Federal Register Vol. 83, No.174,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 174 (September 7, 2018)

Page Range45325-45534
FR Document

83_FR_174
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 45469 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 45471 - Sunshine Act Meeting; National Science BoardPDF
83 FR 45421 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 45411 - Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Colville National Forest in Washington StatePDF
83 FR 45469 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; Request for Comments; H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Labor Certification Program Forms (OMB Control Number 1205-0509)PDF
83 FR 45342 - Safety Zone; Perch and Pilsner Fireworks; Lake Erie, Conneaut, OHPDF
83 FR 45455 - Charter Renewal for the Advisory Committee on Organ TransplantationPDF
83 FR 45480 - Pipeline Safety: Meeting of the Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working GroupPDF
83 FR 45461 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Loan Guarantee, Insurance and Interest Subsidy ProgramPDF
83 FR 45411 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45339 - Special Local Regulation; Upper Mississippi River, St. Paul, MNPDF
83 FR 45460 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (EDMAP and STATEMAP)PDF
83 FR 45480 - Notice To Rescind a Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Southern Evacuation Life Line Project in Georgetown and Horry Counties, SCPDF
83 FR 45468 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances RegistrationPDF
83 FR 45464 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS)PDF
83 FR 45447 - Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF)PDF
83 FR 45462 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Relief or Reduction in Royalty RatesPDF
83 FR 45463 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Oil and Gas Production RequirementsPDF
83 FR 45465 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Well Control and Production Safety TrainingPDF
83 FR 45466 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Plans and InformationPDF
83 FR 45412 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Customer Satisfaction ResearchPDF
83 FR 45421 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 45364 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH HelicoptersPDF
83 FR 45481 - Pipeline Safety: Meeting of the Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working GroupPDF
83 FR 45415 - Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 45417 - Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2017-2018PDF
83 FR 45462 - Advisory Board for Exceptional ChildrenPDF
83 FR 45442 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 45418 - Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Correction to the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
83 FR 45413 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 207-Richmond, Virginia; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Kaiser Aluminum Fabricated Products, LLC (Aluminum Extrusions); Richmond, VirginiaPDF
83 FR 45420 - Procurement List; DeletionsPDF
83 FR 45419 - Procurement List; Proposed DeletionsPDF
83 FR 45448 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC)PDF
83 FR 45471 - Information Collection: NRC Form 664, General Licensee RegistrationPDF
83 FR 45414 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Licensing Responsibilities and EnforcementPDF
83 FR 45344 - Safety Zone; Moonlight on the Bay Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, Erie, PAPDF
83 FR 45346 - Safety Zone; PA Municipal Authorities Annual Conference Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Erie, PAPDF
83 FR 45457 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0018PDF
83 FR 45425 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
83 FR 45438 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 45423 - Midwest Hydro, LLC, STS Hydropower, Ltd.; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Protests and Motions To IntervenePDF
83 FR 45433 - Corpus Christi Liquefaction Stage III, LLC; Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC; and Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Stage 3 ProjectPDF
83 FR 45433 - Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. Sweden Valley ProjectPDF
83 FR 45426 - Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Jordan Cove Project: Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP; Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LPPDF
83 FR 45435 - Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP, Jordan Cove Energy Project LP; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review Pacific Connector Pipeline Project and Jordan Cove Energy ProjectPDF
83 FR 45426 - Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Train 4 ProjectPDF
83 FR 45438 - Notice of Revised Schedule for Environmental Review of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Alaska LNG ProjectPDF
83 FR 45482 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation; Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal; Contractor Production Report; Daily Log and Contract Progress ReportPDF
83 FR 45422 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville A, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville B, LLC, and Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC Annova LNG Brownsville ProjectPDF
83 FR 45427 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Rio Grande LNG, LLC and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC Rio Grande LNG ProjectPDF
83 FR 45428 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP Willis Lateral Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
83 FR 45436 - Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Alaska LNG ProjectPDF
83 FR 45425 - Notice of Revised Schedule for Environmental Review of the Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC Driftwood LNG ProjectPDF
83 FR 45436 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LLC and Venture Global Gator Express, LLC Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline ProjectPDF
83 FR 45422 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville, LLC Jacksonville ProjectPDF
83 FR 45441 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Port Arthur Liquefaction Project, the Texas Connector Project, and the Louisiana Connector Project: Port Arthur LNG, LLC; PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC; Port Arthur Pipeline, LLCPDF
83 FR 45434 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the UGI LNG, Inc. Temple Truck Rack Expansion ProjectPDF
83 FR 45437 - Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Texas LNG Brownsville LLC Texas LNG ProjectPDF
83 FR 45424 - Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Calcasieu Pass Project: Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC; TransCameron Pipeline, LLCPDF
83 FR 45440 - Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC, Gulf LNG Energy, LLC, Gulf LNG Pipelines, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Gulf LNG Liquefaction ProjectPDF
83 FR 45424 - Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC, Gulf LNG Energy, LLC, Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction ProjectPDF
83 FR 45467 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 45443 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 45444 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 45449 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 45452 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 45451 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 45442 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 45474 - Notice of Applications for Deregistration Under Section 8(f) of the Investment Company Act of 1940PDF
83 FR 45476 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide New Optional Functionality to Minimum Quantity OrdersPDF
83 FR 45472 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Types of Messages That Users May Submit Into Bulk Order PortsPDF
83 FR 45479 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change To Make Permanent the Exchange's Retail Price Improvement Program, Which is Set To Expire on December 31, 2018PDF
83 FR 45483 - Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War, Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 45359 - Identifying and Reporting Human Performance IncidentsPDF
83 FR 45454 - Policy Regarding Quantitative Labeling of Dietary Supplements Containing Live Microbials; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 45335 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 45351 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone StandardPDF
83 FR 45337 - Airspace Designations; Incorporation by ReferencePDF
83 FR 45337 - Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Mattoon and Charleston, ILPDF
83 FR 45396 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Groundfish Bottom Trawl and Midwater Trawl Gear in the Trawl Rationalization ProgramPDF
83 FR 45455 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for Which Public Health Service (PHS) Funding is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors (Office of the Director)PDF
83 FR 45367 - Interpretive Rule, Shipping Act of 1984PDF
83 FR 45458 - Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Amendment to the 1997 Washington State Department of Natural Resources State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take PermitPDF
83 FR 45362 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 45356 - Air Plan Approval; New Hampshire; Single Source Orders and Revisions to DefinitionsPDF
83 FR 45333 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 45325 - Partial Exemptions From the Requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Regulation C)PDF
83 FR 45414 - Renewal of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee and Solicitation of Nominations for MembershipPDF
83 FR 45359 - Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 45348 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; 2017 Revisions to NR 400 and 406PDF
83 FR 45486 - Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien ChildrenPDF
83 FR 45374 - VA Acquisition Regulation: Contracting by Negotiation; Service ContractingPDF
83 FR 45384 - VA Acquisition Regulation: Construction and Architect-Engineer ContractsPDF
83 FR 45366 - Revisions to Procedural Rules Governing Practice Before the Occupational Safety and Health Review CommissionPDF

Issue

83 174 Friday, September 7, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45411 2018-19451
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Partial Exemptions from the Requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Regulation C), 45325-45333 2018-19244 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Oil and Gas Production Requirements, 45463-45464 2018-19440 Plans and Information, 45466-45467 2018-19438 Relief or Reduction in Royalty Rates, 45462-45463 2018-19441 Safety and Environmental Management Systems, 45464-45465 2018-19443 Well Control and Production Safety Training, 45465-45466 2018-19439 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals Generic Clearance for Customer Satisfaction Research, 45412-45413 2018-19434 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45442-45447, 45449-45453 2018-19379 2018-19380 2018-19381 2018-19382 2018-19383 2018-19378 Meetings: Community Preventive Services Task Force, 45447-45448 2018-19442 Requests for Nominations: World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, 45448-45449 2018-19418 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Moonlight on the Bay Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, Erie, PA, 45344-45346 2018-19414 Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Annual Conference Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Erie, PA, 45346-45348 2018-19413 Perch and Pilsner Fireworks; Lake Erie, Conneaut, OH, 45342-45344 2018-19457 Special Local Regulation: Upper Mississippi River, St. Paul, MN, 45339-45342 2018-19448 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45457 2018-19412 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 45419-45421 2018-19420 2018-19421 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45421 2018-19494 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45421 2018-19433 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Bulk Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations, 45468 2018-19444 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Temporary Non-Agricultural Labor Certification Program Forms, 45469-45471 2018-19459 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: New Hampshire; Single Source Orders and Revisions to Definitions, 45356-45358 2018-19290 Virginia; Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard, 45351-45356 2018-19364 Wisconsin; 2017 Revisions to NR 400 and 406, 45348-45351 2018-19161 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 45442 2018-19424 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Air Traffic Service Routes: Vicinity of Mattoon and Charleston, IL, 45337-45339 2018-19347 Airspace Designations; Correction, 45337 2018-19349 Airworthiness Directives: General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 45333-45335 2018-19282 Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd and Co KG Turbofan Engines, 45335-45337 2018-19365 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters, 45364-45366 2018-19430 Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 45362-45364 2018-19297 International Aero Engines Turbofan Engines, 45359-45362 2018-19174 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Midwest Hydro, LLC; STS Hydropower, Ltd., 45423-45424 2018-19407 Combined Filings, 45425-45426, 45438-45440 2018-19408 2018-19409 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Corpus Christi Liquefaction Stage III, LLC; Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC; Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P.; Stage 3 Project, 45433 2018-19406 Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc., Sweden Valley Project, 45433-45434 2018-19405 Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Train 4 Project, 45426-45427 2018-19402 Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP; Willis Lateral Project, 45428-45432 2018-19397 UGI LNG, Inc.; Temple Truck Rack Expansion Project, 45434-45435 2018-19391 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Alaska Gasline Development Corp.; Alaska LNG Project, 45436 2018-19396 Alaska Gasline Development Corp.; Alaska LNG Project, 45438 2018-19401 Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville A, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville B, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville Project, 45422-45423 2018-19399 Driftwood LNG LLC, Driftwood Pipeline LLC; Driftwood LNG Project, 45425 2018-19395 Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville, LLC; Jacksonville Project, 45422 2018-19393 Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; Gulf LNG Pipelines, LLC; Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, 45440-45441 2018-19388 Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP; Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P.; Pacific Connector Pipeline Project, Jordan Cove LNG Project, 45435-45436 2018-19403 Port Arthur LNG, LLC; PALNG Common Facilities Co., LLC; Port Arthur Pipeline, LLC; Port Arthur Liquefaction Project, Texas Connector Project, Louisiana Connector Project, 45441-45442 2018-19392 Rio Grande LNG, LLC; Rio Bravo Pipeline Co., LLC; Rio Grande LNG Project, 45427-45428 2018-19398 Texas LNG Brownsville LLC; Texas LNG Project, 45437-45438 2018-19390 Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LLC, Venture Global Gator Express, LLC, Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project, 45436-45437 2018-19394 Orders: Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC; Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, 45424 2018-19387 Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP, Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP, Jordan Cove Project, 45426 2018-19404 Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC; TransCameron Pipeline, LLC; Calcasieu Pass Project, 45424-45425 2018-19389 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Southern Evacuation Life Line Project in Georgetown and Horry Counties, SC, 45480 2018-19445 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission PROPOSED RULES Interpretive Rule, Shipping Act of 1984, 45367-45373 2018-19328 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Amendment to the 1997 Washington State Department of Natural Resources State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit, 45458-45460 2018-19298 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Policy Regarding Quantitative Labeling of Dietary Supplements Containing Live Microbials, 45454-45455 2018-19367 Foreign Claims Foreign Claims Settlement Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45469 2018-19550 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Kaiser Aluminum Fabricated Products, LLC; Foreign-Trade Zone 207; Richmond, VA, 45413-45414 2018-19422 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Land Management Plan: Colville National Forest in Washington State, 45411-45412 2018-19468 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, 45460-45461 2018-19447 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children, 45486-45534 2018-19052 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, 45455 2018-19454
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

PROPOSED RULES Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children, 45486-45534 2018-19052
Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Loan Guarantee, Insurance and Interest Subsidy Program, 45461-45462 2018-19452 Meetings: Advisory Board for Exceptional Children, 45462 2018-19426 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45414 2018-19415 Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China, 45417-45418 2018-19427 Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea, 45415-45417 2018-19428 Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China, 45418-45419 2018-19423 Requests for Nominations: Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, 45414-45415 2018-19231 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Mask Systems and Components Thereof, 45467-45468 2018-19386 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

See

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which Public Health Service Funding is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors, 45455-45457 2018-19339 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery: Proposed Regulations for Groundfish Bottom Trawl and Midwater Trawl Gear in the Trawl Rationalization Program, 45396-45410 2018-19343 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45471 2018-19546 2018-19549 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Draft Regulatory Issue Summary: Identifying and Reporting Human Performance Incidents; Withdrawal, 45359 2018-19369 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: General Licensee Registration, 45471-45472 2018-19417 Occupational Safety Health Rev Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission PROPOSED RULES Revisions to Procedural Rules Governing Practice before the Commission, 45366-45367 2018-18050 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings: Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group, 45480-45482 2018-19429 2018-19453 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications for Deregistration, 45474-45476 2018-19377 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 45472-45474 2018-19375 Nasdaq BX, Inc., 45476-45480 2018-19374 2018-19376 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Acquisition Regulations: Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts, 45384-45396 2018-18309 Contracting by Negotiation; Service Contracting, 45374-45384 2018-18310 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal; Contractor Production Report; Daily Log and Contract Progress Report, 45482-45483 2018-19400 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War, 45483-45484 2018-19373 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, 45486-45534 2018-19052 Homeland Security Department, 45486-45534 2018-19052 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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83 174 Friday, September 7, 2018 Rules and Regulations BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1003 RIN 3170-AA81 Partial Exemptions From the Requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Regulation C) AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Interpretive and procedural rule.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing an interpretive and procedural rule to implement and clarify the requirements of section 104(a) of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which amended certain provisions of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

DATES:

This interpretive and procedural rule is effective on September 7, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rachel Ross, Project Analyst; Alexandra Reimelt, Counsel; or Amanda Quester, Senior Counsel, Office of Regulations, at 202-435-7700 or https://reginquiries.consumerfinance.gov/. If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Summary

On May 24, 2018, the President signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the Act) into law.1 Section 104(a) of the Act amends section 304(i) of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) by adding partial exemptions from HMDA's requirements for certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions. Financial institutions have raised questions about the new partial HMDA exemptions and how the exemptions affect collection and reporting of data for transactions with final action taken in 2018 or subsequent years. To provide timely answers to these questions, the Bureau is issuing this interpretive and procedural rule that implements and clarifies section 104(a) of the Act and effectuates the purposes of the Act and HMDA.

1 Public Law 115-174, 132 Stat. 1296 (2018).

The rule clarifies that insured depository institutions and insured credit unions covered by a partial exemption have the option of reporting exempt data fields as long as they report all data fields within any exempt data point for which they report data; clarifies that only loans and lines of credit that are otherwise HMDA reportable count toward the thresholds for the partial exemptions; clarifies which of the data points in Regulation C are covered by the partial exemptions; designates a non-universal loan identifier for partially exempt transactions for institutions that choose not to report a universal loan identifier; and clarifies the exception to the partial exemptions for negative Community Reinvestment Act examination history. At a later date, the Bureau anticipates that it will initiate a notice-and-comment rulemaking to incorporate these interpretations and procedures into Regulation C and further implement the Act.

II. Background A. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), 12 U.S.C. 2801 through 2810, requires certain depository institutions and for-profit nondepository institutions to collect, report, and disclose data about originations and purchases of mortgage loans, as well as mortgage loan applications that do not result in originations (for example, applications that are denied or withdrawn). The purposes of HMDA are to provide the public with loan data that can be used: (i) To help determine whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities; (ii) to assist public officials in distributing public-sector investment so as to attract private investment to areas where it is needed; and (iii) to assist in identifying possible discriminatory lending patterns and enforcing antidiscrimination statutes.2 Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, implements HMDA. Prior to enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Regulation C required reporting of 22 data points and allowed for optional reporting of reasons an institution denied an application.3

2 12 CFR 1003.1.

3 As used in this interpretive and procedural rule, the term “data point” refers to items of information that entities are required to compile and report, generally listed in separate paragraphs in Regulation C. Some data points are reported using multiple data fields.

B. Dodd-Frank Act

In 2010, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act, which amended HMDA and also transferred HMDA rulemaking authority and other functions from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) to the Bureau.4 Among other changes, the Dodd-Frank Act expanded the scope of information relating to mortgage applications and loans that institutions must compile, maintain, and report under HMDA. Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act amended HMDA section 304(b)(4) by adding one new data point, the age of loan applicants and mortgagors. The Dodd-Frank Act also added new HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6), which requires the following additional new data points: information relating to the total points and fees payable at origination (total loan costs or total points and fees); the difference between the annual percentage rate (APR) associated with the loan and a benchmark rate or rates for all loans (rate spread); the term of any prepayment penalty; the value of real property to be pledged as collateral; the term of the loan and of any introductory interest rate on the loan; the presence of contract terms allowing non-amortizing payments; the channel through which the application was made; and the credit scores of applicants and mortgagors.5 New HMDA section 304(b)(6) in addition authorizes the Bureau to require, “as [it] may determine to be appropriate,” a unique identifier that identifies the loan originator, a universal loan identifier (ULI), and the parcel number that corresponds to the real property pledged as collateral for the mortgage loan.6 New HMDA section 304(b)(5)(D) and (b)(6)(J) further provides the Bureau with the authority to mandate reporting of “such other information as the Bureau may require.” 7

4 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 1980, 2035-38, 2097-101 (2010).

5 Dodd-Frank Act section 1094(3), amending HMDA section 304(b), 12 U.S.C. 2803(b).

6Id.

7Id.

C. 2015 and 2017 HMDA Final Rules

In October 2015, the Bureau issued a final rule implementing the Dodd-Frank Act amendments to HMDA (2015 HMDA Final Rule).8 The 2015 HMDA Final Rule implemented the new data points specified in the Dodd-Frank Act,9 added a number of additional data points pursuant to the Bureau's discretionary authority under HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6),10 and made revisions to certain pre-existing data points to clarify their requirements, provide greater specificity in reporting, and align certain data points more closely with industry data standards,11 among other changes.

8 Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C), 80 FR 66128 (Oct. 28, 2015).

9 The following 12 data points in 12 CFR 1003.4(a) implement specific provisions in HMDA section 304(b)(5)(A) through (C) or (b)(6)(A) through (I): ULI (1003.4(a)(1)(i)); property address (1003.4(a)(9)(i)); rate spread (1003.4(a)(12)); credit score (1003.4(a)(15)); total loan costs or total points and fees (1003.4(a)(17)); prepayment penalty term (1003.4(a)(22)); loan term (1003.4(a)(25)); introductory rate period (1003.4(a)(26)); non-amortizing features (1003.4(a)(27)); property value (1003.4(a)(28)); application channel (1003.4(a)(33)); and mortgage loan originator identifier (1003.4(a)(34)). Id.

10 For example, the 2015 HMDA Final Rule added a requirement to report debt-to-income ratio in § 1003.4(a)(23). Id. at 66218-20.

11 For example, the 2015 HMDA Final Rule replaced property type with number of total units and construction method in § 1003.4(a)(5) and (31). Id. at 66180-81, 66227. It also requires disaggregation of ethnicity and race information in § 1003.4(a)(10)(i). Id. at 66187-94.

The 2015 HMDA Final Rule also established transactional thresholds that determine whether financial institutions are required to collect and report data on open-end lines of credit or closed-end mortgage loans.12 The 2015 HMDA Final Rule set the closed-end threshold at 25 loans in each of the two preceding calendar years and the open-end threshold at 100 open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding calendar years.13 Most of the 2015 HMDA Final Rule took effect on January 1, 2018.14

12Id. at 66128.

13Id.

14Id. at 66128, 66256-58.

After issuing the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, the Bureau heard concerns that the open-end threshold of 100 transactions was too low. In August 2017, the Bureau finalized a rule after notice and comment (2017 HMDA Final Rule) that temporarily increases the open-end threshold to 500 open-end lines of credit for calendar years 2018 and 2019.15 In doing so, the Bureau indicated that the two-year period would allow time for the Bureau to decide, through an additional rulemaking, whether any permanent adjustments to the open-end threshold are needed.16

15 Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C), 82 FR 43088 (Sept. 13, 2017).

16Id. at 43095. The 2017 HMDA Final Rule also, among other things, replaced “each” with “either” in § 1003.3(c)(11) and (12) to correct a drafting error and to ensure that the exclusion provided in that section mirrors the loan-volume threshold for financial institutions in § 1003.2(g). Id. at 43100, 43102.

Recognizing the significant systems and operations challenges needed to adjust to the revised regulation, the Bureau issued a statement in December 2017 indicating that, for HMDA data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019, the Bureau does not intend to require data resubmission unless data errors are material.17 The statement also explained that the Bureau does not intend to assess penalties with respect to errors in data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019.18 As explained in the statement, any supervisory examinations of 2018 HMDA data will be diagnostic to help institutions identify compliance weaknesses and will credit good-faith compliance efforts. The Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released similar statements.

17 Bureau of Consumer Fin. Prot., “Statement with Respect to HMDA Implementation” (Dec. 21, 2017), https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_statement-with-respect-to-hmda-implementation_122017.pdf.

18 The statement also indicated that collection and submission of the 2018 HMDA data will provide financial institutions an opportunity to identify any gaps in their implementation of amended Regulation C and make improvements in their HMDA compliance management systems for future years. Id.

D. Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

Section 104(a) of the Act amends HMDA section 304(i) by adding partial exemptions from HMDA's requirements for certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions.19 New HMDA section 304(i)(1) provides that the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) shall not apply with respect to closed-end mortgage loans of an insured depository institution or insured credit union if it originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years. New HMDA section 304(i)(2) provides that the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) shall not apply with respect to open-end lines of credit of an insured depository institution or insured credit union if it originated fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding calendar years. Notwithstanding the new partial exemptions, new HMDA section 304(i)(3) provides that an insured depository institution must comply with HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) if it has received a rating of “needs to improve record of meeting community credit needs” during each of its two most recent examinations or a rating of “substantial noncompliance in meeting community credit needs” on its most recent examination under section 807(b)(2) of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.20

19 For purposes of HMDA section 104, the Act provides that the term “insured credit union” has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act, 12 U.S.C. 1752, and the term “insured depository institution” has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1813.

20 12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(2).

The Act does not provide an effective date for section 104(a). Because there is no specific effective date and because there are no other statutory indications that section 104(a) becomes effective upon regulatory action or some other event or condition, the Bureau believes that the best interpretation is that section 104(a) took effect when the Act became law on May 24, 2018. On July 5, 2018, the Bureau, the Board, the FDIC, the NCUA, and the OCC released statements reiterating or referring to their December 2017 compliance statements, providing information about formatting and submission of 2018 loan/application registers, and indicating that the Bureau expected to issue guidance this summer on the applicability of the Act to HMDA data collected in 2018.21

21See, e.g., Bureau of Consumer Fin. Prot., “Statement on the Implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act Amendments to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act” (July 25, 2018), https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/bureau-consumer-financial-protection-issues-statement-implementation-economic-growth-regulatory-relief-and-consumer-protection-act-amendments-home-mortgage-disclosure-act/.

III. Legal Authority

The Bureau issues this rule pursuant to the authority granted by the Dodd-Frank Act and HMDA. HMDA authorizes the Bureau to prescribe regulations that it finds necessary to carry out HMDA's purposes.22 As mentioned earlier, the Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Bureau the “consumer financial protection functions” previously vested in certain other Federal agencies, including the Board.23 The term “consumer financial protection function” includes “all authority to prescribe rules or issue orders or guidelines pursuant to any Federal consumer financial law, including performing appropriate functions to promulgate and review such rules, orders, and guidelines.” 24 The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the Bureau's Director to prescribe rules “as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof.” 25 HMDA is an “enumerated consumer law” and therefore a “Federal consumer financial law.” 26 Accordingly, the Bureau has authority to issue regulations to administer HMDA under both HMDA and the Dodd-Frank Act.

22 12 U.S.C. 2804(a).

23 12 U.S.C. 5581. The Dodd-Frank Act also replaced the term “Board” with “Bureau” in most places in HMDA.

24 12 U.S.C. 5581(a)(1)(A).

25 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1).

26 12 U.S.C. 5481(12)(K); 12 U.S.C. 5481(14).

IV. Permissible Optional Reporting

Section 104(a) of the Act provides that the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) shall not apply to closed-end mortgage loans of an insured depository institution or insured credit union if the institution originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years, and it includes a similar partial exemption with respect to open-end lines of credit.27 Whether a partial exemption applies to an institution's lending activity for a particular calendar year depends on an institution's origination activity in each of the preceding two years and, in some cases, cannot be determined until just before data collection must begin for that particular calendar year. For example, whether a partial exemption applies to closed-end loans for which final action is taken in 2019 depends on the number of closed-end loans originated by the insured depository institution or insured credit union in 2017 and 2018. Thus, an insured depository institution or insured credit union might not know until the end of 2018 what information it needs to collect in 2019 and report in 2020. Some insured depository institutions and insured credit unions eligible for a partial exemption under the Act may therefore find it less burdensome to report all of the data including the exempt data points than to separate the exempt data points from the required data points and exclude the exempt data points from their submissions. This may be particularly true with respect to data submission in 2019, as collection of 2018 data was already underway when the Act took effect, and system changes implementing the new partial exemptions may take time to complete.28 Even after insured depository institutions and insured credit unions have had time to adjust their systems, some may still find it less burdensome to report data covered by a partial exemption, especially if their loan volumes tend to fluctuate above or below the threshold from year to year. The Bureau believes that section 104(a) is best interpreted as permitting optional reporting of data covered by the Act's partial exemptions. Section 104(a) provides that certain requirements do not apply to affected institutions but does not prohibit those affected institutions from voluntarily reporting data. This interpretation is consistent not only with the statutory text but also with the apparent congressional intent to reduce burden on certain institutions. Accordingly, the Bureau interprets the Act to permit insured depository institutions and insured credit unions voluntarily to report data that are covered by the Act's partial exemptions.

27 The Act's two partial exemptions operate independently of one another. Thus, an insured depository institution or insured credit union could be eligible in a given calendar year for one of the partial exemptions but not the other. For example, if an insured depository institution that does not have a negative Community Reinvestment Act examination history originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years but originated 500 or more open-end lines of credit in either of the two preceding calendar years, it is eligible for the partial exemption for its closed-end loans but is not eligible for the partial exemption for its open-end lines of credit. In this circumstance, the institution is not required to collect and report exempt data for its closed-end loans. It also collects and reports complete data for its open-end lines of credit unless it qualifies for a complete regulatory exclusion under Regulation C, §§ 1003.2(g)(1)(v) and 1003.3(c)(12).

28 The Bureau interprets the Act to apply to data that are collected or reported under HMDA on or after May 24, 2018. Because data collected from January 1, 2018, to May 23, 2018, would not be reported until early in 2019, the Act relieves insured depository institutions and insured credit unions that are eligible for a partial exemption under the Act of the obligation to report certain data in 2019 that may have been collected before May 24, 2018. If optional reporting of data covered by a partial exemption were not permitted, such institutions would have to remove exempt data previously collected, before submitting their 2018 data in early 2019, a process that could be burdensome for some institutions.

Aspects of the Bureau's HMDA platform used for receiving HMDA submissions, including edit checks 29 performed on incoming submissions, are set up with the expectation that HMDA reporters will provide data for an entire data point when data are reported for any data field within that data point. Adjusting the HMDA platform to accept submissions for 2018 and all future submissions in which affected institutions report some, but not all, data fields in a data point covered by a partial exemption for a specific transaction would increase operational complexity and costs associated with changing the HMDA edits in the Filing Instructions Guide for HMDA Data Collected in 2018 (2018 FIG). Doing so would result in a less efficient implementation and submission process for the Bureau, HMDA reporters, their vendors, and other key stakeholders. Accordingly, the HMDA platform will continue to accept submissions of a data field that is covered by a partial exemption under the Act for a specific loan or application as long as those insured depository institutions and insured credit unions that choose to voluntarily report the data include all other data fields that the data point comprises. For example, if a partially exempt institution reports a data field that is part of the property address data point (such as street address) for a partially exempt loan or application, it will report all other data fields that are part of the property address data point (including zip code, city, and State 30 ) for that transaction in accordance with the 2018 FIG.

29 The HMDA edit checks are rules to assist filers in checking the accuracy of HMDA data prior to submission. The Filing Instructions Guide for HMDA Data Collected in 2018 (2018 FIG), a compendium of resources to help financial institutions file HMDA data collected in 2018 with the Bureau in 2019, explains that there are four types of edit checks: syntactical, validity, quality, and macro quality. Table 2 (Loan/Application Register) in the 2018 FIG identifies the data fields currently associated with each data point. See Fed. Fin. Insts. Examination Council, “Filing Instructions Guide for HMDA Data Collected in 2018” (2018 FIG), at 21-54, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/hmda/static/for-filers/2018/2018-hmda-fig.pdf; see also supra note 3 (discussing the relationship between data points and data fields).

30 Reporting the State data field is subject to the requirements both for property address, provided in § 1003.4(a)(9)(i), and property location, provided in § 1003.4(a)(9)(ii).

V. Loans Counted Toward Partial Exemptions' Thresholds

Section 104(a) of the Act does not define the term “closed-end mortgage loan” or “open-end line of credit.” It also does not specify whether these terms include loans or lines of credit that would otherwise not be subject to HMDA reporting under Regulation C, such as loans used primarily for agricultural purposes.31 The Bureau believes that the terms “closed-end mortgage loan” and “open-end line of credit” as used in the Act are best interpreted to include only those closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit that would otherwise be reportable under HMDA. This interpretation is consistent with how loans and lines of credit are counted for purposes of the thresholds in Regulation C's existing complete regulatory exclusions, which are independent of the Act's new partial exemptions and unaffected by the Act.32 Accordingly, the Bureau interprets the term “closed-end mortgage loan” to include any closed-end mortgage loan as defined in § 1003.2(d) that is not excluded from Regulation C pursuant to § 1003.3(c)(1) through (10) or (13) and interprets the term “open-end line of credit” to include any open-end line of credit as defined in § 1003.2(o) that is not excluded from Regulation C pursuant to § 1003.3(c)(1) through (10).

31 12 CFR 1003.3(c)(9).

32 The definition of “depository financial institution” in § 1003.2(g)(1)(v) is currently limited to institutions that either (1) originated in each of the preceding two years at least 25 closed-end mortgage loans that are not excluded from Regulation C pursuant to § 1003.3(c)(1) through (10) or (13); or (2) originated in each of the two preceding calendar years at least 500 open-end lines of credit that are not excluded from Regulation C pursuant to § 1003.3(c)(1) through (10). See also 12 CFR 1003.3(c)(11), (12) (excluding closed-end mortgage loans from the requirements of Regulation C if the financial institution originated fewer than 25 closed-end mortgage loans in either of the two preceding calendar years, and excluding open-end lines of credit from the requirements of Regulation C if the financial institution originated fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit in either of the two preceding calendar years). As noted above, the threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit for the complete regulatory exclusion is temporary, and absent further Bureau action the permanent threshold for the Bureau's complete regulatory exclusion will be 100 open-end lines of credit beginning January 1, 2020. While the temporary Regulation C threshold is in place, all of the open-end lines of credit that would be covered by the Act's partial exemption for open-end lines of credit in HMDA section 304(i)(2) are excluded from the requirements of part 1003 under current §§ 1003.2(g)(1)(v) and 1003.3(c)(12).

VI. Data Points Covered by the Partial Exemptions

If a transaction qualifies for one of the Act's partial exemptions, section 104(a) of the Act provides that the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) shall not apply. For the reasons explained below, the Bureau interprets the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) to include the 26 data points listed in the first column of table 1 at the end of this part VI. For loans or applications covered by a partial exemption, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions therefore are required to collect and report only the remaining 22 data points specified in the 2015 and 2017 HMDA Final Rules, which are identified in the second column of table 1 below.

As explained in part II.B above, the Dodd-Frank Act added HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6), which requires certain data points and provides the Bureau discretion to require additional data points.33 In the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, the Bureau implemented the new data points specified in the Dodd-Frank Act (including those added in new HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6)), added a number of additional data points pursuant to the Bureau's discretionary authority, and made revisions to certain pre-existing data points to clarify the requirements, provide greater specificity in reporting, and align certain data points more closely with industry data standards.

33 HMDA section 304(b)(5) requires disclosure of the number and dollar amount of mortgage loans grouped according to measurements of:

• The total points and fees payable at origination;

• The difference between the APR associated with the loan and a benchmark rate or rates for all loans;

• The term in months of any prepayment penalty or other fee or charge payable on repayment of some portion of principal or the entire principal in advance of scheduled payments; and

• Such other information as the Bureau may require.

HMDA section 304(b)(6) requires disclosure of the number and dollar amount of mortgage loans and completed applications grouped according to measurements of:

• The value of the real property pledged or proposed to be pledged as collateral;

• The actual or proposed term in months of any introductory period after which the rate of interest may change;

• The presence of contractual terms or proposed contractual terms that would allow the mortgagor or applicant to make payments other than fully amortizing payments during any portion of the loan term;

• The actual or proposed term in months of the mortgage loan;

• The channel through which application was made;

• As the Bureau may determine to be appropriate, a unique identifier that identifies the loan originator as set forth in section 5102 of this title;

• As the Bureau may determine to be appropriate, a universal loan identifier;

• As the Bureau may determine to be appropriate, the parcel number that corresponds to the real property pledged or proposed to be pledged as collateral;

• The credit score of mortgage applicants and mortgagors; and

• Such other information as the Bureau may require.

For purposes of the Act, the Bureau interprets the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) to include the 12 data points that the Bureau added to Regulation C in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule to implement data points specifically identified in HMDA section 304(b)(5)(A) through (C) or (b)(6)(A) through (I), which are the following: ULI; property address; rate spread 34 ; credit score; total loan costs or total points and fees; prepayment penalty term; loan term; introductory rate period; non-amortizing features; property value; application channel; and mortgage loan originator identifier.35 The Bureau also interprets the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) to include the 14 data points that were not found in Regulation C prior to the Dodd-Frank Act and that the Bureau required in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule citing its discretionary authority under HMDA section 304(b)(5)(D) and (b)(6)(J). Specifically, these data points are the following: the total origination charges associated with the loan; the total points paid to the lender to reduce the interest rate of the loan (discount points); the amount of lender credits; the interest rate applicable at closing or account opening; the debt-to-income ratio; the ratio of the total amount of debt secured by the property to the value of the property (combined loan-to-value ratio); for transactions involving manufactured homes, whether the loan or application is or would have been secured by a manufactured home and land or by a manufactured home and not land (manufactured home secured property type); the land property interest for loans or applications related to manufactured housing (manufactured home land property interest); the number of individual dwellings units that are income-restricted pursuant to Federal, State, or local affordable housing programs (multifamily affordable units); information related to the automated underwriting system used in evaluating an application and the result generated by the automated underwriting system; whether the loan is a reverse mortgage; whether the loan is an open-end line of credit; whether the loan is primarily for a business or commercial purpose; and the reasons for denial of a loan application, which were optionally reported under the Board's rule but became mandatory in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule.36 Pursuant to the Act, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions need not collect or report these 26 data points for transactions that qualify for a partial exemption under the Act, unless otherwise required by their regulator.37

34 Prior to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Board required financial institutions to report rate spread for higher-priced mortgage loans. 67 FR 7222 (Feb. 15, 2002); 67 FR 43218 (June 27, 2002). In doing so, the Board noted that “the collection of loan pricing information is necessary to fulfill the statutory purposes of HMDA and to ensure the continued utility of the HMDA data.” 67 FR 7222, 7228 (Feb. 15, 2002). The Bureau may propose in a future notice-and-comment rulemaking to use its HMDA authority other than HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) to reinstate the Board's requirement to report rate spread for higher-priced mortgage loans covered by the partial exemptions so the Bureau can receive data and views bearing on the costs and benefits of such a proposal. As explained in part IV above, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions may voluntarily report rate spread for transactions covered by the Act's partial exemptions.

35 12 CFR 1003.4(a)(1)(i), (a)(9)(i), and (a)(12), (15), (17), (22), (25), (26), (27), (28), (33), (34).

36 12 CFR 1003.4(a)(16), (18), (19), (20), (21), (23), (24), (29), (30), (32), (35), (36), (37), (38).

37 Certain financial institutions supervised by the OCC and the FDIC are required by those agencies to report reasons for denial on their HMDA loan/application registers. 12 CFR 27.3(a)(1)(i), 128.6, 390.147.

The Bureau interprets the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) not to include four other data points that are similar or identical to data points added to Regulation C by the Board and that the Bureau re-adopted in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule: lien status of the subject property; whether the loan is subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA); construction method for the dwelling related to the subject property; and the total number of individual dwelling units contained in the dwelling related to the loan (number of units).38 The 2015 HMDA Final Rule did not alter the pre-existing Regulation C HOEPA status and lien status data requirements.39 Construction method and total units, together, replaced property type, the pre-existing Regulation C data point; the information required by the new data points is very similar to what the Board required, but institutions now must report the precise number of units rather than categorizing dwellings into one-to-four family dwellings and multifamily dwellings.40

38 12 CFR 1003.4(a)(5), (13), (14), (31).

39 The 2015 HMDA Final Rule extends the requirement to report lien status to purchased loans and no longer requires reporting of information about unsecured loans. 80 FR 66128, 66201 (Oct. 28, 2015).

40 Prior to 2018, Regulation C required reporting of property type as one-to-four family dwelling (other than manufactured housing), manufactured housing, or multifamily dwelling, whereas the current rule requires reporting of whether the dwelling is site-built or manufactured home, together with the number of individual dwelling units.

The Board adopted its versions of these data points before HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) was added to HMDA by the Dodd-Frank Act, pursuant to HMDA authority that pre-existed section 304(b)(5) and (6). Although the Bureau cited HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) as additional support for these four data points in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, the Bureau relied on HMDA section 305(a), which pre-existed the Dodd-Frank Act and independently provides legal authority for their adoption.41 Given that these data points were not newly added by the Dodd-Frank Act or the Bureau, the Bureau does not interpret the Act as affecting them. This interpretation is consistent with the Act's legislative history, which suggests that Congress was focused on relieving regulatory burden associated with the Dodd-Frank Act.42

41 80 FR 66128, 66180-81, 66199-201, 66227 (Oct. 28, 2015).

42See, e.g., 164 Cong. Rec. S1423-24 (daily ed. Mar. 7, 2018) (statement of Sen. Crapo), S1529-30 (statement of Sen. McConnell), S1532-33 (statement of Sen. Cornyn), S.1537-39 (statement of Sen. Lankford), S1619-20 (statement of Sen. Cornyn).

The requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6), and thus the partial exemptions, also do not include 17 other data points included in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule that are similar or identical to pre-existing Regulation C data points established by the Board and that were not required by HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) or promulgated using discretionary authority under HMDA section 304(b)(5)(D) and (b)(6)(J). These are: the Legal Entity Identifier (which replaced the pre-existing respondent identifier); application date; loan type; loan purpose; preapproval; occupancy type; loan amount; action taken; action taken date; State; county; census tract; ethnicity; race; sex; income; and type of purchaser.43 Additionally, the requirements of HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6), and thus the partial exemptions, do not include age because the Dodd-Frank Act added that requirement instead to HMDA section 304(b)(4).44

43 12 CFR 1003.4(a)(1)(ii), (a)(2), (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (a)(9)(ii), (a)(10), (11), 1003.5(a)(3).

44 Dodd-Frank Act section 1094(3)(A)(i).

With respect to transactions covered by one of the Act's new partial exemptions, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions are therefore required to report 22 of the 48 data points currently set forth in Regulation C, as indicated in table 1 below. Because the Act does not make any changes with respect to these 22 data points, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions that are eligible for a partial exemption under the Act must continue to report these 22 data points in the manner currently specified in Regulation C. For example, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions that are eligible for a partial exemption under the Act are still required to report a Legal Entity Identifier as well as lien status for purchased loans.45

45 12 CFR 1003.4(a)(14), 1003.5(a)(3).

Table 1—Effect of the Act's Partial Exemptions on HMDA Data Points Covered by the Act's partial exemptions Unchanged by the Act • Universal Loan Identifier (ULI) (1003.4(a)(1)(i)) 46 • Application Date (1003.4(a)(1)(ii)). • Property Address (1003.4(a)(9)(i)) • Loan Type (1003.4(a)(2)). • Rate Spread (1003.4(a)(12)) • Loan Purpose (1003.4(a)(3)). • Credit Score (1003.4(a)(15)) • Preapproval (1003.4(a)(4)). • Reasons for Denial (1003.4(a)(16)) • Construction Method (1003.4(a)(5)). • Total Loan Costs or Total Points and Fees (1003.4(a)(17)) • Occupancy Type (1003.4(a)(6)). • Origination Charges (1003.4(a)(18)) • Loan Amount (1003.4(a)(7)). • Discount Points (1003.4(a)(19)) • Action Taken (1003.4(a)(8)(i)). • Lender Credits (1003.4(a)(20)) • Action Taken Date (1003.4(a)(8)(ii)). • Interest Rate (1003.4(a)(21)) • State (1003.4(a)(9)(ii)(A)). • Prepayment Penalty Term (1003.4(a)(22)) • County (1003.4(a)(9)(ii)(B)). • Debt-to-Income Ratio (1003.4(a)(23)) • Census Tract (1003.4(a)(9)(ii)(C)). • Combined Loan-to-Value Ratio (1003.4(a)(24)) • Ethnicity (1003.4(a)(10)(i)). • Loan Term (1003.4(a)(25)) • Race (1003.4(a)(10)(i)). • Introductory Rate Period (1003.4(a)(26)) • Sex (1003.4(a)(10)(i)). • Non-Amortizing Features (1003.4(a)(27)) • Age (1003.4(a)(10)(ii)). • Property Value (1003.4(a)(28)) • Income (1003.4(a)(10)(iii)). • Manufactured Home Secured Property Type (1003.4(a)(29)) • Type of Purchaser (1003.4(a)(11)). • Manufactured Home Land Property Interest (1003.4(a)(30)) • HOEPA Status (1003.4(a)(13)). • Multifamily Affordable Units (1003.4(a)(32)) • Lien Status (1003.4(a)(14)). • Application Channel (1003.4(a)(33)) • Number of Units (1003.4(a)(31)). • Mortgage Loan Originator Identifier (1003.4(a)(34)) • Legal Entity Identifier (1003.5(a)(3)). • Automated Underwriting System (1003.4(a)(35)) • Reverse Mortgage Flag (1003.4(a)(36)) • Open-End Line of Credit Flag (1003.4(a)(37)) • Business or Commercial Purpose Flag (1003.4(a)(38)) VII. Non-Universal Loan Identifier

In the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, the Bureau interpreted “universal loan identifier” (ULI) as used in HMDA section 304(b)(6)(G) to mean an identifier that is unique within the industry and required that the ULI include the Legal Entity Identifier of the institution that assigned the ULI.47 As explained in part VI above, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions are not required to report a ULI for loans or applications that are partially exempt. Some insured depository institutions and insured credit unions may prefer to report a ULI for partially exempt loans or applications even if they are not required to do so. As explained in part IV above, voluntary reporting of ULIs for partially exempt loans and applications is permissible under the Act.

46See infra part VII (Non-Universal Loan Identifier).

47 80 FR 66128, 66176 (Oct. 28, 2015).

Regardless, as was true prior to the Dodd-Frank Act HMDA amendments and under Regulation C as it existed prior to the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, loans and applications must be identifiable in the HMDA data to ensure proper HMDA submission, processing, and compliance.48 The Bureau does not interpret the Act to change this baseline component of data collection and reporting. Accordingly, while insured depository institutions and insured credit unions that are eligible for partial exemptions under the Act do not have to report a ULI for partially exempt transactions, they must continue to provide information so that each loan and application they report for HMDA purposes is identifiable. The ability to identify individual loans and applications is necessary to facilitate efficient and orderly submission of HMDA data and communications between the institution, the Bureau, and other applicable regulators. For example, identification of loans and applications is necessary to ensure that it is possible to address problems identified when edit checks are done upon submission or questions that arise at a later time as HMDA submissions are reviewed by regulators. To ensure the orderly administration of the HMDA program, insured depository institutions and insured credit unions must provide a non-universal loan identifier that complies with the requirements identified below for any partially exempt loan or application for which they do not report a ULI.

48 HMDA requires that covered loans and applications be “itemized in order to clearly and conspicuously disclose” the applicable data for each loan or application. 12 U.S.C. 2803(a)(2).

A non-universal loan identifier does not need to be unique within the industry and therefore does not need to include a Legal Entity Identifier as the ULI does.49 The non-universal loan identifier may be composed of up to 22 characters to identify the covered loan or application, which:

49 Additionally, if a financial institution that is subject to HMDA and not eligible for a partial exemption purchases a loan originated by a partially exempt institution that assigned a non-universal loan identifier rather than a ULI, the purchasing institution does not report the non-universal loan identifier previously assigned. Instead, the purchasing institution assigns its own ULI because no ULI was assigned by the institution that originated the loan. See comment 4(a)(1)(i)-3.

1. May be letters, numerals, or a combination of letters and numerals;

2. Must be unique within the insured depository institution or insured credit union; and

3. Must not include any information that could be used to directly identify the applicant or borrower.50

50 A check digit is not required as part of a non-universal loan identifier, as it is for a ULI under 12 CFR 1003.4(a)(1)(i)(C), but may be voluntarily included in a non-universal loan identifier provided that the non-universal loan identifier, including the check digit, does not exceed 22 characters.

Information that could be used to directly identify the applicant or borrower includes, but is not limited to, the applicant's or borrower's name, date of birth, Social Security number, official government-issued driver's license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, or employer or taxpayer identification number.

To ensure that a non-universal loan identifier is unique within the insured depository institution or insured credit union, the institution must assign only one non-universal loan identifier to any particular covered loan or application, and each non-universal loan identifier must correspond to a single application and ensuing loan in the case that the application is approved and a loan is originated. Similarly, refinancings or applications for refinancing should be assigned a different non-universal loan identifier than the loan that is being refinanced. An insured depository institution or insured credit union with multiple branches must ensure that its branches do not use the same non-universal loan identifier to refer to multiple covered loans or applications. An institution may not use a non-universal loan identifier previously reported if the institution reinstates or reconsiders an application that was reported in a prior calendar year.51

51 For example, if an insured depository institution or insured credit union reports a denied application in its annual 2020 data submission, pursuant to § 1003.5(a)(1), but then reconsiders the application, resulting in an origination in 2021, the institution reports a denied application under the original non-universal loan identifier in its annual 2020 data submission and an origination with a different non-universal loan identifier in its annual 2021 data submission, pursuant to § 1003.5(a)(1).

VIII. Exception Based on Community Reinvestment Act Exam Reports

Notwithstanding the new partial exemptions, new HMDA section 304(i)(3) provides that an insured depository institution must comply with HMDA section 304(b)(5) and (6) if it has received a rating of “needs to improve record of meeting community credit needs” during each of its two most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examinations or a rating of “substantial noncompliance in meeting community credit needs” on its most recent CRA examination. The Act does not specify as of what date an insured depository institution's two most recent CRA examinations must be assessed for purposes of this exception. The Bureau interprets the Act to require that this assessment be made as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year. This is consistent with Regulation C's asset-size threshold and requirement that a financial institution have a home or branch office located in a Metropolitan Statistical Area, which are both assessed as of the preceding December 31.52

52 12 CFR 1003.2(g)(1)(i)-(ii), 1003.2(g)(2)(i), comment 2(g)-1.

For example, in 2020, the preceding December 31 is December 31, 2019. Assume Insured Depository Institution A received a rating of “needs to improve record of meeting community credit needs” during each of its two most recent examinations under section 807(b)(2) of the CRA 53 that occurred on or before December 31, 2019. Accordingly, in 2020, Insured Depository Institution A is not eligible for the Act's partial exemptions.

53 12 U.S.C. 2906(b)(2).

IX. Effective Date

Because this rule is solely interpretive and procedural, it is not subject to the 30-day delayed effective date for substantive rules under section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act.54 The Bureau also believes that this rule meets the requirements for the section 553(d)(3) exception for good cause. As noted above, the Bureau believes that the best interpretation of the Act is that section 104(a) took effect when the Act became law on May 24, 2018. Because of HMDA's ongoing collection and reporting requirements, the impact of the Act on the collection and reporting of data for transactions with final action in 2018, and the related questions raised by financial institutions, there is good cause to implement and clarify section 104(a) of the Act without delay. The Bureau therefore finds that there is good cause to make this rule effective on September 7, 2018.

54 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

X. Dodd-Frank Act Section 1022(b) Analysis

Section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act calls for the Bureau to consider the potential benefits and costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas. Section 1022(b)(2)(B) directs the Bureau to consult with the appropriate prudential regulators or other Federal agencies regarding consistency with objectives those agencies administer. The manner and extent to which these provisions apply to a rulemaking of this kind, which interprets and provides guidance regarding existing law and establishes Bureau procedures but does not establish standards of conduct, is unclear. Nevertheless, to inform this rulemaking more fully, the Bureau performed the analyses and consultations described in those provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

A. Overview

Section 104(a) of the Act amends HMDA section 304(i) by adding partial exemptions from HMDA's requirements for certain institutions. This interpretive and procedural rule implements the requirements of section 104(a). The rule provides clarification and guidance to all affected entities on the institutions covered by the partial exemption and what data must be collected, recorded, and reported.

The rule provides clarification and guidance on five general items:

1. Partially exempt institutions have the option to report data points covered by the partial exemption. If a data point covered by the partial exemption includes multiple data fields, partially exempt institutions report all of the data fields if they choose to report at least one of the data fields.

2. The terms “closed-end mortgage loan” and “open-end line of credit” include only loans and lines of credit that are otherwise reportable under HMDA.

3. Partially exempt institutions are not required to report 26 data points specified in this rule.

4. Partially exempt institutions are required to report a non-universal loan identifier if they choose not to report a ULI.

5. For a given reporting year, the CRA ratings used to determine whether the CRA reporting exception applies are the two most recent CRA ratings as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year.

In developing this rule, the Bureau has considered potential benefits, costs, and impacts of these clarifications and guidance. The Bureau has consulted with, or offered to consult with, the Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

B. Institutions Affected by Rule or Act

Under section 104(a) of the Act, an insured depository institution or insured credit union is eligible for a partial exemption for its closed-end mortgage loans if it originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years and did not receive a rating of “needs to improve record of meeting community credit needs” during both of its two most recent CRA examinations or a rating of “substantial noncompliance in meeting community credit needs” during its most recent CRA examination. After applying all current HMDA reporting requirements, including Regulation C's complete regulatory exclusion for institutions that originated fewer than 25 closed-end mortgage loans in either of the two preceding calendar years, the Bureau estimates that section 104(a) of the Act provides a partial exemption with respect to collection, recording, and reporting of 2018 HMDA data to approximately 3,300 institutions.55 As a point of reference, 5,852 institutions reported data under HMDA in 2018.

55 To generate this estimate, the Bureau first identified all depository institutions (including credit unions) that met all reporting requirements and reported 2017 HMDA data in 2018. From this set of depository institutions, the Bureau then excluded all depository institutions that do not have to report 2018 HMDA data in 2019 because they originated fewer than 25 closed-end mortgage loans in either 2016 or 2017. Of the remaining depository institutions, approximately 3,300 originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of 2016 and 2017. For purposes of this estimate, the Bureau assumes that these institutions are insured and do not have a negative CRA examination history and are partially exempt.

For open-end lines of credit, the Bureau estimates that the new reporting criteria in section 104(a) of the Act will not have any effect on data collected in 2018. Regulation C currently provides a complete regulatory exclusion for open-end lines of credit for institutions that originated fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit in either of the preceding two years, and this exclusion applies to more institutions than the section 104(a) partial exemption criterion of fewer than 500 originations in each of the two preceding calendar years. The effect that section 104(a) will have on data collected for open-end lines of credit on or after January 1, 2020, is unclear because the temporary threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit for the complete regulatory exclusion applies only for 2018 and 2019. The Bureau has indicated that it intends to reconsider the threshold for the permanent regulatory exclusion for open-end lines of credit, which is currently set at 100 open-end lines of credit starting in 2020.56

56 82 FR 43088 (Sept. 13, 2017).

C. Potential Benefits and Costs to Consumers and Covered Persons

The Bureau is using a post-statute baseline to assess the impact of this rule because the rule merely interprets and provides guidance regarding what Congress required in section 104(a) of the Act and provides procedures related to applying those requirements.57 It does not impose new, or change existing, substantive requirements that would require exercise of the Bureau's legislative rulemaking authority. Using a post-statute baseline, the analysis evaluates the benefits, costs, and impacts of the rule as compared to the state of the world if the proposed interpretive and procedural rule were not adopted. Without this interpretive and procedural rule, affected institutions would lack authoritative clarification and guidance regarding how to comply with certain changes to HMDA made by section 104(a) of the Act.

57 The Bureau has discretion in any rulemaking to choose an appropriate scope of analysis with respect to potential benefits, costs, and impacts and an appropriate baseline. As noted earlier, the Bureau anticipates an upcoming notice-and-comment rulemaking and expects that the accompanying 1022(b) analysis will assess the benefits, costs, and impacts of the statute as well as the implementing regulation.

Covered persons should benefit from this rule because it will ease review, understanding, and compliance with section 104(a) of the Act, which will in turn reduce the likelihood of potentially inconsistent or incorrect implementation. It is not practicable to quantify the precise magnitude of these informational benefits; however, they will likely vary over time, with earlier guidance providing higher benefits because covered persons have more time to incorporate this information into their planning and preparation. Without this rule, covered persons would either need to rely more heavily on their own independent evaluations of the statute, which would increase the likelihood of inconsistent or incorrect implementation and non-compliance, or wait for guidance in the anticipated notice-and-comment rulemaking, which would provide covered persons less time to incorporate authoritative guidance while adopting the changes under the Act.

These short-run benefits of the rule are somewhat offset by guidance the Bureau provided in December 2017, indicating that it does not intend to require data resubmission of 2018 HMDA data unless data errors are material or to assess penalties for data errors. The Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the National Credit Union Administration released similar statements. Decreased potential for data resubmission and penalties in the short-run reduces the value to covered persons of receiving earlier guidance and clarification.

An additional benefit is that this rule provides covered persons with additional options, and increased options generally translate into increased benefits. For example, the rule allows for voluntary reporting of partially exempt data points such as ULI. During the 2015 HMDA rulemaking process, however, some commenters suggested that options increased reporting burden, because they added uncertainty and required more interpretation.

The Bureau expects this rule to impose negligible costs on covered persons. There are three items of note here. First, this rule provides specific definitions of the terms “closed-end mortgage loan” or “open-end line of credit,” which are not defined in section 104(a) of the Act. The Bureau is interpreting these terms to include only loans and lines of credit that would otherwise be reportable under Regulation C. The Bureau believes that tying the definitions to the same criteria that already determines HMDA reportability will not impose any additional costs. By contrast, if the Bureau had interpreted these terms to have a broader meaning, the rule would have resulted in fewer covered persons being eligible for the Act's partial exemptions and additional costs for covered persons.

Second, requiring partially exempt institutions that choose not to report a ULI (an exempt data point) to report a non-universal loan identifier, consistent with criteria specified in the rule, could potentially increase burden. However, the Bureau believes that this burden, if any, will be negligible, because most institutions will already have a loan identifier for internal processing and tracking purposes, and, for those that do not, creating and reporting a loan identifier will be low cost.

Third, requiring a partially exempt institution to report all data fields for an exempt data point if it voluntarily chooses to report at least one of the data fields could increase burden. In some circumstances, the institution could face increased costs in having to report all data fields rather than only the data fields it chooses to report. However, the Bureau believes that this additional burden will be small. This requirement will affect only partially exempt institutions that would prefer to voluntarily report some, but not all, data fields for a particular data point, and the number of such institutions is likely small. In addition, of the 26 exempt data points, only seven have multiple data fields (property address, credit score, reason for denial, total loan costs or total points and fees, non-amortizing features, application channel, and automated underwriting system), which also serves to limit the burden associated with this provision.

In addition to effects on covered persons discussed above, this rulemaking is expected to have negligible impact on consumers, in terms of either costs or benefits.

D. Impact on Depository Institutions With No More Than $10 Billion in Assets

The Bureau estimates that approximately 3,300 institutions are partially exempt under section 104(a) of the Act, and that most of these institutions are depository institutions with no more than $10 billion in assets. The benefits of this rule to these institutions are summarized in part X.C. The Bureau expects the burden of this rule on these institutions to be negligible.

E. Impact on Access to Credit

The Bureau does not expect this rule to affect consumers' access to credit. The scope of the rulemaking is limited to clarification of reporting requirements that would not be of sufficient magnitude to materially affect access to credit.

