Federal Register Vol. 83, No.155,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 155 (August 10, 2018)

Page Range39581-39869
FR Document

83_FR_155
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 39774 - Agency Information Collection Activities; National Land Remote Sensing Education, Outreach and Research ActivityPDF
83 FR 39665 - National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs, National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement RatesPDF
83 FR 39657 - Child and Adult Care Food Program: National Average Payment Rates, Day Care Home Food Service Payment Rates, and Administrative Reimbursement Rates for Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes for the Period July 1, 2018 Through June 30, 2019PDF
83 FR 39734 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 39784 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 39802 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 39665 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 39736 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study Design Revision, Operational Field Test First Follow-Up (OFT2) and Second Follow-Up (OFT3), and Main Study Base Year (MS1) and Tracking for First Follow-Up (MS2)PDF
83 FR 39596 - Special Local Regulation; Roanoke River, Plymouth, NCPDF
83 FR 39779 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZPDF
83 FR 39781 - Notice of Inventory Completion: The American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY; Correction; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 39775 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Riverside, CAPDF
83 FR 39777 - Notice of Inventory Completion: American Museum of Natural History, New York, NYPDF
83 FR 39782 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, OKPDF
83 FR 39752 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
83 FR 39776 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Anniston Museum of Natural History, Anniston, ALPDF
83 FR 39752 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Sale of the Plum Island and an Ancillary Support Facility at Orient Point, New YorkPDF
83 FR 39753 - Notice of Availability and Announcement of Meeting for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, San Diego, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 39781 - Establishment of a New Fee Area at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield ParkPDF
83 FR 39735 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; International Resource Information System (IRIS)PDF
83 FR 39636 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hudson River, Albany and Rensselaer, NYPDF
83 FR 39638 - Air Plan and Operating Permit Program Approval: AL, GA and SC; Revisions to Public Notice Provisions in Permitting ProgramsPDF
83 FR 39816 - Creating Options for Veterans Expedited Recovery (COVER) Commission; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 39751 - Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlement for the Barrio Vietnam Superfund Site, Guaynabo, Puerto RicoPDF
83 FR 39691 - Ripe Olives From Spain: Notice of Correction to Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 39741 - Stillwater Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 39740 - Alabama Power Company; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document (PAD), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the PAD and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study RequestsPDF
83 FR 39742 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 39742 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 39739 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization; Crazy Mountain Wind LLCPDF
83 FR 39787 - Meeting of the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Federal Advisory Committee; Renewal of CharterPDF
83 FR 39745 - Underground Injection Control Program; Hazardous Waste Injection Restrictions; Petition for Exemption-Class I Hazardous Waste Injection; Innophos, Inc. Geismar, LouisianaPDF
83 FR 39743 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 39743 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 39605 - Picoxystrobin; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 39746 - Notice of Receipt of Requests To Voluntarily Cancel Certain Pesticide Registrations and Amend Registrations To Terminate Certain UsesPDF
83 FR 39759 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39744 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Minimum Criteria for Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric UtilitiesPDF
83 FR 39657 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Extension of a Current Information Collection; Comment Request-Evaluation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) PilotsPDF
83 FR 39709 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Pile Driving Activities for the Restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott BayPDF
83 FR 39763 - HHS Approval of Entities That Certify Medical Review OfficersPDF
83 FR 39738 - Proposed Agency Information CollectionPDF
83 FR 39737 - Mexico Pacific Limited LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Domestically Produced Natural Gas Through Mexico to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries After Liquefaction to Liquefied Natural GasPDF
83 FR 39598 - Safety Zone; Ski Show Sylvan Beach, Fish Creek, Oneida, NYPDF
83 FR 39687 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39667 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39677 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2016PDF
83 FR 39754 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 39755 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 39757 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 39770 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Free Trade AgreementsPDF
83 FR 39679 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39588 - Public Information, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act RegulationsPDF
83 FR 39692 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in the Northwest Atlantic OceanPDF
83 FR 39806 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition-Determinations: “Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 39789 - In the Matter of Entergy Arkansas, Inc. and Entergy Operations, Inc. Arkansas Nuclear One, Units 1 and 2, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation FacilityPDF
83 FR 39798 - In the Matter of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Operations, Inc., River Bend Station, Unit 1, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation FacilityPDF
83 FR 39797 - In the Matter of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Operations, Inc. Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation FacilityPDF
83 FR 39771 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Allegation of Counterfeiting and Intellectual Piracy; Extension Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
83 FR 39682 - Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
83 FR 39675 - Certain Steel Nails From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39688 - Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewsPDF
83 FR 39670 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
83 FR 39683 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39727 - Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 39726 - Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 39734 - Inland Waterways Users Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 39671 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, Rescission of Review, in Part, and Intent To Rescind, in Part; 2015-16PDF
83 FR 39666 - Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39728 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 39732 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 39761 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39807 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition-Determinations: “Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 39730 - Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 39806 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition-Determinations: Exhibition of Two Renaissance-Era Italian PaintingsPDF
83 FR 39731 - Defense Business Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 39787 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Implementation Evaluation-Site Visit ProtocolsPDF
83 FR 39735 - Applications for New Awards; Special Programs for Indian Children-Demonstration Grants; Supplemental NoticePDF
83 FR 39809 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway Projects in TexasPDF
83 FR 39771 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 11 Species in the Mountain-Prairie RegionPDF
83 FR 39644 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Adoption of the Methodology for the HHS-Operated Permanent Risk Adjustment Program for the 2018 Benefit Year Proposed RulePDF
83 FR 39784 - Bharanidharan Padmanabhan, M.D., Ph.D.; Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 39641 - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to OklahomaPDF
83 FR 39767 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0094PDF
83 FR 39768 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0095PDF
83 FR 39769 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0014PDF
83 FR 39750 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 39665 - Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 39780 - Potential National Monument DesignationsPDF
83 FR 39790 - Entergy Operations, Inc.; FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; Vistra Operations Company, LLC; Duke Entergy Florida, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.; Virginia Electric and Power Company; Northern States Power Company-Minnesota; South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, Inc.; STP Nuclear Operating Company; Tennessee Valley AuthorityPDF
83 FR 39761 - Human Dermal (Skin) Safety Testing for Topical Drug Products: Regulatory Utility and Evaluation; Public Workshop; Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 39807 - Actions Taken at June 15, 2018, MeetingPDF
83 FR 39765 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39766 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39783 - Tapered Roller Bearings From KoreaPDF
83 FR 39800 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Modify the NYSE Arca Options Fee SchedulePDF
83 FR 39802 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 9000 Series (Code of Procedure) To Reflect an Internal Reorganization of FINRA's Enforcement OperationsPDF
83 FR 39804 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Silexx Trading Platform Fees SchedulePDF
83 FR 39759 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 39788 - Notice of Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Subcommittee on Plant Operations and Fire ProtectionPDF
83 FR 39800 - Notice of Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Subcommittee on Regulatory Policies & PracticesPDF
83 FR 39764 - Chronic Pain: The Science of Complementary and Integrative Health ApproachesPDF
83 FR 39782 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 39657 - Grain Inspection Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 39808 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 39773 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; National Land Remote Sensing Education, Outreach and Research ActivityPDF
83 FR 39806 - Determination Under Section 7070(c)(1) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018 Regarding the Government of NauruPDF
83 FR 39813 - Deepwater Port License Application: Texas Gulf Terminals, Inc.PDF
83 FR 39763 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 39764 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 39765 - National Cancer Institute Amended; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 39764 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 39587 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Lansing, MIPDF
83 FR 39583 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Freeport, PAPDF
83 FR 39751 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
83 FR 39648 - Emergency Alert System; Wireless Emergency AlertsPDF
83 FR 39610 - Emergency Alert System; Wireless Emergency AlertsPDF
83 FR 39586 - Revocation of Class E Airspace; St Marys, GAPDF
83 FR 39584 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Biloxi, MS, and Gulfport, MSPDF
83 FR 39622 - Loans to Members and Lines of Credit to MembersPDF
83 FR 39600 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Miscellaneous Metal Parts Surface Coating, Miscellaneous Plastic Parts Surface Coating, and Pleasure Craft Surface CoatingsPDF
83 FR 39673 - Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39685 - Certain Pasta From Italy: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 39774 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report and Draft Land Use Plan Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan for the Desert Quartzite Solar ProjectPDF
83 FR 39581 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39628 - Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39630 - Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39633 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39626 - Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation AirplanesPDF
83 FR 39818 - VA Claims and Appeals ModernizationPDF

Issue

83 155 Friday, August 10, 2018 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Meetings: Grain Inspection Advisory Committee, 39657 2018-17114 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, 39726-39728 2018-17158 2018-17159 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39754-39758 2018-17174 2018-17175 2018-17176 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39759 2018-17190 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39759-39761 2018-17121 2018-17152 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 39665-39666 2018-17238 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Ski Show Sylvan Beach, Fish Creek, Oneida, NY, 39598-39600 2018-17181 Special Local Regulations: Roanoke River, Plymouth, NC, 39596-39598 2018-17222 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Hudson River, Albany and Rensselaer, NY, 39636-39638 2018-17208 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39767-39770 2018-17136 2018-17137 2018-17138 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RULES Public Information, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, 39588-39596 2018-17171
Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Arms Sales, 39728-39730, 39732-39734 2018-17153 2018-17154 Meetings: Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in Armed Forces, 39730-39731 2018-17149 Defense Business Board, 39731-39732 2018-17147
Defense Nuclear Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 39734-39735 2018-17317 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: Bharanidharan Padmanabhan, M.D., Ph.D., 39784-39787 2018-17141 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: International Resource Information System, 39735 2018-17209 Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 Main Study Design Revision, Operational Field Test First Follow-up and Second Follow-up, and Main Study Base Year and Tracking for First Follow-up, 39736-39737 2018-17224 Applications for New Awards: Special Programs for Indian Children; Demonstration Grants, 39735-39736 2018-17145 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Information Administration

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Applications for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Domestically Produced Natural Gas through Mexico: Mexico Pacific Ltd., LLC, 39737-39738 2018-17182
Energy Information Energy Information Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39738-39739 2018-17183 Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Meetings: Inland Waterways Users Board; Correction, 39734 2018-17157 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Pennsylvania; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Miscellaneous Metal Parts Surface Coating, Miscellaneous Plastic Parts Surface Coating, and Pleasure Craft Surface Coatings, 39600-39605 2018-17078 Pesticide Tolerances: Picoxystrobin, 39605-39610 2018-17192 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina; Operating Permit Program Approval; Revisions to Public Notice Provisions in Permitting Programs, 39638-39641 2018-17207 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Delegation of Authority to Oklahoma, 39641-39644 2018-17139 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions, 39743-39744 2018-17193 National Minimum Criteria for Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities, 39744-39745 2018-17189 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc., 39750-39751 2018-17135 Petitions for Exemptions: Underground Injection Control Program; Hazardous Waste Injection Restrictions; Class I Hazardous Waste Injection; Innophos, Inc. Geismar, LA, 39745-39746 2018-17195 Privacy Act; Systems of Records; Correction, 39743 2018-17194 Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlements: Barrio Vietnam Superfund Site, Guaynabo, PR, 39751 2018-17203 Receipt of Requests to Voluntarily Cancel Certain Pesticide Registrations and Amend Registrations to Terminate Certain Uses, 39746-39750 2018-17191 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus SAS Airplanes, 39581-39583 2018-16735 Amendment of Class D and E Airspace Biloxi and Gulfport, MS, 39584-39586 2018-17088 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Lansing, MI, 39587-39588 2018-17100 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Freeport, PA, 39583-39584 2018-17099 Revocation of Class E Airspace: St Marys, GA, 39586-39587 2018-17089 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus SAS Airplanes, 39633-39636 2018-16501 Dassault Aviation Airplanes, 39626-39633 2018-16498 2018-16573 2018-16732 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Emergency Alert System: Wireless Emergency Alerts, 39610-39621 2018-17096 PROPOSED RULES Emergency Alert System: Wireless Emergency Alerts, 39648-39656 2018-17097 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39751-39752 2018-17098 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Alabama Power Co., 39740-39741 2018-17200 Combined Filings, 39742-39743 2018-17198 2018-17199 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Crazy Mountain Wind, LLC, 39739-39740 2018-17197 Stillwater Wind, LLC, 39741-39742 2018-17201 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions: California; Proposed Highway, 39808 2018-17113 Texas; Proposed Highway Projects, 39809-39813 2018-17144 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 39752 2018-17215 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 11 Species in Mountain-Prairie Region, 39771-39773 2018-17143 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Meetings: Human Dermal (Skin) Safety Testing for Topical Drug Products: Regulatory Utility and Evaluation; Public Workshop, 39761-39763 2018-17130 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training Pilots, 39657-39665 2018-17186 Child and Adult Care Food Program: National Average Payment Rates, Day Care Home Food Service Payment Rates, and Administrative Reimbursement Rates for Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes for the Period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, 39657 C1--2018--15464 National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs, National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates, 39665 C1--2018--15465 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee, 39665 2018-17134 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Otay Mesa Port of Entry, San Diego, CA; Meeting, 39753-39754 2018-17211 Sale of Plum Island and Ancillary Support Facility, Orient Point, NY, 39752-39753 2018-17212 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Land Remote Sensing Education, Outreach and Research Activity, 39773-39774 2018-17110 C1--2018--16986 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

PROPOSED RULES Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Adoption of Methodology for HHS-Operated Permanent Risk Adjustment Program for 2018 Benefit Year, 39644-39648 2018-17142 NOTICES HHS Approval of Entities that Certify Medical Review Officers, 39763 2018-17184
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

See

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, 39670-39671, 39683-39685 2018-17160 2018-17161 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Republic of Korea, 39671-39673 2018-17156 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan, 39679-39681 2018-17172 Certain Pasta from Italy, 39685-39687 2018-17047 Certain Steel Nails from Taiwan, 39675-39677 2018-17163 Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Republic of Korea, 39666-39667 2018-17155 Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China, 39673-39675 2018-17065 Initiation of Administrative Reviews, 39688-39691 2018-17162 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India, 39667-39670, 39677-39679 2018-17177 2018-17178 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Taiwan, 39687-39688 2018-17179 Ripe Olives from Spain, 39691-39692 2018-17202 Welded Line Pipe from Republic of Korea, 39682-39683 2018-17164 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Wireless Mesh Networking Products and Related Components Thereof, 39782-39783 2018-17116 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Tapered Roller Bearings from Korea, 39783-39784 2018-17125 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 39784 2018-17260 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

See

Justice Programs Office

Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Charter Renewals: Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Federal Advisory Committee, 39787 2018-17196 Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Implementation Evaluation—Site Visit Protocols, 39787-39788 2018-17146 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: California Desert Conservation Area Plan for Desert Quartzite Solar Project, 39774-39775 2018-16959 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Deepwater Port License Applications: Texas Gulf Terminals, Inc., 39813-39816 2018-17108 National Credit National Credit Union Administration PROPOSED RULES Loans to Members and Lines of Credit to Members, 39622-39626 2018-17087 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Chronic Pain: Science of Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches; Symposium, 39764 2018-17118 National Cancer Institute; Amendment, 39765 2018-17104 National Institute on Aging, 39764 2018-17103 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 39763-39765 2018-17105 2018-17107 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Geophysical Survey in Northwest Atlantic Ocean, 39692-39709 2018-17170 Pile Driving Activities for Restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay, 39709-39726 2018-17185 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, 39777-39779 2018-17217 American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY; Correction, 39781 2018-17219 Anniston Museum of Natural History, Anniston, AL, 39776-39777 2018-17214 Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ, 39779-39780 2018-17220 Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Riverside, CA, 39775-39776 2018-17218 New Fee Site: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, 39781 2018-17210 Potential National Monument Designations, 39780-39781 2018-17133 Repatriatations of Cultural Items: Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, OK, 39782 2018-17216 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Director's Decision: Entergy Operations, Inc.; FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co.; Vistra Operations Co., LLC; et al., 39790-39797 2018-17131 License Transfers: Entergy Arkansas, Inc. and Entergy Operations, Inc. Arkansas Nuclear One, Units 1 and 2, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Facility, 39789-39790 2018-17168 Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Operations, Inc. River Bend Station, Unit 1, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Facility, 39798-39799 2018-17167 Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Operations, Inc. Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Facility, 39797-39798 2018-17166 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Plant Operations and Fire Protection, 39788 2018-17120 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Regulatory Policies and Practices, 39800 2018-17119 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 39802 2018-17259 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe Exchange, Inc., 39804-39806 2018-17122 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 39802-39804 2018-17123 NYSE Arca, Inc., 39800-39802 2018-17124 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Celebrating Tintoretto—Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings, 39806 2018-17169 Rembrandt—Painter as Printmaker, 39807 2018-17150 Two Renaissance-Era Italian Paintings, 39806 2018-17148 Determination under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act: Government of Nauru, 39806 2018-17109 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39765-39767 2018-17126 2018-17127 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings: Actions Taken on June 15, 2018, 39807-39808 2018-17128 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Maritime Administration

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals Free Trade Agreements, 39770-39771 2018-17173 Immigration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Allegation of Counterfeiting and Intellectual Piracy, 39771 2018-17165 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Claims and Appeals Modernization, 39818-39869 2018-15754 NOTICES Meetings: Creating Options for Veterans Expedited Recovery Commission, 39816 2018-17205 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Veterans Affairs Department, 39818-39869 2018-15754 Reader Aids

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83 155 Friday, August 10, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0168; Product Identifier 2017-NM-135-AD; Amendment 39-19344; AD 2018-16-04] 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 certain Airbus SAS Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, and -271N airplanes. This AD was prompted by a revision of an airworthiness limitations document that specifies more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the specified maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 14, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 14, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For 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. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0168.

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-2018-0168; 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 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; 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 certain Airbus SAS Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, and -271N airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2018 (83 FR 13885). The NPRM was prompted by a revision of an airworthiness limitations document that specifies more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the specified maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations.

We are issuing this AD to address the risks associated with the effects of aging on airplane systems. Such effects could change system characteristics, leading to an increased potential for failure of certain life-limited parts, and reduced structural integrity or controllability of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0170, dated September 7, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes, and Model A321-111, -211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, and -271N airplanes. The MCAI states:

The System Equipment Maintenance Requirements (SEMR) for Airbus A320 family aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4 document. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

Previously, EASA issued AD 2016-0093 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2017-19-24, Amendment 39-19054 (82 FR 44900, September 27, 2017) (“AD 2017-19-24”),] to require accomplishment of all maintenance tasks as described in ALS Part 4 at Revision 03. ALS Part 4 Revision 04 was not mandated because no significant changes were introduced with this Revision. The new ALS Part 4 Revision 05 (hereafter referred to as `the ALS' in this [EASA] AD) includes new and/or more restrictive requirements and extends the applicability to model A320-251N, A320-271N, A321-251N, A321-253N and A321-271N aeroplanes.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2016-0093, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of all tasks as described in the ALS.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0168.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We have considered the comment received. United Airlines indicated that they had no objection to the NPRM.

Explanation of Changes 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 models.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for 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.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus SAS has issued Airbus SAS A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4, “System Equipment Maintenance Requirements (SEMR),” Revision 05, dated April 6, 2017. This service information describes preventive maintenance requirements and includes updated inspections and intervals to be incorporated into the maintenance or inspection program. 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 1,133 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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): 2018-16-04 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19344; Docket No. FAA-2018-0168; Product Identifier 2017-NM-135-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective September 14, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD affects AD 2017-19-24, Amendment 39-19054 (82 FR 44900, September 27, 2017) (“AD 2017-19-24”).

(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, with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued on or before April 6, 2017.

(1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

(2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

(3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, -233, -251N, and -271N airplanes.

(4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, and-271N airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a revision of an airworthiness limitations document that specifies more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to mitigate the risks associated with the effects of aging on airplane systems. Such effects could change system characteristics, leading to an increased potential for failure of certain life-limited parts, and reduced structural integrity or controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate Airbus SAS A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4, “System Equipment Maintenance Requirements (SEMR),” Revision 05, dated April 6, 2017. The initial compliance time for doing the revised actions is at the applicable time specified in Airbus SAS A318/A319/A320/A321 ALS Part 4, “System Equipment Maintenance Requirements (SEMR),” Revision 05, dated April 6, 2017.

(h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

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

(i) Terminating Action for AD 2017-19-24

Accomplishing the actions required by this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2017-19-24.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0170, dated September 7, 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-2018-0168.

(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.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Airbus SAS A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4, “System Equipment Maintenance Requirements (SEMR),” Revision 05, dated April 6, 2017.

(ii) Reserved.

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

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

Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on July 23, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-16735 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0426; Airspace Docket No. 17-AEA-8] RIN-2120-AA66 Establishment of Class E Airspace; Freeport, PA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface in Freeport, PA, to accommodate new area navigation (RNAV) global positioning system (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures serving McVille Airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, November 8, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This proposed 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 establishes Class E airspace at McVille Airport, Freeport, PA, to support IFR operations in standard instrument approach procedures at this airport.

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 22888, May 17, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-0426 to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.6-mile radius of McVille Airport, Freeport, PA. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.6-mile radius of McVille Airport, Freeport, PA, providing the controlled airspace required to support the new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures. These changes are necessary for continued safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AEA PA E5 Freeport, PA [New] McVille Airport, PA (Lat. 40°44′04″ N, long. 79°35′44″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.6-mile radius of McVille Airport.

Issued in College Park, Georgia, on July 31, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2018-17099 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0865; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-19] RIN-2120-AA66 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Biloxi, MS, and Gulfport, MS AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class D airspace, and Class E surface airspace, in addition to removing the NOTAM part-time status from Class E airspace designated as an extension, and amending Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Keesler Air Force Base (AFB), Biloxi, MS, and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, (formerly Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport), Gulfport, MS. The geographic coordinates for these airports and the Keesler TACAN navigation aid are adjusted in the associated Class D and E airspace to match the FAA's aeronautical database. Also, this action replaces the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement” in the Class D and Class E surface area legal descriptions. This action enhances the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at these airports.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, November 8, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 8208; February 26, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-0865 to amend Class D airspace, Class E surface airspace, Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D surface area, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS, and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending Class D airspace, and Class E surface area airspace, in addition to removing the NOTAM part-time status from Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D surface area, and amending Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS, and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (formerly Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport, Gulfport, MS.

This action also amends the geographic coordinates of these airports and the Keesler TACAN navigation aid in the noted airspace classes to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database.

Additionally, this action notes the airport name change to Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport from Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport.

Finally, this action makes an editorial change to the Class D and Class E surface area airspace legal descriptions replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement” for Keesler AFB, and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ASO MS D Biloxi, MS [Amended] Keesler AFB, MS (Lat. 30°24′38″ N, long. 88°55′28″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.2-mile radius of Keesler AFB, excluding the portion west of long. 89°00′00″ W. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

ASO MS D Gulfport, MS [Amended] Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, MS (Lat. 30°24′26″ N, long. 89°04′12″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.5-mile radius of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport; excluding that portion of airspace within the Biloxi, MS, Class D airspace area. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Area Airspace. ASO MS E2 Biloxi, MS [Amended] Keesler AFB, MS (Lat. 30°24′38″ N, long. 88°55′28″ W)

Within a 4.2-mile radius of Keesler AFB, excluding the portion west of long. 89°00′00″ W. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Designated as an Extension to a Class D Surface Area. ASO MS E4 Biloxi, MS [Amended] Keesler AFB, MS (Lat. 30°24′38″ N, long. 88°55′28″ W) Keesler TACAN (Lat. 30°24′26″ N, long. 88°55′47″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 1.4 miles each side of the Keesler TACAN 204° radial, extending from the 4.2-mile radius of Keesler AFB to 6 miles southwest of the TACAN.

ASO MS E4 Gulfport, MS [Amended] Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, MS (Lat. 30°24′26″ N, long. 89°04′12″ W) Gulfport VORTAC (Lat. 30°24′25″ N, long. 89°04′36″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 3.3 miles each side of Gulfport VORTAC 130° and 322° radials, extending from the 4.5-mile radius of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport to 7 miles southeast and northwest of the VORTAC; excluding that portion within the Biloxi, MS, Class D and E airspace areas.

Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO MS E5 Gulfport, MS [Amended] Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, MS (Lat. 30°24′26″ N, long. 89°04′12″ W) Keesler AFB (Lat. 30°24′38″ N, long. 88°55′28″ W) Keesler TACAN (Lat. 30°24′26″ N, long. 88°55′47″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport and within a 6.5-mile radius of Keesler AFB and within 2 miles each side of Keesler TACAN 204° radial, extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 10.6 miles southwest of the TACAN.

Issued in College Park, Georgia, on August 1, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2018-17088 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0255; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASO-6] RIN-2120-AA66 Revocation of Class E Airspace; St Marys, GA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action removes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at St Marys, GA, because St Marys Airport has closed, and controlled airspace is no longer required at this location.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, November 8, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 23831, May 23, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2018-0255 to remove Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at St Marys Airport, St Marys, GA. This airport has closed. Therefore, the airspace is no longer necessary at this site.

Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 removes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface due to the closure of St Marys Airport, St Marys, GA. Therefore, controlled airspace is no longer necessary at this site.

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of 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 St Marys, GA [Removed] Issued in College Park, Georgia, on July 31, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2018-17089 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0101; Airspace Docket No. 18-AGL-4] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Class E Airspace; Lansing, MI AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Capital Region International Airport, Lansing, MI. This action is the result of an airspace review due to the decommissioning of the Lansing VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) navigation aid as part of the VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) Program. The geographic coordinates and name of the airport are also updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. An editorial change is also made to the airspace legal designation by removing the city from the airport name.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, November 8, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1 Code of Federal Regulations part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Capital Region International Airport, Lansing, MI, to support instrument flight rule operations.

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 16802; April 17, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2018-0101 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Capital Region International Airport, Lansing, MI. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.8-mile radius (increased from a 6.7-mile radius) at Capital Region International Airport (formerly Capital City Airport), Lansing, MI; removes the extension to the east of the airport associated with the ARTDA LOM; adds an extension within 2.0 miles each side of the 091° bearing from the airport from the 6.8-mile radius to 10.4 mile east of the airport; and adds an extension within 4.0 miles each side of the 233° from the airport from the 6.8-mile radius to 10.5 miles southwest of the airport.

The name of the airport is also updated from Capital City Airport to Capital Region International Airport, and the geographic coordinates of the airport are updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. Additionally, an editorial change is made removing the name of the city associated with the airport in the airspace legal designation to comply with a recent change to FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, 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. AGL MI E5 Lansing, MI [Amended] Capital Region International Airport, MI (Lat. 42°46′43″ N, long. 84°35′10″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.8-mile radius of Capital Region International Airport, and within 2.0 miles each side of the 091° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 10.4 mile east of the airport, and within 4.0 miles each side of the 233° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 10.5 miles southwest of the airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 30, 2018. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2018-17100 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Office of the Secretary 15 CFR Part 4 [160801675-7593-02] RIN 0605-AA45 Public Information, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Regulations AGENCY:

Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule amends the Department of Commerce's (Department) regulations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act. The FOIA regulations are being revised to clarify, update and streamline the language of several procedural provisions, including methods for submitting FOIA requests and appeals and the time limits for filing an administrative appeal, and to incorporate certain changes brought about by the amendments to the FOIA under the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. Additionally, the FOIA regulations are being updated to reflect developments in the case law.

DATES:

These amendments are effective August 10, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Michael J. Toland, Deputy Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer and Department Privacy Act Officer, Office of Privacy and Open Government, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Room 61013, Washington, DC 20230.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background Information

On February 6, 2018, the Department published a proposed rule revising its existing regulations under the FOIA and Privacy Act. See 83 FR 5215. This rule proposed revisions to the Department's regulations under the Freedom of Information Act to incorporate certain changes made to the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552, by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-185, 130 Stat. 538 (June 30, 2016). The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 provides that agencies must allow a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal. The Act also requires that agencies notify requesters of the availability of dispute resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process. This rule updated the Department's regulations in 15 CFR part 4, subpart A, to reflect those statutory changes. Additionally, this rule revises the Department's regulations under the FOIA to clarify, update and streamline the language of several procedural provisions, including the methods for submitting FOIA requests and appeals, to reflect developments in the case law and to keep the regulations up to date with small administrative changes.

Public Comments

Interested persons were afforded the opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process through submission of written comments to the proposed rule during the 30-day open comment period. The Department received twenty-four public submissions in response to the proposed rulemaking. Due consideration was given to each comment received and a determination was made that twenty-three of the comments were not relevant to the proposed rule.1 The Department adopted the twenty-fourth comment to enable a more efficient FOIA process.

1 Comment topics included discussions about infrastructure gas pipelines, clean water issues, air quality, environmental regulations, and mining.

Section 4.10 (Appeals From Initial Determinations or Untimely Delays)

One commenter offered that the proposed regulations should comply with guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Information Policy (OIP) directing agencies—as part of the agency's final appeal determination—to also alert FOIA requesters of OGIS's mediation services as a nonexclusive alternative to litigation. The Department accepts this suggestion and updates § 4.10(f) with language that follows the aforementioned OIP guidance.

The same commenter further recommended that the Department add language to § 4.10(f), which clarifies for requesters the difference between formal mediation and the services OGIS provides. The Department also agrees with this suggestion and updates § 4.10(f) with appropriate clarifying language.

Classification

Executive Order 12866: It has been determined that this document is not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act: In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the Chief Counsel for Regulation certified at the Proposed Rule stage that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this certification was published with the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding the economic impact of this final rule. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and one was not prepared.

Paperwork Reduction Act: This document does not contain a collection-of-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

Dated: August 7, 2018. Michael J. Toland, Department of Commerce, Deputy Chief FOIA Officer, Department Privacy Act Officer.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Commerce amends 15 CFR part 4 as follows:

PART 4—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 5 U.S.C. 553; 31 U.S.C. 3717; 41 U.S.C. 3101; Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1950.

Subpart A—Freedom of Information Act 2. Amend § 4.1 by redesignating paragraph (c) as (d), and by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 4.1 General provisions.

(c) The Department has a FOIA Requester Service Center with at least one FOIA Public Liaison. Each Department component may have a FOIA Requester Service Center with at least one FOIA Public Liaison. FOIA Public Liaisons are responsible for: Working with requesters that have any concerns about the service received from a FOIA component, reducing delays in the processing of FOIA requests, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes. Contact information for the relevant component FOIA Requester Service Centers, FOIA Public Liaisons, and component FOIA offices and contacts is available at http://www.osec.doc.gov/opog/contacts.html.

3. Amend § 4.2 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
§ 4.2 Public reading rooms.

(a) Records that the FOIA requires to be made available for public inspection and copying are accessible electronically through the Department's “Electronic FOIA Library” on the Department's website, http://www.doc.gov, which includes links to websites for those components that maintain Electronic FOIA Libraries. Each component of the Department is responsible for determining which of its records are required to be made available, as well as identifying additional records of interest to the public that are appropriate for disclosure, and for making those records available either in its own Electronic Library or in the Department's central Electronic FOIA Library. Components that maintain their own Electronic FOIA Libraries are designated as such in Appendix A to this part. Each component shall also maintain and make available electronically a current subject-matter index of the records made available electronically. Each component shall ensure that posted records and indices are updated regularly, at least quarterly.

(c) The Department and its components shall maintain and make available electronically for public inspection:

(1) Copies of records that have been released and—

(i) That the component that maintains them determines, because of their subject matter, have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records by other requesters, or

(ii) That have been requested three or more times by different requesters;

(2) A general index of the records available for public inspection—for purposes of these regulations, a general index includes records available through a search capability on the Department or component's website, such as a person finder;

(3) Final opinions and orders, including concurring and dissenting opinions made in the adjudication of cases;

(4) Those statements of policy and interpretations that have been adopted by a component and are not published in the Federal Register; and

(5) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.

4. Amend § 4.3 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 4.3 Records under the FOIA.

(d) Components shall preserve all correspondence pertaining to the requests they receive under this subpart, as well as copies of all requested records, until disposition or destruction is authorized by Title 44 of the United States Code or the National Archives and Records Administration's General Records Schedule 4.2, Information Access and Protection Records. Components shall not dispose of records while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or lawsuit under the FOIA.

5. Revise § 4.4 to read as follows:
§ 4.4 Requirements for making requests.

(a) How made and addressed. The Department has a decentralized system for responding to FOIA requests, with each component designating a FOIA office to process records from that component. All components have the capability to receive requests electronically either through electronic mail (email) or the FOIAonline website, http://foiaonline.regulations.gov. A request for Department records that are not customarily made available to the public as part of the Department's regular informational services (or pursuant to a user fee statute), must be in writing and shall be processed under the FOIA, regardless of whether the FOIA is mentioned in the request. Requests must include the requester's full name and a valid return address. Requesters may also include other contact information, such as an email address and a telephone number. For the quickest handling, the request (and envelope, if the request is mailed or hand delivered) should be marked “Freedom of Information Act Request.” Requests may be submitted by U.S. mail, delivery service, email, or online at the FOIAonline website, http://foiaonline.regulations.gov. Requests may also be submitted to some components, identified in Appendix A to this part, by facsimile. Requests should be sent to the Department component identified in Appendix A to this part that maintains those records requested, and should be sent to the addresses, email addresses, or numbers listed in Appendix A to this part or the Department's website, http://www.doc.gov.1 If the proper component cannot be determined, the request should be sent to the central facility identified in Appendix A to this part. The central facility will forward the request to the component(s) it believes most likely to have the requested records. Requests will be considered received for purposes of the 20-day time limit of § 4.6 as of the date it is received by the proper component's FOIA office, but in any event not later than ten working days after the request is first received by any Department component identified in Appendix A to this part.

1 The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is established as an agency of the United States within the Department of Commerce, operates under its own FOIA regulations at 37 CFR part 102, subpart A. Accordingly, requests for USPTO records, and any appeals thereof, should be sent directly to the USPTO.

(b) Requests for records about an individual or oneself. For requests for records about oneself, § 4.24 contains additional requirements. For requests for records about another individual, either a notarized authorization signed by that individual or a declaration by that individual made under 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization, permitting disclosure of the individual's records to the requester, or proof that the individual is deceased (for example, a copy of a death certificate or an obituary) will facilitate processing the request.

(c) Description of records sought. (1) A FOIA request must reasonably describe the agency records sought, to enable Department personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort.

(2) Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, case number, file designation, or reference number, and the name and location of the office where the record(s) might be found.

(i) In addition, if records about a court case are sought, the title of the case, the court in which the case was filed, and the nature of the case should be included.

(ii) If known, any file designations or descriptions of the requested records should be included.

(iii) As a general rule, the more specifically the request describes the records sought, the greater the likelihood that the Department will be able to locate those records.

(3) Before submitting their requests, requesters may first contact the Department's or the component's FOIA contact to discuss the records they are seeking and to receive assistance in describing the records.

(4) For further assistance, requesters may also contact the relevant FOIA Requester Service Center or FOIA Public Liaison. Contact information for relevant FOIA Requester Service Centers and FOIA Public Liaisons is contained on the Department's website, http://www.osec.doc.gov/opog/contacts.html and Appendix A to this part.

(5) If a component determines that a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, it shall inform the requester what additional information is needed or how the request is otherwise insufficient, to enable the requester to modify the request to meet the requirements of this section.

(6) Requesters who are attempting to reformulate or modify such a request may discuss their request first with the relevant FOIA Contact, or if unresolved, with the relevant Requester Service Center or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records they are seeking and to receive assistance in describing the records.

(7) When a requester fails to provide sufficient detail within 30 calendar days after having been asked to reasonably describe the records sought, the component shall notify the requester in writing that the request has not been properly made, that no further action will be taken, and that the FOIA request is closed. Such a notice constitutes an adverse determination under § 4.7(d) for which components shall follow the procedures for a denial letter under § 4.7(e).

(8) In cases where a requester has modified his or her request, the date of receipt for purposes of the 20-day time limit of § 4.6 shall be the date of receipt of the modified request.

6. Amend § 4.5 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) to read as follows:
§ 4.5 Responsibility for responding to requests.

(a) In general. Except as stated in paragraph (b) of this section, the proper component of the Department to respond to a request for records is the component that first receives the request and has responsive records (or in the instance of where no records exist, the component that first receives the request and is likely to have responsive records), or the component to which the Departmental FOIA Officer or component FOIA Officer assigns lead responsibility for responding to the request. Where a component's FOIA office determines that a request was misdirected within the Department, the receiving component's FOIA office shall route the request to the FOIA office of the proper component(s). Records responsive to a request shall include those records within the Department's possession and control as of the date the Department begins its search for them. A record that is excluded from the requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c), is not considered responsive to a request.

(b) Consultations and referrals. When the Department or a component receives a request for a record (or a portion thereof) in its possession that originated with another Departmental component or Federal agency subject to the FOIA, the Department or component should typically refer the record to the component or originating agency for direct response to the requester (see § 4.8 for additional information about referrals of classified information). When the Department or a component receives a request for a record (or a portion thereof) in its possession that originated with another Departmental component, Federal agency, or executive branch office that is not subject to the FOIA, the Department or component shall consult with that component, Federal agency, or executive branch office before responding to the requester. In instances where a record is requested that originated with the Department or component and another component, Federal agency, or executive branch office has substantial interest in the record (or a portion thereof), the Department or component should typically consult with that component, Federal agency, or executive branch office before responding to the requester.

(c) Notice of referral. Whenever a component refers a record to another Federal agency or Department component for direct response to the requester, the component's FOIA Officer should typically notify the requester in writing of the referral and inform the requester of the name(s) of the agency or Department component to which the record was referred, including that agency's or component's FOIA contact information. The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where disclosure of the identity of the agency or Department component to which the referral would be made could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, such as the exemptions that protect personal privacy or national security interests. For example, if a non-law enforcement agency responding to a request for records on a living third party locates within its files records originating with a law enforcement agency, and if the existence of that law enforcement interest in the third party were not publicly known, then to disclose that law enforcement interest by providing notice of a referral could cause an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the third party. In such cases, the agency that received the request should consult with the originating agency to seek its views on the disclosability of the record and the release determination should then be conveyed to the requester by the agency that originally received the request.

7. Amend § 4.6 by revising paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (e)(1) to read as follows:
§ 4.6 Time limits and expedited processing.

(d) * * *

(1) Components may extend the time period for processing a FOIA request only in “unusual circumstances,” as described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, in which the component shall, before expiration of the twenty-day period to respond, notify the requester of the extension in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and the date by which processing of the request is expected to be completed. If the extension is for more than ten working days, the component shall provide the requester with an opportunity to modify the request or agree to an alternative time period for processing the original or modified request. Furthermore, the requester will be advised that the relevant FOIA Public Liaison or FOIA contact is available for this purpose and of the requester's right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).

(2) For purposes of this section, “unusual circumstances” include:

(i) The need to search for and collect the requested agency records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;

(ii) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are the subject of a single request; or

(iii) The need to consult, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another Federal agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the FOIA request or with another component of the Department which has a substantial interest in the determination of the request.

(e) * * *

(1) A component must use two or more processing tracks by distinguishing between simple and more complex requests based on the amount of work and/or time needed to process the request, including the amount of pages involved, the need to consult with or refer to other agencies or Department components or for commercial confidential information to a third party, or whether the request qualifies for unusual circumstances as described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, and whether the request qualifies for expedited processing as described in paragraph (f) of this section.

8. Revise § 4.7 to read as follows:
§ 4.7 Responses to requests.

(a) Acknowledgment of requests. Upon receipt of a request, a component ordinarily shall send an acknowledgement to the requester which shall provide an assigned tracking request number for further reference and, if necessary, confirm whether the requester is willing to pay fees. A component must send this acknowledgment if the request will take longer than ten working days to process. In most cases, the acknowledgement email, generated by the FOIAonline system, that is sent to requesters who provide an email address will suffice for this requirement.

(b) Interim responses. If a request involves voluminous records or requires searches in multiple locations, to the extent feasible, a component shall provide the requester with interim responses. Such responses may include records that are fully releasable or records that have been withheld in part under one or more applicable FOIA exemptions set forth at 5 U.S.C. 552(b). Bureaus will make reasonable efforts to provide to requesters an estimated date when a determination will be provided. An interim response is not a determination and appeal rights need not be provided with the interim response.

(c) Determination—(1) Grants of requests. If a component makes a determination to grant a request in whole or in part, it shall notify the requester in writing of such determination.

(i) A component shall inform the requester:

(A) Of any fees charged under § 4.11; and

(B) That the requester may contact the relevant FOIA Public Liaison or FOIA contact for further assistance.

(ii) The component shall also disclose records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees.

(iii) Records disclosed in part shall be marked or annotated to show the applicable FOIA exemption(s) and the amount of information deleted, unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the information deleted shall also be indicated on the record, if feasible.

(2) Adverse determinations of requests. If a component makes an adverse determination regarding a request, it shall notify the requester of that determination in writing.

(i) An adverse determination may be a denial of a request and includes decisions that:

(A) The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part.

(B) The request does not reasonably describe the records sought and the requester is unwilling to further clarify the request.

(C) The information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA.

(D) The requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has previously been destroyed.

(E) The requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester.

(ii) Adverse determinations may also include:

(A) Denials of requested fee category status.

(B) Denials of requests for fee waivers.

(C) Denials of requests for expedited processing.

(D) Denials of requests for reduction of fees.

(3) Content of denial. The denial letter shall be signed by an official listed in Appendix B to this part (or a designee), and shall include:

(i) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial;

(ii) A brief statement of the reason(s) for the denial, including any FOIA exemption(s) applied by the component in denying the request;

(iii) An estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, by providing the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation. This estimate is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part, or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable FOIA exemption;

(iv) A statement advising the requester of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Department FOIA Public Liaison, the relevant component FOIA Public Liaison or FOIA contact, or OGIS; and

(v) A statement that the denial may be appealed under § 4.10, and a list of the requirements for filing an appeal set forth in § 4.10(b).

9. Revise § 4.9 to read as follows:
§ 4.9 Confidential commercial information.

(a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:

(1) Confidential commercial information means commercial or financial information, obtained by the Department from a submitter, which may be protected from disclosure under FOIA exemption (b)(4) (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

(2) Submitter means any person or entity outside the Federal Government from which the Department obtains confidential commercial information, directly or indirectly. The term includes U.S. or foreign persons, U.S. or foreign corporations; state, local and tribal governments; and foreign governments.

(b) Designation of confidential commercial information. A submitter of confidential commercial information should be encouraged to use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under FOIA exemption (b)(4). These designations will expire ten years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests, and provides justification for, a longer period.

(c) Notice to submitters. (1) A component shall provide a submitter with prompt written notice of a FOIA request or administrative appeal that seeks its confidential commercial information whenever required under paragraph (d) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, in order to give the submitter an opportunity under paragraph (e) of this section to object to disclosure of any specified portion of that information.

(2) Such written notice shall be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, or similar means.

(3) Where notification of a voluminous number of submitters is required, such notification may be accomplished by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably calculated to accomplish notification.

(4) The notice shall either describe the confidential commercial information requested or include copies of the requested records or portions of the records containing the information. If notification of a large number of submitters is required, notification may be made by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably likely to accomplish notification, instead of sending individual notifications.

(d) When notice is required. Notice shall be given to the submitter whenever:

(1) The submitter has designated the information in good faith as protected from disclosure under FOIA exemption (b)(4); or

(2) The component has reason to believe that the information may be protected from disclosure under FOIA exemption (b)(4), but has not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure.

(e) Opportunity to object to disclosure. A component shall allow a submitter seven working days (i.e., excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the date of receipt of the written notice described in paragraph (c) of this section to provide the component with a statement of any objection to disclosure. A FOIA Officer may extend the comment period from seven to ten working days, if a submitter requests an extension. The statement from a submitter must identify any portions of the information the submitter requests to be withheld under FOIA exemption (b)(4), and describe how each qualifies for protection under the exemption: That is, why the information is a trade secret, or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. If a submitter fails to respond to the notice within the time specified, the submitter will be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. Information a submitter provides under this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

(f) Notice of intent to disclose. A component shall consider a submitter's objections and specific grounds under the FOIA for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose confidential commercial information. If a component decides to disclose confidential commercial information over a submitter's objection, the component shall give the submitter written notice via certified mail, return receipt requested, or similar means, which shall include:

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

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

(3) A statement that the component intends to disclose the information seven working days, or ten working days if an extension is granted, from the date the submitter receives the notice.

(g) Exceptions to notice requirements. The notice requirements of paragraphs (c) and (f) of this section shall not apply if:

(1) The component determines that the information is exempt and will be withheld under a FOIA exemption;

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

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

(4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (b) of this section appears obviously frivolous, except that, in such a case, the component shall provide the submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information seven working days after the date the submitter receives the notice.

(h) Notice to submitter of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of confidential commercial information, the component shall promptly notify the submitter. Where notification of a voluminous number of submitters is required, such notification may be accomplished by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably calculated to accomplish notification.

(i) Corresponding notice to requester. Whenever a component provides a submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under paragraph (c) of this section, the component shall notify the requester that the request is being processed under the provisions of this regulation and, as a consequence, there may be a delay in receiving a response. The notice to the requester will not include any of the specific information contained in the records being requested. Whenever a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of confidential commercial information, the component shall notify the requester of such action and, as a consequence, there may be further delay in receiving a response.

10. Amend § 4.10 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), and (f)(3) and (4), and adding paragraph (f)(5), to read as follows:
§ 4.10 Appeals from initial determinations or untimely delays.

(a)(1) If a request for records to a component other than the Office of Inspector General is initially denied in whole or in part, or has not been timely determined, or if a requester receives an adverse determination regarding any other matter listed under this subpart (as described in § 4.7(c)), the requester may file an appeal. Appeals can be submitted in writing or electronically, as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. For requests filed on or after July 1, 2016, the appeal must be received by the Office of the General Counsel during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday) within 90 calendar days of the date of the written denial of the adverse determination or, if there has been no determination, an appeal may be submitted any time after the due date of the request, including the last extension under § 4.6(d), of a request due date. Written or electronic appeals arriving after normal business hours will be deemed received on the next normal business day. If the 90th calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal public holiday, an appeal received by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, the next business day will be deemed timely. Appeals received after the 90-day limit will not be considered.

(2) If a request for records to the Office of Inspector General is initially denied in whole or in part, or has not been timely determined, or if a requester receives an adverse determination regarding any other matter listed under this subpart (as described in § 4.7(c)), the requester may file an appeal. Appeals can be submitted in writing or electronically, as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. For requests submitted on or after July 1, 2016, the appeal must be received by the Office of Inspector General, Office of Counsel, during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday) within 90 calendar days of the date of the written denial of the adverse determination or, if there has been no determination, an appeal may be submitted any time after the due date, including the last extension under § 4.6(d), of the adverse determination. Written or electronic appeals arriving after normal business hours will be deemed received on the next normal business day. If the 90th calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal public holiday, an appeal received by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, the next business day will be deemed timely. Appeals received after the 90-day limit will not be considered.

(b)(1) Appeals, other than appeals from requests made to the Office of Inspector General, shall be decided by the Assistant General Counsel for Employment, Litigation, and Information (AGC-ELI). Written appeals should be addressed to the Assistant General Counsel for Employment, Litigation, and Information, at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel, Room 5896, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. For a written appeal, both the letter and the appeal envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” Appeals may also be submitted electronically either by email to [email protected] or online at the FOIAonline website, http://foiaonline.regulations.gov, if requesters have a FOIAonline account. In all cases, the appeal (written or electronic) should include a copy of the original request and initial denial, if any. All appeals should include a statement of the reasons why the records requested should be made available and why the adverse determination was in error. No opportunity for personal appearance, oral argument or hearing on appeal is provided. Upon receipt of an appeal, AGC-ELI ordinarily shall send an acknowledgement letter to the requester which shall confirm receipt of the requester's appeal.

(2) Appeals of initial and untimely determinations by the Office of Inspector General shall be decided by the Counsel to the Inspector General, except that appeals of records requests that were initially denied by the Counsel to the Inspector General shall be decided by the Deputy Inspector General. Written appeals should be addressed to the Counsel to the Inspector General, or the Deputy Inspector General if the records were initially denied by the Counsel to the Inspector General. The address of both is: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Counsel, Room 7898C, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. For a written appeal, both the letter and the appeal envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” Appeals may also be submitted electronically either by email to [email protected] or online at the FOIAonline website, http://foiaonline.regulations.gov, if requesters have a FOIAonline account. In all cases, the appeal (written or electronic) should include a copy of the original request and initial denial, if any. All appeals should include a statement of the reasons why the records requested should be made available and why the adverse determination was in error. No opportunity for personal appearance, oral argument or hearing on appeal is provided. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Counsel to the Inspector General, or the Deputy Inspector General if the records were initially denied by the Counsel to the Inspector General, ordinarily shall send an acknowledgement letter to the requester which shall confirm receipt of the requester's appeal.

(c) Upon receipt of an appeal involving records initially denied on the basis of FOIA exemption (b)(1), the records shall be forwarded to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security (DAS) for a declassification review. The DAS may overrule previous classification determinations in whole or in part if continued protection in the interest of national security is no longer required, or no longer required at the same level. The DAS shall advise the AGC-ELI, the General Counsel, Counsel to the Inspector General, or Deputy Inspector General, as appropriate, of his or her decision.

(d) If an appeal is granted, the notification letter may include documents to be released or the request may be referred back to the component for further action consistent with the determination on the appeal.

(f) * * *

(3) Notification that dispute resolution services are offered by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation, informing the requester that dispute resolution is a voluntary process, and if the Department and requester agree to participate in the dispute resolution services provided by OGIS, the Department will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

(4) Notification that judicial review of the denial is available in the district court of the United States in the district in which the requester resides, or has his or her principal place of business, or in which the agency records are located, or in the District of Columbia; and

(5) The name and title or position of the official responsible for denying the appeal.

11. Amend § 4.11 by: a. Revising paragraphs (a), (b)(2), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), (c) introductory text, (c)(2), (c)(3)(ii), (d)(6), and (d)(7). b. Adding paragraph (d)(8). c. Revising paragraphs (e), (i)(4), (j), (l)(2)(iii), (l)(3)(ii), and (l)(5).

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 4.11 Fees.

(a) In general. Components shall charge fees for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, except where fees are limited under paragraph (d) of this section or when a waiver or reduction is granted under paragraph (l) of this section. A component shall collect all applicable fees before processing a request if a component determines that advance payment is required in accordance with paragraphs (i)(2) and (i)(3) of this section. If advance payment of fees is not required, a component shall collect all applicable fees before sending copies of requested records to a requester. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States.

(b) * * *

(2) Direct costs means those expenses a component incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use requests, reviewing) records to respond to a FOIA request. The hourly processing fees for calculating direct costs for Department or component personnel searching for, duplication, and reviewing records are reflected in Table 1. Note that the 16% overhead has already been included in the hourly rates identified in Table 1.

Table 1—FOIA Hourly Processing Fees Type Grade Hourly rate Administrative E-9/GS-8 and below $28 Professional Contractor/O-1 to O-6/W-1 to W-5/GS-9 to GS-15 56 Executive O-7 and above and Senior Executive Service 128

(4) Educational institution is any school that operates a program of scholarly research. A requester in this fee category must show that the request is made in connection with his or her role at the educational institution. Educational institutions may include a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education A Department component may seek verification from the requester that the request is in furtherance of scholarly research and agencies will advise requesters of their placement in this category. Verification may be supported by a letter from a teacher, instructor, or professor written on the institution's letterhead or from an institutional email address and in which the body of the email outlines the research to be conducted. Student requests may be supported by evidence that the records are sought for the student's academic research purposes, for example, through evidence of a class assignment or a letter from a teacher, instructor, or professor. A component's decision to grant a requester educational institution status will be made on a case-by-case basis based upon the requester's intended use of the material.

Example 1.

A request from a professor or a student of geology at a university for records relating to soil erosion, written on letterhead of the Department of Geology, would be presumed to be from an educational institution.

