Federal Register Vol. 83, No.172,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 172 (September 5, 2018)

Page Range45031-45191
FR Document

83_FR_172
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 45191 - Notice of Intention To Enter Into a Trade AgreementPDF
83 FR 45149 - Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 45147 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 45120 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 45125 - Industrial Economics, Incorporated; Transfer of DataPDF
83 FR 45124 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Landfill Methane Outreach Program (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 45068 - Idaho: Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
83 FR 45164 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 45127 - Proposed CERCLA Administrative Cost Recovery Settlement: Former Lawrence Metals Site, Chelsea, MassachusettsPDF
83 FR 45126 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Renewal; EPA's Natural Gas STAR ProgramPDF
83 FR 45126 - Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC): Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 45142 - 193rd Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans: Notice of Teleconference MeetingPDF
83 FR 45116 - Notice Inviting Publishers To Submit Tests for a Determination of Suitability for Use in the National Reporting System for Adult EducationPDF
83 FR 45149 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.PDF
83 FR 45152 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use on Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.PDF
83 FR 45175 - Chicago Terminal Railroad-Abandonment Exemption-in Chicago, IllinoisPDF
83 FR 45142 - Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45148 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 45140 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requirements for Permits and Permit ProcessingPDF
83 FR 45139 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Permit Applications-Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related InformationPDF
83 FR 45139 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to the Extraction of Other MineralsPDF
83 FR 45034 - Special Conditions: The Boeing Company (Boeing) Model 747-8 Airplane, Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant, Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats, With or Without Airbag Devices or 3-Point RestraintsPDF
83 FR 45037 - Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc., Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Series Airplanes; Flight Envelope Protection: High Incidence Protection SystemPDF
83 FR 45116 - Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery ProgramPDF
83 FR 45119 - Secretary of Energy Advisory Board; Noice of RenewalPDF
83 FR 45052 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Public Meetings for the Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Test Procedures and Energy Conservation StandardsPDF
83 FR 45121 - Final Allocation of Olmsted Powerplant Replacement ProjectPDF
83 FR 45094 - Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
83 FR 45093 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 37-Orange County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Takasago International Corp. (U.S.A.), (Fragrances), Harriman, New YorkPDF
83 FR 45104 - Application(s) for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific InstrumentsPDF
83 FR 45094 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 75-Phoenix, Arizona; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Microchip Technology, Inc. (Semiconductor Devices and Related Products); Chandler and Tempe, ArizonaPDF
83 FR 45095 - Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
83 FR 45100 - Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
83 FR 45112 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
83 FR 45106 - Matters Related to First Inventor To FilePDF
83 FR 45104 - Patent Review and Derivation ProceedingsPDF
83 FR 45108 - Patents for Humanity ProgramPDF
83 FR 45175 - Rock & Rail, LLC-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Rail Lines of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.PDF
83 FR 45031 - Announcement Process for Rural Utilities Service Grant ProgramsPDF
83 FR 45147 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Subcommittee on Planning and ProceduresPDF
83 FR 45138 - Notice of Availability of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Alpine Satellite Development Plan for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Development Project, National Petroleum Reserve in AlaskaPDF
83 FR 45143 - Report on Countries That Are Candidates for Millennium Challenge Account Eligibility in Fiscal Year 2019 and Countries That Would Be Candidates but for Legal ProhibitionsPDF
83 FR 45061 - Louisiana: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionPDF
83 FR 45186 - Notice of Information Collection and Request for Public CommentPDF
83 FR 45047 - Safety Zone; Neches River, Beaumont, TXPDF
83 FR 45059 - Safety Zone; Head of the Buffalo Regatta; Buffalo River, Buffalo, NYPDF
83 FR 45049 - Safety Zone; SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation; Lake Erie, Hamburg, NYPDF
83 FR 45130 - Privacy Act of 1974; Matching ProgramPDF
83 FR 45136 - Habitat Conservation Plan for Mitchell's Satyr and Poweshiek Skipperling Butterflies; Categorical Exclusion for Indiana and Michigan Habitat Restoration and Management ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 45134 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Coachella Valley Association of Governments Incidental Take Permit Application for Casey's June Beetle and Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan; City of Palm Springs, Riverside County, CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 45181 - Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Alaska Department of Transportation Audit ReportPDF
83 FR 45176 - Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Department of Transportation's Competitive Highway Bridge Program for Fiscal Year 2018PDF
83 FR 45088 - Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notices in the Southwestern Region, Which Includes Arizona, New Mexico, and Parts of Oklahoma and TexasPDF
83 FR 45137 - Filing of Plats of Survey: IdahoPDF
83 FR 45145 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; NCUA Call Report and ProfilePDF
83 FR 45072 - Federal Acquisition Regulation: Rental Cost Analysis in Equipment AcquisitionsPDF
83 FR 45047 - Special Local Regulation; Annual OPA World Championships, Gulf of Mexico; Englewood Beach, FLPDF
83 FR 45115 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Teacher and Principal Survey of 2019-2020 (NTPS 2019-20) Preliminary Field ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 45131 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45053 - Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory FrameworkPDF
83 FR 45133 - National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 45141 - Certain Beverage Dispensing Systems and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 45149 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 45149 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 45110 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45111 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45109 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45129 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 45073 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassifying the Golden Conure From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) RulePDF
83 FR 45128 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
83 FR 45128 - Federal Advisory Committee Act; Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability CouncilPDF
83 FR 45165 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Cutoff Times for Accepting On Close Orders Entered for Participation in the Nasdaq Closing CrossPDF
83 FR 45155 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; LCH SA; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Implementation of Electronic Exercise PlatformPDF
83 FR 45168 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Listing and Trading of Shares of the American Century Diversified Municipal Bond ETF Under NYSE Arca Rule 8.600-EPDF
83 FR 45090 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation ServicePDF
83 FR 45133 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; National Catastrophic Resource CatalogPDF
83 FR 45146 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection Request: Proposed Research Project: The Social Well-Being Impact (SWI) of Libraries and Museums StudyPDF
83 FR 45146 - 30-Day Notice for the “Agency Initiatives Poetry Out Loud or the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students”PDF
83 FR 45120 - Sholes Wind Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 45121 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 45119 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 45088 - Information Collection Request; Request for Aerial PhotographyPDF
83 FR 45132 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45129 - Information Collection; Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit PricesPDF
83 FR 45044 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 45091 - OneRD Guaranteed Loan PlatformPDF
83 FR 45041 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) AirplanesPDF
83 FR 45037 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

83 172 Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

See

Natural Resources Conservation Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

Bonneville Bonneville Power Administration NOTICES Records of Decisions: Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program, 45116-45119 2018-19214 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45109-45112 2018-19156 2018-19157 2018-19159 2018-19160 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Privacy Act; Matching Programs, 45130-45131 2018-19189 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45131-45132 2018-19133 2018-19170 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Neches River, Beaumont, TX, 45047-45049 2018-19193 SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation, Lake Erie, Hamburg, NY, 45049-45051 2018-19191 Special Local Regulation: Annual OPA World Championships, Gulf of Mexico; Englewood Beach, FL, 45047 2018-19176 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Head of the Buffalo Regatta; Buffalo River, Buffalo, NY, 45059-45061 2018-19192 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Community Development Community Development Financial Institutions Fund NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45186-45187 2018-19194 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency PROPOSED RULES Reforming Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory Framework, 45053-45059 2018-19169 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Rental Cost Analysis in Equipment Acquisitions, 45072-45073 2018-19177 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, 45129-45130 2018-19128
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Teacher and Principal Survey of 2019-2020 Preliminary Field Activities, 45115 2018-19175 Tests for Determination of Suitability for Use in National Reporting System for Adult Education, 45116 2018-19251 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Teleconference, 45142 2018-19252 Energy Department Energy Department See

Bonneville Power Administration

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Western Area Power Administration

PROPOSED RULES Meetings: Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee; Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Working Group to Negotiate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Test Procedures and Energy Conservation Standards, 45052-45053 2018-19212 NOTICES Meetings: Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, 45119 2018-19213
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions: Idaho; Authorization, 45068-45071 2018-19259 Louisiana; Authorization, 45061-45068 2018-19195 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Landfill Methane Outreach Program; Renewal, 45124-45125 2018-19260 Natural Gas STAR Program, 45126-45127 2018-19254 Data Transfers: Industrial Economics, Inc., 45125-45126 2018-19261 Meetings: Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, 45126 2018-19253 Proposed CERCLA Administrative Cost Recovery Settlements: Former Lawrence Metals Site, Chelsea, MA, 45127-45128 2018-19256 Farm Service Farm Service Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Aerial Photography, 45088 2018-19134 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes, 45041-45044 2018-18999 Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines, 45044-45047 2018-19119 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 45037-45040 2018-18995 Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc., Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Series Airplanes; Flight Envelope Protection: High Incidence Protection System; correction, 45037 2018-19215 The Boeing Company (Boeing) Model 747-8 Airplane, Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant, Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats, with or without Airbag Devices or 3-point Restraints., 45034-45037 2018-19216 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45128-45129 2018-19150 Meetings: Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, 45128 2018-19149 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Catastrophic Resource Catalog, 45133-45134 2018-19143 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 45119-45121 2018-19137 2018-19138 2018-19264 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Sholes Wind Energy, LLC, 45120 2018-19139 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Funding Opportunities: Competitive Highway Bridge Program for Fiscal Year 2018, 45176-45181 2018-19182 Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program: Alaska Department of Transportation Audit Report, 45181-45186 2018-19184 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 45129 2018-19155 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Reclassifying Golden Conure from Endangered to Threatened with Section 4(d) Rule, 45073-45087 2018-19153 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Coachella Valley Association of Governments Incidental Take Permit Application for Casey's June Beetle and Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, City of Palm Springs, Riverside County, CA, 45134-45136 2018-19187 Habitat Conservation Plans: Mitchell's Satyr and Poweshiek Skipperling Butterflies; Categorical Exclusion for Indiana and Michigan Habitat Restoration and Management Activities, 45136-45137 2018-19188 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Microchip Technology, Inc.; Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 75; Phoenix, AZ, 45094 2018-19207 Takasago International Corp., Foreign-Trade Zone 37, Orange County, NY, 45093 2018-19209 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notices: Southwestern Region, which includes Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Oklahoma and Texas, 45088-45090 2018-19181 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Rental Cost Analysis in Equipment Acquisitions, 45072-45073 2018-19177 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, 45129-45130 2018-19128 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, 45133 2018-19168 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Social Well-being Impact of Libraries and Museums Study, 45146 2018-19141 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China, 45100-45104 2018-19205 Large Power Transformers from Republic of Korea, 45094-45095 2018-19210 Applications for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific Instruments, 45104 2018-19208 Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value: Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China, 45095-45100 2018-19206 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Beverage Dispensing Systems and Components Thereof, 45141-45142 2018-19167 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Alpine Satellite Development Plan for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Development Project, National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, 45138 2018-19197 Plats of Surveys: Idaho, 45137-45138 2018-19180 Millenium Millennium Challenge Corporation NOTICES Report on Countries that are Candidates for Millennium Challenge Account Eligibility in Fiscal Year 2019 and Countries that would be Candidates but for Legal Prohibitions, 45143-45145 2018-19196 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Rental Cost Analysis in Equipment Acquisitions, 45072-45073 2018-19177 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, 45129-45130 2018-19128 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Call Report and Profile, 45145 2018-19178 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Agency Initiatives Poetry Out Loud or Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students, 45146-45147 2018-19140 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Resources Natural Resources Conservation Service NOTICES Proposed Changes to National Handbook of Conservation Practices, 45090-45091 2018-19145 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45112-45115 2018-19204 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures, 45147 2018-19198 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45147-45148 2018-19368 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Matters Related to First Inventor to File, 45106-45108 2018-19203 Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings, 45104-45106 2018-19202 Patents for Humanity Program, 45108-45109 2018-19201 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 45148 2018-19221 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45149 2018-19371 Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 45149 2018-19163 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 45149 2018-19164 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Trade: Mexico and Canada; Notice of Intention To Enter Into Trade Agreements (Notice of August 31, 2018), 45189-45191 2018-19411 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Meetings: OneRD Guaranteed Loan Regulation, 45091-45093 2018-19101 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Meetings: OneRD Guaranteed Loan Regulation, 45091-45093 2018-19101 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Announcement Process for Rural Utilities Service Grant Programs, 45031-45034 2018-19199 NOTICES Meetings: OneRD Guaranteed Loan Regulation, 45091-45093 2018-19101 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45164-45165 2018-19258 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 45149-45152 2018-19240 Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 45152-45155 2018-19238 LCH SA, 45155-45164 2018-19147 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 45165-45168 2018-19148 NYSE Arca, Inc., 45168-45175 2018-19146 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to Extraction of Other Minerals, 45139-45140 2018-19218 Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information, 45139 2018-19219 Requirements for Permits and Permit Processing, 45140-45141 2018-19220 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: Chicago Terminal Railroad, Chicago, IL, 45175 2018-19223 Acquisitions and Operation Exemptions: Rock and Rail, LLC; Rail Lines of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., 45175-45176 2018-19200 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

See

Comptroller of the Currency

Western Western Area Power Administration NOTICES Final Allocation of Olmsted Powerplant Replacement Project, 45121-45124 2018-19211 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45142-45143 2018-19222 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 45189-45191 2018-19411 Reader Aids

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

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83 172 Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 1709, 1739, 1776, and 1783 RIN 0572-AC39 Announcement Process for Rural Utilities Service Grant Programs AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is issuing a final rule to conform with newly implemented uniform posting requirements for federal grants, so that interested applicants need only search one federal posting site on grant opportunities.

DATES:

This final rule is effective September 5, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michele Brooks, Regulations Team Lead, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-1550, Telephone number: (202) 690-1078.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866

This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The Agency has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive Order. In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted. No retroactive effect will be given to this rule and, in accordance with section 212(e) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures must be exhausted before an action against the Department or its agencies may be initiated.

Executive Order 12372

This final rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review,” as implemented under USDA's regulations at 2 CFR part 415, subpart C.

Executive Order 13771

The programs affected by this rulemaking are not subject to Executive Order 13771 as they are considered transfer programs and are exempt from the Executive Order.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

RUS has determined that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The matter covered by this rulemaking is administrative, concerning the Agency's process for implementation of the program.

Environmental Impact Statement

This final rule has been examined under Agency environmental regulations at 7 CFR part 1970. The Administrator has determined that this is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the environment. Therefore, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers assigned to these programs are 10.859, “Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities,” 10.862, “Household Water Well System Grant Program,” 10.863, “Community Connect Grant Program,” and 10.864 “Grant Program to Establish a Fund for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects.” The Catalog is available on the internet at http://www.cfda.gov. The CFDA website also contains a PDF file version of the Catalog.

Unfunded Mandates

This final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for state, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

E-Government Act Compliance

RUS is committed to the E-Government Act, which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this final rule do not have any substantial direct effect on states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the states is not required.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This final rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Rural Development has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. If a tribe would like to engage in consultation with Rural Development on this rule, please contact Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected]

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410; (2) fax: 1 (833) 256-1665; or (3) email: [email protected] USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements

This final rule contains no new reporting or recordkeeping burdens under OMB control numbers 0572-0127, 0572-0136, 0572-0138, and 0572-0139 that would require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Background

Rural Development is a mission area within the USDA comprised of the Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service, and Rural Business/Cooperative Service. Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural Americans. Rural Development meets its mission by providing loans, loan guarantees, grants, and technical assistance through more than 40 programs aimed at creating and improving housing, businesses, and infrastructure throughout rural America.

In accordance with Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, RUS was tasked with identifying duplicative actions that can be streamlined which could result in time and cost savings. In doing so, RUS identified certain RUS grant regulations require that a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) be published in the Federal Register on an annual basis to announce the open/close period for the grant programs. Given that federal agencies must now publish grant Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) on www.Grants.gov, several agency regulations must now be amended to conform with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, And Audit Requirements For Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200. All pertinent information that the public will need to apply for each of the grant programs will be included in the FOA as required by 2 CFR 200.203. In addition, the agency will include the information on the program website and in the program application guide, which will be linked to the FOA.

Interested parties may subscribe to funding opportunities on Grants.gov by logging in to www.Grants.gov and choosing the “Connect” tab to access the “Connect Center.” Subscribing to opportunities, will allow users to receive updates and notifications for specific funding opportunities.

To implement these changes, RUS is publishing this action as a final rule. The Administrative Procedures Act exempts from prior notice rules any actions “relating to agency management or personnel or to public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts” (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A)).

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 1709

Administrative practice and procedure, Electric power, Grant programs—energy, Loan programs—energy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 1739

Grant programs—communications, Rural areas, Telecommunications, Telephone.

7 CFR Part 1776

Agriculture, Community development, Community facilities, Credit, Grant programs—housing and community development, Nonprofit organizations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas, Waste treatment and disposal, Water pollution control, Water resources, Water supply, Watersheds.

7 CFR Part 1783

Business and industry, Community development, Community facilities, Grant programs-housing and community development, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas, Waste treatment and disposal, Water supply, Watersheds.

Accordingly, for reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR parts 1709, 1739, 1776, and 1783 are amended as follows:

PART 1709—ASSISTANCE TO HIGH COST ENERGY COMMUNITIES 1. The authority citation for part 1709 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.

Subpart A—General Requirements 2. Amend § 1709.3 by adding a definition for “Funding opportunity announcement” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 1709.3 Definitions.

Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) means a publicly available document by which a Federal agency makes know its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. FOA announcements may be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program. FOA announcements can be found at www.Grants.gov in the Search Grants tab and on the funding agency's or program's website.

Subpart B—RUS High Energy Cost Grant Program 3. Revise § 1709.114 to read as follows:
§ 1709.114 Application process.

The RUS will request applications for high energy cost grants on a competitive basis by posting a FOA on www.Grant.gov. The FOA will establish the amount of funds available, the application package contents and additional requirements, the availability of application materials, high energy cost community eligibility benchmarks, selection criteria and weights, priority considerations, deadlines and procedures for submitting applications. This information will also be made available in the RUS High Energy Cost Grant program application guide and the RUS High Energy Cost Grant program website.

4. Amend § 1709.121 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 1709.121 Administrator's review and selection of grant awards.

(d) In the event an insufficient number of eligible applications are received in response to a FOA and selected for funding to exhaust the funds available, the Administrator reserves the discretion to reopen the application period and to accept additional applications for consideration under the terms of the FOA. Another FOA regarding the reopening of an application period will be announced on www.Grants.gov.

PART 1739—BROADBAND GRANT PROGRAM 5. The authority citation for part 1739 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Title III, Pub. L. 108-199, 118 Stat. 3.

Subpart A—Community Connect Grant Program 6. Amend § 1739.1 by revising the third sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1739.1 Purpose.

(a) * * * The Agency will give priority to rural areas that have the greatest need for broadband services, based on the criteria contained herein and in the RUS Community Connect Program application guide and/or the Community Connect Program website and in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) posted on www.Grants.gov.

7. Revise § 1739.2 to read as follows:
§ 1739.2 Funding availability and application dates and submission.

(a) The Agency will post a FOA on www.Grants.gov that will set forth the total amount of funding available; the maximum and minimum funding for each grant; funding priority; the application submission dates; and the appropriate addresses and agency contact information. The FOA will also outline and explain the procedures for submission of applications, including electronic submissions. The Agency may publish more than one FOA should additional funding become available. This information will also be made available in the RUS Community Connect Grant program application guide and on the RUS Community Connect Grant program website.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, the Agency may, in response to a surplus of qualified eligible applications which could not be funded from the previous fiscal year, decline to post a FOA for the following fiscal year and fund said applications without further public notice.

8. Amend § 1739.3 by revising the first sentence of the definitions of “Broadband Grant Speed” and “Broadband service” and by adding the definition of “Funding opportunity agreement” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 1739.3 Definitions.

Broadband Grant Speed means the minimum bandwidth described in the funding opportunity that an applicant must propose to deliver to every customer in the proposed funded service area in order for the Agency to approve a broadband grant. * * *

Broadband service means any terrestrial technology having the capacity to provide transmission facilities that enable subscribers of the service to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video at the minimum rate of data transmission described in the funding opportunity. * * *

Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) means a publicly available document by which a Federal agency makes know its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. FOA announcements may be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program. FOA announcements can be found at www.Grants.gov in the Search Grants tab and on the funding agency's or program's website.

9. Amend § 1739.15 by revising the introductory text to read as follows:
§ 1739.15 Completed application.

Applications should be prepared in conformance with the provisions of this part and all applicable regulations, including 2 CFR part 200, as adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 400. Applicants must also conform to the requirements of the FOA posted on www.Grants.gov, the RUS Community Connect Grant program application guide, and the Community Connect Grant program website. Applicants should refer to the FOA and the application guide for submission directions. The application guide contains instructions and forms, as well as other important information needed to prepare an application and is updated on an annual basis. Paper copies of the application guide can be requested by contacting the Loan Origination and Approval Division at 202-720-0800. Completed applications must include the following documentation, studies, reports and information, in form and substance satisfactory to the Agency:

10. Amend § 1739.16 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1739.16 Review of grant applications.

(a) All applications for grants must be delivered to the Agency at the address and by the date specified in the FOA, the Community Connect Grant program application guide and the Community Connect Grant program website (see § 1739.2) to be eligible for funding. * * *

11. Amend § 1739.17 by revising paragraph (d)(7) to read as follows:
§ 1739.17 Scoring of applications.

(d) * * *

(7) Any other additional factors that may be outlined in the FOA, the Community Connect Grant program application guide, and the Community Connect Grant program website.

PART 1776—HOUSEHOLD WATER WELL SYSTEM GRANT PROGRAM 12. The authority citation for part 1776 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 1926e.

13. Amend § 1776.3 by adding a definition for “Funding opportunity announcement” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 1776.3 Definitions.

Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) means a publicly available document by which a Federal agency makes know its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. FOA announcements may be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program. FOA announcements can be found at www.Grants.gov in the Search Grants tab and on the funding agency's or program's website.

14. Revise § 1776.6 to read as follows:
§ 1776.6 Funding availability.

A FOA will be posted to www.Grants.gov in fiscal years that funds are available for this program. The FOA will establish the period during which applications for such funds may be submitted for consideration.

15. Amend § 1776.8 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 1776.8 Methods for submitting applications.

(d) The methods of submitting applications may be changed from time to reflect changes in addresses and electronic submission procedures. The applicant should refer to the most recent FOA for notice of any such changes. In the event of any discrepancy, the most recent FOA must be followed.

PART 1783—REVOLVING FUNDS FOR FINANCING WATER AND WASTEWATER PROJECTS (REVOLVING FUND PROGRAM) 16. The authority citation for part 1783 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 1926 (a)(2)(B).

Subpart A—General 17. Amend § 1783.3 by adding a definition for “Funding opportunity announcement” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 1783.3 What definitions are used in this regulation?

Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) means a publicly available document by which a Federal agency makes know its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. FOA announcements may be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program. FOA announcements can be found at Grants.gov in the Search Grants tab and on the funding agency's or program's website.

Subpart B—Revolving Loan Program Grants 18. Revise § 1783.6 to read as follows:
§ 1783.6 When will applications for grants be accepted?

A FOA will be posted to www.Grants.gov in fiscal years that funds are available for this program. The FOA will establish the period during which applications for such funds may be submitted for consideration.

19. Amend § 1783.8 by revising the second sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 1783.8 What are the acceptable methods for submitting applications?

(c) * * * Applicants should refer to the most recent FOA for notice of any such changes. In the event of any discrepancy, the information contained in the FOA must be followed. * * *

Dated: August 27, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-19199 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0309; Special Conditions No. 25-594A-SC] Special Conditions: The Boeing Company (Boeing) Model 747-8 Airplane, Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant, Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats, With or Without Airbag Devices or 3-Point Restraints AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Amended final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These amended special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. This amendment states that the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane oblique (side-facing) seats may be installed at an angle of 18 to 45 degrees to the airplane centerline and may include a 3-point or airbag restraint system, or both, for occupant restraint and injury protection. Additionally, this amendment changes paragraphs 4 through 8 of the special conditions section. This airplane will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. These design features are oblique (side-facing) single-occupant seats equipped with or without airbag devices or 3-point restraints.

The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on Boeing on September 5, 2018. Send comments on or before October 22, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by Docket No. FAA-2015-0309 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket website, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478).

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Shelden, Airframe and Cabin Safety Section, AIR-675, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, Washington 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3214; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The substance of these special conditions has been published in the Federal Register for public comment in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds it unnecessary to delay the effective date and finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On February 3, 2014, Boeing applied for an amendment to Type Certificate no. A20WE to allow installation of single-occupant, oblique (side-facing) seats with or without airbag devices or 3-point restraints in the Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes.

Boeing requested special conditions to allow installation of oblique business-class passenger seats in the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. The seating configuration Boeing proposes in Certification Plan no. 15090, “Installation of Business Class Zodiac Seats and Furniture for 747-8 TRX RC076,” consists of Zodiac Cirrus III model oblique (side-facing), pod-style, business-class seats (with surrounding shells and front-row furniture) installed at an angle of up to 30 degrees to the airplane longitudinal centerline. These seats will include inflatable restraint (airbag) systems for occupant restraint and injury protection.

On November 22, 2017, Boeing applied for a change to Type Certificate No. A20WE for the installation of oblique (side-facing) passenger seats and surrounding furniture in the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. These oblique (side-facing) seats may be installed at an angle of 18 to 45 degrees to the airplane centerline and may include a 3-point or airbag restraint system, or both, for occupant restraint and injury protection.

The Boeing Model 747-8 airplane is a four-engine, transport category airplane with a maximum certified passenger capacity of 605, and a maximum takeoff weight of 987,000 lbs.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Boeing must show that the Model 747-8 airplane meets the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate no. A20WE, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA. The regulations listed in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.” The regulations listed in Type Certificate no. A20WE are as follows:

14 CFR part 25, Amendments 25-1 through 25-120, with exceptions permitted by § 21.101. In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable part that are not relevant to these special conditions.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101. In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

The FAA issues special conditions as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The business-class seating configuration Boeing proposes is novel or unusual due to the seat installation at 30 degrees to the airplane centerline, the airbag-system installation, and the seat/occupant interface with the surrounding furniture that introduces occupant alignment and loading concerns. The proposed business-class seating configuration also is beyond the limits of current acceptable equivalent-level-of-safety findings. These oblique (side-facing) seats may be installed at an angle of 18 to 45 degrees to the airplane centerline and may include a 3-point or airbag restraint system, or both, for occupant restraint and injury protection.

The existing regulations do not provide adequate or appropriate safety standards for occupants of oblique-angled seats with airbag systems. To provide a level of safety that is equivalent to that afforded occupants of forward- and aft-facing seats, additional airworthiness standards, in the form of special conditions, are necessary. These special conditions supplement part 25 and, more specifically, supplement §§ 25.562 and 25.785. The requirements contained in these special conditions consist of both test conditions and injury pass/fail criteria.

Discussion

The FAA has been conducting and sponsoring research on appropriate injury criteria for oblique (side-facing) seat installations. However, the FAA research program is not complete and we may update these criteria as we obtain further research results. To reflect current research findings, the FAA issued policy statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 to update injury criteria for fully side facing seats, and the policy statement PS-AIR-25-27, to define injury criteria for oblique (side-facing) seats.

The proposed Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes business-class seat installation is novel such that the current Boeing Model 747-8 airplane certification basis does not adequately address protection of the occupant's neck and spine for seat configurations that are positioned at an angle greater than 18 degrees from the airplane centerline. These special conditions for oblique (side-facing) seat installations do not adequately address oblique seats, reflecting the current research results, with or without 3-point or airbag restraint systems. Therefore, Boeing's proposed configuration will require amended special conditions.

The installation of passenger seats at angles of 18 to 45 degrees to the airplane centerline are unique due to the seat/occupant interface with the surrounding furniture that introduces occupant alignment/loading concerns with or without the installation of a 3-point or airbag restraint system, or both. On-going research has invalidated previously released special conditions for oblique seat installations. These updated special conditions further address potential injuries to the occupant's neck and spine. As a result, this special condition replaces special condition 25-594-SC.

FAA-sponsored research has found that an un-restrained flailing of the upper torso, even when the pelvis and torso are nearly aligned, can produce serious spinal and torso injuries. At lower impact severities, even with significant misalignment between the torso and pelvis, these injuries did not occur. Tests with an FAA H-III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) have identified a level of lumbar spinal tension corresponding to the no-injury impact severity. This level of tension is included as a limit in the special conditions. The spine tension limit selected is conservative with respect to other aviation injury criteria since it corresponds to a no-injury loading condition.

As noted in the special conditions for each airbag restraint system, because an airbag restraint system is essentially a single use device, there is the potential that it could deploy under crash conditions that are not sufficiently severe as to require head injury protection from the airbag restraint system. Since an actual crash is frequently composed of a series of impacts before the airplane comes to rest, this could render the airbag restraint system useless if a larger impact follows the initial impact. This situation does not exist with energy absorbing pads or upper torso restraints, which tend to provide protection according to the severity of the impact. Therefore, the installation of the airbag restraint system should be such that the airbag restraint system will provide protection when it is required, and will not expend its protection when it is not needed.

Because these airbag restraint systems may or may not activate during various crash conditions, the injury criteria listed in these special conditions and in § 25.562 must be met in an event that is slightly below the activation level of the airbag restraint system. If an airbag restraint system is included with the oblique seats, the system must meet the requirements in one of the airbag (inflatable restraint) special conditions applicable to the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane.

These amended special conditions will provide head injury criteria, neck injury criteria, spine injury criteria, and body-to-wall contact criteria. They contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificates to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to the other model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority Citation

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane.

Side-Facing Seats Special Conditions

In addition to the requirements of § 25.562:

1. Head Injury Criteria:

Compliance with § 25.562(c)(5) is required, except that, if the ATD has no apparent contact with the seat/structure but has contact with an airbag, a head-injury criterion (HIC) unlimited score in excess of 1000 is acceptable, provided the HIC15 score (calculated in accordance with 49 CFR 571.208) for that contact is less than 700.

2. Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact:

If a seat is installed aft of structure (e.g., an interior wall or furnishing) that does not provide a homogenous contact surface for the expected range of occupants and yaw angles, then additional analysis and/or test(s) may be required to demonstrate that the injury criteria are met for the area that an occupant could contact. For example, if different yaw angles could result in different airbag performance, then additional analysis or separate test(s) may be necessary to evaluate performance.

3. Neck Injury Criteria:

The seating system must protect the occupant from experiencing serious neck injury. The assessment of neck injury must be conducted with the airbag device activated, unless there is reason to also consider that the neck-injury potential would be higher for impacts below the airbag-device deployment threshold.

a. The Nij (calculated in accordance with 49 CFR 571.208) must be below 1.0, where Nij = Fz/Fzc + My/Myc, and Nij critical values are:

i. Fzc = 1,530 lb for tension

ii. Fzc = 1,385 lb for compression

iii. Myc = 229 lb-ft in flexion

iv. Myc = 100 lb-ft in extension

b. In addition, peak Fz must be below 937 lb in tension and 899 lb in compression.

c. Rotation of the head about its vertical axis, relative to the torso, is limited to 105 degrees in either direction from forward-facing.

d. The neck must not impact any surface that would produce concentrated loading on the neck.

4. Spine and Torso Injury Criteria:

a. The lumbar spine tension (Fz) cannot exceed 1200 lb.

b. Significant concentrated loading on the occupant's spine, in the area between the pelvis and shoulders during impact, including rebound, is not acceptable. During this type of contact, the interval for any rearward (X direction) acceleration exceeding 20g must be less than 3 milliseconds as measured by the thoracic instrumentation specified in 49 CFR part 572, subpart E filtered in accordance with SAE International (SAE) recommended practice J211/1, “Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation.”

c. The occupant must not interact with the armrest or other seat components in any manner significantly different than would be expected for a forward-facing seat installation.

5. Pelvis Criteria:

Any part of the load-bearing portion of the bottom of the ATD pelvis must not translate beyond the edges of the seat bottom seat-cushion supporting structure.

6. Femur Criteria:

Axial rotation of the upper leg (about the z-axis of the femur per SAE Recommended Practice J211/1) must be limited to 35 degrees from the nominal seated position. Evaluation during rebound does not need to be considered.

7. ATD and Test Conditions:

Longitudinal tests conducted to measure the injury criteria above must be performed with the FAA Hybrid III ATD, as described in SAE 1999-01-1609, “A Lumbar Spine Modification to the Hybrid III ATD for Aircraft Seat Tests.” The tests must be conducted with an undeformed floor, at the most-critical yaw cases for injury and with all lateral structural supports (e.g. armrests or walls) installed.

Note: Boeing must demonstrate that the installation of seats via plinths or pallets meets all applicable requirements. Compliance with the guidance contained in policy memorandum PS-ANM-100-2000-00123, “Guidance for Demonstrating Compliance with Seat Dynamic Testing for Plinths and Pallets,” dated February 2, 2000, is acceptable to the FAA.

8. Inflatable Airbag Restraint Systems Special Conditions:

If inflatable airbag restraint systems are installed, the airbag systems must meet the requirements in one of the airbag (inflatable restraint) special conditions applicable to the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane.

Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on August 22, 2018. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-19216 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0335; Special Conditions No. 25-725-SC] Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc., Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Series Airplanes; Flight Envelope Protection: High Incidence Protection System AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; correction.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is correcting an error that appeared in the Federal Register on May 1, 2018, for special conditions No. 25-725-SC, Docket No. FAA-2018-0335. As published, there was an error in the citation and the correct citation has been added.

DATES:

Effective on Bombardier on September 5, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe Jacobsen, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface, AIR-671, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, Washington 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3158; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On April 25, 2018, the FAA issued Special Conditions No. 25-725-SC, Docket No. FAA-2018-0335, which was published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2018 (83 FR 18934). Those special conditions pertain to the high incidence protection system that replaces the stall warning system during normal operating conditions, prohibits the airplane from stalling, limits the angle of attack at which the airplane can be flown during normal low speed operation, and cannot be overridden by the flight crew for Bombardier Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 series airplanes. As published, part II, paragraph 7 of the final special conditions cited § 25.143(j)(2)(i) instead of § 25.143(j)(1). There are no substantive changes to the document and it was apparent that § 25.143(j)(1) should have been referenced from the beginning.

Correction

In the final special conditions document FR Doc. 2018-09126 (Filed 4-30-2018; 8:45 a.m.), published on May 1, 2018 (83 FR 18934), make the following correction:

On page 18938, column 2, under part II, paragraph 7, correct “§ 25.143(j)(2)(i)” to read “§ 25.143(j)(1)”.

Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on August 27, 2018. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-19215 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0163; Product Identifier 2017-NM-168-AD; Amendment 39-19386; AD 2018-18-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires repetitive inspections of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin for cracking and protruding fasteners, and applicable corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective October 10, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 10, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0163.

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-2018-0163; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Truong, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5224; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8951). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin for cracking and protruding fasteners, and applicable corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to address fatigue cracking of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

Comments

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

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01518SE does not affect the actions specified in the NPRM.

We agree with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) of this AD and added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01518SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01518SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

Request for Exception for Inspections of Existing FAA-Approved Repairs

Delta Air Lines (Delta) asked that we add an exception to allow existing FAA-approved repairs to be exempt from inspections. Delta stated that the note in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, only specifies certain Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) approved repairs are exempt from inspections. Delta stated that limiting approval of this exception to the Boeing ODA only would mean that operators would have to request an alternative method of compliance to apply this inspection exception to any other FAA-approved repairs covering an affected inspection area.

We agree with the commenter's request to allow existing FAA-approved repairs to be exempt from inspections, for the reasons provided. We have added paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, under “Exceptions to Service Information Specifications,” to include that exception.

Request To Include a Repair Method for Crack Findings

Boeing asked that a statement be included in the proposed AD to specifically require repair of crack findings during inspections using a method approved in accordance with the procedures in paragraph (i) of the proposed AD. Boeing noted that this statement is provided in AD 2016-15-04, Amendment 39-18595 (81 FR 49873, July 29, 2016), which includes lap splice widespread fatigue damage inspection requirements. Boeing added that this statement will make it clear and consistent with the intent of the repair instructions specified in the referenced service information.

We acknowledge the commenter's request. However, the requirement to repair cracks found during any inspections required by this AD is implicit in the requirements of paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Unlike the previous AD referenced by Boeing, this AD uses high-level language and requires accomplishment of the RC (required for compliance) steps in the service information, which include the inspection and repair actions. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, as well as to contact Boeing for crack repair instructions or alternate inspection instructions, depending on the condition found. Paragraph (h)(2) of this AD requires operators to use a method approved in accordance with the procedures in paragraph (i) of this AD when the service information specifies to contact Boeing. Therefore, there is no need to include an additional statement to specifically require repair of crack findings during inspections using a method approved in accordance with the procedures in paragraph (i) of this AD. For clarity, we have revised the language in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD to match the language for the conditions specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

Request To Change or Omit Certain Inspections

VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering (MAE), Inc., (VT MAE) and FedEx Express (FedEx) asked that we omit or change certain lap splice inspection areas. FedEx stated that its fleet of Model 757-200 airplanes was converted to a configuration similar to that of Model 757-200 special freighter airplanes, in accordance with the VT MAE STCs. VT MAE stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, identifies the FedEx Model 757-200 fleet as Groups 1, 3, and 4 airplanes, and certain lap splice inspection areas defined for those groups have been modified in accordance with the STCs. VT MAE added that the proposed inspections do not apply to those airplanes, or have reduced repetitive inspection intervals from those specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

We acknowledge the commenter's requests. However, we do not consider it appropriate to include various provisions in an AD applicable only to individual airplane configurations or to a single operator's unique use of an affected airplane. Under the provisions of paragraph (i) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of AMOCs for the inspection areas and repetitive inspection intervals if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the AMOC would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Include Repair Guidelines and Inspection Procedures

Delta stated that while Boeing may not be able to include repair instructions for fuselage skin cracking at the longitudinal lap joints in all areas, repair guidelines should be included in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, so that operators can start damage containment and initial repair actions until specific repair instructions are received from Boeing.

We acknowledge the commenter's concern. However, the referenced service information does refer to certain sections in the 757 Nondestructive Test (NDT) Manual to provide guidance for fuselage skin cracking conditions. Although operators may refer to the NDT for guidance, the repair must be done using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD, as specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Also, waiting for Boeing to change the service information to include additional repair guidelines would delay the release of the AD, and the unsafe condition would not be addressed in a timely manner. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.

Delta also asked that alternative inspection procedures for protruding head fasteners be included in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, so that an AMOC request is not necessary.

We do not agree with the commenter's request that Boeing revise the service information to include alternative inspection procedures for protruding head fasteners. Waiting for Boeing to change the service information to include alternative inspection procedures would delay the release of the AD, and the unsafe condition would not be addressed in a timely manner. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017. The service information describes procedures for visual and eddy current inspections of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin for cracking and protruding head fasteners. 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 509 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections 367 work-hours × $85 per hour = $31,195 per inspection cycle $0 $31,195 per inspection cycle $15,878,255 per inspection cycle.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-18-07 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19386; Docket No. FAA-2018-0163; Product Identifier 2017-NM-168-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective October 10, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

(1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

(2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01518SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/312bc296830a925c86257c85006d1b1f/$FILE/ST01518SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01518SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin are subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to address fatigue cracking of the longitudinal lap splices of the fuselage skin, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD, where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, uses the phrase “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

(2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, specifies contacting Boeing for repair instructions, or contacting Boeing for crack repair instructions or alternate inspection instructions, and specifies that action as RC: This AD requires doing the repair, or the alternate inspection and applicable corrective actions, using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(3) Inspections performed in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017, are not necessary in areas where existing FAA-approved repairs cover the affected inspection areas; provided the outermost repair doubler extends a minimum of three rows of fasteners above and below the original group of lap splice fasteners subject to the inspection. Damage tolerance inspections specified for existing repairs must continue. Inspections outside of the repaired boundaries are still required as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

(4) Except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

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

(ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

(j) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact David Truong, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5224; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0104, dated November 6, 2017.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

(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 August 16, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-18995 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; Product Identifier 2017-NM-164-AD; Amendment 39-19388; AD 2018-18-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

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

DATES:

This AD is effective October 10, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 10, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Defense and Space Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0416.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; or in person at 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 U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes; and certain Model C-295 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 25, 2018 (83 FR 24236). The NPRM was prompted by a report that cracks were found on the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting. The NPRM proposed to require a detailed inspection of the upper and lower lugs of each horizontal stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fitting, repair if necessary, and a report of findings.

We are issuing this AD to address such cracking, which could lead to reduced structural integrity of the lugs on the stabilizer-to-fuselage rear attachment fittings and consequent lug or fitting failure, and could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

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

Costs of Compliance

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

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

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

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

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

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This 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): 2018-18-09 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Amendment 39-19388; Docket No. FAA-2018-0416; Product Identifier 2017-NM-164-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective October 10, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

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

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

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

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

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

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

    ER05SE18.000 ER05SE18.001 (h) Corrective Action

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

    (i) Reporting Requirement

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

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

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

    (j) Parts Installation Limitations

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

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

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

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (m) Related Information

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

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

    (3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(3) and (n)(4) of this AD.

    (n) 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 Defence and Space Alert Operators Transmission AOT-CN235-55-0004, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016.

    (ii) Airbus Defence and Space Alert Operators Transmission AOT-C295-55-0005, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2016.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Defense and Space Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email [email protected]

    (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 August 23, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-18999 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1122; Product Identifier 2012-NE-42-AD; Amendment 39-19385; AD 2018-18-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-02-04 for all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) RB211-Trent 970-84, RB211-Trent 970B-84, RB211-Trent 972-84, RB211-Trent 972B-84, RB211-Trent 977-84, RB211-Trent 977B-84, and RB211-Trent 980-84 turbofan engines. AD 2013-02-04 required on-wing inspections of low-pressure turbine (LPT) disk seal fins and interstage seals when post-flight review indicates Engine Health Monitoring (EHM) vibratory maintenance-alert limits were exceeded in flight. This AD requires additional criteria for the inspection of the stage 2, 3, and 4 LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals and removes the requirement to inspect the stage 5 LPT disk seal fins and interstage seal. This AD was prompted by a Trent 900 engine experiencing increased low-pressure rotor vibration while in flight resulting in an in-flight shutdown (IFSD) and air turnback. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 20, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 20, 2018.

    We must receive any comments on this AD by October 22, 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE248BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-245418, or email: http://www.rolls-royce.com/contact/civil_team.jsp. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1122.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1122; 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 mandatory continuing airworthiness information, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued AD 2013-02-04, Amendment 39-17325 (78 FR 6206, January 30, 2013), (“AD 2013-02-04”), for all RR RB211-Trent 970-84, RB211-Trent 970B-84, RB211-Trent 972-84, RB211-Trent 972B-84, RB211-Trent 977-84, RB211-Trent 977B-84, and RB211-Trent 980-84 turbofan engines. AD 2013-02-04 required on-wing inspections of LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals when post-flight review indicates EHM vibratory maintenance-alert limits were exceeded in flight. AD 2013-02-04 also required in-shop inspections of the LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals to detect cracks or damage and, depending on the findings, accomplishment of corrective action. AD 2013-02-04 resulted from a Trent 900 engine experiencing LPT stage 2 disk interstage seal material loss and increased low-pressure rotor (N1) vibration while in flight. We issued AD 2013-02-04 to prevent cracks in the LPT disk, which could result in uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2013-02-04 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2013-02-04, a Trent 900 engine experienced increased N1 vibration while in flight resulting in an IFSD and air turnback. Inspection of the engine revealed LPT damage. A subsequent review of the potential causes determined that engine overhaul shop visit activities could be a factor. RR issued Revision 2 to Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) RB.211-72-AH054 to introduce an inspection of the LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals after an overhaul shop visit when an engine test (pass-off test) is required due to the work performed. RR also published Revision 3 to Alert NMSB RB.211-72-AH054, dated February 1, 2018, to remove engines that have incorporated the modifications introduced by RR Alert SB RB.211-72-AJ592, dated September 4, 2017, from its applicability. In addition, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published AD 2018-0126, dated June 11, 2018, to require the changes introduced by Revision 3 of RR Alert NMSB RB.211-72-AH054. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed RR issued Alert NMSB RB.211-72-AH054, Revision 3, dated February 1, 2018. The Alert NMSB describes procedures for inspection after a pass-off test. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    AD Requirements

    This AD partially retains the requirements of AD 2013-02-04, requires inspection of the LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals following pass-off test, and changes certain inspection requirements.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    No domestic operators use this product. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments before it becomes effective. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2017-1122 and product identifier 2012-NE-42-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD 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 AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 0 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection of LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 $0 $680 $0
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-02-04, Amendment 39-17325 (78 FR 6206, January 30, 2013), and adding the following new AD: 2018-18-06 Rolls-Royce plc: Amendment 39-19385; Docket No. FAA-2017-1122; Product Identifier 2012-NE-42-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 20, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-02-04, Amendment 39-17325 (78 FR 6206, January 30, 2013).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) RB211-Trent 970-84, RB211-Trent 970B-84, RB211-Trent 972-84, RB211-Trent 972B-84, RB211-Trent 977-84, RB211-Trent 977B-84, and RB211-Trent 980-84 turbofan engines that have not incorporated the modifications introduced by RR Alert Service Bulletin RB.211-72-AJ592, dated September 4, 2017.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7350, Turbine Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a Trent 900 engine experiencing increased low-pressure rotor vibration while in flight resulting in an in-flight shutdown and air turnback. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracks in the low-pressure turbine (LPT) disk. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) After the effective date of this AD, after every flight, review the Engine Health Monitoring low-pressure rotor (N1) vibration data within 10 engine flight cycles (FCs).

    (i) If you find that the maximum and average vibrations exceed 0.7 inches/sec (ips) and 0.5 ips, respectively, then within 10 engine FCs:

    (A) Confirm that the vibration data was not the result of indicator error.

    (B) If you cannot show that the vibration increase was caused by indicator error, inspect the LPT stage 2, 3, and 4 disk seal fins and interstage seals in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B., of RR Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) RB.211-72-AH054, Revision 3, dated February 1, 2018.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (2) After the effective date of this AD, each time a pass-off test is performed on an engine after induction into a Repair and Overhaul Shop, inspect the LPT stage 2, 3, and 4 disk seal fins and interstage seals in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.C., of RR Alert NMSB RB.211-72-AH054, Revision 3, dated February 1, 2018.

    (4) If, during the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD, you find any cracks in the disk seal fins or any interstage seals are missing seal material, replace the parts with parts eligible for installation before further flight.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    You may take credit for the initial inspections required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD if, following detection of excessive N1 vibration, you performed the inspections using RR Repeater Technical Variance (TV) 125658, Issue 2, dated August 14, 2012; or RR Repeater TV 125060, Issue 1, dated July 27, 2012, or Issue 2, dated January 30, 2013; or RR Alert NMSB RB.211-72-AH054, Initial issue, dated September 14, 2012; Revision 1, dated November 5, 2012; or Revision 2, dated August 24, 2016.

    (i) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, a “pass-off test” is a test on any engine performed in accordance with Task 72-00-00-760-801, General Procedures for Engine Testing, from the Rolls-Royce Trent 970-84 Engine Manual, dated December 1, 2016.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (k) Related Information

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

    (2) Refer to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2018-0126, dated June 11, 2018, for more information. You may examine the EASA AD in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-1122.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin RB.211-72-AH054, Revision 3, dated February 1, 2018.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For RR service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE248BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-245418, or email: http://www.rolls-royce.com/contact/civil_team.jsp.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

    (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 Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 27, 2018. Karen M. Grant, Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19119 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0834] Special Local Regulation; Annual OPA World Championships, Gulf of Mexico; Englewood Beach, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulations for the OPA World Championships from November 16, 2018 through November 18, 2018, to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for Annual OPA World Championships identifies the regulated area for this event in Englewood, FL. During the enforcement periods, the operator of any vessel in the regulated area must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 100.735 will be enforced from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., each day from November 16, 2018, through November 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Marine Science Technician First Class Michael D. Shackleford, Sector St. Petersburg Prevention Department, Coast Guard; telephone (813) 228-2191, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.735 for the OPA World Championships regulated area from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 16, 2018 through November 18, 2018. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this 3-day event. Our regulation for Annual OPA World Championships, § 100.735, specifies the location of the regulated area for the OPA World Championships which encompasses portions of the Gulf of Mexico near Englewood, FL. During the enforcement periods, as reflected in § 100.735, if you are the operator of a vessel in the regulated area you must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

    In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide notification of this enforcement period via the Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    Holly L. Najarian, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Saint Petersburg.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19176 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0376] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Neches River, Beaumont, TX AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is extending the duration of a temporary safety zone on navigable waters of the Neches River extending 500-feet on either side of the Kansas City Southern Railroad Bridge that crosses the Neches River in Beaumont, TX. The safety zone is necessary to protect the bridge as well as persons and property on or near the bridge from potential damage from passing vessels until missing and/or damaged fendering systems are repaired or replaced. Entry of certain vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from September 5, 2018 until January 31, 2019. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from September 1, 2018 until September 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0376 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Scott Whalen, Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 409-719-5086, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register KCS Kansas City Southern Railroad Company NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking §  Section U.S.C. United States Code VTS Vessel Traffic Service II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On April 19, 2018, the Coast Guard was notified that the wood fendering systems designed to protect bridge support columns of the Kansas City Southern Railroad Company's bridge (KSC) from strikes by vessels transiting under the bridge had been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. The south bank column protection fenders are missing and the north bank column protection fenders are severely damaged. KCS indicated that strikes to the support columns could compromise the bridge structure. In response, on May 7, 2018, the Coast Guard published a temporary final rule; request for comments titled “Safety Zone; Neches River, Beaumont, TX” (83 FR 19968). During the comment period that ended May 29, 2018, we received no 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. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to potential safety hazards posed by and to passing vessel traffic and to the unprotected bridge columns supporting the KCS Bridge.

    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 Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur (COTP) has determined that potential hazards posed by the unprotected bridge columns are a safety concern to the KCS Bridge and to persons and property on or near the bridge. The purpose of this rule is to provide for the safety of the KCS Bridge and persons and property on or near the bridge.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received no comments on our temporary final rule; request for comments published on May 7, 2018. The only changes in the regulatory text of this rule are minor formatting edits and the extension of the effective period until January 31, 2018, or until the missing and/or damaged fenders are repaired or replaced, whichever occurs first.

    This rule extends a temporary safety zone from September 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019 or until missing and/or damaged fendering systems are repaired or replaced, whichever occurs first. The safety zone extends 500-feet on either side of the KCS Bridge that crosses the Neches River in Beaumont, TX in approximate location 30°04′54.8″ N 094°05′29.4″ W. The duration of the zone is intended to protect the bridge support columns as well as persons and property on or near the bridge until the bridge fendering is repaired or replaced. Only vessels less than 65 feet in length and not engaged in towing are authorized to enter the zone, unless otherwise permitted by the COTP or a designated representative to enter the safety zone.

    Persons and vessels not permitted to enter the safety zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted through Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) on channels 65A or 13 VHF-FM, or by telephone at (409) 719-5070.

    Permission to transit through the bridge will be based on weather, tide and current conditions, vessel size, horsepower, and availability of assist vessels. All persons and vessels permitted to enter this temporary safety zone shall comply with the lawful orders or directions given to them by COTP or a designated representative.

    Intentional or unintentional contact with any part of the bridge or associated structure, including fendering systems, support columns, spans or any other portion of the bridge, is strictly prohibited. Report any contact with the bridge or associated structures immediately to VTS Port Arthur on channels 65A, 13 or 16 VHF-FM or by telephone at (409) 719-5070.

    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 13563 (“Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”) and 12866 (“Regulatory Planning and Review”) direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs and provides that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a “significant regulatory action,” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017). This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location and duration of the safety zone. This rule will only affect certain vessels transiting the upper reaches of the Neches River in Beaumont, TX. The Coast Guard will issue a VTS Advisory concerning the zone, and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard 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 a safety zone that will prohibit entry within 500-feet of either side of the KCS Bridge that crosses the Neches River in Beaumont, TX. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(d) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Revise § 165.T08-0376 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0376 Safety Zone; Neches River, Beaumont, TX.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters extending 500 feet on either side of the Kansas City Southern Railroad Bridge that crosses the Neches River in Beaumont, TX in approximate location 30°04′54.8″ N 094°05′29.4″ W.

    (b) Effective period. This rule is effective without actual notice from September 5, 2018 until January 31, 2019 or until missing and/or damaged fendering systems are repaired or replaced, whichever occurs first. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from September 1, 2018 until September 5, 2018.

    (c) Regulations. (1) No vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone except:

    (i) A vessel less than 65 feet in length and not engaged in towing; or

    (ii) A vessel authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur (COTP) or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons and vessels not permitted to enter the safety zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted through Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) on channels 65A or 13 VHF-FM, or by telephone at (409) 719-5070.

    (3) Permission to transit through the bridge will be based on weather, tide and current conditions, vessel size, horsepower, and availability of assist vessels. All persons and vessels permitted to enter this temporary safety zone shall comply with the lawful orders or directions given to them by COTP or a designated representative.

    (4) Intentional or unintentional contact with any part of the bridge or associated structure, including fendering systems, support columns, spans or any other portion of the bridge, is strictly prohibited. Report any contact with the bridge or associated structures immediately to VTS Port Arthur on channels 65A, 13 or 16 VHF-FM or by telephone at (409) 719-5070.

    (d) Informational broadcasts. The Coast Guard will inform the public through public of the effective period of this safety zone through VTS Advisories, Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notice to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs) as appropriate.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Jacqueline Twomey, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19193 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0831] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation; Lake Erie, Hamburg, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 500-foot radius of the water insertion site located offshore of Hamburg Beach/Town Park, Lake Erie, Hamburg, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of Lake Erie during the SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with this event. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. on September 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0831 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 Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 716-843-9322, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule due to it being impracticable and contrary to public interest. The final details of this event were not known to the Coast Guard until there was insufficient time remaining before the event to publish a NPRM.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of enhancing safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of the SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation.