F. Impact on Consumers in Rural Areas

The Bureau does not believe that this rule will have a unique impact on consumers in rural areas. Any potential effects on consumers, expected to be negligible in all cases, would be indirect effects passed through by HMDA reporters, and any impact on HMDA reporters is not expected to vary by geographic area. In addition, many rural lenders are not required to report because of HMDA's requirement that a financial institution have a home or branch office located in a Metropolitan Statistical Area, so the rule would have no specific impacts on rural areas.

XI. Regulatory Requirements

This rule articulates the Bureau's interpretation of section 104(a) of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. It also alters the manner and procedure in which insured depository institutions and insured credit unions eligible for the Act's new partial exemptions may present their data to the Bureau, but it does not alter those institutions' rights or interests or encode substantive value judgments beyond furthering efficiency and operational goals. This interpretive and procedural rule is exempt from notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis.58

58 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a).

The Bureau has determined that this interpretive and procedural rule does not impose any new or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 through 3521. To the extent that eligible reporters may take advantage of the Act's partial exemptions, the Bureau lacks sufficient information at present to estimate the potential burden reduction. When the Bureau has sufficient data to make an estimate, it will revise its burden estimates as appropriate.

XII. Congressional Review Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act,59 the Bureau will submit a report containing this interpretive rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to the rule's published effective date. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has designated this interpretive rule as not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

59 5 U.S.C. 801-808.

Dated: August 30, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2018-19244 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0777; Product Identifier 2018-NE-28-AD; Amendment 39-19366; AD 2018-17-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) GE90-76B, GE90-77B, GE90-85B, GE90-90B, and GE90-94B turbofan engines with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software, version 9.3.2.4 or earlier, installed. This AD requires upgrading the FADEC software to a software version eligible for installation. This AD was prompted by an ice-crystal icing (ICI) event that caused damage to both engines, a single engine stall, and subsequent engine shutdown. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 24, 2018.

We must receive 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 General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected] 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-2018-0777.

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-2018-0777; 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 street address for the Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Frost, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7756; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We received a report of a commanded in-flight shutdown and an air turn back shortly after takeoff. After further investigation, the operator found high-pressure compressor (HPC) damage, which was the result of an earlier ICI event. After the ICI event and subsequent progressive HPC damage, engine performance decreased and an engine stall occurred. As a result, GE improved the FADEC software to provide ICI event detection and to provide an alternate variable bypass valve (VBV) schedule that opens the VBV doors to extract ice crystals from the core flowpath and reduce accretion when ICI is detected. This condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the HPC, failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information

We reviewed GE GE90 Service Bulletin (SB) 73-0146, dated May 2, 2018. The SB introduces new FADEC software and describes procedures for upgrading the FADEC software.

FAA's Determination

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 requires upgrading the FADEC software to a software version eligible for installation.

Differences Between the AD and the Service Information

GE GE90 SB 73-0146, dated May 2, 2018, recommends that you load the new FADEC software as soon as possible, but no later than six months after the original issue date of the SB. This AD requires compliance within 90 days after the effective date of this AD. We expect this difference to be minimal because the GE SB was issued earlier than this AD.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because engine failure due to an ICI event is more likely to occur during the current convective weather season and such failure could result in failure of one or more engines and loss of the airplane. Because of this, the compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for us to publish the final rule to ensure the unsafe condition is fixed during the convective weather season. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. 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 was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2018-0777 and Product Identifier 2018-NE-28-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final rule. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this final rule 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 final rule.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 57 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
    Upgrade the FADEC software 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $4,845
    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 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): 2018-17-12 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-19366; Docket No. FAA-2018-0777; Product Identifier 2018-NE-28-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all GE GE90-76B, GE90-77B, GE90-85B, GE90-90B, and GE90-94B turbofan engines with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software, version 9.3.2.4 or earlier, installed.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an ice-crystal icing event that caused damage to both engines, a single engine stall, and subsequent engine shutdown. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the high-pressure compressor (HPC). The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the HPC, failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, remove FADEC software, version 9.3.2.4 or earlier, from the engine.

    (2) Install a FADEC software version eligible for installation.

    (h) Installation Prohibition

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, do not operate any engine with FADEC software, version 9.3.2.4 or earlier, installed.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact John Frost, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803; phone: 781-238-7756; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 30, 2018. Karen M. Grant, Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19282 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1050; Product Identifier 2017-NE-39-AD; Amendment 39-19393; AD 2018-18-14] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG (RRD) BR700-710A2-20 and BR700-710C4-11 turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by reports of deterioration of the intumescent heat resistant paint system on the electronic engine controller (EEC) firebox assembly that was found to be beyond acceptable limits. This AD requires replacement of affected EEC firebox assembly parts with improved parts, which have a more durable paint system. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective October 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG, Eschenweg 11, Dahlewitz, 15827 Blankenfelde-Mahlow, Germany; phone: +49 (0) 33 7086 2673; fax: +49 (0) 33 7086 3276. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1050.

    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-2017-1050; 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 AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is 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:

    Barbara Caufield, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803; phone: 781-238-7146; fax: 781-238-7199; 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 RRD BR700-710A2-20 and BR700-710C4-11 turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 5963). The NPRM was prompted by reports of deterioration of the intumescent heat resistant paint system on the EEC firebox assembly that was found to be beyond acceptable limits. The NPRM proposed to require replacement of affected EEC firebox assembly parts with improved parts, which have a more durable paint system. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2017-0198, dated October 10, 2017 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to address the unsafe condition on these products. The MCAI states:

    Occurrences were reported where deterioration of an Electronic Engine Controller (EEC) firebox assembly intumescent heat resistant paint system was found to be beyond acceptable limits. Subsequent investigation determined that lack of paint adhesion, due to incorrect surface preparation during manufacturing, had caused this deterioration.

    This condition, if not corrected, could reduce the fire protection capability of the EEC firebox, possibly leading to reduced control of an engine during engine fire, engine overspeed and release of high-energy debris, resulting in damage to, and/or reduced control of, the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, RRD issued Alert SB SB-BR700-73-A101977, SB-BR700-73-A101981 and SB-BR700-73-A101985 to provide modification instructions introducing improved new or reworked EEC firebox assembly parts, which have a more durable paint system.

    For the reason described above, this AD requires replacement of affected EEC firebox assembly parts with improved parts.

    You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1050.

    Comments

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

    Request To Revise Compliance Time

    RRD requested that we align the compliance time of this AD with EASA AD 2017-0198, dated October 10, 2017, and RRD Alert Service Bulletins (ASBs) SB-BR700-73-A101977, SB-BR700-73-A101981 and SB-BR700-73-A101985. RRD suggested that we revise the compliance time of the FAA AD to meet the end date of the RRD ASBs, which is January 31, 2021.

    We agree. The proposed compliance time of 6 months in the NPRM was an error. We revised the compliance time for performance of the required actions of this AD to a timeframe consistent with the EASA AD and the RRD ASBs. The revised compliance time requires performance of the required actions within 28 months after the effective date of this AD.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule with the change 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

    We reviewed RRD ASB SB-BR700-73-A101977, Revision 3, dated July 10, 2017; RRD ASB SB-BR700-73-A101981, Revision 3, dated July 10, 2017; and RRD ASB SB-BR700-73-A101985, Revision 3, dated July 10, 2017. The service information describes procedures for installing new or reworked EEC firebox assembly parts for BR700-710A2-20 and BR700-710C4-11 turbofan engines, which includes BR700-710C4-11/10 turbofan engines.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 842 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
    EEC firebox assembly replacement 2.5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $212.50 $4,900 $5,112.50 $4,304,725
    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 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): 2018-18-14 Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG (Type Certificate previously held by Rolls-Royce Deutschland GmbH, formerly BMW Rolls-Royce GmbH): Amendment 39-19393; Docket No. FAA-2017-1050; Product Identifier 2017-NE-39-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective October 12, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to:

    (1) Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG (RRD) BR700-710A2-20 turbofan engines with any electronic engine controller (EEC) firebox assembly installed, with any of the following component part numbers (P/Ns): FW42888, FW42886, FW38590, FW38591, or FW58255.

    (2) RRD BR700-710C4-11 turbofan engines with any EEC firebox assembly installed, with any of the following component P/Ns: FW38504, FW38503, FW38590, FW38591, or FW58255.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7600, Engine Controls.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of deterioration of the intumescent heat resistant paint system on the EEC firebox assembly that was found to be beyond acceptable limits. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the EEC. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the EEC, loss of engine thrust control, and reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Within 28 months after the effective date of this AD, perform the following:

    (i) For RRD BR700-710A2-20 engines, remove from service the EEC firebox assembly components with P/N FW42888, FW42886, FW38590, FW38591, and FW58255, and replace with parts eligible for installation.

    (ii) For RRD BR700-710C4-11 engines, remove from service the EEC firebox assembly components with P/N FW38504, FW38503, FW38590, FW38591, and FW58255, and replace with parts eligible for installation.

    (2) Reserved.

    (h) 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 (i)(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.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Barbara Caufield, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803; phone: 781-238-7146; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to EASA AD No. 2017-0198, dated October 10, 2017, 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-2017-1050.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 30, 2018. Karen M. Grant, Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19365 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0770; Amendment No. 71-50] RIN 2120-AA66 Airspace Designations; Incorporation by Reference AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule, correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This action corrects a final rule published in the Federal Register of August 28, 2018, that amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 relating to airspace designations to reflect the approval by the Director of the Federal Register of the incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points. This action corrects the Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, signature date from August 8, 2017, to August 13, 2018.

    DATES:

    These regulations are effective September 15, 2018, through September 15, 2019. The incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.11C is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 15, 2018, through September 15, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: History

    The FAA published a final rule in the Federal Register (83 FR 43759; August 28, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2018-0770 amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 relating to airspace designations to reflect the approval by the Director of the Federal Register of the incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found that the signature date for the FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, under the Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference section is incorrect. This action corrects the date from August 8, 2017 to August 13, 2018.

    Correction to Final Rule

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Airspace Designations; Incorporation by Reference, published in the Federal Register of August 28, 2018 (83 FR 43756), FR Doc. 2018-18507, is corrected as follows:

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    On page 43756, column 3, line 43, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “August 8, 2017” and add in its place “August 13, 2018”, and on page 43757, row 1, line 48, remove “August 8, 2018” and add in its place “August 13, 2018”. Issued in Washington, DC, on August 29, 2018. Scott M. Rosenbloom, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19349 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0219; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-23] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Mattoon and Charleston, IL AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies two VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airways (V-72 and V-429) in the vicinity of Mattoon and Charleston, IL. The FAA is taking this action due to the planned decommissioning of the Mattoon, IL, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) navigation aid (NAVAID), which provides navigation guidance for portions of the affected ATS routes. The Mattoon VOR is being decommissioned in support of the FAA's VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) program.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would support the route structure in the Mattoon and Charleston, IL, area as necessary to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air traffic within the National Airspace System (NAS).

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for Docket No. FAA-2018-0219 (83 FR 12883; March 26, 2018) to amend VOR Federal airways V-72 and V-429 due to the planned decommissioning of the Mattoon, IL, VOR. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. One comment was received from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

    In their comment, IDOT recommended the FAA amend theV-429 airway segment between the Bible Grove, IL, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC), Mattoon, IL, VOR/DME, and Champaign, IL, VORTAC by establishing a segment running directly between the Bible Grove VORTAC and Champaign VORTAC. They argued the discontinuity of the FAA proposal to remove the V-429 airway segment between the Bible Grove and Champaign VORTACs does not make effective use of the airspace in the area. In support of their recommendation, they noted the Bible Grove and Champaign VORTACs are located 68 nautical miles (NM) apart and establishing an airway segment between the two NAVAIDs is within the associated standard service volume (40 NM each) with a total segment service volume of 80 NM.

    In support of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiatives aimed at modernizing the NAS to make flying safer, more efficient, and more predictable, the FAA is working to reduce the NAS dependency on its conventional navigational infrastructure and transition to a performance based navigation (PBN) infrastructure. To that end, as part of a NAS Efficient Streamlined Services Initiative, the VOR MON program is working to gradually reduce the number of conventional legacy NAVAIDs while more efficient PBN area navigation (RNAV) air traffic service (ATS) routes and procedures are being implemented throughout the NAS. As such, the FAA's goal is to provide additional RNAV ATS routes, point-to-point navigation where operationally beneficial, and to remove most conventional ATS routes, except where needed in mountainous regions and areas without radar coverage.

    As noted in the NPRM, the FAA identified available mitigations to overcome the proposed gaps in theV-72 and V-429 ATS routes. Instrument flight rules (IFR) traffic could use adjacent VOR Federal airways (including V-5, V-7, V-69, V-171,V-191, V-192, V-262, and V-586) to circumnavigate the affected area; file point to point through the affected area using fixes that will remain in place; or receive air traffic control (ATC) radar vectors through the area. And, visual flight rules (VFR) pilots who elect to navigate via V-72 and V-429 through the affected area could also take advantage of the adjacent VOR Federal airways or ATC services. Additionally, the FAA planned to retain the Mattoon DME facility, charted as a DME facility, using the existing “MTO” three-letter identifier.

    In consideration of IDOT's recommendation, the FAA agrees that amending V-429 by establishing an airway segment directly between the Bible Grove and Champaign legacy VORTACs would continue to provide an uninterrupted, conventional ATS route between the Cape Girardeau, MO, VOR/DME and Joliet, IL, VORTAC. However, the FAA also notes that IDOT's recommendation does not support the FAA's NextGen efforts to modernize the NAS and that the mitigations identified in the NPRM provide alternatives for pilots to overcome and navigate through the ATS route gaps in the Charleston and Mattoon area that are successfully used in other parts of the NAS. As such, the FAA is moving forward with the ATS route amendments as proposed in the NPRM.

    Although the determination is to proceed with the amendments to V-72 and V-429 addressed in the NPRM, the FAA is in the planning stages for establishing a PBN area navigation (RNAV) T-route that closely mirrors the ATS route segment recommended by IDOT, beginning near the Bible Grove VORTAC and proceeding northbound to near the Champaign VORTAC. Once all the coordination and development actions for establishing that RNAV T-route are completed, the FAA will propose the new T-route in a separate rulemaking action.

    VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The VOR Federal airways listed in this document will be subsequently published in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying the descriptions of VOR Federal airways V-72 and V-429 due to the planned decommissioning of the Mattoon, IL, VOR. The VOR Federal airway changes are described below.

    V-72: V-72 extends between the Razorback, AR, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) and the Bloomington, IL, VOR/DME. The airway segment between the Bible Grove, IL, VORTAC and the Bloomington, IL, VOR/DME is removed. The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

    V-429: V-429 extends between the Cape Girardeau, MO, VOR/DME and the Joliet, IL, VORTAC. The airway segment between the Bible Grove, IL, VORTAC and the Champaign, IL, VORTAC is removed. The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

    All radials in the route descriptions below are unchanged and stated in True degrees.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action of modifying VOR Federal airways V-72 and V-429 in the vicinity of Mattoon and Charleston, IL, qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321, and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 1500, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, paragraph 5-6.5a, which categorically excludes from further environmental impact review rulemaking actions that designate or modify classes of airspace areas, airways, routes, and reporting points (see 14 CFR part 71, Designation of Class A, B, C, D, and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points). As such, this action is not expected to result in any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, the FAA has reviewed this action for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis. The FAA has determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact study.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017 and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6010(a) Domestic VOR Federal Airways. V-72 [Amended]

    From Razorback, AR; Dogwood, MO; INT Dogwood 058° and Maples, MO, 236° radials; Maples; Farmington, MO; Centralia, IL; to Bible Grove, IL.

    V-429 [Amended]

    From Cape Girardeau, MO; Marion, IL; INT Marion 011° and Bible Grove, IL, 207° radials; to Bible Grove. From Champaign, IL; Roberts, IL; to Joliet, IL.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 29, 2018. Scott M. Rosenbloom, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19347 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0821] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Upper Mississippi River, St. Paul, MN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary special local regulation for the navigable waters of the Upper Mississippi River from Mile Marker (MM) 846 to MM 847. The special local regulation is necessary to protect event participants, spectators, and vessels transiting the area from potential hazards during the WCCO-TV Pulling Together marine event. Entry of vessels or persons into the regulated area is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. on September 8, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0821 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 Chief Petty Officer Joshua Wilson, Sector Upper Mississippi River, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 314-269-2548, email [email protected].

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it would be impracticable. This rule must be established by September 8, 2018 and we lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule. The NPRM process would delay the establishment of the temporary special local regulation until after the scheduled date of the event, which would compromise public safety.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to the public interest because immediate action is necessary to ensure the safety of event participants, and persons and vessels transiting the regulated area.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) has determined that there are potential hazards associated with the WCCO-TV Pulling Together event consisting of a tug of war competition between teams on opposing banks of the Upper Mississippi River between Mile Marker (MM) 846 and MM 847. This event will span the entire width of the river, potentially causing an extra or unusual hazard to the safety of life on the navigable waters of the United States. This rule is necessary to protect event participants, and persons and vessels transiting the regulated area during the event.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary special local regulation during the WCCO-TV Pulling Together event from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on September 8, 2018, or until cancelled by the COTP, whichever occurs first. The regulated area will cover all navigable waters of the Upper Mississippi River from MM 846 to MM 847. This special local regulation is intended to protect the public from potential navigation hazards during the event. No person or vessel is permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. A designated representative may be a Patrol Commander (PATCOM). If established, the PATCOM may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 16 by using the call sign “PATCOM”. The COTP or designated representative may be contacted by phone at 314-269-2332 or VHF-FM Channel 16.

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

    Spectator vessels desiring to enter, transit through or within, or exit the regulated area may do so only with permission from the COTP or a designated representative and, when permitted by the COTP or a designated representative, must operate at a minimum safe navigation speed in a manner which will not endanger event participants or other persons or vessels within the regulated area.

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

    Any spectator vessel may anchor outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, or loiter in a navigable channel.

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

    The COTP or designated representative may terminate the event or the operation of any vessel at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property. The COTP or a designated representative will terminate the enforcement of the temporary special local regulation at the conclusion of the event.

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

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 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 for the temporary special local regulation. The regulated area will be enforced on a one-mile stretch of the Upper Mississippi River for a period of up to seven hours on one day. Vessel traffic may request to transit the regulated area by contacting the COTP or a designated representative. Moreover, the COTP or a designated representative will publish details of the regulated area in LNMs and will issue BNMs via VHF-FM Channel 16 to allow waterways users to plan accordingly.

    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 regulated area may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of a temporary special local regulation that will restrict access on a one-mile stretch of the Upper Mississippi River for seven hours on one day. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L61 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. Because this rulemaking is to establish a temporary special local regulation for a permitted marine event that is not located in, proximate to, or above an area designated environmentally sensitive by an environmental agency of the Federal, State, or local government a Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) is not required. Should any detail of this rule change to such an extent that will require a REC, a REC will be available in the docket indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 100.T08-0821 to read as follows:
    § 100.T08-0821 Special Local Regulation; Upper Mississippi River, St. Paul, MN.

    (a) Location. A temporary special local regulation is established for the following area: all navigable waters of the Upper Mississippi River from Mile Marker (MM) 846 to MM 847, extending the entire width of the river.

    (b) Effective period. This section will be enforced from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. on September 8, 2018, or until cancelled by the COTP, whichever occurs first

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 100.35 of this part, entry of vessels or persons into this regulated area is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) or designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of USCG Sector Upper Mississippi River. A designated representative may be a Patrol Commander (PATCOM). If established, the PATCOM may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 16 by using the call sign “PATCOM”. The COTP or designated representative may be contacted by phone at 314-269-2332 or VHF-FM Channel 16.

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

    (3) Spectator vessels desiring to enter, transit through or within, or exit the regulated area may do so only with permission from the COTP or a designated representative and, when permitted by the COTP or a designated representative, must operate at a minimum safe navigation speed in a manner which will not endanger event participants or other persons or vessels within the regulated area.

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

    (5) Any spectator vessel may anchor outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, or loiter in a navigable channel.

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

    (7) The COTP or designated representative may terminate the event or the operation of any vessel at any time it is deemed necessary for the protection of life or property. The COTP or a designated representative will terminate the enforcement of the temporary special local regulation at the conclusion of the event.

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

    Dated: September 4, 2018 R.M. Scott, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19448 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0814] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Perch and Pilsner Fireworks; Lake Erie, Conneaut, OH AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 210-foot radius of the fireworks launch site at 500 Erie Street, Conneaut, OH. This safety zone is needed to restrict vessels from a portion of Lake Erie during the Perch and Pilsner Festival fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Buffalo.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8:15 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on September 8, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0814 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Ryan Junod, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland; telephone 216-937-0124, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

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

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Buffalo, NY (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with vessels in the vicinity of firework displays on September 8, 2018 will be a safety concern for vessels and spectators within a 210 foot radius of the launch point of the fireworks. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display is happening.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 8:15 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. on September 8, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 210-foot of the fireworks launch site at position 41°58′01.64″ N, 080°33′38.22″ W, 500 Erie St, Conneaut, OH. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be 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 involves a safety zone lasting one hour that will prohibit entry within 210-foot radius of the launch area for the fireworks display. 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.T09-0814 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0814 Safety Zone; Perch and Pilsner Fireworks; Lake Erie, Conneaut, OH.

    (a) Location. This zone will encompass all U.S waterways within a 210-foot radius of the fireworks launch site located at position 41°58′01.64″ N, 080°33′38.22″ W, Conneaut, OH (NAD 83).

    (b) Effective and enforcement period. This regulation is effective and will be enforced on September 8, 2018 from 8:15 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

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

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

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

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

    Dated: September 4, 2018. Kenneth E. Blair, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19457 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0854] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Moonlight on the Bay Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, Erie, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 280-foot radius of the launch site located at Erie Sand and Gravel, Presque Isle Bay, Erie, PA. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of Presque Isle Bay during the Moonlight on the Bay fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 9:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on September 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0854 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 because the event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of enhancing safety of life on the navigable water and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of the fireworks display.

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

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a fireworks display presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, dangerous projectiles, and falling or burning debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone on September 7, 2018, from 9:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Presque Isle Bay, Erie, PA contained within a 280-foot radius of: 42°08′55.3″ N, 80°04′58.1″ W.

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

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

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

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0854 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0854 Safety Zone; Moonlight on the Bay Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, Erie, PA.

    (a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Presque Isle Bay; Erie, PA contained within a 280-foot radius of: 42°08′55.3″ N, 80°04′58.1″ W.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on September 7, 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 30, 2018. Kenneth E. Blair, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19414 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0856] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; PA Municipal Authorities Annual Conference Fireworks, Presque Isle Bay, Erie, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 280-foot radius of the launch site located at Dobbins Landing, Erie, PA. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of Presque Isle Bay during the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Annual Conference fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8:45 p.m. until 9:45 p.m. on September 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0856 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 Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Annual Conference fireworks display.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a fireworks display presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, dangerous projectiles, and falling or burning debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone on September 11, 2018, from 8:45 p.m. until 9:45 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Presque Isle Bay; Erie, PA contained within 280-foot radius of: 42°08′19.87″ N, 80°05′29.45″ W.

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

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

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

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call

    1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0856 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0856 Safety Zone; Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Annual Conference Fireworks Display; Presque Isle Bay, Erie, PA.

    (a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Presque Isle Bay; Erie, PA contained within a 280-foot radius of: 42°08′19.87″ N, 80°05′29.45″ W.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 8:45 p.m. until 9:45 p.m. on September 11, 2018.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port 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. 2018-19413 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0280; FRL-9982-60—Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; 2017 Revisions to NR 400 and 406 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving certain changes to the Wisconsin State Implementation Plan (SIP). This action relates to changes in Wisconsin's construction permit rules as well as the change in the definition for “emergency electric generators” in NR 400. This request for the revision of the SIP was submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) on May 16, 2017.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0280. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either through www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Rachel Rineheart, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 886-7017 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel Rineheart, Environmental Engineer, Air Permits Section, Air Programs Branch (AR18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-7017, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows: is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Review of State Submittal II. What is our response to comments received on the proposed rulemaking? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Review of State Submittal

    This final rulemaking addresses the May 16, 2017 WDNR submittal for a SIP revision, revising the rules in the Wisconsin SIP to align them with Federal requirements. WDNR's submittal includes changes to the term “electric generator,” replacing it with “restricted internal combustion engine” as well as other minor language and administrative changes. Specifically, NR 400.02(136m) replaces the existing definition of emergency “electric generator” with a definition of “restricted use internal combustion engine,” and NR 406.04(1)(w) amends the exemption language for “emergency electric generators,” replacing it with an exemption for “restricted use reciprocating internal combustion engines.” NR 406.08(1) and NR 406.10 involve minor changes to language, and NR 406.11(1) amends procedures for revoking construction permits. These changes serve the purpose of aligning Wisconsin's definitions with the Federal definitions.

    WDNR is also requesting the removal of NR 406.16(2)(d) and NR 406.17(3)(e) from the SIP. These provisions address the eligibility of coverage under general and registration construction permits based on whether the project constituted a Type 2 action under the previous chapter NR 150. However, the current chapter NR 150 was amended and no longer defines or sets requirements for Type 2 actions. Removing these provisions from Wisconsin's SIP ensures consistency with the Wisconsin Environmental Protection Act (WEPA), and does not affect consistency with the Clean Air Act (CAA). It is also consistent with Section 110(l) of the CAA. Sources covered under registration and general permits are still subject to all emission caps and applicable requirements contained in those permits.

    II. What is our response to comments received on the proposed rulemaking?

    EPA published a direct final rule on November 7, 2017 (82 FR 51575), approving Wisconsin's requested revisions to the SIP, along with a proposed rule (82 FR 51594) that provided a 30-day public comment period. EPA received two comment letters during the public comment process. There were comments on the proposed approval from Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity combined and one comment from an anonymous commenter. The letter from the anonymous commenter was dated December 2, 2017 and the letter from Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity was dated December 7, 2017. Consequently, the direct final rule on this approval was withdrawn on December 21, 2017 (82 FR 60545). A summary of the comments received and EPA's response follows.

    A. Section 110(l) Determination

    Comment 1: The revisions to the prior exemption for emergency generators are a relaxation of the SIP and EPA cannot approve the SIP relaxation without an analysis that the relaxation will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) or any other CAA requirement pursuant to Section 110(l) of the CAA.

    EPA Response: Section 110(l) states “each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a State under this chapter shall be adopted by such State after reasonable notice and public hearing. The Administrator shall not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171 of this title), or any other applicable requirement of this Act.” Wisconsin has adequately demonstrated that the change in exemption will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS. EPA does not interpret section 110(l) to require a full attainment or maintenance demonstration before any changes to a SIP may be approved. Generally, a SIP revision may be approved under section 110(l) if EPA finds it will at least preserve status quo air quality. See Kentucky Resources Council, Inc. v. EPA, 467 F.3d 986 (6th Cir. 2006); GHASP v. EPA, No. 06-61030 (5th Cir. Aug. 13, 2008); see also, e.g., 70 FR 53, 57 (Jan. 3, 2005), 70 FR 28429, 28430 (May 18, 2005) (proposed and final rules, upheld in Kentucky Resources, which discuss EPA's interpretation of section 110(l).1

    1 Discussed in Utah Approval, Disapproval, and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Utah; Revisions to New Source Review Rules, 76 FR 41712 at 41713 (Aug 15, 2011).

    As mentioned in Subsection A, above, Wisconsin has included two categories of engines within its definition of Restricted Use Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE):

    (a) One that is operated no more than 200 hours per year and that meets the definition of emergency stationary RICE or black start engine in 40 CFR 63.6675.

    (b) One that is operated in accordance with the definition of limited use RICE in 40 CFR 63.6675.

    In order to evaluate whether the air quality will be maintained despite the change in definition, we have addressed the two categories of engines separately. The first category of engines within the definition of emergency stationary RICE or black start engines, as defined in 40 CFR 63.6675, operates no more than 200 hours per year (NR 400.02(136m)(a)). NR 406.04(1)(w) exempts restricted use reciprocating internal combustion engines fueled by gaseous fuels, gasoline or a clean fuel and which have a combined electrical output of less than 3000 kilowatts. This is consistent with the definition and exemption for emergency electric generators prior to the revision, which referred to an electric generator whose purpose is to provide electricity to a facility if normal electrical service is interrupted and which is operated no more than 200 hours per year. The prior exemption excluded “emergency electric generators powered by internal combustion engines which are fueled by gaseous fuels, gasoline or distillate fuel oil with an electrical output of less than 3000 kilowatts.” Since the size as well as the number of operating hours per year of engines used for emergency purposes remains the same before and after the revision, there will be no additional impact to air quality as a result of this revision.

    The second category of engine within Wisconsin's definition of restricted use RICE are limited use engines as defined in 40 CFR 63.6675 that operate less than 100 hours per year (NR 400.02(136m)(b)). We reviewed information on how the State permitted limited use RICE prior to the proposed exemption. Limited use RICE, as opposed to restricted use RICE, was not a defined category and these engines were permitted as stationary RICE with permit restrictions. However, this provision in the Wisconsin code exempting limited use RICE from obtaining a permit will not result in an increase in emissions beyond what would result from construction or modification of these types of engines through an individual minor new source review (NSR) construction permit. Wisconsin has shown that this permit exemption is consistent with conditions that would have been part of a construction permit under the prior version of the state regulations.

    For example, prior to the exemption, limited use RICE were included in permits with a permit limitation or an operational restriction. The permit may or may not have included a restriction in the number of hours. Under the proposed exemption, however, sources will need to operate for less than 100 hours per year in order to be eligible for this exemption, in accordance with 40 CFR 63.6675. Therefore, in some cases, this provision in the rule may be more protective of air quality than an individual permit. An increase in the hours of operation to over 100 hours per year will make the source ineligible for this exemption, as per the definition of limited use engines. Further, an increase to 100 hours per year or greater will make the source subject to the requirements under the Federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). An exemption from obtaining a permit does not relieve the source from having to comply with the NESHAP. Therefore, the NESHAP acts as a backstop to ensure emissions from these engines are controlled. As mentioned above, EPA may approve a SIP revision under section 110(l) if EPA finds it will at least preserve status quo air quality. Kentucky Resources, supra.

    B. Aligning With Federal Requirements

    Comment 1: “It is unclear what Federal requirements or Federal program EPA is referencing throughout this notice”.

    EPA response: In this action, EPA is referring to the Federal definition of RICE under 40 CFR 63.6675. The Federal regulations do not specifically define emergency generators. 40 CFR 63.6675 defines internal combustion engines that are used for emergency purposes. WDNR's revised definition conforms to the Federal definition of internal combustion engines used for emergency purposes.

    EPA does not find the need to re-propose this action, since commenters had adequate notice of these Federal requirements. The Federal citation is clearly mentioned in Wisconsin's revised definition of RICE under NR 400.02(136m).

    Comment 2: The Federal NESHAPs are not the same program as the NSR program and are not designed to meet the same goals. Thus EPA's statement that these changes “serve the purpose of aligning the state and Federal regulations” is not grounded in the CAA.

    EPA response: EPA understands that NESHAPs and the NSR program are different programs, but that does not eliminate the value in aligning state and Federal regulations. Consistency among state and Federal regulatory requirements, whether from the same or different programs, is valuable to achieve goals such as simplifying applicability and regulatory requirements and promoting compliance. Such alignment need not be mandated by the CAA to add such value, and EPA and states need only assure that an alignment of state and Federal requirements across programs is not inconsistent with the CAA requirements for either program. The revisions approved in this action pass this test.

    Further, this action is only aligning Wisconsin's definitions with the Federal definitions, thereby aligning permitting exemptions with certain NESHAP exemptions. The revision does not attempt to align the regulatory requirements or the pollutants addressed by these programs in a manner that is inconsistent with the CAA requirements for either program.

    C. Exclusions From Modifications, NR 406.04(4)(e)

    The Wisconsin Code NR 406.04(4) has provisions that exclude certain types of changes from constituting a modification. The purpose of these exclusions is to minimize the administrative and economic burdens on both the agency and low emitting sources without sacrificing environmental protection. NR 406.04(4)(e) excludes from the definition of modification sources that increase their hours of operation if: (1) The increase is not prohibited by any permit, plan approval or special order applicable to the source; and (2) the increase will not cause or exacerbate the violation of an ambient air quality standard or ambient air increment or violate an emission limit.

    Comment 1: The exemption in NR 406.04(1)(w), when considered in conjunction with the existing exemptions under NR 406.04(4)(e), could allow the construction of a stationary reciprocating internal combustion engine without a permit that could ultimately be allowed to operate 8760 hours per year with no construction permit being issued prior to review.

    EPA response: 40 CFR 51.160 requires that a SIP set forth legally enforceable procedures that enable the permitting authority to determine whether the source is in violation of applicable portions of the control strategy or would result in an interference with the attainment or maintenance of a NAAQS. The exemption in NR 406.04(1)(w) exempts restricted use RICE that (1) operated no more than 200 hours per year and meet the definition of emergency stationary RICE in 40 CFR 63.6675; or (2) are operated in accordance with the definition of limited use RICE in 40 CFR 63.6675, i.e. RICE that is operated no more than 100 hours per year. An increase in hours of operation above these thresholds, as applicable, will cause the source to no longer qualify for the permit exemption and will thereby result in a SIP violation. Further, the exemption in NR 406.04(1)(w)2. requires that records be kept of total hours the engines operate each year to verify that the units continue to meet the criteria for an exemption.

    D. Air Quality Analysis

    Comment 1: Wisconsin's exemption could apply to generators used for peak shaving. Peaking units typically go through frequent startups and shutdowns and thus could have disproportionately high emissions on a short-term basis despite the limited operating hours per year. EPA must require a worst case evaluation of impacts on the NAAQS—particularly the 1-hour SO2 and 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    EPA response: WDNR's definition of restricted use RICE mirrors the Federal definition of emergency stationary RICE in 40 CFR 63.6675. This definition, while allowing an engine to operate for up to 50 hours per year for non-emergency purposes, clearly precludes the source from using the engines for “. . . peak shaving or non-emergency demand response, or to generate income for a facility to an electric grid or otherwise supply power as part of a financial arrangement with another entity.” Prior to adopting the proposed definition, Wisconsin did not have a category called “limited-use” engines. An engine could either be operated as a “limited-use” engine by restricting the number of operating hours through a permit, or have permit limits based on its usage. Engines that had restrictions on the number of operating hours were required to maintain records of the number of hours they operate, with no further requirements. Under the revised regulation, operating hours equal to or greater than the applicable thresholds under the definition will trigger a permit requirement and the requirements of Wisconsin's minor source permit program. These permitting requirements include an analysis of the impact on ambient air quality. Moreover, an increase in the number of hours will trigger requirements under the NESHAP. As discussed above in the context of section 110(l), EPA has conducted an evaluation sufficient to support the conclusion that the approved changes will preserve the status quo air quality.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the requested revisions to WDNR's SIP. Specifically EPA is approving revisions to Wisconsin rules NR 400.02(136m), NR 406.04(1)(w), NR 406.08(1), NR 406.10 and NR 406.11(1). EPA is also approving the removal of NR 406.16(2)(d) and NR 406.17(3)(e) from the SIP.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this document, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Wisconsin Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 6, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 8, 2018. Cathy Stepp, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. Section 52.2570 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(113)(i)(D), and by adding paragraph (c)(137) to read as follows:
    § 52.2570 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (113) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) NR 400.02(73m) and (131m), 406.02(1) and (2), 406.04(2m), NR 406.11(1)(g)(1), 406.11(3), 406.16, 406.17, 406.18, 407.02(3m), 407.105, 407.107, 407.14 Note, 407.14(4)(c), 407.15(8)(a) and 410.03(1)(a)(6) and (7) as created and published in the (Wisconsin) Register, August 2005, No. 596, effective September 1, 2005. Sections NR 406.16(2)(d) and NR 406.17(3)(e) were repealed in 2015 and are removed without replacement; see paragraph (c)(137) of this section.

    (137) On May 16, 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources submitted a request to revise Wisconsin's air permitting rules NR 400.02(136m), NR 406.04(1)(w), NR 406.08(1), NR 406.10 and NR 406.11(1). These revisions replace the existing definition of “emergency electric generator” with the Federal definition of “restricted internal combustion engine”, amends procedures for revoking construction permits and include minor language changes and other administrative updates. Wisconsin has also requested to remove from the SIP NR 406.16(2)(d) and NR 406.17(3)(e), provisions affecting eligibility of coverage under general and registration construction permits, previously approved in paragraph (c)(113) of this section. This action ensures consistency with Wisconsin Environmental Protection Act (WEPA) laws.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Wisconsin Administrative Code, NR 400.02(136m) as published in the Wisconsin Administrative Register November 2015 No. 719, effective December 1, 2015.

    (B) Wisconsin Administrative Code, NR 406.04(1)(w), NR 406.08(1), NR 406.10 and NR 406.11(1) as published in the Wisconsin Administrative Register November 2015 No. 719, effective December 1, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2018-19161 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0399; FRL-9983-33—Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia's state implementation plan (SIP). The revision is in response to EPA's February 3, 2017 Findings of Failure to Submit for various requirements relating to the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). This SIP revision is specific to nonattainment new source review (NNSR) requirements. EPA is approving this revision in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0399. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Talley, (215) 814-2117, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On April 4, 2018 (83 FR 14386), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the NPR, EPA proposed approval of the SIP submitted in response to EPA's final 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS Findings of Failure to Submit for NNSR requirements. See 82 FR 9158 (February 3, 2017). Specifically, Virginia is certifying that its existing NNSR program, covering the Washington, DC nonattainment area (which includes Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Loudoun County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City, and Prince William County in Virginia) (hereafter, Washington, DC Nonattainment Area) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, is at least as stringent as the requirements at 40 CFR 51.165, as amended by the final rule entitled “Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements” (SIP Requirements Rule), for ozone and its precursors.1 See 80 FR 12264 (March 6, 2015). The formal SIP revision was submitted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia on May 11, 2017.

    1 The SIP Requirements Rule addresses a range of nonattainment area SIP requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, including requirements pertaining to attainment demonstrations, reasonable further progress (RFP), reasonably available control technology, reasonably available control measures, major new source review, emission inventories, and the timing of SIP submissions and of compliance with emission control measures in the SIP. The rule also revokes the 1997 ozone NAAQS and establishes anti-backsliding requirements. On February 16, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued an opinion granting a number of challenges to the EPA's SIP Requirements Rule. South Coast Air Quality Mgmt. Dist. v. EPA, 882 F.3d 1138 (D.C. Cir. 2018). Specifically, as relevant here, the Court vacated the “redesignation substitute” provision in the implementation rule, which allowed states a way to satisfy anti-backsliding requirements for revoked standards. EPA and South Coast Air Quality Management District filed petitions for rehearing and those petitions are pending before the Court.

    On March 12, 2008, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.075 parts per million (ppm). See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008). Under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 50.15, the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS is attained when the three-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient air quality ozone concentration is less than or equal to 0.075 ppm.

    Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires EPA to designate as nonattainment any area that is violating the NAAQS based on the three most recent years of ambient air quality data available at the conclusion of the designation process. The Washington, DC Nonattainment Area was classified as a marginal nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS on May 21, 2012 (effective July 20, 2012) using 2008-2010 ambient air quality data. See 77 FR 30088. On March 6, 2015, EPA issued the final SIP Requirements Rule, which establishes the requirements that state, tribal, and local air quality management agencies must meet as they develop implementation plans for areas where air quality exceeds the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 80 FR 12264. Areas that were designated as marginal ozone nonattainment areas were required to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS no later than July 20, 2015, based on 2012-2014 monitoring data. The Washington, DC Nonattainment Area did not attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by July 20, 2015; however, this area did meet the CAA section 181(a)(5) criteria, as interpreted in 40 CFR 51.1107, for a one-year attainment date extension. See 81 FR 26697 (May 4, 2016). Therefore, on April 11, 2016, the EPA Administrator signed a final rule extending the Washington, DC Nonattainment Area 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS attainment date from July 20, 2015 to July 20, 2016.2

    2 EPA finalized approval of a Determination of Attainment (DOA) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Washington, DC Nonattainment Area on November 14, 2017. This final action was based on complete, certified, and quality assured ambient air quality monitoring data for the 2013-2015 monitoring period. See 82 FR 52651 (November 14, 2017). It should be noted that a DOA does not alleviate the need for Virginia to certify that their existing SIP approved NNSR program is as stringent as the requirements at 40 CFR 51.165, as NNSR applies in nonattainment areas until an area has been redesignated to attainment.

    Based on initial nonattainment designations for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard, as well as the March 6, 2015 final SIP Requirements Rule, Virginia was required to develop a SIP revision addressing certain CAA requirements for the Washington, DC Nonattainment Area, and submit to EPA a NNSR Certification SIP or SIP revision no later than 36 months after the effective date of area designations for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (i.e., July 20, 2015).3 See 80 FR 12264 (March 6, 2015). EPA is proposing to approve Virginia's May 11, 2017 NNSR Certification SIP revision. EPA's analysis of how this SIP revision addresses the NNSR requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS is provided in Section II.

    3 Neither Virginia's obligation to submit the NNSR Certification SIP nor the requirements governing that submission were affected by the D.C. Circuit's February 16, 2018 decision on portions of the SIP Requirements Rule in South Coast Air Quality Mgmt. Dist. v. EPA.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    This rulemaking action is specific to Virginia's NNSR requirements. NNSR is a preconstruction review permit program that applies to new major stationary sources or major modifications at existing sources located in a nonattainment area.4 The specific NNSR requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS are located in 40 CFR 51.160-165. As set forth in the SIP Requirements Rule, for each nonattainment area, a NNSR plan or plan revision was due no later than 36 months after the effective date of area designations for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard (i.e., July 20, 2015).5

    4See CAA sections 172(c)(5), 173 and 182.

    5 With respect to states with nonattainment areas subject to a finding of failure to submit NNSR SIP revisions, such revisions would no longer be required if the area were redesignated to attainment. The CAA's prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program requirements apply in lieu of NNSR after an area is redesignated to attainment. For areas outside the OTR, NNSR requirements do not apply in areas designated as attainment.

    The minimum SIP requirements for NNSR permitting programs for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS are located in 40 CFR 51.165. See 40 CFR 51.1114. These NNSR program requirements include those promulgated in the “Phase 2 Rule” implementing the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (75 FR 71018 (November 29, 2005)) and the SIP Requirements Rule implementing the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Under the Phase 2 Rule, the SIP for each ozone nonattainment area must contain NNSR provisions that: Set major source thresholds for oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(iv)(A)(1)(i)-(iv) and (2); classify physical changes as a major source if the change would constitute a major source by itself pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(iv)(A)(3); consider any significant net emissions increase of NOX as a significant net emissions increase for ozone pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(E); consider certain increases of VOC emissions in extreme ozone nonattainment areas as a significant net emissions increase and a major modification for ozone pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(F); set significant emissions rates for VOC and NOX as ozone precursors pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(x)(A)-(C) and (E); contain provisions for emissions reductions credits pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(3)(ii)(C)(1)-(2); provide that the requirements applicable to VOC also apply to NOX pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(8); and set offset ratios for VOC and NOX pursuant to 40 CFR 51.165(a)(9)(i)-(iii) (renumbered as (a)(9)(ii)-(iv) under the SIP Requirements Rule for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS). Under the SIP Requirements Rule for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, the SIP for each ozone nonattainment area designated nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and designated nonattainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS on April 6, 2015, must also contain NNSR provisions that include the anti-backsliding requirements at 40 CFR 51.1105. See 40 CFR 51.165(a)(12).

    Virginia's SIP-approved NNSR program is implemented through Article 9, Permits for Major Stationary Sources and Major Modifications Locating in Nonattainment Areas or the Ozone Transport Region, in the Virginia Administrative Code (VAC), 9VAC5-80—Permits for Stationary Sources. In its May 11, 2017 SIP revision, Virginia certifies that the version of 9VAC5-80 in the SIP is at least as stringent as the federal NNSR requirements for the Washington, DC Nonattainment Area. EPA last approved revisions to Virginia's major NNSR SIP on August 28, 2017. In that action, EPA approved revisions to Virginia's SIP which made Virginia's NNSR program consistent with federal requirements. Additionally, those revisions corrected a deficiency which had been grounds for limited approval of Virginia's program. EPA found, therefore, that Virginia's program met all CAA requirements and was fully approvable. See 82 FR 40703.

    EPA notes that neither 9VAC5-80 nor Virginia's approved SIP have the regulatory provision for any emissions change of VOC in extreme nonattainment areas, specified in 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(F), because Virginia has never had an area designated extreme nonattainment for any of the ozone NAAQS. Nonetheless, the Virginia SIP is not required to have this requirement for VOC in extreme nonattainment areas until such time as Virginia has an extreme ozone nonattainment area. In Virginia's May 11, 2017 SIP revision, VADEQ asserted that anti-backsliding provisions do not apply to any area within Virginia, including the northern Virginia/Metropolitan Washington, DC area, because Virginia submitted to EPA a final “redesignation substitute” request for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Washington, DC area on April 29, 2016. As noted, in its February 16, 2018 decision, the South Coast Court vacated the provision in the implementation rule for the 2008 ozone NAAQS that created the “redesignation substitute.” The Court disagreed with EPA's interpretation of the Clean Air Act that once a standard is revoked, the Agency no longer has authority to change designations or classifications for that revoked standard. The Court ruled that in order for 1997 ozone nonattainment areas to be relieved from anti-backsliding requirements under the old revoked standard, those areas would need to seek, and EPA would need to approve, full statutory redesignations to attainment in compliance with CAA section 107(d)(3). The Court thus vacated the “redesignation substitute,” because it held that areas could not receive the benefits of a redesignation without meeting all of the elements in CAA section 107(d)(3)(E).

    Given the D.C. Circuit's vacatur of the redesignation substitute mechanism in South Coast, EPA cannot approve Virginia's redesignation substitute request. Therefore, until the Washington, DC Nonattainment Area is redesignated under section 107(d)(3), the state remains required to comply with the anti-backsliding provisions found in 40 CFR 51.165(a)(12) and located in 9VAC5-80 of its SIP which applied to NSR requirements for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. EPA finds that the Virginia SIP presently includes all required major stationary source thresholds and emissions offset ratios for NSR purposes which were established for the SIP for Virginia's 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS nonattainment designation. See 82 FR 40703 (finding Virginia's NNSR program consistent with all federal requirements in August 2017).

    Thus, EPA finds that Virginia's SIP includes relevant and required anti-backsliding requirements. Virginia has not changed these major stationary source threshold and offset provisions in 9VAC5-80-2010 C, and furthermore, they remain in Virginia's federally-approved SIP unless and until EPA approves a full redesignation request in accordance with CAA section 107.6 EPA expects that VADEQ will continue to implement its NNSR program consistently with its approved SIP for major stationary source thresholds and emission offset ratios.

    6 Under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, the Washington, DC Area was classified as moderate nonattainment.

    EPA has not amended the SIP provisions related to 9VAC5-80 since the August 28, 2017 rulemaking where EPA last approved Virginia's NNSR provisions as meeting CAA requirements for a NNSR program. The SIP-approved version of 9VAC5-80 covers Virginia's portion of the Washington, DC Nonattainment Area and remains adequate to meet all applicable NNSR requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in 40 CFR 51.165, the Phase 2 Rule, and the SIP Requirements Rule.

    III. Public Comments and EPA Response

    EPA received a total of sixteen sets of comments on the April 4, 2018 NPR. Fifteen of those did not concern any of the specific issues raised in the NPR, nor did they address EPA's rationale for the proposed approval of VADEQ's submittal. Therefore, EPA is not responding to those comments. EPA did receive one set of relevant comments. Those comments and EPA's responses are discussed in this Section. All of the comments received are included in the docket for this rulemaking action.

    Comment 1: The commenter asserts that EPA's proposed approval failed to adequately address whether Virginia's SIP ensures that the CAA's anti-backsliding requirements are met. In support of this claim, the commenter first points to Virginia's May 11, 2017 submittal in which VADEQ claims that anti-backsliding provisions don't apply because Virginia submitted a redesignation substitute request on April 26, 2016, and asserts that redesignation substitutes were ruled unlawful by the D.C. Circuit in the South Coast decision. Second, the commenter takes issue with EPA's assertion in the NPR that Virginia's NNSR SIP contains all of the requirements necessary to implement the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, citing EPA's failure to address a February 18, 2018 approval action related to the implementation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS and the revocation of the 1997 ozone NAAQS.7 The commenter asserts that until EPA addresses how “the SIP as a whole,” (including the revisions from EPA's February 18, 2018 approval) meets the anti-backsliding requirements, approval of Virginia's May 17, 2017 submittal would be arbitrary and unlawful.

    7See 83 FR 7610.

    EPA Response 1: The anti-backsliding requirements at both 40 CFR 51.165(a)(12) and 51.1105 provide that the minimum SIP elements for NNSR outlined at 40 CFR 51.165 continue to apply in areas designated as nonattainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS that had not been redesignated to attainment by EPA prior to the April 6, 2015 revocation date of the 1997 NAAQS. EPA agrees with the commenter that VADEQ's assertion that the April 26, 2016 redesignation substitute request relieves Virginia of the CAA's anti-backsliding requirements is not correct, first because EPA never acted on that request and second because even if the Agency had approved such request, the South Coast Court held that redesignation substitutes cannot relieve nonattainment areas of anti-backsliding requirements. EPA clearly and unambiguously stated in the NPR (and restated in Section II of this document): “Virginia remains required to comply with the anti-backsliding provisions found in 40 CFR 51.165(a)(12) and located in 9VAC5-80 of its SIP which applied to NSR requirements for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.” 8 EPA further stated that Virginia is expected to implement its NNSR program consistent with its approved SIP (which does contain the CAA's anti-backsliding requirements) unless and until EPA promulgates a full redesignation of the DC Area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in accordance with CAA section 107(d)(3).

    8See 83 FR 14388

    With respect to the commenter's assertion that EPA must evaluate the SIP as a whole and in light of the February 18, 2018 approval action, in order to grant approval to Virginia's May 17, 2017 submittal, EPA disagrees. EPA clearly stated in the NPR, and reiterates in this action, this action is specific to the NNSR program requirements of 40 CFR 51.165, which are codified by Virginia under Article 9 of 9VAC5-80. EPA's February 18, 2018 approval action did not revise or address any of the NNSR requirements in 9VAC5-80 and is therefore irrelevant to this action. EPA is not obligated, when reviewing each SIP submission, to re-review all prior SIP submissions already acted on. Such an interpretation of the CAA would subject the Agency to never-ending review of the state's implementation plan.

    The February 18, 2018 action approved revisions to 9VAC5-20-204, 9VAC5-30-55, 9VAC5-151-20, and 9VAC5-160-30. The amendment to 9VAC5-30-55 added text stating that the primary and secondary ambient air quality standard of 0.08 ppm shall no longer apply after April 6, 2015, consistent with EPA's revocation of the 1997 standard. The revisions to 9VAC5-151-20 and 9VAC5-160-30 were related to transportation conformity and general conformity, neither of which are germane to this action. Subdivision (A)(2) of 9VAC5-20-204 defines and classifies the nonattainment area for the 1997 ozone standard. EPA's February 18, 2018 final rulemaking action approved a revision to 9VAC5-20-204 which provided that subdivision (A)(2) would no longer be effective after April 6, 2015. This is appropriate given the revocation of the 1997 standard. It is important to note that subdivision (A)(2) was not removed. Pursuant to 9VAC5-80-2000(B), the NNSR requirements of Article 9 apply to “. . . nonattainment areas designated in 9VAC5-20-204 . . .” This is the mechanism through which Virginia's NNSR requirements are applied to the various nonattainment areas in the Commonwealth. While the nonattainment area status for the 1997 ozone NAAQS is no longer active or “effective” due to the fact that that standard has been revoked, the only “designation” and “classification” that applies to the Washington DC Nonattainment Area for purposes of the revoked 1997 ozone NAAQS, and specifically for purposes of establishing the NNSR preconstruction permitting requirements of Article 9, remain on the books at 9VAC5-20-204. Therefore, even if the February 18, 2018 action might require amendment in light of South Coast, such a revision would not impact the effectiveness of EPA's final action approving Virginia's NNSR SIP.

    Comment 2: The commenter asserts that EPA's proposed approval fails to ensure compliance with certain other NNSR requirements in 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(E), specifically the requirement that any significant net emissions increase of nitrogen oxides (NOX) be considered significant for ozone. The commenter points to part b. of the definition of “Major modification” in 9VAC5-80-2010 which states: “[a]ny significant emissions increase from any emissions units or net emissions increase at a source that is considered significant for volatile organic compounds shall be considered significant for ozone,” and claims that the lack of similar language pertaining to NOX creates ambiguity as to whether the requirements of 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(E) are met.

    EPA Response 2: EPA disagrees that there is any ambiguity in Virginia's NNSR SIP with regard to the potential for a significant net increase of NOX to be considered significant for ozone. The language identified by the commenter in part b. of the definition of “Major modification” in 9VAC5-80-2010 that is specific to volatile organic compounds is simply a recitation of nearly identical language in 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(B) which is also specific to volatile organic compounds and has no implications with regard to NOX. Virginia's May 17, 2017 submittal identified the provisions of the SIP which satisfy the requirement of 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(E). First, under the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant” at 9VAC5-80-2010C, subdivisions a. and c.(1) include NOX and make clear that NOX is regulated as a precursor to ozone.9 Additionally, subdivisions a. and c. of the definition of “Significant” contain the appropriate significance thresholds for NOX (40 tons per year (tpy), or 25 tpy in areas designated as serious or severe nonattainment). Finally, part a. of the definition of “Major modification” in 9VAC5-80-2010 states that a major modification means “any physical change in or change in the method of operation of a major stationary source that would result in (i) a significant emissions increase of a regulated NSR pollutant; and (ii) a significant net emissions increase of that pollutant from the source.” (emphasis added) Because NOX is clearly included in the definition of a “Regulated NSR Pollutant,” a significant emissions increase and a significant net emissions increase of NOX would meet the definition of “Major Modification,” thus satisfying the requirement of 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(E).

    9 9VAC5-80-2010C in pertinent part reads as follows: ` “Regulated NSR Pollutant' means any of the following: a. Nitrogen oxides or any volatile organic compound. . . . c. . . . . Precursors identified for purposes of this article shall be the following: (1) (1) Volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides are precursors to ozone in all ozone nonattainment areas.”

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving Virginia's May 17, 2017 SIP revision addressing the NNSR requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS for the Washington DC Nonattainment Area. EPA has concluded that the State's submission fulfills the 40 CFR 51.1114 revision requirement, meets the requirements of CAA sections 110 and 172 and the minimum SIP requirements of 40 CFR 51.165, as well as its obligations under EPA's February 3, 2017 Findings of Failure to Submit. See 82 FR 9158.

    V. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the Commonwealth of Virginia

    In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information that: (1) Are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) are required by law.

    On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their federal counterparts. . . .” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

    Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

    Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its NSR program consistent with the federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151 or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 6, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action pertaining to Virginia's NNSR program and the 2008 ozone NAAQS may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 27, 2018. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart VV—Virginia 2. Amend § 52.2420, paragraph (e)(1) table by adding an entry entitled “2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.2420 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Name of
  • non-regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable geographic area State
  • submittal date
  • EPA approval date Additional
  • explanation
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Nonattainment New Source Review Requirements Virginia portion of the Washington, DC-MD-VA nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (i.e., Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City) as well as the portions of Virginia included in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) (i.e., Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Stafford County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City) 5/17/17 9/7/17, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2018-19364 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2017-0442; FRL-9982-99—Region 1] Air Plan Approval; New Hampshire; Single Source Orders and Revisions to Definitions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of New Hampshire. The revisions incorporate a single source order into the New Hampshire SIP, remove a previously-approved order from the SIP, and approve various definitions used within New Hampshire's air pollution control regulations. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R01-OAR-2017-0442. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available at https://www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Region 1 Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bob McConnell, Environmental Engineer, Air Quality Planning Unit, Air Programs Branch (Mail Code OEP05-02), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109-3912; (617) 918-1046; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background and Purpose II. Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background and Purpose

    On July 6, 2018 (83 FR 31513), EPA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the State of New Hampshire. The NPRM proposed approval of revisions to New Hampshire's SIP consisting of an order establishing reasonably available control technology (RACT) requirements for the Diacom Corporation, removal from the SIP of a previously-approved RACT order for the Kalwall Corporation, and a request to revise a few definitions used within the State's air pollution control regulations. Other specific requirements of New Hampshire's RACT orders and revised definitions and the rationale for EPA's proposed action are explained in the NPRM and will not be restated here.

    We received a number of anonymous comments that address subjects outside the scope of our proposed action, do not explain (or provide a legal basis for) how the proposed action should differ in any way, and make no specific mention of the substantive aspects of the proposed action. Consequently, these comments are not germane to this rulemaking and require no further response.