Example 2.

A request from the same professor or student of geology seeking drug information from the Food and Drug Administration in furtherance of a murder mystery he is writing would not be presumed to be an institutional request, regardless of whether it was written on institutional letterhead.

Example 3.

A student who makes a request in furtherance of their coursework or other school-sponsored activities and provides a copy of a course syllabus or other reasonable documentation to indicate the research purpose for the request, would qualify as part of this fee category.

(6) Representative of the news media, or news media requester, means any person or entity that actively gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work and distributes that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news-media entities are television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at-large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate “news” and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public including news organizations that disseminate solely on the internet. To be in this category, a requester must not be seeking the requested records for a commercial use. A request for records that supports the news-dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial use. A freelance journalist shall be regarded as working for a news-media entity if the journalist can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that entity, whether or not the journalist is actually employed by the entity. A publication contract would be the clearest proof, but components shall also look to the past publication record of a requester in making this determination. A component's decision to grant a requester media status will be made on a case-by-case basis based upon the requester's intended use of the material. The mere fact that a person or entity has been classified as news media with respect to one request does not mean they will be so considered as news media with respect to any other requests.

(7) Review means the examination of a record located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from disclosure. Review time includes processing any record for disclosure, such as doing all that is necessary to prepare the record for disclosure, including the process of redacting it and marking any applicable exemptions. Review costs are recoverable even if a record ultimately is not disclosed. Review time includes time spent obtaining and considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a submitter under § 4.9, but does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

(8) Search means the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. It includes identification of information within records and also includes reasonable efforts to locate and retrieve information from records maintained in electronic form or format. Components shall ensure that searches are done in the most efficient and least expensive manner reasonably possible.

(c) Fees. In responding to FOIA requests, components shall charge the fees summarized in chart form in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section and explained in paragraphs (c)(3) through (c)(5) of this section, unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted under paragraph (l) of this section.

(2) Uniform fee schedule.

Service Rate (i) Manual search Hourly rate from Table 1 of employee involved. (ii) Computerized search Actual direct cost, including operator time, using the hourly rate from Table 1, of the employee involved. (iii) Review of records Hourly rate from Table 1 of employee involved. (iv) Duplication of records: (A) Paper copy reproduction $.08 per page. (B) Other reproduction (e.g., converting paper into an electronic format (e.g., scanning), computer disk or printout, or other electronically-formatted reproduction (e.g., uploading records made available to the requester into FOIAonline)) Actual direct cost, including operator time, using the hourly rate from Table 1, of the employee involved.

(3) * * *

(ii) For computer searches of records, requesters will be charged the direct costs of conducting the search, although certain requesters (as provided in paragraph (d)(1) of this section) will be charged no search fee and certain other requesters (as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section) are entitled to the cost equivalent of two hours of manual search time without charge. These direct costs will include the costs of the operator/programmer FOIA hourly processing rate apportionable to the search and any other tangible direct costs associated with a computer search.

(d) * * *

(6) No search fees shall be charged to a FOIA requester when a component does not comply with the statutory time limits at 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6) in which to respond to a request (this section only applies to FOIA requests, not appeals), except as described in paragraph (d)(8) of this section.

(7) No duplication fees shall be charged to requesters in the fee category of a representative of the news media or an educational or noncommercial scientific institution when a component does not comply with the statutory time limits at 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6) in which to respond to a request, except as described in paragraph (d)(8) of this section.

(8)(i) When a Department component determines that unusual circumstances, as those terms are defined in § 4.6(d)(2), apply to the processing of the request, and provides timely written notice to the requester in accordance with the FOIA, then the Department component is granted an additional ten days until the fee restrictions in paragraphs (d)(6) and (7) of this section apply.

(ii) The fee restrictions in paragraphs (d)(6) and (7) of this section do not apply:

(A) When a Department component determines that unusual circumstances, as those terms are defined in § 4.6(d)(2), apply to the processing of the request;

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

(C) The Department component provides timely written notice to the requester in accordance with the FOIA; and

(D) The Department component has discussed with the requester (or made three good faith attempts to do so) on how the requester can effectively limit the scope of the request.

(e) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $20.00. (1) When a component determines or estimates that the fees for processing a FOIA request will total more than $20.00 or total more than the amount the requester indicated a willingness to pay, the component shall notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, unless the requester has stated in writing a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated readily, the component shall advise the requester that the estimated fee may be only a portion of the total fee. A notice under this paragraph shall offer the requester an opportunity to discuss the matter with Departmental personnel in order to modify the request in an effort to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost. The requester may also contact the Department FOIA Public Liaison, the relevant component's FOIA Public Liaison or FOIA contact, or OGIS for further assistance, or file an administrative appeal of the fee estimate amount in accordance with § 4.10.

(2) When a requester has been notified that the actual or estimated fees will amount to more than $20.00, or amount to more than the amount the requester indicated a willingness to pay, the component will do no further work on the request until the requester agrees in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee. The component will toll the processing of the request when it notifies the requester of the actual or estimated amount of fees and this time will be excluded from the twenty (20) working day time limit (as specified in § 4.6(b)). The requester's agreement to pay fees must be made in writing, must designate an exact dollar amount the requester is willing to pay, and must be received within 30 calendar days from the date of the notification of the fee estimate. If the requester fails to submit an agreement to pay the anticipated fees within 30 calendar days from the date of the component's fee notice, the component will presume that the requester is no longer interested and notify the requester that the request will be closed.

(i) * * *

(4) When the component requires advance payment or payment due under paragraphs (i)(2) and (i)(3) of this section, the component will not further process the request until the required payment is made. The component will toll the processing of the request when it notifies the requester of the advanced payment due and this time will be excluded from the twenty (20) working day time limit (as specified in § 4.6(b)). If the requester does not pay the advance payment within 30 calendar days from the date of the component's fee notice, the component will presume that the requester is no longer interested and notify the requester that the request will be closed.

(j) Tolling. When necessary for the component to clarify issues regarding fee assessment with the FOIA requester, the time limit for responding to the FOIA request is tolled until the component resolves such issues with the requester. The tolling period is from the day a requester was contacted through the working day (i.e., excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) on which a response was received by the responsible component.

(l) * * *

(2) * * *

(iii) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's expertise in the subject area and ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be considered. It shall be presumed that a representative of the news media satisfies this consideration.

(3) * * *

(ii) The primary interest in disclosure: Whether any identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently great, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is “primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.” A fee waiver or reduction is justified if the public interest standard (paragraph (l)(1)(i) of this section) is satisfied and the public interest is greater than any identified commercial interest in disclosure. Components ordinarily shall presume that if a news media requester has satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest is the primary interest served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market Government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

(5) Requests for the waiver or reduction of fees should address the factors listed in paragraphs (l)(2) and (3) of this section, insofar as they apply to each request.

12. Amend Appendix A to Part 4 by revising the introductory text of paragraph (5) and paragraph (5)(v) to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 4—Freedom of Information Public Inspection Facilities, and Addresses for Requests for Records Under the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, and Requests for Correction of Amendment Under the Privacy Act

(5) Economic Development Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Room 72023, Washington, DC 20230; Ph.: (202) 482-3085; Fax: (202) 482-5671; FOIAonline: http://foiaonline.regulations.gov. This component maintains a separate online Electronic FOIA Library through its website, http://www.eda.gov. The following Regional EDA offices do not maintain separate online Electronic FOIA Libraries.

(v) Philadelphia Regional Office, EDA, U.S. Department of Commerce, Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building, 900 Market Street, Room 602, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107; Ph.: (215) 597-4603.

[FR Doc. 2018-17171 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-BX-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0771] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Roanoke River, Plymouth, NC AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a special local regulation on the navigable waters of the Roanoke River in Plymouth, North Carolina. This special local regulation is intended to restrict vessel traffic on the Roanoke River during a high-speed boat race. The restriction of vessel traffic movement in the regulated area is intended to protect participants and spectators from the hazards posed by high-speed boat races. Entry of vessels or persons into this regulated area is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) North Carolina or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 11 a.m. on August 11, 2018, through 5 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-2018-0771 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Matthew Tyson, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, Wilmington, NC; telephone: 910-772-2221, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard was not notified of the need for this rule until August 2, 2018, and it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to delay this action. Waiting for a comment period to run would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect the public and participants from the dangers associated with the high-speed boat race scheduled to start 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. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable and contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to protect the public and participants from the dangers associated with the high-speed boat race scheduled to start on August 11, 2018.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233. The COTP North Carolina has determined that potential hazards associated with the Virginia Outlaw Drag Boat Association Rumble on the Roanoke scheduled for 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. on August 11 and 12, 2018, is a safety concern for mariners during the high-speed boat race on the Roanoke River in Plymouth, North Carolina. This rule is necessary to protect safety of life from the potential hazards associated with the high-speed boat race.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a special local regulation on a portion of the Roanoke River from 11 a.m. on August 11, through 5 p.m. on August 12, 2018. The rule will be enforced 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. each of those days. The time of enforcement will be broadcast locally over VHF-FM marine radio. The special local regulation will include all navigable waters of the Roanoke River in Plymouth, North Carolina, from approximate positions: Latitude 35°52′25″ N, longitude 076°44′33″ W, then northwest to latitude 35°52′29″ N, longitude 076°44′37″ W, then southwest along the shoreline to latitude 35°52′00″ N, longitude 076°45′31″ W, then south to latitude 35°51′56″ N, longitude 076°45′30″ W, then northeast along the shoreline to the point of origin, a length of approximately one mile. The duration of this special local regulation is intended to protect participants and spectators on the navigable waters of the Roanoke River during the high-speed boat race. For safety reasons, no public spectators will be allowed to view the event from the waterway. Vessels may request permission to pass through the regulated area between race heats. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP North Carolina or a designated representative.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the special local regulation. Vessel traffic will not be allowed to enter or transit a portion of the Roanoke River from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. on both August 11 and 12, 2018. The Coast Guard will transmit a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 regarding the special local regulation. This portion of the Roanoke River has been determined to be a low traffic area during this time of the year. This rule allows vessels to request permission to pass through the regulated area between race heats.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive 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 a special local regulation lasting approximately six hours on two separate days that prohibits entry into a portion of the Roanoke River. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L61 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 100

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 100.35T05-0771 to read as follows:
§ 100.35T05-0771 Special Local Regulation, Roanoke River, Plymouth, NC.

(a) Location. The following area is a special local regulation: All navigable waters of the Roanoke River in Plymouth, North Carolina, from approximate positions: Latitude 35°52′25″ N, longitude 076°44′33″ W, then northwest to latitude 35°52′29″ N, longitude 076°44′37″ W, then southwest along the shoreline to latitude 35°52′00″ N, longitude 076°45′31″ W, then south to latitude 35°51′56″ N, longitude 076°45′30″ W, then northeast along the shoreline to the point of origin, a length of approximately one mile.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section—

Captain of the Port (COTP) means the Commander, Sector North Carolina.

Official Patrol means any vessel assigned by the COTP North Carolina with a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer on board and displaying the Coast Guard ensign.

Participants means persons and vessels involved in the high-speed boat race.

Patrol Commander means a Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer designated by the COTP North Carolina for the enforcement of the special local regulation.

(c) Regulations. (1) The requirements of § 100.501(b) and (c)(1) and (2) apply to the area described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(2) With the exception of participants, entry into or remaining in this special local regulation is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP North Carolina or the COTP North Carolina's Patrol Commander. All other vessels must depart the special local regulation immediately upon the start of enforcement.

(3) To request permission transit through the special local regulation, contact the COTP North Carolina or the COTP North Carolina's Patrol Commander through the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Duty Officer, Wilmington, North Carolina, at telephone number 910-343-3882 or on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 13 (165.65 MHz) or channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

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

(e) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. on both August 11 and 12, 2018.

Dated: August 6 2018. Bion B. Stewart, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port North Carolina.
[FR Doc. 2018-17222 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0635] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Ski Show Sylvan Beach, Fish Creek, Oneida, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for certain waters of Fish Creek during the Ski Show Sylvan Beach. This safety zone is intended to prohibit persons and vessels from a portion of Fish Creek during the Ski Show Sylvan Beach. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect vessels and racers from the navigational hazards associated with the ski show.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 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-2018-0635 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email LTJG Sean Dolan, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo; telephone 716-843-9322, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

On July 13, 2018 the Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled Ski Show Sylvan Beach; Fish Creek, Oneida, NY (83 FR 32604). In that we discussed why we issued the NPRM and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this Standup Paddleboard race. During the comment period that ended August 2, 2018 we received no relevant comments.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of enhancing safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels near the event.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a ski show on a navigable waterway will pose a significant risk to participants and the boating public. This rule is necessary to protect vessels and racers during the Ski Show Sylvan Beach.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, we received no relevant comments on our NPRM published on July 13, 2018. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

This rule establishes a safety zone from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on August 12, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of where Fish Creek meets Oneida Lake starting at position 43°11′36.6″ N, 75°43′53.8″ W then South to 43°11′33.7″ N, 75°43′51.2″ W then East to 43°11′42.4″ N, 75°43′38.6″ W then North to 43°11′44.5″ N, 75°43′39.7″ W then returning to the point of origin. The duration of the zone is intended to enhance the safety of vessels and racers on the navigable waters within the above stated points, before, during, and after the scheduled event.

No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be contact 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-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic would not be able to safely transit around this safety zone, which would impact a small designated area of Fish Creek. However, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

B. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605 (b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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 establishment of a safety zone. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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.T09-0635 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0635 Safety Zone; Ski Show Sylvan Beach; Fish Creek, Oneida, NY.

(a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Fish Creek in Oneida, NY, starting at position 43°11′36.6″ N, 75°43′53.8″ W then South to 43°11′33.7″ N, 75°43′51.2″ W then East to 43°11′42.4″ N, 75°43′38.6″ W then North to 43°11′44.5″ N, 75°43′39.7″ W then returning to the point of origin (NAD 83).

(b) Enforcement period. This rule is effective from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on August 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 Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

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

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

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

Dated: August 6, 2018. Joseph S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2018-17181 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0437; FRL-9981-97—Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Miscellaneous Metal Parts Surface Coating, Miscellaneous Plastic Parts Surface Coating, and Pleasure Craft Surface Coatings AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a revision to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's state implementation plan (SIP). The revision includes amendments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (PADEP) regulations and addresses the requirement to adopt reasonably available control technology (RACT) for sources covered by EPA's control techniques guidelines (CTG) standards for the following categories: Miscellaneous metal parts surface coating, miscellaneous plastic parts surface coating, and pleasure craft surface coatings, as well as related cleaning activities. The SIP revision also amends regulations for graphic arts systems and mobile equipment repair and refinishing as well as making general administrative changes. This action is being taken under 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-2017-0437. 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:

Gregory A. Becoat, (215) 814 2036, or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On November 18, 2016, PADEP submitted a revision to the Pennsylvania SIP concerning the adoption of EPA's CTG for miscellaneous metal parts surface coating processes, miscellaneous plastic parts surface coating processes, and pleasure craft surface coatings. Specifically, PADEP has amended 25 Pennsylvania Code (Pa. Code) Chapter 129 (relating to standards for sources) to address RACT and further reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions in Pennsylvania. In accordance with sections 172(c)(1), 182(b)(2)(A) and 184(b)(1)(B) of the CAA, Pennsylvania's SIP revision submittal establishes VOC emission limitations and other requirements consistent with the recommendations of EPA's 2008 Control Techniques Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings (MMPP) (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-003; September 2008) and Control Techniques Guidelines for Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings for these sources in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-006).

I. Background

Ground level ozone is formed in the atmosphere by photochemical reactions between volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and carbon monoxide (CO) in the presence of sunlight. In order to reduce ozone concentrations in the ambient air, the CAA requires all nonattainment areas to apply controls on VOC and NOX emission sources to achieve emission reductions. Among effective control measures, RACT controls significantly reduce VOC and NOX emissions from major stationary sources. NOX and VOC are referred to as ozone precursors and are emitted by many types of pollution sources, including motor vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities, and area wide sources, such as consumer products and lawn and garden equipment. Scientific evidence indicates that adverse public health effects occur following exposure to ozone. These effects are more pronounced in children and adults with lung disease. Breathing air containing ozone can reduce lung function and inflame airways, which can increase respiratory symptoms and aggravate asthma or other lung diseases.

RACT is defined as the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. 44 FR 53761 at 53762 (September 17, 1979). Section 182 of the CAA sets forth two separate RACT requirements for ozone nonattainment areas. The first requirement, contained in section 182(a)(2)(A) of the CAA, and referred to as RACT fix-up, requires the correction of RACT rules for which EPA identified deficiencies before the CAA was amended in 1990. Pennsylvania previously corrected its deficiencies under the 1-hour ozone standard and has no further deficiencies to correct under this section of the CAA. The second requirement in section 182(b)(2) of the CAA applies to moderate (or worse) ozone nonattainment areas, and pursuant to section 184(b)(1)(B), to all areas in a state that are included in an ozone transport region (OTR). Section 184 of the CAA includes all of Pennsylvania in the OTR. Sections 182(b)(2) and 184(b) require these areas to implement RACT controls on all major VOC and NOX emission sources and on all sources and source categories covered by a CTG issued by EPA.1 See CAA sections 182(b)(2) and 184(b).

1 CTGs are documents issued by EPA intended to provide state and local air pollution control authorities information to assist them in determining RACT for VOC from various sources. The recommendations in the CTG are based upon available data and information and may not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances. States can follow the CTG and adopt state regulations to implement the recommendations contained therein, or they can adopt alternative approaches. In either case, states must submit their RACT rules to EPA for review and approval as part of the SIP process. Pursuant to section 184(b)(1)(B) of the CAA, all areas in the OTR must implement RACT with respect to sources of VOCs in the state covered by a CTG issued before or after November 15, 1990.

In subsequent Federal Register notices, EPA has addressed how states can meet the RACT requirements of the CAA. EPA developed the CTG for MMPP in September 2008 (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-003) that provides guidelines with regard to feasible emission limitations and operating practices for a number of different surface coatings used within this large and diverse source category. The 2008 MMPP CTG recommends separate sets of emission limits for metal parts coatings, plastic parts coatings, automotive/transportation and business machine plastic parts, and pleasure craft, depending on the type of coating used by a particular source. The miscellaneous metal product and plastic parts surface coatings categories identified pursuant to section 183(e) of the CAA include the coatings that are applied to the surfaces of a varied range of metal and plastic parts and products. Such parts or products are constructed either entirely or partially from metal or plastic. These miscellaneous metal products and plastic parts include, but are not limited to, metal and plastic components of the following types of products as well as the products themselves: Fabricated metal products, molded plastic parts, small and large farm machinery, commercial and industrial machinery and equipment, automotive or transportation equipment, interior or exterior automotive parts, construction equipment, motor vehicle accessories, bicycles and sporting goods, toys, recreational vehicles, pleasure craft (recreational boats), extruded aluminum structural components, railroad cars, heavier vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, business machines, laboratory and medical equipment, electronic equipment, steel drums, metal pipes, and numerous other industrial and household products.

The pleasure craft coating category does not include coatings that are a part of other product categories listed under Section 183(e) of the CAA for which CTGs have been published or included in other CTGs. For pleasure craft surface coatings, EPA took into account California regulations when developing the 2008 MMPP CTG. California was the only state at that time with regulations governing VOC emissions from pleasure craft surface coatings. After EPA finalized the 2008 MMPP CTG, the pleasure craft coatings industry asserted to EPA that three of the VOC emission limits in the CTG were too low considering the performance requirements of the pleasure craft coatings and that the VOC emission limits recommended did not represent RACT for the National pleasure craft coatings industry. On September 14, 2009, EPA was contacted by the pleasure craft coatings industry to reconsider some of the VOC emission limits recommended in the final 2008 MMPP CTG. In response, EPA issued a memorandum on June 1, 2010, entitled “Control Technique Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Part Coatings—Industry Request for Reconsideration,” recommending that the pleasure craft industry work with state agencies during their RACT rule development process to assess what is reasonable for the specific sources regulated. EPA has stated that states can use the recommendations from the MMPP CTG to form their own determinations as to what constitutes RACT for pleasure craft coating operations. CTGs impose no legally binding requirements on any entity, including pleasure craft coating facilities. As stated in the memorandum, EPA will evaluate state-developed RACT rules and determine whether the submitted rules meet the RACT requirements of the CAA.

II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

On November 18, 2016, PADEP submitted a SIP revision which adopted the recommendations contained in the 2008 MMPP CTG with respect to sources in the miscellaneous metal products coatings and plastic parts coatings product categories. For the pleasure craft coating industry, after evaluating what is reasonable for this source category, PADEP determined that three VOC content limits in the CTG should be revised from the limits in the CTG to represent RACT for the pleasure craft coating industry. This is based on EPA's memorandum that the pleasure craft industry should work with state agencies during their RACT rule development process to assess what is reasonable for the specific sources regulated.

The SIP revision includes an amendment to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 129—(relating to standards for sources) as follows: (1) Amended section 129.51(a)—(relating to general) in order to extend applicability; (2) added section 129.52d—“Control of VOC emissions from miscellaneous metal parts surface coating processes, miscellaneous plastic parts surface coating processes and pleasure craft surface coatings,” in order to regulate VOC emissions from these three categories; (3) amended section 129.52(g)—(relating to surface coating processes) in order to clarify record keeping and reporting requirements; (4) added section 129.52 subsection (k) in order to clarify the applicability of the requirements of section 129.52, Table I, Category 10 in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 129; (5) amended section 129.67 (relating to graphic arts systems) in order to extend applicability; and (6) amended section 129.75 (relating to mobile equipment repair and refinishing) in order to specify exceptions for those who apply surface coating to mobile equipment already subject to requirements of sections 129.52 and 129.52d. More detailed information on these provisions as well as a detailed summary of EPA's review and rationale for approving these SIP revisions can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for this action, which is available on line at www.regulations.gov, Docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0437.

After evaluating the SIP revision submittal, EPA concluded that it meets CAA requirements under sections 110, 172(c)(1), 182(b)(2)(A), and 184(b)(1) by adopting EPA's CTG and continuing to address and minimize VOC emissions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as discussed in more detail in EPA's TSD for this rulemaking action. PADEP is adopting without change most of the requirements recommended by the MMPP CTG but adopting the pleasure craft industry recommendations for the following three coating categories: Antifouling Sealer/Tiecoat; Other Substrate Antifoulant; and Extreme High Gloss. For these three categories, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reviewed industry data and determined that for the purpose of functionality, cost, and VOC emissions, the alternative limits adopted for these three coating categories constitute RACT. EPA concludes that Pennsylvania's approach is consistent with the guidance memorandum entitled, “Control Technique Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Part Coatings—Industry Request for Reconsideration,” and therefore, concludes that these regulations reflect RACT given costs and VOC emissions. The revised VOC content limits for the pleasure craft surface coatings proposed by PADEP are expected to have a de minimis impact on the amount of VOC emission reductions from the implementation of the revised VOC limits due to having no facilities with the potential to emit VOC emissions for pleasure craft surface coatings.

EPA notes that under 25 Pa. Code §§ 129.52d, PADEP is allowing the provisions of 25 Pa. Code § 129.52d to supersede the requirements of a RACT permit previously issued under 25 Pa. Code §§ 129.91-129.95 if the permit was issued prior to January 1, 2017, to the owner or operator of a source subject to section 129.52d(a), except to the extent the RACT permit contains more stringent requirements. EPA further notes that the RACT permits issued under 25 Pa. Code §§ 129.91-129.95 were issued for previous RACT determinations on a case-by-case basis; these permits were then submitted to EPA as source-specific SIP revisions and were previously acted on by EPA and would have been approved into the Pennsylvania SIP. If EPA approved those source-specific RACT determinations as meeting the requirements of RACT under the CAA, then the permits associated with those determinations were approved into the SIP as listed in 40 CFR 52.2020(d). The requirements of the source-specific RACT determination which EPA approved into the Pennsylvania SIP remain applicable requirements for the specific source unless and until Pennsylvania seeks to remove the limits from the SIP in accordance with CAA section 110(l). To the extent that the provisions of 25 Pa. Code § 129.52d are more stringent than those of a previous SIP-approved permit, PADEP will need to make a source-specific determination as to whether the requirements of the previous RACT permit apply, or those of § 129.52d, and submit that determination to EPA as a SIP revision in order to remove the previously approved permit from the SIP. Until such a SIP revision is made, EPA cannot remove the source-specific permits from the SIP and EPA is not taking such action in this rulemaking. Thus, the requirements of a previously SIP-approved permit are not superseded under the SIP. In accordance with section 110 of the CAA including 110(a) and 110(l), EPA determines that approval of this PADEP SIP revision will not interfere with reasonable further progress, attainment of any NAAQS or any other applicable CAA requirements.

On October 16, 2017 (82 FR 48034 and 82 FR 47988), EPA simultaneously published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) and a direct final rule (DFR) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approving the SIP revision. EPA received five adverse comments on the rulemaking and withdrew the DFR prior to the effective date of December 15, 2017.

III. Response to Comments

During the comment period, EPA received several anonymous comments on the rulemaking. Of the comments, one comment generally discussed greenhouse gas from electric vehicles, a second comment generally discussed wildfires and wildland fire management policy, and a third comment generally discussed the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. EPA believes these three comments are not germane to this rulemaking action, thus no further response is provided. The following is a summary of the comments pertinent to this rulemaking action and EPA's response to those comments.

Comment #1: The first commenter stated that EPA did not address a March 28, 2017 Executive Order (E.O.) regarding the promotion of energy independence and economic growth.2

2 Based on the comment, EPA assumes the E.O. in question is E.O. 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, signed March 28, 2017.

Response #1: EPA disagrees with the commenter's assertion that this rulemaking action required evaluation mandated under the E.O.. The E.O. in question pertains to reviewing existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy. First, EPA does not believe this E.O. applies to this rulemaking action because, to the extent this rulemaking is considered an agency action under the E.O., this action was not an existing agency action as of March 28, 2017, the date the E.O. was signed. Second, assuming arguendo, that this rulemaking action is considered an agency action under the E.O., this rulemaking action does not create a burden as that term is defined in the E.O.. As defined in the E.O., the term “burden” means, “to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant cost on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources.” This rulemaking action does not affect the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources because this action merely approves Pennsylvania's submission as meeting certain necessary CTG requirements under the CAA, thus any required review under this E.O. is not applicable. Finally, EPA does not have discretion to disapprove the state's SIP submission if it meets the applicable CAA requirements. CAA section 110(k)(3) requires that EPA “shall” approve the SIP submission “as a whole” if it meets the applicable requirements in the CAA. Pennsylvania's submission adopts RACT for sources identified in EPA's CTG, as required by CAA section 184(b). Thus, considering the plain language of CAA section 110(k)(3), EPA cannot consider disapproving or requiring changes to a state's SIP submittal based on a particular E.O. or statutory reviews.

Comment #2: The second commenter asserted that EPA should review its CTG and Alternative Control Technology (ACT) guidance documents to “make sure they aren't too costly.” The commenter further asserted that VOC reductions in Pennsylvania are not needed and EPA should only require RACT reductions in areas with “bad air.” The commenter concluded by stating EPA should withdraw the rule in its entirety to enable economic growth and promote jobs.

Response #2: EPA disagrees with the commenter that this rulemaking should be withdrawn and that EPA's CTGs and ACTs should be reviewed. The CTG at issue in this rulemaking was issued in 2008. This rulemaking action concerns only EPA's action approving Pennsylvania's SIP submission adopting the CTG requirements, and thus comments about the CTG itself are outside the scope of this action. In any case, EPA considered the cost of installing controls when developing the CTG and concluded, “The recommended VOC emission rates described [in the CTG] reflect the control measures that are currently being implemented by these facilities. Consequently, there is no additional cost to implement the CTG recommendations for coatings.” Further, the CTG went on to state the following for the work practices being recommended: “The CTG also recommends work practices for reducing VOC emissions from both coatings and cleaning materials. We believe that our work practice recommendations in the CTG will result in a net cost savings. Implementing work practices reduces the amount of coating and cleaning materials used by decreasing evaporation.” Thus, EPA did consider cost when issuing this CTG in a prior rulemaking.

EPA further disagrees with the commenter's assertion that VOC reductions are not needed in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and disagrees that the state or EPA has any discretion to not implement those reductions. First, the commenter provided no evidence supporting a claim that VOC reductions are only needed in areas with “bad air” (EPA assumes this is a reference to nonattainment areas). Second, Congress has dictated through the CAA that VOC RACT is required to be implemented throughout the entire Commonwealth. CAA section 182(b)(2)(A) requires that, for each ozone nonattainment area classified as Moderate or above, the area must revise their SIPs to include RACT for each category of VOC sources covered by CTG documents issued between November 15, 1990 and the date of attainment. CAA section 184(a) further establishes a single OTR which includes the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and section 184(b)(1)(B) requires all OTR states to submit SIPs implementing RACT with respect to all sources of VOC in the state that are covered by a CTG. Finally, Pennsylvania and EPA are not permitted to ignore statutory mandates for any policy reason, including to promote jobs or to enable economic growth. Thus, the requirements of the CAA require Pennsylvania to revise its SIP in order to implement VOC RACT for all CTGs issued, including the automobile and light-duty truck assembly coating category. As an OTR state, Pennsylvania is required to reduce VOCs by implementing RACT and CTGs.

IV. Final Action

EPA is approving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's November 2016 SIP revision submittal, which adopts EPA's CTG for miscellaneous metal parts surface coating, miscellaneous plastic parts surface coating, and pleasure craft surface coatings, and which makes other related administrative changes, because the revision meets the requirements of CAA sections 110, 172(c)(1), 182(b)(2)(A), and 184(b)(2).

V. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Pennsylvania rule discussed in section II of this preamble. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through http://www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region III Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.3

3 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

VI. 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, which approves Pennsylvania's SIP revision adopting CTGs for miscellaneous metal parts surface coating, miscellaneous plastic parts surface coating, and pleasure craft surface coatings, as well as general administrative changes related to cleaning activities, may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (See section 307(b)(2)).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: 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 NN—Pennsylvania 2. In § 52.2020, the table in paragraph (c)(1) is amended by: i. Revising the entries for Section 129.51 and Section 129.52; ii. Adding an entry for Section 129.52d; and iii. Revising the entries for Section 129.67, and Section 129.75.

The additions and revisions read as follows:

§ 52.2020 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(1) * * *

State citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Additional explanation/
  • § 52.2063 citation
  • Title 25—Environmental Protection Article III—Air Resources *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 129.51 General 10/22/16 8/10/18 [Insert Federal Register citation] Revised Section 129.51(a). Section 129.52 Surface coating processes 10/22/16 8/10/18 [Insert Federal Register citation] Revised 129.52(g) and added Subsection 129.52(k). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 129.52d Control of VOCs from Miscellaneous Metal Parts Surface Coating Processes, Miscellaneous Plastic Parts Surface Coating Processes and Pleasure Craft Surface Coatings 10/22/16 8/10/18 [Insert Federal Register citation] New section 129.52d is added. This section does not remove or replace any permits approved under 52.2020(d). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 129.67 Graphic arts systems 10/22/16 8/10/18 [Insert Federal Register citation] Revised Subsection 129.67(a)(1). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 129.75 Mobile equipment repair and refinishing 10/22/16 8/10/18 [Insert Federal Register citation] Revised Subsection 129.75(b)(1).
  • Previous approval 8/14/00 (c) 148.
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-17078 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0429; FRL-9980-47] Picoxystrobin; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of picoxystrobin in or on multiple commodities that are identified and discussed later in this document. E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective August 10, 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-2017-0429, 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:

    Michael L. Goodis, P.E., Registration Division (7505P), 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 EPA's tolerance regulations at 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. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this document electronically, please go to http://www.epa.gov/ocspp and select “Test Methods and Guidelines.”

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, 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-2017-0429 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-2017-0429, 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. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of November 27, 2017 (82 FR 56017) (FRL-9968-55), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 7F8557) by E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Chestnut Run Plaza, 974 Centre Road, Wilmington, DE 19805. The petition requested 40 CFR 180.669 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the fungicide picoxystrobin, methyl (αE)-α-(methoxymethylene)-2-[[[6-(trifluoromethyl)-2-pyridinyl]oxy]methyl]benzeneacetate, in or on alfalfa, forage at 4 parts per million (ppm); alfalfa, hay at 5 ppm; alfalfa, seed at 9 ppm; almond hulls at 15 ppm; cotton, gin by-products at 40 ppm; cottonseed (Crop Subgroup 20C) at 4 ppm; grass, forage (Grown for Seed) at 40 ppm; grass, hay (Grown for Seed) at 80 ppm; head lettuce at 7 ppm; onion, bulb (Crop Subgroup 3-07A) at 0.8 ppm; onion, green (Crop Subgroup 3-07B) at 15 ppm; pea and bean, succulent shelled (Crop Subgroup 6B) at 3 ppm; peanut at 0.1 ppm; peanut, hay at 40 ppm; sunflower (Crop Subgroup 20B) at 3 ppm; tree nut except hulls (Crop Group 14-12) at 0.15 ppm; vegetable, brassica head and stem (Crop Group 5-16) at 5 ppm; vegetable, cucurbit (Crop Group 9) at 0.7 ppm; vegetable, fruiting (Crop Group 8-10) at 1.5 ppm; vegetable, leaf petiole (Crop Subgroup 22B) at 40 ppm; vegetable, leafy except head lettuce (Crop Group 4-16) at 60 ppm; vegetable, leaves of root and tuber (Crop Group 2) at 40 ppm; vegetable, legume, edible podded (Crop Subgroup 6A) at 4 ppm; vegetable, root (Crop Subgroup 1A) at 0.6 ppm; and vegetable, tuberous and corm (Crop Subgroup 1C) at 0.06 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Notice of this same petition was provided again in the Federal Register of January 26, 2018 (83 FR 3658) (FRL-9971-46). The only difference between the two notifications is that the second notification spelled out the analytical method, whereas the November 2017 notification used just the abbreviations. Both documents provided notice for the same petition and same tolerances. That document is also available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. One comment was received on this second notification, but it did not raise any issues relevant to this rulemaking.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA is establishing tolerances at levels lower than requested, except for the commodities of alfalfa forage, hay, and seed, and using commodity terms consistent with the Agency's food and feed commodity vocabulary. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(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. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance 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 . . . . ”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for picoxystrobin including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with picoxystrobin follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    The most consistently observed effects of picoxystrobin exposure across species, genders, and treatment durations were decreased body-weight, body-weight gain and food consumption, and diarrhea. The effects on body-weight and food consumption were consistent with the commonly observed findings for compounds that disrupt the mitochondria respiration system and the resulting disruption of energy production. Similar to some other strobilurins, picoxystrobin causes intestinal disturbance as indicated by increased incidence of diarrhea or duodenum mucosal thickening. These intestinal effects appeared to be related to the irritating action on the mucus membranes as demonstrated by severe eye irritation effect seen in the primary eye irritation study on picoxystrobin.

    In the rat, developmental toxicity was expressed as misaligned 5th sternebrae at doses causing maternal toxicity (i.e. diarrhea and decreased body weight gain, and food consumption). In the rabbit, developmental toxicity seen at doses causing maternal toxicity (i.e. decreased body weight and clinical signs of toxicity) consisted of long 13th rib length and incompletely ossified odontoids and 27 pre-pelvic vertebrae. In the reproduction study, parental/systemic toxicity manifested as decreased body weight and body weight gain in both the parents and offspring; no reproductive toxicity was seen.

    There was no evidence that picoxystrobin directly affects the nervous system; behavioral changes observed in the acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies were attributed to general malaise. Picoxystrobin has no effects on the immune system in rats and mice, and is not mutagenic or genotoxic. No adverse dermal or systemic effects were identified in the rat following dermal exposure at the limit-dose. In the inhalation toxicity study, rats showed no portal of entry, respiratory or systemic toxicity. Chronic picoxystrobin exposure induced a treatment-related increase in testicular interstitial cell benign tumors in male rats at the high-dose only. No tumors were seen in female rats or in male and female mice, and there is no mutagenic concern. Based on this information, EPA has classified picoxystrobin as “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential”, for which quantification of cancer risk based on a non-linear approach (i.e., the chronic reference doses (RfD)) is appropriate. Use of the chronic RfD will adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, that could result from exposure to picoxystrobin. Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by picoxystrobin as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Picoxystrobin: Human Health Risk Assessment for Proposed New Uses on Root Vegetables, Subgroup 1A; Tuberous and Corm Vegetables, Subgroup 1C; Leaves of Root and Tuber Vegetables, Group 2; Bulb Onion, Subgroup 3-07A; Green Onion, Subgroup 3-07B; Leafy Vegetables, except Head Lettuce, Group 4-16; Head and Stem Brassica Vegetables, Group 5-16; Edible Podded Legume Vegetables, Subgroup 6A; Succulent Shelled Pea and Bean, Subgroup 6B; Fruiting Vegetables, Group 8-10; Cucurbit Vegetables, Group 9; Tree Nuts, Group 14-12; Sunflower, Subgroup 20B; Cottonseed, Subgroup 20C; Leaf Petiole Vegetables, Subgroup 22B; Head Lettuce; Almond; Alfalfa; Peanut; and Grass, Forage, Fodder, and Hay, Group 17” in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0429.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/assessing-human-health-risk-pesticides. A summary of the toxicological endpoints for picoxystrobin used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Picoxystrobin for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure and
  • uncertainty/safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk
  • assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (Females 13-50 years of age) An acute dietary risk assessment is not required since no endpoint attributable to a single exposure was identified from the relevant studies. Acute dietary (General population including infants and children) UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF/UFL = 10x
  • Acute RfD/aPAD = 0.2 mg/kg/day Acute Neurotoxicity—Rat
  • LOAEL = 200 mg/kg/day based on low arousal and decreased motor activities in males, decreased rearing in females, in addition to decreased bodyweight gain and food consumption in both sexes on Day 1.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL= 4.6 mg/kg/day UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.046 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.046 mg/kg/day
  • Chronic Toxicity—Dog
  • LOAEL = 15.7 mg/kg/day based on decreased body weights, body weight gains, and food consumption in both sexes.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) “Suggestive Evidence of Carcinogenic Potential” based on tumors in one species and one sex: a treatment-related increase in testicular interstitial cell benign tumors in high dose male rats. Quantification of cancer risk is based on a non-linear (i.e., RfD) approach. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFL = use of a LOAEL to extrapolate a NOAEL.
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to picoxystrobin, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing picoxystrobin tolerances in 40 CFR 180.669. EPA assessed dietary exposures from picoxystrobin in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure. Such effects were identified for picoxystrobin. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA's assumption of this dietary assessment included tolerance-level residues for all crops. In addition, default processing factors and 100% percent crop treated (PCT) were assumed for all commodities.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA 1994-1996 and 1998 CSFII. As to residue levels in food, EPA used tolerance-level residues for all crops. In addition, default processing factors and 100 PCT were assumed for all commodities.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that a linear (RfD) approach is appropriate for assessing cancer risk to picoxystrobin. Cancer risk was assessed using the same exposure estimates as discussed in Unit III.C.1.ii., chronic exposure.

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for picoxystrobin. Tolerance-level residues and/or 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening-level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for picoxystrobin in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of picoxystrobin. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    Based on the Surface Water Concentration Calculator (SWCC) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of picoxystrobin for acute exposures are estimated to be 15.7 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 1.40 ppb for ground water. Chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 5.53 ppb for surface water and 1.36 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 15.7 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 5.53 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets).

    Picoxystrobin is not registered for any specific use patterns that would result in residential exposure.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.” EPA has not found picoxystrobin to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and picoxystrobin does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that picoxystrobin does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA 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 Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor (FQPA 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.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. The prenatal and postnatal toxicity studies include rat and rabbit prenatal developmental studies in addition to reproduction and fertility effects studies in rats. In the rat- and rabbit-developmental toxicity studies, developmental toxicity was expressed as skeletal variations at doses causing maternal toxicity (i.e. diarrhea, decreased body-weight, body-weight gain, food consumption, and clinical signs of toxicity). In the reproduction study, parental/systemic toxicity manifested as decreased body-weight and body-weight gain in both the parents and offspring. No evidence of increased susceptibility/sensitivity is seen in any of these studies.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x for chronic dietary. For acute dietary exposures for the general population, including infants and children where the acute neurotoxicity study is used as an endpoint for risk assessment, EPA is retaining a 10x FQPA SF. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for picoxystrobin is complete, except for the lack of a NOAEL in the acute neurotoxicity test, which is used to establish a toxicological endpoint for acute dietary exposure scenarios.

    ii. Although there is some effect on behavior after exposure to picoxystrobin, EPA has concluded that picoxystrobin is not a neurotoxic chemical due to lack of neuropathological findings; there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

    iii. There is no evidence that picoxystrobin results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to picoxystrobin in drinking water. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by picoxystrobin.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to picoxystrobin will occupy 23% of the aPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to picoxystrobin from food and water will utilize 36% of the cPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for picoxystrobin.

    3. Short- and intermediate-term risk. Short- and intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Because no short-term or intermediate-term adverse effect was identified and picoxystrobin is not registered for any residential uses, picoxystrobin is not expected to pose a short- or intermediate-term risk.

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. The Agency considers the chronic aggregate risk assessment, making use of the cPAD, to be protective of any aggregate cancer risk. As chronic risks are below the Agency's level of concern, the Agency concludes there is no cancer risk of concern from aggregate exposure to picoxystrobin.

    5. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to picoxystrobin residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS/MS)) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. The Codex has not established a MRL for picoxystrobin.

    C. Response to Comments

    Comments were received in response to the Notices of Filing of E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company's petition. Two comments were filed within the comment period, one irrelevant and one expressing confusion about whether this action duplicated a previous action. The comment copied an excerpt from a tolerance rulemaking that was finalized in 2012; the tolerances requested in this petition are not the same as those finalized in 2012. Several other comments were submitted after the comment period had closed.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    The Agency has revised several of the commodity definitions to be consistent with the food and feed commodity vocabulary the Agency uses to establish tolerances. The Agency is also establishing tolerance levels that are slightly lower than the petitioner requested because Agency calculated tolerances (except alfalfa and sorghum) using proportionality to extrapolate data which would be reflective of a 1x maximum annual application rate rather the exaggerated application rates in the field trial studies for the following commodities: Almond hulls at 15 ppm to almond, hulls at 7.0 ppm; cotton, gin by-products at 40 ppm to cotton gin byproducts at 20 ppm; cottonseed (Crop Subgroup 20C) at 4 ppm to cottonseed subgroup 20C at 2.0 ppm; head lettuce at 7 ppm to lettuce, head at 4.0 ppm; onion, bulb (Crop Subgroup 3-07A) at 0.8 ppm to onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A at 0.50 ppm; onion, green (Crop Subgroup 3-07B) at 15 ppm to onion, green, subgroup 3-07B at 10 ppm; pea and bean, succulent shelled (Crop Subgroup 6B) at 3 ppm to pea and bean, succulent shelled, subgroup 6B at 0.90 ppm; peanut at 0.1 ppm to 0.05 ppm; peanut, hay at 40 ppm to 30 ppm; sunflower (Crop Subgroup 20B) at 3 ppm to sunflower subgroup 20B to 2.0 ppm; tree nut except hulls (Crop Group 14-12) at 0.15 ppm to nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.08 ppm; vegetable, brassica head and stem (Crop Group 5-16) at 5 ppm to vegetable, brassica, head and stem, group 5-16 at 2.0 ppm; vegetable, cucurbit (Crop Group 9) at 0.7 ppm to vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 at 0.30 ppm; vegetable, fruiting (Crop Group 8-10) at 1.5 ppm to vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 0.70 ppm; vegetable, leaf petiole (Crop Subgroup 22B) at 40 ppm to leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B at 20 ppm; vegetable, leafy except head lettuce (Crop Group 4-16) at 60 ppm to vegetable, leafy, group 4-16, except lettuce, head at 30 ppm; vegetable, leaves of root and tuber (Crop Group 2) at 40 ppm to vegetable, leaves of root and tuber, group 2 at 30 ppm; vegetable, legume, edible podded (Crop Subgroup 6A) at 4 ppm to vegetable, legume, edible podded, subgroup 6A at 2.0 ppm; vegetable, root (Crop Subgroup 1A) at 0.6 ppm to vegetable, root, subgroup 1A at 0.50 ppm; and vegetable, tuberous and corm (Crop Subgroup 1C) at 0.06 ppm to vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 0.03 ppm.

    For alfalfa, forage, hay, and seed, the tolerances have been modified to represent the appropriate number of significant figures; however, the numerical value is no different than requested by the petition.

    The petition requested “grass, forage (Grown for Seed)” at 40 ppm and “grass, hay (Grown for Seed)” at 80 ppm. Because “grass grown for seed” is ambiguous, the Agency is establishing individual tolerances for the hay and forage forms of specific grasses for which residue data were submitted and that are grown for seed purposes: Bluegrass, forage at 30 ppm; bluegrass, hay at 60 ppm, bromegrass, forage at 30 ppm; bromegrass, hay at 60 ppm; fescue, forage at 30 ppm; fescue, hay at 60 ppm; orchardgrass, forage at 30 ppm; orchardgrass, hay at 60 ppm; ryegrass, forage at 30 ppm; ryegrass, hay at 60 ppm; switchgrass, forage at 30 ppm; and switchgrass, hay at 60 ppm.

    EPA is also establishing tolerances for beet, sugar, dried pulp at 1.5 ppm and potato, wet peel at 0.10 ppm, pursuant to 40 CFR 180.40(f)(1)(i)(A). These tolerances are necessary to cover concentrated residues in processed commodities of raw agricultural commodities contained in subgroups 1A and 1C, respectively.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of picoxystrobin, methyl (αE)-α-(methoxymethylene)-2-[[[6-(trifluoromethyl)-2-pyridinyl]oxy]methyl]benzeneacetate, in or on alfalfa, forage at 4.0 ppm; alfalfa, hay at 5.0 ppm; alfalfa, seed at 9.0 ppm; almond, hulls at 7.0 ppm; beet, sugar, dried pulp at 1.5 ppm; bluegrass, forage at 30 ppm; bluegrass, hay at 60 ppm; bromegrass, forage at 30 ppm; bromegrass, hay at 60 ppm; cotton, gin byproducts at 20 ppm; cottonseed subgroup 20C at 2.0 ppm; fescue, forage at 30 ppm; fescue, hay at 60 ppm; leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B at 20 ppm; lettuce, head at 4.0 ppm; nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.08 ppm; onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A at 0.50 ppm; onion, green, subgroup 3-07B at 10 ppm; orchardgrass, forage at 30 ppm; orchardgrass, hay at 60 ppm; pea and bean, succulent shelled, subgroup 6B at 0.90 ppm; peanut at 0.05 ppm; peanut, hay at 30 ppm; potato, wet peel at 0.10 ppm; ryegrass, forage at 30 ppm; ryegrass, hay at 60 ppm; sunflower subgroup 20B to 2.0 ppm; switchgrass, forage at 30 ppm; switchgrass, hay at 60 ppm; vegetable, brassica, head and stem, group 5-16 at 2.0 ppm; vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 at 0.30 ppm; vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 0.70 ppm; vegetable, leafy, group 4-16, except lettuce, head at 30 ppm; vegetable, leaves of root and tuber, group 2 at 30 ppm; vegetable, legume, edible podded, subgroup 6A at 2.0 ppm; vegetable, root, subgroup 1A at 0.50 ppm; and vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 0.03 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. 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 tolerances in this final rule, 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, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency 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, the Agency 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 Agency 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).

    VII. 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 25, 2018. Michael Goodis, Director, Registration Division, 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. In § 180.669, add alphabetically the following commodities: Alfalfa, forage; Alfalfa, hay; Alfalfa, seed; Almond, hulls; Beet, sugar, dried pulp; Bluegrass, forage; Bluegrass, hay; Bromegrass, forage; Bromegrass, hay; Cotton, gin byproducts; Cottonseed subgroup 20C; Fescue, forage; Fescue, hay; Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B; Lettuce, head; Nut, tree, group 14-12; Onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A; Onion, green, subgroup 3-07B; Orchardgrass, forage; Orchardgrass, hay; Pea and bean, succulent shelled, subgroup 6B; Peanut; Peanut, hay; Potato, wet peel; Ryegrass, forage; Ryegrass, hay; Sunflower subgroup 20B; Switchgrass, forage; Switchgrass, hay; Vegetable, brassica, head and stem, group 5-16; Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9; Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10; Vegetable, leafy, group 4-16, except lettuce, head; Vegetable, leaves of root and tuber, group 2; Vegetable, legume, edible podded, subgroup 6A; Vegetable, root, subgroup 1A; and Vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C to the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.669 Picoxystrobin; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million Alfalfa, forage 4.0 Alfalfa, hay 5.0 Alfalfa, seed 9.0 Almond, hulls 7.0 *    *    *    *    * Beet, sugar, dried pulp 1.5 Bluegrass, forage 30 Bluegrass, hay 60 Bromegrass, forage 30 Bromegrass, hay 60 *    *    *    *    * Cotton, gin byproducts 20 Cottonseed subgroup 20C 2.0 *    *    *    *    * Fescue, forage 30 Fescue, hay 60 *    *    *    *    * Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B 20 Lettuce, head 4.0 *    *    *    *    * Nut, tree, group 14-12 0.08 Onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A 0.50 Onion, green, subgroup 3-07B 10 Orchardgrass, forage 30 Orchardgrass, hay 60 *    *    *    *    * Pea and bean, succulent shelled, subgroup 6B 0.90 Peanut 0.05 Peanut, hay 30 Potato, wet peel 0.10 *    *    *    *    * Ryegrass, forage 30 Ryegrass, hay 60 *    *    *    *    * Sunflower subgroup 20B 2.0 Switchgrass, forage 30 Switchgrass, hay 60 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, brassica, head and stem, group 5-16 2.0 Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 0.30 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 0.70 Vegetable, leafy, group 4-16, except lettuce, head 30 Vegetable, leaves of root and tuber, group 2 30 Vegetable, legume, edible podded, subgroup 6A 2.0 Vegetable, root, subgroup 1A 0.50 Vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C 0.03 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2018-17192 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 11 [PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91; FCC 18-94] Emergency Alert System; Wireless Emergency Alerts AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopts changes to its rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to facilitate “Live Code Tests” of the EAS; permit use of the EAS Attention Signal and EAS Header Code tones in Public Service Announcements; implement certain alert authentication and validation procedures; and require reporting of false alerts.

    DATES:

    Effective September 10, 2018, except for the amendments to 47 CFR 11.33 and 11.56, which are effective August 12, 2019, and the amendments to 47 CFR 11.45(b) and 11.61, which contain modifications to information collection requirements that were previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Once OMB has approved the modifications to these collections, the Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Cooke, Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-7452, or by email at [email protected] For additional information concerning the information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Nicole Ongele, Office of Managing Director, Performance Evaluation and Records Management, 202-418-2991, or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order (Order) in PS Docket Nos. 15-94 and 15-91, FCC 18-94, adopted on July 12, 2018, and released on July 13, 2018. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov.

    Synopsis

    1. In the Order, the Commission adopts changes to its Part 11 EAS rules to improve the effectiveness and public utility of the EAS by facilitating more effective public safety tests and exercises using the EAS, implementing measures to help prevent distribution of false alerts over the EAS, and requiring reporting of false alerts.

    I. Background

    2. The EAS is a national public warning system through which EAS Participants deliver alerts to the public to warn them of impending emergencies. The primary purpose of the EAS is to provide the President of the United States (President) with “the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public at the National, State and Local Area levels during periods of national emergency.” State and local authorities also use this common distribution architecture of the EAS to distribute voluntary weather-related and other emergency alerts. Further, testing of the system at the state and local level increases the proficiency of local emergency personnel, provides insight into the system's functionality and effectiveness at the federal level, and enhances the public's ability to respond to EAS alerts when they occur. The integrity of the EAS is maintained through the Commission's EAS rules, which set forth the parameters and frequency with which EAS Participants must test the system, prohibit the unauthorized use of the EAS Attention Signal and codes, and require EAS Participants to keep their EAS equipment in good working order.