    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 helicopter training with swimmers jumping to the water presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include excessive winds from helicopter, rougher than normal waters, dangerous projectiles, and falling debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone on September 5, 2018, from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie, Hamburg, NY contained within a 500-foot radius of: 42°46′07.8″ N, 78°52′29.8″ W.

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

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the conclusion that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. We anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule establishes a safety zone. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0831 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0831 Safety Zone; SFODA 9233 Buffalo Operation; Lake Erie, Hamburg, NY.

    (a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie; Hamburg, NY contained within a 500-foot radius of: 42°46′07.8″ N, 78°52′29.8″ W.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. on September 5, 2018.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port 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 30, 2018. Kenneth E. Blair, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19191 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    83 172 Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 431 Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Public Meetings for the Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Test Procedures and Energy Conservation Standards AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notification of public meetings and webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) announces public meetings for the variable refrigerant flow multi-split air conditioners and heat pumps (VRF multi-split systems) working group. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requires that agencies publish notice of an advisory committee meeting in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates.

    ADDRESSES:

    The next several rounds of public meetings will be held at multiple locations. Please see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section to find the address for each date. Please see the Public Participation section of this notice for additional information on attending the public meeting, including webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Building Technologies (EE-5B), 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-287-1692. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 10, 2018, the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) met and passed the recommendation to form a VRF multi-split systems working group to meet and discuss and, if possible, reach a consensus on proposed federal test procedures and standards for VRF multi-split systems. On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, DOE published a notification of intent to establish a working group for VRF multi-split systems to negotiate a notice of proposed rulemaking for test procedures and energy conservations standards. The notice also solicited nominations for membership to the working group. 83 FR 15514. This notice announces the next series of meetings for this working group.

    DOE will host a public meeting and webinar on the below dates.

    • Monday, September 10, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 901 D St. SW, Suite 930, Washington, DC 20024. • Tuesday, September 11, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 901 D St. SW, Suite 930, Washington, DC 20024. • Monday, October 15, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 6E-069, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. • Tuesday, October 16, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 901 D St. SW, Suite 930, Washington, DC 20024. • Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 901 D St. SW, Suite 930, Washington, DC 20024. • Friday, November 2, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, 250 E St. SW, Washington, DC 20427. • Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, Room 7008, 250 E St. SW, Washington, DC 20427. • Friday, November 16, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, Room 7008, 250 E St. SW, Washington, DC 20427. • Wednesday, December 5, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, Room 7008, 250 E St. SW, Washington, DC 20427. • Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, Room 7008, 250 E St. SW, Washington, DC 20427.

    The purpose of these meetings will be to negotiate in an attempt to reach consensus on proposed federal test procedures and standards for VRF multi-split systems.

    Public Participation Attendance at Public Meeting

    The time, date and location of the public meeting are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. If you plan to attend the public meeting, please notify the ASRAC staff at [email protected]

    Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Regina Washington at (202) 586-1214 or by email: [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed.

    DOE requires visitors to have laptops and other devices, such as tablets, checked upon entry into the building. Any person wishing to bring these devices into the Forrestal Building will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid bringing these devices, or allow an extra 45 minutes to check in. Please report to the visitor's desk to have devices checked before proceeding through security.

    Due to the REAL ID Act implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there have been recent changes regarding ID requirements for individuals wishing to enter Federal buildings from specific States and U.S. territories. DHS maintains an updated website identifying the State and territory driver's licenses that currently are acceptable for entry into DOE facilities at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief. A driver's license from a State or territory identified as not compliant by DHS will not be accepted for building entry and one of the alternate forms of ID listed below will be required. Acceptable alternate forms of Photo-ID include U.S. Passport or Passport Card; an Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID-Card issued by States and territories as identified on the DHS website (Enhanced licenses issued by these States and territories are clearly marked Enhanced or Enhanced Driver's License); a military ID or other Federal government-issued Photo-ID card.

    In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. Webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE's website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/appliance-standards-and-rulemaking-federal-advisory-committee. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

    Procedure for Submitting Prepared General Statements for Distribution

    Any person who has plans to present a prepared general statement may request that copies of his or her statement be made available at the public meeting. Such persons may submit requests, along with an advance electronic copy of their statement in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format, to the appropriate address shown in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. The request and advance copy of statements must be received at least one week before the public meeting and may be emailed, hand-delivered, or sent by mail. DOE prefers to receive requests and advance copies via email. Please include a telephone number to enable DOE staff to make a follow-up contact, if needed.

    Conduct of Public Meeting

    ASRAC's Designated Federal Officer will preside at the public meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6306). A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and prepare a transcript. A transcript of the public meeting will be included on DOE's website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/appliance-standards-and-rulemaking-federal-advisory-committee. In addition, any person may buy a copy of the transcript from the transcribing reporter. Public comment and statements will be allowed prior to the close of the meeting.

    Docket

    The docket is available for review at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EERE-2018-BT-STD-0003, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All documents in the docket are listed in the regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publically available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on August 29, 2018. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19212 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Parts 25 and 195 [Docket ID OCC-2018-0008] RIN 1557-AE34 Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory Framework AGENCY:

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC or agency) invites comments on this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit ideas for building a new framework to transform or modernize the regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA). A new CRA regulatory framework would help regulated financial institutions more effectively serve the convenience and needs of their communities by encouraging more lending, investment, and activity where it is needed most; evaluating CRA activities more consistently; and providing greater clarity regarding CRA-qualifying activities. A transformed or modernized framework also would facilitate more timely evaluations of bank CRA performance, offer greater transparency regarding ratings, promote a consistent interpretation of the CRA, and encourage increased community and economic development in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. Revisions of this nature are consistent with the original intent of the CRA: To help meet the credit needs of the communities that banks serve. In addition, these types of revisions would align with the transformation of the banking industry and reduce the complexity, ambiguity, and burden associated with the regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ANPR must be received on or before November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be directed to:

    Commenters are encouraged to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or email, if possible. Please use the title “Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory Framework” to facilitate the organization and distribution of the comments. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal—“Regulations.gov”: Go to www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID OCC-2018-0008” in the Search box and click “Search.” Click on “Comment Now” to submit public comments. Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for submitting public comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW, Suite 3E-218, Washington, DC 20219.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: 400 7th Street SW, Suite 3E-218, Washington, DC 20219.

    Fax: (571) 465-4326.

    Instructions: You must include “OCC” as the agency name and “Docket ID OCC-2018-0008” in your comment. In general, the OCC will enter all relevant comments received into the docket and publish your comment on the Regulations.gov website without change, including any business or personal information that you provide, such as name and address information, email addresses, or phone numbers. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not include any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    You may review comments and other related materials that pertain to this rulemaking action by any of the following methods:

    Viewing Comments Electronically: Go to www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID OCC-2018-0008” in the Search box and click “Search.” Click on “Open Docket Folder” on the right side of the screen. Comments and supporting materials can be viewed and filtered by clicking on “View all documents and comments in this docket” and then using the filtering tools on the left side of the screen. Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov. The docket may be viewed after the close of the comment period in the same manner as during the comment period.

    Viewing Comments Personally: You may personally inspect comments at the OCC, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20219. For security reasons, the OCC requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 649-6700 or, for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired, TTY (202) 649-5597. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and submit to security screening in order to inspect comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    OCC: Vonda J. Eanes, Director for CRA and Fair Lending Policy, Compliance Risk Policy Division, (202) 649-5470; Emily R. Boyes, Senior Attorney, (202) 649-6350, Karen E. McSweeney, Special Counsel, (202) 649-5490, and Allison Hester-Haddad, Counsel, (202) 649-5490, Chief Counsel's Office; for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired, TTY (202) 649-5597; or Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20219.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Introduction

    The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 1 was enacted to encourage financial institutions 2 (banks) to help meet the credit needs of the communities that they serve, including LMI neighborhoods, consistent with the banks' safe and sound operations. In passing the CRA, Congress established that (1) banks are required by law to demonstrate that their deposit facilities serve the convenience and needs of the communities in which they are chartered to do business; (2) the convenience and needs of communities include the need for credit services as well as deposit services; and (3) banks have a continuing and affirmative obligation to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered.3 The statute directed each appropriate federal financial supervisory agency (i.e., the OCC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, agencies)) to assess the record of a bank in meeting the credit needs of its entire community, including LMI neighborhoods; 4 take this record into account when evaluating the bank's application for a deposit facility; 5 and report to Congress the actions it has taken to carry out its CRA responsibilities.6 The CRA directed each agency to publish regulations to carry out the statute's purpose.7

    1 Public Law 95-128, 91 Stat. 1147 (October 12, 1977), codified at 12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.

    2 12 U.S.C. 2902(2) defines “regulated financial institution” to mean an “insured depository institution” as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1813. Twelve U.S.C. 1813(c)(2) defines “insured depository institution” to mean any bank or savings association whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    3 12 U.S.C. 2901(a).

    4 12 U.S.C. 2903(a)(1).

    5 12 U.S.C. 2903(a)(2).

    6 12 U.S.C. 2904.

    7 12 U.S.C. 2905.

    Since the CRA's enactment, Congress has amended the statute numerous times, including in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 8 (which required public disclosure of a bank's CRA written evaluation and rating); the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 9 (which required the inclusion of a bank's CRA examination data in the determination of its CRA rating); the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 10 (which (1) required an agency to consider an out-of-state national bank's or state bank's CRA rating when determining whether to allow interstate branches; and (2) prescribed certain requirements for the contents of the written CRA evaluation for banks with interstate branches); and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 11 (which, among other things, provided regulatory relief for smaller banks by reducing the frequency of their CRA examinations).

    8 Public Law 101-73, 103 Stat. 183 (August 9, 1989).

    9 Public Law 102-242, 105 Stat. 2236 (December 19, 1991).

    10 Public Law 103-328, 108 Stat. 2338 (September 29, 1994).

    11 Public Law 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338 (November 12, 1999).

    In 1978, consistent with Congress' statutory directive, the agencies promulgated the first CRA regulations.12 They have since amended these regulations on several occasions, most significantly in 1995 and 2005.13 In addition, the agencies have periodically published interpretations of the CRA regulations in the form of Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment (Q&A guidance).14

    12 43 FR 47144 (October 12, 1978).

    13 60 FR 22156 (May 4, 1995); 70 FR 44256 (August 2, 2005). Although adopted individually by each agency, the regulations have generally been drafted on an interagency basis and released jointly.

    14 The agencies have published the Q & A guidance for notice and comment prior to final publication in the Federal Register.

    The CRA requires each agency to prepare a written evaluation of a bank's record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community, including LMI neighborhoods, at the conclusion of its CRA evaluation.15 This report, known as a Performance Evaluation (PE), is required to be a public document that presents an agency's conclusions regarding a bank's overall performance for each “assessment factor” identified in the CRA regulations.16 A PE must also present facts and data supporting the agency's conclusions 17 and contain both the bank's CRA rating and a description of the basis for the rating.18 A bank's CRA rating is considered, for example, in applications to merge or acquire another bank, open a branch, or relocate a main office or branch.19 A bank with a CRA rating below “satisfactory” may be restricted from certain activities until its next CRA evaluation, which is generally one or more years in the future.

    15 12 U.S.C. 2906.

    16 12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(1)(A)(i).

    17 12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(1)(A)(ii).

    18 12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(1)(A)(iii). There are four statutory rating categories: Outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve, and substantial non-compliance (12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(2)).

    19 12 CFR 25.29 and 195.29.

    II. The Changing Banking Environment

    Over the past two decades, the financial services industry has undergone transformative changes, including the removal of bank interstate branching restrictions and the expanded role of technology in financial services. To better understand how banking products and services are delivered to consumers in this evolving industry and how these changes affect a bank's CRA performance, the agencies have solicited feedback from the banking industry, community groups, academics, and others (collectively, stakeholders) on several occasions. For example, in 2010, the agencies held a series of joint public hearings across the country and solicited written feedback regarding how to update the CRA regulations in light of, among other things, changes in how banking services were delivered to consumers.20

    20See “Agencies Announce Public Hearings on Community Reinvestment Act Regulations,” Joint Press Release (June 17, 2010) (available at https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2010/nr-ia-2010-65.html).

    From 2014 through 2016, the agencies again solicited feedback on the CRA, as part of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 review,21 and received more than 60 comments about the CRA regulatory framework. These comments raised issues related to regulatory burden, as well as broader issues related to modernizing the CRA regulations and related Q&A guidance. During 2017 and 2018, the OCC held numerous meetings with bankers, community groups, non-profit organizations, legislators, and other stakeholders and regulators to discuss the current CRA regulatory framework and to solicit input on how to improve the current regulatory framework.

    21See, e.g., 80 FR 7980 (February 13, 2015).

    During 2017 and 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) invited a diverse group of stakeholders to provide feedback on how the CRA regulations could more effectively encourage economic growth in the communities that banks serve.22 On April 3, 2018, the Treasury Department issued recommendations to the agencies for broad changes to the fundamental administration of the CRA based on the feedback it had received. Specifically, the Treasury Department recommended updating the approach to delineating assessment areas to reflect the changing nature of banking; improving the evaluation process to increase the timeliness of evaluations and enable greater accountability for banks' CRA activity planning; increasing the clarity and flexibility of CRA evaluations to foster transparency and effectiveness in CRA rating determinations; and incorporating performance incentives to encourage banks to meet the credit and deposit needs of their communities.23

    22 Memorandum from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (April 3, 2018) (available at https://home.treasury.gov/sites/default/files/2018-04/4-3-18%20CRA%20memo.pdf).

    23Id. at 2.

    As the financial services industry continues to evolve, many stakeholders believe that the statutory purpose of the CRA—to encourage banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities they serve, including LMI areas, in a manner that is consistent with their safe and sound operation—is not fully or effectively accomplished through the current regulations. Although aspects of the current CRA regulatory framework may be sufficient for certain locally focused and less complex banks, stakeholders have expressed concern that the current CRA regulatory framework no longer reflects how many banks and consumers engage in the business of banking. Stakeholders have also identified concerns about the lack of clarity, consistency, and certainty with respect to current CRA regulatory requirements.

    III. Objectives of the ANPR

    The OCC has reached out to and engaged with over 1,000 stakeholders on the existing CRA framework and whether it is meeting the credit needs of communities, given the changing landscape of the financial services industry and banking. The OCC's goal for issuing this ANPR is to obtain additional public input on how to revise the CRA regulations to encourage more local and nationwide community and economic development—and thus promote economic opportunity—by encouraging banks to lend more to LMI areas, small businesses, and other communities in need of financial services. The agency invites comments on how to revise the CRA regulations to bring greater clarity, consistency, and certainty to the evaluation process, as well as to provide flexibility to accommodate banks with different business strategies. The OCC also invites comments on how to update assessment area definitions to accommodate digital lending channels, while retaining a focus on the communities in which bank branches are located. Additionally, the agency invites comments on clarifying and broadening the range of activities supporting community and economic development that qualify for CRA consideration.

    The following sections of the ANPR invite comments from all stakeholders on changing the current approach to performance evaluations; developing metrics to increase the objectivity of performance measures; updating how communities and assessment areas are defined to accommodate banks with different business strategies and allow banks to help meet the needs of underserved communities; broadening the range of qualifying activities to better support the purpose of the CRA; and enhancing recordkeeping and reporting. The OCC invites all comments and suggestions for other ways to improve the CRA regulatory framework.

    IV. Current CRA Regulatory Approach A. Current Performance Evaluation Methods

    The OCC's current CRA regulations provide different methods to evaluate a bank's CRA performance depending on the bank's asset size and business strategy.24 Some stakeholders have expressed the view that the current regulatory framework is too complex, the asset thresholds for the performance tests and standards have not kept pace with bank asset sizes, and the standards are not applied transparently or consistently in performance evaluations.

    24 The asset sizes are adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

    Under the current framework,

    • small banks (banks with less than $313 million in assets) are evaluated under a retail lending test that may also consider community development (CD) loans. CD investments and services may be considered for an outstanding rating at the bank's option, but only if the bank meets or exceeds the lending test criteria in the small bank performance standards.

    • intermediate small banks (ISB) (banks with asset sizes between $313 million and $1.252 billion) are evaluated under the retail lending test for small banks and a CD test. The ISB CD test evaluates all CD activities together.

    • large banks (banks with more than $1.252 billion in assets) are evaluated under the lending, investment, and service tests. The large bank lending and service tests consider both retail and CD activity, while the investment test focuses on qualified CD investments.

    • wholesale and limited purpose banks are evaluated under a CD test that considers activities in a much broader geographic area than the area that is considered for large banks or ISBs.

    • a bank whose business predominantly consists of serving the needs of military personnel who are not located within a defined geographic area is evaluated under the performance test or standards applicable to its size and business model; such a bank, however, may delineate its entire deposit customer base as its assessment area.

    • any bank can elect to be evaluated under a strategic plan that sets out measurable, annual goals for lending, investment, and service to achieve a satisfactory or outstanding rating. A strategic plan must be developed with community input and approved by the bank's primary regulator.

    Additionally, although the small bank, ISB, and large bank lending tests share some common elements, other elements are unique to each test. For example, to facilitate the evaluation of performance under the large bank lending test, the CRA regulations require that certain data on small business, small farm, and CD loans be collected and reported annually. Small banks and ISBs are not required to report this data.

    Finally, the OCC also considers applicable performance context information to inform its conclusions and CRA ratings in all cases.

    B. Community and Assessment Areas

    The CRA statute does not define “community.” The statute requires the OCC to state conclusions, supported by facts and data, on banks' performance in metropolitan areas and—for banks with branches in more than one state—in the nonmetropolitan area of a state where a bank has one or more domestic branches.25

    25 12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(1)(B), (d)(3)(A). “Domestic branch” is defined as any bank branch office or other bank facility that accepts deposits, located in any state (12 U.S.C. 2906(e)(1)). For banks that maintain domestic branches in two or more states, the OCC must prepare separate written evaluations of performance in each state in which banks maintain one or more domestic branches. For banks that maintain domestic branches in two or more states within a multistate metropolitan area, the OCC must prepare a separate written evaluation of performance within the multistate metropolitan area (12 U.S.C. 2906(d)(1)(B), (d)(2)).

    The current CRA regulations also do not expressly define “community”; they implement the concept by requiring a bank to delineate one or more “assessment area(s)” in which the agency evaluates the bank's record of helping to meet the credit needs of its “community.” 26

    26 12 CFR 25.41 and 195.41.

    The current CRA regulations specify what must be and what cannot be included in the assessment area delineation. The current interpretation of the regulations limits assessment area(s) to the area(s) surrounding a bank's main office, branch offices, and deposit-taking automated teller machines (ATMs).

    A bank's CRA performance evaluation is based primarily on the CRA-qualifying activities that occur in or serve a bank's assessment area(s). For some banks, their assessment area(s) may not include a substantial portion of the area(s) in which they conduct activities that would otherwise qualify for CRA consideration. The activities that occur outside of the bank's assessment area that do not have a purpose, mandate, or function of serving the bank's assessment area generally will not receive consideration unless the agency concludes that the bank has been responsive to the needs of its assessment area(s). Even then, the current CRA regulations and Q&A guidance generally limit consideration of CD activities to the broader statewide or regional areas that includes the bank's assessment area(s).27 Stakeholders have expressed concern that, in practice, the lack of clarity in the regulations and guidance limits banks' willingness or ability to engage in CD activities outside of their assessment area(s).

    27See Q & A guidance § _.12(h)-6. For banks evaluated pursuant to the CD test for wholesale or limited purpose banks, the agencies also consider qualified investments, CD loans, and CD services that benefit areas outside the bank's asessment area(s), if the bank has adequately adressed the needs of its assessment area(s) (12 CFR 25.25(e)(2) and 195.25(e)(2)).

    The current assessment area definition was developed when banking was based largely on physical branch locations as the primary means of delivering products and services. While some banks continue to conduct most of their CRA-qualifying activities within their assessment area(s), in part because of the current framework for evaluating CRA performance, banking has evolved and the cost of operating branches has increased. Changes in the industry offer more opportunities for banks to engage in business outside of the geographies surrounding physical branches. Numerous factors, including technological advances in the delivery of banking services, shifting business models, and changes in consumer behavior and preferences permit banks to engage in the business of banking regardless of whether they have branches or, if they do, the location of their branches.

    C. Questions Regarding Current Regulatory Approach

    The OCC invites comments on changes to transform or modernize the current CRA regulatory framework, including with respect to the following questions:

    1. Are the current CRA regulations clear and easy to understand?

    2. Are the current CRA regulations applied consistently?

    3. Is the current CRA rating system objective, fair, and transparent?

    4. Two goals of the CRA are to help banks effectively serve the convenience and needs of their entire communities and to encourage banks to lend, invest, and provide services to LMI neighborhoods. Does the current regulatory framework support these goals in light of how banks and consumers now engage in the business of banking?

    5. With the statutory purpose of the CRA in mind, what aspects of the current regulatory framework are most successful in achieving that purpose?

    6. If the current regulatory framework is changed, what features and aspects of the current framework should be retained?

    V. A Modernized CRA A. Revising or Transforming the Current Regulatory Approach 1. Revising the Current Performance Evaluation Method

    The OCC invites comments on ways to modernize the current regulatory framework by modifying and streamlining the existing CRA performance tests, such as by implementing an alternative evaluation method or by increasing and enhancing the use of metrics within the performance tests. One such alternative evaluation method could replace existing performance tests and standards and separately evaluate retail or CD activities for all banks, accounting for variations in size, business model, and other factors. This approach could include updated metrics that take into account information on a bank's performance context, such as the demographic characteristics and the economic and financial conditions of specific communities.

    2. Metric-Based Framework

    The OCC also invites comments on a more transformational approach to the CRA regulatory framework that could (1) increase the transparency of how a bank's CRA performance is evaluated by using quantitative benchmarks for specific ratings and clear standards for quantifying CRA activities; (2) define “community” more broadly to include additional domestic geographies in which the bank engages in the business of banking; and (3) expand the types of activities that would receive CRA consideration in a CRA evaluation, with a focus on lending, investments, and services for LMI geographies and individuals and other geographies and populations in need of financial services. Such an approach could simplify and improve the implementation of the CRA while better effectuating the law's directive to encourage banks to serve their entire communities, including LMI neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations.

    One approach is to create a metric-based performance measurement system with thresholds or ranges (benchmarks) that correspond to the four statutory CRA rating categories.28 These benchmarks could represent the overall or “macro” benchmarks for obtaining a particular rating and could be composed of the “micro” components of CRA qualifying lending, investments, and services. These components could be aggregated to achieve the overall benchmark or level of performance. This approach would allow flexibility to accommodate bank capacity and business models while facilitating the comparison among banks of all sizes and business models and the evaluation against an objective, transparent threshold.

    28 As noted in footnote 18, the four statutory rating categories are outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve, and substantial non-compliance (12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(2)).

    In a metric-based framework designed to bring clarity to the determination of CRA ratings, the benchmarks representing the dollar value of CRA-qualified activity could be compared to readily available and objective criteria, such as, a percentage of domestic assets, deposits, or capital from the bank's balance sheet, to calculate a ratio that could correspond to the benchmark established for each rating category. For example, a bank with $1 billion in total assets that conducted $100 million of CRA-qualifying activities in the aggregate would achieve a 10-percent ratio, if total assets were used for the denominator.

    The OCC invites comments on the above approaches, including with respect to the following questions:

    7. How could an alternative method for evaluating CRA performance be applied, taking into account the following factors: bank business model, asset size, delivery channels, and branch structure; measures or criteria used to evaluate performance, including appropriate metrics; and consideration for qualifying activities that serve areas outside a bank's delineated assessment areas?

    8. How could appropriate benchmarks for CRA ratings be established under a metric-based framework approach, taking into account balance-sheet items, such as assets, deposits, or capital and other factors, including business models?

    9. How could performance context be included in such a metric-based approach?

    10. In a metric-based framework, additional weight could be given to certain categories of CRA-qualifying activities, such as activities in certain geographies, including LMI areas near bank branches; activities targeted to LMI borrowers; or activities that are particularly innovative, complex, or impactful on the bank's community. How could a metric-based framework most effectively apply different weighting to such categories of activities? For example, should a $1 loan product count as $1 in the aggregate, while a $1 CD equity investment count as $2 in the aggregate?

    11. How can community involvement be included in an evaluation process that uses a metric-based framework?

    12. For purposes of evaluating performance, CD services are not currently quantified in a standard way, such as by dollar value. Under a metric-based framework, how should CD services be quantified? For example, a bank could calculate the value of 1,000 hours of volunteer work by multiplying it by an average labor rate and then include that number in the aggregate total value of its CRA activity.

    3. Redefining Communities and Assessment Areas

    To recognize evolving banking practices, the OCC invites comments on ways to update how a bank's community is interpreted for purposes of implementing the CRA. Under an updated approach, banks would continue to receive consideration for CRA-qualifying activities within their branch and deposit-taking ATM footprint and could receive consideration for providing these types of beneficial activities in LMI areas outside of their branch and deposit-taking ATM footprint and other underserved areas. An updated approach to defining assessment areas could allow a bank to include additional areas tied to the bank's business operations (e.g., areas where the bank has a concentration of deposits or loans, non-bank affiliate offices, or loan production offices). Under such an approach, banks could include these additional geographies in their assessment areas, enabling consideration of CRA-qualifying activities conducted within these areas. Such an approach could address concerns that the current CRA assessment areas can restrict bank lending or investment in areas of need, by expanding the circumstances in which banks receive consideration for CRA-qualifying activities beyond their delineated assessment areas. Providing consideration for activities conducted in targeted areas or areas that have historically been largely excluded from consideration such as remote rural populations or Indian country, for example, could help promote services and activities in those areas as well. It may also accommodate banks that either operate with business models that have no physical branches or banks with services that reach far beyond the geographic location of their physical branches. While the OCC would continue to assess CRA performance as required by statute, qualifying activities outside of the areas where a bank has its main office, branch offices, and deposit-taking ATMs could be considered and assessed in the aggregate, at the bank level, in addition to activities in its traditional assessment areas or local geographies.

    The OCC invites comments on this approach, including with respect to the following questions:

    13. How could the current approach to delineating assessment areas be updated to consider a bank's business operations, in addition to branches and deposit-taking ATMs, as well as more of the communities that banks serve, including where the bank has a concentration of deposits, lending, employees, depositors, or borrowers?

    14. Should bank activities in the LMI geographies surrounding branches and deposit-taking ATMs, or in other targeted geographic areas, be weighted (and if so, how), or should some other approach be taken to ensure that activities in those areas continue to receive appropriate focus from banks, such as requiring banks to have some minimum level of performance in the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and non-MSA areas in which they have domestic branches before receiving credit for activity outside those areas?

    B. Expanding CRA-Qualifying Activities

    The OCC invites comments on the type and categories of activities that should receive CRA consideration. Within the current regulation's performance tests and standards, CRA activities are generally considered in two categories—retail and CD—with the objective of encouraging banks to engage in a broad range of CRA-qualifying activities that are within LMI and other areas specified in the regulations and that benefit LMI individuals, small businesses, and small farms. For the most part, CRA-qualifying activities are defined by the regulations and further described in the Q&A guidance. The statute, however, requires the agencies to consider low-cost education loans provided to low-income borrowers, and it permits the agencies to consider activities undertaken by a non-minority-owned bank in conjunction with a minority- or women-owned bank or low-income credit union (MWLI), provided these activities benefit the MWLI's local community.

    Some stakeholders have expressed concerns about which activities receive CRA consideration. These stakeholders generally express a desire for more clarity and certainty regarding which CD, small business, lending, and retail service activities will receive CRA consideration.

    The OCC invites comments on regulatory changes that could ensure CRA consideration for a broad range of activities supporting community and economic development in banks' CRA performance evaluations, while retaining a focus on LMI populations and areas, and set clear standards for determining whether an activity qualifies for CRA consideration. The OCC recognizes that providing greater clarity on qualifying activities could be beneficial in supporting the goals of the CRA for all banks, including those with more traditional business models.

    Additionally, under the current regulatory framework banks receive CRA consideration for certain small business loans. The CRA regulatory definition of a small business loan mirrors the definition found in bank Call Reports.29

    29 Loans to small businesses are defined as those with original amounts of $1 million or less reported on the institution's Call Report as either “loans secured by nonfarm residential property” or “commercial and industrial loans.” In addition to receiving consideration for business loan in amounts of $1 million or less, a bank may also receive CRA consideration for business loans of more than $1 million if the loan has a primary purpose of “community development” as that term is defined in the CRA regulations.

    The OCC also considers whether a large bank uses innovative or flexible lending practices in addressing the credit needs of LMI borrowers or geographies. Depending on the facts and circumstances, a bank that develops a unique approach or lending program targeted to support the needs of borrowers or small businesses in LMI geographies, LMI borrowers, or small businesses may be eligible to receive consideration under CRA for those activities.

    The OCC invites comments on the role of small business credit in LMI areas or for LMI small business owners, and under what circumstances small business loans should receive CRA consideration.

    The OCC invites comments on qualifying activities, including with respect to the following questions:

    15. How should “community and economic development” be defined to better address community needs and to incentivize banks to lend, invest, and provide services that further the purposes of the CRA? For example, should certain categories of loans and investments be presumed to receive consideration, such as those that support projects, programs, or organizations with a mission, purpose, or intent of community or economic development; or, within such categories, only those that are defined as community or economic development by federal, state, local, or tribal governments?

    16. Should there be specific standards for CD activities to receive consideration, such as requiring those activities to provide identified benefits to LMI individuals and small business borrowers or to lend to and invest in LMI communities or other areas or populations identified by federal, state, local, or tribal government as distressed or underserved, including designated major disaster areas (hereinafter referred to as “other identified areas” or “other identified populations”)?

    17. Are there certain categories of CD activities that should only receive consideration if they benefit specified underserved populations or areas, such as providing credit or technical assistance to small businesses or small farms; credit or financial services to LMI individuals or other identified populations (such as the disabled); or social services for LMI individuals or job creation, workforce development, internships, or apprentice programs for LMI individuals or other identified populations?

    18. Should consideration for certain activities that might otherwise qualify as CD be limited or excluded? For example, how should investments in loan-backed securities be considered?

    19. How should financial education or literacy programs, including digital literacy, be considered?

    20. Should bank activities to expand the use of small and disadvantaged service providers receive CRA consideration as CD activities?

    21. The current regulatory framework provides for CRA performance evaluations to consider home mortgage, small business, and small farm lending, and consumer lending in certain circumstances. Should these categories of lending continue to be considered as CRA-qualifying activities or should consideration in any or all of these categories be limited to loans to LMI borrowers and loans in LMI or other identified areas?

    22. Under what circumstances should consumer lending be considered as a CRA-qualifying activity? For example, should student, auto, credit card, or affordably priced small-dollar loans receive consideration? If so, what loan features or characteristics should be considered in deciding whether loans in these categories are CRA-qualifying?

    23. Under what circumstances should small business loans receive CRA consideration? For example should consideration be given to all loans to businesses that meet the Small Business Administration standards for small businesses?

    24. How should small business loans with a CD purpose be considered?

    25. Should a bank's loan purchases and loan originations receive equal consideration when evaluating that bank's lending performance?

    26. Should loans originated by a bank to hold in portfolio be weighted differently from loans originated for sale? If so, how?

    27. Should bank delivery channels, branching patterns, and branches in LMI areas be reviewed as part of the CRA evaluations? If so, what factors should be considered?

    28. The CRA states that the agencies may take into consideration in the CRA evaluation of a non-minority-owned and non-women-owned financial institution (majority-owned institution) any capital investment, loan participation, and other venture undertaken in cooperation with MWLIs, even if these activities do not benefit the majority-owned institution's community, provided that these activities help meet the credit needs of local communities in which the MWLIs are chartered. What types of ventures should be eligible for such consideration, and how should such ventures be considered?

    C. Recordkeeping and Reporting

    The OCC also invites comments on how to modernize CRA regulations to promote transparency and consistency in recordkeeping, reporting, and examination requirements. The current regulatory approach does not facilitate regular tracking, monitoring, and comparisons of levels of CRA performance by banks and other stakeholders. One advantage of a modernized CRA framework that uses objective reportable metrics could be to allow for better tracking by banks of their overall CRA level of performance on a regular, periodic basis. If a metric-based framework and clarified standards for identifying and measuring qualifying activities were implemented, such an approach could also allow stakeholders to better understand the level of a bank's CRA performance on a straightforward and timely basis.

    This type of framework may involve an updated approach to the OCC's CRA-related data collection to be used for monitoring and assessing banks' CRA performance. Additionally, under a metric-based framework, the ability to differentiate among activities based on their location, type, or other factors may involve additional recordkeeping and reporting.

    Such reporting could also support comparison among banks, their peer groups, or the entire industry and would support understanding of industry-wide activity and trends.

    The OCC invites comments on CRA recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The OCC notes that additional feedback on recordkeeping and reporting may be necessary if a new framework is proposed in a future rulemaking.

    29. Could the reporting of data gathered using a metric-based approach on a regular, periodic basis better support the tracking, monitoring, and comparison of CRA performance levels?

    30. How frequently should banks report CRA activity data for the OCC to evaluate and report on CRA performance under a revised regulatory framework?

    31. As required by law, and to the extent possible, the OCC attempts to minimize regulatory burden in its rulemakings consistent with the effective implementation of its statutory responsibilities. The OCC is committed to evaluating the economic impact of, and costs and benefits associated with, any changes that are proposed to the CRA regulations. Under the current regulatory framework, what are the annual costs, in dollars or staff hours, associated with CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping, and reporting?

    D. Additional Options or Approaches

    The OCC invites other ideas and options for modernizing the CRA regulatory framework not identified in this ANPR.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller of the Currency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19169 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0832] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Head of the Buffalo Regatta; Buffalo River, Buffalo, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone for certain waters of the Buffalo River during the Head of the Buffalo Regatta. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from being in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0832 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email 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, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    On August 16, 2018, the Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association notified the Coast Guard that it would be conducting a rowing regatta from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on October 20, 2018, in conjunction with the Head of the Buffalo Regatta. The rowing vessels will launch for their warmup from the Ohio St. Kayak Launch, at position 42°51′55.9″ N, 78°52′07.2″ W, then proceed to travel upriver to turnaround at position 42°51′36.7″ N, 78°50′56.0″ W. The race will then begin at position 42°51′40.0″ N, 78°50′56.5″ W, and proceed downriver to the finish line near the Ohio St. bridge at position 42°52′17.5″ N, 78°52′21.0″ W. Participants will then proceed further upriver to the turnaround point located at position 42°52′19.4″ N, 78°52′25.3″ W, and return to the starting point. The Captain of the Port Buffalo (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with rowboat races would be a safety concern for anyone within that stretch of the Buffalo River.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to enhance the safety of vessels and racers on the navigable waters within the above stated points, before, during, and after the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a temporary safety zone to be enforced intermittently from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on October 20, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters between the two points starting at position 42°52′19.4″ N, 78°52′25.3″ W, and ending at position 42°51′36.7″ N, 78°50′56.0″ W, on the Buffalo River, Buffalo, NY. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled rowboat races between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic would not be able to safely transit around this safety zone, which would impact a small designated area of the Buffalo River. 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 certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security 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 made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves establishing a safety zone lasting 10 hours that would prohibit entry into the waters contained within a 3.1-mile stretch of the Buffalo River. Normally such actions are 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 preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https://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 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0832 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0832 Safety Zone; Head of the Buffalo Regatta; Buffalo River, Buffalo, NY.

    (a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Buffalo River, Buffalo, NY, beginning at position 42°52′19.4″ N, 78°52′25.3″ W to 42°51′36.7″ N, 78°50′56.0″ W.

    (b) Enforcement Period. This rule is effective from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on October 20, 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 28, 2018. Joseph S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19192 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R06-RCRA-2018-0395; FRL-9982-64—Region 6] Louisiana: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The State of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The EPA has reviewed Louisiana's application, and has determined that these changes satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization and is proposing to authorize the State's changes. The EPA is seeking public comment prior to taking final action.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule must be received by October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: (214) 665-6762 (prior to faxing, please notify Alima Patterson at (214) 665-8533).

    Mail: Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization/Codification Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization/Codification Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: EPA must receive your comments by October 5, 2018. Direct your comments to Docket ID Number EPA-R06-RCRA-2018-0395. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov, or email. The Federal regulations.gov website is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with CD you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. (For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.regulations.gov).

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov, or in hard copy.

    You can view and copy Louisiana's application and associated publicly available materials from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, 602 N Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2178, phone number (225) 219-3559 and EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, phone number (214) 665-8533. The public is advised to call in advance to verify business hours. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least two weeks in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alima Patterson, Region 6, Regional Authorization/Codification Coordinator, Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, (214) 665-8533, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, and Email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

    States which have received final authorization from the EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program changes, States must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize the changes. Changes to State programs may be necessary when Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur.

    Most commonly, States must change their programs because of changes to the EPA's regulations in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 268, 270, 273, and 279.

    B. What decisions have the EPA made in this rule?

    On March 13, 2018, the State of Louisiana submitted a final complete program revision application seeking authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program that correspond to certain Federal rules promulgated on January 13, 2015, April 8, 2015 and April 17, 2015, RCRA Cluster XXIV (Checklists 233A, 233B, 233C, 233D2, 233E, 234 and 235), as well as state-initiated changes. The EPA has reviewed Louisiana's application to revise its authorized program and has made a tentative decision that it meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA. Therefore, we propose to grant LDEQ final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the changes described in the authorization application, except for federal provisions that were vacated from the January 13, 2015 final rule (Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW)) by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, 862 F.3d 50 (D.C. Cir. 2017) and Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, No. 09-1038 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 6, 2018).

    LDEQ will continue to have responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities within its borders, and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized States before they are authorized for the requirements. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Louisiana, including issuing permits, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

    C. What is the effect of this proposed authorization decision?

    If Louisiana is authorized for these changes, a facility in Louisiana subject to RCRA will now have to comply with the authorized State requirements instead of the equivalent Federal requirements in order to comply with RCRA. Additionally, such facilities will have to comply with any applicable federal requirements such as, for example, HSWA regulations issued by the EPA for which the State has not received authorization. LDEQ continues to have enforcement responsibilities under its State hazardous waste program for violations of such program, but the EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to:

    • Conduct inspections, and require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports;

    • enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits, and

    • take enforcement actions after notice to and consultation with the State.

    The action to approve these provisions would not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which LDEQ is requesting authorization are already effective under state law, and are not changed by the act of authorization.

    D. What happens if the EPA receives comments on this action?

    If the EPA receives comments on this proposed action, we will address those comments in our final action. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this proposed authorization, you must do so at this time.

    E. What has Louisiana previously been authorized?

    The State of Louisiana initially received final authorization on February 7, 1985 (50 FR 3348), to implement its base Hazardous Waste Management Program. We granted authorization for changes to their program on November 28, 1989 (54 FR 48889), effective January 29, 1990; August 26, 1991 (56 FR 41958), as corrected October 15, 1991 (56 FR 51762), effective October 25, 1991; November 7, 1994 (59 FR 55368), effective January 23, 1995 (Note: On January 23, 1995 (60 FR 4380), the EPA responded to public adverse comments and affirmed the effective date for the November 7, 1994 final rule). Then on April 11, 1995 (60 FR 18360), the EPA also made administrative corrections for the January 23, 1995 Federal Register document; December 23, 1994 (59 FR 66200), effective March 8, 1995; October 17, 1995 (60 FR 53704), effective January 2, 1996; March 28, 1996 (61 FR 13777), effective June 11, 1996; December 29, 1997 (62 FR 67572), effective March 16, 1998; October 23, 1998 (63 FR 56830), effective December 22, 1998; August 25, 1999 (64 FR 46302), effective October 25, 1999; September 2, 1999 (64 FR 48099), effective November 1, 1999; February 28, 2000 (65 FR 10411), effective April 28, 2000; January 2, 2001 (66 FR 23), effective March 5, 2001; December 9, 2003 (68 FR 68526), effective February 9, 2004; June 10, 2005 (70 FR 33852), effective August 9, 2005; November 13, 2006 (71 FR 66116), effective January 12, 2007; August 16, 2007 (72 FR 45905), effective October 15, 2007; May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23645), effective July 20, 2009; June 24, 2011(76 FR 122), effective August 23, 2011; June 28, 2012 (77 FR 38530), effective August 27, 2012, September 14, 2015 (80 FR 55032), effective November 14, 2015 and July 13, 2017 (82 FR 32253) effective September 11, 2017. On March 13, 2018, LDEQ submitted a final program revision application seeking authorization of its program revision in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21.

    Since 1979, through the Environmental Affairs Act, Act 449 enabled the Office of Environmental Affairs within the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, as well as, the Environmental Control Commission to conduct an effective program designed to regulate those who generate, transport, treat, store, dispose or recycle hazardous waste. During the 1983 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, Act 97 was adopted, which amended and reenacted La. R. S. 30:1051 et seq. as the Environmental Quality Act, renaming the Environmental Affairs Act (Act 1938 of 1979). This Act created Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), including provisions for new offices within this new Department of Environmental Quality. Act 97 also transferred the duties and responsibilities previously delegated to the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Affairs to the new Department. The LDEQ has lead agency jurisdictional authority for administering the RCRA Subtitle C program in Louisiana. Also, the LDEQ is designated to facilitate communication between the EPA and the State. During the 1999 Regular Session of Louisiana Legislature, Act 303 revised the La. R. S. 30:2011 et seq., allowing LDEQ to reengineer the Department to perform more efficiently and to meet its strategic goals.

    It is the intention of the State, through this application, to demonstrate its equivalence and consistency with the federal statutory tests, which are outlined in the United States EPA regulatory requirements under 40 CFR 271 for final authorization. The submittal of this application is in keeping with the spirit and intent of RCRA, which provides equivalent States the opportunity to apply for final delegation to operate all aspects of their hazardous waste management programs in lieu of the federal government. The Louisiana Environmental Quality Act authorizes the State's program, Subtitle II of Title 30 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.

    F. What changes is EPA proposing to authorize with today's action?

    On March 13, 2018, the State of Louisiana submitted a final complete program revision application seeking authorization of their changes in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. Louisiana's program revision application includes revisions to the federal hazardous waste program, as well as state-initiated changes to the state's previously authorized program.

    The EPA proposes to authorize, subject to receipt of written comments that oppose this action that the State of Louisiana's hazardous waste program revisions are equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the federal program, and therefore satisfy all of the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization.

    1. Program Revision Changes for Federal Rules

    The LDEQ program revisions consist of regulations which specifically govern federal hazardous waste revisions promulgated on January 13, 2015, April 8, 2015 and April 17, 2015 (RCRA Cluster XXIV; Checklists 233A, 233B, 233C, 233D2, 233E, 234 and 235). LDEQ's adoption of the January 13, 2015 final rule (80 FR 1694; Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW)), includes provisions that have been vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, 862 F.3d 50 (D.C. Cir. 2017) and Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, No. 09-1038 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 6, 2018). The impact of the vacaturs on the Louisiana hazardous waste program is discussed in Section G of this document. We propose to grant Louisiana final authorization for the requirements which are listed in Table 1.

    Table 1—Program Revision Changes for Federal Rules Description of Federal
  • requirement
  • (include checklist No.,
  • if relevant)
  • Federal Register
  • date and page
  • (and/or RCRA
  • statutory authority)
  • Analogous state authority
    1. Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste. (Checklist 233A) 80 FR 1694-1814 January 13, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. LAC Sections 33:V.105.O.2.c, 33:V.105.O.2.c.i-v, 33:V.105.K, 33:V.105.K.2.c-e, 33:V.105.Q, 33:V.105.Q.1, 33:V.105.Q.1.a-i and 33:V.105.Q.2, as amended June 20, 2017. 2. Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste. (Checklist 233B) 80 FR 1694-1814 January 13, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. LAC Sections 33:V.109 contained, 33:V109. Hazardous secondary material, 33:V.R.1-2, 33:V.105.R.2.a-e, 33:V.105.R.3, 33:V.105.R.3.a-b, 33:V.105.R.4, 33:V.109.solid waste 2.c, 33:V.109.solid waste.2.d and .33:V.109.sham recycling, as amended June 20, 2017. 3. Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste. (Checklist 233C) 80 FR 1694-1814 January 13, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. LAC Section 33:V.109.V.accumulated speculatively, as amended June 20, 2017. 4. Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste. (Checklist 233D2) 80 FR 1694-1814 January 13, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. LAC Sections 33:V.109.facility, 33:V.109 Hazardous secondary material generator, 33:V.109 Intermediate facility, 33:V.109 Land-based unit, 33:V.109 Transfer facility, 33:V.105.O.1, 33: V.105.O.1.b, 33: V.105.O.1.d, 33: V.105.O.1.e, 33:V.105.O.1.b, 33:V.105.O.1.d, LAC 33:V.105.O.1.e, 33:V.105.K.2, 33: V.105.K.2.a, 33:V.105.K.3, 33:V.105.K.3.a , 33:V.105.K.3.b, 33:105.K.3.b.i-iv, 33:V.105.K.3.c, 33:V.105.K.3.c.i-v, 33:V.109.solid waste, 33:V.109.solid waste Table 1, 33:V.105.D.1.x, 33:V.105.D.1.x.i-ix, 33:V.105.D.1.y.vi.(f)—incorporate by reference 40 CFR part 261, subpart H (Financial Requirements for Management of Excluded Hazardous Secondary Materials), 33:V.105.D.1.y.vi.(e)—incorporate by reference 40 CFR part 261, subpart M (Emergency Preparedness and Response for Management of Excluded Hazardous Secondary Materials) and 33: V.322.A, as amended June 20, 2017. 5. Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste. (Checklist 233E) 80 FR 1694-1814 80 FR January 13, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. LAC Sections 33:V.109. remanufacturing, 33:V.109.solid waste, and 33:V.105.D.1.z incorporate by reference 40 CFR 261.4(a)(27) and part 261, subparts I, J, AA, BB and CC, as amended June 20, 2017. 6. Response to Vacaturs of the Comparable Fuels Rule and Gasification Rule. (Checklist 234) 80 FR 18777-18780 April 8, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. Sections LAC 33:V.109.Gasification (Repealed), 33:V.105.D.1.l.i, 33: V.105.D.1.q (Reserved), as amended June 20, 2017. 7. Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities. (Checklist 235) 80 FR 21302-21501 April 17, 2015 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. LAC Sections 33:V.105.D.2.d.(i)-(ii), and 33:V.105.D.2.d.(ii)(a)-(h), as amended June 20, 2017.
    2. State-Initiated Changes

    In addition to adopting the federal program revisions discussed in Section F.1, LDEQ has made amendments to its regulations that are not directly related to any of the federal rules addressed in Item F.1. These changes are categorized as follows: (a) Changes to clarify previously authorized provisions; (b) re-designations and changes made to conform to the renumbering of state provisions, including corrections to internal references and other typographical errors; (c) new provisions added for equivalency to federal provisions; and (d) removal of provisions in order to clarify the state's regulations, or correct errors or duplications.

    LDEQ submitted these state-initiated amendments under the requirements of 40 CFR 271.21(a) and included provisions from the Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 33, Part V, Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Material, Louisiana Hazardous Waste Regulations (LHWR), as amended effective through January 20, 2018. The state's regulations, as amended by these provisions, provide authority which remains equivalent to, and no less stringent than the federal laws and regulations. The EPA has reviewed the state-initiated changes and have determined they satisfy the requirements of 40 CFR 271.21(a).

    We are proposing to grant LDEQ final authorization to carry out the state's hazardous waste program, as amended by the state-initiated changes, in lieu of the federal program. In the Tables below, LDEQ provisions annotated with an asterisk are different from the Federal program; details are discussed in Section G. Unless otherwise indicated, the State provisions listed in the Tables in this section are analogous to the indicated RCRA regulations found at 40 CFR as of July 1, 2015. (Note: Some of the state provisions have no direct federal analog but are related to particular paragraphs, sections, or parts of the federal hazardous waste regulations.)

    (a) Changes To Clarify Previously Authorized Provisions

    The following state provisions contain state-initiated changes that clarify previously authorized provisions to ensure equivalency to the federal regulations or make the state's regulations more internally consistent.

    Table 2a—Changes To Clarify Previously Authorized Provisions To Ensure Consistency and Equivalency State requirement Analogous Federal requirement 309.L.8 270.30(L)(7). 705.B introductory paragraph * 124.15(b) introductory paragraph. 1103 introductory paragraph 262.11 introductory paragraph. 1107.B.1.b 262, Appendix, Items 6 and 7. 1515.A.4 264.16(a) related. 1516.B.5 264.71(a)(3). 1516.B.2.d 264.71(b)(4). 3301.G 264.90(f). 3511.C.2.c and .d 264.112(c)(2)(iii) and (iv). 4037.A introductory paragraph 279.46(a) introductory paragraph. 4053.A introductory paragraph 279.56(a) introductory paragraph. 4053.B introductory paragraph 279.56(b) introductory paragraph. 4071.A introductory paragraph 279.65(a) introductory paragraph. 4085.A introductory paragraph 279.74(a) introductory paragraph. 4105.A.1 a 261.6(a)(3)(i). 4407.A.12 265.145(a)(12). 4501.D introductory paragraph 265.310(d) introductory paragraph. (b) Redesignations, Revisions to Internal References and Correction of Typographical Errors

    The following state provisions contain state-initiated changes made to conform to the renumbering of state provisions, including corrections to internal references and the redesignation of existing provisions to correct provisions' numbering in keeping with the numbering scheme of Louisiana's regulations. Except for the changes at 108.F.4, 108.F.6, 108.G4 and 108.G.6, the changes were made without affecting the stringency of the state's currently authorized program.

    Table 2b—Redesignations and Corrections to Internal References and Other Errors State requirement Analogous Federal requirement 108.F.4 * and F.6 * 261.5(f) related. 108.G.4 * and G.6 * 261.5(g) related. 517.T.4.c.i 270.14(c)(4)(i). 1103.D [was 1103.C] 262.11(d). 1903.C and .D [were 1903.B.5.c and .d] 264.191(c) and (d). 1109.E.1.a.i 262.34(a)(1)(i). 1109.E.7.a 262.34(d)(2). 1109.E.12 262.34(i). 1529.E introductory paragraph 264.77 introductory paragraph. 1751.C.4.b 264.1082(c)(4)(ii). 1901.E 262.34(a)(1)(ii) related. 2203.A “Inorganic metal bearing waste” 268.2(j). 2207.C introductory paragraph 268.3(c). 2209.C 268.30(c). 2211.C 268.31(a)(1), 268.31(c). 2216.D 268.34. 2221.E.3 268.38. 2221.F.5 268.39(e)-(g). 2299, Table 2, Footnote 11 268 related, No direct federal analog. 2299, Table 11 268, Appendix VII, Table 1. 3001.B.2.e 266.100(b)(2)(v). 3203 introductory paragraph 264.601 introductory paragraph. 4301.C [was 4301.B] 265.1(b). 4301.D-D.13.d [was 4301.C-C.13.d] 265.1(c)-265.1(c)(14)(iv). 4301.D.13.e and (f) [was 4301.C.13.f and (f)] 265.1(c)(14) related; No direct Federal analog. 4301.E-.G [were 4301.D-.F] 270.70(a) and (c). 4301.H [was 4301.G] 265.1(d). 4301.I [was 4301.H] 270.70(b). 4301.J [was 4301.I] 265.1(f). 4399.A.9 [was 4399.A.8] 265.141(h). 4513.B.2 265.340(b)(3). (c) New State Provisions Added for Equivalency to Federal Provisions

    LDEQ has adopted the following provisions in order to be equivalent to federal regulations. These state provisions had either not been previously adopted by the state, incorrectly adopted, or had been inadvertently removed from the state's regulations.

    Table 2c—State Provisions Added for Equivalency State requirement Analogous Federal requirement 1103.C 262.11(b). 1109.E.1.a.iv.(b) 262.34(a)(1)(iv)(B). 1516.B.6 264.71(e). 1907.G.2.d 264.193(g)(2)(iv). 2245.L 268.7(a)(10). 4301.B 270.70(a). 4399.A.8 265.141(f) “current plugging and abandonment cost estimate”. 4501.D.3 265.340(b)(2). (d) Removal of Provisions To Clarify State Regulations or Correct Errors

    LDEQ has removed the following provisions in order to clarify the state's regulations because they were not part of the authorized program, or correct errors or duplications, making the state regulations more internally consistent and more consistent with federal. The removed provisions can be found in Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 33, Part V, Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials, Louisiana Hazardous Waste Regulations (LHWR), as amended effective through April 2016.

    Table 2d—State Provisions That Have Been Removed State requirement Analogous Federal requirement 537.B.2.f 270.66 related; No federal analog [not part of authorized program]. 537.B.2.l 270.66 related; No federal analog [not part of authorized program]. 1516.B.5.a and b 264.71(e) [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 2201.G.3 268.1 related [not part of authorized program]. 2203.A “Treatment” 268.2 related, no analog in Part 268 [not part of authorized program]. 2221.A & .B 268.13 related [not part of authorized program]. 2227.B 268.42(b) [non-delegable; not part of authorized program]. 2231.A and .B 268.44(a) and (b) [non-delegable; not part of authorized program]. 2231.C and .D 268.44(d) and (e) [non-delegable; not part of authorized program]. 2231.E and .F 268.44(f)-(g) [non-delegable; not part of authorized program]. 2239 268.5 [non-delegable; not part of authorized program]. 2241 268.6 [non-delegable; not part of authorized program]. 2299, Table 4 268 related, No direct federal analog [not part of authorized program]. 2299, Table 12 268, Appendix XI [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 3511.C.5 264.112(c)(2)(iv) [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 4301.C 265.1(b) & (c) related; 270.70(a) related [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 4301.C.14 265.1(f) [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 4399.A.6.i “current plugging and abandonment cost estimate” 265.141(f) “current plugging and abandonment cost estimate” [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 4399.A.7 “current plugging and abandonment costs” 265.141(f) “current plugging and abandonment cost estimate” [unnecessary or incomplete duplicate]. 4999, Appendix F 265.73 related, No direct federal analog [not part of authorized program]. G. Where are the revised state rules different from the Federal rules? 1. Evaluation and Analysis on When State Regulations Are More Stringent or Broader in Scope Than the Federal Regulations

    Under 40 CFR 271.1(i), EPA allows states to (1) adopt and enforce requirements which are more stringent or more extensive than those required by the federal RCRA program, and (2) operate a program with a greater scope of coverage than that required by the federal program. To determine whether particular state provisions are more stringent or broader in scope, EPA uses the December 23, 2014 guidance document: “Determining Whether State Hazardous Waste Requirements are More Stringent or Broader in Scope than the Federal RCRA Program.” In the guidance document, EPA uses a two-part test to determine if state regulations are MS or BIS. The two-part test requires that the following questions be answered sequentially:

    a. Does imposition of the particular state requirement increase the size of the regulated community or universe of wastes beyond what is covered by the federal program through either directly enforceable requirements or certain conditions for exclusion?

    b. Does the particular requirement under review have a counterpart in the federal regulatory program?