    II. Final Action

    EPA is approving an order establishing RACT for the Diacom Corporation, removal from the SIP of a previously-approved RACT order for the Kalwall Corporation, and a revision to eleven definitions used within the State's air pollution control regulations as revisions to the New Hampshire SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of revisions located within New Hampshire's Env-A, Rules Governing the Control of Air Pollution, Env-A 101, Definitions, and also incorporating by reference RACT Order RO-0002, dated June 28, 2017, issued to the Diacom Corporation, as described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below, The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through https://www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 1 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.1

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    • This action is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this action is not significant under Executive Order 12866;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 6, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.

    Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart EE—New Hampshire 2. Amend § 52.1520 by: a. In paragraph (c), amend the table by removing footnote 1 and adding “Env-A 100; Definitions” after the entry “Env-A 100; Definition of “Wood Waste Burner””; and b. In paragraph (d), amend the table by: i. Removing footnote 2; ii. Revising the entries “VOC RACT for Kalwall Corporation, Manchester, NH” and “Kalwall Corporation”; and iii. Adding an entry entitled “Diacom Corporation” at the end of the table. c. In paragraph (e), remove footnote 3.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.1520 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved New Hampshire Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanations *         *         *         *         *         *         *          Env-A 100 Definitions 3/24/1997 9/7/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] Revisions made affecting eleven definitions. *         *         *         *         *         *         *         

    (d) * * *

    EPA-Approved New Hampshire Source Specific Requirements Name of source Permit No. State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanations/§ 52.1535 citation *         *         *         *         *         *         *          VOC RACT for Kalwall Corporation, Manchester, NH Order ARD-95-010 9/10/1996 9/7/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] See § 52.1535(c)(51). Order superseded by Order ARD-99-001, effective date 11/20/2011. *         *         *         *         *         *         *          Kalwall Corporation ARD-99-001 11/20/2011 9/7/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] Order withdrawn from the New Hampshire SIP. *         *         *         *         *         *         *          Diacom Corporation RACT Order RO-0002 06/28/2017 9/7/2018, [Insert Federal Register citation] VOC RACT Order.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19290 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 174 Friday, September 7, 2018 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Chapter I [NRC-2017-0181] Identifying and Reporting Human Performance Incidents AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Draft regulatory issue summary; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is withdrawing the draft regulatory issue summary (RIS), RIS 2017-XX, “Identifying and Reporting Human Factor Incidents.” This document is being withdrawn because after further consideration, the NRC determined that the RIS did not provide the clarification intended regarding licensees' required reporting of human performance incidents.

    DATES:

    The withdrawal of draft RIS 2017-XX, “Identifying and Reporting Human Factor Incidents” is effective as of September 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0181 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0181. Address questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The draft RIS, “Identifying and Reporting Human Factor Incidents” is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16029A010.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carmen Franklin, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, telephone: 301-415-2386, email: [email protected] and Alexander Schwab, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-8539, email: [email protected] Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NRC is withdrawing draft RIS 2017-XX, “Identifying and Reporting Human Factor Incidents” because after further consideration, the NRC determined that the RIS did not provide the clarification intended regarding licensees' required reporting of human performance incidents “Licensee event report system” under § 50.73 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 31st day of August 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Bo Pham, Branch Chief, ROP Support and Generic Communications Branch, Division of Inspection and Regional Support, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19369 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0735; Product Identifier 2018-NE-26-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with certain low-pressure turbine (LPT) 1st- and 3rd-stage disks installed. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of manufacturing defects found on delivered LPT 1st- and 3rd-stage disks. This proposed AD would require removing the LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk from service and replacing with a part eligible for installation. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0735; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0735; Product Identifier 2018-NE-26-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report that multiple LPT 1st- and 3rd-stage disks were delivered before the ingot lot was rejected due to material inclusion. The suspect LPT 1st- and 3rd-stage disks may include defects that may have not been discovered during inspections. This condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require removing from service and replacing the LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk with a part eligible for installation.

    Costs of Compliance

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

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Remove and replace LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk 0 work-hours × $85 per hour = $0 $210,000 $210,000 $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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): International Aero Engines: Docket No. FAA-2018-0735; Product Identifier 2018-NE-26-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 22, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with a low-pressure turbine (LPT) 3rd-stage disk with a serial number (S/N) listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD or an LPT 1st-stage disk with an S/N listed in Figure 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, installed.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7250, Turbine Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of manufacturing defects found on delivered LPT 1st- and 3rd-stage disks. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Remove from service the LPT 1st- or 3rd-stage disk within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, or as identified in paragraphs (g)(1) or (2) of this AD, whichever occurs later, and replace with a part eligible for installation:

    (1) Remove the LPT 3rd-stage disk with an S/N listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD at the next shop visit, not to exceed 4,800 cycles since new.

    EP07SE18.002

    (2) Remove the LPT 1st-stage disk with an S/N listed in Figure 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD at next shop visit, not to exceed 2,240 cycles since new.

    EP07SE18.003 (h) Definitions

    For the purpose of this AD, an “engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, except that the separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation of the engine without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    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]

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 29, 2018. Karen M. Grant, Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19174 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0767; Product Identifier 2018-NM-068-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that debris from the parking brake shut off valve (PBSOV) could create a partial blockage of the restrictor check valve in the hydraulic return line of the PBSOV. This proposed AD would require replacing the restrictor check valve with an improved valve that has a filter screen. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0767; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0767; Product Identifier 2018-NM-068-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0077 dated April 6, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Service experience with Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 aeroplanes has shown that debris from the parking brake shut-off valve (PBSOV) can eventually block the restrictor check valve in the hydraulic return line of the PBSOV. Prompted by these findings, Fokker Services issued [Service Bulletin F100/70] SBF100-32-159 to introduce a new PBSOV and a one-time inspection for debris in the affected part of the hydraulic return system. EASA issued AD 2009-0220 [which corresponds to AD 2010-22-05 (75 FR 66649, October 29, 2010) (“AD 2010-22-05”)] to require those actions. In addition, Fokker Services issued SBF100-32-163 to introduce the option to install a restrictor check valve with a filter screen in the return line of the PBSOV. A recent review of in-service experience and the SBF100-32-159 inspection results revealed new occurrences of debris that obstructed (but did not completely block) the restrictor check valve.

    This condition, if not corrected, might prevent complete main landing gear extension, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane during landing, and consequent injury to occupants.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Fokker Services issued Revision 1 of SBF100-32-163, providing instructions to replace the restrictor check valve with the improved valve incorporating a filter screen.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires the replacement of the restrictor check valve in the return line of the PBSOV with the improved valve.

    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-2018-0767.

    Relationship Between Proposed AD and AD 2010-22-05

    This NPRM does not propose to supersede AD 2010-22-05. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This proposed AD would require replacing the restrictor check valve with an improved valve that has a filter screen. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all requirements of AD 2010-22-05.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Fokker Services B.V. has issued Fokker Service Bulletin F100/70 SBF100-32-163, Revision 1, dated February 21, 2018. This service information describes procedures for removing the restrictor check valve in the hydraulic return line of the PBSOV and installing an improved restrictor check valve that has a filter screen. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 4 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $1,282 $1,452 $5,808
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Fokker Services B.V.: Docket No. FAA-2018-0767; Product Identifier 2018-NM-068-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 22, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2010-22-05, Amendment 39-16484 (75 FR 66649, October 29, 2010) (“AD 2010-22-05”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by service experience showing that debris from the parking brake shut off valve (PBSOV) could create a partial blockage of the restrictor check valve in the hydraulic return line of the PBSOV. We are issuing this AD to address this condition, which, if not corrected, may prevent complete main landing gear extension, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane during landing, and consequent injury to occupants.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definitions

    For the purposes of this AD, the definitions in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) apply.

    (1) An affected part is any hydraulic restrictor check valve having part number(P/N) D71293-003, P/N D71295-401, or P/N D71296-401.

    (2) Group 1 airplanes are those that have an affected part installed.

    (3) Group 2 airplanes are those that do not have an affected part installed.

    (h) Required Actions

    For Group 1 airplanes, within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the airplane by replacing each affected part with a restrictor check valve that has a filter screen, P/N CKLX0517200B or P/N CKLX0520100B, as applicable, in accordance with the accomplishment instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin F100/70 SBF100-32-163, Revision 1, dated February 21, 2018.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    Do not install an affected part on any airplane, as required by paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

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

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

    (j) Terminating Actions for AD 2010-22-05

    Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2010-22-05.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0077, dated April 6, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0767.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on August 23, 2018. James Cashdollar, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19297 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0336; Product Identifier 2017-SW-130-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus Helicopters) Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. This proposed AD would require replacing the retaining ring and inspecting the hoist cable hook assembly (hook). This proposed AD is prompted by a report that a hook detached from the hoist cable. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0336; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

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

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

    Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2017-0199, dated October 11, 2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, EC135T3, EC635P2+, EC635P3, EC635T1, EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters. EASA advises of a report of a hook separating from the hoist cable. According to EASA, an investigation determined that failure of the internal retaining ring combined with a permanent compression set of the elastomeric energy absorber caused the separation. EASA states that this condition, if not corrected, could lead to the detachment of an external load or person from the hoist, possibly resulting in personal injury or injury to persons on the ground.

    The EASA AD consequently requires repetitive inspections of the hook assembly and replacement of the retaining ring. Depending on the findings of the inspection, the EASA AD also requires replacement of the elastomeric energy absorber. According to the manufacturer of the hook, the retaining ring can corrode in a salt-laden environment. Therefore, replacement of the retaining ring is required with each inspection. EASA considers its AD an interim measure and states that further AD action may follow.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Related Service Information Under1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Goodrich Service Bulletin No. 44301-10-17, Revision 4, dated July 26, 2017. The Goodrich Service Bulletin is attached as an appendix to Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB EC135-85A-069, Revision 0, dated August 2, 2017. This service information specifies an initial and repetitive inspections of the hook assembly and replacement of the retaining ring. If the inspections of elastomeric energy absorber detect a permanent compression set, this service information also specifies replacing the elastomeric energy absorber.

    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.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require, within 90 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 180 hours TIS, replacing the retaining ring and inspecting the elastometric energy absorber for a permanent compression set, and if necessary, replacing the elastometric energy absorber before the next hoist operation.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires corrective actions in terms of months in service. This proposed AD would require compliance within 90 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 180 hours TIS. The EASA AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC635P2+, EC635P3, EC635T1, EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters. This proposed AD would not because these model helicopters have no FAA type certificate.

    Interim Action

    We consider this proposed AD to be an interim action. The design approval holder is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this proposed AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 278 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Inspecting the hoist cable hook assembly and replacing the retaining ring would require 0.5 work-hour and parts would be minimal for a cost of $43 per helicopter and $11,954 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.

    • Replacing an elastomeric energy absorber would require 0.5 work-hour and parts would cost $2,152 for a cost of $2,195 per helicopter.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2018-0336; Product Identifier 2017-SW-130-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters, certificated in any category, with an external mounted hoist (hoist) part number (P/N) and hook assembly (hook)P/N shown in Table 1 to paragraph (a) of this AD:

    EP07SE18.006 (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as detachment of a hook from a hoist cable resulting in in-flight failure of the hoist, which could result in injury to persons being lifted.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 6, 2018.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    Within 90 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 180 hours TIS:

    (1) Inspect the hook and determine whether the elastometric energy absorber has taken a permanent compression set by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.A and 2.B, of Goodrich Service Bulletin No. 44301-10-17, Revision 4, dated July 26, 2017 (SB 44301-10-17). If the elastometric energy absorber has taken a permanent compression set, replace the elastometric energy absorber before the next hoist operation.

    (2) Replace the retaining ring by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.D through 2.K, of SB 44301-10-17.

    (f) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits may be permitted provided the hoist is not used.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (h) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2017-0199, dated October 11, 2017. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2500, Cabin Equipment/Furnishings.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 23, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19430 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION 29 CFR Part 2200 Revisions to Procedural Rules Governing Practice Before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document solicits recommendations for amendments to the Commission's rules of procedure.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include “Advance notice of proposed rulemaking, 29 CFR part 2200” in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 202-606-5417.

    Mail: One Lafayette Centre, 1120 20th Street NW, Ninth Floor, Washington, DC 20036-3457.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mailing address.

    Instructions: All submissions must include your name, return address, and email address, if applicable. Please clearly label submissions as “Advance notice of proposed rulemaking, 29 CFR part 2200.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Bailey, via telephone at 202-606-5410, or via email at [email protected]shrc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 29 U.S.C. 661(g), the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission last implemented a comprehensive revision of its rules of procedure in 2005. Since that time, technological advances, including implementation of the E-filing system, as well as the evolution of practice before the Commission, have called for a careful reexamination of the Commission's rules of procedure, as set forth in 29 CFR part 2200. To assist in determining what revisions should be made, the agency is soliciting recommendations from the public. It is especially interested in hearing from those who practice before it on what rules their experience suggests would benefit from a revision. While recommended changes to any rule will be considered, the Commission is especially interested in whether: Rules on the computation of time should be simplified; electronic filing and service should be mandatory and, if so, what exceptions, if any, should be allowed; the definition of “affected employee” should be broadened; citing to Commission decisions as posted on the agency's website should be allowed; the rule on the staying of a final order is not needed and should be eliminated; the requirement for agency approval of settlements should be narrowed or eliminated; the grounds for obtaining Commission review of interlocutory orders issued by its administrative law judges should be revised; protection of sensitive personal information should be broadened; and whether the threshold amount for cases referred for mandatory settlement proceedings should be increased. Comments suggesting a rule change should include a brief discussion of the reasons for the change, why the change would facilitate improved practice before the Commission, and a reference to authority where necessary.

    Dated: August 15, 2018. Heather L. MacDougall, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2018-18050 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7600-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION 46 CFR Part 545 [Docket No. 18-06] RIN 3072-AC71 Interpretive Rule, Shipping Act of 1984 AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC or Commission) is seeking public comment on its interpretation of the scope of the Shipping Act prohibition against failing to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property. Specifically, the Commission is clarifying that the proper scope of that prohibition in the Shipping Act of 1984 and the conduct covered by it is guided by the Commission's interpretation and precedent articulated in several earlier Commission cases, which require that a regulated entity engage in a practice or regulation on a normal, customary, and continuous basis and that such practice or regulation is unjust or unreasonable in order to violate that section of the Shipping Act.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before: October 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the Docket No. 18-06 by the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line: “Docket 18-06, Interpretive Rule Comments.” Comments should be attached to the email as a Microsoft Word or text-searchable PDF document. Only non-confidential and public versions of confidential comments should be submitted by email.

    Mail: Rachel E. Dickon, Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20573-0001.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments, including requesting confidential treatment of comments, and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to the Commission's website, unless the commenter has requested confidential treatment.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Commission's Electronic Reading Room at: http://www.fmc.gov/18-06, or to the Docket Activity Library at 800 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20573, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Telephone: (202) 523-5725.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel E. Dickon, Secretary; Phone: (202) 523-5725; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary

    The Federal Maritime Commission is issuing this notice to obtain public comments on clarification and guidance regarding the Commission's interpretation of the scope of 46 U.S.C. 41102(c) (section 10(d)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984).1 Section 41102(c) provides that regulated entities “may not fail to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property.” 2

    1 Some authorities cited herein refer to § 41102(c) while others refer to section 10(d)(1). For ease of reading, we will generally refer to § 41102(c) in analyzing these authorities.

    2 46 U.S.C. 41102(c).

    Beginning with the Houben3 decision in 2010 and presented in full in the Commission's 2013 decision in Kobel v. Hapag-Lloyd, the Commission has held in a line of recent cases that discrete conduct with respect to a particular shipment, if determined to be unjust or unreasonable, represents a violation of § 41102(c), regardless of whether that conduct represents a respondent's practice or regulation. 4 These decisions diverge from consistent Commission precedent dating back to 1935 and reaffirmed as recently as 2001 which required that a regulated entity must engage in a practice or regulation on a normal, customary, and continuous basis in order to be found to have violated § 41102(c) of the Shipping Act. In simple summary, discrete or occasional actions by regulated entities not reflecting a practice or regulation would not constitute a violation of § 41102(c).

    3Houben v. World Moving Services, Inc., 31 S.R.R. 1400 (FMC 2010).

    4Kobel v. Hapag-Lloyd A.G., 32 S.R.R. 1720, 1731 (2013) (“The allegation that a single failure to “observe or enforce” just and reasonable regulations or practices is not a failure does not comport with the language of section 10(d)(1), which mandates regulated entities not to `fail to . . . observe and enforce' just and reasonable regulations and practices.”).

    Specifically, the Commission is considering an interpretive rule consistent with Commission precedent articulated in cases including Intercoastal Investigation, 5 Altieri, 6 Stockton Elevators, 7 European Trade, 8 A.N. Deringer, 9 and Kamara10 that would restore the scope of § 41102(c) to prohibiting unjust and unreasonable practices and regulations. These decisions require that a regulated entity engage in a practice or regulation on a normal, customary, and continuous basis and a finding that such practice or regulation is unjust or unreasonable to violate that section of the Shipping Act. The Commission believes that this represents the proper interpretation of the statutory language of the provision that, within the full context of the 1916 Act and the 1984 Act, is consistent with statutory and legislative history, judicial precedent and Commission case law embodied in cases such as Stockton Elevators, and comports with accepted rules of statutory construction.

    5Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, 1 U.S.S.B.B. 400 (1935).

    6J.M. Altieri v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 7 F.M.C. 416 (ALJ 1962).

    7Investigation of Certain Practices of Stockton Elevators, 3 S.R.R. 605 (FMC 1964).

    8European Trade Specialists v. Prudential-Grace Lines, 19 S.R.R. 59, 63 (FMC 1979).

    9A.N. Deringer, Inc. v. Marlin Marine Services, Inc., 25 S.R.R. 1273 (SO 1990).

    10Kamara v. Honesty Shipping Service, 29 S.R.R. 321 (ALJ 2001).

    This interpretation restores § 41102(c) to its proper function and purpose under the Shipping Act of 1984 and will return the Commission's focus and priorities to the activities of maritime regulated entities that negatively affect the broader shipping public—all as intended by Congress in its enactment of the 1916 Act and the 1984 Act. Recognizing that this interpretation would prune and pare back the types of recent claims that have been be filed with the Commission to those related to the purposes of the Shipping Act's § 41102(c), traditional legal venues will continue to be available to parties injured by discrete instances of unreasonable or unjust conduct consistent with long established maritime actions and other statutes specifically enacted by Congress, and long recognized common law remedies, all designed to address such circumstances.

    We are seeking comment on this refocus of § 41102(c), how such an interpretation would affect regulated entities including ocean carriers, marine terminal operators (MTOs), and ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), as well as members of the shipping public, including cargo shippers and drayage truckers, and whether claims that would no longer fall under § 41102(c) under the contemplated interpretation would be adequately resolved before the Commission under other sections of the Act or in other legal dispute venues. The interpretation would take the form of an interpretive rule codified in 46 CFR part 545. The language of the proposed rule is set forth below.

    II. Background A. Statutory Language and Legislative History

    Congress first used the statutory language addressing the legal duty of transportation common carriers to “establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable . . . regulations and practices . . . affecting [cargo] classification, rates, or tariffs . . . [and] the manner and method of presenting, marking, packing, and delivering property for transportation . . .” in the 1910 Mann-Elkins Act amendment (Mann-Elkins) 11 to the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA).12 The Mann-Elkins language clearly focused on the operating and business practices of railroads as commonly used and imposed upon passengers and cargo shippers. This fundamental common carrier duty is the foundational cornerstone of the ICA legislation, its statutory purpose, and its proper interpretation.

    11 Mann-Elkins Act, 61st Congress, 2nd session, Ch. 309, 36 Stat. 539, enacted June 18, 1910.

    12 The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, Ch. 104, 24 Stat 379 (1887).

    The provenance of the statutory language and its inclusion six years later in the Shipping Act of 1916 (1916 Act) 13 has been recognized by the courts. In United States Navigation Co. v. Cunard S.S. Co. Ltd. 284 U.S. 474 (1932), the U.S. Supreme Court tied a firm knot binding the ICA and the 1916 Act where the court gave a general review of various sections of the 1916 Act, including section 17 14 and held that, “[t]hese and other provisions of the Shipping Act clearly exhibit the close parallelism between the act and its prototype, the ICA, and the applicability both of the principals of construction and administration.” 15

    13 The Shipping Act of 1916, Sept. 7, 1916, Ch. 451, 39 Stat. 728.

    14 Section 17 is the origin of section 10(d)(1), as discussed infra.

    15Id. at 484.

    As the enactment of the 1916 Act demonstrates, together with the use of identical language in other federal statutes,16 Congress fully understood what it was doing in using the phrase “establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices”—and what those words meant.17

    16 For example, the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, which was enacted to maintain competition in the livestock industry. The Act bans discrimination, manipulation of price, weight, livestock or carcasses; commercial bribery; misrepresentation of source, condition, or quality of livestock; and other unfair or manipulative practices. Section 208 of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 provides that, “[i]t shall be the duty of every stockyard owner and market agency to establish, observe, and enforce just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory regulations and practices in respect to the furnishing of stockyard services.” 7 U.S.C. 208.

    17 For a more detailed discussion of the legislative history of this statutory language, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 638-644 (FMC 2016).

    Section 41102(c) of the 1984 Act originates from section 17 of the 1916 Act. Section 17 was commonly divided into two parts and referred to as “section 17, first paragraph” and “section 17, second paragraph.” The first paragraph addressed unjustly discriminatory rates charged to shippers while the second paragraph addressed just and reasonable practices by carriers and other persons subject to the Act. The second paragraph of section 17 reads as follows:

    Every such carrier and every other person subject to this act shall establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with the receiving, handling, storing, or delivering of property. Whenever the Board finds any such regulation or practice is unjust or unreasonable it may determine, prescribe, and order enforced a just and reasonable regulation or practice.

    Public Law 64-260 § 17 (1916) (emphasis added).18

    18 The two separate provisions of section 17 of the Shipping Act are commonly referred to as “section 17, first paragraph” and “section 17, second paragraph.”

    As a part of the general transportation deregulatory reform trends in the 1970's through 1990's,19 Congress eliminated the sentence regarding the Commission's authority to prescribe or order regulations or practices in the 1984 Act. Congress, however, reenacted the first sentence of section 17's second paragraph and placed that provision in section 10(d)(1), which, following the 2006 recodification of the 1984 Act, became 46 U.S.C. 41102(c). That language from section 17, second paragraph, first sentence, requiring that no regulated entity may fail to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with the receiving, handling, storing, or delivery of property—is now found in § 41102(c) of the 1984 Act.

    19See the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976, Public Law 94-210; Staggers Act of 1980, Public Law 96-448; Motor Carrier Act of 1990, Public Law 96-296; Airline Deregulation Act, Public Law 95-504; and the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995, Public Law 104-88.

    Having a long legislative provenance, Congress used the word “practice” and the full phrase, “establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices,” in both the original 1916 Act and in section 10(d)(1) of the 1984 Act, now § 41102(c), in a particular way and in a context that was clear to the drafters, to the Commission, and to the reviewing courts.

    B. Judicial Precedent

    In Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company v. United States, 277 U.S. 291 (1923), the U.S. Supreme Court considered the question of what constituted a “practice” within the contemplation of Congress in the Interstate Commerce Act:

    The word “practice”, considered generally and without regard to context, is not capable of useful construction. If broadly used, it would cover everything carriers are accustomed to do. Its meaning varies so widely and depends so much upon the connection in which it is used that Congress will be deemed to have intended to confine its application to acts or things belonging to the same general class as those meant by the words associated with it.

    Id. at 299-300 (citation omitted) (emphasis added).

    The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the United States Shipping Board (USSB) (the agency created by Congress in the 1916 Act), its successor agencies, and the currently constituted Commission,20 together with state and federal courts have consistently ruled that “practice” means; (1) the acts/omissions of the regulated common carrier that were positively established by the regulated common carrier and imposed on the passenger/cargo interest, and (2) such act/omission was the normal,21 customary, often repeated,22 systematic,23 uniform,24 habitual,25 and continuous manner 26 (hereinafter “Normal, Customary & Continuous”) in which the regulated common carrier was conducting business.

    20 The United States Shipping Board (USSB) was succeeded in 1933 by the United States Shipping Board Bureau of the Department of Commerce (USSBB), Executive Order No. 6166 (1933). The USSBB was succeeded in 1936 by the United States Maritime Commission (USMC), 49 Stat. 1985. In 1950, the USMC was succeeded by the Federal Maritime Board (FMB), 64 Stat.1273. The FMC was established as an independent regulatory agency by Reorganization Plan No. 7, effective August 12, 1961. The U.S. Supreme Court treated the FMC and all predecessor agencies as the “Commission” for purposes of judicial review. See Volkswagenwerk v. Federal Maritime Commission, 390 U.S. 261, 269 (1968).

    21See European Trade Specialists v. Prudential-Grace Lines, 19 S.R.R. 59, 63 (FMC 1979). (Unless its normal practice was not to so notify the shipper, such adverse treatment cannot be found to violate the section as a matter of law [emphasis in original].”

    22See Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, 1 U.S.S.B.B. 400, 432. (“Owing to its wide and variable connotations, a practice which unless restricted ordinarily means an often and customary action, is deemed to acts or things belonging to the same class as those meant by the words of the law that are associated with it.” [cites omitted] [emphasis added].

    23See Whitam v. Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 66 F. Supp. 1014 (ND TX 1946) (“The word `a practice' as used in the decision, or used anywhere properly, implies systematic doing of the acts complained of, and usually as applied to carriers and shippers generally.” (emphasis added).”

    24See Stockton Elevators, 3 S.R.R. 605, 618 (FMC 1964). (“It cannot be found that the Elevator engaged in a `practice' within the meaning of Section 17. The essence of a practice is uniformity. It is something habitually performed and it implies continuity . . . the usual course of conduct. It is not an occasional transaction such as here shown. Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, 1 U.S.S.B.B. 400, 432; B&O By. Co. v. United States 277 U.S. 291, 300, Francesconi & Co. v. B&O Ry. Co., 274 F. 687, 690; Whitham v. Chicago R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 66 F. Supp. 1014; Wells Lamont Corp. v. Bowles, 149 F.2d 364 (emphasis added). See also, McClure v. Blackshere, F. Supp. 678, 682 (D. Md. 1964) (“ `Practice' ordinarily implied uniformity and continuity, and does not denote a few isolated acts, and uniformity and universality, general notoriety and acquiescence, must characterize the actions on which a practice is predicated.” (citations omitted) (emphasis added)).

    25See Stockton Elevators, 3 S.R.R. 605, 618 (FMC 1964). (“It cannot be found that the Elevator engaged in a `practice' within the meaning of Section 17. . . . It is something habitually performed and it implies continuity . . . the usual course of conduct.” (citations omitted) (emphasis added)).

    26See Stockton Elevators, 3 S.R.R. 605, 618 (FMC 1964). (“It cannot be found that the Elevator engaged in a `practice' within the meaning of Section 17. . . . It is something habitually performed and it implies continuity . . . .” (citations omitted) (emphasis added)). See also, McClure v. Blackshere, F. Supp. 678, 682 (D. Md. 1964) (“ `Practice' ordinarily implied uniformity and continuity, and does not denote a few isolated acts, and uniformity and universality, general notoriety and acquiescence, must characterize the actions on which a practice is predicated.” (citations omitted) (emphasis added)).

    The USSBB, a predecessor to the Commission, considered the term “practice” as used in the 1916 Act in Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, 1 FMC 400 (1935), an investigation that covered sixteen years of steam ship conference activities. The USSBB held:

    The provisions of the Shipping Act, 1916, also apply to these respondents. It is there provided . . . that carriers shall establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable rates, charges, (cargo) classifications, and tariffs and just and reasonable regulations and practices related thereto . . .The terms “rates”, “charges”, “tariffs”, and “practices” as used in transportation have received judicial interpretation . . . Owing to its wide and variable connotation, a practice, which unless restricted ordinarily means an often repeated and customary action, is deemed to apply only to acts or things belonging to the class as those meant by the words of the law that are associated with it . . . In section 18, the term “practices” is associated with various words, including “rates”, “charges”, and “tariffs”.

    Id. at 431-432 (emphasis added).27

    27Intercoastal Investigations cited two ICA railroad cases as authority. See Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company v. United States, 277 U.S. 291 (1923) and Missouri Pacific R. Co. v. Norwood, 283 U.S. 249, 257 (1931).

    Prior to the 1984 Act, Commission decisions analyzing situations that involved discrete conduct focused on the meaning of the word “practice” and determined that conduct that did not reflect a practice was outside the scope of the first sentence of the second paragraph of section 17. In Altieri, Stockton Elevators, and European Trade Specialists, A.N. Deringer, Kamara, and other cases 28 the Commission used the term “practice” in a consistent manner for all the places it appears in the Shipping Act.

    28 A series of cases alleging section 10(d)(1) violations has established that a complainant must demonstrate regulations and practices, as opposed to identifying what might be an isolated error or understandable misfortune. See, e.g., Informal Docket No. 1745(I), Mrs. Susanne Brunner v. OMS Moving Inc., slip decision served January 27, 1994, administratively final March 8, 1994.

    In Stockton Elevators, which was later adopted by the Commission in its entirety, the FMC's Presiding Examiner found that a violation did not occur because of the infrequency of the relevant actions. According to that decision, a practice is something that, “is habitually performed and implies continuity . . . not an occasional transaction such as here shown.” 29 The Presiding Examiner found the respondent's actions to be occasional transactions and not a “practice” because they were not the “usual course of conduct” and so not a violation of section 17.30

    29Investigation of Certain Practices of Stockton Elevators, 8 F.M.C. 187, 200-201 (Examiner 1964).

    30Id.

    Similarly, in European Trade Specialists, Inc. v. Prudential-Grace Lines, Inc., the ALJ specifically noted, “[a] `practice' unless the term is in some way restricted by decision or statute, means “an often repeated and customary action.” 31 There, the ALJ was considering if an alleged failure to notify a shipper of a dispute on the applicable tariff rate violated section 17 of the 1916 Act. The ALJ found that in examining the record, the respondent's normal practice was to notify shippers of problems and this case involved the allegation of a single departure from that practice which was otherwise just and reasonable. Regardless of the unjustness or unreasonableness of the respondent's failure to notify the shipper, such action did not represent a practice and thus there could be no section 17 violation.

    31 17 S.R.R. 1351, 1361 (ALJ 1977).

    In Kamara v. Honesty Shipping Service, 29 S.R.R. 321 (ALJ 2001), the ALJ held that, “It is not clear that a carrier's simple failure to remit payment to a subcontracting carrier constitutes a Shipping Act violation, although the shipper would certainly have a commercial contractual claim.

    These cases addressing Section 10(d)(1) violations correctly hold that a complainant must demonstrate regulations and practices and articulates the correct scope and interpretation of § 41102(c). This precedent stands in stark contrast to recent Commission decisions that adopted a far more expansive interpretation of the conduct covered by § 41102(c) untethered to the language of the statute, the legislative history, Commission precedent, or, most importantly, the purpose of the Shipping Act to address common carrier duties.32

    32 See Adair v. Penn-Nordic Lines, Inc., 26 S.R.R. 11 (ALJ 1991); Tractors & Farm Equip. Ltd v. Cosmos Shipping Co., Inc., 26 S.R.R. 788 (ALJ 1992); Houben v. World Moving Servs., Inc., 31 S.R.R. 1400 (FMC 2010).

    In the 2013 Kobel decision, the Commission charted a different course by disjoining the statute's conjunctive language of “establish, observe, and enforce” and specifically identified that § 41102(c) contains three discrete prohibitions: (1) A prohibition against failing to establish just and reasonable regulations and practices; (2) a prohibition against failing to observe just and reasonable regulations and practices; and (3) a prohibition against failing to enforce just and reasonable regulations.33 Since Kobel, the Commission has interpreted section § 41102(c) to mean that a single failure to fulfill a single legal obligation of any description itself could constitute a violation of § 41102(c).” 34

    33Kobel, 32 S.R.R. at 1735.

    34See, e.g., Bimsha Int'l v. Chief Cargo Servs., 32 S.R.R. 1861, 1865 (FMC 2013) (“NVOCCs violate [§ 41102(c)] when they fail to fulfill NVOCC obligations, through single or multiple actions or mistakes, and therefore engage in an unjust and unreasonable practice” (emphasis added)).

    The Commission looked to a single rule of construction, the surplusage cannon, to support its course change from prior Commission and court rulings. That rule provides that, “If possible, every word and every provision is to be given effect.” 35 However, the commentators offer two relevant notes of caution.

    35Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, Scalia and Garner, 2012, pg. 174.

    First, in discussing the Principle of Interrelating Canons, they advise, “No canon of interpretation is absolute. Each may be overcome by the strength of differing principles that point in other directions . . . It is a rare case in which each side does not appeal to a different canon to suggest its desired outcome.” 36 Second, in later discussion of the surplusage canon, they note, “If a provision is susceptible of (1) a meaning that . . . deprives another provision of all independent effect, and (2) another meaning that leaves both provisions with some independent operation, the later should be preferred . . . So, like all other canons, this one must be applied with judgement and discretion, and with careful regard to context.”37

    36Id. at 59, emphasis in the original.

    37Id. at page 176, emphasis added.

    The Commission has, in these recent cases, strained to give independent application of the elements, “establish, observe, or enforce” but, in so doing, has deprived any operation of a discussion or application of the alleged unjust or unreasonable practice or regulation being inflicted upon the general shipping public. The “context” of § 41102(c) itself within the Shipping Act and other factors discussed below demonstrate the flaws in the Commission's recent line of section 41102(c) decisions. Moreover, numerous other canons of construction “point in other directions,” 38 all as discussed below.

    38Id. at 59.

    It is this line of recent cases determining that a discrete failure to observe and enforce an established just and reasonable regulation or practice that the Commission seeks to reform in this rulemaking so as to return the scope of § 41102(c) to its proper role and purpose within the Shipping Act. In the future, the Commission intends to follow the reasoning in Intercoastal Investigation, Altieri, Stockton Elevators, European Trade Specialists, Deringer, and Kamara which offer precedent as to what properly applies the full meaning and purpose of “establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices” under the Shipping Act and a violation of § 41102(c).

    C. Rules of Statutory Construction

    The precedent in Intercoastal Investigation, Altieri, Stockton Elevators, European Trade Specialists, Deringer, and Kamara as to what constitutes “regulations and practice” under the Shipping Act is supported by and consistent with multiple accepted rules of statutory construction. Proper consideration and application of numerous canons of statutory construction demonstrates that Congress has spoken to the issue at hand.39

    39See Bell Atlantic Telephone Companies v. Federal Communications Commission, 131 F.3d 1044, 1047 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (“Context serves an especially important role in textual analysis of a statute when Congress has not expressed itself as univocally as might be wished.”).

    (1) The Syntactic Canon concerns grammar. Reviewing § 41102(c), the regulated entity is the subject of the sentence. The subject is directed—i.e. do not fail to—then comes the active verbs—“establish, observe, and enforce” just and reasonable regulations and practices. The regulated entity is ordered to, first, initiate the creation, dissemination, and publication of such just and reasonable regulations and practices, and simultaneously, to observe and enforce those regulations and practices that were created by that regulated entity.40

    40 For a fuller discussion of the Syntactic Canon, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 641 (FMC 2016).

    (2) The Ordinary Meaning Canon requires that the words of a statute are to be taken in their natural and ordinary signification and import.41 The judicial interpretation of the phrase “practices” by multiple courts applying the Mann-Elkins Act, the 1916 Act, and other statutes, all utilized the Ordinary Meaning Canon to find the meaning of the term “practice” as intended by Congress.42 All came to a reasoned conclusion that confirms the Commission's proposed interpretation.43

    41See, e.g., James Kent, Commentaries on American Law 432 (1826) (“The words of a statute are to be taken in their natural and ordinary signification and import; and if technical words are used, they are to be taken in a technical sense.”).

    42See Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, 1 U.S.S.B.B. 400 (1935); Whitam v. Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 66 F. Supp. 1014 (N.D. Tex. 1946); McClure v. Blackshere, 231 F. Supp. 678 (D. Md. 1964); Stockton Elevators, 8 F.M.C. 187 (1964); and European Trade Specialists, 19 S.R.R. 59 (FMC 1979).

    43 For a fuller discussion of the Ordinary Meaning Canon, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 641-642 (FMC 2016).

    (3) The Prior-Construction Canon requires that “[w]hen administrative and judicial interpretations have settled the meaning of an existing statutory provision, repetition of the same language in a new statute indicates, as a general matter, the intent to incorporate its administrative and judicial interpretations as well.” 44 Congress used the same 1916 Shipping Act language in the new 1984 Act. The Commission's holdings in Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, 1 U.S.S.B.B. 400 (1935), the case law, including ICA federal court cases, cited therein as supporting precedent,45 Altieri,46 Stockton Elevators, 47 the case law, including ICA federal court cases, cited therein as supporting precedent, and European Trade48 was incorporated into the new statute as well.49 Justice Felix Frankfurter expressed the maxim as “if a word is obviously transplanted from a legal source, whether the common law or other legislation, it brings the old soil with it.” 50

    44Bragdon v. Abbott, 524 U.S. 624, 645 (1998) (emphasis added).

    45Intercoastal at 432.

    46J.M. Altieri v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 7 F.M.C. 416 (ALJ 1962). “If the action of respondent were one of a series of such occurrences, a practice might be spelled out that would invoke the coverage of section 17. Hecht, Levis and Kahn, Inc. v. Isbrandtsen, Co., Inc., 3 F.M.B. 798 (1950). However, the action of the respondent is an isolated or `one shot' occurrence. Complainant has alleged and proved only the one instance of such conduct. It cannot be found to be a `practice' within the meaning of the last paragraph of section 17.” Id. at 420 (emphasis in original).)

    47 3 S.R.R. at 618 (“It cannot be found that the Elevators engaged in a `practice' within the meaning of section 17. The essence of a practice is uniformity. It is something habitually performed and it implies continuity . . . the usual course of conduct. It is not an occasional transaction such as here shown. Intercostal Investigation, 1935, 1. USSBB 400, 432; B&O Ry. Co., 274 F. 687, 690; Whitham v. Chicago R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 66 F. Supp. 1014; Wells Lamont Corp. v. Bowles, 149 F.2d 364.”).

    48 19 S.R.R. at 63. (“Even assuming, without deciding, that European was not notified of the classification and rating problem we cannot say that such conduct by Hipage amounts to a violation of Section 17. Unless its normal practice was not to so notify the shipper, such adverse treatment cannot be found to violate the section as a matter of law. Investigation of Certain Practices of Stockton Elevators, 8 F.M.C. 181, 200 [3 S.R.R. 605] (1964).” (emphasis in original)).

    49 For a more detailed discussion of the Prior-Construction Canon, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 647-649 (FMC 2016).

    50 Felix Frankfurter, Some Reflections on the Reading of Statutes, 47 Colum. L. Rev. 527, 537 (1947).

    (4) The Associated Words Canon of construction requires that associated words bear on one another's meaning. In Intercoastal Investigation, 1935, the United States Shipping Board considered the term “practice” as used in the 1916 Act and determined that, “[o]wing to its wide and variable connotation, a practice which unless restricted ordinarily means an often repeated and customary action, is deemed to apply only to acts or things belonging to the class as those meant by the words of the law that are associated with it.” 1 U.S.S.B.B. at 431-432 (emphasis added). The application of the term “practices” must be confined within the regulated transportation world of common carriage, its specialized lexicon and its association with various words including “rates,” “charges,” and “tariffs.” 51

    51 For a more detailed discussion of the Associated Word Canon, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 645 (FMC 2016).

    (5) In Atlantic Cleaners & Dryers, Inc. v. United States, 286 U.S. 427 (1932), the U.S. Supreme Court framed the Presumption of Consistent Usage Canon as follows, “[t]here is a natural presumption that identical words used in different parts of the same act are intended to have the same meaning. Id. at 433 (emphasis added). In the 1984 Act, Congress used the term “practice” or “practices” eight times in three different sections of the new legislation: Section 5 (Agreements); section 8 (Tariffs); and section 10 (Prohibited Acts). These usages of “practice” are in complete harmony with the original 1910 Mann-Elkins Act and the original section 17 of the 1916 Act's usage of “practices” referenced above.52

    52 For a more detailed discussion of the Presumption of Consistent Usage Canon, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 642-643 (FMC 2016).

    (6) The Whole-Text Canon requires that the entire statutory structure, statutory scheme and analysis must be considered. In K Mart Corp. v. Cartier, Inc., 486 U.S. 281 (1988), the U.S. Supreme Court expressed the Whole-Text Canon as follows, “In ascertaining the plain meaning of the statute, the court must look to the particular statutory language at issue, as well as the language and design of the statute as a whole.” Id. at 291. The Congressional intent, overall context and statutory mandate of the 1984 Shipping Act makes clear that Congress wanted the Commission to focus its regulatory authority on “establish[ing] a nondiscriminatory regulatory process for the common carriage of goods by water . . .” 53 and on maritime activities that: Result in substantial reduction in competition and are detrimental to commerce. In the 1998 amendments, Congress injected additional competitive market-driven provisions into the Shipping Act of 1984.54

    53See 46 U.S.C. 40101.

    54 For a more detailed discussion of the Whole Text Canon, see Gruenberg-Reisner v. Respondent Overseas Moving Specialist, 34 S.R.R. 613, 644 (FMC 2016).

    (7) The Gruenberg-Reisner decision, supra, also discusses the relevant application of the negative implication canon and the presumption against extraterritorial application canon. Last, Gruenberg-Reisner also discusses the duty of federal agencies to observe and adhere to the doctrine of stare decisis.55

    55See Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n v. State Farm Insurance, 463 U.S. 29 (1983). “[A]n agency changing its course . . . is obligated to supply a reasoned analysis for the change . . . .” Id. at 42. The Commission's case law affirmed this obligation in Harrington & Co. v. Georgia Ports Authority, 23 S.R.R. 753 (ALJ 1986), where the Commission held, “the decision to depart from precedent is not taken lightly and requires compelling reasons . . . the courts are emphatic in requiring agencies to follow their precedents or explain with good reason why they choose not to do so.” Id. at 766.

    D. Remedies

    The Commission is aware that modifying the application of recent § 41102(c) cases may pare back complainants' ability in some factual circumstances to claim a Shipping Act violation and thus seek redress before the Commission when they are harmed by an act or omission of a regulated entity. However, § 41102(c) was not designed to be the universal panacea for each and every problem or grievance that arises in the maritime realm of receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property. To interpret the Shipping Act as duplicative of every other statutory and common law maritime remedy would frustrate Congressional intent in enacting different statutory schemes and undermine the purpose of the Shipping Act.

    In A.N. Deringer, Inc. v. Marlin Marine Services, Inc., 25 S.R.R. 1273, 1276, 1277 (SO 1990), a post 1984 case that followed the Altieri, Intercoastal Investigation, Stockton Elevators, European Trade Specialists line of precedent in a case considering what is now § 41102(c), the Settlement Officer addressed the effect of an overly broad interpretation of section 10(d)(1) on other maritime statutes, such as the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA).56 COGSA is the United States enactment of the international convention commonly referred to as the Hague Rules. This treaty was intended to achieve a common set of international rules for the handling of cargo damage and loss claims.57 The Commission ALJ acknowledged the status of COGSA with the following Commission ruling:

    56 46 U.S.C. 3070, Public Law 109-304, 6(c), 120 Stat. 1516 (2006).

    57See Gilmore and Black, The Law of Admiralty, (2d ed. 1975). “This compromise was so well thought of that when, between 1921 and 1924, representatives of the shipping world and of the maritime nations sought by conference to arrive at terms suitable for uniform worldwide treatment of the shipper carrier relation under ocean bills of lading, the “Hague Rules” which they adopted, first as a set of clauses for voluntary inclusion in bills of lading and then as a Convention to which the adherence of maritime nations was invited, embodied the Harter Act compromise in the main outline. In 1936, the United States adhered to the Convention, and Congress passed in implementation the Carriage of Goods By Sea Act, which with minor differences follows verbatim the Hague Rules.” Id. at 144-145.

    It is clear that COGSA was enacted to clarify the responsibilities as well as the rights and immunities of carriers and ships with respect to loss and damage claims. Consequently, the use of the Shipping Act of 1984 to circumvent COGSA provisions would constitute a wholly unwarranted frustration of Congressional intent. Furthermore, some of the logical conclusions of such a step would be absurd. For example, COGSA provides a one-year period for the filing of suit; after that period, a claim is time barred. To accept Deringer's premise, one would have to conclude that a one-year period exists during which a claimant may file suit, but two additional years exist in which to file with the FMC. Inasmuch as COGSA stipulates that the carrier and ship, in the absence of a suit, are discharged from liability after one year, such a conclusion is unacceptable.

    Id. at 1277 (footnotes omitted).58

    58 In addition, with any COGSA litigation, the parties pay their own legal fees. Under a recent amendment to the 1984 Act in Title IV of the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, Public Law 113-281 enacted on December 18, 2014, the prevailing party in Shipping Act claims wins full reparation and may be awarded attorney fees.

    As a further note on the discordant conflict between COGSA and the Commission's current usage of section 10(d)(1) of the Shipping Act, consider that COGSA provides for a limitation of liability scheme, including a cargo valuation cap of $500 per customary freight unit unless the shipper declares a higher cargo value. As the A.N. Deringer decision noted, a claimant could wait for 366 days and then file its claim at the Commission under section 10(d)(1) and thereby avoid any COGSA limitations on the value of its cargo loss.

    This proffer of a conflict between section 10(d)(1) and COGSA is not speculation or a mere hypothetical. In the Commission's Kobel decision, supra, Respondent Hapag-Lloyd, the ocean vessel common carrier, was found to have violated section 10(d)(1) by virtue of damaging the Claimant's container during the loading process and then subsequently placing that damaged container on a later Hapag-Lloyd ship. The Commission then held that Hapag-Lloyd was; however, not liable for reparations because the damage to the container was not the proximate cause of the losses to the cargo. If the damaged container had allowed for water inundation with resulting cargo damage, then all legal elements would have been presented for an award to Claimants by virtue of the section 10(d)(1) violation.

    As a last observation concerning the comity between COGSA and the Shipping Act, consider section 2 of the Shipping Act's Declaration of Policy where Congress stated:

    The purposes of this Act are . . . (2) to provide an efficient and economic transportation system in the ocean commerce of the United States that is, insofar as possible, in harmony with, and responsive to, international shipping practices . . .59

    59 46 U.S.C. 40101(2) (emphasis added).

    As the Commission looks for guidance on Congressional intent concerning the scope, applicability, and proper interpretation of section 10(d)(1) and its relationship to the COGSA/Hague Rules, we find here a clear affirmative Congressional statement that directs the Commission to harmonize the Shipping Act with international shipping practices. The Hague Rules, as adopted by Congress, provide for a single internationally accepted set of rules for the treatment of the shipper-carrier relation under ocean bills of lading. An interpretation of the Shipping Act's section 10(d)(1) that provides for an alternative legal remedy for a cargo claim in the United States would create diametrical discord to this area of law.

    Returning the Commission's interpretation to its proper statutory purpose and scope will not leave claimants without remedy. Claimants would have full and adequate remedies under numerous legal proscriptions including common law, state statutes, admiralty law, and other federal statutes. Such claims should be presented to proper courts of common pleas. The Commission notes that other provisions or regulations of the Shipping Act could also provide remedy.60 The Commission also notes that bringing actions in traditional venues, such as state and federal courts, may be appropriate. Matters that may now be brought under § 41102(c) could also potentially be adjudicated as matters of contract law, agency law, or admiralty law. In cases prior to Kobel, it has been noted that remedy could have been sought in other venues. In Adair v. Penn-Nordic Lines, Inc., 26 S.R.R. 11 (ALJ 1991), the ALJ noted that the relevant conduct “would undoubtedly have contravened other standards of law under principles of contract and common carrier law applicable in courts of law and quite possibly Mr. Adair could have obtained relief . . . in a court of law or perhaps admiralty rather than before this Commission.” 61 The Commission is seeking public comment on whether alternative avenues for redress would be available should the Commission choose to reinterpret § 41102(c).

    60See Total Fitness Equipment, Inc. d/b/a/Professional Gym v. Worldlink Logistics, Inc., 28 S.R.R. 45 (ID 1997); Brewer v. Maralan, 29 S.R.R. 6 (FMC 2001).

    61Adair, 26 S.R.R. at 20-21.

    IV. Conclusion

    The Commission believes that the interpretation and application of § 41102(c) should be properly aligned with the broader common carriage foundation and purposes of the Act. The interpretive rule is consistent with the purposes of the Shipping Act and focuses Commission activities on regulated entities who abuse the maritime shipping public by imposing unjust and unreasonable business methods, and who do so on a normal, customary, and continuous basis, and thereby negatively impact maritime transportation competition or inflict detrimental effect upon the commerce of the United States. This interpretation reflects the clear intent of Congress and reflects Commission precedent articulated in Intercoastal Investigation, Altieri, Stockton Elevators, European Trade, and Deringer. Though the Commission is aware that the interpretive rule may redirect some claims in certain fact situations from being brought under the Shipping Act, the Commission believes that existing alternative avenues of redress are fully sufficient to address those cases. The Commission is therefore seeking comment on the proposed interpretation.

    V. Public Participation How do I prepare and submit comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the docket, please include the docket number of this document in your comments.

    You may submit your comments via email to the email address listed above under ADDRESSES. Please include the docket number associated with this notice and the subject matter in the subject line of the email. Comments should be attached to the email as a Microsoft Word or text-searchable PDF document. Only non-confidential and public versions of confidential comments should be submitted by email.

    You may also submit comments by mail to the address listed above under ADDRESSES.

    How do I submit confidential business information?

    The Commission will provide confidential treatment for identified confidential information to the extent allowed by law. If your comments contain confidential information, you must submit the following by mail to the address listed above under ADDRESSES:

    • A transmittal letter requesting confidential treatment that identifies the specific information in the comments for which protection is sought and demonstrates that the information is a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information.

    • A confidential copy of your comments, consisting of the complete filing with a cover page marked “Confidential-Restricted,” and the confidential material clearly marked on each page. You should submit the confidential copy to the Commission by mail.

    • A public version of your comments with the confidential information excluded. The public version must state “Public Version—confidential materials excluded” on the cover page and on each affected page, and must clearly indicate any information withheld. You may submit the public version to the Commission by email or mail.

    Will the Commission consider late comments?

    The Commission will consider all comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments received after that date.

    How can I read comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the comments received by the Commission at the Commission's Electronic Reading Room or the Docket Activity Library at the addresses listed above under ADDRESSES.

    VI. Rulemaking Analyses Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. 601-612) provides that whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the agency must prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) describing the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. 5 U.S.C. 603. An agency is not required to publish an IRFA, however, for the following types of rules, which are excluded from the APA's notice-and-comment requirement: Interpretative rules; general statements of policy; rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; and rules for which the agency for good cause finds that notice and comment is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to public interest. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

    Although the Commission has elected to seek public comment on this proposed rule, the rule is an interpretative rule. Therefore, the APA does not require publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking in this instance, and the Commission is not required to prepare an IRFA.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The Commission's regulations categorically exclude certain rulemakings from any requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because they do not increase or decrease air, water or noise pollution or the use of fossil fuels, recyclables, or energy. 46 CFR 504.4. The proposed rule describes the Commission's proposed interpretation of the scope of 46 U.S.C. 41102(c) and the elements necessary for a successful claim for reparations under that section. This rulemaking thus falls within the categorical exclusion for matters related solely to the issue of Commission jurisdiction and the exclusion for investigatory and adjudicatory proceedings to ascertain past violations of the Shipping Act. See 46 CFR 504.4(a)(20), (22). Therefore, no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA) requires an agency to seek and receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before collecting information from the public. 44 U.S.C. 3507. The agency must submit collections of information in proposed rules to OMB in conjunction with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. 5 CFR 1320.11. This proposed rule does not contain any collections of information as defined by 44. U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rule meets the applicable standards in E.O. 12988 titled, “Civil Justice Reform,” to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    Regulation Identifier Number

    The Commission assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Unified Agenda). The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda, available at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain.

    List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 545

    Antitrust, Exports, Freight forwarders, Maritime carriers, Non-vessel-operating common carriers, Ocean transportation intermediaries, Licensing requirements, Financial responsibility requirements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth above, the Federal Maritime Commission proposes to amend 46 CFR part 545 as follows:

    PART 545—INTERPRETATIONS AND STATEMENTS OF POLICY 1. The authority citation for part 545 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 553; 46 U.S.C. 305, 40307, 40501-40503, 41101-41106, and 40901-40904; 46 CFR 515.23.

    2. Add § 545.4 to read as follows:
    § 545.4 Interpretation of Shipping Act of 1984-Unjust and unreasonable practices.

    46 U.S.C. 41102(c) is interpreted to require the following elements in order to establish a successful claim for reparations:

    (a) The respondent is an ocean common carrier, marine terminal operator, or ocean transportation intermediary;

    (b) The claimed acts or omissions of the regulated entity are occurring on a normal, customary, and continuous basis;

    (c) The practice or regulation relates to or is connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property;

    (d) The practice or regulation is unjust or unreasonable; and

    (e) The practice or regulation is the proximate cause of the claimed loss.

    By the Commission.

    Rachel Dickon, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19328 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 48 CFR Parts 801, 815, 816, 837, 849, 852, and 871 RIN 2900-AQ20 VA Acquisition Regulation: Contracting by Negotiation; Service Contracting AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend and update its VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) in phased increments to revise or remove any policy superseded by changes in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to remove procedural guidance internal to VA into the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM), and to incorporate any new agency specific regulations or policies. These changes seek to streamline and align the VAAR with the FAR and remove outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden on contractors. The VAAM incorporates portions of the removed VAAR as well as other internal agency acquisition policy. VA will rewrite certain parts of the VAAR and VAAM, and as VAAR parts are rewritten, we will publish them in the Federal Register. VA will combine related topics, as appropriate. In particular, this rulemaking revises VAAR concerning Contracting by Negotiation and Service Contracting, as well as affected parts covering the Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation System, Types of Contracts, Termination of Contracts, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, and Loan Guaranty and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 6, 2018 to be considered in the formulation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. (This is not a toll-free number.) Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AQ20—VA Acquisition Regulation: Contracting by Negotiation; Service Contracting.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ricky L. Clark, Senior Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services, 003A2A, 425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 632-5276. This is not a toll-free number.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This rulemaking is issued under the authority of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act which provides the authority for an agency head to issue agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR.

    VA is proposing to revise the VAAR to add new policy or regulatory requirements and to remove any redundant guidance and guidance that is applicable only to VA's internal operating processes or procedures. Codified acquisition regulations may be amended and revised only through rulemaking. All amendments, revisions, and removals have been reviewed and concurred with by an Integrated Product Team of agency stakeholders.

    The VAAR uses the regulatory structure and arrangement of the FAR and headings and subject areas are consistent with the FAR content. The VAAR is divided into subchapters, parts (each of which covers a separate aspect of acquisition), subparts, and sections.

    The Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as codified in 41 U.S.C.1707, provides the authority for the Federal Acquisition Regulation and for the issuance of agency acquisition regulations consistent with the FAR.

    When Federal agencies acquire supplies and services using appropriated funds, the purchase is governed by the FAR, set forth at title 48 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter 1, parts 1 through 53, and the agency regulations that implement and supplement the FAR. The VAAR is set forth at title 48 CFR, chapter 8, parts 801 to 873.

    Discussion and Analysis

    The VA proposes to make the following changes to the VAAR in this phase of its revision and streamlining initiative. For procedural guidance cited below that is proposed to be deleted from the VAAR, each section cited for removal has been considered for inclusion in VA's internal agency operating procedures in accordance with FAR 1.301(a)(2). Similarly, delegations of authorities that are removed from the VAAR will be included in VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM) as internal agency guidance.

    VAAR Part 801—Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation System

    In the table in 801.106, we propose to amend the clause number 852.237-7 to 852.237-70 to conform to the FAR numbering system for agency regulations.

    VAAR Part 815—Contracting by Negotiation

    We propose to add 41 U.S.C. 1702 as an authority for part 815, which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency.

    We also propose to add 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, Positive Law codification that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein.

    In subpart 815.3, Source Selection, we propose to remove 815.303, Responsibilities, to the VAAM since it contains procedural guidance that is internal to the VA and will be updated and moved to the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM).

    We propose to remove 815.304, Evaluation factors and significant subfactors, and move it to the VAAM as it contains procedural guidance that is internal to the VA and will be updated and moved to the VAAM.

    We propose to amend section 815.304-70, Evaluation factor commitments, by deleting paragraph (a)(4). This paragraph was removed because the VA Mentor-Protégé Program is no longer current. We propose to revise the section by removing paragraph (b) and moving it to the VAAM as it contains procedural information. We also propose to renumber the paragraphs of the section accordingly.