    II. Discussion A. Building Effective Alerting Exercise Programs 1. Live Code Testing

    3. Section 11.31(e) of the Commission's rules sets forth the event header codes that are used for alerts in specific emergency situations (e.g., TOR for tornado), as well as the specific test codes to be used for national periodic tests (NPT), required monthly tests (RMT), and required weekly tests (RWT). Section 11.45 of the EAS rules states that “[n]o person may transmit or cause to transmit the EAS codes or Attention Signal, or a recording or simulation thereof, in any circumstance other than in an actual National, State or Local Area emergency or authorized test of the EAS.” EAS Participants regularly have sought waivers of these rules to use the event codes used for actual alerts (i.e., “live” event header codes) and the EAS Attention Signal to conduct local EAS public awareness and proficiency training exercises. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in PS Docket Nos. 15-94 and 15-91, 81 FR 15792 (March 24, 2016), the Commission proposed amending the rules to allow EAS Participants to conduct tests that use live EAS header codes and the EAS Attention Signal under specific circumstances without submitting a waiver request. The Commission also proposed amending section 11.45 to exempt state-designed EAS live code exercises from the prohibition against false or misleading use of the EAS Attention Signal.

    4. The Order amends section 11.45 to exempt EAS live code exercises from the prohibition against false or misleading use of the EAS Attention Signal. The Order also amends section 11.61 to include “Live Code Tests” as a separate category of alerting exercise that EAS Participants may undertake voluntarily, provided such live code tests are conducted in accordance with specific parameters. Specifically, EAS Participants may participate in live code tests where the entity conducting the test: (1) Notifies the public before the test that live event codes will be used, but that no emergency is, in fact, occurring; (2) to the extent technically feasible, states in the test message that the event is only a test; (3) coordinates the test among EAS Participants and with state and local emergency authorities, the relevant State Emergency Communication Committee (SECC) (or SECCs, if the test could affect multiple states), and first responder organizations, such as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), police, and fire agencies; and (4) consistent with the Commission's rules, provides in widely accessible formats the required notification to the public that the test is not, in fact, a warning about an actual emergency. The Order requires that live code tests state in the alert message that the event is only a test as a further safeguard against public confusion, especially among those who are blind, deaf and hearing impaired.

    5. The Commission agrees with commenters that EAS Participants such as cable operators and broadcasters must be given sufficient notice of live code tests to benefit from them and to allow for planning and coordination to assess and mitigate the impact on downstream equipment and subscribers. Accordingly, the Commission expects test alert originators to coordinate with these stakeholders in good faith, and encourages them to provide the notice and coordination required by the rules adopted in the Order no later than two weeks prior to the test. As part of that coordination and outreach, the Commission encourages test alert originators to file notice of their intent to conduct a test in the EAS docket (PS Docket No. 15-94).

    6. Commenters generally support voluntary live code testing, and agree that such testing can yield important public safety benefits. The record also indicates that live code testing exercises can be tailored to improve public safety at the local or community level.

    7. To avoid customer exhaustion and any dissipation of the value of alerting that could come from over-testing the system to the public, the Order limits the number of live code tests that an alert originator may conduct under the new rules it adopts to two (2) within any calendar year. The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of live code tests to determine whether additional measures are warranted.

    2. EAS Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

    8. Section 11.46 of the Commission's rules provides that PSAs, while permissible, “may not be a part of alerts or tests, and may not simulate or attempt to copy alert tones or codes.” The Commission has granted requests from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and FEMA for waivers of these rules to raise public awareness about the EAS through PSAs that use the EAS Attention Signal, and, in one instance, a simulation of header code sounds. In 2016, the Commission amended its rules to allow authorized entities to use the Attention Signal in PSAs about WEA. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed allowing EAS Participants to use EAS header codes and the Attention Signal in coordination with federal, state, and local government entities without a waiver, provided that the PSAs are presented in a non-misleading manner that does not cause technical issues for downstream equipment.

    9. The Order amends section 11.46 of the Commission's rules to allow, under certain circumstances, EAS Participants to use the Attention Signal in EAS PSAs (including commercially-sponsored announcements, infomercials, or programs) provided by federal, state, and local government entities, and NGOs, to raise public awareness about emergency alerting. This usage is only permitted if the PSA is presented in a non-misleading and technically harmless manner, including with the explicit statement that the Attention Signal is being used in the context of a PSA for the purpose of educating the viewing or listening public about emergency alerting. The Order also makes conforming changes to section 11.45.

    10. The Commission declines to allow live EAS header codes to be used in EAS PSAs because, as suggested by some commenters, EAS PSAs containing live EAS header codes could have unintended consequences, including triggering false alerts. However, the Commission will permit the simulation of header code audio tones developed by FEMA in PSAs to deliver the familiar sounds of live EAS header codes that the public associates with the EAS in a manner that would not trigger an actual alert. Entities that want to simulate the EAS header codes in their PSAs must do so using FEMA's simulation. The Commission observes that FEMA's simulation of the header code audio tones is subject to the restrictions of section 11.45 and therefore should not be used for purposes other than the EAS PSAs described in the Order. In adopting these PSA rules, the Commission notes agreement with commenters that EAS PSAs can be effective tools to raise public awareness of the EAS, particularly those that may be new to this country or have limited English proficiency, who do not recognize EAS tones and could benefit from learning about the EAS's benefits.

    3. Effective Dates

    11. The Commission proposed that these rules would become effective 30 days from the date of their publication in the Federal Register. No commenters opposed this time frame. Accordingly, the rule amendments for sections 11.45(a) and 11.46, both of which relate to PSAs, will become effective 30 days after publication of the Order in the Federal Register.

    12. The rule amendments for section 11.61, which cover “Live Code Tests,” will become effective on the date specified in a Commission notice published in the Federal Register announcing their approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act by the Office of Management and Budget, which date will be at least 30 days after the date that this Order and rules adopted herein are published in the Federal Register.

    B. Ensuring EAS Readiness and Reliability 1. False Alert Reporting

    13. The Commission agrees with commenters that false alert reporting would benefit ongoing EAS reliability, and that having timely information about false alerts could help identify and mitigate problems with the EAS. Accordingly, the Commission revises its rules to require that no later than twenty-four (24) hours of an EAS Participant's discovery that it has transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to the public, the EAS Participant send an email to the FCC Ops Center (at [email protected]), informing the Commission of the event and of any details that the EAS Participant may have concerning the event. If an EAS Participant has no actual knowledge that it has issued a false alert, then it would not be required to take any action.

    2. Alert Authentication

    14. The Order revises section 11.56(c) to require that EAS Participants configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that contain an invalid digital signature, thus helping to prevent the transmission of a false alert. All commenters addressing this issue supported the Commission's proposal and generally acknowledged the benefits of digitally signing CAP alerts. Although the Order requires EAS Participants to configure their systems in such a way as to reject alerts with invalid digital signatures, the Commission does not mandate the use of digital signatures at this time. With respect to broadcast-based, legacy alerts, the Commission believes it would be premature to adopt rules pertaining to specific authentication mechanisms for such alerts at this time. Based on the lack of consensus on an approach forward in the record, the Commission believes it would be prudent to await the recommendation from the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council VI on this issue rather than moving ahead with one of the originally proposed mechanisms.

    3. Alert Validation

    15. Section 11.33(a)(10) specifies certain error detection and validation requirements for decoders. Currently, the Commission's rules do not require validation of alerts based upon the time period or year parameter in the “time stamp” portion of the header code, i.e., the portion that determines the correct date and time for the alert. Further, the Commission's rules do not require that valid alerts have an expiration time in the future. Thus, an alert's time stamp does not consistently serve as a filter through which officials can ensure an alert is confined to its relevant time frame.

    16. Alert time validation. The alert message validation requirements in the EAS rules require that EAS decoders validate alert messages by comparing the three EAS header tone bursts that commence all EAS alerts to ensure that at least two out of three match—the content of those header tones is not reviewed for incoming alert message validity. The Order amends section 11.33(a)(10) so that alert message validation confirms that the alert's expiration time is set to take place in the future, and that its origination time takes place no more than 15 minutes in the future.

    17. The Commission observes that commenters generally support proposals that reduce the potential for repeat broadcasts of outdated alerts by validation based on specific origination and expiration times, and support a 15-minute timeframe, and believe that such requirement will require minimal software updates. Based on the record, most EAS equipment already validates the time of EAS messages, blocking alerts that have expired. Remaining equipment can achieve this capability by installing the necessary software as part of a regularly scheduled in-version equipment software update.

    18. Year Parameter. The Commission declines to require a year parameter in the time stamp section of the EAS Protocol. The record indicates that adding a year parameter requirement is not technically feasible without significant modification to the current EAS Protocol, as well as all associated equipment, which would be extremely expensive and burdensome, and would cause significant disruption to the NOAA Weather Radio infrastructure.

    4. Compliance Timeline

    19. The Order adopts a one-year compliance timeframe from publication in the Federal Register. The record indicates that most EAS Participants already have EAS equipment capable of complying with these requirements. The Commission also observes that a one-year time frame would allow equipment manufacturers to develop and make available software updates to implement these requirements in deployed equipment that do not already meet these requirements.

    20. The rule amendments for section 11.45(b), which address the filing of false alert reports will become effective on the date specified in a Commission notice published in the Federal Register announcing their approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act by the Office of Management and Budget, which date will be at least 30 days after the date that this Order and rules adopted herein are published in the Federal Register.

    C. Benefit-Cost Analysis

    21. The rule changes adopted in the Order reduce burdens by eliminating waiver filing time and costs. To the extent the Commission adopts new requirements, it does so in a minimally burdensome way that either imposes no additional costs or imposes only minimal costs. Other than the alert validation and authentication requirements, for which a one-year compliance timeframe is provided, only the new false alert reporting rule will involve new costs to EAS Participants. As discussed below, the Commission concludes that the benefits of these rule changes exceed their costs.

    1. Benefits

    22. The rule changes adopted in the Order will reduce regulatory burden on EAS stakeholders. Waivers will no longer be needed for live code testing. The rule changes also reduce the regulatory burden on EAS Participants by allowing them to produce PSAs using EAS header codes and a simulated Attention Signal without requesting a waiver. This change will make the process of producing a PSA less costly, and promote greater proficiency in the use of EAS, both by EAS alert initiators and EAS Participants.

    23. These rule changes will also help prevent incidents of misuse and abuse of the EAS. The authentication and validation rule changes will require the use of EAS equipment's existing capabilities to help prevent misuse and abuse of the EAS, thus protecting its integrity and maintaining its credibility with the public and alerting officials. To provide an estimate of the value of the benefits of the rules adopted in the Order, the Commission turns to the overall value of the EAS. Scholars agree that public safety in the United States has improved over the years because its early warning systems for recurring hazards, such as lightning, floods, storms and heat waves, are continually improving. By reducing the frequency of false alerts, the rule changes adopted in the Order strengthen public confidence in the EAS, thus avoiding erosion in its overall value.

    2. Costs

    24. The rule changes to section 11.61 for live code testing and to sections 11.45 and 11.46 for public service announcements do not impose any new costs. Rather, they codify requirements that were previously imposed on waivers granted by the Commission. Removing the requirement to file a waiver removes the need for legal and other staff time associated with filing a waiver. The new rules therefore eliminate any legal or administrative costs that were associated with filing waiver requests.

    25. The Commission estimates that compliance with the alert authentication and validation rule changes will involve only minimal costs to EAS Participants. Current EAS rules require that EAS Participants must have EAS equipment that is capable of being updated via software. According to the record, most EAS equipment deployed in the field is already configured to support the validation and authentication rule changes adopted in the Order. The one-year compliance period adopted for these rule changes will provide sufficient time for any necessary update to be deployed within a previously scheduled in-version equipment software update. In combination, these factors result in no incremental cost to EAS Participants for installing the update.

    26. With respect to the new false alert reporting requirement, the Commission concludes that the cost of reporting false alerts will be $11,600 per year, based upon an average of 290 EAS participants each spending 15 minutes to file one report.

    27. Therefore, based on the foregoing analysis, the Commission finds it reasonable to conclude that the benefits of the rules adopted in the Order will exceed the costs of their implementation. The rule changes will support greater testing and awareness of the EAS and promote the security of the EAS. They will also likely result in fewer false alerts, and thus fewer unnecessary 911 calls. The benefits of these rule changes will continue to accrue to the public each year, while the imposed costs are low.

    III. Procedural Matters A. Accessible Formats

    28. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    29. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in PS Docket Nos. 15-94 and 15-91, 81 FR 15792 (March 24, 2016). The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the IRFA. No comments were filed addressing the IRFA. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

    30. In today's Report and Order (Order), the Commission adopts rules that fall into two categories: (1) Building stronger alerting exercise programs and greater awareness of the EAS; and (2) taking steps to ensure the readiness and reliability of the EAS to protect it against accidental misuse and malicious intrusion.

    31. With respect to building effective public safety exercises and supporting greater testing and awareness of the EAS, the Commission permits the use of “live code” EAS public safety exercises to empower communities to meet their emergency preparedness needs and to provide opportunities for system verification and proficiency training. The Commission also allows EAS Participants to use the EAS Attention Signal and simulation of the header codes in Public Service Announcements (PSAs) provided by federal, state, and local government entities, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to raise public awareness about emergency alerting.

    32. With respect to taking steps to ensure the readiness and reliability of the EAS, the Commission requires EAS Participants, upon discovery (i.e., actual knowledge) that they have transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to the public, to provide minimal reports to the Commission. The Commission also requires EAS Participants to reject any CAP-formatted EAS messages that contain an invalid digital signature, and require EAS Participants to reject all EAS alerts that they receive with header code date/time data inconsistent with the current date and time.

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

    33. There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the proposed rules and policies presented in the IRFA.

    3. Response To Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

    34. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which amended the RFA, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments.

    35. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    4. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will Apply

    36. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted, herein. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    37. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. The Commission's actions, over time, may affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. The Commission therefore describes here, at the outset, three broad groups of small entities that could be directly affected herein. First, while there are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of Advocacy, in general a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all businesses in the United States which translates to 28.8 million businesses.

    38. Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of Aug. 2016, there were approximately 356,494 small organizations based on registration and tax data filed by nonprofits with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    39. Finally, the small entity described as a “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2012 Census of Governments indicates that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions consisting of general purpose governments and special purpose governments in the United States. Of this number there were 37,132 General purpose governments (county, municipal and town or township) with populations of less than 50,000 and 12,184 Special purpose governments (independent school districts and special districts) with populations of less than 50,000. The 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data for most types of governments in the local government category shows that the majority of these governments have populations of less than 50,000. Based on this data the Commission estimates that at least 49,316 local government jurisdictions fall in the category of “small governmental jurisdictions.”

    40. Radio Stations. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources.” The SBA has established a small business size standard for this category as firms having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. Economic Census data for 2012 shows that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year. Of that number, 2,806 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year, 17 with annual receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million and 26 with annual receipts of $50 million or more. Therefore, based on the SBA's size standard the majority of such entities are small entities.

    41. According to Commission staff review of the BIA/Kelsey, LLC's Media Access Pro Radio Database as of January 2018, about 11,261 (or about 99.9 percent) of 11,383 commercial radio stations had revenues of $38.5 million or less and thus qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial AM radio stations to be 4,639 stations and the number of commercial FM radio stations to be 6,744, for a total number of 11,383. The Commission notes that the Commission has also estimated the number of licensed NCE radio stations to be 4,120. Nevertheless, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.

    42. The Commission also notes, that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. The Commission's estimate therefore likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by its action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, to be determined a “small business,” an entity may not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission further notes, that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and the estimate of small businesses to which these rules may apply does not exclude any radio station from the definition of a small business on this basis, thus the Commission's estimate of small businesses may therefore be over-inclusive. Also, as noted above, an additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and the estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    43. Low-Power FM Stations. Low Power FM Stations are classified in the category of Radio Stations and are assigned the same NAICs Code as licensees of radio stations. This U.S. industry, Radio Stations, comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has established a small business size standard which consists of all radio stations whose annual receipts are $38.5 million dollars or less. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicates that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year. Of that number, 2,806 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year, 17 with annual receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million and 26 with annual receipts of $50 million or more. Based on U.S. Census data, the Commission concludes that the majority of Low Power FM Stations are small.

    44. Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” These establishments operate television broadcast studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has created the following small business size standard for such businesses: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less, 25 had annual receipts between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999 and 70 had annual receipts of $50,000,000 or more. Based on this data the Commission therefore estimates that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities under the applicable SBA size standard.

    45. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,378. Of this total, 1,258 stations (or about 91 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on November 16, 2017, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 395. Notwithstanding, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities. There are also 2,367 low power television stations, including Class A stations (LPTV) and 3,750 TV translator stations. Given the nature of these services, the Commission will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    46. The Commission notes, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as “small” under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. The Commission's estimate, therefore likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by the Commission's action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, another element of the definition of “small business” requires that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television broadcast station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive. Also, as noted above, an additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and its estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    47. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as “establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    48. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature (e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers. The SBA size standard for this industry establishes as small, any company in this category which has annual receipts of $38.5 million or less. According to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data, 367 firms operated for that entire year. Of that number, 319 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million a year and 48 firms operated with annual receipts of $25 million or more. Based on this data, the Commission estimates that the majority of firms operating in this industry are small.

    49. Cable Companies and Systems (Rate Regulation). The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,600 active cable systems in the United States. Of this total, all but nine cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,600 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have fewer than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard as well, the Commission estimates that most cable systems are small entities.

    50. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than one percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” There are approximately 52,403,705 cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 524,037 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, the Commission finds that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. The Commission notes that it neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, the Commission is unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    51. Satellite Telecommunications. This category comprises firms “primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.” Satellite telecommunications service providers include satellite and earth station operators. The category has a small business size standard of $32.5 million or less in average annual receipts under SBA rules. For this category, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 shows that there were a total of 333 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 299 firms had annual receipts of less than $25 million. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of satellite telecommunications providers are small entities.

    52. All Other Telecommunications. The “All Other Telecommunications” category is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing internet services or voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for All Other Telecommunications, which consists of all such firms with annual receipts of $32.5 million or less. For this category, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 shows that there were 1,442 firms that operated for the entire year. Of those firms, a total of 1,400 had annual receipts less than $25 million and 42 firms had annual receipts of $25 million to $49,999,999. Thus, the Commission estimates that the majority of “All Other Telecommunications” firms potentially affected by the Commission's action can be considered small.

    53. The Educational Broadcasting Services. Cable-based Educational Broadcasting Services have been included in the broad economic census category and Small Business Administration (SBA) size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers since 2007. Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is all such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small. In addition to Census Bureau data, the Commission's internal records indicate that, as of October 2014, there were 2,206 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that of these 2,206 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are defined by statute as small businesses.

    54. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS Service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS is included in the SBA's economic census category “Wired Telecommunications Carriers.” The Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephone services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio, and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry. The SBA determines that a wireline business is small if it has fewer than 1,500 employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 indicates that 3,117 wireline companies were operational during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Based on that data, the Commission concludes that the majority of wireline firms are small under the applicable standard. However, currently, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great deal of capital for operation: DIRECTV (owned by AT&T) and DISH Network. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Accordingly, the Commission must conclude that internally developed FCC data are persuasive, that, in general, DBS service is provided only by large firms.

    55. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (Except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 967 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 955 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities.

    56. The Commission's own data—available in its Universal Licensing System—indicate that, as of October 25, 2016, there are 280 Cellular licensees that will be affected by the Commission's actions today. The Commission does not know how many of these licensees are small, as the Commission does not collect that information for these types of entities. Similarly, according to internally developed Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) services. Of this total, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees. Thus, using available data, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    57. Broadband Personal Communications Service. The broadband personal communications service (PCS) spectrum is divided into six frequency blocks designated A through F, and the Commission has held auctions for each block. The Commission initially defined a “small business” for C- and F-Block licenses as an entity that has average gross revenues of $40 million or less in the three previous calendar years. For F-Block licenses, an additional small business size standard for “very small business” was added and is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years. These standards defining “small entity”, in the context of broadband PCS auctions, have been approved by the SBA. No small businesses within the SBA-approved small business size standards bid successfully for licenses in Blocks A and B. There were 90 winning bidders that claimed small business status in the first two C-Block auctions. A total of 93 bidders that claimed small business status won approximately 40 percent of the 1,479 licenses in the first auction for the D-, E-, and F-Blocks. On April 15, 1999, the Commission completed the reauction of 347 C-, D-, E-, and F-Block licenses in Auction No. 22. Of the 57 winning bidders in that auction, 48 claimed small business status and won 277 licenses.

    58. On January 26, 2001, the Commission completed the auction of 422 C- and F-Block Broadband PCS licenses in Auction No. 35. Of the 35 winning bidders in that auction, 29 claimed small business status. Subsequent events concerning Auction No. 35, including judicial and agency determinations, resulted in a total of 163 C- and F-Block licenses being available for grant. On February 15, 2005, the Commission completed an auction of 242 C-, D-, E-, and F-Block licenses in Auction No. 58. Of the 24 winning bidders in that auction, 16 claimed small business status and won 156 licenses. On May 21, 2007, the Commission completed an auction of 33 licenses in the A-, C-, and F-Blocks in Auction No. 71. Of the 12 winning bidders in that auction, five claimed small business status and won 18 licenses. On August 20, 2008, the Commission completed the auction of 20 C-, D-, E-, and F-Block Broadband PCS licenses in Auction No. 78. Of the eight winning bidders for Broadband PCS licenses in that auction, six claimed small business status and won 14 licenses.

    59. Narrowband Personal Communications Services. Two auctions of narrowband personal communications services (PCS) licenses have been conducted. To ensure meaningful participation of small business entities in future auctions, the Commission has adopted a two-tiered small business size standard in the Narrowband PCS Second Report and Order. Through these auctions, the Commission has awarded a total of 41 licenses, 11 of which were obtained by small businesses. A “small business” is an entity that, together with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three preceding years of not more than $40 million. A “very small business” is an entity that, together with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three preceding years of not more than $15 million. The SBA has approved these small business size standards.

    60. 700 MHz Guard Band Licensees. In 2000, in the 700 MHz Guard Band Order, the Commission adopted size standards for “small businesses” and “very small businesses” for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments. A small business in this service is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years. Additionally, a very small business is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $15 million for the preceding three years. SBA approval of these definitions is not required. An auction of 52 Major Economic Area (“MEA”) licenses commenced on September 6, 2000, and closed on September 21, 2000. Of the 104 licenses auctioned, 96 licenses were sold to nine bidders. Five of these bidders were small businesses that won a total of 26 licenses. A second auction of 700 MHz Guard Band licenses commenced on February 13, 2001, and closed on February 21, 2001. All eight of the licenses auctioned were sold to three bidders. One of these bidders was a small business that won a total of two licenses.

    61. Lower 700 MHz Band Licenses. The Commission previously adopted criteria for defining three groups of small businesses for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits. The Commission defined a “small business” as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years. A “very small business” is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $15 million for the preceding three years. Additionally, the lower 700 MHz Service had a third category of small business status for Metropolitan/Rural Service Area (MSA/RSA) licenses—“entrepreneur”—which is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $3 million for the preceding three years. The SBA approved these small size standards. An auction of 740 licenses (one license in each of the 734 MSAs/RSAs and one license in each of the six Economic Area Groupings (EAGs)) commenced on August 27, 2002, and closed on September 18, 2002. Of the 740 licenses available for auction, 484 licenses were won by 102 winning bidders. Seventy-two of the winning bidders claimed small business, very small business or entrepreneur status and won a total of 329 licenses. A second auction commenced on May 28, 2003, closed on June 13, 2003, and included 256 licenses: 5 EAG licenses and 476 Cellular Market Area licenses. Seventeen winning bidders claimed small or very small business status and won 60 licenses, and nine winning bidders claimed entrepreneur status and won 154 licenses. On July 26, 2005, the Commission completed an auction of five licenses in the Lower 700 MHz band (Auction No. 60). There were three winning bidders for five licenses. All three winning bidders claimed small business status.

    62. In 2007, the Commission reexamined its rules governing the 700 MHz band in the 700 MHz Second Report and Order. An auction of 700 MHz licenses commenced January 24, 2008, and closed on March 18, 2008, which included: 176 Economic Area licenses in the A-Block, 734 Cellular Market Area licenses in the B-Block, and 176 EA licenses in the E-Block. Twenty winning bidders, claiming small business status (those with attributable average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years) won 49 licenses. Thirty-three winning bidders claiming very small business status (those with attributable average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years) won 325 licenses.

    63. Upper 700 MHz Band Licenses. In the 700 MHz Second Report and Order, the Commission revised its rules regarding Upper 700 MHz licenses. On January 24, 2008, the Commission commenced Auction No. 73, in which several licenses in the Upper 700 MHz band were available for licensing: 12 Regional Economic Area Grouping licenses in the C-Block, and one nationwide license in the D-Block. The auction concluded on March 18, 2008, with three winning bidders claiming very small business status (those with attributable average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years) and winning five licenses.

    64. Advanced Wireless Services. AWS Services (1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz bands (AWS-1); 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2175-2180 MHz bands (AWS-2); 2155-2175 MHz band (AWS-3)). For the AWS-1 bands, the Commission has defined a “small business” as an entity with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $40 million, and a “very small business” as an entity with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million. For AWS-2 and AWS-3, although the Commission does not know for certain which entities are likely to apply for these frequencies, the Commission notes that the AWS-1 bands are comparable to those used for cellular service and personal communications service. The Commission has not yet adopted size standards for the AWS-2 or AWS-3 bands, but proposes to treat both AWS-2 and AWS-3 similarly to broadband PCS service and AWS-1 service due to the comparable capital requirements and other factors, such as issues involved in relocating incumbents and developing markets, technologies, and services.

    65. Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. Broadband Radio Service systems, previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) systems, and “wireless cable,” transmit video programming to subscribers and provide two-way high-speed data operations using the microwave frequencies of the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS)).

    66. BRS—In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three calendar years. The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, the Commission estimates that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities. After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, the Commission finds that there are currently approximately 440 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission's rules.

    67. In 2009, the Commission conducted Auction No. 86, the sale of 78 licenses in the BRS areas. The Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small business) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) received a 35 percent discount on its winning bid. Auction No. 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale of 61 licenses. Of the ten winning bidders, two bidders that claimed small business status won four licenses; one bidder that claimed very small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed entrepreneur status won six licenses.

    68. EBS—Educational Broadband Service has been included within the broad economic census category and the SBA size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers since 2007. Wired Telecommunications Carriers are comprised of establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. The SBA's small business size standard for this category is all such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small. In addition to Census Bureau data, the Commission's Universal Licensing System indicates that as of October 2014, there are 2,206 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that of these 2,206 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.

    69. Wireless Communications Service. This service can be used for fixed, mobile, radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite uses. The Commission defined “small business” for the wireless communications services (WCS) auction as an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years, and a “very small business” as an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three preceding years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. In the Commission's auction for geographic area licenses in the WCS service there were seven winning bidders that qualified as “very small business” entities, and one that qualified as a “small business” entity.

    70. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment. The SBA has established a small business size standard for this industry of 1,250 employees or less. U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that 841 establishments operated in this industry in that year. Of that number, 819 establishments operated with less than 500 employees. Based on this data, the Commission concludes that a majority of manufacturers in this industry are small.

    71. Software Publishers. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in computer software publishing or publishing and reproduction. Establishments in this industry carry out operations necessary for producing and distributing computer software, such as designing, providing documentation, assisting in installation, and providing support services to software purchasers. These establishments may design, develop, and publish, or publish only. The SBA has established a size standard for this industry of annual receipts of $38.5 million per year. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicates that 5,079 firms operated in that year. Of that number, 4,697 firms had annual receipts of $25 million or less. Based on that data, the Commission concludes that a majority of firms in this industry are small.

    72. NCE and Public Broadcast Stations. Non-commercial educational and public broadcast television stations fall within the U.S. Census Bureau's definition for Television Broadcasting. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound and operating television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. The SBA has created a small business size standard for Television Broadcasting entities, which is such firms having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less, 25 had annual receipts between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999 and 70 had annual receipts of $50,000,000 or more. Based on this data the Commission concludes that the majority of NCEs and Public Broadcast Stations are small entities under the applicable SBA size standard.

    73. According to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) as of November 16, 2017, approximately 1,258 of the 1,378 licensed commercial television stations (or about 91 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission also estimates that there are 395 licensed noncommercial educational NCE television stations. Notwithstanding, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities. In addition to licensed commercial television stations and NCEs, there are also an estimated 2,367 low power television stations (LPTV), including Class A stations and 3,750 TV translator stations. Given the nature of these services, the Commission will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    74. The Commission notes, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. The Commission's estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by the Commission's action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. Moreover, the definition of “small business” also requires that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation and that the entity be independently owned and operated. The estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on these bases and is therefore over-inclusive to that extent. Further, the Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. The Commission further notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and therefore the Commission's estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    5. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    75. The Order allows EAS Participants to take part in live code EAS public safety exercises, provided that the entity conducting the test provides notification during the test to the extent technically feasible that there is no actual emergency and provides notice to the public and coordinates with EAS Participants, state and local emergency authorities, the SECC, and other entities before the test to inform the public and other affected entities that live event codes will be used and that no emergency is occurring. In addition, the Order allows EAS Participants to use the EAS Attention Signal and a harmless simulation of EAS header codes in PSAs provided by federal, state, and local government entities, as well as NGOs. These measures will obviate recurring costs associated with the filing of live code waiver requests (e.g., legal, administrative, printing, and mailing costs) and will not create any cost burdens for EAS Participants. The Order also requires that no later than twenty-four (24) hours of an EAS Participant's discovery (i.e., actual knowledge) that it has transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to the public that the it send an email to the FCC Ops Center (at [email protected]) informing the Commission of the event and of any details that the EAS Participant may have concerning the event. This measure will help ensure that all alerting stakeholder have sufficient situational awareness of a false alert to quickly respond to and remediate the situation.

    76. The Order requires EAS Participants to reject all digitally-signed CAP-formatted EAS alerts that are invalidly signed. It further requires EAS Participants to reject all EAS alerts that are received with header code date/time data inconsistent with the current date and time. Most EAS equipment deployed in the field already supports these authentication and validation rules, but the Commission anticipates that a small minority of EAS Participants may need to update software to comply with these rules. Such an update should result in minimal costs to EAS Participants, as it can be performed during a scheduled in-version equipment software update.

    6. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    77. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): “(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) and exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.”

    78. The Commission does not expect its actions in the Order to have a significant economic impact on small entities. The rule changes to section 11.61 with respect to live code tests do not impose any new requirements or new costs for small entities or other EAS Participants. The steps taken by the Commission eliminating the waiver filing requirement will benefit small entities by reducing the need for legal and other staff time associated with filing a waiver, which will translate into cost reductions and have a positive economic impact. Thus, as an alternative to the existing process, the record supports the Commission's conclusion that removing the need for entities to request a waiver of the Commission's rules to conduct live code tests will reduce costs and remove regulatory burdens for small entities as well as other entities subject to these rules.

    79. The false alert reporting rules the Commission adopts today similarly impose minimal burdens on small entities. The reporting requirement is triggered only upon discovery of the false alert, allows twenty-four hours for the submission of the report and imposes no obligation to and investigate the false report. Further, the Commission recognizes that smaller entities often face particular challenges in achieving authentication and validation of EAS messages due to limited human, financial, or technical resources. Due, in part, to the potentially significant burdens that the originally-proposed requirements would pose, the Commission declines, at this time, to adopt certain of the proposals and defer consideration of others. Those the Commission adopts are unlikely to pose burdens that are not already incurred in the normal course of business.

    80. Finally, the Commission adopts implementation timeframes for each of the Commission's rules that are intended to allow EAS Participants to come into compliance with the Commission's rules in a manner that balances the need for improving EAS organization and effectiveness as soon as possible with any potential burdens that may be imposed by adoption of the Commission's proposals.

    81. The Commission concludes that the adopted mandates provide small entities as well as other EAS Participants with a sufficient measure of flexibility to account for technical and cost-related concerns. The Commission has determined that implementing these improvements to the EAS is technically feasible. In the event that small entities face unique circumstances that restrict their ability to comply with the Commission's rules, the Commission can address them through the waiver process.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    82. This document contains modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to comment on the new or modified information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, the Commission notes that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    D. Congressional Review Act

    83. The Commission will send a copy of this Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    IV. Ordering Clauses

    84. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g), 706, and 713 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 613, as well as by sections 602(a),(b),(c), (f), 603, 604 and 606 of the WARN Act, 47 U.S.C. 1202(a), (b), (c), (f), 1203, 1204 and 1206, and the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260 and Public Law 111-265, that this Report and Order is adopted.

    85. It is further ordered that the rule amendments adopted herein will become effective September 10, 2018, except that the amendments to sections 11.33 and 11.56 will become effective August 12, 2019, and the amendments to sections 11.45(b) and 11.61, which contain modifications to information collection requirements that are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will become effective on the date specified in a Commission notice published in the Federal Register announcing their approval (which date shall not be less than 30 days after publication of this Report and Order in the Federal Register).

    86. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 11

    Radio, Television.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 11 as follows:

    PART 11—EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) 1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g) and 606.

    2. Amend § 11.33 by revising paragraph (a)(10) to read as follows:
    § 11.33 EAS Decoder.

    (a) * * *

    (10) Message Validity. An EAS Decoder must provide error detection and validation of the header codes of each message to ascertain if the message is valid. Header code comparisons may be accomplished through the use of a bit-by-bit compare or any other error detection and validation protocol. A header code must only be considered valid when two of the three headers match exactly; the Origination Date/Time field (JJJHHMM) is not more than 15 minutes in the future and the expiration time (Origination Date/Time plus Valid Time TTTT) is in the future (i.e., current time at the EAS equipment when the alert is received is between origination time minus 15 minutes and expiration time). Duplicate messages must not be relayed automatically.

    3. Revise § 11.45 to read as follows:
    § 11.45 Prohibition of false or deceptive EAS transmissions.

    (a) No person may transmit or cause to transmit the EAS codes or Attention Signal, or a recording or simulation thereof, in any circumstance other than in an actual National, State or Local Area emergency or authorized test of the EAS; or as specified in §§ 10.520(d), 11.46, and 11.61 of this chapter.

    (b) No later than twenty-four (24) hours of an EAS Participant's discovery (i.e., actual knowledge) that it has transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to the public, the EAS Participant send an email to the Commission at the FCC Ops Center at [email protected], informing the Commission of the event and of any details that the EAS Participant may have concerning the event.

    4. Revise § 11.46 to read as follows:
    § 11.46 EAS public service announcements.

    EAS Participants may use the EAS Attention Signal and a simulation of the EAS codes as provided by FEMA in EAS Public Service Announcements (PSAs) (including commercially-sponsored announcements, infomercials, or programs) provided by federal, state, and local government entities, or non-governmental organizations, to raise public awareness about emergency alerting. This usage is only permitted if the PSA is presented in a non-misleading and technically harmless manner, including with the explicit statement that the Attention Signal and EAS code simulation are being used in the context of a PSA for the purpose of educating the viewing or listening public about emergency alerting.

    5. Amend § 11.56 by redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d) and adding new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 11.56 Obligation to process CAP-formatted EAS messages.

    (c) EAS Participants shall configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.

    6. Amend § 11.61 by adding paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:
    § 11.61 Tests of EAS procedures.

    (a) * * *

    (5) Live Code Tests. EAS Participants may participate in no more than two (2) “Live Code” EAS Tests per calendar year that are conducted to exercise the EAS and raise public awareness for it, provided that the entity conducting the test:

    (i) Notifies the public before the test that live event codes will be used, but that no emergency is, in fact, occurring;

    (ii) To the extent technically feasible, states in the test message that the event is only a test;

    (iii) Coordinates the test among EAS Participants and with state and local emergency authorities, the relevant SECC (or SECCs, if the test could affect multiple states), and first responder organizations, such as PSAPs, police, and fire agencies); and,

    (iv) Consistent with § 11.51, provides in widely accessible formats the notification to the public required by this subsection that the test is only a test, and is not a warning about an actual emergency.

    [FR Doc. 2018-17096 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    83 155 Friday, August 10, 2018 Proposed Rules NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 701 [RIN 3133-AE88] Loans to Members and Lines of Credit to Members AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The NCUA Board (Board) proposes to amend its regulations regarding loans to members and lines of credit to members. The proposal would reduce regulatory burden by making amendments to improve clarity and to make compliance easier. Specifically, the Board proposes to make the NCUA's loan maturity requirements more user friendly by identifying in one section all of the various maturity limits applicable to federal credit union (FCU) loans. The Board also proposes to make explicit in its regulations that the maturity date for a “new loan” under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) is calculated from the new date of origination. Additionally, the Board seeks comment on whether the agency should provide longer maturity limits for 1-4 family real estate loans and other loans permitted by the Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) such as home improvement, mobile home, and second mortgage loans. Finally, the Board proposes to more clearly express the limits for loans to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (Please send comments by one method only):

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

    NCUA website: https://www.ncua.gov/regulation-supervision/Pages/rules/proposed.aspx. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Address to [email protected] Include “[Your name] Comments on Proposed Rule 701, Loans to Members and Lines of Credit to Members” in the email subject line.

    Fax: (703) 518-6319. Use the subject line described above for email.

    Mail: Address to Gerard S. Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.

    Public Inspection: You may view all public comments on the NCUA's website at https://www.ncua.gov/regulation-supervision/Pages/rules/proposed.aspx as submitted, except for those we cannot post for technical reasons. The NCUA will not edit or remove any identifying or contact information from the public comments submitted. You may inspect paper copies of comments in the NCUA's law library at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, by appointment weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To make an appointment, call (703) 518-6546 or send an email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas I. Zells, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or telephone: (703) 548-2478.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Summary of the Proposed Rule III. Section-by-Section Analysis IV. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

    In August 2017, the Board published and sought comment on the NCUA's regulatory reform agenda (Agenda).1 The Agenda identifies those regulations the Board intends to amend or repeal because they are outdated, ineffective, or excessively burdensome.2

    1 82 FR 39702 (Aug. 22, 2017).

    2 This is consistent with the spirit of President Trump's regulatory reform agenda and Executive Order 13777. Although the NCUA, as an independent agency, is not required to comply with Executive Order 13777, the Board has chosen to comply with it in spirit and has reviewed all of the NCUA's regulations to that end.

    A number of the items in the Agenda relate to the NCUA's regulations on loans to members and lines of credit to members.3 In order to provide regulatory relief to credit unions, the Board proposes to address in this rulemaking the substance of several of those items and request further public comment on another. More specifically, the Board proposes to make the NCUA's regulations on loans to members and lines of credit to members more user friendly by: (1) Identifying in one section the various maturity limits applicable to FCU loans; (2) clarifying that the maturity for a lending action that qualifies as a “new loan” under GAAP is calculated from the new date of origination; 4 (3) seeking comment on whether the NCUA should provide for longer, more flexible maturity limits on certain loans; and (4) more clearly expressing the limits in place for loans to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers.

    3 12 CFR 701.21.

    4 GAAP is defined as generally accepted accounting principles in the United States as set forth in the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC).

    II. Summary of the Proposed Rule A. Loan Maturity Limits for Federal Credit Unions

    Section 107(5) of the FCU Act grants FCUs the power “to make loans, the maturities of which shall not exceed 15 years, except as otherwise provided herein. . . .” 5 The NCUA implemented this general maturity limit in § 701.21(c)(4) of its regulations. Section 107(5)(A)(i)-(iii) of the FCU Act provide exceptions to the general 15-year maturity limit, and have been implemented in § 701.21(e) through (g) of the NCUA's regulations. Section 107(5)(A)(i) of the FCU Act, implemented in § 701.21(g) of the NCUA's regulations, states that “a residential real estate loan on a one-to-four-family dwelling, including an individual cooperative unit, that is or will be the principal residence of a credit union member, and which is secured by a first lien upon such dwelling, may have a maturity not exceeding thirty years or such other limits as shall be set by the National Credit Union Administration Board (except that a loan on an individual cooperative unit shall be adequately secured as defined by the Board), subject to the rules and regulations of the Board[.]” 6 Pursuant to the authority § 107(5)(A)(i) of the FCU Act grants the Board to set alternate maturities for covered 1-4 family real estate loans, the Board has established a 40-year maximum maturity for such loans and has provided that longer periods may be permitted by the Board on a case-by-case basis.7 Section 107(5)(A)(ii) of the FCU Act, implemented in § 701.21(f) of the NCUA's regulations, states that “a loan to finance the purchase of a mobile home, which shall be secured by a first lien on such mobile home, to be used by the credit union member as his residence, a loan for the repair, alteration, or improvement of a residential dwelling which is the residence of a credit union member, or a second mortgage loan secured by a residential dwelling which is the residence of a credit union member, shall have a maturity not to exceed 15 years or any longer term which the Board may allow[.]” 8 Pursuant to the authority section 107(5)(A)(ii) grants the Board to set alternate maturities for covered loans, the Board has established a 20-year maximum maturity for such loans.9 Finally, section 107(5)(A)(iii) of the FCU Act, implemented in § 701.21(e) of the NCUA's regulations, states that “a loan secured by the insurance or guarantee of, or with advance commitment to purchase the loan by, the Federal Government, a State government, or any agency of either may be made for the maturity and under the terms and conditions specified in the law under which such insurance, guarantee, or commitment is provided[.]” 10

    5 12 U.S.C. 1757(5).

    6 12 U.S.C. 1757(5)(A)(i) (emphasis added); 12 CFR 701.21(g).

    7 12 CFR 701.21(g)(1) (stating that “[a] federal credit union may make residential real estate loans to members, including loans secured by manufactured homes permanently affixed to the land, with maturities of up to 40 years, or such longer period as may be permitted by the NCUA Board on a case-by-case basis, subject to the conditions of this paragraph[.]”).

    8 12 U.S.C. 1757(5)(A)(ii) (emphasis added); 12 CFR 701.21(f).

    9 12 CFR 701.21(f)(1) (stating that “[n]otwithstanding the general 15-year maturity limit on loans to members, a federal credit union may make loans with maturities of up to 20 years” for loans covered by this paragraph.).

    10 12 U.S.C. 1757(5)(A)(iii); 12 CFR 701.21(e).

    i. Identifying the Various Maturity Limits in One Section

    Presently, § 701.21 of the NCUA's regulations addresses various loan maturity limits in paragraphs (c), (e), (f), and (g). Paragraph (c) provides the general rules applicable to all loans to members and, where indicated, all lines of credit (including credit cards) to members, except as otherwise provided in the remaining provisions of § 701.21. Paragraph (c)(4) implements the general 15-year maturity limit that section 107(5) of the FCU Act places on loans to members. Paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) of § 701.21 implement the three exceptions to this general 15-year limit that appear in section 107(5)(A)(i)-(iii) of the FCU Act.

    Having the various maturity limits spread among numerous sections of the NCUA's regulations, often separated by large amounts of regulatory text unrelated to maturities, can be confusing to the reader and makes it more difficult to understand the lending regulations. To remedy this, the Board proposes to make the NCUA's loan maturity requirements more understandable and user-friendly by identifying in one section (§ 701.21(c)(4)), including cross-citations, all of the maturity limits applicable to FCU loans.

    ii. The Treatment of Maturities for Lending Actions That Qualify as “New Loans” Under GAAP

    The proposal also clarifies that in the case of a lending action qualifying as a “new loan” under GAAP, the maturity limit is calculated from the new date of origination.11 The Board proposes to accomplish this by adding language to § 701.21(c)(4), which articulates the general 15-year maturity limit.

    11 ASC 310-20-35-9 & 10.

    iii. Request for Comment on Providing Longer Maturity Limits for Certain Loans

    The Board is considering providing longer maturity limits for 1-4 family real estate loans and other loans (such as certain home improvement, mobile home, and second mortgage loans) as permitted by section 107(5)(A)(i)-(ii) of the FCU Act and removing the case-by-case exception the Board can grant. As discussed earlier, these maturity limits are implemented in § 701.21(f) and (g) of the NCUA's regulations. The case-by-case exception is located in § 701.21(g)(1) of the NCUA's regulations and provides that the Board can permit an FCU to make loans with maturities that exceed the regulation's 40-year limit “on a case-by-case basis, subject to the conditions of this paragraph (g).” 12 The Board believes that more input is necessary to determine whether longer maturity limits should be adopted and, if so, the proper maturity lengths and the reasons such longer maturities are warranted. As such, the Board asks that commenters provide detailed comments addressing: (1) Whether the NCUA should provide longer maturity limits for certain lending actions permitted by section 107(5)(A)(i)-(ii) of the FCU Act; (2) the appropriate maturity limits for such lending actions; (3) whether the case-by-case Board exemption should be retained and, if so, under what circumstances would such exemptions be appropriate; and (4) any other issues stakeholders believe relevant. The Board also requests that commenters consider FCU Act limitations when requesting relief and changes in this area.

    12 12 CFR 701.21(g)(1).

    B. Single Borrower and Group of Associated Borrowers Limits i. More Clearly Identifying the Various Limits

    Currently, three provisions of the NCUA's regulations address limits on loans to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers: (1) § 701.21(c)(5) addresses the general limit; (2) § 701.22(b)(5)(iv) addresses the limit on loan participations; and (3) § 723.4(c) addresses the limit on commercial loans. Because these provisions are spread among several sections of the NCUA's regulations, some stakeholders are not aware that there are multiple limits that apply in different contexts. To rectify this, the proposal makes clear that all three of these limits exist. Rather than move the loans to one borrower or group of associated borrowers limits that specifically apply to loan participations and commercial loans from their current regulatory sections to the general limit section, the Board proposes to include cross-citations to the more specific loan participation and commercial loan limits in the general limit section (§ 701.21(c)(5)). The Board believes that inserting cross-citations is a more efficient and user friendly way to identify that there are multiple lending limits throughout the NCUA's regulations.

    Section 701.21(c)(5), as part of the general rules on loans and lines of credit to members, imposes the FCU Act's ten percent limit on loans and lines of credit to any member.13 Specifically, § 701.21(c)(5) requires that “[n]o loan or line of credit advance may be made to any member if such loan or advance would cause that member to be indebted to the Federal credit union upon loans and advances made to the member in the aggregate amount exceeding 10% of the credit union's total unimpaired capital and surplus.” 14 Section 701.21(c)(5) also provides an outdated cross-citation to part 723 for the specific limit on commercial lending. The Board proposes to remove this outdated cross-citation and provide updated references to both the current loan participation limit in § 701.22(b)(5) and the commercial lending limit in § 723.4(c).

    13 12 U.S.C. 1757(5)(A)(x).

    14 12 CFR 701.21(c)(5).

    The NCUA also proposes to make conforming amendments to update cross-citations to the single borrower and group of associated borrower limits in §§ 701.20(c)(2) and 701.22(b)(1).

    ii. Request for Comment Regarding the Limits Applicable to Loan Participations and Commercial Loans

    In addition, the NCUA believes that providing a universal standard limit for loans to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers, in lieu of the current loan product specific standards, may help facilitate compliance and reduce regulatory burden. As such, the agency seeks stakeholder input on whether the agency should provide such a universal standard limit. Currently, a limit of 15 percent of a federally insured credit union's net worth exists for both commercial loans and loan participations that may be purchased with respect to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers. However, a waiver is available in the case of the loan participations limit and an alternate limit is available for commercial loans.

    More specifically, the 15 percent limit on the aggregate amount of loan participations that may be purchased with respect to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers can be waived by the appropriate regional director, and, in the case of a federally insured, state-chartered credit union, with prior written concurrence of the appropriate state supervisory authority.15 The limit on commercial loans does not provide for waiver. Instead, it provides that “the aggregate dollar amount of commercial loans to any one borrower or group of associated borrowers may not exceed the greater of 15 percent of the federally insured credit union's net worth or $100,000, plus an additional 10 percent of the credit union's net worth if the amount that exceeds the credit union's 15 percent general limit is fully secured at all times with a perfected security interest by readily marketable collateral as defined in § 723.2 of this part. Any insured or guaranteed portion of a commercial loan made through a program in which a federal or state agency (or its political subdivision) insures repayment, guarantees repayment, or provides an advance commitment to purchase the loan in full, is excluded from this limit.” 16

    15 12 CFR 701.22(b)(5)(iv).

    16 12 CFR 723.4(c).

    The Board believes that more input is necessary to determine whether a universal limit would be beneficial and should be adopted in place of the current product specific limits. As such, the Board asks that commenters provide comments addressing: (1) Whether the NCUA should provide a single universal standard limit for commercial loans and loan participations that may be purchased with respect to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers; (2) if so, the appropriate limit for such a standard; (3) if not, why not; and (4) any other issues stakeholders believe are relevant to this determination. The Board also requests that commenters consider FCU Act limitations, specifically the general limit on loans to a single borrower of “10 per centum of the credit union's unimpaired capital and surplus” in section 107(5)(A)(x), when commenting.17

    17 12 U.S.C. 1757(5)(A)(x).

    III. Section-by-Section Analysis

    This proposed rule reduces regulatory burden and makes the NCUA's regulations more user-friendly for credit unions. As such, it is largely clarifying and technical in nature and would maintain most of the current language in § 701.21. The proposed changes to § 701.21 and the conforming amendments to §§ 701.20 and 701.22 are discussed in more detail below.18

    18 All citations to §§ 701.20, 701.21, 701.22, and part 723 in this preamble section refer to the NCUA's regulations in 12 CFR chapter VII.

    Section 701.20 Suretyship and Guaranty

    The proposal would make minor conforming amendments to § 701.20(c).

    The proposal would make conforming amendments to the section governing requirements for suretyship or guaranty agreements by removing outdated cross-citations to the loans to one borrower or group of associated borrowers limit in §§ 723.2 and 723.8 of the member business lending regulation and adding updated cross-citations to 701.22(b)(5)(iv) of the NCUA's loan participation regulation and 723.4(c) of the NCUA's member business lending regulation.

    Section 701.21

    The proposal would divide current § 701.21(c)(4) into two new subparagraphs. One paragraph, § 701.21(c)(4)(i), would state the general rule that loans carry a 15-year maturity. The other, § 701.21(c)(4)(ii), would make more explicit that there are exceptions to the general 15-year maturity limit in § 701.21 (e) through (g) for various types of credit union loans.

    The proposal would maintain all of current § 701.21(c)(4) in proposed § 701.21(c)(4)(i), which articulates the general 15-year maturity limit that exists on FCU loans. However, the proposal also would add language to clarify that the maturity for a lending action that qualifies as a new loan under GAAP is calculated from the new date of origination.

    Section 701.21(c)(4)(ii) of the proposal would explicitly state, in three subparagraphs, that three exceptions exist to the general 15-year maturity limit and cross-cite to §§ 701.21(e)-(g), which detail them as follows:

    Paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(A) of the proposal would explicitly cross-cite to the exception to the general 15-year maturity limit that exists in § 701.21(e) regarding covered loans secured, in full or in part, by the insurance or guarantee of, or with an advance commitment to purchase the loan, in full or in part, by the Federal Government, a State government or any agency of either.

    Paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(B) of the proposal would explicitly cross-cite to the exception to the general 15-year maturity limit that exists in § 701.21(f) regarding covered home improvement, mobile home, and second mortgage loans.

    Paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(C) of the proposal would explicitly cross-cite to the exception to the general 15-year maturity limit that exists in § 701.21(g) regarding covered 1-4 family real estate loans.