    If the answer to the first part of the test is yes, then the state requirement is generally considered broader in scope. If the answer is no, then EPA uses the second part of the test to determine whether the state requirement is more stringent or broader in scope. If the state requirement has a counterpart in the federal program, the state requirement is classified as more stringent. However, if the state requirement does not have a counterpart, it is classified as broader in scope.

    State provisions that are broader in scope are not part of the federally authorized program and thus, are not federally enforceable.

    2. Louisiana Requirements That Are Broader in Scope Than the Federal Program

    LDEQ has adopted the Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rule published on January 13, 2015 (80 FR 1694). However, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, 862 F.3d 50 (D.C. Cir. 2017) and Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, 883F.3d 918 (D.C. Cir. 2018) vacated certain aspects of the 2015 federal DSW rule and replaced them with provisions from the 2008 DSW rule, see 73 FR 64668 (October 30, 2008). The Court (1) vacated the federal 2015 verified recycler exclusion for hazardous waste that is recycled off-site (except for certain provisions) (40 CFR 261.4(a)(24)) and the associated provisions at 40 CFR 260.30(f) and 260.31(d); (2) reinstated the transfer-based exclusion at 261.4(a)(24) and (25) from the 2008 rule to replace the now vacated 2015 verified recycler exclusion; (3) vacated Factor 4 of the 2015 definition of legitimate recycling in its entirety (40 CFR 260.43(a)(4)); and (4) reinstated the 2008 version of Factor 4 at 40 CFR 260.43(c)(2) to replace the now-vacated 2015 version of Factor 4.

    In order to determine whether the State of Louisiana regulations are more stringent or broader in scope than the federal RCRA program, the EPA used the two-part test described in Section G.1. With respect to the first test, Louisiana regulates the same size of the regulated community and the same universe of hazardous secondary materials as the federal RCRA program. With respect to the second test, EPA has determined that the following State of Louisiana provisions from the 2015 federal DSW rule are broader in scope: Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC), Title 33, Part V, sections 105.O.1.f [260.30(f)], 105.O.2.d [260.31(d)], 105.D.1.y [261.4(a)(24)] with respect to the verified recycler exclusion and 105.R.5 [260.43(a)(4)] with respect to Factor 4 definition of legitimate recycling.

    Due to the vacatur of certain 2015 federal DSW provisions and the reinstatement of 2008 federal DSW provisions, EPA's regulations do not include the provisions that were vacated by the Court.a Louisiana has adopted these vacated provisions, including the vacated 2015 DSW Factor 4 in the definition of legitimate recycling of hazardous secondary material and the verified recycler exclusion.b As a result of the federal vacatur, the Louisiana provisions at LAC:33.V.105.O.1.f, 105.O.2.d, 105.D.1.y and 105.R.5 have no direct analogs in the federal regulations. December 23, 2014 guidance supports this conclusion. On page 6, EPA gives this example “. . . Further, if a state adopts a federal solid or hazardous waste exclusion, but adds additional conditions that must be met for the state exclusion to apply, those additional conditions would be considered outside the scope of the federal program and would not be part of the federally authorized program, although the entity would still be subject to federal enforcement regarding the part of the state regulations which track the federal conditions.” Following the vacatur of portions of the federal rules, Louisiana's program effectively contains additional conditions that must be met for the exclusion to apply. This makes the State's additional provisions broader in scope and not part of the federally authorized program, see 40 CFR part 271.1(i)(2).

    a EPA issued a final rule referred to as the Transfer Base Exclusion reflecting the Court's ruling, see 83 FR 24664 (May 30, 2018).

    b The Federal Register citation for the “2015 DSW rule” is 80 FR 1694, January 13, 2015, and for the “2008 DSW rule” is 73 FR 64668, October 30, 2008.

    The LDEQ provisions that are broader in scope than the federal regulations are not part of the program being proposed to be authorized by today's action. EPA cannot enforce requirements that are broader in scope, although compliance with such provisions is required by Louisiana law. For the purposes of RCRA section 3009, the Agency has determined that the broader in scope provisions are more protective/stricter, thus being within the State's authority to maintain them as part of the State's RCRA program. We make this determination due to the fact that the broader in scope provisions in Louisiana's verified recycler exclusion require additional conditions to be met in order to qualify for the exclusion when compared to the reinstated transfer based exclusion found in 83 FR 24664 (May 30, 2018).

    3. Louisiana Requirements That Are More Stringent Than the Federal Program

    Louisiana's regulations contain certain provisions that are more stringent than is required by the RCRA program. At LAC 33:V.108.F.4 and 108.F.6, LDEQ requires that in order to be excluded from full regulation, conditionally-exempt small quantity generators who generate acute hazardous waste in quantities less than or equal to the specified quantity limitations must comply with the listed notification, EPA ID number, and container labeling requirements. LDEQ also has the same requirements at LAC 33:V.108.G.4 and 108.G.6 for conditionally-exempt small quantity generators who do not exceed the quantity limitation of 100 kg of hazardous waste. The federal regulations do not include such notification, EPA ID, and labeling requirements at 40 CFR 261.5(f) and (g). These provisions clearly meet the test for regulations that are more stringent than the federal requirements. This finding is consistent with United States v. Southern Union, 630 F.3d 17 (1st Cir. 2010) and the December 23, 2014 guidance on page 5 where it states ” For example, a state that does not recognize the CESQG or small quantity generators (SQG) categories, or that imposes additional requirements on CESQGs or SQGs, is not increasing the size of the regulated community, since these generators are managing wastes that are regulated as hazardous at the federal level. CESQGs and SQGs are subject to regulation under the federal program in 40 CFR 261.5 and 40 CFR part 262, respectively. While the requirements imposed on these entities are not as extensive as those for large quantity generators (LQGs), CESQGs and SQGs are regulated entities under the federal program.” Also see page 7 of the 2014 guidance, where EPA further states that these additional requirements are considered more stringent because they cover the same universe of waste handlers as the EPA rules.

    4. Revisions to State Procedural Provisions

    LDEQ has revised the introductory paragraph of LAC 33:V.705.B to allow a final permit decision, or a decision to deny a permit for the active life of a hazardous waste management facility, to become effective upon issuance rather than 30 days after the service of notice of the decision (as found in 40 CFR 124.15(b) introductory paragraph). Under 40 CFR 271.14, states are not required to adopt 40 CFR 124.15; therefore, changes to this state procedural provision do not impact LDEQ's authorized program.

    H. Who handles permits after the final authorization takes effect?

    The State of Louisiana will issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. The EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits which we issued prior to the effective date of this authorization. EPA will not issue new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in Table 1 in this document after the effective date of this authorization.

    The EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which LDEQ is not yet authorized.

    I. How does today's action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Louisiana?

    LDEQ is not authorized to carry out its Hazardous Waste Program in Indian Country within the State. This authority remains with EPA. Therefore, this action has no effect in Indian Country.

    J. What is codification and is the EPA codifying Louisiana's hazardous waste program as authorized in this rule?

    Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the CFR. We do this by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. We reserve the amendment of 40 CFR part 272 subpart T for this authorization of Louisiana's program changes until a later date. In this authorization application, the EPA is not codifying the rules documented in this Federal Register notice.

    K. Administrative Requirements

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action (RCRA State Authorization) from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). Therefore, this action is not subject to review by OMB. This action proposes to authorize State requirements pursuant to RCRA 3006, and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Because this proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 12866, this proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017), entitled Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Accordingly, this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action proposes to authorize pre-existing requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it 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). For the same reason, this proposed action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely proposes to authorize State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA.

    This proposed action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant and it does not make decisions based on environmental health or safety risks. This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355 May 22, 2001), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    Under RCRA 3006(b), the EPA grants a State's application for authorization as long as the State meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for the EPA, when it reviews a State authorization application, to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that otherwise satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this proposed rule, the EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. The EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the proposed rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the Executive Order. This proposed rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. Because this rule authorizes pre-existing State rules which are at least equivalent to, and no less stringent than existing federal requirements, and impose no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law, and there are no anticipated significant adverse human health or environmental effects, the proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 12898.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous waste, Hazardous waste transportation, Indian lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    This action is issued under the authority of sections 2002(a), 3006, and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, 6974(b).

    Dated: August 28, 2018. David Gray, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19195 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R10-RCRA-2018-0298; FRL-9983-15—Region 10] Idaho: Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Idaho has applied to the EPA for authorization of certain changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended. The EPA has reviewed Idaho's application and has determined that these changes satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization and is proposing to authorize the State's changes. The EPA seeks public comment prior to taking final action.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed action must be received on or before October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-RCRA-2018-0298 by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected].

    Mail: Barbara McCullough, U.S. EPA, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 155, Mail Stop OAW-150, Seattle, Washington 98101.

    Hand Delivery: Barbara McCullough, U.S. EPA, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 155, Mail Stop OAW-150, Seattle, Washington 98101. Such deliveries are only accepted during the normal business hours of operation; special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R10-RCRA-2018-0298. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov website is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment through www.regulations.gov, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 10 Library, 1200 Sixth Avenue, First Floor Lobby, Seattle, Washington 98101. The EPA Region 10 Library is open from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The EPA Region 10 Library telephone number is (206) 553-1289.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara McCullough, U.S. EPA, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 155, Mail Stop OAW-150, Seattle, Washington 98101, email: [email protected] or phone number (206) 553-2416.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Proposed Authorization Revision A. Why are revisions to state programs necessary?

    States that have received final authorization from the EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program changes, States must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize their changes. Changes to State programs may be necessary when Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur. Most commonly, States must change their programs because of changes to the EPA's regulations codified in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 124, 260 through 268, 270, 273, and 279.

    B. What decisions have we made in this proposed rule?

    The EPA has determined that Idaho's application to revise its authorized program meets the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA. Therefore, we propose to grant Idaho final authorization to operate its hazardous waste management program with the changes described in the authorization application. Idaho will continue to have responsibility for permitting Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) within its borders (except in Indian country) and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA, and which are not less stringent than existing requirements, take effect in authorized States before the States are authorized for the requirements. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Idaho, including issuing permits, until Idaho is granted authorization to do so.

    C. What is the effect of this proposed authorization decision?

    If Idaho is authorized for these changes, a facility in Idaho subject to RCRA will have to comply with the authorized State requirements in lieu of the corresponding Federal requirements to comply with RCRA. Additionally, such facilities will have to comply with any applicable Federal requirements, such as HSWA regulations issued by the EPA for which the State has not received authorization and RCRA requirements that are not supplanted by authorized State requirements. Idaho continues to have enforcement authorities and responsibilities under its State hazardous waste management program for violations of its program. However, the EPA retains authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which includes, among others, the authority to:

    • Conduct inspections, which may include but is not limited to requiring monitoring, tests, analyses, and/or reports;

    • Enforce RCRA requirements, which may include but is not limited to suspending, terminating, modifying, and/or revoking permits; and

    • Take enforcement actions regardless of whether Idaho has taken its own actions.

    The action to approve these revisions will not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which Idaho is requesting authorization are already effective under State law and are not changed by the act of authorization.

    D. What happens if the EPA receives comments on this action?

    If the EPA receives comments on this action, we will address those comments in a later final action. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this proposed authorization, you should do so at this time.

    E. What has Idaho previously been authorized for?

    Idaho initially received final authorization for its hazardous waste management program effective April 9, 1990 (55 FR 11015, March 26, 1990). Subsequently, the EPA authorized revisions to the State's program effective June 5, 1992 (57 FR 11580, April 6, 1992), August 10, 1992 (57 FR 24757, June 11, 1992), June 11, 1995 (60 FR 18549, April 12, 1995), January 19, 1999 (63 FR 56086, October 21, 1998), July 1, 2002 (67 FR 44069, July 1, 2002), March 10, 2004 (69 FR 11322, March 10, 2004), July 22, 2005 (70 FR 42273, July 22, 2005), February 26, 2007 (72 FR 8283, February 26, 2007), December 23, 2008 (73 FR 78647, December 23, 2008), July 11, 2012 (77 FR 34229, June 11, 2012) and September 21, 2015 (80 FR 20726, August 20, 2015).

    F. What changes are we proposing to authorize?

    On March 29, 2018, Idaho submitted a program revision application to the EPA requesting authorization for all delegable Federal hazardous waste regulations codified as of July 1, 2016, incorporated by reference in IDAPA 58.01.05.000 et seq., which were adopted and effective in the State of Idaho on March 29, 2017. This authorization revision request includes the following federal rules for which Idaho is being authorized for the first time: Conditional Exclusions from Solid and Hazardous Waste for Solvent Contaminated Wipes (78 FR 46448, July 31, 2013); Conditional Exclusion for Carbon Dioxide Streams in Geologic Sequestration Activities (79 FR 350, January 3, 2014); Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System—Electronic Manifests (79 FR 7518, February 7, 2014); Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste—CFR Correction (79 FR 35290, June 20, 2014); Revisions to the Export Provisions of Cathode Ray Tube Rule (79 FR 36220, June 26, 2014); Definition of Solid Waste (80 FR 1694, January 13, 2015); Response to Vacaturs of the Comparable Fuels Rule and the Gasification Rule (80 FR 18777, April 8, 2015); Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities (80 FR 21302, April 17, 2015); Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities—Correction of the Effective Date (80 FR 37988, July 2, 2015); and Transboundary Shipments of Hazardous Wastes Between OECD Member Countries—Revisions to the List of OECD Member Countries (80 FR 37992, July 2, 2015).

    The EPA proposes to authorize Idaho's revised hazardous waste program in its entirety through July 1, 2016, as described above. The EPA seeks public comment prior to taking final action.

    G. Where are the revised State rules different from the Federal rules?

    Under RCRA section 3009, the EPA may not authorize State law that is less stringent than the Federal program. Any State law that is less stringent does not supplant the Federal regulations. State law that is broader in scope than the Federal program requirements is not authorized. State law that is equivalent to, and State law that is more stringent than, the Federal program may be authorized, in which case those provisions are enforceable by the EPA. This section discusses certain rules in this proposed action where the EPA has made the finding that Idaho's program is broader in scope, and discusses certain portions of the Federal program that are not delegable to the State because of the Federal government's special role in foreign policy matters and because of national concerns that arise with certain decisions.

    Idaho is currently broader in scope than the Federal program in its adoption of 40 CFR 260.43 (2015) and 40 CFR 261.4(a)(24) (2015) at IDAPA 58.01.05.004 and 58.01.05.005. Both of these regulations include provisions from the 2015 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rule that have been vacated and replaced with the less stringent requirements found at 40 CFR 260.43 (2018) and 40 CFR 261.4(a)(24) and (25) (2018), which were reinstated from the 2008 DSW Rule. Idaho will be revising its regulations to include this update as required by the vacatur to be equivalent to the Federal program.

    The EPA cannot delegate certain Federal requirements associated with the following rules: Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System—Electronic Manifests (79 FR 7518, February 7, 2014), Revisions to the Export Provisions of Cathode Ray Tube Rule (79 FR 36220, June 26, 2014), and Transboundary Shipments of Hazardous Wastes Between OECD Member Countries—Revisions to the List of OECD Member Countries (80 FR 37992, July 2, 2015). Idaho has adopted these requirements and appropriately preserved EPA's authority to implement them.

    H. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

    Idaho will continue to issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. If the EPA issued permits prior to authorizing Idaho for these revisions, these permits would continue in force until the effective date of the State's issuance or denial of a State hazardous waste permit, at which time the EPA would modify the existing EPA permit to expire at an earlier date, terminate the existing EPA permit for cause, or allow the existing EPA permit to otherwise expire by its terms, except for those facilities located in Indian country. The EPA will not issue new permits or new portions of permits for provisions for which Idaho is authorized. The EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Idaho is not authorized.

    I. How does this action affect Indian country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Idaho?

    Idaho is not authorized to carry out its hazardous waste program in Indian country, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151. Indian country includes:

    1. All lands within the exterior boundaries of Indian reservations within or abutting the State of Idaho;

    2. Any land held in trust by the U.S. for an Indian tribe; and

    3. Any other land, whether on or off an Indian reservation, that qualifies as Indian country. Therefore, this program revision does not extend to Indian country where the EPA will continue to implement and administer the RCRA program.

    II. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action proposes to revise the State of Idaho's authorized hazardous waste management program pursuant to section 3006 of RCRA and imposes no requirements other than those currently imposed by State law. This authorization complies with applicable executive orders and statutory provisions as follows:

    A. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), Federal agencies must determine whether the regulatory action is “significant”, and therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the E.O. The E.O. defines “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way, the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the E.O. The EPA has determined that this proposed authorization is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of E.O. 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because this proposed authorization does not establish or modify any information or recordkeeping requirements for the regulated community and only seeks to propose authorization for the pre-existing requirements under State law and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law.

    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing, and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires Federal agencies to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. For purposes of assessing the impacts of this proposed authorization on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business defined by the Small Business Administration's size regulations at 13 CFR part 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district, or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. I certify that this proposed authorization will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the proposed authorization will only have the effect of authorizing pre-existing requirements under State law and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the EPA generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the EPA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of Section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, Section 205 allows the EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the Administrator publishes with the rule an explanation why the alternative was not adopted. Before the EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including tribal governments, it must have developed under Section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the development of the EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements. This proposed authorization contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. It proposes to impose no new enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Similarly, the EPA has also determined that this proposed authorization contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small government entities. Thus, this proposed authorization is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 203 of the UMRA.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This proposed authorization does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government, as specified in E.O. 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This document proposes to authorize pre-existing State rules. Thus, E.O. 13132 does not apply to this proposed authorization.

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

    Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951, November 9, 2000), requires the EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This proposed authorization does not have tribal implications, as specified in E.O. 13175 because the EPA retains its authority over Indian Country. Thus, E.O. 13175 does not apply to this proposed authorization.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under Section 5-501 of the E.O. has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not subject to E.O. 13045 because it proposes to approve a state program.

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

    This proposed authorization is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined under E.O. 12866, as discussed in detail above.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (“NTTAA”), (Pub. L. 104-113, 12(d)) (15 U.S.C. 272), directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus bodies. The NTTAA directs the EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Federal agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. This proposed authorization does not involve technical standards. Therefore, the EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. The EPA has determined that this proposed authorization will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations. This proposed authorization does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment because this document proposes to authorize pre-existing State rules which are equivalent to and no less stringent than existing Federal requirements.

    K. The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801-808

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801-808, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this document and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous materials transportation, Hazardous waste, Indians—lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority

    This proposed action is issued under the authority of sections 1006, 2002(a), 3006, and 3024 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912(a), 6926, and 6939g.

    Dated: August 22, 2018. Chris Hladick, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19259 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 7 [FAR Case 2017-017; Docket No. 2017-0017, Sequence No. 1] RIN 9000-AN63 Federal Acquisition Regulation: Rental Cost Analysis in Equipment Acquisitions AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to clarify the term “lease.”

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division at one of the addresses shown below on or before November 5, 2018 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to FAR Case 2017-017 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “FAR Case 2017-017” under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “FAR Case 2017-017.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2017-017” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory-Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Lois Mandell, 1800 F Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite “FAR case 2017-017” in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For clarification of content, contact Mr. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, at 202-208-4949. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite “FAR Case 2017-017.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the FAR to clarify, in FAR subpart 7.4, Equipment Lease or Purchase, that the term “lease,” as used in the subpart, includes the “rental” of equipment. This change clarifies that agencies should be evaluating comparative costs and other factors when considering whether to lease or rent equipment versus purchase equipment. The rule also adds a helpful link to a GSA site that provides additional guidance on renting and leasing equipment and updates the GSA office from which agencies may request information when making lease or purchase decisions. In addition, weblinks have been added to the rule for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance for lease-purchase analysis, see Special Guidance for Lease-purchase Analysis (Section 13 of (OMB) Circular A-94, also see 8.c.(2)); and OMB Circular A-11 Appendix B Budgetary Treatment of Lease-Purchases and Leases of Capital Assets.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    This rule proposes to amend FAR subpart 7.4, as follows:

    • Adding language to the scope of the subpart to clarify that the term “lease”, as used in the subpart, applies to both the lease and rental of equipment, and to identify some general factors that may vary when leasing or renting equipment.

    • Adding a GSA website that provides information that could assist the contracting officer in making equipment lease or purchase decisions, and updating the GSA office to contact when an agency requests assistance with the lease versus purchase analysis decision. In addition, weblinks have been added to the rule for OMB guidance for lease-purchase analysis.

    III. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and for Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Items

    This rule amends the FAR to clarify that although the term “lease” applies to both the lease and rental of equipment, there are some differences between renting and leasing in many industries, and there is no standard distinction between both renting and leasing that spans across all industries. This case does not add any new provisions or clauses or impact any existing provisions or clauses.

    IV. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    V. Executive Order 13771

    This rule is not subject to E.O. 13771, because this rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866.

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    DoD, GSA, and NASA do not expect this rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act codified at 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. However, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) has been performed and is summarized as follows:

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to clarify, in FAR subpart 7.4, that the term “lease” includes the “rental” of equipment. This change clarifies that agencies should be evaluating comparative costs and other factors when considering whether to lease or rent equipment versus purchase equipment.

    The objective of the rule is to ensure the value of rental agreements are included in the decision on whether to lease or purchase equipment. The legal basis for the FAR is 40 U.S.C. 121(c), 10 U.S.C. chapter 137, and 51 U.S.C. 20113.

    Based on Fiscal Year 2016 data from the Federal Procurement Data System, the Government issued approximately 34,925 contract actions for the rent/lease or purchase of equipment. Of the 34,925 contract actions, approximately 20,100 awards were made to 6,670 unique small business entities. The average award to small businesses was valued at approximately $700,000.

    This rule does not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. There are no known significant alternative approaches to the proposed rule that would meet the applicable requirement.

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat Division. DoD, GSA and NASA invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule consistent with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (FAR Case 2017-017) in correspondence.

    VII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 7

    Government procurement.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. William F. Clark, Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend 48 CFR part 7 as set forth below:

    PART 7—ACQUISITION PLANNING 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113.

    2. Revise section 7.400 to read as follows:
    § 7.400 Scope of subpart.

    This subpart provides guidance pertaining to the decision to acquire equipment by lease or purchase. It applies to both the initial acquisition of equipment and the renewal or extension of existing equipment leases. The term “lease”, as used in this subpart, applies to both the lease and rental of equipment. While there are some differences between renting and leasing in many industries, there is no standard distinction between both renting and leasing that spans across all industries. Rental agreements are typically for shorter periods of time than lease agreements. Additionally, maintenance requirements and financial terms (e.g., fees or payment terms) differ between a lease and a rental agreement.

    § 7.401 [Amended]
    2. Amend section 7.401 by removing from paragraph (a)(3) “rental payments” and adding “lease, or other periodic payments, however described,” in its place. 3. Amend section 7.403 by revising the section heading and paragraph (b), and adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 7.403 General Services Administration assistance and OMB Guidance.

    (b) Agencies may request information from the following GSA office: GSA FAS National Customer Service Center by phone at 1-800-488-3111 or by email at [email protected] Additional information to assist with deciding whether to purchase or lease equipment is available at https://www.gsa.gov/acquisition/purchasing-programs/gsa-schedules/list-of-gsa-schedules/schedule-51-vhardware-superstore/equipment-rental-and-leasing.

    (c) See Special Guidance for Lease-purchase Analysis (Section 13 of OMB Circular A-94, also see 8.c.(2)) at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/circulars/A94/a094.pdf and OMB Circular A-11 Appendix B Budgetary Treatment of Lease-Purchases and Leases of Capital Assets at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/app_b.pdf.

    [FR Doc. 2018-19177 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019; 4500090024] RIN 1018-BC78 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassifying the Golden Conure From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to delist or downlist the golden conure under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The golden conure is a psittacine bird (parrots, parakeets, macaws, cockatoos, and others) endemic to the south Amazon Basin in Brazil. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the golden conure as a threatened species is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list it as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would reclassify the golden conure from endangered to threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). Additionally, we are proposing to update the List to reflect the latest scientifically accepted taxonomy and nomenclature for the species as Guaruba guarouba, golden conure.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 5, 2018. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by October 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Don Morgan, Chief, Branch of Delisting and Foreign Species, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone, 703-358-2171. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Information Requested Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments and information from other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) Reasons why we should or should not reclassify the golden conure from an endangered species to a threatened species under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    (2) The golden conure's biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;

    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and

    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both.

    (3) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include:

    (a) Habitat modification or destruction (e.g., information regarding future rates of deforestation or other forms of habitat loss or degradation within the known range of the golden conure);

    (b) Overutilization, including information regarding illegal collection and trade;

    (c) Disease or predation;

    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting the species' continued existence.

    (4) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats.

    (5) Information on the locations of any additional or newly discovered populations of this species. See Appendix B in the species status assessment report (SSA) for a list of known localities used by the golden conure (available under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019 on http://www.regulations.gov.

    (6) Information on the number of captive-bred golden conures in Brazil.

    (7) Information regarding current or future rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon as they may correlate to current or projected gross domestic product (GDP) in that country.

    (8) The appropriateness of the conservation measures proposed under section 4(d) of the Act, including those that would allow the import and export of certain golden conures into and from the United States and certain acts in interstate commerce without a permit under the Act.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as electronic copies of scientific journal articles or other publications, preferably in English) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Headquarters Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act provides for a public hearing on this proposal, if requested within 45 days of the date of publication of this proposed rule. Requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and received by the date specified in DATES.

    Peer Review

    The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our reclassification determination is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, memorandum updating and clarifying the role of peer review of listing actions under the Act, we sought the expert opinions of five appropriate specialists regarding the SSA report that informed this proposed rule. The peer reviewers have expertise in (1) the life history of the golden conure, (2) birds of the Amazon, and (3) the effects of habitat degradation and deforestation on Amazonian birds. We received responses from four of the five peer reviewers, which we took into account in our SSA and this proposed rule. Their comments and suggestions can be found online at https://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/peer_review_process.html. We invite any additional comments from the peer reviewers on the proposed rule during the public comment period on this proposed rule (see DATES, above); all comments received from peer reviewers will be available, along with other public comments, in the docket for this proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019.

    Previous Federal Actions

    On May 22, 1975, the Fund for Animals, Inc., petitioned us to list 216 taxa of plants and animals, including the “golden parakeet,” as an endangered species pursuant to the Act. On September 26, 1975, we proposed to list the “golden parakeet (Aratinga guaruba)” as endangered (40 FR 44329). On June 14, 1976 (41 FR 24062), we finalized the listing as endangered.

    On August 21, 2014, we received a petition from the American Federation of Aviculture, Inc. (AFA), requesting that the golden conure be removed from the List or reclassified as a threatened species. The AFA also requested that if we determined that downlisting to threatened status was warranted, we develop a rule under section 4(d) of the Act (also called a 4(d) rule) that would allow for import and export of certain golden conures into and from the United States, and interstate commerce of the species under certain circumstances.

    On April 10, 2015, we published in the Federal Register (80 FR 19259), a 90-day finding for the 2014 petition, concluding that the petition provided substantial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted, and we initiated a status review for this species.

    On July 29, 2017, the AFA filed a complaint under the Act to compel the Service to issue a 12-month finding regarding the AFA's petition, pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)(B). On November 6, 2017, the AFA and the Service entered into a settlement agreement whereby the Service agreed to submit a 12-month finding for the golden conure to the Federal Register for publication no later than September 1, 2018. This proposed rule constitutes the 12-month finding and our 5-year status review for the golden conure.

    Background Species Status Assessment (SSA) Report for the Golden Conure

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, ecology, and overall viability of the golden conure is presented in the SSA Report (Service 2018; available at Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019 on http://www.regulations.gov). The following discussion is a summary of the information and analyses from the SSA Report.

    Current Conservation Status

    The golden conure is currently listed as endangered under the Act (41 FR 24062; June 14, 1976) and the species is considered “Vulnerable” at the national level in Brazil (MMA 2014, p. 122). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently reclassified the species from endangered to vulnerable because its population is estimated to be larger than previously thought (Bird Life International (BLI) 2017, unpaginated). IUCN's “vulnerable” listing acknowledges that the species nevertheless has a small estimated population that is expected to experience a rapid decline over the next three generations due to habitat loss and limited pressure from poaching (BLI 2017, unpaginated). The species is also included in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I (CITES 2018a, unpaginated). CITES is an international treaty for the conservation of wild fauna and flora subject to trade; species on CITES Appendix I are considered threatened with extinction and international trade is permitted only under exceptional circumstances, which generally precludes commercial trade (CITES 2016, unpaginated).

    Species Description

    The golden conure is a large, 34-centimeter (13-inch), macaw-like bird with striking yellow plumage and green flight feathers (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Parr and Juniper 2010, p. 436). The sexes are similar in appearance, but in first-year juveniles the yellow color is variably streaked with green—most often on the back of the head, nape and chest (Forshaw 2017, p. 223; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Reynolds 2003, p. 10).

    Taxonomy

    The golden conure was first documented in 1788 (ITIS 2017, unpaginated) and was later noted in the manuscripts of European explorers to Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries (Yamashita 2003, p. 38). It was originally placed in its own (monotypic) genus Guaruba, then subsequently placed in the genus Aratinga by some authors (Peters 1937; Pinto 1978; Forshaw 1989, as cited in Tavares et al. 2004, p. 239), while others placed it in the genus Conurus (Salvadori 1891; Miranda Ribeiro 1920, as cited in Tavares et al. 2004, p. 239).

    Researchers have since noted that its behaviors, including reproduction and vocalization, differ markedly from those of Aratinga species and have recommended that the golden conure's scientific name be returned to the monotypic genus Guaruba (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Sick 1990, p. 112). Additionally, recent genetic analyses indicate that the golden conure is more closely related to the red-shouldered macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis) and the blue-crowned parakeet (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) (Urantówka and Mackiewicz 2017, entire), than to the Aratinga parakeets (Tavares et al. 2004, pp. 230, 236-237, 239). Therefore, the golden conure is recognized as Guaruba guarouba by (1) the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2017, unpaginated); (2) the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee (Piacentini et al. 2015, p. 163); (3) Taxonomy of Birds of the World (Clements et al. 2017, unpaginated); and (4) Birdlife International (BLI 2017, unpaginated). Based upon our review of the best available information, we recognize the golden conure as a valid full species in the monotypic genus Guaruba and we are proposing to correct its scientific name to Guaruba guarouba on the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (see Proposed Technical Correction, below).

    Abundance and Distribution

    In general, the golden conure is relatively poorly studied and information on local abundance and distribution of populations throughout the range is limited (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 303). An earlier global population estimate (i.e., from 2010 and earlier) indicated fewer than 2,500 individuals remained, but a 2011 estimate signaled the global population contained 10,875 individuals within 174,000 square kilometers (km2) (67,182 square miles (mi2)) of suitable habitat (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311). This estimate was derived using: (1) Occurrence data obtained after 1987, that extended the species' known range considerably to the southwest; (2) a density estimate calculated from a conure survey in western Pará in 2007 (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311); and (3) estimates of suitable habitat within the known area of occurrence from a habitat modeling study in 2009 (Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009). However, because the golden conure has a patchy distribution and is poorly studied, more survey work would be required to produce better estimates.

    The species' current known range includes portions of the following four states in Brazil (noted from east to west): (1) The western part of Maranhão; (2) the central region of Pará; (3) the extreme southeast of Amazonas; and (4) the northeastern portion of Rondônia (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated). Additionally, the species was recorded in a fifth state, the northern portion of Mato Grosso, in the 1990s (Lo 1995, entire), but there have been no recent sightings in that area (Moura in litt. 2018; BLI 2016, p. 2; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 3; Albertani et al. 1997, p. 135).

    The species' historical range once extended farther eastward (to more eastern portions of the states of Pará and Maranhão), but the habitat there was mostly deforested in the 1970s and 1980s (Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 5). The golden conure is believed to be extirpated from these regions (BLI 2017, unpaginated; BLI 2016, p. 3; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 5), which represented approximately 30 to 35 percent of the historical range (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 8).

    The species is limited to regions where extensive stands of tall Amazonian rainforest are still present (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 331). Although the species can tolerate some disturbance in the forest, the golden conure is absent from landscapes with advanced deforestation; flocks disappear seasonally from the fragmented landscapes, indicating that they require intact forest (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated).

    The best estimate of the geographic distribution of the golden conure is based on recent records and habitat modeling (see Service 2018, Figures 5 and 6, pp. 19-20; Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, entire). The total current range of the golden conure is estimated to be no more than 340,000 km2 (131,275 mi2) (Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 3). The species' distribution within this range is not continuous and is described as patchy—possibly associated with the distribution of specific nesting or food resources (Laranjeiras 2008, as cited in Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 6). The estimated suitable habitat for the golden conure within this range is 174,000 km2 (67,182 mi2) (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311). However, parrots can cross great gaps and are capable of flying long distances (Lees and Peres 2009, pp. 284, 286); thus, it is possible that some of the recent records of the golden conure that extended the range represent vagrant groups (Moura in litt. 2018). Because the species has a patchy distribution within its range, extrapolation of densities to estimate the global population is problematic, and population estimates throughout the range are needed (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated).

    Habitat

    The golden conure lives in in Brazil's lower Amazon basin, in an area south of the Amazon River, east of the Madeira River, and north of the Brazilian Shield (Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 9). The Brazilian Shield is a region formed of Precambrian crystalline rocks that may be exposed or covered by layers of sedimentary rocks (Buckup 2011, p. 203). The species occupies primary (old growth) terra firme (unflooded) rainforest on undulating landscapes in the lowlands at elevation at or under 300 meters (984 feet) (Sick 1997, as cited by Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated). However, the species has also has been recorded in the regrowth of secondary forests and in igapó (seasonally flooded) forests while feeding (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated, citing several sources; Laranjeiras 2011b, pp. 308-309; Oren and Noveas 1986, p. 332; Laranjeiras 2008a, as cited in Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated). The majority of golden conure groups appear to be resident (i.e., non-migratory), even in the post-reproductive period (Laranjeiras 2008, as cited in Forshaw 2017, p. 226; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Yamashita 2003, p. 38).

    The golden conure uses large, old growth, hardwood trees (Yamashita 2003, p. 38) for cavity nesting (Oren and Novaes 1986, pp. 333-334). In most cases, the species uses the same tree for nesting and roosting (BLI 2016, p. 4; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Yamashita 2003, p. 38). Most known nest and roost cavities have been found high in tall, standing, dead trees within a small, disturbed (cleared) area adjacent to continuous forest. The golden conure seems to prefer using isolated trees (i.e., some distance from a neighboring tree) for nesting likely because isolated trees provide better protection against terrestrial or arboreal predators (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Kyle 2005, p. 3). To date, we are aware of 7 different species of hardwood trees used for nesting (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 308; Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated; Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 333; Lima et al. 2014, p. 323) and more than 28 species of fruiting trees used for feeding (Service 2018, pp. 10, 60-61).

    Biology

    The golden conure is frugivorous (fruit-eating), and its diet varies throughout the year and across its distribution (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated). The species eats whole fruit, seeds, pulp, buds and flowers, nectar, and peels; it will also feed on cultivated plants such as corn (Zea mays) and mangoes (Mangifera indica) (Laranjeiras 2011b, pp. 308-309; Oren and Noveas 1986, p. 332).

    Breeding and nesting take place during the wet months, generally from November or December through April (Forshaw 2017, p. 227; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 332). The social structure and breeding behavior of the golden conure appear to be unique from that of other members of the parrot family in that the species engages in communal brood-rearing. The golden conure remains in flocks made up of family groups or clans (averaging 10 individuals) (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated), and individuals in the group (referred to as “reproductive helpers”) assist in rearing the young. Most other large parrots are believed to incubate and rear young in pairs (Albertani et al. 1997, pp. 135-136).

    The golden conure's communal brood-rearing includes the use of one or two uncommon reproductive strategies where the flock is either made up of (1) multiple related nesting pairs with reproductive helpers (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 333), or (2) a single leading pair with juveniles from different generations acting as helpers (Reynolds 2003, p. 12; Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 333). Nest protection seems to be an important part of communal brood-rearing, and a group will vigorously defend the nest in response to potential competitors or predators (Forshaw 2017, p. 228; Laranjeiras 2008a, as cited in Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated).

    Most of the information regarding development of the young is from captive birds. Eggs hatch within 28 to 30 days (Arndt 1996, as cited by Forshaw 2017, p. 227; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 333). Nestlings reach adult size in about 60 days (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated) and fledge at approximately 55-60 days post hatch (Arndt 1996, as cited by Forshaw 2017, p. 227). The post-reproductive period, when first year juveniles can be seen in the flocks at feeding sites in the wild, is from March or April to July or August (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 304; Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 332).

    First-year juveniles always stay with the family group and can be easily identified by their green-streaked plumage (Yamashita 2003, p. 38). Juveniles attain adult plumage in a molt when they are about 1 year old (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated). Fledged chicks and juveniles will beg for food from foraging adults (Kyle 2005, p. 4). Annual survival information is limited, but first-year juveniles represent no more than 13 percent of the individuals in flocks (Laranjeiras 2008a, as cited in Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated). In some areas (e.g., in eastern Pará, where trapping for the illegal pet trade has occurred), the percentage of observed first-year juveniles in the flocks was zero (Reynolds 2003 as cited by Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 309).

    In captivity, adults reach sexual maturity at about 3 years of age (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 333), with the average age for successful breeding occurring between 6 and 8 years (Reynolds, 2003, p. 12). Lifespan for the golden conure in the wild is not known, although the generation length was estimated as 7.4 years (BLI 2016, unpaginated) and the maximum age recorded for the species in captivity was 60 years with a median age of 14 years (calculated using adults ≥4 years; n = 190) (Young et al. 2011, p. 35). Information is lacking on the species' carrying capacity, birth rates, nesting success, and home range (broadly defined as confined areas where individuals conduct their day-to-day activities (Boitani and Fuller 2000, p. 65).

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    A species is an “endangered species” for purposes of the Act if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and is a “threatened species” if it is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for listing species, reclassifying species, or removing species from listed status. A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species due to one or more of the five listing factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. A species may be removed from listed status (i.e., “delisted”) or reclassified on the same basis. Our analysis of threats is an evaluation of both the threats currently facing the species and the threats that are reasonably likely to affect the species in the foreseeable future without the Act's protections.

    In our analysis, we considered conservation measures (primarily the use of protected areas) as part of the current condition and projected future scenarios to evaluate viability of the species (Service 2018, pp. 42-47). We generally define viability as the ability the golden conure to sustain populations in natural ecosystems and disturbed habitats over time. Using the SSA framework, we considered what the species needs to maintain viability by evaluating the species in terms of resiliency, redundancy, and representation (Wolf et al. 2015, entire). For further information on viability, see the SSA Report (http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019).

    When we listed the golden conure as endangered in 1976, the species was perceived to be declining in numbers due to any one the following factors, or a combination of all three factors: The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A); overutilization of the species for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B); or the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) (41 FR 24062; June 14, 1976).

    The golden conure presently faces the most risk from loss and degradation of its habitat from deforestation originating from multiple anthropogenic activities (Factor A) (BLI 2016, p. 4; IBAMA 2003 and SEMA 2007, as cited by Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Collar 1992, p. 5). Habitat loss and degradation is likely to be intensified by synergistic effects associated with the consequences of climate change (Staal et al. 2015, p. 2) (Factor E). Climate projections include increased temperatures, dryer conditions, and more extreme weather (including droughts), which have the potential to stress trees and cause tree mortality (Fearnside 2009, pp. 1003, 1005). These conditions also increase the unintentional spread of fires, further contributing to deforestation (Fearnside 2009, p. 1005). Additionally, the golden conure is still being illegally collected and traded within Brazil, at some unknown level, for the live pet bird trade (Factor B). These threats and other potential stressors are discussed in detail in the SSA Report and are summarized below.

    Habitat Loss—Deforestation

    Large-scale deforestation in the Amazon has occurred since the 1970s and 1980s concurrent with the growth of Brazil's economy (GFA 2017, unpaginated). The Brazilian Amazon is approximately the size of Western Europe, and as of 2016, an area the size of France has been lost to deforestation (Fearnside 2017a, pp. 1, 3). Approximately 30 to 35 percent of the golden conure's range has already been lost to deforestation, primarily in the eastern states of Pará and Maranhão (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 8), and another 23 to 30 percent of the golden conure's habitat is predicted to be lost within 22 years or three generations (Bird et al. 2011 Appendix S1),

    The golden conure's range partially overlaps what is known as the “arc of deforestation,” an area in the southeastern Amazon where rates of deforestation and forest fragmentation have been the highest (Prioste et al. 2012, p. 701; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 8). After a long period of deforestation in the Amazon, rates dropped dramatically during the years from 2005 to 2011 (Alves et al. 2017, p. 76; Fearnside 2017b, p. 1; Prodes 2017, unpaginated; Hochstetler and Viola 2012, p. 759)). Deforestation declined from an annual average of about 21,000 km2 (8,108 mi2) per year for the 5-year period between 2000 to 2004—to 7,000 km2 (2,703 mi2) in 2009 (Petherick 2013, p. 8; Hochstetler and Viola 2012, p. 759).

    Despite these declines, the total area deforested in Brazil's Amazon has risen steadily since deforestation rates were first measured in 1988 (IPAM 2017, p. 7 using PRODES 2017 data). More recently, deforestation rates are increasing again (Fearnside 2017b, p. 1; IPAM 2017, p. 15; Biderman and Nogueron 2016, unpaginated), as global demand for agricultural commodities continues to rise (Brando et al. 2016, abstract), and the “arc of deforestation” could continue to be a hotspot (Alves et al. 2017, p. 76).

    An area does not have to be mostly deforested to lose value as suitable habitat for forest-dependent species such as the golden conure. Deforestation itself creates isolation of remnant forest patches and forest edge effects (Barlow et al. 2016, p. 144; Ewers and Didham 2006, pp. 123-124). Edge effects decrease habitat quality within remaining patches and the functional connectivity between them (Zurita et al. 2012, p. 504, citing many sources). Additionally, disturbance within the forest remnant, such as selective logging and increased fires, changes forest structure and species composition, generally reducing biodiversity (Barlow et al. 2016, p. 144).

    Forest habitat degradation and fragmentation typically begin with road construction and subsequent human settlement. Activities resulting from human settlement include: (1) An increased network of unofficial roads; (2) logging; (3) crop production and cattle ranching; (4) increased fires; and (4) further infrastructure development, including more roads, dams and hydroelectric projects, and mining (GFA 2018a, b, c, and d, unpaginated; GFA 2017, unpaginated; Sonter et al. 2017, entire; Barber et al. 2014, entire; BLI 2016, unpaginated; Yamashita 2003, p. 38).

    Roads have a major effect on Amazon deforestation. Deforestation is much higher near roads (including unofficial roads) and rivers (Barber et al. 2014, entire). Nearly 95 percent of all deforestation occurred within 5.5 km (3.4 mi) of roads or 1 km (0.6 mi) of rivers (Barber et al. 2014, pp. 203, 205, 208). Unofficial roads are rapidly expanding in the region and contribute to further degradation, including logging, new colonization, forest fragmentation, and increased fire risk (Barber et al. 2014, p. 203).

    Logging in the Amazon was once restricted to areas bordering major rivers but the construction of highways and strategic access roads, coupled with the depletion of hardwood stocks in the south of Brazil, made logging an important, growing industry (Veríssimo et al. 1992, p. 170). Logging operations typically occur on private lands claimed by ranchers, land speculators, and squatters who sell extraction rights to logging companies (GFA 2018a and b, unpaginated). After logging, the land may be clear-cut and burned, in preparation for crops (Reynolds 2003, p. 10). Burning makes nutrient-deficient land temporarily nutrient-rich, but it will only yield crops for a few years, creating a cycle of more land clearing (Reynolds 2003, p. 10). Revenues from timber sales are also used to finance conversion of the land to cattle ranching (GFA 2018a, unpaginated). Although the Brazilian forest code requires private landowners in the Amazon to maintain 80 percent of their land as forest, the code has been poorly enforced (GFA 2018b, unpaginated), and full compliance has not been achieved (Azevedo et al. 2017, entire; see Conservation Measures and Regulatory Mechanisms, below).

    Logging on public lands is allowed via concessions where logging companies are granted logging rights for a fee (GFA 2018a, unpaginated). The concession system typically requires practices that minimize effects to the forest (e.g., rotation of harvest, minimum-tree-size standards, and targets for long-term sustainable yield) (GFA 2018a, unpaginated). However, the concession system is not currently working as intended and illegal logging in public protected areas remains a serious threat, particularly logging of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) (BLI 2016, p. 5), a CITES Appendix II species (CITES 2018b). CITES Appendix II includes species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but for which trade must be controlled to avoid uses that are incompatible with their survival (CITES 2016, unpaginated). An example of illegal logging is that which occurs in Jamari National Forest, an area that is poorly protected and faces pressures from loggers, squatters, and poachers (Forshaw 2017, p. 224, F. Olmos in litt. 1999 as cited in BLI 2016, p. 5).

    Also, as of 2010, Brazil had only leased a small amount of private concession forest, and instead, had announced plans to sell large forest tracts (GFA 2018a, unpaginated). If these lands were to become privately owned, they would be subject to Brazil's forest code and up to 20 percent could be legally deforested. Additionally, although selective logging and requirements for minimum tree sizes are intended to minimize effects to the forest, logging of larger trees is likely to have a greater effect on the golden conure because the species uses larger, older trees for its nesting and roosting (Yamashita 2003, p. 38).

    Expanding crop production and ranching are also major drivers of deforestation in the Amazon basin. Soy beans only grew in temperate climates until agricultural research generated new varieties that grow in the tropics. These innovations, coupled with the application of fertilizer, allowed for the expansion of soy farming into the Amazon beginning in the 1970s (GFA 2018c, unpaginated). Soy beans are primarily used for cattle feed, and in 1990s and early 2000s, high demand for beef created a “soy-cattle pasture deforestation dynamic,” where soy production replaced existing cattle pasture, and forced new deforestation into the Amazon for cattle ranching (GFA 2018c, unpaginated). In 2006, the soy industry, in response to pressure from consumers, retailers, and nongovernment organizations, instituted a soy moratorium in Brazil's Amazon. The agreement curbs forest clearing for soy by blocking farms that violate the agreement from selling to companies that signed the soy moratorium (Gibbs et al. 2015, p. 377). In the 2 years preceding the moratorium, approximately 30 percent of soy expansion occurred through deforestation rather than by replacement of pasture or other previously cleared lands; by 2014, just 1 percent of soy expansion was responsible for deforestation in Brazil's Amazon (Gibbs et al. 2015, p. 377). The soy moratorium was renewed indefinitely in 2016, or until it is no longer needed (Patiño 2016, unpaginated).

    Cattle ranching is the largest cause of deforestation in every Amazon country and is responsible for about 80 percent of current deforestation rates (GFA 2018d, unpaginated). Brazil is the largest beef exporter in the world, supplying about one quarter of the world market (GFA 2018d, unpaginated). Brazil's Amazon supports about 200 million head of cattle on approximately 450,000 km2 (173,746 mi2) of deforested land (GFA 2018d, unpaginated). Cattle from the Amazon are mostly sold in the domestic markets because some of the Amazon states have not been cleared for the presence of foot-and-mouth disease (Fearnside 2017b, p. 14). Beginning in 1998, states in the south (non-Amazonian) were certified as free of foot-and-mouth disease (Kaimowitz et al. 2004, as cited by Fearnside 2017b, p. 14). The growing export market for beef from these southern states has indirectly increased the demand for Amazon beef for the domestic market (Fearnside 2017b, p. 14). In 2015 and 2016, new markets for Brazilian beef were opened up via agreements with Russia, the United States, and China (Fearnside 2017b, p. 14). The Chinese market, in particular, has significant potential demand for both beef and leather, with China being the world's largest manufacturer of shoes (Fearnside 2017b, p. 16).

    Conversion of native forest for the cultivation of palm plantations for the production of palm oil is an emerging agricultural use in the region that is likely to further reduce the amount of habitat available to golden conure. Palm oil is in high demand and the industry is highly profitable (Lees et al. 2015, p. 2). Increased palm oil production has the potential to create thousands of new jobs and raise regional standards of living in Brazil (Lees et al. 2015, p. 2). The Brazilian government plans to increase biofuel production in the next decade, driven primarily by demands for fuel (ethanol and biodiesel) (Villela et al. 2014, p. 273). Palm oil production has been touted as a “green fuel” from both a biodiversity and a climate change perspective because degraded lands (e.g., abandoned cattle pastures and mining areas) can be used for plantations (Lees et al. 2015, p. 2). However, a recent study of regional avian biodiversity in palm oil plantations concluded that they are as detrimental to avian biodiversity as other forms of agriculture such as cattle pasture (Lees et al. 2015, entire). Therefore, any native forest converted to palm plantations will result in habitat loss for the golden conure, and any degraded land that is planted for palm oil will not have the opportunity to regenerate or be restored to suitable habitat for the species.

    Increased fire risk results from human settlement and the activities noted above (Barber et al. 2014, p. 203) (see Projected Effects from Climate Change, below). Although use of fire for land management is now common in rural Amazonia (Malhi et al. 2008, p. 171), wildfires in the tropical forests of the Amazon were rare over the past millennia, and the trees are not adapted for fire (Fearnside 2009, p. 1005). Amazonian trees have thin bark, and fire heats the cambium under the bark at the base of the trunk, causing the tree to die (Fearnside 2009, p. 1005) and further contributing to deforestation.

    Hydroelectric dams are also a major contributor to deforestation in the Amazon. Areas affected by dams include both the area flooded by the dam and effects from the increased human settlement around the dam (GFA 2018e, unpaginated). Brazil is the second-largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world (after China), and hydropower supplies about 75 percent of Brazil's electricity (GFA 2018e, unpaginated; Fearnside 2017c, unpaginated). Numerous dams are under construction or planned in the Amazon basin. For example, the Belo Monte “mega dam” on the Xingu River, flooded 673 km2 (260 mi2) of lowlands and forest, and blocked 1,609 km (1,000 mi) of the Xingu River (Fearnside 2017c, unpaginated). Recently the Brazilian Government announced an end to the construction of mega dams in the Amazon (Branford 2018, unpaginated), but smaller dams within the golden conure's range are still under construction or planned (GFA 2018e, unpaginated; Fearnside 2017c, unpaginated; Nobre et al. 2016, p. 10763).

    Mining for minerals also contributes to deforestation of the Amazon. In Brazil, mining has grown from 1.6 percent of GDP in 2000, to 4.1 percent in 2011, and is projected to increase by a factor of 3 to 5 by 2030 (Brasil Ministério de Minas e Energia 2010, as cited by Ferreira et al. 2014, p. 706). In Brazil's Amazon, mining leases, exploration permits, and concessions collectively encompass 1.65 million km2 (0.64 million mi2) of land, with about 60 percent located in the Amazon forest (Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral 2012, as cited in Sonter et al. p. 1). Although mining is rapidly expanding in the region, to date, the environmental approval process for new mines or the expansion of existing projects does not consistently evaluate for off-lease effects of these projects, including the indirect or cumulative impacts to the surrounding forest (Sonter et al. 2017, p. 1). The total off-lease effects of mining-induced deforestation can be 12 times greater than that from the leases alone (Sonter et al. 2017, p. 2).

    Deforestation Rates and Gross Domestic Product

    Annual deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon have always varied, but have generally been correlated with national economic growth as measured by GDP (Petherick 2013 p.7; Hochstetler and Viola 2012, p. 759). However, beginning in 2005, measures of deforestation and GDP have separated or “decoupled” (Lapola et al. 2014, p. 27; Petherick 2013 p.7). The Amazon experienced dramatic reductions in annual average rates of deforestation from almost 21,000 km2 (8,108 mi2) between 2000 and 2004—to about 7,000 km2 (2,703 mi2) in 2009 and 2010 (Prodes 2017, unpaginated; Petherick 2013, p. 8; Hochstetler and Viola 2012, p. 759) and 6,418 km2 (2,478 mi2) in 2011 (Prodes 2017, unpaginated). During this same period, Brazil's GDP rose steadily, indicating strong, sustained growth from an export commodity boom (Petherick 2013 p.7; Hochstetler and Viola 2012, pp. 759-760).

    The decoupling has been attributed to a number of factors with no clear consensus on which factor has been the most effective (Moutinho 2015, p. 2). Contributing factors include government strategies and policies for forest conservation (Assunção et al. 2012, p. 697) such as: (1) The expansion of protected areas, which reduced the supply of unclaimed forest land (Nepstad et al. 2014, p. 1118); (2) an effort that began in 2007 to blacklist the worst deforesters; and (3) efforts to monitor and control municipalities with high levels of illegal deforestation through sanctions and restricted access to credit (Moutinho 2015, p. 3; Assunção et al. 2012, p. 698).

