Federal Register Vol. 83, No.182,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 182 (September 19, 2018)

Page Range47283-47546
FR Document

83_FR_182
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 47545 - Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, and Constitution Week, 2018PDF
83 FR 47543 - Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, 2018PDF
83 FR 47541 - National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2018PDF
83 FR 47539 - National Gang Violence Prevention Week, 2018PDF
83 FR 47399 - Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of DirectorsPDF
83 FR 47379 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 47397 - Notice of Release From Federal Surplus Property and Grant Assurance Obligations at Francis S. Gabreski Airport (FOK), Westhampton Beach, NYPDF
83 FR 47396 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC); RenewalPDF
83 FR 47394 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; ExpressJet Airlines, Inc.PDF
83 FR 47398 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Training and Qualification Requirements for Check Airmen and Flight InstructorsPDF
83 FR 47395 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Commercial Air Tour Operator ReportsPDF
83 FR 47397 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Report of Inspections Required by Airworthiness DirectivesPDF
83 FR 47398 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations-Part 121PDF
83 FR 47392 - Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council VacancyPDF
83 FR 47295 - National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Deletion of the Whitehouse Oil Pits Superfund SitePDF
83 FR 47335 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Technical Assistance Needs Assessments (TANAs) at Superfund Remedial or Removal SitesPDF
83 FR 47341 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
83 FR 47341 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 47389 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 47351 - Sharon C. Worosilo, M.D., Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 47352 - Brian Thomas Nichol, M.D., Decision and OrderPDF
83 FR 47388 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the State of CaliforniaPDF
83 FR 47388 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of IowaPDF
83 FR 47532 - Eligibility of Thailand To Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United StatesPDF
83 FR 47524 - Eligibility of the People's Republic of China To Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United StatesPDF
83 FR 47324 - Outer Continental Shelf ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 47389 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR)PDF
83 FR 47528 - Eligibility of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam To Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United StatesPDF
83 FR 47284 - Ballast Water Management-Annual Reporting RequirementPDF
83 FR 47348 - Hawaii; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 47343 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 47346 - Connecticut; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 47333 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Saavi Energy Solutions, LLCPDF
83 FR 47331 - Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 47328 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 44-Trenton, New Jersey; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (Flavor and Fragrance Products); Hazlet, New JerseyPDF
83 FR 47328 - Approval of Expansion of Subzone 76A; ASML US, LLC; Wilton and Bethel, ConnecticutPDF
83 FR 47380 - New Postal ProductsPDF
83 FR 47284 - Recruiting and EnlistmentsPDF
83 FR 47328 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Maryland Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 47350 - Certain Network Devices, Related Software and Components Thereof (II) (Modification 2); Grant of Joint Motion To Terminate the Modification Proceeding Based on a Settlement Agreement; Termination of the Modification Proceeding in Its EntiretyPDF
83 FR 47389 - Administrative Declaration of a Disaster for the State of MichiganPDF
83 FR 47380 - Board MeetingPDF
83 FR 47411 - Pricing for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin and Stamp SetPDF
83 FR 47334 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 47334 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 47369 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: National Corrections Reporting ProgramPDF
83 FR 47335 - nTherm, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 47349 - Incidental Take Permit Application To Participate in American Burying-Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan in OklahomaPDF
83 FR 47391 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition-Determinations: “Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 47390 - Determinations Regarding Use of Chemical Weapons by Russia Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 47393 - Exclusion of Particular Products From the Solar Products Safeguard MeasurePDF
83 FR 47390 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Annual Brokering ReportPDF
83 FR 47410 - Proposed Collection of Information: Disposition of Treasury Securities Belonging to a Decedent's Estate Being Settled Without AdministrationPDF
83 FR 47408 - Proposed Collection of Information: Application by Voluntary Guardian of Incapacitated Owner of United States Savings Bonds or Savings NotesPDF
83 FR 47409 - Proposed Collection of Information: Application for Issue of United States Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company Tax and Loss BondsPDF
83 FR 47391 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition-Determinations: “Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 47324 - Safety Zones; Spaceport Camden, Woodbine, GAPDF
83 FR 47331 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 Main StudyPDF
83 FR 47412 - Reasonable Charges for Inpatient MS-DRGs and SNF Medical Services; v3.24, Fiscal Year 2019 UpdatePDF
83 FR 47329 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; California-Oregon-Washington Coastal Pelagic Fishery Economic SurveyPDF
83 FR 47330 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 47408 - Proposed Collection of Information: Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payment; and Trace Request Direct DepositPDF
83 FR 47409 - Proposed Collection of Information: Creditor's Request for Payment of Treasury Securities Belonging to a Decedent's Estate Being Settled Without AdministrationPDF
83 FR 47375 - Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4PDF
83 FR 47372 - Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4PDF
83 FR 47347 - Alaska; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 47346 - Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
83 FR 47348 - California; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
83 FR 47345 - Postapproval Changes to Drug Substances; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 47283 - Extension of Import Restrictions Imposed on Archaeological Material From CambodiaPDF
83 FR 47348 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; National Fire Department RegistryPDF
83 FR 47381 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 47381 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 47407 - Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Re-EstablishmentPDF
83 FR 47412 - Request for Applications; Tribal Issues Advisory GroupPDF
83 FR 47332 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2019 and 2020 UpdatePDF
83 FR 47386 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Relocate the Exchange's Schedule of FeesPDF
83 FR 47381 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Fees at Rule 7018(a)PDF
83 FR 47384 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating To Expand the Types of Messages That Users May Submit Into Bulk Order PortsPDF
83 FR 47345 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Admission and/or Status Designation, and Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Activity PermitPDF
83 FR 47336 - Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Remind Repacked Stations of Certain Post-Auction Transition Requirements and DeadlinesPDF
83 FR 47407 - Port Authority Trans-Hudson's Request for Positive Train Control Safety Plan Approval and System CertificationPDF
83 FR 47410 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
83 FR 47371 - Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information CollectionPDF
83 FR 47342 - Information Collection; Identification of PredecessorsPDF
83 FR 47341 - Submission for OMB Review; Novation/Change of Name RequirementsPDF
83 FR 47329 - Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; MeetingPDF
83 FR 47310 - Removal of Emerald Ash Borer Domestic Quarantine RegulationsPDF
83 FR 47399 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
83 FR 47395 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Fractional Aircraft Ownership ProgramsPDF
83 FR 47396 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Flight Engineers and Flight NavigatorsPDF
83 FR 47293 - Safety Zone; Snowbirds Over Fort Erie, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Buffalo, NYPDF
83 FR 47326 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Industry-Funded MonitoringPDF
83 FR 47296 - Rural Call CompletionPDF
83 FR 47325 - Petition for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
83 FR 47313 - OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches; Technical AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 47486 - Qualifications of Drivers; Diabetes StandardPDF
83 FR 47321 - Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) AirplanesPDF
83 FR 47315 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., AirplanesPDF
83 FR 47318 - Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional AirplanesPDF
83 FR 47416 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2019-20 Biennial Specifications and Management MeasuresPDF

Issue

83 182 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service PROPOSED RULES Removal of Emerald Ash Borer Domestic Quarantine Regulations, 47310-47312 2018-20296 Army Army Department RULES Recruiting and Enlistments, 47284 2018-20365 NOTICES Meetings: Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors, 47331 2018-20369 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 47343-47345 2018-20372 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Maryland Advisory Committee, 47328 2018-20364 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Ballast Water Management—Annual Reporting Requirement, 47284-47293 2018-20374 Safety Zones: Snowbirds over Fort Erie, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Buffalo, NY, 47293-47295 2018-20291 PROPOSED RULES Outer Continental Shelf Activities, 47324 2018-20378 Safety Zones: Spaceport Camden, Woodbine, GA, 47324-47325 2018-20335 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency PROPOSED RULES Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches; Technical Amendments, 47313-47315 2018-20166 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification of Predecessors, 47342-47343 2018-20299 Novation/Change of Name Requirements, 47341-47342 2018-20298
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: Brian Thomas Nichol, M.D., 47352-47369 2018-20383 Sharon C. Worosilo, M.D., 47351-47352 2018-20384 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Assessment of Educational Progress 2019 and 2020 Update, 47332-47333 2018-20310 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019 Main Study, 47331-47332 2018-20334 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: Saavi Energy Solutions, LLC, 47333-47334 2018-20370
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Deletion of the Whitehouse Oil Pits Superfund Site, 47295-47296 2018-20390 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Technical Assistance Needs Assessments at Superfund Remedial or Removal Sites, 47335-47336 2018-20388 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Regional Airplanes, 47318-47321 2018-20099 Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes, 47315-47318 2018-20105 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Airplanes, 47321-47324 2018-20106 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Commercial Air Tour Operator Reports, 47395 2018-20397 Flight Engineers and Flight Navigators, 47396-47397 2018-20292 Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs, 47395-47396 2018-20293 Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations—Part 121, 47398-47399 2018-20393 Report of Inspections Required by Airworthiness Directives, 47397 2018-20395 Training and Qualification Requirements for Check Airmen and Flight Instructors, 47398 2018-20399 Charter Renewals: Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, 47396 2018-20402 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., 47394-47395 2018-20401 Release from Federal Surplus Property and Grant Assurance Obligations: Francis S. Gabreski Airport, Westhampton Beach, NY, 47397-47398 2018-20404 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Rural Call Completion, 47296-47309 2018-20239 PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, 47325-47326 2018-20238 NOTICES Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Remind Repacked Stations of Certain Post-Auction Transition Requirements and Deadlines, 47336-47341 2018-20305 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Fire Department Registry, 47348-47349 2018-20315 Emergency and Related Determinations: Hawaii, 47348 2018-20373 Major Disaster and Related Determinations: Alaska, 47347 2018-20321 Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, 47346 2018-20320 Connecticut, 47346-47347 2018-20371 Major Disaster Declarations: California; Amendment No. 4, 47348 2018-20319 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 47334-47335 2018-20355 2018-20356 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: nTherm, LLC, 47335 2018-20352 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Qualifications of Drivers; Diabetes Standard, 47486-47521 2018-20161 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 47399 2018-20515 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 47399-47407 2018-20294 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Charter Establishments: Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Re-Establishment, 47407 2018-20312 Requests for Positive Train Control Safety Plan Approval and System Certification: Port Authority Trans-Hudson, 47407-47408 2018-20302 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 47341 2018-20387 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 47341 2018-20386 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application by Voluntary Guardian of Incapacitated Owner of United States Savings Bonds or Savings Notes, 47408-47409 2018-20339 Application for Issue of United States Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company Tax and Loss Bonds, 47409-47410 2018-20337 Creditor's Request for Payment of Treasury Securities Belonging to a Decedent's Estate Being Settled without Administration, 47409 2018-20325 Disposition of Treasury Securities Belonging to a Decedent's Estate Being Settled without Administration, 47410 2018-20340 Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer Payment; and Trace Request Direct Deposit, 47408 2018-20327 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Incidental Take Permits: American Burying-beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan in Oklahoma, 47349-47350 2018-20351 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Postapproval Changes to Drug Substances; Correction, 47345 2018-20317 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service PROPOSED RULES Eligibility of Thailand to Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United States, 47532-47536 2018-20380 Eligibility of the People's Republic of China to Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United States, 47524-47528 2018-20379 Eligibility of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United States, 47528-47532 2018-20376 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 47410-47411 2018-20301 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Approval of Expansion: ASML US, LLC, Subzone 76A, Wilton and Bethel, CT, 47328 2018-20367 Proposed Production Activity: International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 44, Trenton, NJ, 47328-47329 2018-20368 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification of Predecessors, 47342-47343 2018-20299 Novation/Change of Name Requirements, 47341-47342 2018-20298 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Network Devices, Related Software and Components Thereof, 47350-47351 2018-20363 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Corrections Reporting Program, 47369-47371 2018-20354
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification of Predecessors, 47342-47343 2018-20299 Novation/Change of Name Requirements, 47341-47342 2018-20298 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, 47329 2018-20297 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Industry-Funded Monitoring, 47326-47327 2018-20259 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2019-20 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures, 47416-47483 2018-19460 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 47330-47331 2018-20329 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: California-Oregon-Washington Coastal Pelagic Fishery Economic Survey, 47329-47330 2018-20330 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 47371-47372 2018-20300 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Amendments; Applications: Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, 47372-47379 2018-20322 2018-20324 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 47379 2018-20439 Nuclear Waste Technical Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board NOTICES Meetings: Review Information on Department of Energy Research and Development Activities Related to Managing and Disposing of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel, 47380 2018-20361 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 47380-47381 2018-20366 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 47381 2018-20313 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 47381 2018-20314 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, and Constitution Week (Proc. 9788), 47545-47546 2018-20570 National Gang Violence Prevention Week (Proc. 9785), 47537-47540 2018-20563 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week (Proc. 9786), 47541-47542 2018-20564 Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week (Proc. 9787), 47543-47544 2018-20565 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc., 47384-47386 2018-20307 Nasdaq BX, Inc., 47381-47384 2018-20308 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 47386-47388 2018-20309 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: California, 47388-47389 2018-20382 2018-20385 Iowa; Public Assistance Only, 47388-47389 2018-20381 Michigan, 47389 2018-20362 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Brokering Report, 47390-47391 2018-20341 Department of State Acquisition Regulation, 47389-47390 2018-20377 Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist Exhibition, 47391-47392 2018-20336 Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice Exhibition, 47391 2018-20345 Determinations: Use of Chemical Weapons by Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991; Correction, 47390 2018-20343 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council, 47392-47393 2018-20392 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Exclusion of Particular Products from the Solar Products Safeguard Measure, 47393-47394 2018-20342 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