    The proposal would revise § 701.21(c)(5) to add cross-citations to the specific requirements that exist on loans to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers in the loan participation rule, § 701.22(b)(5)(iv), and member business lending rule, § 723.4(c).

    The proposal would revise § 701.21(e) to make more explicit that the maturity limits applicable to loans covered by paragraph (e) are notwithstanding the general 15-year limit in paragraph (c)(4). The proposal would also add a cross-citation to paragraph (c)(4).

    The proposal would retain almost all of current § 701.21(f), but would insert some additional language to improve clarity.

    The proposal would revise § 701.21(f)(1) to make more explicit that the maturity limit applicable to loans covered by paragraph (f) is notwithstanding the general 15-year limit in paragraph (c)(4). The proposal would also add a cross-citation to paragraph (c)(4).

    The proposal would retain almost all of current § 701.21(g), but would insert some additional language to improve clarity.

    The proposal would revise § 701.21(g)(1) to make more explicit that the maturity limit applicable to loans covered by paragraph (g) is notwithstanding the general 15-year limit in paragraph (c)(4). The proposal would also add a cross-citation to paragraph (c)(4).

    Section 701.22

    As described in more detail below, the proposal would make minor conforming amendments to § 701.22(b) regarding loan participations.

    The proposal would update the cross-citation in § 701.22(b)(1), which provides that for a federally insured credit union to purchase a participation interest in a loan, the loan must comply with all regulatory requirements to the same extent as if the purchasing federally insured credit union had originated the loan. Specifically, the cross-reference in § 701.22(b)(1) is outdated and would be changed from § 723.8 to § 723.4(c).

    IV. Regulatory Procedures A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires that, in connection with a notice of proposed rulemaking, an agency prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the impact of a proposed rule on small entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, however, if the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined for purposes of the RFA to include credit unions with assets less than $100 million) and publishes its certification and a short, explanatory statement in the Federal Register together with the rule. The proposed rule reduces regulatory burden through clarifying and technical changes and will not have an impact on small credit unions. Accordingly, the NCUA certifies that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency creates new or amends existing information collection requirements.19 For purposes of the PRA, an information collection requirement may take the form of a reporting, recordkeeping, or a third-party disclosure requirement. The proposed rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the PRA.20 The proposed rule would only make clarifying and technical changes.

    19 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

    20 44 U.S.C. chap. 35.

    C. Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. In adherence to fundamental federalism principles, the NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order. This rulemaking will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The NCUA has determined that this proposal does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    D. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The NCUA has determined that this final rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.21

    21 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 701

    Credit, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on August 2, 2018. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons discussed above, the NCUA Board proposes to amend 12 CFR part 701 as follows:

    PART 701—ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 701 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1752(5), 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1761a, 1761b, 1766, 1767, 1782, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789. Section 701.6 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 3717. Section 701.31 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 3601-3610. Section 701.35 is also authorized by 42 U.S.C. 4311-4312.

    § 701.20 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 701.20(c)(2) by removing the citation “723.2 and 723.8” and adding in its place “701.22(b)(5)(iv) and 723.4(c)”. 3. Amend § 701.21 by revising paragraphs (c)(4) and (5), (e), (f)(1) introductory text, and (g)(1) to read as follows:
    § 701.21 Loans to members and lines of credit to members.

    (c) * * *

    (4) Maturity—(i) In general. The maturity of a loan to a member may not exceed 15 years. Lines of credit are not subject to a statutory or regulatory maturity limit. Amortization of line of credit balances and the type and amount of security on any line of credit shall be as determined by contract between the Federal credit union and the member/borrower. In the case of a lending action that qualifies as a “new loan” under GAAP, the new loan's maturity is calculated from the new date of origination.

    (ii) Exceptions. Notwithstanding the general 15-year maturity limit on loans to members, a federal credit union may make loans with maturities:

    (A) As specified in the law, regulations or program under which a loan is secured, in full or in part, by the insurance or guarantee of, or with an advance commitment to purchase the loan, in full or in part, by the Federal Government, a State government or any agency of either, as provided in paragraph (e) of this section;

    (B) Of up to 20 years or such longer term as is provided in paragraph (f) of this section; and

    (C) Of up to 40 years or such longer term as is provided in paragraph (g) of this section.

    (5) Ten percent limit. No loan or line of credit advance may be made to any member if such loan or advance would cause that member to be indebted to the Federal credit union upon loans and advances made to the member in an aggregate amount exceeding 10% of the credit union's total unimpaired capital and surplus. In the case of loan participations as defined in § 701.22(a) of this part and commercial loans as defined in § 723.2 of this chapter, additional limitations apply as set forth in § 701.22(b)(5)(iv) of this part and § 723.4(c) of this chapter.

    (e) Insured, guaranteed and advance commitment loans. Notwithstanding the general 15-year maturity limit on loans to members in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, a loan secured, in full or in part, by the insurance or guarantee of, or with an advance commitment to purchase the loan, in full or in part, by the Federal Government, a State government or any agency of either, may be made for the maturity and under the terms and conditions, including rate of interest, specified in the law, regulations or program under which the insurance, guarantee or commitment is provided.

    (f) 20-year loans. (1) Notwithstanding the general 15-year maturity limit on loans to members in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, a federal credit union may make loans with maturities of up to 20 years in the case of:

    (g) Long-term mortgage loans—(1) Authority. Notwithstanding the general 15-year maturity limit on loans to members in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, a federal credit union may make residential real estate loans to members, including loans secured by manufactured homes permanently affixed to the land, with maturities of up to 40 years, or such longer period as may be permitted by the NCUA Board on a case-by-case basis, subject to the conditions of this paragraph (g).

    § 701.22 [Amended]
    3. Amend § 701.22(b)(1) by removing the citation “§ 723.8” and adding in its place “§ 723.4”.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17087 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0642; Product Identifier 2018-NM-087-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Dassault Aviation Model Falcon 10 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by 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 Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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-2018-0642; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0642; Product Identifier 2018-NM-087-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 2018-0078, dated April 9, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Dassault Aviation Model Falcon 10 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance instructions for the Dassault Falcon 10 aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Dassault Falcon 10 [Airplane Maintenance Manual] AMM, Chapter 5-40. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [fatigue cracking and damage in principal structural elements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.]

    Previously, EASA issued AD 2008-0221 to require accomplishment of the maintenance tasks, and implementation of the airworthiness limitations, as specified in the Dassault Falcon 10 AMM, Chapter 5-40, at Revision 8.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Dassault issued the [Airworthiness Limitations Section] ALS, which introduces new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD takes over the requirements for Falcon 10 aeroplanes from EASA AD 2008-0221, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ALS.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0642.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Dassault has issued Falcon 10 Maintenance Manual, Airworthiness Limitations, Chapter 5-40-00, Revision 13, dated July 2017. This service information describes repetitive mandatory maintenance tasks. 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 AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections). Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (i)(1) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

    Difference Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 60 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]

    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Dassault Aviation: Docket No. FAA-2018-0642; Product Identifier 2018-NM-087-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Dassault Aviation Model Falcon 10 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. We are issuing this AD to address, among other things, fatigue cracking and damage in principal structural elements; such fatigue cracking and damage could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate Falcon 10 Maintenance Manual, Airworthiness Limitations, Chapter 5-40-00, Revision 13, dated July 2017. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions is at the applicable time specified in Falcon 10 Maintenance Manual, Airworthiness Limitations, Chapter 5-40-00, Revision 13, dated July 2017; or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD; whichever occurs later.

    (h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

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

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0078, dated April 9, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0642.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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 24, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16498 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0706; Product Identifier 2018-NM-086-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation 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 Dassault Aviation Model FAN JET FALCON, and FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination of the need for a revision to the airplane airworthiness limitations to introduce changes to the maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements. 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 Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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-2018-0706; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0706; Product Identifier 2018-NM-086-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 2018-0083, dated April 16, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Dassault Aviation Model FAN JET FALCON and FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance instructions for the Dassault Fan Jet Falcon aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Dassault Fan Jet Falcon Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) chapter 5-40. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [among other things, fatigue cracking and damage in principal structural elements; such fatigue cracking and damage could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane].

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0021 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-26-07, Amendment 39-18058 (80 FR 2815, January 21, 2015) (“AD 2014-26-07”)] to require accomplishment of the maintenance tasks, and implementation of the airworthiness limitations, as specified in Dassault Fan Jet Falcon AMM chapter 5-40 Revision 15.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Dassault issued Revision 17 of the Dassault Fan Jet Falcon AMM chapter 5-40, which introduces new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0021, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in Revision 17 of the Dassault Fan Jet Falcon AMM chapter 5-40, (hereafter referred to as `the ALS' in this [EASA] AD).

    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-2018-0706.

    Relationship Between Proposed AD and AD 2014-26-07

    This NPRM does not propose to supersede AD 2014-26-07. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all of the requirements of AD 2014-26-07.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Dassault has issued Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 131028, Revision 17, dated September 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 Maintenance Manual. This service information includes life limits for certain components, including the engine front mounts and the legs of the nose landing gear and main landing gear. In addition, this service information describes maintenance tasks for, among other systems, the air conditioning system and the passenger/crew door warning system. 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 revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include new airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements.

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 168 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Dassault Aviation: Docket No. FAA-2018-0706; Product Identifier 2018-NM-086-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2014-26-07, Amendment 39-18058 (80 FR 2815, January 21, 2015) (“AD 2014-26-07”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Dassault Aviation Model FAN JET FALCON, and FAN JET FALCON SERIES C, D, E, F, and G airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers, except those on which the Dassault Fan Jet Falcon Supplemental Structural Inspection Program (Service Bulletin (SB) 730) has been embodied into the airplane's maintenance program.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination of the need for a revision to the airplane airworthiness limitations to introduce changes to the maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address, among other things, fatigue cracking and damage in principal structural elements; such fatigue cracking and damage could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the airworthiness limitations specified in Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 131028, Revision 17, dated September 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 Maintenance Manual (MM). The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions is at the applicable time specified in Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 131028, Revision 17, dated September 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 MM; or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD; whichever occurs later. Where the threshold column in the table in paragraph B, Mandatory Maintenance Operations, of Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 131028, Revision 17, dated September 2017, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 20 MM specifies a compliance time in years, those compliance times are since the date of issuance of the original French or European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original French or EASA export certificate of airworthiness.

    (h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

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

    (i) Terminating Action for AD 2014-26-07

    Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all of the requirements of AD 2014-26-07.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0083, dated April 16, 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-2018-0706.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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. 2018-16732 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0643; Product Identifier 2018-NM-084-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation 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 Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations for airplane structures and systems. 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 Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; phone: 201-440-6700; internet: http://www.dassaultfalcon.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-2018-0643; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0643; Product Identifier 2018-NM-084-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 2018-0101, dated May 3, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance instructions for Dassault Falcon 7X aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in Dassault Falcon 7X AMM [airplane maintenance manual], Chapter 5-40. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [i.e., reduced structural integrity and reduced control of these airplanes due to the failure of system components].

    Previously, EASA issued AD 2015-0095 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2016-16-09, Amendment 39-18607 (81 FR 52752, August 10, 2016) (“AD 2016-16-09”)] to require accomplishment of the maintenance tasks, and implementation of the airworthiness limitations, as specified in Dassault Falcon 7X AMM, Chapter 5-40, at Revision 4.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Dassault issued the ALS [airworthiness limitations section], which introduces new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2015-0095, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ALS.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0643.

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

    Relationship Between Proposed AD and AD 2016-16-09

    This NPRM does not propose to supersede AD 2016-16-09. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD is more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This NPRM would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations for airplane structures and systems. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all requirements of AD 2016-16-09.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Dassault Aviation has issued Chapter 5-40-00, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 107838, Revision 5, dated September 1, 2016, of the Dassault Falcon 7X Maintenance Manual (MM). This service information introduces new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations for airplane structures and systems. 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 revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations for airplane structures and systems.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

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

    Airworthiness Limitations Based on Type Design

    The FAA recently became aware of an issue related to the applicability of ADs that require incorporation of an ALS revision into an operator's maintenance or inspection program.

    Typically, when these types of ADs are issued by civil aviation authorities of other countries, they apply to all airplanes covered under an identified type certificate (TC). The corresponding FAA AD typically retains applicability to all of those airplanes.

    In addition, U.S. operators must operate their airplanes in an airworthy condition, in accordance with 14 CFR 91.7(a). Included in this obligation is the requirement to perform any maintenance or inspections specified in the ALS, and in accordance with the ALS as specified in 14 CFR 43.16 and 91.403(c), unless an alternative has been approved by the FAA.

    When a type certificate is issued for a type design, the specific ALS, including revisions, is a part of that type design, as specified in 14 CFR 21.31(c).

    The sum effect of these operational and maintenance requirements is an obligation to comply with the ALS defined in the type design referenced in the manufacturer's conformity statement. This obligation may introduce a conflict with an AD that requires a specific ALS revision if new airplanes are delivered with a later revision as part of their type design.

    To address this conflict, the FAA has approved alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) that allow operators to incorporate the most recent ALS revision into their maintenance/inspection programs, in lieu of the ALS revision required by the AD. This eliminates the conflict and enables the operator to comply with both the AD and the type design.

    However, compliance with AMOCs is normally optional, and we recently became aware that some operators choose to retain the AD-mandated ALS revision in their fleet-wide maintenance/inspection programs, including those for new airplanes delivered with later ALS revisions, to help standardize the maintenance of the fleet. To ensure that operators comply with the applicable ALS revision for newly delivered airplanes containing a later revision than that specified in an AD, we plan to limit the applicability of ADs that mandate ALS revisions to those airplanes that are subject to an earlier revision of the ALS, either as part of the type design or as mandated by an earlier AD.

    This proposed AD therefore would apply to Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness that was issued on or before the date of the ALS revision identified in this proposed AD. Operators of airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued after that date must comply with the airworthiness limitations specified as part of the approved type design and referenced on the type certificate data sheet.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 67 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Dassault Aviation: Docket No. FAA-2018-0643; Product Identifier 2018-NM-084-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2014-16-23, Amendment 39-17947 (79 FR 52545, September 4, 2014) (“AD 2014-16-23”) and AD 2016-16-09, Amendment 39-18607 (81 FR 52752, August 10, 2016) (“AD 2016-16-09”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes, certificated in any category, with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued on or before September 1, 2016.

    Note 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD:

    Model FALCON 7X airplanes with modifications M1000 and M1254 incorporated are commonly referred to as “Model FALCON 8X” airplanes as a marketing designation.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time limits/maintenance checks.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity and reduced control of airplanes due to the failure of system components.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Revise the Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating the information specified in Chapter 5-40-00, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 107838, Revision 5, dated September 1, 2016, of the Dassault Falcon 7X Maintenance Manual (MM). The initial compliance times for the tasks specified in Chapter 5-40-00, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 107838, Revision 5, dated September 1, 2016, of the Dassault Falcon 7X MM are at the applicable compliance times specified in Chapter 5-40-00, Airworthiness Limitations, DGT 107838, Revision 5, dated September 1, 2016, of the Dassault Falcon 7X MM, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (h) Terminating Action for Other ADs

    (1) Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates the requirements of paragraph (q) of AD 2014-16-23.

    (2) Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2016-16-09.

    (i) No Alternative Actions, Intervals, and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs)

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

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0101, dated May 3, 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-2018-0643.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; phone: 201-440-6700; internet: http://www.dassaultfalcon.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 24, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16573 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0639; Product Identifier 2018-NM-058-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 A330-200 Freighter, A330-200, and A330-300 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a revision of a certain airworthiness limitations item (ALI) document, which specifies new or more restrictive maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations, and a determination that those maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by 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; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0639; 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:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229.

    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-2018-0639; Product Identifier 2018-NM-058-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 Airworthiness Directive 2018-0068, dated March 26, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A330-200 Freighter, A330-200, and A330-300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations for Airbus A330 and A340 aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the A330 and A340 [Airworthiness Limitations Section] ALS document(s). The Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT ALI) are specified in the ALS Part 2. These instructions have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to comply with these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [i.e., fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements] which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Previously, EASA issued AD 2016-0152 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2017-19-13, Amendment 39-19043 (82 FR 43837, September 20, 2017) (“AD 2017-19-13”)] for A330 and A340 aeroplanes to require accomplishment of all maintenance tasks as described in ALS Part 2 Revision 01 (A330 aeroplanes) and Revision 02 (A340 aeroplanes).

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Airbus published Revision 02 of the ALS Part 2 for A330 aeroplanes, including new and/or more restrictive items.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD takes over the requirements from EASA AD 2016-0152 for A330 aeroplanes, and requires accomplishment of all maintenance tasks as described in the ALS. EASA AD 2016-0152 has been revised accordingly, removing A330 aeroplanes from the Applicability.

    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-2018-0639.

    Relationship Between Proposed AD and AD 2017-19-13

    This NPRM does not propose to supersede AD 2017-19-13. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD is more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This NPRM would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all requirements of AD 2017-19-13.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 2—Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI), Revision 02, Issue 2, dated November 22, 2017. This service information describes maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations applicable to the DT-ALI. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

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

    Airworthiness Limitations Based on Type Design

    The FAA recently became aware of an issue related to the applicability of ADs that require incorporation of an ALS revision into an operator's maintenance or inspection program.

    Typically, when these types of ADs are issued by civil aviation authorities of other countries, they apply to all airplanes covered under an identified type certificate (TC). The corresponding FAA AD typically retains applicability to all of those airplanes.

    In addition, U.S. operators must operate their airplanes in an airworthy condition, in accordance with 14 CFR 91.7(a). Included in this obligation is the requirement to perform any maintenance or inspections specified in the ALS, and in accordance with the ALS as specified in 14 CFR 43.16 and 91.403(c), unless an alternative has been approved by the FAA.

    When a type certificate is issued for a type design, the specific ALS, including revisions, is a part of that type design, as specified in 14 CFR 21.31(c).

    The sum effect of these operational and maintenance requirements is an obligation to comply with the ALS defined in the type design referenced in the manufacturer's conformity statement. This obligation may introduce a conflict with an AD that requires a specific ALS revision if new airplanes are delivered with a later revision as part of their type design.

    To address this conflict, the FAA has approved alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) that allow operators to incorporate the most recent ALS revision into their maintenance/inspection programs, in lieu of the ALS revision required by the AD. This eliminates the conflict and enables the operator to comply with both the AD and the type design.

    However, compliance with AMOCs is normally optional, and we recently became aware that some operators choose to retain the AD-mandated ALS revision in their fleet-wide maintenance/inspection programs, including those for new airplanes delivered with later ALS revisions, to help standardize the maintenance of the fleet. To ensure that operators comply with the applicable ALS revision for newly delivered airplanes containing a later revision than that specified in an AD, we plan to limit the applicability of ADs that mandate ALS revisions to those airplanes that are subject to an earlier revision of the ALS, either as part of the type design or as mandated by an earlier AD.

    This proposed AD therefore would apply to Model A330 airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness that was issued on or before the date of the ALS revision identified in this proposed AD. Operators of airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued after that date must comply with the airworthiness limitations specified as part of the approved type design and referenced on the type certificate data sheet.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 105 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2018-0639; Product Identifier 2018-NM-058-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2017-19-13, Amendment 39-19043 (82 FR 43837, September 20, 2017) (“AD 2017-19-13”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus SAS airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued on or before November 22, 2017.

    (1) Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.

    (2) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.

    (3) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

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

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 2—Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI), Revision 02, Issue 2, dated November 22, 2017. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the tasks is at the applicable times specified in Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 2—Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI), Revision 02, Issue 2, dated November 22, 2017, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

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

    (i) Terminating Action

    Accomplishing the action required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2017-19-13.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

    (i) 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.

    (ii) AMOC letter AIR-676-18-111 R1, dated January 29, 2018, approved previously for AD 2017-19-13, is approved as an AMOC for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0068, dated March 26, 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-2018-0639.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229.

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on July 23, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-16501 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0926] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hudson River, Albany and Rensselaer, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the CSX Transportation Bridge across the Hudson River, mile 146.2, between Albany and Rensselaer, New York. The bridge owner, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), submitted a request to allow the bridge to require four hours' notice for bridge openings. This proposed rule would extend the notice required for bridge opening during the summer months due to the infrequent number of requests, and reduce burden on the bridge tender.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0926 using Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Miss Stephanie E. Lopez, Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4335, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    The CSX Transportation (Livingston Ave) Bridge at mile 146.2, across the Hudson River, between Albany and Rensselaer, New York, has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 32 feet at mean low water. Vertical clearance is unlimited when the draw is open. Horizontal clearance is approximately 98 feet. The waterway users include recreational and commercial vessels including tugboat/barge combinations as well as tour/dinner boats.

    The existing drawbridge operating regulation, 33 CFR 117.791(c), requires the draw of CSX Transportation Bridge to open on signal; except that, from December 16 through March 31, the draw shall open on signal if at least 24 hours' notice is given.

    The owner of the bridge, National Railroad Passenger Corporation, requested a change to the drawbridge operating regulations to allow the bridge owner to require 4 hours' notice before the draw opens on signal between April 1 and December 15, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., due to infrequent requests to open the bridge. This rule change will allow for more efficient and economical operation of the bridge while still meeting the reasonable needs of navigation.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Review of the bridge logs in the last three years shows that the bridge averages a total of 24 openings annually during the period from April 1 to December 15, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. A preliminary notice sent September 8, 2017, to various stakeholders and agencies indicated no objection to the proposed rule change from mariners or other stakeholders. The Coast Guard proposes to permanently change the drawbridge operating regulation 33 CFR 117.791(c).

    The proposed rule would provide that, from April 1 through December 15, between the hours 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., the draw shall open on signal, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least 4 hours notice is given. It is our opinion that this rule meets the reasonable needs of marine and rail traffic.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 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 NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed the NPRM and pursuant to OMB guidance, it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that vessels can still open the draw and transit the bridge given advanced notice. We believe that this proposed change to the drawbridge operation regulations at 33 CFR 117.791(c) will meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    The bridge provides 25 feet of vertical clearance at mean high water that should accommodate all the present vessel traffic except deep draft vessels. The bridge will continue to open on signal for any vessel provided at least 4 hour advance notice is given. While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally, such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the instruction.

    A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this proposed rule. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

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

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

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

    2. In § 117.791, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 117.791 Hudson River.

    (c) The draw of the CSX Transportation Bridge, mile 146.2, between Albany and Rensselaer, shall open on signal; except that, from April 1 through December 15, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least 4 hours notice is given and, from December 16 through March 31, the draw shall open on signal if at least 24 hours notice is given.

    Dated: July 26, 2018. A.J. Tiongson, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17208 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R04-OAR-2018-0296; FRL-9982-02—Region 4] Air Plan and Operating Permit Program Approval: AL, GA and SC; Revisions to Public Notice Provisions in Permitting Programs AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions and the Title V Operating Permit Program revisions submitted on May 19, 2017, by the State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM); submitted on November 29, 2017, by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD); and submitted on September 5, 2017, by the State of South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC). These revisions address the public notice rule provisions for the New Source Review (NSR) and Title V Operating Permit programs (Title V) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) that remove the mandatory requirement to provide public notice of a draft air permit in a newspaper and that allow electronic notice (“e-notice”) as an alternate noticing option. EPA is proposing to approve these revisions pursuant to the CAA and implementing federal regulations.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2018-0296 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 content 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:

    Ms. Kelly Fortin of the Air Permitting Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Fortin can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9117 or via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On October 5, 2016, EPA finalized revised public notice rule provisions for the NSR, Title V, and Outer Continental Shelf permitting programs of the CAA. See 81 FR 71613 (October 18, 2016). These rule revisions remove the mandatory requirement to provide public notice of a draft air permit through publication in a newspaper and allow for internet e-notice as an option for permitting authorities implementing their own EPA-approved SIP rules and Title V rules, such as the Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina EPA-approved programs. Permitting authorities are not required to adopt e-notice. Nothing in the final rules prevents a permitting authority of an EPA-approved permitting program from continuing to use newspaper notification and/or from supplementing e-notice with newspaper notification and/or additional means of notification. When e-notice is provided, EPA's rule requires electronic access (e-access) to the draft permit. Generally, state and local agencies intend to post the draft permits and public notices in a designated location on their agency websites. For the noticing of draft permits issued by permitting authorities with EPA-approved programs, the rule requires the permitting authority to use “a consistent noticing method” for all permit notices under the specific permitting program.

    EPA anticipates that e-notice, which is already being practiced by many permitting authorities, will enable permitting authorities to communicate permitting and other affected actions to the public more quickly and efficiently and will provide cost savings over newspaper publication. EPA further anticipates that e-access will expand access to permit-related documents. A full description of the e-notice and e-access provisions are contained in EPA's October 18, 2016 (81 FR 71613), publication.

    II. Analysis of Alabama's E-Notice Rule Revisions

    Chapter 335-3-14, Air Permits; Chapter 335-3-15, Synthetic Minor Operating Permits; and Chapter 335-3-16, Major Source Operating Permits, were revised to incorporate EPA's amendments to the federal public notice regulations discussed above. Specifically, ADEM revised 335-3-14-.01(7) (General Provisions), -.04(16) (Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting; Public Participation), -.04(19) (Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting; Permit Rescission), -.05(16) (Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or near Non-Attainment Areas; Public Participation), -.06(3)(e) (Public Participation for permitting involving maximum achievable control technology determinations), -15-.05 (Synthetic Minor Operating Permits; Public Participation), and -16-.15(4) (Major Source Operating Permits; Public Participation). ADEM's regulations were the subject of a public hearing on March 8, 2017, were adopted on April 21, 2017, and became effective on June 9, 2017. Based on a review of these proposed revisions, EPA has preliminarily determined that they meet the requirements of the revised federal e-notice provisions. ADEM's revised rules require that for all draft permits for potential major NSR, Title V, and synthetic minor sources, all public notices, a copy of all materials submitted by the applicant, the preliminary determination, and a link to the draft permit will be posted on the Department's website for the duration of the public comment period.

    Chapters 335-3-14 (Air Permits) and 335-3-15 (Synthetic Minor Operating Permits) are SIP elements and the public notice revisions to these SIP-approved rules are proposed to be incorporated into the Alabama SIP, which also applies to permits issued by Jefferson County Department of Health and the City of Huntsville, Alabama.1 Chapter 335-3-16 (Major Source Operating Permits) is part of ADEM's EPA-approved Title V Operating Permit program, which is not part of the Alabama SIP.2 EPA is proposing to approve these Title V program revisions pursuant to 40 CFR 70.4. Jefferson County Department of Health and the City of Huntsville, Alabama, have Title V operating permit programs that were originally approved by EPA separately from ADEM's Title V Operating Permit program, as these local programs have authority under Alabama State law to develop local regulations that ensure applicants are required, at a minimum, to satisfy the requirements of State law. Hence, EPA will take separate action on the revisions to the Jefferson County Department of Health and City of Huntsville, Alabama, Title V programs upon receipt of their respective submittals.

    1 EPA is not proposing to act on the portion of Alabama's May 19, 2017 SIP revision regarding 335-3-14-.06 because that rule is not part of the federally-approved Alabama SIP.

    2 EPA fully approved Alabama's Title V Operating Permit program on October 29, 2001 (66 FR 54444).

    III. Analysis of Georgia's E-Notice Rule Revisions

    Rule 391-3-1-.02(7)(a)1, Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality, and Rule 391-3-1-.03(10), Title V Operating Permits, of Georgia's Rules for Air Quality Control, Chapter 391-3-1, were revised to incorporate EPA's amendments to the federal public notice regulations, as discussed above. Georgia EPD's revisions were the subject of a public hearing on May 9, 2017, were adopted on June 28, 2017, and became effective on July 20, 2017. Based on a review of the proposed revisions, EPA has preliminarily determined that Georgia EPD's provisions for the PSD and Title V Operating Permit programs meet the requirements of the revised federal e-notice provisions at 40 CFR 51.166 and 40 CFR 70.7.

    Rule 391-3-1-.02(7)(a)1, Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality is a required SIP element and, hence, the revision to this SIP-approved rule is proposed to be incorporated into the Georgia SIP. Georgia EPD's SIP-approved PSD rules incorporate by reference the public participation requirements of 40 CFR 52.21(q). In this revision, Georgia EPD updated the incorporation by reference date to include EPA's October 18, 2016, promulgation of the e-notice revisions. These provisions require both e-notice and e-access.

    Rule 391-3-1-.03(10), Title V Operating Permits, of Georgia's Rules for Air Quality Control is part of Georgia's EPA-approved Title V Operating Permit program, which is not part of the Georgia SIP.3 Georgia EPD's Title V program incorporates by reference public participation requirements of the federal provisions at 40 CFR 70.7(h). In this revision, Georgia EPD updated the incorporation by reference date to include EPA's October 18, 2016, promulgation of the e-notice revisions, which allow for either electronic notice or newspaper notice, and require that the State use a consistent noticing method. The Georgia Air Quality Act, however, requires newspaper notice upon receipt of a complete application for a Title V permit or Title V permit modification. See O.C.G.A. § 12-9-9. Until such time that requirement is lifted, Georgia EPD will continue to publish both a newspaper notice and electronic notice, and will inform the public and EPA when Georgia EPD intends to move to electronic notices only. EPA is proposing to approve the public notice revision to Georgia's EPA-approved Title V Operating Permit program.4

    3 EPA fully approved Georgia's Title V Operating Permit program on June 8, 2000 (65 FR 36358).

    4 In its November 29, 2017, submittal, GA EPD also sought to revise its EPA-approved Title V Operating Permit program to “exempt fire pumps from permitting and to specify fire pumps as an insignificant activity for the purposes of Title V.” EPA is not proposing to act on this proposed revision at this time.

    IV. Analysis of South Carolina's E-Notice Rule Revisions

    Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, and Regulation 61-62.70, Title V Operating Permit Program of the South Carolina Air Pollution Control Regulations and Standards, were revised to incorporate EPA's amendments to the federal public notice regulations discussed above. Specifically, SC DHEC revised Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 at Sections (q) and (w)(4) and Regulation 61-62.70 at Section 7(h). SC DHEC's regulations were the subject of a public hearing on August 10, 2017, and were adopted and became effective on August 25, 2017.

    SC DHEC's revisions add language allowing the Department to use e-notice and requiring e-access if e-notice is used as the consistent noticing method. Based on a review of the proposed revisions, EPA has preliminarily determined that SC DHEC's revisions meet the requirements of the revised federal e-notice provisions. SC DHEC's revised rules require that for all proposed PSD and Title V permits, the Department will use a “consistent noticing method.” SC DHEC has indicated that they intend to use a public website identified by the Department as their consistent noticing method.5

    5See Letter from Myra C. Reese, SC DHEC, to Trey Glenn, EPA (Sept. 1, 2017) transmitting the SIP revisions and Title V permit revisions received by EPA on September 5, 2017. This letter is included in the docket for this proposed action.

    Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration is a required SIP element and, hence, the public notice revisions to this SIP-approved rule are proposed to be incorporated into the South Carolina SIP. Regulation 61-62.70, Title V Operating Permit Program is part of South Carolina's EPA-approved Title V Operating Permit program, which is not part of the South Carolina SIP, and the public notice revisions are therefore being proposed for approval pursuant to 40 CFR 70.4.6

    6 EPA fully approved South Carolina's Title V Operating Permit program on June 26, 1995 (60 FR 32913).

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule, regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the following provisions that all address the public notice requirements for CAA permitting: Alabama Chapter 335-3-14, “Air Permits” at 335-3-14-.01, -.04, -.05 and -.06 and Chapter 335-3-15 “Synthetic Minor Operating Permits” at 335-3-15-.05 effective December June 9, 2017; Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality” at 391-3-1-.02(7)(a)1, effective July 20, 2017; and South Carolina Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” at Sections (q) and (w)(4), effective August 25, 2017. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 4 office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the portions of Alabama's May 19, 2017, Georgia's November 29, 2017, and South Carolina's September 5, 2017, SIP and Title V program revisions addressing the public notice requirements for CAA permitting. EPA has preliminarily concluded that the States' submissions meet the plan revisions requirements of CAA section 110 and the SIP requirements of 40 CFR 51.161, 51.165, and 51.166, as well as the public notice and revisions requirements of 40 CFR 70.4 and 70.7.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    In reviewing SIP and Title V submissions, EPA's role is to approve such submissions, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA and EPA's implementing regulations. These actions merely propose to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and do 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 the actions are not significant 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);

    • Does 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 application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; 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 proposed rules regarding SIPs do not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will they 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 the boundary of York County, 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 merely modifying public notice provisions for certain types of air permits issued by SC DHEC, EPA has preliminarily determined 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.

    Furthermore, the proposed rules regarding Title V Operating Permit programs do not have tribal implications because they are not approved to apply to any source of air pollution over which an Indian Tribe has jurisdiction, nor will these proposed rules impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 70

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Operating Permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 31, 2018. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17207 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 61 and 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2008-0063; FRL-9972-26—Region 6] National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Oklahoma AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation and approval of its program for the implementation and enforcement of certain National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for all sources (both part 70 and non-part 70 sources), as provided for under previously approved delegation mechanisms. The updated state regulations incorporate by reference certain NESHAP promulgated by the EPA at parts 61 and 63, as they existed through September 1, 2016. The EPA is proposing to approve ODEQ's requested delegation update.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before September 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2008-0063, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Mr. Rick Barrett, 214-665-7227, [email protected] For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Rick Barrett (6MM-AP), (214) 665-7227; email: [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Mr. Rick Barrett or Mr. Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. What does this action do? II. What is the authority for delegation? III. What criteria must Oklahoma's program meet to be approved? IV. How did ODEQ meet the NESHAP program approval criteria? V. What is being delegated? VI. What is not being delegated? VII. How will statutory and regulatory interpretations be made? VIII. What authority does the EPA have? IX. What information must ODEQ provide to the EPA? X. What is the EPA's oversight role? XI. Should sources submit notices to the EPA or ODEQ? XII. How will unchanged authorities be delegated to ODEQ in the future? XIII. Proposed Action XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What does this action do?

    EPA is proposing to update its approval of Oklahoma's program for the implementation and enforcement of certain NESHAP. If finalized, the delegation will provide ODEQ with the primary responsibility to implement and enforce the delegated standards.

    II. What is the authority for delegation?

    Section 112(l) of the CAA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart E, authorize the EPA to delegate authority for the implementation and enforcement of emission standards for hazardous air pollutants to a State or local agency that satisfies the statutory and regulatory requirements in subpart E. The hazardous air pollutant standards are codified at 40 CFR parts 61 and 63.

    III. What criteria must Oklahoma's program meet to be approved?

    Section 112(l)(5) of the CAA requires the EPA to disapprove any program submitted by a State for the delegation of NESHAP standards if the EPA determines that:

    (A) The authorities contained in the program are not adequate to assure compliance by the sources within the State with respect to each applicable standard, regulation, or requirement established under section 112;

    (B) adequate authority does not exist, or adequate resources are not available, to implement the program;

    (C) the schedule for implementing the program and assuring compliance by affected sources is not sufficiently expeditious; or

    (D) the program is otherwise not in compliance with the guidance issued by the EPA under section 112(l)(2) or is not likely to satisfy, in whole or in part, the objectives of the CAA.

    In carrying out its responsibilities under section 112(l), the EPA promulgated regulations at 40 CFR part 63, subpart E setting forth criteria for the approval of submitted programs. For example, in order to obtain approval of a program to implement and enforce Federal section 112 rules as promulgated without changes (straight delegation) for part 70 sources, a State must demonstrate that it meets the criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d). 40 CFR 63.91(d)(3) provides that interim or final Title V program approval will satisfy the criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d).1 The NESHAP delegation for Oklahoma, as it applies to both part 70 and non-part 70 sources, was most recently approved on December 13, 2005 (70 FR 73595).

    1 Some NESHAP standards do not require a source to obtain a title V permit (e.g., certain area sources that are exempt from the requirement to obtain a title V permit). For these non-title V sources, the EPA believes that the State must assure the EPA that it can implement and enforce the NESHAP for such sources. See 65 FR 55810, 55813 (Sept. 14, 2000). EPA previously approved Oklahoma's program to implement and enforce the NESHAP as they apply to non-part 70 sources. See 66 FR 1584 (Dec. 5, 2001).

    IV. How did ODEQ meet the NESHAP program approval criteria?

    As to the NESHAP standards in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as part of its Title V submission ODEQ stated that it intended to use the mechanism of incorporation by reference to adopt unchanged Federal section 112 into its regulations. This commitment applied to both existing and future standards as they applied to part 70 sources. EPA's final interim approval of Oklahoma's Title V operating permits program delegated the authority to implement certain NESHAP, effective March 6, 1996 (61 FR 4220, February 5, 1996). On December 5, 2001, EPA granted final full approval of the State's operating permits program (66 FR 63170). These interim and final Title V program approvals satisfy the up-front approval criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d). Under 40 CFR 63.91(d)(2), once a State has satisfied up-front approval criteria, it needs only to reference the previous demonstration and reaffirm that it still meets the criteria for any subsequent submittals for delegation of the section 112 standards. ODEQ has affirmed that it still meets the up-front approval criteria. With respect to non-part 70 sources, the EPA has previously approved delegation of NESHAP authorities to ODEQ after finding adequate authorities to implement and enforce the NESHAP for such sources. See 66 FR 1584 (January 9, 2001).

    V. What is being delegated?

    By letter dated June 25, 2018, the EPA received a request from ODEQ to update its existing NESHAP delegation.2 With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, Oklahoma's request included NESHAP in 40 CFR part 61 and 40 CFR part 63. ODEQ's request included newly incorporated NESHAP promulgated by the EPA and amendments to existing standards currently delegated, as they existed though September 1, 2016. This proposed action is being taken in reponse to ODEQ's request noted above.

    2 ODEQ's June 25, 2018 letter rescinds its previous three letters, dated January 11, 2008, August 23, 2012, and October 16, 2017, requesting EPA approval to update Oklahoma's NESHAP delegation. As such, the EPA's proposed rulemaking (80 FR 9678, February 24, 2015) associated with ODEQ's January 11, 2008 letter is hereby withdrawn.

    VI. What is not being delegated?

    All authorities not affirmatively and expressly proposed for delegation by this action will not be delegated. These include the following part 61 and 63 authorities listed below:

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart B (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Underground Uranium Mines);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart H (National Emission Standards for Emissions of Radionuclides Other Than Radon From Department of Energy Facilities);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart I (National Emission Standards for Radionuclide Emissions from Federal Facilities Other Than Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensees and Not Covered by Subpart H);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart K (National Emission Standards for Radionuclide Emissions from Elemental Phosphorus Plants);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart Q (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Department of Energy facilities);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart R (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Phosphogypsum Stacks);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart T (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from the Disposal of Uranium Mill Tailings);

    • 40 CFR part 61, subpart W (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings); and

    • 40 CFR part 63, subpart J (National Emission Standards for Polyvinyl Choride and Copolymers Production).

    In addition, the EPA regulations provide that we cannot delegate to a State any of the Category II Subpart A authorities set forth in 40 CFR 63.91(g)(2). These include the following provisions: § 63.6(g), Approval of Alternative Non-Opacity Standards; § 63.6(h)(9), Approval of Alternative Opacity Standards; § 63.7(e)(2)(ii) and (f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Test Methods; § 63.8(f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Monitoring; and § 63.10(f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Recordkeeping and Reporting. Also, some part 61 and part 63 standards have certain provisions that cannot be delegated to the States. Furthermore, no authorities are being proposed for delegation that require rulemaking in the Federal Register to implement, or where Federal overview is the only way to ensure national consistency in the application of the standards or requirements of CAA section 112. Finally, this action does not propose delegation of any authority under section 112(r), the accidental release program.

    If finalized, all questions concerning implementation and enforcement of the excluded standards in the State of Oklahoma should be directed to the EPA Region 6 Office.

    EPA is proposing a determination that the NESHAP program submitted by Oklahoma meets the applicable requirements of CAA section 112(l)(5) and 40 CFR part 63, subpart E. This delegation to ODEQ to implement and enforce certain NESHAP does not extend to sources or activities located in Indian country, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151. Oklahoma is not seeking delegation for such areas, and neither the EPA nor ODEQ is aware of any existing facilities in Indian country subject to the NESHAP being delegated. ODEQ may submit a request to expand this program to non-reservation areas of Indian country in the future, at which time the EPA would evaluate the request through the appropriate process.

    VII. How will statutory and regulatory interpretations be made?

    If this NESHAP delegation is finalized, ODEQ will obtain concurrence from the EPA on any matter involving the interpretation of section 112 of the CAA or 40 CFR parts 61 and 63 to the extent that implementation or enforcement of these provisions have not been covered by prior EPA determinations or guidance.

    VIII. What authority does the EPA have?

    We retain the right, as provided by CAA section 112(l)(7) and 40 CFR 63.90(d)(2), to enforce any applicable emission standard or requirement under section 112. In addition, the EPA may enforce any federally approved State rule, requirement, or program under 40 CFR 63.90(e) and 63.91(c)(1)(i). The EPA also has the authority to make certain decisions under the General Provisions (subpart A) of parts 61 and 63. We are proposing to delegate to the ODEQ some of these authorities, and retaining others, as explained in sections V and VI above. In addition, the EPA may review and disapprove State determinations and subsequently require corrections. See 40 CFR 63.91(g)(1)(ii). EPA also has the authority to review ODEQ's implementation and enforcement of approved rules or programs and to withdraw approval if we find inadequate implementation or enforcement. See 40 CFR 63.96.

    Furthermore, we retain any authority in an individual emission standard that may not be delegated according to provisions of the standard. Finally, we retain the authorities stated in the original delegation agreement. See “Provisions for the Implementation and Enforcement of NSPS and NESHAP in Oklahoma,” effective March 25, 1982, a copy of which is included in the docket for this action. The delegation table as of now and how it would look if this proposal is finalized may be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD) included in the docket for this action. The table also shows the authorities that cannot be delegated to any State or local agency.

    IX. What information must ODEQ provide to the EPA?

    ODEQ must provide any additional compliance related information to EPA, Region 6, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance within 45 days of a request under 40 CFR 63.96(a). In receiving delegation for specific General Provisions authorities, ODEQ must submit to EPA Region 6 on a semi-annual basis, copies of determinations issued under these authorities. See 40 CFR 63.91(g)(1)(ii). For part 63 standards, these determinations include: § 63.1, Applicability Determinations; § 63.6(e), Operation and Maintenance Requirements—Responsibility for Determining Compliance; § 63.6(f), Compliance with Non-Opacity Standards—Responsibility for Determining Compliance; § 63.6(h), Compliance with Opacity and Visible Emissions Standards—Responsibility for Determining Compliance; § 63.7(c)(2)(i) and (d), Approval of Site-Specific Test Plans; § 63.7(e)(2)(i), Approval of Minor Alternatives to Test Methods; § 63.7(e)(2)(ii) and (f), Approval of Intermediate Alternatives to Test Methods; § 63.7(e)(iii), Approval of Shorter Sampling Times and Volumes When Necessitated by Process Variables or Other Factors; § 63.7(e)(2)(iv), (h)(2) and (3), Waiver of Performance Testing; § 63.8(c)(1) and (e)(1), Approval of Site-Specific Performance Evaluation (Monitoring) Test Plans; § 63.8(f), Approval of Minor Alternatives to Monitoring; § 63.8(f), Approval of Intermediate Alternatives to Monitoring; §§ 63.9 and 63.10, Approval of Adjustments to Time Periods for Submitting Reports; § 63.10(f), Approval of Minor Alternatives to Recordkeeping and Reporting; and § 63.7(a)(4), Extension of Performance Test Deadline.

    X. What is the EPA's oversight role?

    The EPA oversees ODEQ's decisions to ensure the delegated authorities are being adequately implemented and enforced. We will integrate oversight of the delegated authorities into the existing mechanisms and resources for oversight currently in place. If, during oversight, we determine that ODEQ made decisions that decreased the stringency of the delegated standards, then ODEQ shall be required to take corrective actions and the source(s) affected by the decisions will be notified, as required by 40 CFR 63.91(g)(1)(ii) and (b). We will initiate withdrawal of the program or rule if the corrective actions taken are insufficient. See 51 FR 20648 (June 6, 1986).

    XI. Should sources submit notices to the EPA or ODEQ?

    For the delegated NESHAP standards and authorities covered by this proposed action, if finalized, sources would submit all of the information required pursuant to the general provisions and the relevant subpart(s) of the delegated NESHAP (40 CFR parts 61 and 63) directly to the ODEQ at the following address: State of Oklahoma, Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, P.O. Box 1677, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101-1677. The ODEQ is the primary point of contact with respect to delegated NESHAP. Sources do not need to send a copy to the EPA. The EPA Region 6 proposes to waive the requirement that notifications and reports for delegated standards be submitted to EPA in addition to ODEQ in accordance with 40 CFR 63.9(a)(4)(ii) and 63.10(a)(4)(ii).3 For those standards and authorties not delegated as discussed above, sources must continue to submit all appropriate information to the EPA.

    3 This waiver only extends to the submission of copies of notifications and reports; the EPA does not waive the requirements in delegated standards that require notifications and reports be submitted to an electronic database (e.g., 40 CFR part 63, subpart HHHHHHH).

    XII. How will unchanged authorities be delegated to ODEQ in the future?

    As stated in previous NESHAP delegation actions, the EPA has approved Oklahoma's mechanism of incorporation by reference of NESHAP standards into ODEQ regulations, as they apply to both part 70 and non-part 70 sources. See, e.g., 61 FR 4224 (February 5, 1996) and 66 FR 1584 (January 9, 2001). Consistent with the EPA regulations and guidance,4 ODEQ may request future updates to Oklahoma's NESHAP delegation by submitting a letter to the EPA that appropriately identifies the specific NESHAP which have been incorporated by reference into state regulation, reaffirms that it still meets up-front approval delegation criteria for part 70 sources, and demonstrates that ODEQ maintains adequate authorites and resources to implememnt and enforce the delegated NESHAP requirements for all sources. We will respond in writing to the request stating that the request for delegation is either granted or denied. A Federal Register action will be published to inform the public and affected sources of the updated delegation, indicate where source notifications and reports should be sent, and amend the relevant portions of the Code of Federal Regulations identifying which NESHAP standards have been delegated to the ODEQ. We have not been using this informational notice process but intend to from now on upon receipt of the next NESHAP delegation request from ODEQ.5

    4See Harardous Air Pollutants: Amendments to the Approval of State Programs and Delegation of Federal Authorities, Final Rule (65 FR 55810, September 14, 2000); and “Straight Delegation Issues Concerning Sections 111 and 112 Requirements and Title V,” by John S. Seitz, Director of Air Qualirty Planning and Standards, EPA, dated December 10, 1993.

    5 A request from ODEQ that raises an isuse not previously subject to comment, presents new data, requires EPA to examine its interpretion of the applicable law, or where EPA wishes to re-examine its present position on a matter will be processed through notice and comment rulemaking in the Federal Register.

    XIII. Proposed Action

    In today's action, the EPA is proposing to approve an update to the Oklahoma NESHAP delegation that would provide the ODEQ with the authority to implement and enforce certain newly incorporated NESHAP promulgated by the EPA and amendments to existing standards currently delegated, as they existed though September 1, 2016. As requested in ODEQ's June 25, 2018 letter, this proposed delegation to ODEQ does not extend to sources or activities located in Indian country, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151.

    XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator has the authority to approve section 112(l) submissions that comply with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. In reviewing section 112(l) submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria and objectives of the CAA and of the EPA's implementing regulations. Accordingly, this proposed action would merely approve the State's request as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 61

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Arsenic, Benzene, Beryllium, Hazardous substances, Mercury, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vinyl chloride.

    40 CFR Part 63

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 25, 2018. Wren Stenger, Multimedia Division Director, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17139 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Part 153 [CMS-9919-P] RIN 0938-AT66 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Adoption of the Methodology for the HHS-Operated Permanent Risk Adjustment Program for the 2018 Benefit Year Proposed Rule AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule proposes to adopt the risk adjustment methodology that HHS previously established for the 2018 benefit year. In February 2018, a district court vacated the use of statewide average premium in the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2014 through 2018 benefit years. HHS is proposing to adopt the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2018 benefit year as established in the final rules published in the March 23, 2012 Federal Register and the December 22, 2016 Federal Register.

    DATES:

    To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    In commenting, please refer to file code CMS-9919-P. Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission.

    Comments, including mass comment submissions, must be submitted in one of the following three ways (please choose only one of the ways listed):

    1. Electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this regulation to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address ONLY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-9919-P, P.O. Box 8016, Baltimore, MD 21244-8016.

    Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.

    3. By express or overnight mail. You may send written comments to the following address ONLY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-9919-P, Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

    For information on viewing public comments, see the beginning of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Krutika Amin, (301) 492-5153; Jaya Ghildiyal, (301) 492-5149; or Adrianne Patterson, (410) 786-0686.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Inspection of Public Comments: All comments received before the close of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that is included in a comment. We post all comments received before the close of the comment period on the following website as soon as possible after they have been received: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on that website to view public comments.

    Comments received timely will also be available for public inspection as they are received, generally beginning approximately 3 weeks after publication of a document, at the headquarters of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244, Monday through Friday of each week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone 1-800-743-3951.

    I. Background A. Legislative and Regulatory Overview

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148) was enacted on March 23, 2010; the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152) was enacted on March 30, 2010. These statutes are collectively referred to as “PPACA” in this document. Section 1343 of the PPACA established an annual permanent risk adjustment program under which payments are collected from health insurance issuers that enroll relatively low-risk populations, and payments are made to health insurance issuers that enroll relatively higher-risk populations. Consistent with section 1321(c)(1) of the PPACA, the Secretary is responsible for operating the risk adjustment program on behalf of any state that elected not to do so. For the 2018 benefit year, HHS is responsible for operation of the risk adjustment program in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    HHS sets the risk adjustment methodology that it uses in states that elect not to operate the program in advance of each benefit year through a notice-and-comment rulemaking process with the intention that issuers will be able to rely on the methodology to price their plans appropriately (see 45 CFR 153.320; 76 FR 41930, 41932 through 41933; 81 FR 94058, 94702 (explaining the importance of setting rules ahead of time and describing comments supporting that practice)).

    In the July 15, 2011 Federal Register (76 FR 41929), we published a proposed rule outlining the framework for the risk adjustment program. We implemented the risk adjustment program in a final rule, published in the March 23, 2012 Federal Register (77 FR 17219) (Premium Stabilization Rule). In the December 7, 2012 Federal Register (77 FR 73117), we published a proposed rule outlining the proposed Federally certified risk adjustment methodologies for the 2014 benefit year and other parameters related to the risk adjustment program (proposed 2014 Payment Notice). We published the 2014 Payment Notice final rule in the March 11, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 15409). In the June 19, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 37032), we proposed a modification to the HHS-operated methodology related to community rating states. In the October 30, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 65046), we finalized the proposed modification to the HHS-operated methodology related to community rating states. We published a correcting amendment to the 2014 Payment Notice final rule in the November 6, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 66653) to address how an enrollee's age for the risk score calculation would be determined under the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology.

    In the December 2, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 72321), we published a proposed rule outlining the Federally certified risk adjustment methodologies for the 2015 benefit year and other parameters related to the risk adjustment program (proposed 2015 Payment Notice). We published the 2015 Payment Notice final rule in the March 11, 2014 Federal Register (79 FR 13743). In the May 27, 2014 Federal Register (79 FR 30240), the 2015 fiscal year sequestration rate for the risk adjustment program was announced.

    In the November 26, 2014 Federal Register (79 FR 70673), we published a proposed rule outlining the proposed Federally certified risk adjustment methodologies for the 2016 benefit year and other parameters related to the risk adjustment program (proposed 2016 Payment Notice). We published the 2016 Payment Notice final rule in the February 27, 2015 Federal Register (80 FR 10749).