    Reductions in deforestation have also been attributed to market and social forces, such as decreases in the price of agricultural commodities (including soy and beef) in 2005 (Fearnside 2017b, p. 1; Assunção et al. 2012, entire) and the 2006 soy moratorium (Gibbs et al. 2015, pp. 377-378). Importantly, increased soy production from 2006 to 2010 was due to agricultural intensification practices (Lapola et al. 2014, p. 28) and expansion into previously cleared land in the Amazon (Nepstad et al. 2014, p. 1121). Eventually cleared land that is suitable for soy production will become scarce, likely increasing deforestation pressure on the Amazon (Nepstad et al. 2014, p. 1121). Although GDP is not presently a good predictor of Amazon deforestation (Fearnside 2017b, p. 14), as global population and food demands continue to rise (Beckman et al. 2017, p. i; Brando et al. 2016, abstract), it is possible that these measures could more closely correlate in the future.

    Brazil is one of the countries that currently has comparatively low productivity levels and is projected to grow faster as it catches up with more developed countries (Guardian 2012, unpaginated). Brazil is expected to remain among the top ten economies as rated by GDP based on purchasing power parity (GDP PPP) by 2050 (PWC Global 2016). GDP PPP measures the relative purchasing power of different countries' currencies over the same types of goods and services, allowing for more accurate comparison of living standards (Euromonitor International 2013, unpaginated). Forecasts vary for Brazil's GDP PPP, with one forecast predicting that GDP PPP will rise steadily through 2050 (PWC Global 2016, unpaginated), while a more recent forecast predicts that GDP PPP will stagnate then drop after about 2050 (Knoema 2018, unpaginated). Therefore, if deforestation rates were to correlate more closely with GDP PPP in the future, in one scenario deforestation rates would steadily rise, and in the other scenario, deforestation rates would stabilize and then decline after about 2050.

    Projected Effects From Climate Change

    Changes in Brazil's climate and associated changes to the landscape are likely to result in additional habitat loss for the golden conure. Across Brazil, temperatures are projected to increase and precipitation to decrease (Barros and Albernaz 2014, p. 811; Carabine and Lemma 2014, p. 11). The 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that by 2100, South America will experience temperature increases ranging from 1.7 to 6.7 degrees Celsius (°C) (3.06 to 12.06 degrees Fahrenheit (°F)) under the medium and high emission scenarios and 1.0 to 1.5 °C (1.8 to 2.7 °F) under a low emissions scenario (Carabine and Lemma 2014, p. 10; Magrin et al. 2014, p. 1502). Projected changes in precipitation in South America vary by region, with rainfall reductions in the Amazon estimated with medium confidence (about a 5 out of 10 chance) (IPCC 2018, unpaginated; Carabine and Lemma 2014, p. 11; Magrin et al. 2014, p. 1502).

    Downscaled models, based, in part, on the earlier (2007) IPCC data, predict more severe changes, with the greatest warming and drying occurring over the Amazon rainforest, particularly after 2040 (Marengo et al. 2011, pp. 8, 15, 27, 39, 48; Féres et al. 2009, p. 2). Estimates of temperature changes in the Amazon by the end of the 21st century (2090-2099) are 2.2 °C (4 °F) under a low greenhouse gas emission scenario and 4.5 °C (8 °F) under a high-emission scenario (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 27). Increased temperatures of these amounts put the Amazon region at a high risk of forest loss and more frequent wildfires (Magrin et al. 2007, p. 596). Some leading global circulation models indicate that extreme weather events, such as droughts, will increase in frequency or severity due to global warming. As a result, droughts in Amazonian forests could become more frequent in the future (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 48). For example, the 2005 drought in Amazonia was a 1-in-20-year event; however, those conditions may become a 1-in-2-year event by 2025, and a 9-in-10-year event by 2060 (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 28). Deforestation is greater under drought conditions due to more risk of fires (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 16).

    A number of large-scale drivers of environmental change (i.e., land-use change from deforestation and climate changes due to global warming) are operating simultaneously and interacting nonlinearly in the Amazon (Nobre et al. 2016, p. 10759). Thus, the risks to golden conure from deforestation will likely be intensified by synergistic effects associated with climate change (Staal et al. 2015, p. 2). The Amazon's rainforest may have two “tipping points”: (1) A temperature increase of 4.0 °C (7.2 14;°F); or (2) deforestation exceeding 40 percent (Nobre et al. 2016, p. 10759). Once exceeded, these tipping points could cause large-scale shifts in the vegetation to a savanna (i.e., “savannization”) mostly in the southern and eastern Amazon (Nobre et al. 2016, p. 10759) within the golden conure's range.

    Similarly, a recent study that considered only the effects from global warming (i.e., absent deforestation) predicted that by the end of this century, some areas of rainforest will be replaced by deciduous forest and grassland in a moderate emissions scenario (RCP 4.5) and by all grassland in the high emissions scenario (RCP 8.5) (Lyra et al. 2016, entire). Although the projected outcomes of models are not definitive, any terra firme forest habitat that shifts from rainforest to other habitat types (e.g., savanna) would result in loss of habitat for the golden conure.

    Illegal Collection and Trade

    The golden conure is highly prized as an aviary bird and has been extensively trapped for both the domestic and international pet trade in the past (BLI 2016, p. 5; Alves et al. 2013, p. 60; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Yamashita 2003, p. 38; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 132; Collar 1992, p. 304; Oren and Novaes 1986, pp. 329, 334-335). The international trade of wild neotropical parrots was significantly reduced during the 1990s due to (1) tighter enforcement of CITES regulations, (2) stricter measures under European Union legislation, (3) adoption of the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA; 16 U.S.C. 4901 et seq.) in the United States, and (4) adoption of national legislation in various other countries (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99). Although an illegal international trade of the golden conure for the pet trade occurred in the past, there is little evidence that this practice is continuing (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Silveira and Belmonte 2005 in press, unpaginated). In contrast, the illegal domestic market for the species is still occurring at some level (Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated).

    Historically, keeping birds was an important part of local indigenous tradition and culture (Carvalho 1951 and Cascudo 1973, as cited by Alves et al. 2013, p. 54). Young golden conures were taken from the wild to raise as pets and for feathers, but now they are also sold to bird traders (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 335). Much of the area occupied by the golden conure is poor, and selling the birds for the domestic pet trade provides an extra source of income (Yamashita 2003, p. 39).

    There are mixed reports regarding the degree to which illegal capture of golden conures from the wild (“poaching”) is still occurring. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) has licensed and regulated bird breeding in an effort to reduce poaching (Alves et al. 2013, p. 61). As a result, several sources believe poaching is no longer a major concern for the species because trade is thought to mostly be from the substantial captive population, and thus does not significantly affect the wild population (Silveira in litt. 2012, Lees in litt. 2013, in BLI 2016, p. 5). Additional captive populations exist outside Brazil. There are CITES-registered captive-breeding operations for golden conures in the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

    However, some level of illegal capture and trade of the species is still occurring. For example, in 2016, approximately 57 golden conures were seized in Brazil (IBAMA 2017 as cited by Lima in litt. 2018). We have no seizure data from any other years, and this number may represent a year where seizures were high, but it demonstrates that domestic trafficking is occurring (Lima in litt. 2018). Captive rearing may not be a practical alternative to illegal trade, particularly in low-income areas because the price of commercially bred birds is approximately 10 times higher than wild-caught individuals (Renctas 2001, as cited in Alves et al. 2013, p. 61; Machado 2002, as cited in Alves et al. 2010, p. 155).

    Additionally, oversight of domestic wildlife-breeding facilities in Brazil is limited (Alves et al. 2010, entire), and many wild bird species declared to be captive-bred are actually born in the wild and traded under fraudulent documentation (Alves et al. 2013, p. 61). Although each Brazilian state has a wildlife center responsible for managing, licensing, and inspecting all categories of breeders, traders, and zoos (Kuhnen and Kanaan 2014, p. 125), most centers lack resources and funding (Padrone 2004, as cited in Kuhnen and Kanaan 2014, p. 125). Also, there are not enough inspections at market places and commercial breeding facilities to fight illegal domestic trade (Alves et al. 2010, pp. 154-155).

    The United States is a major importer of pet birds, yet relatively little trade in the golden conure has been observed. We reviewed all records of legal and intercepted illegal trade in the CITES annual trade records submitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1981 to 2016. During this 35-year period, 54 live golden conures were imported into the United States and 26 were exported (UNEP-WCMC 2018, unpaginated). One record of illegal trade was reported in 1981, and involved the unlawful importation of a single animal from Brazil. Overall, the U.S. trade in the golden conure has been relatively low compared with other pet birds.

    Other Potential Stressors

    Other potential stressors to the golden conure include hunting and persecution (Factor B), and predation or disease (Factor C). The species is likely still hunted at low levels as a food source, and for feathers, and birds that raid crops may be shot by farmers (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 335). However, we have no information about the rate that these activities may be occurring or the extent to which they may be affecting populations. Similarly, we have no information regarding diseases that may affect golden conures in the wild.

    Golden conures, including eggs and nestlings, are prey to a variety of native predators, including toucans (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 334; Forshaw 2017, p. 228), raptors (Laranjeiras 2008a, as cited in Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated), monkeys, snakes, and the tayra (Eira barbara), an omnivorous weasel (Oren and Novaes 1986, p. 334). However, we have no information regarding the rates predation on the golden conure from these predators and how that may be affecting the conure.

    Conservation Measures and Regulatory Mechanisms

    The golden conure is considered “Vulnerable” at the national level in Brazil (MMA 2014, p. 122). Like other wildlife species, conures and their nests, shelters, and breeding grounds are protected by Brazilian environmental laws (Clayton 2011, p. 4; Environmental Crimes law of Brazil (1999) as cited in MSU 2018, unpaginated; Official List of Brazilian Endangered Animal Species Order No. 1.522/1989 as cited in ECOLEX 2018; CFRB 2010, p. 150; Law No. 5.197/1967 as cited in LatinLawyer 2018, unpaginated). Additionally, several Brazilian laws are designed to protect forests. Destruction and damage of forest reserves, cutting trees in forest reserves, and causing fire in forests, among other actions, without authorization are prohibited (Clayton 2011, p. 5; Law No. 9.605/1998 as cited in LatinLawyer 2018, unpaginated).

    Protected areas have been emphasized as the best hope for the golden conure's survival (e.g., in the Tapajos River region and the Gurupi Biological Preserve) (Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, pp. 1, 8; Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated). The species occurs in nine areas recently designated as Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Brazil (BLI 2018a-h, unpaginated; Lima et al. 2014, p. 318; Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Devenish et al. 2009, pp. 104-106). IBAs are places of international significance for the conservation of birds and other biodiversity (BLI 2018i, unpaginated). Levels of protection at IBAs vary from fully protected to no protections (BLI 2018i, unpaginated). For example, the Gurupi IBA has partial protection while the Caxiuanã/Portel IBA has none (Service 2018, pp. 68-70; BLI 2018b, unpaginated; Devenish et al. 2009, pp. 104-106). Additionally, the species' predicted range overlaps with numerous other protected areas, also having various levels of protection (Service 2018, pp. 68-70; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 8).

    Various regulatory mechanisms (Law No. 11.516, Act No. 7.735, and Decree No. 78, as cited in ECOLEX 2018, unpaginated) and Law 6.938/1981 (LatinLawyer 2018, unpaginated) direct Brazil's federal and state agencies to promote the protection of lands and govern the formal establishment and management of protected areas to promote conservation of the country's natural resources. These mechanisms generally aim to protect imperiled wildlife and plant species, genetic resources, overall biodiversity, and native ecosystems on federal, state, and privately owned lands (e.g., Law No. 9.985, Law No. 11.132, Resolution No. 4, and Decree No. 1.922, as cited in ECOLEX 2018, unpaginated).

    Protected Areas: Protected areas have traditionally formed the backbone of forest conservation in the Amazon Basin, and they still remain a vital conservation strategy (GFA 2018f, unpaginated). Brazil has the largest protected area network in the world. The National Protected Areas System (Federal Act 9.985/2000, as cited in LatinLawyer 2018, unpaginated) was established in 2000, and covers nearly 2.2 million km2 (0.8 million mi2) or 12.4 percent of the global total (WDPA, 2012 as cited by Ferreira et al. 2014, p. 706). This extensive network of protected areas is intended to (1) preserve priority biodiversity conservation areas, (2) establish biodiversity corridors, and (3) protect portions of the 23 Amazonian ecoregions identified by World Wildlife Fund (Rylands and Brandon 2005, pp. 612, 615; Silva, 2005, entire). Brazil's Protected Areas may be categorized as “strictly protected” or “sustainable use” based on their overall management objectives. Strictly protected areas include national parks, biological reserves, ecological stations, natural monuments, and wildlife refuges protected for educational and recreational purposes and scientific research. Protected areas of sustainable use (national forests, environmental protection areas, areas of relevant ecological interest, extractive reserves, fauna reserves, sustainable development reserves, and private natural heritage reserves) allow for different types and levels of human use with conservation of biodiversity as a secondary objective.

    By 2006, 1.8 million km2 (0.7 million mi2), or approximately 45 percent of Brazil's Amazonian tropical forest, was under some level of protection as federal or state managed land, or designated as indigenous reserve (managed by indigenous communities) (Barber et al. 2014, p. 204). Of this, 19.2 percent was strictly protected areas, and 30.6 percent was comprised of federal and state sustainable use area, with indigenous reserves making up the remainder (Barber et al. 2014, p. 204).

    Indigenous lands are legally recognized areas where indigenous peoples have perpetual rights of access, use, withdrawal, management, and exclusion over the land and associated resources (GFW 2018, unpaginated). Indigenous communities sustainably use their forest land, and large-scale deforestation is prohibited (Barber et al. 2014, p. 204). Indigenous communities practice shifting cultivation, trade non-timber forest products, and occasionally allow selective logging (GFA 2018g, unpaginated; Schwartzman and Zimmerman 2005, p. 721).

    To date, the golden conure has been found in numerous protected areas or IBAs, with a total area of approximately 154,673 km2 (51,719 mi2) (Service 2018, pp 68-70). However, not all of the area represented contains suitable habitat for the species and several of the IBAs (39 percent) presently have no protection (61,864 km2 (23,866 mi2). An additional 26 percent of IBAs presently have just partial protection (40,582 km2 (15,669 mi2) (Service 2018, pp 68-70).

    Despite significant efforts to designate and establish protected areas, funding and resources are limited and adequate enforcement of these areas is challenging. For example, the conure occurs in Jamari National Forest, which is poorly protected and faces pressures from loggers, squatters, and poachers (Forshaw 2017, p. 224, F. Olmos in litt. 1999 as cited in BLI 2016, p. 5).

    Forest Code: Brazil's forest code was created in 1965, and was subsequently changed in the 1990s via a series of presidential decrees (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363). As of 2001, the forest code required landowners in the Amazon to conserve native vegetation on their rural properties by setting aside what is called a “legal reserve” of 80 percent of their property (i.e., with 20 percent available to be harvested) (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363). The forest code severely restricted deforestation on private properties but proved challenging to enforce, and full compliance has not been achieved (GFA 2018b, unpaginated; Azevedo et al. 2017, entire; Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363). For instance, the lack of registered property boundaries made it difficult to link deforestation to particular land owners, and the majority of deforestation from 2002 to 2009 (about 69 percent) occurred on properties whose boundaries were not publicly registered (Azevedo et al. 2017, p. 7653).

    In late 2012, a new forest code was approved that reduces restoration requirements by providing amnesty for previous illegal deforestation by smaller property holders (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363). Under the older forest code, legal reserves that were illegally deforested were required to be restored at the landowner's expense. The new forest code forgives the legal reserve debt of small properties (up to 440 hectares (1,087 acres)) (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363). Although the 2012 forest code reduced the restoration requirements, it also introduced measures that strengthen conservation including addressing (1) fire management, (2) forest carbon, and (3) payments for ecosystem services (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363).

    Additionally, the new forest code created an Environmental Reserve Quota where quota surplus on one property may be used to offset a legal reserve debt on another property within the same biome; this could create a market for forested lands, adding monetary value to native vegetation and potentially abating up to 56 percent of legal reserve debt (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, p. 363). Proponents of the new forest code believe that it will act as an effective barrier to agricultural development, while others believe that amnesty will lead to the perception that illegal deforesters are unlikely to be prosecuted or could be forgiven in future land reforms (Soares-Filho et al. 2014, pp. 363-364).

    Legal Captive Rearing and Trade: IBAMA has licensed and regulated breeding of native bird species, including golden conure, in an effort to reduce poaching (Alves et al. 2013, p. 61). The captive population of golden conures in Brazil is believed to be about 600 birds (Prioste et al. 2013, p. 146), and one breeder reported that in 8 years she reared nearly 600 birds (Weinzettl, in litt. 2015). Therefore, there is reason to believe that the captive population of golden conures in Brazil is at least 600 birds or larger. Additional captive populations of golden conures exist as CITES-registered captive-breeding operations in the United Kingdom and the Philippines. Although we have no further information on these programs, the captive rearing of golden conures in Brazil is believed to have reduced the incidence of poaching of young golden conures from the wild (Silveira in litt. 2012, Lees in litt. 2013, as cited in BLI 2016, p. 5).

    Reintroduction: Captive rearing and reintroduction efforts have contributed to the recovery of other parrots in Central and South America but we know of only one attempt to reintroduce the golden conure to an area where it had been extirpated. The species was extirpated from the Belém region of Pará in 1848 (Moura et al. 2014, p. 5). In 2017, researchers reintroduced the golden conure to this area (at Utinga State Park in Belém) (globo.com 2018, unpaginated). The project includes a post-release monitoring component (Moura in litt. 2018), but it is too soon to know whether or not the reintroduction has been successful.

    Additional Regulatory Mechanisms: “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD) is a “payment for ecological services” initiative that creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests (GFA 2018h, unpaginated). The program offers incentives to developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development (GFA 2018h, unpaginated). REDD plus (REDD+) goes one step further by including objectives for (1) biodiversity conservation, (2) sustainable management of forests, and (3) improvements to forest governance and local livelihoods (GFA 2018h, unpaginated). Brazil is one of the most advanced countries in the world in REDD+ planning and maintains an “Amazon Fund,” which receives compensation for reductions in deforestation. To date, the Norwegian government is the major donor and lesser donors include the government of Germany and the Brazilian oil company Petrobras (GFA 2018h, unpaginated). The successful funding and implementation of REDD+ is expected to reduce rates of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest and would likely benefit the golden conure and its habitat. However, the initiative is in its early stages and is being hampered by numerous issues, particularly unresolved land-tenure problems (May et al. 2018, p. 44).

    The golden conure is protected under CITES, an international agreement between member governments to ensure that the international trade of CITES-listed plant and animal species is legal and does not threaten species' survival. Under this treaty, CITES Parties (member countries or signatories) regulate the import, export, and re-export of specimens, parts, and products of CITES-listed plant and animal species. Brazil is a Party to CITES. Trade in CITES-listed plants and animals must be authorized through a licensing system of permits and certificates that are provided by the designated CITES Management Authority of each CITES Party. CITES includes three Appendices that list species meeting specific criteria. Depending on the Appendix in which they are listed, species are subject to various permitting requirements.

    The golden conure is listed in CITES Appendix I and receives the highest degree of protection. Species listed in this Appendix are those that are threatened with extinction and which are, or may be, affected by trade. Commercial trade in Appendix I wildlife species is strictly prohibited, except in limited circumstances provided by the treaty. However, commercial international trade may be allowed in certain circumstances where animals have been produced by CITES-registered captive-breeding operations. Trade in specimens from registered operations may be treated as if they were listed in CITES Appendix II, although they remain Appendix I listed specimens. Each shipment requires the issuance of both CITES export and import documents. There are two CITES-registered captive-breeding operations for the golden conure: one in the United Kingdom and the other in the Philippines. The United States may also allow non-commercial trade in this species on a case-by-case basis for approved purposes such as scientific, zoological, and educational activities.

    Two other laws in the United States apart from the Act provide protection from the illegal import of wild-caught birds into the United States: the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) and the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42; 16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq.). The WBCA was enacted in 1992, to ensure that exotic bird species are not harmed by international trade and to encourage wild bird conservation programs in countries of origin. Under the WBCA and our implementing regulations (50 CFR 15.11), it is unlawful to import into the United States any exotic bird species listed under CITES except under certain circumstances. We may issue permits to allow import of listed birds for scientific research, zoological breeding or display, cooperative breeding, or personal pet purposes when the applicant meets certain criteria (50 CFR 15.22-15.25).

    The Lacey Act was originally passed in 1900, and was the first Federal law protecting wildlife. Today, it provides civil and criminal penalties for the illegal trade of animals and plants. Under the Lacey Act, in part, it is unlawful to (1) import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish, or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law; or (2) import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law. Therefore, for example, because the take of wild-caught golden conures would be in violation of Brazil's wildlife law, the subsequent import of the species would be in violation of the Lacey Act. Similarly, under the Lacey Act, it is unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase specimens of these species traded contrary to CITES.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    The best scientific and commercial information available indicates that the golden conure is more widespread and abundant than believed at the time of listing as endangered (BLI 2017, unpaginated; Bird et al. 2011, Appendix S1; Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, pp. 1, 3) and that the threat from poaching for the pet trade (Factor B) has diminished (Silveira in litt. 2012, Lees in litt. 2013, in BLI 2016, p. 5; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99) but is still occurring at some unknown level. The global population is estimated at 10,875 individuals within 174,000 km2 (67,182 mi2) of suitable habitat across a range of approximately 340,000 km2 (131,275 mi2) (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, pp. 1, 3). Nevertheless, the population is regarded as small, and is believed to declining (BLI 2016, p. 1) primarily due to loss and degradation of its habitat from deforestation (Factor A) (BLI 2016, p. 4; IBAMA 2003 and SEMA 2007, as cited by Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Collar 1992, p. 5).

    Although rates of deforestation have declined in recent decades, they are increasing again (Alves et al. 2017, p. 76; Fearnside 2017b, p. 1; IPAM 2017, p. 15;Prodes 2017, unpaginated; Biderman and Nogueron 2016, unpaginated) and are projected to continue to increase (Bird et al. 2011, entire; Soares-Filho et al. 2006, p. 520) as the global demand for agricultural commodities continues to rise (Brando et al. 2016, abstract). Risks from deforestation will likely be intensified by synergistic effects associated with climate change (Staal et al. 2015, p. 2) (Factor E). Climate projections include increased temperatures, dryer conditions, and more frequent extreme weather (including droughts), which have the potential to stress trees and cause tree mortality (Fearnside 2009, pp. 1003, 1005). These conditions also increase the unintentional spread of fires, further contributing to deforestation (Fearnside 2009, p. 1005). Deforestation itself can cause regional shifts in the climate and is likely to operate together with the effects of climate change to negatively alter rainforest habitat. Although there are uncertainties in the various models, and projected outcomes are not definitive, any terra firme forest habitat that shifts from rainforest to other habitat types (e.g., savanna) would no longer be available to the golden conure.

    Although an illegal international trade of the golden conure occurred in the past, there is little evidence that this practice is continuing (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Silveira and Belmonte 2005 in press, unpaginated). In contrast, the golden conure continues to face an unknown level of pressure from poaching and illegal trade within Brazil (Factor B) (Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated), particularly in poorer areas (Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated; Alves et al. 2013, p. 61). Captive golden conure breeding programs in Brazil have helped to limit poaching of wild golden conures (Silveira in litt. 2012, Lees in litt. 2013, in BLI 2016, p. 5). However, poaching of young conures for the illicit domestic pet trade in Brazil has the potential to negatively affect golden conure populations, especially if individuals are being collected from small or fragmented populations. Population-level effects could operate synergistically with effects from habitat loss or degradation to the further detriment of the species.

    Although existing conservation efforts and regulatory mechanisms appear to be substantial (e.g., Brazil has the largest protected area network in the world), at this time they do not adequately ameliorate threats to the golden conure (Factor D). Despite significant efforts to preserve the rainforest in Brazil's Amazon basin, enforcement has proven to be challenging, and full compliance has not been achieved. Habitat loss due to deforestation is ongoing and is predicted to continue, resulting in global population declines of the golden conure (BLI 2016, p. 1; Bird et al. 2011 Appendix S1).

    Proposed Determination of Species Status

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for determining whether a species is an endangered species or threatened species and should be included on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (listed). The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as any species “that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.” Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we determine whether a species is an endangered species or threatened species because of any one or a combination of the following: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

    Determination of Status Throughout All of Its Range

    As required by section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we conducted a review of the status of the golden conure and assessed the five factors to evaluate whether the species is endangered or threatened throughout all of its range. We examined the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the golden conure. We reviewed information presented in the 2014 petition, information available in our files, information gathered through our 90-day finding in response to the petition, information gathered in our status review, and other available published and unpublished information.

    In considering what factors may constitute threats, we must look beyond the mere exposure of the species to the factor to determine whether the species responds to the factor in a way that causes actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to the factor, but no response, or only a positive response, that factor is not a threat. If there is exposure and the species responds negatively, the factor may be a threat and we then attempt to determine if it may drive or contribute to the risk of extinction of the species such that the species warrants listing as an endangered or threatened species as those terms are defined by the Act.

    When we listed the golden conure as endangered in 1976, the species was perceived to be declining in numbers due to either Factor A, Factor B, or Factor D, or a combination of all three factors (41 FR 24062; June 14, 1976). At present, the best scientific and commercial information available on the range and abundance of the species indicates that the species is more widespread and abundant than previously believed and that the threat from overutilization for the pet trade (Factor B) has diminished (Silveira in litt. 2012, Lees in litt. 2013, in BLI 2016, p. 5; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99). Habitat modeling studies have estimated that there are approximately 10,875 individuals within 174,000 km2 (67,182 mi2) of suitable habitat across a range of approximately 340,000 km2 (131,275 mi2) (Laranjeiras 2011b, p. 311; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, pp. 1, 3).

    Tighter enforcement of CITES, stricter European Union legislation, adoption of the WBCA in the United States, and adoption of national legislation in other countries have all helped to significantly curtail illegal international trade (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99). In addition, government-authorized captive breeding programs in Brazil are thought to have curtailed the illegal domestic trade (Silveira in litt. 2012, Lees in litt. 2013, in BLI 2016, p. 5). Thus, after assessing the best available information and as a result of the aforementioned information, we conclude the golden conure is not currently in danger of extinction throughout its range.

    As described below, we next considered whether the golden conure is likely to become in danger of extinction throughout its range within the foreseeable future. The term “foreseeable future” describes the extent to which we can reasonably rely on predictions about the future in making determinations about the future conservation status of the species. The golden conure has already lost 30 to 35 of its historical range (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Laranjeiras and Cohn-Haft 2009, p. 8). We expect both the species' global population and its habitat to decline an additional 23 to 30 percent in 22 years (Service 2018, pp. 42-46; Bird et al. 2011 Appendix S1). Additionally, habitat loss and degradation is likely to be intensified by synergistic effects associated with the consequences of climate change (Service 2018, pp. 42-46; Staal et al. 2015, p. 2). There is a strong likelihood of warming to at least 1.5 to 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) in Latin America by the end of the Century (Carabine and Lemma 2014, p. 8), and downscaled estimates for the Amazon over the same time period (i.e., by the end of the Century) indicate temperature increases of 2.2 °C (4 °F) under a low greenhouse gas emission scenario and 4.5 °C (8 °F) under a high-emission scenario (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 27). Increased temperatures of these amounts put the Amazon region at a high risk of forest loss and more frequent wildfires (Magrin et al. 2007, p. 596). Downscaled models, based, in part, on the earlier (2007) IPCC data, predict severe changes (increased warming and drying) over the Amazon rainforest, particularly after 2040 (Marengo et al. 2011, pp. 8, 15, 27, 39, 48; Féres et al. 2009, p. 2). Additionally, some leading global-circulation models indicate that extreme weather events, such as droughts, will increase in frequency, with drought becoming a 9-in-10-year event, by 2060 (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 28) further contributing to deforestation due to more risk from fires (Marengo et al. 2011, p. 16). Therefore, based on the best available data, we assessed foreseeable future to be 22 to 42 years (or approximately three to six generations of the golden conure). We based the lower end of this range (22 years) on the peer-reviewed work by Bird et al. 2011, relating to deforestation and declines in the population. We based the upper end of this range (42 years) on peer-reviewed studies predicting effects from climate change (such as drought) on deforestation after about 2040 to 2060 (Marengo et al. 2011, pp. 8, 15, 27, 28, 39, 48; Féres et al. 2009, p. 2). We conclude that it is reasonable to rely on the predictions made in these peer-reviewed studies in making determinations about the future conservation status of the golden conure.

    Although the golden conure is now known to be more widespread and abundant than previously thought, the species remains relatively rare. It occurs only within the southern basin of Brazil's Amazon, and much of this area is in the “arc of deforestation” and is threatened by loss and degradation of its rainforest habitat from deforestation. Effects from deforestation are exacerbated by the projected effects from climate change. Additionally, even though government-authorized captive breeding programs in Brazil are thought to have curtailed the illegal domestic trade, some unknown level of illegal collection and trade is ongoing, particularly within Brazil (Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated).

    Existing regulatory mechanisms and conservation efforts do not currently adequately ameliorate threats to the golden conure (Factor D). The factors identified above continue to affect the golden conure such that it is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all of its range. Based on the best available scientific studies and information assessing land-use trends, lack of enforcement of laws, predicted landscape changes under climate-change scenarios, and predictions about how those threats may impact the golden conure, we conclude that the species is likely to be in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range. Accordingly, we find that the golden conure meets the definition of a “threatened species” under the Act, and we are proposing to list the golden conure as threatened throughout its range.

    Significant Portion of Its Range

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species warrants listing if it is endangered or threatened. The Act defines “endangered species” as any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. 1532(6)), and “threatened species” as any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. 1532(20)). Because we have determined that the golden conure is threatened throughout all of its range, under the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014) (SPR Policy), if a species warrants listing throughout all of its range, no portion of the species' range can be a “significant” portion of its range.

    Proposed 4(d) Rule

    When a species is listed as endangered, certain actions are prohibited under section 9 of the Act and our regulations at 50 CFR 17.21. These include, among others, prohibitions on take within the United States, within the territorial seas of the United States, or upon the high seas; import; export; and shipment in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity. Exceptions to the prohibitions for endangered species may be granted in accordance with section 10 of the Act and our regulations at 50 CFR 17.22.

    The Act does not specify particular prohibitions and exceptions to those prohibitions for threatened species. Instead, under section 4(d) of the Act, the Secretary of the Interior, as well as the Secretary of Commerce depending on the species, was given the discretion to issue such regulations as deemed necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species. The Secretary also has the discretion to prohibit by regulation with respect to any threatened species any act prohibited under section 9(a)(1) of the Act. For the golden conure, the Service is exercising our discretion to propose a rule under section 4(d) of the Act. If this proposed rule is adopted, we will incorporate all prohibitions and provisions of 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32, except that import and export of certain golden conures into and from the United States and certain acts in interstate commerce will be allowed without a permit under the Act, as explained below.

    Import and Export

    The proposed 4(d) rule imposes a prohibition on imports and exports (by incorporating 50 CFR 17.31), but creates exceptions for certain golden conures. Shipments of captive specimens (i.e., not taken from the wild) may include live and dead golden conures and parts and products, including the import and export of personal pets and research samples. The proposed 4(d) rule would adopt the existing conservation regulatory requirements of CITES and the WBCA as the appropriate regulatory provisions for the import and export of these golden conure specimens.

    This 4(d) rule proposes to allow a person to import or export, into and from the United States, captive specimens, without a permit issued under the Act, provided that the export is authorized under CITES and the import is authorized under CITES and the WBCA. The import would require a CITES document issued by the foreign Management Authority indicating a source code of “C”, “D”, or “F.” Exporters of captive birds would need to provide a signed and dated statement from the breeder of the bird, along with documentation that identifies the source of their breeding stock in order to obtain a CITES export permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Management Authority. Exporters of captive-bred birds must provide a signed and dated statement from the breeder of the bird confirming its captive-bred status, and documentation on the source of the breeder's breeding stock. The source codes of C, D, and F for CITES permits and certificates are as follows:

    • Source Code C: Animals bred in captivity in accordance with Resolution Conf. 10.16 (Rev.), as well as parts and derivatives thereof, exported under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 5 of the Convention.

    • Source Code D: Appendix I animals bred in captivity for commercial purposes in operations included in the Secretariat's Register, in accordance with Resolution Conf. 12.10 (Rev. CoP15), and Appendix I plants artificially propagated for commercial purposes, as well as parts and derivatives thereof, exported under the provisions of Article VII, paragraph 4, of the Convention.

    • Source Code F: Animals born in captivity (F1 or subsequent generations) that do not fulfill the definition of “bred in captivity” in Resolution Conf. 10.16 (Rev.), as well as parts and derivatives thereof.

    The proposed 4(d) rule would not allow any U.S. import or export of golden conures that are taken from the wild; such birds must continue to meet the requirements of 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32, including obtaining a permit under the Act, with the following exception. This 4(d) rule proposes to allow a person to import or export a wild golden conure specimen if the specimen was held in captivity prior to the date the species was listed in CITES Appendix I (i.e., prior to the date that CITES entered into force on July 1, 1975, with “golden parakeet” (i.e., the golden conure) listed in Appendix I) and provided that it meets all the requirements of CITES and WBCA. If a specimen was taken from the wild and held in captivity prior to that date (July 1, 1975), the exporter would need to provide documentation as part of the application for a U.S. CITES preconvention certificate. Examples of documentation may include: (1) A copy of the original CITES permit indicating when the bird was removed from the wild, (2) veterinary records, or (3) museum specimen reports. Additionally, consistent with the 4(d) regulations for other species in the parrot family at 50 CFR 17.41 (c), the prohibitions on take would apply and the 4(d) rule would require a permit under the Act for any activity that could take a golden conure. Our regulations at 50 CFR 17.3 establish that take, when applied to captive wildlife, does not include generally accepted animal husbandry practices, breeding procedures, or provisions of veterinary care for confining, tranquilizing, or anesthetizing, when such practices are not likely to result in injury to the wildlife.

    We assessed the conservation needs of the golden conure in light of the broad protections provided to the species under CITES and the WBCA. As noted above in Summary of Factors Affecting the Species, some level of poaching for illegal trade of golden conures is occurring within Brazil (Silveira and Belmonte in press, unpaginated) but there is little evidence that this practice occurs at the international level (Laranjeiras 2011a, unpaginated; Silveira and Belmonte 2005 in press, unpaginated). The best available commercial data indicate that tighter enforcement of CITES, stricter European Union legislation, adoption of the WBCA in the United States, and adoption of national legislation in other countries have all helped to significantly curtail illegal international trade (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99). Therefore, illegal international trade is not likely to be occurring at levels that negatively affect the golden conure population. Additionally, legal international trade of the species is not currently occurring at levels that affect the golden conure population. Therefore, we find that the import and export requirements of the proposed 4(d) rule provide the necessary and advisable conservation measures that are needed for this species. This proposed 4(d) rule, if made final, would streamline the permitting process for these types of activities by deferring to existing laws that are protective of golden conures in the course of import and export.

    Interstate Commerce

    Under the proposed 4(d) rule, a person may deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship a golden conure in interstate commerce in the course of a commercial activity, or sell or offer to sell in interstate commerce a golden conure without a permit under the Act. At the same time, the prohibitions on take under 50 CFR 17.21 would apply under this proposed 4(d) rule, and any interstate commerce activities that could incidentally take golden conure or otherwise constitute prohibited acts in foreign commerce would require a permit under 50 CFR 17.32.

    Between 1981 and 2016, persons within the United States imported 54 golden conures and exported 26; all were reported as live captive-bred birds except two exported birds that originated from an unknown source and one imported bird seized upon import (UNEP-WCMC 2018, unpaginated; Service 2018, p. 33). These imports and exports were made for commercial, captive-breeding, zoological, and personal purposes (UNEP-WCMC 2018, unpaginated; Service 2018, p. 33). We have no information to indicate that interstate commerce activities in the United States are associated with threats to the golden conure or would negatively affect any efforts aimed at the recovery of wild populations of the species. Therefore, because (1) acts in interstate commerce within the United States have not been found to threaten the golden conure, (2) the species is otherwise protected in the course of interstate and foreign commercial activities under the take provisions set forth at 50 CFR 17.31, and (3) international trade of this species appears to be effectively regulated under CITES, we find this proposed 4(d) rule contains all the prohibitions and authorizations necessary and advisable for the conservation of the golden conure.

    Proposed Technical Correction

    Sections 50 CFR 17.11(c) and 17.12(b) of Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations direct us to use the most recently accepted scientific name of any wildlife or plant species, respectively, that we have determined to be an endangered or threatened species. The golden conure currently appears on the List as the “golden parakeet” (Aratinga guarouba). However, in this proposed rule, we refer to the species by the common name “golden conure” and, based on the best available scientific information regarding the species' taxonomy, we use the scientific name Guaruba guarouba. Both “golden conure” and “golden parakeet” are common names associated with Guaruba guarouba. We find that the best available scientific information available supports the designation of the golden conure to its own genus (Guaruba). Therefore, we propose to update the List to reflect this change in the scientific name for golden conure.

    The basis for this taxonomic change is supported by published studies in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Urantówka and Mackiewicz 2017, entire; Tavares et al. 2004, pp. 230, 236-237, 239; Sick 1990, p. 112). Accordingly, we propose to correct the scientific name of the species under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) by changing the name as currently listed (i.e., golden parakeet (Aratinga guarouba)) to the corrected species name (i.e., golden conure or golden parakeet (Guaruba guarouba)). We note that we are not required to propose such a technical correction and can generally make such a change in a direct final rule. We determined it more efficient, however, to include the technical correction in this proposal.

    Effects of This Rule

    If this proposed rule is made final, it would revise 50 CFR 17.11(h) to reclassify the golden conure from endangered to threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Additionally, if the proposed 4(d) rule is adopted in a final rule, the Service will incorporate all prohibitions and provisions of 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32, except that import and export of certain golden conures into and from the United States and certain acts in interstate commerce will be allowed without a permit under the Act. In addition, if the proposed taxonomic change is made final, we will revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to change the species' scientific name to Guaruba guarouba, and its common name to golden conure (=golden parakeet).

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that we do not need to prepare an environmental assessment, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, in connection with regulations adopted under section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019 or upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Branch of Delisting and Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wildlife.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.11(h), the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, by: a. Removing the entry for “Parakeet, golden” under BIRDS; and b. Adding an entry for “Conure, golden (=golden parakeet)” in alphabetical order under BIRDS to read as follows:
    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Common name Scientific name Where listed Status Listing citations and applicable rules *         *         *         *         *         *         * BIRDS *         *         *         *         *         *         * Conure, golden, (=golden parakeet) Guaruba guarouba Wherever found T 41 FR 24062, 6/14/1976; [Federal Register citation of final rule]; 50 CFR 17.41(c) 4d. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    3. Amend § 17.41 by revising paragraph (c) introductory text and paragraph (c)(2)(ii) introductory text, and by adding paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(D) to read as follows:
    § 17.41 Special rules—birds.

    (c) The following species in the parrot family: Salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), yellow-billed parrot (Amazona collaria), white cockatoo (Cacatua alba), and the golden conure (Guaruba guarouba).

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Specimens held in captivity prior to certain dates: You must provide documentation to demonstrate that the specimen was held in captivity prior to the applicable date specified in paragraphs (c)(2)(ii)(A), (B), (C), or (D) of this section. Such documentation may include copies of receipts, accession or veterinary records, CITES documents, or wildlife declaration forms, which must be dated prior to the specified dates.

    (D) For golden conures: July 1, 1975 (the date CITES entered into force with the “golden parakeet” (i.e., the golden conure) listed in Appendix I).

    Dated: August 3, 2018. James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Exercising the Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19153 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    83 172 Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Information Collection Request; Request for Aerial Photography AGENCY:

    Farm Service Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision and an extension of a currently approved information collection associated with FSA Aerial Photography Program. The FSA Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) uses the information from the form to collect the customer and photography information needed to produce and ship the various photographic products ordered.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments that we receive by November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comments, include the date, volume, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register, the OMB control number and the title of the information collection request. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: David Parry, Supervisor, USDA, Farm Service Agency, APFO Customer Service Section, 2222 West 2300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119-2020.

    You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503. Copies of the information collection may be requested by contacting David Parry at the above address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Parry, (801) 844-2923. Persons with disabilities who require alternative mean for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (Voice).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Request for Aerial Photography.

    OMB Control Number: 0560-0176.

    Expiration Date: October 31, 2018.

    Type of Request: Extension with a revision.

    Collection

    Abstract: The information collection is needed to enable the Department of Agriculture to effectively administrate the Aerial Photography Program. APFO has the responsibility for conducting and coordinating the FSA's aerial photography, remote sensing programs, and the aerial photography flying contract programs. The digital and film imagery secured by FSA is public domain and reproductions are available at cost to any customer with a need. All receipts from the sale of aerial photography products and services are retained by FSA. The FSA-441, Request for Aerial Photography, is the form FSA supplies to the customers for placing an order for aerial imagery products and services. The burden hours have decreased because there are a fewer customers requesting for the aerial photography products.

    For the following estimated total annual burden on respondents, the formula used to calculate the total burden hour is the estimated average time per responses hours multiplied by the estimated total annual responses.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information collection is estimated to average 19 minutes per response. The average travel time, which is included in the total burden, is estimated to be 1 hour per respondent.

    Type of Respondents: Farmers, Ranchers and other customers who wish to purchase imagery products and services.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,465.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 1,465.

    Estimated Average Time per Response: 0.296.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 433 hours.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FSA, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of FSA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Evaluate the quality, utility, and clarity of the information technology; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses where provided, will be made a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection.

    Richard Fordyce, Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19134 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notices in the Southwestern Region, Which Includes Arizona, New Mexico, and Parts of Oklahoma and Texas AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists the newspapers that will be used by all Ranger Districts, Grasslands, Forests, and the Regional Office of the Southwestern Region to publish legal notices. The intended effect of this action is to inform interested members of the public which newspapers the Forest Service will use to publish notices of proposed actions, notices of decision, and notices of opportunity to file an objection or appeal. This will provide the public with constructive notice of Forest Service proposals and decisions, provide information on the procedures to comment, appeal, or object, and establish the date that the Forest Service will use to determine if comments, appeals, or objections were timely.

    DATES:

    Publication of legal notices in the listed newspapers will begin on the date of this publication and continue until further notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Roxanne Turley, Regional Administrative Review Coordinator, Forest Service, Southwestern Region; 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102-3498.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roxanne Turley, Regional Administrative Review Coordinator; (505) 842-3178.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The administrative procedures at 36 CFR 218 and 219 require the Forest Service to publish notices in a newspaper of general circulation. The content of the notices is specified in 36 CFR 218 and 219. In general, the notices will identify: The decision or project, by title or subject matter; the name and title of the official making the decision; how to obtain additional information; and where and how to file comments, appeals, or objections. The date the notice is published will be used to establish the official date for the beginning of the comment, appeal, or objection period. Where more than one newspaper is listed for any unit, the first newspaper listed is the primary newspaper of record of which publication date shall be used for calculating the time period to file comment, appeal, or an objection.

    Southwestern Regional Office Regional Forester

    Notices of Availability for Comment and Decisions and Objections affecting New Mexico Forests:—“Albuquerque Journal”, Albuquerque, New Mexico, for National Forest System Lands in the State of New Mexico for any projects of Region-wide impact, or for any projects affecting more than one National Forest or National Grassland in New Mexico. Regional Forester Notices of Availability for Comment and Decisions and Objections affecting Arizona Forests:—“The Arizona Republic”, Phoenix, Arizona, for National Forest System lands in the State of Arizona for any projects of Region-wide impact, or for any projects affecting more than one National Forest in Arizona.

    Regional Forester Notices of Availability for Comment and Decisions and Objections affecting National Grasslands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are listed by Grassland and location as follows: Kiowa National Grassland notices published in:—“Union County Leader”, Clayton New Mexico. Rita Blanca National Grassland in Cimarron County, Oklahoma notices published in:—“Boise City News”, Boise City, Oklahoma. Rita Blanca National Grassland in Dallam County, Texas notices published in:—“The Dalhart Texan”, Dalhart, Texas. Black Kettle National Grassland in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma notices published in:—“Cheyenne Star”, Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Black Kettle National Grassland in Hemphill County, Texas notices published in:—“The Canadian Record”, Canadian, Texas. McClellan Creek National Grassland in Gray County, Texas notices published in:—“The Pampa News”, Pampa, Texas.

    Regional Forester Notices of Availability for Comment and Decisions and Objections affecting only one National Forest or National Grassland unit will appear in the newspaper of record elected by each National Forest or National Grassland as listed below.

    Arizona National Forests Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Alpine Ranger District, Black Mesa Ranger District, Lakeside Ranger District, and Springerville Ranger District are published in:—“The White Mountain Independent”, Apache County, Arizona.

    Clifton Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Copper Era”, Clifton, Arizona.

    Coconino National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Mogollon Rim Ranger District, and Flagstaff Ranger District are published in:—“Arizona Daily Sun”, Flagstaff, Arizona.

    Red Rock Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Red Rock News”, Sedona, Arizona.

    Coronado National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor and Santa Catalina Ranger District are published in:—“The Arizona Daily Star”, Tucson, Arizona.

    Douglas Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Daily Dispatch”, Douglas, Arizona; notices for projects occurring within the Peloncillo Mountain Range (the Peloncillo Ecosystem Management Area) are published in:—“Hidalgo County Herald”, Lordsburg, New Mexico. Nogales Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Nogales International”, Nogales, Arizona.

    Sierra Vista Ranger District Notices for projects east of Highway 83 are published in:—“Sierra Vista Herald”, Sierra Vista, Arizona; notices for projects west of Highway 83 are published in:—“Nogales International”, Nogales, Arizona.

    Safford Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Eastern Arizona Courier”, Safford, Arizona.

    Kaibab National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, North Kaibab Ranger District, Tusayan Ranger District, and Williams Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Arizona Daily Sun”, Flagstaff, Arizona.

    Prescott National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Bradshaw Ranger District, and Chino Valley Ranger District are published in:—“Daily Courier”, Prescott, Arizona. Verde Ranger District Notices are published in: “Verde Independent”, Cottonwood, Arizona.

    Tonto National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions, and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Cave Creek Ranger District, and Mesa Ranger District are published in:—“Arizona Capitol Times”, in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Globe Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Arizona Silver Belt”, Globe, Arizona. Payson Ranger District, Pleasant Valley Ranger District and Tonto Basin Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Payson Roundup”, Payson, Arizona.

    New Mexico National Forests Carson National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Camino Real Ranger District, Tres Piedras Ranger District and Questa Ranger District are published in:—“The Taos News”, Taos, New Mexico.

    Canjilon Ranger District and El Rito Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Rio Grande Sun”, Espanola, New Mexico.

    Jicarilla Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Farmington Daily Times”, Farmington, New Mexico.

    Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor affecting lands in New Mexico, except the National Grasslands are published in:—“Albuquerque Journal”, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Forest Supervisor Notices affecting National Grasslands in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are published by grassland and location as follows: Kiowa National Grassland in Colfax, Harding, Mora and Union Counties, New Mexico published in:—“Union County Leader”, Clayton, New Mexico. Rita Blanca National Grassland in Cimarron County, Oklahoma published in:—“Boise City News”, Boise City, Oklahoma. Rita Blanca National Grassland in Dallam County, Texas published in:—“The Dalhart Texan”, Dalhart, Texas. Black Kettle National Grassland, in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma published in:—“Cheyenne Star”, Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Black Kettle National Grassland, in Hemphill County, Texas, published in:—“The Canadian Record”, Canadian, Texas. McClellan Creek National Grassland published in:—“The Pampa News”, Pampa, Texas.

    Mt. Taylor Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Cibola County Beacon”, Grants, New Mexico.

    Magdalena Ranger District Notices are published in:—“El Defensor-Chieftain”, Socorro, New Mexico.

    Mountainair Ranger District Notices are published in:—“The Independent”, Edgewood, New Mexico.

    Sandia Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Albuquerque Journal”, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Kiowa National Grassland Notices are published in:—“Union County Leader”, Clayton, New Mexico.

    Rita Blanca National Grassland Notices in Cimarron County, Oklahoma are published in:—“Boise City News”, Boise City, Oklahoma while Rita Blanca National Grassland Notices in Dallam County, Texas are published in:—“Dalhart Texan”, Dalhart, Texas.

    Black Kettle National Grassland Notices in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma are published in:—“Cheyenne Star”, Cheyenne, Oklahoma, while Black Kettle National Grassland Notices in Hemphill County, Texas are published in:—“The Canadian Record”, Canadian, Texas.

    McClellan Creek National Grassland Notices are published in:—“The Pampa News”, Pampa, Texas.

    Gila National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Quemado Ranger District, Reserve Ranger District, Glenwood Ranger District, Silver City Ranger District and Wilderness Ranger District are published in:—“Silver City Daily Press”, Silver City, New Mexico.

    Black Range Ranger District Notices are published in:—“The Herald”, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

    Lincoln National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor and the Sacramento Ranger District are published in:—“Alamogordo Daily News”, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    Guadalupe Ranger District Notices are published in:—”Carlsbad Current Argus”, Carlsbad, New Mexico.

    Smokey Bear Ranger District Notices are published in:—“Ruidoso News”, Ruidoso, New Mexico.

    Santa Fe National Forest

    Notices for Availability for Comments, Decisions and Objections by Forest Supervisor, Coyote Ranger District, Cuba Ranger District, Espanola Ranger District, Jemez Ranger District and Pecos-Las Vegas Ranger District are published in:—“Albuquerque Journal”, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Dated: August 17, 2018. Gregory Smith, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19181 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS-2018-0005] Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service AGENCY:

    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of proposed changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices (NHCP) for public review and comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the NHCP. These standards include Combustion System Improvement (Code 372), Dust Control on Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373), Integrated Pest management (Code 595), Nutrient Management (Code 590), Pesticide Mitigation (Code 594), Subsurface Drain (Code 606), Waste Facility Closure (Code 360), and Wildlife Habitat Planting (Code 420).

    NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices in their States will incorporate them into Section IV of their respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. These practices may be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land (HEL) or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland provisions of the law.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This is applicable September 5, 2018.

    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before October 5, 2018. Final versions of these new or revised conservation practice standards will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period and after consideration of all comments.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number NRCS-2018-0005, using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail or hand-delivery:Public Comments Processing, Attention: Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and Accountability, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Building 1-1112D, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.

    NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If your comment includes your address, phone number, email, or other personal identifying information (PII), your comments, including PII, may be available to the public. You may ask in your comment that your PII be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Bill Reck, National Environmental Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest, South Building, Room 6136, Washington, DC 20250.

    Electronic copies can be downloaded or printed from http://go.usa.gov/TXye. Requests for paper versions or inquiries may be directed to: Mr. Emil Horvath, National Practice Standards Review Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central National Technology Support Center, 501 West Felix Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76115.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The amount of the proposed changes varies considerably for each of the conservation practice standards addressed in this notice. To fully understand the proposed changes, individuals are encouraged to compare these changes with each standard's current version, which can be found at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/technical/cp/ncps/?cid=nrcs143_026849. To aid in this comparison, following are highlights of some of the proposed revisions to each standard:

    Combustion System Improvement (Code 372)—Revised language of the general criteria and criteria applicable to the air quality and energy purposes to address some confusion encountered in the implementation of the practice.

    Dust Control on Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373)—Relatively minor changes have been made to the 2010 version. Two purposes were added to more adequately describe the reasons for using this practice: “improve visibility by reducing emissions of particulate matter;” and “improve plant health and vigor by reducing emissions of particulate matter.”

    Integrated Pest Management (Code 595)—The standard definition and purposes have been updated to reflect current agency policy and science. The standard has been edited to clarify criteria, and support farmers and ranchers wanting to address resource concerns and implement an integrated pest management system where land-grant-university guidelines are available.

    Nutrient Management (Code 590)—The revision has no significant definition technical changes. Instead, it has a focus on improving the usability of 590 at the operational level of the agency (i.e. the State and field). The formatting and writing style were updated to meet current agency requirements. Bullet point statements were used to specify single concepts and replace paragraphs containing multiple concepts.

    Pesticide Mitigation (Code 594)—A new standard to support farmers and ranchers wanting to address resource concerns created by the use of pesticides in areas where they do not have land-grant university integrated pest management guidelines for one or more of their crops or cropping systems. Proposed Standard 594 offers resource protection using site-specific techniques designed to mitigate the impacts of chemical pest suppression on natural resources.

    Subsurface Drain (Code 606)—The formatting and writing style were updated to meet current agency requirements. Sections of the standard were relocated and rearranged to improve document flow. The minimum velocity has been raised to 0.8 feet-per-second for areas without sedimentation problems. Provisions have been included for the use of square junction boxes.

    Waste Facility Closure (Code 360)—The formatting and writing style were updated to improve clarity. Criteria was added to dry-waste storages to render the site unsuitable for stacking or treating waste. Language was added to the standard to make it clear that the standard is not used for the rehabilitation or expansion of existing facilities.

    Wildlife Habitat Planting (Code 420)—This is a new conservation practice standard developed to better address the technical complexities of establishing wildlife habitat, including pollinator and monarch butterfly habitat plantings. Wildlife Habitat Planting (420) will be planned and applied when establishing herbaceous vegetation for wildlife. Planting trees for wildlife will be planned and applied using Tree and Shrub Establishment (612).

    Signed this 28th day of August, 2018, in Washington, DC Leonard Jordan, Acting Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19145 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service OneRD Guaranteed Loan Platform AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Request for information and notice of public listening sessions.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD), comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces that it is hosting listening sessions for public input regarding development of a common platform to deliver four guaranteed loan programs.

    The Rural Development Innovation Center (IC) is holding these listening sessions specifically to provide an opportunity for stakeholders and other interested parties to offer their comments and input.

    DATES:

    Written Comments: Interested parties must submit written comments on or before October 22, 2018.

    Listening Sessions: Listening sessions will be held on September 10, 12, 14, 19, and 20, 2018. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for additional guidance and information on the listening sessions.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments by any of the following methods.