United States Mint

RULES Extension of Import Restrictions Imposed on Archaeological Material from Cambodia, 47283-47284 2018-20316
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Extension of Import Restrictions Imposed on Archaeological Material from Cambodia, 47283-47284 2018-20316 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Admission and/or Status Designation, and Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Activity Permit, 47345-47346 2018-20306 U.S. Mint United States Mint NOTICES Pricing for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin and Stamp Set, 47411 2018-20359 U.S. Sentencing United States Sentencing Commission NOTICES Request for Applications: Tribal Issues Advisory Group, 47412 2018-20311 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Reasonable Charges for Inpatient MS-DRGs and SNF Medical Services; v3.24, Fiscal Year 2019 Update, 47412-47413 2018-20331 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 47416-47483 2018-19460 Part III Transportation Department, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 47486-47521 2018-20161 Part IV Agriculture Department, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 47524-47536 2018-20380 2018-20379 2018-20376 Part V Presidential Documents, 47537-47546 2018-20565 2018-20570 2018-20563 2018-20564 Reader Aids

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

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

83 182 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Part 12 [CBP Dec. 18-11] RIN 1515-AE40 Extension of Import Restrictions Imposed on Archaeological Material From Cambodia AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document amends the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations to reflect an extension of import restrictions on certain archaeological material from Cambodia. The restrictions, which were originally imposed by CBP Dec. 03-28, and last extended by CBP Dec. 13-15, are due to expire on September 19, 2018. The Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, United States Department of State, has determined that conditions continue to warrant the imposition of import restrictions. Accordingly, these import restrictions will remain in effect for an additional five years, and the CBP regulations are being amended to reflect this further extension through September 19, 2023. These restrictions are being extended pursuant to determinations of the United States Department of State made under the terms of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. CBP Dec. 08-40 contains the amended Designated List of archaeological material from Cambodia to which the restrictions apply.

DATES:

Effective Date: September 19, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For regulatory aspects, Lisa L. Burley, Branch Chief, Cargo Security, Carriers and Restricted Merchandise Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, (202) 325-0215, [email protected] For operational aspects, William R. Scopa, Branch Chief, Partner Government Agency Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of Trade, (202) 863-6554, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Pursuant to the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, Public Law 97-446, 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq. (hereinafter, “the Cultural Property Implementation Act” or “the Act”), which implements the 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (hereinafter, “1970 UNESCO Convention” or “the Convention” (823 U.N.T.S. 231 (1972))), the United States entered into a bilateral agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Cambodia on September 19, 2003 to impose import restrictions on certain Khmer archaeological material from the 6th century through the 16th century A.D. On September 22, 2003, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a final rule (CBP Dec. 03-28) in the Federal Register (68 FR 55000), which amended § 12.104g(a) of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 12.104g(a)) to reflect the imposition of these restrictions and included a list covering certain Khmer stone, metal and ceramic archaeological material. These import restrictions subsumed emergency import restrictions on certain stone archaeological material (T.D. 99-88), which were published in the Federal Register (64 FR 67479) on December 2, 1999. These restrictions were to be effective through September 19, 2008.

On September 19, 2008, CBP published a final rule (CBP Dec. 08-40) in the Federal Register (73 FR 54309), which amended 19 CFR 12.104g(a) to reflect the extension of these import restrictions for an additional period of five years until September 19, 2013. This document also amended the Designated List to include new categories of objects (glass and bone) and additional subcategories of stone and metal objects from the Bronze Age (c. 1500 B.C.-500 B.C.) and the Iron Age (c. 500 B.C.-550 A.D.), covering archaeological material from the Bronze Age through the Khmer Era (16th c. A.D.).

On January 7, 2013, the United States Department of State proposed in the Federal Register (78 FR 977) to extend the MOU between the United States and Cambodia concerning the imposition of import restrictions on archaeological material from Cambodia. On June 10, 2013, the Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, made the determination to extend the import restrictions for an additional five years. On September 16, 2013, CBP published a final rule (CBP Dec. 13-15) in the Federal Register (78 FR 56832), which further extended the import restrictions for an additional five years. The import restrictions are due to expire on September 19, 2018.

Import restrictions listed at 19 CFR 12.104g(a) are effective for no more than five years beginning on the date on which the agreement enters into force with respect to the United States. This period may be extended for additional periods of not more than five years if it is determined that the factors which justified the initial agreement still pertain and no cause for suspension of the agreement exists.

On April 11, 2018, the Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, after consultation with and recommendations by the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, determined that the cultural heritage of Cambodia continues to be in jeopardy from pillage of certain archaeological material and that the import restrictions should be extended for an additional five years. Diplomatic notes have been exchanged reflecting the extension of those restrictions for an additional five-year period. Accordingly, CBP is amending 19 CFR 12.104g(a) to reflect the extension of the import restrictions. The amended Designated List of archaeological material from Cambodia covered by these import restrictions is set forth in CBP Dec. 08-40.

The Designated List and additional information may also be found at the following website address: https://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/cultural-property-protection/bilateral-agreements by clicking on “Cambodia.” The restrictions on the importation of archaeological material from Cambodia are to continue in effect through September 19, 2023. Importation of such material from Cambodia continues to be restricted through that date unless the conditions set forth in 19 U.S.C. 2606 and 19 CFR 12.104c are met.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

This amendment involves a foreign affairs function of the United States and is, therefore, being made without notice or public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1). For the same reason, a delayed effective date is not required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13771

CBP has determined that this document is not a regulation or rule subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12866 or Executive Order 13771 because it pertains to a foreign affairs function of the United States, as described above, and therefore is specifically exempted by section 3(d)(2) of Executive Order 12866 and section 4(a) of Executive Order 13771.

Signing Authority

This regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.1(a)(1), pertaining to the Secretary of the Treasury's authority (or that of his/her delegate) to approve regulations related to customs revenue functions.

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12

Cultural property, Customs duties and inspection, Imports, Prohibited merchandise.

Amendment to CBP Regulations

For the reasons set forth above, part 12 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 12) is amended as set forth below:

PART 12—SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE 1. The general authority citation for part 12 and the specific authority citation for § 12.104g continue to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624.

Sections 12.104 through 12.104i also issued under 19 U.S.C. 2612;

§ 12.104g [Amended]
2. In § 12.104g(a), the table is amended in the entry for Cambodia by removing the words “CBP Dec. 13-15” in the column headed “Decision No.” and adding in its place the words “CBP Dec. 18-11”. Kevin K. McAleenan, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approved: September 13, 2018. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2018-20316 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army 32 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. USA-2018-HQ-0012] RIN 0702-AA78 Recruiting and Enlistments AGENCY:

Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule removes the Army's regulation governing recruiting and enlistments. This part does not impose obligations on members of the public that are not already imposed by statute. The language in this part already exists elsewhere in the Code of Federal Regulations, and thus is duplicative.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on September 19, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Alphonsa Green, (703) 695-7490.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on removing content from the CFR which already exists at 32 CFR part 66 and for which public comment was taken.

Army internal guidance governing recruiting and enlistments will continue to be published in AR 601-210, Regular Army and Reserve Components Enlistment Program, and is available at http://www.apd.army.mil/Search/ePubsSearch/ePubsSearchForm.aspx?x=AR.

This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” therefore, the requirements of E.O. 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” do not apply.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 571

Recruiting and enlistment eligibility.

PART 571—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 571 is removed. Dated: September 13, 2018. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2018-20365 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 151 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0245] RIN 1625-AC45 Ballast Water Management—Annual Reporting Requirement AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is eliminating the requirement for certain vessels that operate on voyages exclusively within a single Captain of the Port Zone to submit an Annual Ballast Water Summary Report for calendar year 2018. We view this current reporting requirement as unnecessary for us to analyze and understand ballast water management practices. This final rule will reduce the administrative burden on this regulated population of U.S. non-recreational vessels equipped with ballast tanks.

DATES:

This final rule is effective October 1, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0245 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information about this document call or email Mr. John Morris, Program Manager, Environmental Standards Division, Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1402, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble I. Abbreviations II. Basis and Purpose, and Regulatory History A. Legal Authority B. Regulatory History C. Purpose of the Rule III. Discussion of Comments IV. Discussion of the Rule V. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review B. Small Entities C. Assistance for Small Entities D. Collection of Information E. Federalism F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. Taking of Private Property H. Civil Justice Reform I. Protection of Children J. Indian Tribal Governments K. Energy Effects L. Technical Standards M. Environment I. Abbreviations ANS Aquatic nuisance species BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics BWM Ballast water management CFR Code of Federal Regulations COI Collection of Information COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register ICR Information Collection Request NANPCA Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 NBIC National Ballast Information Clearinghouse NISA National Invasive Species Act of 1996 NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OMB Office of Management and Budget Pub. L. Public Law RA Regulatory analysis REC Record of Environmental Consideration § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Basis and Purpose, and Regulatory History

In this section we identify our statutory authority for this rule, the regulatory history of this rulemaking and the regulations we are amending, this rule's effective date, and the problem we intend this rule to address.

A. Legal Authority

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA, Pub. L. 101-646), as amended by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA, Pub. L. 104-332), requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that aquatic nuisance species (ANS) are not discharged into waters of the United States from vessels (16 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.). These statutes also direct the Secretary to issue regulations and collect records regarding vessel ballasting practices as a means for determining vessel compliance with the ballast water management (BWM) program (16 U.S.C. 4711(c) and (f)) and they authorize the Secretary to revise such regulations, as necessary, on the basis of best scientific information, and in accordance with criteria developed by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANS Task Force) (16 U.S.C. 4711(e)). The Secretary has delegated the regulatory functions and authorities in 16 U.S.C. 4711 to the Commandant of the Coast Guard (Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1 (II)(57)).