    In the December 2, 2015 Federal Register (80 FR 75487), we published a proposed rule outlining the Federally certified risk adjustment methodology for the 2017 benefit year and other parameters related to the risk adjustment program (proposed 2017 Payment Notice). We published the 2017 Payment Notice final rule in the March 8, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 12204).

    In the September 6, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 61455), we published a proposed rule outlining the Federally certified risk adjustment methodology for the 2018 benefit year and other parameters related to the risk adjustment program (proposed 2018 Payment Notice). We published the 2018 Payment Notice final rule in the December 22, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 94058).

    In the November 2, 2017 Federal Register (82 FR 51042), we published a proposed rule outlining the Federally certified risk adjustment methodology for the 2019 benefit year, and to further promote stable premiums in the individual and small group markets. We proposed updates to the risk adjustment methodology and amendments to the risk adjustment data validation process (proposed 2019 Payment Notice). We published the 2019 Payment Notice final rule in the April 17, 2018 Federal Register (83 FR 16930). We published a correction to the 2019 risk adjustment coefficients in the 2019 Payment Notice final rule in the May 11, 2018 Federal Register (83 FR 21925). On July 27, 2018, consistent with 45 CFR 153.320(b)(1)(i), we updated the 2019 benefit year final risk adjustment model coefficients to reflect an additional recalibration related to an update to the 2016 enrollee-level EDGE dataset.1

    1 See, Updated 2019 Benefit Year Final HHS Risk Adjustment Model Coefficients. July 27, 2018. Available at https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/2019-Updtd-Final-HHS-RA-Model-Coefficients.pdf.

    In the July 30, 2018 Federal Register (83 FR 36456), we published a final rule that adopted the 2017 benefit year risk adjustment methodology in the March 23, 2012 Federal Register (77 FR 17220 through 17252) and in the March 8, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 12204 through 12352). In light of the court order described below, this final rule sets forth additional explanation of the rationale supporting the use of statewide average premium in the HHS-operated risk adjustment payment transfer formula for the 2017 benefit year, including the reasons why the program is operated in a budget neutral manner. This final rule permitted HHS to resume 2017 benefit year program operations, including collection of risk adjustment charges and distribution of risk adjustment payments. HHS also provided guidance as to the operation of the HHS-operated risk adjustment program for the 2017 benefit year in light of publication of this final rule.2

    2 See, https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/2017-RA-Final-Rule-Resumption-RAOps.pdf.

    B. The New Mexico Health Connections Court's Order

    On February 28, 2018, in a suit brought by the health insurance issuer New Mexico Health Connections, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico (the district court) vacated the use of statewide average premium in the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 benefit years. The district court reasoned that HHS had not adequately explained its decision to adopt a methodology that used statewide average premium as the cost-scaling factor to ensure that amounts collected from issuers equal the amount of payments made to issuers for the applicable benefit year, that is, a methodology that maintains the budget neutrality of the program for the applicable benefit year.3 The district court otherwise rejected New Mexico Health Connections' arguments. HHS's motion for reconsideration remains pending with the district court.

    3New Mexico Health Connections v. United States Department of Health and Human Services et al., No. CIV 16-0878 JB/JHR (D.N.M. 2018).

    II. Provisions of the Proposed Rule

    This rule proposes to adopt the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology that was previously published at 81 FR 94058 for the 2018 benefit year with an additional explanation regarding the use of statewide average premium and the budget neutral nature of the risk adjustment program. This rule does not propose to make any changes to the previously published HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2018 benefit year.

    The risk adjustment program provides payments to health insurance issuers that enroll higher-risk populations, such as those with chronic conditions, thereby reducing incentives for issuers to structure their plan benefit designs or marketing strategies to avoid these enrollees and lessening the potential influence of risk selection on the premiums that issuers charge. Instead, issuers are expected to set rates based on average risk and compete based on plan features rather than selection of healthier enrollees. The program applies to any health insurance issuer offering plans in the individual or small group markets, with the exception of grandfathered health plans, group health insurance coverage described in 45 CFR 146.145(c), individual health insurance coverage described in 45 CFR 148.220, and any plan determined not to be a risk adjustment covered plan in the applicable Federally certified risk adjustment methodology.4 In 45 CFR part 153, subparts A, B, D, G, and H, HHS established standards for the administration of the permanent risk adjustment program. In accordance with § 153.320, any risk adjustment methodology used by a state, or by HHS on behalf of the state, must be a Federally certified risk adjustment methodology.

    4 See the definition for “risk adjustment covered plan” at 45 CFR 153.20.

    As stated in the 2014 Payment Notice final rule, the Federally certified risk adjustment methodology developed and used by HHS in states that elect not to operate the program is based on the premise that premiums for that state market should reflect the differences in plan benefits, quality, and efficiency—not the health status of the enrolled population.5 HHS developed the risk adjustment payment transfer formula that calculates the difference between the revenues required by a plan based on the projected health risk of the plan's enrollees and the revenues that a plan can generate for those enrollees. These differences are then compared across plans in the state market risk pool and converted to a dollar amount based on the statewide average premium. HHS chose to use statewide average premium and normalize the risk adjustment transfer formula to reflect state average factors so that each plan's enrollment characteristics are compared to the state average and the total calculated payment amounts equal total calculated charges in each state market risk pool. Thus, each plan in the risk pool receives a risk adjustment payment or charge designed to compensate for risk for a plan with average risk in a budget neutral manner. This approach supports the overall goal of the risk adjustment program to encourage issuers to rate for the average risk in the applicable state market risk pool, and avoids the creation of incentives for issuers to operate less efficiently, set higher prices, develop benefit designs or create marketing strategies to avoid high-risk enrollees. Such incentives could arise if HHS used each issuer's plan's own premium in the payment transfer formula, instead of statewide average premium.

    5 See 78 FR 15409 at 15417.

    As explained above, the district court vacated the use of statewide average premium in the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2014 through 2018 benefit years on the ground that HHS did not adequately explain its decision to adopt that aspect of the risk adjustment methodology. The district court recognized that use of statewide average premium maintained the budget neutrality of the program, but concluded that HHS had not adequately explained the underlying decision to adopt a methodology that kept the program budget neutral, that is, that ensured that amounts collected from issuers would equal payments made to issuers for the applicable benefit year. Accordingly, HHS is providing additional explanation herein.

    First, Congress designed the risk adjustment program to be implemented and operated by states if they chose to do so. Nothing in section 1343 of the PPACA requires a state to spend its own funds on risk adjustment payments, or allows HHS to impose such a requirement. Thus, while section 1343 may have provided leeway for states to spend additional funds on the program if they voluntarily chose to do so, HHS could not have required such additional funding.

    Second, while the PPACA did not include an explicit requirement that the risk adjustment program be operated in a budget neutral manner, it also did not prohibit HHS from designing the program in that manner. In fact, although the statutory provisions for many other PPACA programs appropriated or authorized amounts to be appropriated from the U.S. Treasury, or provided budget authority in advance of appropriations,6 the PPACA neither authorized nor appropriated additional funding for risk adjustment payments beyond the amount of charges paid in, nor authorized HHS to obligate itself for risk adjustment payments in excess of charges collected.7 Indeed, unlike the Medicare Part D statute, which expressly authorizes the appropriation of funds and provides budget authority in advance of appropriations to make Part D risk-adjusted payments, the PPACA's risk adjustment statute makes no reference to additional appropriations.8 Because Congress omitted from the PPACA any provision appropriating independent funding or creating budget authority in advance of an appropriation for the risk adjustment program, HHS could not—absent another source of appropriations—have designed the program in a way that required payments in excess of collections consistent with binding appropriations law. Thus, as a practical matter, Congress did not give HHS discretion to implement a program that was not budget neutral.

    6 For examples of PPACA provisions appropriating funds, see PPACA secs. 1101(g)(1), 1311(a)(1), 1322(g), 1323(c). For examples of PPACA provisions authorizing the appropriation of funds, see PPACA secs. 1002, 2705(f), 2706(e), 3013(c), 3015, 3504(b), 3505(a)(5), 3505(b), 3506, 3509(a)(1), 3509(b), 3509(e), 3509(f), 3509(g), 3511, 4003(a), 4003(b), 4004(j), 4101(b), 4102(a), 4102(c), 4102(d)(1)(C), 4102(d)(4), 4201(f), 4202(a)(5), 4204(b), 4206, 4302(a), 4304, 4305(a), 4305(c), 5101(h), 5102(e), 5103(a)(3), 5203, 5204, 5206(b), 5207, 5208(b), 5210, 5301, 5302, 5303, 5304, 5305(a), 5306(a), 5307(a), and 5309(b).

    7See 42 U.S.C. 18063.

    8Compare 42 U.S.C. 18063 (failing to specify source of funding other than risk adjustment charges), with 42 U.S.C. 1395w-116(c)(3) (authorizing appropriations for Medicare Part D risk adjusted payments); 42 U.S.C. 1395w-115(a) (establishing “budget authority in advance of appropriations Acts” for risk adjusted payments under Medicare Part D).

    Furthermore, if HHS elected to adopt a risk adjustment methodology that was contingent on appropriations from Congress through the annual appropriations process, that would have created uncertainty for issuers regarding the amount of risk adjustment payments they could expect for a given benefit year. That uncertainty would have undermined one of the central objectives of the risk adjustment program, which is to assure issuers in advance that they will receive risk adjustment payments if, for the applicable benefit year, they enroll a higher-risk population compared to other issuers in the state market risk pool. The budget-neutral framework spreads the costs of covering higher-risk enrollees across issuers throughout a given state market risk pool, thereby reducing incentives for issuers to engage in risk-avoidance techniques such as designing or marketing their plans in ways that tend to attract healthier individuals, who cost less to insure.

    Moreover, relying on each year's budget process for appropriation of additional funds to HHS that could be used to supplement risk adjustment transfers would have required HHS to delay setting the parameters for any risk adjustment payment proration rates until well after the plans were in effect for the applicable benefit year. Any later-authorized program management appropriations made to CMS, moreover, were not intended to be used for supplementing risk adjustment payments, and were allocated by the agency for other, primarily administrative, purposes.9 Without the adoption of a budget-neutral framework, HHS would have needed to assess a charge or otherwise collect additional funds, or prorate risk adjustment payments to balance the calculated risk adjustment transfer amounts. The resulting uncertainty would have conflicted with the overall goals of the risk adjustment program—to stabilize premiums and to reduce incentives for issuers to avoid enrolling individuals with higher than average actuarial risk.

    9 It has been suggested that the annual lump sum appropriation to CMS for program management was potentially available for risk adjustment payments. The lump sum appropriation for each year was not enacted until after the applicable rule announcing payments for the applicable benefit year. Moreover, HHS does not believe that the lump sum is legally available for risk adjustment payments. As the underlying budget requests reflect, the annual lump sum was for program management expenses, such as administrative costs for various CMS programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the PPACA's insurance market reforms—not for the program payments themselves. CMS would have elected to use the lump sum for these important program management expenses even if CMS had discretion to use all or part of the lump sum for risk adjustment payments.

    In light of the budget neutral framework discussed above, HHS also chose not to use a different parameter for the payment transfer formula under the HHS-operated methodology, such as each plan's own premium, that would not have automatically achieved equality between risk adjustment payments and charges in each benefit year. As set forth in prior discussions,10 use of the plan's own premium or a similar parameter would have required the application of a balancing adjustment in light of the program's budget neutrality—either reducing payments to issuers owed a payment, increasing charges on issuers due a charge, or splitting the difference in some fashion between issuers owed payments and issuers assessed charges. Such adjustments would have impaired the risk adjustment program's goals, as discussed above, of encouraging issuers to rate for the average risk in the applicable state market risk pool, and avoiding the creation of incentives for issuers to operate less efficiently, set higher prices, or develop benefit designs or create marketing strategies to avoid high-risk enrollees. Use of an after-the-fact balancing adjustment is also less predictable for issuers than a methodology that can be calculated in advance of a benefit year. Such predictability is important to serving the risk adjustment program's goals of premium stabilization and reducing issuer incentives to avoid enrolling higher-risk populations. Additionally, using a plan's own premium to scale transfers may provide additional incentive for plans with high-risk enrollees to increase premiums in order to receive additional risk adjustment payments. As noted by commenters to the 2014 Payment Notice proposed rule, transfers may be more volatile from year to year and sensitive to anomalous premiums if they were scaled to a plan's own premium instead of the statewide average premium. In the 2014 Payment Notice final rule, we noted that we received a number of comments in support of our proposal to use statewide average premium as the basis for risk adjustment transfers, while some commenters expressed a desire for HHS to use a plan's own premium. HHS addressed those comments by reiterating that we had considered the use of a plan's own premium instead of statewide average premium and chose to use statewide average premium, as this approach supports the overall goals of the risk adjustment program to encourage issuers to rate for the average risk in the applicable state market risk pool, and avoids the creation of incentives for issuers to employ risk-avoidance techniques.

    10 See for example, September 12, 2011, Risk Adjustment Implementation Issues, White Paper, available at: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Files/Downloads/riskadjustment_whitepaper_web.pdf.

    Although HHS has not yet calculated risk adjustment payments and charges for the 2018 benefit year, immediate administrative action is imperative to maintain the stability and predictability in the individual and small group insurance markets. This proposed rule would ensure that collections and payments may be made for the 2018 benefit year in a timely manner. Without this administrative action, the uncertainty related to the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2018 benefit year could add uncertainty to the individual and small group markets, as issuers are now in the process of determining the extent of their market participation and the rates and benefit designs for plans they will offer for the 2019 benefit year. Issuers file rates for the 2019 benefit year during the summer of 2018, and if there is uncertainty as to whether payments for the 2018 benefit year will be made, there is a serious risk that issuers will substantially increase 2019 premiums to account for the uncompensated risk associated with high-risk enrollees. Consumers enrolled in certain plans could see a significant premium increase, which could make coverage in those plans particularly unaffordable for unsubsidized enrollees. Furthermore, issuers are currently making decisions on whether to offer qualified health plans (QHPs) through the Exchanges for the 2019 benefit year, and, for the Federally-facilitated Exchange (FFE), this decision must be made before the August 2018 deadline to finalize QHP agreements. In states with limited Exchange options, a QHP issuer exit would restrict consumer choice, and put additional upward pressure on Exchange premiums, thereby increasing the cost of coverage for unsubsidized individuals and federal spending for premium tax credits. The combination of these effects could lead to significant, involuntary coverage losses in certain state market risk pools.

    Additionally, HHS's failure to make timely risk adjustment payments could impact the solvency of plans providing coverage to sicker (and costlier) than average enrollees that require the influx of risk adjustment payments to continue operations. When state regulators determine issuer solvency, any uncertainty surrounding risk adjustment transfers jeopardizes regulators' ability to make decisions that protect consumers and support the long-term health of insurance markets.

    In light of the district court's decision to vacate the use of statewide average premium in the risk adjustment methodology on the ground that HHS did not adequately explain its decision to adopt that aspect of the methodology, we offer an additional explanation in this rule and are proposing to maintain the use of statewide average premium in the applicable state market risk pool for the payment transfer formula under the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2018 benefit year. Therefore, HHS proposes to adopt the methodology previously established for the 2018 benefit year in the Federal Register publications cited above that applies to the calculation, collection and payment of risk adjustment transfers under the HHS-operated methodology for the 2018 benefit year. This includes the adjustment to the statewide average premium, reducing it by 14 percent, to account for an estimated proportion of administrative costs that do not vary with claims.11 We seek comment on the proposal to use the statewide average premium. However, in order to protect the settled expectations of issuers that structured their pricing and offering decisions in reliance on the previously promulgated 2018 benefit year methodology, all other aspects of the risk adjustment methodology are outside of the scope of this rulemaking, and HHS does not seek comment on those finalized aspects.

    11 See 81 FR 94058 at 94099.

    III. Collection of Information Requirements

    This document does not impose information collection requirements, that is, reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirements. Consequently, there is no need for review by the Office of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.).

    IV. Regulatory Impact Analysis A. Statement of Need

    This rule proposes to maintain statewide average premium as the cost-scaling factor in the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology and continue the operation of the program in a budget neutral manner for the 2018 benefit year to protect consumers from the effects of adverse selection and premium increases due to issuer uncertainty. The Premium Stabilization Rule, previous Payment Notices, and other rulemakings noted above provided detail on the implementation of the risk adjustment program, including the specific parameters applicable for the 2018 benefit year.

    B. Overall Impact

    We have examined the impact of this rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act, section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (March 22, 1995; Pub. L. 104-4), Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999), the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)), and Executive Order 13771 on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any one year).

    OMB has determined that this proposed rule is “economically significant” within the meaning of section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866, because it is likely to have an annual effect of $100 million in any 1 year. In addition, for the reasons noted above, OMB has determined that this is a major rule under the Congressional Review Act.

    This proposed rule offers further explanation of budget neutrality and the use of statewide average premium in the risk adjustment payment transfer formula when HHS is operating the permanent risk adjustment program established in section 1343 of the PPACA on behalf of a state for the 2018 benefit year. We note that we previously estimated transfers associated with the risk adjustment program in the Premium Stabilization Rule and the 2018 Payment Notice, and that the provisions of this proposed rule do not change the risk adjustment transfers previously estimated under the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology established in those final rules. The approximate estimated risk adjustment transfers for the 2018 benefit year are $4.8 billion. As such, we also incorporate into this proposed rule the RIA in the 2018 Payment Notice proposed and final rules.

    V. Response to Comments

    Because of the large number of public comments we normally receive on Federal Register documents, we are not able to acknowledge or respond to them individually. We will consider all comments we receive by the date and time specified in the DATES section of this proposed rule, and, when we proceed with a subsequent document, we will respond to the comments in the preamble to that document.

    Dated: July 30, 2018. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dated: August 2, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17142 Filed 8-8-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 11 [PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91; FCC 18-94] Emergency Alert System; Wireless Emergency Alerts AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Further motice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) seeks comment on whether additional alert reporting measures are needed; whether State EAS Plans should be required to include procedures to help prevent false alerts, or to swiftly mitigate their consequences should a false alert occur; and on factors that might delay or prevent delivery of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to members of the public and measures the Commission could take to address inconsistent WEA delivery.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before September 10, 2018 and reply comments are due on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91 by any of the following methods:

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

    Federal Communications Commission's Website: http://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the Commission to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Cooke, Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-7452, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in PS Docket Nos. 15-94 and 15-91, FCC 18-94, adopted on July 12, 2018, and released on July 13, 2018. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov.

    Synopsis of the FNPRM

    1. In the FNPRM, to further enhance the efficacy and utility of the EAS and WEA, the Commission seeks comment on whether to adopt false alert reporting measures; proposals to require that State EAS Plans include procedures to help prevent and mitigate the consequences of false alerts; factors that might delay or prevent delivery of WEA alerts to the public; and measures the Commission could take to address inconsistent WEA delivery.

    I. Background

    2. The EAS is a national public warning system through which EAS Participants deliver alerts to the public to warn them of impending emergencies. The primary purpose of the EAS is to provide the President of the United States (President) with “the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public at the National, State and Local Area levels during periods of national emergency.” State and local authorities also use this common distribution architecture of the EAS to distribute voluntary weather-related and other emergency alerts. Further, testing of the system at the state and local level increases the proficiency of local emergency personnel, provides insight into the system's functionality and effectiveness at the federal level, and enhances the public's ability to respond to EAS alerts when they occur. The integrity of the EAS is maintained through the Commission's EAS rules, which set forth the parameters and frequency with which EAS Participants must test the system, prohibit the unauthorized use of the EAS Attention Signal and codes, and require EAS Participants to keep their EAS equipment in good working order.

    II. Discussion A. False Alert Reporting

    3. In the FNPRM, the Commission seeks further comment on whether there is a need for additional false alert and lockout reporting beyond the reporting rule adopted in the companion Report and Order in PS Docket Nos. 15-94 and 15-91, FCC 18-94, adopted on July 12, 2018, and released on July 13, 2018. Should there be a dedicated mechanism by which EAS Participants, Participating CMS Providers, other stakeholders and the public can report false alerts? What form should such a reporting mechanism take? Should it be integrated into the Alert Reporting System (ARS)? Should it be mandatory for EAS Participants and Participating CMS Providers? If such reporting were mandatory, what time frame, if any, should be established for the false alert report to be made (e.g., should such reports be required within five minutes of discovery)?

    4. Alternatively, the Commission seeks comment on whether, in lieu of adopting a dedicated reporting mechanism for false EAS or WEA alerts or EAS lockouts, it should instead implement a process by which EAS Participants, Participating CMS Providers, emergency managers, and members of the public could inform the Commission about false alerts through currently available means other than that adopted in the companion Report and Order (also in PS Docket Nos. 15-94 and 15-91, FCC 18-94, adopted on July 12, 2018, and released on July 13, 2018). Regardless of what type of system might be used to facilitate false alert reporting, could and should the Commission incorporate reporting parameters to minimize reports concerning the same EAS or WEA false alert, or are there benefits from receiving different descriptions, times, locations and reporting identities covering the same false alert?

    5. The Commission seeks comment on the costs and benefits of this proposal. What burdens, if any, would a dedicated false alert reporting system impose on anyone who might want to make such a report? Would incorporating some kind of feedback mechanism into the false alert reporting system on false alerts already reported be helpful to reduce burdens on other entities that might otherwise make identical reports covering the same false alert? What quantifiable benefits might be expected to result from implementation of such reporting? To the extent offering a standard way to report on false alerts could speed corrective action, would the benefits of such an outcome outweigh whatever burdens might be associated with making the false alert report?

    B. State EAS Plan Revisions

    6. Section 11.21 of the Commission's EAS rules specifies that State EAS Plans include “procedures for State emergency management and other State officials, the NWS, and EAS Participants' personnel to transmit emergency information to the public during a State emergency using the EAS.” Section 11.21, however, does not specify that these procedures include those to prevent and correct false alerts.

    7. In the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau's (Bureau) report released in April 2018 concerning the false ballistic missile alert issued in Hawaii on January 13, 2018 (Report on Hawaii False Alert), the Bureau made several recommendations to state, local, Tribal, and territorial emergency alert originators and managers to help prevent the recurrence of a false alert and to improve preparedness for responding to any false alert that may occur. To the extent the Commission can aid states and localities in effecting mechanisms to prevent and correct false alerts over EAS and WEA, and promote regular communication with the SECCs to further that end, such endeavor fulfills the Commission's statutory goal promoting of safety of life and property through the regulation of wire and radio communications networks.

    8. In light of the foregoing, the Commission proposes ways it can aid states and localities in implementing the Bureau's recommendations in the Report on Hawaii False Alert. In particular, the Commission proposes to revise Section 11.21 to require State EAS Plans to include procedures to help prevent false alerts, or to swiftly mitigate their consequences should a false alert occur. Such information could be supplied by state and local emergency management authorities, at their discretion, to SECCs for inclusion in the State EAS Plans they administer, and would then be available to other emergency management authorities within the state for quick and easy reference. The Commission further proposes that the State EAS Plan template recently adopted by the Commission should be revised to require SECCs to identify their states' procedures for the reporting and mitigation of false alerts, (or, where the state and local emergency management authorities either do not have or will not share such information with the SECC, to specifically note that in the EAS Plan). With regard to this proposal, should any listing of such procedures contain any or all of the following:

    • The standard operating procedures that state and local alert initiators follow to prepare for “live code” and other public facing EAS tests and alerts.

    • The standard operating procedures that state and local alert initiators have developed for the reporting and correction of false alerts, including how the alert initiator would issue any corrections to false alerts over the same systems used to issue the false alert, including the EAS and WEA.

    • The procedures agreed upon by the SECC and state emergency management agency or other State-authorized alert initiator by which they plan to consult with each other on a regular basis—at least annually—to ensure that EAS procedures, including initiation and cancellation of actual alerts and tests, are mutually understood, agreed upon, and documented in the State EAS Plan.

    • The procedures ensuring redundant and effective lines of communication between the SECC and key stakeholders during emergencies.

    • Other information that could prevent or mitigate the issuance of false alerts.

    Would inclusion of this information in State EAS Plans be beneficial to alert originators and state and local emergency management authorities in preventing and correcting false alerts, and conducting tests of the EAS? Would this action spur greater communication between alert originators and state and local emergency management authorities and their respective SECCs? Would its inclusion provide a single source of information to which state, local, Tribal and territorial emergency alert originators and managers might refer if the need arose? Alternatively, are there reasons why such information should not be included in State EAS Plans? The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. As to the development of the false alert procedures themselves, the FNPRM asks which agency or agencies are best situated to require their creation or otherwise have oversight over these processes. Is the FCC best positioned to take action with respect to helping prevent the transmission of false alerts, or is this better left to other agencies, such as DHS/FEMA or local alert originators?

    9. The Commission seeks comment on the costs and benefits of this proposal. What costs or burdens, if any, would fall on SECCs or state, local, Tribal and territorial emergency alert originators and managers, by the inclusion of the state and local alerting procedures in State EAS Plans, as described above? What quantifiable benefits might be expected to result from such action? To the extent including state and local alerting procedures in State EAS Plans might prevent false alerts from occurring, and speed corrective action with respect to any false alerts that might issue, would the potential benefits of such outcomes, such as minimizing public confusion and disruptions caused by false alerts, outweigh whatever burdens might be associated with that process? Would the inclusion of this information in State EAS Plans more generally enhance the efficacy of state and local alerting?

    C. Delivery of WEA to Subscriber Handsets

    10. In the Report on Hawaii False Alert, the Bureau indicated that some wireless subscribers did not receive either the false alert or the subsequent correction over WEA. Further, news reports in connection with the recent National Capital Region end-to-end WEA test, the recent Vail Colorado test and Ellicott City floods indicate that some subscribers did not receive timely WEA tests or alerts. Wireless providers have identified possible reasons that members of the public, who have not opted out of receipt of WEA alerts on their mobile devices, may not receive a particular WEA message, including: (1) Whether a mobile device can receive WEA messages; (2) whether the mobile device falls within the radio coverage of a cell site transmitting a WEA message and is not impacted with adverse radio frequency conditions such as interference, building or natural obstructions, etc.; (3) whether a handset is being served by a 3G cell site during a voice call or data session (in which case a WEA message would not be received until the voice or data session is ended); and (4) whether the device remains connected to the provider's network. Are there other reasons why a WEA may not be received by a member of the public? Are WEA alert messages broadcast from all cell sites inside the alert's geo-targeted area? What about an instance where the consumer inside the geo-targeted area may be served by a tower outside the geo-targeted area? Will the manner of delivering a WEA message to a mobile device within a geo-targeted area change after the Commission's new geolocation rules go into effect in November of 2019, and if so, how? Is it possible that due to certain network conditions, such as congestion, certain cell sites within the alert's geo-target area may not transmit a particular alert message? Are there any network conditions or resource scheduler-related issues that may cause the Participating CMS Provider's network to delay or fail to transmit WEA alert messages that it has received from IPAWS? The Commission also invites commenters to address what, if any, role that handsets and handset manufacturers play in ensuring WEA capable devices can receive WEA alerts.

    11. How should WEA performance be measured and reported? The Commission seeks comment regarding WEA delivery issues that stakeholders have encountered or are aware of, either in connection with a live alert or with a regional end-to-end test.

    12. The Commission also seeks comment on how stakeholders could report WEA performance. Commenters should discuss the technical feasibility, usefulness, and desirability of this option. Are there other technical ways to get feedback automatically from a WEA recipient? What might the appropriate data points look like? Who should receive such data, and how would it be protected? Should the Commission develop a testing template for state and local governments that want to test the effectiveness of WEA alerts, including how precisely WEA alerts geotarget the desired area for various carriers?

    13. The Commission also seeks comment on whether and if so, how, it should take measures to address inconsistent WEA delivery. For example, should the Commission adopt technical standards (or benchmarks) for WEA performance and delivery? What form should these take? Should these be focused on internal network performance or mobile device performance, or both? Is there any practical way to ameliorate the impact of external factors (such as interference, building or natural obstructions, etc.) on WEA delivery? Should the Commission adopt rules related to WEA performance (and if so, what form should those take), or would best practices be sufficient? What are the costs and benefits of the various options available to address inconsistent WEA delivery?

    III. Procedural Matters A. Ex Parte Rules

    14. The proceeding this FNPRM initiates shall be treated as “permit-but-disclose” proceedings in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must: (1) List all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made; and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    B. Comment Filing Procedures

    15. Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    Paper Filers: Parties that choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.

    U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.

    C. Accessible Formats

    16. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    D. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    17. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the FNPRM. The Commission will send a copy of the FNPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    18. In the FNPRM, the Commission proposes actions to prevent and correct false alerts and to otherwise improve the effectiveness of the EAS and WEA. First, the Commission seeks comment on whether to adopt a dedicated reporting system, or use currently available means, such as the Commission's Operations Center or Public Safety Support Center, so that EAS Participants, Participating CMS Providers, emergency managers, and members of the public can inform the Commission about false alerts. Second, the Commission proposes to revise its rules governing State EAS Plans to require the inclusion of standard operating procedures implemented within states to prevent and correct false alerts, where such information has been provided by state and local emergency management authorities. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on whether to adopt technical benchmarks or best practices to help ensure effective delivery of WEA alerts to the public. These proposed and contemplated actions and rule revisions potentially would enhance the Commission's awareness of false alerts issued over the EAS and WEA, and provide state, local, Tribal and territorial emergency alert originators and managers with a common source to find standard operating procedure applicable within their jurisdictions to conduct EAS tests and correct false alerts. To the extent these proposed and contemplated actions may prevent the transmittal of false alerts and hasten corrective action of any false alerts issued, they would benefit the public by minimizing confusion and disruption caused by false alerts.

    2. Legal Basis

    19. The proposed action is taken pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g),706, and 715 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 615, as well as by sections 602(a), (b), (c), (f), 603, 604 and 606 of the WARN Act, 47 U.S.C. 1202(a), (b), (c), (f), 1203, 1204 and 1206.

    3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will Apply

    20. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of, the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed actions, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    21. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. The Commission therefore describes here, at the outset, three broad groups of small entities that could be directly affected herein. First, while there are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of Advocacy, in general a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all businesses in the United States which translates to 28.8 million businesses.

    22. Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of August 2016, there were approximately 356,494 small organizations based on registration and tax data filed by nonprofits with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    23. Finally, the small entity described as a “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2012 Census of Governments indicate that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions consisting of general purpose governments and special purpose governments in the United States. Of this number there were 37,132 General purpose governments (county, municipal and town or township) with populations of less than 50,000 and 12,184 Special purpose governments (independent school districts and special districts) with populations of less than 50,000. The 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data for most types of governments in the local government category show that the majority of these governments have populations of less than 50,000. Based on this data the Commission estimates that at least 49,316 local government jurisdictions fall in the category of “small governmental jurisdictions.”

    24. Radio Stations. This Economic Census category comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources.” The SBA has established a small business size standard for this category as firms having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. Economic Census data for 2012 show that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year. Of that number, 2,806 firms operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year, 17 with annual receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million and 26 with annual receipts of $50 million or more. Therefore, based on the SBA's size standard the majority of such entities are small entities.

    25. According to Commission staff review of the BIA/Kelsey, LLC's Media Access Pro Radio Database as of January 2018, about 11,261 (or about 99.9 percent) of 11,383 commercial radio stations had revenues of $38.5 million or less and thus qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial AM radio stations to be 4,639 stations and the number of commercial FM radio stations to be 6,744, for a total number of 11,383. The Commission notes that the Commission has also estimated the number of licensed noncommercial (NCE) FM radio stations to be 4,120. Nevertheless, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.

    26. The Commission also notes, that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. The Commission's estimate therefore likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by its action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, to be determined a “small business,” an entity may not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission further notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and the estimate of small businesses to which these rules may apply does not exclude any radio station from the definition of a small business on these basis, thus our estimate of small businesses may therefore be over-inclusive. Also, as noted above, an additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and the estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    27. FM Translator Stations and Low-Power FM Stations. FM translators and Low Power FM Stations are classified in the category of Radio Stations and are assigned the same NAICs Code as licensees of radio stations. This U.S. industry, Radio Stations, comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has established a small business size standard which consists of all radio stations whose annual receipts are $38.5 million dollars or less. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 indicate that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year. Of that number, 2,806 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year, 17 with annual receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million and 26 with annual receipts of $50 million or more. Therefore, based on the SBA's size standard the Commission concludes that the majority of FM Translator Stations and Low Power FM Stations are small.

    28. Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” These establishments operate television broadcast studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has created the following small business size standard for such businesses: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less, 25 had annual receipts between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999 and 70 had annual receipts of $50,000,000 or more. Based on this data the Commission therefore estimates that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities under the applicable SBA size standard.

    29. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,378. Of this total, 1,258 stations (or about 91 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on November 16, 2017, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational television stations to be 395. Notwithstanding, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities. There are also 2,367 low power television stations, including Class A stations (LPTV) and 3,750 TV translator stations. Given the nature of these services, the Commission will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    30. The Commission notes, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as “small” under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, another element of the definition of “small business” requires that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television broadcast station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive. Also, as noted above, an additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and its estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    31. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature (e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers. The SBA size standard for this industry establishes as small, any company in this category which receives annual receipts of $38.5 million or less. According to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data, 367 firms operated for the entire year. Of that number, 319 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million a year and 48 firms operated with annual receipts of $25 million or more. Based on this data, the Commission estimates that the majority of firms operating in this industry are small.

    32. Cable System Operators (Rate Regulation Standard). The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,600 active cable systems in the United States. Of this total, all but nine cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,600 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have fewer than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard as well, the Commission estimates that most cable systems are small entities.

    33. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than one percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” There are approximately 52,403,705 cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 524,037 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, the Commission finds that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. The Commission notes that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million, the Commission is unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    34. Satellite Telecommunications. This category comprises firms “primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.” Satellite telecommunications service providers include satellite and earth station operators. The category has a small business size standard of $32.5 million or less in average annual receipts, under SBA rules. For this category, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 show that there were a total of 333 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 299 firms had annual receipts of less than $25 million. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of satellite telecommunications providers are small entities.

    35. All Other Telecommunications. The “All Other Telecommunications” category is comprised of establishments that are primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing internet services or voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “All Other Telecommunications,” which consists of all such firms with gross annual receipts of $32.5 million or less. For this category, U.S. Census data for 2012 show that there were 1,442 firms that operated for the entire year. Of these firms, a total of 1,400 had gross annual receipts of less than $25 million. Thus, the Commission estimates that the majority of “All Other Telecommunications” firms potentially affected by our action can be considered small.

    36. Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. Broadband Radio Service systems, previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) systems, and “wireless cable,” transmit video programming to subscribers and provide two-way high speed data operations using the microwave frequencies of the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS)).

    37. BRS—In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three calendar years. The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, the Commission estimates that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 86 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities (18 incumbent BRS licensees do not meet the small business size standard). After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, there are currently approximately 133 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission's rules.

    38. In 2009, the Commission conducted Auction 86, the sale of 78 licenses in the BRS areas. The Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small business) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) received a 35 percent discount on its winning bid. Auction 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale of 61 licenses. Of the ten winning bidders, two bidders that claimed small business status won 4 licenses; one bidder that claimed very small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed entrepreneur status won six licenses.

    39. EBS—Educational Broadband Service has been included within the broad economic census category and SBA size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers since 2007. Wired Telecommunications Carriers are comprised of establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. The SBA's small business size standard for this category is all such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small. In addition to Census data, the Commission's Universal Licensing System indicates that as of October 2014, there are 2,206 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that of these 2,206 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.

    40. Direct Broadcast Satellite (“DBS”) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS is included in SBA's economic census category “Wired Telecommunications Carriers.” The Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry. The SBA determines that a wireline business is small if it has fewer than 1,500 employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 indicates that 3,117 wireline companies were operational during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Based on that data, the Commission concludes that the majority of wireline firms are small under the applicable SBA standard. Currently, however, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great deal of capital for operation: DIRECTV (owned by AT&T) and DISH Network. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Accordingly, the Commission must conclude that internally developed FCC data are persuasive that, in general, DBS service is provided only by large firms.

    4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    41. The Commission expects the actions proposed in the FNPRM, if adopted, will impose additional reporting, recordkeeping and/or other compliance obligations on small as well as other entities who inform the Commission about false alerts, and who submit additional information in State EAS Plans about the procedures they are using to prevent and correct false alerts. More specifically, the FNPRM seeks comment on implementing a mechanized process, or utilizing currently available means, such as the Public Safety Support Center reporting portal, to enable EAS Participants, Participating CMS Providers, emergency managers, and members of the public to inform the Commission about false alerts. Additionally, the FNPRM seeks comment on whether the Commission should adopt additional requirements regarding false alert reporting in light of the Hawaii false alert and the recommendations in the Report on Hawaii False Alert, which has the potential to impact reporting requirements. For example, the Commission seeks comment on whether requiring false alert reporting, or specifying the false alert information required in a false alert report, would encourage implementation of standard operating procedures for reporting and responding to false alerts by alert originators.

    42. The FNPRM also proposes to amend its rules governing State EAS Plans to allow them to include procedures implemented by alert originators within states to prevent and correct false alerts. This information includes standard operating procedures that alert initiators follow to prepare for “live code” and other public facing EAS tests and alerts; standard operating procedures that alert initiators have developed for the reporting and correction of false alerts; procedures agreed upon by the SECC and state emergency management agency or other State-authorized alert initiator by which they plan to consult with each other on a regular basis; and the procedures ensuring redundant and effective lines of communication between the SECC and key stakeholders during emergencies.

    43. Finally, the FNPRM seeks comment on whether to adopt technical benchmarks or best practices to help ensure effective delivery of WEA alerts to the public.

    5. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    44. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): “(1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) and exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.”

    45. The Commission does not expect the actions in the FNPRM to have a significant economic impact on small entities. Although the Commission seeks further comment on additional requirements regarding false alert reporting in light of the Hawaii false alert and the recommendations in the Report on Hawaii False Alert, the comments are designed to be minimally burdensome to all affected entities, including small businesses. A potential burden associated filing a false alert report would likely be limited to the time expended to make such report—which would entail entering false alert information into an online filing portal. Given the relatively rare occurrence of false alerts, however, the number of individuals or entities that might ultimately use the online filing portal is likely to be extremely small.

    46. The proposed changes to the State EAS Plan requirements will enable state and local alert originators to include procedures implemented by alert originators within states to prevent and correct false alerts, standard operating procedures that alert initiators follow to prepare for “live code” and other public facing EAS tests and alerts; standard operating procedures that alert initiators have developed for the reporting and correction of false alerts. To the extent that there are costs associated with submitting this information to SECCs, and to the Commission, these costs are expected to be de minimis. With respect to the Commission's request for comment on whether and how to address inconsistent WEA delivery, there is a range of measures that could ultimately be adopted. The Commission has requested comment on the relative costs and benefits of these various approaches to ensure it has input from small entities and others to minimize the economic impacts of whatever actions it might take. Nevertheless, in addition to the steps taken by the Commission discussed herein, commenters are invited to propose steps that the Commission may take to further minimize any economic impact on small entities. When considering proposals made by other parties, commenters are also invited to propose alternatives that serve the goals of these proposals.

    6. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

    47. None.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    48. The Commission notes that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, the Commission previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” In addition, the Commission have described impacts that might affect small businesses, which includes most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the IRFA, supra.

    49. The FNPRM in this document contains proposed new and modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). Public and agency comments are due 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how it might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” The Commission will submit the FNPRM to the Office of Management and Budget for review under Section 3507(d) of the PRA.

    50. The Commission specifically seek comment on the time and cost burdens associated with the voluntary false alert and lockout, and State EAS Plan reporting proposals contained in the FNPRM and whether there are ways of minimizing the costs burdens associated therewith.

    F. Ordering Clauses

    51. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g), 706, and 713 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 613, as well as by sections 602(a), (b), (c), (f), 603, 604 and 606 of the WARN Act, 47 U.S.C. 1202(a), (b), (c), (f), 1203, 1204 and 1206, and the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260 and Public Law 111-265, that this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is adopted.

    52. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking including the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    53. It is further ordered that pursuant to applicable procedures set forth in sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments on this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on or before September 10, 2018, and interested parties may file reply comments on or before October 9, 2018.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 11

    Radio, Television.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 11 as follows:

    PART 11—EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) 1. The authority citation for 47 CFR part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g) and 606.

    2. Amend § 11.21 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 11.21 State and Local Area plans and FCC Mapbook.

    (g) The State EAS Plan must contain procedures implemented within the state to prevent and correct false alerts initiated over the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alert systems, including:

    (1) The standard operating procedures that state and local alert initiators follow to prepare for “live code” and other public facing EAS tests and alerts.

    (2) The standard operating procedures that state and local alert initiators have developed for the reporting and correction of false alerts, including how the alert initiator would issue any corrections to false alerts over the same systems used to issue the false alert, including the EAS and WEA.

    (3) The procedures agreed upon by the SECC and state emergency management agency or other State-authorized alert initiator by which they plan to consult with each other on a regular basis to ensure that EAS procedures, including initiation and cancellation of actual alerts and tests, are mutually understood, agreed upon, and documented in the State EAS Plan.

    (4) The procedures ensuring redundant and effective lines of communication between the SECC and key stakeholders during emergencies.

    (5) Other information that could prevent or mitigate the issuance of false alerts.

    Where the state and local emergency management authorities either do not have or will not share the foregoing information with the SECC, the SECC must specifically note that in the EAS Plan.

    [FR Doc. 2018-17097 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    83 155 Friday, August 10, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [DOC. NO. AMS-FGIS-18-0059] Grain Inspection Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this constitutes notice of the upcoming meeting of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Grain Inspection Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee meets no less than once annually to advise the AMS on the programs and services delivered under the U.S. Grain Standards Act. Recommendations by the Advisory Committee help AMS better meet the needs of its customers who operate in a dynamic and changing marketplace. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary's Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under AMS.

    DATES:

    September 5-6, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Advisory Committee meeting will take place at AMS National Grain Center, 10383 N Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64153.

    Requests to orally address the Advisory Committee during the meeting or written comments to be distributed during the meeting may be sent to: Kendra Kline, AMS-FGIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 3614, Washington, DC 20250-3601. Requests and comments may also be emailed to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kendra Kline by phone at (202) 690-2410 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice to AMS with respect to the implementation of the U.S. Grain Standards Act (7 U.S.C. 71-87k). Information about the Advisory Committee is available on the AMS website at https://www.gipsa.usda.gov/fgis/advisorycommittee.aspx.

    The agenda will include service delivery overview, quality assurance and compliance updates, field management overview, international program updates as they relate to outreach, technology and science initiatives, and other relevant grain inspection topics.

    Public participation will be limited to written statements and interested parties who have registered to present comments orally to the Advisory Committee. If interested in submitting a written statement or presenting comments orally, please contact Kendra Kline at the telephone number or email listed above. Oral commenting opportunities will be first come, first serve. The meeting will be open to the public.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication of program information or related accommodations should contact Kendra Kline at the telephone number or email listed above.

    Dated: August 6, 2018. Greg Ibach, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17114 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Child and Adult Care Food Program: National Average Payment Rates, Day Care Home Food Service Payment Rates, and Administrative Reimbursement Rates for Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes for the Period July 1, 2018 Through June 30, 2019 Correction

    In notice document 2018-15464, appearing on pages 34108 through 34110, in the issue of Thursday, July 19, 2018, make the following correction:

    On page 34110, in the table, in the “Lunch and supper” column, under “Tier II”, under “Next 150”, in the last row, “195” should read “105”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2018-15464 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Extension of a Current Information Collection; Comment Request—Evaluation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Pilots AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a request for an extension of a current information collection for the purpose of evaluating the Fiscal Year 2015 Pilot Projects to Reduce Dependency and Increase Work Requirements and Work Effort Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: Danielle Deemer, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Danielle Deemer at 703-305-2576 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the Office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Danielle Deemer, Office of Policy Support, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Evaluation of SNAP E&T Pilots.

    OMB Number: 0584-0604.

    Expiration Date: 01/31/2019.

    Type of Request: Extension of a Current Information Collection without Change.

    Abstract: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical work support for low-income people and families. SNAP benefits help eligible low-income families put food on the table in times of need. It also supports critical and needed skills and job training so that recipients can obtain good jobs that lead to self-sufficiency. SNAP's long-standing mission of helping unemployed and underemployed people is challenging. To help them and their families achieve self-sufficiency, strategies are needed to impart the skills employers want, and to help address other barriers to employment. Some participants need assistance developing a resume and accessing job leads, others need education and training, and still others need help overcoming barriers that prevent them from working steadily. The SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program provides assistance to unemployed and underemployed clients in the form of job search, job skills training, education (basic, post-secondary, vocational), work experience or training and workfare, but limited information exists on what is most effective in connecting these participants to gainful employment.

    The Agriculture Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79, Section 4022), otherwise known as the 2014 Farm Bill, authorized grants for up to 10 pilot sites to develop and rigorously test innovative SNAP E&T strategies for engaging more SNAP work registrants in unsubsidized employment, increasing participants' earnings, and reducing reliance on public assistance. The pilots' significant funding can expand the reach of employment and training services and enable States to experiment with promising strategies to increase engagement and promote employment. An evaluation of the pilot sites will be critical in helping Congress and FNS identify strategies that effectively assist SNAP participants to succeed in the labor market and become self-sufficient.

    The 10 States receiving grants to fund pilot projects are California, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Mississippi, Vermont, Virginia and Washington State. The evaluation will collect data from all 10 pilot sites in 2015-2016 (baseline), 2016-2018 (12-month follow-up) and 2018-2020 (36-month follow-up). The data collected for this evaluation will be used for implementation, impact, participant and cost-benefit analyses for each pilot site. Research objectives include: (1) Documenting the context and operations of each pilot, identifying lessons learned, and helping to interpret and understand impacts within each pilot and across pilots, (2) identifying the impacts on employment, earnings, and reliance on public assistance and food security and other outcomes to determine what works and what works for whom, (3) examining the characteristics of service paths of pilot participants and the control group to assess whether the mere presence of the pilots and their offer of services or participation requirements influence whether people apply for SNAP (entry effects), and (4) estimating the total and component costs of each pilot to provide an estimate of the return to each dollar invested in the pilot services.

    Primary outcomes will be participant employment, earnings, and participation in public assistance programs, which will be measured through State administrative records, a baseline survey administered during enrollment into the study, and follow-up telephone surveys conducted at approximately 12 months and 36 months after participants enroll in the pilot. Impacts on secondary outcomes, such as food security, health status, and self-esteem will be measured through the follow-up telephone surveys as well. The end products (interim and final reports) will provide scientifically valid evidence of the pilot project impacts.

    Affected Public: Members of the public affected by the data collection include individuals and households; State and local governments; and Businesses from the Private sector (for-profit and not-for-profit). Respondent types identified include (1) individuals and households eligible for SNAP E&T participation; (2) directors and managers from State and local government agencies supporting the SNAP E&T programs; (3) staff from State and local government agencies providing direct services to SNAP E&T participants; (4) directors and managers from private sector for-profit businesses providing SNAP E&T services; and (5) directors and managers from private sector not-for-profit agencies providing SNAP E&T services.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated number of respondents is 53,830. This includes 52,870 individuals, 190 State and local government directors/managers and staff, and 770 private sector for-profit business and not-for-profit agency directors/managers. Of the 52,852 individuals completing a baseline survey when applying for services, FNS will contact 25,000 out of which 18,240 individuals in the treatment and comparison groups will complete a 12-month follow-up telephone survey (6,760 will be non-responders). Of 18,240 respondents to the 12-month follow-up, 11,090 will complete a 36-month follow-up telephone survey (7,150 nonrespondents). Among the individuals contacted for the telephone surveys, 1,200 may also be contacted for a focus group and 200 for a case study on topics of special interest to FNS. Of the individuals contacted for the focus groups and case studies, 280 participants will participate and 1,120 will decline and be considered nonrespondents. 18 individuals were contacted separately to pretest surveys and focus groups. 170 State and local government agency directors/managers will be contacted for in-person interviews. 150 of those will be interviewed two additional times; 10 of the directors/managers will provide case study data, 10 will provide documents for review, 10 will complete the MOU, 10 will provide wage data, 10 will provide entry effects data, and 10 will provide entry effects data. A separate group of 10 data director/managers will be contacted for cost/benefit interviews and 10 will be contacted to provide cost data. 200 Private sector not-for-profit and for-profit agency directors/managers and staff will be contacted for cost/benefit interviews. These individuals will also be contacted for in-person interviews, and the directors and managers for the case study will be recruited from this group. 160 individuals will be contacted for a time-use survey. This sample will also be used to recruit staff to participate in the case study. 210 staff members responsible for data management will also be contacted for the provision of administrative data. Additionally, 200 private sector not-for-profit employer training supervisors will be recruited to participate in employer focus groups.

    Estimated Frequency of Responses per Respondent: Average of 5.49 response for individuals per instrument or activity, 5.79 responses for State and local government representatives for all contacts, and 13.8 responses for private sector representatives for all contacts. The number of contacts per activity average 5.6 across all participants.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 317,108.

    Estimated Time per Response: About 0.15 hours (9.26 minutes). The estimated time per response varies from 0.02 to 4 hours depending on the respondent group and data collection activity, as shown in the table below.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: The total annual burden is 49,972 hours.

    BILLING CODE 3410-30-P EN10AU18.002 EN10AU18.003 EN10AU18.004 EN10AU18.005 EN10AU18.006 Dated: August 1, 2018. Brandon Lipps, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17186 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-C
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs, National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates Correction

    In notice document 2018-15465, appearing on pages 34105 through 34108, in the issue of Thursday, July 19, 2018, make the following correction:

    On page 34107, in the table, in the “Maximum Rate” column, in the first row, “0.30” should read “0.39”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2018-15465 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (Recreation RAC) will hold its next meeting in Asheville, North Carolina. The meeting is open to the public. The purpose of the meeting is to receive recommendations concerning recreation fee proposals on areas managed by the Forest Service in Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas and South Carolina. A summary of the proposals that may be discussed at this meeting will be posted at least 15 days prior to the meeting at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r8/recreation/racs.

    The Southern Region Recreation RAC is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. II), and Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 (the Act) (Pub. L. 108-447). Additional information concerning the Southern Region Recreation RAC can be found by visiting the committee's website noted above.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held August 27 and August 28, 2018, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. All Recreation RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of the meeting, please contact the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Asheville, North Carolina and the address of the meeting location will be posted on the committee's website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r8/recreation/racs at least 15 days before the meeting. When possible, the meeting will be available via teleconference at 1-888-844-9904, participant code 1482357. Portions of the meeting may be field-based with limited phone coverage, in which case the teleconference will not be available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tiffany Williams, Southern Region Recreation RAC Coordinator by phone at 404-347-2769, or by email at [email protected]. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting is open to the public. An agenda will be posted on https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r8/recreation/racs at least 7 days prior to the meeting. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may provide written or oral comments. Written comments should be submitted to Chris Sporl, Designated Federal Official for the Southern Recreation RAC, U.S. Forest Service, 1720 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, or [email protected] at least 5 days prior to the meeting.

    All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments at the USDA Forest Service, 1720 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead at 404-347-2769 to facilitate entry into the USDA Forest Service building.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you require reasonable accommodation, please make your request in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation, please request this in advance of the meeting by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: August 2, 2018. Chris Iverson, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17134 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    United States Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Commission Public Business meeting.

    DATES:

    Friday, August 17, 2018, 10:00 a.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Place: National Place Building, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 11th Floor, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425. (Entrance on F Street NW.)