    We propose to amend section 815.304-71, Solicitation provision and clause, to make a correction to add in the words “Small Business” that are missing in the current version of the VAAR.

    In subpart 815.3, Source Selection, we propose to add a new section, 815.370, Only one offer. This is a newly developed section for VA. The inclusion of this policy gives the contracting officer the ability to re-solicit for an action if they only receive one offer and if the solicitation gave offerors less than 30 days to submit a proposal. The following sections have been added to this section and provide additional guidance pertaining to this new policy: 815.370-1, Policy; 815.370-2, Promote competition; 815.370-3, Fair and reasonable price, 815.370-4, Exceptions and 815.370-5, Solicitation provision. These subsections under section 815.370 explain that it is VA policy, if only one offer is received in response to a competitive solicitation, to take action to promote competition and ensure that the price is fair and reasonable. It describes the necessary steps to meet these requirements. Section 815.370-4, Exceptions, cites the exceptions to the policy and 815.370-5, Solicitation provision, prescribes the inclusion of 852.215-72, Notice of Intent to Re-solicit, in competitive solicitations, including solicitations using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items that will be solicited for fewer than 30 days, unless an exception at 815.370-4 applies.

    We propose to remove subpart 815.4, Contract Pricing, as it contains procedural guidance that is internal to the VA and will therefore be moved to the VAAM.

    We propose to remove subpart 815.6, Unsolicited Proposals, as it contains procedural guidance that is internal to the VA and will therefore be moved to the VAAM.

    VAAR Part 816—Types of Contracts

    The authority citation for part 816 is revised to correct the citation for 41 U.S.C. 1121 by adding reference to paragraph (c)(3).

    In subpart 816.5, we propose to add section 816.506-70, Requirements—supplement for mortuary services, prescribing clause 852.216-76, Requirements—Supplement for Mortuary Services, for all contracts for mortuary services.

    VAAR Part 837—Service Contracting

    We propose to amend the authority citation for part 837 to add reference to the Crime Control Act of 1990 and the Pro-Children Act of 2001 which provide the authority for new clauses that address protection of children under contracts providing child care services. We also propose to add 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, Positive Law codification that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein.

    We also propose to revise the part 837 authorities to replace the 38 U.S.C. 501 citation with 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency. 38 U.S.C. 501 is a more general authority for the Secretary to utilize to prescribe all rules and regulations. The title 41 authority is more appropriate to cite when publishing the VAAR.

    We propose to remove section 837.103, Contracting officer responsibility, and to address the subject of documenting personal versus non-personal services determinations in the VAAM.

    We propose to remove the title and text at section 837.110, Solicitation provisions and contract clauses, since FAR 52.237-2 Protection of Government Buildings, Equipment and Vegetation and 852.228-71, Indemnification and Insurance, outline contractor liabilities and required insurance levels.

    We propose to amend section 837.110-70, Services provided to eligible beneficiaries, to retitle it “VA solicitation provisions and contract clauses,” to remove the prescription for the clause, 852.271-70, Nondiscrimination in services provided to beneficiaries, and to add the prescriptions for the new clauses 852.237-74, Nondiscrimination in Service Delivery, and 852.237-75, Key Personnel.

    In subpart 837.2, Advisory and Assistance Services, and section 837.203, Policy, we propose to remove the entire subpart since it duplicates coverage in FAR.

    In subpart 837.4, Nonpersonal Health Care Services, section 837.403, Contract clause, we propose to amend the section to redesignate it as section 837.403-70, VA contract clauses; to renumber clause 852.237-7, Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance, as 852.237-70 to conform to the FAR guidance for numbering of clauses; to insert in the clause a five day notice requirement for evidence of coverage and of any change in insurance providers during the term of the contract; and to add prescriptions for three new clauses that address protection of children under contracts providing child care services as required by FAR 37.103(d): 852.237-71, Nonsmoking Policy for Children Services; 852.237-72, Crime Control Act—Reporting of Child Abuse; and 852.237-73, Crime Control Act—Requirement for Background Checks.

    We propose the following revisions to subpart 837.70, Mortuary Services, to remove internal and outdated guidance and to address only acquisition policy affecting mortuary services:

    We propose to add section 837.7000, Scope, and to cite the statutory basis for the mortuary service benefits covered.

    We propose to remove the existing section 837.7001, General, and add a new section 837.7001, Solicitation provisions and contract clauses, to prescribe one new provision, 852.237-76, Award to Single Offeror; and four new clauses specific to the coverage of mortuary services: 852.237-77, Area of Performance, which describes the contractor's responsibilities both within and outside of the contract designated area of performance and the basis for payment of any transportation fees for pick-up from or delivery points outside that area; 852.237-78, Performance and Delivery, which requires the contractor's response to requests for services within 36 hours and allows the Government to require that the remains be held for up to 72 hours from completion of services; 852.237-79, Subcontracting, which stipulates that the Contractor shall not subcontract any work under this contract without the contracting officer's written approval and states the clause does not apply to contracts of employment between the Contractor and its personnel; and 852.237-80, Health Department and Transport Permits, which requires to contractor to meet all State and local licensing requirements and obtain and furnish all necessary health department and shipping permits at no additional cost to the Government. We also propose to add a cross-reference to the availability of clauses prescribed in 816.506-70 and 849.504-70.

    We propose to remove sections 837.7002, List of qualified funeral directors; 837.7003, Funeral authorization; 837.7004, Administrative necessity; and 837.7005, Unclaimed remains—all other cases, because this material is based on internal VA guidance that has been rescinded.

    VAAR Part 849—Termination of Contracts

    We propose to revise the authority citation for part 849 to add 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, Positive Law codification that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein.

    We also propose to revise the part 849 authorities to add 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency.

    In part 849, we propose to add subpart 849.5, Contract Termination Clauses, section 849.504, Termination of fixed-price contracts for default, which contains no text but implements FAR 49.504, and section 849.504-70, Termination of mortuary services, to prescribe a new clause 852.249-70, Termination for Default—Supplement for Mortuary Services.

    VAAR Part 852—Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses

    We propose to amend the authority citation for part 852 to add reference to the 20 U.S.C. 7181-7183 (Pro-children Act of 2001), and Public Law 101-647, (Crime Control Act of 1990) which provided the authority for new clauses that address protection of children under contracts providing child care services. We also propose to add as an authority 41 U.S.C. 1303, which is an updated positive law codification to reflect additional authority of the VA as an executive agency to issue regulations that are essential to implement Governmentwide policies and procedures in the agency, as well as to issue additional policies and procedures required to satisfy the specific needs of the VA.

    In subpart 852.2, we propose to amend 852.215-70, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Evaluation Factors. This was revised to change it from a clause to a provision and language was added to comply with the statute that requires that any business concern that is determined by VA to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented a company's SDVOSB/VOSB status is subject to debarment for a period of not less than five years.

    We propose to amend 852.215-71, Evaluation Factor Commitments. This was revised to add language to comply with the statute that requires that any business concern that is determined by VA to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented a company's SDVOSB/VOSB status is subject to debarment for a period of not less than five years.

    We propose to add clause 852.215-72, Notice of Intent to Re-Solicit, which informs offerors that in the event that only one offer is received in response to a solicitation that allows offerors fewer than 30 days to submit their proposal, the Contracting Officer may cancel the solicitation and re-solicit for an additional period of at least 30 days in accordance with 815.370-2.

    We propose to add clause 852.216-76, Requirements—Supplement for Mortuary Services, for all requirements contracts for mortuary services.

    We are providing the final publication and effective dates of March 2018 for the following clauses published in final under rule AP82: 852.216-71, 852.216-72, 852.216-73, 852.216-74, 852.216-75, 852.228-71, and 852.228-73.

    We propose to remove the title and text of clause 852.237-70, Contractor Responsibilities, which is determined to be unnecessary since FAR clause 52.237-2, Protection of Government Buildings, Equipment and Vegetation, and VAAR clause 852.228-71, Indemnification and Insurance, both outline contractor liabilities and required insurance levels.

    We propose to revise clause 852.237-7, Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance, to renumber it 852.237-70, and to make minor revisions to require the contracting officer to insert the dollar amount values of standard coverages prevailing within the local community as to the specific medical specialty, or specialties, concerned, or such higher amount as the contracting officer deems necessary to protect the Government's interests; and to insert a requirement for the contractor to notify the contracting officer within 5 days of becoming aware of a change in insurance providers during the performance period of the contract for all health-care providers performing under it; and to furnish to the contracting officer evidence of insurance at least five days before commencement of work.

    We propose to add the following clauses to address protection of children under contracts providing child care services as required by 20 U.S.C. 7181-7183 (Pro-Children Act of 2001), and Public Law 101-647, (Crime Control Act of 1990): 852.237-71, Nonsmoking Policy for Children's Services, prohibiting smoking in facilities where certain federally funded children's services are provided; 852.237-72, Crime Control Act—Reporting of Child Abuse, which imposes responsibilities on certain individuals who, while engaged in a professional capacity or activity, as defined in the Act, on Federal land or in a federally-operated (or contracted) facility, learn of facts that give the individual reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse; and 852.237-73, Crime Control Act—Requirement for Background Checks, which requires the contractor's compliance with the Act requiring that all individuals involved with the provision of child care services, as defined in the act, to children under the age of 18 undergo a criminal background check.

    We propose to add new clause 852.237-75, Key Personnel, requiring the written consent of the Contracting Officer to changes in key personnel, and new clauses specific to the coverage of mortuary services: 852.237-76, Award to Single Offeror, to stipulate that awards will be made to a single offeror rather than to multiple offerors; 852.237-77, Area of Performance, to clarify Contractor's responsibilities for its designated area of service; 852.237-78, Performance and Delivery, to specify the required time frame for completion of services and the Government's right to require a hold on services; 852.237-79, Subcontracting, to require the Contracting Officer's written approval to subcontract any work; and 852.237-80, Health Department and Transport Permits, to stipulate the contractor's responsibility to obtain all transport permits required under the contract at no additional cost to the Government.

    We propose to add the clause 852.249-70, Termination for Default—Supplement for Mortuary Services, for use in contracts for mortuary services. This clause expressly identifies actions, such as soliciting families of decedents to provide additional services, subcontracting services without Government consent, or refusing to perform services for any particular remains.

    We propose to redesignate and retitle clause 852.271-70, Non-discrimination in Services Provided to Beneficiaries, as 852.237-74, Non-discrimination in Service Delivery, and prescribed the clause at under VAAR section 837.110-70(a) to conform to FAR structure. This clause states that it is the policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that no person otherwise eligible will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the administration of VA programs and services based on non-merit factors such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability (physical or mental). This clause also stipulates that by acceptance of this contract, the contractor agrees to comply with this policy in supporting the program and in performing the services called for under this contract. The clause is revised to clarify the language and the contractor's obligation to ensure that each of its employees, and any sub-contractor staff, is made aware of, understands, and complies with this policy.

    VAAR Part 871—Loan Guaranty and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs

    In the authority citation for part 871, we propose to add 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, Positive Law codification that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein.

    We also propose to revise the part 871 authorities to replace the 38 U.S.C. 501 citation with 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency. 38 U.S.C. 501 is a more general authority for the Secretary to utilize to prescribe all rules and regulations. The title 41 authority is more appropriate to cite when publishing the VAAR. In section 871.212, we propose to revise this section to redesignate the first paragraph as (a); to remove the prescription of clause 852.271-70, Nondiscrimination In Services Provided To Beneficiaries; to renumber the remaining paragraphs as (1) through (4); and to add new paragraph (b) to refer the contracting officer to section 837.110-70(a) for the prescription of the new clause 852.237-74, Non-discrimination In Service Delivery.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    Title 48, Federal Acquisition Regulations System, Chapter 8, Department of Veterans Affairs, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent VA's implementation of its legal authority and publication of the VAAR for the cited applicable parts. Other than future amendments to this rule or governing statutes for the cited applicable parts, or as otherwise authorized by approved deviations or waivers in accordance with FAR subpart 1.4, Deviations from the FAR, and as implemented by VAAR subpart 801.4, Deviations from the FAR or VAAR, no contrary guidance or procedures would be authorized. All existing or subsequent VA guidance would be read to conform with the rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance would be superseded by this rulemaking as pertains to the cited applicable VAAR parts.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders (E.O.) 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. E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review defines “significant regulatory action” to mean any regulatory action 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 this Executive Order.” VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action, and it has been determined this rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at http://www.va.gov/orpm by following the link for VA Regulations Published from FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507) requires that VA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. See also 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi). This proposed rule will impose one new and one amended information collection requirement. Accordingly, under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), VA has submitted a copy of this rulemaking action OMB for its review. Notice of OMB approval for the new information collection and the information collection amendment will be published in a future Federal Register document.

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), a current collection of information, OMB No. 2900-0590, contained in part 837 at proposed section 837.403-70 (currently numbered 837.403) and in part 852 at proposed section 852.237-70 (currently numbered 852.237-7), is being revised as set forth in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION portion of this proposed rule. The clause number that appears in the table at 801.106 is also proposed to be revised accordingly.

    Summary of collection of information: This action contains provisions constituting an existing information collection at 48 CFR 837.403 and 852.237-7, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) and has been assigned OMB control number 2900-0590. This action proposes revisions to 837.403 to renumber it as 837.403-70, to retitle it as “VA contract clauses,” and to renumber the clause as 852.237-70 while retaining the title, “Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance.”

    Clause 852.237-70 is used in lieu of FAR clause 52.237-7, Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance, in solicitations and contracts for the acquisition of non-personal health care services. It requires the apparent successful bidder/offeror, upon the request of the contracting officer, prior to contract award, to furnish evidence of insurability of the offeror and/or all health-care providers who will perform under the contract. In addition, the clause requires the contractor, prior to commencement of services under the contract, to provide Certificates of Insurance or insurance policies evidencing that the firm possesses the types and amounts of insurance required by the solicitation. We propose to modify the collection to require the contractor to notify the contracting officer within five days of becoming aware of a change in insurance providers during the performance period of this contract for all health-care providers performing under this contract, and to provide to the contracting officer evidence of such insurance for any subcontractor at least five days before commencement of work by that subcontractor.

    Description of need for information and proposed use of information: The information is required in order to protect VA by ensuring that the firm to which award may be made and the individuals who may provide health care services under the contract are insurable and that, following award, the contractor and its employees will continue to possess the types and amounts of insurance required by the solicitation. It helps ensure that VA will not be held liable for any negligent acts of the contractor or its employees and ensures that VA and VA beneficiaries will be protected by adequate insurance coverage. The clause number is changed to 852.237-70 to conform to the FAR guidance for numbering of clauses. The burden imposed by this collection remains unchanged as follows:

    Estimated number of respondents annually: 1,500.

    Estimated frequency of responses: One response for each contract to be awarded.

    Estimated average burden per collection: 30 minutes.

    Estimate of the total annual hour burden of the collection of information: 750 hours.

    Annual cost to all respondents: $15,000 (at $20 per hour, based on our belief that the majority of the labor effort would be clerical similar to GS-5).

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), a new collection of information is proposed, under OMB No. 2900-AQ20, that is contained in Part 837 at proposed section 837.403-70 and Part 852 at proposed clause 852.237-73, as set forth in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION portion of this proposed rule. The clause number and the OMB clearance number would be added to the table at 801.106.

    Summary of collection of information: Under the Crime Control Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13041), each agency of the Federal Government, and every facility operated by the Federal Government, or operated under contract with the Federal Government, that hires, or contracts for hire, individuals involved with the provision of child care services to children under the age of 18 shall assure that all existing and newly-hired employees undergo a criminal history background check.

    New VAAR clause 852.237-73, Crime Control Act—Requirement for Background Checks, is required in all solicitations, contracts, and orders that involve providing child care services to children under the age of 18, including social services, health and mental health care, child-(day) care, education (whether or not directly involved in teaching), and rehabilitative programs covered under the statute.

    Description of need for information and proposed use of information: The contract clause would require the contractor to perform the background checks on behalf of VA to assure the safety of children under the age of 18 that are recipients of services under a VA program. It is intended to assure their safety by avoiding hiring individuals with a history of criminal acts and especially acts of child abuse.

    Estimated number of respondents annually: 500.

    Estimated frequency of responses: 20 per contract awarded.

    Estimated average burden per collection: 1 hour.

    Estimate of the total annual hour burden of the collection of information: 10,000 hours.

    Annual cost to all respondents: $550,000 ($55 rate including fringe benefits and assuming senior level (GS-13) technical specialist).

    This clause would enable the VA to be in compliance with the Crime Control Act of 1990 and to protect children that are within its health care systems.

    Interested persons have 60 days in which to provide comment on the information collection. The Department considers comments by the public on proposed collections of information in—

    • Evaluating whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluating the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the proposed collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimizing the burden of the collections 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.

    Comments on the collection of information contained in this proposed rule should be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503, with copies sent by mail or hand delivery to the Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; fax to (202) 273-9026, email to www.Regulations.gov. Comments should indicate they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AQ20.”

    Individuals are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the proposed collection of information contained in this proposed rule between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. This does not affect the deadline for the public to comment on the proposed regulation.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This proposed rule will generally be small business neutral. The overall impact of the proposed rule will be of benefit to small businesses owned by Veterans or Service-Disabled Veterans as the VAAR is being updated to remove extraneous procedural information that applies only to VA's internal operating procedures. VA estimates no cost impact to individual business would result from these rule updates. On this basis, the adoption of this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this proposed rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal Governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal Governments or on the private sector.

    List of Subjects 48 CFR Part 801

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    48 CFR Parts 815, 816, 837, and 849

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 852

    Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    48 CFR Part 871

    Government procurement, Loan programs—social programs, Loan programs—veterans, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vocational rehabilitation.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Wilkie, Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on August 20, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: August 21, 2018. Consuela Benjamin, Regulations Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 48 CFR parts 801, 815, 816, 837, 849, 852 and 871 as follows:

    PART 801—DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ACQUISITION REGULATION SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 801 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 801.1—Purpose, Authority, Issuance
    801.106 [Amended]
    2. Amend the table in section 801.106 by removing clause number 852.237-7 and adding in its place clause number 852.237-70. PART 815—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 3. The authority citation for part 815 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 8127 and 8128; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702 and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 815.3—Source Selection
    815.303 [Removed]
    4. Section 815.303 is removed.
    815.304 [Removed]
    5. Section 815.304 is removed. 6. Section 815.304-70 is revised to read as follows:
    815.304-70 Evaluation factor commitments.

    VA contracting officers shall—

    (a) Include the provision at 852.215-70, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) Evaluation Factors, in negotiated solicitations giving preference to offers received from VOSBs and additional preference to offers received from SDVOSBs;

    (b) Use past performance in meeting SDVOSB subcontracting goals as a non-price evaluation factor in making award determination; and

    (c) Use the proposed inclusion of SDVOSBs or VOSBs as subcontractors as an evaluation factor when competitively negotiating the award of contracts or task or delivery orders.

    7. Section 815.340-71 is revised to read as follows:
    815.304-71 Solicitation provision and clause.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 852.215-70, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Evaluation Factors, in competitively negotiated solicitations that are not set aside for SDVOSBs or VOSBs.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.215-71, Evaluation Factor Commitments, in solicitations and contracts that include VAAR provision 852.215-70, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Evaluation Factors.

    8. Section 815.370 is added to read as follows:
    815.370 Only one offer.
    9. Section 815.370-1 is added to read as follows:
    815.370-1 Policy.

    It is VA policy, if only one offer is received in response to a competitive solicitation, to—

    (a) Take action to promote competition (see 815.370-2); and

    (b) Ensure that the price is fair and reasonable (see 815.370-3) and to comply with the statutory requirement for certified cost or pricing data (see FAR 15.403-4).

    10. Section 815.370-2 is added to read as follows:
    815.370-2 Promote competition.

    Except as provided in 815.370-4, if only one offer is received when competitive procedures were used and the solicitation allowed fewer than 30 days for receipt of proposals, the contracting officer should—

    (a) Consult with the requiring activity as to whether the requirements document should be revised in order to promote more competition (see FAR 6.502(b) and 11.002); and

    (b) Consider re-soliciting, allowing an additional period of at least 30 days for receipt of proposals.

    11. Section 815.370-3 is added to read as follows:
    815.370-3 Fair and reasonable price.

    (a) If there was “reasonable expectation that two or more offerors, competing independently, would submit priced offers” but only one offer is received, this circumstance does not constitute adequate price competition unless an official at a level above the contracting officer approves the determination that the price is reasonable (see FAR 15.403-1(c)(1)(ii)).

    (b) Except as provided in 815.370-4(a), if only one offer is received when competitive procedures were used and the solicitation allowed at least 30 days for receipt of proposals (unless the 30-day requirement is not applicable in accordance with 815.370-4(a)(3), the contracting officer shall—

    (1) Determine through cost or price analysis that the offered price is fair and reasonable and that adequate price competition exists (with approval of the determination at a level above the contracting officer) or another exception to the requirement for certified cost or pricing data applies (see FAR 15.403-1(c) and 15.403-4). In these circumstances, no further cost or pricing data is required; or

    (2)(i) Obtain from the offeror cost or pricing data necessary to determine a fair and reasonable price and comply with the requirement for certified cost or pricing data at FAR 15.403-4. For acquisitions that exceed the cost or pricing data threshold, if no exception at FAR 15.403-1(b) applies, the cost or pricing data shall be certified; and

    (ii) Enter into negotiations with the offeror as necessary to establish a fair and reasonable price. The negotiated price should not exceed the offered price.

    12. Section 815.370-4 is added to read as follows:
    815.370-4 Exceptions.

    (a) The requirements at 815.370-2 do not apply to—

    (1) Acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition threshold;

    (2) Acquisitions in support of emergency, humanitarian or peacekeeping operations, or to facilitate defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack;

    (3) Small business set-asides under FAR subpart 19.5, set asides offered and accepted into the 8(a) Program under FAR subpart 19.8, or set-asides under the HUBZone Program (see FAR 19.1305(c)), the VA Small Business Program (see VAAR 819), or the Women-Owned Small Business Program (see FAR 19.1505(d));

    (4) Acquisitions of basic or applied research or development, as specified in FAR 35.016(a), that use a broad agency announcement; or

    (5) Acquisitions of architect-engineer services (see FAR 36.601-2).

    (b) The applicability of an exception in paragraph (a) of this section does not eliminate the need for the contracting officer to seek maximum practicable competition and to ensure that the price is fair and reasonable.

    13. Section 815.370-5 is added to read as follows:
    815.370-5 Solicitation provision.

    Use the provision at 852.215-72, Notice of intent to re-solicit, in competitive solicitations, including solicitations using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items that will be solicited for fewer than 30 days, unless an exception at 815.370-4 applies.

    Subpart 815.4—[Removed and Reserved] 14. Subpart 815.4 is removed and reserved. Subpart 815.6—[Removed and Reserved] 15. Subpart 815.6 is removed and reserved. PART 816—TYPES OF CONTRACTS 16. The authority citation for part 816 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 816.5—Indefinite-Delivery Contracts 17. Section 816.506-70 is added to read as follows:
    816.506-70 Requirements—supplement for mortuary services.

    Insert the clause 852.216-76, Requirements—Supplement for Mortuary Services, in contracts for mortuary services containing FAR clause 52.216-21, Requirements. The contracting officer shall insert activities authorized to place orders in paragraph (e) of the clause.

    PART 837—SERVICE CONTRACTING 18. The authority citation for part 837 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Public Law 101-647; 20 U.S.C. 7181-7183; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 837.1—Service Contracts—General
    837.103 [Removed]
    19. Section 837.103 is removed.
    837.110 [Removed]
    20. Section 837.110 is removed. 21. Section 837.110-70 is revised to read as follows:
    837.110-70 VA solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (a) Contracting officers shall include the clause at 852.237-74, Nondiscrimination in Service Delivery, in all solicitations and contracts covering services provided to eligible beneficiaries.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.237-75, Key Personnel, in solicitations and contracts when the contracting officer will require the contractor to designate contractor key personnel.

    Subpart 837.2—[Removed and Reserved] 22. Subpart 837.2 is removed and reserved.
    837.203 [Removed]
    23. Section 837.203 is removed. Subpart 837.4—Nonpersonal Health Care Services 24. Section 837.403 is revised to read as follows:
    837.403-70 VA contract clauses.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.237-70, Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance, in lieu of FAR clause 52.237-7, in solicitations and contracts for nonpersonal health-care services, including contracts awarded under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7409, 38 U.S.C. 8151-8153, and part 873. The contracting officer may include the clause in bilateral purchase orders for nonpersonal health-care services awarded under the procedures in FAR part 13 and part 813.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.237-71, Nonsmoking Policy for Children's Services, in solicitations, contracts, and orders that involve health or daycare services that are provided to children under the age of 18 on a routine or regular basis pursuant to the Nonsmoking Policy for Children's Services (20 U.S.C. 6081-6084).

    (c) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.237-72, Crime Control Act—Reporting of Child Abuse, in solicitations, contracts, and orders that require performance on Federal land or in a federally operated (or contracted) facility and involve the professions/activities performed by persons specified in the Crime Control Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13031) including, but not limited to, teachers, social workers, physicians, nurses, dentists, health care practitioners, optometrists, psychologists, emergency medical technicians, alcohol or drug treatment personnel, child care workers and administrators, emergency medical technicians and ambulance drivers.

    (d) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.237-73, Crime Control Act—Requirement for Background Checks, in solicitations, contracts, and orders that involve providing child care services to children under the age of 18, including social services, health and mental health care, child- (day) care, education (whether or not directly involved in teaching), and rehabilitative programs covered under the Crime Control Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13041).

    Subpart 837.70—Mortuary Services 25. Section 837.7000 is added to read as follows:
    837.7000 Scope.

    This subpart applies to mortuary (funeral and burial) services for beneficiaries of VA as provided in 38 U.S.C. 2302, 2303, and 2308 when it is determined that a contract would be the most efficient and effective method. Contract payment terms for use of the purchase card as a method of payment should also be considered.

    26. Section 837.7001 is revised to read as follows:
    837.7001 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the basic or the alternate of the provision at 852.237-76, Award to Single Offeror, in solicitations and contracts for mortuary services as follows:

    (1) Insert the provision in all sealed bid solicitations for mortuary services; and

    (2) Insert the basic provision with its alternate I in all negotiated solicitations for mortuary services.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert in addition to FAR 52.216-21 Requirements, ALT VI, the following VA clauses in all mortuary service solicitations and contracts:

    (1) 852.237-77, Area of Performance.

    (2) 852.237-78, Performance and Delivery.

    (3) 852.237-79, Subcontracting.

    (4) 852.237-80, Health Department and Transport Permits.

    (c) See also 816.506-70 and 849.504-70 for additional clauses for use in contracts for mortuary services.

    837.7002 [Removed]
    27. Section 837.7002 is removed.
    837.7003 [Removed]
    28. Section 837.7003 is removed.
    837.7004 [Removed]
    29. Section 837.7004 is removed.
    837.7005 [Removed]
    30. Section 837.7005 is removed. PART 849—TERMINATION OF CONTRACTS 31. The authority citation for part 849 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    32. Subpart 849.5 is added to read as follows: Subpart 849.5—Contract Termination Clauses
    849.504 Termination of fixed-price contracts for default.
    849.504-70 Termination of mortuary services.

    Use the clause at 852.249-70, Termination for Default—Supplement for Mortuary Services, in all solicitations and contracts for mortuary services. This clause is to be used with FAR clause 52.249-8, Default (Fixed-Price Supply and Service).

    PART 852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 33. The authority citation for part 852 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Public Law 101-647; 20 U.S.C. 7181-7183; 38 U.S.C. 8127-8128, and 8151-8153; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1303; 41 U.S.C 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 852.2—Texts of Provisions and Clauses 34. Section 852.215-70 is revised to read as follows:
    852.215-70 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Evaluation Factors.

    As prescribed in 815.304-71(a), insert the following provision:

    Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Evaluation Factors (Date)

    (a) In an effort to achieve socioeconomic small business goals, VA shall evaluate offerors based on their service-disabled veteran-owned or veteran-owned small business status and their proposed use of eligible service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses as subcontractors.

    (b) Eligible service-disabled veteran-owned offerors will receive full credit, and offerors qualifying as veteran-owned small businesses will receive partial credit for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-owned Small Business Status evaluation factor. To receive credit, an offeror must be registered and verified in Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database.

    (c) Non-veteran offerors proposing to use service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses or veteran-owned small businesses as subcontractors will receive some consideration under this evaluation factor. Offerors must state in their proposals the names of the SDVOSBs and VOSBs with whom they intend to subcontract and provide a brief description of the proposed subcontracts and the approximate dollar values of the proposed subcontracts. In addition, the proposed subcontractors must be registered and verified in the VIP database.

    (d) Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 8127(g), any business concern that is determined by VA to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented a company's SDVOSB/VOSB status is subject to debarment for a period of not less than five years. This includes the debarment of all principals in the business.

    (End of provision)
    35. Section 85.215-71 is revised to read as follows:
    852.215-71 Evaluation Factor Commitments.

    As prescribed in 815.304-71(b), insert the following clause:

    Evaluation Factor Commitments (Date)

    (a) The offeror agrees, if awarded a contract, to use the service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses or veteran-owned small businesses proposed as subcontractors in accordance with 852.215-70, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Evaluation Factors, or to substitute one or more service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses or veteran-owned small businesses for subcontract work of the same or similar value.

    (b) Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 8127(g), any business concern that is determined by VA to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented a company's SDVOSB/VOSB status is subject to debarment for a period of not less than five years. This includes the debarment of all principals in the business.

    (End of clause)
    36. Section 852.215-72 is added to read as follows:
    852.215-72 Notice of Intent to Re-Solicit.

    As prescribed at 815.370-5, use the following provision:

    Notice of Intent To Re-Solicit (Date)

    This solicitation provides offerors fewer than 30 days to submit proposals. In the event that only one offer is received in response to this solicitation, the Contracting Officer may cancel the solicitation and re-solicit for an additional period of at least 30 days in accordance with 815.370-2.

    (End of provision)
    37. Section 852.216-71 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.216-71 Economic Price Adjustment of Contract Price(s) Based on a Price Index. Economic Price Adjustment of Contract Price(s) Based on a Price Index (Mar 2018)
    38. Section 852.216-72 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.216-72 Proportional Economic Price Adjustment of Contract Price(s) Based on a Price Index. Proportional Economic Price Adjustment of Contract Price(s) Based on a Price Index (Mar 2018)
    39. Section 852.216-73 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.216-73 Economic Price Adjustment—State Nursing Home Care for Veterans. Economic Price Adjustment—State Nursing Home Care for Veterans (Mar 2018)
    40. Section 852.216-74 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.216-74 Economic Price Adjustment—Medicaid Labor Rates. Economic Price Adjustment—Medicaid Labor Rates (Mar 2018)
    41. Section 852.216-75 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.216-75 Economic Price Adjustment—Fuel Surcharge. Economic Price Adjustment—Fuel Surcharge (Mar 2018)
    42. Section 852.216-76 is added to read as follows:
    852.216-76 Requirements—Supplement for Mortuary Services.

    As prescribed in 816.506-70, insert the following clause:

    Requirements—Supplement for Mortuary Services (Date)

    (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this clause, the Government will order from the Contractor all of its requirements in the area of performance for the supplies and services listed in the schedule of this contract.

    (b) Each order will be issued as a delivery order and will list—

    (1) The supplies or services being ordered;

    (2) The quantities to be furnished;

    (3) Delivery or performance dates;

    (4) Place of delivery or performance;

    (5) Packing and shipping instructions;

    (6) The address to send invoices; and

    (7) The funds from which payment will be made.

    (c) The Government may elect not to order supplies and services under this contract in instances where the body is removed from the area for medical, scientific, or other reason.

    (d) In an epidemic or other emergency, the contracting activity may obtain services beyond the capacity of the Contractor's facilities from other sources.

    (e) Contracting Officers of the following activities may order services and supplies under this contract—

    (End of clause)
    43. Section 852.228-71 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.228-71 Indemnification and Insurance. Indemnification and Insurance (Mar 2018)
    44. Section 852.228-73 is amended by revising the section heading and clause heading to read as follows:
    852.228-73 Indemnification of Contractor—Hazardous Research Projects. Indemnification of Contractor—Hazardous Research Projects (Mar 2018)
    852.237-70 [Removed]
    45. Section 852.237-70 is removed.
    852.237-7 [Redesignated as 852.237-70 and Amended]
    46. Section 852.237-7 is redesignated as section 852.237-70 and the newly redesignated section is revised to read as follows:
    852.237-70 Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance.

    As prescribed in 837.403-70(a), insert the following clause:

    Indemnification and Medical Liability Insurance (Date)

    (a) It is expressly agreed and understood that this is a non-personal services contract, as defined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 37.101, under which the professional services rendered by the Contractor or its health-care providers are rendered in its capacity as an independent contractor. The Government may evaluate the quality of professional and administrative services provided but retains no control over professional aspects of the services rendered including, by example, the Contractor's or its health-care providers' professional medical judgment, diagnosis, or specific medical treatments. The Contractor and its health-care providers shall be liable for their liability-producing acts or omissions. The Contractor shall maintain or require all health-care providers performing under this contract to maintain, during the term of this contract, professional liability insurance issued by a responsible insurance carrier of not less than the following amount(s) per specialty per occurrence: [Contracting Officer's Note: Insert the dollar amount value(s) of standard coverage(s) prevailing within the local community as to the specific medical specialty, or specialties, concerned, or such higher amount as the Contracting Officer deems necessary to protect the Government's interests.] However, if the Contractor is an entity or a subdivision of a State that either provides for self-insurance or limits the liability or the amount of insurance purchased by State entities, then the insurance requirement of this contract shall be fulfilled by incorporating the provisions of the applicable State law.

    (b) An apparently successful offeror, upon request of the Contracting Officer, shall, prior to contract award, furnish evidence of the insurability of the offeror and/or of all health-care providers who will perform under this contract. The submission shall provide evidence of insurability concerning the medical liability insurance required by paragraph (a) of this clause or the provisions of State law as to self-insurance, or limitations on liability or insurance.

    (c) The Contractor shall, prior to commencement of services under the contract, provide to the Contracting Officer Certificates of Insurance or insurance policies evidencing the required insurance coverage and an endorsement stating that any cancellation or material change adversely affecting the Government's interest shall not be effective until 30 days after the insurer or the Contractor gives written notice to the Contracting Officer. Certificates or policies shall be provided for the Contractor and/or each health-care provider who will perform under this contract.

    (d) The Contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer within 5 days of becoming aware of a change in insurance providers during the performance period of this contract for all health-care providers performing under this contract. The notification shall provide evidence that the Contractor and/or health-care providers will meet all the requirements of this clause, including those concerning liability insurance and endorsements. These requirements may be met either under the new policy, or a combination of old and new policies, if applicable.

    (e) The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (e), in all subcontracts for health-care services under this contract. The Contractor shall be responsible for compliance by any subcontractor or lower-tier subcontractor with the provisions set forth in paragraph (a) of this clause. At least 5 days before the commencement of work by any subcontractor, the Contractor shall furnish to the Contracting Officer evidence of such insurance.

    (End of clause)
    47. Section 852.237-71 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-71 Nonsmoking Policy for Children's Services.

    As prescribed in 837.403-70(b), insert the following clause:

    Nonsmoking Policy for Children's Services (Date)

    (a) Smoking in facilities where certain federally funded children's services are provided shall be prohibited. The Pro-Children Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. 7181-7183) prohibits smoking within any indoor facility (or portion thereof), whether owned, leased, or contracted for, that is used for the routine or regular provision of health or day care services that are provided to children under the age of 18. The statutory prohibition also applies to indoor facilities that are constructed, operated, or maintained with Federal funds.

    (b) By acceptance of this contract or order, the Contractor agrees to comply with the requirements of the Act. The Act also applies to all subcontracts awarded under this contract for the specified children's services. Accordingly, the Contractor shall ensure that each of its employees, and any subcontractor staff, is made aware of, understands, and complies with the provisions of the Act. Failure to comply with the Act may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for each violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity. Each day a violation continues constitutes a separate violation.

    (End of clause)
    48. Section 852.237-72 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-72 Crime Control Act—Reporting of Child Abuse.

    As prescribed in 837.403-70(c), insert the following clause:

    Crime Control Act—Reporting of Child Abuse (Date)

    (a) Public Law 101-647, also known as the Crime Control Act of 1990 (Act), imposes responsibilities on certain individuals who, while engaged in a professional capacity or activity, as defined in the Act, on Federal land or in a federally-operated (or contracted) facility, learn of facts that give the individual reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse.

    (b) The Contractor shall comply with the requirements of the Act. The Act also applies to all applicable subcontracts awarded under this contract. Accordingly, the Contractor shall ensure that each of its employees, and any subcontractor staff, is made aware of, understands, and complies with the provisions of the Act.

    (End of clause)
    49. Section 852.237-73 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-73 Crime Control Act—Requirement for Background Checks.

    As prescribed in 837.403-70(d), insert the following clause:

    Crime Control Act of 1990—Requirement for Background Checks (Date)

    (a) Public Law 101-647, also known as the Crime Control Act of 1990 (Act), requires that all individuals involved with the provision of child care services, as defined in the Act, to children under the age of 18 undergo a criminal background check.

    (b) The Contracting Officer will provide the necessary information to the Contractor regarding the process for obtaining the background check. The Contractor may hire a staff person provisionally prior to the completion of a background check, if at all times prior to the receipt of the background check during which children are in the care of the newly-hired person, the person is within the sight and under the supervision of a previously investigated staff person.

    (c) The Contractor shall comply with the requirements of the Act. The Act also applies to all applicable subcontracts awarded under the contract. Accordingly, the Contractor shall ensure that each of its employees, and any subcontractor staff, is made aware of, understands, and complies with the provisions of the Act.

    (End of clause)
    50. Section 852.237-74 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-74 Non-Discrimination in Service Delivery.

    As prescribed in 837.110-70(a), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause in solicitations and contracts:

    Non-Discrimination in Service Delivery (Date)

    It is the policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that no person otherwise eligible will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the administration of VA programs and services based on non-merit factors such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability (physical or mental). By acceptance of this contract, the contractor agrees to comply with this policy in supporting the program and in performing the services called for under this contract. The contractor shall include this clause in all sub-contracts awarded under this contract for supporting or performing the specified program and services. Accordingly, the contractor shall ensure that each of its employees, and any sub-contractor staff, is made aware of, understands, and complies with this policy.

    (End of clause)
    51. Section 852.237-75 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-75 Key Personnel.

    As prescribed in 837.110-70(b), insert the following clause:

    Key Personnel (Date)

    The key personnel specified in this contract are considered to be essential to work performance. At least 30 days prior to the contractor voluntarily diverting any of the specified individuals to other programs or contracts the Contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer and shall submit a justification for the diversion or replacement and a request to replace the individual. The request must identify the proposed replacement and provide an explanation of how the replacement's skills, experience, and credentials meet or exceed the requirements of the contract. If the employee of the contractor is terminated for cause or separates from the contractor voluntarily with less than thirty days notice, the Contractor shall provide the maximum notice practicable under the circumstances. The Contractor shall not divert, replace, or announce any such change to key personnel without the written consent of the Contracting Officer. The contract will be modified to add or delete key personnel as necessary to reflect the agreement of the parties.

    (End of clause)
    52. Section 852.237-76 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-76 Award to Single Offeror.

    As prescribed in 837.7001(a)(1), insert the following provision:

    Award to Single Offeror (Date)

    (a) Award shall be made to a single offeror.

    (b) Offerors shall include unit prices for each item. Failure to include unit prices for each item will be cause for rejection of the entire offer.

    (c) The Government will evaluate offers on the basis of the estimated quantities shown.

    (d) Award will be made to that responsive, responsible offeror whose total aggregate offer is the lowest price to the Government.

    (End of provision)

    Alternate I (DATE). As prescribed in 837.7001(a)(2), insert the following paragraph (d) in lieu of paragraph (d) of the basic provision:

    (d) Award will be made to that responsive, responsible offeror whose total aggregate offer is in the best interest of the Government.

    53. Section 852.237-77 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-77 Area of Performance.

    As prescribed in 837.7001(b)(1), insert the following clause:

    Area of Performance (Date)

    (a) The area of performance is as specified in the contract.

    (b) The Contractor shall take possession of the remains at the place where they are located, transport them to the Contractor's place of preparation, and later transport them to a place designated by the Contracting Officer.

    (c) The Contractor will not be reimbursed for transportation when both the place where the remains were located and the delivery point are within the area of performance.

    (d) If remains are located outside the area of performance, the Contracting Officer may place an order with the Contractor under this contract or may obtain the services elsewhere. If the Contracting Officer requires the Contractor to transport the remains into the area of performance, the Contractor shall be paid the amount per mile in the schedule for the number of miles required to transport the remains by a reasonable route from the point where located to the boundary of the area of performance.

    (e) The Contracting Officer may require the Contractor to deliver remains to any point within 100 miles of the area of performance. In this case, the Contractor shall be paid the amount per mile in the schedule for the number of miles required to transport the remains by a reasonable route from the boundary of the area of performance to the delivery point.

    (End of clause)
    54. Section 852.237-78 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-78 Performance and Delivery.

    As prescribed in 837.7001(b)(2), insert the following clause:

    Performance and Delivery (Date)

    (a) The Contractor shall furnish the material ordered and perform the services specified as promptly as possible, but not later than 36 hours after receiving notification to remove the remains, excluding the time necessary for the Government to inspect and check results of preparation.

    (b) The Government may, at no additional charge, require the Contractor to hold the remains for an additional period not to exceed 72 hours from the time the remains are casketed and final inspection is completed.

    (End of clause)
    55. Section 852.237-79 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-79 Subcontracting.

    As prescribed in 837.7001(b)(3), insert the following clause:

    Subcontracting (Date)

    The Contractor shall not subcontract any work under this contract without the Contracting Officer's written approval. This clause does not apply to contracts of employment between the Contractor and its personnel.

    (End of clause)
    56. Section 852.237-80 is added to read as follows:
    852.237-80 Health Department and Transport Permits.

    As prescribed in 837.7001(b)(4), insert the following clause:

    Health Department and Transport Permits (Date)

    The Contractor shall meet all State and local licensing requirements and obtain and furnish all necessary health department and shipping permits at no additional cost to the Government. The Contractor shall ensure that all necessary health department permits are in order for disposition of the remains.

    (End of clause)
    57. Section 852.249-70 is added to read as follows:
    852.249-70 Termination for Default—Supplement for Mortuary Services.

    As prescribed in 849.504-70, insert the following clause:

    Termination for Default—Supplement for Mortuary Services (Date)

    The clause entitled “Default” in FAR 52.249-8, is supplemented as follows:

    The Contracting Officer may terminate this contract for default by written notice without the ten-day notice required by paragraph (a)(2) of the Default clause if—

    (a) The Contractor, through circumstances reasonably within its control or that of its employees, performs any act under or in connection with this contract, or fails in the performance of any service under this contract and the act or failures may reasonably be considered to reflect discredit upon the Department of Veteran Affairs in fulfilling its responsibility for proper care of remains;

    (b) The Contractor, or its employees, solicits relatives or friends of the deceased to purchase supplies or services not under this contract. (The Contractor may furnish supplies or arrange for services not under this contract, only if representatives of the deceased voluntarily request, select, and pay for them.);

    (c) The services or any part of the services are performed by anyone other than the Contractor or the Contractor's employees without the written authorization of the Contracting Officer;

    (d) The Contractor refuses to perform the services required for any particular remains; or

    (e) The Contractor mentions or otherwise uses this contract in its advertising in any way.

    (End of clause)
    852.271-70 [Removed and Reserved]
    58. Section 852.271-70 is removed and reserved. PART 871—LOAN GUARANTY AND VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS 59. The authority citation for part 871 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 871.2—Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service 60. Section 871.212 is revised to read as follows:
    871.212 Contract clauses.

    (a) Contracting officers shall use the following clauses, as appropriate, in solicitations and contracts for vocational rehabilitation and employment services as they pertain to training and rehabilitation services and contracts for counseling services:

    (1) 852.271-72 Time Spent by Counselee in Counseling Process.

    (2) 852.271-73 Use and Publication of Counseling Results.

    (3) 852.271-74 Inspection.

    (4) 852.271-75 Extension of Contract Period.

    (b) See 837.110-70(a) for clause 852.237-74 Non-discrimination in Service Delivery.

    [FR Doc. 2018-18310 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 48 CFR Parts 801, 825, 836, 842, 846, 852 and 853 RIN 2900-AQ18 VA Acquisition Regulation: Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend and update its VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) in phased increments to revise or remove any policy superseded by changes in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to remove procedural guidance internal to VA into the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM), and to incorporate any new agency specific regulations or policies. These changes seek to streamline and align the VAAR with the FAR and remove outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden on contractors. The VAAM incorporates portions of the removed VAAR as well as other internal agency acquisition policy. VA will rewrite certain parts of the VAAR and VAAM, and as VAAR parts are rewritten, will publish them in the Federal Register. VA will combine related topics, as appropriate. In particular, this rulemaking revises VAAR concerning Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts, as well as affected parts covering the Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulations System, Foreign Acquisition, Contract Administration and Audit Services, Quality Assurance, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, and Forms.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 6, 2018 to be considered in the formulation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026 (this is not a toll-free number). Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AQ18—VA Acquisition Regulation: Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ricky Clark, Senior Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services, 003A2A, 425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 632-5276. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This rulemaking is issued under the authority of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act which provides the authority for an agency head to issue agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR.

    VA is proposing to revise the VAAR to add new policy or regulatory requirements and to remove any redundant guidance and guidance that is applicable only to VA's internal operating processes or procedures. Codified acquisition regulations may be amended and revised only through rulemaking. All amendments, revisions, and removals have been reviewed and concurred with by VA's Integrated Product Team of agency stakeholders.

    The VAAR uses the regulatory structure and arrangement of the FAR and headings and subject areas are consistent with the FAR content. The VAAR is divided into subchapters, parts (each of which covers a separate aspect of acquisition), subparts, and sections.

    The Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as codified in 41 U.S.C. 1707, provides the authority for the Federal Acquisition Regulation and for the issuance of agency acquisition regulations consistent with the FAR.

    When Federal agencies acquire supplies and services using appropriated funds, the purchase is governed by the FAR, set forth at title 48 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter 1, parts 1 through 53, and the agency regulations that implement and supplement the FAR. The VAAR is set forth at title 48 CFR, chapter 8, parts 801 to 873.

    Discussion and Analysis

    VA proposes to make the following changes to the VAAR in this phase of its revision and streamlining initiative. For procedural guidance cited below that is proposed to be deleted from the VAAR, each section cited for removal has been considered for inclusion in VA's internal agency operating procedures in accordance with FAR 1.301(a)(2). Similarly, delegations of authorities that are removed from the VAAR will be included in the VAAM as internal agency guidance. The VAAM is being created in parallel with these revisions to the VAAR and is not subject to the rulemaking process as they are internal VA procedures and guidance. Therefore, the VAAM will not be finalized until corresponding VAAR parts are finalized, and the VAAM is not yet available on line.

    VAAR Part 801—Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation System

    This proposed rule contains existing information collection requirements. The proposed rule results in multiple actions affecting these information collections, including outright removal of the information collection.

    In 801.106, OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, we propose to amend 801.106 table columns titled “48 CFR part or section where identified and described,” and “Current OMB control number.” We propose to remove the reference to 852.236-84, Schedule of Work Progress, and discontinue the associated corresponding OMB Control Number 2900-0422 as the information is adequately covered in agency specifications and its use in a clause is not required or appropriate. For access to agency specifications where such information is adequately covered, see the VA Technical Information Library (TIL), VA's source for Electronic Design and Construction Information, at https://www.cfm.va.gov/TIL/, including Master Specification Division 01, General Requirements: 01 32 16.01, Architectural and Engineering CPM Schedules; 01 32 16.13, Network Analysis Schedules; 01 16.15, Project Schedules (Small Projects—Design/Bid/Build); 01 32 16.16, Network Analysis Schedules (Design-Build Only); and, 01 32 16.17, Project Schedules (Small Projects—Design/Build).

    In 801.106, in reference to table described, we propose to remove the reference to 852.236-89, Buy American Act, and discontinue the associated corresponding OMB Control Number 2900-0622 as the clause is being removed as set forth in the preamble when describing actions under VAAR part 852 as it duplicates FAR clauses and is unnecessary.

    In 801.106, in reference to the table described, we propose to remove the reference to 852.236-91, Special Notes, and discontinue the associated corresponding OMB Control Number 2900-0623. Paragraph (a) of the clause is already covered via required System for Award Management (SAM) representations and certifications. Paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) are addressed in Section 01 00 00, General Requirements, contained in all construction contract specifications (reference the VA Office of Construction and Facilities Management, Technical Information Library (TIL), VA Numbered Standards for Construction, PG-18-1, Master Construction Specifications, Division 01—General Requirements). Paragraph (e), which references claims by the contractor for delay attributed to unusually severe weather under FAR 52.249-14, Excusable Delays, is governed by the Network Analysis System specifications—Section 01 32 16.13, Network Analysis Schedules—Major Projects; 01 32 16.15, Project Schedules (Small Projects Design-Bid-Build); 01 32 16.16, (Network Analysis System (Design-Build Only); or 01 32 16.17, Project Schedule (Small Projects Design-Build), as applicable, which provide details of the requirements the contractor must follow to justify time extensions. VA internal procedures related to how contracting officers and Government Resident Engineers or technical reviewers should analyze contractor data and which records to review to support such claims for time extensions due to unusually severe weather, not having a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the VA, would be moved to the VAAM.

    VAAR Part 825—Foreign Acquisition

    We propose to revise the authority citations under part 825 to include a reference to 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency.

    We propose to remove subpart 825.2, Buy American Act—Construction Materials, and the associated prescribed clauses under subpart 825.11, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, as it is duplicative of the FAR. Clause 852.236-89, Buy American Act, along with its Alternate I and II, is proposed for removal as set forth in VAAR part 852 of the preamble. The clause and its alternates are referenced in a table in 825.1102, Acquisition of construction. As the clause is proposed for removal, this table which prescribes the use of the clause is also proposed for removal. In accordance with FAR drafting standards and the requirement in FAR 1.304(b)(1) that agency acquisition regulations shall not unnecessarily repeat, paraphrase, or otherwise restate material contained in the FAR, these subparts are therefore proposed for removal.

    VAAR Part 836—Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts

    We propose to revise the authority citations under part 836 to include a reference to 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) and 1303(a)(2), which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, and speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein. 41 U.S.C. 1303(a)(2) is added to reflect VA's authority as an executive agency to issue regulations that are essential to implement Governmentwide policies and procedures in the agency, as well as to issue additional policies and procedures required to satisfy the specific needs of the VA.

    We propose to revise the authority citations under part 836 to include a reference to 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency.

    In 836.202, Specifications, we propose to remove paragraphs (a) and (b) as internal procedural guidance, and to redesignate and renumber it to 836.202-70 to indicate that it is a VA supplement to FAR 36.202. The title would be revised from “Specifications” to “Specifications—use of equal products” to reflect the topic that fits intelligibly under this section of the FAR. The existing paragraph (c) would be revised to reflect that use of clause 852.236-90, Restriction on Submission and Use of Equal Products, in solicitations and contracts requires approval of the justification documentation required by FAR 11.105, Items peculiar to one manufacturer. The paragraph reference to (c) under this section would be removed as the VAAR is being supplemented and only one paragraph will be reflected which would be unnumbered and unlettered. The existing VAAR language which is proposed for revision with this rule is necessary as the FAR speaks to “brand name or equal” and the purpose of the VA's clause is to be clear that when the VA enters products for items peculiar to one manufacturer (brand name), “or equal” products are not permissible substitutes.

    In 836.203, Government estimate of construction costs, we propose to renumber and retitle the section to 836.203-70, Protection of the independent government estimate—sealed bid, and would revise it to more specifically clarify VA procedures to protect the independent government estimate in sealed bid acquisitions when bid openings are held. This would also provide policy regarding marking the Independent Government Estimate (IGE) as “For Official Use Only (FOUO)” as well as procedures for filing the document and later removing the protective marking after a public bid opening.

    In 836.204, Disclosure of the magnitude of construction projects, we propose to revise the estimated price ranges to provide a better measure for contractors to gauge estimated construction costs for projects of the National Cemetery Administration and the Office of Construction and Facilities Management.

    In 836.206, Liquidated damages, we propose to remove the entire section since the subject matter is adequately covered in the FAR.

    In 836.209, Construction contracts with architect-engineer firms, we propose to remove the entire section as internal procedures of VA not having a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the VA (see FAR 1.301(b)), and which would be moved to the VAAM.

    In 836.213, Special procedures for sealed bidding in construction contracting, we propose to remove the section title as the underlying subsections are proposed for removal.

    We propose to remove 836.213-4, Notice of award, as internal procedures of VA not having a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the VA (see FAR 1.301(b)), and which would be moved to the VAAM.

    We propose to remove 836.213-70, Notice to proceed, as procedural information internal to VA which would be moved to the VAAM.

    We propose to revise 836.500, Scope of subpart, to remove paragraphs (b) and (c) which duplicate the authority to use other clauses and provisions as already provided for in FAR 36.500. We propose to redesignate paragraph (a) as an unnumbered paragraph in keeping with FAR Drafting Guidelines and formatting style.

    We propose to revise 836.501, Performance of work by the contractor, to make minor edits and to add a reference to VAAR subpart 819.70, which implements the Veterans First Contracting Program.

    In 836.513, Accident prevention, we propose to remove the entire section since the prescribed clause is duplicative of coverage in FAR clause 52.236-1, Accident Prevention.

    We propose to revise 836.521, Specifications and drawings for construction, only to make minor edits for capitalization.

    We propose to remove 836.570, Correspondence, as the clause it prescribes 852.236-76, Correspondence, is proposed for removal. The subject matter will be addressed more appropriately in a “Notice to Proceed” letter to the contractor from the contracting officer. Therefore, the clause and its prescription are unnecessary.

    We propose to remove 836.571, Reference to “standards,” since the clause it prescribes 852.236-77, Reference to “Standards”, is proposed for removal. The subject matter is addressed in the VA Master Specifications (located at: https://www.cfm.va.gov/til/), and the clause and therefore its prescription is unnecessary.

    In 836.572, Government supervision, we propose to remove the entire section and redesignate the numbering and placement to the more appropriate VAAR part 842, Contract Administration and Audit Services, by adding a new section 842.204, Contract clause for Government construction contract administration. The clause would be therefore renumbered and revised accordingly.

    In 836.573, Daily report of workers and materials, we propose to amend the title of the section and report to “Contractor production report,” and would prescribe a revised clause 852.236-79, Contractor Production Report.

    We propose to revise 836.574, Subcontracts and work coordination, only to make minor edits for capitalization.

    We propose to remove 836.575, Schedule of work progress, since the subject matter of the prescribed clause 852.236-84, Schedule of Work Progress, is addressed in the VA Master Specifications, Division 01, General Requirements: 01 32 16.01, Architectural and Engineering CPM Schedules; 01 32 16.13, Network Analysis Schedules; 01 16.15, Project Schedules (Small Projects—Design/Bid/Build); 01 32 16.16, Network Analysis Schedules (Design-Build Only); and, 01 32 16.17, Project Schedules (Small Projects—Design/Build). The clause is proposed for removal and therefore its prescription would be unnecessary.

    We propose to remove 836.576, Supplementary labor standards provisions, since the subject matter of the prescribed clause 852.236-85, Supplementary Labor Standards Provisions, is addressed in FAR clauses 52.222-6, Construction Wage Rate Requirements (formerly known as Davis-Bacon Act) and 52.222-8, Payrolls and Basic Records. The clause is proposed for removal and therefore its prescription would be unnecessary.

    We propose to remove 836.577, Workers' compensation, which prescribes clause 852.236-86, Workers' Compensation. The clause is unnecessary since it merely cites a Public Law regarding applicability of States' workers' compensation laws. The VAAR is not required to cite individual States' workers' compensation laws to make them applicable to companies performing work in individual states. The clause is proposed for removal and therefore its prescription would be unnecessary.

    We propose to remove 836.579, Special Notes, which prescribes the clause at 852.236-91, Special Notes. As stated under VAAR part 801 in the preamble of this proposed rule, the clause's paragraph (a) is already covered via required System for Award Management (SAM) representations and certifications. Paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) are addressed in Section 01 00 00, General Requirements, contained in all construction contract specifications (reference the VA Office of Construction and Facilities Management, Technical Information Library (TIL), VA Numbered Standards for Construction, PG-18-1, Master Construction Specifications, Division 01—General Requirements). And, paragraph (e), which references claims by the contractor for delay attributed to unusually severe weather under FAR 52.249-14, Excusable Delays, is governed by the Network Analysis System specifications—Section 01 32 16.13, Network Analysis System; 01 32 16.13, Project Schedules (Small Projects Design-Bid-Build); 01 32 16.16, (Network Analysis System (Design-Build Only); or 01 32 16.17, Project Schedule (Small Projects Design-Build), as applicable, which provide details of the requirements the contractor must follow to justify time extensions. VA internal procedures related to how contracting officers and Government Resident Engineers or technical reviewers should analyze contractor data and which records to review to support such claims for time extensions due to unusually severe weather, not having a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the VA, would be moved to the VAAM. The clause is proposed for removal and therefore its prescription as contained in this section would be unnecessary.