B. Regulatory History

On May 9, 2018, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (83 FR 21214) in the Federal Register. In the NPRM, we proposed to amend our regulations on ballast water management by eliminating the requirement for vessels operating on voyages exclusively within a single Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone to submit an Annual Ballast Water Summary Report for calendar year 2018. Ten individuals or organizations submitted comments relevant to the NPRM during the comment period that ended June 9, 2018.

Coast Guard regulations regarding BWM are located in 33 CFR part 151, subparts C (§§ 151.1500 through 151.1518) and D (§§ 151.2000 through 151.2080). The existing regulations we are amending, §§ 151.2015 and 151.2060, were issued in 2015 and concern BWM reporting and recordkeeping requirements. See “Ballast Water Management Reporting and Recordkeeping” final rule (80 FR 73105, Nov. 24, 2015). We noted in the NPRM that we received recommendations to issue a rule like the one we proposed in the NPRM. These three recommendations were in response to our June 8, 2017 (82 FR 26632), request to the public to identify rules that should be repealed, replaced, or modified to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.1

1 See items -0102, -0143, and -0147 in docket USCG-2017-0480, Evaluation of Existing Coast Guard Regulations and Collections of Information.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (d)(3), the Coast Guard is making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), agencies may make a rule effective less than 30 days after publication if the rule is “a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction.” This rule relieves a restriction by allowing vessels operating on voyages exclusively within a single COTP Zone to do so without having to file an Annual Ballast Water Summary Report for 2018. Therefore, 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) allows us to make this rule effective less than 30 days after the rule is published. Moreover, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), agencies may make a rule effective less than 30 days after publication if the agency finds good cause for dispensing with the delayed effective date requirement. In this instance, it would be unnecessary for the Coast Guard to wait to make the rule effective 30 days after publication. The October 1, 2018 effective date makes it clear that as of that date vessels that operate on voyages exclusively within a single COTP Zone no longer need to obtain or retain information that would have been required for the Annual Ballast Water Summary Report for calendar year 2018. Also, it would be contrary to public interest to continue to impose a requirement into the month of October when the requirement to report those data in March 2019 has been removed.

C. Purpose of the Rule

The purpose of this rule is to remove an unnecessary burden. The Coast Guard determined that the annual reporting requirement in 33 CFR 151.2060(e) for vessels operating in a single Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone is unnecessary for us to analyze and understand ballast water management practices. As stated in the NPRM, the Coast Guard reviewed the 2016 annual reports and concluded that the reports do not contribute to the quality and breadth of BWM data as originally intended because the current annual reporting data fields are too simplistic to capture vessel movements and ballasting operations in the necessary level of detail. (83 FR 21214, 21216) Our amendments to 33 CFR 151.2015 and 151.2060 are in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 4711(e), which authorizes the Secretary to revise such regulations, as necessary, on the basis of best scientific information, and in accordance with criteria developed by the ANS Task Force.

The 2015 final rule established a 3-year requirement starting in 2016 for the master, owner, operator, agent, or person in charge of certain vessels with ballast tanks to submit an annual report of their BWM practices. The requirement applies to U.S. non-recreational vessels that operate on voyages exclusively between ports or places within a single COTP Zone. The annual reports contain information, specified in § 151.2060(f), about the vessel, the number of ballast tanks on board, total ballast water capacity, and a record of ballast water loadings and discharges. The reports are submitted to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse (NBIC).

Under current regulations, the annual report for calendar year 2018 is due on March 31, 2019. This rule will eliminate the annual reporting requirement in § 151.2060(e) before the 2018 report is due.

III. Discussion of Comments

The Coast Guard received 11 public submissions in response to the NPRM, 10 of which were germane to the proposed rule. Of those 10 submissions, 7 supported the proposed rule and 3 opposed it. The Coast Guard appreciates these commenters taking the time to submit comments.

In the following discussion, we summarize the reasons or information some commenters gave in support of their position or recommendation. After each summary, we state our response.

Most of the seven commenters who wrote in support of the rule tended not to provide detailed reasons for their support. They said that the annual report had no value or was unnecessary and burdensome, that vessels operating in a limited geographic area pose a low risk of introducing ANS, or simply indicated their support for the rule as proposed. One commenter pointed out that the annual reports do not have a field to indicate if the vessel is using ballast water from a U.S. public water system. The Coast Guard is removing the reporting requirement because the annual reports did not provide data to help the Coast Guard determine whether vessels that operate solely in a single COTP Zone should be subject to the same or similar BWM regulations as those applicable to vessels operating in multiple COTP Zones.

One commenter who opposed the proposed rule stated that, without information, there is no way to determine any adverse or advantageous results and that the annual reports should continue so we can be certain of no ill effects. We have received and reviewed annual reports for 2016 and 2017 and have concluded that they do not contribute to the quality and breadth of BWM data as we originally intended. The objective of our annual reporting requirement was to gather sufficient data—without imposing an undue burden on vessels that were otherwise not required to report—to determine whether vessels that operate solely in a single COTP Zone should be subject to the same or similar BWM regulations as those applicable to vessels operating in multiple COTP Zones.2 We have concluded that the annual reports do not effectively contribute to the quality and breadth of BWM data to the extent necessary for us to make the determination, including determining whether there are any ill effects. The information called for in the report is a simplistic summary of discharges rather than detailed information on the volume, number, and location of discharges. This level of detail is insufficient to determine whether this population of vessels presents a threat of spreading ANS and, as explained later in this document, we are unable to improve the reporting fields before the reporting requirement expires. Accordingly, we are issuing this final rule to relieve an unnecessary burden by eliminating the annual report requirement for calendar year 2018.

2 From the preamble of the 2015 final rule, 80 FR 73105, 73106, November 24, 2015.

This same commenter suggested that the staff resources necessary to remove the annual reporting requirement for 2018 is sharply higher than the total savings we estimated for this final rule in the NPRM. We disagree with the premise that this deregulatory effort was not worth doing. The Coast Guard received multiple requests from the public to remove this reporting requirement. This rule will not require additional Coast Guard resources to implement and will be budget neutral. Executive Order 12866 calls for agencies not to impose unreasonable costs on society. Having concluded the annual reporting requirement is an unnecessary burden, it would be unreasonable to impose its cost on those required to comply with 33 CFR 151.2060(e).

A public interest group that focuses on Hawaii suggested that the Coast Guard revise the reporting form instead of eliminating the reporting requirement if the requirement does not provide necessary information or, alternatively, identify a different way to assess risk and mitigation measures. Although we have described weaknesses in the annual reports, the Coast Guard has not identified revisions to the reporting form that would effectively contribute to the quality and breadth of existing BWM data and could be implemented in time for the final reporting deadline. The reporting requirement itself would expire before we could identify better reporting parameters and implement them in regulation. In that situation, it is important to remove an unnecessary burden in a timely manner before the affected population has to submit its 2018 annual reports.

The Coast Guard will consider future improvements to reporting requirements and forms. The Coast Guard's investment in ballast water management research and data collection is significant. There are currently multiple existing sources of information that effectively contribute to the quality and breadth of BWM data. The Coast Guard, in partnership with other federal agencies, has coordinated a shared approach to ballast water management and data collection.

As stated in the NPRM, the annual reporting requirement failed to meet the objective, which was to serve as a minimally burdensome method of gathering data to help the Coast Guard determine whether vessels that operate solely in a single COTP zone should be subject to the same or similar BWM regulations as those applying to vessels operating in multiple COTP zones. A discussion of the objective can be found in the preamble of the 2015 final rule (80 FR 73105, 73106). The 2016 and 2017 annual reports do not contribute to the quality and breadth of BWM data, nor do they contribute to a better understanding of patterns of ballast water management and discharge, including in Hawaii and the Honolulu COTP Zone.

This same public interest group stated that the exemption for vessels traveling within a single COTP Zone from ballast water management and annual reporting requirements may make some sense for some parts of the United States, but not for the Honolulu COTP Zone, which includes many islands, some separated by thousands of miles. This group stated that the areas of ocean between each of these islands serve as barriers that result in unique marine communities for each of the islands, yet ballast water and vessel biofouling provide species the opportunity to move thousands of miles to new areas within the COTP Zone. It also stated that it is not clear whether the unique and non-contiguous nature of the Honolulu COTP Zone was considered during the National Environmental Policy Act review or in the drafting of the proposed rule. The commenter believed that the Coast Guard should provide an analysis of the proposed rule's impact on the vast and diverse ecologies of the Honolulu COTP Zone.

The public interest group's comment begins by referencing two separate issues. One issue is the requirement to conduct ballast water management. The other issue is the requirement to submit ballast water annual reports.

In our NPRM, we did not propose to amend any ballast water management requirements, and this final rule does not relieve ship owners and operators of any existing mandatory ballast water management practices. As we plan to do with other comments not directed at the annual reporting requirement, we will take this comment into consideration for possible future action. However, we did not revise this final rule in response to it, because this rulemaking is narrowly focused on removing an annual reporting requirement that the Coast Guard has concluded does not provide useful information. The reporting requirement was intended to obtain data that would lead to a better understanding of patterns of ballast water management and discharge. The Coast Guard considers the requirement for the 2018 annual report to be unduly burdensome because the data submitted in annual reports from vessels operating exclusively in one COTP Zone have not been helpful in analyzing trends in transport, management, or discharge of ballast water.

The preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) for the NPRM did not mention Hawaii or the Honolulu COTP Zone, but the REC for this final rule does respond to these comments. Again, this rule is narrowly focused on removing the requirement to file a 2018 annual report.

Finally, this commenter states that ballast water reports should be available to the states, and that the Coast Guard should also be sampling ballast discharges to verify whether ballast water mitigation measures detailed in annual reports are effective. For information related to ballast water reports, states and interested persons may contact the NBIC for information through its website.3

3 Visit NBIC website at: http://invasions.si.edu/nbic/index.html.

Regarding the sampling of ballast water discharges, it would be impracticable under the current annual reporting requirement for the Coast Guard to sample ballast discharges because vessel owners and operators are not required to report in advance when they discharge their ballast water. Also, the annual report does not require detailed information about mitigation measures. As a possible future action, we may consider changing the annual reporting requirement to include more on mitigation measures and to facilitate discharge sampling, but such changes would need to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking and that would take more time to complete than the limited time we have to effectively remove the 2018 annual report requirement.

A Hawaii state agency commented that the Honolulu COTP Zone (described in 33 CFR 3.70-10) stretches across a vast and ecologically diverse expanse of the Pacific Ocean and that the unique geographic circumstances of Hawaii (and other Pacific Islands within U.S. jurisdiction) make this annual reporting requirement of particular value to the state of Hawaii. Certain islands in the Honolulu COTP Zone are more than 2,500 miles from each other. The agency urges the Coast Guard to reject the proposed rule because it says information obtained from the annual report required under 33 CFR 151.2060 is the only way to track and understand the possible threat these vessels pose in terms of ballast water discharge. They stated this information will also become an integral part of the “best scientific information available” that is required as guidance in developing future Coast Guard regulations.

This Hawaii state agency points to differences between COTP Zones in other jurisdictions and the COTP Honolulu Zone. Noting that Hawaii is the only purely archipelagic state in the United States, the agency requests not only that the 2018 annual reporting requirement be kept in place, but that annual reporting be made permanent. This state agency views vessel ballast water and biofouling as the only vector for most aquatic invasive species to reach Hawaiian waters because each county in Hawaii is separated by deep channels of open ocean. It views these annual reports as an integral part of their understanding of the movement of ballast water into and between the islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago and vital to the protection of Hawaiian aquatic resources.

