, to ensure that labeling is truthful and not misleading.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before October 9, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of October 9, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-2495 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Derived From Genetically Engineered Plants OMB Control Number 0910-0807—Extension

    This information collection supports Agency guidance. Section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 343) generally governs the labeling of foods. Under section 403(a)(1) of the FD&C Act, a food is misbranded if its labeling is false or misleading in any particular. Section 201(n) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(n)) provides that labeling is misleading if, among other things, it fails to reveal facts that are material in light of representations made or suggested in the labeling, or material with respect to consequences that may result from the use of the food to which the labeling relates under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling, or under such conditions of use as are customary or usual.

    In the Federal Register of May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22984), we published a “Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties” (the 1992 Policy). The 1992 Policy applies to foods for humans and animals that are developed from new plant varieties, including varieties that are developed using recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) technology, which is often referred to as “rDNA technology,” “genetic engineering,” “biotechnology,” or “bioengineering,” and more recently as “modern biotechnology.” The 1992 Policy provides guidance to industry on scientific and regulatory issues related to bioengineered foods and solicited written comments from interested persons. It includes guidance on questions to be answered by developers of foods from new plant varieties to ensure that the new products are safe and comply with applicable legal requirements.

    The 1992 Policy stated that the method of development of a new plant variety, including plants developed using bioengineering, is not information that is material under section 201(n) of the FD&C Act and, therefore, would not be required in the labeling of food. This conclusion is consistent with our historic interpretation of section 201(n) of the FD&C Act, in that the method of plant breeding is not required to be disclosed in labeling. In the 1992 Policy, we addressed, among other things, the labeling of foods derived from new plant varieties, including plants developed by bioengineering. In the 1992 Policy, we explained that we were not establishing special labeling requirements for foods from bioengineered plants as a class of foods because we did not find any basis for concluding that foods from bioengineered plants, as a class, differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that foods developed by the new techniques present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.

    The guidance entitled “Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants” is intended to assist manufacturers that wish to voluntarily label their foods (human or animal) as being made with or without genetic engineering or the use of genetically engineered ingredients, to ensure that such labeling is truthful and not misleading. The guidance is available at https://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances. The information that the manufacturers will collect is documentation of handling practices so that they can truthfully label their products to indicate, if they so choose, whether the food has or has not been developed using genetic engineering.

    In general, we anticipate that manufacturers that claim that a product is not developed using bioengineered material would substantiate the claim. We suggest that manufacturers document practices and procedures to substantiate a claim that a food was not developed using genetic engineering. Examples of documentation that we anticipate will demonstrate practices and procedures are recordkeeping, and certifications or affidavits from farmers, processors, and others in the food production and distribution chain. We are neither suggesting that firms maintain a certain set list of documents nor are we suggesting that anything less or different would likely be considered unacceptable. Rather, we are leaving it to each firm's judgment to maintain appropriate documentation to demonstrate that the food was produced using traditional methods.

    Description of Respondents: The respondents to the proposed collection of information are manufacturers of foods that were or were not derived from genetically engineered plants who wish to voluntarily label their food products.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 Activity Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual
  • records
  • Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total hours
    Recordkeeping per the Guidance 85 4 340 1 340 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    Based on a review of the information collection since our last request for OMB approval, we have made no adjustments to our burden estimate.

    The number of recordkeepers and respondents reflects the number of food products that are labeled using the terms “biotechnology” and “GMO” (genetically modified organism). We estimate a recordkeeping burden to retain paperwork to substantiate that the food or ingredient is produced without genetic engineering only for products that are not also already labeled using the term “organic.” We did not include products that are labeled “organic” in the estimated annual recordkeeping burden because, according to a final rule in the Federal Register of December 21, 2000 (65 FR 80548) issued by the Agriculture Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a food labeled as “organic” would not be permitted to contain genetically engineered materials. Thus, there is no additional paperwork burden to substantiate a claim that a product is not developed using genetic engineering for these certified organic products.

    We based our estimates of the recordkeeping burden (table 1 of this document) on data from Labelbase by FoodEssentials. Labelbase is a custom online system for accessing consumer-packaged goods product data; the database contains more than 250,000 product labels that can be searched by keyword, ingredient, nutrient, allergen, label claim, or food additive, for example. Using this database, we have identified 540 food manufacturers who produce 2,160 products with the term “bioengineered” or “GMO” on their labels; this estimate includes manufacturers of human food and pet food. In addition, the National Center for Appropriate Technology's National Sustainable Agriculture Information Center maintains on its website a list of Organic Livestock Feed Suppliers. Using this list, we have identified 54 livestock feed suppliers that would be likely to include a statement about bioengineering on the label of their products and thus would have documentation to substantiate their claim.

    Of the 2,160 human food and pet food products that we have identified as using the term “bioengineered” or “GMO” on their labels (presumably used in a context to designate foods that are not bioengineered), 1,140 of these products (285 manufacturers) also use the term “organic” on the label; 1,020 products do not use the term “organic” on the label (2,160 − 1,140 = 1,020 products not organics; 540 − 285 = 255 manufacturers of not organic products). In addition, the 54 livestock feed suppliers are also organic producers, thus the 216 products attributed to these manufacturers already are considered to be labeled “organic.” Thus, there are 1,020 products made by 255 human food and pet food manufacturers that would need to substantiate that their product or ingredient was not genetically engineered.

    We estimate that the burden of maintaining the documentation is a one-time burden; the document to substantiate that the product or ingredient was produced without genetic engineering only needs to be generated once and then kept on file. To annualize this one-time burden, we divide by 3 because paperwork burden collections are approved on a 3-year cycle (255/3 = 85). Thus, we estimate in table 1 that, on average, 85 manufacturers annually will collect and keep information that substantiates their label claim for four products (1,020 products/3 = 340 products/85 manufacturers = 4 products per manufacturer).

    We estimate this one-time recordkeeping burden to be 1 hour per product that makes use of a labeling claim, which results in a burden of 1 hour for a total annualized recordkeeping burden of 340 hours (85 manufacturers × 4 records per manufacturer × 1 hour per record).

    We do not estimate any reporting burden or third-party disclosure burden associated with this information collection. Manufacturers who want to make use of this voluntary labeling claim option are considered to be those that already have such wording on their products' labels. We do not expect that this guidance will cause labels already in the marketplace to need to be reworded.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17024 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-P-0998] Determination That PROLIXIN (Fluphenazine Hydrochloride) Tablets, 1 Milligram, 2.5 Milligrams, 5 Milligrams, and 10 Milligrams, Was Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has determined that PROLIXIN (fluphenazine hydrochloride) tablets, 1 milligram (mg), 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg, was not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination will al