    We propose to add 836.580, Notice to bidders—additive or deductive bid line items, and a prescription requiring the contracting officer to insert the provision 852.236-92, Notice to Bidders—Additive or Deductive Bid Line Items, in invitations for bids when the contracting officer determines that funds may not be available for all the desired construction features at contract award.

    We propose to remove 836.602, Selection of firms for architect-engineer contracts. Previously there was no text under this heading/title. As all sections under this are now proposed for removal, no heading/title would be required.

    We propose to remove 836.602-1, Selection criteria, as internal procedural information which will be revised and moved to the VA Acquisition Manual.

    We propose to remove 836.602-2, Evaluation boards; 836.602-4, Selection authority; and 836.602-5, Short selection process for contracts not to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, as internal procedural information which will be revised and moved to the VA Acquisition Manual.

    We propose to revise 836.603, Collecting data on and appraising firms' qualifications. The title would be revised to correct a typo and the text would be revised to include a Veterans Benefits Administration point of contact for filing and maintaining Standard Form (SF) 330 Files as required by the FAR.

    In 836.606, Negotiations, we propose to revise the section in its entirety to remove internal agency procedural guidance in section 836.606-70, General, as unnecessary, and to remove the title, “General,” by redesignating section 836.606-71, Architect-Engineer's proposal, to 836.606-70, and retitling it to read “Architect-Engineer firms' proposal.” We propose to revise the text which requires use of the VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, which has been updated with the new form number and updating FAR citation references and thresholds. This form is used for the submission of a contractor's proposal and supporting cost data from the selected firm during negotiation of an A-E contract for design services estimated at $50,000 or more. And, we propose to change the word “must” to “shall” when requiring the use of the form as prescribed in this section.

    In 836.606-72, Contract price, we propose to remove the section in its entirety and move it to the companion VA Acquisition Manual as internal operating procedures of the VA.

    We propose to redesignate and revise 836.606-73, Application of 6 percent architect-engineer fee limitation, to section 836.606-71, and retain the same title, “Application of 6 percent architect-engineer fee limitation,” to place all text now under section 836.606 in sequential subsections. 836.606-71, Application of 6 percent architect-engineer fee limitation, would provide policy explaining when the limitation applies, what costs the 6 percent fee limitation does and does not cover, and delete use of VA Form 10-1193, Application for Health Care Facility Program, and VA Form 10-6238, EMIS Construction Program Estimate Worksheet. The forms proposed for deletion are not required for use in this instance.

    We propose to add subpart 836.70—Unique Forms for Contracting for Construction, Architect-Engineer Services, and Dismantling, Demolition, or Removal of Improvements, and the sections falling under that subpart—836.7000, Scope of subpart; and 836.7001, Unique construction and architect-engineer services forms. This would prescribe forms contracting officers may use for construction, architect-engineer services or dismantling, demolition or removal of improvements.

    In 836.7000, Scope of subpart, it sets forth the requirements for use of VA unique forms.

    In the new proposed 836.7001, Unique construction and architect-engineer services forms, we propose to add the following forms as prescribed elsewhere in the VAAR or as reflected in the individual prescriptions—

    In paragraph (a) we propose to add information referencing VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal (see 853.236-70), and pointing information to the prescription. VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, shall be used as prescribed in 836.606-71.

    In paragraph (b) we propose to add the prescription for VA Form 2138, Order for Supplies or Services (Including Task Orders for Construction or A-E Services) (see 853.236-71). VA Form 2138, Order for Supplies or Services (Including Task Orders for Construction or A-E Services), may be used for ordering supplies or services, including task orders for Construction or A-E services, to include dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements.

    In paragraph (c) we propose to add information referencing VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report (see 853.236-72), and pointing information to the prescription. Contractors may use VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report, or a contractor generated form containing the same type of information contained in the form, as required by 836.573 which prescribes the clause at 852.236-79, Contractor Production Report.

    VAAR Part 842—Contract Administration and Audit Services

    We propose to revise the authority citations under part 842 to include a reference to 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency.

    We propose to add coverage under VAAR subpart 842.2, Contract Administration Services, and 842.271, Contract clause for Government construction contract administration, to prescribe clause 852.242-70, Government Construction Contract Administration, that would describe contract administration functions to be delegated under construction contracts that exceed the micro-purchase threshold for construction. It would describe the role of the designated contracting officer performing contract administration, as well as certain functions that are delegated to VA resident engineers, if assigned. It also contains some language found under the previous clause, 852.236-78, Government Supervision. The information more properly falls under FAR part 42 and the VAAR supplement, so the new clause number more properly follows FAR drafting conventions, to include placing the prescription in the same part where the clause itself is located.

    VAAR Part 846—Quality Assurance

    We propose to revise the part 846 authorities to replace the 38 U.S.C. 501 citation with 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency. We also propose to add 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, Positive Law codification that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein.

    In 846.312, Construction contracts, which prescribes clause 852.236-74, Inspection of construction, we propose to remove the entire section since VA Master Specifications provide the requirements for performing inspections. The clause is proposed for removal and therefore its prescription would be unnecessary.

    VAAR Part 852—Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses

    In 852.236-71, Specifications and Drawings for Construction, we propose to amend the clause to place with the contractor the responsibility for checking all drawings furnished immediately upon receipt, and comparing them and verifying figures before laying out the work. It would also require the prompt notification of the contracting officer of any discrepancies. It would hold the contractor responsible for any errors that might have been avoided by complying with these requirements, for identifying errors or omissions that are necessary to carry out the intent of the drawings and specifications, and for performing such work as if fully and correctly set forth.

    In 852.236-72, Performance of Work by the Contractor, we propose to amend the clause and Alternate 1 to make the text gender-neutral, to update terminology and to clarify language.

    In 852.236-74, Inspection of Construction, we propose to remove and reserve the clause in its entirety since VA Master Specifications provide the requirements for performing inspections.

    In 852.236-76, Correspondence, we propose to remove and reserve the clause since it is administrative guidance covered in the Notice to Proceed letter.

    In 852.236-77, Reference to “Standards,” we propose to remove and reserve the clause as unnecessary since VA Master Specifications are used in VA contracts.

    In 852.236-78, Government Supervision, we propose to remove and reserve the clause and would propose to include a revised version at 852.242-70, Government Construction Contract Administration.

    In 852.236-79, Daily Report of Workers and Materials, we propose to amend the title of the clause to “Contractor Production Report” and would revise the clause to reflect use of VA Form 10101 which is based on industry reporting standards.

    In 852.236-80, Subcontracts and Work Coordination, we propose to make minor capitalization corrections for Contractor and Contracting Officer, and to clarify in paragraph (d) that the Government reserves the right to refuse to permit employment on the work, or require dismissal from the work, of any subcontractor or subcontractor employee, who, by reason of previous unsatisfactory work on Department of Veterans Affairs projects or for any other reason, is considered by the contracting officer to be incompetent, careless, or otherwise objectionable. The words “or subcontractor employee” and “careless” would be added that were previously missing from the text.

    In 852.236-84, Schedule of Work Progress, we propose to remove the clause in its entirety and reserve it since the subject is already covered in the Network Analysis Schedules section of the VA Master Specifications.

    In 852.236-85, Supplementary Labor Standards Provisions, we propose to remove the clause in its entirety and reserve it since it is procedural and is addressed in FAR clauses 52.222-6, Construction Wage Rate Requirements, and 52.222-8, Payrolls and Basic Records.

    In 852.236-86, Workers' Compensation, we propose to remove the clause in its entirety and reserve it since it merely cites a Public Law regarding applicability of States' workers' compensation laws. The VAAR is not required to cite individual States' workers' compensation laws to make them applicable to companies performing work in individual states.

    In 852.236-87, Accident Prevention, we propose to remove the clause in its entirety and reserve it since the subject is already covered in the Accident Prevention Plan section of the VA Master Specifications.

    In 852.236-89, Buy American Act, along with its Alternate I and II, we propose to remove and reserve the clause as it is redundant to the FAR and is unnecessary.

    In 852.236-90, Restriction on Submission and Use of Equal Products, we propose to revise the clause to clarify the language to reinforce that the submission of “equal” products is not permitted; and to reformat the clause to standard FAR drafting convention and specify that notwithstanding any other clause or provision, only brand name products for the items listed in the fill-in clause will be authorized for use on the contract. The prescription for this clause would require compliance with the documentation and authorizations required by FAR 11.105 when it is determined that only one product will meet the Government's minimum needs.

    In 852.236-91, Special Notes, we propose to remove the clause in its entirety and reserve it since the material addressed is covered by the certification under the System for Award Management or under the Shop Drawings, Product Data & Submittals section of the VA Master Specifications.

    We propose to add a new clause 852.236-92, Notice to Bidders—Additive or Deductive Bid Line Items, to provide guidance on how such bid items will be evaluated to determine the low bidder.

    We propose to add a new clause 852.242-70, Government Construction Contract Administration, to enumerate the responsibilities being delegated.

    VAAR Part 853—Forms

    We propose to amend the authority if part 853 to add 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein. We also propose to replace the 38 U.S.C. 501 citation with 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency.

    In subpart 853.1—General, in 853.107, Obtaining forms, we propose to revise the text to provide the current website address where VA forms are obtained now: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/. The outdated address for an old VA office would be removed, as well as the outdated practice of requesting forms in hard copy directly from the agency policy office. All forms will be available online.

    In subpart 853.2—Prescription of Forms, we propose to revise the list of forms applicable to VAAR part 836 that are used between VA and its contractors, potential offerors or bidders, or the general public.

    In 853.236, Construction and architect-engineer contracts, in section 853.236-70, VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, we are revising the number of the form and changing the location of the prescription reference from 836.606-71 to 836.7001(a).

    In 853.236 we also propose to add the following sections identifying forms applicable to part 836:

    853.236-71, VA Form 2138, Order for Supplies or Services (Including Task Orders for Construction or A-E Services) which provides the prescription reference for use of the form for ordering supplies or services, including task orders for Construction or A-E services, to include dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements.

    853.236-72, VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report, which provides the prescription reference for use of the form or a contractor generated form containing the same type of information contained in the form.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    Title 48, Federal Acquisition Regulations System, Chapter 8, Department of Veterans Affairs, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent VA's implementation of its legal authority and publication of the VAAR for the cited applicable parts. Other than future amendments to this rule or governing statutes for the cited applicable parts, or as otherwise authorized by approved deviations or waivers in accordance with FAR subpart 1.4, Deviations from the FAR, and as implemented by VAAR subpart 801.4, Deviations from the FAR or VAAR, no contrary guidance or procedures would be authorized. All existing or subsequent VA guidance would be read to conform with the rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance would be superseded by this rulemaking as pertains to the cited applicable VAAR parts.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders (E.O.) 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. E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, defines “significant regulatory action” to mean any regulatory action 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 this Executive Order.”

    VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action, and it has been determined this rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866.

    VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at http://www.va.gov/orpm by following the link for VA Regulations Published from FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date. This proposed rule is expected to be an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this proposed rule can be found in the rule's economic analysis.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule impacts eight existing information collection requirements associated with four Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number approvals. The proposed actions in this rule result in multiple actions affecting some of these information collections, such as: The proposed outright removal of the information collection; no change in information collection burdens although titles and number of the information collection would be slightly revised; or no change to the existing OMB control number and associated burden.

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507) requires that VA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. See also 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi).

    This proposed rule contains one provision constituting a collection of information at 48 CFR 836.606-71, Architect-engineer's proposal, concerning use of and prescription for VA Form 10-6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, which is proposed to be revised with updated thresholds and FAR citations, as well as an updated number to remove the “10-” currently part of the form number. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new collection of information is associated with this provision as a part of this proposed rule. The information collection requirement for 836.606-71 is currently approved by OMB and has been assigned OMB control number 2900-0208. The burden of this information collection would remain unchanged. There would be no change in the information collection burden that is associated with this proposed request. However, we are proposing to amend the information collection requirement to renumber the form currently numbered and titled as VA Form 10-6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, to now read: VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal. Additionally, older dollar thresholds and FAR citations in the form would be updated to current levels and correct citations. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), OMB has approved the reporting or recordkeeping provisions that are included in the text and form under 836.606-71 cited above against the assigned OMB control number. For the requested administrative amendments to the form, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), VA has submitted this information collection amendment to OMB for its review. Notice of OMB approval for this information collection will be published in a future Federal Register document. Further proposed revision to the associated OMB control number relating to other provisions of this proposed rule are identified separately in this submittal.

    This proposed rule also contains two provisions constituting a collection of information at 48 CFR 852.236-72, Performance of Work by the Contractor; and 48 CFR 852.236-88, Contract Changes—Supplement, that would remain unchanged. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new or proposed revised collection of information is associated with these provisions as a part of this proposed rule. The information collection requirements for 852.236-72 and 852.236-88 are currently approved by OMB and have been assigned OMB control number 2900-0422. The burden of these information collections would remain unchanged. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), OMB has approved the reporting or recordkeeping provisions that are included in the clause at 852.236-72 and 852.236-88 cited above and against the assigned OMB control number. Further proposed revision to the associated OMB control number relating to other information collections and provisions of this proposed rule are identified separately in this submittal.

    This proposed rule would impose the following amended information collection requirements to one of the four existing information collection approval numbers associated with this proposed rule. Although this action contains the following provision constituting a collection of information at 48 CFR 852.236-79, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new proposed collection of information is associated with this provision as a part of this proposed rule. The information collection requirement for 852.236-79 is currently approved by OMB and has been assigned OMB control number 2900-0208. There would be no change in the information collection burden that is associated with this proposed request. However, we are proposing to amend the information collection requirement to revise the title and to renumber the form currently numbered and titled as VA Form 10-6131, Daily Log (Contract Progress Report—Formal Contract) to replace this form, along with replacing the number and title of VA Form 10-6001a, Supplement Contract Progress Report with one new number, title and format—VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), VA has submitted this information collection amendment to OMB for its review. Notice of OMB approval for this information collection will be published in a future Federal Register document. The currently approved burden remains unchanged.

    This action also contains a provision constituting a collection of information at 48 CFR 852.236-80, however, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new proposed collection of information is associated with this provision as a part of this proposed rule. The information collection requirement for 852.236-80 is currently approved by OMB and has been assigned OMB control number 2900-0422. The currently approved burden associated with this clause would remain unchanged. However, this information collection has been submitted to OMB to amend the information collection requirement to make a minor correction to the title of the clause, as stated in paragraph 1 of the Supporting Statement, to reflect the full name of the clause—“Subcontracts and Work Coordination” in lieu of an abbreviated title reflected on the Supporting Statement—“Work Coordination.” The clause was otherwise referenced correctly in the remainder of the supporting statement. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), VA has submitted this information collection amendment to OMB for its review to revise the title in paragraph 1 of the submitted statement. Notice of OMB approval for this information collection will be published in a future Federal Register document.

    This proposed rule would remove one of the existing information collection requirements associated with this action at 48 CFR 852.236-84, Schedule of Work Progress. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), while the actual OMB control number will remain in existence due to other information collections on the same OMB control number that are approved and active, it discontinues the inclusion of 852.236-84 under the associated corresponding approved OMB control number, 2900-0422. As a result of this proposed rule, there would be a removal in the information collection burden that is associated with it. For 48 CFR 852.236-84, Schedule of Work Progress, as now included on OMB control number 2900-0422, this would result in a removal of 1828.5 estimated annual burden hours and an annual cost savings of $70,800. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), VA has submitted this information collection amendment to OMB for its review. Notice of OMB approval for this information collection will be published in a future Federal Register document.

    This proposed rule would remove two of the existing information collection requirements associated with this action at 48 CFR 852.236-89, Buy American Act; and 852.236-91, Special Notes. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), it discontinues the associated corresponding approved OMB control numbers, 2900-0622 and 2900-0623, respectively. As a result of this proposed rule, there would be a removal in the information collection burden that is associated with it. For 48 CFR 852.236-89, Buy American Act, and its corresponding OMB control number 2900-0622, this would result in a removal of 22 estimated annual burden hours and an annual cost savings to respondents of $852. For 48 CFR 852.236-91, Special Notes, and its corresponding OMB control number 2900-0623, this would result in a removal of 778 estimated annual burden hours and an annual cost savings of $30,122. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), VA has submitted these information collection amendments to OMB for its review. Notice of OMB approval for this information collection will be published in a future Federal Register document.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The overall impact of the proposed rule would be of benefit to small businesses owned by Veterans or service-disabled Veterans as the VAAR is being updated to remove extraneous procedural information that applies only to VA's internal operating processes or procedures. VA estimates no cost impact to individual business would result from these rule updates. This rulemaking clarifies VA's policy regarding the contracting order of priority for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) as a result of VA's implementation of 38 U.S.C. 8127-8128 as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. vs. the United States, July 25, 2018, only as it pertains to the application of the VA Rule of Two to contracts for construction and architect-engineer contracts in accordance with Public Law 109-461 as codified at 38 U.S.C. 8127-8128. It does not have an economic impact to individual businesses, and there are no increased or decreased costs to small business entities. On this basis, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this regulatory action is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal Governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal Governments or on the private sector.

    List of Subjects 48 CFR Part 801

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    48 CFR Part 825

    Customs duties and inspection, Foreign currencies, Foreign trade, Government procurement.

    48 CFR Parts 836 and 852

    Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    48 CFR Part 842

    Accounting, Government procurement.

    48 CFR Parts 846 and 853

    Government procurement.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Wilkie, Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on August 20, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: August 21, 2018. Consuela Benjamin, Regulations Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 48 CFR parts 801, 825, 836, 842, 846, 852, and 853 as follows:

    PART 801—DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ACQUISITION REGULATION SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 801 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 8123; 38 U.S.C. 8153; 38 U.S.C. 8303; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702; 41 U.S.C. 1707; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 801.1—Purpose, Authority, Issuance
    801.106 [Amended]
    2. In section 801.106, under the table columns titled “48 CFR part or section where identified and described” and “Current OMB control number”: a. Remove the reference to 852.236-84 and add in its place 852.236-83. b. Remove the reference to 852.236-89 and the corresponding OMB Control Number 2900-0622. c. Remove the reference to 852.236-91 and the corresponding OMB Control Number 2900-0623. PART 825—FOREIGN ACQUISITION 3. The authority citation for part 825 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 825.2 [Removed and Reserved] 4. Subpart 825.2 is removed and reserved. Subpart 825.11 [Removed and Reserved] 5. Subpart 825.11 is removed and reserved. PART 836—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS 6. The authority citation for part 836 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3), 1303(a)(2) and 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 836.2—Special Aspects of Contracting for Construction 7. Section 836.202 is revised to read as follows:
    836.202 Specifications.
    8. Section 836.202-70 is added to read as follows:
    836.202-70 Specifications—use of equal products.

    Upon approval of the justification documentation required by FAR 11.105, Items peculiar to one manufacturer, the contracting officer shall include the clause found at 852.236-90, Restriction on Submission and Use of Equal Products, in solicitations and contracts. The contracting officer shall complete the clause by inserting the items which have been approved for restriction to a brand name. This clause also places offerors or bidders on notice that the “brand name” provisions of any clause or provision that may authorize the submission of an “equal” product, shall not apply to the specific items listed in clause 852.236-90.

    9. Section 836.203 is revised to read as follows:
    836.203 Government estimate of construction costs.
    10. Section 836.203-70 is added to read as follows:
    836.203-70 Protection of the independent government estimate—sealed bid.

    For sealed bid acquisitions the contracting officer or bid custodian is not authorized to release the basis for calculating the estimate at any time. The person preparing the independent government estimate (IGE) shall—

    (a) Designate the IGE as “For Official Use Only (FOUO)”;

    (b) The contracting officer or bid custodian shall file a sealed copy of the IGE with the bids. (In the case of two-step acquisitions, the contracting officer or bid custodian accomplishes this during the second step);

    (c) After the bids are read and recorded during a Public Bid Opening, remove the “For Official Use Only (FOUO)” designation then read and record the estimate as if it were a bid, in the same detail as the bids; and

    (d) In instances where only one bid has been received, the government estimate shall not be read by the contracting officer as it may be needed to conduct negotiations with the offeror.

    11. Section 836.204 is revised to read as follows:
    836.204 Disclosure of the magnitude of construction projects.

    The contracting officer shall utilize the estimated price ranges defined in FAR 36.204 as further supplemented below when identifying the magnitude of a VA project in advance notices and solicitations:

    (f) For estimated price ranges between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, the contracting officer shall identify the magnitude of a VA project in advance notices and solicitations in terms of the following price ranges:

    (1) Between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000.

    (2) Between $2,000,000 and $5,000,000.

    (g) Between $5,000,000 and $10,000,000.

    (h) For estimated price ranges greater than $10,000,000, the contracting officer shall identify the magnitude of a VA project in advance notices and solicitations in terms of one of the following price ranges:

    (1) Between $10,000,000 and $20,000,000.

    (2) Between $20,000,000 and $50,000,000.

    (3) Between $50,000,000 and $100,000,000.

    (4) Between $100,000,000 and $150,000,000.

    (5) Between $150,000,000 and $200,000,000.

    (6) Between $200,000,000 and $250,000,000.

    (7) More than $250,000,000.

    836.206 [Removed]
    12. Section 836.206 is removed.
    836.209 [Removed]
    13. Section 836.209 is removed.
    836.213, 836.213-4, and 836.213-70 [Removed]
    14. Sections 836.213, 836.213-4, and 836.213-70 are removed. Subpart 836.5—Contract Clauses 15. Section 836.500 is revised to read as follows:
    836.500 Scope of subpart.

    The clauses and provisions prescribed in this subpart are set forth for use in fixed-price construction contracts in addition to those in FAR subpart 36.5.

    16. Section 836.501 is revised to read as follows:
    836.501 Performance of work by the contractor.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.236-72, Performance of Work by the Contractor, in solicitations and contracts for construction that contain the FAR clause at 52.236-1, Performance of Work by the Contractor, except those awarded pursuant to subpart 819.70. When the solicitations or contracts include a section entitled “Network Analysis System (NAS),” the contracting officer shall use the clause with its Alternate I.

    836.513 [Removed]
    17. Section 836.513 is removed. 18. Section 836.521 is revised to read as follows:
    836.521 Specifications and drawings for construction.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.236-71, Specifications and Drawings for Construction, in solicitations and contracts for construction that include the FAR clause at 52.236-21, Specifications and Drawings for Construction.

    836.570 [Removed]
    19. Section 836.570 is removed.
    836.571 [Removed]
    20. Section 836.571 is removed.
    836.572 [Removed]
    21. Section 836.572 is removed. 22. Section 836.573 is revised to read as follows:
    836.573 Contractor production report.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.236-79, Contractor Production Report, in solicitations and contracts for construction expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. The contracting officer may, when in the best interest of the Government, insert the clause in solicitations and contracts for construction when the contract amount is expected to be at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.

    23. Section 836.574 is revised to read as follows:
    836.574 Subcontracts and work coordination.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.236-80, Subcontracts and Work Coordination, in invitations for bids and contracts for construction expected to exceed the micro-purchase threshold for construction. When the solicitations or contracts are for new construction work with complex mechanical-electrical work, the contracting officer may use the clause with its Alternate I.

    836.575 [Removed]
    24. Section 836.575 is removed.
    836.576 [Removed]
    25. Section 836.576 is removed.
    836.577 [Removed]
    26. Section 836.577 is removed.
    836.579 [Removed]
    27. Section 836.579 is removed. 28. Section 836.580 is added to read as follows:
    836.580 Notice to bidders—additive or deductive bid line items.

    The contracting officer may include the provision 852.236-92, Notice to Bidders—Additive or Deductive Bid Line Items, in invitations for bids when the contracting officer determines that funds may not be available for all the desired construction features at contract award.

    Subpart 836.6—Architect-Engineer Services
    836.602, 836.602-1, 836.602-2, 836.602-4, and 836.602-5 [Removed]
    29. Sections 836.602, 836.602-1, 836.602-2, 836.602-4, and 836.602-5 are removed. 30. Section 836.603 is revised to read as follows:
    836.603 Collecting data on and appraising firms' qualifications.

    The Associate Executive Director, Office of Facilities Engineering, for Central Office; the Director, Office of Construction Management, for National Cemetery Administration; the Senior Executive Service for Administration and Facilities for Veterans Benefits Administration; and the Chief, Engineering Service, for field facilities, are responsible for collecting Standard Forms 330 and maintaining a data file on architect-engineer qualifications.

    31. Sections 836.606, 836.606-70, and 836.606-71 are revised to read as follows:
    836.606 Negotiations.
    836.606-70 Architect-engineer firms' proposal.

    (a) When the contract price is estimated to be $50,000 or more, the contracting officer shall use VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, to obtain the proposal and supporting cost data from the proposed contractor and subcontractor in the negotiation of an A-E contract for design services.

    (b) In obtaining A-E services for research study, seismic study, master planning study, construction management and other related services contracts, the contracting officer shall use VA Form 6298, supplemented or modified as needed for the particular project type.

    836.606-71 Application of 6 percent architect-engineer fee limitation.

    (a) The production and delivery of designs, plans, drawings, and specifications shall not exceed 6 percent of the estimated cost of construction. Other A-E fees are not included in this 6 percent. Such fees are delineated in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (b) The 6 percent limit also applies to contract modifications, including modifications involving:

    (1) Work not initially included in the contract. Apply the 6 percent limit to the revised total estimated construction cost.

    (2) Redesign. Apply the 6 percent limit as follows—

    (i) Add the estimated construction cost of the redesign features to the original estimated construction cost;

    (ii) Add the contract cost for the original design to the contract cost for redesign; and,

    (iii) Divide the total contract design cost by the total estimated construction cost. The resulting percentage may not exceed the 6 percent statutory limitation.

    (c) The 6 percent fee limitation does not apply to the following architect or engineer services:

    (1) Investigative services including but not limited to—

    (i) Determination of program requirements, including schematic or preliminary plans and estimates;

    (ii) Determination of feasibility of proposed project;

    (iii) Preparation of measured drawings of existing facility;

    (iv) Subsurface investigation;

    (v) Structural, electrical, and mechanical investigation of existing facility;

    (vi) Surveys: topographic, boundary, utilities, etc.;

    (vii) Environmental services;

    (viii) Geo-Tech studies; and

    (ix) Feasibility studies.

    (2) Special consultant services that are not normally available in organizations of architects or engineers and that are not specifically applied to the actual preparation of working drawings or specifications of the project for which the service are required.

    (3) Other—

    (i) Reproduction of approved designs through models, color renderings, photographs, or other presentation media;

    (ii) Travel and per diem allowances other than those required for the development and review of working drawings and specifications;

    (iii) Supervision or inspection of construction, review of shop drawings or samples, and other services performed during the construction phase;

    (iv) All other services that are not an integral part of the production and delivery of plans, designs, and specifications; and,

    (v) The cost of reproducing drawings and specifications for bidding and their distribution to prospective bidders and plan file rooms.

    836.606-72 and 836.606-73 [Removed]
    32. Sections 836.606-72 and 836.606-73 are removed. 33. Subpart 836.70 is added to read as follows: Subpart 836.70—Unique Forms for Contracting for Construction, Architect-Engineer Services, and Dismantling, Demolition, or Removal of Improvements
    836.7000 Scope of subpart.

    This subpart sets forth requirements for the use of VA unique forms, as prescribed in this part, for contracting for construction, architect-engineer services, or dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements. See part 853.

    836.7001 Unique construction and architect-engineer services forms.

    Contracting officers may use the following forms, as prescribed in this part or subpart, for construction, architect-engineer services or dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements contracts as set forth below and in the referenced prescriptions:

    (a) VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal (see 853.236-70).

    VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, shall be used as prescribed in 836.606-70.

    (b) VA Form 2138, Order for Supplies or Services (Including Task Orders for Construction or A-E Services) (see 853.236-71). VA Form 2138, Order for Supplies or Services (Including Task Orders for Construction or A-E Services), may be used for ordering supplies or services, including task orders for Construction or A-E services, to include dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements.

    (c) VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report (see 853.236-72). Contractors may use VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report or a contractor generated form containing the same type of information contained in the form, as required by 836.573 which prescribes the clause at 852.236-79, Contractor Production Report.

    PART 842—CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AND AUDIT SERVICES 34. The authority citation for part 842 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    35. Subpart 842.2 is added to read as follows: Subpart 842.2—Contract Administration Services
    842.271 Contract clause for Government construction contract administration.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.242-70, Government Construction Contract Administration, in solicitations and contracts for construction expected to exceed the micro-purchase threshold for construction.

    PART 846—QUALITY ASSURANCE 36. The authority citation for part 846 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    846.312 [Removed]
    37. Section 846.312 is removed. PART 852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 38. The authority citation for part 852 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 8127-8128, and 8151-8153; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    39. Section 852.236-71 is revised to read as follows:
    852.236-71 Specifications and Drawings for Construction.

    As prescribed in 836.521, insert the following clause:

    Specifications and Drawings for Construction (Date)

    The clause entitled “Specifications and Drawings for Construction” in FAR 52.236-21 is supplemented as follows:

    (a) The Contracting Officer's interpretation of the drawings and specifications will be final, subject to the Disputes clause.

    (b) The Contractor shall—

    (1) Check all drawings and specifications furnished immediately upon receipt;

    (2) Compare all drawings and the specifications, and verify the figures before laying out the work;

    (3) Promptly notify the Contracting Officer of any discrepancies;

    (4) Be responsible for any errors that might have been avoided by complying with this paragraph (b); and

    (5) Reproduce and print contract drawings and specifications as needed.

    (c) In general—

    (1) Drawings of greater detail shall govern over drawings of lesser detail unless specifically noted otherwise; and

    (2) Figures and numerical quantities noted on drawings govern over scale measurements.

    (d) Omissions from the drawings or specifications or the misdescription of details of work that are manifestly necessary to carry out the intent of the drawings and specifications, or that are customarily performed, shall not relieve the Contractor from performing such omitted or misdescribed details of the work. The Contractor shall perform such details as if fully and correctly set forth and described in the drawings and specifications.

    (e) The work shall conform to the specifications and the contract drawings identified on the following index of drawings:

    Title File Drawing No.

    (End of clause)
    40. Section 852.236-72 is revised to read as follows:
    852.236-72 Performance of Work by the Contractor.

    As prescribed in 836.501, insert the following clause:

    Performance of Work by the Contractor (Date)

    (a) In accordance with FAR 52.236-1, the contract work accomplished on the site by laborers, mechanics, and foreman/superintendent on the contractor's payroll and under their direct supervision shall be used in establishing the percent of work to be performed by the Contractor. Cost of material and equipment installed by such labor may be included. The work by the contractor's executive, administrative and clerical forces shall be excluded in establishing compliance with the requirements of this clause.

    (b) The Contractor shall submit, simultaneously with the schedule of costs required by the Payments under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts clause of the contract, a statement designating the portions of contract work to be performed with the contractor's own forces. The approved schedule of costs will be used in determining the value of a work activity/event, or portions thereof, of the work for the purpose of this article.

    (c) Changes to established activity/event identifiers or responsibility codes for Contractor activities shall not be made without approval from the Contracting Officer.

    (d) In the event the Contractor fails to comply with FAR 52.236-1, Performance of Work by the Contractor, the Contracting Officer will withhold retention in the amount of 15% of the value of any work activity/element being invoiced that was not authorized by the Contracting Officer to be performed by someone other than the prime contractor's own workforce.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (DATE). For requirements which include a Network Analysis System (NAS), substitute the following paragraph (b) for paragraph (b) of the basic clause:

    (b) The Contractor shall submit, simultaneously with the cost per activity of the construction schedule required by Section 01310 or 01311, NETWORK ANALYSIS SYSTEM, a responsibility code for all activities of the network for which the contractor's forces will perform the work. The cost of these activities will be used in determining the portions of the total contract work to be executed by the contractor's forces for the purpose of this article.

    852.236-74 [Removed and Reserved]
    41. Section 852.236-74 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-76 [Removed and Reserved]
    42. Section 852.236-76 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-77 [Removed and Reserved]
    43. Section 852.236-77 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-78 [Removed and Reserved]
    44. Section 852.236-78 is removed and reserved. 45. Section 852.236-79 is revised to read as follows:
    852.236-79 Contractor Production Report.

    As prescribed in 836.573, insert the following clause:

    Contractor Production Report (Date)

    (a) The Contractor shall furnish to the resident engineer, for each workday, a consolidated report for the preceding workday. Reporting shall begin from date of mobilization until the date of final acceptance except for authorized holidays. VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report, or a Contractor generated form containing the same type of information shall be signed, dated and submitted by the Contractor superintendent.

    (b) Each report shall include and specifically identify at least one safety topic germane to the jobsite that day.

    (End of clause)
    46. Section 852.236-80 is revised to read as follows:
    852.236-80 Subcontracts and Work Coordination.

    As prescribed in 836.574, insert the following clause:

    Subcontracts and Work Coordination (Date)

    (a) Nothing contained in this contract shall be construed as creating any contractual relationship between any subcontractor and the Government. Divisions or sections of specifications are not intended to control the Contractor in dividing work among subcontractors, or to limit work performed by any trade.

    (b) The Contractor shall be responsible to the Government for acts and omissions of his/her own employees, and of the subcontractors and their employees. The Contractor shall also be responsible for coordination of the work of the trades, subcontractors, and material suppliers.

    (c) The Government or its representatives will not undertake to settle any differences between the Contractor and subcontractors or between subcontractors.

    (d) The Government reserves the right to refuse to permit employment on the work, or require dismissal from the work, of any subcontractor or subcontractor employee who, by reason of previous unsatisfactory work on Department of Veterans Affairs projects or for any other reason, is considered by the Contracting Officer to be incompetent, careless, or otherwise objectionable.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (DATE). For new construction work with complex mechanical-electrical work, the following paragraph relating to work coordination may be substituted for paragraph (b) of the basic clause:

    (b) The Contractor shall be responsible to the Government for acts and omissions of his/her own employees, and subcontractors and their employees. The Contractor shall also be responsible for coordination of the work of the trades, subcontractors, and material suppliers. The Contractor shall, in advance of the work, prepare coordination drawings showing the location of openings through slabs, the pipe sleeves and hanger inserts, as well as the location and elevation of utility lines, including, but not limited to, conveyor systems, pneumatic tubes, ducts, and conduits and pipes 2 inches and larger in diameter. These drawings, including plans, elevations, and sections as appropriate, shall clearly show the manner in which the utilities fit into the available space and relate to each other and to existing building elements. Drawings shall be of appropriate scale to satisfy the previously stated purposes, but not smaller than 32044;8 -inch scale. Drawings may be composite (with distinctive colors for the various trades) or may be separate but fully coordinated drawings (such as sepias or photographic paper reproducibles) of the same scale. Separate drawings shall depict identical building areas or sections and shall be capable of being overlaid in any combination. The submitted drawings for a given area of the project shall show the work of all trades that will be involved in that particular area. Six complete composite drawings or six complete sets of separate reproducible drawings shall be received by the Government not less than 20 days prior to the scheduled start of the work in the area illustrated by the drawings, for the purpose of showing the Contractor's planned methods of installation. The objectives of such drawings are to promote carefully planned work sequence and proper trade coordination, in order to assure the expeditious solutions of problems and the installation of lines and equipment as contemplated by the contract documents while avoiding or minimizing additional costs to the Contractor and to the Government. In the event the Contractor, in coordinating the various installations and in planning the method of installation, finds a conflict in location or elevation of any of the utilities with themselves, with structural items or with other construction items, he/she shall bring this conflict to the attention of the Contracting Officer immediately. In doing so, the Contractor shall explain the proposed method of solving the problem or shall request instructions as to how to proceed if adjustments beyond those of usual trades' coordination are necessary. Utilities installation work will not proceed in any area prior to the submission and completion of the Government review of the coordinated drawings for that area, nor in any area in which conflicts are disclosed by the coordination drawings, until the conflicts have been corrected to the satisfaction of the Contracting Officer. It is the responsibility of the Contractor to submit the required drawings in a timely manner consistent with the requirements to complete the work covered by this contract within the prescribed contract time.

    852.236-84 [Removed and Reserved]
    47. Section 852.236-84 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-85 [Removed and Reserved]
    48. Section 852.236-85 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-86 [Removed and Reserved]
    49. Section 852.236-86 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-87 [Removed and Reserved]
    50. Section 852.236-87 is removed and reserved.
    852.236-89 [Removed and Reserved]
    51. Section 852.236-89 is removed and reserved. 52. Section 852.236-90 is revised to read as follows:
    852.236-90 Restriction on Submission and Use of Equal Products.

    As prescribed in 836.202-70, insert the following clause in solicitations and contracts when it is determined that only one product will meet the Government's minimum needs and the submission of “equal” products is not permitted:

    Restriction on Submission and Use of Equal Products (Date)

    (a) This clause applies to the following items: [Contracting Officer fill-in]

    (b) Notwithstanding the “Material and Workmanship” clause of this contract, FAR 52.236-5(a), nor any other clause or provision, only brand name products for the items listed above will be authorized for use on this contract.

    (End of clause)
    852.236-91 [Removed and Reserved]
    53. Section 852.236-91 is removed and reserved. 54. Section 852.236-92 is added to read as follows:
    852.236-92 Notice to Bidders—Additive or Deductive Bid Line Items.

    As prescribed in 836.580, insert the following provision:

    Notice to Bidders—Additive or Deductive Bid Line Items (Date)

    (a) Additive or deductive line items in the Schedule shall be evaluated to determine the low offeror and the items to be awarded. The evaluation shall be made as follows—

    (1) Prior to the opening of bids, the Government will determine the amount of funds available for the project.

    (2) The low bid shall be the Bidder that—

    (i) Is otherwise eligible for award; and

    (ii) Offers the lowest aggregate amount for the first or base line item, plus or minus (in the order stated in the list of priorities in the bid schedule) those additive or deductive line items that provide the most features within the funds determined available.

    (3) All bids shall be evaluated on the basis of the same additive or deductive line items.

    (i) If adding another item from the bid schedule list of priorities would make the award exceed the available funds for all offerors, the Contracting Officer will skip that item and go to the next item from the bid schedule of priorities; and

    (ii) Add that next item if an award may be made that includes that line item and is within the available funds.

    (b) The Contracting Officer will use the list of priorities in the bid Schedule only to determine the low offeror. After determining the low offeror, an award may be made on any combination of items if—

    (1) It is in the best interest of the Government;

    (2) Funds are available at the time of award; and

    (3) The low offeror's price for the combination to be awarded is less than the price offered by any other responsive, responsible offeror.

    (c) Example. “The amount available is $100,000. Offeror A's base bid and four additives (in the order stated in the list of priorities in the bid Schedule) are $85,000, $10,000, $8,000, $6,000, and $4,000. Offeror B's base bid and four additives are $80,000, $16,000, $9,000, $7,000, and $4,000. Offeror A is the low offeror. The aggregate amount of offeror A's bid for purposes of award would be $99,000, which includes a base bid plus the first and fourth additives. The second and third additives were skipped because each of them would cause the aggregate bid to exceed $100,000.”

    (End of provision)
    55. Section 852.242-70 is added as follows:
    852.242-70 Government Construction Contract Administration.

    As prescribed in 842.271, insert the following clause. This is a fill-in clause.

    Government Construction Contract Administration (Date)

    (a) Contract administration functions set forth in FAR 42.302 are hereby delegated to:

    [Insert name and office address of Contracting Officer]

    (b) The work will be under the direction of a Department of Veterans Affairs Contracting Officer, who may designate another VA employee to act as resident engineer at the construction site.

    (c) Except as provided below, the resident engineer's directions will not conflict with or change contract requirements. Within the limits of any specific authority delegated by the Contracting Officer, the resident engineer may, by written direction, make changes in the work. The Contractor shall be advised of the extent of such authority prior to execution of any work under the contract.

    (d) The Contracting Officer identified in paragraph (a) of this clause may further delegate the responsibilities below to the following warranted personnel on site:

    [Insert name and office address of individual with limited authority]

    (1) Conduct post-award orientation conferences.

    (2) Issue administrative changes, correcting errors or omissions in typing, Contractor address, facility or activity code, remittance address, computations which do not required additional contract funds, and other such changes (see FAR 43.101).

    (3) For actions not to exceed $ (insert dollar amount) negotiate and execute supplemental agreements incorporating Contractor proposals resulting from change orders issued under the Changes clause.

    (4) Negotiate and execute supplemental agreements changing contract delivery schedules where the time extension does not exceed (insert number) calendar days.

    (End of clause)
    PART 853—FORMS 56. The authority citation for part 853 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 853.1—General 57. Section 853.107 is revised to read as follows:
    853.107 Obtaining forms.

    VA forms may be obtained online at https://www.va.gov/vaforms/ or upon request from any VA contracting office.

    Subpart 853.2—Prescription of Forms 58. Sections 853.236 and 853.236-70 are revised to read as follows:
    853.236 Construction and architect-engineer contracts.
    853.236-70 VA Form 6298, Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal (see 836.7001(a)).
    59. Sections 853.236-71 and 853.236.72 are added to read as follows:
    853.236-71 VA Form 2138, Order for Supplies or Services (Including Task Orders for Construction or A-E Services) (see 836.7001(b)).
    853.236-72 VA Form 10101, Contractor Production Report (see 836.7001(c)).
    [FR Doc. 2018-18309 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 180207141-8783-01] RIN 0648-BH74 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Groundfish Bottom Trawl and Midwater Trawl Gear in the Trawl Rationalization Program AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes revising Federal regulations that restrict the use and configuration of bottom and midwater trawl gear for vessels fishing under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery's Trawl Rationalization Program. The gear restrictions were originally implemented to limit discarding and protect overfished rockfish species. These restrictions are no longer necessary because of changes to the fishery, including implementation of the Trawl Rationalization Program in 2011, and improved status of a number of overfished rockfish stocks. By eliminating these regulations, the proposed action could increase flexibility in how vessels can use and configure gear to increase access to target stocks and efficiency of fishing practices, while still limiting the catch of target and non-target discards to meet the conservation objectives of the Trawl Rationalization Program.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0081, by any of the following methods:

    Online Submission: Go to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0081, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Barry Thom, Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.

    NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record and NMFS will post the comments for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Electronic copies of supporting documents referenced in this proposed rule, including the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RFA), are available from www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS West Coast Region Groundfish Fisheries website at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/groundfish/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Palmigiano, Fishery Management Specialist, 206-526-4491, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Summary of the Proposed Regulations A. Proposed Regulations for Net Configuration 1. Eliminate Minimum Mesh Size Restriction 2. Revise the Definition of Mesh Size 3. Eliminate the Prohibition on Double-walled Codends 4. Eliminate Restrictions on the Use of Chafing Gear 5. Summary of Potential Impacts From Proposed Regulations for Net Configuration B. Eliminate the Requirement to Use Selective Flatfish Trawl Shoreward of the RCA and North of 42 N. Latitude C. Proposed Regulations for Vessel Operations 1. Eliminate the Prohibition on Multiple Types of Groundfish Trawl Gears Carried and Fished on the Same Trip 2. Eliminate the Prohibition on Bringing a New Haul Onboard Before All Catch From the Previous Haul Is Stowed 3. Eliminate the Prohibition on Fishing in Multiple IFQ Management Areas on the Same Tow 4. Summary of Potential Impacts From Proposed Regulations for Some Vessel Operations III. Classification IV. Description of Regulated Entities V. Description of the Proposed Regulations VI. Collection of Information Requirements I. Background

    Prior to 2011, the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery was primarily managed with trip and landing limits and area closures and monitoring was limited (e.g., less than 25 percent of groundfish bottom and midwater trawl trip landings were subject to at-sea observer coverage). During that time, NMFS implemented trawl gear restrictions to both reduce groundfish and non-groundfish bycatch and discards, as well as limit access to overfished rockfish habitat. Restrictions included: (1) Minimum mesh size requirements; (2) requirements for chafing gear and cod-ends; (3) the trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCA), which prohibits the use of groundfish bottom trawl gear between certain fathom lines defined in regulation at §§ 660.71 through 660.74; and, (4) a requirement that vessels use selective flatfish trawl, a type of small footrope trawl gear, shoreward of the trawl RCA and north of 40°10′ North (N) latitude.

    In 2011, NMFS implemented Amendments 20 and 21 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP), which established the Trawl Rationalization Program. The Trawl Rationalization Program, a type of catch share program, replaced trip and landing limits with fixed allocations for limited entry trawl participants, through an individual fishing quota (IFQ) management system. To allow managers to accurately account for catch against IFQ, the program increased at-sea and shoreside monitoring to 100 percent of trips and landings for groundfish bottom and midwater trawl vessels. This management system, which increased individual vessel accountability, successfully reduced bycatch of target and non-target rockfish in the trawl fishery. Since implementation of the Trawl Rationalization Program, five of the seven previously overfished rockfish species are now rebuilt.

    Building on the successes of the Trawl Rationalization Program at reducing discards, NMFS and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) began working with industry members on several fishery management actions, known as Program Improvements or Enhancements (PIE) trailing actions. The PIE trailing actions included identifying regulations that limit the use and configuration of groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gears, and may no longer be necessary because the Trawl Rationalization Program effectively limits target and non-target species bycatch.

    In March 2011, groundfish industry members, through the Council's Groundfish Advisory Sub-Panel (GAP), requested that the Council eliminate and revise various regulations related to mesh size and requirements to use four-seam trawl shoreward of the trawl RCA. To address the GAP's recommendations, the Council formed an ad hoc committee to identify specific regulations that, if revised or eliminated, would allow fishermen to increase the efficiency of their fishing strategy as the Council had intended when they recommended implementation of the Trawl Rationalization Program. The Council authorized the appointment of the new ad hoc committee, the Trawl Rationalization Regulatory Evaluation Committee (TRREC), at its April 2011 meeting.

    The TRREC held a meeting during the summer of 2011. At the Council's November meeting that year, the TRREC recommended the Council consider, as part of the PIE trailing actions, revising regulations to: (1) Allow multiple gear (trawl gears and fixed gear) use and possession seaward and shoreward of the trawl RCA; (2) remove restrictions on chafing gear for midwater trawl gear; and, (3) eliminate codend, mesh size, and selective flatfish trawl gear requirements and restrictions. The TRREC prioritized these three measures over others, but also recommended the Council consider revising additional regulations they felt were unnecessary and costly, including the prohibition on fishing more than one individual fishing quota (IFQ) management area and the definitions of large and small footropes.

    In March 2012, the Council adopted preliminary preferred alternatives for most of the gear measures under the PIE trailing actions; adopted its preferred alternative for chafing gear requirements for midwater trawl gear and put this action on a fast track for implementation; and, authorized a one-day public workshop of the Council's Enforcement Consultants (EC), GAP, and Groundfish Management Team (GMT) to discuss and make recommendations on the remaining gear related measures. Further discussion on gear measures were delayed until results of the gear workshop were presented to the Council.

    The purpose of the gear workshop, which took place August 29-30, 2012, in Portland, Oregon, included scoping of various gear restriction measures that had been recommended to the Council by the TRREC and providing recommendations for how the Council can move forward. The gear workshop report was presented to the Council at its November 2012 meeting and made similar recommendations to those in the TRREC report, including (1) allowing the use of multiple gears (trawl and fixed gear) on the same trip; (2) a reduction in the minimum mesh size for groundfish bottom trawl gear; (3) eliminating the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement; and (4) allowing vessels in the IFQ Program to move fixed gear across management lines. Additionally, the report included a recommendation to allow year-round use of midwater gear within and outside the trawl RCA north of 40°10′ North (N) latitude.

    The Council next took action on these measures in September 2015. At the time, the Council adopted the purpose and need statement, a rulemaking schedule, and the range of alternatives, along with some additional alternatives and measures suggested by the GAP. These new measures included changing how mesh size is defined so that regulations would allow for the enforcement of both knotted and knotless webbing; allowing vessels fishing under the Shorebased IFQ Program to fish across IFQ management lines; allowing whiting fishing with any type of trawl gear; allowing a tow to be brought onboard before previous catch is stowed; and, the option to further review and revise additional requirements in regulations at § 660.130 which provides trawl gear requirements and restrictions. After Council and NMFS staff reviewed that section of the regulations, further measures were added to the list of potential gear changes, including eliminating codend restrictions. Several other possible measures were not forwarded at the time due to potential for delays in implementation. The Council scheduled final action on the suite of measures for March 2016.

    On March 3, 2016 (81 FR 11189), NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to consider revisions to the regulations for groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gear used by vessels under the Trawl Rationalization Program. The Council conducted an additional scoping during its March 2016 meeting to gather public comments on the proposed regulations. Based on discussions at the meetings and public comments on the NOI, the Council selected their final preferred alternatives for all of the proposed measures at its March 2016 meeting, except the restriction on fishing across IFQ management lines. The Council delayed its decision on management lines, and selected its final preferred alternative at the June 2016 Council meeting. Detailed information, including the supporting documentation the Council considered at each meeting, is available at the Council's website, www.pcouncil.org.

    After the Council selected final recommendations on the proposed measures in March and June 2016, NMFS completed extensive analyses on the measures, including an Endangered Species Act section 7 consultation on the impacts of the PCGFMP on listed salmon stocks. These analyses supported NMFS' determination that the impacts of implementing the proposed measures would likely not be significant and, therefore, there was no need to complete an EIS. Instead NMFS completed an integrated analysis that included an EA. On June 8, 2018, NMFS published a notice to withdraw preparation of the EIS (83 FR 26640). A copy of the draft EA and supporting documents are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).

    II. Summary of the Proposed Regulations

    If implemented, the proposed regulations would provide flexibility to groundfish bottom and midwater trawl vessels fishing under the Trawl Rationalization Program in how they may use and configure their gear, and operate on fishing trips. This flexibility is expected to foster innovation and allow for more optimal harvest operations for the groundfish fleet.

    The Council deemed the proposed regulations consistent with and necessary to implement this action in an August 14, 2018, letter from Council Executive Director, Chuck Tracy, to Regional Administrator Barry Thom. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), NMFS is required to publish proposed rules for comment after preliminarily determining whether they are consistent with applicable law. We are seeking comment on the proposed regulations in this action and whether they are consistent with the PCGFMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its National Standards, and other applicable law.

    The discussion in this proposed rule and in the EA/RIR/RFA (See ADDRESSES) groups several related measures to reduce redundancy and to consider the collective impacts of similar proposed regulations. Through this action, the Council proposes to:

    • Adjust a suite of restrictions related to how nets are configured, including eliminating minimum mesh size restrictions, changing the definition of mesh size, removing chafing gear placement restrictions, and removing restrictions on using double-walled codends from groundfish bottom and midwater trawl vessels fishing under the Trawl Rationalization Program;

    • Remove the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear north of 40° 10′ N lat. and shoreward of the trawl RCA;

    • Adjust a number of provisions related to vessel operations on a single fishing trip, including allowing vessels that fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program under the Trawl Rationalization Program to carry and fish groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gears on the same trip, fish across IFQ management lines, and bring a new haul on deck before the catch from a previous haul is stowed.

    A. Proposed Regulations for Net Configurations

    This section discusses the proposed regulations that would remove some minimum mesh size restrictions, revise the definition of mesh size, remove chafing gear placement restrictions, and remove the prohibition on using double-walled codends for groundfish bottom and midwater trawl vessels fishing under the Trawl Rationalization Program. These measures all relate to net configuration, and all affect the mesh size for trawl nets. Because changing any of these restrictions could result in similar impacts, the analysis supporting this proposed rule considers both the individual and collective impacts of all of the measures. Below is a short description of each of the proposed regulations followed by a summary of the potential impacts of each of these measures combined.

    1. Eliminate Minimum Mesh Size Restriction

    Mesh size is the opening between opposing knots in a fishing net, and minimum mesh size is the smallest distance allowed from the inside of one knot to the inside of the opposing knot. Currently, vessels fishing with groundfish trawl gear, including chafing gear, must use nets with a minimum mesh size greater than or equal to 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) for bottom trawl, and greater than or equal to 3.0 inches (7.6 cm) for midwater trawl gears. These regulations were first implemented in the 1990s to reduce fishing mortality for smaller fish, thus increasing survival to maturity. Increasing size selectivity through minimum mesh size restrictions was also expected to reduce bycatch of non-target species.

    Midwater trawl gear must be constructed so that the first 20 feet (6.51 m) immediately behind the footrope or head-rope is constructed with bare ropes or mesh with a minimum size of 16 inches (40.64 cm). Also implemented in the 1990s, this restriction makes midwater trawl gear impractical or ineffective at capturing fish when in contact with the seafloor, which ensures that vessels do not make bottom contact with midwater trawl gear.

    This action would remove both the 4.5 in (11.4 cm) minimum mesh size requirement for groundfish bottom trawl gear and the 3.0 in (7.6 cm) minimum mesh size requirement for midwater trawl. The Council did not recommend revising the current restriction on the minimum mesh size restriction for the first 20 feet (6.51 m) behind the footrope or head-rope for midwater trawl gears. This requirement is essential to the definition of midwater trawl gear.

    Under the proposed regulations, it is not anticipated that groundfish bottom or midwater trawl vessel operators would significantly reduce their mesh size, throughout their codend, intermediate, and/or body of the trawl to create less selective fishing gear because this may increase the catch of undersized IFQ species or other unwanted species, decrease the efficiency of the trawl, and increase fuel consumption. Some groundfish bottom trawlers may use smaller meshes closer to the 3.0 in (7.6 cm) minimum allowed for midwater trawl to reduce gilling of species like widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish. But there does not currently appear to be a need for midwater trawl vessel operators to reduce their minimum mesh size through their trawl gear lower than the requirement, even though they would be allowed to do so under the proposed regulatory changes, because the current 3.0 in (7.6 cm) minimum mesh size requirement is sufficient for preventing excessive gilling of midwater species (e.g., widow and yellowtail rockfish) while maintaining high catch rates.

    The proposed regulations would likely provide vessel operators with the flexibility to configure their gear to enable efficient catch of target species, including the strategic use of smaller mesh sizes to facilitate the use or construction of excluder devices (e.g., flexible grates), the use of smaller meshes to herd or guide fish through the net and reduce gilling, and to reinforce the net where the excluder or guiding panels are attached to reduce wear on the net meshes.

    2. Revise the Definition of Mesh Size

    In addition to revising minimum mesh size restrictions for bottom and midwater trawl gear, this action updates the definition for measuring minimum mesh size to include knotless nets, as well as redefining the approach for measuring mesh size as the opening between opposing corners. These changes to the definition for mesh size are necessary because most vessels today use knotless trawl gear. Revising the definition of mesh size would allow NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) to enforce current mesh size requirements for nets that do not have knots. Additionally, removing the minimum mesh size requirements would reduce minor enforcement violations that occur when net shrinkage reduces mesh size below legal limits.

    Even if the minimum mesh size requirement is eliminated, as discussed under Section A.1. above, this revision to the definition of mesh size would still be necessary because vessels using midwater trawl nets will still be required to adhere to minimum mesh size requirements for the first 20 feet (6.51 m) behind the footrope or head-rope.

    3. Eliminate the Prohibition on Double-Walled Codends

    The current groundfish regulations prohibit double-walled codends on any trawl gear, and prohibits vessel operators from outfitting nets with chafing gear to effectively create a double-walled codend. Double-walled codend is defined in regulation as a codend constructed of two walls or layers of webbing. The prohibition was originally implemented in 1992 to prevent vessel operators from using double-walled codends to effectively reduce their mesh size below the minimum size requirements, which would have prevented undersized species from escaping the net, and resulted in more discards.

    The Council recommended and NMFS proposes eliminating the restrictions that prohibit groundfish bottom and midwater trawl vessels from using double-walled codends. This proposed regulations could provide flexibility necessary to reinforce webbing in certain areas of the trawl net that could facilitate escapement of fish through escape panels (e.g., reinforced webbing to attach ramps, funnels, or other selective devices to codend or intermediate meshes) and to prevent abrasion of the net from various trawl components, such as restraining straps. This revision could also result in escapement of smaller fish by reducing the effective mesh size of the codend and herd fish through the net, and increase net protection by “armoring” the trawl.

    4. Eliminate Restrictions on the Use of Chafing Gear

    The November 2011 TRREC report also suggested eliminating restrictions on the use of chafing gear. The groundfish regulations define chafing gear as a webbing or other material that attaches to the codend to protect trawl nets from wear and damage from bottom contact and contact with the vessels during net retrieval. Regulations implemented in the 1990s required chafing gear with large meshes be fastened to allow escapement of small fish through mesh openings (57 FR 12212, April 9, 1992). These regulations were intended to prevent vessel operators from using chafing gear to create double-walled codends or effectively reducing the mesh size below the minimum mesh size restrictions. Over the past 30 years, NMFS implemented several proposed regulations to expand the use of chafing gear to protect trawl nets to better align with regulations off Alaska.