The Coast Guard appreciates the unique geographic circumstances of Hawaii identified in this comment. The comments we received with respect to the Honolulu COTP Zone caused us to reexamine how we describe COTP Zones for purposes of ballast water regulations intended to prevent the discharge of ANS into waters of the United States from vessels. But, the reporting requirement did not produce data to help the Coast Guard understand trends in transport, management, or discharge of ballast water. As stated earlier in this preamble, the 2016 and 2017 annual reports do not contribute to the quality and breadth of BWM data, nor do they contribute to a better understanding of patterns of ballast water management and discharge, including in Hawaii and the Honolulu COTP Zone. The aggregate volumes of ballast water taken up and discharged by each vessel over the course of a calendar year do not provide enough detail on vessel movement or ballasting operations. The Coast Guard also disagrees that this is the only source of relevant information, and notes that states may require vessels in their jurisdiction to start submitting more detailed data for their own uses.

As stated in the NPRM (83 FR 21216) and earlier in this section, the Coast Guard views the existing reporting requirement as not meeting the necessary objective for any COTP Zone, including the Honolulu COTP Zone. Therefore, in this final rule, we have eliminated the annual and final reporting requirements for calendar year 2018.

In calling for a permanent annual reporting system for these vessels, the Hawaii state agency requested that all avenues of receiving and documenting information regarding ballast water as a vector for aquatic invasive species be retained to ensure that future regulations are based on the full spectrum of facts presented. Instead of removing a reporting requirement, this commenter stated that shortcomings of the current system should be used to inform the development of future regulations. Finally, the state agency commented that if the annual reports were freely accessible to state government entities through the NBIC website, these annual reports could help guide the development of state regulations.

The Coast Guard agrees that there are lessons to be learned from the shortcomings in the annual reporting requirement. We may consider in the future whether a different, possibly permanent, reporting requirement is appropriate, but it would take time to evaluate what fields to include and then to offer proposed changes for public notice and comment. To attempt to do that in this rulemaking would prevent us from removing an unnecessary burden within the limited time frame we have to do so. We do not believe the 2018 annual report will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the threats posed by ballast water. Accordingly, we do not believe that we should continue to impose the unnecessary burden of requiring a 2018 annual report. Therefore, this final rule eliminates the annual and final reporting requirements for calendar year 2018. All other reporting and recordkeeping requirements remain in effect. In addition, states may contact the NBIC regarding access to information from annual reports.

One commenter recommended that the Coast Guard make ballast water reporting an annual requirement for all vessels operating on the Great Lakes and allow for an aggregate total rather than a tank-by-tank accounting. If the Coast Guard does not implement annualized submissions for vessels operating on the Great Lakes, the commenter recommended that we modify the Equivalent Reporting Program requirement of 10 or more arrivals per month. These recommendations would affect the BWM reporting requirements for vessels that travel between COTP Zones and are therefore outside the scope of this rulemaking, which focuses on eliminating an annual reporting requirement for vessels that operate exclusively in one COTP Zone.

The commenter also expressed a concern that the NBIC's web-based reporting form allows only one log-in per company. This concern is also beyond the scope of this rulemaking, but the Coast Guard will take it into consideration for future improvements.

One company that supported our proposed rule appeared to believe that the amendments to § 151.2015 created a new exemption from reporting requirements. We want to make clear that our amendment to the table in § 151.2015 is a conforming change in response to our change in § 151.2060(b). Under this final rule, as well as under existing regulations, vessels operating exclusively in a single COTP Zone are not required to comply with § 151.2060(b) reporting requirements.

In this final rule, we made no changes from the proposed rule based on our consideration of comments we received on the NPRM.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This final rule removes the Annual Ballast Water Summary Report requirement for vessels equipped with ballast tanks that operate exclusively in a single COTP Zone so that they will not be required to file the 2018 annual report. In this section, we describe the changes we are making to 33 CFR 151.2015 and 151.2060 to accomplish the removal of this reporting requirement. The text of this final rule is the same as we proposed in the NPRM.

Section 151.2015. Currently § 151.2015(c) exempts vessels that operate exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone from the ballast water management requirements in § 151.2025 and from the recordkeeping requirements in § 151.2070. We have added the reporting requirements in § 151.2060 to this list of exemptions in § 151.2015(c). This makes it clear to vessels that operate exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone that they are not subject to the reporting requirements in § 151.2060.

We have amended Table 1 to § 151.2015, which lists specific exemptions for types of vessels. Specifically, we are amending the column “151.2060 (Reporting)” to reflect that vessels operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone are exempt from the reporting requirements in § 151.2060.

We also added a footnote to the same table for non-seagoing vessels. This footnote replaced the current lengthy qualifying language in the “151.2070 (Recordkeeping)” column of the table for those non-seagoing vessels that operate exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone. We extend the footnote to the table's “151.2060 (Reporting)” column in that row based on our amendment to § 151.2015(c). Non-seagoing vessels are the only category of vessels in the table that may need this potential exemption reminder because the other categories of vessels are either exempt or operate in multiple COTP Zones.

Section 151.2060. Section 151.2060(e) and (f) applied only to vessels operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone. We have removed § 151.2060(e) and (f). Paragraph (e) contained the requirement to submit the Annual Ballast Water Summary Report to the NBIC, and paragraph (f) described the information to be included in that report. The only remaining reporting requirement in § 151.2060 is now based in paragraph (b). That paragraph contained language exempting vessels operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone. We are deleting that language because it is now unnecessary. With the removal of § 151.2060(e) and (f), we can now state in § 151.2015(c) that vessels operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone are exempt from any and all reporting requirements in § 151.2060. With our amendment to § 151.2060(b), vessels subject to the reporting requirements of paragraph (b) will not need to first read through an exemption that does not apply to them.

V. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes or Executive orders.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 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. DHS considers this rule to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. See the OMB Memorandum “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017). A regulatory analysis (RA) follows.

The Coast Guard received no comments regarding the RA. However, the Coast Guard did receive revised data from the NBIC for year 2017. The updated data increase the affected population by 112 vessels, bringing the total affected population to 278 vessels. We have amended the final rule RA to reflect the new information from NBIC.

This is a deregulatory rulemaking that removes reporting requirements for vessels with ballast tanks operating exclusively within a single COTP. The removal of the reporting requirement will provide a one-time cost savings for those vessels affected by this deregulatory action. We estimate an industry cost saving of $5,796 (non-discounted), and individual vessel cost savings of $20.85. We provide a detailed analysis of the cost savings associated with this deregulatory rule below. This final rule will not impose costs on industry.

The Coast Guard considers all estimates and analysis in this RA final. Table 1 presents a summary of the economic impact of the final rule.

Table 1—Summary of the Economic Impact of the Final Rule Change Description Affected population Cost savings Benefits Eliminate the requirement for vessels operating exclusively within a single COTP Zone to report ballast management practices to the NBIC Owners or operators of vessels with ballast tanks and operating exclusively on voyages between ports and places within one COTP Zone will not have to report their ballast management practices for the final year of a 3-year requirement to report ballasting operations 70 owners or operators of 278 vessels operating in one COTP Zone No Costs. One-time industry savings of $5,796 The final rule removes the reporting requirement for the remainder of 2018 and provides a one-time partial year savings for owners or operators.

Under this final rule, the Coast Guard will no longer require owners or operators of vessels with ballast tanks operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone to submit an annual summary report of their ballast water management practices.

Starting with the 2016 annual report, owners or operators of vessels affected by the 2015 final rule provision in § 151.2060(e) have submitted annual summary reports, as required, to the NBIC. These summary reports were used to estimate the number of vessels that operated and the amount of ballast water discharged within a single COTP Zone. Based on the data received and analyzed by the NBIC, the Coast Guard was able to determine the actual number of vessels affected by the 2015 final rule. The NBIC data confirms that 70 owners or operators of 278 U.S.-flagged vessels 4 have reported ballasting operations in accordance with § 151.2060(e). Table 2 presents the vessel types and number of these vessels.

4 We estimated the population of affected vessels in the 2015 final rule to be 1,280. This was an estimate based on potential vessels that might operate exclusively within a single COTP Zone. Since the publication of the 2015 final rule, vessel owners or operators have been providing information to the NBIC regarding their ballasting operations and area of operation. From this information, we are able to determine the actual vessel population that operates exclusively within a single COTP Zone. This final rule, in addition to eliminating § 151.2060(e), also reduces the affected population estimated in the 2015 final rule from 1,280 to 278 vessels.

Table 2—U.S.-Flagged Vessels Operating Exclusively Within a Single COTP Zone Affected by This Final Rule Vessel type Affected
  • population
  • NPRM FR
    Tanker—Other 1 1 Tug only 57 126 Offshore supply vessel 38 41 Other (research, fishing, etc.) 21 24 Passenger 2 7 Bulk Carries 2 Tug—Barge Combo 1 Barge only 45 77 General Cargo 1 Total 166 278 Source: NBIC Data https://invasions.si.edu/nbic/.

    We estimated in the 2015 final rule that the total annual amount of burden hours for owners or operators completing the reporting requirement at 40 minutes per vessel per year. We break down those 40 minutes as 25 minutes to account for time needed throughout the year to record ballast management operations, and 15 minutes for time needed by owners or operators to aggregate and calculate the recorded ballast water discharge information and to complete the electronic form submitted to the NBIC.

    This final rule, which becomes effective October 1, 2018, allows the Coast Guard to stop enforcing of the requirements of § 151.2060(e) at the end of fiscal year 2018, which is September 30, 2018. The current regulation requires annual reports only through the calendar year 2018. Therefore, any realized savings from this final rule will account for the last 3 months of calendar year 2018. We estimate that the total time saved by this final rule will be 21.25 minutes per vessel (15 minutes for submission of report + 6.25 total minutes from the last 3 months of 2018). Converting this time to an hourly equivalent, we arrive at 0.35 hours (21.25 minutes ÷ 60 minutes).

    We anticipate that the person charged with collecting and reporting the information to NBIC will be a vessel Captain, Mate, or Pilot. The mean hourly wage rate associated with these professions is reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to be $39.19 per hour.5 We calculated the load factor from data collected in the Employer Cost for Employee Compensation survey conducted by the BLS and applied it to the mean hourly wage rate to obtain a fully loaded wage rate, which more accurately represents the employer's cost per hour for an employee's work.6 The load factor we used for this economic analysis is 1.52.7 8 The loaded mean hourly wage rate used to assess the savings estimates for this final rule is calculated at $59.57 ($39.19 × 1.52).

    5 Information about the wage rates for Captains, Mates and Vessel Pilots (53-5021) can be found at https://www.bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes535021.htm.

    6 A loaded wage rate is what a company pays per hour to employ a person, not the hourly wage the employee receives. The loaded wage rate includes the cost of benefits (health insurance, vacation, etc.).

    7 From the BLS, Employer Cost for Employee Compensation survey. Total compensation divided by wage and salary compensation.

    8 The load factor for wages is calculated by dividing total compensation by wages and salaries. For this report, we used the Transportation and Materials Moving Occupations, Private Industry report (Series IDs, CMU2010000520000D and CMU2020000520000D) for all workers using the multi-screen data search. Using 2016 Q2 data, we divide $27.55/$18.08 to get the load factor of 1.52. See https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/srgate.