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

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment addressed to Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulations Management Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., STOP 1522, Room 5159, Washington, DC 20250-1522.

    • Orally at the listening session; please also provide a written copy of your comments online as specified above or in hard copy at the listening session.

    Listening Sessions: To ensure maximum stakeholder involvement, six listening sessions are scheduled and will allow for in-person comments.

    The Listening Sessions Are as Follows

    West Region: Monday, September 10, 2018, Denver, Colorado. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Denver Federal Center, 6th Kipling, Building 25, Lecture Hall, Denver, Colorado. See https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/DFC_map_508_2014-0619.pdf for a map of the facility. To enter the facility, please be prepared to present a valid driver's license and current vehicle registration at the entrance gates.

    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/yjoqkcys0pjm&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used:

    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.

    Access Code: 7207501.

    South Region: Monday, September 10, 2018, Lexington, Kentucky. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Kentucky State Office, USDA Rural Development, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, Kentucky.

    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/776hi2fw0o2u&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used:

    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.

    Access Code: 7207502.

    Midwest Region: Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Lake Ozark, Missouri. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The Lodge of Four Seasons, 315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake Ozark, Missouri. The Sea Chase Room.

    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2sgmfo5txt2a&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used:

    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.

    Access Code: 7207502.

    Northeast Region: Friday, September 14, 2018, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. East Stroudsburg University, Innovation Center, 562 Independence Rd., East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Innovation Center, Room 336.

    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/26b0nffdxaoi&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used:

    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.

    Access Code: 7207502.

    National: Thursday, September 20, 2018, Washington, DC. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 1400 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 20250. The meeting will be held in Room 107-A of the USDA Whitten Building. To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/gfyzg0zqobay&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used:

    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.

    Access Code: 7207502.

    Tribal Listening Session: A virtual listening session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. To participate, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/qm9gmf0lse56&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used:

    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.

    Access Code: 7207502.

    If a Tribe would like to request government-to-government consultation regarding this rule, requests should be directed to RD's Native American Coordinator at [email protected] or (720) 544-2911.

    Registration: Registration is required for all sessions by sending an email to [email protected], and listing your name, title, email, city, state, organization, and session location.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Brooks at (202) 690-1078 or Jamie Davenport at (202) 720-0002. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Individuals needing assistance with ReadyTalk should follow the Technical Support link in the ReadyTalk Meeting Lobby.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 30, 2017, Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) and on February 24, 2017, Executive Order 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda) were issued for action by the heads of all agencies. The Secretary of Agriculture and the respective USDA agencies, are working to implement the provisions of the Executive Orders to meet the needs of our customers and other stakeholders. In order to implement the provisions expeditiously and to ensure transparency, it is important to hear from stakeholders to be aware of their priorities and concerns.

    Rural Development is considering the development of a common platform to deliver four guaranteed loan programs. A common platform will be developed to provide policies and procedures for guaranteed loan making and servicing, lender reporting, and program monitoring. The intent is to simplify, improve and enhance the delivery of the Community Program Guaranteed loan program, the Water and Waste Disposal Guaranteed loan program, the Business and Industry Guaranteed loan program, and the Rural Energy for America Program guaranteed loans. The OneRD Guaranteed loan platform is anticipated to provide the following benefits:

    (1) Improve quality customer experience by streamlining and consolidating similar guaranteed loan programs;

    (2) Advance economic development and access to capital by reducing complexities and redundancies;

    (3) Improve operation efficiencies and cross-program coordination by enabling staff to learn all RD guaranteed loan programs;

    (4) Enable RD to integrate innovation in the delivery of loan guarantees and align with industry lending practices; and

    (5) Create a platform that paves the way for modern processing and servicing to improve portfolio management.

    Request for Comment

    Stakeholder input is vital to ensure that the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform will meet expectations and continue to support the mission of RD without overly burdening the agency's customers. Rural Development will hold the listening sessions as outlined in the ADDRESSES section of this notice to receive oral comments from stakeholders and the public. A written copy of the oral comments is requested. (See the ADDRESSES section above for information about submitting written comments.) In addition, those who do not wish to attend or speak at the listening session are invited to submit written comments.

    The following questions and discussion items are provided as examples of topics stakeholders may wish to provide comment on. Rural Development welcomes pertinent comments that are beyond the scope of these questions. Rural Development is requesting comment and discussion on the following topics:

    Automation/Application Process

    1. What should the Agency do to simplify the application processes and standardize application requirements for its four loan guarantee programs?

    a. Are there portions of the required application components, such as the detailed preliminary engineering report or parts of it, that should be streamlined?

    2. The Agency is considering an online application intake system for all guaranteed loans.

    a. What features would enhance your application submission experience?

    b. Are there any best practices or software solutions that have been successfully incorporated by your lending institution?

    c. In general, in the loan processing/servicing solution space, are there any practices or software shortcomings that the Agency should be aware of?

    d. What software solutions have been the most effective to avoid data breaches and maintain the integrity of your online systems?

    Capital Markets

    What should the Agency consider that would enhance lenders' access to capital markets, improve market efficiencies and reduce risks of RD guaranteed loans sold on the secondary market?

    Credit Evaluation

    The Agency is considering amendments to key areas such as tangible balance sheet equity, format of financial statements, requirements for feasibility studies, and flexibility to consider project finance evaluation methods. Are there other credit evaluation enhancements which the Agency should consider that would better integrate existing lending practices into the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform?

    Lenders

    1. Should the Agency consider establishing a certified lender or preferred lender program? If so, what are suggested lender qualification requirements and program features?

    2. The Agency is considering a common platform of requirements for non-regulated lenders aimed at ensuring maximum participation while incorporating renewal provisions to ensure portfolio integrity. What specific challenges have non-regulated lenders faced under the existing program?

    Lender Financing Trends or Needs to be Considered

    1. The OneRD Guaranteed loan platform aims to enhance flexibility across all included programs to support financing via the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC), investment tax credit (ITC), and other tax credit structures.

    a. Are there additional flexibilities that the Agency should consider to enhance financing opportunities through NMTC, ITC and other tax credit programs?

    b. What additional financing structures or trends are occurring that the Agency should be aware of to ensure maximum flexibility within the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform?

    Miscellaneous

    1. What other issues should the Agency consider when implementing the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform?

    2. What do you find burdensome about our current processes?

    Listening Sessions

    Rural Development will hold the listening sessions on the dates listed in DATES section of this notices. Oral comments received from this listening session will be documented. All attendees of the listening sessions who submit oral comments are requested to submit a written copy to help Rural Development accurately capture public input. In addition, stakeholders and the public who do not wish to attend or speak at the listing session are invited to submit written comments which must be received by the date indicated in the DATES section of this notice.

    At the listening sessions, the focus is for Rural Development to hear from the public; this is not a discussion with Rural Development officials or a question and answer session. As noted above, the purpose is to receive public input that Rural Development can factor into decisions it needs to make in order to implement the OneRD Guaranteed Loan platform.

    Each listening session will begin with brief opening remarks from USDA leadership in Rural Development. Individual speakers providing oral comments are requested to be succinct (the agency reserves the right to announce a time limitation at the beginning of each session based on attendance) as we do not know at this time how many participants there will be. As noted above, we request that speakers providing oral comments also provide a written copy of their comments. (See the ADDRESSES section above for information about submitting written comments.) All stakeholders and interested members of the public are welcome to register to provide oral comments; however, if necessary due to the time constraints, a limited number will be selected on a first come, first serve basis.

    During each of the listening sessions, those unable to participate in-person will be able to do so remotely via ReadyTalk web conferencing. Those participating through the ReadyTalk platform will be in listen only-mode, but will have the opportunity to submit comments via the Chat function. The Chat function will be moderated by USDA Rural Development.

    Each listening session will produce an audio recording and transcript, both of which will be utilized in the rule-making process.

    Instructions for Attending the Meetings

    Space for attendance at the meetings are limited. Registration is required for those attending in person by sending an email to [email protected] with the following information:

    • First Name • Last Name • Organization • Title • Email • City • State • Session Attending.

    Directions to get to the listening sessions, and how to provide comments is available by emailing [email protected]

    All written comments received will be publicly available on www.regulations.gov. If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, use the contact information above. The listening session locations are accessible to persons with disabilities.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary, USDA Rural Development.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19101 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-28-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 37—Orange County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Takasago International Corp. (U.S.A.), (Fragrances), Harriman, New York

    On April 30, 2018, Takasago International Corp. (U.S.A.) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility within FTZ 37—Site 10, in Harriman, New York.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (83 FR 20033, May 7, 2018). On August 28, 2018, the applicant was notified of the FTZ Board's decision that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification was authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19209 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-54-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 75—Phoenix, Arizona; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Microchip Technology, Inc. (Semiconductor Devices and Related Products); Chandler and Tempe, Arizona

    Microchip Technology, Inc. (Microchip) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facilities in Chandler and Tempe, Arizona. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on August 28, 2018.

    Microchip already has authority to produce semiconductor devices and related products within Subzone 75H. The current request would add foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Microchip from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Microchip would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Field programmable microcontrollers; application-specific processors; related memory products; and, application development tools (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 3%). Microchip would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: In-circuit debuggers; rubber caps; evaporative air coolers; antennas; plastic boxes, cases, crates, stoppers, lids and caps; memory modules—not incorporating a cathode ray tube; brushless DC electric motors; power supply, output < 50 watts; static converters; transformers; relay contactors; lamp-holder plugs; lamp sockets; electrical equipment for switching of electrical circuits; servo drive boards (for test floor probers); infrared lamps; printed circuit assemblies; coaxial cables; and, electrical conductors with fitted connections (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 5.3%). The request indicates that certain materials/components are subject to special duties under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Section 301), depending on the country of origin. The applicable Section 301 decision requires subject merchandise to be admitted to FTZs in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is October 15, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19207 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-867] Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co., Ltd. (HEES) is the successor-in-interest to Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) and that HHI's current cash deposit rate is the applicable rate for all entries of the subject merchandise exported by HEES. In addition, we determine that facts presented in this changed circumstances review (CCR) warrant the retroactive application of the cash deposit rate to the effective date of the first entry by HEES.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 5, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John C. McGowan, 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) 482-3019.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 31, 2012, Commerce published in the Federal Register an antidumping duty order on large power transformers (LPTs) from the Republic of Korea (Korea).1 HHI was one of the producers/exporters reviewed in the less-than fair-value investigation and has been reviewed in each subsequent administrative review of the Order. During the 2014-2015 administrative review, covering the period August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015, Commerce assigned HHI an antidumping duty rate of 60.81 percent, finding that the application of total adverse facts available (AFA) was warranted.2 In addition, during the 2015-2016 administrative review, covering the period August 1, 2015, through July 31, 2016, Commerce continued to assign HHI an antidumping duty rate of 60.81 percent, finding that the application of total AFA was warranted.3

    1See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 53177 (August 31, 2012) (the Order).

    2See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 82 FR 13432 (March 13, 2017) (2014/2015 Final Results).

    3See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 11679 (March 16, 2018) (2015-2016 Final Results).

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.216(d), on December 4, 2017, Commerce self-initiated a CCR regarding HHI's new spin off company, HEES, based on information obtained: (1) During the course of the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 administrative reviews; (2) via public search and a phone conversation with a representative retained by ABB Inc.'s (ABB's or the petitioner's) counsel; and (3) from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.4

    4See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 82 FR 57210 (December 4, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    On May 31, 2018, Commerce issued the Preliminary Results of this CCR, in which it determined that: (1) HEES is the successor-in-interest to HHI; (2) HHI's current cash deposit rate is the rate applicable for all entries of LPTs exported by HEES; and (3) the application of the cash deposit rate applicable to HEES shall be made retroactively to the effective date of the first entry by HEES.5

    5See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 83 FR 24973 (May 31, 2018) (Preliminary Results) and the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    On July 6, 2018, Hyundai submitted comments regarding the Preliminary Results. 6 On July 13, 2018, ABB submitted its rebuttal brief.7

    6 HHI and HEES are collectively referred to as Hyundai. See Letter from Hyundai to Commerce, “Large Power Transformers from Korea: Hyundai's Case Brief,” dated July 6, 2018.

    7See Letter from the petitioner to Commerce, “Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Petitioner's Rebuttal Brief,” dated July 13, 2018.

    Scope of the Order

    The scope of this Order covers large liquid dielectric power transformers having a top power handling capacity greater than or equal to 60,000 kilovolt amperes (60 megavolt amperes), whether assembled or unassembled, complete or incomplete.

    Incomplete LPTs are subassemblies consisting of the active part and any other parts attached to, imported with or invoiced with the active parts of LPTs. The “active part” of the transformer consists of one or more of the following when attached to or otherwise assembled with one another: The steel core or shell, the windings, electrical insulation between the windings, the mechanical frame for an LPT.

    The product definition encompasses all such LPTs regardless of name designation, including but not limited to step-up transformers, step-down transformers, autotransformers, interconnection transformers, voltage regulator transformers, rectifier transformers, and power rectifier transformers.

    The LPTs subject to this Order are currently classifiable under subheadings 8504.23.0040, 8504.23.0080, and 8504.90.9540 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 scope of this Order is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    The issue raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties to this CCR is addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.8 A list of the topics discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is attached to this notice as an Appendix. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024, of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    8See Memorandum to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review Regarding Successor-In-Interest Analysis: Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review

    Based on the record evidence and our analysis of the comments received, Commerce continues to find that applying HHI's current cash deposit rate of 60.81 percent retroactively to the effective date of the first entry of HEES, HHI's successor-in-interest, is warranted.9

    9See Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    As a result of this determination, Commerce will instruct CBP to collect estimated antidumping duties for all shipments of the subject merchandise produced and/or exported by HEES and entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the first entry made by HEES at the 60.81 percent rate established in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 antidumping duty administrative reviews. This cash deposit requirement shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APOs) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.306. Timely written notification of the destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    We are issuing and publishing this final results notice in accordance with sections 751(b) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.216, 351.221(b)(5), and 351.221(c)(3).

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of Interested Party Comments Comment: Whether Retroactive Application of a Cash Deposit Rate to a Successor-in-Interest Is Permitted by Law and Consistent With Commerce's Practice V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-19210 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-090] Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 28, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Stolz or Jonathan Cornfield at (202) 482-4474 or (202) 482-3855, respectively; AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On August 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of certain steel wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in diameter (certain steel wheels) from the People's Republic of China (China), filed in proper form on behalf of Dexstar Wheel, a division of Americana Development, Inc. (the petitioner), which is a domestic producer of certain steel wheels.1 The AD Petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of certain steel wheels from China.

    1See the petitioner's letter, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12-16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 8, 2018 (the Petition).

    On August 10, 2018, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition in two separate supplemental questionnaires, one dealing with general issues with the Petition and the other with issues related to Volume II of the Petition (i.e., the AD allegation).2

    2See Commerce's letters, both titled, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” both dated August 10, 2018 (AD Supplemental Questionnaire and General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire).

    The petitioner filed its responses to the supplemental questionnaires on August 14 and August 15, 2018.3 On August 17, 2018, we spoke with the counsel to the petitioner regarding the scope language and its August 14 and August 15, 2018, submissions, requesting further clarification to certain responses.4 On August 20, 2018, the petitioner responded to Commerce's August 17 request for supplemental information, including further clarification of the scope language.5 On August 28, 2018, we again spoke with counsel to the petitioner, notifying counsel of a change to the index used to adjust the labor rate in the margin calculation.6

    3See the petitioner's letters, “Petitioner's Response to the Department of Commerce's August 10, 2018 Supplemental Questions, regarding the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 14, 2018 (AD Supplement), and “Petitioner's Response to the Department of Commerce's August 10, 2018 General Issues Questionnaire Regarding the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 15, 2018 (General Issues Supplement).

    4See memorandum to the file, “Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner,” dated August 17, 2018.

    5See the petitioner's letter, “Petitioner's Response to the Department of Commerce's August 17, 2018 Additional Questions Regarding the Petitions for the Imposition of antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 20, 2018 (Second General Issues and AD Supplement).

    6See memorandum to the file, “Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner: Valuation of Labor,” dated August 28, 2018.

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of certain steel wheels from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair-value (LTFV) within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing certain steel wheels in the United States. Consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegation.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the requested AD investigation.7

    7See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, infra.

    Period of Investigation

    Because China is a non-market economy (NME) country, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2018.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is certain steel wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in diameter from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Scope Comments

    During our review of the Petition, Commerce contacted the petitioner regarding the proposed scope language to ensure that the scope language in the Petition is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.8 As a result of the petitioner's submissions, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition. The description of the merchandise covered by this initiation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects these clarifications.

    8See General Issues Supplement, at 2-5 and Exhibit SGQ-2 (Revised Scope); see also Second General Issues and AD Supplement, at 1-2 and Exhibit SQR2-1 (Revised Scope).

    As discussed in the Preamble to Commerce's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).9 Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,10 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on September 17, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 27, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline.11

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    10See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining “factual information”).

    11See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Commerce requests that any factual information parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such submissions must be filed on the records of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).12 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    12See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of Commerce's electronic filing requirements, effective August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaire

    Commerce is providing interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of certain steel wheels to be reported in response to Commerce's AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant factors of production accurately, as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, all product characteristics comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 17, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice.13 Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 27, 2018. All comments and submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the record of the China LTFV investigation.

    13See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, Commerce shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs Commerce to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both Commerce and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,14 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.15

    14See section 771(10) of the Act.

    15See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation.16 Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that certain steel wheels, as defined in the scope, constitute a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.17

    16See Volume I of the Petition, at I-6 through I-8.

    17 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as applied to this case and information regarding industry support, see memorandum, “Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China” (China AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, (Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2017.18 In addition, the petitioner provided a letter of support from American Wheel Corporation, stating that the company supports the Petition and providing its own production of the domestic like product in 2017.19 The petitioner identifies itself and American Wheel Corporation as the only companies constituting the U.S. certain steel wheels industry and states that there are no other known producers of certain steel wheels in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.20

    18See Volume I of the Petition, at I-9, I-31 and Exhibit I-11.

    19See Volume I of the Petition, at I-9 and Exhibit I-2.

    20Id. at I-2, I-9 and Exhibit I-1; see also General Issues Supplement, at SGQ-5 and Exhibit SGQ-5.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.21 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, Commerce is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).22 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.23 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.24 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    21Id.

    22Id.; see also section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act.

    23See China AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    24Id.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act, and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting that Commerce initiate.25

    25Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.26

    26See Volume I of the Petition, at I-19 through I-21 and Exhibit I-8.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and lost revenues; decline in production, U.S. shipments, and capacity utilization; decline in production-related workers and hours worked; decline in capital expenditures; and negative impact on financial performance.27 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.28

    27Id. at I-15 through I-42 and Exhibits I-2, I-6, I-8, I-10, I-11, I-14 through I-16; see also General Issues Supplement, at SGQ-5, SGQ-6 and Exhibit SGQ-6.

    28See China AD Initiation Checklist at Attachment III (Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China).

    Allegations of Sales at LTFV

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at LTFV upon which Commerce based its decision to initiate an AD investigation of imports of certain steel wheels from China. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the China AD Initiation Checklist.

    Export Price

    The petitioner based U.S. export price (EP) on price lists for certain steel wheels offered for export to the United States by a Chinese producer and exporter of certain steel wheels.29 The petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses, consistent with the terms of sale.30

    29See China AD Initiation Checklist.

    30Id.

    Normal Value

    Commerce considers China to be an NME country.31 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, any determination that a foreign country is an NME country shall remain in effect until revoked by Commerce. Therefore, we continue to treat China as an NME country for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, NV in China is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.32

    31See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 50858, 50861 (November 2, 2017) (citing Memorandum to Gary Taverman, “China's Status as a Non-Market Economy,” dated October 26, 2017), unchanged in Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 83 FR 9282 (March 5, 2018).

    32See China AD Initiation Checklist.

    The petitioner claims that Romania is an appropriate surrogate country for China because it is a market economy country that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of China and it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise.33 The petitioner provided publicly available information from Romania to value all FOPs.34 Therefore, based on the information provided by the petitioner, we determine that it is appropriate to use Romania as the primary surrogate country for initiation purposes.35

    33See AD Supplement at 3-4 and Exhibit S-II-4(B).

    34See Volume II of the Petition at 10 and Exhibit II-9; see also AD Supplement at Exhibits S-II-2, S-II-3(B), and S-II-7; and Second General Issues and AD Supplement at Exhibits SQR2-2 through SQR2-6.

    35See China AD Initiation Checklist.

    Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

    Factors of Production

    Based on its assertion that information regarding the FOPs and volume of inputs consumed by Chinese producers/exporters of certain steel wheels was not reasonably available to the petitioner, the petitioner used its own consumption rates to estimate the Chinese manufacturers' FOPs.36 The petitioner stated that consumption rates for the Chinese FOPs are similar to those experienced by the petitioner, and as such, the petitioner used its own inputs and consumption rates to estimate the Chinese manufacturers' FOPs.37 In addition, the petitioner valued the estimated FOPs using surrogate values from Romania,38 and used the average POI exchange rate to convert surrogate values expressed in euros to U.S. dollars.39

    36See Volume II of the Petition at 13 and Exhibit II-5(A).

    37Id.

    38Id. at Exhibit II-9; see also AD Supplement at Exhibits II-2, II-3(B) and S-II-7; see also Second General Issues and AD Supplement at Exhibits SQR2-2 through SQR2-6.

    39See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II-9.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of certain steel wheels from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at LTFV. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for certain steel wheels from China are 30.48-44.35 percent.40

    40See Second General Issues and AD Supplement at Exhibit SQR2-7; see also China AD Initiation Checklist at Attachment V.

    Initiation of LTFV Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the Petition, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of certain steel wheels from China are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at LTFV. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named 36 producers/exporters as accounting for the majority of exports of certain steel wheels to the United States from China.41 In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise subject to this investigation. In the event Commerce determines that it cannot individually examine each company, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select mandatory respondents based on the responses received to its Q&V questionnaire. Commerce will request Q&V information from known exporters and producers identified with complete contact information in the Petition. In addition, Commerce will post the Q&V questionnaires along with filing instructions on Enforcement and Compliance's website at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    41See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit I-6; see also General Issues Supplement, at SGQ-1 and Exhibit SGQ-1.

    Producers/exporters of certain steel wheels from China that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy of the Q&V questionnaire from Enforcement & Compliance's website. The Q&V questionnaire response must be submitted by the relevant Chinese exporters/producers no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on September 11, 2018, which is two weeks from the signature date of this notice. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS.

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.42 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in this investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.43 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they respond to all parts of Commerce's AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. Commerce requires that companies from China submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by the respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. Companies not filing a timely Q&V questionnaire response will not receive separate-rate consideration.

    42See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1).

    43 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with 19 CFR 351.301(a), which states that “the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,” this deadline is now 30 days.

    Use of Combination Rates

    Commerce will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.44

    44See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petition have been provided to the government of China via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of certain steel wheels from China are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.45 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.46 Otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    45See section 733(a) of the Act.

    46Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (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). 19 CFR 351.301(b) requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 47 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.48 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    47See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    48See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we 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, we will inform parties in a letter or memorandum of the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.49 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).50 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable certification requirements.

    49See section 782(b) of the Act.

    50See also Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is certain on-the-road steel wheels, discs, and rims for tubeless tires with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches, regardless of width. Certain on-the-road steel wheels with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches within the scope are generally for road and highway trailers and other towable equipment, including, inter alia, utility trailers, cargo trailers, horse trailers, boat trailers, recreational trailers, and towable mobile homes. The standard widths of certain on-the-road steel wheels are 4 inches, 4.5 inches, 5 inches, 5.5 inches, 6 inches, and 6.5 inches, but all certain on-the-road steel wheels, regardless of width, are covered by the scope.

    The scope includes rims and discs for certain on-the-road steel wheels, whether imported as an assembly, unassembled, or separately. The scope includes certain on-the-road steel wheels regardless of steel composition, whether cladded or not cladded, whether finished or not finished, and whether coated or uncoated. The scope also includes certain on-the-road steel wheels with discs in either a “hub-piloted” or “stud-piloted” mounting configuration, though the stud-piloted configuration is most common in the size range covered.

    All on-the-road wheels sold in the United States must meet Standard 110 or 120 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which requires a rim marking, such as the “DOT” symbol, indicating compliance with applicable motor vehicle standards. See 49 CFR 571.110 and 571.120. The scope includes certain on-the-road steel wheels imported with or without NHTSA's required markings.

    Certain on-the-road steel wheels imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the wheel and/or with a valve stem or rims imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the rim and/or with a valve stem are included in the scope of this investigation. However, if the steel wheels or rims are imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the wheel or rim and/or with a valve stem attached, the tire and/or valve stem is not covered by the scope.

    Excluded from this scope are the following:

    (1) Steel wheels for use with tube-type tires; such tires use multi piece rims, which are two-piece and three-piece assemblies and require the use of an inner tube;

    (2) aluminum wheels;

    (3) certain on-the-road steel wheels that are coated entirely with chrome; and

    (4) steel wheels that do not meet Standard 110 or 120 of the NHTSA's requirements other than the rim marking requirements found in 49 CFR 571.110S4.4.2 and 571.120S5.2.

    Certain on-the-road steel wheels subject to this investigation are properly classifiable under the following category of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 8716.90.5035 which covers the exact product covered by the scope whether entered as an assembled wheel or in components. Certain on-the-road steel wheels entered with a tire mounted on them may be entered under HTSUS 8716.90.5059 (Trailers and semi-trailers; other vehicles, not mechanically propelled, parts, wheels, other, wheels with other tires) (a category that will be broader than what is covered by the scope). While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-19206 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-091] Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 28, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keith Haynes at (202) 482-5139 or Emily Halle at (202) 482-0176, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On August 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) received a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of certain steel wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in diameter (certain steel wheels) from the People's Republic of China (China), filed in proper form on behalf of Dexstar Wheel, a division of Americana Development, Inc. (the petitioner), which is a domestic producer of certain steel wheels.1 The CVD Petition was accompanied by an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of certain steel wheels from China.

    1See the petitioner's letter, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 8, 2018 (the Petition).

    On August 10, 2018, Commerce requested supplemental information pertaining to certain aspects of the Petition in two separate supplemental questionnaires, one dealing with general issues with the Petition and the other with issues related to Volume III of the Petition (i.e., the CVD allegation).2

    2See Commerce's letters, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” (CVD Deficiency Questionnaire), and “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” (General Issues Deficiency Questionnaire), each dated August 10, 2018.

    The petitioner filed its responses to the supplemental questionnaires on August 15, 2018.3 On August 17, 2018, we spoke with the petitioner regarding the scope language submitted in its August 15, 2018, submission.4 On August 20, 2018, the petitioner filed an amendment to the scope, further clarifying the scope language.5

    3See the petitioner's letters, “Certain Steel Wheels 12 To 16.5 inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China (C-570-091): Petitioners' Response to Commerce's August 10, 2018 Supplemental Questionnaire Regarding the Countervailing Duty Petition” (CVD Supplement) and “Petitioners' Response to Commerce's August 10, 2018 General Issues Questionnaire Regarding the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels from the People's Republic of China,” (General Issues Supplement), each dated August 15, 2018.

    4See memorandum, “Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner,” dated August 17, 2018.

    5See the petitioner's letter, “Petitioner's Response to the Department of Commerce's August 17, 2018 Additional Questions Regarding the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 20, 2018 (Second Scope and AD Supplement).

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the Government of China (GOC) is providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to producers of certain steel wheels in China and that imports of such products are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing certain steel wheels in the United States. Consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(b), for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD investigation, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. Commerce also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support necessary for the initiation of the requested CVD investigation.6

    6See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, infra.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on August 8, 2018, the period of investigation is January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is certain steel wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in diameter from China. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Scope Comments

    During our review of the Petition, Commerce contacted the petitioner regarding the proposed scope language to ensure that the scope language in the Petition is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7 As a result of the petitioner's submissions, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition. The description of the merchandise covered by this initiation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects these clarifications.

    7See General Issues Supplement, at 2-5 and Exhibit SGQ-2 (Revised Scope); see also August 20 Petition Supplement, at 1-2 and Exhibit SQR2-1 (Revised Scope).

    As discussed in the Preamble to Commerce's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).8 Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,9 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, Commerce requests that all interested parties submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on September 17, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 27, 2018, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline.10

    8See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997) (Preamble).

    9See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining “factual information”).

    10See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Commerce requests that any factual information parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such submissions must be filed on the records of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).11 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    11See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011). See also Enforcement and Compliance: Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of Commerce's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx, and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to sections 702(b)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Act, Commerce notified representatives of the GOC of the receipt of the Petition and provided them the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.12 The GOC did not request consultations.

    12See Commerce letter, “Countervailing Duty Petition on Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 9, 2018.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, Commerce shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs Commerce to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both Commerce and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,13 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, Commerce's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.14

    13See section 771(10) of the Act.

    14See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation.15 Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that certain steel wheels, as defined in the scope, constitute a single domestic like product, and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.16

    15See Volume I of the Petition, at I-6 through I-8.

    16 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis as applied to this case and information regarding industry support, see memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China” (China CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II (Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2017.17 In addition, the petitioner provided a letter of support from American Wheel Corporation, stating that the company supports the Petition and providing its own production of the domestic like product in 2017.18 The petitioner identifies itself and American Wheel Corporation as the only companies constituting the U.S. certain steel wheels industry and states that there are no other known producers of certain steel wheels in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.19

    17See Volume I of the Petition at I-9, I-31 and Exhibit I-11.

    18Id. at I-9 and Exhibit I-2.

    19Id. at I-2, I-9 and Exhibit I-1; see also General Issues Supplement, at SGQ-5 and Exhibit SGQ-5.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to Commerce indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.20 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, Commerce is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).21 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.22 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.23 Accordingly, Commerce determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    20Id.

    21Id.; see also section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act.

    22See China CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    23Id.

    Commerce finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act, and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting that Commerce initiate.24

    24Id.

    Injury Test

    Because China is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.25

    25See Volume I of the Petition, at I-19 through I-21 and Exhibit I-8.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of subject imports; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and lost revenues; decline in production, U.S. shipments, and capacity utilization; decline in production-related workers and hours worked; decline in capital expenditures; and negative impact on financial performance.26 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.27

    26Id. at I-15 through I-42 and Exhibits I-2, I-6, I-8, I-10, I-11, I-14 through I-16; see also General Issues Supplement, at SGQ-5, SGQ-6 and Exhibit SGQ-6.

    27See China CVD Initiation Checklist at Attachment III (Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China).

    Initiation of CVD Investigation

    Based on the examination of the Petition, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 702 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether imports of certain steel wheels from China benefit from countervailable subsidies conferred by the GOC. In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on all of the subsidy programs alleged in the Petition, with certain limitations. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see China CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named 36 producers/exporters as accounting for the majority of exports of certain steel wheels to the United States from China.28 In the event Commerce determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon Commerce's resources, where appropriate, Commerce intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of certain steel wheels from China during the POI under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix. On August 21, 2018, we released CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and respondent selection must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of this CVD investigation.29 Commerce will not accept rebuttal comments regarding the CBP data or respondent selection.

    28See General Issues Supplemental at Exhibit SGQ-1.

    29See memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Steel Wheels 12 to 16.5 Inches in Diameter from the People's Republic of China: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Entry Data,” dated August 21, 2018.

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Commerce's website at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments regarding respondent selection must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date established by Commerce. We intend to finalize our decisions regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public versions of the Petition have been provided to the GOC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of certain steel wheels from China are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.30 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.31 Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    30See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    31See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (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). 19 CFR 351.301(b) requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 32 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.33 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    32See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    33See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we 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, we 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. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.34 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).35 Commerce intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable certification requirements.

    34See section 782(b) of the Act.

    35See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, Commerce published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is certain on-the-road steel wheels, discs, and rims for tubeless tires with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches, regardless of width. Certain on-the-road steel wheels with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches within the scope are generally for road and highway trailers and other towable equipment, including, inter alia, utility trailers, cargo trailers, horse trailers, boat trailers, recreational trailers, and towable mobile homes. The standard widths of certain on-the-road steel wheels are 4 inches, 4.5 inches, 5 inches, 5.5 inches, 6 inches, and 6.5 inches, but all certain on-the-road steel wheels, regardless of width, are covered by the scope.

    The scope includes rims and discs for certain on-the-road steel wheels, whether imported as an assembly, unassembled, or separately. The scope includes certain on-the-road steel wheels regardless of steel composition, whether cladded or not cladded, whether finished or not finished, and whether coated or uncoated. The scope also includes certain on-the-road steel wheels with discs in either a “hub-piloted” or “stud-piloted” mounting configuration, though the stud-piloted configuration is most common in the size range covered.

    All on-the-road wheels sold in the United States must meet Standard 110 or 120 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which requires a rim marking, such as the “DOT” symbol, indicating compliance with applicable motor vehicle standards. See 49 CFR 571.110 and 571.120. The scope includes certain on-the-road steel wheels imported with or without NHTSA's required markings.

    Certain on-the-road steel wheels imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the wheel and/or with a valve stem or rims imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the rim and/or with a valve stem are included in the scope of this investigation. However, if the steel wheels or rims are imported as an assembly with a tire mounted on the wheel or rim and/or with a valve stem attached, the tire and/or valve stem is not covered by the scope.

    Excluded from this scope are the following:

    (1) Steel wheels for use with tube-type tires; such tires use multi piece rims, which are two-piece and three-piece assemblies and require the use of an inner tube;

    (2) aluminum wheels;

    (3) certain on-the-road steel wheels that are coated entirely with chrome; and

    (4) steel wheels that do not meet Standard 110 or 120 of the NHTSA's requirements other than the rim marking requirements found in 49 CFR 571.110S4.4.2 and 571.120S5.2.

    Certain on-the-road steel wheels subject to this investigation are properly classifiable under the following category of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 8716.90.5035 which covers the exact product covered by the scope whether entered as an assembled wheel or in components. Certain on-the-road steel wheels entered with a tire mounted on them may be entered under HTSUS 8716.90.5059 (Trailers and semi-trailers; other vehicles, not mechanically propelled, parts, wheels, other, wheels with other tires) (a category that will be broader than what is covered by the scope). While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2018-19205 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Application(s) for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific Instruments

    Pursuant to Section 6(c) of the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials Importation Act of 1966 (Pub. L. 89-651, as amended by Pub. L. 106-36; 80 Stat. 897; 15 CFR part 301), we invite comments on the question of whether instruments of equivalent scientific value, for the purposes for which the instruments shown below are intended to be used, are being manufactured in the United States.

    Comments must comply with 15 CFR 301.5(a)(3) and (4) of the regulations and be postmarked on or before September 25, 2018. Address written comments to Statutory Import Programs Staff, Room 3720, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. Applications may be examined between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Room 3720.

    Docket Number: 17-019. Applicant: University of California, Berkeley, 100 Hearst Memorial Mining Building, Berkeley, CA 94720. Instrument: High Field Cryogen-Free Measurement System (CFMS) for Precision Measurement of Physical Properties. Manufacturer: Cryogenic US, LLC, United Kingdom. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to study thin films of metal-oxides for advanced oxide-based electronic devices, magnetic and electrical properties of oxide materials and devices at low temperatures and/or high magnetic fields. Angle dependent magnetoelectric properties of the devices will be explored on multiple axes. The investigations done with this instrument will lead to advancement of understanding of the properties of metal-oxide thin films and their interfaces for new generation of oxide-based microelectronic devices. Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: October 5, 2017.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Gregory W. Campbell, Director, Subsidies Enforcement, Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19208 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 invites comments on a proposed extension of an existing information collection: 0651-0069 (Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0069 comment” in the subject line of the message.

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Michael P. Tierney, Records and Information Governance Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Michael P. Tierney, Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-4676; or by email to [email protected] with “0651-0069 comment” in the subject line. Additional information about this collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under “Information Collection Review.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was enacted into law on September 16, 2011, provided for many changes to the procedures of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB” or “Board”, formerly the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences) procedures. These changes included the introduction of inter partes review, post-grant review, derivation proceedings, and the transitional program for covered business method patents. Under these administrative trial proceedings, third parties may file a petition with the PTAB challenging the validity of issued patents, with each proceeding having different requirements regarding timing restrictions, grounds for challenging validity, and who may request review.

    Inter partes review is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent only on a ground that could be raised under §§ 102 or 103, and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications. Post grant review is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent on any ground that could be raised under § 282(b)(2) or (3). A derivation proceeding is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to determine whether (1) an inventor named in an earlier application derived the claimed invention from an inventor named in the petitioner's application, and (2) the earlier application claiming such invention was filed without authorization. The transitional program for covered business method patents is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to review the patentability of one or more claims in a covered business method patent.

    This collection covers information submitted by the public to petition the Board to initiate an inter partes review, post-grant review, derivation proceeding, and the transitional program for covered business method patents, as well as any responses to such petitions, and the filing of any motions, replies, oppositions, and other actions, after a review/proceeding has been instituted.

    II. Method of Collection

    Electronically, if applicants submit the information using the PTAB End-to-End (PTAB E2E). Applicants may submit information via email if PTAB E2E is unavailable.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0069.

    IC Instruments and Forms: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of an existing information collection.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households; not-for-profit institutions; Federal Government; and state, local, or tribal governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 11,994 responses per year.

    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take the public between an estimated 6 minutes (0.10 hours) to 165.30 hours to complete an individual form in this collection.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 1,474,449 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $645,808,793. The USPTO expects that attorneys will complete the instruments associated with this information collection. The professional hourly rate for intellectual property attorneys in privates firms is $438 as established by estimates in the 2017 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Using this hourly rate, the USPTO estimates that the total respondent cost burden for this collection is $645,808,793 per year.

    IC No. Item Estimated
  • response time
  • (hours)
  • Estimated
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • burden hours
  • Rate Estimated
  • cost burden
  • (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 1 Petition for Inter Partes Review 124 1,553 192,572.00 $438.00 $84,346,536.00 2 Petition for Post-Grant Review or Covered Business Method Patent Review 165.30 91 15,042.30 438.00 6,588,527.40 3 Petition for Derivation 165.30 11 1,818.30 438.00 796,415.40 4 Patent Owner Preliminary Response to Petition for Initial Inter Partes Review 91.60 1,333 122,102.80 438.00 53,481,026.40 5 Patent Owner Preliminary Response to Petition for Initial Post-Grant Review or Covered Business Method Patent Review 91.60 68 6,228.80 438.00 2,728,214.40 6 Request for Rehearing 80 322 25,760.00 438.00 11,282,880.00 7 Motions, Replies, and Oppositions After Institution in Inter Partes Review 158 6,482 1,024,156.00 438.00 448,580,328.00 8 Motions, Replies, and Oppositions After Institution in Post-Grant Review or Covered Business Method Review 148 245 36,260.00 438.00 15,881,880.00 9 Motions, Replies, and Oppositions After Institution in Derivation Proceedings 120 7 840.00 438.00 367,920.00 10 Request for Oral Hearing 18.30 727 13,304.10 438.00 5,827,195.80 11 Request to Treat a Settlement as Business Confidential 2 356 712.00 438.00 311,856.00 12 Settlement 100 356 35,600.00 438.00 15,592,800.00 13 Arbitration Agreement and Award 4 2 8.00 438.00 3,504.00 14 Request to Make a Settlement Agreement Available 1 1 1.00 438.00 438.00 15 Notice of Judicial Review of a Board Decision (e.g., Notice of Appeal Under 35 U.S.C. 142) 0.10 440 44.00 438.00 19,272.00 Total 11,994 1,474,449.30 645,808,793.40

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: $54,307,175. There are no capital start-up, maintenance, or postage associated with this information collection. However, this collection does have annual (non-hour) costs in the form of filing fees.

    Filing Fees

    The filing fees associated with this information collection are listed in the table below:

    IC No. Item Responses Filing fees Total cost (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) 1 Inter Partes Review Request Fee 1,560 $15,500.00 $24,180,000.00 1 Inter Partes Post-Institution Fee 1,569 15,000.00 23,535,000.00 1 Inter Partes Review Request of Each Claim in Excess of 20 3,390 300.00 1,017,000.00 1 Inter Partes Post-Institution Request of Each Claim in Excess of 15 1,786 600.00 1,071,600.00 2 Post-Grant or Covered Business Method Review Request Fee—Up to 20 Claims 92 16,000.00 1,472,000.00 2 Post-Grant or Covered Business Method Review Post-Institution Fee—Up to 15 Claims 92 22,000.00 2,024,000.00 2 Post-Grant or Covered Business Method Review Request of Each Claim in Excess of 20 638 375.00 239,250.00 2 Post-Grant or Covered Business Method Review Post-Institution Fee of Each Claim in Excess of 15 925 825.00 763,125.00 3 Petition for Derivation 12 400.00 4,800.00 14 Request to Make a Settlement Agreement Available 1 400.00 400.00 Total 54,307,175.00 IV. Request for Comments

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection. They also will become a matter of public record.

    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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information;

    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19202 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Matters Related to First Inventor To File ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, invites comments on a proposed extension of an existing information collection: 0651-0069 (Matters Relating to First Inventor to File).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0071 comment” in the subject line of the message.

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7728; or by email to [email protected] with “0651-0071 comment” in the subject line. Additional information about this collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under “Information Collection Review.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The United States Patent System uses a `first to file' system, as introduced by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) in 2011. To determine the first inventor to file, information is needed in order to identify the inventorship and ownership, or obligation to assign ownership, of each claimed invention on its effective filing date.

    This collection covers information gathered on various forms or submissions used by the USPTO to determine the first inventor to file. One form, required by 37 CFR 1.55(k), 1.78(a)(6) and 1.78(d)(6) provides information needed to assist the USPTO in determining whether an application is subject to 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 as amended by Section 3 of the AIA, or 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 as was in effect on March 15, 2013. Additional information provided to USPTO (37 CFR 1.110) identifies the inventorship and ownership, or obligation to assign ownership, of each claimed invention on its effective filing date (as defined in § 1.109) or on its date of invention, as applicable, in an application or patent naming one or more joint inventors, when necessary for purposes of a USPTO proceeding.

    Applications may also need to submit additional affidavits or declarations (37 CFR 1.130, 1.131, and 1.132) for several possible situations:

    (i) To show that a disclosure was by the inventor or joint inventor, or was by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor (1.130),

    (ii) to show that there was a prior public disclosure by the inventor or a joint inventor, or by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor (1.130),

    (iii) to establish prior invention or to disqualify a commonly owned patent or published application as prior art (1.131), or

    (iv) to submit evidence to traverse a rejection or objection on a basis not otherwise provided for (1.132).

    II. Method of Collection

    The USPTO anticipates both electronic and paper submissions in this collection; electronically when using the USPTO online filing system EFS-Web, or by mail, facsimile, or hand delivery.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0071.

    IC Instruments and Forms: The individual instruments in this collection, as well as any associated forms, are listed in the hourly cost burden table below.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: The USPTO estimates that it will receive a total of approximately 23,681 responses per year for this collection. The USPTO estimates that approximately 20,975 of the responses for this collection will be submitted electronically via EFS-Web.

    These estimates are based on the Agency's long-standing institutional knowledge of and experience with the type of information collected by these items.

    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that the responses in this collection will take the public from 2 to 10 hours to complete. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, create the document, and submit the completed request to the USPTO. The USPTO calculates that, on balance, it takes the same amount of time to gather the necessary information, create the document, and submit it to the USPTO, whether the applicant submits the information in paper form or electronically.

    These estimates are based on the Agency's long-standing institutional knowledge of and experience with the type of information collected and the length of time necessary to complete responses containing similar or like information.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 207,362 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $90,824,556.00. The USPTO expects that attorneys will complete the instruments associated with this information collection. The professional hourly rate for attorneys is $438, based upon the 2017 Report of the Economic Survey published by AIPLA. Using this hourly rate, the USPTO estimates $90,824,556.00 per year for the total hourly costs associated with respondents.

    IC No. Information collection instrument Estimated
  • time for
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Estimated
  • annual
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • annual
  • burden hours
  • Rate
  • ($/hr)
  • Total
    (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 1 Electronic Submissions Under 37 CFR 1.55(k) 2 1,700 3,400 $438.00 $1,489,200.00 1 Submissions Under 37 CFR 1.55(k) 2 50 100 438.00 43,800.00 2 Electronic Submissions Under 37 CFR 1.78(a)(6) 2 1,375 2,750 438.00 1,204,500.00 2 Submissions Under 37 CFR 1.78(a)(6) 2 25 50 438.00 21,900.00 3 Electronic Submissions Under 37 CFR 1.78(d)(6) 2 340 680 438.00 297,840.00 3 Submissions Under 37 CFR 1.78(d)(6) 2 10 20 438.00 8,760.00 4 Electronic Identification of Inventorship and Ownership of the Subject Matter of Individual Claims under 37 CFR 1.110 2 147 294 438.00 128,772.00 4 Identification of Inventorship and Ownership of the Subject Matter of Individual Claims under 37 CFR 1.110 2 3 68 438.00 29,784.00 5 Electronic Rule 1.130, 1.131, and 1.132 Affidavits or Declarations 10 19,600 196,000 438.00 85,848,000.00 5 Rule 1.130, 1.131, and 1.132 Affidavits or Declarations 10 400 4,000 438.00 1,752,000.00 Total 23,681 207,362 90,824,556.00

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Cost Burden: $80.40. The USPTO estimates that the total annualized (non-hour) cost burden for this collection is due to postage costs. Customers may incur postage costs when submitting some of the items covered by this collection to the USPTO by mail. The USPTO expects that approximately 98 percent of the responses in this collection will be submitted electronically. Of the remaining 2 percent, the vast majority—98 percent—will be submitted by mail, for a total of 12 mailed submissions. The average first-class USPS postage cost for these items is estimated at $6.70; the cost of a one pound mailed submission in a flat rate envelope. Therefore, the USPTO estimates that the postage costs for the mailed submissions in this collection will total $80.40.

    IV. Request for Comments

    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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Marcie Lovett, Director, Records and Information Governance Division, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, USPTO.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19203 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Patents for Humanity Program ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on a proposed extension of an existing information collection: 0651-0066 (Patents for Humanity Program).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0066 comment” in the subject line of the message.

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Edward Elliott, Records and Information Governance Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Edward Elliott, Attorney Advisor, Office of Policy and International Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7024; or by email to [email protected] with “0651-0066 comment” in the subject line. Additional information about this collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under “Information Collection Review.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    Since 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has conducted the Patents for Humanity Program, an annual award program to incentivize the distribution of patented technologies or products for the purpose of addressing humanitarian needs. The program is open to any patent owners or patent licensees, including inventors who have not assigned their ownership rights to others, assignees, and exclusive or non-exclusive licenses. USPTO collects information from applicants that describe what actions they have taken with their patented technology to address the welfare of impoverished populations, or how they furthered research by others on technologies for humanitarian purposes. Currently, there are five categories of awards: Medicine, Nutrition, Sanitation, Household Energy, and Living Standards.

    This collection covers information gathered on two application forms for the Patents for Humanity Program. The first application covers the humanitarian uses of technologies or products, and the second application covers humanitarian research. In both, applicants are required to describe how their technology or product satisfies the program criteria to address humanitarian issues. Additionally, applicants must provide non-public contact information in order for USPTO to notify them about their award status. Applicants may optionally provide contact information for the public to reach them with any inquiries. Applications must be submitted via email and will be posted on USPTO's website. Qualified judges from outside USPTO will review and score the applications. USPTO will then forward the top-scoring applications to reviewers from participating Federal agencies to recommend award recipients.

    Those applications that are chosen for an award will receive a certificate redeemable to accelerate select matters before USPTO. The certificates can be redeemed to accelerate one of the following matters: An ex parte reexamination proceeding, including one appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) from that proceeding; a patent application, including one appeal to the PTAB from that application; or an appeal to the PTAB of a claim twice rejected in a patent application or reissue application or finally rejected in an ex parte reexamination, without accelerating the underlying matter which generated the appeal. This collection covers the information gathered for petitions to extend an acceleration certificate redemption beyond 12 months. Winners also are invited to participate in an awards ceremony at USPTO.

    II. Method of Collection

    Electronically through the http://www.uspto.gov/patentsforhumanity website.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0066.

    IC Instruments and Forms: PTO/PFH/001, PTO/PFH/002, PTO/SB/431.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits; not-for-profit businesses; individuals and households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 55 responses per year.

    Estimated Time per Response: USPTO estimates that it will take the public approximately four hours to complete the humanitarian program application. Those selected as winners (about 5 to 10 per year) may additionally require one hour to complete a petition to extend their acceleration certificate redemption beyond 12 months, if needed. These estimated times include gathering the necessary information, preparing the application and any supplemental materials, and submitting the completed request to USPTO.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: 205 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $59,757.50. The USPTO expects that attorneys will complete the Petition to Extend the Redemption Period of the Humanitarian Awards Certificate and that attorneys or paralegals will complete the Humanitarian Program Application Form. The USPTO uses a professional hourly rate of $291.50 for respondent cost burden, which is the average rate of both attorneys and paralegals. The professional hourly rate for an intellectual property attorney in a private firm is $438, as established in the 2017 Report on the Economic Survey, published by the Commerce on the Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. The professional hourly rate for paralegals is $145, as established in the 2016 National Utilization and Compensation Survey Report, published by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Using the combined hourly rate, the USPTO estimates that the total respondent cost burden for this collection is $59,757.50 per year.

    IC No. Item Estimated
  • response
  • time
  • (hours)
  • Estimated
  • response
  • Estimated
  • annual
  • burden
  • hours
  • Rate Estimated
  • total cost
  • (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 1 Humanitarian Program Application (Humanitarian Use) (PTO/PFH/001) 4 25 100 $291.50 $29,150.00 1 Humanitarian Program Application (Humanitarian Research) (PTO/PFH/002) 4 25 100 291.50 29,150.00 2 Petition to Extend the Redemption Period of the Humanitarian Awards Certificate (PTO/SB/431) 1 5 5 291.50 1,457.50 Total 55 205 59,757.50

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: $0. This collection has no annual (non-hour) postage, operation, maintenance, or filing fee costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information;

    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19201 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2018-0029] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is requesting to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing information collection titled, “Mortgage Acts And Practices (Regulation N) 12 CFR 1014”.

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before November 5, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection, OMB Control Number (see below), and docket number (see above), by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2018-0029 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. In general, all comments received will become public records, including any personal information provided. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected] If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected] Please do not submit comments to these email boxes.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: Mortgage Acts And Practices (Regulation N) 12 CFR 1014.

    OMB Control Number: 3170-0009.

    Type of Review: Extension without Change of an existing information Collection.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit entities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 483.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 242.

    Abstract: Regulation N (12 CFR 1014), prohibits misrepresentations about the terms of mortgage credit products in commercial communications and requires that covered persons keep certain related records for a period of twenty-four (24) months from last dissemination. The information that Regulation N requires covered persons to retain is necessary to ensure efficient and effective law enforcement to address deceptive practices that occur in the mortgage advertising area. The Bureau is not proposing any new or revised collections of information pursuant to this request.

    Request for Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Darrin A. King, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19156 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2018-0030] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is requesting to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing information collection titled, “Consumer Leasing Act (Regulation M) 12 CFR 1013.”

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before November 5, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection, OMB Control Number (see below), and docket number (see above), by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2018-0030 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. In general, all comments received will become public records, including any personal information provided. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected] If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected] Please do not submit comments to these email boxes.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: Consumer Leasing Act (Regulation M) 12 CFR 1013.

    OMB Control Number: 3170-0006.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of an existing Information Collection.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit entities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 13,718.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,126.

    Abstract: Consumers rely on the disclosures required by the Consumer Leasing Act, 15 U.S.C. 1667 et seq. (CLA) and Regulation M, 12 CFR 1013, for information to comparison shop among leases, as well as to ascertain the true costs and terms of lease offers. Federal and State enforcement and private litigants use the records to ascertain whether accurate and complete disclosures of the cost of leases have been provided to consumers prior to consummation of the lease. This information provides the primary evidence of law violations in CLA enforcement actions brought by Federal agencies. Without Regulation M's recordkeeping requirement, the agencies' ability to enforce the CLA would be significantly impaired.

    Request for Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Darrin A. King, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19160 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2018-0026] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is requesting to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing information collection, titled, “Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators (Regulation G) 12 CFR 1007.”

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before November 5, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection, OMB Control Number (see below), and docket number (see above), by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2018-0026 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. In general, all comments received will become public records, including any personal information provided. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected] If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected] Please do not submit comments to these email boxes.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators (Regulation G) 12 CFR 1007.

    OMB Control Number: 3170-0005.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of an existing information collection.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit entities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 261,638.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 249,628.

    Abstract: Regulation G implements the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (the S.A.F.E. Act), Federal registration requirement with respect to any covered financial institutions, and their employees who act as residential mortgage loan originators (MLOs), to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, obtain a unique identifier, maintain this registration, and disclose to consumers the unique identifier. The rule also requires the covered financial institutions employing these MLOs to adopt and follow written policies and procedures to ensure their employees comply with these requirements and to disclose the unique identifiers of their MLOs. The Bureau is not proposing any new or revised collections of information pursuant to this request.

    Request for Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Darrin A. King, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19159 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2018-0028] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is requesting to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing information collection, titled, “Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (Regulation O) 12 CFR 1015.”

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before November 5, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection, OMB Control Number (see below), and docket number (see above), by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2018-0028 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

    Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. In general, all comments received will become public records, including any personal information provided. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected] If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected] Please do not submit comments to these email boxes.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (Regulation O) 12 CFR 1015.

    OMB Control Number: 3170-0007.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of an existing Information Collection.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit entities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 120.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 360.

    Abstract: The required disclosures under Regulation O 12 CFR 1015 assist prospective purchasers of Mortgage assistance relief services (MARS) in making well-informed decisions and avoiding deceptive and unfair acts and practices. The information that must be kept under Regulation O's recordkeeping requirements is used by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for enforcement purposes and to ensure compliance by MARS providers with Regulation O. The information is requested only on a case-by-case basis.