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Walch: (202) 376-8371; TTY: (202) 376-8116; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This business meeting is open to the public. There will also be a call-in line for individuals who desire to listen to the presentations: 877-260-1479; Conference ID 3752191. The event will also live-stream at https://www.youtube.com/user/USCCR/videos. (Please note that streaming information is subject to change.) Persons with disabilities who need accommodation should contact Pamela Dunston at (202) 376-8105 or at [email protected] at least seven (7) business days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Meeting Agenda I. Approval of Agenda II. Business Meeting A. Presentation by Maine Advisory Committee Chair on the Committee's recently released report, Voting Rights in Maine B. Presentation by Arizona Advisory Committee Chair on the Committee's recently released report, Voting Rights in Arizona C. Discussion and Vote on Commission report, An Examination of Excessive Force and Modern Policing Practices D. Discussion and Vote on Commission report, Contemporary Civil Rights Challenges: A View from the States, 2018 Survey of the State Advisory Committees to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights E. Discussion and Vote on 2019 Business Meeting Calendar F. Discussion and Vote on Fiscal Year 2019 Program Planning G. Discussion and Vote on Fiscal Year 2020 Program Planning for Statutory Enforcement Report H. Discussion and Vote on Commission's Oregon Advisory Committee Chair I. Management and Operations • Staff Director's Report J. Presentation on Remembering Filipina/o American History & Its Intersection with Civil Rights • Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, San Francisco State University III. Adjourn Meeting Dated: August 7, 2018. Brian Walch, Director, Communications and Public Engagement.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17238 Filed 8-8-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-878] Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminary determines that Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd. (Dongkuk) and Hyundai Steel Company (Hyundai), producers/exporters of merchandise subject to this administrative review, made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. The period of review (POR) is January 4, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lingjun Wang (Dongkuk) or Elfi Blum-Page (Hyundai), AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-2316 or (202) 482 -0197.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain corrosion-resistant steel products. For a complete description of the scope of the order, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price and constructed export price are calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. NV is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as the Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins for the period January 4, 2016, through June 30, 2017:

    1 Commerce found Dongkuk to be the successor-in-interest to Union Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in the underlying investigation. See Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 78 (January 4, 2016), and accompanying Decision Memorandum at 7, unchanged in Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 35303 (June 2, 2016), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at 6.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-average dumping margin (percent) Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd./Union Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd 1 4.14 Hyundai Steel Company 10.32

    Review-Specific Average Rate Applicable to the Following Companies: 2

    2 This rate is based on the weighted-average margin using the publicly-ranged sales value of mandatory respondents, and is the best proxy of the actual weighted-average margin determined for the mandatory respondents. Due to requests to protect business proprietary information, we cannot apply our normal methodology of calculating a weighted-average margin. See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from France, et al.: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661, 53663 (September 1, 2010); see also Memorandum re: Calculation of the Review-Specific Average Rate for the Preliminary Results, dated concurrently with this notice.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-average dumping margin (percent) Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd 5.55 POSCO 5.55 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.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), where the mandatory respondents reported the entered value for their U.S. sales, we calculated importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the examined sales to the total entered value of the sales for which entered value was reported. Where the mandatory respondents did not report entered value, we calculated the entered value in order to calculate the assessment rate. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), or an importer-specific rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    For the companies which were not selected for individual review, we will assign an assessment rate based on the average 3 of the cash deposit rates calculated for the two mandatory respondents. 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.4

    3 This rate was calculated as discussed in footnote 2, above.

    4See section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective 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 each specific company listed above will be that established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is less than 0.50 percent and, therefore, de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (2) for previously investigated companies not participating in this review, the cash deposit will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the company participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, or the underlying 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 8.32 percent, the all-others rate established in the underlying investigation.5 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    5See Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination for India and Taiwan, and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 48390 (July 25, 2016), as amended by Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony with Final Determination of Investigation and Notice of Amended Final Results, issued July 23, 2018.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce intends to disclose the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results to interested parties within five days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.7 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.8 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.9 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.10

    6See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    10See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically-filed request for a hearing must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.11 Hearing 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 issues raised in the 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 20230.12

    11See 19 CFR 351.310(c); 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1).

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless otherwise extended.13

    13See Section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) 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 results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    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. Period of Review IV. Scope of the Order V. Particular Market Situation VI. Use of Facts Available and Adverse Facts Available A. Legal Authority B. Application of Facts Available to Hyundai C. Application of Facts Available with an Adverse Inference D. Selection and Corroboration of Adverse Facts Available Rate VII. Review-Specific Average Rate for Non-Examined Companies VIII. Discussion of the Methodology A. Normal Value Comparisons 1. Determination of Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis B. Date of Sale C. Product Comparisons D. Export Price and Constructed Export Price E. Normal Value 1. Home Market Viability 2. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test 3. Level of Trade 4. Overrun Sales 5. Cost of Production Analysis 6. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Home Market Prices 7. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value IX. Currency Conversion X. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17155 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-824] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET film) from India. The period of review (POR) is July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. This review covers mandatory respondents Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India) and SRF Limited of India, producers and exporters of PET film from India. Commerce preliminarily determines that sales of subject merchandise have been made below normal value by Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India), and that sales of subject merchandise have not been made below normal value by SRF Limited of India during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 3, 2017, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PET film from India, for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.1 In accordance with section 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), in July 2017, we received requests for reviews of the following companies: Chiripal Poly Films Limited (Chiripal); Ester Industries Limited (Ester); Garware Polyester Ltd. (Garware); MTZ Polyesters Ltd. (MTZ); Polyplex Corporation Ltd. (Polyplex); SRF Limited; SRF Limited of India; Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India); Uflex Ltd. (Uflex); and Vacmet India Limited (Vacmet).2

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 82 FR 30833 (July 3, 2017).

    2See the Petitioners' Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) from India, Request for Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated July 31, 2017. See also the Petitioners' Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) from India, Amended Request for Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated August 11, 2017. See also the Petitioners' Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) from India, Amended Request for Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated August 30, 2017; see also Polyplex USA LLC's Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) from India: Request for Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated July 28, 2017. See also Polyplex's Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) from India: Request for Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated August 29, 2017; see also SRF Limited's Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, (PET Film) from India/Request for Antidumping Admin Review/SRF Limited,” dated July 31, 2017; see also Jindal's Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, (PET Film) from India/Request for Antidumping Admin Review/Jindal Poly Films Limited,” dated July 27, 2017; see also Chiripal's Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film, Sheet and Strip from India: Request for Administrative Review of Anti-Dumping Duty of Chiripal Poly Films Limited,” dated July 31, 2017.

    Subsequently, on September 13, 2017, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.222(c)(1)(i), Commerce published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PET film from India.3

    3See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    On September 27, 2017, we released U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import data to eligible parties under the Administrative Protective Order and invited interested parties to submit comments with respect to the selection of respondents for individual examination.4

    4See Memorandum, “Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET) Film from India: U.S. Customs Entries,” dated September 27, 2017.

    On November 20, 2017, Commerce determined to limit the number of companies subject to individual examination in this administrative review, and selected Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India) (Jindal) and SRF Limited of India (SRF) as mandatory respondents.5

    5See Memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Selection of Respondents for Individual Examination,” dated November 20, 2017 (Respondent Selection Memorandum). SRF Limited of India and SRF limited are the same company. See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted, by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) at 2-3.

    We issued our initial questionnaires to Jindal and SRF on November 24, 2017, and November 27, 2017, respectively. The deadline for withdrawal requests was December 12, 2017.6 All review requests were timely withdrawn for two companies, MTZ and Uflex.

    6See 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    On January 23, 2018, Commerce issued a memorandum tolling all deadlines for this investigation by three days due to the shutdown of the federal government.7 On March 22, 2018, in accordance with section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), Commerce extended the due date for the preliminary results by an additional 60 days, from April 5, 2018, to June 4, 2018.8 On June 1, 2018, in accordance with section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), Commerce extended the due date for the preliminary results by an additional 60 days. The current deadline is August 3, 2018.9

    7See Memorandum, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by three days.

    8See Memorandum “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet and Strip from India: Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review (2016-2017),” dated March 22, 2018.

    9See Memorandum, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Film from Taiwan: Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review (2016-2017),” dated June 1, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by this order are all gauges of raw, pretreated, or primed polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet and strip, whether extruded or coextruded. Excluded are metallized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer of more than 0.00001 inches thick. Imports of PET film are classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item number 3920.62.00.90. HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    Commerce initiated a review of ten companies in this proceeding.10 We are rescinding this administrative review with respect to MTZ and Uflex, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), because all review request of these companies were timely withdrawn.11 Accordingly, the companies that remain subject to the instant review are: Chiripal; Ester; Garware; Jindal; Polyplex, SRF; and Vacmet India Limited.

    10See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    11See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Act. Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an 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 http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Companies Not Selected for Individual Review

    In accordance with section 735(c)(5) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), we preliminarily assign to those companies not selected for individual review the rate calculated for Jindal in this review, because SRF's rate is de minimis. 12

    12See the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

    Manufacturer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India) 13 5.50 SRF Limited of India 0.00 Garware Polyester Ltd 5.50 Chiripal Poly Films Limited 5.50 Polyplex Corporation Ltd 5.50 Ester Industries Limited 5.50 Vacmet India Limited 5.50
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    13 The Initiation Notice also lists the company as Jindal Poly Films Limited of India. Commerce has previously determined that Jindal Poly Films Limited of India is the same company as Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India). See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 36735 (August 7, 2017), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at FN 1 (unchanged in Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 6162 (February 13, 2018)).

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.14 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.15

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    15See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, must submit a written request to the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of this administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for an importer's examined sales and the total entered value of such sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c), or an importer-specific rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    Commerce clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003.16 This clarification applies to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by a respondent for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    16 For a full discussion of this clarification, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice).

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Assessment and Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of PET film from India entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for the company under review will be the rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, no cash deposit will be required); (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 recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters is 5.71 percent.17 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    17See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 6162 (February 13, 2018).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Partial Rescission of Administrative Review IV. Scope of the Order V. Product Comparisons VI. Comparison to Normal Value 1. Determination of Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis 3. Date of Sale 4. Export Price 5. Normal Value 6. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices 7. Currency Conversion VII. Companies Not Selected VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17178 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-864] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) from India are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) November 6, 2015, through December 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Justin Neuman or Matthew Renkey, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0486 or (202) 482-2312, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 13, 2017, Commerce initiated this administrative review on CORE from India covering JSW Steel Limited and Uttam Galva Steels Limited.1 The events that have occurred between initiation and these preliminary results are discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017).

    2See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Adminsitrative Review: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are certain corrosion-resistant steel products from India. For a full description of the scope, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3

    3Id.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(l)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.4 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an Appendix to this notice.

    4See 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.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and 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 versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates for the period November 6, 2015, through December 31, 2016 to be:

    5 Cross-owned affiliates are: JSW Steel Coated Products Limited (a producer and exporter of subject merchandise), Amba River Coke Limited, JSW Steel (Salav) Limited, and JSW Steel Processing Centers Limited.

    6 Cross-owned affiliates are: Uttam Value Steels Limited (a producer and exporter of subject merchandise) and Uttam Galva Metallics Limited.

    Manufacturer/exporter Subsidy rate
  • (percent
  • ad valorem)
  • JSW Steel Limited and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited 5 11.30 Uttam Galva Steels Limited and Uttam Value Steels Limited 6 15.45
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce intends to disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register. 7 Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) within 30 days after the date of publication of the preliminary results and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.8 Rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs.9 Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs 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.10

    7See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(l)(ii) and 351.309(d)(l).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must do so within 30 days of publication of these preliminary results by submitting a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system.11 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we intend to inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing, which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.12 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing. Issues addressed at the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs.13 All briefs and hearing requests must be filed electronically and received successfully in their entirety through ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    11See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    12See 19 CFR 351.310.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, 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, within 120 days after publication of these preliminary results.

    Assessment Rates and Cash Deposit Requirement

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, Commerce also intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties, in the amounts shown above, for each of the respective companies shown above, on 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, as appropriate. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    These preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(l) and 777(i)(l) 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. Subsidies Valuation Information V. Analysis of Programs VI. Verification VII. Conclusion [FR Doc. 2018-17161 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-580-879] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, Rescission of Review, in Part, and Intent To Rescind, in Part; 2015-16 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is conducting an administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) from the Republic of Korea (Korea). The period of review (POR) is November 6, 2015, through December 31, 2016. We preliminarily determine that Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd/Dongbu Incheon Steel Co., Ltd. (Dongbu) and Hyundai Steel Company (Hyundai Steel) received countervailable subsidies during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Myrna Lobo or Jun Jack Zhao, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2371 and (202) 482-1396, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 13, 2017, Commerce published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the CVD order on CORE from Korea.1 On June 20, 2018, Commerce extended the deadline for the preliminary results to 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 included at 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 http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and 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). See also Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 48051 (October 16, 2017) (Initiation Notice Correction), at footnote 8.

    2See Memorandum regarding Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea: Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review—2015-2016, dated March 23, 2018; see also Memorandum, “Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Administrative Review—2015-2016,” dated June 20, 2018.

    3See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, Rescission of Review, in Part, and Intent to Rescind, in Part; 2015-2016: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain corrosion-resistant steel products. For a complete description of the scope of the order, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Rescission of Administrative Review, in Part

    Commerce initiated a review of 22 companies in this segment of the proceeding.4 Two of these companies, Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd. and Union Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd. are not subject to the CVD order on CORE from Korea.5 Accordingly, we are rescinding the review with respect to these two companies.

    4See Initiation Notice and Initiation Notice Correction. The 22 companies were: Bukook Steel Co., Ltd.; CJ Korea Express; DK Dongshin Co., Ltd.; Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd., Dongbu Incheon (collectively, Dongbu) Steel Co., Ltd.; Dongbu Express; Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd.; Hongyi (HK) Hardware Products Co., Ltd.; Hyundai Steel; Jeil Sanup Co., Ltd.; Mitsubishi International Corp.; POSCO; POSCO C&C; POSCO Daewoo Corp.; Sejung Shipping Co., Ltd.; SeAH Steel, Seil Steel Co., Ltd.; Soon Hong Trading Co., Ltd.; Taisan Construction Co., Ltd.; TCC Steel Co., Ltd.; Union Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd.; and Young Sun Steel Co.

    5See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Intent To Rescind Administrative Review, in Part

    Based on information submitted by Mitsubishi International Corporation after the initiation of this administrative review, and because there is no evidence on the record to indicate that this company had entries of subject merchandise during the POR, we preliminarily intend to rescind the review with respect to Mitsubishi International Corporation.6 A final decision regarding whether to rescind the review of this company will be issued with the final results of review.

    6Id.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(l)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine 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.7 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    7See 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.

    Companies Not Selected for Individual Review

    For the companies not selected for individual review, because the rates calculated for Dongbu and Hyundai Steel were above de minimis and not based entirely on facts available, we applied a subsidy rate based on a weighted-average of the subsidy rates calculated for Dongbu and Hyundai Steel using publicly ranged sales data submitted by respondents. This is consistent with the methodology that we would use in an investigation to establish the all-others rate, consistent with section 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b)(4)(i), we preliminarily determine that the following subsidy rates exist for the 2015 and 2016 periods. The 2015 rate applies to the November 6, 2015, through December 31, 2015, period when liquidation of entries was suspended. The 2016 rate applies to entries suspended during 2016 and to establish the cash deposit rate for exports of subject merchandise subsequent to the final results.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent ad valorem)
  • 2015 2016
    Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd./Dongbu Incheon Steel Co., Ltd 7.63 8.47 Hyundai Steel Company 0.55 0.57 Bukook Steel Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 CJ Korea Express 3.09 3.34 DK Dongshin Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 Dongbu Express 3.09 3.34 Hongyi (HK) Hardware Products Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 Jeil Sanup Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 POSCO 3.09 3.34 POSCO C&C 3.09 3.34 POSCO Daewoo Corp 3.09 3.34 Sejung Shipping Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 SeAH Steel 3.09 3.34 Seil Steel Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 Soon Hong Trading Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 Taisan Construction Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 TCC Steel Co., Ltd 3.09 3.34 Young Sun Steel Co 3.09 3.34
    Assessment Rate

    Consistent with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review. For companies for which this review is rescinded, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate entries without regard to countervailing duties. Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Cash Deposit Rate

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(1) of the Act, Commerce intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties in the amount indicated above 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 of estimated countervailing duties at the most recent company-specific or all-others rate applicable to the company, as appropriate. These cash deposit instructions, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.8 Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) within 30 days of publication of the preliminary results and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.9 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.10

    8See 19 CFR 224(b).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) and 351.309(d)(1).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and 351.309(d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must do so within 30 days of publication of these preliminary results by submitting a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system.11 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce will inform parties of the scheduled date of the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined.12 Issues addressed during the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs.13 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    11See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    12See 19 CFR 351.310.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Parties are reminded that all briefs and hearing requests must be filed electronically using ACCESS and received successfully in their entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, 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, within 120 days after publication of these preliminary results.

    This administrative review and notice are in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    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. Period of Review IV. Scope of the Order V. Rescission of the 2015-2016 Administrative Review, in Part VI. Intent To Rescind Administrative Review, in Part VII. Rate for Non-Examined Companies VIII. Subsidies Valuation Information IX. Analysis of Programs X. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17156 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-900] Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily finds that certain companies covered by this administrative review made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yang Jin Chun or Joshua Poole, 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) 482-5760 and (202) 482-1293, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on diamond sawblades and parts thereof (diamond sawblades) from the People's Republic of China (China). The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2016, through October 31, 2017. Commerce has preliminarily determined that certain companies covered by this review made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is diamond sawblades and parts thereof. The diamond sawblades subject to the order are currently classifiable under subheadings 8202 to 8206 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and may also enter under 6804.21.00. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1See the Memorandum, “Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Six companies that received a separate rate in previous segments of the proceeding and are subject to this review reported that they did not have any exports of subject merchandise during the POR.2 We requested that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report any contrary information.3 To date, we have not received any contrary information from either CBP in response to our inquiry or any other sources that these companies had any shipments of the subject merchandise sold to the United States during the POR.4 Further, consistent with our practice, we find that it is not appropriate to rescind the review with respect to these companies but, rather, to complete the review and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of review.5

    2See the February 9, 2018, no-shipment letter from Weihai Xiangguang Mechanical Industrial Co., Ltd., and the February 12, 2018, no-shipment letters from Danyang Hantronic Import & Export Co., Ltd., Danyang Tsunda Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Huachang Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Shanghai Starcraft Tools Company Limited, and Wuhan Wanbang Laser Diamond Tools Co., Ltd.

    3See the CBP message numbers 8129311-8129313 dated May 9, 2018, and 8130301-8130303 dated May 10, 2018, available at http://adcvd.cbp.dhs.gov/adcvdweb/.

    4See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 3-4 for a detailed discussion.

    5See, e.g., Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Rescission, In Part, of Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2013, 80 FR 34619 (June 17, 2015).

    Separate Rates

    Commerce preliminarily determines that 14 respondents are eligible to receive separate rates in this review.6

    6See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 4-8, for more details.

    Separate Rates for Eligible Non-Selected Respondents

    Because we denied the separate rate eligibility for the two respondents selected for individual examination, Danyang Huachang Diamond Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Danyang Huachang) and Jiangsu Youhe Tool Manufacturer Co., Ltd. (Jiangsu Youhe), and treated them as part of the China-wide entity, we preliminarily applied to non-selected respondents the separate rate assigned to eligible respondents in the last completed administrative review, which is 82.05 percent.7

    7Id. at 8.

    China-Wide Entity

    Under Commerce's current policy regarding the conditional review of the China-wide entity,8 the China-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or Commerce self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the China-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change (i.e., 82.05 percent).9 Aside from the no-shipments and separate rate companies discussed above, Commerce considers all other companies for which a review was requested (which did not file a separate rate application) to be part of the China-wide entity.10

    8See 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 (November 4, 2013).

    9See, e.g., Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 32344, 32345 (June 8, 2015).

    10See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 1329, 1331-32 (January 11, 2018) (“All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below.”). Companies that are subject to this administrative review that are considered to be part of the China-wide entity are ASHINE Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Danyang City Ou Di Ma Tools Co., Ltd., Danyang Like Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Danyang Youhe Tool Manufacturer Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Kingburg Import & Export Co., Ltd., Hebei XMF Tools Group Co., Ltd., Henan Huanghe Whirlwind Co., Ltd., Hong Kong Hao Xin International Group Limited, Hubei Changjiang Precision Engineering Materials Technology Co., Ltd., Hubei ShengBaiRui Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Orient Gain International Limited, Pantos Logistics (HK) Company Limited, Pujiang Talent Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Qingdao Hyosung Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Qingdao Shinhan Diamond Industrial Co., Ltd., Sino Tools Co., Ltd., Wuhan Baiyi Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Wuhan Sadia Trading Co., Ltd., and Wuhan ZhaoHua Technology Co., Ltd. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 8-9. In addition, Danyang Huachang, Jiangsu Youhe, and Qingyuan Shangtai Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., are preliminarily treated as part of the China-wide entity. Id. at 6, 9.

    Methodology

    Commerce conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For Danyang Huachang and Jiangsu Youhe, we denied the separate rate eligibility and treated them as part of the China-wide entity.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    Commerce preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter Margin
  • (percent)
  • Chengdu Huifeng New Material Technology Co., Ltd 82.05 Danyang Weiwang Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd 82.05 Guilin Tebon Superhard Material Co., Ltd 82.05 Hangzhou Deer King Industrial and Trading Co., Ltd 82.05 Henan Huanghe Whirlwind International Co., Ltd 82.05 Huzhou Gu's Import & Export Co., Ltd 82.05 Jiangsu Fengtai Single Entity 82.05 Jiangsu Inter-China Group Corporation 82.05 Quanzhou Zhongzhi Diamond Tool Co., Ltd 82.05 Rizhao Hein Saw Co., Ltd 82.05 Saint-Gobain Abrasives (Shanghai) Co., Ltd 82.05 Shanghai Jingquan Industrial Trade Co., Ltd 82.05 Xiamen ZL Diamond Technology Co., Ltd 82.05 Zhejiang Wanli Tools Group Co., Ltd 82.05
    Disclosure

    Normally, Commerce discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with a preliminary results of review within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results of review in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Because Commerce preliminarily denied the separate rate eligibility for the two respondents selected for individual examination and treated them as part of the China-wide entity, there are no calculations to disclose.

    Public Comment

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.11 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.12 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the cases briefs are filed.13

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    12See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    13See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.14 Hearing requests should contain (1) the party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Unless extended, Commerce intends to issue the final results of this review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised by parties in their comments, within 120 days after the publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    14See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuing the final results of review, Commerce will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.15 If the preliminary results are unchanged for the final results, we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 82.05 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were exported by the non-selected respondents eligible for a separate rate. If Commerce determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the China-wide rate.16 Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    15See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    16See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65695 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative 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 section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For subject merchandise exported by the companies listed above that have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of 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; 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 serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    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. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments V. Discussion of the Methodology A. Non-Market Economy Country Status B. Separate Rates VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17065 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-854] Certain Steel Nails From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that Bonuts Logistics Co., LLC made U.S. sales of subject merchandise below normal value. Commerce preliminarily determines that Unicatch Industrial Co. Ltd., PT Enterprise, Inc. and its affiliated producer Pro-Team Coil Nail Enterprise, Inc. did not make U.S. sales of subject merchandise below normal value. We are rescinding the review with respect to 92 companies for which the request for review was timely withdrawn. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Hoefke or Chelsey Simonovich, 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) 482-4947 or (202) 482-1979, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain steel nails from Taiwan. The period of review (POR) is July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. This review covers Bonuts Logistics Co., LLC (Bonuts); PT Enterprise, Inc. (PT Enterprise) and its affiliated producer Pro-Team Coil Nail Enterprise, Inc. (Pro-Team) (collectively, PT); and Unicatch Industrial Co. Ltd. (Unicatch). Commerce published the notice of initiation of this administrative review 1 on September 13, 2017.2 The preliminary results are listed below in the section titled “Preliminary Results of Review.”

    1 PT Enterprise, Unicatch, and Mid Continent Steel & Wire, Inc. (Mid Continent), a domestic producer and interested party, requested the instant administrative review. See PT July 31, 2017 Request for Administrative Review; Unicatch July 31, 2017 Request for Administrative Review; Mid Continent July 31, 2017 Request for Administrative Reviews.

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    On January 23, 2018, Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20, 2018, through January 22, 2018.3 On March 22, 2018, we extended the deadline for the preliminary results to July 16, 2018.4 On July 12, 2018, we extended the deadline for the preliminary results to August 3, 2018.5

    3See Memorandum, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    4See Memorandum, “Certain Steel Nails from Taiwan: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated March 22, 2018 (First Prelim Extension).

    5See Memorandum, “Certain Steel Nails from Taiwan: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated July 12, 2018 (Second Prelim Extension).

    For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this administrative review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.6

    6See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Steel Nails from Taiwan; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order 7

    7See Certain Steel Nails from the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Orders, 80 FR 39994 (July 13, 2015) (Order).

    The merchandise covered by this order is certain steel nails. The certain steel nails subject to the order are currently classifiable 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 these orders also may be classified under HTSUS subheadings 7907.00.60.00, 8206.00.00.00 or other HTSUS subheadings.

    The full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Steel Nails from Taiwan; 2016-2017” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), which is hereby adopted by this notice. The written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Methodology

    For PT and Unicatch, Commerce has conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Normal value (NV) is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. Export price or constructed export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and 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 Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as the Appendix to this notice.

    Application of Facts Available and Adverse Facts Available

    Pursuant to section 776(a) and (b) of the Act, Commerce has preliminarily relied upon facts otherwise available with adverse inferences (AFA) for Bonuts because this respondent did not respond to Commerce's antidumping duty questionnaire, and thus failed to cooperate to the best of its ability in responding to Commerce's requests for information. For a complete explanation of the methodology and rationale underlying our preliminary application of AFA, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Partial Rescission of Review

    Commerce received timely requests to conduct an administrative review of certain exporters covering the POR. On December 8, 2017, Mid Continent Steel & Wire, Inc. (Mid Continent), a domestic producer and interested party, timely withdrew its review requests for certain companies. 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 date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Accordingly, we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to the companies for which all review requests have been withdrawn.8 For a full description of the methodology and rationale underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    8 Those companies are: Air Sea Transport, Inc.; All Precision Co., Ltd.; Apex Maritime Co., Inc.; Aplus Pneumatic Corp.; Astrotech Steels Private Ltd.; Basso Industry Corporation; Bollore Logistics (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.; C.H. Robinson Freight Services; Challenge Industrial Co., Ltd.; Cheng Ch International Co. Ltd.; Chia Pao Metal Co. Ltd.; China International Freight Co. Ltd.; Chite Enterprises Co., Ltd.; Crown Run Industrial Corp.; Daejin Steel Company Ltd.; E&E Transport International Co., Ltd.; Easylink Industrial Co., Ltd.; ECI Taiwan Co., Ltd.; Everise Global Logistics Co., Ltd.; Faithful Engineering Products Co. Ltd.; Fastenal Asia Pacific Ltd.; Four Winds Corporation; Fuzhou Important Countries Import & Export; Fuzhou Royal Floor Co., Ltd.; Fuzhou Top Golden Import & Export Co.; General Merchandise Consolidators; Ginfa World Co. Ltd.; Gloex Company; H&W International Forwarders Co., Ltd.; Hanbit Logistics Co., Ltd.; Hecny Shipping Limited; Hi-Sharp Industrial Corp. Ltd.; Home Value Co., Ltd.; Honour Lane Logistics Co., Ltd.; Hor Liang Industrial Corp.; Hyup Sung Indonesia; Inmax Industries Sdn. Bhd.; Jade Shuttle Enterprise Co., Ltd.; Jia Jue Industry Co. Ltd.; Jinhai Hardware Co., Ltd.; Jinsco International Corp.; Joo Sung Sea & Air Co., Ltd.; K Win Fasteners Inc.; King Freight International Corporation; Korea Wire Co., Ltd.; Liang Chyuan Industrial Co., Ltd.; Locksure Inc.; Lu Kang Hand Tools Industrial Co., Ltd.; ML Global Ltd.; Master United Corp.; Nailermate Enterprise Corporation; Newrex Screw Corporation; NMC Logistics International Company; Noble Shipping Pvt. Ltd.; NS International Ltd.; OOCL Logistics Ltd.; Orient Express Container Co., Ltd.; Oriental Power Logistics Co., Ltd.; Oriental Vanguard Logistics Co. Ltd.; Pacific Concord International Ltd.; Pacific Star Express Corp.; Panda Logistics Co., Ltd.; Panther T&H Industry Co.; Patek Tool Co., Ltd.; Point Edge Corp.; President Industrial Inc.; Romp Coil Nail Industries Inc.; Scanwell, Schenker, Seamaster Logistics Sdn Bhd; Star World Product and Trading Co., Ltd.; Sun VN Transport Co.; T.H.I. Logistics Co. Ltd.; Taiwan Wakisangyo Co. Ltd.; The Ultimate Freight Management; Topps Wang International Ltd.; Trans Wagon International Co. Ltd.; Trans-Top Enterprise Co., Ltd.; Transwell Logistics Co., Ltd.; Transworld Transportation Co., Ltd.; Trim International Inc.; Tsi-Translink (Taiwan) Co. Ltd.; UC Freight Forwarding Co. Ltd.; U-Can-Do Hardware Corp.; Universal Power Shipping Ltd.; UPS Supply Chain Solutions; VIM International Enterprise Co., Ltd.; Wictory Co. Ltd.; Yeh Fong Hsin; Yehdyi Enterprise Co., Ltd.; Yu Tai World Co., Ltd.; and Yusen Logistics (Taiwan) Ltd.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Producer/exporter Dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Bonuts Logistics Co., LLC 78.13 PT Enterprise, Inc./Pro-Team Coil Nail Enterprise, Inc 0.00 Unicatch Industrial Co. Ltd 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.9 Interested parties may submit cases briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.10 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the due date for filing case briefs.11 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.12 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.13 In order to be properly filed, ACCESS must successfully receive an electronically filed document in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

    9See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    12See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    13See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.14 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.

    14See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless otherwise extended, Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

    Where the respondent reported reliable entered values, we calculated importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem rates by aggregating the dumping margins calculated for all U.S. sales to each importer (or customer) and dividing this amount by the total entered value of the sales to each importer (or customer).15 Where Commerce calculated a weighted-average dumping margin by dividing the total amount of dumping for reviewed sales to that party by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions, Commerce will direct CBP to assess importer- (or customer-) specific assessment rates based on the resulting per-unit rates.16 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem or per-unit rate is greater than de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent), Commerce will instruct CBP to collect the appropriate duties at the time of liquidation.17 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem or per-unit rate is zero or de minimis, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.18

    15See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    16Id.

    17Id.

    18See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    Consistent with Commerce's assessment practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Bonuts, PT, or Unicatch, for which the producer did not know that its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.19

    19 For a full discussion of this practice, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    For the firms covered by this review, we intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review. For the non-reviewed firms for which we are rescinding this administrative review, Commerce intends to instruct CBP 15 days after publication of these preliminary results of review to assess antidumping duties at rates equal to the rates of cash deposits for estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, during the period May 20, 2016, through June 30, 2017, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(2).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Bonuts, PT, and Unicatch will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (2) for other manufacturers and exporters covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which that manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, then the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 2.24 percent, the all-others rate in the LTFV investigation.20 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    20See Certain Steel Nails from Taiwan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 28959 (May 20, 2015).

    Notifications

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

    1. Summary

    2. Background

    3. Scope of the Order

    4. Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    5. Duty Absorption

    6. Use of Facts Available With an Adverse Inference

    7. Comparisons to Normal Value

    8. Date of Sale

    9. Export Price and Constructed Export Price

    10. Normal Value

    11. Currency Conversion

    12. Verification

    13. Recommendation

    [FR Doc. 2018-17163 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-825] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is conducting an administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET film) from India. The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016. We preliminarily determine that Jindal Poly Films Limited of India (Jindal) and SRF Limited/SRF Limited of India (SRF) received countervailable subsidies during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elfi Blum and Kathryn Wallace, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0197 and (202) 482-6251, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 3, 2017, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PET film from India, for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.1 In accordance with sections 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.213(b)(2) and (3), in July 2017, we received five review requests. DuPont Teijin Films, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc., and SKC, Inc. (collectively, the petitioners) requested reviews of Ester Industries Limited (Ester), Garware Polyester Ltd. (Garware), Polyplex Corporation Ltd. (Polyplex), SRF, Jindal, and Vacmet India Limited (Vacmet). Additionally, Polyplex USA LLC requested reviews for Ester, Garware, Jindal, MTZ Polyesters Ltd. (MTZ), Polyplex, SRF Limited, Uflex Ltd. (Uflex), and Vacmet. Finally, Chiripal Poly Films Limited (Chiripal), SRF, and Jindal each self-requested to be reviewed in the instant review.

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 82 FR 30833 (July 3, 2017).

    Subsequently, on September 13, 2017, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.222(c)(1)(i), Commerce published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PET Film from India.2

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    On October 3, 2017, we placed on the record U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import data for purposes of respondent selection, and invited parties to comment.3 On October 10, 2017, SRF and Jindal each submitted comments requesting selection for individual examination.4 Subsequently, SRF,5 Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India) 6 each timely withdrew their requests for review. Polyplex USA timely withdrew its requests for a review on December 12, 2016, for all companies.7

    3See Memorandum “Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Release of U.S. Customs Entry Data for Respondent Selection” dated October 3, 2017.

    4See SRF's CBP Comments; see also Jindal's Letter, “PET Film from India: Comments on CBP Data” dated October 10, 2017.

    5See SRF's Letter, “Withdrawal of Request for Countervailing Duty Admin Review of SRF Limited (SRF)” dated December 11, 2017.

    6See Jindal's Letter, “Withdraw Requests for Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order and Countervailing Duty Order” dated December 10, 2017.

    7 Polyplex USA's Letter, “Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Request of Partial Withdrawal of Administrative Review,” dated December 12, 2017.

    On January 23, 2018, Commerce issued a memorandum tolling all deadlines for this investigation by three days due to the shutdown of the federal government.8 On March 23, 2018,9 and June 1, 2018, we extended the deadline for the preliminary results of this review to August 3, 2018.

    8See Memorandum,” Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by three days.

    9See Memorandum, “Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review—2016” dated March 23, 2018; see also Memorandum, “Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review” dated June 1, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by this order are all gauges of raw, pretreated, or primed polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet and strip, whether extruded or coextruded. Excluded are metallized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer of more than 0.00001 inches thick. Imports of PET film are classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item number 3920.62.00.90. HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    Commerce initiated a review of ten companies in this segment of the proceeding.10 In response to timely filed withdrawal requests, we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to Uflex and MTZ, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1). Accordingly, the companies subject to the instant review are: Ester Industries Ltd.; Garware Polyester Ltd.; Jindal; Polyplex Corporation Ltd.; SRF; and Vacmet India Limited, of which Commerce has selected Jindal and SRF as the mandatory respondents.11

    10See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974, 42974 (September 13, 2017). The ten companies were Chiripal, Ester, Garware, Jindal, MTZ, Polyplex, SRF (as SRF Limited and SRF Limited of India), Uflex, and Vacmet).

    11See Memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India: Selection of Respondents for Individual Examination” dated November 27, 2017.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(l)(A) of the Act. For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine 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.12 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice. A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an Appendix to this notice.

    12See 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.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and 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://trade.gov/enforcement/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Companies Not Selected for Individual Review

    For the companies not selected for individual review, because the rates calculated for Jindal and SRF were above de minimis and not based entirely on facts available, we applied, consistent with section 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, a subsidy rate based on a simple average of the subsidy rates calculated for Jindal and SRF because publicly ranged sales data was not submitted by respondents.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates for the period January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016 to be:

    Manufacturer/exporter Subsidy rate
  • (percent ad valorem)
  • Jindal Poly Films Limited of India 10.71 SRF Limited 7.47 Ester Industries Limited 9.09 Garware Polyester Ltd 9.09 Polyplex Corporation Ltd 9.09 Vacmet India Limited 9.09
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce will disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.13 Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) within 30 days of publication of the preliminary results and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.14 Rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs.15 Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs 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.16

    13See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(l)(ii) and 351.309(d)(l).

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2).

    16See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must do so within 30 days of publication of these preliminary results by submitting a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system.17 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.18 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing. Issues addressed at the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs.19 All briefs and hearing requests must be filed electronically and received successfully in their entirety through ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    17See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    18See 19 CFR 351.310.

    19See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, 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, within 120 days after publication of these preliminary results.

    Assessment Rates and Cash Deposit Requirement

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, Commerce also intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties, in the amounts shown above for each of the respective companies shown above, on 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, as appropriate. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    These preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(l) and 777(i)(l) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213 and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Partial Rescission of Administrative Review 4. Scope of the Order 5. Subsidies Valuation Information 6. Analysis of Programs 7. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17177 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-856] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review 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) preliminarily determines that producers/exporters subject to this review made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Stolz, Shanah Lee, or Emily Halle, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4474, (202) 482-6386, and (202) 482-0176, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty (AD) order on certain corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) from Taiwan.1 The period of review (POR) is June 2, 2016, through June 30, 2017. We initially selected two companies, Sheng Yu Steel Co., Ltd. (SYSCO), and the previously collapsed Prosperity Tieh Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Prosperity), Yieh Phui Enterprise Co., Ltd. (YP), and Synn Industrial Co., Ltd. (Synn) entity (collectively, YP/Synn/Prosperity entity), for individual examination.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 included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an Appendix to this notice.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2 In the less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation of the AD order, we collapsed YP with its affiliate Synn and treated YP/Synn as a single entity in that proceeding. See Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 81 FR 35313 (June 2, 2016) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (IDM) (Taiwan CORE LTFV Final); unchanged in Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination for India and Taiwan, and Antidumping Duty Orders, 82 FR 48390 (July 25, 2016) (Order). No party challenged the underlying collapsing finding with respect to YP and Synn in the instant review and, as such, we preliminarily determine to collapse YP with its affiliate Synn and thus continue to collapse YP and Synn as a single entity for the purposes of this proceeding. For a further discussion of the affiliation and collapsing determinations, see memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan: Preliminary Affiliation and Collapsing Memorandum for Yieh Phui Enterprise Co., Ltd. and Synn Industrial Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with this memorandum (Affiliation-Collapsing Memo). Also, in the LTFV investigation, we collapsed Prosperity with Synn, and thereby collapsed Prosperity, Synn, and YP into a single entity, called the YP/Synn/Prosperity entity. See Taiwan CORE LTFV Final. This determination was challenged by respondent parties in the investigation and is subject to pending litigation in that proceeding. As discussed in greater detail in the Affiliation-Collapsing Memo, we find that the facts on the instant record do not support a finding that Prosperity, YP, and Synn be treated as a single entity for the purposes of this administrative review. However, we preliminarily determine to continue to collapse YP and Synn into the YP/Synn entity. Therefore, though only two respondents were selected for individual examination at the outset of the instant review, as a result of the preliminary affiliation/collapsing determination, Commerce is effectively reviewing three respondents, YP/Synn, SYSCO, and Prosperity for individual examination.

    3See memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan, 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    We initiated the instant review on eight companies (including companies collapsed and collectively treated as a single entity in the LTFV investigation).4 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we 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 notice of initiation of the requested review.” Because all relevant parties timely withdrew their requests for review of certain companies listed in the Initiation Notice, we are rescinding the administrative review with respect to the following three companies: Great Grandeul Steel Co., Ltd., Meng Sin Material Co., Ltd., and Xxentria Technology Materials Co., Ltd. Accordingly, the remaining companies subject to the instant review are Prosperity, YP/Synn,5 SYSCO, and Chung Hung Steel Corporation.

    4See Initiation Notice.

    5 As described above, YP and Synn are treated as a single entity for purposes of these preliminary results. See Affiliation-Collapsing Memo.

    Scope of the Order 6

    6 For the full text of the scope of the order, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    The product covered by the order is flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000. The products subject to the orders may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000. The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1) and (2) of Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export and constructed export price were calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. 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 is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    We preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the POR:

    7 This rate is based on the rates for the respondents that were selected for individual review, excluding rates that are zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts available. See section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Chung Hung Steel Corporation 7 2.52 Prosperity Tieh Enterprise Co., Ltd 3.04 Yieh Phui Enterprise Co., Ltd. and Synn Industrial Co., Ltd 1.31 Sheng Yu Steel Co. Ltd 4.89
    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.

    If the weighted-average dumping margin for the mandatory respondents (i.e., SYSCO, Prosperity, and YP/Synn) is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem AD assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importers examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).8 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis (i.e., 0.5 percent). Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. 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 where applicable.

    8 In these preliminary results, Commerce applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: See Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    For the companies which were not selected for individual review (i.e., Chung Hung), we will assign an assessment rate based on the weighted-average of the cash deposit rates calculated for the companies selected for mandatory review (i.e., SYSCO, Prosperity, and YP/Synn), excluding any which are de minimis or determined entirely on adverse facts available. 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.9

    9See section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    In accordance with Commerce's “automatic assessment” practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by each respondent for which they did not know that their merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate entries not reviewed at the all-others rate of 10.34 percent if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.10 We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    10See Order.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of CORE from Taiwan entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for each company listed above will be equal to the dumping margins established in the final results of this review except if the ultimate rates are de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rates will be zero; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the producer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original less-than-fair-value investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of the proceeding for the producer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 10.34 percent, the all-others rate established in the antidumping investigation.11 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    11Id.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce will disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.12 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.13 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.14 All briefs must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS.

    12See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    13See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system within 30 days of publication of this notice.15 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.16 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing.

    15See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    16See 19 CFR 351.310.

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), Commerce will issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their case briefs, within 120 days after issuance of these preliminary results.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    These preliminary results of review is are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    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 Review V. Rates for Respondents Not Selected for Individual Examination VI. Discussion of the Methodology A. Collapsing of Affiliated Companies B. Comparisons to Normal Value C. Determination of the Comparison Method D. Results of the Differential Prcing Analysis VII. Date of Sale VIII. Product Comparisons IX. Export Price and Constructed Export Price X. Normal Value A. Home Market Viability B. Affiliated-Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. Cost of Production Analysis E. Calculation of NV Based on Comparison Market Prices XI. Currency Conversion XII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17172 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-876] Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is amending its final results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty (AD) order on welded line pipe from the Republic of Korea to correct a ministerial error in the calculation of the weighted-average dumping margin of SeAH Steel Corporation (SeAH). Correction of the error results in revised margins for SeAH and the companies not selected for individual examination. Finally, in correcting this error, we also discovered an error in the assessment rates calculated for Hyundai Steel Company (Hyundai Steel), which did not affect Hyundai Steel's final dumping margin. The amended final dumping margins are listed below in the section entitled, “Amended Final Results.”

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Goldberger or Ross Belliveau, 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) 482-4952, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 18, 2018, Commerce published the Final Results of the 2015-2016 administrative review in the Federal Register.1 Subsequently, SeAH Steel Corporation (SeAH), one of two companies selected for individual examination, alleged that Commerce made a ministerial error related to the application of weighted-average further manufacturing costs to the appropriate U.S. sales.2 On July 23, 2018, Maverick Tube Corporation (Maverick) submitted comments in response to SeAH's ministerial error allegation.3

    1See Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 33919 (July 18, 2018) (Final Results), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (IDM).

    2See SeAH's Letter, “Administrative Review of the Antidumping Order on Welded Line Pipe from Korea—Comments on Ministerial Error in Final Determination,” dated July 18, 2018 (SeAH Ministerial Error Allegation).

    3See Maverick's letter, “Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Maverick's Reply to SeAH's Ministerial Error Comments,” dated July 23, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is welded line pipe.4 The product is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers: 7305.11.1030, 7305.11.1060, 7305.11.5000, 7305.12.1030, 7305.12.1060, 7305.12.5000, 7305.19.1030, 7305.19.5000, 7306.19.1010, 7306.19.1050, 7306.19.5110, and 7306.19.5150. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive.

    4 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2015-2016 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Welded Line Pipe from Korea,” dated January 2, 2018.

    Ministerial Error

    Section 751(h) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), defines “ministerial errors” as including “errors in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function, clerical errors resulting from inaccurate copying, duplication, or the like, and any other type of unintentional error which the administering authority considers ministerial.” 5 SeAH alleges that we made a ministerial error in our calculation of its margin by incorrectly assigning the control number (CONNUM)-specific weighted-average further manufacturing costs to all of SeAH's U.S. sales of that CONNUM, rather than only those sales of that CONNUM that underwent further processing in the United States.6 After analyzing the comments of interested parties, we find that we made a ministerial error in the Final Results, within the meaning of section 751(h) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f), with respect to SeAH's further manufacturing costs for its U.S. sales.7 Correction of this error in SeAH's final margin program results in a revised weighted-average dumping margin for the company. Furthermore, we are revising the review-specific average rate applicable to the 22 companies not selected for individual examination in this administrative review. For a detailed discussion and analysis of the ministerial error, see the Ministerial Error Memorandum.

    5See also 19 CFR 351.224(f).

    6See SeAH Ministerial Error Allegation.

    7See Memorandum, “Welded Line Pipe from Korea: 2015-2016 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order—Ministerial Error Allegation,” dated concurrently with this notice (Ministerial Error Memorandum).

    Finally, in correcting this error, we also discovered an error in the assessment rates calculated for Hyundai Steel. This error did not affect the final dumping margin calculated for Hyundai Steel.8

    8See “Calculations for Hyundai Steel Company for the Amended Final Results,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    Amended Final Results of the Review

    As a result of correcting the ministerial error decribed above, we determine that the weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    9 As discussed in Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 61366 (October 13, 2015), and accompanying IDM at 1, Hyundai HYSCO merged with Hyundai Steel subsequent to the period of investigation and Hyundai HYSCO no longer exists. Accordingly, our examination of Hyundai Steel includes entries made by Hyundai HYSCO prior to the date of the merger.

    10 This is the rate we calculated for Hyundai Steel in the Final Results.

    11 We incorrectly referred to SeAH as “SeAH Steel Company” in our Final Results. However, SeAH's correct full name is SeAH Steel Corporation.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Hyundai Steel Company/Hyundai HYSCO 9 18.77 10 SeAH Steel Corporation 11 14.39

    Review-Specific Average Rate Applicable to the Following Companies: 12

    12 This rate is based on the simple average margin for those companies selected for individual review. Because we cannot apply our normal methodology of calculating a weighted-average margin due to requests to protect business proprietary information, we find this rate to be the best proxy of the actual weighted-average margin determined for the mandatory respondents. See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from France, et al.: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661, 53663 (September 1, 2010); see also Ministerial Error Memorandum, and Memorandum, “Calculations for SeAH Steel Corporation for the Amended Final Results,” dated concurrently with the Ministerial Error Memorandum.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • AJU BESTEEL CO., Ltd 16.58 Daewoo International Corporation 16.58 Dong Yang Steel Pipe 16.58 Dongbu Incheon Steel Co 16.58 Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd 16.58 Dongkuk Steel Mill 16.58 EEW Korea Co, Ltd 16.58 HISTEEL Co., Ltd 16.58 Husteel Co., Ltd 16.58 Keonwood Metals Co., Ltd 16.58 Kolon Global Corp 16.58 Korea Cast Iron Pipe Ind. Co., Ltd 16.58 Miju Steel MFG Co., Ltd 16.58 MSTEEL Co., Ltd 16.58 NEXTEEL Co., Ltd 16.58 Poongsan Valinox (Valtimet Division) 16.58 POSCO 16.58 Sam Kang M&T Co., Ltd 16.58 Sin Sung Metal Co., Ltd 16.58 Soon-Hong Trading Company 16.58 Steel Flower Co., Ltd 16.58 TGS Pipe 16.58

    We intend 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).

    Assessment Rates

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), Commerce has determined, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the amended final results of this review.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), where Hyundai Steel and SeAH reported the entered value of their U.S. sales, we calculated importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the examined sales to the total entered value of the sales for which entered value was reported. Where Hyundai Steel did not report entered value, we calculated the entered value in order to calculate the assessment rate. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), or an importer-specific rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    For the companies which were not selected for individual review, we will assign an assessment rate based on the average 13 of the cash deposit rates calculated for Hyundai Steel and SeAH. The amended final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the amended final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.14

    13 This rate was calculated as discussed in footnote 11, above.

    14See section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP for Hyundai Steel, SeAH, and the companies subject to the review-specific average rate 15 days after publication of these amended final results of this administrative review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective retroactively for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after July 18, 2018, the date of publication date of the Final Results, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for each specific company listed above will be that established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is less than 0.50 percent and, therefore, de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (2) for previously investigated companies not participating in this review, the cash deposit will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the company participated; (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 4.38 percent, the all-others rate established in the LTFV investigation.15 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    15See Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Antidumping Duty Orders, 80 FR 75056, 75057 (December 1, 2015).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    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), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. 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.

    These amended final results and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(h) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(e).

    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. 2018-17164 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-863] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) from India are being, or are likely to be sold, at less than normal value during the period of review (POR), January 4, 2016, through June 30, 2017. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel Greenberg or Kabir Archuletta, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0652 or (202) 482-2593, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on CORE from India in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1 The review covers one producer/exporter of the subject merchandise, JSW Steel Ltd. and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited (collectively, JSW). During the investigation, Commerce found JSW to be a single entity and, because there were no changes to the facts that supported that determination, we continue to find that these companies are a part of a single entity for this administrative review.2 Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination for India and Taiwan, and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 48390 (July 25, 2016) (Order).

    2Id. at 48393.

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018.3 On March 12, 2018, Commerce postponed the preliminary results of this review until August 3, 2018.4

    3See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    4See Memorandum, “Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated March 12, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by this order are CORE from India. For a full description of the scope, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.5

    5See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    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 our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of the topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included at the Appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that, for the period of January 4, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the following weighted-average dumping margin exists:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • JSW Steel Ltd./JSW Coated Products Limited 15.33
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs. Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities. Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.

    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. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If JSW's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate an importer-specific ad valorem antidumping duty assessment rate based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is not zero or de minimis. If JSW's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by this review where applicable.

    In accordance with Commerce's “automatic assessment” practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by JSW for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate those entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of 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 JSW will be the rate established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 0.00 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.6 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    6See Order.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and increase the subsequent assessment of the antidumping duties by the amount of the antidumping duties reimbursement.

    The preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and sections 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1) and 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. Discussion of the Methodology A. Comparisons to Normal Value 1. Determination of the Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis V. Date of Sale VI. Product Comparisons VII. Export Price VIII. Normal Value A. Home Market Viability as Comparison Market B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices IX. Currency Conversion X. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17160 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-475-818] Certain Pasta From Italy: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily finds that Ghigi 1870 S.p.A. (previously known as Ghigi lndustria Agroalimentare Srl) (Ghigi) and Pasta Zara S.p.A. (Pasta Zara) (collectively Ghigi/Zara) made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) and that Industria Alimentare Colavita S.p.A. (Indalco) did not. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joy Zhang or George McMahon, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1168 or (202) 482-1167, respectively.

    Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain pasta (pasta) from Italy. The period of review (POR) is July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the Order1 is certain pasta from Italy and is currently classifiable under items 1901.90.90.95 and 1902.19.20 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise subject to the order is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the Order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Order and Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Pasta from Italy, 61 FR 38547 (July 24, 1996) (AD Order).

    2See the “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Pasta from Italy; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Constructed export price or export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary results, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and 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 Preliminary Decision memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we calculated a weighted-average dumping margin of 5.97 percent for Ghigi/Zara and a de minimis margin for Indalco for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we assigned the weighted-average dumping margin of 5.97 percent calculated for Ghigi/Zara to the seven non-selected companies in these preliminary results, as referenced below.

    Producer and/or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Ghigi 1870 S.p.A. and Pasta Zara S.p.A. (Zara) (collectively Ghigi/Zara) 3 5.97 Industria Alimentare Colavita S.p.A. (Indalco) 0.00 Agritalia S.r.L. (Agritalia) 5.97 Alessio, Panarese Soceieta Agricola (Alessio) 5.97 Antico Pastificio Morelli 1860 S.r.l. (Antico) 5.97 Colussi SpA (Colussi) 5.97 Liguori Pastificio dal 1820 S.p.A. (Liguori) 5.97 Pastificio Menucci SpA (Menucci) 5.97 Tesa SrL (Tesa) 5.97
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results.4

    3See Certain Pasta from Italy: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 57428, December 5, 2017, and the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at comment 3.