    We anticipate that by eliminating the reporting requirement from the last quarter of the year, this final rule will reduce industry's economic burden by 97.3 hours (278 vessels × 0.35 hours). We calculate the dollar value saved to be $20.85 per vessel ($59.57 wage × 0.35 hours). The estimated one-time total savings for removing the reporting requirement for the 278 vessels operating exclusively between ports or places within a single COTP Zone is $5,796 ($20.85 per vessel savings × 278 vessels), non-discounted. Table 3 presents the total savings to the affected population.

    Table 3—Total Savings for Affected Vessels Hourly Wage Paid to Employee $39.19 Load Factor to Account for Cost of Benefits 1.52 Loaded Wage $59.57 Hours Saved Per Vessel 0.35 Savings per Vessel (Hours × Loaded Wage Rate) $20.85 Affected Population 278 Total Savings* (Savings per Vessel × Affected Population) $5,796 * Represents undiscounted savings totals. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

    This final rule will not have annual recurring savings. It does not require additional Coast Guard resources to implement it, and it is budget neutral. In addition, a one-time savings of $5,796 in 2018 is equivalent to approximately $331 in 2016 dollars using perpetual time horizon discounting at 7 percent.

    B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, we have considered whether this final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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.

    As described in the “Regulatory Planning and Review” section of this RA, we expect that the savings per vessel will be $20.85 for the remainder of 2018. The Coast Guard is eliminating the reporting requirement under § 151.2060(e), which applies to owners or operators of vessels operating exclusively between ports or places within a single COTP Zone. Based on our economic assessment of the rule, we conclude that this final rule will add no cost burden to industry.

    Therefore, 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

    C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, we offer to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the final rule will affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule. 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.

    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).

    D. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for a change to an existing collection of information (COI) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. As defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(c), “collection of information” comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and other similar actions. The title and description of the information collections, a description of those who must collect the information, and an estimate of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of data, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection.

    Title: Ballast Water Management Reporting and Recordkeeping.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0069.

    Summary of the Collection of Information: This rule modifies the existing BWM reporting and recordkeeping requirement in § 151.2060(e). In the current regulation, the Coast Guard requires vessels with ballast tanks that operate exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone to submit an annual summary report on their ballast water practices. The final rule published in 2015 requires vessels to report to the NBIC for a 3-year period, after which a sunset clause in the rule has this provision expiring at the end of the 2018 calendar year. This final rule will remove the last year of reporting requirements for the population affected by the 2015 final rule and prior to the provision's sunset, thereby returning the overall COI burden estimates to the 2015 final rule's level.

    Need for Information: The Coast Guard is removing the reporting requirement under § 151.2060(e) because the value of information provided by the affected population did not meet the expectations of the Coast Guard.

    Proposed Use of Information: The collection of this BWM data was intended to fill a limited gap in information about vessels operating exclusively within a single COTP Zone. The data was to measure ballast water practices within a COTP Zone by vessels that operated exclusively within a single COTP Zone. We removed § 151.2060(e) and (f) because the data collected did not help the Coast Guard to better understand these ballasting practices.

    Description of the Respondents: The respondents are the owners or operators of vessels with ballast water tanks operating exclusively on voyages between ports or place within a single COTP Zone.

    Number of Respondents: The current number of respondents is 9,663. However, in the 2015 final rule, we incorrectly estimated the additional number of respondents in the COI to be 1,280. The population of 1,280 was an overestimation because information about vessels operating exclusively within a single COTP Zone had not been documented prior to the 2015 final rule. For the purpose of maintaining continuity between the number of respondents in the 2015 final rule and number of respondents in the overall COI OMB Control Number: 1625-0069, the Coast Guard estimates changes to the overall COI using the 2015 final rule COI values to obtain a net result of zero.9 Therefore, in order to revert back to the 2015 baseline, we needed to subtract the 1,280 respondents we incorrectly estimated in the 2015 final rule.10 With this change, we are maintaining the 2015 baseline of 8,383 respondents because we would be subtracting the incorrect estimated population of 1,280 respondents. The incurred cost savings and burden-hour reduction we estimate in this final rule will affect only 278 respondents for the last 3 months of this calendar year. After this time, the OMB-approved number of respondents would remain at the 2015 baseline level of 8,383 respondents because of the sunset clause in the 2015 final rule. We show these calculations, for illustrative purposes, in Table 4.

    9 The goal is to revert the COI Control No. 625-0069 back to its original collection prior to the 2015 ballast water recordkeeping and reporting final rule.

    10 Appendix A of COI OMB Control No. 1625-0069.

    Table 4—Summary of Collection of Information, Respondents Reporting items Current COI
  • respondents
  • Final rule
  • change
  • New COI
  • values
  • (A) (B) (C) (B − C) Voyage Reports 8,383 0 8,383 Annual Reports 1,280 1,280 0 Compliance Extension Request 0 0 0 Total 9,663 1,280 8,383

    Frequency of Response: The reporting requirement under this COI is scheduled to occur annually. With this final rule, current respondents under § 151.2060(e) are no longer required to maintain and submit BMW information on an annual basis.

    Burden of Response: The Coast Guard anticipates that the elimination of the rule will decrease burden by approximately 40 minutes per report for vessels with ballast water tanks operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone.

    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The annual reduction in burden is estimated as follows:

    (a) Annual reduction in burden resulting from removing reporting requirement for vessels operating within a single COTP Zone.

    This final rule will reduce the private sector burden hours for this COI by 97.3 hours (278 vessels × 0.35 hours [3 months of savings]). There are three items associated with this COI: Voyage reports, annual reports (which are applicable to this final rule), and compliance extension requests. The voyage reports and compliance extension requests are not included in this final rule. The burden estimates in this COI stemming from these voyage reports and compliance requests will be unaffected. Voyage reports account for 60,727 hours, annual reports account for 858 hours, and compliance extension requests account for 234 hours, for a total of 61,819 hours. Essentially, with this final rule, we are accounting for the 97.3 burden hours of reduction in annual reports in the last 3 months of this calendar year only, prior to the sunset clause becoming effective. To capture this change we must first correct for the erroneously estimated hourly burden of 858 hours. First, we subtract the 858 erroneous burden hours from the total of 61,819 hours and replace it with the correct burden estimate of 97 hours. This gives us a total burden of 61,058 hours and represents the corrected amount from which to estimate the burden reduction due to the final rule. The final rule will then remove the corrected 97 burden hours that should have been included in the 2015 COI. After December 31, 2018, the burden hours will return to the 2015 baseline level of 60,961 hours.

    Moreover, due to the establishment of a sunset clause in the 2015 final rule, all recordkeeping and reporting burden associated with this regulation will be eliminated. This adjustment would only reduce current Information Collection Request (ICR) burden levels prior to the 2015 final rule. We show the burden hour calculations in Table 5.

    Table 5—Summary of Collection of Information, Burden Hours Reporting items Current COI
  • respondents
  • Final rule
  • change
  • New COI
  • values
  • (A) (B) (C) (B − C) Voyage Reports 60,727 0 60,727 Annual Reports 858 858 0 Compliance Extension Request 234 0 234 Total 61,819 858 * 60,961 * Although this final rule would subtract 97.3 hours for the last 3 months of this year, after this time, the total hour burden estimate would revert back to the 2015 baseline level or current OMB inventory amount of 60,961 due to the fact that there will no longer be a need to complete annual reports for vessels traveling exclusively between ports or places within a single COTP Zone.

    (b) Reduction of annual burden due to the elimination of the current rule.

    This final rule will result in a reduction of annual burden of 97.3 hours for the last 3 months of the year ending December 31, 2018. However, after correcting for the overestimated burden in the 2015 COI, the reduction in annual burden hours as reflected in the Supporting Statement for this COI is 858 hours (as explained above).

    As required by 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), we will submit a copy of this final rule to OMB for its review of the collection of information. You are not required to respond to a COI unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    E. Federalism

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

    This final rule will revise the Coast Guard's BWM reporting and recordkeeping requirements promulgated under the authority of NANPCA, as amended by NISA. Specifically, we are removing the requirement that an Annual Ballast Water Summary Report for calendar year 2018 be submitted for vessels operating on voyages exclusively between ports or places within a single COTP Zone. NANPCA, as amended by NISA, contains a “savings provision” that saves to States their authority to “adopt or enforce control measures” for ANS (16 U.S.C. 4725). Nothing in the Act would diminish or affect the jurisdiction of any State over species of fish and wildlife. This type of BWM reporting and recordkeeping is a “control measure” saved to States under the savings provision and would not be preempted unless State law makes compliance with Coast Guard requirements impossible or frustrates the purpose of Congress. Additionally, the Coast Guard has long interpreted this savings provision to be a congressional mandate for a Federal-State cooperative regime in which Federal preemption under NANPCA, as amended by NISA, would be unlikely. The Coast Guard does not intend for the removal of this Federal reporting requirement to be a determination, or have any implications, with regard to the necessity of existing or future state BWM reporting requirements. Therefore, this final rule is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    F. 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 1 year. Although this final rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    G. Taking of Private Property

    This final rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights).

    H. Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks). This rule is not an economically significant rule and will not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

    J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This final rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), because it will 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.

    K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use). We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, codified as a note to 15 U.S.C. 272, directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

    This final rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    M. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD (COMDTINST M16475.1D), which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A final Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. This rule is categorically excluded under paragraph L54 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. Paragraph L54 pertains to regulations which are editorial or procedural. This rule involves the removal of the last year of a 3-year annual ballast water reporting requirement.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 151

    Administrative practice and procedure, Ballast water management, Oil pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water pollution control.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 151, subpart D, as follows:

    PART 151—VESSELS CARRYING OIL, NOXIOUS LIQUID SUBSTANCES, GARBAGE, MUNICIPAL OR COMMERCIAL WASTE, AND BALLAST WATER 1. The authority citation for part 151, subpart D, is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 4711; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(57).

    2. Amend § 151.2015 as follows: a. In paragraph (c), after the text “(ballast water management (BWM) requirements),” add the text “151.2060 (reporting),”; and b. Revise the fourth and sixth rows in table 1 to § 151.2015.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 151.2015 Exemptions. Table 1 to § 151.2015—Table of 33 CFR 151.2015 Specific Exemptions for Types of Vessels 151.2025
  • (management)
  • 151.2060
  • (reporting)
  • 151.2070
  • (recordkeeping)
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Vessel operates exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone Exempt Exempt Exempt. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Non-seagoing vessel Exempt Applicable 1 Applicable.1 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 Unless operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone.
    § 151.2060 [Amended]
    3. Amend § 151.2060 as follows: a. In paragraph (b), remove the words “Unless operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single COTP Zone, the” and add, in their place, the word “The”; and b. Remove paragraphs (e) and (f). Dated: September 14, 2018. J.P. Nadeau, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20374 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0859] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Snowbirds Over Fort Erie, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Buffalo, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on Lake Erie and the Niagara River, Buffalo, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of Lake Erie and the Niagara River during the Snowbirds over Fort Erie air show on September 19, 2018. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect participants, spectators, and vessels from the hazards associated with aerial stunts, low flying aircraft, and aircraft maneuvers. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo (COTP).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on September 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0859 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 Snowbirds over Fort Erie air show.

    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 potential hazards associated with an air show over a navigable waterway pose a significant risk to public safety and property within the immediate location of the show.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone on September 19, 2018, from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie and the Niagara River starting at position 42°54′01.25″ N, 78°54′21.07″ W, then East to 42°54′01.20″ N, 78°54′17.35″ W, then South to 42°53′18.18″ N, 78°54′21.94″ W, then West to 42°53′18.39″ N, 78°54′43.64″ W, and then North along the international boundary line to the point of origin. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of spectators and vessels during the Snowbirds over Fort Erie air show. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

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

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    .
    2. Add § 165.T09-0859 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0859 Safety Zone; Snowbirds over Fort Erie, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Buffalo, NY.