    Request for Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Darrin A. King, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19157 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID USN-2018-HQ-0014] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a modified system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Department of the Navy proposes to modify a system of records, Family and Unaccompanied Housing Program, NM1110-01. This system is used for Department of Defense (DoD) housing program management and therefore used to determine the eligibility of civilian and contract personnel to utilize government owned, leased and privatized housing for current and retired military and to provide housing services at military installations and enterprise reporting and performance metrics. The system also provides a public website for property owners and managers to advertise referral properties to Service members. This system is required to ensure timely and efficient DoD housing operations, products and services.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before October 5, 2018. This proposed action will be effective on the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which will result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    * Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Robin Patterson, Head, FOIA/Privacy Act Program Office, Department of the Navy, 2000 Navy Pentagon, Washington, DC 20350-2000, or by phone at (202) 685-6546.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This system was established to automate housing program management and provide enterprise reporting and program metrics. 10 U.S.C. chapter 169 provides authorities for the DoD housing programs which require a modern, secure, information system for operations, monitoring, compliance and reporting. The SORN is updated to reflect the Navy system and is now named Enterprise Military Housing (EMH). The system is also utilized by the Army (DA), Marines (Included in DON), Air Force (DAF) and Coast Guard (CG). Data elements collected have also been revised to include additional personal contact information such as cell phone, email and DoD ID, and to reflect a new source, property managers and owners. Additional parties have been added within the new routine uses for the system. These new parties include, DoD Medical Commands, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, State, Federal, local, foreign, and international law enforcement agencies, the National Archives and Records Administration, members of Congress, and other Federal entities.

    The Department of the Navy's notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division website at http://defense.gov/privacy.

    The proposed system report, as required by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on June 5, 2018, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 7 of OMB Circular No. A-108, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Review, Reporting, and Publication under the Privacy Act,” revised December 23, 2016 (December 23, 2016 81 FR 94424).

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER:

    Family and Unaccompanied Housing Program, NM1110-01.

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    Unclassified.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Department of the Navy (DON) Strategic Delivery Point at 1968 Gilbert Street, Building W-143 in Norfolk, VA 23511-3318.

    SYSTEM MANAGER(S):

    eMH System Manager, Commander, Navy Installations Command, Housing Code N93, Suite 1000, 2713 Mitscher Road SW, Anacostia Annex, Washington, DC 20373-5802. Phone number: (202) 433-3580.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    10 U.S.C. 5013, Secretary of the Navy; 10 U.S.C. 5041, Headquarters, Marine Corps; 10 U.S.C. 3013, Secretary of the Army; 10 U.S.C. 8013, Secretary of the Air Force; 14 U.S.C. chapter 18, Coast Guard Housing Authorities; 10 U.S.C. 2831, Military Family Housing Management Account; DoD 4165.63-M, DoD Housing Management; and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended.

    PURPOSE OF THE SYSTEM:

    To support enterprise program management and reporting of Department of Defense (DoD) Housing programs. To determine an individual's eligibility for Department of Navy (DON), Marine Corps, Department of Army (DA), Department of Air Force (DAF), and Coast Guard (CG) housing, including privatized, leased and rental property program housing, and notification for subsequent assignment to housing or granting a waiver to allow occupancy of community housing. To support the programming and execution of housing entitlements. To support the timely and efficient delivery of DoD housing program products and services. Additional purposes of the system include:

    a. Efficiently managing housing for the purpose of determining priority and listing individuals' names on the appropriate housing waiting list.

    b. Efficiently managing housing for the purpose of overseeing housing occupancy upon assignment or lease.

    c. Referring individuals and families to privatization partners for the purpose of supporting privatization portfolio management.

    d. Determining eligibility for furnishings for the purpose of managing and monitoring the usage of furnishings and government provided equipment.

    e. Providing housing information and reports to DON, DA, DAF, CG or other military components and government agencies for the purpose of supporting housing infrastructure such as safety and emergency identification and location lists; local school and community population impact studies; health and environmental impact studies; evacuation and relocation planning for natural disasters.

    f. Supporting DoD security investigations for the purpose of DoD and national security.

    g. Supporting DoD entitlement programming, budgeting and execution for the purpose of accurate and timely DoD budget estimates and funds execution.

    h. Interfacing with the Defense Manpower Management System (DMDC) for the purpose of verifying eligibility for housing, data accuracy and supporting population measurements and surveys.

    i. Supporting the determination of current and projected requirements for DoD owned, leased and privatized housing for environmental and budgeting purposes.

    j. Providing DON, DA, DAF, CG or other military components and government agencies the ability to track violations or complaints by or against those who occupy DoD housing and community housing occupied by DoD personnel for the purpose of damage collections and record keeping.

    k. Providing a public website, HOMES.mil, for property owners and managers to advertise referral properties to Service members in the DON, DA, DAF, and CG.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Current and retired military/civilian personnel, including contract employees eligible for or interested in occupying DON, DA, Coast Guard and DAF housing, those occupying DON, DA or DAF housing and privatized housing, and property owners and managers advertising referral properties to Service members on HOMES.mil.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    For primary military housing applicants including: Installation name, full name, Social Security Number (SSN), DoD ID number, gender, marital status, birth date, current home address, permanent home address, work phone number, home phone number, cell phone number, fax number, work email address, home email address, rank/rate, pay grade, civilian pay grade equivalent, branch of service, unit identification code (UIC), geographic bachelor, voluntarily or involuntarily separated, time involuntarily separated, last unit, location of last assignment, agency or type of civilian, length of service, time remaining on active duty, service start date, date of rank, projected rotation date, projected rotation location, End of Active Obligated Service Date, Exceptional Family Member Level, Forward UIC Command, current unit, reporting date, estimated family arrival date, name of employer, unit or employer mailing address, housing allowance start and stop dates, entitlement condition type, entitlement condition end date, entitlement condition start date, personnel type, Americans with Disabilities Act housing requirements, complaints by or against, criminal conviction or violations, cigarette smoking habits, vehicle information, and type, breed and size of pet.

    If applicable, data for related and non-related dependents to include: Installation name, total number in family, full name, Social Security Number (SSN), DoD ID number, birth date, gender, relation to primary applicant, dependent start date with primary applicant, dependent end date with primary applicant, entitlement condition type, entitlement condition end date, entitlement condition start date, work phone number, home phone number, cell phone number, work email address, home email address, current mailing address, permanent mailing address, rank/rate, branch of service, Dependent UIC, Exceptional Family Member Level, civilian pay grade equivalent, service start date, date of rank, time remaining on active duty, projected rotation date, criminal conviction, cigarette smoking habits, Americans with Disabilities Act housing requirements.

    Additional housing information is collected for primary applicants and dependents to include: Particular housing preferences; special health problems; copies of permanent change of station orders; temporary orders; emergency contact full name, home, cell and work phone number and relation; detaching endorsement from prior duty station; and pet health records.

    The following information is collected on property owners and managers advertising referral properties on HOMES.mil: First name, last name, primary phone, alternate phone (optional), company name (optional), website (optional), Branch of Service, and email address.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    Individual; DD Form 1746, Application for Assignment to Housing; Military Orders; Emergency Contact Form; Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS); Defense Civilian Payroll System (DCPS); detaching endorsement from prior duty station; military pay records; privatized partner system.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records contained therein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    a. To private partners who operate DON, DA, DAF, and CG housing for the purpose of privatized housing referral, management, operations and reporting.

    b. To community property owners and managers participating in the Rental Property Program for the purpose of management and efficient referral coordination.

    c. To U.S. government security agencies, police and fire departments for the purpose of accident, health, safety, and other investigative activities.

    d. To DoD Medical Commands for the purpose of environmental and health studies.

    e. To Child Protective Services for the purpose of providing information during their investigation into possible child abuse.

    f. To adoption agencies for the purpose of providing information for the purpose of qualifying a couple or individual to adopt.

    g. To public school systems and State and local governments with demographic data for the purpose of determining military impact on school population.

    h. To the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau for the purpose of supporting housing programs and Census studies and surveys.

    i. To the appropriate Federal, State, local, territorial, tribal, foreign, or international law enforcement authority or other appropriate entity where a record, either alone or in conjunction with other information, indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether criminal, civil, or regulatory in nature.

    j. To any component of the Department of Justice for the purpose of representing the DoD, or its components, officers, employees, or members in pending or potential litigation to which the record is pertinent.

    k. In an appropriate proceeding before a court, grand jury, or administrative or adjudicative body or official, when the DoD or other Agency representing the DoD determines the records are relevant and necessary to the proceeding; or in an appropriate proceeding before an administrative or adjudicative body when the adjudicator determines the records to be relevant to the proceeding.

    l. To the National Archives and Records Administration for the purpose of records management inspections conducted under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    m. To a Member of Congress or staff acting upon the Member's behalf when the Member or staff requests the information on behalf of, and at the request of, the individual who is the subject of the record.

    n. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) the DON suspects or has confirmed that there has been a breach of the system of records; (2) the DON has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed breach there is a risk of harm to individuals, the DON (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the DON's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed breach or to prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    o. To another Federal agency or Federal entity, when the DoD determines information from this system of records is reasonably necessary to assist the recipient agency or entity in (1) responding to a suspected or confirmed breach or (2) preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to individuals, the recipient agency or entity (including its information systems, programs and operations), the Federal Government, or national security, resulting from a suspected or confirmed breach.

    p. To community property owners and managers advertising referral properties in HOMES.mil for efficiently tracking participating property owners and managers, and filing, reviewing, and resolving complaints and violations involving referral properties.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORAGE OF RECORDS:

    Paper records in local housing offices are in secure storage cabinets and electronic records are centrally stored in a secure Navy system. Access to paper and electronic records is restricted to DoD employees with a need to know.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVAL OF RECORDS:

    Records are retrieved by installation name, name of applicant or name of resident, house number and address of resident.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS:

    Records are retained for up to three years after termination of housing occupancy and then destroyed. eMH system hard drives and media are destroyed using National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) approved methods. Paper records containing PII or sensitive information are destroyed using NSA/CSS evaluated crosscut shredders.

    ADMINISTRATIVE, TECHNICAL, AND PHYSICAL SAFEGUARDS:

    Physical and electronic access is restricted to designated individuals having a need to know in the performance of official duties and who are properly screened and cleared for need-to-know. Physical entry is restricted as records are maintained in a secured building maintained behind a firewall, protected by the use of locks, guards, and accessible only to authorized personnel. Paper records are maintained in file cabinets under the control of authorized personnel during working hours. The office space in which the file cabinets are located is locked outside of official working hours. Computer terminals are located in supervised areas. The system has an Authority to Operate and access to the system is password and or Systems Software uses Primary Key Infrastructure (PKI)/Common Access Card (CAC) protected.

    RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Housing Office at the station/base/installation where they applied for housing. DON official station/base mailing addresses are published as an appendix to the Navy's compilation of system of records notices. DA official mailing addresses are published in DA Pamphlet 25-50, Compilation of Army Addresses. DAF official mailing addresses are published as an appendix to DAF's compilation of system of records notices. Coast Guard official mailing addresses are published at http://www.uscg.mil/Hr/cg133/Housing/default.asp.

    Requests must be signed and include installation name, full name of applicant or name of resident, house number, and year(s) of occupancy. Individuals should provide full name, SSN, or DoD ID number, military status, or other information verifiable from the record itself. In addition, the requester must provide either a notarized signature or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).”

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).”

    CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    The Navy's rules for accessing records and for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5211.5, Department of the Navy (DON) Privacy Program; 32 CFR part 701, Availability of Department of the Navy Records and Publication of Department of the Navy Documents Affecting the Public; or may be obtained from the system manager.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES:

    Individuals seeking to determine whether this system of records contains information about themselves should address written inquiries to the Housing Office at the station/base/installation where they applied for housing. DON official station/base mailing addresses are published as an appendix to the Navy's compilation of system of records notices. DA official mailing addresses are published in DA Pamphlet 25-50, Compilation of Army Addresses. DAF official mailing addresses are published an appendix to DAF's compilation of system of records notices. Coast Guard official mailing addresses are published at http://www.uscg.mil/Hr/cg133/Housing/default.asp.

    Requests must be signed and include full name of applicant or name of resident, house number, and year(s) of occupancy. Individuals should provide full name, SSN, or DoD ID number, military status, or other information verifiable from the record itself. In addition, the requester must provide either a notarized signature or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).”

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).”

    EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM:

    None.

    HISTORY:

    Initially published April 1, 2008, 73 FR 17334.

    [FR Doc. 2018-19204 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0070] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Teacher and Principal Survey of 2019-2020 (NTPS 2019-20) Preliminary Field Activities AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0070. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9086, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, 202-245-7377 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: National Teacher and Principal Survey of 2019-2020 (NTPS 2019-20) Preliminary Field Activities.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0598.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 10,525.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 3,322.

    Abstract: The National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), conducted biennially by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is a system of related questionnaires that provides descriptive data on the context of elementary and secondary education. Redesigned from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) with a focus on flexibility, timeliness, and integration with other ED data, the NTPS system allows for school, principal, and teacher characteristics to be analyzed in relation to one another. NTPS is an in-depth, nationally representative survey of first through twelfth grade public and private school teachers, principals, and schools. Kindergarten teachers in schools with at least a first grade are also surveyed. NTPS utilizes core content and a series of rotating modules to allow timely collection of important education trends as well as trend analysis. Topics covered include characteristics of teachers, principals, schools, teacher training opportunities, retention, retirement, hiring, and shortages. This request is to contact districts and schools in order to begin preliminary activities for NTPS 2019-20, namely: (a) Contacting and seeking research approvals from special contact districts, where applicable, (b) notifying districts that their school(s) have been selected for NTPS 2019-20, and (c) notifying sampled schools of their selection for the survey and verifying their mailing addresses.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19175 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice Inviting Publishers To Submit Tests for a Determination of Suitability for Use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education AGENCY:

    Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Education invites publishers to submit tests for review and approval for use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS), and announces the date by which publishers must submit these tests.

    DATES:

    Deadline for transmittal of applications: October 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your application by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) or deliver your application by hand or by courier service to: NRS Assessment Review, c/o American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John LeMaster, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 11152, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-7240. Telephone: (202) 245-6218. Email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department's regulations for Measuring Educational Gain in the National Reporting System for Adult Education, 34 CFR part 462 (NRS regulations), include the procedures for determining the suitability of tests for use in the NRS.

    There is a review process that will begin on October 1, 2018. Only tests submitted by the due date will be reviewed in that review cycle. If a publisher submits a test after October 1, 2018, the test will not be reviewed until the review cycle that begins on October 1, 2019.

    Criteria the Secretary Uses: In order for the Secretary to consider a test suitable for use in the NRS, the test must meet the criteria and requirements established in 34 CFR 462.13.

    Submission Requirements:

    (a) In preparing your application, you must comply with the requirements in 34 CFR 462.11.

    (b) In accordance with 34 CFR 462.10, the deadline for transmittal of applications in this fiscal year is October 1, 2018.

    (c) Whether you submit your application by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) or deliver your application by hand or by courier service, you must mail or deliver four copies of your application, on or before the deadline date, to the following address: NRS Assessment Review, c/o American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007.

    (d) If you submit your application by mail or commercial carrier, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of Education.

    (e) If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (f) We do not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date to be timely for the October 1, 2018, review cycle. If an application is postmarked after the October 1, 2018, deadline date, the application will be considered timely for the October 1, 2019, deadline date.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    (g) If you submit your application by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must deliver four copies of the application by hand, on or before 4:30:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the application deadline date.

    (h) Electronic submission of applications is not permitted.

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

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

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

    Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 3292.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19251 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Bonneville Power Administration Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program AGENCY:

    Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville), Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Record of decision (ROD).

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces Bonneville's decision to implement the Proposed Action—Alternative 1—as described in the Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (DOE/EIS-0495, May 25, 2018). Bonneville will fund construction and operation of a spring Chinook hatchery at the existing South Fork Walla Walla Adult Holding and Spawning Facility in Umatilla County, Oregon, subject to the execution by both parties of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and Bonneville for Construction of the Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery. The hatchery will be owned and operated by the CTUIR and will have the capacity to incubate and rear up to 500,000 spring Chinook smolts for release in the Walla Walla River basin in north central Oregon and south central Washington State.

    ADDRESSES:

    This ROD will be available to all interested parties and affected persons and agencies. It is being sent to all stakeholders who requested a copy. Copies of the Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program Draft and Final EIS and additional copies of this ROD are available from Bonneville's Public Information Center, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, OR 97208-3621. Copies of these documents may also be obtained by using Bonneville's nationwide toll-free document request line: 1-800-622-4520, or by accessing the project website at www.bpa.gov/goto/WallaWallaHatchery.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chad Hamel, Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration—ECF-4, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, Oregon 97208-3621; toll-free telephone number 1-800-622-4519; fax number 503-230-5564; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Bonneville is a federal agency that markets power generated from the federal hydroelectric facilities on the Columbia River and its tributaries. Bonneville's operations are governed by several statutes, including the Northwest Power Act. The Northwest Power Act directs Bonneville to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of those federal hydroelectric facilities. To assist in accomplishing this, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council) makes recommendations to Bonneville concerning which fish and wildlife projects to fund. The Council gives deference to project proposals developed by state and tribal fishery managers and has a three-step process for reviewing artificial propagation projects (i.e., hatcheries) which includes development of a Master Plan for the proposal as Step 1.

    In 1987, the Northeast Oregon Hatchery Program (NEOH) was established as part of the Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. It was the initial artificial production planning effort by fishery co-managers for restoring anadromous fish runs in northeast Oregon, including the Walla Walla basin. The NEOH Program called for development of artificial production facilities which would produce between 2.3 and 3.0 million Chinook salmon and steelhead smolts designated for release into the Hood, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Grande Ronde, and Imnaha River basins and elsewhere. The proposed Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program and its Master Plan grew out of the NEOH Program.

    In 2008, Bonneville, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation signed an agreement with the CTUIR and other Tribes to work as partners to provide tangible survival benefits for salmon recovery. The 2008 Columbia Basin Fish Accords Memorandum of Agreement between the Three Treaty Tribes and FCRPS Action Agencies (Fish Accords) includes an agreement to fund a spring Chinook hatchery in the Walla Walla basin, contingent on the favorable recommendation from the Council, completion of site-specific environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and compliance with other environmental laws. At that time, the CTUIR in cooperation with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), managed and continues to manage a spring Chinook smolt and adult outplant program in the Walla Walla basin using out-of-basin stocks.

    The CTUIR proposed the project because indigenous Walla Walla River spring Chinook were extirpated from the Walla Walla River basin in the early to mid-1900s, and recent reintroduction efforts have been unsuccessful in meeting basin goals. Spring Chinook raised at the proposed new hatchery would help meet Walla Walla basin goals to establish a naturally spawning population and augment populations for harvest. Supporting these spring Chinook recovery efforts would help Bonneville mitigate for the effects of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) on fish.

    The CTUIR submitted a master plan to construct and operate a hatchery for spring Chinook salmon in the Walla Walla River basin to the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program. As a part of the Council's 3-step process, and after undergoing review by the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP), the Council recommended proceeding from step 1 to step 2. Bonneville determined that the proposal is consistent with the commitments made in the Fish Accords, and supports Bonneville's Fish and Wildlife Implementation Plan Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision policy direction, which calls for protecting weak stocks, while sustaining overall populations of fish for their economic and cultural value.

    To meet obligations under NEPA, Bonneville prepared the Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program EIS; ODFW and the CTUIR were cooperating agencies. In May 2013, Bonneville issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS. The draft EIS, based on the proposal in the Master Plan, was issued for public review in October 2014. Minor changes were made to the EIS in response to public comments, as well as to address refinements to the design of water supply structures and adjustments to water use requirements; the impacts of these changes were evaluated in the Final EIS. The Final EIS was issued in May 2018.

    The CTUIR, ODFW, WDFW, NMFS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other managers of habitat, fisheries, and hatcheries in north central Oregon participated actively in development of the Proposed Action; and, along with other interested and affected agencies, organizations, and individuals, were consulted during the development of the EIS. Bonneville is issuing this ROD only for its own actions.

    Alternatives Considered

    The final EIS considered in detail two alternatives for the Proposed Action—Alternative 1 and Alternative 2—and the No Action Alternative. The final EIS identified Alternative 1 as the preferred alternative and also discussed other alternatives that were considered but eliminated from detailed study. The following summarizes the alternatives that were considered in detail in the EIS.

    Proposed Action—Alternative 1

    Under Alternative 1, Bonneville will fund the construction and operation of the Walla Walla hatchery and the CTUIR will expand its efforts to reintroduce spring Chinook into the Walla Walla River basin in Oregon and Washington State. The hatchery program will include development of a locally adapted broodstock and production of up to 500,000 spring Chinook smolts for release in tributaries throughout the basin, to increase harvest opportunities and natural production in the basin. The hatchery program includes the following activities:

    • Construction and use of a hatchery at the existing South Fork Walla Walla Adult Holding and Spawning Facility.

    • Collection of spring Chinook adults at Nursery Bridge Dam on the mainstem Walla Walla River and potentially at Dayton Adult Trap on the Touchet River to develop a locally adapted broodstock.

    • Release of up to 400,000 smolts to the South Fork Walla Walla River and up to 100,000 smolts to the Touchet River.

    • Planting of returning adults in selected tributaries in the Walla Walla basin.

    New facilities at the South Fork Walla Walla site include a hatchery building that will house incubation facilities, circular rearing tanks for early rearing and grow-out, administrative offices, and a visitor center; a pumpback system that would be used as needed to return water from the pollution abatement pond to the river near the intake, in order to maintain minimum instream flows; a headbox; a shop; and three new residences. Existing piping will be modified and new piping added to distribute water supply and effluent, and the existing pollution abatement pond will be divided in half to improve discharges and increase ease of maintenance.

    Most of the smolts produced would be released directly from the hatchery into the South Fork Walla Walla River; about 20% of the production would be direct-stream-released into the Touchet River, which is in the Washington State portion of the Walla Walla basin. Adults surplus to broodstock, escapement, and harvest needs would continue to be outplanted in Mill Creek and the Touchet subbasin as they are now.

    The program is intended to provide in-basin Tribal and non-tribal harvest and to increase natural production of spring Chinook in the basin, and would be implemented in three phases that are expected to gradually increase the number of adult returns and the proportion of naturally produced adults in the broodstock. Research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) of the status and distribution of spring Chinook in the Walla Walla basin (as well as steelhead and bull trout) is ongoing as a separate program, and will continue. The RM&E program identifies hatchery fish using PIT tags, fin-clips, and coded-wire tags to monitor their survival through various stages of their migration and their rate of survival to adults. Fish are also trapped at existing juvenile and adult traps throughout the basin, and spawning areas in the Walla Walla and Touchet rivers and Mill Creek are surveyed to count redds and estimate natural production. The RM&E program will help determine the success of the hatchery program and when it can move to the next phase.

    Construction under Alternative 1 will comply with applicable regulatory requirements, permits, and guidance for protection of the environment and human wellbeing and safety, and will incorporate Best Management Practices such as erosion and dust control, waste management, weed management, restrictions on vegetation clearing during nesting season for migratory birds (March-August), and work-hour and noise restrictions. Instream work will be minimal and will be done during the state-specified in-water work window (July 1-August 15). The work area will be isolated behind a temporary cofferdam and fish will be collected and relocated outside the work area.

    Alternative 1 incorporates special measures such as retaining as much native vegetation as possible; landscaping with native, drought-resistant plants; and installation of a pumpback system and real-time monitoring equipment to ensure that minimum instream flows are maintained. The modified water supply intake will meet NMFS screening requirements. Hatchery water discharge will comply with applicable regulations and standards, including applicable Total Maximum Daily Loads in the South Fork Walla Walla River. Effluent treatment systems will ensure that discharges do not adversely affect the receiving waters.

    Alternative 2

    Alternative 2 is similar to Alternative 1 except the hatchery would have been larger in order to accommodate the incubation and rearing of an additional 810,000 spring Chinook smolts currently produced at the Umatilla Hatchery near Irrigon, Oregon, which is experiencing water supply problems. Alternative 2 would have required a costly water reuse system in order to support the additional fish, but was expected to improve the fitness and survival of spring Chinook destined for the Umatilla basin.

    No Action Alternative

    Under the No Action Alternative, Bonneville would not have funded the Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program. No new facilities would be constructed, no new artificial propagation activities would be implemented, and no long-term in-basin source (natural or hatchery) of spring Chinook broodstock would be available for the Walla Walla River basin. The current release of out-of-basin smolts, funded under the Mitchell Act and by Bureau of Indian Affairs, and incorporated into the 2018-2027 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement, would be expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Spring Chinook for the Umatilla basin program would continue to be reared at Umatilla Hatchery as is currently done. Under this alternative, it is unlikely that a self-sustaining, naturally reproducing spring Chinook population could be established in the Walla Walla basin in harvestable numbers, due to the lack of a broodstock adapted to the basin; the current smolt release program results in low smolt-to-adult survival rates because smolts are reared out of the basin from out-of-basin broodstock.

    Comments Received Since Issuance of the Final EIS

    After the Final EIS was issued, Bonneville received comments from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 in a letter dated July 2, 2018. The agency indicated that their comments on the Draft EIS had been addressed in the Final EIS. EPA's comments on the Draft EIS concerned water re-use and maintenance of instream flows; a request for additional information on time periods needed to reach Phase 3 goals of the hatchery production program; and a request to assess the adequacy of habitat improvements over the long term.

    Rationale for Decision

    In making its decision to implement the Proposed Action under Alternative 1, Bonneville considered and balanced a variety of relevant factors. Bonneville considered how well the action alternatives and the No Action Alternative would fit with its statutory missions and relevant policies and procedures. Bonneville also considered the environmental impacts described in the Final EIS, as well as public comments received throughout the NEPA process for the program.

    Another consideration was the extent to which each alternative under consideration would meet the following Bonneville purposes (i.e., objectives) identified in the final EIS:

    • Support efforts to mitigate for effects of the development and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System on fish and wildlife in the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries under the Northwest Power Act.

    • Assist in carrying out commitments related to proposed hatchery actions that are contained in the 2008 Columbia Basin Fish Accords Memorandum of Agreement with the CTUIR and others.

    • Implement Bonneville's Fish and Wildlife Implementation Plan EIS and ROD policy direction to protect weak stocks while sustaining fish populations for their economic and cultural value.

    • Improve the fitness and survival of spring Chinook released in the Umatilla basin.

    • Minimize harm to natural or human resources, including species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

    After considering and balancing all of these factors, Bonneville has decided to fund the Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program, subject to the execution by both parties of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and Bonneville for Construction of the Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery. The Proposed Action was recommended to Bonneville for funding by the Council and is consistent with the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program. Providing funding for construction and operation of the hatchery under Alternative 1 supports a high-priority mitigation project in the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program. In addition, the Proposed Action under Alternative 1 meets the funding commitment for spring Chinook reintroduction made to the CTUIR in the Fish Accords and would protect weak stocks in the Walla Walla basin while reintroducing spring Chinook for additional harvest opportunities and cultural value to CTUIR and others. Under Alternative 1 of the Proposed Action, the fitness and survival of spring Chinook in the Umatilla basin would not be affected.

    In planning and designing the hatchery, Bonneville, the CTUIR, project designers and other fish and wildlife agencies worked to minimize environmental and social impacts through project design, consultation with regulatory entities, and development of mitigation measures.

    Impacts considered and fully disclosed in the final EIS include effects of hatchery withdrawals on flows in the South Fork Walla Walla River; water quality impacts of hatchery effluent discharge; impacts of hatchery construction, juvenile spring Chinook releases, and increasing numbers of returning spring Chinook adults on species such as bull trout and steelhead; the effects of additional fishing activities on private property owners; effects on habitat of vegetation removal; the potential of construction activity to spread noxious weeds; and visual changes associated with new structures.

    Mitigation

    All mitigation measures described in the Final EIS and the project Biological Opinions from NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been adopted; a few were modified to describe the activity more specifically in order to ensure that contract language is clear. A complete list of these measures is presented in the project Mitigation Action Plan, available on the project website. All practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm are adopted.

    Signed in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 2018. Elliot E. Mainzer, Administrator and Chief Executive Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19214 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary of Energy Advisory Board; Noice of Renewal AGENCY:

    Department of Energy, Office of the Secretary.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) will be renewed for a two-year period beginning on August 29, 2018.

    The Committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on a range of energy-related issues.

    Additionally, the renewal of the SEAB has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and to be the in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy, by law and agreement. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, adhering to the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Sneed, Director, Office of Secretarial Boards and Councils, (202) 287-6793.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 29, 2018. Wayne D. Smith, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19213 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-144-000.

    Applicants: Dearborn Industrial Generation, L.L.C.

    Description: Application for Approval of Disposition of Assets Pursuant to Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Dearborn Industrial Generation, L.L.C.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2290-006.

    Applicants: Avista Corporation.

    Description: Non-Material Change of Status of Avista Corporation.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-280-004.

    Applicants: Lee County Generating Station, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Lee County Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1702-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Deficiency Response—1148R24 American Electric Power NITSA and NOA to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5000.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2137-001.

    Applicants: Big Sky North, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Master Interconnection Services Agreement to be effective 8/16/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2320-000.

    Applicants: Entergy Texas, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ETI-ETEC Wholesale Distribution Service Agreement to be effective 8/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2321-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-27_SA 3157 Ameren Illinois-Settlers Trail Wind FSA (G931) to be effective 10/27/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5133.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2322-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-27_MISO TOs Revisions to Attachment O Formula Rates to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2323-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-27_ITC Companies Revisions to Attachment O Formula Rates to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5146.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2324-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: Request for Limited Waiver of Filed Tariff of NorthWestern Corporation.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/17/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2325-000.

    Applicants: Sunbury Generation LP.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market-Based Rate Notice of Change in Status to be effective 8/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5042.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2326-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice of Cancellation of the Western Area Power Administration JOA to be effective 6/21/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2327-000.

    Applicants: Riverhead Solar Farm, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Riverhead Solar Farm LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 8/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2328-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-28_Interconnection Agreement Amendment to Update Pro Forma Language to be effective 2/21/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2329-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of WMPA SA No. 4843; Queue AC2-076 to be effective 8/27/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180828-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19137 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-2314-000] Sholes Wind Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Sholes Wind Energy, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 17, 2018.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19139 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2334-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3193 Rush County Wind Farm GIA Cancellation to be effective 8/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2336-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-29_SA 3150 CMS Energy Resource-METC GIA (J571) to be effective 8/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2337-000.

    Applicants: Blackstone Wind Farm, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Reactive Power Compensation Filing to be effective 10/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2338-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-29_SA 3151 Rosewater Wind Farm-NIPSCO GIA (J513) to be effective 8/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5123.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2339-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-29_SA 3152 Polaris Wind Energy-METC GIA (J533) to be effective 8/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2340-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-29_SA 3153 Crescent Wind-METC GIA (J538) to be effective 8/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2341-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-29 Energy Imbalance Market Bid Adder Amendment to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2342-000.

    Applicants: GridLiance Heartland LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: GridLiance Heartland LLC Formula Rate Template Filing to be effective 10/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2343-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to DEC-PMPA NITSA (SA-355) to be effective 9/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5030.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2344-000.

    Applicants: Headwaters Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Reactive Power Compnsation Filing to be effective 10/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5031.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2345-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA, SA No. 5156; Queue No. AB1-157 to be effective 7/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5051.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19264 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1084-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Compliance filing 2018 Operational Entitlements Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1085-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-08-25 Encana to be effective 8/25/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/27/18.

    Accession Number: 20180827-5131.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/10/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 28, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19138 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Final Allocation of Olmsted Powerplant Replacement Project AGENCY:

    Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final allocation of Olmsted Powerplant Replacement Project.

    SUMMARY:

    Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) Management Center, a Federal power marketing administration within the Department of Energy, announces its Olmsted Powerplant Replacement Project (Olmsted) Final Allocation of Energy. The Final 2018 Olmsted Power Marketing Plan and Call for Applications was published on October 11, 2017, and set forth that an application for an allocation of energy from Olmsted was due by December 11, 2017. WAPA reviewed and considered the applications received and published the Proposed Allocations in the Federal Register on June 13, 2018. There was a 30-day comment period for the proposed allocations. WAPA has considered the comments received, and this Federal Register notice establishes the final allocations.

    DATES:

    The final allocations will be effective on October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information regarding the Final Allocation of Olmsted Power Replacement Project, including comments, letters, and other supporting documents, is available for public inspection and copying at the CRSP Management Center, Western Area Power Administration, 299 South Main Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah. Public comments and related information may be accessed at https://www.wapa.gov/regions/CRSP/PowerMarketing/Pages/Proposed-Allocations.aspx.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Brent Osiek, Vice President of Power Marketing for CRSP, (801) 524-5495; or Mr. Lyle Johnson, Public Utilities Specialist, (801) 524-5585. Written requests for information should be sent to Western Area Power Administration, CRSP Management Center, 299 South Main Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111; faxed to (801) 524-5017; or emailed to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States acquired the Olmsted Powerplant in 1990 through condemnation proceedings in order to secure the water rights associated with the Olmsted Powerplant deemed essential to the Central Utah Project (CUP). The CUP is a participating project of the Colorado River Storage Project. As part of the condemnation proceedings, PacifiCorp continued Olmsted operations until 2015; after that time, the operation of the facility became the responsibility of the Department of the Interior.

    The existing Olmsted Powerplant greatly exceeded its operational life, and a replacement facility was needed for the generation of power and the preservation of associated non-consumptive water rights. On February 4, 2015, the Implementation Agreement (Agreement) for Olmsted was signed by Central Utah Water Conservancy District (District); the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation; and WAPA (Participants). The Agreement sets forth the responsibilities of the Participants and identifies funding of Olmsted. The District will construct, operate, maintain, and replace the Olmsted Powerplant and incidental facilities in connection with CUP operations including power generation.

    WAPA is responsible for marketing the Olmsted energy, which is anticipated to be available in the late summer or early fall of 2018. Power production will be incidental to the delivery of water and will only be available when water is present. Therefore, only energy, without capacity, will be available for marketing. It is expected that the annual energy production from Olmsted will average around 27,000,000 kilowatthours per year. The Final 2018 Olmsted Power Marketing Plan and Call for Applications was published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47201), and set forth that an application for an allocation of energy from Olmsted was due by December 11, 2017. After review of the applications, the Proposed Allocation of Olmsted Powerplant Replacement Project was published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2018 (83 FR 27599). The 30-day comment period closed on July 13, 2018. After considering the comments received, WAPA is now publishing the Final Allocations.

    Response to Comments on Olmsted Final Allocation of Energy

    WAPA received numerous comments about its Olmsted final allocation of energy during the comment period. WAPA reviewed and considered all comments received, and this section summarizes and responds to those comments. For brevity, when it was possible to do so without affecting the meaning of the statements, the public comments below were paraphrased.

    Comment: Several commenters supported the proposed allocation of Olmsted energy.

    Response: WAPA acknowledges the comments in support of the proposed allocations.

    Comment: Several commenters suggested specific changes that should occur in the next marketing plan.

    Response: Issues concerning future marketing plan criteria or suggested changes to the geographic marketing areas are more appropriately addressed during the public process for future marketing plans for the Olmsted Powerplant and are beyond the scope of the proposed allocation comment process. Commenters will have the opportunity to express their suggestions during the public process for future Olmsted marketing plans.

    Comment: One commenter requested an additional allocation of Olmsted energy, citing their future electrical resource needs and the limited amounts of Federal power they currently receive.

    Response: WAPA does not have the authority to develop resources to meet customers' future electrical resource needs and load growth. WAPA is limited to marketing only the resources authorized by Congress as part of Federal water development projects.

    Comment: One commenter asked how the allocations were developed, especially for the entities with small percentages of load served by Federal power.

    Response: The percentage of applicants' load served by Federal power was determined by comparing current loads, as submitted in the Applicant Profile Data, to that applicant's current allocation(s) of Federal power. Pursuant to the Final Power Marketing Criteria, allocations of energy from Olmsted were made based on a percentage of annual generation rather than fixed quantities of energy. WAPA received applications from four entities representing a total of 14 eligible applicants. Due to its role in the construction, operation, maintenance, and replacement of Olmsted, WAPA awarded the District 30 percent of the annual generation at Olmsted. As explained more thoroughly below, WAPA also awarded Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) with 30 percent, largely based on UMPA's facilitating exchange and interchange accounting services. WAPA determined it would use the remaining energy to increase allocations to those applicants with the least amount of existing Federal allocations. Four of the applicants receive less than 10 percent of their energy resources from Federal power while all other applicants receive more than 20 percent. Therefore, WAPA evenly divided the remaining 40 percent of the annual generation at Olmsted among those four applicants.

    Comment: One commenter asked how the costs and fees associated with interconnecting with Provo, Utah, compare to interconnecting with PacifiCorp.

    Response: The cost of interconnecting to the Provo system was estimated to be much less than connecting to the facilities of PacifiCorp. WAPA requested multiple interconnection studies from PacifiCorp to determine potential costs and infrastructure requirements. PacifiCorp's costs for interconnecting at its congested Hale Substation were significantly higher than interconnecting with Provo at the same voltage and at essentially the same location; the overall savings was about $1.4 million. Additionally, interconnecting with Provo allowed further reduction in costs to customers by allowing WAPA to enter into a Scheduling and Interchange Agreement with the UMPA, which serves as a scheduling and resource agent for Provo. This allowed Olmsted energy to be delivered to customers under current transmission arrangements rather than requesting new agreements with PacifiCorp.

    Comment: One commenter asked about the scheduling and displacement agreement that was developed with UMPA and inquired if a similar agreement was pursued with any other entities.

    Response: Only Provo and PacifiCorp have facilities in the vicinity of the Olmsted Powerplant to directly receive the power to facilitate a scheduling and displacement agreement. Interconnecting to any other entities would require construction of extensive transmission facilities in an urban area and would have been cost prohibitive.

    Comment: One commenter asked if UMPA received any type of priority in receiving an allocation and why UMPA received a 30 percent allocation since it already has a relatively large Federal allocation of hydropower.

    Response: UMPA did not receive priority over the other applicants. UMPA was awarded 30 percent in consideration for providing scheduling and interchange services.

    Comment: One commenter asked why UMPA received an allocation, rather than its individual member cities, since some members of UMPA are outside of the marketing area.

    Response: UMPA applied for an allocation of power on behalf of its specific members located in the marketing area.

    Comment: One commenter asked why UMPA received an allocation rather than payment for scheduling and interchange services.

    Response: The 30 percent allocation is in consideration of the overall savings that the arrangement with UMPA provides to all recipients of Olmsted energy as well as facilitating exchange and interchange accounting services. Without its current arrangement with UMPA, WAPA would need to enter into a separate transmission agreement with PacifiCorp to deliver the energy, which would likely result in cost-prohibitive transmission and ancillary expenses. Based on the published firm transmission rates of PacifiCorp, WAPA would need to pay approximately $208,000 under PacifiCorp's Open Access Transmission Tariff firm rate schedules, not including ancillary service charges. A yearly charge for scheduling services would be, based on WAPA's experience, around $25,000/year. Assuming an average year and a cost of $30 per megawatthour, the services WAPA receives from UMPA would be worth approximately $243,000/year for Olmsted power. Therefore, WAPA believes that an allocation to UMPA of 30 percent approximates the value of the displacement and exchange agreement.

    Comment: One commenter stated that its Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects (SLCA/IP) contract rate of delivery (CROD) is in conflict with the Olmsted historical generation profile and asked how its SLCA/IP allocation will be handled and if an energy interchange account will be required.

    Response: WAPA is aware that the customer has an SLCA/IP capacity allocation, or CROD, during the summer season and not during the winter season. Olmsted is an energy-only product and will be delivered under the customer's SLCA/IP CROD. The Olmsted Powerplant will generate energy in both the summer and winter seasons. WAPA will work with the customer and its scheduling agent to develop procedures that ensure that the customer will receive all of its allocated Olmsted energy.

    Olmsted Final Allocation of Energy

    Pursuant to the Final Power Marketing Criteria, allocations of energy from Olmsted were made based on a percentage of annual generation rather than fixed quantities of energy. Olmsted is a “take all, pay all” project; the annual revenue requirement does not depend on the amount of energy available each year. Customers with an allocation will receive a share of the energy and will annually pay a proportional share of the operation, maintenance, and replacement expenses in 12 monthly installments.

    Applications were received from four entities representing a total of 14 eligible applicants. In considering the Power Marketing Criteria, priority was given to the District due to its role in the construction, operation, maintenance, and replacement of Olmsted. The District will receive 30 percent of Olmsted's annual generation.

    Olmsted will be electrically interconnected to Provo's distribution and transmission facilities. Provo is a participant of UMPA, a joint-action agency responsible for supplying the wholesale power needs to Provo and other municipal electric utilities in the area. UMPA, a long-term power customer of WAPA, has agreed to accept all Olmsted energy as it is generated and, under a scheduling and displacement agreement with WAPA, provide Olmsted customers with their respective Olmsted allocation amounts from a portion of UMPA's allocation of SLCA/IP resources, which is also marketed by WAPA. This arrangement will allow the Olmsted recipients more flexibility since it will be easier to schedule this SLCA/IP resource, which is essentially exchanged for Olmsted generation and it allows the use of existing scheduling and transmission wheeling arrangements. In consideration for providing these arrangements and the overall savings it is anticipated to generate, UMPA will receive a 30 percent allocation of Olmsted generation.

    After consideration of the allocations to the District and UMPA, WAPA determined it would use the remaining Olmsted energy to increase the allocations of those applicants that have the lowest percentages of their current loads served by Federal power. Four of the applicants receive less than 10 percent of their energy resources from Federal power. All of the other applicants currently receive over 20 percent of their energy requirements from Federal allocations. Therefore, WAPA awarded 10 percent of the Olmsted generation to the four applicants receiving less than 10 percent of their energy from Federal sources. The following table shows the final allocation percentages of the annual energy production of Olmsted:

    Applicant Percentage Central Utah Water Conservancy District 30 Utah Municipal Power Agency 30 Lehi City, Utah 10 Kaysville City, Utah 10 Weber Basin Water Conservancy District 10 Springville City, Utah 10

    With the exception of UMPA, all of the recipients receive scheduling and delivery services for their allocations of Federal power from Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) under SLCA/IP Contract No. 87-SLC-0037. Since Olmsted energy will be delivered by means of transmission and scheduling arrangements existing for Contract No. 87-SLC-0037 with UAMPS, the allocations to these recipients may be handled in a similar manner. WAPA plans to enter into contracts with customers after publication of this Federal Register notice.

    Availability of Information

    Documents developed or retained by WAPA during this public process will be available, by appointment, for inspection and copying at the CRSP Management Center, 299 South Main Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah. The comments received during the 30-day comment period have been posted to WAPA's website at the following address: https://www.wapa.gov/regions/CRSP/PowerMarketing/Pages/power-marketing.aspx.

    Procedural Requirements Environmental Compliance

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and DOE NEPA Regulations (10 CFR part 1021), WAPA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on January 13, 2017. The FONSI and other NEPA compliance documentation may be found at https://www.wapa.gov/regions/CRSP/environment/Pages/environment.aspx.

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., requires a Federal agency to perform a regulatory flexibility analysis whenever the agency is required by law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed rule unless the agency can certify that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In defining the term “rule,” the RFA specifies that a “rule” does not include “a rule of particular applicability relating to rates [and] services . . . or to valuations, costs or accounting, or practices relating to such rates [and] services. . . .” 5 U.S.C. 601. WAPA has determined that this action relates to rates or services offered by WAPA and, therefore, is not a rule within the purview of the RFA.

    Determination Under Executive Order 12866

    WAPA has an exemption from centralized regulatory review under Executive Order 12866; accordingly, no clearance of this Federal Register notice by the Office of Management and Budget is required.

    Dated: August 24, 2018. Mark A. Gabriel, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19211 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0078; FRL-9983-34-OAR] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Landfill Methane Outreach Program (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “Landfill Methane Outreach Program” (EPA ICR No. 1849.08, OMB Control No. 2060-0446) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0078, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Aepli, Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, (6207A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9423; fax number: (202) 343-2342; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: The Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP), created by EPA as part of the United States' commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is a voluntary program designed to encourage and facilitate the development of environmentally and economically sound landfill gas (LFG) energy projects across the United States to reduce methane emissions from landfills. LMOP meets these objectives by educating local governments and communities about the benefits of LFG recovery and use; building partnerships between state agencies, industry, energy service providers, local communities, and other stakeholders interested in developing this valuable resource in their community; and providing tools to evaluate LFG energy potential. LMOP signed voluntary Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with these organizations to enlist their support in promoting cost-effective LFG utilization. The information collection includes completion and submission of the MOU, periodic information updates, and annual completion and submission of basic information on landfill methane projects with which the organizations are involved as an effort to update the LMOP Landfill and Landfill Gas Energy Project Database. The information collection is to be utilized to maintain up-to-date data and information about LMOP Partners and LFG energy projects with which they are involved. The data will also be used by the public to access LFG energy project development opportunities in the United States. In addition, the information collection will assist LMOP in evaluating the reduction of methane emissions from landfills.

    Form numbers: 5900-157, 5900-158, 5900-159, 5900-160, 5900-161, and 5900-162.

    Respondents/affected entities: Private companies and municipalities that own or operate landfills; manufacturers and suppliers of equipment/knowledge to capture and utilize LFG; utility companies; end-users of energy from landfills; developers of LFG energy projects; State agencies; and other LFG energy stakeholders.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 1,137 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 2,270 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $194,890 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in estimates: There is a decrease of 252 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease is due to transition to an electronic collection of updates to landfill methane projects with which the organizations are involved.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Paul M. Gunning, Director, Climate Change Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19260 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0563; FRL-9982-35] Industrial Economics, Incorporated; Transfer of Data AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that pesticide related information submitted to EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), including information that may have been claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI) by the submitter, will be transferred to Industrial Economics, Incorporated in accordance with the CBI regulations. Industrial Economics, Incorporated has been awarded a contract to perform work for OPP, and access to this information will enable Industrial Economics, Incorporated to fulfill the obligations of the contract.

    DATES:

    Industrial Economics, Incorporated will be given access to this information on or before September 10, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Northern, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-6478 email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action applies to the public in general. As such, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0563, 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.

    II. Contractor Requirements

    The contractor shall provide EPA such economic expertise for the annual updates of OECA's financial models, the development of new economic models as appropriate, and the education of enforcement professionals about the models and their applications and situations that may require case-specific financial analyses beyond using one of EPA's financial model.

    The contractor shall, furthermore, provide accomplished expert advice to enforcement personnel about financial issues that may impact EPA enforcement litigation. When directed, the contractor shall be able to provide individuals with a record of expert capabilities and accomplishments to serve as witnesses at trials and hearings, as well as those with a knowledgeable background to support EPA during settlement negotiations.

    In addition, the contractor shall provide assistance to OECA, OCE, and EPA Regional Offices on economic policy related to environment enforcement cases, as well as attendant applications of the financial models. However, EPA enforcement professionals and management will make all policy decisions in regard to ultimate financial accounting issues, approaches, and applications.

    This contract will involve no subcontractors.

    OPP has determined that the contract described in this document involve work that is being conducted in connection with FIFRA, in that pesticide chemicals will be the subject of certain evaluations to be made under this contract. These evaluations may be used in subsequent regulatory decisions under FIFRA.

    Some of this information may be entitled to confidential treatment. The information has been submitted to EPA under FIFRA sections 3, 4, 6, and 7 and under FFDCA sections 408 and 409.

    In accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 2.307(h)(3), the contract with Industrial Economics, Incorporated prohibits use of the information for any purpose not specified in these contract; prohibits disclosure of the information to a third party without prior written approval from the Agency; and requires that each official and employee of the contractor sign an agreement to protect the information from unauthorized release and to handle it in accordance with the FIFRA Information Security Manual. In addition, Industrial Economics, Incorporated is required to submit for EPA approval a security plan under which any CBI will be secured and protected against unauthorized release or compromise. No information will be provided to Industrial Economics, Incorporated until the requirements in this document have been fully satisfied. Records of information provided to Industrial Economics, Incorporated will be maintained by EPA Project Officers for this contract. All information supplied to Industrial Economics, Incorporated by EPA for use in connection with this contract will be returned to EPA when Industrial Economics, Incorporated has completed its work.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.; 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.

    Dated: August 13, 2018. Delores Barber, Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19261 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0075; FRL-9983-24-OAR] Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC): Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces an upcoming meeting for the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC). The EPA established the CAAAC on November 19, 1990, to provide independent advice and counsel to EPA on policy issues associated with implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990. The Committee advises EPA on economic, environmental, technical, scientific and enforcement policy issues.

    DATES:

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. App. 2 Section 10(a)(2), notice is hereby given that the CAAAC will hold its next face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., continuing Thursday September 27th, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, 4610 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Larry Weinstock, Designated Federal Official, Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (6103A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-9226; email address: [email protected]. Additional information about this meeting, the CAAAC, and its subcommittees and workgroups can be found on the CAAAC website: http://www.epa.gov/oar/caaac/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The committee agenda and any documents prepared for the meeting will be publicly available on the CAAAC website at http://www.epa.gov/oar/caaac/ prior to the meeting. Thereafter, these documents, together with CAAAC meeting minutes, will be available on the CAAAC website or by contacting the Office of Air and Radiation Docket and requesting information under docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0075. The docket office can be reached by email at: [email protected] or FAX: 202-566-9744.

    For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Lorraine Reddick at [email protected], preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: August 21, 2018. John Shoaff, Director, Office of Air Policy and Program Support.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19253 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0082; FRL-9983-36-OAR] Proposed Information Collection Request; Renewal; EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit a renewal information collection request (ICR), “EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program” (EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0082, OMB Control No. 2060-0328) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. Specifically, EPA is proposing to replace the current Program's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Partnership Agreement (PA), update the calculations used to estimate methane reductions, and create a vendor service provider directory. This is a renewal with modification of the existing ICR which expires on March 31, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0082 online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jerome Blackman, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division, (6207A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-343-9630; fax number: 202-343-2342; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: Natural Gas STAR is a voluntary program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that encourages oil and natural gas companies to adopt cost effective technologies and practice that improve operational efficiency and reduce methane emissions. Methane is the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas. The Program works with oil and natural gas companies in the production, gathering & processing, transmission, and distribution sectors to remove barriers that inhibit the implementation of technologies and practices that reduce methane emissions. The Program effectively promotes the adoption of emission reduction technologies and practices by helping Natural Gas Star partners evaluate Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Partner Reported Opportunities (PROs) in the context of their current operations, and implement them where cost effective. Implementation of the Program's BMPs and PROs saves participants money, improves operational efficiency, and enhances the protection of the environment.

    Form Numbers: Companies that wish to become Natural Gas STAR partners sign and submit an one-page Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to EPA that describes the terms of participation in the Program. The MOU forms covered under this ICR include:

    • Production Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-105 • Transmission Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-96 • Distribution Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-98 • Gathering and Processing Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-101

    Partners agree to complete and submit a Natural Gas STAR Implementation Plan within six to twelve months of signing the MOU. The Implementation Plan forms covered under this ICR include:

    • Production Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-103 • Transmission Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-109 • Distribution Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-97 • Gathering and Processing Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-100

    After one full year of participation in the Program, partners submit an annual report documenting the previous year's methane emission reduction activities. The annual reporting forms covered under this ICR include:

    • Production Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-104 • Transmission Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-95 • Distribution Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-99 • Gathering and Processing Partners: EPA Form No. 5900-102

    Respondents/affected entities: The gathering and processing, production, transmission, and distribution sectors of the natural gas industry.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 92 (total).

    Frequency of response: Annual and semi-annual.

    Total estimated burden: 1,991 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $184,242 (per year), there are no capital/start-up costs or O&M costs associated with this information collection.

    Changes in Estimates: EPA expects that the burden associated with the final ICR submission will decrease slightly due to the Program's maturity and participation of companies in the new Methane Challenge Program.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Paul M. Gunning, Director, Climate Change Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19254 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL9982-95—Region 1] Proposed CERCLA Administrative Cost Recovery Settlement: Former Lawrence Metals Site, Chelsea, Massachusetts AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed settlement; request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of a proposed administrative cost settlement for recovery of response costs concerning the Former Lawrence Metals Site, located in Chelsea, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, with the Settling Party, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The proposed settlement requires the Settling Party pay EPA $200,000 to settle EPA's past response costs, which amount to approximately $8,235,772. In exchange, EPA will provide the Settling Party with a covenant not to sue for past costs. The settlement has been approved by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice. For 30 days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will receive written comments relating to the settlement for recovery of response costs. The Agency will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to this cost recovery settlement if comments received disclose facts or considerations which indicate that the settlement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate. The Agency's response to any comments received will be available for public inspection at the Environmental Protection Agency—Region I, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Man Chak Ng, Senior Enforcement Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (OES04-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (Telephone No. 617-918-1785) and should reference the Former Lawrence Metals Site, U.S. EPA Docket No: CERCLA 01-2018-0047.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the proposed settlement may be obtained from Stacy Greendlinger, Office of Site Remediation and Restoration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (OSRR02-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, (617) 918-1403; [email protected] Technical questions can also be directed to Stacy Greendlinger. For legal questions, Man Chak Ng, Office of Environmental Stewardship, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (OES04-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, (617) 918-1785; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed administrative settlement for recovery of past response costs concerning the Former Lawrence Metals Site, located in Chelsea, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, is made in accordance with Section 122(h)(l) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). EPA covenants not to sue or take administrative action against the Settling Party, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pursuant to Section 107(a) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9607(a), for Past Response Costs. In exchange, the Settling Party agrees to pay EPA $200,000. Payment of such amount shall be due within 10 days after the Effective Date and, if timely paid, shall include no interest. If payment is not paid as stipulated, interest shall accrue beginning as of the Effective Date and shall continue to accrue on any unpaid amount until the total amount due has been received. For 30 days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will receive written comments relating to the settlement for recovery of response costs. The Effective Date of the Agreement is the date upon which EPA notifies the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the public comment period has closed and that such comments, if any, do not require that EPA modify or withdraw from the Agreement.