    4See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Public Comment

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.5 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.6

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2) and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS, which is available to registered users at http://acess.trade.gov. An electronically filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.7 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.

    7See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    We intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rate

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If the weighted-average dumping margin for Ghigi/Zara or Indalco is above de minimis (i.e., more than 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for each importer's examined sales and the total entered value of sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).8 If the weighted-average dumping margin for Ghigi/Zara or Indalco is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, we will instruct CBP not to assess duties on any of their entries in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews. 9

    8 In these preliminary results, we applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    9See Final Modification for Reviews, 77 FR at 8102.

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by each respondent for which they did not know that their merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of pasta from Italy entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for respondents noted above will be the rate established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 15.45 percent, the all-others rate established in the antidumping investigation as modified by the section 129 determination.10 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    10See Implementation of the Findings of the WTO Panel in US—Zeroing (EC): Notice of Determinations Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act and Revocations and Partial Revocations of Certain Antidumping Duty Orders, 72 FR 25261 (May 4, 2007).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping 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 to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: August 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. Discussion of Methodology A. Comparisons to Normal Value 1. Determination of Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing (DP) Analysis B. Product Comparisons C. Date of Sale D. Export Price/Constructed Export Price E. Normal Value 1. Home Market Viability 2. Affiliated Party Transactions and the Arm's-Length Test 3. Cost of Production a. Calculation of Cost of Production b. Test of Comparison Market Prices c. Results of the COP Test F. Level of Trade G. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices H. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value I. Margins for Companies Not Selected for Individual Examination J. Currency Conversion V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17047 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-837] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET Film) from Taiwan. The period of review (POR) is July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. We preliminarily determine that Nan Ya Plastics Corporation (Nan Ya) did not make sales below normal value (NV) and that Shinkong Materials Technology Corporation (SMTC) had no shipments during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith at (202) 482-5255, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is PET Film. The PET Film subject to the order is currently classifiable under subheading 3920.62.00.90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.1

    1 A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Taiwan; 2016-2017” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), which is hereby adopted by this notice.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on our analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information and information provided by SMTC and its affiliate, Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp. (SSFC), we preliminarily determine that SMTC had no shipments of the subject merchandise during the POR.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. NV is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included at 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 http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in Room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margin for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

    Manufacturer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Nan Ya Plastics Corporation 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.2 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.3

    2See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    3See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, must submit a written request to the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of this administrative review, Commerce shall determine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for an importer's examined sales and the total entered value of such sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c), or an importer-specific rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    Commerce clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003.4 This clarification applies to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by a respondent for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    4 For a full discussion of this clarification, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice).

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of PET Film from Taiwan entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for the company under review will be the rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, no cash deposit will be required); (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 recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters is 2.40 percent.5 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    5See PET Film from Taiwan Amended Final Determination.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Preliminary Finding of No Shipments for SMTC V. Product Comparisons VI. Comparison to Normal Value A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis C. Date of Sale D. Export Price E. Normal Value F. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices G. Price-to-Constructed Value Comparisons H. Currency Conversion VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-17179 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) has received requests to conduct administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with June anniversary dates. In accordance with Commerce's regulations, we are initiating those administrative reviews.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Brown, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce has received timely requests, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), for administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with June anniversary dates.

    All deadlines for the submission of various types of information, certifications, or comments or actions by Commerce discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting time.

    Notice of No Sales

    If a producer or exporter named in this notice of initiation had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review (POR), it must notify Commerce within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All submissions must be filed electronically at http://access.trade.gov in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303.1 Such submissions are subject to verification in accordance with section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(1)(i), a copy must be served on every party on Commerce's service list.

    1See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Respondent Selection

    In the event Commerce limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, Commerce intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to place the CBP data on the record within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 30 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this review. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    In the event Commerce decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, Commerce has found that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (e.g., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, Commerce will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (e.g., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if Commerce determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, Commerce will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, Commerce will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value (Q&V) Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where Commerce considered collapsing that entity, complete Q&V data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that has requested a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that Commerce may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. Determinations by Commerce to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Separate Rates

    In proceedings involving non-market economy (NME) countries, Commerce begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and, thus, should be assigned a single antidumping duty deposit rate. It is Commerce's policy to assign all exporters of merchandise subject to an administrative review in an NME country this single rate unless an exporter can demonstrate that it is sufficiently independent so as to be entitled to a separate rate.

    To establish whether a firm is sufficiently independent from government control of its export activities to be entitled to a separate rate, Commerce analyzes each entity exporting the subject merchandise. In accordance with the separate rates criteria, Commerce assigns separate rates to companies in NME cases only if respondents can demonstrate the absence of both de jure and de facto government control over export activities.

    All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below. For these administrative reviews, in order to demonstrate separate rate eligibility, Commerce requires entities for whom a review was requested, that were assigned a separate rate in the most recent segment of this proceeding in which they participated, to certify that they continue to meet the criteria for obtaining a separate rate. The Separate Rate Certification form will be available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the certification, please follow the “Instructions for Filing the Certification” in the Separate Rate Certification. Separate Rate Certifications are due to Commerce no later than 30 calendar days after publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Certification applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers who purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    Entities that currently do not have a separate rate from a completed segment of the proceeding 2 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. In addition, companies that received a separate rate in a completed segment of the proceeding that have subsequently made changes, including, but not limited to, changes to corporate structure, acquisitions of new companies or facilities, or changes to their official company name,3 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. The Separate Rate Status Application will be available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the Separate Rate Status Application, refer to the instructions contained in the application. Separate Rate Status Applications are due to Commerce no later than 30 calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Separate Rate Status Application applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers that purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    2 Such entities include entities that have not participated in the proceeding, entities that were preliminarily granted a separate rate in any currently incomplete segment of the proceeding (e.g., an ongoing administrative review, new shipper review, etc.) and entities that lost their separate rate in the most recently completed segment of the proceeding in which they participated.

    3 Only changes to the official company name, rather than trade names, need to be addressed via a Separate Rate Application. Information regarding new trade names may be submitted via a Separate Rate Certification.

    For exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate status application or certification and subsequently are selected as mandatory respondents, these exporters and producers will no longer be eligible for separate rate status unless they respond to all parts of the questionnaire as mandatory respondents.

    Initiation of Reviews

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), we are initiating administrative reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings. We intend to issue the final results of these reviews not later than June 30, 2019.

    Period to be
  • reviewed
  • Antidumping Duty Proceedings BELGIUM: Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate,4 A-423-812 11/14/16-4/30/18 Hengelhoef Concrete Joints NV GERMANY: Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate,5 A-428-844 11/14/16-4/30/18 Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH Rudolf Rafflenbeul Stahlwarenfabrik GmbH & Co. Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH VDM Metals GmbH 6 VDM Metals International GmbH 7 REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate,8 A-580-887 11/14/16-4/30/18 Hyundai Steel Company SPAIN: Finished Carbon Steel Flanges, A-469-815 2/8/17-5/31/18 Ateaciones De Metales Sinterizados S.A. Central Y Almacenes Grupo Cunado Transglory S.A. Tubacero, S.L. ULMA Forja, S.Coop SPAIN: Chlorinated Isocyanurates, A-469-814 6/1/17-5/31/18 Ercros, S.A. of Spain THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Aluminum Extrusions,9 A-570-967 5/1/17-4/30/18 Asia Alum Group Atlas Integrated Manufacturing Ltd. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Chlorinated Isocyanurates, A-570-898 6/1/17-5/31/18 Heze Huayi Chemical Co., Ltd. Juancheng Kangtai Chemical Co. Ltd. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Polyester Staple Fiber, A-570-905 6/1/17-5/31/18 Yangzhou Tinfulong New Technology Fiber Co., Ltd. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Silicon Metal, A-570-806 6/1/17-5/31/18 Yunnan Fu yang Trade Co., Ltd. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Tapered Roller Bearings, A-570-601 6/1/17-5/31/18 Changshan Peer Bearing Co., Ltd. CNH Industrial Italia SpA GGB Bearing Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. GSP Automotive Group Wenzhou Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Hanji Auto Parts Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Radical Energy-Saving Technology Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Xiaoshan Dingli Machinery Co., Ltd. Ningbo Xinglun Bearings Import & Export Co., Ltd. Shandong Aokai Bearing Co., Ltd. Shanghai General Bearing Co., Ltd. Taizhou Zson Bearing Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Jingle Bearing Technology Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Machinery Import & Export Corp. Zhejiang Zhaofeng Mechanical and Electronic Co., Ltd. Countervailing Duty Proceedings REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate,10 C-580-888 4/4/17-12/31/17 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: High Pressure Steel Cylinders, C-570-978 1/1/17-12/31/17 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd. Langfang Tianhai High Pressure Container Co., Ltd. Tianjin Tianhai High Pressure Container Co., Ltd.
    Suspension Agreements

    4 The name of the company listed above was misspelled in the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270). The correct spelling of the company name is listed in this notice.

    5 The companies listed above were misspelled in the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270). The correct spelling of these companies names are listed in this notice.

    6 The company listed above was inadvertently omitted from the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270).

    7 The company listed above was inadvertently omitted from the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270).

    8 The name of the company listed above was misspelled in the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270). The correct spelling of the company name is listed in this notice.

    9 Commerce inadvertently listed two companies as one in the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270). The companies listed above are individual companies.

    10 In the initiation notice that published on July 12, 2018 (83 FR 32270), the period of review for the referenced case was incorrect. The period listed above is the correct period of review for this case.

    None.

    Duty Absorption Reviews

    During any administrative review covering all or part of a period falling between the first and second or third and fourth anniversary of the publication of an antidumping duty order under 19 CFR 351.211 or a determination under 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4) to continue an order or suspended investigation (after sunset review), the Secretary, if requested by a domestic interested party within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the review, will determine whether antidumping duties have been absorbed by an exporter or producer subject to the review if the subject merchandise is sold in the United States through an importer that is affiliated with such exporter or producer. The request must include the name(s) of the exporter or producer for which the inquiry is requested.

    Gap Period Liquidation

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period, of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the POR.

    Administrative Protective Orders and Letters of Appearance

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective orders in accordance with the procedures outlined in Commerce's regulations at 19 CFR 351.305. Those procedures apply to administrative reviews included in this notice of initiation. Parties wishing to participate in any of these administrative reviews should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of separate letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    Factual Information Requirements

    Commerce's regulations identify five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by Commerce; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). These regulations require any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The regulations, at 19 CFR 351.301, also provide specific time limits for such factual submissions based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.11 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. All segments of any antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 12 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions in any proceeding segments if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    11See section 782(b) of the Act.

    12See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. See 19 CFR 351.302. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, Commerce may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, Commerce will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which Commerce will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    These initiations and this notice are, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(a)) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    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. 2018-17162 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-469-817] Ripe Olives From Spain: Notice of Correction to Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bryan Hansen or Peter Zukowski, 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) 482-3683 or (202) 482-0189, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 1, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published the Antidumping Duty Order on ripe olives from Spain.1 In the Antidumping Duty Order, Commerce made typographical errors with respect to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin and cash deposit rate for Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L. (AG). Specifically, Commerce listed AG's estimated weighted-average dumping margin as 17.45 percent and AG's cash deposit rate as 17.46 percent.

    1See Ripe Olives from Spain: Antidumping Duty Order, 83 FR 37465 (August 1, 2018) (Antidumping Duty Order).

    Correction

    Commerce has corrected AG's weighted-average antidumping duty margin percentage to 17.46 percent and AG's cash deposit rate to 17.45 percent. The weighted-average antidumping duty margin percentages and cash deposit rates remain unchanged from the Antidumping Duty Order for all other companies. The weighted-average antidumping duty margin percentages and cash deposit rates are as follows:

    Exporter/producer Estimated
  • weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit rate
  • (percent) 2
  • Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L 17.46 17.45 Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.COOP Andalusia 25.50 25.39 Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L 16.88 16.83 All-Others 20.04 19.98 2 The cash deposit rate is equal to the calculated estimated weighted-average dumping margin adjusted for the appropriate subsidy offset(s).

    This correction to the Antidumping Duty Order is published in accordance with section 736(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

    Dated: August 7, 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. 2018-17202 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG170 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to USGS to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during geophysical survey activities associated with a the USGS's Mid-Atlantic Resource Imaging Experiment (MATRIX) survey project in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    DATES:

    This Authorization is effective from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Molineaux, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-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).

    Summary of Request

    On March 20, 2018, NMFS received a request from USGS for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to a marine geophysical survey in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. On April 11, 2018, we deemed USGS's application for authorization to be adequate and complete. USGS requests to take small numbers of 29 species of marine mammals by Level B harassment only during the survey. Neither USGS nor NMFS expects serious injury or mortality to result from this activity; and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    Description of Activity

    The USGS will conduct a seismic survey aboard the R/V Hugh R. Sharp, a University National Oceanographic Laboratory (UNOLS) Federal fleet vessel that is owned and operated by the University of Delaware, during a cruise up to 22 days long on the northern U.S. Atlantic margin in August 2018. The seismic survey will take place in water depths ranging from ~100 meters (m) to 3,500 m, entirely within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and acquire ~6 dip lines (roughly perpendicular to the orientation of the shelf-break) and ~3 strike lines (roughly parallel to the shelf-break) between about 35 nautical miles (nmi) south of Hudson Canyon on the north and Cape Hatteras on the south. In addition, multichannel seismic (MCS) data will be acquired along some linking/transit/interseismic lines between the main survey lines. Total data acquisition could be up to ~2,400 kilometers (km) of trackline.

    The purpose of the MATRIX survey is to collect data to constrain the lateral and vertical distribution of gas hydrates and shallow natural gas in marine sediments relative to seafloor gas seeps, slope failures, and geological and erosional features.

    The seismic survey's airgun operations are scheduled to occur for up to 19 days during a cruise that may be as long as 22 days, departing port on August 8, 2018. Some minor deviation from these dates is possible, depending on logistics and weather.

    The survey will involve only one source vessel, the R/V Hugh R. Sharp. The source vessel will deploy two to four low-energy Generator-Injector (GI) airguns (each with a discharge volume of 105 cubic inches (in3)) as an energy source. The GI guns could sometimes be fired in a mode that gives them a discharge volume of 210 in3 each, but only at water depths greater than 1000 m (See description of Optimal Survey below for more details).

    The Optimal Survey (GG mode) (See Table 1) for the Proposed Action would acquire the portion of the solid lines in Figure 1 of the IHA application at water depths greater than 1000 m using the GI-guns in “GG” mode. In this mode, the four GI guns would produce a total of 840 in3 of air and sonobuoys would be deployed to passively record data at long distances. When shooting to sonobuoys while in GG mode, the GI guns will be operated with both chambers releasing air simultaneously (i.e., “generator-generator” or “GG” mode). The rest of the survey, including the portion shallower than 1000 m water depth on the uppermost slope and the interseismic linking lines (dashed lines in Figure 1), would be acquired with four GI guns operated in normal mode (also called GI mode), producing a total of 420 in3 of air.

    The Base Survey (GI mode) (See Table 1) assumes that all of the solid lines in Figure 1, as well as all of the interseismic connecting lines, would be acquired using four GI guns operating in normal mode (GI mode), producing a total air volume of 420 in3. Only a maximum of half of the interseismic linking lines (dashed lines in Figure 1) would be acquired. These lines are longer and geometrically more complex at the deepwater side than near the shelf-break.

    Table 1—General Characteristics of Exemplary Survey Scenarios for the Proposed Action GI mode
  • (4 × 105 in3)
  • Depth and line type Track line
  • distance
  • (km)
  • GG mode
  • (4 × 210 in3)
  • Depth and line type Track line
  • distance
  • Optimal Survey 100-1,000 m water depth on exemplary lines and 50% of interseismic, linking lines ~750 Greater than 1,000 m on exemplary lines ~1,600 Base Survey Exemplary lines plus 50% of interseismic, linking lines 2,350

    During the cruise, the USGS would continuously use an echosounder (EK60/EK80) with 38 kHz transducer at water depths less than ~1,800 m to locate water column anomalies associated with seafloor seeps emitting gas bubbles. The 38 kHz transducer would be mounted in the R/V Sharp's retractable keel and would typically ping 0.5 to 2 Hz with pings of 0.256 to 1.024 millisecond (m/s) duration. The returned signals would be detected on an EK60 or EK80 (broadband) transceiver. Based on past USGS experience with this instrument, it is unlikely to acquire useful data at water depths greater than 1,800 m, although it could be used in passive mode at these depths to record broadband ambient signals in the water column.

    A more detailed description of USGS's MATRIX survey is provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018). Since that time, no changes have been made to the planned survey activities. Therefore, a detailed description is not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for the description of the specific activity.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS published a notice of proposed IHA in the Federal Register on May 31, 2018 (83 FR 25268). During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received a comment letter from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission). NMFS has posted the comments online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities. The following is a summary of the public comments and NMFS' responses.

    Comment 1: After review of the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018) and IHA application for the USGS MATRIX survey, the Commission inferred that the modeling used by USGS (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)'s Nucleus Model) to predict Level A and Level B harassment zones applied radial distances (i.e., slant ranges) and radii indiscriminately. The Commission states that radial distances were used for metrics based on SELcum and SPL root-mean-square (SPLrms), and radii were used for metrics based on SPLpeak, which would yield smaller zones. As a result, the Commission recommends that NMFS require USGS to specify why LDEO's Nucleus Model is using radial distances for sound exposure level (SELcum) and sound pressure level (SPLrms) metrics and radii for peak sound pressure (SPLpeak) metrics.

    Response: NMFS appreciates the Commission's request for USGS to explain the specific methodology LDEO's Nucleus Model uses to determine harassment zones. After consulting with LDEO, USGS has clarified that two different methods for estimating distance are not being used. In order to calculate harassment zones, LDEO uses the maximum radial distance at depth which it vertically projects from that radial distance back to the surface. This provides a horizontal radius from the source.

    Comment 2: The Commission recommends NMFS provide justification for why it believes that LDEO's use of the Nucleus source model, which does not provide data above 2.5 kHz, is appropriate for determining the extents of the Level A harassment zones for mid-frequency and high-frequency cetaceans.

    Response: Few broadband calibration studies are available to support the modeling of airgun spectra above 3 kHz (e.g., Tolstoy et al. 2004; Breitzke et al. 2008; Tolstoy et al. 2009). Measurements available indicate that most of the sound produced by airguns is below 1 kHz (i.e., spectral levels drop off continuously above 1 kHz).

    Despite JASCO's AASM model predicting acoustic signatures of seismic airgun arrays up to 25 kHz, often their transmission loss calculations do not directly use these data to account for frequencies above 5 kHz because it is computationally intensive (Zeddies et al. 2015). While NMFS agrees that the spectral levels above 3 kHz should not necessarily be assumed zero, better data are needed to evaluate if and how airguns at these frequencies are significantly contributing to noise-induced hearing loss for these two marine mammal hearing groups.

    For both MF and HF cetaceans, the TTS onset impulsive thresholds NMFS currently relies upon are derived directly from individual exposed to seismic sources (Finneran et al. 2002; Lucke et al. 2009). A more recent TTS study on harbor porpoises exposed to multiple airgun shots further supports the current TTS onset thresholds used to evaluate impulsive sources (Kastelein et al. 2017).

    The available TTS onset data do not indicate that airguns are contributing significantly to noise-induced hearing loss at higher frequencies in these two hearing groups. Specifically, Lucke et al. (2009) measured harbor porpoise hearing at 4, 32, and 100 kHz after exposure to a single airgun shot, with TTS onset only occurring at 4 kHz. Similarly, Kastelein et al. (2017) measured a ~4.4 dB threshold shift only at 4 kHz, with hearing tested up to 8 kHz, for a harbor porpoise exposed to multiple airgun shots. Finally, Finneran et al. (2015) exposed bottlenose dolphins to multiple airgun shots and measured hearing thresholds up to 64 kHz, without measurable TTS onset observed. All these studies had measurements demonstrating spectral levels above 3 kHz for their airgun sources. For these reasons, NMFS believes that LDEO's use of the Nucleus source model is appropriate. NMFS appreciates the Commission's interest in this matter and will continue to evaluate the available information regarding spectral levels of airgun signals above 3 kHz.

    Comment 3. The Commission recommends that NMFS require USGS, in collaboration with LDEO, to re-estimate the proposed Level A and B harassment zones and associated takes of marine mammals using (1) both operational (including number/type/spacing of airguns, tow depth, source level/operating pressure, operational volume) and site-specific environmental (including sound speed profiles, bathymetry, and sediment characteristics at a minimum) parameters, (2) a comprehensive source model (e.g., Gundalf Optimizer or AASM) and (3) an appropriate sound propagation model. Specifically, the Commission reiterates its belief that LDEO should be using the ray-tracing sound propagation model BELLHOP rather than the MATLAB code currently in use.

    Response: USGS's application (USGS, 2018) and the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018) describe the applicant's approach to modeling Level A and Level B harassment zones. The model LDEO currently uses does not allow for the consideration of site-specific environmental parameters as recommended by the Commission.

    In summary, LDEO acquired field measurements for several array configurations at shallow, intermediate, and deep-water depths during acoustic verification studies conducted in the northern Gulf of Mexico (Tolstoy et al., 2009). Based on the empirical data from those studies, LDEO developed a sound propagation modeling approach that predicts received sound levels as a function of distance from a particular airgun array configuration in deep water. For this survey, LDEO modeled Level A and Level B harassment zones based on the empirically-derived measurements from the Gulf of Mexico calibration survey (Appendix H of NSF-USGS 2011). LDEO used the deep-water radii obtained from model results down to a maximum water depth of 2,000 m (Figure 2 and 3 in Appendix H of NSF-USGS 2011).

    In 2015, LDEO explored the question of whether the Gulf of Mexico calibration data described above adequately informs the model to predict harassment isopleths in other areas by conducting a retrospective sound power analysis of one of the lines acquired during LDEO's seismic survey offshore New Jersey in 2014 (Crone, 2015). NMFS presented a comparison of the predicted radii (i.e., modeled exclusion zones) with radii based on in situ measurements (i.e., the upper bound [95th percentile] of the cross-line prediction) in a previous notice of an IHA issued for LDEO (see 80 FR 27635, May 14, 2015, Table 1). Briefly, the analysis presented in Crone (2015), specific to the survey site offshore New Jersey, confirmed that in-situ, site-specific measurements and estimates of 160 decibel (dB) and 180 dB isopleths collected by the hydrophone streamer of the R/V Marcus Langseth in shallow water were smaller than the modeled (i.e., predicted) zones for two seismic surveys conducted offshore New Jersey in shallow water in 2014 and 2015. In that particular case, Crone's (2015) results showed that LDEO's modeled 180 dB and 160 dB zones were approximately 28 percent and 33 percent larger respectively, than the in-situ, site-specific measurements, thus confirming that LDEO's model was conservative in that case.

    The following is a summary of two additional analyses of in-situ data that support LDEO's use of the modeled Level A and Level B harassment zones in this particular case. In 2010, LDEO assessed the accuracy of their modeling approach by comparing the sound levels of the field measurements acquired in the Gulf of Mexico study to their model predictions (Diebold et al., 2010). They reported that the observed sound levels from the field measurements fell almost entirely below the predicted harassment radii curve for deep water (i.e., greater than 1,000 m; 3,280.8 ft) (Diebold et al., 2010). In 2012, LDEO used a similar process to model distances to isopleths corresponding to Level A and Level B harassment thresholds for a shallow-water seismic survey in the northeast Pacific Ocean off Washington State. LDEO conducted the shallow-water survey using a 6,600 in3 airgun configuration aboard the R/V Marcus Langseth and recorded the received sound levels on both the shelf and slope using the Langseth's 8 km hydrophone streamer. Crone et al. (2014) analyzed those received sound levels from the 2012 survey and confirmed that in-situ, site specific measurements and estimates of the 160 dB and 180 dB isopleths collected by the Langseth's hydrophone streamer in shallow water were two to three times smaller than LDEO's modeling approach had predicted. While the results confirmed the role of bathymetry in sound propagation, Crone et al. (2014) were also able to confirm that the empirical measurements from the Gulf of Mexico calibration survey (the same measurements used to inform LDEO's modeling approach for the planned surveys in the northwest Atlantic Ocean) overestimated the size of the exclusion and buffer zones for the shallow-water 2012 survey off Washington State and were thus precautionary, in that particular case.

    NMFS continues to work with LDEO to address the issue of incorporating site-specific information for future authorizations for seismic surveys. However, LDEO's current modeling approach (supported by the three studies discussed previously) represents the best available information for NMFS to reach determinations for this IHA. As described earlier, the comparisons of LDEO's model results and the field data collected at multiple locations (i.e., the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Washington State, and offshore New Jersey) illustrate a degree of conservativeness built into LDEO's model for deep water, which NMFS expects to offset some of the limitations of the model to capture the variability resulting from site-specific factors. Based upon the best available information (i.e., the referenced studies, two of which are peer-reviewed, discussed in this response), NMFS finds that the Level A and Level B harassment zone calculations are reasonable and appropriate for use in this particular IHA.

    LDEO has conveyed to NMFS that additional modeling efforts to refine the process and conduct comparative analysis may be possible with the availability of research funds and other resources. Obtaining research funds is typically accomplished through a competitive process, including those submitted to U.S. Federal agencies. The use of models for calculating Level A and Level B harassment zones and for developing take estimates is not a requirement of the MMPA incidental take authorization process. Further, NMFS does not provide specific guidance on model parameters nor prescribe a specific model for applicants as part of the MMPA incidental take authorization process at this time, although we do review methods to ensure that they are adequate for reasonable prediction of take. There is a level of variability not only with parameters in the models, but also the uncertainty associated with data used in models, and therefore, the quality of the model results submitted by applicants. NMFS considers this variability when evaluating applications and the take estimates and mitigation measures that the model informs. NMFS takes into consideration the model used, and its results, in determining the potential impacts to marine mammals; however, it is just one component of the analysis during the MMPA authorization process as NMFS also takes into consideration other factors associated with the activity (e.g., geographic location, duration of activities, context, sound source intensity, etc.).

    Comment 4: The Commission recommends that NMFS require USGS to archive, analyze, and compare the in-situ data collected by the sonobuoys and hydrophone streamer to LDEO's modeling results for the extents of the Level A and B harassment zones based on the various airgun configurations and water depths to be surveyed and provide the data and results to NMFS.

    Response: NMFS will suggest that the USGS use its collected data to both analyze and compare with LDEO's modeling results and share with NMFS. However, NMFS does not deem it necessary to require USGS to use the in-situ data it collects from the sonobuoys and hydrophone streamer it deploys during its cruise. As stated in the response to Comment 2, NMFS continues to work with LDEO to address the issue of incorporating site-specific information for future authorizations for seismic surveys. Nevertheless, LDEO's Nucleus model has shown to be conservative when compared to in-situ, site specific measurements and estimates (Crone 2015). Therefore, NMFS asserts that the use of the Nucleus source model in its current state is appropriate.

    Comment 5: The Commission recommends that NMFS ensure that USGS calculated the numbers of takes appropriately based on the line-kilometers to be surveyed in each of the 11 tracklines and the number of days it would take to survey each location, the associated ensonified areas, and site-specific densities—species-specific takes from each of the 11 locations should be summed to yield the total numbers of takes for each species.

    Response: The number of days are factored into the take estimates. To calculate take, USGS used 10 km x 10 km density grid blocks taken from Roberts et al. (2016) which were intersected with two different buffer zones. One buffer is equivalent to the largest Level A harassment zone and the other is equal to both the largest Level A harassment zone and Level B harassment zone (for the Optimal Survey) combined. As a result, the modeling method derived a take total for each 10 km x 10 km block the R/V Sharp will survey. Take totals for each block were each added (rounded at the end) to come up with the take estimates for each species. Due to the short duration (a few hours at most) that the R/V Sharp will conduct seismic operations in each 10 km x 10 km survey block, the number of days (1 day per block) is factored into the take estimates.

    Comment 6: The Commission recommends that NMFS require USGS to provide in all future applications all relevant information regarding line-kilometers to be surveyed and days necessary to survey each location based on a presumed survey speed, associated ensonified areas, site-specific densities, and any other assumptions (including the assumed 25-percent contingency).

    Response: NMFS will continue to request as much information from applicants as necessary to determine if their take methodology is scientifically accurate. After NMFS's request, USGS provided NMFS and the Commission with more data to analyze the method used to estimate take during the survey. In reviewing these data with the density estimates provided in Roberts et al. (2016), NMFS determined that the methodology used for take calculation in the IHA application is appropriate. In all, USGS provided NMFS with enough information to effectively assess the generated take estimates. For future surveys, USGS will work to provide a technical guidance document that will better detail its take methodology using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.

    Comment 7: The Commission recommends that NMFS share its rounding criteria.

    Response: On June 27, 2018, NMFS provided the Commission with internal guidance on rounding and the consideration of additional factors in take estimation.

    Comment 8: The Commission recommends that NMFS condition the authorization to limit USGS's use of the echosounder during transits to and from the survey area except during calibration. In addition, the Commission recommends NMFS advise USGS that it needs to obtain additional authorization to take marine mammals while using an echosounder to collect gas hydrate data during transits to and from the survey area.

    Response: As stated in the IHA application, marine mammals would have to be either very close and remain near the sound source for many repeated pings to receive overall exposures sufficient to cause TTS onset (Lucke et al. 2009; Finneran and Schlundt 2010) from the fisheries echosounder. The echosounder used by USGS during the MATRIX survey will only transmit conically downward in a maximum 10 degree cone. Based on modeling by the U.S. Geological Survey, the area ensonified at greater than 160 dB re: 1 μPa (rms) is 0.0407 square kilometers (0.0119 square nautical miles), corresponding to a maximum of approximately 72 meters (236.2 feet) athwartship and approximately 650 meters (2,132.6 feet) below the research vessel (See Figure 18 of USGS 2018). This, combined with the vessel strike avoidance measures stipulated in section 4(f) of the IHA for the USGS MATRIX survey allows NMFS to concur that the minimal use of a scientific echosounder during transits is not reasonably likely to result in the incidental taking of marine mammals pursuant to the MMPA.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    A detailed description of the species likely to be affected by USGS's geophysical survey, including brief introductions to the species and relevant stocks as well as available information regarding population trends and threats, and information regarding local occurrence, were provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018); since that time, we are not aware of any changes in the status of these species and stocks; therefore, detailed descriptions are not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for these descriptions. Please also refer to NMFS' website (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/population-assessments/marine-mammals) for generalized species accounts. All species that could potentially occur in the planned survey area are included in Table 2. However, density estimates in Roberts et al. (2016) present very low density estimates within the proposed action area during the month of August for north Atlantic right whale, harbor porpoise, minke whale, Bryde's whale, blue whale, and white-beaked dolphin (See Table 6 of IHA Application). This, in combination with the short length of the cruise and low level airguns provide reasonable evidence that take authorization is not necessary, nor should they be authorized for these species. Species with expected take are discussed below.

    Table 2—Marine Mammals That Could Occur in the Project Area Common name Scientific name Stock ESA/MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • NMFS stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin, most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • Predicted
  • abundance (CV) 5
  • PBR Annual M/SI 3
    Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Balaenidae North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis Western North Atlantic (WNA) E/D; Y 458 (n/a; 455; n/a) 334 (0.25) 1.4 36 Family Balaenopteridae (rorquals) Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae novaeangliae Gulf of Maine -; N 335 (.42; 239; 2012) 1,637 (0.07) 3.7 8.5 Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata acutorostrata Canadian East Coast -; N 2,591 (0.81; 1,425; 2011) 2,112 (0.05) 14 9 Bryde's whale B. edeni brydei None defined 4 -; n/a n/a 7 (0.58) n/a n/a Sei whale B. borealis borealis Nova Scotia E/D; Y 357 (0.52; 236; 2011) 98 (0.25) 0.5 0.8 Fin whale B. physalus physalus WNA E/D; Y 1,618 (0.33; 1,234; 2011) 4,633 (0.08) 2.5 2.65 Blue whale B. musculus musculus WNA E/D; Y Unknown (n/a; 440; n/a) 11 (0.41) 0.9 Unk Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Physeteridae Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus North Atlantic E/D; Y 2,288 (0.28; 1,815; 2011) 5,353 (0.12) 3.6 0.8 Family Kogiidae Pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps WNA -; N 3,785 (0.47; 2,598; 2011) 678 (0.23) 21 3.5 Dwarf sperm whale K. sima WNA -; N Family Ziphiidae (beaked whales) Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris WNA -; N 6,532 (0.32; 5,021; 2011) 14,491(0.17) 50 0.4 Gervais beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeus WNA -; N 7,092 (0.54; 4,632; 2011) 46 0.2 Blainville's beaked whale M. densirostris WNA -; N Sowerby's beaked whale M. bidens WNA -; N True's beaked whale M. mirus WNA -; N Northern bottlenose whale Hyperoodon ampullatus WNA -; N Unknown 90 (0.63) Undet. 0 Family Delphinidae Rough-toothed dolphin Steno bredanensis WNA -; N 271 (1.0; 134; 2011) 532 (0.36) 1.3 0 Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus truncatus WNA Offshore -; N 77,532 (0.40; 56,053; 2011) 97,476 (0.06) 561 39.4 Clymene dolphin Stenella clymene WNA -; N Unknown 12,515 (0.56) Undet. 0 Atlantic spotted dolphin S. frontalis WNA -; N 44,715 (0.43; 31,610; 2011) 55,436 (0.32) 316 0 Pantropical spotted dolphin S. attenuata attenuata WNA -; N 3,333 (0.91; 1,733; 2011) 4,436 (0.33) 17 0 Spinner dolphin S. longirostris longirostris WNA -; N Unknown 262 (0.93) Undet. 0 Striped dolphin S. coeruleoalba WNA -; N 54,807 (0.3; 42,804; 2011) 75,657 (0.21) 428 0 Short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis delphis WNA -; N 70,184 (0.28; 55,690; 2011) 86,098 (0.12) 557 437 Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei WNA -; N Unknown 492 (0.76) Undet. 0 Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus WNA -; N 48,819 (0.61; 30,403; 2011) 37,180 (0.07) 304 57 Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus WNA -; N 18,250 (0.46; 12,619; 2011) 7,732 (0.09) 126 43.2 Melon-headed whale Peponocephala electra WNA -; N Unknown 1,175 (0.50) Undet. 0 Pygmy killer whale Feresa attenuata WNA -; N Unknown N/A Undet. 0 False killer whale Pseudorca crassidens WNA -; Y 442 (1.06; 212; 2011) 95 (0.84) 2.1 Unk. Killer whale Orcinus orca WNA -; N Unknown 11 Undet. 0 Short-finned pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus WNA -; Y 21,515 (0.37; 15,913; 2011) 18,977 (0.11) 159 192 Long-finned pilot whale G. melas melas WNA -; Y 5,636 (0.63; 3,464; 2011) 35 38 White-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris WNA -; N 2,003 (0.94; 1,023; 2007) 39 (0.42) 10 0 Family Phocoenidae (porpoises) Harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena phocoena Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy -; N 79,833 (0.32; 61,415; 2011) 45,089 (0.12) 706 307 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. 3 These values, found in NMFS' SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value or range. A CV associated with estimated mortality due to commercial fisheries is presented in some cases. 4 Bryde's whales are occasionally reported off the southeastern U.S. and southern West Indies. NMFS defines and manages a stock of Bryde's whales believed to be resident in the northern Gulf of Mexico, but does not define a separate stock in the Atlantic Ocean. 5 Predicted mean abundance derived from Roberts et al. (2016). Note—Italicized species in the “Common Name “column are not authorized for take.
    Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    The effect of stressors associated with the specified activities (e.g., seismic airguns) has the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals in the vicinity of the action areas. The Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018) included a discussion of the effects of such disturbance on marine mammals, therefore that information is not repeated here.

    NMFS described potential impacts to marine mammal habitat in detail in our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018). In summary, due to the short duration of the activities and the relatively small area of the habitat that the survey covers, the impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term negative consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations.

    Estimated Take

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

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

    Authorized takes will be by Level B harassment only, in the form of disruption of behavioral patterns for individual marine mammals resulting from exposure to airguns. Based on the nature of the activity, the cryptic behavior and low density for Kogia spp. (the only high-frequency cetacean authorized for take) within the action areas, and the anticipated effectiveness of the mitigation measures (i.e., shutdown and a minimum vessel distance of 100 m from large whales—discussed in detail below in the Mitigation section), Level A harassment is neither anticipated nor authorized. As described previously, no mortality is anticipated or authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Described in the most basic way, we estimate take by considering: (1) Acoustic thresholds above which NMFS believes the best available science indicates marine mammals will be behaviorally harassed or incur some degree of permanent hearing impairment; (2) the area or volume of water that will be ensonified above these levels in a day; (3) the density or occurrence of marine mammals within these ensonified areas; and, (4) and the number of days of activities. Below, we describe these components in more detail and present the take estimate.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Using the best available science, NMFS has developed acoustic thresholds that identify the received level of underwater sound above which exposed marine mammals will be reasonably expected to be behaviorally harassed (equated to Level B harassment) or to incur PTS of some degree (equated to Level A harassment).

    Level B Harassment for non-explosive sources—Though significantly driven by received level, the onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise exposure is also informed to varying degrees by other factors related to the source (e.g., frequency, predictability, duty cycle), the environment (e.g., bathymetry), and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography, behavioral context) and can be difficult to predict (Southall et al., 2007, Ellison et al., 2012). Based on what the available science indicates and the practical need to use a threshold based on a factor that is both predictable and measurable for most activities, NMFS uses a generalized acoustic threshold based on received level to estimate the onset of behavioral harassment. NMFS predicts that marine mammals are likely to be behaviorally harassed in a manner we consider Level B harassment when exposed to underwater anthropogenic noise above received levels of 120 decibels (dB) re 1 micro pascal (μPa) root mean square (rms) for continuous (e.g., vibratory pile-driving, drilling) and above 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for non-explosive impulsive (e.g., seismic airguns) sources. USGS's activity includes the use of impulsive seismic sources. Therefore, the 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) criteria is applicable for analysis of Level B harassment.

    Level A harassment for non-explosive sources—NMFS' Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Technical Guidance, 2016) identifies dual criteria to assess auditory injury (Level A harassment) to five different marine mammal groups (based on hearing sensitivity) as a result of exposure to noise from two different types of sources (impulsive or non-impulsive). As described above, USGS's activity includes the use of intermittent and impulsive seismic sources. These thresholds are provided in the table below. The references, analysis, and methodology used in the development of the thresholds are described in NMFS 2016 Technical Guidance, which may be accessed at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/marine-mammal-acoustic-technical-guidance.

    Table 3—Thresholds Identifying the Onset of Permanent Threshold Shift Hearing group PTS onset acoustic thresholds *
  • (received level)
  • Impulsive Non-impulsive
    Low-Frequency (LF) Cetaceans Cell 1: L pk,flat: 219 dB; L E,LF,24h: 183 dB Cell 2: L E,LF,24h: 199 dB. Mid-Frequency (MF) Cetaceans Cell 3: L pk,flat: 230 dB; L E,MF,24h: 185 dB Cell 4: L E,MF,24h: 198 dB. High-Frequency (HF) Cetaceans Cell 5: L pk,flat: 202 dB; L E,HF,24h: 155 dB Cell 6: L E,HF,24h: 173 dB. Phocid Pinnipeds (PW) (Underwater) Cell 7: L pk,flat: 218 dB; L E,PW,24h: 185 dB Cell 8: L E,PW,24h: 201 dB. Otariid Pinnipeds (OW) (Underwater) Cell 9: L pk,flat: 232 dB; L E,OW,24h: 203 dB Cell 10: L E,OW,24h: 219 dB. * Dual metric acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds: Use whichever results in the largest isopleth for calculating PTS onset. If a non-impulsive sound has the potential of exceeding the peak sound pressure level thresholds associated with impulsive sounds, these thresholds should also be considered. Note: Peak sound pressure (L pk) has a reference value of 1 μPa, and cumulative sound exposure level (L E) has a reference value of 1μPa2s. In this Table, thresholds are abbreviated to reflect American National Standards Institute standards (ANSI 2013). However, peak sound pressure is defined by ANSI as incorporating frequency weighting, which is not the intent for this Technical Guidance. Hence, the subscript “flat” is being included to indicate peak sound pressure should be flat weighted or unweighted within the generalized hearing range. The subscript associated with cumulative sound exposure level thresholds indicates the designated marine mammal auditory weighting function (LF, MF, and HF cetaceans, and PW and OW pinnipeds) and that the recommended accumulation period is 24 hours. The cumulative sound exposure level thresholds could be exceeded in a multitude of ways (i.e., varying exposure levels and durations, duty cycle). When possible, it is valuable for action proponents to indicate the conditions under which these acoustic thresholds will be exceeded.
    Ensonified Area

    Here, we describe operational and environmental parameters of the activity that will feed into identifying the area ensonified above the acoustic thresholds

    The survey will entail the use of a 4-airgun array with a total maximum discharge of 840 cubic inches (in3) for operations that occur at water depths greater than 1,000 m and 420 in3 for operations that occur at water depths of 1,000 m or less with at a tow depth of 3 m. The distances to the predicted isopleths corresponding to the threshold for Level B harassment (160 dB re 1 μPa) were calculated for both array configurations based on results of modeling performed by LDEO using the Nucleus Model. Received sound levels were predicted by LDEO's model (Diebold et al., 2010) as a function of distance from the airgun array. The LDEO modeling approach uses ray tracing for the direct wave traveling from the array to the receiver and its associated source ghost (reflection at the air-water interface in the vicinity of the array), in a constant-velocity half-space (infinite homogeneous ocean layer unbounded by a seafloor). In addition, propagation measurements of pulses from a 36-airgun array at a tow depth of 6 m have been reported in deep water (~1,600 m), intermediate water depth on the slope (~600-1,100 m), and shallow water (~50 m) in the Gulf of Mexico in 2007-2008 (Tolstoy et al., 2009; Diebold et al., 2010). The estimated distances to Level B harassment isopleths for the two configurations of the R/V Hugh R. Sharp airgun array are shown in Table 4.

    Table 4—Modeled Radial Distances [m (km2 )] From R/V Hugh R. Sharp's Airgun Array to Isopleths Corresponding to Level B harassment thresholds Source and volume Tow depth
  • (m)
  • Water depth
  • (m)
  • Predicted RMS Radii
  • (m)
  • 160 dB
    Base Configuration (Configuration 1): Four 105 in3 GI-guns 3 >1,000
  • 100-1,000
  • 1,091 m (3.7 km2) 1
  • 1,637 m (8.42 km2) 2
  • GG Configuration(Configuration 2): Four 210 in3 GI-guns 3 >1,000
  • 100-1,000
  • 1,244 m (4.86 km2) 1
  • 1,866 m (10.94 km2) 2
  • 1 Distance is based on L-DEO model results. 2 Distance is based on L-DEO model results with a 1.5 × correction factor between deep and intermediate water depths.

    For modeling of radial distances to predicted isopleths corresponding to harassment thresholds in deep water (>1,000 m), LDEO used the deep-water radii for various SELs obtained from LDEO model results down to a maximum water depth of 2,000 m (see Figures 4 and 5 in the IHA application). LDEO's modeling methodology is described in greater detail in the IHA application (USGS, 2018) and we refer to the reader to that document rather than repeating it here.

    Predicted distances to Level A harassment isopleths, which vary based on marine mammal functional hearing groups (Table 3), were calculated based on modeling performed by LDEO using the Nucleus software program and the NMFS User Spreadsheet, described below. The updated acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds (such as airguns) contained in the Technical Guidance (NMFS, 2016) were presented as dual metric acoustic thresholds using both SELcum and peak sound pressure level metrics. As dual metrics, NMFS considers onset of PTS (Level A harassment) to have occurred when either one of the two metrics is exceeded (i.e., metric resulting in the largest isopleth). The SELcum metric considers both level and duration of exposure, as well as auditory weighting functions by marine mammal hearing group. In recognition of the fact that the requirement to calculate Level A harassment ensonified areas could be more technically challenging to predict due to the duration component and the use of weighting functions in the new SELcum thresholds, NMFS developed an optional User Spreadsheet that includes tools to help predict a simple isopleth that can be used in conjunction with marine mammal density or occurrence to facilitate the estimation of take numbers.

    The values for SELcum and peak SPL for the R/V Hugh R. Sharp airgun array were derived from calculating the modified farfield signature (Table 5). The farfield signature is often used as a theoretical representation of the source level. To compute the farfield signature, the source level is estimated at a large distance below the array (e.g., 9 km), and this level is back projected mathematically to a notional distance of 1 m from the array's geometrical center. However, when the source is an array of multiple airguns separated in space, the source level from the theoretical farfield signature is not necessarily the best measurement of the source level that is physically achieved at the source (Tolstoy et al., 2009). Near the source (at short ranges, distances <1 km), the pulses of sound pressure from each individual airgun in the source array do not stack constructively, as they do for the theoretical farfield signature. The pulses from the different airguns spread out in time such that the source levels observed or modeled are the result of the summation of pulses from a few airguns, not the full array (Tolstoy et al., 2009). At larger distances, away from the source array center, sound pressure of all the airguns in the array stack coherently, but not within one time sample, resulting in smaller source levels than the source level derived from the farfield signature. Because the farfield signature does not take into account the array effect near the source and is calculated as a point source, the modified farfield signature is a more appropriate measure of the sound source level for distributed sound sources, such as airgun arrays. Though the array effect is not expected to be as pronounced in the case of a 4-airgun array as it will be with a larger airgun array, the modified farfield method is considered more appropriate than use of the theoretical farfield signature.

    In order to more realistically incorporate the Technical Guidance's weighting functions over the seismic array's full acoustic band, unweighted spectrum data for the R/V Hugh R. Sharp's airgun array (modeled in 1 Hz bands) was used to make adjustments (dB) to the unweighted spectrum levels, by frequency, according to the weighting functions for each relevant marine mammal hearing group. These adjusted/weighted spectrum levels were then converted to pressures (μPa) in order to integrate them over the entire broadband spectrum, resulting in broadband weighted source levels by hearing group that could be directly incorporated within the User Spreadsheet (i.e., to override the Spreadsheet's more simple weighting factor adjustment). Using the User Spreadsheet's “safe distance” methodology for mobile sources (described by Sivle et al., 2014) with the hearing group-specific weighted source levels, and inputs assuming spherical spreading propagation, a source velocity of 2.06 m/second and a shot interval of 12.15 seconds, potential radial distances to auditory injury zones were calculated for Peak SPLflat and SELcum thresholds, for both array configurations. Source level Inputs to the User Spreadsheet are shown in Table 5 (inputs to the user spreadsheet also included the source velocity and shot interval listed above). Outputs from the User Spreadsheet in the form of estimated distances to Level A harassment isopleths are shown in Table 6. The larger distance of the dual criteria (SELcum or Peak SPLflat) is used for estimating takes by Level A harassment. The weighting functions used are shown in Appendix C of the IHA application.

    Table 5—Modeled Source Levels ** (dB) for the R/V Hugh R. Sharp's Airgun Array Functional hearing group Configuration 1 *
  • 4 × 105 cu3
  • SELcum
  • Configuration 1 *
  • 4 × 105 cu3
  • Peak SPLflat
  • Configuration 2 *
  • 4 × 210 cu3
  • SELcum
  • Configuration 2 *
  • 4 × 210 cu3
  • Peak SPLflat
  • Configuration 3 *
  • 2 × 105 cu3
  • SELcum
  • Configuration 3 *
  • 2 × 105 cu3
  • Peak SPLflat
  • Low frequency cetaceans (L pk,flat: 219 dB; L E,LF,24h: 183 dB) 214 239 215 240 208 235 Mid frequency cetaceans (L pk,flat: 230 dB; L E,MF,24h: 185 dB) 214 N/A 215 N/A 208 234 High frequency cetaceans (L pk,flat: 202 dB; L E,HF,24h: 155 dB) 214 239 215 240 208 235 * All configurations have the following airgun specifications: 3 m tow depth; 2 m separation in the fore-aft direction; 8.6 m separation in the port (starboard direction).  **Source Levels were rounded to nearest whole number. See Appendix C of IHA Application for exact value.
    Table 6—Modeled Radial Distances [m(m2)] From R/V Hugh R. Sharp's Airgun Array to Isopleths Corresponding to Level A Harassment Thresholds Functional hearing group Configuration
  • 1
  • 4 × 105 cu3
  • SELcum
  • Configuration
  • 1
  • 4 × 105 cu3
  • 3 m tow depth,
  • Peak SPLflat
  • Configuration
  • 2
  • 4 × 210 cu3
  • SELcum
  • Configuration
  • 2
  • 4 × 210 cu3
  • Peak SPLflat
  • Configuration
  • 3
  • 2 × 105 cu3
  • SELcum
  • Configuration
  • 3
  • 2 × 105 cu3
  • Peak SPLflat
  • Low frequency cetaceans (L pk,flat: 219 dB; L E,LF,24h: 183 dB) 31 m (3,019 m2) 10.03 m (316 m2) 39.5 m (4,902 m2) 11.56 m (420 m2) 10.6 m (353 m2) 6.52 m (134 m2) Mid frequency cetaceans (L pk,flat: 230 dB; L E,MF,24h: 185 dB) 0 0 0 0 0 1.58 m (8 m2) High frequency cetaceans (L pk,flat: 202 dB; L E,HF,24h: 155 dB) 0 70.43 m (15743.22 m2) 0.1(.03 m2) 80.50 m (20,358 m2) 0 42.32 m (5,627 m2)

    Note that because of some of the assumptions included in the methods used, isopleths produced may be overestimates to some degree. However, these tools offer the best way to predict appropriate isopleths when more sophisticated 3D modeling methods are not available, and NMFS continues to develop ways to quantitatively refine these tools and will qualitatively address the output where appropriate. For mobile sources, such as this seismic survey, the User Spreadsheet predicts the closest distance at which a stationary animal would not incur PTS if the sound source traveled by the animal in a straight line at a constant speed.

    Marine Mammal Occurrence

    In this section we provide the information about the presence, density, or group dynamics of marine mammals that will inform the take calculations. The best available scientific information was considered in conducting marine mammal exposure estimates (the basis for estimating take). For all cetacean species, densities calculated by Roberts et al. (2016) were used. These represent the most comprehensive and recent density data available for cetacean species in the survey area. Roberts et al. (2016) retained 21,946 cetacean sightings for analysis, omitted 4,786 sightings, and modeled 25 individual species and 3 multi-species guilds. In order to develop density models for species, Roberts et al. (2016) used an approach known as density surface modeling, as seen in DoN (2007) and Roberts et al. (2016). This couples traditional distance sampling with multivariate regression modeling to produce density maps predicted from fine-scale environmental covariates (e.g., Becker et al., 2014).

    In addition to the density information provided by Roberts et al. (2016), best available data on average group sizes taken from sightings in the western North Atlantic were also used. This is discussed more in the section below.

    Take Calculation and Estimation

    Here we describe how the information provided above is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate. To estimate marine mammal exposures, the USGS used published, quantitative density models by Roberts et al. (2016) for the Survey Area, which is entirely within the U.S. EEZ. These models are provided at 10 km x 10 km resolution in ArcGIS compatible IMG grids on the Duke University cetacean density website (http://seamap.env.duke.edu/models/Duke-EC-GOM-2015). When available, the cetacean density models for Month 8 (August) were used. Otherwise, the generic annual density model was employed. Only a single density model is provided for the Kogia genus (dwarf and sperm pygmy whales), beaked whale guild (Blainville's, Cuvier's, Gervais', Sowerby's, and True's beaked whales), and for pilot whales (Globicephala spp.).