    (a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie and the Niagara River starting at position 42°54′01.25″ N, 78°54′21.07″ W, then East to 42°54′01.20″ N, 78°54′17.35″ W, then South to 42°53′18.18″ N, 78°54′21.94″ W, then West to 42°53′18.39″ N, 78°54′43.64″ W, and then North along the international boundary line to the point of origin.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. on September 19, 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: September 13, 2018. Joseph S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20291 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-SFUND-1983-0002; FRL-9984-02—Region 4] National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Deletion of the Whitehouse Oil Pits Superfund Site AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 announces the deletion of the Whitehouse Oil Pits Superfund Site, also known as “Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits”, (Site) located in Whitehouse, Florida, from the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL, promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, is an appendix of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). The EPA and the State of Florida, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, have determined that all appropriate response actions under CERCLA, other than operation and maintenance, monitoring, and five-year reviews, have been completed. However, this deletion does not preclude future actions under Superfund.

    DATES:

    This action is effective September 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Docket: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-1983-0002. 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., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through https://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the site information repositories. Locations, contacts, phone numbers and viewing hours are:

    USEPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303-8909, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Or

    West Regional Jacksonville Public Library, 1425 Chaffee Road S, Jacksonville, FL 32221, Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: CLOSED.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rusty Kestle, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303-8909, (404) 562-8819, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The site to be deleted from the NPL is: Whitehouse Oil Pits, Whitehouse, Florida. A Notice of Intent to Delete for this Site was published in the Federal Register (83 FR 33171) on July 17, 2018.

    The closing date for comments on the Notice of Intent to Delete was August 16, 2018. Two public comments were received; one of the public comments does not address the rulemaking or deletion. The other public comment was about the risk posed by the waste that was left on the Site in the containment remedy, the potential to support recreational or ecological land uses in the future on the Site, and monitoring and additional cleanup at the Site. This comment is addressed by the requirements and procedures in the Site Operations, Monitoring and Maintenance Plan which requires ongoing groundwater sampling and analysis, as well as requiring Site appropriate operations and maintenance, including inspections to ensure the on-going remedy is performing as designed. Also, the ongoing Five Year Review process will continue as long as there is waste left on the Site to assess remedy performance and protectiveness and assess any changing site conditions. This deletion does not preclude future actions under the Superfund rule-making that EPA can take action after deletion, as needed, and restore the site to the NPL, if there is any change found in the protectiveness of the remedy for the Site. Therefore, after evaluating these comments, EPA believes the deletion action for the Site is appropriate. A responsiveness summary was prepared and placed in both the docket, EPA-HQ-SFUND-1983-0002, on www.regulations.gov, and in the local repositories listed above.

    EPA maintains the NPL as the list of sites that appear to present a significant risk to public health, welfare, or the environment. Deletion from the NPL does not preclude further remedial action. Whenever there is a significant release from a site deleted from the NPL, the deleted site may be restored to the NPL without application of the hazard ranking system. Deletion of a site from the NPL does not affect responsible party liability in the unlikely event that future conditions warrant further actions.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: September 10, 2018. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    For reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—NATIONAL OIL AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES POLLUTION CONTINGENCY PLAN 1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321(d); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 13626, 77 FR 56749, 3 CFR, 2013 Comp., p. 306; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193.

    Appendix B to Part 300 [Amended] 2. Table 1of appendix B to part 300 is amended by removing the entry “FL”, “Whitehouse Oil Pits”, “Whitehouse”.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20390 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 64 [WC Docket No. 13-39; FCC 18-120] Rural Call Completion AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission continues its ongoing efforts to ensure that calls are completed to all Americans, including those in rural America. This Third Report and Order (Order) begins the Commission's implementation of the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017 (RCC Act). Pursuant to the RCC Act, the Order adopts rules to establish a registry for intermediate providers and require intermediate providers to register with the Commission before offering to transmit covered voice communications. In addition, the Order adopts rules to require covered providers to use only registered intermediate providers to transmit covered voice communications and requires covered providers to maintain the capability to disclose the identities of any intermediate providers relied on in the call path to the Commission.

    DATES:

    Effective October 19, 2018, except for the addition of 47 CFR 64.2115, which requires approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing approval of this requirement and the date the rule will become effective.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Zach Ross, at (202) 418-1033, or [email protected] For further information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Third Report and Order in WC Docket No. 13-39, adopted on August 13, 2018 and released on August 15, 2018. The full text of this document, including all Appendices, is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. It is also available on the Commission's website at https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-registry-boost-provider-accountability-rural-call-completion.

    I. Synopsis

    1. As directed by the RCC Act and informed by the record of this proceeding, in this Third Report and Order we establish a registry for intermediate providers and require intermediate providers to register with the Commission before offering to transmit covered voice communications. In addition, we adopt rules to require covered providers to use only registered intermediate providers to transmit covered voice communications, and we require covered providers to maintain the capability to disclose the identities of any intermediate providers relied on in the call path to the Commission. We also adopt a narrowly tailored exception to our rules in instances of force majeure. The RCC Act requires the Commission to promulgate rules establishing service quality standards “[n]ot later than 1 year after the date of enactment,” or by February 26, 2019. We accordingly sought comment on proposed service quality standards in the Third RCC FNPRM, 83 FR 21983. We will address the RCC Act's service quality requirements in a subsequent Order.

    A. Establishment of Intermediate Provider Registry

    2. In accordance with the RCC Act, we adopt our proposal to establish an intermediate provider registry. To “ensure the integrity of the transmission of covered voice communications to all customers in the United States[] and . . . prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of covered voice communications,” new section 262 of the Act requires the Commission to establish a publicly available intermediate provider registry on the Commission's website. We will require intermediate providers to register via a portal on the Commission's website furnishing the same five categories of information that we proposed in the Third RCC FNPRM:

    (1) The intermediate provider's business name(s) and primary address;

    (2) the name(s), telephone number(s), email address(es), and business address(es) of the intermediate provider's regulatory contact and/or designated agent for service of process;

    (3) all business names that the intermediate provider has used in the past;

    (4) the state(s) in which the intermediate provider provides service; and

    (5) the name, title, business address, telephone number, and email address of at least one person as well as the department within the company responsible for addressing rural call completion issues.

    Further, this information will be made publicly available.

    3. As explained in the Third RCC FNPRM, the first four categories of information are similar to the Commission's existing registration requirements for interconnected VoIP and telecommunications carriers in other contexts. For example, “a telecommunications carrier that will provide interstate telecommunications service” is required to provide the following information via FCC Form 499-A “under oath and penalty of perjury”: (1) The carrier's business name(s) and primary address; (2) The names and business addresses of the carrier's chief executive officer, chairman, and president, or, in the event that a company does not have such executives, three similarly senior-level officials of the company; (3) The carrier's regulatory contact and/or designated agent; (4) All names that the carrier has used in the past; and (5) The state(s) in which the carrier provides telecommunications service.” The Commission's rules also require common carriers, interconnected VoIP providers, and non-interconnected VoIP providers to provide the contact information, including “a name, business address, telephone or voicemail number, facsimile number, and, if available, internet email address,” for service of process purposes. Such entities are also required to “list any other names by which it is known or under which it does business, and, if the carrier, interconnected VoIP provider, or non-interconnected VoIP provider is an affiliated company, the parent, holding, or management company.” The record reflects that “the burden to providers arising out of reporting such information is minimal—it requires no more than logging into an account and typing in the most basic information about a company.” With respect to contact information for the person and department responsible for addressing rural call completion issues, we find, based on the record before us, that requiring this information will facilitate inter-provider cooperation to solve and prevent call completion issues. We also find that this requirement is consistent with Congress's mandate that our implementing rules ensure the integrity of the transmission of covered voice communications to all customers in the country and prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of covered voice communications. The record reflects no opposition to requiring these five information categories.

    4. In addition to the five categories of information we proposed, we also require intermediate providers to furnish the name(s), business address, business telephone number(s), and email address for an executive leadership contact, such as the chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or owner(s) of the intermediate provider, or person performing an equivalent function, who directs or manages the entity. Verizon expressed concern that delisted intermediate providers could regain registered status by subsequently re-incorporating under other names for the purpose of circumventing Commission removal from the intermediate provider registry. To assist in preventing circumvention of our rules, Verizon proposes requiring this additional information, which “is a common requirement across state and foreign corporation registrations, business licensing, and trade licensing,” and thus presents no additional burden in furnishing such existing information to the Commission. We agree with Verizon that requiring this additional information will “provide the Commission . . . additional visibility into the individuals that direct and manage the entity,” and aid the Commission in enforcing our rules and the RCC Act. We observe, however, that because the primary purpose of this information is to aid the Commission in preventing circumvention of our registry requirements, unlike the other five categories of information, this latter category of information will not be made routinely available for public inspection.

    B. Definitions

    5. As we proposed in the Third RCC FNPRM, we adopt the definition of “intermediate provider” provided by Congress in section 262(i)(3). This definition replaces the definition of “intermediate provider” currently in our rules. Thus, for purposes of our pre-existing rural call completion rules and those we adopt pursuant to the RCC Act, we define an intermediate provider as any entity that: “(A) enters into a business arrangement with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for the specific purpose of carrying, routing, or transmitting voice traffic that is generated from the placement of a call placed (i) from an end user connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource; or (ii) to an end user connection using such a numbering resource; and (B) does not itself, either directly or in conjunction with an affiliate, serve as a covered provider in the context of originating or terminating a given call.” We observe that in section 262(i)(1), Congress explicitly adopted the Commission's definition of “covered provider,” suggesting that, to the extent that section 262(i)(3) offers a different or narrower interpretation of “intermediate provider” than the current definition in our rules, Congress intended the definition provided in the RCC Act to apply to our rules implementing the RCC Act.

    6. The definition of “intermediate provider” in section 262(i)(3) is substantially similar to the definition previously applicable to our rural call completion rules, with the added requirement that an intermediate provider “have a business arrangement with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for the specific purpose of carrying, routing, or transmitting voice traffic.” As we observed in the Third RCC FNPRM, the legislative history surrounding the RCC Act suggests that Congress intended to exclude from the definition of “intermediate provider” entities “that only incidentally transmit voice traffic, like internet Service Providers who may carry voice traffic alongside other packet data.” The additional requirement that intermediate providers have a business arrangement to carry voice traffic effectuates this intent. Thus, entities like internet Service Providers that may carry voice traffic only incidentally, absent any business arrangement with a covered provider or intermediate provider pertaining to that traffic, will not be considered intermediate providers subject to our registry and service quality rules.

    7. We decline to adopt an exemption from this definition for “facilities-based carriers that provide backbone network capacity” to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), as urged by Sprint. To the extent that such providers carry voice traffic that originates or terminates with a North American Numbering Plan (NANP) resource pursuant to a specific business relationship with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for said voice traffic, and does not itself serve as a covered provider in the context of originating or terminating a given call, that entity is an intermediate provider under the RCC Act and the rules we adopt today. We agree with NTCA's argument that any effect of this rule on entities that, like Sprint, supply wholesale capacity to MVNOs is likely to be “minimally burdensome.” As USTelecom observes, the information submission needed to comply with our registration requirement “[is] of a highly routine nature that should be unproblematic for any legitimate company to provide.”