    Dated: August 21, 2018. Bryan Olson, Director, Office of Site Remediation and Restoration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19256 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Federal Advisory Committee Act; Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice advises interested persons that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC or Commission) Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) VI will hold its sixth meeting.

    DATES:

    September 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffery Goldthorp, Designated Federal Officer, (202) 418-1096 (voice) or [email protected] (email); or Suzon Cameron, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, (202) 418-1916 (voice) or [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be held on September 28, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room of the Federal Communications Commission, Room TW-C305, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.

    The CSRIC is a Federal Advisory Committee that will provide recommendations to the FCC regarding best practices and actions the FCC can take to help ensure the security, reliability, and interoperability of communications systems. On March 19, 2017, the FCC, pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, renewed the charter for the CSRIC for a period of two years through March 18, 2019. The meeting on September 28, 2018, will be the sixth meeting of the CSRIC under the current charter. The FCC will attempt to accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. The Commission will provide audio and/or video coverage of the meeting over the internet from the FCC's web page at http://www.fcc.gov/live. The public may submit written comments before the meeting to Jeffery Goldthorp, CSRIC Designated Federal Officer, by email to [email protected] or U.S. Postal Service Mail to Jeffery Goldthorp, Associate Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Room 7-A325, Washington, DC 20554.

    Open captioning will be provided for this event. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via email to [email protected] or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty). Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. In addition, please include a way the FCC can contact you if it needs more information. Please allow at least five days' advance notice; last-minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19149 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0824] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before October 5, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0824.

    Title: Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and Contact Information Form.

    Form Number: FCC Form 498.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit and Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 26,000 respondents; 26,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.75 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirements and third party disclosure requirements.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154 and 254 the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 19,500 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission notes that the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) who administers the universal service program must preserve the confidentiality of all data obtained from respondents and contributors to the universal service programs, must not use the data except for purposes of administering the universal service programs, and must not disclose data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission. With respect to the FCC Form 498, USAC shall publish each participant's name, SPIN, and contact information via USAC's website. All other information, including financial institution account numbers or routing information, shall remain confidential.

    Needs and Uses: One of the functions of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is to provide a means for the billing, collection and disbursement of funds for the universal service support mechanisms. On October 1998, the OMB approved FCC Form 498, the “Service Provider Information Form” to enable USAC to collect service provider name and address, telephone number, Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), contact names, contact telephone numbers, and remittance information. FCC Form 498 enables participants to request a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) and provides the official record for participation in the universal service support mechanisms. The remittance information provided by participants on FCC Form 498 enables USAC to make payments to participants in the universal service support mechanisms.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19150 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than September 28, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Mark A. Rauzi, Vice President), 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. GNI LLC, New York, New York; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Wall Street Holding Company, Hamilton, North Dakota, and thereby acquire of Bank of Hamilton, Hamilton, North Dakota.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. BayCom Corp, Walnut Creek, California; to merge with Bethlehem Financial Corporation, and thereby acquire My Bank, both of Belen, New Mexico.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 29, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19155 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0048; Docket No. 2018-0003; Sequence No. 9] Information Collection; Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the FAR Council invites the public to comment upon a renewal concerning authorized negotiators and integrity of unit prices.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The FAR Council invites interested persons to submit comments on this collection by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions on the site.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 9000-0048, Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices.

    Instructions: All items submitted must cite Information Collection 9000-0048, Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail). This information collection is pending at the FAR Council. The Council will submit it to OMB within 60 days from the date of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA, 202-208-4949, or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Overview of Information Collection Description of the Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Revision/Renewal of a currently approved collection.

    2. Title of the Collection: Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices.

    3. Agency form number, if any: None.

    Solicitation of Public Comment

    Written comments and suggestions from the public should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    B. Purpose

    This information collection requirement, OMB Control No. 9000-0048, currently titled “Authorized Negotiators,” is proposed to be retitled “Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices,” due to consolidation with currently approved information collection requirement OMB Control No. 9000-0080, Integrity of Unit Prices.

    This information collection requirement pertains to information that offerors and contractors must submit in response to the requirements in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as follows:

    1. Authorized Negotiators—FAR 52.215-1(c)(2)(iv). Firms offering supplies or services to the Government under negotiated solicitations must provide the names, titles, and telephone and facsimile numbers (and electronic addresses if available) of authorized negotiators to assure that discussions are held with authorized individuals.

    2. Integrity of Unit Prices—FAR 52.215-14. This clause, Integrity of Unit Prices, requires offerors and contractors under Federal contracts awarded without adequate price competition to identify those supplies which they will not manufacture or to which they will not contribute significant value. This requirement does not apply to: Contracts below the simplified acquisition threshold, construction and architect-engineering services, utility services, service contracts where supplies are not required, commercial items, and contracts for petroleum products.

    C. Annual Reporting Burden 1. Authorized Negotiators—FAR 52.215-1(c)(2)(iv)

    Respondents: 15,524.

    Responses per Respondent: 8.

    Total Annual Responses: 124,192.

    Hours per Response: 0.017.

    Total Burden Hours: 2,111.

    2. Integrity of Unit Prices—FAR 52.215-14

    Respondents: 4,292.

    Responses per Respondent: 10.

    Total Annual Responses: 42,920.

    Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Burden Hours: 42,920.

    3. Summary

    Respondents: 19,816.

    Total Annual Responses: 167,112.

    Total Burden Hours: 45,031.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Obtaining Copies: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0048, Authorized Negotiators and Integrity of Unit Prices, in all correspondence.

    William Clark, Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19128 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Privacy Act of 1974; Matching Program AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of a new matching program.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with subsection (e)(12) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing notice of a new computer matching program between CMS and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Internal Revenue Services (IRS), “Verification of Household Income and Family Size for Insurance Affordability Programs and Exemptions.”

    DATES:

    The deadline for comments on this notice is October 5, 2018. The re-established matching program will commence not sooner than 30 days after publication of this notice, provided no comments are received that warrant a change to this notice. The matching program will be conducted for an initial term of 18 months (from approximately October 2018 to April 2020) and within 3 months of expiration may be renewed for one additional year if the parties make no change to the matching program and certify that the program has been conducted in compliance with the matching agreement.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit comments on the new matching program to the CMS Privacy Officer by mail at: Division of Security, Privacy Policy & Governance, Information Security & Privacy Group, Office of Information Technology, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Location: N1-14-56, 7500 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, or [email protected] Comments received will be available for review without redaction unless otherwise advised by the commenter at this location, by appointment, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about the matching program, you may contact Jack Lavelle, Senior Advisor, Marketplace Eligibility and Enrollment Group, Centers for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, CMS, at (410) 786-0639, by email at [email protected], or by mail at 7501 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a) provides certain protections for individuals applying for and receiving federal benefits. The law governs the use of computer matching by federal agencies when records in a system of records (meaning, federal agency records about individuals retrieved by name or other personal identifier) are matched with records of other federal or non-federal agencies. The Privacy Act requires agencies involved in a matching program to:

    1. Enter into a written agreement, which must be prepared in accordance with the Privacy Act, approved by the Data Integrity Board of each source and recipient federal agency, provided to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and made available to the public, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(o), (u)(3)(A), and (u)(4).

    2. Notify the individuals whose information will be used in the matching program that the information they provide is subject to verification through matching, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(o)(1)(D).

    3. Verify match findings before suspending, terminating, reducing, or making a final denial of an individual's benefits or payments or taking other adverse action against the individual, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(p).

    4. Report the matching program to Congress and the OMB, in advance and annually, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(o) (2)(A)(i), (r), and (u)(3)(D).

    5. Publish advance notice of the matching program in the Federal Register as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(12).

    This matching program meets these requirements.

    Walter Stone, CMS Privacy Act Officer, Division of Security, Privacy Policy and Governance, Information Security and Privacy Group, Office of Information Technology, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. PARTICIPATING AGENCIES:

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the recipient agency, and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Internal Revenue Services (IRS) is the source agency.

    AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

    The statutory authority for the matching program is 42 U.S.C. 18001.

    PURPOSE(S):

    The purpose of the matching program is to provide CMS with IRS return information which CMS and state-based administering entities (AEs) will use to verify household income and family size for applicants and enrollees receiving (1) initial determinations of eligibility to enroll in a qualified health plan (including the Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a state's basic health program) through a federally-facilitated exchange established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and for insurance affordability programs (including advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost sharing reductions) and certificates of exemption; and (2) subsequent eligibility redetermination and renewal decisions, including appeal decisions.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS:

    The individuals whose information will be used in the matching program are consumers (applicants and enrollees) who receive the eligibility determinations described in the preceding Purpose(s) section (in particular, taxpayers whose return information is requested from IRS to verify an applicant's or enrollee's household income and family size).

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS:

    The categories of records used in the matching program are identity information and return information (specifically, household income and family size information). To request return information from IRS, CMS will provide IRS with the relevant taxpayer's name, social security number (SSN), and relationship to the applicant(s) or enrollee(s) (i.e., primary, spouse, or dependent). When IRS is able to match the SSN and name provided by CMS and return information is available, IRS will disclose to CMS the following items of return information with respect to that taxpayer:

    1. SSN;

    2. family size;

    3. tax filing status;

    4. modified adjusted gross income (MAGI);

    5. taxable year with respect to which the preceding information relates or, if applicable, the fact that such information is not available; and

    6. any other specified item of return information authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 6103(1)(21) and its implementing regulations.

    SYSTEM(S) OF RECORDS:

    The records used in this matching program will be disclosed from the following systems of records, as authorized by routine uses published in the System of Records Notices (SORNs) cited below:

    A. System of Records Maintained by CMS

    • CMS Health Insurance Exchanges System (HIX), CMS System No. 09-70-0560, last published in full at 78 FR 63211 (Oct. 23, 2013), as amended at 83 FR 6591 (Feb. 14, 2018).

    B. System of Records Maintained by IRS

    • Customer Account Data Engine (CADE) Individual Master File, Privacy Act SOR Treasury/IRS 24.030, published at 80 FR 54082 (Sept. 8, 2015).

    [FR Doc. 2018-19189 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Child Care and Development Fund Monthly Case Level (ACF-801).

    OMB No.: 0970-0167.

    Description: Section 658K of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9858, as amended by Pub. L. 113-186) requires that States and Territories submit case-level data on the children and families receiving direct services under the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The implementing regulations for the statutorily required reporting are at 45 CFR 98.70 and 98.71. Case-level reports, submitted quarterly or monthly (at grantee option), include monthly sample or full population case-level data. The data elements to be included in these reports are represented in the ACF-801. ACF uses disaggregate data to determine program and participant characteristics as well as costs and levels of child care services provided. This provides ACF with the information necessary to make reports to Congress, address national child care needs, offer technical assistance to grantees, meet performance measures, and conduct research. ACF requests extension of the ACF-801 without changes.

    Respondents: States, the District of Columbia, and Territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianna Islands.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • ACF-800 56 4 25 5,600

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,600.

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201. Attention Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, <E T="03">Reports Clearance Officer.</E>
    [FR Doc. 2018-19170 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Child Care and Development Fund Annual Aggregate Report (ACF-800).

    OMB No.: 0970-0150.

    Description: Section 658K of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9858, as amended by Pub. L. 113-186) requires that States and Territories submit annual aggregate data on the children and families receiving direct services under the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The implementing regulations for the statutorily required reporting are at 45 CFR 98.70 and 98.71. Annual aggregate reports include data elements represented in the ACF-800 reflecting the scope, type, and methods of child care delivery. This provides ACF with the information necessary to make reports to Congress, address national child care needs, offer technical assistance to grantees, meet performance measures, and conduct research. Consistent with the statute and regulations, ACF requests extension of the ACF-800 without changes.

    Respondents: States, the District of Columbia, and Territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianna Islands.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • ACF-800 56 1 42 2,352

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,352.

    Additional Information:Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201. Attention Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment:OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19133 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Service Administration National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) has scheduled a public meeting. Information about NACNEP and the agenda for this meeting can be found on the NACNEP website at https://www.hrsa.gov/advisory-committees/nursing/index.html.

    DATES:

    September 26, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and September 27, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

    ADDRESSES:

    This meeting will be held in person and offer virtual access through teleconference and webinar. The address for the meeting is 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    Webinar link: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/nacnep/.

    Conference call-in number: 1-800-289-0436; passcode: 211848.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracy L. Gray, MBA, MS, RN, Designated Federal Official, Division of Nursing and Public Health, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA. Address: 5600 Fishers Lane, 11N112, Rockville, Maryland 20857; phone: 301-443-3346; or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NACNEP provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of HHS and the U.S. Congress on policy issues related to the activities carried out under Title VIII of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. The Secretary of HHS, and by delegation, the Administrator of HRSA, is charged under Title VIII of the PHS Act as amended, with responsibility for a wide range of activities in support of nursing education and practice which include: Enhancement of the composition of the nursing workforce; improvement of the distribution and utilization of nurses to meet the health needs of the nation; expansion of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of nurses to enhance the quality of nursing practice; development and dissemination of improved models of organization; financing and delivery of nursing services; and promotion of interdisciplinary approaches to the delivery of health services particularly in the context of public health and primary care.

    During the September 26-27, 2018, meeting, NACNEP will discuss areas where nursing can take the lead in the transition of the health care system to value-based care, to advance the development of its 15th annual report. The report is submitted to the Secretary, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives. The members will also discuss strategic priorities and future directions for NACNEP.

    Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments. Public participants may submit written statements in advance of the scheduled meeting. Oral comments will be honored in the order they are requested and may be limited as time allows. Requests to make oral comments or provide written comments to NACNEP should be sent to Ms. Tracy L. Gray, Designated Federal Official, using the contact information above at least 3 business days prior to the meeting.

    Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance or another reasonable accommodation should notify Ms. Tracy L. Gray at the address and phone number listed above at least 10 business days prior to the meeting. Since this meeting occurs in a federal government building, attendees must go through a security check to enter the building. Non-U.S. Citizen attendees must notify HRSA of their planned attendance at least 10 business days prior to the meeting in order to facilitate their entry into the building. All attendees are required to present government-issued identification prior to entry.

    John R. Womack, Acting Deputy Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19168 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2018-0012; OMB No. 1660—NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; National Catastrophic Resource Catalog AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The submission will describe the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e., the time, effort and resources used by respondents to respond) and cost, and the actual data collection instruments FEMA will use.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the Desk Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection should be made to Director, Information Management Division, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, email address [email protected] or Thomas Murray, Fire Program Specialist, FEMA, U.S. Fire Administration, (301) 447-1588, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection previously published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2018 at 83 FR 13496 with a 60 day public comment period. FEMA received 4 anonymous public comments that were not relevant to the information collection. Additionally, FEMA noticed that the previously-published proposed collection incorrectly contained the term “ESF-4” in the Abstract section; accordingly, the term “ESF-4” has been removed from the Abstract section. The purpose of this notice is to notify the public that FEMA will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance.

    Collection of Information

    Title: National Catastrophic Resource Catalog.

    Type of Information Collection: New information collection.

    OMB Number: 1660-NEW.

    Form Titles and Numbers: FEMA Form 035-0-1, National Catastrophic Resource Catalog.

    Abstract: This information collection will help USFA meet the firefighting resource requirements before/during a national catastrophic disaster response, such as an earthquake, hurricane, or terroristic act. USFA will pre-identify those specialized resources that may be available to support a disaster response. This collection will be solicited from the nation's fire and emergency services on a voluntary basis to establish a catalog/database of potential resources that could be mobilized to support a national catastrophic disaster response.

    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,947.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 3,947.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 439.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost: $23,728.94.

    Estimated Respondents' Operation and Maintenance Costs: $0.

    Estimated Respondents' Capital and Start-Up Costs: $0.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Federal Government: $85,824.49.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Rachel Frier, Records Management Branch Chief, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19143 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-45-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R8-ES-2018-N059; FXES1114080000-189-FF08ECAR00] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Coachella Valley Association of Governments Incidental Take Permit Application for Casey's June Beetle and Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan; City of Palm Springs, Riverside County, California AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (applicant) for a 30-year incidental take permit (permit) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The application addresses the potential for “take” of the federally endangered Casey's June beetle that is likely to occur incidental to the construction, maintenance, and use of a portion of the CV Link, which is a multi-modal pathway to be built in the City of Palm Springs, Riverside County, California. We invite comments from the public on the application package, which includes a low-effect habitat conservation plan.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Document availability: You may download a copy of the habitat conservation plan, draft environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, and related documents from the internet at https://www.fws.gov/carlsbad/HCPs/HCP_Docs.html, or you may request copies of the documents by U.S. mail from our Palm Springs office at the address below or by phone (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Comment submission: Please address written comments to Kennon A. Corey, Assistant Field Supervisor, Palm Springs Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 777 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 208, Palm Springs, CA 92262. You may alternatively send comments via electronic mail to [email protected] or by facsimile to (760) 322-4648.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jenness McBride, Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist, (760) 322-2070.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We have received an application from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments for a 30-year incidental take permit under the ESA. The application addresses the potential for “take” of the federally endangered Casey's June beetle (Dinacoma caseyi) likely to occur incidental to the construction, maintenance, and use of a portion of the proposed CV Link multi-modal pathway in the City of Palm Springs, Riverside County, California. We invite comments from the public on the application package, which includes a low-effect habitat conservation plan (HCP). We have preliminarily determined that this proposed action is eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The basis for this determination is discussed in our draft environmental action statement and associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review.

    Background

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) added the Casey's June beetle to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife as endangered on September 22, 2011 (76 FR 58954). Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) prohibit the take of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. “Take” is defined under the ESA to include the following activities: “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct” (16 U.S.C. 1532); however, under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. “Incidental taking” is defined under the ESA implementing regulations as taking that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity (50 CFR 17.3). Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered and threatened species are provided at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively.

    In addition to meeting the issuance criteria under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA, actions undertaken through implementation of the HCP must not jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed animal or plant species (16 U.S.C. 1536). If the permit is issued, the permittee will receive assurances under our “No Surprises” regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)).

    Applicant's Proposal

    The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (applicant) has submitted a low-effect HCP in support of its application for an incidental take permit to address take of the Casey's June beetle that is likely to occur as the result of direct impacts to approximately 1.78 acres of fragmented habitat occupied by the species. Take would be associated with the development of an approximately 2-mile portion of the CV Link, which is a 49-mile-long, paved, multi-modal pathway to be built through the Coachella Valley. Construction of the pathway will increase recreational opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians and provide an alternative transportation corridor for low-speed, neighborhood electric vehicles. This portion of the CV Link would involve widening and repaving existing sidewalks and paths adjacent to patches of habitat occupied by Casey's June beetle in Demuth Park and the nearby Tahquitz Creek Golf Course in the City of Palm Springs. The applicant is requesting a permit for take of Casey's June beetle that would result from activities covered under the HCP related to the CV Link pathway in this area.

    The applicant's conservation strategy, in part, proposes to mitigate the impacts to Casey's June beetle by dedicating a conservation easement on approximately 10.38 acres at the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course that would be restored from golf course landscaping to native habitat suitable for Casey's June beetle. A 30-year permit is requested to authorize take that would occur incidental to construction, maintenance, and use of this portion of the CV Link pathway as well as to cover potential short-term impacts within the conservation easement area as a result of habitat enhancement, restoration, and creation activities.

    The applicant proposes to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the Casey's June beetle associated with the covered activities by fully implementing the HCP. The following measures would be implemented:

    (1) No construction would occur during the Casey's June beetle flight season (March 1 to May 31);

    (2) lighting fixtures would be turned off or non-insect-attracting lights would be used during the flight season;

    (3) no electronic “bug zappers” would be used;

    (4) up to five educational kiosks would be installed along the pathway;

    (5) approximately 10.38 acres of contiguous and nearby mitigation sites pre-selected by the Service, in or adjacent to Palm Canyon Wash at the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course, would be preserved under conservation easement and managed to enhance, restore, and create Casey's June beetle habitat;

    (6) mitigation sites would be dedicated to future translocation of Casey's June beetles from other development sites or release of Casey's June beetles from a future Service program for controlled propagation of Casey's June beetles; and

    (7) mitigation sites would be monitored and managed by a qualified land management organization approved by the Service.

    The Coachella Valley Association of Governments would fund acquisition and initial restoration of the mitigation sites from its Active Transportation Program and would fund a non-wasting endowment in the amount of $160,075 for the long-term management of the mitigation sites.

    In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers a “No Project” alternative to the proposed action. Under the “No Project” alternative, a permit for the incidental take of Casey's June beetle would not be issued for the CV Link project and the proposed conservation strategy and subsequent habitat restoration would not occur to assist recovery actions for Casey's June beetle. The “No Project” alternative would not result in upgrading existing sidewalks and paths to CV Link standards at Demuth Park and Tahquitz Creek Golf Course and would not result in conservation for Casey's June beetle; therefore, the applicant did not propose to utilize the “No Project” alternative.

    Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of the HCP and issuance of an incidental take permit qualify for categorical exclusion under NEPA, as provided by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in 43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215, and that the HCP qualifies as a “low-effect” plan as defined by the Revised Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (December 2016).

    We base our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and/or candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts of the HCP, considered together with those of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. However, based upon our review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice, this preliminary determination may be revised.

    Next Steps

    We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) of the ESA. We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply with section 7(a)(2) of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue a permit. If the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a)(1)(B) are met, we will issue the permit to the applicant for incidental take of Casey's June beetle.

    Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the permit application, proposed HCP, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any of the methods noted in ADDRESSES.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    G. Mendel Stewart, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19187 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R3-ES-2018-N062; FXES11140300000 FF03E00000] Habitat Conservation Plan for Mitchell's Satyr and Poweshiek Skipperling Butterflies; Categorical Exclusion for Indiana and Michigan Habitat Restoration and Management Activities AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received applications from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for incidental take permits (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. If approved, the permits would authorize the incidental take of two federally endangered butterflies, the Mitchell's satyr and the Poweshiek skipperling. The MDNR is applying for an ITP for take of the Mitchell's satyr and Poweshiek skipperling, while the IDNR is applying for an ITP for the Mitchell's satyr only. The ITP applications include one habitat conservation plan to cover activities associated with maintaining, managing, and restoring the fen habitats occupied by these species. We have made a preliminary determination that the HCP and permit applications are eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). We are accepting comments on the applicants' draft HCP, and our low-effect screening form and environmental action statement.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments on or before October 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Document Availability:

    Internet: You may obtain copies of the documents on the internet at https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/r3hcps.html.

    U.S. Mail: You can obtain the documents by mail from the Michigan Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    In-Person: To view hard copies of the documents in person, go to the Ecological Services Office (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Comment submission: In your comment, please specify whether your comment addresses the draft HCP, EAS, or any combination of the aforementioned documents, or other supporting documents. You may submit written comments by one of the following methods:

    Electronically: Submit by email to [email protected]

    By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Michigan Ecological Services Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Rd., Ste. 101, East Lansing, Michigan 48823.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Tansy, Michigan Ecological Services Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Rd., Ste. 101, East Lansing, Michigan 48823; telephone (517-351-8375), or by facsimile (517-351-1443). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877- 8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We have received applications from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for 20-year incidental take permits (ITP) under the ESA. The MDNR is applying for an ITP for take of the endangered Mitchell's satyr (Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii) and Poweshiek skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek) butterflies. The State of Indiana is applying for an ITP for the Mitchell's satyr only. The applications address the potential for “take” of the federally endangered butterflies that is likely to occur incidental to the implementation of habitat management activities designed to benefit the species. We are requesting comments on the proposed HCP and our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act.

    Background

    We listed the Mitchell's satyr as endangered on June 25, 1991 (56 FR 28825), and the Poweshiek skipperling as endangered on October 24, 2014 (79 FR 63672). Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the “taking” of endangered species. However, provided certain criteria are met, we are authorized to issue permits under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA for take of federally listed species, when, among other things, such a taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Under the ESA, the term “take” means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect endangered and threatened species, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. Our implementing regulations define “harm” as significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury to listed species by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Harass, as defined, means “an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering” (50 CFR 17.3). However, under specified circumstances, the Service may issue permits that allow the take of federally listed species, provided that the take that occurs is incidental to, but not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity.

    Regulations governing permits for endangered and threatened species are at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions for issuing such incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking will be incidental; (2) The applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) The applicant will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that adequate funding for the HCP will be provided; (4) The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) The applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the HCP. In addition to meeting other specific criteria, actions undertaken through implementation of the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) must not jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed animal or plant species.

    Applicants' Proposal

    The MDNR and IDNR (hereafter, the applicants) have submitted an HCP in support of their applications for ITPs to address take of the Mitchell's satyr and Poweshiek skipperling. Covered activities include actions necessary to maintain, manage, and restore fen habitats occupied by these two endangered butterflies. The HCP's area encompasses the counties of Berrien, Branch, Cass, Jackson, Oakland, Van Buren, and Washtenaw in Michigan and LaGrange County in Indiana. The covered activities include the following: Hydrology restoration, prescribed burning, mowing/hydro-axing, vegetation removal, biological control of invasive species, livestock grazing, seeding and planting, and butterfly surveys. The applicants have determined that actions associated with the maintenance and restoration of butterfly habitat has the potential to incidentally take the species. Both butterfly species could be injured or killed by the actions to maintain and restore their habitat.

    The HCP's proposed conservation strategy is designed to minimize and mitigate the impacts of covered activities on the covered species. The biological goals are to complement the needed conservation actions to restore and conserve the species' habitat in Michigan and Indiana. The proposed action consists of the issuance of ITPs and implementation of the proposed HCP. Three alternatives were considered in the HCP. The proposed alternative in the draft HCP is the issuance of ITPs to the State of Indiana and the State of Michigan to authorize take of MSB and PS on private lands and public lands. The first alternative considered, but not selected, was restricting the HCP to public agencies only. However, this would miss the opportunity to work more efficiently with non-public landowners where the species frequently occur and thus result in fewer conservations actions to benefit the species. The second alternative considered, but not selected, was for the current status quo or no action (i.e., only existing management techniques that are approved on a site-by-site, project-by-project basis under ESA section 7 consultation or 10(a)(1)(A) recovery permits). This alternative results in a lower efficiency, as each agency or organization develops and applies for individual permits or authorizations rather than being part of a coordinated effort. The quantity and quality of conservation actions is expected to be lower under the status quo than under the other alternatives considered. Under the proposed alternative, non-Federal cooperators who wish to conduct habitat management activities for the butterflies may participate through certificates of inclusion by agreeing to implement the conservation measures and other requirements of the HCP. The certificates of inclusion will be issued by each State and will convey all of the ITPs incidental take authorization.

    Our Preliminary Determination

    We are requesting comments on our preliminary determination that the applicants' proposal will have a minor or negligible effect on the endangered butterflies and that the plan qualifies as a low-effect HCP as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (December 2016). We base our determinations on three criteria: (1) Implementation of the proposed project as described in the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and/or candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) HCP impacts, considered together with those of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects, would not result in cumulatively significant effects. In our analysis of these criteria, we have made a preliminary determination that the approval of the HCP and issuance of an ITP qualify for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215). However, based upon our review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice, this preliminary determination may be revised.

    Next Steps

    We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of the ESA, NEPA, and their implementing regulations. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will issue permits under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to the MDNR and IDNR. We will not make our final decision on the permit application until after the end of the public comment period, and we will fully consider all comments we receive during the comment period.

    Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials related to the draft HCP, DEA, or other supporting documents by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments by only one of the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as documents associated with the notice, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at the Michigan Ecological Services Field Office in East Lansing, Michigan (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in you comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46).

    Dated: April 27, 2018. Lori H. Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19188 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [18X.LLID957000.Ll4400000.BJ0000.241A.X.4500104880] Filing of Plats of Survey: Idaho AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office, Boise, Idaho, 30 days from the date of this publication.

    Boise Meridian Idaho T. 6 S, R. 33 E, Section 26, accepted August 29, 2018. T. 36 N, R. 4 W, Section 26, accepted August 29, 2018. T. 13 N, R. 42 E, Sections 7, 8 and 9, accepted August 29, 2018.
    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the plats may be obtained from the Public Room at the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office, 1387 S Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709, upon required payment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Timothy A. Quincy, (208) 373-3981, Branch of Cadastral Survey, Bureau of Land Management, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709-1657. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at (800) 877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with Mr. Quincy. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey identified above must file a written notice with the Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Idaho, Bureau of Land Management. The protest must identify the plat(s) of survey that the person or party wishes to protest and contain all reasons and evidence in support of the protest. The protest must be filed before the scheduled date of official filing for the plat(s) of survey being protested. Any protest filed after the scheduled date of official filing will be untimely and will not be considered. A protest is considered filed on the date it is received by the Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Idaho during regular business hours; if received after regular business hours, a protest will be considered filed the next business day. If a protest against a plat of survey is received prior to the scheduled date of official filing, the official filing of the plat of survey identified in the protest will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat of survey will not be officially filed until the next business day following dismissal or resolution of all protests of the plat.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in a protest, you should be aware that the documents you submit, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available in their entirety at any time. While you can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Timothy A. Quincy, <E T="03">Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Idaho.</E>
    [FR Doc. 2018-19180 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [18X.LLAK930000 L13100000.PP0000] Notice of Availability of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Alpine Satellite Development Plan for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Development Project, National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arctic District Office, Fairbanks, Alaska, is issuing the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Alpine Satellite Development Plan for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 (GMT2) Development Project, National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). The EIS supplements the September 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan Final EIS that originally analyzed the GMT2 Project, regarding establishing satellite oil production pads and associated infrastructure within the Alpine field.

    DATES:

    The BLM will issue a Record of Decision for the application for permit to drill no earlier than 30 days from the date of the Notice of Availability published by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for information regarding the Final Supplemental EIS may be mailed to: GMT2 Final Supplemental EIS, Attn: Stephanie Rice, 222 West 7th Avenue #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513. The GMT2 Final Supplemental EIS is available online at BLM Alaska's website at http://www.blm.gov/alaska. You may also request an electronic or paper copy of the GMT2 Final Supplemental EIS by contacting Stephanie Rice, BLM project lead, at 907-271-3202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Rice, BLM Alaska State Office, 907-271-3202. People who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The GMT2 Supplemental EIS analyzes an application from ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. (ConocoPhillips). The application is for a permit to drill and related authorizations to construct, operate, and maintain a drill site, access road, pipelines, and ancillary facilities on federally managed land to support development of petroleum resources at the GMT2 drill site. BLM Alaska manages the surface and subsurface at the drill site and at the proposed infield road and pipeline route. ConocoPhillips may also develop subsurface resources owned by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and may occupy surface lands owned by the Kuukpik Corporation.

    The proposed GMT2 site is approximately 25 miles southwest of the ConocoPhillips-operated Alpine Central Processing Facility (CD1) and will be operated and maintained by staff at the Alpine Central Processing Facility.

    The GMT2 Project was originally analyzed as the Colville Delta 7 (CD7) drill pad in the BLM's September 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan Final EIS. The purpose of the Supplemental EIS is to evaluate any relevant new circumstances and information that have arisen since the Alpine Satellite Development Plan Final EIS, to update the alternatives in the 2004 EIS, and to address any changes to ConocoPhillips' proposed development plan for GMT2. The GMT2 Final Supplemental EIS analyzes four alternatives, including two alternatives with an access road, an alternative without an access road, and a no-action alternative.

    The Supplemental EIS will result in a Record of Decision (ROD) that will approve, deny, or approve with modification, ConocoPhillips' application, as well as incorporate any additional mitigation measures that may be appropriate. The Draft Supplemental EIS, published in March 2018, identified Alternative A, the Proponent's Proposal, as the BLM's preferred alternative. The Final Supplemental EIS also identifies Alternative A as BLM's Preferred Alternative.

    The key issues in the GMT2 Final Supplemental EIS are the protection of surface resources; the minimization of social impacts; and the identification of appropriate mitigation measures for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a drill site and access road, pipelines, and ancillary facilities to support development of petroleum resources at the proposed GMT2 site.

    Authority:

    40 CFR 1506.6(b).

    Karen E. Mouritsen, Acting State Director, Alaska.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19197 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-JA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 189S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 18XS501520; OMB Control Number 1029-0117] Agency Information Collection Activities: Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing our intention to request renewed approval for the collection of information for Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information. This information collection activity was previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and assigned control number 1029-0117.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Attn: John Trelease, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 4559, Washington, DC 20240. Comments may also be submitted electronically to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact John Trelease by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (202) 208-2783.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the OSMRE; (2) is the estimate of burden accurate; (3) how might the OSMRE enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) how might the OSMRE minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    This notice provides the public with 60 days in which to comment on the following information collection activity:

    Title of Collection: 30 CFR part 778—Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information.

    OMB Control Number: 1029-0117.

    Abstract: Section 507(b) of Public Law 95-87 provides that persons conducting coal mining activities submit to the regulatory authority all relevant information regarding ownership and control of the mining company, their compliance status and history, and authority to mine the property. This information is used to insure all legal, financial and compliance requirements are satisfied prior to issuance or denial of a permit.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Surface coal mining permit applicants and State regulatory authorities.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 162 Surface coal mining permit applicants and 24 State regulatory authorities.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,091 Surface coal mining permit applicants and 448 State regulatory authorities.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from .5 hour to 16 hours for permit applicants, and 1 to 3 hours for States, depending on activity.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4,512 hours.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: Once.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $0.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Authority:

    The authorities for this action are the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    John A. Trelease, Acting Chief, Division of Regulatory Support.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19219 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 189S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 18XS501520; OMB Control Number 1029-0089] Agency Information Collection Activities: Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to the Extraction of Other Minerals AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing our intention to request renewed approval for the collection of information which implements the requirement in Section 701(28) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). This grants an exemption from the requirements of SMCRA to operators extracting not more than 16 2/3 percentage tonnage of coal incidental to the extraction of other minerals. This information will be used by the regulatory authorities to make that determination.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Attn: John Trelease, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 4559, Washington, DC 20240. Comments may also be submitted electronically to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact John Trelease by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (202) 208-2783.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the OSMRE; (2) is the estimate of burden accurate; (3) how might the OSMRE enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) how might the OSMRE minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    This notice provides the public with 60 days in which to comment on the following information collection activity:

    Title of Collection: 30 CFR part 702—Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to the Extraction of Other Minerals.

    OMB Control Number: 1029-0089.

    Abstract: This Part implements the requirement in Section 701(28) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), which grants an exemption from the requirements of SMCRA to operators extracting not more than 16 2/3 percentage tonnage of coal incidental to the extraction of other minerals. This information will be used by the regulatory authorities to make that determination.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Coal mine operators and State regulatory authorities.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 43 Coal mine operators and 24 State regulatory authorities.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 48 Coal mine operator responses and 79 State regulatory authority responses.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 1 to 28 hours per response from Coal mine operators, and 1 to 20 hours for State regulatory authorities, depending on collection activity.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 396 hours.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: Once and annually.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $600.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Authority:

    The authorities for this action are the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    John A. Trelease, Acting Chief, Division of Regulatory Support.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19218 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 189S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 18XS501520; OMB Control Number 1029-0115] Agency Information Collection Activities: Requirements for Permits and Permit Processing AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing our intention to request renewed approval for the collection of information for permits and permit processing. This information collection also authorizes the collection of permit processing fees approved under OSMRE regulations.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Attn: John Trelease, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 4559, Washington, DC 20240. Comments may also be submitted electronically to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact John Trelease by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (202) 208-2783.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the OSMRE; (2) is the estimate of burden accurate; (3) how might the OSMRE enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) how might the OSMRE minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    This notice provides the public with 60 days in which to comment on the following information collection activity:

    Title of Collection: 30 CFR part 773—Requirements for Permits and Permit Processing.

    OMB Control Number: 1029-0115.

    Abstract: This collection of information is authorized by part 773 which addresses general and specific requirements for applicants to provide information in the permitting process, and for regulatory authorities to review permit applications, determine permit eligibility, and ascribe permit conditions. Part 773 also contains provisions governing provisionally issued permits, improvidently issued permits, and challenges of ownership or control listings and findings. This information collection also authorizes the collection of permit processing fees approved under OSMRE regulations.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Coal mine operators and State regulatory authorities.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 963 Coal mine operators and 24 State regulatory authorities.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 963 Coal mine operator responses and 4,935 State regulatory authority responses.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 1 to 6 hours per response from Coal mine operators, and 1 to 32 hours for State regulatory authorities, depending on collection activity.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 39,224 hours.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: Once.

    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $100,500.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Authority:

    The authorities for this action are the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    John A. Trelease, Acting Chief, Division of Regulatory Support.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19220 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Inv. No. 337-TA-1130] Certain Beverage Dispensing Systems and Components Thereof; Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on August 2, 2018, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, on behalf of Heineken International B.V. of The Netherlands; Heineken Supply Chain B.V. of The Netherlands; and Heineken USA Inc. of White Plains, New York. The complaint was supplemented on August 28, 2018. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain beverage dispensing systems and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,188,751 (“the '751 patent”). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by the applicable Federal Statute.

    The complainants request that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Hiner, The Office of the Secretary, Docket Services, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-1802.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority: The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2018).

    Scope of Investigation: Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on August 29, 2018, Ordered That—

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain products identified in paragraph (2) by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 1-11 of the '751 patent; and whether an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) Pursuant to section 210.10(b)(1) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10(b)(1), the plain language description of the accused products or category of accused products, which defines the scope of the investigation, is “drink dispensing systems that include a dispenser, a replaceable dispensing line, and a beverage container”;

    (3) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainants are:

    Heineken International B.V., Tweede Weteringplantsoen 21, 1017 ZD Amsterdam, The Netherlands Heineken Supply Chain B.V., Tweede Weteringplantsoen 21, 1017 ZD Amsterdam, The Netherlands Heineken USA Inc., 360 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 1103, White Plains, NY 10601

    (b) The respondents are the following entities alleged to be in violation of section 337, and are the parties upon which the complaint is to be served:

    Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A., Brouwerijplein 1, 3000 Leuven, Belgium InBev Belgium N.V., Brouwerijplein 1, 3000 Leuven, Belgium Anheuser-Busch, LLC, One Busch Place, St. Louis, MO 63118

    The Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in this investigation.

    (4) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondents in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of a respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: August 29, 2018. Katherine Hiner, Supervisory Attorney.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19167 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 193rd Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans: Notice of Teleconference Meeting

    Pursuant to the authority contained in Section 512 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1142, the 193rd meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held as a teleconference on September 25, 2018.

    The meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210 in C5515 Room 2. The meeting will run from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. The purpose of the open meeting is to discuss reports/recommendations for the Secretary of Labor on the issues of: (1) Evaluating the Department's Regulations and Guidance on ERISA Bonding Requirements and Exploring Reform Considerations; and, (2) Lifetime Income Products as a Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA)—Focus on Decumulation and Rollovers. Descriptions of these topics are available on the Advisory Council page of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) website, at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/about-us/erisa-advisory-council.

    Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by submitting 20 copies on or before September 18, 2018, to Larry Good, Executive Secretary, ERISA Advisory Council, U.S. Department of Labor, Suite N-5623, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210. Statements also may be submitted as email attachments in word processing or pdf format transmitted to [email protected] It is requested that statements not be included in the body of the email. Statements deemed relevant by the Advisory Council and received on or before September 18 will be included in the record of the meeting and made available through the EBSA Public Disclosure Room. Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed.

    Individuals or representatives of organizations wishing to address the Advisory Council should forward their requests to the Executive Secretary or telephone (202) 693-8668. Oral presentations will be limited to 10 minutes, time permitting, but an extended statement may be submitted for the record. Individuals with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Executive Secretary by September 18, 2018, at the address indicated.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this day of August 29, 2018. Preston Rutledge, Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19252 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-29-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers' Compensation Programs Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Authorization for Release of Medical Information (CM-936). A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this Notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by mail, delivery service, or by hand to Ms. Yoon Ferguson, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room S-3323, Washington, DC 20210; by fax (202) 354-9647; or by email to [email protected] Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail/delivery, fax, or Email). Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be considered.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

    I. Background: The Black Lung Benefits Act, as amended, 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq., and 20 CFR 725.405 require that all relevant medical evidence be considered before a decision can be made regarding a claimant's eligibility for benefits. By signing the CM-936 form, the claimant authorizes physicians, hospitals, medical facilities or organizations, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to release medical information about the miner to the Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. The form contains information required by medical institutions and private physicians to enable them to release pertinent medical information. This information collection is currently approved for use through November 30, 2018.

    II. Review Focus: The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

    * Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    * evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    * enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    * minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions: The Department of Labor seeks approval for the extension of this currently-approved information collection in order to obtain claimant consent for the release of medical information for consideration by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs in their claim for benefits. Failure to gather this information would inhibit the adjudication of black lung claims because pertinent medical data would not be available for consideration during the processing of the claim.

    Agency: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Title: Authorization for Release of Medical Information.

    OMB Number: 1240-0034.

    Agency Number: CM-936.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Total Respondents: 7,000.

    Total Annual Responses: 7,000.

    Average Time per Response: 5 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 583 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $7,420.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 27, 2018. Yoon Ferguson, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19222 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CK-P
    MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 18-11] Report on Countries That Are Candidates for Millennium Challenge Account Eligibility in Fiscal Year 2019 and Countries That Would Be Candidates but for Legal Prohibitions AGENCY:

    Millennium Challenge Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Section 608(a) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 requires the Millennium Challenge Corporation to publish a report that identifies countries that are “candidate countries” for Millennium Challenge Account assistance during FY 2019. The report is set forth in full below.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. Jeanne M. Hauch, VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Report on Countries That Are Candidates for Millennium Challenge Compact Eligibility for Fiscal Year 2019 and Countries that would be Candidates but for Legal Prohibitions Summary

    This report to Congress is provided in accordance with section 608(a) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 7701, 7707(a) (the Act).

    The Act authorizes the provision of assistance for global development through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for countries that enter into a Millennium Challenge Compact with the United States to support policies and programs that advance the progress of such countries to achieve lasting economic growth and poverty reduction. The Act requires MCC to take a number of steps in selecting countries with which MCC will seek to enter into a compact, including determining the countries that will be eligible countries for fiscal year (FY) 2019 based on (a) a country's demonstrated commitment to (i) just and democratic governance, (ii) economic freedom, and (iii) investments in its people; and (b) the opportunity to reduce poverty and generate economic growth in the country, and (c) the availability of funds to MCC. These steps include the submission to the congressional committees specified in the Act and publication in the Federal Register of reports on the following:

    ○ The countries that are “candidate countries” for FY 2019 based on their per capita income levels and their eligibility to receive assistance under U.S. law and countries that would be candidate countries but for specified legal prohibitions on assistance (section 608(a) of the Act);

    ○ The criteria and methodology that the MCC Board of Directors (Board) will use to measure and evaluate the relative policy performance of the “candidate countries” consistent with the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of section 607 of the Act in order to determine “eligible countries” from among the “candidate countries” (section 608(b) of the Act); and

    ○ The list of countries determined by the Board to be “eligible countries” for FY 2019, identification of such countries with which the Board will seek to enter into compacts, and a justification for such eligibility determination and selection for compact negotiation (section 608(d) of the Act).

    This report is the first of three required reports listed above.

    Candidate Countries for FY 2019

    The Act requires the identification of all countries that are candidate countries for FY 2019 and the identification of all countries that would be candidate countries but for specified legal prohibitions on assistance. Under sections 606(a) and (b) of the Act, candidate countries must qualify as low income or lower middle income countries as defined in the Act.

    Specifically, a country will be a candidate country in the low income category for FY 2019 if it:

    ○ Has a per capita income that is not greater than the World Bank's lower middle income country threshold for such fiscal year ($3,895 gross national income per capita for FY 2019);

    ○ Is among the 75 countries identified by the World Bank as having the lowest per capita income; and

    ○ Is not ineligible to receive United States economic assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the Foreign Assistance Act), by reason of the application of the Foreign Assistance Act or any other provision of law.

    A country will be a candidate country in the lower middle income category for FY 2019 if it:

    ○ Has a per capita income that is not greater than the World Bank's lower middle income country threshold for such fiscal year ($3,895 gross national income per capita for FY 2019);

    ○ Is not among the 75 countries identified by the World Bank as having the lowest per capita income; and

    ○ Is not ineligible to receive United States economic assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act by reason of the application of the Foreign Assistance Act or any other provision of law.

    Under section 606(c) of the Act as applied for FY 2019, a country with per capita income changes from FY 2018 to FY 2019 such that the country would be reclassified from the low income category to the lower middle income category or vice versa will retain its income status in its former category for FY 2019 and two subsequent fiscal years (FY 2020 and FY 2021). A country that has transitioned to the upper middle income category does not qualify as a candidate country.

    Pursuant to section 606(d) of the Act, the Board identified the following countries as candidate countries under the Act for FY 2019. In so doing, the Board referred to the prohibitions on assistance to countries for FY 2018 under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018.

    Candidate Countries: Low Income Category Afghanistan Angola Bangladesh Benin Bhutan Burkina Faso Burundi Cabo Verde Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Côte d'Ivoire Djibouti Egypt Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) Ethiopia Gambia, The Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Haiti Honduras India Indonesia Kenya Kiribati Kyrgyzstan Laos Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova Morocco Mozambique Nepal Niger Nigeria Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Rwanda São Tomé and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Solomon Islands Somalia Sri Lanka Tajikistan Tanzania Timor-Leste Togo Uganda Ukraine Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam Yemen Zambia Candidate Countries: Lower Middle Income Category El Salvador Georgia Kosovo Mongolia Tunisia Countries That Would Be Candidate Countries but for Legal Provisions That Prohibit Assistance

    Countries that would be considered candidate countries for FY 2019 but are ineligible to receive United States economic assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act by reason of the application of any provision of the Foreign Assistance Act or any other provision of law are listed below. This list is based on legal prohibitions against economic assistance that apply as of July 26, 2018.

    Prohibited Countries: Low Income Category

    Bolivia is ineligible to receive foreign assistance pursuant to section 706(3) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (P.L. 107-228), regarding adherence to obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and other counternarcotics measures.

    Burma is ineligible to receive U.S. economic assistance, absent special authority, because of concerns relative to its record on human rights.

    Cambodia is ineligible to receive foreign assistance pursuant to section 7043(b)(1) of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which restricts assistance to the Government of Cambodia unless the Secretary of State certifies that the Government of Cambodia is taking effective steps to strengthen regional security and stability and respect the rights and responsibilities enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    Eritrea is ineligible to receive foreign assistance, including due to its status as a Tier III country under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.).

    The central Government of Nicaragua is ineligible to receive foreign assistance pursuant to section 7070(c) of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which prohibits assistance for the central government of a country that the Secretary of State determines has recognized the independence of, or has established diplomatic relations with, the Russian occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

    North Korea is ineligible to receive foreign assistance, including pursuant to section 7007 of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which prohibits direct assistance to the government of North Korea.

    South Sudan is ineligible to receive foreign assistance, including pursuant to section 7042(h)(2) of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which prohibits, with limited exceptions, assistance to the central government of South Sudan until the Secretary of State certifies and reports to Congress that such government is taking effective steps to end hostilities and pursue good faith negotiations for a political settlement of the conflict; provide access for humanitarian organizations; end the recruitment and use of child soldiers; protect freedoms of expression, association, and assembly; reduce corruption related to the extraction and sale of oil and gas; establish democratic institutions; establish accountable military and police forces under civilian authority; and investigate and prosecute individuals credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including at the Terrain compound in Juba, South Sudan on July 11, 2016.

    Sudan is ineligible to receive foreign assistance, including pursuant to section 7042(i) of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which prohibits (with limited exceptions) assistance to the government of Sudan.

    Syria is ineligible to receive foreign assistance, including pursuant to section 7007 of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which prohibits direct assistance to the government of Syria.

    Zimbabwe is ineligible to receive foreign assistance, including pursuant to section 7042(j)(2) of the FY 2018 Appropriations Act, which prohibits (with limited exceptions) assistance for the central government of Zimbabwe unless the Secretary of State certifies and reports to Congress that the rule of law has been restored, including respect for ownership and title to property, and freedoms of expression, association, and assembly.

    Countries identified above as candidate countries, as well as countries that would be considered candidate countries but for the applicability of legal provisions that prohibit U.S. economic assistance, may be the subject of future statutory restrictions or determinations, or changed country circumstances, that affect their legal eligibility for assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act by reason of application of the Foreign Assistance Act or any other provision of law for FY 2019.

    [FR Doc. 2018-19196 Filed 8-30-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 9211-03-P
    NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; NCUA Call Report and Profile AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), as part of a continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the following revision of a currently approved collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before November 5, 2018 to be assured consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the information collection to Dawn Wolfgang, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Suite 5080, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; Fax No. 703-519-8579; or Email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Address requests for additional information to the address above or telephone 703-548-2279.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Number: 3133-0004.

    Title: NCUA Call Report and Profile.

    Forms: NCUA Form 5300 and 4501A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: Sections 106 and 202 of the Federal Credit Union Act require federally insured credit unions to make financial reports to the NCUA. Section 741.6 prescribes the method in which federally insured credit unions must submit this information to NCUA. NCUA Form 5300, Call Report, is used to file quarterly financial and statistical data and NCUA Form 4501A, Credit Union Profile, is used to obtain non-financial data relevant to regulation and supervision such as the names of senior management and volunteer officials, and are reported through NCUA's online portal, Credit Unions Online.

    The financial and statistical information is essential to NCUA in carrying out its responsibility for supervising federal credit unions. The information also enables NCUA to monitor all federally insured credit unions with National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) insured share accounts.

    Affected Public: Private Sector: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 5,530.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 4.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 22,120.

    Estimated Burden Hours per Response: 6.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 132,720.

    Reason for Change: Revisions are attributed to the issuance of accounting standards codifications (ASC) by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, revised data selections to the current products and services offered by credit unions, and the removal of other elements deemed no longer necessary to maintain proper credit union supervision; including several pages of Schedule D, Derivative Transactions Report.

    These revisions will not alter the estimated burden hours necessary to review the instructions and complete the filing as the burden associated with Schedule D affects less than one percent of the credit unions and did not impact the industry average burden hours. The amount of data elements removed compared to those added negates the difference in burden.

    The burden hours reflect an adjustment to the number of respondents due to the decline in the number of federally insured credit unions, which has averaged approximately one percent per quarter. Specifically, the number of federally insured credit unions completing the Call Report and Profile dropped from 5,954 to 5,530 (March 2018). The reduction of 10,176 burden hours reflects this adjustment.

    Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. The public is invited to submit comments concerning: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper execution of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of the information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    By Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, the National Credit Union Administration, on August 30, 2018.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. Dawn D. Wolfgang, NCUA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19178 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES Institute of Museum and Library Services Notice of Proposed Information Collection Request: Proposed Research Project: The Social Well-Being Impact (SWI) of Libraries and Museums Study AGENCY:

    Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comments on this collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This pre-clearance consultation program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. By this notice, IMLS is soliciting comments concerning a plan to conduct a research study entitled “The Social Well-being Impact (SWI) of Libraries and Museums Study”. The study will be designed to demonstrate the impact of libraries and museums on community well-being. This builds upon prior work synthesized in the 2016 IMLS “Strengthening Networks, Sparking Change” report.

    A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addressee section below on or before November 1, 2018.

    IMLS is particularly interested in comments that help the agency to:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to: Dr. Sandra Webb, Director, Office of Grants Policy and Management, Institute of Museum and Library Services, 955 L'Enfant Plaza North SW, Suite 4000, Washington, DC 20024-2135. Dr. Webb can be reached by Telephone: 202-653-4718 Fax: 202-653-4608, or by email at [email protected], or by teletype (TTY/TDD) for persons with hearing difficulty at 202-653-4614.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Marvin Carr, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services, 955 L'Enfant Plaza North SW, Suite 4000, Washington, DC 20024-2135. Dr. Carr can be reached by Telephone: 202-653-4752 Fax: 202-653-4608, or by email at [email protected], or by teletype (TTY/TDD) for persons with hearing difficulty at 202-653-4614.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

    II. Current Actions

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is proposing a research project that looks beyond economic impact to the community relationships that are generated by museums and libraries and how the impact of those organizations affects a community's well-being. Since 2016, IMLS has engaged in a project entitled “Community Catalyst” which has shown that libraries and museums use community activities and strategic partnerships to address community concerns along a social well-being spectrum. Stakeholders from the library and museum fields have expressed a need for a national study that looks beyond economic impact of their institutions to the impact on employment, health and welfare, environment, crime, civic engagement, etc. all parts of social well-being. Previous research has focused on the economic impact of a single library or a subset of museums. The research study will used publicly available data bases at the county level to develop a sampling plan for in-depth targeted case studies of the relationship between the presence of museums and libraries and the indices of the social well-being indicators.

    Agency: Institute of Museum and Library Services.

    Title: Proposed Research Project: The Social Well-being Impact (SWI) of Libraries and Museums Study.

    OMB Number: 3137-TBD.

    Frequency: Once.

    Affected Public: Community stakeholders at the county level, museum and library staff, local government officials.

    Number of Respondents: # of sites 10-20.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: TBD.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: TBD.

    Total Annualized capital/startup costs: n/a.

    Total Annual costs: TBD.

    Public Comments Invited: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Kim Miller, Grants Management Specialist, Institute of Museum and Library Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19141 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7036-01-P
    NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES National Endowment for the Arts 30-Day Notice for the “Agency Initiatives Poetry Out Loud or the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students” AGENCY:

    National Endowment for the Arts.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has submitted the following public information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995: Applications from students for Poetry Out Loud, the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students, or other agency initiatives for youth. Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by visiting www.Reginfo.gov.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the address section below within 30 days from the date of this publication in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the National Endowment for the Arts, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the National Endowment for the Arts, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, 202-395-7316.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Could help minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of electronic submission of responses through Grants.gov.

    Agency: National Endowment for the Arts.

    Title: Applications from students for Poetry Out Loud, the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students, or other agency initiatives for youth.

    OMB Number: 3135-0137.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Affected Public: Individuals.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 300.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 1 hour.