    To determine takes, the USGS combined the Duke density grids with the zones corresponding to the Level A and Level B harassment thresholds (See Tables 4 and 6) arrayed on either side of each exemplary seismic line and linking/interseismic line. The takes by Level B and Level A harassment for each species in each 10 km x 10 km block of the IMG density grids were calculated based on the fractional area of each block intersected by the Level A and Level B harassment zones for LF, MF, and HF cetaceans. Summing takes along all of the lines yields the total take for each species for the action for the Base (Configuration 1) and Optimal (Configuration 2) surveys. The method also yields take for each survey line individually, allowing examination of those exemplary lines that will yield the largest or smallest take. No Level A harassment takes were calculated while using this method.

    As indicated earlier, estimated numbers of individuals potentially exposed to sound above the Level B harassment threshold are based on the 160-dB re 1μPa (rms) criterion for all cetaceans. It is assumed that marine mammals exposed to airgun sounds that strong could change their behavior sufficiently to be considered taken by harassment. Table 7 shows the estimates of the number of cetaceans that potentially could be exposed to ≥160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) during the action for the Base Survey and the Optimal Survey. The takes in Table 7 represents 25 percent more than the number of takes calculated using the ArcGIS-based quantitative method devised by the USGS. This was used to account for potential additional seismic operations that may occur after repeat coverage of any areas where initial data quality is sub-standard.

    Also, as shown in Table 7, rough toothed dolphin, sei whale, and humpback whale calculated takes were increased to account for the average size of one group for each species. Takes for rare species of marine mammals in the action area were also increased to the average size of one group. Rare species that could be encountered and taken during the surveys are not presented in Table 7, but are presented in Table 8. These species were omitted from Table 7 due to low calculated incidents of potential exposures (i.e., less than the average group size). As a result, NMFS relied on average group size data to authorize the take of a single group of these species as a precautionary measure in case the survey encounters them. This is discussed further below Table 7.

    The calculated takes in Table 7 and 8 also assume that the surveys will be completed. However, it is unlikely that the entire survey pattern (exemplary lines plus 50 percent of the interseismic, linking lines) will be completed given the limitations on ship time, likely logistical challenges (compressor and GI gun repairs), time spent on transits and refueling, and the historical problems with weather during August in the western North Atlantic. The USGS's calculated timelines indicate that 25 days, including contingency, could be required to complete the full survey pattern. However, only 22 days or fewer will be scheduled for this USGS survey. The lines that are actually acquired will be dependent on weather, strength of the Gulf Stream (affects ability to tow the streamer in the appropriate geometry), and other considerations.

    Table 7—Calculated Incidents of Potential Exposure for Level B and Level A Harassment Species Optimal survey Level A Level B Max Level B
  • take for optimal or base surveys +25%
  • Take
  • (all Level B) 6
  • Take as
  • % of pop.1
  • Low Frequency Cetaceans Humpback whale 0 0 0 5 3 <0.1 Sei whale 0 1 1 7 3 2.04 Fin whale 0 4 5 5 0.1 Mid-Frequency Cetaceans Sperm whale 0 128 161 161 2.9 Cuvier's beaked whale 0 2 103 2 128 2 128 <0.1 True's beaked whale 0 Gervais beaked whale 0 Sowerby's beaked whale 0 Blainville's beaked whale 0 Rough-toothed dolphin 0 5 6 3 10 1.9 Common bottlenose dolphin 0 606 757 757 0.8 Pantropical spotted dolphin 0 40 50 50 1.1 Atlantic spotted dolphin 0 1,278 1,598 1,598 2.9 Striped dolphin 0 1,167 1,459 1,459 1.9 Short-beaked common dolphin 0 1,296 1,620 1,620 1.9 Risso's dolphin 0 189 237 237 3 Long-finned pilot whale 0 4 231 0 4 288 1.5 Short-finned pilot whale 0 0 0 Clymene's dolphin 0 97 0 122 1 High-Frequency Cetaceans Pygmy/dwarf sperm whale 0 7 0 9 0.2 1 Based on mean abundance estimates from Roberts et al. (2016). 2 Values for density, take number, and percentage of population for authorization are for all beaked whales combined. 3 Based on one average group size for rough toothed dolphin (Jefferson 2015). 4 Values for density, take number, and percentage of population for authorization are for short-finned and long-finned pilot whales combined. 5 Based on one average group size for humpback whales (CETAP 1982). Summer seasonal sightings compiled from the OBIS database (See Figure 6 of IHA Application) show that humpback whales have been seen in the northern part of the action area during August. 6 Values are the same take numbers shown in Table 8 below. Table 8 includes take of rare species discussed below. 7 Based on one average group size for sei whale in the western Atlantic (CETAP 1982).

    Certain species potentially present in the survey areas are expected to be encountered only extremely rarely, if at all. Although Roberts et al. (2016) provide density models for these species (with the exception of the pygmy killer whale), due to the small numbers of sightings that underlie these models' predictions we believe it appropriate to account for the small likelihood that these species will be encountered by assuming that one group of each of these species might be encountered once by a given survey. With the exception of the northern bottlenose whale, none of these species should be considered cryptic (i.e., difficult to observe when present) versus rare (i.e., not likely to be present). Average group size was determined by considering known sightings in the western North Atlantic (CETAP, 1982; Hansen et al, 1994; NMFS, 2010a, 2011, 2012, 2013a, 2014, 2015a; Waring et al., 2007, 2015). It is important to note that our authorization of take equating to harassment of one group of each of these species is not equivalent to expected exposure. We do not expect that these rarely occurring (in the survey area) species will be exposed at all. Nonetheless, we are providing USGS with authorization to take these species, consistent with the terms of this IHA, in the unlikely event they are encountered. We provide a brief description for each of these species below.

    Northern Bottlenose Whale—Northern bottlenose whales are considered extremely rare in U.S. Atlantic waters, with only five NMFS sightings. The southern extent of distribution is generally considered to be approximately Nova Scotia (though Mitchell and Kozicki (1975) reported stranding records as far south as Rhode Island), and there have been no sightings within the survey areas. Whitehead and Wimmer (2005) estimated the size of the population on the Scotian Shelf at 163 whales (95 percent CI 119-214). Whitehead and Hooker (2012) report that northern bottlenose whales are found north of approximately 37.5° N and prefer deep waters along the continental slope. Roberts et al. (2016) produced a stratified density model on the basis of four sightings in the vicinity of Georges Bank (Roberts et al., 2015b). The five sightings in U.S. waters yield a mean group size of 2.2 whales, while MacLeod and D'Amico report a mean group size of 3.6. Here, we authorize take of one group with a maximum group size of four whales.

    Killer Whale—Killer whales are also considered rare in U.S. Atlantic waters (Katona et al., 1988; Forney and Wade, 2006), constituting 0.1 percent of marine mammal sightings in the 1978-81 Cetacean and Turtle Assessment Program surveys (CETAP, 1982). Roberts et al. (2016) produced a stratified density model on the basis of four killer whale sightings (Roberts et al., 2015g), though Lawson and Stevens (2014) provide a minimum abundance estimate of 67 photo-identified individual killer whales. Available information suggests that survey encounters with killer whales will be unlikely but could occur anywhere within the survey area and at any time of year (e.g., Lawson and Stevens, 2014). Silber et al. (1994) reported observations of two and 15 killer whales in the Gulf of California (mean group size 8.5), while May-Collado et al. (2005) described mean group size of 3.6 whales off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Based on 12 CETAP sightings and one group observed during NOAA surveys (CETAP, 1982; NMFS, 2014), the average group size in the Atlantic is 6.8 whales. Therefore, we authorize take of one group with a maximum group size of seven whales.

    False Killer Whale—Although records of false killer whales from the U.S. Atlantic are uncommon, a combination of sighting, stranding, and bycatch records indicates that this species does occur in the western North Atlantic (Waring et al., 2015). Baird (2009) suggests that false killer whales may be naturally uncommon throughout their range. Roberts et al. (2016) produced a stratified density model on the basis of two false killer whale sightings (Roberts et al., 2015m), and NMFS produced the first abundance estimate for false killer whales on the basis of one sighting during 2011 shipboard surveys (Waring et al., 2015). Similar to the killer whale, we believe survey encounters will be unlikely but could occur anywhere within the survey area and at any time of year. Mullin et al. (2004) reported a mean false killer whale group size of 27.5 from the Gulf of Mexico, and May-Collado et al. (2005) described mean group size of 36.2 whales off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The few sightings from CETAP (1982) and from NOAA shipboard surveys give an average group size of 10.3 whales. As a precaution, we authorize take of one group with a maximum group size of 28 whales, as reported from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Pygmy Killer Whale—The pygmy killer whale is distributed worldwide in tropical to sub-tropical waters, and is assumed to be part of the cetacean fauna of the tropical western North Atlantic (Jefferson et al., 1994; Waring et al., 2007). Pygmy killer whales are rarely observed by NOAA surveys outside the Gulf of Mexico—one group was observed off of Cape Hatteras in 1992—and the rarity of such sightings may be due to a naturally low number of groups compared to other cetacean species (Waring et al., 2007). NMFS has never produced an abundance estimate for this species and Roberts et al. (2016) were not able to produce a density model for the species. The 1992 sighting was of six whales; therefore, we authorize take of one group with a maximum group size of six whales.

    Melon-headed Whale—Similar to the pygmy killer whale, the melon-headed whale is distributed worldwide in tropical to sub-tropical waters, and is assumed to be part of the cetacean fauna of the tropical western North Atlantic (Jefferson et al., 1994; Waring et al., 2007). Melon-headed whales are rarely observed by NOAA surveys outside the Gulf of Mexico—groups were observed off of Cape Hatteras in 1999 and 2002—and the rarity of such sightings may be due to a naturally low number of groups compared to other cetacean species (Waring et al., 2007). NMFS has never produced an abundance estimate for this species and Roberts et al. (2016) produced a stratified density model on the basis of four sightings (Roberts et al., 2015d). The two sightings reported by Waring et al. (2007) yield an average group size of 50 whales; therefore, we authorize take of a single group of a maximum of 50 whales.

    Spinner Dolphin—Distribution of spinner dolphins in the Atlantic is poorly known, but they are thought to occur in deep water along most of the U.S. coast south to the West Indies and Venezuela (Waring et al., 2014). There have been a handful of sightings in deeper waters off the northeast United States and one sighting during a 2011 NOAA shipboard survey off North Carolina, as well as stranding records from North Carolina south to Florida and Puerto Rico (Waring et al., 2014). Roberts et al. (2016) provide a stratified density model on the basis of two sightings (Roberts et al., 2015i). Regarding group size, Mullin et al. (2004) report a mean of 91.3 in the Gulf of Mexico; May-Collado (2005) describe a mean of 100.6 off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica; and CETAP (1982) sightings in the Atlantic yield a mean group size of 42.5 dolphins. As a precaution, we authorize taking a single group with a maximum size of 91 dolphins (derived from mean group size reported in Mullin et al. 2004).

    Fraser's Dolphin—As was stated for both the pygmy killer whale and melon-headed whale, the Fraser's dolphin is distributed worldwide in tropical waters, and is assumed to be part of the cetacean fauna of the tropical western North Atlantic (Perrin et al., 1994; Waring et al., 2007). The paucity of sightings of this species may be due to naturally low abundance compared to other cetacean species (Waring et al., 2007). Despite possibly being more common in the Gulf of Mexico than in other parts of its range (Dolar 2009), there were only five reported sightings during NOAA surveys from 1992-2009. In the Atlantic, NOAA surveys have yielded only two sightings (Roberts et al., 2015f). May-Collado et al. (2005) reported a single observation of 158 Fraser's dolphins off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and Waring et al. (2007) describe a single observation of 250 Fraser's dolphins in the Atlantic, off Cape Hatteras. Therefore, we authorize take of a single group with a maximum group size of 204 dolphins (derived from average of May-Collado et al. 2005 and Waring et al. 2007 sightings data).

    Atlantic White-sided Dolphin—White-sided dolphins are found in temperate and sub-polar continental shelf waters of the North Atlantic, primarily in the Gulf of Maine and north into Canadian waters (Waring et al., 2016). Palka et al. (1997) suggest the existence of stocks in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Labrador Sea. Stranding records from Virginia and North Carolina suggest a southerly winter range extent of approximately 35° N (Waring et al., 2016); therefore, it is possible that the surveys could encounter white-sided dolphins. Roberts et al. (2016) elected to split their study area at the north wall of the Gulf Stream, separating the cold northern waters, representing probable habitat, from warm southern waters, where white-sided dolphins are likely not present (Roberts et al., 2015k). Over 600 observations of Atlantic white-sided dolphins during CETAP (1982) and during NMFS surveys provide a mean group size estimate of 47.7 dolphins, while Weinrich et al. (2001) reported a mean group size of 52 dolphins. Due to this data, we authorize take of a single group with a maximum group size of 48 dolphins.

    Table 8—Numbers of Incidental Take Authorized Species Level B take ** Level A take Humpback whale 3 0 Sei whale 3 0 Fin whale 5 0 Sperm whale 161 0 Kogia spp 9 0 Beaked whales 128 0 Northern bottlenose whale * * 4 0 Rough-toothed dolphin 10 0 Common bottlenose dolphin 757 0 Clymene dolphin 122 0 Atlantic spotted dolphin 1,598 0 Pantropical spotted dolphin 50 0 Spinner dolphin * * 91 0 Striped dolphin 1,459 0 Short-beaked common dolphin 1,620 0 Fraser's dolphin * * 204 0 Atlantic white-sided dolphin * * 48 0 Risso's dolphin 237 0 Melon-headed whale * * 50 0 Pygmy killer whale * * 6 0 False killer whale * *28 0 Killer whale * * 7 0 Pilot whales 288 0 * Level B harassment take for rare species represent take of a single group. ** Take numbers for non-rare species are the same as those reported in Table 7. Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses (latter not applicable for this action). NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation may or may not be appropriate to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully consider two primary factors:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat. This considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range). It further considers the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented (probability of accomplishing the mitigating result if implemented as planned) the likelihood of effective implementation (probability implemented as planned); and

    (2) The practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost and impact on operations.

    USGS has reviewed mitigation measures employed during seismic research surveys authorized by NMFS under previous incidental harassment authorizations, as well as recommended best practices in Richardson et al. (1995), Pierson et al. (1998), Weir and Dolman (2007), Nowacek et al. (2013), Wright (2014), and Wright and Cosentino (2015), and has incorporated a suite of mitigation measures into their project description based on the above sources.

    To reduce the potential for disturbance from acoustic stimuli associated with the activities, USGS will implement the following mitigation measures for marine mammals:

    (1) Vessel-based visual mitigation monitoring;

    (2) Establishment of a marine mammal exclusion zone (EZ);

    (3) Shutdown procedures;

    (4) Ramp-up procedures; and

    (5) Vessel strike avoidance measures.

    In addition, USGS will establish a marine mammal buffer zone.

    Protected Species Observer (PSO) observations will take place during all daytime airgun operations and nighttime start ups (if applicable) of the airguns. If airguns are operating throughout the night, observations will begin 30 minutes prior to sunrise. If airguns are operating after sunset, observations will continue until 30 minutes following sunset. Following a shutdown for any reason, observations will occur for at least 30 minutes prior to the planned start of airgun operations. Observations will also occur for 30 minutes after airgun operations cease for any reason. Observations will also be made during daytime periods when the R/V Hugh R. Sharp is underway without seismic operations, such as during transits, to allow for comparison of sighting rates and behavior with and without airgun operations and between acquisition periods. Airgun operations will be suspended when marine mammals are observed within, or about to enter, the designated Exclusion Zone (EZ) (as described below).

    During seismic operations, three visual PSOs will be based aboard the R/V Hugh R. Sharp. PSOs will be appointed by USGS with NMFS approval. During the majority of seismic operations (excluding ramp-up), one PSOs will monitor for marine mammals around the seismic vessel. PSO(s) will be on duty in shifts of duration no longer than four hours. Other crew will also be instructed to assist in detecting marine mammals and in implementing mitigation requirements (if practical). Before the start of the seismic survey, the crew will be given additional instruction in detecting marine mammals and implementing mitigation requirements.

    The R/V Hugh R. Sharp is a suitable platform from which PSOs will watch for marine mammals. Standard equipment for marine mammal observers will be 7 × 50 reticle binoculars, optical range finders, and Big Eye binoculars. At night, night-vision equipment will be available. The observers will be in communication with ship's officers on the bridge and scientists in the vessel's operations laboratory, so they can advise promptly of the need for avoidance maneuvers or seismic source shutdown.

    The PSOs must have no tasks other than to conduct observational effort, record observational data, and communicate with and instruct relevant vessel crew with regard to the presence of marine mammals and mitigation requirements. PSO resumes will be provided to NMFS for approval. At least one PSO must have a minimum of 90 days at-sea experience working as a PSO during a seismic survey. One “experienced” visual PSO will be designated as the lead for the entire protected species observation team. The lead will serve as primary point of contact for the USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee. The PSOs must have successfully completed relevant training, including completion of all required coursework and passing a written and/or oral examination developed for the training program, and must have successfully attained a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the natural sciences and a minimum of 30 semester hours or equivalent in the biological sciences and at least one undergraduate course in math or statistics. The educational requirements may be waived if the PSO has acquired the relevant skills through alternate training, including (1) secondary education and/or experience comparable to PSO duties; (2) previous work experience conducting academic, commercial, or government-sponsored marine mammal surveys; or (3) previous work experience as a PSO; the PSO will demonstrate good standing and consistently good performance of PSO duties.

    Exclusion Zone and Buffer Zone

    An EZ is a defined area within which occurrence of a marine mammal triggers mitigation action intended to reduce the potential for certain outcomes, e.g., auditory injury, disruption of critical behaviors. The PSOs will establish a minimum EZ with a 100 m radius from the airgun array. The 100 m EZ will be based on radial distance from any element of the airgun array (rather than being based on the center of the array or around the vessel itself). With certain exceptions (described below), if a marine mammal appears within, enters, or appears on a course to enter this zone, the acoustic source will be shut down (see Shutdown Procedures below).

    The 100 m radial distance of the standard EZ is precautionary in the sense that it will be expected to contain sound exceeding injury criteria (Level A harassment thresholds) for all marine mammal hearing groups (Table 6) while also providing a consistent, reasonably observable zone within which PSOs will typically be able to conduct effective observational effort.

    Our intent in prescribing a standard EZ distance is to (1) encompass zones within which auditory injury could occur on the basis of instantaneous exposure; (2) provide additional protection from the potential for more severe behavioral reactions (e.g., panic, antipredator response) for marine mammals at relatively close range to the acoustic source; (3) provide consistency for PSOs, who need to monitor and implement the EZ; and (4) define a distance within which detection probabilities are reasonably high for most species under typical conditions.

    PSOs will also establish and monitor an additional 100 m buffer zone beginning from the outside extent of the 100 m EZ. During use of the acoustic source, occurrence of marine mammals within the 100 m buffer zone will be communicated to the USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee to prepare for potential shutdown of the acoustic source. The 100 m buffer zone is discussed further under Ramp-Up Procedures below.

    Shutdown Procedures

    If a marine mammal is detected outside the EZ but is likely to enter the EZ, the airguns will be shut down before the animal is within the EZ. Likewise, if a marine mammal is already within the EZ when first detected, the airguns will be shut down immediately.

    Following a shutdown, airgun activity will not resume until the marine mammal has cleared the 100 m EZ. The animal will be considered to have cleared the 100 m EZ if the following conditions have been met:

    • It is visually observed to have departed the 100 m EZ;

    • it has not been seen within the 100 m EZ for 15 min in the case of small odontocetes; or

    • it has not been seen within the 100 m EZ for 30 min in the case of mysticetes and large odontocetes, including sperm, pygmy and dwarf sperm, beaked whales, and large delphinids.

    This shutdown requirement will be in place for all marine mammals, with the exception of small delphinoids under certain circumstances. This exception to the shutdown requirement will apply solely to specific genera of small dolphins—Tursiops, Steno, Stenella, Lagenorhynchus and Delphinus—Instead of shutdown, the acoustic source must be powered down to the smallest single element of the array if a dolphin of the indicated genera appears within or enters the 100-m exclusion zone. If there is uncertainty regarding identification (i.e., whether the observed animal(s) belongs to the group described above), shutdown must be implemented. Power-down conditions shall be maintained until the animal(s) are no longer observed within the exclusion zone, following which full-power operations may be resumed without ramp-up. PSOs may elect to waive the power-down requirement if the animal(s) appear to be voluntarily approaching the vessel for the purpose of interacting with the vessel or towed gear, and may use best professional judgment in making this decision.

    We include this small delphinoid exception because shutdown requirements for small delphinoids under all circumstances represent practicability concerns without likely commensurate benefits for the animals in question. Small delphinoids are generally the most commonly observed marine mammals in the specific geographic region and will typically be the only marine mammals likely to intentionally approach the vessel. As described below, auditory injury is extremely unlikely to occur for mid-frequency cetaceans (e.g., delphinids), as this group is relatively insensitive to sound produced at the predominant frequencies in an airgun pulse while also having a relatively high threshold for the onset of auditory injury (i.e., permanent threshold shift). Please see “Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals” in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018) for further discussion of sound metrics and thresholds and marine mammal hearing.

    A large body of anecdotal evidence indicates that small delphinoids commonly approach vessels and/or towed arrays during active sound production for purposes of bow riding, with no apparent effect observed in those delphinoids (e.g., Barkaszi et al., 2012). The potential for increased shutdowns resulting from such a measure will require the R/V Hugh R. Sharp to revisit the missed track line to reacquire data, resulting in an overall increase in the total sound energy input to the marine environment and an increase in the total duration over which the survey is active in a given area. Although other mid-frequency hearing specialists (e.g., large delphinoids) are no more likely to incur auditory injury than are small delphinoids, they are much less likely to approach vessels. Therefore, retaining a shutdown requirement for large delphinoids will not have similar impacts in terms of either practicability for the applicant or corollary increase in sound energy output and time on the water. We do anticipate some benefit for a shutdown requirement for large delphinoids in that it simplifies somewhat the total range of decision-making for PSOs and may preclude any potential for physiological effects other than to the auditory impacts. In addition, the required shutdown measure may prevent more severe behavioral reactions for any large delphnoids in close proximity to the source vessel.

    Shutdown of the acoustic source will also be required upon observation beyond the 100 m EZ of any of the following:

    • A large whale (i.e., sperm whale or any baleen whale) with a calf;

    • An aggregation of large whales of any species (i.e., sperm whale or any baleen whale) that does not appear to be traveling (e.g., feeding, socializing, etc.); or

    • A marine mammal species not authorized (i.e., a North Atlantic right whale) for take that is approaching or entering the Level B harassment zone.

    • An authorized marine mammal species that has reached its total allotted Level B harassment take that is approaching or entering the Level B harassment zone.

    These will be the only four potential situations that will require shutdown of the array for marine mammals observed beyond the 100 m EZ.

    Ramp-Up Procedures

    Ramp-up of an acoustic source is intended to provide a gradual increase in sound levels following a shutdown, enabling animals to move away from the source if the signal is sufficiently aversive prior to its reaching full intensity. Ramp-up will be required after the array is shut down for any reason. Ramp up to the full array will take 20 minutes, starting with operation of a single airgun and with one additional airgun added every 5 minutes.

    At least two PSOs will be required to monitor during ramp-up. During ramp up, the PSOs will monitor the 100 m EZ, and if marine mammals were observed within or approaching the 100 m EZ, a shutdown will be implemented as though the full array were operational. If airguns have been shut down due to PSO detection of a marine mammal within or approaching the 100 m EZ, ramp-up will not be initiated until all marine mammals have cleared the EZ, during the day or night. Criteria for clearing the EZ will be as described above.

    Thirty minutes of pre-clearance observation are required prior to ramp-up for any shutdown of longer than 30 minutes (i.e., if the array were shut down during transit from one line to another). This 30 minute pre-clearance period may occur during any vessel activity (i.e., transit). If a marine mammal were observed within or approaching the 100 m EZ or 100 m buffer zone (i.e., total 200 m distance) during this pre-clearance period, ramp-up will not be initiated until all marine mammals cleared the 100 m EZ or 100 m buffer zone. Criteria for clearing the EZ will be as described above. If the airgun array has been shut down for reasons other than mitigation (e.g., mechanical difficulty) for a period of less than 30 minutes, it may be activated again without ramp-up if PSOs have maintained constant visual observation and no detections of any marine mammal have occurred within the EZ or 100 m buffer zone. Ramp-up will be planned to occur during periods of good visibility when possible. However, ramp-up will be allowed at night and during poor visibility if the 100 m EZ and 100 m buffer zone have been monitored by visual PSOs for 30 minutes prior to ramp-up.

    The USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee will be required to notify a designated PSO of the planned start of ramp-up as agreed-upon with the lead PSO; the notification time will not be less than 60 minutes prior to the planned ramp-up. A designated PSO must be notified again immediately prior to initiating ramp-up procedures and the USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee must receive confirmation from the PSO to proceed. The USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee must provide information to PSOs documenting that appropriate procedures were followed. Following deactivation of the array for reasons other than mitigation, the USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee will be required to communicate the near-term operational plan to the lead PSO with justification for any planned nighttime ramp-up.

    Vessel Strike Avoidance Measures

    Vessel strike avoidance measures are intended to minimize the potential for collisions with marine mammals. These requirements do not apply in any case where compliance will create an imminent and serious threat to a person or vessel or to the extent that a vessel is restricted in its ability to maneuver and, because of the restriction, cannot comply.

    The measures include the following: The USGS scientist-in-charge or his/her designee, the vessel operator (The University of Delaware) and crew will maintain a vigilant watch for all marine mammals and slow down or stop the vessel or alter course to avoid striking any marine mammal. A visual observer aboard the vessel will monitor a vessel strike avoidance zone around the vessel according to the parameters stated below. Visual observers monitoring the vessel strike avoidance zone will be either third-party observers or crew members, but crew members responsible for these duties will be provided sufficient training to distinguish marine mammals from other phenomena. Vessel strike avoidance measures will be followed during surveys and while in transit.

    The vessel will maintain a minimum separation distance of 100 m from large whales (i.e., baleen whales and sperm whales) except for North Atlantic right whales. The vessel will maintain a minimum separation distance of 500 m from North Atlantic right whales. If a large whale is located within 100 m of the vessel or a North Atlantic right whale is located within 500 m of the vessel, the vessel will reduce speed and shift the engine to neutral, and will not engage the engines until the whale has moved outside of the vessel's path and the minimum separation distance has been established. If the vessel is stationary, the vessel will not engage engines until the whale(s) has moved out of the vessel's path and beyond 100 m or 500 m for North Atlantic right whale. The vessel will maintain a minimum separation distance of 50 m from all other marine mammals (with the exception of delphinids of the genera Tursiops, Steno, Stenella, Lagenorhynchus and Delphinus that approach the vessel, as described above). If an animal is encountered during transit, the vessel will attempt to remain parallel to the animal's course, avoiding excessive speed or abrupt changes in course. Vessel speeds will be reduced to 10 kn or less when mother/calf pairs, pods, or large assemblages of cetaceans (what constitues “large” will vary depending on species) are observed within 500 m of the vessel. Mariners may use professional judgment as to when such circumstances warranting additional caution are present.

    Actions To Minimize Additional Harm to Live-Stranded (or Milling) Marine Mammals

    In the event of a live stranding (or near-shore atypical milling) event within 50 km of the survey operations, where the NMFS stranding network is engaged in herding or other interventions to return animals to the water, the Director of OPR, NMFS (or designee) will advise the IHA-holder of the need to implement shutdown procedures for all active acoustic sources operating within 50 km of the stranding. Shutdown procedures for live stranding or milling marine mammals include the following:

    • If at any time, the marine mammal(s) die or are euthanized, or if herding/intervention efforts are stopped, the Director of OPR, NMFS (or designee) will advise the IHA-holder that the shutdown is no longer needed.

    • Otherwise, shutdown procedures will remain in effect until the Director of OPR, NMFS (or designee) determines and advises the IHA-holder that all live animals involved have left the area (either of their own volition or following an intervention).

    • If further observations of the marine mammals indicate the potential for re-stranding, additional coordination with the IHA-holder will be required to determine what measures are necessary to minimize that likelihood (e.g., extending the shutdown or moving operations farther away) and to implement those measures as appropriate.

    Shutdown procedures are not related to the investigation of the cause of the stranding and their implementation is not intended to imply that the specified activity is the cause of the stranding. Rather, shutdown procedures are intended to protect marine mammals exhibiting indicators of distress by minimizing their exposure to possible additional stressors, regardless of the factors that contributed to the stranding.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's measures, NMFS determined that the mitigation measures provide the means effecting the least practicable impact on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring and Reporting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    USGS submitted a marine mammal monitoring and reporting plan in their IHA application. Monitoring that is designed specifically to facilitate mitigation measures, such as monitoring of the EZ to inform potential shutdowns of the airgun array, are described above and are not repeated here.

    USGS's monitoring and reporting plan includes the following measures:

    Vessel-Based Visual Monitoring

    As described above, PSO observations will take place during daytime airgun operations and nighttime start-ups (if applicable) of the airguns. During seismic operations, three visual PSOs will be based aboard the R/V Hugh R. Sharp. PSOs will be appointed by USGS with NMFS approval. During the majority of seismic operations (excluding ramp-up), one PSO will monitor for marine mammals around the seismic vessel. PSOs will be on duty in shifts of duration no longer than four hours. Other crew will also be instructed to assist in detecting marine mammals and in implementing mitigation requirements (if practical). During daytime, PSOs will scan the area around the vessel systematically with reticle binoculars, Big Eye binoculars, and with the naked eye. At night, PSOs will be equipped with night-vision equipment.

    PSOs will record data to estimate the numbers of marine mammals exposed to various received sound levels and to document apparent disturbance reactions or lack thereof. Data will be used to estimate numbers of animals potentially taken by harassment. They will also provide information needed to order a shutdown of the airguns when a marine mammal is within or near the EZ. When a sighting is made, the following information about the sighting will be recorded:

    (1) Species, group size, age/size/sex categories (if determinable), behavior when first sighted and after initial sighting, heading (if consistent), bearing and distance from seismic vessel, sighting cue, apparent reaction to the airguns or vessel (e.g., none, avoidance, approach, paralleling, etc.), and behavioral pace; and

    (2) Time, location, heading, speed, activity of the vessel, sea state, visibility, and sun glare.

    All observations and shutdowns will be recorded in a standardized format. Data will be entered into an electronic database. The accuracy of the data entry will be verified by computerized data validity checks as the data are entered and by subsequent manual checking of the database. These procedures will allow initial summaries of data to be prepared during and shortly after the field program and will facilitate transfer of the data to statistical, graphical, and other programs for further processing and archiving. The time, location, heading, speed, activity of the vessel, sea state, visibility, and sun glare will also be recorded at the start and end of each observation watch, and during a watch whenever there is a change in one or more of the variables.

    Results from the vessel-based observations will provide:

    (1) The basis for real-time mitigation (e.g., airgun shutdown);

    (2) Information needed to estimate the number of marine mammals potentially taken by harassment, which must be reported to NMFS;

    (3) Data on the occurrence, distribution, and activities of marine mammals in the area where the seismic study is conducted;

    (4) Information to compare the distance and distribution of marine mammals relative to the source vessel at times with and without seismic activity; and

    (5) Data on the behavior and movement patterns of marine mammals seen at times with and without seismic activity.

    Reporting Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    Discovery of Injured or Dead Marine Mammal—In the event that personnel involved in the survey activities covered by the authorization discover an injured or dead marine mammal, the IHA-holder shall report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources (OPR), NMFS and to regional stranding coordinators as soon as feasible. The report must include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the first discovery (and updated location information if known and applicable);

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

    • Condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition if the animal is dead);

    • Observed behaviors of the animal(s), if alive;

    • If available, photographs or video footage of the animal(s); and

    • General circumstances under which the animal was discovered.

    Vessel Strike—In the event of a ship strike of a marine mammal by any vessel involved in the activities covered by the authorization, the IHA-holder shall report the incident to OPR, NMFS and to regional stranding coordinators as soon as feasible. The report must include the following information:

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

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

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

    • Vessel's course/heading and what operations were being conducted (if applicable);

    • Status of all sound sources in use;

    • Description of avoidance measures/requirements that were in place at the time of the strike and what additional measures were taken, if any, to avoid strike;

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

    • Estimated size and length of animal that was struck;

    • Description of the behavior of the marine mammal immediately preceding and following the strike;

    • If available, description of the presence and behavior of any other marine mammals immediately preceding the strike;

    • Estimated fate of the animal (e.g., dead, injured but alive, injured and moving, blood or tissue observed in the water, status unknown, disappeared); and

    • To the extent practicable, photographs or video footage of the animal(s).

    Additional Information Requests—If NMFS determines that the circumstances of any marine mammal stranding found in the vicinity of the activity suggest investigation of the association with survey activities is warranted (example circumstances noted below), and an investigation into the stranding is being pursued, NMFS will submit a written request to the IHA-holder indicating that the following initial available information must be provided as soon as possible, but no later than 7 business days after the request for information.

    • Status of all sound source use in the 48 hours preceding the estimated time of stranding and within 50 km of the discovery/notification of the stranding by NMFS; and

    • If available, description of the behavior of any marine mammal(s) observed preceding (i.e., within 48 hours and 50 km) and immediately after the discovery of the stranding.

    Examples of circumstances that could trigger the additional information request include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Atypical nearshore milling events of live cetaceans;

    • Mass strandings of cetaceans (two or more individuals, not including cow/calf pairs);

    • Beaked whale strandings;

    • Necropsies with findings of pathologies that are unusual for the species or area; or

    • Stranded animals with findings consistent with blast trauma.

    In the event that the investigation is still inconclusive, the investigation of the association of the survey activities is still warranted, and the investigation is still being pursued, NMFS may provide additional information requests, in writing, regarding the nature and location of survey operations prior to the time period above.

    Reporting

    A report will be submitted to NMFS within 90 days after the end of the survey. The report will describe the operations that were conducted and sightings of marine mammals near the operations. The report will provide full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring and will summarize the dates and locations of seismic operations, and all marine mammal sightings (dates, times, locations, activities, associated seismic survey activities). The report will also include estimates of the number and nature of exposures that occurred above the harassment threshold based on PSO observations, including an estimate of those on the trackline but not detected.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

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

    NMFS does not anticipate that serious injury or mortality will occur as a result of USGS's seismic survey, even in the absence of mitigation. Thus, the authorization does not authorize any mortality.

    Potential impacts to marine mammal habitat were discussed previously in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018). Marine mammal habitat may be impacted by elevated sound levels, but these impacts will be temporary. Feeding behavior is not likely to be significantly impacted, as marine mammals appear to be less likely to exhibit behavioral reactions or avoidance responses while engaged in feeding activities (Richardson et al., 1995). Prey species are mobile and are broadly distributed throughout the project area; therefore, marine mammals that may be temporarily displaced during survey activities are expected to be able to resume foraging once they have moved away from areas with disturbing levels of underwater noise. Because of the temporary nature of the disturbance, the availability of similar habitat and resources in the surrounding area, and the impacts to marine mammals and the food sources that they utilize are not expected to cause significant or long-term consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations. In addition, there are no feeding, mating or calving areas known to be biologically important to marine mammals within the project area during the time of the survey (LaBrecque et al., 2015).

    The acoustic “footprint” of the survey will be very small relative to the ranges of all marine mammals that will potentially be affected. Sound levels will increase in the marine environment in a relatively small area surrounding the vessel compared to the range of the marine mammals within the survey area. The seismic array will be active 24 hours per day throughout the duration of the survey. However, the very brief overall duration of the survey (22 days with 19 days of airgun operations) will further limit potential impacts that may occur as a result of the activity.

    The mitigation measures are expected to reduce the number and/or severity of takes by allowing for detection of marine mammals in the vicinity of the vessel by visual and acoustic observers, and by minimizing the severity of any potential exposures via shutdowns of the airgun array.

    Of the marine mammal species that are likely to occur in the project area during the survey timeframe, the following species are listed as endangered under the ESA; fin, sei, and sperm whales. There are currently insufficient data to determine population trends for these species (Hayes et al., 2017); however, we are authorizing very small numbers of takes for these species (Table 6), relative to their population sizes (again, when compared to mean abundance estimates, for purposes of comparison only). Therefore, we do not expect population-level impacts to any of these species. The other marine mammal species that may be taken by harassment during USGS's seismic survey are not listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA. There is no designated critical habitat for any ESA-listed marine mammals within the project area; of the non-listed marine mammals for which we authorize take, none are considered “depleted” or “strategic” by NMFS under the MMPA, except for pilot whales and false killer whales.

    NMFS concludes that exposures to marine mammal species due to USGS's seismic survey will result in only short-term (temporary and short in duration) effects to individuals exposed. Marine mammals may temporarily avoid the immediate area but are not expected to permanently abandon the area. Major shifts in habitat use, distribution, or foraging success are not expected. NMFS does not anticipate the take estimates to impact annual rates of recruitment or survival.

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

    • No injury (Level A take), serious injury or mortality is anticipated or authorized;

    • The anticipated impacts of the activity on marine mammals will primarily be temporary behavioral changes due to avoidance of the area around the survey vessel. The relatively short duration of the survey (22 days with 19 days of airgun operations) will further limit the potential impacts of any temporary behavioral changes that will occur;

    • The availability of alternate areas of similar habitat value for marine mammals to temporarily vacate the survey area during the survey to avoid exposure to sounds from the activity;

    • The project area does not contain areas of significance for feeding, mating or calving;

    • The potential adverse effects on fish or invertebrate species that serve as prey species for marine mammals from the survey will be temporary and spatially limited; and

    • The mitigation measures, including visual and acoustic monitoring and shutdowns, are expected to minimize potential impacts to marine mammals.

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

    Small Numbers

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

    Please see Tables 6 and 7 and the related text for information relating to the basis for our small numbers analyses. Table 7 provides the numbers of predicted exposures above specified received levels, while Table 7 provides the numbers of take authorized. For the northern bottlenose whale, Fraser's dolphin, melon-headed whale, false killer whale, pygmy killer whale, killer whale, spinner dolphin, and white-sided dolphin, we authorize take resulting from a single exposure of one group of each species or stock, as appropriate (using average group size), for each applicant. We believe that a single incident of take of one group of any of these species represents take of small numbers for that species. Due to the scarcity, broad spatial distributions, and habitat preferences of these species relative to the areas where the surveys will occur, NMFS concludes that the authorized take of a single group of these species likely represent small numbers relative to the affected species' overall population sizes. Therefore, based on the analyses contained herein of the specified activity, we find that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken for each of these eight affected species or stocks for the specified activity. We do not discuss these eight species further in this small numbers analysis.

    As shown in Table 6, we used mean abundance estimates from Roberts (2016) to calculate the percentage of population that is estimated to be taken during the activities for non-rare species. The activity is expected to impact a very small percentage of all marine mammal populations. As presented in Table 6, take of all 21 marine mammal species authorized for take is less than three percent of the abundance estimate.

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

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal stocks or species implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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

    NMFS's ESA Interagency Cooperation Division issued a Biological Opinion on August 6, 2018 to NMFS Office of Protected Resources which concluded that the USGS's MATRIX survey is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the sei whale, fin whale, sperm whale, and north Atlantic right whale or adversely modify critical habitat.

    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. Accordingly, NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the environmental impacts associated with the issuance of the IHA to USGS. We reviewed all comments submitted in response to the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 25268; May 31, 2018) prior to concluding our NEPA process and deciding whether or not to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NMFS concluded that issuance of an IHA to USGS will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment and prepared and issued a FONSI in accordance with NEPA and NAO 216-6A. NMFS's EA and FONSI for this activity are available on our website at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities.

    Authorization

    As a result of these determinations, we have issued an IHA to USGS for conducting the described seismic survey activities from August 1, 2018 through July 31, 2019 provided the previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated.

    Dated: August 7, 2018. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-17170 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG291 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Pile Driving Activities for the Restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Seattle Department of Transportation (DOT) to incidentally harass, by Level A and B harassment, marine mammals during pile driving and removal activities associated with the restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington (Season 2).

    DATES:

    This Authorization is applicable from August 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Egger, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-construction-activities. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

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

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

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

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

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

    National Environmental Policy Act

    In compliance with NOAA policy, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), NMFS determined the issuance of the IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 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.

    Summary of Request

    On January 27, 2018, NMFS received a request from the Seattle DOT for a second IHA to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal activities for the restoration of Pier 62, Seattle Waterfront, Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington. A revised request was submitted on May 18, 2018, which was deemed adequate and complete. Seattle DOT's request is for take of 12 species of marine mammals, by Level B harassment and Level A harassment (three species only). Neither Seattle DOT nor NMFS expects serious injury or mortality to result from this activity and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    NMFS previously issued an IHA to Seattle DOT for related work for Season 1 of this activity (82 FR 47176; October 11, 2017). Seattle DOT complied with all the requirements (e.g., mitigation, monitoring, and reporting) of the previous IHA and information regarding their monitoring results may be found in the Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities and Estimated Take sections.

    This IHA will cover the second season of work for the Seattle DOT Pier 62 project and provides take authorization for these subsequent facets of the project. The second season of the larger project is expected to primarily involve the remaining pile driving for Pier 62 and Pier 63. If the Seattle DOT encounters delays due to poor weather conditions, difficult pile driving, or other unanticipated challenges, an additional in-water work season may be necessary. If so, a separate IHA may be prepared for the third season of work.

    Description of Specified Activities

    The planned project will replace Pier 62 and make limited modifications to Pier 63 on the Seattle waterfront of Elliott Bay, Seattle, Washington. The existing piers are constructed of creosote-treated timber piles and treated timber decking, which are failing. The planned project would demolish and remove the existing timber piles and decking of Pier 62, and replace them with concrete deck planks, concrete pile caps, and steel piling. The majority of the timber pile removal required by the project occurred during the 2017-2018 in-water work season (Season 1).

    A total of 831 piles were removed from Pier 62 and Pier 63 during Season 1 (see Table 1 below). Timber pile removal work in Season 2 (2018-2019 in-water work window) may occur for an estimated 10 days (49 remaining timber piles), if the contractor encounters deteriorated piles that pose a safety hazard or are within the area where grated decking or habitat improvements are to be installed. Pile installation will occur via vibratory and impact hammers. Seattle DOT estimates 10 days will be needed to remove the old timber piles, 53 days for vibratory installation of steel piles, and 64 days for impact installation of steel piles for a total of 127 in-water construction days for both Pier 62 and Pier 63 (see Table 1 below). Seattle DOT expects most days for vibratory and impact installation of steel piles will overlap, for a total of fewer than 127 days. The 14-inch (in) timber piles will be removed with a vibratory hammer or pulled with a clamshell bucket. The 30-in steel piles will be installed with a vibratory hammer to the extent possible. The maximum extent of pile removal and installation activities are described in Table 1. An impact hammer will be used for proofing steel piles or when encountering obstructions or difficult ground conditions. In addition, a pile template will be installed to ensure the piles are placed properly. It is anticipated that the contractor will complete the pile installation during the 2018-2019 in-water work window. In-water work may occur within a modified or shortened work window (September through February) to reduce or minimize effect on juvenile salmonids.

    Table 1—Pile Installation and Removal Plan Activity Pile type Number
  • of piles
  • Completed
  • during
  • Season 1
  • Actual
  • duration
  • Season 1 (days)
  • Remaining
  • work
  • Season 2
  • Anticipated
  • duration
  • Season 2
  • Hours
  • per day
  • Hammer
  • type
  • Single
  • source
  • sound
  • levels (dBRMS)
  • Additive
  • source
  • sound
  • levels (dBRMS)
  • Remove Creosote-treated timber, 14-inch 1 880 831 piles removed 19 49 timber piles 10 days 8 Vibratory 2 161 dB Steel template pile, 24-inch 2 2 Daily 3 Vibratory 4 177 dB Install Steel pile, 30-inch 189 2 steel sheet piles installed 1 189 steel piles 53 days 8 Vibratory 6 177 dB 7 180 dB 64 days 8 8 Impact 9 189 dB 10 189 dB Steel template pile, 24-inch 2 2 Daily 3 Vibratory 4 177 dB Notes: 1 Assumed to be 14-inch diameter. 2 Hydroacoustic monitoring during Pier 62 Season 1 showed unweighted RMS ranging from 140 dB to 169 dB; the 75th percentile of these values is 161 dBRMS and was used to calculate thresholds. 3 The two template piles will be installed and removed daily. The time associated with this activity is included in the overall 8-hour pile driving day associated with installation of the 30-inch steel piles. 4 Assumed to be no greater than vibratory installation of the 30-inch steel pile. 6 Source sound from Port Townsend Test Pile Project (WSDOT 2010). 7 For simultaneous operation of two vibratory hammers installing steel pipe piles, the 180 dBRMS value is based on identical single-source levels, adding three dB based on WSDOT rules for decibel addition (2018). 8 Approximately 20 percent of the pile driving effort is anticipated to require an impact hammer, which results in approximately 11 cumulative days of impact hammer activity. However, the impact hammer activity is sporadic, often occurring for short periods each day. A total of 64 days represents the number of days in which pile installation with an impact hammer could occur, with the anticipation that each day's impact hammer activity would be short. 9 Source level from Colman Dock Test Pile Project (WSDOT 2016). 10 For simultaneous operation of one impact hammer and one vibratory hammer installing 30-inch piles, the original dBRMS estimates differ by more than 10 dB, so the higher value, 189 dBRMS, is used based on WSDOT rules for decibel addition (2018). RMS—root mean square: The square root of the energy divided by the impulse duration. This level is the mean square pressure level of the pulse. It has been used by NMFS to describe disturbance-related effects (i.e., harassment) to marine mammals from underwater impulse-type noises. WSDOT—Washington State Department of Transportation.

    The contractor may elect to operate multiple pile crews for the Seattle DOT Pier 62 Project. As a result, more than one vibratory or impact hammer may be active at the same time. For the Pier 62 Project, there is a low likelihood that multiple impact hammers would operate in a manner that piles would be struck simultaneously; however, as a conservative approach we used a multiple-source decibel (dB) rule when determining the Level A and Level B harassment zones for this project. Table 2 provides guidance on adding dBs to account for multiple sources (WSDOT 2015a):

    Table 2—Multiple Source Decibel Addition When two decibel
  • values differ by:
  • Add the following to the higher decibel value:
    0-1 dB 3 dB 2-3 dB 2 dB 4-9 dB 1 dB

    A detailed description of Seattle DOT's planned Pier 62 (Season 2) project is provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (83 FR 30120; June 27, 2018). Since that time, no changes have been made to the planned activities. Therefore, a detailed description is not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for the description of the specific activity.

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of NMFS' proposal to issue an IHA was published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2018 (83 FR 30120). That notice described, in detail, Seattle DOT's activity, the marine mammal species that may be affected by the activity, and the anticipated effects on marine mammals. During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received a comment letter from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission). Specific comments and responses from the Commission's comment letter are provided below. The Commission recommended that NMFS issue the IHA, subject to inclusion of the proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures.

    Comment 1: The Commission commented on errors regarding the Level B harassment calculations.

    NMFS Response: NMFS acknowledges these errors and has corrected them in this notice and in the final IHA.

    Comment 2: The Commission asserts that NMFS underestimated take estimates for harbor seals by Level A harassment and take estimates for long-beaked common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, and Northern elephant seal by Level B harassment.

    NMFS Response: NMFS does not believe the take estimates were incorrect in the proposed IHA for these species. However, NMFS increased the take estimates as suggested, which provides more conservative coverage for some species.

    Comment 3: The Commission commented that NMFS should use the Smultea et al., 2017 report rather than the Jefferson et al., 2016 density estimates for harbor porpoise. The Commission also commented on an error for the density estimate for minke whales.

    NMFS response: NMFS agrees and updated the density estimate for harbor porpoise by Smultea et al., 2017 and accordingly the estimated takes by Level A and Level B harassment of harbor porpoise decreased. NMFS also corrected the density estimate for minke whales.

    Comment 4: The Commission requested clarification regarding certain issues associated with NMFS' notice that one-year renewals could be issued in certain limited circumstances and expressed concern that the process would bypass the public notice and comment requirements. The Commission also suggested that NMFS should discuss the possibility of renewals through a more general route, such as a rulemaking, instead of notice in a specific authorization. The Commission further recommended that if NMFS did not pursue a more general route, that the agency provide the Commission and the public with a legal analysis supporting our conclusion that this process is consistent with the requirements of section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA. The Commission also noted that NMFS had recently begun utilizing abbreviated notices, referencing relevant documents, to solicit public input and suggested that NMFS use these notices and solicit review in lieu of the currently proposed renewal process.

    NMFS Response: The process of issuing a renewal IHA does not bypass the public notice and comment requirements of the MMPA. The notice of the proposed IHA expressly notifies the public that under certain, limited conditions an applicant could seek a renewal IHA for an additional year. The notice describes the conditions under which such a renewal request could be considered and expressly seeks public comment in the event such a renewal is sought. Additional reference to this solicitation of public comment has recently been added at the beginning of the FR notices that consider renewals, requesting input specifically on the possible renewal itself. NMFS appreciates the streamlining achieved by the use of abbreviated FR notices and intends to continue using them for proposed IHAs that include minor changes from previously issued IHAs, but which do not satisfy the renewal requirements. However, we believe our proposed method for issuing renewals meets statutory requirements and maximizes efficiency.

    Importantly, such renewals would be limited to circumstances where: The activities are identical or nearly identical to those analyzed in the proposed IHA; monitoring does not indicate impacts that were not previously analyzed and authorized; and, the mitigation and monitoring requirements remain the same, all of which allow the public to comment on the appropriateness and effects of a renewal at the same time the public provides comments on the initial IHA. NMFS has, however, modified the language for future proposed IHAs to clarify that all IHAs, including renewal IHAs, are valid for no more than one year and that the agency would consider only one renewal for a project at this time. In addition, notice of issuance or denial of a renewal IHA would be published in the Federal Register, as they are for all IHAs. The option for issuing renewal IHAs has been in NMFS's incidental take regulations since 1996. See 50 CFR 216.107(e). We will provide any additional information to the Commission and consider posting a description of the renewal process on our website before any renewal is issued utilizing this process.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    The marine mammal species under NMFS's jurisdiction that have the potential to occur in the construction area include Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), both southern resident and transient killer whales (Orcinus orca), humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), and minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) (Table 3). Of these, the southern resident killer whale (SRKW) and humpback whale are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pertinent information for each of these species is presented in this document to provide the necessary background to understand their demographics and distribution in the area.

    Table 3—Marine Mammal Species Potentially Present in Region of Activity Common name Scientific name Stock ESA/MMPA
  • status; strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin,
  • most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • PBR Annual
  • M/SI 3
  • Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Eschrichtiidae Gray whale Eschrichtius robustus Eastern North Pacific -; N 20,990 (0.05; 20,125; 2011) 624 132 Family Balaenidae Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae novaeangliae California/Oregon/Washington E; D 1,918 (0.03; 1,876; 2017) 11.0 ≥9.2 Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata scammoni California/Oregon/Washington -; N 636 (0.72, 369, 2014) 3.5 ≥1.3 Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae Killer whale Orcinus orca Eastern North Pacific Offshore -; N 240 (0.49, 162, 2014) 1.6 0 Killer whale Orcinus orca Eastern North Pacific Southern Resident E; D 83 (na, 83, 2016) 0.14 0 Long-beaked common dolphin Dephinus capensis California -; N 101,305 (0.49; 68,432, 2014) 657 ≥35.4 Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus California/Oregon/Washington Offshore -; N 1,924 (0.54; 1,255, 2014) 11 ≥1.6