    8. In addition, consistent with our proposal in the Third RCC FNPRM, we also adopt the definition of “covered voice communication” provided by Congress in the RCC Act. The RCC Act defines “covered voice communication” as “a voice communication (including any related signaling information) that is generated—(A) from the placement of a call from a connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource or a call placed to a connection using such a numbering resource; and (B) through any service provided by a covered provider.”

    9. We decline to adopt the proposal advanced by Verizon and USTelecom to limit the definitions of “intermediate provider” and “covered voice communications” to “apply only to intermediate providers that handle covered voice communications that are destined for rural areas.” We also decline to adopt alternative suggestions that we forebear from applying the RCC Act and our implementing rules to non-rural areas. Forbearance is appropriate if the Commission determines that: (1) Enforcement of a provision or regulation is not necessary to ensure that the telecommunications carrier's charges, practices, classifications, or regulations are just, reasonable, and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory; (2) enforcement of the provision or regulation is not necessary to protect consumers; and (3) forbearance from applying such provision or regulation is consistent with the public interest. As we explain, the RCC Act reflects Congress's judgment that uniform rules are the best means to ensure rural call completion; and limiting the RCC Act's registry requirements to rural areas would undermine the newly passed law's effectiveness. Because forbearance would be inconsistent with the public interest and the Commission's responsibility to protect consumers, as well as Congress's direction in the RCC Act that the Commission “ensure the integrity of the transmission of covered voice communications to all customers in the United States,” we decline USTelecom's request that the Commission forbear from applying the RCC Act to non-rural areas. We disagree with Verizon's suggestion that “[t]he RCC Act's text supports construing the statute to ensure application only to rural areas.” If Congress had intended to apply the RCC Act definitions only to rural areas, it easily could have done so. As Verizon itself notes, “[t]he RCC Act on its face does not include a limitation to rural areas.” Indeed, apart from the short title of the RCC Act, the word “rural” appears nowhere in its text. As enacted, section 262 is entitled “Ensuring the integrity of voice communications,” and none of the law's provisions or definitions—including those for “intermediate provider” and “covered voice communication”—contain the word “rural.” Nor is the Commission's definition of “covered provider,” which Congress adopted by reference in the RCC Act, limited to providers who originate traffic destined for rural areas.

    10. Although we agree with USTelecom's suggestion that Congress “intended to implement measures to ensure completion of calls to rural areas,” we disagree with the argument that we should therefore read the word “rural” into the RCC Act where it does not appear. This line of reasoning fails to differentiate between Congress's stated objective—to improve rural call completion—and the specific means by which Congress has directed the Commission to achieve this goal. Indeed, limitation of the RCC Act's provisions to traffic destined to rural areas would appear to contravene Congress's explicit instructions to the Commission in promulgating rules pursuant to the RCC Act, which are to “ensure the integrity of the transmission of covered voice communications to all customers in the United States;” and to “prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of covered voice communications.” The rules we adopt today are designed to achieve these ends. Despite Verizon's and USTelecom's arguments to the contrary, Congress concluded that the best way to address rural call completion issues is to craft uniform rules applicable to intermediate providers regardless of a call's geographic destination. As HD Tandem argues, call completion issues are not inherently limited to rural areas, and limiting application of the rules we adopt pursuant to the RCC Act to rural areas may have the unintended consequence of simply shifting bad actors into new markets. Unscrupulous providers may cause call completion issues in non-rural areas as well, and our construction of the registry provisions of the RCC Act is consistent with Congress's explicit direction to the Commission, as noted above. Therefore, assuming arguendo that the Act is ambiguous, we believe our approach is likely to be more effective in curtailing the use of these providers and achieving Congress's clearly stated objective of improving rural call completion than the reading of the Act suggested by Verizon and USTelecom.

    11. Nor are we persuaded that that we should modify the plain meaning of the RCC Act's language to correspond with the scope of our recently adopted monitoring rule, which, unlike the RCC Act, does apply only to “call attempts to rural telephone companies.” The monitoring rule adopted in the Second RCC Order, 83 FR 21723, requires covered providers to monitor the performance of intermediate providers when they direct calls to rural areas, and to take action to address identified problems. The RCC Act and our implementing rules require certain intermediate providers to register with the Commission and abide by service quality standards, and prevent covered providers from using unregistered intermediate providers to deliver covered voice communications. The monitoring rule and the rules adopted pursuant to the RCC Act are complementary, but because covered providers and intermediate providers are differently situated and play different roles in the delivery of voice traffic, we find that it is appropriate that our rules, and the RCC Act, treat them differently. For this reason, we also disagree with Verizon's suggestion that our safe harbor, referenced in the RCC Act in Section 262(h), compels limiting the RCC Act to rural areas. Given the heightened vigilance our monitoring rule requires of covered providers, it is appropriate that it applies more narrowly than the RCC Act's prohibition on covered provider use of unregistered intermediate providers.

    12. Finally, we disagree with arguments that we should apply our rules implementing section 262 only to rural areas to increase “[a]dministrative efficiency” or to decrease the burdens that the RCC Act imposes on affected entities. In particular, we disagree with Verizon's argument that the burdens of complying with the RCC Act will “vastly increase” absent a limitation of section 262 to traffic destined to rural areas. Verizon argues that without this restriction “[t]he number of OCNs required to be monitored would more than triple, from the over 1,300 OCNs required for monitoring rural destinations, to more than 4,700 rural and non-rural OCNs.” The monitoring rule, however, remains limited to requiring that covered providers monitor intermediate provider performance in the completion of call attempts to rural telephone companies. Further, because the RCC Act and our implementing rules require intermediate providers to register with the Commission, we disagree that requiring covered providers to only use registered intermediate providers, without cabining such requirements to calls to rural areas, would be burdensome. We therefore expect that the burdens of our registry rules on both intermediate providers and covered providers will be minimal.

    C. Intermediate Providers Who Must Register With the Commission 1. Scope of Registry Requirement

    13. Consistent with the text of section 262(a), we adopt our proposal in the Third RCC FNPRM to require any intermediate provider “that offers or holds itself out as offering the capability to transmit covered voice communications from one destination to another and that charges any rate to any other entity (including an affiliated entity) for the transmission” to register with the Commission. In adopting this proposal, we decline to simply apply the registry obligations of section 262(a) to all intermediate providers, as that term is defined in section 262(i)(3). As we suggested in the Third RCC FNPRM, the RCC Act's registry requirements and service quality standards apply to a subset of “intermediate providers,” namely those that “charge[] any rate” for the transmission of covered voice communications.

    14. We agree with commenters who argue that the “charge[] any rate” language in section 262(a) is best interpreted broadly. Thus, we conclude that the application of section 262(a) is not limited only to intermediate providers who charge a per-call fee for service; rather, section 262(a) encompasses broader remuneration agreements, as well as entities offering service in exchange for in-kind or other, non-monetary forms of consideration. We therefore disagree with commenters who express concern that the “charge[] any rate” qualifier may exclude entities that Congress intended to reach with the RCC Act. To be deemed an intermediate provider under section 262(i), an entity must have a “business arrangement with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for the specific purpose of carrying, routing, or transmitting” voice traffic originating or terminating with a NANP resource. Although section 262(a) adds the requirement that an intermediate provider “charge[] any rate” for transmitting covered voice communications, we find that to “charge any rate” in this context is merely to demand compensation for services based on a fixed ratio, scale, or standard. Nothing in the language of the RCC Act requires that the relevant “rate” charged be in the form of monetary consideration. We agree with ANI, HD Tandem, and Verizon that relying on remuneration as a qualifier may open the possibility for non-fee arrangements to circumvent the RCC Act and our implementing rules, and thus interpret section 262(a) as applying to any intermediate provider that demands monetary or non-monetary consideration for its services.

    2. Registration Deadline

    15. We adopt our proposal in the Third RCC FNPRM to require intermediate providers to submit their registration to the Commission within 30 days after a Public Notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the final rules establishing the registry. We find, and the record supports, that a 30-day timeframe will allow existing intermediate providers adequate time to come into compliance with our registry rules. In addition, as we explained in the Third RCC FNPRM, this phase-in period is consistent with the filing timeframe for Form 499-A, which requires that new filers register with the Commission within 30 days. Pursuant to sections 262(a) and (b), upon expiration of the initial 30-day registration window, new intermediate providers will be required to register with the Commission before beginning to transmit covered voice communications for covered providers.

    16. We require intermediate providers to submit any necessary updates regarding their registration to the Commission within 10 business days. The record reflects that our proposal to require intermediate providers to update their registrations within seven days may not provide intermediate providers sufficient time to make necessary changes. As such, we permit intermediate providers up to 10 business days to submit any necessary registration updates. As ATIS argues, this additional time will better enable intermediate providers to respond to changes related to mergers or similar events. And, as West Telecom notes, “there should be little adverse impact from the slightly longer compliance period.” Because we agree with Verizon that “[t]he required information should be readily available,” we decline to increase the time period for updates to 30 days, as Verizon requests. As USTelecom notes, the information to be collected is generally of a “routine nature that should be unproblematic for any legitimate company to provide.” Further, because covered providers and members of the public will rely on the information contained in the registry, for example, in making routing decisions or attempting to discover point of contact information to resolve rural call completion issues, we find that a 30-day update period would unnecessarily undermine the effectiveness of the registry requirement by increasing the likelihood that the information contained within the registry is out-of-date.

    3. Enforcement

    17. Intermediate providers that fail to register with the Commission on a timely basis, as required by our rules, shall be subject to enforcement under the Act and our rules, including forfeiture. For the Commission to exercise its forfeiture authority for violations of the Act and the Commission's rules without first issuing a citation, the wrongdoer must hold (or be an applicant for) some form of license, permit, certificate, or other authorization from the Commission, or be engaged in an activity for which such a license, permit, certificate, or other authorization is required. Because intermediate providers that provide service to covered providers are required, under section 262(a)(1), to register with the Commission, we conclude that an intermediate provider offering such services is engaged in an activity for which Commission license or authorization is required under sections 503(b)(5) and 262(a)(1) of the Act.

    18. We disagree with Verizon's unsupported assertion that the Commission “should not interpret the act of registration itself as a grant of authorization to exercise its forfeiture authority without first issuing a citation.” We note that no other parties commented our proposal to “interpret the act of registration itself as a grant of Commission authorization to intermediate providers and allow us to exercise our forfeiture authority against registered providers without first issuing a citation.” The RCC Act makes clear that Congress intended the intermediate provider registry to function as a qualification for entry into the intermediate provider market, and, as such, the requirements to register and subsequently maintain that registration in good standing serve as Commission license or authorization to function as an intermediate provider transmitting covered voice communications in the United States. Consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act's definition of “license,” which includes “whole or part of an agency . . . registration,” the Commission has found that the term “license” encompasses registrations.

    19. Accordingly, we conclude that, under our rules, we may exercise our forfeiture authority against intermediate providers that fail to register, without first issuing a citation. When determining the amount of a forfeiture, we will consider “the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require.” To the extent that an intermediate provider is a common carrier, the intermediate provider may be assessed a forfeiture of up to $196,387 per violation or each day of a continuing violation and up to a statutory maximum of $1,963,870 for any single act or failure to act. These amounts reflect inflation adjustments to the forfeitures specified in section 503(b)(2)(B) of the Act ($100,000 per violation or per day of a continuing violation and $1,000,000 per any single act or failure to act). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvement Act of 2015 (2015 Inflation Adjustment Act) requires the Commission to amend its forfeiture penalty rules to reflect annual adjustments for inflation in order to improve their effectiveness and maintain their deterrent effect. Further, the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act provides that the new penalty levels shall apply to penalties assessed after the effective date of the increase, including when the violations associated with the penalties predate the increase. An intermediate provider that is not a common carrier is subject to a forfeiture of up to $19,639 per violation or each day of a continuing violation and up to a statutory maximum of $147,290 for any single act or failure to act. These same penalties also apply to an entity that does not hold (and is not required to hold) a Commission license, permit, certificate, or other instrument of authorization.