    Total Burden Hours: 300.

    Total Annualized Capital/Startup Costs: 0.

    Total Annual Costs (Operating/Maintaining Systems or Purchasing Services): 0.

    The National Endowment for the Arts requests the review of applications from students for Poetry Out Loud, the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students, or other agency initiatives for youth. This entry is issued by the National Endowment for the Arts and contains the following information: (1) The title of the form; (2) how often the required information must be reported; (3) who will be required or asked to report; (4) what the form will be used for; (5) an estimate of the number of responses; (6) the average burden hours per response; (7) an estimate of the total number of hours needed to prepare the form. This entry is not subject to 44 U.S.C. 3504(h).

    The Application Form, for which clearance is requested, is used to gather basic information from youth applying to Poetry Out Loud, the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students, or other agency initiatives for youth. Information is needed to verify eligibility for the program and to facilitate judging of the entries.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Jillian LeHew Miller, Director, Office of Guidelines and Panel Operations, National Endowment for the Arts.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19140 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7537-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures

    The ACRS Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures will hold a meeting on September 6, 2018, 11545 Rockville Pike, Room T-2B1, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    The meeting will be open to public attendance.

    The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows:

    Thursday, September 6, 2018—12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m.

    The Subcommittee will discuss proposed ACRS activities and related matters. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee.

    Members of the public desiring to provide oral statements and/or written comments should notify the Designated Federal Official (DFO), Quynh Nguyen (Telephone 301-415-5844 or email: [email protected]) five days prior to the meeting, if possible, so that arrangements can be made. Thirty-five hard copies of each presentation or handout should be provided to the DFO thirty minutes before the meeting. In addition, one electronic copy of each presentation should be emailed to the DFO one day before the meeting. If an electronic copy cannot be provided within this timeframe, presenters should provide the DFO with a CD containing each presentation at least thirty minutes before the meeting. Electronic recordings will be permitted only during those portions of the meeting that are open to the public. The public bridgeline number for the meeting is 866-822-3032, passcode 8272423. Detailed procedures for the conduct of and participation in ACRS meetings were published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2017 (82 FR 46312).

    Information regarding changes to the agenda, whether the meeting has been canceled or rescheduled, and the time allotted to present oral statements can be obtained by contacting the identified DFO. Moreover, in view of the possibility that the schedule for ACRS meetings may be adjusted by the Chairman as necessary to facilitate the conduct of the meeting, persons planning to attend should check with the DFO if such rescheduling would result in a major inconvenience.

    If attending this meeting, please enter through the One White Flint North building, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. After registering with Security, please contact Mr. Theron Brown at 301-415-6702 to be escorted to the meeting room.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Mark L. Banks, Chief, Technical Support Branch, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19198 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2018-0001] Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    Weeks of September 3, 10, 17, 24, October 1, 8, 2018.

    PLACE:

    Commissioners' Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Public and Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Week of September 3, 2018

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of September 3, 2018.

    Week of September 10, 2018—Tentative Monday, September 10, 2018 10:00 a.m. Briefing on NRC International Activities (Closed—Ex. 1 & 9) Week of September 17, 2018—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of September 17, 2018.

    Week of September 24, 2018—Tentative Thursday, September 27, 2018 10:00 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Operating Reactors Business Line (Public), (Contact: Trent Wertz: 301-415-1568)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Week of October 1, 2018—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 1, 2018.

    Week of October 8, 2018—Tentative Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:00 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Decommissioning and Low-Level Waste and Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Business Lines (Public), (Contact: Matthew Meyer: 301-415-6198)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Denise McGovern at 301-415-0681 or via email at [email protected] The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice.

    The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/schedule.html.

    The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g., braille, large print), please notify Kimberly Meyer-Chambers, NRC Disability Program Manager, at 301-287-0739, by videophone at 240-428-3217, or by email at [email protected] Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Members of the public may request to receive this information electronically. If you would like to be added to the distribution, please contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301-415-1969), or you may email [email protected] or [email protected]

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Denise L. McGovern, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19368 Filed 8-31-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2018-215 and CP2018-297; MC2018-216 and CP2018-298] New Postal Products AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission's consideration concerning negotiated service agreements. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: September 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) I. Introduction

    The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list.

    Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request's acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request.

    The public portions of the Postal Service's request(s) can be accessed via the Commission's website (http://www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service's request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.301.1

    1See Docket No. RM2018-3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19-22 (Order No. 4679).

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3010, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II.

    II. Docketed Proceeding(s)

    1. Docket No(s).: MC2018-215 and CP2018-297; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 88 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: August 29, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: September 6, 2018.

    2. Docket No(s).: MC2018-216 and CP2018-298; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & first-Class Package Service Contract 45 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: August 29, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: September 6, 2018.

    This Notice will be published in the Federal Register.

    Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19221 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    Thursday, September 13, 2018, at 1:00 p.m.

    PLACE:

    Washington, DC

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Thursday, September 13, 2018, at 1:00 p.m.

    1. Strategic Issues.

    2. Financial Matters.

    3. Executive Session—Discussion of prior agenda items and Temporary Emergency Committee governance.

    General Counsel Certification: The General Counsel of the United States Postal Service has certified that the meeting may be closed under the Government in the Sunshine Act.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Michael J. Elston, Acting Secretary of the Board, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260-1000. Telephone: (202) 268-4800.

    Michael J. Elston, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19371 Filed 8-31-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Date of required notice: September 5, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on August 29, 2018, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Contract 45 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2018-216, CP2018-298.

    Elizabeth Reed, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19164 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Date of required notice: September 5, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on August 29, 2018, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 88 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2018-215, CP2018-297.

    Elizabeth Reed, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19163 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-84002; File No. SR-CboeBZX-2018-065] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. August 30, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on August 16, 2018, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “BZX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend the fee schedule to institute a new fee for the distribution of data derived from BZX Top on third-party websites or other electronic platforms.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's website at www.markets.cboe.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to introduce a new pricing model to keep pace with an evolving practice. Other exchanges have pricing programs in place that allow Distributors make “Derived Data” available on a website or other electronic platform that is branded by a third party, or co-branded by a Distributor and a third party.5 The proposed rule change would implement a new pricing structure for use of Derived Data—i.e., the BZX Derived Data White Label Service Program (the “Program”)—that would compete with similar programs currently offered on other equities markets.

    5 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”), for example, operates a program whereby it charges Distributors that employ a hosted display solution to distribute Derived Data taken from its Nasdaq Basic product. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79228 (November 3, 2016), 81 FR 78890 (November 9, 2016) (SR-NASDAQ-2016-144).

    “Derived Data” is pricing data or other data that (i) is created in whole or in part from Exchange Data, (ii) is not an index or financial product, and (iii) cannot be readily reverse‐engineered to recreate Exchange Data or used to create other data that is a reasonable facsimile or substitute for Exchange Data. The type of Derived Data subject to the proposed fee is taken from BZX Top, which is a proprietary data product that provides top of book quotations and execution information for all equity securities traded on the Exchange.6

    6See Rule 11.22(d).

    The Derived Data subject to the proposed fee is made available to subscribers within a White Label Service which is a type of hosted display solution in which a Distributor hosts or maintains a website or platform on behalf of a third-party entity. The service allows Distributors to make Derived Data available on a platform that is branded with a third-party brand, or co-branded with a third party and a Distributor. The Distributor maintains control of the application's data, entitlements and display.

    The White Label Service may be used for a number of different purposes, to be determined by the Distributor. Possible uses include the display of information or data, or the creation of derivative instruments, such as swaps,7 swaptions,8 or contracts for difference.9 The specific use of the data will be determined by the Distributor, as the proposed fee will not depend on the purpose for placing the Derived Data on a White Label Service.

    7 A swap is a derivative contract in which two parties agree to exchange financial instruments.

    8 A swaption, or swap option, is an option to enter into a swap at a specified time.

    9 A contract for difference is an agreement to exchange the difference between the current value of an asset and its future value. If the price increases, the seller pays the buyer the amount of the increase. If the price decreases, the buyer pays the seller the amount of the decrease.

    As proposed, a Distributor that provides a White Label Service for Derived Data taken from BZX Top is liable for the following fees instead of the fees normally applicable for the distribution of BZX Top. First, instead of the regular fee for external distribution, Distributors would be charged a tiered External Subscriber Fee based on the number of White Label Service Platforms (i.e., “External Subscribers”) that receive Derived Data from the Distributor through a White Label Service. Specifically, Distributors would be charged a fee of: (1) $300 per month for each External Subscriber if the Distributor makes Derived Data available to 1-5 External Subscribers; (2) $250 per month for each External Subscriber if the Distributor makes Derived Data available to 6-10 External Subscribers; and (3) $200 per month for each External Subscriber if the Distributor makes Derived Data available to 11 or more External Subscribers. The External Subscriber Fee is non-progressive and, as mentioned above, is based on the number of External Subscribers that receive Derived Data from the Distributor. For example, a Distributor providing Derived Data based on BZX Top to six External Subscribers would be charged a monthly fee of $1,500 (i.e., 6 External Subscribers × $250 each). Second, the Exchange would charge a monthly Professional User fee of $4 per month for each Professional User, which is equivalent to the current Professional User fee for external distribution of BZX Top. There would be no monthly Non-Professional User fee for accessing Derived Data through a White Label Service.

    The Program is entirely optional, in that it applies only to Distributors that opt to use Derived Data from BZX Top to create a White Label Service, as described herein. It does not impact or raise the cost of any other Exchange product, nor does it affect the cost of BZX Top, except in instances where Derived Data is made available on a White Label Service. A Distributor that provides a White Label Service for BZX Top data that is not Derived Data or distributes Derived Data through a platform other than a White Label Service would be liable for the fees normally applicable for the distribution of BZX Top.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the objectives of Section 6 of the Act,10 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4),11 in particular, as it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes that the proposed rates are equitable and non-discriminatory in that they apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes the proposed fees are competitive with those charged by other venues and, therefore, reasonable and equitably allocated to recipients.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 11(A) of the Act 12 in that it supports (i) fair competition among brokers and dealers, among exchange markets, and between exchange markets and markets other than exchange markets and (ii) the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in securities. Furthermore, the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 603 of Regulation NMS,13 which provides that any national securities exchange that distributes information with respect to quotations for or transactions in an NMS stock do so on terms that are not unreasonably discriminatory. In adopting Regulation NMS, the Commission granted self-regulatory organizations and broker-dealers increased authority and flexibility to offer new and unique market data to the public. It was believed that this authority would expand the amount of data available to consumers, and also spur innovation and competition for the provision of market data.

    12 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    13See 17 CFR 242.603.

    The Exchange notes that the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or rate-making approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for non-core market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically.14

    14 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties, including the Commission, to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's website at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73816 (December 11, 2014), 79 FR 75200 (December 17, 2014) (SR-NYSE-2014-64) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Establish an Access Fee for the NYSE Best Quote and Trades Data Feed, Operative December 1, 2014).

    The Exchange believes that the introduction of a fee for the use of Derived Data on White Label Services is reasonable because: (i) All proprietary data fees are constrained by the Exchange's need to compete for order flow; and (ii) proprietary data fees are subject to market competition from substitute products. The proposed rule change would provide an alternate fee structure for providing BZX Top market data to Distributors that make Derived Data available to External Subscribers on White Label Services. The Exchange believes that this will encourage additional Distributors to subscribe to BZX Top market data due to the lower cost associated with Derived Data provided under the Program. Nasdaq already has a similar pricing structure in place for providing Derived Data through a hosted display solution.15 The Exchange believes that Distributors of BZX Top market data would benefit from a similar solution. Furthermore, the proposed fees are lower than those currently in place on Nasdaq, which charges a fee of $400 per month for each hosted display solution under their program,16 and may be further lowered for Distributors of BZX Top Derived Data based on the number of External Subscribers.

    15See supra note 5.

    16Id.

    As proposed, if a Distributor uses a White Label Service to display Derived Data, the Distributor will be charged a fee that is tiered based on the number of External Subscribers that are provided access to that data instead of the higher fee normally charged for external distribution. The Exchange believes that this fee is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange will apply the same fees to all similarly situated Distributors based on the number of External Subscribers provided access to Derived Data through a White Label Service. Furthermore, the proposed fees will only apply to Distributors that elect to participate in the Program by distributing Derived Data through a White Label Service. BZX Top market data is distributed and purchased on a voluntary basis, in that neither the Exchange nor market data distributors are required by any rule or regulation to make this data available. Distributors of BZX Top are not required to participate in the proposed Program, which is merely an alternative option being proposed by the Exchange to potentially lower costs for market data that is Derived Data. Accordingly, Distributors can discontinue use at any time and for any reason, including due to an assessment of the reasonableness of fees charged. Firms have a wide variety of alternative market data products from which to choose, such as similar proprietary data products offered by other exchanges and consolidated data. Moreover, the Exchange is not required to make any proprietary data products available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers.

    In addition to the tiered distribution fee described above, the Exchange will continue to charge a small fee for Professional Users but would eliminate Non-Professional User fees for data provided under the Program. The Exchange believes that it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to charge a fee for Professional Users but no fee for Non-Professional Users. Non-Professional Users are already subject to a heavily discounted fee for BZX Top market data relative to Professional Users. Differential fees for Professional and Non-Professional Users are widely used by the Exchange and other exchanges for their proprietary market data as this reduces costs for retail investors and makes market data more broadly available.

    In addition, the fees that are the subject of this rule filing are constrained by competition. As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the existence of alternatives to the proposed program further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when subscribers can elect such alternatives. That is, the Exchange competes with other exchanges and their affiliates that provide similar market data products. If another exchange or its affiliate were to charge less for a similar product than the Exchange charges under the proposed fee structure, prospective subscribers likely would not subscribe to, or would cease subscribing to, the Program.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended. The Exchange's ability to price this data product is constrained by: (i) Competition among exchanges, other trading platforms, and Trade Reporting Facilities (“TRF”) that compete with each other in a variety of dimensions; (ii) the existence of inexpensive real-time consolidated data and market-specific data and free delayed data; and (iii) the inherent contestability of the market for proprietary data.

    The Exchange and its market data products are subject to significant competitive forces and the proposed fees represent responses to that competition. To start, the Exchange competes intensely for order flow. It competes with the other national securities exchanges that currently trade equities, with electronic communication networks, with quotes posted in FINRA's Alternative Display Facility, with alternative trading systems, and with securities firms that primarily trade as principal with their customer order flow.

    The proposed fees apply to data derived from BZX Top, which is subject to competition from the Nasdaq, NYSE, and other exchanges that offer similar products, including exchanges that provide similar pricing options for Derived Data made available on a White Label Service. In sum, the availability of a variety of alternative sources of information imposes significant competitive pressures on Exchange data products and the Exchange's compelling need to attract order flow imposes significant competitive pressure on the Exchange to act equitably, fairly, and reasonably in setting the proposed data product fees. The proposed data product fees are, in part, responses to that pressure. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees would reflect an equitable allocation of its overall costs to users of its facilities.

    In addition, when establishing the proposed fees, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all subscribers. The existence of alternatives to BZX Top, including existing similar feeds by other exchanges, consolidated data, and proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if its cost to purchase is not justified by the returns any particular vendor or subscriber would achieve through the purchase.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 17 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.18 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    17 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    18 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-CboeBZX-2018-065 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeBZX-2018-065. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of this filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeBZX-2018-065 and should be submitted on or before September 26, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.19

    19 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19240 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-84000; File No. SR-CboeEDGX-2018-036] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use on Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc. August 30, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on August 16, 2018, Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “EDGX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend fee schedule to institute a new fee for the distribution of data derived from EDGX Top on third-party websites or other electronic platforms.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's website at www.markets.cboe.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to introduce a new pricing model to keep pace with an evolving practice. Other exchanges have pricing programs in place that allow Distributors make “Derived Data” available on a website or other electronic platform that is branded by a third party, or co-branded by a Distributor and a third party.5 The proposed rule change would implement a new pricing structure for use of Derived Data—i.e., the EDGX Derived Data White Label Service Program (the “Program”)—that would compete with similar programs currently offered on other equities markets.

    5 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”), for example, operates a program whereby it charges Distributors that employ a hosted display solution to distribute Derived Data taken from its Nasdaq Basic product. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79228 (November 3, 2016), 81 FR 78890 (November 9, 2016) (SR-NASDAQ-2016-144).

    “Derived Data” is pricing data or other data that (i) is created in whole or in part from Exchange Data, (ii) is not an index or financial product, and (iii) cannot be readily reverse‐engineered to recreate Exchange Data or used to create other data that is a reasonable facsimile or substitute for Exchange Data. The type of Derived Data subject to the proposed fee is taken from EDGX Top, which is a proprietary data product that provides top of book quotations and execution information for all equity securities traded on the Exchange.6

    6See Rule 13.8(c).

    The Derived Data subject to the proposed fee is made available to subscribers within a White Label Service which is a type of hosted display solution in which a Distributor hosts or maintains a website or platform on behalf of a third-party entity. The service allows Distributors to make Derived Data available on a platform that is branded with a third-party brand, or co-branded with a third party and a Distributor. The Distributor maintains control of the application's data, entitlements and display.

    The White Label Service may be used for a number of different purposes, to be determined by the Distributor. Possible uses include the display of information or data, or the creation of derivative instruments, such as swaps,7 swaptions,8 or contracts for difference.9 The specific use of the data will be determined by the Distributor, as the proposed fee will not depend on the purpose for placing the Derived Data on a White Label Service.

    7 A swap is a derivative contract in which two parties agree to exchange financial instruments.

    8 A swaption, or swap option, is an option to enter into a swap at a specified time.

    9 A contract for difference is an agreement to exchange the difference between the current value of an asset and its future value. If the price increases, the seller pays the buyer the amount of the increase. If the price decreases, the buyer pays the seller the amount of the decrease.

    As proposed, a Distributor that provides a White Label Service for Derived Data taken from EDGX Top is liable for the following fees instead of the fees normally applicable for the distribution of EDGX Top. First, instead of the regular fee for external distribution, Distributors would be charged a tiered External Subscriber Fee based on the number of White Label Service Platforms (i.e., “External Subscribers”) that receive Derived Data from the Distributor through a White Label Service. Specifically, Distributors would be charged a fee of: (1) $300 per month for each External Subscriber if the Distributor makes Derived Data available to 1-5 External Subscribers; (2) $250 per month for each External Subscriber if the Distributor makes Derived Data available to 6-10 External Subscribers; and (3) $200 per month for each External Subscriber if the Distributor makes Derived Data available to 11 or more External Subscribers. The External Subscriber Fee is non-progressive and, as mentioned above, is based on the number of External Subscribers that receive Derived Data from the Distributor. For example, a Distributor providing Derived Data based on EDGX Top to six External Subscribers would be charged a monthly fee of $1,500 (i.e., 6 External Subscribers × $250 each). Second, the Exchange would charge a monthly Professional User fee of $4 per month for each Professional User, which is equivalent to the current Professional User fee for external distribution of EDGX Top. There would be no monthly Non-Professional User fee for accessing Derived Data through a White Label Service.

    The Program is entirely optional, in that it applies only to Distributors that opt to use Derived Data from EDGX Top to create a White Label Service, as described herein. It does not impact or raise the cost of any other Exchange product, nor does it affect the cost of EDGX Top, except in instances where Derived Data is made available on a White Label Service. A Distributor that provides a White Label Service for EDGX Top data that is not Derived Data or distributes Derived Data through a platform other than a White Label Service would be liable for the fees normally applicable for the distribution of EDGX Top.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the objectives of Section 6 of the Act,10 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4),11 in particular, as it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes that the proposed rates are equitable and non-discriminatory in that they apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes the proposed fees are competitive with those charged by other venues and, therefore, reasonable and equitably allocated to recipients.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 11(A) of the Act 12 in that it supports (i) fair competition among brokers and dealers, among exchange markets, and between exchange markets and markets other than exchange markets and (ii) the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in securities. Furthermore, the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 603 of Regulation NMS,13 which provides that any national securities exchange that distributes information with respect to quotations for or transactions in an NMS stock do so on terms that are not unreasonably discriminatory. In adopting Regulation NMS, the Commission granted self-regulatory organizations and broker-dealers increased authority and flexibility to offer new and unique market data to the public. It was believed that this authority would expand the amount of data available to consumers, and also spur innovation and competition for the provision of market data.

    12 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    13See 17 CFR 242.603.

    The Exchange notes that the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or rate-making approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for non-core market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically.14

    14 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties, including the Commission, to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's website at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73816 (December 11, 2014), 79 FR 75200 (December 17, 2014) (SR-NYSE-2014-64) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Establish an Access Fee for the NYSE Best Quote and Trades Data Feed, Operative December 1, 2014).

    The Exchange believes that the introduction of a fee for the use of Derived Data on White Label Services is reasonable because: (i) All proprietary data fees are constrained by the Exchange's need to compete for order flow; and (ii) proprietary data fees are subject to market competition from substitute products. The proposed rule change would provide an alternate fee structure for providing EDGX Top market data to Distributors that make Derived Data available to External Subscribers on White Label Services. The Exchange believes that this will encourage additional Distributors to subscribe to EDGX Top market data due to the lower cost associated with Derived Data provided under the Program. Nasdaq already has a similar pricing structure in place for providing Derived Data through a hosted display solution.15 The Exchange believes that Distributors of EDGX Top market data would benefit from a similar solution. Furthermore, the proposed fees are lower than those currently in place on Nasdaq, which charges a fee of $400 per month for each hosted display solution under their program,16 and may be further lowered for Distributors of EDGX Top Derived Data based on the number of External Subscribers.

    15See supra note 5.

    16Id.

    As proposed, if a Distributor uses a White Label Service to display Derived Data, the Distributor will be charged a fee that is tiered based on the number of External Subscribers that are provided access to that data instead of the higher fee normally charged for external distribution. The Exchange believes that this fee is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange will apply the same fees to all similarly situated Distributors based on the number of External Subscribers provided access to Derived Data through a White Label Service. Furthermore, the proposed fees will only apply to Distributors that elect to participate in the Program by distributing Derived Data through a White Label Service. EDGX Top market data is distributed and purchased on a voluntary basis, in that neither the Exchange nor market data distributors are required by any rule or regulation to make this data available. Distributors of EDGX Top are not required to participate in the proposed Program, which is merely an alternative option being proposed by the Exchange to potentially lower costs for market data that is Derived Data. Accordingly, Distributors can discontinue use at any time and for any reason, including due to an assessment of the reasonableness of fees charged. Firms have a wide variety of alternative market data products from which to choose, such as similar proprietary data products offered by other exchanges and consolidated data. Moreover, the Exchange is not required to make any proprietary data products available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers.

    In addition to the tiered distribution fee described above, the Exchange will continue to charge a small fee for Professional Users but would eliminate Non-Professional User fees for data provided under the Program. The Exchange believes that it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to charge a fee for Professional Users but no fee for Non-Professional Users. Non-Professional Users are already subject to a heavily discounted fee for EDGX Top market data relative to Professional Users. Differential fees for Professional and Non-Professional Users are widely used by the Exchange and other exchanges for their proprietary market data as this reduces costs for retail investors and makes market data more broadly available.

    In addition, the fees that are the subject of this rule filing are constrained by competition. As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the existence of alternatives to the proposed program further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when subscribers can elect such alternatives. That is, the Exchange competes with other exchanges and their affiliates that provide similar market data products. If another exchange or its affiliate were to charge less for a similar product than the Exchange charges under the proposed fee structure, prospective subscribers likely would not subscribe to, or would cease subscribing to, the Program.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended. The Exchange's ability to price this data product is constrained by: (i) Competition among exchanges, other trading platforms, and Trade Reporting Facilities (“TRF”) that compete with each other in a variety of dimensions; (ii) the existence of inexpensive real-time consolidated data and market-specific data and free delayed data; and (iii) the inherent contestability of the market for proprietary data.

    The Exchange and its market data products are subject to significant competitive forces and the proposed fees represent responses to that competition. To start, the Exchange competes intensely for order flow. It competes with the other national securities exchanges that currently trade equities, with electronic communication networks, with quotes posted in FINRA's Alternative Display Facility, with alternative trading systems, and with securities firms that primarily trade as principal with their customer order flow.

    The proposed fees apply to data derived from EDGX Top, which is subject to competition from the Nasdaq, NYSE, and other exchanges that offer similar products, including exchanges that provide similar pricing options for Derived Data made available on a White Label Service. In sum, the availability of a variety of alternative sources of information imposes significant competitive pressures on Exchange data products and the Exchange's compelling need to attract order flow imposes significant competitive pressure on the Exchange to act equitably, fairly, and reasonably in setting the proposed data product fees. The proposed data product fees are, in part, responses to that pressure. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees would reflect an equitable allocation of its overall costs to users of its facilities.

    In addition, when establishing the proposed fees, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all subscribers. The existence of alternatives to EDGX Top, including existing similar feeds by other exchanges, consolidated data, and proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if its cost to purchase is not justified by the returns any particular vendor or subscriber would achieve through the purchase.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 17 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.18 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    17 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    18 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-CboeEDGX-2018-036 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeEDGX-2018-036. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of this filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeEDGX-2018-036 and should be submitted on or before September 26, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.19

    19 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19238 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83983; File No. SR-LCH SA-2018-004] Self-Regulatory Organizations; LCH SA; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Implementation of Electronic Exercise Platform August 29, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder 2 notice is hereby given that on August 24, 2018, Banque Centrale de Compensation, which conducts business under the name LCH SA (“LCH SA”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared primarily by LCH SA. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    Banque Centrale de Compensation, which conducts business under the name LCH SA (“LCH SA”), is proposing to amend its (i) CDS Clearing Rule Book (“Rule Book”), (ii) CDS Clearing Supplement (“Supplement”) and (iii) CDS Clearing Procedures (“Procedures”) to incorporate new terms and to make conforming, clarifying and clean-up changes to implement a new electronic exercise platform (“EEP”) for the exercise of options by Clearing Members and their Clients. The text of the proposed rule change has been annexed as Exhibit 5.3

    3 All capitalized terms not defined herein have the same definition as the Rule Book, Supplement or Procedures, as applicable.

    II. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, LCH SA included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. LCH SA has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.

    A. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    LCH SA is proposing to create an EEP for credit index options or swaptions to capture and support swaption exercise decisions by Clearing Members and Clients. Currently, the exercise of swaptions is effected through a manual bilateral notification process. The swaption exercise decisions are communicated bilaterally via email from the swaption buyer to the swaption seller of a matched pair transaction created by LCH SA for the purpose of the exercise or abandonment of the swaption transaction. The swaption buyer must then inform LCH SA that the exercise notice has been successfully delivered. LCH SA then manually effects the exercise decisions accordingly and updates its risk system.

    The proposed EEP will provide Clearing Members and their Clients with an electronic process that will reduce the operational risk caused by manual exercise and provide an effective system to monitor and manage the exercise of swaptions. The proposed rule change will require Clearing Members and Clients to use the EEP system to initiate the exercise of swaptions and will enable Clients to directly exercise swaptions through delegation by Clearing Members and receive reports. The EEP system will capture the exercise decisions in real time and notify the relevant swaptions sellers in real time. In addition, the EEP system will provide validation checks and exercise decision-making assistance and support, and will facilitate and support an anonymous exercise decision process that the current manual process is not able to achieve.

    In connection with the launch of the EEP, LCH SA proposes to modify its Rule Book, Supplement and Procedures to implement the EEP and manage the operational risk arising from the EEP while improving the clarity of the Rulebook, Supplement and Procedures.

    (i) CDS Clearing Rule Book

    The Rule Book will be amended by adding new defined terms and provisions to account for the ability of Clients to directly exercise swaptions utilizing the EEP through delegation by Clearing Members. The details of the mechanism for Clients to exercise swaptions via delegation by Clearing Members will be implemented through amendments to the Supplement and Procedures as described below. With respect to the Rule Book, LCH SA proposes to amend Article 1.2.10.3 with respect to the liability of LCH SA to account for the ability of Clients to exercise swaptions utilizing the EEP as an Exercise Delegation Beneficiary. Article 1.2.10.3 will be amended to add new clause (xxii) to the effect that LCH SA will not be liable for any Damage claimed by a clearing Member based on the failure of an Exercise Delegation Beneficiary to perform its obligations in relation to a delegation by a Clearing Member of the power to Exercise or Abandon Exercise Cleared Transactions or in connection with or arising from the Exercise or Abandonment (or attempt thereof) of an Exercise Cleared Transaction by such exercise Delegation Beneficiary. In addition, new clause (xxiii) will be added to Article 1.2.10.3 to provide that LCH SA will not be liable for any improper use or disclosure by a third party, including a Client, of information made available on a Client Portal Account further to a defined process of requesting LCH SA to make certain information available on the Client Portal Account in accordance with the Procedures (such process is referred to as “Feeding Request” in the Procedures).

    Further, LCH SA proposes to add new provisions to Title V CDS CCM Client Clearing Services and Title VI CDS FCM Client Clearing to provide for exercise of swaptions by Clients. Article 5.1.1.2(vii) and Article 6.1.1.2(vii) will be added to require a CCM or an FCM to ensure that a CCM Client or FCM Client, as applicable, has duly created a Client Portal Account before granting an Exercise Delegation to such CCM Client or FCM Client. Article 5.1.1.3(xx) and 6.1.1.3(xvii) will be added to require a CCM or an FCM to delegate sufficient powers to a CCM Client or a FCM Client, as applicable, in order for the CCM Client or FCM Client, as applicable, to be duly authorized to Exercise or Abandon Exercise Cleared Transactions; in addition, a CCM Client or a FCM Client, as applicable, delegated and designated by a Clearing Member as being entitled to Exercise and Abandon Exercise Cleared Transactions on its behalf is required to Exercise or Abandon only through the relevant Client Portal Account unless there is an EEP Failure Event (as described below).

    In connection with the above, LCH SA also proposes to add new provisions to Title I General Provisions & Legal Framework of the Rule Book. First, new defined terms “Abandon”, “Abandonment”, “Client Portal Account”, “Delegating Clearing Member”, “Exercise Delegation”, “Exercise Delegation Beneficiary”, and “Feeding Request” will be added and cross-reference the meanings given to these terms in Part C of the Supplement or Section 5 of the Procedures, as applicable.

    The amendments to the CDS Clearing Rule Book also contain typographical corrections and similar technical corrections and clarifications as well as various conforming references to the new or revised defined terms. Finally, corresponding changes to provision numbering throughout the CDS Clearing Rule Book have been made as necessary.

    (ii) CDS Clearing Supplement

    LCH SA also proposes to modify the Supplement to incorporate terms for implementing the new EEP, to remove inapplicable provisions after implementation of the EEP, and to make certain conforming and clean-up changes to improve clarity of the Supplement.

    Section 1 General Provisions of the Supplement will be amended to add certain defined terms and new provisions to implement the EEP and to make certain clean-up changes. Section 1.2 will be amended by adding the following new defined terms.

    The terms “Abandon” and “Abandonment” will be added to refer to the abandonment of an Exercise Cleared Transaction and the delivery of a valid Abandonment Notice by a Swaption Buyer (including delivery by a Client designated by the related Clearing Member as being entitled to Exercise and Abandon Exercise Cleared Transactions on its behalf) in respect of the Exercise Cleared Transactions of an Exercise Matched Pair.

    The term “CCM Client Communications Failure Event” will be added to cross reference the definition of CCM Client Communications Failure Event set out in the Mandatory Provisions in Appendix VIII to the Supplement.

    The term “Clearing Member Communications Failure Event” will be added to cross reference the definition of Clearing Member Communications Failure Event set out at Section 6.10 of the Supplement.

    The existing term “Clearing Member Notice” will be amended to include a Swaption Clearing Member Notice or a Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice.

    The term “Clearing Member Portal Account” will be added to refer to the account of a Clearing Member established in the LCH Portal for the purposes of, among other things, the Exercise and Abandon of Exercise Cleared Transactions.

    The term “Client Portal Account” and “Client Portal Account Number” will be added to refer to the account of a Client established in the LCH Portal for the purposes of, among other things, the Exercise and Abandonment of Exercise Cleared Transactions, and to refer to the unique account number assigned by LCH SA to a Client Portal Account.

    The term “EEP Controls” will be added to cross reference the definition of EEP Controls set out at Section 6.3 of the Supplement.

    The terms “EEP Failure Event”, “EEP Failure Event Time” and “EEP Resolution Time” and “Electronic Exercise Platform” or “EEP” will be added to refer to the occurrence of LCH SA becoming aware that the EEP is or will be unavailable for the submission or receipt of Option Intents, the time at which the relevant EEP Failure Event occurred, the time at which the relevant EEP Failure Event is deemed to have been resolved, and the platform made available by LCH SA for the Exercise and Abandon of Exercise Cleared Transaction through the submission of Option Intents.

    The term “Exercise” will be amended by making conforming changes to include deemed delivery of a valid Exercise Notice pursuant to new Section 6.3 (Exercise and Abandonment by way of EEP) or new Section 6.4 (Delegation by Clearing Members to Client).

    The term “Exercise Cleared Transaction” and “Swaption Restructuring Cleared Transaction” will be amended by making a clean-up change to replace the word “Clause” with the word “Section”.

    The term “Exercise Delegation Beneficiary” will be added to refer to the Client of a Clearing Member designated by such Clearing Member as being entitled to Exercise and Abandon Exercise Cleared Transactions on such Clearing Member's behalf.

    The term “Force Submission” will be added to cross reference the definition of Force Submission set out at Section 5.19.2 of the Procedures.

    The term “LCH Portal” will be added to cross reference the definition of LCH Portal set out at Section 5.3 of the Procedures.

    The term “Option Intent” will be added to refer to the election of Matched Buyer (or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary as applicable) in the EEP to Exercise or Abandon an Exercise Cleared Transaction.

    The term “Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report” will be added to cross reference the definition of Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report set out at Section 6.1 of the Supplement.

    The term “Submission Time” will be added to cross reference the definition of Submission Time set out at Section 6.3 of the Supplement.

    The terms “Swaption CCM Client Notice” and “Swaption CCM Client Notice Deadline” will be added to cross reference the notice and the deadline described in Mandatory Provision Section 5.5 regarding the duty to deliver a Swaption CCM Client Notice by the Swaption CCM Client Notice Deadline.

    The terms “Swaption Clearing Member Notice” and “Swaption Clearing Member Notice Deadline” will be added to cross reference the notice and the deadline described in new Section 6.5(c) as a consequence of an EEP Failure Event.

    The term “Swaption Notice” will be added to refer to either an Exercise Notice or an Abandonment Notice.

    The terms “Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice” and “Swaption Restructuring Clearing member Notice Deadline” will be added to cross reference the notice required to be delivered by a Clearing Member to LCH SA with respect to its delivery or receipt of any Credit Event Notice or Notice to Exercise Movement Option and the deadline described in new Section 5.7.

    Finally, a new paragraph (c) will be added to Section 1.7 to provide that, notwithstanding an FCM Clearing Member acting as agent for the account of an FCM Client with respect to Index Swaption Cleared Transactions, an FCM Clearing member shall designate its FCM Client to Exercise or Abandon Exercise Cleared Transactions on its behalf as its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary in accordance with the terms of the Supplement.

    Section 5 Restructuring will be amended to add new provisions to implement the EEP and to make certain clean-up and conforming changes that are not related to the implementation of EEP. Specifically, Section 5.1 will be amended to provide that if a CEN Triggering Period for a Subsequent Restructuring commences prior to the Expiration Date, any Swaption Restructuring Matched Pairs in respect of the First Restructuring shall also be Swaption Restructuring Matched Pairs in respect of the Subsequent Restructuring in order to better clarify this concept. Section 5.1(a) will be amended to add the word “contact” to clarify the term email address.

    New Section 5.6 will be added to reinstate certain provisions that will be deleted from Section 8 of the Supplement that provide for the requirements of delivery of Credit Event Notices and Notices to Exercise Movement Option with respect to Restructuring Cleared Transactions in order to group provisions relating to restructuring that are unrelated to the implementation of EEP within the same section. Specifically, Section 5.6 reinstates that Credit Event Notices and Notices to Exercise Movement Option shall be delivered between Matched Buyer and Matched Seller of a Swaption Restructuring Matched Pair in accordance with the general rules relating to notices in the Supplement and the terms of the Swaption Restructuring Cleared Transaction. Such notices will be delivered in the delivering party's own name and as designee of LCH SA in respect of the other Swaption restructuring Cleared Transaction of the Swaption Restructuring Matched Pair.

    New Section 5.7 will be added to reinstate certain provisions that will be deleted from Section 8 of the Supplement so that provisions regarding delivery and receipt of Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notices are addressed in the section governing restructuring. The moved provisions require each Clearing Member to notify LCH SA or provide a copy to LCH SA of any notices delivered or received by such Clearing Member consisting of a Swaption Restructuring Matched Pair, including any Credit Event Notices and Notices to Exercise Movement Option by no later than 5 p.m. on the last date on which such notice could validly be delivered. Such notices and deadline will be defined as “Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice” and “Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice Deadline”. If LCH SA does not receive a Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice on or prior to the relevant Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice Deadline, LCH SA will not take any action in respect of the relevant Swaption Restructuring Matched Pair in respect of a Credit Event or Exercise Movement Option. Notwithstanding the fact that no Credit Event Notice or Notice to Exercise Movement Option has been received by LCH SA by the relevant Swaption Restructuring Clearing Member Notice Deadline, if LCH SA determines in its sole discretion that, such notice was in fact delivered or received directly by a Clearing Member and would have been effective, LCH SA shall use commercially reasonable efforts to give effect to the terms of such Credit Event Notice or Notice to Exercise Movement Option, as applicable. If LCH SA determines that it is not possible to give effect to the terms of any such Credit Event Notice or Notice to Exercise Movement Option, then Section 5.7 provides an amount payable between the Clearing Members and how such amount will be determined.

    Section 6 Exercise Matched Pairs will be amended to add new provisions to implement the EEP and to make certain clean-up and conforming changes. Specifically, Section 6.1 will be amended to remove the requirement of LCH SA to notify the relevant Matched Buyer and Matched Seller comprised within each Exercise Matched Pair of the identity of each other; instead, the identity and the contact information of the Clearing Members within an Exercise Matched Pair will be provided by LCH SA to the relevant Matched Buyer and Matched Seller (and any Exercise Delegation Beneficiary thereof) in a report (defined as “Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report”), the access to which will be restricted and the Clearing Members within an Exercise Matched Pair (and any applicable Exercise Delegation Beneficiaries) would be given access to the information in the report only upon occurrence of an EEP Failure Event. Section 6.2 will be amended by making conforming changes to delete the language regarding notification of relevant Clearing Members of Exercise Matched Pairs to account for the new process effected by EEP.

    New Section 6.3 entitled Exercise and Abandonment by way of EEP will be added to provide for the manner of Exercise or Abandonment of Exercise Cleared Transactions. Specifically, Section 6.3 will provide that an Option Intent submitted by Matched Buyer (or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary on its behalf, as applicable) through the EEP will constitute the delivery of a valid Exercise Notice or Abandonment Notice for the purposes of the Exercise Cleared Transactions if (a) the Submission Time for such Option Intent is prior to 4:00 p.m. (London time) and (b) LCH SA has completed those steps necessary to make such Option Intent available for viewing in the EEP, including validation of the EEP Controls. “Submission Time” for an Option Intent will be the time, as recorded by LCH SA, as of which such Option Intent is submitted via the EEP by the relevant matched Buyer (or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary on its behalf, if applicable) and “EEP Controls” will mean the controls specified in Section 5 of the Procedures with respect to the Option Intent. An Option Intent will become irrevocable by the Swaption Buyer as from the Submission Time.

    New Section 6.4 entitled Delegation by Clearing Members to Clients will be added to provide for delegation of Exercise or Abandonment by Clearing Members to their Clients. Specifically, Section 6.4 will provide that, with respect to the Exercise and Abandonment of the Exercise Cleared Transactions of an Exercise Matched Pair which are Client Cleared Transactions, Clearing Members shall designate its relevant Client to act on its behalf and such designation will take effect as soon as reasonably practicable (but no later than five Business Days) following receipt by LCH SA of a duly completed and signed Exercise Delegation Form. The Client so designated will be the Exercise Delegation Beneficiary. The designation or delegation cannot be revoked. Where a Clearing Member designates its Client in accordance with new Section 6.4, any Option Intent submitted by the designated Client via its Client Portal Account in the EEP prior to 4:00 p.m. (London Time) on the Expiration Date will be deemed to constitute the delivery by Matched Buyer of a valid Exercise Notice or Abandonment Notice. Similarly, any Swaption Notices delivered by a designated Client will be interpreted as delivery by a Clearing Member.

    New Section 6.5 entitled EEP failure and resolution will be added to address the circumstances where there is an EEP failure and subsequent resolution of such failure. Specifically, Section 6.5 will require LCH SA to notify Clearing Members and Exercise Delegation Beneficiaries of an EEP Failure Event (i.e., the EEP is or will be unavailable for the submission or receipt of Option Intents) as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within one hour after the occurrence of the EEP Failure Event. Following the occurrence of an EEP Failure Event, Clearing Members or their Exercise Delegation Beneficiaries, as applicable, will be authorized to access the information contained in the Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report in order to obtain the identity and contact information of the other Clearing Member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary within an Exercise Matched Pair. If the EEP Failure Event has been resolved and is no longer in effect, LCH SA is required to notify Clearing Members of such resolution and the time at which the EEP Failure Event is deemed to have been resolved (the “EEP Resolution Time”), so submission of Option Intents may resume on the EEP.

    Section 6.5 will further provide that, if an EEP Failure Event has occurred and is continuing, delivery of Swaption Notices will fall back to the existing manual delivery process and if a Clearing Member that is a Matched Buyer has designated its Client as its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, the Client will be entitled to send a Swaption Notice to the Matched Seller, using the notices details provided by LCH SA in the Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report. Similarly, if a Clearing Member that is a Matched Seller has designated its Client as its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, then Swaption Notices will be sent by the Matched Buyer (or its Client as its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) to the Client of the Clearing Member who is the Matched Seller.

    In addition, Section 6.5 will provide for oral, including telephonic, delivery of Abandonment Notices, followed by written confirmation from the Matched Buyer (or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) to the Matched Seller (or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) within one Transaction Business Day. For the avoidance of doubt, Section 6.5 will clarify that, any Swaption Notices delivered via the EEP prior the EEP Failure Event Time will be valid and not be affected by the EEP Failure Event; and any Swaption Notice delivered or purported to be delivered via the EEP at or following the EEP Failure Event Time but prior to the EEP Resolution Time will not be valid or effective.

    Finally, Section 6.5 will provide that, as the case in today's manual exercise process, each Clearing Member is required to notify LCH SA or deliver a copy to LCH SA of any Swaption Notices delivered by such Clearing Member to another Clearing Member in an Exercise Matched Pair during an EEP Failure Event by no later than 5 p.m. (CET) on the Expiration Date. Such notice of delivery of such copy to LCH SA will be defined as a Swaption Clearing Member Notice. If a Clearing Member has designated its Client as its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, then the Client may notify LCH SA or deliver a copy to LCH SA of any Swaption Notices delivered by such Client to another Clearing Member (or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) in an Exercise Matched Pair while an EEP Failure Event is continuing.

    New Section 6.6 entitled Abandonment of Exercise Cleared Transactions will be added to address Abandonment of Exercise Cleared Transactions. It will restate the first part of the existing Section 6.4 of the Supplement with certain adjustment to reflect that Abandonment of Exercise Cleared Transaction will not be done on the EEP and the Swaption Buyer will not deliver Abandonment Notices bilaterally to the Swaption Seller. If, on the Expiration Date, the Swaption Buyer elects to abandon the Exercise Cleared Transactions of the Exercise matched Pair, each Exercise Cleared Transaction shall be terminated in whole.

    New Section 6.7 entitled Termination of Exercise Cleared Transactions will be added to address the circumstances under which Exercise Cleared Transactions will be terminated taking into account implementation of the EEP. Specifically, it will provide that LCH SA will terminate the Exercise Cleared Transactions of the relevant Exercised Matched Pair if no Option Intent is submitted using the EEP or, if there is an EEP Failure Event, LCH SA does not receive a Swaption Clearing Member Notice (or Swaption CCM Client Notice) from a Clearing Member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary on or prior to the deadline specified in Section 6.5 described above.

    New Section 6.8 entitled Consequences of no Swaption Clearing Member Notice or Swaption CCM Client Notice being received by LCH SA will be added to address the consequences of no Swaption Clearing Member Notice being received by LCH SA by the Swaption Clearing Member Notice Deadline (or, in the case of a CCM Client Cleared Transaction, that no Swaption CCM Client Notice has been received by LCH SA in respect of an Exercise Notice by the Swaption CCM Client Notice Deadline). If there is an EEP Failure Event and such event is continuing, if LCH SA determines in its sole discretion that an Exercise Notice was in fact delivered by a Clearing Member (or its Client as the Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) and would have been effective for the purposes of the Supplement, then LCH SA will use commercially reasonable efforts to give effect to the terms of the Exercise Notice and the effect would be as though LCH SA had received a Swaption Clearing Member Notice by the Swaption Clearing Member Notice Deadline (or, in the case of a CCM Client Cleared Transaction, as though a Swaption CCM Client Notice has been received by LCH SA in respect of an Exercise Notice by the Swaption CCM Client Notice Deadline). If LCH SA determines that it is not possible to give effect to the terms of any such Exercise Notice, then the relevant Clearing Members (or their Exercise Delegation Beneficiaries, as applicable) will have rights against each other for settlement payment due two Transaction Business Days following the delivery of a notice that such amount is due and payable, as though they were a party to a bilateral credit default swap transaction on the terms of the relevant Underlying Index Transaction. LCH SA will not have any liability for any payment in respect of the Exercise Clearing Transactions or the ensuing bilateral credit default swap transaction.

    New Section 6.10 entitled Clearing Member Communications Failure Event and CCM Client Communications Failure Event will be added to address Clearing Member and CCM Client communications failures. Specifically, new Section 6.10 will provide that, if a Clearing member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary experiences significant communications or information technology failure resulting in it being impossible or impracticable to use EEP (a “Clearing Member Communications Failure Event”), such Clearing Member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary shall use the existing manual exercise process to delivery or receive any Exercise Notice or Abandonment Notice to and from LCH SA in accordance with the general provision regarding delivery of notices in Section 8 of the Supplement and not through the EEP. Similarly, if a CCM Client experiences a significant communications or information technology failure resulting in it being impossible or impracticable to use EEP (a “CCM Client Communications Failure Event”), such CCM Client will, under Mandatory Provision 5.7, have the right to use the existing manual exercise process to deliver or receive any Exercise Notice or Abandonment Notice to and from LCH SA in accordance with the general provision regarding delivery of notices in Section 8 of the Supplement and not through the EEP.

    If the Clearing Member (or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) affected by a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event is a Matched Buyer, upon receipt of a Swaption Notice delivered by such Clearing Member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable, LCH SA shall submit an Option Intent in the EEP system on behalf of such Clearing Member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary. Provided that (a) the Submission Time for such Option Intent is prior to 4:00 p.m. (London time) and (b) LCH SA has completed those steps necessary to make such Option Intent available for viewing in the EEP, including validation of the EEP Controls, then such Option Intent shall be deemed to constitute the delivery of a valid Exercise Notice or Abandonment Notice. With respect to a Swaption Notice delivered pursuant to the preceding paragraph (or, in the case of a CCM Client Cleared Transaction pursuant to Mandatory Provision 5.7), LCH SA may determine in its sole discretion that it is not able to submit the relevant Option Intent in the system prior to the exercise deadline, in which case the affected Clearing Member or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary will be deemed not to have submitted an Option Intent and the relevant Exercise Cleared Transactions will be terminated. LCH SA may, in its sole discretion, elect to register the Exercise or Abandonment of an Exercise Cleared Transaction in an alternative internal system of LCH SA. If the Clearing Member (or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, as applicable) affected by a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event or CCM Client Communications Failure Event is a Matched Seller, so long as such Clearing Member or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary notified LCH SA of occurrence of a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event or a CCM Client Communications Failure Event, then any Swaption Notices shall be delivered by LCH SA to such Clearing Member or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary (or, in respect of a CCM Client Cleared Transaction a Swaption Notice delivered by a CCM Client in accordance with Mandatory Provision 5.7), as soon as reasonably practicable in accordance with the general notice provision in Section 8 of the Supplement.

    New Section 6.10 will further require a Clearing Member or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary affected by a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or, in respect of a CCM Client as Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event) to notify LCH SA of the occurrence of such event in the form set out in the Appendix of the Supplement and LCH SA will notify all Clearing Members and Exercise Delegation Beneficiaries accordingly. Similarly, a Clearing Member affected by a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or, in respect of a CCM Client as Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event) will be required to notify LCH SA as soon as reasonably practicable upon its ceasing to be subject to the Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or, in respect of a CCM Client as Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event). After the notice of ceasing to be subject to a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or with respect to a CCM Client, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event), the requirement to effect Exercise or Abandonment through EEP will resume and apply and any Swaption Notice delivered or purported to be delivered thereafter by such Clearing Member or its Exercise Delegation Beneficiary (or CCM Client, as applicable) not via the EEP will not be valid or effective.

    Finally, new Section 6.10(e) will require a Clearing Member subject to a Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or, in respect of a CCM Client as Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event in accordance with Mandatory Provision 5.7) to use reasonable efforts to mitigate the operational impact on other Clearing Members and LCH SA of any Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or, in respect of a CCM Client as Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event) and to cure such Clearing Member Communications Failure Event (or, in respect of a CCM Client as Exercise Delegation Beneficiary, a CCM Client Communications Failure Event) as soon as reasonably practicable and ensure that the circumstances giving rise to the relevant Clearing Member Communications Failure Event do not recur.

    Section 7 Settlement will be amended to make certain clean-up and conforming changes in order to ensure consistency. Specifically, Section 7.2 will be amended to change the term “Auction Settlement Date” to “Auction Final Price Determination Date” in order to correct an inaccurate reference in the current version of the Supplement. The Auction Final Price Determination Date refers to the date on which the Auction is held to determine the Auction Final Price used to compute the Auction Settlement in respect of an Initial Single Name Cleared Transaction and is defined in the 2014 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions, which are incorporated by reference pursuant to Section 1.1 of the Supplement. Since Section 7.2 is designed to provide for creation of an Initial Single Named Cleared Transactions for settlement purposes in respect of a Credit Event other than an M(M)R Restructuring in circumstances where the ISDA would have held the Auction to determine the Auction Final Price prior to the Expiration Date, therefore the initial reference to “Auction Settlement Date” should have been “Auction Final Price Determination Date”. Additionally, Section 7.2(b)(ii) will be amended to state that the Auction Settlement Date in respect of an Initial Single Name Cleared Transaction shall be the later of (a) the Auction Settlement Date that would be determined in accordance with Section 6.3 of the 2014 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions and (b) the first Transaction Business Day following the Expiration Date. Additionally, Section 7.3(b)(ii) will be amended to clarify that a valid Credit Event Notice must be delivered or deemed to be delivered in respect of a Restructuring Cleared Transaction for subsections (x) and (y) of Section 7.3(b)(ii) to apply. Finally, changes will be made in Sections 7.3 and 7.4(a) to correct typographical errors without affecting the meanings of Sections 7.3 and 7.4.

    Section 8 Delivery of Notices will be amended to add new provisions to implement the EEP, to remove inapplicable provisions, and to make certain clean-up and conforming changes. Specifically, Section 8.1(a) will be amended to conform to other new provisions added to Section 6 to account for the implementation of EEP, specifically, to specify the time at which a communication in respect of any Cleared Transaction will be recorded and deemed effective in EEP. Section 8.1(b) will be amended to implement certain conforming changes regarding notices from or to LCH SA in EEP including with respect to the occurrence of an EEP Failure Event. Section 8.1(c) will be amended to account for electronic notification through EEP between Clearing Members or their respective Exercise Delegation Beneficiaries.

    Further, certain subsections of Section 8 will be deleted, amended and/or renumbered. The existing Section 8.2, Oral Notices, will be moved and renumbered as a new Section 8.3 and the existing Section 8.3, Delivery of Exercise Notices, Abandonment Notices, Credit Event Notices and Notices to Exercise Movement Options, and the existing Section 8.4, Clearing Member Notices, will each be removed as these sections will no longer be applicable after the implementation of EEP. The existing Section 8.5 will be renumbered as a new Section 8.2 and certain conforming changes will be made in this Section to account for the delivery of the Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report and to describe the procedure with respect to a failure to notify Matched Pairs based on the occurrence of an EEP Failure Event. If LCH SA does not notify the relevant Clearing Members of Swaption Restructuring Matched Pairs and related information by the SRMP Notification Deadline or provide the Protected Exercise Matched Pair Report by the EMP Notification Deadline as a result of the occurrence of an EEP Failure, then the relevant Clearing Members or Exercise Delegation Beneficiary may deliver Swaption Notices to LCH SA and vice versa. The existing Section 8.6 will be renumbered as a new Section 8.4 and certain section references will be updated.

    Section 9, Matched Pair Designations, will be amended to update certain section references based on changes made to other sections of the Supplement. Specifically, in Section 9.1(e)(i) and (ii), the references to Section 8.1 will be updated to Section 9.1 and the reference to Section 7.7(a) in Section 9.6 will be updated to reference Section 5.7(a) and Section 6.5(c). Additionally, Sections 9.1(c) and (d) will be deleted to remove the requirement that, to the extent possible, each Swaption Restructuring Matched Pair and each Exercise Matched Pair will have an aggregate applicable Matched Pair amount which is an integral multiple of Euro 1,000,000 subject to a maximum of Euro 100,000,000. This change, which is unrelated to the implementation of EEP, is made to reflect that this condition with respect to the aggregate applicable Matched Pair amount is no longer required by LCH SA.

    Section 10, Mandatory Provisions for CCM Client Transactions, will be amended to replace the reference to Appendix VI with a reference to Appendix VIII based on changes to the numbering of the appendices to the Supplement.

    Section