    The current regulations allow vessels to configure chafing gear to encircle no more than 50 percent of a bottom trawl net's circumference. Chafing gear on bottom trawls may be used only on the last 50 meshes, issued from the terminal (closed) end of the codend. Only the front edge (edge closest to the open end of the codend) and sides of each section of chafing gear may be attached to the codend. With the exception of the corners, the terminal edge (edge closest to the closed end of the codend) of each section of chafing gear must not be attached to the net. Chafing gear must be attached outside any riblines and restraining straps.

    For midwater trawl, current regulations allow that chafing gear may cover the bottom and sides of the codend in either one or more sections. Only the front edge (edge closest to the open end of the codend) and sides of each section of chafing gear may be attached to the codend; except at the corners, the terminal edge (edge closest to the closed end of the codend) of each section of chafing gear must not be attached to the net. Chafing gear is not permitted on the top codend panel on midwater trawl gear except for a band of mesh (a “skirt”) may encircle the net under or over transfer cables, lifting or splitting straps (chokers), riblines, and restraining straps, but must be the same mesh size and coincide knot-to-knot with the net to which it is attached and be no wider than 16 meshes.

    NMFS proposes removing all restrictions in regulations on the use of chafing gear for groundfish bottom trawl and midwater trawl gear. Removing these restrictions would allow vessel operator flexibility in how they use chafing gear to protect nets and codends and how they fish relative to the seafloor. It is anticipated that under the proposed regulations, vessel operators would use chafing gear strategically to provide protection in areas where the net can be susceptible to wear. This will allow vessels to extend the life of their nets and ultimately reduce operational costs.

    It is not anticipated that vessel operators would attach large sections of chafing gear to these additional sections for added net protection, because doing so would increase the drag on the net, which could increase fuel consumption and reduce fishing efficiency. In addition, it would likely provide no additional protection from bottom contact, because the top of the net and tapered portion of the net in front of the codend rarely contact the seabed. Wear patterns on midwater trawl nets indicate that when bottom contact occurs, it typically occurs at the very end of the codend, which can already be protected by chafing gear under the current regulations. The ability of vessels to fish in more rocky habitat has more to do with the size of the footrope than the chafing gear protections, and vessels operators would still be required to abide by the small footrope requirement shoreward of the trawl RCA. Therefore, limiting their ability to fish in high relief areas regardless of chafing gear requirements.

    This change is not expected to result in increased catch of undersized or non-target fish. Attaching more chafing gear than necessary to protect the net could also limit the flow within the net, which is needed to allow for adequate escapement of undersized fish, if meshes are blocked. Researchers have also shown there is no detectable difference in selectivity between codends with and without top-side chafing gear if the chafing gear consists of larger meshes than the codend mesh size (e.g., 2 times larger) and if the chafing gear is attached to the codend loosely (i.e., to allow space between the top-side chafing gear and the codend meshes). For those species that escape through the top meshes of codends and intermediates, properly hung top-side chafing gear with large meshes may not block or mask codend meshes and therefore may not measurably impede escapement.

    This change is not expected to substantially alter gear contact with the bottom. Numerous disincentives already exist for midwater vessel operators to fish close to the substrate. These disincentives include: (a) Risk of damage to the net from snagging or hanging on hard bottom would not be lessened by increases in chafing gear coverage; (b) reduced gear efficiency and increased operating costs when bottom contact occurs; and (c) bare footropes, sweeps, and 16 in (40.64 cm) mesh size restriction for the first 20 ft (6.1 m) on the front of the net make the gear impractical or ineffective for fishing hard on the bottom (soft or hard bottom).

    5. Summary of Potential Impacts From Proposed Regulations for Net Configuration

    Eliminating restrictions on groundfish bottom and midwater trawl net configuration would allow vessels to experiment with different mesh sizes, chafing gear placement, and use of double-walled codends. Each of these proposed regulations individually, and collectively, could result in potential negative impacts to the physical and biological environments. However, in most instances, these impacts are mitigated through incentives and disincentives built into the Trawl Rationalization Program. Additionally, many of the proposed regulations would have a positive impact on harvesters, processors, and the communities they support.

    Proposed regulations which could result in a reduction in mesh sizes used and increased net protections could increase bottom trawl effort targeting semi-pelagic rockfish species or longspine thornyhead, and therefore result in some redistribution of effort or a shift of effort to deeper waters. These shifts in effort are not anticipated to result in additional impacts to the physical environment beyond what already occurs under the current regulations. The proposed regulations do not open any new areas to trawling. Any redistribution of effort would not be expected to impact any new habitats which are not already fished with trawl gear. Other restrictions on net configurations, such as the small-footrope requirement shoreward of the trawl RCA, haven been shown to be very effective in limiting effort in high relief areas. Vessel operators would still be at risk of damage to their nets and hang-ups from entering into high relief habitats, even with the ability to provide additional chafing gear or codend protections, which do not provide any protection to the ropes.

    Increasing net protections which result in extensively armoring the trawl and reducing mesh sizes is also unlikely for many reasons, including: (a) Increased drag and decreased flow; (b) increased expense while hauling due to increased fuel consumption; (c) increased expense to purchase smaller mesh, additional chafing gear, and double-walled nets; and (d) increased retention of undersized and unmarketable fish. It is important to note that increased drag may not only increase fuel consumption, but also may reduce fishing efficiency, such as reducing door spread of the trawl net.

    If vessels make mesh size, chafing gear, or double-walled codend changes throughout the codend and/or intermediate net in a manner that reduces trawl gear selectivity, then catches of undersized or unwanted groundfish could increase. However, the Trawl Rationalization Program creates a strong disincentive for vessel operators to avoid the catch of undersized, unmarketable groundfish. Catching more small fish is not economically advantageous to vessel operators. Although most undersized fish are unmarketable, vessels operators must still account for the catching of undersized fish with individual quota pounds. Vessel operators must debit each pound of unmarketable, undersized fish caught from their total allocation for that species, which means they must forgo the opportunity to use their allocation for marketable catch. For this reason, catching unmarketable, undersized fish has the potential to reduce vessel revenue, as well as add sorting time (workload), for the vessel's crew and processor's employees.

    Revisions to the restrictions on net configurations could have a positive impact on harvesters by allowing vessel operators to configure their nets in the most efficient way possible, including the opportunity to experiment with excluders and various combinations of mesh size and mesh shape (square or T-90 mesh) that could reduce bycatch while simultaneously improving the sustainability of the fishery and increasing the likelihood of attainment. Vessel operators have repeatedly testified to the Council that they desire more flexibility to experiment with trawl gear to reduce catch of unwanted species and increase catch of marketable fish. This may ultimately result in improved quality and consistency of product to first receivers and processors over time. Vessel operators would also benefit from the reduced complexity of the regulations by removing additional restrictions that they were subject to previously. This could save time and effort for vessel operators and ultimately reduce operational costs as vessel operators would no longer need to ensure compliance with these regulations.

    Eliminating restrictions on mesh size will also likely reduce enforcement costs. Although enforcement of the remaining mesh size restriction on midwater trawl gear would still be required, enforcement of the other restrictions would be removed.

    B. Eliminate the Requirement To Use Selective Flatfish Trawl Shoreward of the RCA and North of 42 N Latitude

    Selective flatfish trawl is a type of small footrope trawl developed to maintain a nearshore flatfish trawl fishery while reducing the non-target catch of canary rockfish and other overfished rockfish species. The selective flatfish trawl features a headrope set back from a flattened net body to capture low-swimming flatfish while allowing rockfish, particularly canary rockfish, to escape over the upper edge of the trawl net. Along with the elimination of the codend, chafing gear, and mesh size provisions, the 2011 TRREC report suggested the Council consider eliminating the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement and replace them with a small footrope requirement, as well as revising the definition of selective flatfish trawl to allow for four-seam nets. Similar to the adjustments discussed above in Section A., the TRREC pointed to the Trawl Rationalization Program to support this regulatory change.

    The current regulations define selective flatfish trawl as a two-seamed net with no more than two riblines, excluding the codend. The breastline may not be longer than 3 feet (0.92 m). There may be no floats along the center third of the headrope or attached to the top panel except on the riblines. The footrope must be less than 105 feet (32.26 m). The headrope must be no less than 30 percent longer than the footrope. The headrope is issued along the length of the headrope from the outside edge to the opposite outside edge.

    Since 2005, the groundfish regulations have required the use of selective flatfish trawl gear shoreward of the trawl RCA north of 40°10′ N latitude. The regulations further prohibit vessels fishing north of 40°10′ N latitude from having small footrope trawl gear on board, other than selective flatfish trawl gear, while fishing shoreward of the trawl RCA. Vessels are allowed, but not required, to use selective flatfish trawl gear shoreward of the trawl RCA south of 40°10′ N latitude, and seaward of the trawl RCA coastwide.

    This rule proposes revising the definition of selective flatfish trawl gear to allow either a two-seam or a four-seam net with up to four riblines, while retaining all the other existing restrictions related to the configuration of this gear. In addition, the Council proposed eliminating the requirement that vessels use selective flatfish trawl gear shoreward of the trawl RCA north of 40°10′ N latitude. Instead, groundfish bottom trawl vessels would be allowed to use any small footrope trawl gear shoreward of the trawl RCA north and south of 40°10′ N latitude. Large footrope trawl gear would still be prohibited in this area.

    Revising the definition of selective flatfish trawl to allow for a four-seam net could potentially provide for better flow and improved selectivity compared to a two-seam net. A four-seam net has more open meshes for smaller fish to escape. In addition, studies have demonstrated that improved flow within nets improves fishing efficiency, which may increase catch of marketable target and non-target groundfish (e.g., widow rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, and Pacific cod), and reduce bycatch of small or unmarketable groundfish (e.g., undersized redstripe rockfish, rosethorn rockfish, sand dabs).

    Eliminating the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear north of 40°10′ N. latitude could result in a shift in bottom trawl effort shoreward of the trawl RCA north of 40°10′ N. latitude and increased catch of selected pelagic or semi-pelagic groundfish species (e.g., widow and canary rockfish) over the continental shelf. The shift in fishing effort away from the area seaward of the trawl RCA, is most likely to occur prior to May 15th when midwater trawling is prohibited. Any increased catch would be expected to remain within the current annual catch limits for target and non-target groundfish, and non-groundfish stocks. Furthermore, increased efficiency (e.g., more open meshes due to use of four-seam trawl, improved flow, catch of larger rockfish and roundfish, and improved function of selective devices) may lead to some reduction in overall bottom trawling effort, an increase catch of larger marketable fish, and a decrease catch of small unwanted species.

    During development of the proposed action for the 2017 Salmon Biological Opinion, the Council considered several analyses that discussed the potential impacts that the future fishery, including possible impacts from the elimination of the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement, may have on the incidental take of Chinook salmon in the Pacific Coast's groundfish trawl fishery. NMFS presented an analysis at the April 2017 Council meeting, under the 2017 Salmon Biological Opinion agenda item, that suggested that removal of this requirement could dramatically increase the incidental take of Chinook salmon north of 40°10′ N. latitude. At the time, the data that were used suggested this gear requirement is driving the differences in bycatch rates. However, that analysis acknowledged numerous caveats associated with comparing bycatch rates between different periods of time (i.e. now vs. 20 years ago) and uncertainty as to how this information could be applied to today's fishery.

    To gather data about the potential impacts of changing the existing selective flatfish trawl gear requirement for today's fishery, NMFS issued two EFPs for the 2017 and 2018 groundfish fishing years that, among other measures, exempted vessels from the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement. At its March 2017 and March 2018 meetings, during development of the 2017 and 2018 Trawl Gear EFPs, the Council twice considered and rejected including the area shoreward of the trawl RCA between 42° N latitude and 40°10′ N latitude in the exemption to the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement due to concerns over potential impacts to Chinook salmon. NMFS ultimately permitted more than 40 vessels to participate in the two EFPs. These vessels have completed more than 200 EFP trips. Based on the analysis of this new information, changes that have occurred within the fishery over the past several year, and the analysis in the December 2017 biological opinion, NMFS has determined that Chinook salmon bycatch is unlikely to increase in the area north of 42° N latitude (the southern boundary of the 2017 and 2018 Trawl Gear EFPs) on a scale shown in the report NMFS presented April 2017.

    Potential impacts to Chinook salmon in the area between 42° N latitude and 40°10′ N latitude are less certain. The December 2017 biological opinion on salmon bycatch in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery discussed that significant uncertainty exists in the magnitude of impacts, especially the species-level impacts, for fisheries in locations or time periods outside the available data. Areas south of 42° N latitude, particularly between January and early May (outside the Pacific primary whiting season), have particularly limited information because most fishing tends to take place north of 42° N latitude due to other restrictions (i.e. federal prohibition on whiting processing south of 42° N lat.).

    In addition to concerns about the uncertainty in Chinook salmon bycatch in the groundfish fishery in the area between 42° N. latitude and 40°10′ N latitude, NMFS has made the preliminary determination that the proposed changes to the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement shoreward of the trawl RCA between 42° N latitude and 40°10′ N latitude may be out of compliance with the terms and conditions of the December 2017 Salmon Incidental Take Statement. Term and Condition 4b requires that “prior to allowing additional non-whiting trawling south 42° N latitude, NMFS will implement one or more EFPs designed to collect information about Chinook and coho bycatch levels and stock composition from fishing in those areas or at those times for a minimum of three years.”

    Based on these concerns and the information presented at the Council meetings and while developing this rule, NMFS is specifically asking for public comment on the elimination of the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear in the area between 42° N latitude and 40°10′ N latitude.

    C. Proposed Regulations for Vessel Operations

    This section discusses the three proposed regulations that relate to vessel operations on a single fishing trip, including allowing vessels that fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program under the Trawl Rationalization Program to carry and fish groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gears on the same trip, fish across IFQ management lines, and bring a new haul on deck before the catch from a previous haul is stowed. These three measures are discussed together because they could have similar impacts on vessel operations and catch accounting. Below is a short description of each of the proposed regulations followed by a summary of the potential impacts of each of these measures combined.

    1. Eliminate the Prohibition on Multiple Types of Groundfish Trawl Gears Carried and Fished on the Same Trip

    The GMT suggested the use of multiple fishing gears on a single trip under the Shorebased IFQ Program to the Council at its November 2011 meeting. The current restrictions on the use of multiple fishing gears during a single trip under the IFQ Program are complex, with different sections of the regulations allowing vessels to carry different gear combinations in different parts of the EEZ. For example, the regulations prohibit vessels from using multiple types of bottom trawl gear during a single trip when fishing seaward or shoreward of the trawl RCA south of 40°10′ N latitude. However, the regulations do not include a similar prohibition for the area north of 40°10′ N latitude, where vessels may fish with multiple types of trawl gear seaward of the trawl RCA. The GMT suggested that simplifying the regulations to allow vessels to carry and fish with multiple types of gear on the same trip could improve economic efficiency and improve safety at sea by reducing the number of trips and days at sea.

    Regulations define the following trawl gear types: Large footrope trawl, small footrope trawl, selective flatfish trawl, and midwater trawl. North of 40°10′ N latitude, a vessel may not have both groundfish trawl gear and non-groundfish trawl gear on board simultaneously, or have multiple trawl gear types (groundfish bottom or midwater trawl gear) on board simultaneously. A vessel may, however, have more than one type of limited entry bottom trawl gear on board (selective flatfish trawl or small footrope trawl gear), either simultaneously or successively, during a trip limit period, with one exception. Only a selective flatfish trawl is allowed onboard when fishing shoreward of the trawl RCA (§ 660.130(c)(2)). Finally, a vessel may have more than one type of midwater groundfish trawl gear on board, either simultaneously or successively, during a cumulative period. South of 40°10′ N latitude, a vessel may not have both groundfish trawl gear and non-groundfish trawl gear on board simultaneously, may not have both bottom trawl gear and midwater trawl gear on board simultaneously, and may not have small footrope trawl gear and any other type of bottom trawl gear on board simultaneously.

    Limited entry trawl vessels were allowed to fish with multiple trawl gears during the same trip prior to the development of the trawl RCA. To ensure that bottom trawl gear was not used within trawl RCA, a new regulation was published in 2003 to allow no more than one type of trawl gear on board during a single fishing trip (68 FR 907, January 7, 2003). Regulations requiring vessel monitoring systems (VMS), paired with vessel declarations, became effective on January 1, 2004, to ensure adequate monitoring and to enforce these new gear-specific area restrictions (68 FR 62375, November 4, 2003). Additional monitoring requirements implemented through the Trawl Rationalization Program and changes to when a declaration can be made, proposed through this rule, have made the prohibition unnecessary to achieve its original purpose.

    The Council recommended and NMFS proposes eliminating the prohibition on vessels carrying both groundfish bottom trawl gear and midwater trawl gear onboard simultaneously while fishing under the Shorebased IFQ Program north of 40°10′ N latitude, or south of 40°10′ N latitude. Additionally, the rule proposes eliminating the prohibition on having bottom trawl gear, other than selective flatfish trawl gear, on board shoreward of the RCA and north of 40°10′ N latitude. Instead, vessels would be allowed to have any type of bottom trawl (small/large footrope or selective flatfish trawl) and midwater trawl gear on board simultaneously and would be allowed to fish any of these trawl gears during a single trip as long as the appropriate declaration is made when gears are changed. Vessels would be required to keep and land all catch separately by gear type, and catch would be reported on electronic fish tickets by gear type. This rule would not adjust the current provision that requires vessels to stow any gear not authorized for use in the area when transiting through a groundfish conservation area. For species managed with trip limits, crossover provisions, and gear-specific trip limits, all current regulations would remain in effect.

    This rule would also modify recordkeeping and reporting requirements for vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program who choose to use more than one type of groundfish trawl gear on the same trip. These vessels would be required to make a new gear declaration from sea to indicate that they have chosen to fish with a new gear type (i.e., groundfish bottom trawl vs. midwater trawl). Currently, the regulations only allow vessels to declare one type of trawl gear at a time when fishing in the Trawl Rationalization Program. Vessel operators must declare a gear type for a trip prior to leaving port. Therefore, under the current regulations, after a vessel operator has submitted a gear declaration report to NMFS, the vessel cannot change activities, including fishing with any gear other than the gear type that the vessel declared at the start of the trip, until the vessel returns to port and offloads all fish. The proposed regulations would allow vessels operators in the Shorebased IFQ Program who choose to use multiple groundfish trawl gears on the same trip to adjust their trip declarations from sea. Vessel operators would need to make a declaration any time they switched to a gear other than the gear that was declared at the start of the fishing trip, to continued enforcement of closed areas, but they would not be required to return to port to make the new declaration.

    Allowing the use of multiple IFQ trawl gears on the same trip could potentially reduce the time at sea, further reducing daily fuel and observer coverage costs. It would also allow greater flexibility for harvesters while at sea when choosing how best to use quota pounds. For instance, vessels could choose to avoid using bottom trawl gear when that gear might result in high catch of prohibited species. Instead they could switch their gear type, and fishing strategy, to target non-whiting midwater species complexes in the same area, which may have reduced interactions with prohibited species, by changing to another trawl gear type. Alternatively, a vessel could choose to target more abundant bottom trawl species on the same trip if it finds targeting non-whiting midwater species to be less profitable or carry increased risk of encountering non-target catch.

    Allowing groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gear to be fished on the same trip could have some limited indirect effects on stock assessments for target and non-target species. Because it is impossible for observers and vessels using electronic monitoring to monitor the hold once the catch is stored, there is the potential that removing the prohibition on multiple types of trawl gear could reduce the quality of stock assessments and economic analysis to some extent if the catch mingles and is recorded incorrectly.

    2. Eliminate the Prohibition on Bringing a New Haul Onboard Before All Catch From the Previous Haul Is Stowed

    The proposed elimination of the prohibition on bringing a new haul on board before all catch from a previous haul had been stowed first came to the Council from the GAP at the Council's November 2015 during discussions of the range of alternatives for the trawl gear changes package. Under current regulations, vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program are prohibited from bringing a new haul on board the deck until all catch from the previous haul has been stowed. Catch cannot be stowed until all protocols under the Electronic Monitoring Program or the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program (WCGOP) have been completed. Additionally, the regulations require vessels to stow all catch from a haul before the new haul is brought onboard. These requirements were added to the regulations in 2011, through implementation of the Trawl Rationalization Program, to aid observers in carrying out their duties.

    This rule proposes eliminating the existing prohibition on bringing a haul on board before the previous haul has been stowed, and the requirement to stow all catch before catch from a new haul is brought on board. However, vessels would be required to keep separate catch from separate hauls until the observer could complete the haul-specific collection of catch for sampling. Vessels fishing with electronic monitoring would be required to keep catch from different hauls separate on deck until fully documented according to protocols established in the specific vessel's monitoring plan. All vessels would still be required to land any catch that was caught using different gears separated by gear type.

    Eliminating this prohibition could provide some limited benefit to the vessels. Completely sorting and stowing catch from a haul in the trawl fishery can take several hours. There have been some instances when the onboard observer may not require all catch to be removed from deck and stowed to successfully complete sampling duties. As long as catch from different hauls does not mingle, the vessel operator could bring a second haul onboard while the observer is completing their duties.

    Eliminating the prohibition on bringing a new haul on board could have some potential negative effects on observers if this causes vessel operators to pressure observers to complete their duties more quickly so a new haul could be brought onboard. Degraded observer data could result in indirect impacts on stocks if stock data is affected. The current regulations require that the observers are provided reasonable assistance to complete all duties, including providing adequate time and space to do so. These regulations would still be enforced if the prohibition on bringing a new haul onboard is eliminated.

    3. Eliminate the Prohibition on Fishing in Multiple IFQ Management Areas on the Same Tow

    There are currently four IFQ management areas in the regulations that are based on the stock information for select species, harvest allocations, and the corresponding quota shares for species. The IFQ management areas include:

    • The area between the U.S./Canada border and 40°10′ N latitude • The area between 40°10′ N latitude and 36° N latitude • The area between 36° N latitude and 34°27′ N latitude • The area between 34°27′ N latitude and the U.S./Mexico border.

    The Council created these areas as part of the Trawl Rationalization Program to allow for different management measures for species or species groups in different IFQ management areas. Several IFQ species are tracked either as a single species with different quota share by area, or as a single species in one area and as a component of an assemblage in another area (e.g., minor shelf or slope complex north or south of 40°10′ N latitude). To address differences in management measures for species or species complexes among IFQ management areas, vessels have been prohibited from fishing in different IFQ management areas during the same fishing trip.

    As mentioned previously, the Council held a workshop in Portland, Oregon on August 29 and 30, 2012. The result of that workshop was a list of recommendations to the Council at its November 2012 meeting. One of those recommendations included the elimination of the prohibition on fishing across management lines for vessels fishing under the Shorebased IFQ Program. Instead, participants suggested allowing vessels to move across IFQ management lines on a single tow.

    This rule proposes eliminating the prohibition on fishing in multiple IFQ management areas on the same trip for vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program. These vessels would be allowed to fish in multiple IFQ management areas on the same trip and the same haul. If retaining catch from multiple IFQ management areas, catch would not need to be sorted by area. Catch from multiple IFQ management areas would be recorded on the same ticket.

    Based on recommendations from industry, this rule also proposes to allow vessels to fish across management lines in the same tow. Catch from vessels fishing across management lines would be assigned to an area and quota pounds would be deducted from vessel accounts based on the proportion of hauls in a given management area. For example, if six hauls were taken in one IFQ management area, and two hauls were taken in another management area, the total catch would be apportioned to management areas by a 6 to 2 ratio.

    The proposed regulations would improve flexibility for vessels when selecting their harvest strategies to best utilize their available IFQ. Vessels that operate near a management line would most likely benefit the most from reduced operational costs by not having to haul back gear and reset to start a new haul on the other side of the management area boundary line. Vessel towing across lines could reduce the number of hauls and therefore fuel costs and time at sea.

    The proposed regulations do increase the catch accounting complexity and could potentially reduce the accuracy of catch reporting. NMFS would need to accurately track the number of hauls in a given area and apply this estimation to total catch landing weight to determine the pro-rata assignment. Additionally, the combination of allowing multiple trawl gears onboard and fishing in multiple management areas creates more complexity to managers in assigning catches.

    4. Summary of Potential Impacts From Proposed Regulations for Some Vessel Operations

    The proposed regulations would change how vessels in the Shorebased IFQ Program may operate as they would be allowed to tow across IFQ management areas, carry and fish with groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gear, and bring a new haul on board before the previous haul has been stowed. The effect of eliminating these prohibitions is most directly felt by harvesters who would have more flexibility in how they operate their vessels. The proposed regulations are unlikely to increase fishing effort (i.e. number of trips) or cause a significant shift in fishing behavior. However, vessels may change where they fish, and would be expected to be more efficient in their fishing practices, which could ultimately increase effort (i.e. catch/hour). These impacts are expected to be minimal as most vessels will likely not choose to carry and fish multiple gears on every trip. Additional impacts to the physical environment caused by the proposed regulations are not anticipated because these provisions do not open any new areas to fishing, and vessels will still be required to abide by all groundfish conservation areas. Direct impacts to the biological environment are not expected from these measures. Vessels in the Shorebased IFQ Program are required to cover all catch with quota pounds. Net configurations would not be affected by these proposed regulations.

    Vessel operators are expected to use the flexibility to create an efficient fishing strategy that best limits bycatch of non-target and protected species while still maximizing catch of their target species. Vessels would maximize attainment of IFQ by carrying and fishing with both midwater and groundfish bottom trawl gear on the same trip. According to vessel operators, trawl vessels average between 10 and 20 days spent annually traveling back and forth to port to change gear types. If vessels in the Shorebased IFQ Program had less restrictions on how they operate their vessels, including carrying multiple types of trawl gear onboard, vessel operators may be able to eliminate most days spent traveling back and forth to port to change gears resulting in financial savings. For example, the mean fixed operational costs for non-whiting trawl vessels in the Trawl Rationalization Program is just over $5,000 per day. If these vessels were to eliminate 10-20 days which had been previously used to transit back and forth to port, then that would be a savings of between $50,000 and $100,000 per vessel per year.

    Vessel operators would also likely create efficiencies and save money if fishing near an IFQ management line. A vessel operator would not have to haul back gear and reset to start a new haul in a new management area. Vessel towing across IFQ management lines could reduce the number of hauls and therefore the amount of fuel spent trawling and maneuvering the vessel to optimize harvest, potentially increasing attainment for the few vessels that are currently hampered by their inability to cross management lines.

    Eliminating regulations that manage vessel operations could also have some potential negative impacts to processors, observers, and managers. Due to the complexity of the sorting options for vessels fishing across IFQ management lines, processors could have difficulty handling deliveries, as the number of hauls in each area would need to be tracked and reported on fish tickets. Additional catch accounting complexity would also result from needing to track the number of hauls by management area. Vessels using multiple groundfish trawl gears on a single trip would need to keep all catch separated by gear type. However, as there are no monitors or cameras below deck, it would be impossible for shoreside monitors, first receivers, vessel operators, or observers to ensure that catch has been kept separate.

    A vessel observer's ability to process samples would be the limiting factor for increased efficiency on vessels where an operator would like to bring a new haul onboard before the previous haul has been stowed. Catch from hauls caught by the same gear could not be mixed until the observer had taken all the necessary samples. Therefore, additional pressure on the observer to do their work quickly may result. This pressure could cause mistakes and ultimately degrade data quality. Maintaining restrictions on pressuring observers or catch monitors would ensure continued accurate monitoring and reporting of catch, and help maintain quality catch at sea and landing data used to manage the fishery in season and for stock assessments used to develop catch limits and harvest guidelines.

    III. Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent with the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. In making the final determination, NMFS will consider the data, views, and comments received during the public comment period. NMFS also prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for this action. Copies of the draft EA and other supporting documentation is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES) or visit NMFS's website at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/groundfish_catch_shares/rules_regulations/trawl_regulations_compliance_guides.html.

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this proposed rule is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    This proposed rule does not contain policies with Federalism or “takings” implications as those terms are defined in E.O. 13132 and E.O. 12630, respectively.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The proposed regulations for groundfish bottom trawl and midwater trawl gear would directly affect vessels fishing under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery's Trawl Rationalization Program. Eliminating restrictions on mesh size, chafing gear, and codend will allow vessels to experiment with different mesh sizes and net coverings, which could help reduce fishing operational costs and days on sea. Removing the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear and revising the definition to allow for four-seam nets will allow vessel operators to target recently rebuilt overfished stocks, such as widow and yellowtail rockfishes. Allowing vessels that fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program, a component of the Trawl Rationalization Program, to carry and fish with multiple groundfish trawl gears, fish across management lines, and bring a new haul onboard the vessel before the previous haul is stowed could help improve the efficiency of fishing practices. Vessels would not be required to return to port to change gears or haul back to move and reset on the other side of an IFQ management line. Vessels could spend less time at sea, which would reduce fuel and observer costs. Our analysis of the likely economic impacts of this action predicts that these regulatory changes will have positive impacts on fishing vessels, seafood processors, and fishing communities.

    IV. Description of Regulated Entities

    For the purposes of our Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, the proposed action is expected to affect entities that both process and harvest groundfish under the Trawl Rationalization Program. The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) established criteria for business in the fishery sector to qualify as small entities. Under that standard, two small processing entities, each of which owns one groundfish permit, would be regulated by the proposed rule. Seven large entities, which own 30 groundfish permits, would be regulated by the proposed rule.

    For RFA purposes only, NMFS established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The determination as to whether the entity is large or small is based on the average annual revenue for the 3 years from 2013 through 2015. Limited entry groundfish vessels are required to self-report size across all affiliated entities. Of the businesses who earn the majority of their revenue from commercial fishing, one self-reported as large. This entity owns four groundfish permits. The remaining 117 entities primarily involved in seafood harvest self-identified as small, and own 139 permits.

    A total of 113 vessels harvested groundfish in the Trawl Rationalization at some point and would potentially benefit from some or all of the flexibility offered in the proposed rule. However, this number of entities represents the maximum number of affected entities. Not all permit owners choose to fish each season, therefore, not all 113 vessels would benefit from this action each year. Only those vessels which are active vessels are the most likely to benefit and be directly impacted by regulations.

    V. Description of the Proposed Regulations

    The proposed regulations would eliminate and revise regulations that govern the use and configuration of groundfish bottom and midwater trawl gear fished under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery's Trawl Rationalization Program. The specific revisions would eliminate the minimum mesh size requirement for groundfish bottom trawl and midwater trawl gear; the prohibition on the use of double-walled cod-ends; restrictions on where and how chafing gear can be attached to the trawl net; the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear shoreward of the trawl RCA; the prohibition on carrying and using multiple types of groundfish trawl gear (bottom trawl and midwater trawl) on the same trip; the prohibition on fishing across individual fishing quota management lines on the same haul; and the prohibition on bringing a new haul onboard before all catch from the previous haul has been stowed.

    VI. Collection of Information Requirements

    This action contains a change to an information collection requirement, which has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0648-0573: Expanded Vessel Monitoring System Requirement for the Pacific Groundfish Fishery. The proposed regulatory change, which is described above in section C.1 of the preamble, would allow vessel operators who fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program to make a new declaration from sea when a new gear fished on a trip. This revision would remove the requirement that vessels return to port to make a new declaration. The numbers of declaration reports the vessel operator is required to submit to NMFS would not change under this request. Therefore, no small entity would be subject to additional reporting requirements.

    Overall, the proposed regulations are expected to have a positive economic effect on small entities. The elimination of these regulations would alleviate some restrictions on how vessels fishing in the Trawl Rationalization may use and configure their gear. Eliminating regulations that may be constraining on industry members and are no longer needed due to the new management system is likely to generate additional groundfish gross revenues as vessels are able to obtain more of their quota and reducing their fishing operational costs. Allowing vessels more flexibility to configure their gear will also allow vessel operators to innovate and adapt to an ever changing environment.

    This action is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The effects on the regulated small entities identified in this analysis are expected to be positive. Under the proposed action, small entities would not be placed at a competitive disadvantage relative to large entities, and the regulations would not reduce the profits for any small entities. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian Fisheries.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

    2. In § 660.11, amend the definition of “Fishing gear” by revising paragraphs (7) and (11)(iii)(B) to read as follows:
    § 660.11 General definitions.

    Fishing gear includes the following types of gear and equipment:

    (7) Mesh size means the opening between opposing knots, or opposing corners for knotless webbing. Minimum mesh size means the smallest distance allowed between the inside of one knot or corner to the inside of the opposing knot or corner, regardless of twine size.

    (11) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (B) Chafing gear means webbing or other material that is attached to the trawl net to protect the net from wear and abrasions either when fishing or hauling on deck.

    3. In § 660.13, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 660.13 Recordkeeping and reporting.

    (d) Declaration reporting requirements—When the operator of a vessel registers a VMS unit with NMFS OLE, the vessel operator must provide NMFS with a declaration report as specified at paragraph (d)(4)(iv) of this section. The operator of any vessel that has already registered a VMS unit with NMFS OLE but has not yet made a declaration, as specified at paragraph (d)(4)(iv) of this section, must provide NMFS with a declaration report upon request from NMFS OLE.

    (1) Declaration reports for vessels registered to limited entry permits. The operator of any vessel registered to a limited entry permit must provide NMFS OLE with a declaration report, as specified at paragraph (d)(4)(iv) of this section, before the vessel leaves port on a trip in which the vessel is used to fish in U.S. ocean waters between 0 and 200 nm offshore of Washington, Oregon, or California.

    (i) Limited entry trawl vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program must provide NMFS OLE with a new declaration report each time a different groundfish trawl gear (bottom or midwater only) is fished. The declaration may be made from sea and must be made to NMFS before a different type (bottom or midwater only) of groundfish trawl gear is fished.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) Declaration reports for all vessels using non-groundfish trawl gear. The operator of any vessel that is not registered to a limited entry permit and which uses non-groundfish trawl gear to fish in the EEZ (3-200 nm offshore), must provide NMFS OLE with a declaration report, as specified at paragraph (d)(4)(iv) of this section, before the vessel leaves port to fish in the EEZ.

    (3) Declaration reports for open access vessels using non trawl gear (all types of open access gear other than non-groundfish trawl gear). The operator of any vessel that is not registered to a limited entry permit, must provide NMFS with a declaration report, as specified at paragraph (d)(4)(iv) of this section, before the vessel leaves port on a trip in which the vessel is used to take and retain or possess groundfish in the EEZ or land groundfish taken in the EEZ.

    (4) Declaration reports. (i) The operator of a vessel specified in paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of this section must provide a declaration report to NMFS OLE prior to leaving port on the first trip in which the vessel meets the requirement specified at § 660.14(b) to have a VMS.

    (ii) A declaration report will be valid until another declaration report revising the existing gear or fishery declaration is received by NMFS OLE. The vessel operator must send a new declaration report when:

    (A) A gear type that is different from the gear type most recently declared for the vessel will be used, or

    (B) A vessel will fish in a fishery other than the fishery most recently declared.

    (iii) During the period of time that a vessel has a valid declaration report on file with NMFS OLE, it cannot fish with a gear other than a gear type declared by the vessel or fish in a fishery other than the fishery most recently declared.

    (iv) Declaration reports will include: The vessel name and/or identification number, the gear type, and the fishery (as defined in paragraph (d)(4)(iv)(A) of this section).

    (A) One of the following gear types or sectors must be declared:

    (1) Limited entry fixed gear, not including Shorebased IFQ Program,

    (2) Limited entry groundfish non-trawl, Shorebased IFQ Program,

    (3) Limited entry midwater trawl, non-whiting Shorebased IFQ Program,

    (4) Limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting Shorebased IFQ Program,

    (5) Limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting catcher/processor sector,

    (6) Limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting mothership sector (catcher vessel or mothership),

    (7) Limited entry bottom trawl, Shorebased IFQ Program, not including demersal trawl,

    (8) Limited entry demersal trawl, Shorebased IFQ Program,

    (B) [Reserved]

    (v) Upon receipt of a declaration report, NMFS will provide a confirmation code or receipt to confirm that a valid declaration report was received for the vessel. Vessel owners or operators are responsible for retaining the confirmation code or receipt to verify that a valid declaration report was filed.

    4. In § 660.25, revise paragraph (b)(4)(vii)(C) to read as follows:
    § 660.25 Permits.

    (b) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (vii) * * *

    (C) Limited entry MS permits and limited entry permits with an MS/CV or a C/P endorsement. Limited entry MS permits and limited entry permits with an MS/CV or a C/P endorsement may be registered to another vessel up to two times during the calendar year as long as the second change in vessel registration is back to the original vessel. The original vessel is either the vessel registered to the permit as of January 1, or if no vessel is registered to the permit as of January 1, the original vessel is the first vessel to which the permit is registered after January 1. After the original vessel has been established, the first change in vessel registration would be to another vessel, but any second change in vessel registration must be back to the original vessel. For an MS/CV-endorsed permit on the second change in vessel registration back to the original vessel, that vessel must be used to fish exclusively in the MS Coop Program described § 660.150 for the remainder of the calendar year, and declare in to the limited entry mid water trawl, Pacific whiting mothership sector as specified at § 660.13(d)(4)(iv).

    5. In § 660.60, revise paragraphs (h)(7) introductory text, (h)(7)(i) introductory text, (h)(7)(ii)(A), (h)(7)(ii)(B)(1) introductory text, and (h)(7)(ii)(B)(2) to read as follows:
    § 660.60 Specifications and management measures.

    (h) * * *

    (7) Crossover provisions. Crossover provisions apply to three activities: Fishing on different sides of a management line, fishing in both the limited entry and open access fisheries, or fishing in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery. Fishery-specific crossover provisions can be found in subparts D through F of this part.

    (i) Fishing in management areas with different trip limits. Trip limits for a species or a species group may differ in different management areas along the coast. The following crossover provisions apply to vessels fishing in different geographical areas that have different cumulative or “per trip” trip limits for the same species or species group, with the following exceptions. Such crossover provisions do not apply to: IFQ species (defined at § 660.140(c), subpart D) for vessels that are declared into the Shorebased IFQ Program (see § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A), for valid Shorebased IFQ Program declarations); species that are subject only to daily trip limits; or to trip limits for black rockfish off Washington, as described at §§ 660.230(e) and 660.330(e).

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Fishing in limited entry and open access fisheries with different trip limits. Open access trip limits apply to any fishing conducted with open access gear, even if the vessel has a valid limited entry permit with an endorsement for another type of gear. Except such provisions do not apply to IFQ species (defined at § 660.140(c), subpart D) for vessels that are declared into the Shorebased IFQ Program (see § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A) for valid Shorebased IFQ Program declarations). A vessel that fishes in both the open access and limited entry fisheries is not entitled to two separate trip limits for the same species. If a vessel has a limited entry permit registered to it at any time during the trip limit period and uses open access gear, but the open access limit is smaller than the limited entry limit, the open access limit may not be exceeded and counts toward the limited entry limit. If a vessel has a limited entry permit registered to it at any time during the trip limit period and uses open access gear, but the open access limit is larger than the limited entry limit, the smaller limited entry limit applies, even if taken entirely with open access gear.

    (B) * * * (1) Vessel registered to a limited entry trawl permit. To fish with open access gear, defined at § 660.11, a vessel registered to a limited entry trawl permit must make the appropriate fishery declaration, as specified at § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A). In addition, a vessel registered to a limited entry trawl permit must remove the permit from their vessel, as specified at § 660.25(b)(4)(vi), unless the vessel will be fishing in the open access fishery under one of the following declarations specified at § 660.13(d):

    (2) Vessel registered to a limited entry fixed gear permit(s). To fish with open access gear, defined at § 660.11, subpart C, a vessel registered to a limit entry fixed gear permit must make the appropriate open access declaration, as specified at § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A). Vessels registered to a sablefish-endorsed permit(s) fishing in the sablefish primary season (described at § 660.231, subpart E) may only fish with the gear(s) endorsed on their sablefish-endorsed permit(s) against those limits.

    6. In § 660.112, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(vii), (b)(1)(xi), (b)(1)(xii)(A), (c)(4), and (e)(4) to read as follows:
    § 660.112 Trawl fishery—prohibitions.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (vii) For vessels fishing with multiple trawl gear types on a single trip, fail to keep catch from different trawl gears separate and land the catch separately by gear type.

    (xi) Mix catch from different hauls before all sampling and monitoring requirements for the hauls have been met.

    (xii) * * *

    (A) A vessel that is 75-ft (23-m) or less LOA that harvests Pacific whiting and, in addition to heading and gutting, cuts the tail off and freezes the whiting, is not considered to be a C/P vessel nor is it considered to be processing fish, and

    (c) * * *

    (4) Catch, take, or harvest fish in the MS Coop Program with a vessel that does not have a valid VMS declaration for limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting mothership sector, as specified at § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A), subpart C.

    (e) * * *

    (4) Fish in the C/P Coop Program with a vessel that does not have a valid VMS declaration for limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting catcher/processor sector, as specified at § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A).

    7. In § 660.113 revise paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 660.113 Trawl fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Gear switching declaration. Any person with a limited entry trawl permit participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program using groundfish non-trawl gear (i.e., gear switching) must submit a valid gear declaration reporting such participation as specified in § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A).

    8. In § 660.130: a. Remove paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3)(iii); b. Redesignate paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) as (b)(1) and (b)(2), respectively; c. Revise the newly redesignated paragraphs (b)(1)(ii)(A) and (b)(2); d. Revise paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3)(ii), (c)(4)(i)(A), (c)(4)(i)(B), (c)(4)(i)(D) and (E), (c)(4)(ii)(A) and (B), (d)(2)(ii), (e) introductory text, (e)(4)(ii), and (e)(4)(iv).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 660.130 Trawl fishery—management measures.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Selective flatfish trawl gear. Selective flatfish trawl gear is a type of small footrope trawl gear. The selective flatfish trawl net must be either a two-seamed or four-seamed net with no more than four riblines, excluding the codend. The breastline may not be longer than 3 ft (0.92 m) in length. There may be no floats along the center third of the headrope or attached to the top panel except on the riblines. The footrope must be less than 105 ft (32.26 m) in length. The headrope must be not less than 30 percent longer than the footrope. The headrope shall be measured along the length of the headrope from the outside edge to the opposite outside edge. An explanatory diagram of a selective flatfish trawl net is provided as Figure 1 of part 660, subpart D.

    (2) Midwater (pelagic or off-bottom) trawl gear. Midwater trawl gear must have unprotected footropes at the trawl mouth, and must not have rollers, bobbins, tires, wheels, rubber discs, or any similar device anywhere on any part of the net. The footrope of midwater gear may not be enlarged by encircling it with chains or by any other means. Ropes or lines running parallel to the footrope of midwater trawl gear must be bare and may not be suspended with chains or any other materials. Sweep lines, including the bottom leg of the bridle, must be bare. For at least 20 ft (6.15 m) immediately behind the footrope or headrope, bare ropes or mesh of 16-inch (40.6-cm) minimum mesh size must completely encircle the net.

    (c) * * *

    (1) Fishing with large footrope trawl gear. It is unlawful for any vessel using large footrope gear to fish for groundfish shoreward of the RCAs defined at paragraph (e)(4) of this section and at §§ 660.70 through 660.74, subpart C. The use of large footrope gear is allowed seaward of the RCAs coastwide.

    (2) Fishing with small footrope trawl gear. The use of small footrope bottom trawl gear is allowed in all areas where bottom trawling is allowed.

    (i) Fishing with selective flatfish trawl gear. The use of selective flatfish trawl gear, a type of small footrope trawl gear, is allowed in all areas where bottom trawling is allowed.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (3) * * *

    (ii) South of 40°10′ N latitude, midwater groundfish trawl gear is prohibited within and shoreward of the RCA boundaries (see § 660.130(e)(4)(i)) and allowed seaward of the RCA boundaries.

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) A vessel may not have both groundfish trawl gear and non-groundfish trawl gear onboard simultaneously.

    (B) If a vessel fishes exclusively with large or small footrope trawl gear during an entire cumulative limit period, the vessel is subject to the cumulative limits for that gear.

    (D) If more than one type of groundfish bottom trawl gear (selective flatfish, large footrope, or small footrope) is on board, either simultaneously or successively, at any time during a cumulative limit period, then the most restrictive cumulative limit associated with the groundfish bottom trawl gear on board during that cumulative limit period applies for the entire cumulative limit period.

    (E) If a vessel fishes both north and south of 40°10′ N latitude with any type of small or large footrope gear onboard the vessel at any time during the cumulative limit period, the most restrictive trip limit associated with the gear on board applies for that trip and will count toward the cumulative limit for that gear (See crossover provisions at § 660.60(h)(7)).

    (ii) * * *

    (A) A vessel may not have both groundfish trawl gear and non-groundfish trawl gear onboard simultaneously.

    (B) If a vessel fishes both north and south of 40°10′ N latitude with any type of small or large footrope gear onboard the vessel at any time during the cumulative limit period, the most restrictive cumulative limit associated with the gear on board would apply for that trip and all catch would be counted toward that cumulative limit (See crossover provisions at § 660.60(h)(7)).

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Catcher vessels. All catch must be sorted by the gear types declared in accordance with § 660.13(d), and to the species groups specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section for vessels with limited entry permits, except those vessels retaining all catch during a Shorebased IFQ trip (i.e., maximized retention trips). The catch must not be discarded from the vessel and the vessel must not mix catch from hauls until the observer has sampled the catch. Catch separated by trawl gear type must be landed separately by trawl gear type. Prohibited species must be sorted according to the following species groups: Dungeness crab, Pacific halibut, Chinook salmon, other salmon. Non-groundfish species must be sorted as required by the state of landing.

    (e) Groundfish conservation areas (GCAs) applicable to trawl vessels. A GCA, a type of closed area, is a geographic area defined by coordinates expressed in degrees of latitude and longitude. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the GCA boundaries are specified at §§ 660.70 through 660.74. If a vessel is fishing within a GCA listed in this paragraph (e) using trawl gear authorized for use within a GCA, all prohibited gear: must be stowed below deck; or, if the gear cannot readily be moved, must be stowed in a secured and covered manner detached from all towing lines so that it is rendered unusable for fishing; or, if remaining on deck uncovered, must be stowed disconnected from the trawl doors with the trawl doors hung from their stanchions. The following GCAs apply to vessels participating in the limited entry trawl fishery. Additional closed areas that specifically apply to vessels using midwater groundfish trawl gear are described at § 660.131(c).

    (4) * * *

    (ii) Trawl vessels may transit through an applicable GCA, with or without groundfish on board, provided all prohibited groundfish trawl gear: Is stowed below deck; or, if the gear cannot readily be moved, is stowed in a secured and covered manner detached from all towing lines so that it is rendered unusable for fishing; or, if remaining on deck uncovered, is stowed disconnected from the trawl doors with the trawl doors hung from their stanchions. These restrictions do not apply to vessels allowed to fish within the trawl RCA under paragraph (e)(4)(i) of this section.

    (iv) If a vessel fishes in the trawl RCA using midwater trawl gear, it may also fish outside the trawl RCA with groundfish bottom trawl gear on the same trip. Nothing in these Federal regulations supersedes any state regulations that may prohibit trawling shoreward of the fishery management area (3-200 nm).

    9. In § 660.140, remove paragraphs (c)(1) and (h)(2)(viii)(I), and redesignate paragraph (c)(2) as (c)(1), revise newly redesignated paragraph (c)(1), and reserve paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 660.140 Shorebased IFQ Program.

    (c) * * *

    (1) IFQ management areas. IFQ management areas are as follows:

    (i) Between the US/Canada border and 40°10′ N lat.,

    (ii) Between 40°10′ N lat. and 36° N lat.,

    (iii) Between 36° N lat. and 34°27′ N lat., and

    (iv) Between 34°27′ N lat. and the US/Mexico border.

    (2) [Reserved]

    10. Table 1 (North) and Table 1 (South) to part 660, subpart D are revised to read as follows: EP07SE18.004 EP07SE18.005 11. In § 660.333, revise paragraphs (b)(1), (c)(1), and (d)(1) to read as follows:
    § 660.333 Open access non-groundfish trawl fishery—management measures

    (b) * * *

    (1) It is declared “non-groundfish trawl gear for ridgeback prawn” under § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A)(10), regardless of whether it is registered to a Federal limited entry trawl-endorsed permit; and

    (c) * * *

    (1) It is declared “non-groundfish trawl gear for California halibut” under § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A)(11), regardless of whether it is registered to a Federal limited entry trawl-endorsed permit;

    (d) * * *

    (1) It is declared “non-groundfish trawl gear for sea cucumber” under § 660.13(d)(4)(iv)(A)(12), regardless of whether it is registered to a Federal limited entry trawl-endorsed permit;

    [FR Doc. 2018-19343 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 174 Friday, September 7, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 4, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by October 9, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Agricultural Research Service

    Title: Meeting the Information Requirements of the Animal Welfare Act Workshop Registration Form.

    OMB Control Number: 0518-0033.

    Summary of Collection: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library (NAL), Animal Welfare Information Center conducts a workshop titled “Meeting the Information Requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.” The registration form collects information from interested parties necessary to register them for the workshop. This information includes: Workshop data preferences, signature, name, title, organization name, mailing address, phone and fax numbers and email address. The information will be collected using online and printed versions of the form. Also forms can be fax or mailed.

    Need and Use of the Information: NAL will collect information to register participants, contact them regarding schedule changes, control the number of participants due to limited resources and training space, and compile and customize class materials to meet the needs of the participants. Failure to collect the information would prohibit the delivery of the workshop and significantly inhibit NAL's ability to provide up-to-date information on the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-Profit Institutions; Business or Other for-profit; Government; State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 200.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 17.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19451 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Colville National Forest in Washington State AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of the opportunity to object to the Revised Land Management Plan for the Colville National Forest.

    SUMMARY:

    The USDA Forest Service has prepared a Revised Land Management Plan (Forest Plan) for the Colville National Forest. The Forest Service has also prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and a Draft Record of Decision (ROD). This notice is to inform the public that a 60-day objection period is being initiated for individuals or entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the revision of the Forest Plan during the opportunities for public comment provided during the planning process for that decision. Objections must be based on previously submitted substantive formal comments attributed to the objector unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment.

    DATES:

    The Revised Forest Plan, FEIS, Draft ROD, and other supporting documentation are available on the following web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/colville/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprd3824594.

    A legal notice of the initiation of the 60-day objection period is being published in The Seattle Times, which is the newspaper of record for Regional Forester decisions in the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service in the state of Washington. The 60-day objection period will begin the day following the date of the publication of the legal notice in The Seattle Times. A copy of the legal notice will be posted on the web page listed above.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic objections must be submitted to the Objection Reviewing Officer via email to [email protected], with a subject line stating: “Objection regarding the Revised Colville Forest Plan.” Electronic submissions must be submitted in a format (Word, PDF, or Rich Text) that is readable and searchable with optical character recognition software.

    Faxed objections must be sent and addressed to “Chris French, Objection Reviewing Officer” at (202) 649-1172 and must include a subject line stating: “Objection regarding the Revised Colville Plan.” The fax coversheet should specify the number of pages being submitted.

    Hardcopy objections may be submitted by regular mail, private carrier, or hand delivery to the following address: USDA Forest Service, Attn: Chris French, Objection Reviewing Officer, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, EMC-PEEARS, Mailstop 1104, Washington, DC 20250. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Hardcopy submissions must include a subject line on page one stating: “Objection regarding the Revised Colville Forest Plan.”

    Individuals who need to use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) to transmit objections may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Holly Hutchinson, Team Leader, 765 S Main St., Colville, WA 99114, phone: (509) 684-7201.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The decision to approve the Revised Forest Plan will be subject to the objection process identified in 36 CFR part 219 Subpart B (219.50 to 219.62). Individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the revision of the Forest Plan during the opportunities for public comment, as provided in 36 CFR part 219 Subpart A, during the planning process for that decision may file an objection. Objections must be based on previously submitted substantive formal comments attributed to the objector unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment. The burden is on the objector to demonstrate compliance with the requirements for objection. All objections must be filed, in writing, with the reviewing officer for the Revised Forest Plan. Objections received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who object, will be considered part of the public record on these proposed actions and will be available for public inspection. At a minimum, an objection must include the following (36 CFR 219.54(c)):

    (1) The objector's name and address along with a telephone number or email address if available. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to an objection, the Forest Service will attempt to verify the identity of the objector to confirm objection eligibility;

    (2) Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection);

    (3) Identification of the lead objector, when multiple names are listed on an objection. The Forest Service will communicate to all parties to an objection through the lead objector. Verification of the identity of the lead objector must also be provided if requested;

    (4) The name of the Plan Revision document(s) being objected to, and the name and title of the responsible official;

    (5) A statement of the issues and/or parts of the Plan Revision document(s) to which the objection applies;

    (6) A concise statement explaining the objection and suggesting how the proposed Forest Plan decision may be improved. If the objector believes that the Plan Revision is inconsistent with law, regulation, or policy, an explanation should be included;

    (7) A statement that demonstrates the link between the objector's prior substantive formal comments and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment; and

    (8) All documents referenced in the objection (a bibliography is not sufficient), except that the following need not be provided:

    a. All or any part of a Federal law or regulation,

    b. Forest Service Directive System documents and land management Plans or other published Forest Service documents,

    c. Documents referenced by the Forest Service in the planning documentation related to the proposal subject to objection, and

    d. Formal comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during the plan revision comment period.

    Prior to the issuance of the reviewing officer's written response, either the reviewing officer or the objector may request to meet to discuss issues raised in the objection. Interested persons who wish to participate in meetings to discuss issues raised by objectors must have previously submitted substantive formal comments related to the objection issues. Interested persons must file a request to participate as an interested person within 10 days after legal notice of objections received has been published. Requests must be sent to the same email or address identified for filing objections, above, and the interested person must identify the specific issues they have interest in discussing. During the objection meeting, interested persons will be able to participate in discussions related to issues on the agenda that they have listed in their request to be an interested person.

    Responsible Official

    The Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest Region (1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, (503) 808-2200), is the responsible official who will approve the final ROD for the Revised Forest Plan.

    Reviewing Officer

    Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, is the delegated reviewing officer for the Chief of the Forest Service (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)).

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19468 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U.S. Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Customer Satisfaction Research AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Rebecca E. Vilky, 301-763-2162, U.S. Census Bureau, HQ-8H172F, Washington, DC 20233-0500 (or via email at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Census Bureau is requesting generic clearance to conduct customer satisfaction research which may be in the form of mailed or electronic questionnaires and/or focus groups, telephone interviews, or web-based interviews.

    The Census Bureau has ranked a customer-focused environment as one of its most important strategic planning objectives. The Census Bureau routinely needs to collect and analyze customer feedback about its products and services to better align them to its customers' needs and preferences. Several programs, products, and distribution channels have been designed and/or redesigned based on feedback from its various customer satisfaction research efforts.

    Each research design is reviewed for content, utility, and user-friendliness by a variety of appropriate staff (including research design and subject-matter experts). The concept and design are tested by internal staff and a select sample of respondents to confirm its appropriateness, user-friendliness, and to estimate burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information. Collection techniques are discussed and included in the research, concept, and design discussion to define the most time-, cost-efficient and accurate collection media.

    The clearance operates in the following manner: A block of burden hours is reserved at the beginning of the clearance period. The particular activities that will be conducted under the clearance are not specified in advance because they would not be known at the beginning of the clearance period. The Census Bureau provides detailed information to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about the specific activities a minimum of two weeks prior to the planned start date of the collection. OMB provides any comments it may have prior to the start date of the planned activity. At the end of each year, a report is submitted to OMB that summarizes the number of hours used as well as the nature and results of the activities completed under the clearance.

    II. Method of Collection

    This research may be in the form of mailed or electronic questionnaires and/or focus groups, telephone or web-based interviews.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0760.

    Form Number: Various.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households, State or local governments, farms, business or other for-profit organizations, federal agencies or employees, and not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: There is no cost to respondents, except for their time to answer the questions.

    Respondents Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Executive Order 12862.

    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; (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 of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19434 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-55-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 207—Richmond, Virginia; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Kaiser Aluminum Fabricated Products, LLC (Aluminum Extrusions); Richmond, Virginia

    Kaiser Aluminum Fabricated Products, LLC (Kaiser) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Richmond, Virginia. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on August 29, 2018.

    The applicant indicates that it will be submitting a separate application for FTZ designation at the Kaiser facility under FTZ 207. The facility is used for the production of aluminum extrusions for the automotive industry. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Kaiser from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Kaiser would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Hollow profile tubes of aluminum alloys; bars and rods of aluminum alloys; rounded bars and rods of aluminum alloys; non-rounded bars and rods of aluminum alloys; and, tube pipe of aluminum alloys (duty rate ranges from 1.5% to 5.7%). Kaiser would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include alloyed aluminum logs and billets (duty-free). The request indicates that the materials/components are subject to special duties under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Section 232), depending on the country of origin. The applicable Section 232 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 17, 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: September 4, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19422 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Licensing Responsibilities and Enforcement

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Licensing Responsibilities and Enforcement.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0122.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 78,576.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,821,891.

    Estimated Time per Response: 5 seconds to 2 hours.

    Needs and Uses: This collection of information involves nine miscellaneous activities described in section 758 of the Export Administration Regulation (EAR) that are associated with the export of items controlled by the Department of Commerce. Most of these activities do not involve submission of documents to BIS but instead involve exchange of documents among parties in the export transaction to insure that each party understands its obligations under U.S. law. Others involve writing certain export control statements on shipping documents or reporting unforeseen changes in shipping and disposition of exported commodities. These activities are needed by the Office of Export Enforcement and the U.S. Customs Service to document export transactions, enforce the EAR and protect the National Security of the United States.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov http://www.reginfo.gov/public/ Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected]

    Sheleen Dumas, Department Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19415 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Renewal of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee and Solicitation of Nominations for Membership AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee and solicitation of nominations for membership.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Commerce (the Department) announces the renewal of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC or “Committee”) and requests nominations for membership. The purpose of the CINTAC is to provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development and administration of programs to expand U.S. exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, which will be used by the Department in its role as a member of the Civil Nuclear Trade Working Group of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee and of the TeamUSA interagency group to promote U.S. civil nuclear trade.

    DATES:

    Nominations for members must be received on or before 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on September 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations may be emailed [email protected]; faxed to the attention of Jonathan Chesebro at 202-482-5665; or mailed to Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, Room 28018, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, Room 28018, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; phone 202-482-1297; fax 202-482-5665; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Authority

    The CINTAC was established on September 17, 2008, pursuant to the Department of Commerce authority under 15 U.S.C. 1512 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. The CINTAC functions solely as an advisory committee in accordance with the provisions of FACA. As noted in the SUMMARY, CINTAC provides advice to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development and administration of programs to expand U.S. exports of civil nuclear goods and services which will be used by the Department in its role as a member of the Civil Nuclear Trade Working Group of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee and as a member of the Atoms for Prosperity interagency group to promote U.S. civil nuclear trade. In particular, the Committee advises on matters including, but not limited to:

    (1) Matters concerning trade policy development and negotiations relating to U.S. civil nuclear exports;

    (2) The effect of U.S. Government policies, regulations, programs, and foreign government policies and practices on the export of U.S. civil nuclear goods and services;

    (3) The competitiveness of U.S. industry and its ability to compete for civil nuclear products and services opportunities in international markets, including specific problems in exporting, and provide specific recommendations regarding U.S. Government and public/private actions to assist civil nuclear companies in expanding their exports;

    (4) The identification of priority civil nuclear products and services markets with the potential for high immediate returns for U.S. exports, as well as emerging markets with a longer-term potential for U.S. exports;

    (5) Strategies to increase private sector awareness and effective use of U.S. Government export promotion programs, and recommendations on how U.S. Government programs may be more efficiently designed and coordinated;

    (6) The development of complementary industry and trade association export promotion programs, including ways for greater and more effective coordination of U.S. Government efforts with private sector organizations' civil nuclear industry export promotion efforts; and

    (7) The development of U.S. Government programs to encourage producers of civil nuclear products and services to enter new foreign markets, in connection with which CINTAC may advise on how to gather, disseminate, and promote awareness of information on civil nuclear exports and related trade issues.

    II. Membership

    CINTAC shall consist of approximately 40 members appointed by the Secretary, in accordance with applicable Department of Commerce guidance and based on their ability to carry out the objectives of the Committee. Members shall represent U.S. entities involved in the export of civil nuclear products and services and reflect the diversity of this sector, including in terms of entities' size and geographic location. The Committee shall also represent the diversity of company or organizational roles in the development of civil nuclear energy projects, including, for example, U.S. civil nuclear manufacturing and services companies, U.S. utilities, U.S. trade associations, and other U.S. organizations in the U.S. civil nuclear sector. The Secretary shall appoint to the Committee at least one individual representing each of the following:

    a. Civil nuclear manufacturing and services companies;

    b. small businesses;

    c. utilities;

    d. trade associations in the civil nuclear sector;

    e. research institutions and universities; and

    f. private sector organizations involved in strengthening the export competitiveness of U.S. civil nuclear products and services.

    Members shall serve in a representative capacity, expressing the views and interests of a U.S. entity, as well as its particular subsector; they are, therefore, not Special Government Employees. Each member of the Committee must be a U.S. citizen and must not be registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. No member may represent a U.S. entity that is majority owned or controlled by a foreign government entity (or foreign government entities). The Secretary of Commerce invites applications for the CINTAC, consistent with the above membership requirements. To be considered for membership, submit the following information (2 pages maximum) by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 28, 2018 to the email or mailing address listed in the ADRRESSES section. If you are interested in nominating someone to become a member of the CINTAC, please provide the following information (2 pages maximum):

    (1) Name;

    (2) Title;

    (3) Work phone, fax, and, email address;

    (4) Name of entity to be represented and address including website address;

    (5) Short biography of nominee including credentials;

    (6) Brief description of the entity and its business activities, size (number of employees and annual sales), and export markets served; and,

    (7) An affirmative statement that the applicant and entity to be represented meet all eligibility criteria, specifically addressing that the applicant:

    (a) Is a U.S. citizen; and

    (b) Is not required to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.

    Please do not send organization brochures or any other information.

    All applications should be submitted in pdf or MS Word format via email to [email protected], or via mail to Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, Room 28018, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    Nominees selected for appointment to the Committee will be notified by mail.

    Dated: August 29, 2018. Edward O'Malley, Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19231 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-867] Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) and Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co. (HEES) (collectively, Hyundai) made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value, and that Hyosung Corporation (Hyosung) did not make sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value, during the period of review (POR) August 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua DeMoss, Tyler Weinhold, or John Drury, 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) 482-3362, (202) 482-1121, or (202) 482-0195, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce initiated this review on October 16, 2017.1 We selected two mandatory respondents in this review, Hyosung and HHI.2 Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is August 31, 2018.3 For a more detailed description of the events that followed the initiation of this review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, dated concurrently with these results and hereby adopted by this notice.4

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 48051 (October 16, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2 In accordance with Commerce's decision in the LPTs from Korea changed circumstances review, Commerce has determined that HEES is the successor-in-interest to HHI. See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 83 FR 24973 (May 31, 2018) (LPTs from Korea CCR) (unchanged in Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, signed August 28, 2018; pending publication).

    3See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    4See Memorandum 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, from James Maeder, Senior Director, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea; 2016-2017” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). Access to ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    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. The merchandise subject to the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States at subheadings 8504.23.0040, 8504.23.0080 and 8504.90.9540. This tariff classification is provided for convenience and Customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.5

    5 The full text of the scope of the order is contained in Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Facts Available

    Pursuant to section 776(a) of the Act, Commerce is preliminarily relying upon facts otherwise available to assign an estimated weighted-average dumping margin to Hyundai in this review because Hyundai withheld necessary information that was requested by Commerce, thereby significantly impeding the conduct of the review. Further, Commerce preliminarily determines that Hyundai failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of its ability to comply with requests for information and, thus, Commerce is applying adverse facts available (AFA) to Hyundai, in accordance with section 776(b) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions regarding the application of AFA, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Rate for Non-Selected Companies

    In accordance with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's decision in Albemarle Corp. v. United States, 6 we are applying to the non-selected companies the rate preliminarily applied to Hyosung in this administrative review.7 This is the only rate determined in this review for individual respondents and, thus, should be applied to the three non-selected companies under section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act. For a detailed discussion, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    6See Albemarle Corp. v. United States, 821 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

    7See, e.g., Certain Small Diameter Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe (Under 41/2 Inches) from Japan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015, 81 FR 45124, 45124 (July 12, 2016), unchanged in Certain Small Diameter Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe (Under 41/2 Inches) from Japan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015, 81 FR 80640, 80641 (November 16, 2016).

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that, for the period August 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017, the following weighted-average dumping margins exist: 8

    8 As AFA, we preliminarily assign Hyundai a dumping margin of 60.81 percent, an AFA rate used in the previous review. See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 82 FR 13432 (March 13, 2017).

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Hyosung Corporation 0.00 Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd./Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co., Ltd 60.81 Iljin Electric Co., Ltd 0.00 Iljin 0.00 LSIS Co., Ltd 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce will disclose to parties to the proceeding any calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results of review within five days after the date of publication of this notice.9 Commerce will announce the briefing schedule to interested parties at a later date. Interested parties may submit case briefs on the deadline that Commerce will announce.10 Rebuttal briefs, the content of which is limited to the issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days from the deadline date for the submission of case briefs.11

    9See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) and (d)(1).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) and (2).

    Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.12 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.13 Case and rebuttal briefs must be served on interested parties.14 Executive summaries should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.

    12See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    13See generally 19 CFR 351.303.

    14See 19 CFR 351.303(f).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues parties intend to discuss. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.15 Parties should confirm the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    15See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    Commerce intends to publish the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised in any case or rebuttal brief, no later than 120 days after publication of these preliminary results, unless extended.16

    16See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act; 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of this administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis in the final results of this review and the respondent reported reliable entered values, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem assessment rates for the merchandise based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the examined sales made during the period of review to each importer to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). If the respondent has not reported reliable entered values, we will calculate a per-unit assessment rate for each importer by dividing the total amount of dumping for the examined sales made during the period of review to that importer by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions. Where an importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties in accordance with 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2). If the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, we will instruct CBP not to assess duties on any of its entries in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews, i.e., “{w}here the weighted-average margin of dumping for the exporter is determined to be zero or de minimis, no antidumping duties will be assessed.” 17

    17See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8102 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    If the preliminary results are unchanged for the final results, we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 60.81 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the period of review which were produced and/or exported by Hyundai.

    Regarding entries of subject merchandise during the period of review that were produced by Hyosung and Hyundai and for which they did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate of 22.00 percent, as established in the less-than-fair-value investigation of the order, if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.18 For a full discussion of this matter, see Assessment Policy Notice. 19

    18See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 53177 (August 31, 2012).

    19See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice).

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Hyosung and Hyundai and other companies listed above will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which they were reviewed; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or in the investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be the all-others rate of 22.00 percent, the rate established in the investigation of this proceeding.20 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    20See Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 53177 (August 31, 2012).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Deadline for Submission of Updated Sales and Cost Information IV. Scope of the Order V. Discussion of the Methodology A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis C. Home Market Viability as Comparison Market D. Level of Trade E. Cost of Production F. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices G. Price-to-Constructed Value Comparison VI. Application of Facts Available and Use of Adverse Inference A. Application of Facts Available B. Use of Adverse Inference C. Selection and Corroboration of the Adverse Facts Available Rate VII. Discussion of The Issues A. Hyundai-Specific Issues VIII. Rate for Non-Selected Companies IX. Parts X. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-19428 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-010] Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2017-2018 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is rescinding, in part, the administrative review of the antidumping duty (AD) order on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from the People's Republic of China (China) for the period of review (POR), February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Pedersen, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-2769.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 1, 2018, Commerce published in the Federal Register, a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the AD order on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China (the Order) covering the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.1 Commerce received multiple timely requests for an administrative review of the Order. On April 16, 2018, in accordance with section 751(a) of Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice initiating an administrative review of the Order with respect to 12 companies or groups of companies covering the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.2 All requesting parties subsequently timely withdrew their requests to review the nine companies listed in the Appendix to this notice.

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 83 FR 4639 (February 1, 2018).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 16298 (April 16, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

    Rescission of Review, in Part

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), Commerce will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the parties that requested the review withdraw their requests within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. All requesting parties withdrew their respective requests for an administrative review of the nine companies or group of companies listed in the Appendix to this notice within 90 days of the date of publication of the Initiation Notice. Accordingly, Commerce is rescinding this review with respect to these companies in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).3 The administrative review will continue with respect to all other firms for which a review was requested and initiated.

    3See Appendix. As stated in Change in Practice in NME Reviews, Commerce will no longer consider the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013). The China-wide entity is not subject to this administrative review because no interested party requested a review of the entity. See Initiation Notice.

    Assessment

    Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all subject merchandise exported by the companies listed in the Appendix to this notice that was entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the period of review. The entries shall be assessed AD duties that are equal to the cash deposit of estimated AD duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as the only reminder to importers whose entries will be liquidated as a result of this rescission notice, of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of AD duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the presumption that reimbursement of the AD duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled AD duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under an APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: August 31, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix • BYD (Shangluo) Industrial Co., Ltd. • Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science and Technology Co., Ltd./Yangcheng Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Turpan Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Hubei Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. • Chint Solar (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd. • Hefei JA Solar Technology Co., Ltd. • Perlight Solar Co., Ltd. • Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. • Shenzhen Letsolar Technology Co., Ltd. • Sunny Apex Development Ltd. • Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19427 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-970] Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Correction to the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Bowen, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-0768.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 26, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published the Final Results of the 2015-2016 administrative review of the antidumping duty order on multilayered wood flooring from the People's Republic of China (China).1 The period of review (POR) is December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2016. Commerce is issuing this notice to correct a ministerial error in the Final Results, and to amend the partial rescission of certain companies from the administrative review to include Double F Limited. Specifically, in the Final Results, Commerce inadvertently misspelled Dalian Guhua Wooden Product Co., Ltd.'s name as Dalian Guhua Wood Product Co., Ltd. Commerce corrected this error in the cash deposit and liquidation instructions issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection following the publication of the Final Results. Further, in accordance with the Court of International Trade's August 15, 2018, order amending the Court's July 3, 2018, judgment in Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co., Ltd., et al. v. United States, 2 we excluded Double F Limited from the antidumping duty order on multilayered wood flooring from China.3 Accordingly, we are amending the Final Results to include Double F Limited among the companies for which this review was rescinded.4 Commerce intends to issue rescission instructions including Double F Limited to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as appropriate.

    1See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Final Determination of No Shipments, and Partial Rescission; 2015-2016, 83 FR 35461 (July 26, 2018) (Final Results).

    2See Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co., et al. v. United States, Ct. No. 12-20, Slip Op. 18-82 (Court of Int'l Trade July 3, 2018); see also Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co., et al. v. United States, Ct. No. 12-20, Dkt. No. 199 (Court of Int'l Trade Aug. 15, 2018).

    3See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Amendment to Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony with the Second Amended Final Determination and Amendment to Notice of Third Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation, 83 FR 44027 (August 29, 2018).

    4See Final Results at 35462.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(5).

    Dated: August 31, 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.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19423 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to delete products and services from the Procurement List that were previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: October 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information or to submit comments contact: Michael R. Jurkowski, Telephone: (703) 603-2117, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503 (a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Deletions

    The following products and services are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8465-01-463-4649—Tent Bag, Personal Gear Pack Mandatory Source of Supply: Helena Industries, Inc., Helena, MT Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8415-00-782-2949—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, XSmall-Long 8415-00-782-2950—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Small-Short 8415-00-782-2951—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Small-Regular 8415-00-782-2952—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Small-Long 8415-00-782-2953—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Medium-Short 8415-00-782-2954—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Medium-Regular 8415-00-782-2955—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Medium-Long 8415-00-782-2956—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Large-Short 8415-00-782-2957—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Large-Regular 8415-00-782-2958—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Large-Long 8415-00-782-2959—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Large-Short 8415-00-782-2960—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Large-Regular 8415-00-782-2961—Trousers, Cold Weather, Unisex, Green, Large-Long Mandatory Source of Supply: Goodwill Industries of South Florida, Inc., Miami, FL Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8140-01-004-9410—Container, Wood, Rocket Motor Mandatory Source of Supply: Helena Industries, Inc., Helena, MT Contracting Activity: NAVAIR WARFARE CTR AIRCRAFT DIV LKE, JOINT BASE MDL, NJ NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 376—Resealable Bags, Holiday, 6.5″ x 5.875″ MR 379—Storage Containers, Holiday, 12 oz. or 16 oz., 6PK Mandatory Source of Supply: Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency Services Service Type: Distribution of Licensed Products for the G.R.E.AT Mandatory for: Department of the Treasury: Bureau of ATF, 650 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, DC Mandatory Source of Supply: Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc., West Allis, WI Contracting Activity: DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Service Type: Mailing Support Service Mandatory for: Bureau of Public Debt (Offsite: 750 23rd St., Arlington, VA), 200 Third Street, Parkersburg, WV Mandatory Source of Supply: Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA Contracting Activity: BUREAU OF THE FISCAL SERVICE, PSB 3 Service Type: Custodial and Related Service Mandatory for: GSA, PBS Region 2, Michael J. Dillon U.S. Federal Courthouse, 68 Court Street, Buffalo, NY Mandatory Source of Supply: Human Technologies Corporation, Utica, NY Contracting Activity: PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, GSA PBS R2 ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT DIVISION Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Vancouver Army Barracks, Vancouver, WA Mandatory Source of Supply: Relay Resources, Portland, OR Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION CONTRACT OFC Service Type: Mailroom Service Mandatory for: National Labor Relations Board, HQ, 1099 14th Street NW, Washington, DC Mandatory Source of Supply: Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA Contracting Activity: National Labor Relations Board Service Type: Mailroom Operation Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 20 Massachusetts Avenue, Pulaski Building, Washington, DC Mandatory Source of Supply: Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION CONTRACT OFC Service Type: Switchboard Operation Service Mandatory for: VA Medical Clinic: 25 North Spruce, Colorado Springs, CO Mandatory Source of Supply: Bayaud Industries, Inc., Denver, CO Contracting Activity: VETERANS AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF, 259-NETWORK CONTRACT OFC 19(00259) Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Naval Command Control & Ocean Surveillance Center: East Coast Division Complex (trailers/laboratories), Charleston, SC Mandatory Source of Supply: Palmetto Goodwill Services, North Charleston, SC Contracting Activity: DEPT OF THE NAVY, NAVFAC SOUTHEAST Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Reserve Center: Los Angeles, Hazard Park, Los Angeles, CA Mandatory Source of Supply: Lincoln Training Center and Rehabilitation Workshop, South El Monte, CA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION CONTRACT OFC Service Type: Grounds Maintenance Service Mandatory for: Lake Sonoma/Warm Springs Dam, Geyserville, CA Mandatory Source of Supply: Unknown Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION CONTRACT OFC Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Environmental Protection Agency: Standard Chlorine Site, Delaware City, DE Mandatory Source of Supply: The Chimes, Inc., Baltimore, MD Contracting Activity: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Service Type: Warehouse Operation Service Mandatory for: National Labor Relations Board HQ, 1099 14th Street, Washington, DC Mandatory Source of Supply: Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA Contracting Activity: NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD Service Type: Reproduction Service Mandatory for: Army Materiel Command Headquarters, Alexandria, VA Mandatory Source of Supply: Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION CONTRACT OFC Service Type: Mailroom Operation Service Mandatory for: Fort Stewart, 1042 William H. Wilson Avenue, Suite 219, Fort Stewart, GA Mandatory Source of Supply: Abilities, Inc. of Florida, Clearwater, FL Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION CONTRACT OFC Service Type: Custodial Service Mandatory for: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (Limited areas Floors 1, 3, 4 & 5), 1625 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC Mandatory Source of Supply: Service Disabled Veterans Business Association, Silver Springs, MD Contracting Activity: CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, CFPB PROCUREMENT Michael R. Jurkowski, Business Management Specialist, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19420 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action deletes services from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Date deleted from the Procurement List: October 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael R. Jurkowski, Telephone: (703) 603-2117, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Deletions

    On 8/3/2018 (83 FR 150), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the services listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the services to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Veterans Affairs Medical Center: Outpatient Clinic, Pensacola, FL Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Lakeview Center, Inc., Pensacola, FL Contracting Activity: DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, NAC Service Type: Food Service Mandatory for: Michigan Army National Guard: Maneuver Training Center, Building 426MA, Camp Grayling, MI Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: G.W. Services of Northern Michigan, Inc., Traverse City, MI Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W7NF USPFO ACTIVITY MI ARNG Service Type: Administrative Service Mandatory for: Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA Mandatory Source of Supply: Unknown Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Service Type: Janitorial Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Reserve Center, 2201 Laurens Road, Center #1, Greenville, SC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: SC Vocations & Individual Advancement, Inc., Greenville, SC Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W074 ENDIST CHARLESTON Service Type: Grounds Maintenance Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gallagher Memorial USARC, 1300 West Brown Road, Las Cruces, NM Mandatory Source of Supply: Let's Go To Work, El Paso, TX Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W075 ENDIST SACRAMENTO Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Reserve, Charles W. Whittlesey USARC, 200 Barker Road, Pittsfield, MA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Berkshire County Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc., Pittsfield, MA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W6QK ACC-PICA Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Port Hueneme Naval Construction Battalion Center: Navy Family Housing Units, Port Hueneme, CA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Unknown Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Service Type: Custodial Service Mandatory for: Pentagon Building: Washington, DC Federal Building #2, Food Court Common area stairs and (plus): Corridors, 1st Floor, 2nd Floor, 3rd Floor Au Bon Pain B.C Café Common area restrooms Corridor 1 Food Court Corridor 10 Food Court Corridor 9/10 Apex, Five Star Expresso Coffee Bar Five Star Expresso Coffee Bar, Federal Bldg #2 Grease and Garbage Room Loading dock, 1st Floor, Wedge 1 Pentagon Dining Room and Kitchen Production Kitchen Wedge 1 Food Court Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: The Chimes, Inc., Baltimore, MD Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Service Type: Recycling Service Mandatory for: Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, 300 HWY 361, Crane, IN Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Orange County Rehabilitative and Developmental Services, Inc., Paoli, IN Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, NSWC Crane Service Type: Janitorial/Grounds Maintenance Service Mandatory for: Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic: JFK International Airport, Control Towers, Jamaica, NY Mandatory Source of Supply: Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc., New York, NY Contracting Activity: Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Michael R. Jurkowski, Business Management Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19421 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Sunshine Act Meetings

    The Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service gives notice of the following meeting:

    TIME AND DATE:

    Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (ET).

    PLACE:

    Corporation for National and Community Service, 250 E Street SW, Suite 4026, Washington, DC 20525. Please go to the first floor lobby reception area for escort.

    CALL-IN INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public via conference call through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-603-9224; the call access code number is 8900220. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and CNCS will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Call replays are generally available one hour after a call ends. The toll-free phone number for the replay is 800-860-4697. The end date for the replay is October 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

    STATUS:

    Open.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    I. Chair's Opening Comments II. CEO Report III. Public Comments IV. Final Comments and Adjournment

    Members of the public who would like to comment on the business of the Board may do so in writing or in person. Individuals may submit written comments to [email protected] with subject line: September 2018 CNCS Board Meeting by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on September 17, 2018. Individuals attending the meeting in person who would like to comment will be asked to sign in upon arrival. Comments are requested to be limited to 2 minutes.

    REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, where appropriate. Anyone who needs an interpreter or other accommodation should notify Sandy Scott at [email protected] or 202-606-6724 by 5 p.m. (ET) by September 14, 2018.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Sandy Scott, Senior Advisor, Corporation for National and Community Service, 250 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20525. Phone: 202-606-6724. Fax: 202-606-3460. TTY: 800-833-3722. Email: [email protected]

    Timothy F. Noelker, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19494 Filed 9-5-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2013-OS-0199] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Logistics Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24 Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations, ATTN: Timothy Noll, 2001 Mission Drive, Suite 2, New Cumberland, PA 17070, or call (717) 982-9599.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Project Time Record System; OMB Control Number 0704-0452.

    Needs and Uses: This collection of information is for the purpose of tracking Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) contractor workload/project activity, time and attendance, and labor distribution and data for analysis and reporting, management, and planning purposes. Additionally, the data allows government supervisors to maintain management records associated with the operations of contracts and to evaluate and monitor contractor performance and other matters concerning contracts. Government supervisors are able to monitor all aspects of a contract and resolve any discrepancy in hours billed to DLA. Records devoid of personal identifiers are used for extraction or compilation of data and reports for management studies and statistical analyses for use internally as required by the Department of Defense (DoD).

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 15,600 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 1,200.

    Responses per Respondent: 52.

    Annual Responses: 62,400.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: Weekly.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19433 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-41-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville, LLC Jacksonville Project

    On January 31, 2017, Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville, LLC (Eagle LNG) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) in Docket No. CP17-41-000 pursuant to section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act and Parts 153 and 380 of the Commission's Regulations, requesting authorization to site, construct, and operate a natural gas liquefaction, storage, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility. The proposed project, known as the Jacksonville Project, would consist of three liquefaction trains with a total capacity of 132 million cubic feet per day and one full containment LNG storage tank capable of storing 12,000,000 gallons of LNG (equivalent to 1.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas), for domestic LNG markets and for export overseas. The terminal would receive natural gas to the export facilities from a third-party intrastate pipeline. On July 21, 2016, in Order No. 3867, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Eagle LNG a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    FERC issued its Notice of Application for the Jacksonville Project on February 13, 2017. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Jacksonville Project. This notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Jacksonville Project, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in November 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Eagle LNG providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—April 12, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—July 11, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of project's progress.

    Background

    On December 3, 2014, the Commission staff granted Eagle LNG's request to use FERC's pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Jacksonville Project Docket No. PF15-7-000. On February 24, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Jacksonville Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting. On March 25, 2015, the Commission issued a Supplemental Notice to seek comments. The notices were issued during the pre-filing review of the project in Docket No. PF15-7-000 and were sent to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; affected property owners; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include visual impacts, threatened and endangered species, surface water and groundwater resources, air quality and noise, and safety.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Energy are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents via email. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Jacksonville Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-41), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19393 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-480-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville A, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville B, LLC, and Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC Annova LNG Brownsville Project

    On July 13, 2016, Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC; Annova LNG Brownsville A, LLC; Annova LNG Brownsville B, LLC; and Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC (collectively, Annova) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-480-000, section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 153 of the Commission's Regulations, requesting authorization to site, construct, and operate a natural gas liquefaction and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, located on the Brownsville Ship Channel (BSC) in Cameron County, Texas. The proposed project is known as the Annova LNG Brownsville Project (Project) and would receive natural gas from a third-party pipeline, create and store LNG, and load up to 6.95 million tonnes per annum of LNG onto carriers for export to overseas markets. On February 20, 2014, in Order No. 3394, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Annova a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    On July 27, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Annova LNG Brownsville Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Project, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in December 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Annova providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—April 19, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—July 18, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    The proposed Project would be located on about 364 acres of an approximately 731-acre site on the southern bank of the BSC at mile marker 8.2. The site is owned by the Port of Brownsville and Annova has entered into a Lease Option Agreement for possible use of the site. The BSC has direct access to the Gulf of Mexico via the Brazos Santiago Pass.

    The Project would include six liquefaction trains with a total capacity of 6 million tons per year of LNG. The natural gas delivered to the site would be treated, liquefied, and stored on site in two single containment LNG storage tanks. The Project would include two principal parts, the LNG facilities and associated marine facilities. The LNG facilities would be designed to receive 0.9 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas via a planned intrastate pipeline; treat the gas to remove constituents that affect the cryogenic process; liquefy the gas; and store the LNG in storage tanks prior to loading for shipment to overseas markets. The marine facilities would allow access to the site and LNG loading onto LNG carriers.

    Background

    On March 27, 2015, the Commission staff granted Annova's request to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Annova LNG Brownsville Project Docket No. PF15-15-000. On July 23, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Annova LNG Brownsville Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting (NOI).

    The NOI was issued during the pre-filing review of the Project in Docket No. PF15-15-000 and was sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include: The purpose and need for the Project; impacts on recreational areas and users; impacts on the socioeconomic conditions of the area; impacts on wildlife, wetlands, and vegetation; and impacts on sensitive areas such as the Bahia Grande wetland restoration area and the Padre Island Seashore.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Department of Transportation; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Park Service; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; Federal Aviation Administration; and U.S. Department of Energy are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-480), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19399 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project Nos. 2348-038; 2373-011; 2446-050] Midwest Hydro, LLC, STS Hydropower, Ltd.; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Protests and Motions To Intervene

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Proceeding: Extension of License Term.

    b. Project Nos.: P-2348-038, P-2373-011, and P-2446-050.

    c. Date Filed: June 27, 2018.

    d. Licensees: Midwest Hydro, LLC and STS Hydropower, Ltd.

    e. Names and Locations of Projects: Beloit Hydroelectric Project No. 2348, located on the Rock River, in Rock County, Wisconsin. Rockton Hydroelectric Project No. 2373, located on the Rock River, in Winnebago County, Illinois. Dixon Hydroelectric Project No. 2446, located on the Rock River, in Lee County, Illinois.

    f. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    g. Licensee Contact Information: Mr. Michael Scarzello, Regulatory Director, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, 116 North State Street, P.O. Box 167, Neshkoro, Wisconsin 54960-0167, Phone: (973) 998-8400, Email: [email protected].

    h. FERC Contact: Mr. Ashish Desai, (202) 502-8370, [email protected].

    i. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests, is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, and recommendations, using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket numbers P-2348-038, P-2373-011, and P-2446-050.

    j. Description of Proceeding: Midwest Hydro, LLC, licensee for the Beloit and Rockton projects, and STS Hydropower, Ltd., licensee for the Dixon Project request that the Commission extend the term of the licenses to synchronize license expiration with the nearby Central Project No. 2347, also located on the Rock River, in Rock County Wisconsin and licensed to Midwest Hydro, LLC. The license for the Central Project expires on August 31, 2024 and the licensees request eight-month extensions for the Dixon and Rockton projects, currently set to expire on December 31, 2023, and a three-month extension of the license term for the Beloit Project, which expires on May 31, 2024. The licensees requests the license term extensions to coordinate and streamline relicensing efforts for the four projects and perform a more comprehensive analysis of the resources involved.

    k. This notice is available for review and reproduction at the Commission in the Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the Docket number (P-2348-038, P-2373-011, or P-2446-050) excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the notice. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    l. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    m. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    n. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, PROTEST, or MOTION TO INTERVENE as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to the license term extension requests. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19407 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-521-000] Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC, Gulf LNG Energy, LLC, Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project

    On June 19, 2015, Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC (Gulf Liquefaction), Gulf LNG Energy, LLC (Gulf Energy), and Gulf LNG Pipeline LLC (Gulf Pipeline) filed an application pursuant to section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 153 of the Commission's regulations, requesting authorization to construct and operate the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project (Project) at Gulf Energy's liquefied natural gas terminal located near Pascagoula, Jackson County, Mississippi. The Project consists of new natural gas liquefaction and export facilities. Additionally, within the same application, Gulf Pipeline requested, pursuant to section 7(c) of the NGA and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, to make modifications to the terminal's sendout pipeline to allow for bi-directional flow. These facilities will enable Gulf Liquefaction to liquefy and export about 11 million metric tons of LNG per year.

    In accordance with Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, enacted on December 4, 2015, agencies are to publish completion dates for all federal environmental reviews and authorizations. This notice identifies the Commission's anticipated schedule for issuance of the final order for the Project, which is based on the anticipated date of issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement. Accordingly, we currently anticipate issuing a final order for the Project no later than:

    Issuance of Final Order—July 16, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final order, an additional notice will be provided so that interested parties and government agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19387 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP15-550-000; CP15-551-001] Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Calcasieu Pass Project: Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC; TransCameron Pipeline, LLC

    On September 4, 2015, Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC filed an application in Docket No. CP15-550-000, pursuant to section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 153 of the Commission's regulations, for authorization to site, construct, and operate a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and associated facilities along the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. On the same day, TransCameron Pipeline, LLC filed an application in Docket No. CP15-551-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The combined proposed projects, known as the Calcasieu Pass Project (Project), would liquefy and export about 12 million tons per annum of LNG.

    In accordance with Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, enacted on December 4, 2015, agencies are to publish completion dates for all federal environmental reviews and authorizations. This notice identifies the Commission's anticipated schedule for issuance of the final order for the Project, which is based on the anticipated date of issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement. Accordingly, we currently anticipate issuing a final order for the Project no later than:

    Issuance of Final Order—January 22, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final order, an additional notice will be provided so that interested parties and government agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19389 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP17-117-000; CP17-118-000] Notice of Revised Schedule for Environmental Review of the Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC Driftwood LNG Project

    This notice identifies the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff's revised schedule for the completion of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for Driftwood LNG LLC's liquefied natural gas facility and for Driftwood Pipeline LLC's pipeline facilities, collectively referred to as the Driftwood LNG Project. The first notice of schedule, issued on December 22, 2017, identified October 12, 2018 as the final EIS issuance date. Staff has revised the schedule for issuance of the final EIS, based on an issuance of the draft EIS in September 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—January 18, 2019 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—April 18, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the project's progress.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-117 or CP17-118), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19395 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2364-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: ISO-NE Filing to Establish a Fuel Security Reliability Standard; EL18-182-000 to be effective 10/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5137.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2365-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SA 697 4th Revised—NITSA with the City of Great Falls to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2366-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-31 Reliability Coordinator Services Amendment to be effective11/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2367-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC, Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEC-DEP Revisions to Joint OATT Formula Transmission Rates (M&S) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2368-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEF Revisions to Joint OATT Formula Transmission Rates (M&S and Storm Damage) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2369-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-31 Interim Reliability Must-Run Agreement to be effective 9/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    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 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19409 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP17-495-000; CP17-494-000] Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Jordan Cove Project: Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP; Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP

    On September 21, 2017, Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. filed an application in Docket No. CP17-495-000, pursuant to section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 153 of the Commission's regulations, for authorization to site, construct and operate a liquefied natural gas export terminal and associated facilities on the bay side of the North Spit of Coos Bay in unincorporated Coos County, Oregon. On the same day, Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP filed an application in Docket No. CP17-494-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, pursuant to section 7(c) of the NGA and Parts 157 and 284 of the Commission's regulations, to construct, operate, and maintain an approximately 220-mile-long natural gas pipeline to be located in Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos Counties, Oregon. The combined proposed projects, known as the Jordan Cove Project (Project), would liquefy and export about 7.8 million metric tons of natural gas per annum.

    In accordance with Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, enacted on December 4, 2015, agencies are to publish completion dates for all federal environmental reviews and authorizations. This notice identifies the Commission's anticipated schedule for issuance of the final order for the Project, which is based on the anticipated date of issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement. Accordingly, we currently anticipate issuing a final order for the Project no later than:

    Issuance of Final Order—November 29, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final order, an additional notice will be provided so that interested parties and government agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19404 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-470-000] Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Train 4 Project

    On June 29, 2017, Freeport LNG Development, L.P. (Freeport LNG) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-470-000 requesting an Authorization for siting, construction, and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility pursuant to Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act. The proposed project is known as the Train 4 Project (Project), and would increase Freeport LNG's ability to liquefy and export by 5.1 million metric tonnes per annum of natural gas at the existing Freeport LNG terminal.

    On July 14, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of the EA—November 2, 2018 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—January 31, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    The Project would add a fourth liquefaction unit (Train 4) and associated infrastructure and utilities to Freeport LNG's terminal on Quintana Island in Brazoria County, Texas. The Project would also expand the Pretreatment Plant located about 4 miles north of the terminal in Freeport, Texas and includes a new pipeline to connect various facilities. The Project would be located adjacent to the facilities authorized and currently under construction for the Phase II Modification Project (Docket No. CP12-29-000) and Liquefaction Project (Docket No. CP12-509-000), which comprises three liquefaction trains and related facilities. The proposed fourth liquefaction train would be within the existing Freeport LNG Terminal site and the additions to the Pretreatment Plant would be within the current construction footprint. The proposed 10.6-mile-long, 42-inch-diameter pipeline would connect the existing Stratton Ridge meter station, the Pretreatment Plant, and the Freeport LNG Liquefaction Plant.

    Background

    On August 19, 2015 the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Train 4 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). A subsequent change to the Project resulted in the Commission issuing the Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Freeport LNG Train 4 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (Supplemental NOI) on August 31, 2016. The NOI and the Supplemental NOI were issued during the pre-filing review of the Project in Docket No. PF15-25-000 and were sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI and Supplemental NOI; the Commission received comments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Historical Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Sierra Club, and eight members of the public. The primary issues raised by the commentors are alternative pipeline routes, and impacts on land use, wetlands, protected species, visual landscape, noise environment, air quality, road traffic, marine traffic, and safety.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Energy are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EA.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-470), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected]

    The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19402 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP16-454-000; CP16-455-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Rio Grande LNG, LLC and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC Rio Grande LNG Project

    On May 5, 2016, Rio Grande LNG, LLC (RG LNG) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-454-000 requesting authorization pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities. On the same day, Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC (RB Pipeline) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-455-000, requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The combined projects, collectively referred to as the Rio Grande LNG Project, would provide gas and processing to produce up to 27 million tons per annum of LNG for export. On August 17, 2016, in Order No. 3869, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to RG LNG a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    On May 19, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notice of Application for the project. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Rio Grande LNG Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the project, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in October 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon RG LNG and RB Pipeline providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—April 26, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—July 25, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the project's progress.

    Project Description

    RG LNG and RB Pipeline, collectively the Rio Grande Developers (RG Developers), propose to construct and operate natural gas pipelines and liquefaction facilities in Jim Wells, Kleberg, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron Counties, Texas. The Rio Bravo Pipeline would include two new parallel 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipelines, each about 135.5 miles long, capable of transporting 4.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. In addition, a 2.4-mile-long header system at the origin of the pipelines would interconnect with existing natural gas transmission pipelines. The pipeline facilities would include three new compressor stations in Kleberg, Kenedy, and Cameron Counties and two new interconnect booster stations in Kenedy County.

    The Rio Grande LNG Terminal would be located on 750.4 acres of an approximately 1,000-acre site along the Brownsville Ship Channel about 5.5 miles inland from the channel entrance, in Cameron County, Texas. The terminal would include six liquefaction trains capable of producing 27 million tons per annum of LNG; marine facilities, including two LNG berths, a turning basin, and a material offloading facility; truck loading and unloading facilities for LNG and natural gas liquids; and four LNG storage tanks. If approved, RG Developers would construct the project in stages. Operation of the first liquefaction train, and one of the two parallel pipelines, is proposed to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021; operation of the full project is proposed for early 2025.

    Background

    On April 13, 2015, the Commission staff granted the RG Developers' request to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process. On July 23, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Rio Grande LNG Project and Rio Bravo Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings (NOI) in Docket No. PF15-20-000. The NOI was issued during the pre-filing review of the project, and was sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat (including threatened and endangered species), aquatic resources, surface water, wetlands, public lands, visual resources, local ecotourism, public health and safety, air and noise quality, and cumulative impacts.

    The U.S Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Park Service, and Federal Aviation Administration are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-454 or CP16-455), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19398 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-525-000] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP Willis Lateral Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Willis Lateral Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP (Gulf South) in Montgomery and San Jacinto Counties, Texas. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies about issues regarding the project. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from its action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires the Commission to discover concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please submit your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 1, 2018.

    You can make a difference by submitting your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Commission staff will consider and address all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on July 13, 2018, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP18-525-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable easement agreement. You are not required to enter into an agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if you and the company do not reach an easement agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings in court. In such instances, compensation would be determined by a judge in accordance with state law.

    Gulf South provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist you at (866) 208-3676 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. Using eComment is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making; a comment on a particular project is considered a “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP18-525-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Proposed Project

    Gulf South proposes to construct, operate, and maintain various facilities in connection with its proposed Willis Lateral Project located in Montgomery and San Jacinto Counties, Texas. According to Gulf South, the Willis Lateral Project would provide about 200 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to the existing Goodrich Compressor Station.

    The Willis Lateral Project would consist of the following facilities:

    • Approximately 19 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline;

    • addition of a new 15,876 horsepower turbine engine to the existing Goodrich Compressor Station and construction of a new Meter and Regulator (M&R) station;

    • a tie-in and launcher facility (including a pig 1 launcher, and ancillary equipment);

    1 A “pig” is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    • a M&R station at the terminus of the project (including a pig receiver, filter separators with a liquid storage tank, and ancillary equipment); and

    • a mainline valve facility.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called eLibrary or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 465 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline. Following construction, Gulf South would maintain about 141 acres of land for permanent operation of the project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and would revert to former uses. About 91 percent of the proposed pipeline route parallels existing pipeline, utility, or road rights-of-way.

    The EA Process

    The EA will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts

    Commission staff will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EA will present Commission staffs' independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary 3 and will be issued for an allotted comment period. Commission staff will consider and address all comments on the EA before making recommendations to the Commission. To ensure Commission staff have the opportunity to address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    3 For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    With this notice, the Commission is asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate in the preparation of the EA.4 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultation Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Commission is using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 Commission staff will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). The EA for this project will document findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. Commission staff will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that information related to this environmental review is sent to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project.

    A Notice of Availability of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list and will provide instructions to access the electronic document on the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov). If you need to make changes to your name/address, or if you would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached “Mailing List Update Form” (appendix 2).

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website at www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on General Search and enter the docket number in the “Docket Number” field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP18-525). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public sessions or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. BILLING CODE 6717-01-P EN07SE18.000 EN07SE18.001
    [FR Doc. 2018-19397 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-C
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP18-512-000, CP18-513-000] Corpus Christi Liquefaction Stage III, LLC; Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC; and Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Stage 3 Project

    On June 28, 2018, Corpus Christi Liquefaction Stage III, LLC and Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC (collectively with Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P. referred to as Cheniere) filed an application in Docket No. CP18-512-000 requesting an authorization for siting, construction, and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). On the same day, Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P. filed an application in Docket No. CP18-513-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. Combined, the proposed project is known as the Stage 3 Project (Project) and would provide gas and processing to produce up to 11.45 million tonnes per annum of LNG for export.

    On July 12, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the EA for the Project. The forecasted schedule for the EA is based upon Cheniere providing complete and timely responses to any data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA: February 8, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline: May 9, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Cheniere proposes to install seven mid-scale liquefaction trains and one new LNG storage tank expanding the previously authorized and currently under construction Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project in Nueces County, Texas. The proposed LNG facilities would be located primarily within areas previously disturbed for construction and/or operation of the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project. Cheniere would also construct a new 21-mile-long, 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline from the recently completed Sinton Compressor Station (FERC Docket No. CP12-508-000) to the proposed Stage 3 liquefaction facilities, all of which would be located within Nueces County, Texas. The Project would also include the addition of two compressor units totaling approximately 44,000 horsepower at the Sinton Compressor Station. No new marine facilities would be installed as part of the Project; however, Cheniere anticipates that an annual increase of 100 LNG carriers would utilize the LNG terminal during operation of the Project.

    Background

    On June 9, 2015, the Commission staff granted Cheniere's request to use the FERC's pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Stage 3 Project Docket No. PF15-26-000. On August 17, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Stage 3 Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was issued during the pre-filing review of the Project in Docket No. PF15-26-000 and was sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commenters and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received comments from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The primary issues raised by the commenters include effects on threatened and endangered species and vegetation, water quality impacts, greenhouse gas emissions, and cumulative impacts.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EA.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP18-512 and CP18-513), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19406 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-45-000] Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. Sweden Valley Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Sweden Valley Project (Project), proposed by Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. (Dominion) in the above-referenced docket. The Project is designed to provide 120 million cubic feet per day of firm transportation service from an existing point of interconnection located on Dominion's Line TL-489 in Clinton County, Pennsylvania to a new point of interconnection between Dominion and Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of constructing and operating the Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) participated as cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the NEPA analysis. The USACE would adopt the EA to fulfill their agency's NEPA obligations and would use the EA and supporting documentation to consider the issuance of Clean Water Act Section 404 permit.

    The Sweden Valley Project would consist of the following actions in Ohio:

    • Install approximately 1.7 miles of 20-inch-diameter pipeline lateral in Tuscarawas County;

    • Re-wheel the compressors on three-existing centrifugal compression sets at Dominion's existing Newark Compressor Station in Licking County;

    • Construct a new Metering and Regulation (M&R) site in Tuscarawas County; and

    • Install a new pig launcher/receiver on the TL-653 OH Pipeline Lateral in Tuscarawas County.

    In Pennsylvania, the Project would include:

    • Installation of approximately 3.2 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline looping in Greene County;

    • Installation of regulation equipment at the South Bend Compressor Station in Armstrong County;

    • Installation of M&R equipment at a new interconnect in Clinton County; and

    • Installation of new mainline gate assemblies on the TL-654 Loop in Greene County.

    The Commission mailed a copy of the Notice of Availability to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the project area. The EA is only available in electronic format. It may be viewed and downloaded from the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov), on the Environmental Documents page (https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp). In addition, the EA may be accessed by using the eLibrary link on the FERC's website. Click on the eLibrary link (https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp), click on General Search, and enter the docket number in the “Docket Number” field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP18-45). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on EA's disclosure and discussion of potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC, on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 1, 2018.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist you at (866) 208-3676 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP18-45-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214). Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing or judicial review of the Commission's decision. The Commission may grant affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19405 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-14-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the UGI LNG, Inc. Temple Truck Rack Expansion Project

    On November 14, 2016, UGI LNG, Inc. filed an application in Docket No. CP17-14-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities at the existing Temple Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Peak-shaving Facility in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The proposed project is known as the Temple Truck Rack Expansion Project (Project), and would allow UGI LNG, Inc. to more reliably serve the growing demand for truck deliveries by UGI Energy Services.

    On November 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA—September 18, 2018 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—December 17, 2018

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    UGI LNG, Inc. proposes to expand its existing Temple LNG truck loading facility by constructing two additional trailer loading/unloading racks. The new facilities would consist of two racks with scales, trailer loading skid, pump skid, transfer piping, and associated equipment. The Project would also include constructing a new driveway connecting the expansion to Willow Creek Road. The Project is projected to increase truck volumes from an average of one to three trucks per day to an average of three to six trucks per day.

    Background

    On January 23, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Temple Truck Rack Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received one public comment concerning increased traffic.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation is a cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EA.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-14), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected]. The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19391 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP17-494-000; CP17-495-000] Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP, Jordan Cove Energy Project LP; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review Pacific Connector Pipeline Project and Jordan Cove Energy Project

    On September 21, 2017, Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP (Pacific Connector) and Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. (Jordan Cove) filed applications in Docket Nos. CP17-494-000 and CP17-495-000, respectively. Pacific Connector is requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. Jordan Cove is requesting authorization pursuant to Section 3(a) of the NGA to construct and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities. The proposed projects are collectively referred to as the Jordan Cove LNG Project (Project). Jordan Cove's LNG facilities would be designed to liquefy about 7.8 million metric tons of natural gas per annum for export to markets across the Pacific Rim. On August 20, 2015, in Order No. 3698, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Jordon Cove a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    On October 5, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a Notice of Applications for the Projects. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Projects. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Projects, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in February 2019. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Jordon Cove and Pacific Connector providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—August 30, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—November 28, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Jordan Cove proposes to construct and operate an LNG export terminal on the North Spit of Coos Bay in Coos County, Oregon. The terminal would include five liquefaction trains and associated equipment, two full-containment LNG storage tanks, an LNG transfer line, LNG ship loading facilities, a marine slip, access channel, and modifications to the Coos Bay Navigation Channel.

    Pacific Connector proposes to construct and operate an approximately 230-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter interstate natural gas transmission pipeline and associated aboveground facilities. The pipeline would originate near Malin in Klamath County, Oregon, traverse Douglas and Jackson Counties, and terminate (at the LNG Terminal) in Coos County. The associated aboveground facilities would include the new Klamath Compressor Station (62,200 horsepower) near Malin.

    Background

    On February 10, 2017, the Commission staff granted Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector's requests to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process and assigned them jointly to Docket No. PF17-4-000. On June 9, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline Projects, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Sessions (NOI).

    The NOI was issued during the pre-filing review of the Projects in Docket No. PF17-4-000 and was sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include purpose and need, property rights, use of eminent domain, reliability and safety, cumulative impacts, cultural resources, threatened and endangered species, water resources, vegetation, and alternatives.

    The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Department of Energy, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the Coquille Indian Tribe are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-494 and/or CP17-495), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19403 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP17-178-000] Notice of Anticipated Schedule of Final Order for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Alaska LNG Project

    On April 17, 2017, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation filed an application in Docket No. CP17-178-000, pursuant to section 3 of the Natural Gas Act and Part 153 of the Commission's regulations, for authorization to site, construct, and operate a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and associated facilities on the eastern shore of Cook Inlet in the Nikiski area of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, and to construct approximately 871 miles of natural gas pipeline and associated facilities, all within the State of Alaska. The proposed project, known as the Alaska LNG (Project), would liquefy and export up to 20.0 million metric tons per annum of LNG.

    In accordance with Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, enacted on December 4, 2015, agencies are to publish completion dates for all federal environmental reviews and authorizations. This notice identifies the Commission's anticipated schedule for issuance of the final order for the Project, which is based on the anticipated date of issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement. Accordingly, we currently anticipate issuing a final order in the Project no later than:

    Issuance of Final Order—February 6, 2020

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final order, an additional notice will be provided so that interested parties and government agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19396 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP17-66-000; CP17-67-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LLC and Venture Global Gator Express, LLC Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project

    On February 28, 2017, Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LLC (Plaquemines LNG) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-66-000 requesting authorization pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities. On the same day, Venture Global Gator Express, LLC (Gator Express Pipeline) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-67-000, requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. Combined, the proposed project is known as the Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project (Project) and would provide gas and processing to produce up to 20.0 million tonnes per annum of LNG for export. On July 21, 2016, in Order No. 3866, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Plaquemines LNG authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    On March 13, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Project, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in November 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—May 3, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—August 1, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Plaquemines LNG plans to construct an LNG terminal on a 632-acre site on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Gator Express Pipeline plans to construct two parallel 42-inch-diameter gas lateral pipelines totaling approximately 26.8 miles, also in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. These pipelines would connect the LNG terminal to the existing interstate natural gas grid. Each pipeline would have a nominal gas supply capability of 1.97 standard billion cubic feet per day. The Project would consist of a liquefaction plant, aboveground storage tanks, marine loading berthing docks, a utility dock, and air-cooled electric power generation facilities, in addition to the two lateral pipelines.

    Background

    On July 2, 2015, the Commission staff granted Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline's request to use the FERC's pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project Docket No. PF15-27-000. On October 5, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings (NOI). On September 14, 2016, the FERC sent a letter to potentially-affected landowners informing them of changes that Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline had made to the planned pipelines since the initiation of the pre-filing process.

    The NOI and pipeline modification letter were issued during the pre-filing review of the Project in Docket No. PF15-27-000 was sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include potential impacts to the river floodway and the flood protection levee from terminal construction, construction and wetland fill in the Coastal Zone, saltwater intrusion from marsh pipeline construction, impacts on productivity of Barataria Bay estuary, greenhouse gas emissions from project operation, and noise and light pollution impacts on nearby sensitive areas.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-66 and CP17-67), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19394 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-116-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Texas LNG Brownsville LLC Texas LNG Project

    On March 31, 2016, Texas LNG Brownsville LLC (Texas LNG) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-116-000 requesting authorization pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act to site, construct, modify, and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities located on the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, Texas. The proposed project is known as the Texas LNG Project (Project) and would include a new LNG export terminal capable of producing up to 4 million tonnes per annum of LNG for export. The terminal would receive natural gas to the export facilities from a third-party intrastate pipeline. On September 24, 2015, in Order No. 3716, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Texas LNG a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    On April 14, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Texas LNG Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Project, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in October 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Texas LNG providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—March 15, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—June 13, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Texas LNG's proposed facilities include two liquefaction trains, each capable of producing 2 million tonnes per annum, one new LNG storage tank, and a single marine berth capable of accommodating LNG carriers with capacities up to 180,000 cubic meters. The Project would be constructed on about 285 acres of a 625-acre parcel of land, on the north side of the Brownsville Ship Channel near mile marker 4. An additional 26.5 acres would be located outside of the 625-acre parcel to provide deepwater access to the Brownsville Ship Channel.

    Background

    On April 14, 2015, the Commission staff granted Texas LNG's request to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Texas LNG Project Docket No. PF15-14-000. On July 23, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Texas LNG Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting (NOI).

    The NOI was issued during the pre-filing review of the project in Docket No. PF15-14-000 and was sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commenters and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include threatened and endangered species, LNG safety, land use, water quality, air quality, and cumulative impacts.

    The U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Federal Aviation Administration are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-116), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19390 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-178-000] Notice of Revised Schedule for Environmental Review of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Alaska LNG Project

    This notice identifies the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff's revised schedule for the completion of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Alaska LNG Project (Project). The first notice of schedule, issued on March 12, 2018, identified December 9, 2019 as the final EIS issuance date. Staff has revised the schedule for issuance of the final EIS, based on an issuance of the draft EIS in February 2019. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—November 8, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—February 6, 2020

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-178), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19401 Filed 9-6-18; 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 corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-145-000.

    Applicants: Choice Energy, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, et al. of Choice Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 8/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180829-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-146-000.

    Applicants: PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-147-000.

    Applicants: Avista Corporation.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, et al. of Avista Corporation.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-148-000.

    Applicants: Golden Fields Solar II, LLC, Golden Fields Solar III, LLC, Golden Fields Solar IV, LLC, Golden Fields Solar V, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act for Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities, et al, of Golden Fields Solar II, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5090.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER17-256-005; ER17-242-005; ER17-243-005; ER17-245-005; ER17-652-005.

    Applicants: Darby Power, LLC, Gavin Power, LLC, Lawrenceburg Power, LLC, Waterford Power, LLC, Lightstone Marketing LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Darby Power, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5228.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1648-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-08-29_Deficiency response to Time Limits for Disputes and Resettlements to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2073-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-08-31_SA 3134 ETI-Liberty County Solar Project GIA (J483) Amendment to be effective 7/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5078.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2075-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-08-31_SA 3135 ELL-ELL GIA (J484) Amendment to be effective7/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2076-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-08-31_SA 3136 Entergy Texas, Inc-Entergy Texas, Inc GIA (J472) Amendment to be effective 7/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2346-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX-Oncor Electric Delivery Company Amended TSA to be effective 8/3/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2347-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3474 Clarksville Light & Water NITSA NOA to be effective 8/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2348-000.

    Applicants: Idaho Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Rate Schedule 166—Goshen-Jefferson Line Rebuild to be effective 10/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2349-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Bentonville PSA to be effective8/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2350-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to OATT, Sch. 12-Appx A re: RTEP Projects Approved July 2018 to be effective 11/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2351-000.

    Applicants: New York State Electric & Gas Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: NYSEG-KCE NY1 EPC Agreement to be effective 8/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2352-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-30_Real-Time Buybacks of Spinning and Offline Supplemental Reserve to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5204.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2353-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-30_Price Volatility Make Whole Payments Enhancement to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5205.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2354-000.

    Applicants: BE CA LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: MBR Tariff Cancellation to be effective 9/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5206.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2355-000.

    Applicants: Virginia Electric and Power Company, Duke Energy Progress, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: VEPCO and Duke Energy Process submit amended IA SA No. 3453 to be effective 10/26/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5211.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2356-000.

    Applicants: Florida Power Development LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: MBR Tariff cancellation to be effective9/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2357-000.

    Applicants: Interstate Power and Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: IPL—Hearland—CIPCO LBA Agreement to be effective 10/29/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5213.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2358-000.

    Applicants: GridLiance High Plains LLC, Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Add Oklahoma Panhandle Facilities for GridLiance High Plains LLC to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2359-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Second Revised ISA SA No. 2832; Queue #AC1-181 to be effective8/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5218.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2360-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-30 EIM Agreement with Balancing Authority of Northern California to be effective 10/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5222.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2361-000.

    Applicants: Enel Green Power Hilltopper Wind, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: MBR Tariff to be effective9/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5223.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2362-000.

    Applicants: NTE Ohio, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Baseline new rates to be effective9/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180830-5227.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2363-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-08-31_Refiling of Resource Adequacy Construct Locational Enhancements to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 8/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20180831-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/21/18.

    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 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19408 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-521-000] Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC, Gulf LNG Energy, LLC, Gulf LNG Pipelines, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project

    On June 19, 2015, Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC and Gulf LNG Energy, LLC, and Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC (collectively referred to as Gulf LNG) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) in Docket No. CP15-521-000 pursuant to section 3(a) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act, requesting authorization to construct and operate the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project (Project) at Gulf Energy's existing import liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Jackson County, Mississippi. Within the same application, Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC proposes to make modifications to the terminal's send-out pipeline to allow for bi-directional flow. The Project would expand the terminal to enable it to liquefy approximately 11 million metric tons of LNG per year for export. On June 15, 2012, in Order No. 3104, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Gulf LNG authorization to export LNG by vessel from the terminal to Free Trade Agreement nations. On August 31, 2012, Gulf LNG filed an application with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, for a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Non-Free Trade Agreement nations. A decision by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy is still pending.

    FERC issued its Notice of Application for the Project on July 1, 2015. Among other things, that notice alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Project. This notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in November 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon Gulf LNG providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—April 17, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—July 16, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of project's progress.

    Background

    On May 21, 2014, the Commission staff granted Gulf LNG's request to use FERC's pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project Docket No. PF13-4-000. On July 31, 2014, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting. On August 27, 2014, the Commission issued a Notice of Extension of Time to allow additional time for comments. The notices were sent to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; affected property owners; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping include impacts on air and water quality, socioeconomic conditions, environmental justice, federal and state-listed threatened and endangered species, noise levels and nighttime light, visual resources, public safety, and cumulative impacts.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy; U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents via email. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP15-521), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19388 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP17-20-000; CP17-21-000; CP17-21-001; CP18-7-000] Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Port Arthur Liquefaction Project, the Texas Connector Project, and the Louisiana Connector Project: Port Arthur LNG, LLC; PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC; Port Arthur Pipeline, LLC

    On November 29, 2016, Port Arthur LNG, LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC (collectively referred to as PALNG) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-20-000 requesting authorization pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities. On the same day, Port Arthur Pipeline, LLC (PAPL) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-21-000, requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities for its Texas Connector Project. On October 16, 2017, PAPL filed an application in Docket No. CP18-7-000, requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities for its Louisiana Connector Project. The combined projects, collectively referred to as the Port Arthur Liquefaction and Pipeline Projects (Projects), would provide gas and processing to produce up to 13.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG for export. On August 20, 2015, in Order No. 3698, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, granted to Port Arthur LNG, LLC a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement nations.

    On December 13, 2016, and October 30, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notices of Application for the Projects. Among other things, these notices alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Projects. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Projects, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in September 2018. The forecasted schedule for both the draft and final EIS is based upon PALNG and PAPL providing complete and timely responses to any future data requests. In addition, the schedule assumes that the cooperating agencies will provide input on their areas of responsibility on a timely basis.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—January 31, 2019 90-Day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—May 1, 2019

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Projects' progress.

    Project Description

    PALNG's proposed facilities consist of an export liquefaction termination that includes two LNG liquefaction trains, three LNG storage tanks, a refrigerant storage area and truck unloading facilities, a condensate storage area and truck loading facilities, a construction dock, a marine offloading facility, a pioneer dock, and two marine berths capable of accommodating two LNG carriers of up to 266,000 cubic meters each. PALNG's proposed facilities would occupy approximately 898 acres of a 2,900-acre site on the western shore of the Port Arthur Canal, about 5 miles south of Port Arthur, Texas and 6 miles north of Sabine, Texas.

    PAPL's Texas Connector Project would consist of 26.6 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline entering the liquefaction facility from the north; 7.6 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline entering the liquefaction facility from the south; 4.7 miles of lateral pipelines; two compressor stations providing a total of approximately 31,600 horsepower of compression; six meter stations; eight pig launchers and receivers; and one mainline valve. These facilities would be located in in Jefferson and Orange Counties, Texas and Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

    PAPL's Louisiana Connector Project would consist of 130.8 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline; 0.5 mile of lateral pipelines; one compressor station providing a total of approximately 89,900 horsepower of compression; nine meter stations; nine mainline valves; and four pig launchers/receivers in Jefferson and Orange Counties, Texas and Cameron, Calcasieu, Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, and St. Landry Parishes, Louisiana.

    Background

    On March 31, 2015, the Commission staff granted PALNG's and PAPL's requests to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process for the Liquefaction and Texas Connector Projects. On June 24, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Port Arthur Liquefaction Project and Port Arthur Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting. On March 17, 2017, the Commission staff granted PAPL's request to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process for the Louisiana Connector Project. On May 25, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Louisiana Connector Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Sessions.

    The two referenced Notices of Intent were issued during the respective pre-filing review of the Projects, and were sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. Major issues raised during scoping included wetland impacts and mitigation, and dredge material testing and beneficial reuse.

    The U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Projects is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select General Search from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-20, CP17-21, or CP18-7), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19392 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9041-2] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7156 or https://www2.epa.gov/nepa/.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 08/27/2018 Through 08/31/2018 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20180203, Draft Supplement, USN, HI, Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS LFA) Sonar, Comment Period Ends: 10/22/2018, Contact: Patrick Havel 703-695-8266. EIS No. 20180204, Final, USACE, AZ, Ray Mine Tailings Storage Facility, Review Period Ends: 10/09/2018, Contact: Michael Langley 602-689-0606. EIS No. 20180205, Revised Draft, USFWS, WA, Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Long-term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet, Comment Period Ends: 11/06/2018, Contact: Mark Ostwald 360-753-9564. EIS No. 20180206, Revised Draft, USACE, NY, Integrated Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement, Atlantic Coast of New York, East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, Comment Period Ends: 10/22/2018, Contact: Daria Mazey 917-790-8726. EIS No. 20180207, Final, USACE, NE, Missouri River Recovery Management Plan, Review Period Ends: 10/09/2018, Contact: Tiffany Vanosdall 402-995-2695. EIS No. 20180208, Draft, BLM, OR, Tucker Hill Perlite Mine Expansion Plan of Operations Amendment No. 7, Comment Period Ends: 10/22/2018, Contact: Paul Whitman 541-947-6110. Amended Notices EIS No. 20180124, Draft, USFS, MT, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Draft Revised Forest Plan Helena—Lewis and Clark National Forest, Revision to the FR Notice Published 06/08/2018, Extend Comment Period from 09/06/2018 to 10/09/2018, Contact: Deborah Entwistle 406-495-3774. EIS No. 20180185, Draft, BLM, UT, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument-Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyon Units and Federal Lands Previously Included in the Monument that are excluded from the Boundaries Draft Resource Management Plans and Associated Environmental Impact Statement, Revision to FR Notice Published 08/17/2018, Extend comment period from 11/15/2018 to 11/30/2018, Contact: Matt Betenson 435-644-1200. EIS No. 20180189, Draft, NRC, LA, License Renewal for Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3, NUREG-1437, Supplement 59, Correction to FR Notice Published 08/24/2018, List correct project title, Contact: Elaine Keegan 301-415-8517. Dated: September 4, 2018. Robert Tomiak, Director, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19424 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-17AZI] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled Understanding Decisions and Barriers about PrEP Use and Uptake Among Men Who Have Sex With Men to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on October 10, 2017 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC did not receive comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) 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;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies 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;

    (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; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Understanding Decisions and Barriers about PrEP Use and Uptake Among Men Who Have Sex With Men—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    This project involves original, formative research toward improving the uptake and adherence necessary to achieve efficacious levels of protection offered by pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among the most highly affected population. HIV incidence and prevalence are higher among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) than any other risk group in the U.S. Approximately half of all diagnosed HIV infections are among gay, bisexual, and other MSM. The FDA-approved PrEP regimen, daily Tenofovir/emtricitabine (aka Truvada®), has shown greater than 90% efficacy in reducing HIV infections among MSM when taken in accordance with its prescribed daily schedule. In 2014, CDC published clinical practice guidelines for the use of PrEP in high-risk populations, and began national promotion of PrEP as an effective HIV prevention strategy for MSM. While hailed as an HIV-prevention “game-changer,” in reality PrEP uptake has been slow. Some studies report a wide range in the percentages of MSM (28-81%) interested in PrEP. In addition, other studies indicate that specific cities have alarmingly low rates of PrEP uptake (for example, the estimate for Atlanta is 2%). Moreover, recent survey findings have shown that less than 1 in 10 MSM on PrEP are adherent to their PrEP regimen; adherence is necessary to optimize efficacy.

    In order to develop effective programs that increase PrEP uptake among MSM at greatest risk for HIV, studies are needed to better understand the decisions men make about their HIV prevention needs. Qualitative methods will be used to explore in-depth the “Whys” and “How's” of MSM's decisions to refuse or use PrEP, and barriers and challenges to successfully undertake a PrEP medication regimen. Quantitative methods will be used to understand the HIV risk behavior context, attitudes towards PrEP, health seeking behavior, and acceptability of new modes of PrEP delivery (that differ from current recommendation of daily PrEP and that are in development or discussion) and emerging biomedical HIV prevention options.

    The purpose of this research is to explore decisions, barriers, and facilitators about PrEP use among MSM: (1) Who were offered PrEP but refused it; (2) who were interested in or started a PrEP regimen but did not follow through; and (3) who are eligible for PrEP per CDC guidelines (report condomless anal sex within last three months) but not currently on PrEP.

    This study will provide insight on individual and community level PrEP-related decision-making, and identify barriers and facilitators to successful PrEP initiation and PrEP acceptability. Findings will improve programming, in line with the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention goal of high-impact prevention to reduce HIV infections in the U.S. Findings will assist the CDC and frontline public health programs in identifying and designing programs and intervention approaches that encourage, support, and maintain appropriate PrEP uptake among eligible MSM and anticipate future HIV prevention needs, including anticipated changes in PrEP delivery.

    The total annual burden hours are 335. There are no other costs to the respondents other than their time to participate.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of
  • respondents
  • Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • General Public—Adults Screener 600 1 5/60 General Public—Adults Contact Information Form 300 1 1/60 General Public—Adults In-Depth Interview Guide 60 1 45/60 General Public—Adults Focus Group Moderator Guide 60 1 1 General Public—Adults Eligibility verification (verification of continuing eligibility) 300 1 5/60 General Public—Adults Structured response self-administered behavioral assessment 300 1 30/60
    Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19378 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-18-1102] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the withdrawal of the notice published under the same title on August 22, 2018 for public comment.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 22, 2018 CDC published a notice in the Federal Register titled “Information Collection for Tuberculosis Data from Panel Physicians” (Vol. 83, No. 163 Docket No. CDC-2018-0049, Pages 42502-542503). This notice was published inadvertently. The notice is being withdrawn immediately for public comment.

    Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19383 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-18-0666; Docket No. CDC-2018-0042] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies the opportunity to comment on a proposed and/or continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collection project titled National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). NHSN is a public health surveillance system that collects, analyzes, reports, and makes available data for monitoring, measuring, and responding to healthcare associated infections (HAIs), antimicrobial use and resistance, blood transfusion safety events, and the extent to which healthcare facilities adhere to infection prevention practices and antimicrobial stewardship.

    DATES:

    CDC must receive written comments on or before November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2018-0042 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Jeffrey M. Zirger, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. CDC will post, without change, all relevant comments to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: Submit all comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal (regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to the OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments that will help:

    1. 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;

    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 submissions of responses.

    5. Assess information collection costs.

    Proposed Project

    National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)—Revision—National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    NHSN is a public health surveillance system that collects, analyzes, reports, and makes available data for monitoring, measuring, and responding to healthcare associated infections (HAIs), antimicrobial use and resistance, blood transfusion safety events, and the extent to which healthcare facilities adhere to infection prevention practices and antimicrobial stewardship. The data collected will be used to inform and detect changes in the epidemiology of adverse events resulting from new and current medical therapies and changing risks. NHSN is comprised of six components: Patient Safety, Healthcare Personnel Safety, Biovigilance, Long-Term Care Facility, Outpatient Procedure, and Dialysis.

    Changes were made to 33 data collection facility surveys with this new ICR. CDC revised three annual facility surveys for the Patient Safety component for Hospitals, Long-Term Acute Care Facilities, and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities. CDC's revisions clarify the reporting requirements for the data collected on fungal testing, facility locations, and laboratory testing locations. Additionally, corresponding response options for these questions have been revised to include updated testing methods used by facilities to capture current HAI specific data specification requirements for NHSN. New required questions have been added to all Patient Safety component surveys. The new questions are designed to provide data on surveillance processes, policies, and standards that are used by reporting facilities to ensure that when an event is detected, the facility has the appropriate mechanism to conduct complete reporting. The Hospital Annual Survey added new required questions to provide data about neonatal antimicrobial stewardship practices because the focus of stewardship efforts in neonatology differ from the focus in adult and pediatric practice. Questions were removed and replaced on all three Patient Safety surveys to align better with the Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs specified by CDC. The Core Elements defined by CDC are part of broad-based efforts by CDC and its healthcare and public health partners to combat the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The new Antibiotic Stewardship Program questions will provide additional data about operational features of the programs that hospitals have implemented, which in turn will enable CDC and its healthcare and public health partners to target their efforts to help invigorate and extend antibiotic stewardship.

    CDC is introducing a new optional survey form that is designed to be completed by state and local health departments that participate in HAI surveillance and prevention activities. This new form will provide data on legal and regulatory requirements that are pertinent to HAI reporting. CDC plans to include data the health department survey in its annual National and State Healthcare-Associated Infection Progress Report. The report helps identify the progress in HAI surveillance and prevention at the state and national levels. Data about the extent to which state health departments have validated HAI data that healthcare facilities in their jurisdiction report to NHSN and the extent of state and local health department HAI reporting requirements are important data for users of CDC's HAI Progress Report to consider when they are reviewing and interpreting data in the report.

    NHSN now includes a ventilator-associated event available for NICU locations, which requires additional denominator reporting, in which CDC has provided an option to accommodate facilities that are reporting requested data by updating the corresponding surveys. The Pediatric Ventilator-Associated Event (PedVAE) was removed from the survey because a single algorithm is used to detect PedVAE events.

    NHSN has made updates to the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (AUR) data collection tools for the purposes of monitoring additional microorganisms and their antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. Use of these updates in AUR surveillance will provide important additional data for clinical and public health responses to mounting antibiotic resistance problems.

    The Long-term Care Facility Component (LTCF) will be updating three forms, two of which will include an update for facilities to document the “CDI treatment start” variable. Early CDI reporting data from nursing homes has shown exceptionally low event rates for many reporting facilities (e.g., zero events for six or more months). Since current CDI event detection is based on presence of a positive laboratory specimen, variability in the use of diagnostic testing as part of CDI management will have direct impact on the estimate of CDI burden in a facility (e.g., empiric treatment for CDI without confirmatory testing may result in the appearance of low disease burden). In order to determine whether low CDI event rates might be due to empiric CDI treatment practices, a new process measure will be incorporated into the monthly summary data on CDI for LTCFs. This measure, called “CDI treatment starts,” will allow providers to capture the number of residents started on antibiotic treatment for CDI that month based on clinical decisions (i.e., even those without a positive CDI test). This process measure should provide data on clinically-treated CDI in order to inform our understanding of CDI management practices and serve as a proxy for CDI burden in nursing homes.

    Overall, minor revisions have been made to a total of 33 forms within the package to clarify and/or update surveillance definitions, increase or decrease the number of reporting facilities, and add new forms.

    The previously approved NHSN package included 72 individual collection forms; the current revision request includes a total of 73 forms. The reporting burden will decrease by 109,745 hours, for a total of 5,393,725 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • (in hours)
  • Healthcare facility 57.100 NHSN Registration Form 2,000 1 5/60 167 57.101 Facility Contact Information 2,000 1 10/60 333 57.103 Patient Safety Component—Annual Hospital Survey 6,000 1 1.17 7,500 57.105 Group Contact Information 1,000 1 5/60 83 57.106 Patient Safety Monthly Reporting Plan 6,000 12 15/60 18,000 57.108 Primary Bloodstream Infection (BSI) 6,000 44 33/60 145,200 57.111 Pneumonia (PNEU) 1,800 72 30/60 64,800 57.112 Ventilator—Associated Event 6,000 144 28/60 403,200 57.113 Pediatric Ventilator—Associated Event (PedVAE) 100 120 30/60 6,000 57.114 Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) 6,000 40 20/60 80,000 57.115 Custom Event 600 91 35/60 31,850 57.116 Denominators for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) 6,000 12 4 288,000 57.117 Denominators for Specialty Care Area (SCA)/Oncology (ONC) 2,000 9 5.03 90,600 57.118 Denominators for Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Other locations (not NICU or SCA) 6,000 60 5.03 1,812,000 57.120 Surgical Site Infection (SSI) 6,000 36 35/60 126,000 57.121 Denominator for Procedure 6,000 540 10/60 540,000 57.122 HAI Progress Report State Health Department Survey 55 1 45/60 41 57.123 Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (AUR)—Microbiology Data Electronic Upload Specification Tables 1,000 12 5/60 1,000 57.124 Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (AUR)—Pharmacy Data Electronic Upload Specification Tables 2,000 12 5/60 2,000 57.125 Central Line Insertion Practices Adherence Monitoring 100 100 25/60 4,167 57.126 MDRO or CDI Infection Form 6,000 72 30/60 216,000 57.127 MDRO and CDI Prevention Process and Outcome Measures Monthly Monitoring 6,000 24 15/60 36,000 57.128 Laboratory-identified MDRO or CDI Event 6,000 240 20/60 480,000 57.129 Adult Sepsis 50 250 25/60 5,208 57.137 Long-Term Care Facility Component—Annual Facility Survey 2,600 1 2 5,200 57.138 Laboratory-identified MDRO or CDI Event for LTCF 2,600 12 20/60 10,400 57.139 MDRO and CDI Prevention Process Measures Monthly Monitoring for LTCF 2,600 12 20/60 10,400 57.140 Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) for LTCF 2,600 14 35/60 18,200 57.141 Monthly Reporting Plan for LTCF 2,600 12 5/60 2,600 57.142 Denominators for LTCF Locations 2,600 12 4.17 130,000 57.143 Prevention Process Measures Monthly Monitoring for LTCF 2,600 12 5/60 2,600 57.150 LTAC Annual Survey 400 1 1.17 467 57.151 Rehab Annual Survey 1,000 1 1.17 1,167 57.200 Healthcare Personnel Safety Component Annual Facility Survey 50 1 8 400 57.203 Healthcare Personnel Safety Monthly Reporting Plan 19,500 1 5/60 1,625 57.204 Healthcare Worker Demographic Data 50 200 20/60 3,333 57.205 Exposure to Blood/Body Fluids 50 50 1 2,500 57.206 Healthcare Worker Prophylaxis/Treatment 50 30 15/60 375 57.207 Follow-Up Laboratory Testing 50 50 15/60 625 57.210 Healthcare Worker Prophylaxis/Treatment—Influenza 50 50 10/60 417 57.300 Hemovigilance Module Annual Survey 500 1 1.42 708 57.301 Hemovigilance Module Monthly Reporting Plan 500 12 1/60 100 57.303 Hemovigilance Module Monthly Reporting Denominators 500 12 1.17 7,000 57.305 Hemovigilance Incident 500 10 10/60 833 57.306 Hemovigilance Module Annual Survey—Non-acute care facility 200 1 35/60 117 57.307 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Acute Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction 500 4 20/60 667 57.308 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Allergic Transfusion Reaction 500 4 20/60 667 57.309 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Delayed Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction 500 1 20/60 167 57.310 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Delayed Serologic Transfusion Reaction 500 2 20/60 333 57.311 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Febrile Non-hemolytic Transfusion Reaction 500 4 20/60 667 57.312 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Hypotensive Transfusion Reaction 500 1 20/60 167 57.313 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Infection 500 1 20/60 167 57.314 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Post Transfusion Purpura 500 1 20/60 167 57.315 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Transfusion Associated Dyspnea 500 1 20/60 167 57.316 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Transfusion Associated Graft vs. Host Disease 500 1 20/60 167 57.317 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury 500 1 20/60 167 57.318 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Transfusion Associated Circulatory Overload 500 2 20/60 333 57.319 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Unknown Transfusion Reaction 500 1 20/60 167 57.320 Hemovigilance Adverse Reaction—Other Transfusion Reaction 500 1 20/60 167 57.400 Outpatient Procedure Component—Annual Facility Survey 5,000 1 10/60 417 57.401 Outpatient Procedure Component—Monthly Reporting Plan 5,000 12 20/60 15,000 57.402 Outpatient Procedure Component Same Day Outcome Measures 1,200 25 40/60 20,000 57.403 Outpatient Procedure Component—Monthly Denominators for Same Day Outcome Measures 1,200 12 40/60 9,600 57.404 Outpatient Procedure Component—SSI Denominator 5,000 540 10/60 450,000 57.405 Outpatient Procedure Component—Surgical Site (SSI) Event 5,000 36 35/60 105,000 57.500 Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices Survey 7,000 1 2.12 14,817 57.501 Dialysis Monthly Reporting Plan 7,000 12 5/60 7,000 57.502 Dialysis Event 7,000 60 25/60 175,000 57.503 Denominator for Outpatient Dialysis 7,000 12 10/60 14,000 57.504 Prevention Process Measures Monthly Monitoring for Dialysis 2,000 12 1.42 17,000 57.505 Dialysis Patient Influenza Vaccination 325 75 10/60 4,063 57.506 Dialysis Patient Influenza Vaccination Denominator 325 5 10/60 271 57.507 Home Dialysis Center Practices Survey 350 1 30/60 175 Total 5,393,725
    Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19382 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services announces the next meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) on October 17-18, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT and Thursday, October 18, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The CPSTF Meeting will be held at the CDC Edward R. Roybal Campus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Headquarters (Building 19), 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. You should be aware that the meeting location is in a Federal government building; therefore, Federal security measures are applicable. For additional information, please see Roybal Campus Security Guidelines under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Information regarding meeting logistics will be available on the Community Guide website (www.thecommunityguide.org) closer to the date of the meeting.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Onslow Smith, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-E-69, Atlanta, GA 30329, phone: (404) 498-6778, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Meeting Accessibility: This space-limited meeting is open to the public. All meeting attendees must register. To ensure completion of required security procedures and access to the CDC's Global Communications Center, U.S. citizens intending to attend in person must register by October 10, 2018, and non-U.S. citizens intending to attend in person must register by September 19, 2018. Failure to register by the dates identified could result in the inability to attend the CPSTF meeting in person.

    Those unable to attend the meeting in person are able to do so via Webcast. CDC will send the Webcast URL to registrants upon receipt of their registration. All meeting attendees must register by October 11, 2018 to receive the webcast information. CDC will email webcast information from the [email protected] mailbox.

    To register for the meeting, whether in person or via webcast, individuals should send an email to [email protected] and include the following information: name, title, organization name, organization address, phone, email, and whether attending in person or via webcast.

    Public Comment: A public comment period, limited to three minutes per person, will follow the CPSTF's discussion of each systematic review. Individuals wishing to make public comments must indicate their desire to do so with their registration by providing their name, organizational affiliation, and the topic to be addressed (if known). Public comments will become part of the meeting summary. Public comment is not possible via Webcast.

    Background on the CPSTF: The CPSTF is an independent, nonfederal panel whose members are appointed by the CDC Director. CPSTF members represent a broad range of research, practice, and policy expertise in prevention, wellness, health promotion, and public health. The CPSTF was convened in 1996 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify community preventive programs, services, and policies that increase healthy longevity, save lives and dollars, and improve Americans' quality of life. CDC is mandated to provide ongoing administrative, research, and technical support for the operations of the CPSTF. During its meetings, the CPSTF considers the findings of systematic reviews on existing research and practice-based evidence and issues recommendations. CPSTF recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information about evidence-based options that decision makers and stakeholders can consider when they are determining what best meets the specific needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their jurisdictions and constituents. The CPSTF's recommendations, along with the systematic reviews of the evidence on which they are based, are compiled in The Community Guide.

    Matters Proposed for Discussion: Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (Pharmacy-Based Interventions to Increase Medication Adherence); Mental Health (Effectiveness of School-Based Depression and Anxiety Prevention Interventions); Cancer Prevention and Control (Community Health Worker Interventions to Improve Screening Rates for Breast, Colorectal, and Cervical Cancer); Health Equity (Supportive Housing Policies to Address Homelessness); Obesity Prevention and Control (Combined School-Based Diet and Physical Activity Interventions); Economic Review (Active Travel to School); and discussion of Community Guide effectiveness methods. The agenda is subject to change without notice.

    Roybal Campus Security Guidelines: The Edward R. Roybal Campus is the headquarters of the CDC and is located at 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting is being held in a Federal government building; therefore, Federal security measures are applicable.

    All meeting attendees must register by the dates outlined under MEETING ACCESSABILITY. In planning your arrival time, please take into account the need to park and clear security. All visitors must enter the Edward R. Roybal Campus through the front entrance on Clifton Road. Vehicles may be searched, and the guard force will then direct visitors to the designated parking area. Upon arrival at the facility, visitors must present government-issued photo identification (e.g., a valid federal identification badge, state driver's license, state non-driver's identification card, or passport). Non-United States citizens must complete the required security paperwork prior to the meeting date and must present a valid passport, visa, Permanent Resident Card, or other type of work authorization document upon arrival at the facility. Instructions for completing the required security paperwork will be provided after registration. All persons entering the building must pass through a metal detector. CDC Security personnel will issue a visitor's ID badge at the entrance to Building 19. Visitors may receive an escort to the meeting room. All items brought to HHS/CDC are subject to inspection.

    Dated: September 4, 2018. Lauren Hoffmann, Acting Executive Secretary, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19442 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in accordance with provisions of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, is seeking nominations for membership on the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program STAC. The STAC consists of 17 members including experts in fields associated with occupational medicine, pulmonary medicine, environmental medicine or environmental health, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, toxicology, mental health, and representatives of WTC responders, as well as representatives of certified-eligible WTC survivors. The STAC reviews scientific and medical evidence and makes recommendations to the Administrator of the WTC Health Program on additional Program eligibility criteria and additional WTC-related health conditions and provides consultation on research regarding certain health conditions related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    DATES:

    Nominations for membership on the STAC must be received no later than November 16, 2018. Packages received after this time will not be considered for the current membership cycle.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations should be mailed to NIOSH Docket 229-G, c/o Mia Wallace, Committee Management Specialist, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, MS: E-20, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, or emailed (recommended) to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tania Carreón-Valencia, WTC Health Program Associate Director for Science, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, MS: R-12, Atlanta, GA 30333; telephone (404)498-2500 (this is not a toll-free number); email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Nominations are being sought for individuals who have expertise and qualifications necessary to contribute to accomplishing the committee's objectives. The Administrator of the WTC Health Program is seeking nominations for members fulfilling the following categories:

    • Environmental medicine or environmental health specialist;

    • Occupational physician who has experience treating WTC rescue and recovery workers;

    • Physician with expertise in pulmonary medicine;

    • Representative of WTC responders; and

    • Representative of certified-eligible WTC survivors.

    Members may be invited to serve for three-year terms. Selection of members is based on candidates' qualifications to contribute to the accomplishment of STAC objectives. More information on the committee is available at https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/stac.html.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy stipulates that committee membership be balanced in terms of points of view represented, and the committee's function. Appointments shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status. Nominees must be U.S. citizens. Current participation on federal workgroups or prior experience serving on a federal advisory committee does not disqualify a candidate; however, HHS policy is to avoid excessive individual service on advisory committees and multiple committee memberships. Committee members are Special Government Employees, requiring the filing of financial disclosure reports at the beginning of and annually during their terms. NIOSH identifies potential candidates and provides a slate of nominees for consideration to the Director of CDC for STAC membership each year; CDC reviews the proposed slate of candidates, and provides a slate of nominees for consideration to the Secretary of HHS for final selection. HHS notifies selected candidates of their appointment near the start of the term in October, or as soon as the HHS selection process is completed. Note that the need for different expertise varies from year to year and a candidate who is not selected in one year may be reconsidered in a subsequent year.

    Candidates should submit the following items:

    Current curriculum vitae, including complete contact information (telephone numbers, mailing address, email address);

    The category of membership (environmental medicine or environmental health specialist, occupational physician, pulmonary physician, representative of WTC responders, representative of certified-eligible WTC survivors, industrial hygienist, toxicologist, epidemiologist, or mental health professional) that the candidate is qualified to represent;

    A summary of the background, experience, and qualifications that demonstrates the candidate's suitability for the nominated membership category; and

    At least one letter of recommendation from a person(s) not employed by HHS. (Candidates may submit letter(s) from current HHS employees if they wish, but at least one letter must be submitted by a person not employed by an HHS agency (e.g., CDC, NIH, FDA, etc.).

    Nominations may be submitted by the candidate him- or herself, or by the person/organization recommending the candidate.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities for both CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Sherri Berger, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19418 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-18-0134; Docket No. CDC-2018-0078] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies the opportunity to comment on a proposed and/or continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collection project titled Foreign Quarantine Regulations, an information collection related to illness and death reports from airplanes and maritime vessels coming to the United States, illness and death investigations of travelers, and information from importers of certain items specified under 42 CFR 71 subpart F.

    DATES:

    CDC must receive written comments on or before November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2018-0078 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Jeffrey M. Zirger, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. CDC will post, without change, all relevant comments to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: Submit all comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal (regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact Jeffrey M. Zirger, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to the OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments that will help:

    1. 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;

    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 submissions of responses.

    5. Assess information collection costs.

    Proposed Project

    Foreign Quarantine Regulations (42 CFR 71) (OMB Control No. 0920-0134) (Exp 5/31/2019)—Revision—National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) (42 U.S.C. 264) (Attachment A1) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make and enforce regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States. Statute and the existing regulations governing foreign quarantine activities (42 CFR 71) authorize quarantine officers and other personnel to inspect and undertake necessary control measures with respect to conveyances, persons, and shipments of animals and etiologic agents in order to protect the public's health. Other inspection agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), assist quarantine officers in public health screening of persons, pets, and other importations of public health importance and make referrals to quarantine station staff when indicated. These practices and procedures ensure protection against the introduction and spread of communicable diseases into and within the United States with a minimum of recordkeeping and reporting procedures, as well as a minimum of interference with trade and travel.

    U.S. Quarantine Stations are located at 20 ports of entry and land-border crossings where international travelers arrive. The jurisdiction of each station includes air, maritime, and/or land-border ports of entry. Quarantine Station staff work in partnership with international, federal, state, and local agencies and organizations to fulfill their mission to reduce morbidity and mortality among globally mobile populations. This work is performed to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States or from one State or possession to another State or possession. When an illness suggestive of a communicable disease is reported by conveyance operators or port partners (e.g., Customs and Border Protection), Quarantine Officers respond to carry out an onsite public health assessment and collect data from the individual. This response may occur jointly with port partners. The collection of comprehensive, pertinent public health information during these responses enables Quarantine Officers to make an accurate public health assessment and identify appropriate next steps. For this reason, quarantine station staff need to systematically interview ill travelers and collect relevant health and epidemiologic information.

    CDC is making a number of changes and adjustments to this information collection. The changes are as follows:

    • CDC is merging this information collection with another, 0920-0821 Illness Response Forms: Airline, Maritime, and Land/Border Crossing.

    • CDC is disaggregating the information collection 42 CFR 71.21(a) report of illness or death from ships so that the influenza like illness (ILI) report, which is voluntary, is separate from the required report of ill person or death.

    • CDC is removing the information collection pertaining to Partner Government Agency Message Sets, because CDC will not collect information using these tools.

    • CDC is removing the acute gastroenteritis reports from ships and removal of medical logs information collection from this information collection request, because CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program will submit a separate information collection request for these tools.

    CDC is requesting the following adjustments

    • As described above, CDC is requesting a separation of the maritime (ILI) and other maritime illness or death reports. CDC is also requesting an increase in the total number of maritime reports of illness of each type, ILI and others.

    • For fall 2018, CDC is considering a policy change related to requirements for rabies vaccination documentation for dogs coming from certain countries; therefore, CDC is providing estimates of burden and respondents related to importation of dogs into the United States.

    • Revised estimates under 42 CFR 71.55, 42 CFR 71.32 Dead Bodies—Death certificates.

    • Revised estimate of the number of requests for exemptions for importation of African rodents.

    Respondents for this information collection request are any pilot in command of an aircraft or maritime vessel operator. With an ill person meeting certain criteria, or death aboard; any individual who is subject to federal quarantine or isolation; any ill traveler who is reported by the airlines, Customs and Border Protection, or EMS to CDC or the local public health authority that meets the definition of ill person; and any importer or filer who seeks to bring certain animals, animal products, or other CDC-regulated item into the United States.

    For most of these collections, there are no costs to respondents other than their time. Examinations of imported animals is only required if the pet is ill on arrival or if it has died during transport. These exams are not routine. Depending on the time of arrival, the initial exam fee may be between $100 and $200. Rabies testing on a dog that dies may be between $50 and $100. The expected number of ill or dead dogs arriving into the United States for which CDC may require an examination is estimated at less than 30 per year. CDC is requesting a three-year approval.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Regulatory provision or form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden
  • per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Maritime Vessel Operator 42 CFR 71.21(a) report of illness or death from ships—Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form sections 1-4 500 1 5/60 42 Maritime Vessel Operator 42 CFR 71.21(a) report of illness or death from ships—Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form section 5 100 1 2/60 3 Maritime Vessel Operator Cumulative Influenza/Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) 3,000 1 2/60 100 Pilot in command 42 CFR 71.21(b) Death/Illness reports from aircrafts 1,700 1 2/60 57 Traveler Airline Travel Illness or Death Investigation Form 1,700 1 5/60 142 Traveler Land Travel Illness or Death Investigation Form 100 1 5/60 8 Isolated or Quarantined individuals 42 CFR 71.33 Report by persons in isolation or surveillance 11 1 3/60 1 Maritime Vessel Operator 42 CFR 71.35 Report of death/illness during stay in port 5 1 30/60 3 Importer 42 CFR 71.51(c)(1), (d)—Valid Rabies Vaccination Certificates 113,500 1 15/60 28,375 Importer CDC Form 75.37 Notice To Owners And Importers Of Dogs: Requirement for Dog Confinement 14 1 10/60 2 Importer 42 CFR 71.51(c)(i), (ii), and (iii) exemption criteria for the importation of a dog without a rabies vaccination certificate 958,000 1 15/60 239,500 Importer 42 CFR 71.51(c)(2), (d) Application For Permission To Import A Dog Inadequately Against Rabies 50 1 45/60 38 Importer 42 CFR 71.51(b)(3) Dogs/cats: Record of sickness or deaths 20 1 15/60 5 Importer 42 CFR 71.52(d) Turtle Importation Permits 5 1 30/60 3 Importers 42 CFR 71.55 Dead Bodies, 42 CFR 71.32—Death certificates 20 1 1 20 Importer 42 CFR 71.56 (a)(2) African Rodents—Request for exemption 25 1 1 25 Importer 42 CFR 71.56(a)(iii) Appeal 2 1 1 2 Importer 42 CFR 71.32 Statements or documentation of non-infectiousness 2,000 1 5/60 167 Total 268,493
    Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19381 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-18CI] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled “Evaluation of TransLife Center (TLC): A Locally-Developed Combination Prevention Intervention for Transgender Women at High Risk of HIV Infection” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on January 30, 2018 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received one (1) comment related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) 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;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies 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;

    (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; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Evaluation of TransLife Center (TLC): A Locally-Developed Combination Prevention Intervention for Transgender Women at High Risk of HIV Infection—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention is requesting approval for 24 months of data collection entitled, “Evaluation of TransLife Center (TLC): A Locally-Developed Combination Prevention Intervention for Transgender Women at High Risk for HIV Infection.” The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of TLC, which provides combination (biomedical, behavioral and social/structural) HIV prevention and care services to adult transgender women at high risk for HIV infection, in a culturally specific and accessible environment. The information collected through this study will be used to evaluate whether the TLC intervention is an effective HIV-prevention strategy by assessing whether exposure to TLC services results in improvements in participants' health and HIV prevention behaviors. The trial will assess whether intervention participants' behaviors significantly change from baseline to 4- and 8-month follow-up periods.

    This study will be carried out in Chicago, Illinois, where the TLC program is located. The study population will include 150 HIV-negative adult transgender women living in the Chicago metropolitan area. Participants will be at least 18 years of age; self-identify as transgender, transsexual, women and/or female who was assigned male sex at birth; and have a self-reported history of sex with men in the past four months. The study population will also include 10 TLC staff members. Staff members will be adults, involved in the delivery of TLC intervention services. Participation in this study is voluntary.

    We anticipate enrollment of a diverse sample of transgender women comprised mainly of racial/ethnic minority participants under 35 years of age, consistent with the current TLC program and the epidemiology of HIV infection among transgender women. Intervention participants will be recruited to the study through a combination of approaches, including traditional print advertisement, referral, in-person outreach, and through word of mouth. TLC staff members will be randomly selected to participate in the evaluation.

    A computer-assisted quantitative assessment will be used to collect information for this study, which will be delivered at the time of study enrollment and again at 4-month and 8-month follow-ups. The assessment will be used to measure changes in sexual risk behavior including condom use and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care engagement. Intervention mediators, including gender affirmation, collective self-esteem and social support, and intervention satisfaction will also be measured. Participants will complete the assessment at baseline and again at 4- and 8-month follow-ups after joining the TLC program.

    We will also examine intervention experiences through semi-structured interview with 20 of the 150 TLC participants and 10 TLC staff members involved in the delivery of services through the TLC intervention. The audio-recorded interviews will capture participants and staff views about the TLC implementation process, the process through which the TLC intervention influences HIV risk behavior, and the role of the intervention in addressing social determinates of health (housing, employment, legal issues, health care access).

    It is expected that 50% of transgender women screened will meet study eligibility. We expect the initial screening to take approximately four minutes to complete and that providing contact information will take four minutes. The assessment will take 60 minutes (one hour) to complete and will be administered to 150 participants a total of three times. The interview will take 60 minutes (one hour) to complete and will be administered to 30 participants (20 intervention participants and 10 TLC staff) one time.

    There are no costs to the respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 255.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • General Public-Adults Eligibility Screener 150 1 4/60 Contact Information 75 1 4/60 Baseline Assessment 75 1 1 Follow Up Assessment 75 2 1 Participant Interview 10 1 1 Staff Interview 5 1 1
    Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19379 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-18MY] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled Network Epidemiology of Syphilis Transmission (NEST) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on 03/05/2018 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received 1 (one) comment related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) 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;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies 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;

    (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; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Network Epidemiology of Syphilis Transmission (NEST)—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    CDC, Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), requests a 3-year approval for a new data collection entitled, Network Epidemiology of Syphilis Transmission (NEST). Study participants' sociodemographic, risk behavior, and insurance coverage information will be collected as part of study enrollment.

    This study is funded by a cooperative agreement between CDC and three study grantees, two universities (Ohio State University and University of Illinois at Chicago) and one local health department (Baltimore City Health Department) in collaboration with a university (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine). The recruitment of study participants as well as the data collection activities will be carried out at university-affiliated sites including local health departments, community LGBT organizations, local STD clinics and HIV/AIDS care facilities.

    The overall objective of NEST is to support the establishment of cohorts of MSM at high risk for syphilis and to prospectively collect behavioral, social, and sexual network data, and biological specimens. Study participants will attend study visits every three months for a period of up to 24 months. NEST is a multi-site study, with a target enrollment of approximately 720 MSM aged 18 years and older from three geographic areas of the United States: (1) Chicago, Illinois, (2) Baltimore, Maryland, and (3) Columbus, Ohio.

    At each study visit, study participants will be interviewed and biological specimens (blood and urine) will be collected to facilitate testing for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV, which are part of the routine clinical care at participating sites. All data will be collected using Form 1—Questionnaire and Data Elements (Attachment 3) and submitted electronically directly to the CDC NEST data manager. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) collected on individual patients will be retained by the local NEST site, will not be collected on NEST data collection forms, and will not be transmitted to CDC.

    The United States is currently experiencing an ongoing syphilis epidemic. MSM are disproportionately impacted by syphilis and the majority of incident syphilis cases in the United States occur among MSM. However, factors influencing syphilis transmission within this population, such as social and sexual network characteristics, sexual behaviors, and healthcare access and utilization, are poorly understood. In order to address these knowledge gaps, both individual-level and network-level data needs to be collected among this population. As such, we need to develop a better understanding of the feasibility of collecting complex sexual network data among this population. The collection of complex sexual network data—in addition to more traditional individual-level data, such as demographics and individual-level sexual and social behaviors—will help to collectively address some of the knowledge gaps in the transmission dynamics and epidemiology of syphilis among MSM in the United States and point towards effective public health interventions to slow the spread of syphilis.

    The goal of NEST is to pilot the use of survey instruments to collect complex longitudinal sexual network data among MSM at high risk for syphilis in the United States. The feasibility of data collection on basic information about recent partners of persons diagnosed with syphilis is clear and is routinely performed by public health officials. However, the feasibility and optimal approaches for serial collection of complex sexual network data among populations that may have dynamic networks are not at all clear. Specifically, it is not clear what the optimal recruitment strategies are to recruit and enroll MSM at high risk for syphilis. The optimal approaches for retaining men as study participants for follow-up visits over a defined study period have not been well defined. Furthermore the best survey format for our proposed data collection activities has not been established. For example, it is not known whether study participants would prefer a survey that is completely self-administered and whether data collected using a self-administered survey will result in complete and valid data being collected or whether a survey administered by study staff would be a better format.

    CDC is not engaged in research, and therefore not involved in data collection activities. The grantees are responsible for implementing the testing and collecting data and specimens from the participants.

    Before starting any data collection activities a short eligibility screener (Attachment 4) will be administered to prospective study participants and if determined to be eligible consent from the participant will be obtained. Once consent is obtained data collection will begin and will include a baseline visit and follow-up visits every three months for a total follow-up period of 24 months. At each visit participants will provide biological specimens (blood and urine) to facilitate testing for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV. In addition to providing biological specimens, participants will complete a standardized survey which will be delivered electronically on a tablet or computer and will collect information on the participants' sexual network, individual behaviors, healthcare access and demographics (Attachment 3). The survey consists of 13 questionnaire modules with a range of 5 to 15 questions per module (Attachment 3). A small subset of sexual behavior questions will be delivered to the participant closer to real time using an open survey format and a weekly format (Attachment 5). The open survey format is a brief survey that participants can respond to at any to record a sexual encounter or other event. The weekly format will be sent on Sunday nights with a reminder on Monday evening, to address sexual behavior in the last week. These brief surveys will be delivered electronically to participants and each survey is expected to take 2 minutes or less. Data collected on electronic devices will be stored on a secure web-accessible local server at each site which will only be accessible with a user name and password. Study site investigators provided input (based on knowledge of relevant local communities) into development of the survey.

    The total estimated annualized hourly burden anticipated for this study is 6,828 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Potential participants Screener 900 1 2/60 Site data manager Form 1—Questionnaire 3 5 10 Study participant Form 1—Questionnaire 720 5 1.5 Study participant Smartphone survey 720 52 2/60
    Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19380 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0376] Policy Regarding Quantitative Labeling of Dietary Supplements Containing Live Microbials; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Agency, or we) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Policy Regarding Quantitative Labeling of Dietary Supplements Containing Live Microbials.” The draft guidance, when finalized, will advise firms that manufacturer, market, or distribute dietary supplements of FDA's intent to exercise enforcement discretion if a firm wishes to specify the amount of a live microbial in colony forming units (CFUs) in addition to the currently required unit of measure (milligrams) in the Supplement Facts label.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by November 6, 2018 to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0376 for “Policy Regarding Quantitative Labeling of Dietary Supplements Containing Live Microbials: Draft Guidance for Industry.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Tave, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2878.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Policy Regarding Quantitative Labeling of Dietary Supplements Containing Live Microbials.” We are issuing the draft guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternate approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    The draft guidance, when finalized, would advise firms that manufacture, market, or distribute dietary supplements of FDA's intent to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to declaration of live microbial quantity in CFUs, in addition to the quantitative amount by weight declaration required by regulation, within the Supplement Facts label of dietary supplements containing live microbials, provided that certain conditions are met.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the draft guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or https://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA website listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR 101.36 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0381.

    Dated: August 31, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19367 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Charter Renewal for the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of charter renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    HHS is hereby giving notice that the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT) has been rechartered. The effective date of the renewed charter is August 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Walsh, Executive Secretary, Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 08W60, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Phone: (301) 443-6839; fax: (301) 594-6095; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The ACOT was authorized by section 121.12 of the amended Final Rule of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) (42 CFR part 121). In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463, it was initially chartered on September 1, 2000, and was renewed at the appropriate intervals.

    The ACOT provides advice to the Secretary on all aspects of organ donation, procurement, allocation, and transplantation, and on such other matters that the Secretary determines. The recommendations of the ACOT will facilitate the Department's efforts to oversee the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), as set forth in the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, as amended.

    The charter renewal for the ACOT was approved on August 31, 2018, which will also stand as the filing date. Renewal of the ACOT charter gives authorization for the Committee to operate until August 31, 2020.

    A copy of the ACOT charter is available on the ACOT website at: http://www.organdonor.gov/legislation/advisory.html. A copy of the charter can also be obtained by accessing the FACA database that is maintained by the Committee Management Secretariat under the General Services Administration. The website for the FACA database is http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    Amy P. McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19454 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for Which Public Health Service (PHS) Funding is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors (Office of the Director) AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30-days of the date of this publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: Desk Officer for NIH.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, contact: Ms. Diane Dean, Director, Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight, Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, Office of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 3525, Bethesda, MD 20892, or call non-toll-free number (301) 435-0930 or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2018, (FR 83 pages 11763-11765) and allowed 60 days for public comment. One public comment was received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment.

    The National Institutes of Health may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    In compliance with Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    Proposed Collection: Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which Public Health Service (PHS) Funding is Sought 42 CFR part 50 subpart F and Responsible Prospective Contractors 45 CFR part 94, 0925-0417, expiration date 2/28/2015, REINSTATEMENT WITHOUT CHANGE, Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA), Office of Extramural Research (OER), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This request is for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of a Reinstatement Without Change of a currently approved collection resulting from the development of revised regulations regarding the Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which PHS Funding is Sought (42 CFR part 50, subpart F) and Responsible Prospective Contractors (45 CFR part 94). The purpose of these regulations is to promote objectivity in research by requiring institutions to establish standards to ensure that there is no reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, or reporting of PHS-funded research will be biased by any Investigator Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI).

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 677,820.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents based on applicable
  • section of regulation
  • Number of respondents Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden
  • per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • Reporting: Initial Reports under 42 CFR 50.605(b)(1) and (b)(3) or 45 CFR 94.5(b)(1) and (b)(3) from awardee Institutions 992 1 2 1,984 Subsequent Reports under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(3)(iii) and (b)(2) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(3)(iii) and (b)(2) from awardee Institutions 50 FCOI reports as in 42 CFR 50.605(a)(3)(ii) and 45 CFR 94.5(a)(3)(ii) 1 2 100 5 Mitigation Reports 1 2 10 Annual Report under 42 CFR 50.605(b)(4) or 45 CFR 94.5(b)(4) from awardee Institutions 2,031 1 1 2,031 Subsequent Reports under 42 CFR 50.606(a) or 45 CFR 94.6 from awardee Institutions 20 1 10 200 Record Keeping: Under 42 CFR 50.604(i) or 45 CFR 94.4(i) from awardee institutions 2,000 1 4 8,000 Disclosure: Under 42 CFR 50.604(a) or 45 CFR 94.4 for Investigators 3,000 1 81 243,000 Under 42 CFR 50.604(b) or 45 CFR 94.4(e)(1) for Investigators 38,000 1 30/60 19,000 Under 42 CFR 50.604(b) or 45 CFR 94.4 (e)(1) for Institutions 2,000 1 6 12,000 Under 42 CFR 50.604(c)(1) or 45 CFR 94.4(c)(1) from subrecipients 500 1 1 500 Under 42 CFR 50.604(d) or 45 CFR 94.4 for Institutions 3,000 1 1 1 3,000 Under 42 CFR 50.604(e)(1) or 45 CFR 94.4(e)(1) for Investigators 38,000 1 4 152,000 Under 42 CFR 50.604(e)(2) or 45 CFR 94.4(e)(2) for Investigators 38,000 1 1 38,000 Under 42 CFR 50.604(e)(3) or 45 CFR 94.4(e)(3) for Investigators 992 1 30/60 496 Under 42 CFR 50.604(f) or 45 CFR 94.4(f) for institutions 2,000 1 1 2,000 Under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(1) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(1) for Institutions 2,000 2 1 82 164,000 Under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(3) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(3) for Institutions 500 3 1 3 1,500 Under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(3)(i) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(3)(i) 50 4 1 80 4,000 Under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(3)(ii) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(3)(ii) 50 5 1 80 4,000 Under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(3)(iii) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(3)(iii) 50 1 1 50 Under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(4) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(4) 992 1 12 11,904 Public Website Posting under 42 CFR 50.605(a)(5) or 45 CFR 94.5(a)(5) from awardee Institutions 2,000 1 5 10,000 Under 42 CFR 50.606(c) or 45 CFR 94.6(c) 50 6 7 3 18/60 45 Total 136,282 136,382 677,820 1 Assuming that 3,000 Institutions solicit disclosures on an annual basis by sending a notification to all Investigators. 2 Although an estimated 992 reports of Conflict of Interest are expected annually, the 2,000 responding Institutions must review all financial disclosures associated with PHS-funded awards to determine whether any conflicts of interest exist. Thus, the review burden of 76,000 hours is based upon estimates that it will take on the average 2 hours for an institutional official(s) to review each of 38,000 financial disclosures associated with PHS funded awards. The burden for developing a management plan for identified FCOI is estimated at 80 hours × 992 cases = 79,360 hours. 3 Assuming that this is a rare occurrence based on prior experience. 4 Assuming only a fraction of the newly identified SFIs will constitute FCOI. 5 Assuming only a fraction of the newly identified SFIs will constitute FCOI. 6 Number based on 50.605/94.5(a)(3)(i)—of those only a fraction will relate to a project of clinical research whose purpose is to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of a drug, medical device, or treatment, but we are calculating the maximum estimated burden. 7 Assuming an average of 3 publications annually.
    Dated: August 30, 2018. Lawrence A. Tabak, Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19339 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2018-0791] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0018 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0018, Official Logbook; without change. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2108-0791] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Stop 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek an extension of approval for the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2018-0791], and must be received by November 6, 2018.

    Submitting Comments

    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. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    Title: Official Logbook.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0018.

    Summary: The Official Logbook contains information about the voyage, the vessel's crew, drills, watches, and operations conducted during the voyage. Official Logbook entries identify particulars of the voyage, including the name of the ship, official number, port of registry, tonnage, names and merchant mariner credential numbers of the master and crew, the nature of the voyage, and class of ship. In addition, it also contains entries for the vessel's drafts, maintenance of watertight integrity of the ship, drills and inspections, crew list and report of character, a summary of laws applicable to Official Logbooks, and miscellaneous entries.

    Need: Title 46 U.S.C. 11301, 11302, 11303, and 11304 require applicable merchant vessels to maintain an Official Logbook. The Official Logbook contains information about the vessel, voyage, crew, and watch. Lack of these particulars would make it difficult for a seaman to verify vessel employment and wages, and for the Coast Guard to verify compliance with laws and regulations concerning vessel operations and safety procedures. The Official Logbook serves as an official record of recordable events transpiring at sea such as births, deaths, marriages, disciplinary actions, etc. Absent the Official Logbook, there would be no official civil record of these events. The courts accept log entries as proof that the logged event occurred. If this information was not collected, the Coast Guard's commercial vessel safety program would be negatively impacted, as there would be no official record of U.S. merchant vessel voyages. Similarly, those seeking to prove that an event required to be logged occurred would not have an official record available.

    Forms: CG-706B, Official Logbook.

    Respondents: Shipping companies.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden remains at 1,750 hours a year.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: August 30, 2018. James D. Roppel, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Chief, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-19412 Filed 9-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R1-ES-2018-N106; FXES11140100000-189-FF01E00000] Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Amendment to the 1997 Washington State Department of Natural Resources State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have jointly developed with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) a revised draft environmental impact statement (RDEIS) addressing an amendment to the 1997 WDNR State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to cover the implementation of a Long-Term Conservation Strategy (LTCS) for the marbled murrelet. The RDEIS also addresses an amendment to the Endangered Species Act incidental take permit (ITP) for take of marbled murrelet resulting from the implementation of the LTCS. The RDEIS is intended to satisfy the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Washington State Environmental Policy Act. If approved, the proposed LTCS will replace an interim marbled murrelet conservation strategy that is currently being implemented under the WDNR HCP.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view the pertinent documents for this proposal, request further information, or submit comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request or comments are in reference to FWS-R1-ES-2018-N106.

    Internet: You can view the RDEIS on the internet at www.fws.gov/WWFWO/ or at www.dnr.wa.gov/long-term-conservation-strategy-marbled-murrelet.

    Hard Copy: Contact one of the sources listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to request hard copies.

    Email: Comments may be submitted electronically to WDNR at [email protected]. WDNR will transmit all comments received to the Service.

    U.S. Mail: Comments may also be submitted in writing to: Todd Welker, SEPA Center, Washington Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 47001, Olympia, WA 98504-7015. WDNR will transmit all comments received to the Service.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Please contact either of the following:

    • Mark Ostwald, by telephone at 360-753-9564, by email at [email protected], or by U.S. mail at Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 510 Desmond Dr., Suite 102, Lacey, WA 98503; or

    • Todd Welker, SEPA Center, WDNR, by telephone at 360-902-2117, or by email at [email protected].

    You may alternatively contact either of the above individuals via the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have jointly developed with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) a revised draft environmental impact statement (RDEIS) addressing an amendment to the 1997 WDNR State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to cover the implementation of a Long-Term Conservation Strategy (LTCS) for the marbled murrelet. The RDEIS also addresses an amendment to the Endangered Species Act section 10 incidental take permit (ITP) for take of marbled murrelet resulting from the implementation of the LTCS. The RDEIS is intended to satisfy the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Washington State Environmental Policy Act. If approved, the proposed LTCS will replace an interim conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet, which is currently being implemented under the WDNR HCP.

    The Service and WDNR have jointly developed a RDEIS for the purpose of analyzing alternatives for the LTCS for the marbled murrelet. The RDEIS analyses seven action alternatives and a no action alternative. If approved, the amended ITP would authorize incidental take of the marbled murrelet that would occur as a result of implementation of the LTCS over the remaining 50-year term of the WDNR HCP. The scope of the proposed amendment to the WDNR HCP and ITP, and thus of the RDEIS, is exclusively limited to consideration of the LTCS for the marbled murrelet.

    In addition to this notice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also publishing a notice announcing the availability of the RDEIS, as required under section 309 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). The publication of EPA's notice is the official start of the public comment period for the RDEIS (see EPA's Role in the EIS Process).

    Background

    The marbled murrelet (Brachyamphus marmoratus), a seabird, was listed as threatened in 1992 under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). In 1996, the WDNR released their draft HCP for forest management activities covering 1.6 million acres of forested State trust lands within the range of the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) in Washington. A draft EIS dated March 1996 was jointly developed by the Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the WDNR to address the issuance of ITPs for the HCP, and was announced in the Federal Register on April 5, 1996 (61 FR 15297). The 1996 draft EIS analyzed reasonable alternatives, including the HCP, for forest management activities on forested State trust lands that would be covered by the ITPs. A notice of availability for the final EIS (FEIS) was published in the Federal Register on November 1, 1996 (61 FR 56563). On January 30, 1997, the Service issued an ITP (Permit No. 812521) for the WDNR HCP covering multiple species. The Service's ITP decision and the availability of related decision documents were announced in the Federal Register on February 27, 1997 (62 FR 8980).

    The WDNR HCP (see www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/forest-resources/habitat-conservation-state-trust-lands) commits the WDNR to developing a LTCS for the marbled murrelet (HCP IV. 39). At the time the HCP was prepared, it was determined that development of a LTCS was not possible due to a lack of scientific information. For this reason, the WDNR developed an interim conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet, which is currently being implemented. The proposed amendment to the WDNR HCP is the final step in the process for development of the LTCS.

    Briefly, the interim conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet includes the following components:

    (1) Identification of blocks of suitable marbled murrelet habitat on which timber harvest would be deferred;

    (2) Implementation of a habitat relationship study using marbled murrelet occupancy surveys to determine the relative importance of forested habitats;

    (3) Based on the findings of the habitat relationship study, identification of the lowest quality habitat blocks to be made available for timber harvest (these areas were expected to contain about 5 percent of the marbled murrelet-occupied sites on HCP-covered lands);

    (4) Implementation of surveys of higher quality habitat blocks identified by the habitat relationship study to determine marbled murrelet occupancy, and protection of murrelet-occupied habitats, along with some unoccupied habitat; and

    (5) Development of a LTCS for the marbled murrelet on WDNR lands.

    A Federal Register notice of availability (81 FR 89135) for a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the LTCS was published for a 90-day comment period on December 9, 2016. The 2016 DEIS did not specify a preferred alternative. The public comment period for the 2016 DEIS was 90 days, and over 5,000 comments were received. In 2017, the WDNR selected a preferred alternative with guidance from the Washington Board of Natural Resources, necessitating development of an RDEIS. This alternative was submitted in an application to the Service requesting a permit amendment in July 2018.

    This RDEIS differs from the 2016 DEIS in the following ways: (1) The WDNR has developed and selected a preferred WDNR alternative (alternative H), which was not previously identified; (2) a new alternative (alternative G) has been included in response to specific public comments; (3) the WDNR forest estate model, or large data overlay model, has been rerun with WDNR-identified corrections, resulting in different acreage outputs for all the alternatives; (4) the WDNR and the Service have identified separate purpose and needs statements in Chapter 1; and (5) the marbled murrelet population viability analysis has been rerun w