    20. In addition, we decline to apply the Commission's “red-light” rule prior to intermediate providers' registration with the Commission. In the Third RCC FNPRM, we sought comment on whether intermediate providers should be prohibited from registering with the Commission if they are “red-lighted” by the Commission for unpaid debts or other reasons. Under the red light rule, the Commission will not process applications and other requests for benefits by parties that owe non-tax debt to the Commission. In the context of our rules implementing the Debt Collection Improvement Act, the Commission has noted that “[i]n some instances . . . filings with the Commission go into effect immediately (or within one day), thus precluding a check to determine if the filer is a delinquent debtor before the request goes into effect.” The Commission noted that in such situations, the Commission has the ability to take appropriate action after the fact for noncompliance with any of the Commission's rules. Because we will make registrations immediately effective upon receipt, this is a situation which precludes a check to determine if the intermediate provider is a delinquent debtor before the registration goes into effect. As a result, any applicable red-light check will be conducted after intermediate provider registration; appropriate action, if any, will be taken against intermediate providers who are later discovered to be delinquent debtors, including de-registration.

    D. Covered Providers May Not Use Unregistered Intermediate Providers 1. Covered Providers Must Take Steps Reasonably Calculated To Prevent Use of Unregistered Intermediate Providers Anywhere in the Call Path

    21. We find that section 262(b) requires a covered provider to ensure that all intermediate providers involved in the transmission of its covered voice communications are registered with the Commission. The definition of “intermediate provider” contained in section 262(i) broadly refers to providers at all intermediate points in the call chain, excluding covered providers who originate or terminate a given call; and, section 262(a) requires any of these entities that offer to transmit covered voice communications for a rate to register with the Commission and meet our service quality standards. We note, however, that some intermediate providers may be exempted from our service quality standards pursuant to section 262(h) and our safe harbor provisions. Thus, we conclude that Congress's requirement that covered providers “may not use” an unregistered intermediate provider to transmit traffic is best understood to mean that a covered provider may not rely on any unregistered intermediate providers in the path of a given call. Consistent with our recently-adopted monitoring rule, we allow covered providers to use contractual restrictions that flow down the entire intermediate provider call path to fulfill their obligations under section 262(b).

    22. We conclude that this interpretation best supports Congress's aims in enacting the RCC Act by placing responsibility for compliance with section 262(b) with a single, easily identifiable entity. Our construction of section 262(b) is supported by the record in this proceeding, and is consistent with the rules adopted in the Second RCC Order, which highlighted the importance of “hold[ing] a central party responsible for call completion issues.” As we found in the Second RCC Order, because “covered providers select the initial long-distance path and therefore can choose how to route a call,” it is “appropriate that they should have responsibility for monitoring rural call completion performance” along the entire path of a given call.

    23. We agree with arguments advanced by NTCA that limiting the application of section 262(b) only to the first contracted intermediate provider would “defeat the spirit and intent of [the RCC Act]” and potentially allow “unscrupulous carriers or intermediate providers to circumvent their ultimate responsibility to complete calls.” As we have explained, a call often travels through a chain of multiple intermediate providers before reaching its destination. Because nothing in our rules or section 262 requires intermediate providers to use other registered intermediate providers to transmit covered voice communications, interpreting the restrictions of section 262(b) to apply only to the first contracted intermediate provider would substantially undermine the purpose of the RCC Act, which is to improve rural call completion by, among other things, requiring any intermediate provider involved in the transmission of covered voice communications to register (and maintain a registration) with the Commission. Section 262(b) would do little to improve call completion if it was construed only to require that the first of many intermediate providers in a call path register with the Commission.

    24. We disagree with commenters who argue in favor of such a narrow reading of section 262(b). In particular, we disagree with Comcast's claims that covered providers “lack . . . control over intermediate providers with which they have no direct contractual relationship.” To the contrary, we have found that as the first party in the call path, covered providers have significant ability to affect the behavior of downstream providers—including those with which there is no direct relationship—through the use of contractual provisions that travel along the entire chain of providers.

    25. Consistent with the monitoring rule for covered providers, pursuant to section 262(b) we require covered providers to (i) ensure that any directly contracted intermediate provider is registered with the Commission; and (ii) implement “contractual restrictions . . . that are reasonably calculated to ensure” that any subsequent intermediate providers with which the covered provider does not directly contract are registered under section 262(a). As with the monitoring rule, covered providers must “ensure that these [contractual] restrictions flow down the entire intermediate provider call path.” For example, covered providers may require that, as a condition of accepting traffic, (i) any directly contracted intermediate providers must agree to not hand off traffic to any unregistered intermediate providers; and (ii) that they will impose this same restriction on any subsequently contracted intermediate providers.

    26. Because we allow covered providers to use indirect contractual restrictions to satisfy their obligations under section 262(b), we disagree with arguments that our interpretation of section 262(b) to encompass all intermediate providers in the call path will be impractical, inefficient, or excessively burdensome. As West Telecom notes, “[n]egotiated arrangements, when combined with active monitoring procedures, are an accepted and proven industry approach to ensuring satisfactory performance by downstream providers.” We disagree with ITTA's assertions that construing section 262(b) “to mean that the covered provider must `ensure' only that the first intermediate provider in the call path is registered is far more consistent with the principles of privity applied by the Commission in the Second RCC Order.” To the contrary, as we have explained, the construction of section 262(b) we adopt today uses the same notion of privity as that which formed the basis of our monitoring rule. As NTCA notes, ITTA's argument “ignores the fact that covered providers have contractual relationships with the first Intermediate Provider in the call path, [which is] capable of then contractually binding downstream providers to only use registered providers from an identified list.” Instead, as NTCA and HD Tandem argue, because covered providers are responsible for monitoring the entire call path pursuant to our monitoring rule, it is reasonable to require them to ensure through contractual provisions that all intermediate providers in the call path are registered with the Commission. Indeed, as we have explained, this construction of section 262(b) most reasonably gives effect to Congress's intent in passing the RCC Act.

    27. We require covered providers to use the intermediate provider registry to ensure that the intermediate providers with which they contract are registered with the Commission at the time any agreement for the transmission of covered voice communications is finalized. We agree with West Telecom, however, that it is unnecessary to require covered providers to repeatedly check the registry to confirm the registration status of all intermediate providers in the chain of a call. Therefore, once an agreement for the transmission of covered voice communications is effective, we allow covered providers to use contractual restrictions to ensure that all intermediate providers in the call path maintain an active registration with the Commission. As West Telecom notes, it may be more effective and cost-efficient to require downstream providers to promptly report de-registrations to the upstream provider, rather than forcing the upstream provider to repeatedly recheck the registry to verify the continued registration of downstream providers. Notwithstanding any contractual provisions, however, if a covered provider gains actual knowledge that it is using an unregistered intermediate provider anywhere in its call routing, it must cease that practice.

    28. We agree with NCTA that “covered provider[s] should be afforded a reasonable period of time to transition to alternative providers without penalty or threat of enforcement.” As NCTA notes, “[i]t takes time for covered providers to restructure their call routes, renegotiate their relationships with intermediate providers, or make the appropriate contractual arrangements to transition to alternative providers.” Without a transition period, covered providers might be left with no option other than to decline to complete calls on an affected route. Therefore we grant covered providers a reasonable period of time, but no more than 45 days, in which to adjust their call routing practices to avoid use of an unregistered intermediate provider after gaining knowledge of its deregistration or lack of registration. We remind covered providers that, with respect to rural destinations that a provider knows or should know are experiencing call completion problems, the Second RCC Order requires covered providers to “promptly resolve[  ] any anomalies or problems and take[  ] action to ensure they do not recur.” Our experience investigating individual call completion complaints has shown that two weeks from reporting is ample time for a provider to resolve a specific call completion problem. Although we find, based upon our experience, that 45 days will provide covered providers with sufficient time to adjust their call routing practices, covered providers should remove deregistered or unregistered intermediate providers as soon as reasonably practicable.

    29. Exception for Force Majeure. We adopt a limited exception to our rules and exempt covered providers from the prohibition on the use of unregistered intermediate providers in circumstances where, due to force majeure for which the covered provider invokes a disaster recovery plan, no registered intermediate providers are available to transmit covered voice communications to their destination. This limited exemption that we adopt today is similar in nature to exemptions found in our copper retirement rules. Under those provisions, incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) are exempted from certain provisions of our copper retirement rules in the case of a force majeure for which the incumbent LEC invokes a disaster recovery plan. For the purposes of this exemption, we give the terms “force majeure” and “disaster recovery plan” the definitions contained in 47 CFR 51.333(g). As with our copper retirement notification rules, allowing an exception in response to force majeure will ensure that service providers are able “to restore their networks and service to consumers as quickly as possible rather than jump through regulatory hoops.”

    30. We believe that the language of the RCC Act provides sufficient authority for us to create a narrow and time-limited exemption of the statutory prohibition on covered provider use of unregistered intermediate providers. In directing the Commission to promulgate rules to implement the RCC Act, Congress specifically instructed the Commission to “ensure the integrity of the transmission of covered voice communications to all customers in the United States.” We conclude that permitting covered providers to use unregistered intermediate providers to deliver covered voice communications in the case of force majeure, as described above, for a limited period of time while the provider has invoked a disaster recovery plan is necessary to help “ensure the integrity” of covered voice communications to all customers in the United States.

    31. We find that carving out this limited exception provides regulatory certainty to covered providers in these limited circumstances where strict compliance with our rules would not be possible or in the public interest. We have found that “it is vital that we do everything we can to facilitate rapid restoration of communications networks in the face of natural disasters and other unforeseen events.” By codifying an exception to our rules implementing section 262(b) for circumstances under which covered providers would otherwise need to seek a waiver, we ensure that our rules enable covered providers to restore service as quickly as possible following force majeure.

    32. Therefore, in circumstances where, due to force majeure, no registered intermediate providers are available to transmit covered voice communications to their destination, we exempt covered providers from the prohibition on use of unregistered intermediate providers. To obtain relief under this provision, we require covered providers to submit to the Commission a certification explaining the circumstances justifying an exemption as soon as practicable. The certification must be signed by a corporate officer or official with authority to bind the corporation, and knowledge of the details of the covered provider's inability to comply with our rules. The exemption period will last a period of 180 days, after which time a covered provider will be required to submit a request for an extension of the exemption period, which must include a status report on the covered provider's attempts to come into compliance with section 262(b), including a statement of how the covered provider intends to ensure that calls are completed notwithstanding the lack of available registered intermediate providers.

    2. Covered Providers Must Be Capable of Disclosing to the Commission the Identity of All Intermediate Providers in the Call Path

    33. Consistent with our proposal in the Third RCC FNPRM, we require covered providers to know, or be capable of knowing, the identity of all intermediate providers in the path of a given call. We further require covered providers to disclose this information to the Commission upon request. As we explained in the Second RCC Order, this requirement is a natural outgrowth of section 262(b), which prohibits covered providers from using unregistered intermediate providers anywhere in the call path.

    34. We agree with HD Tandem that “[a] registration process without this oversight mechanism will likely be very ineffective.” Permitting covered providers to route calls without any means of determining which intermediate providers participate in delivery of covered voice communications would render the requirements in section 262(b), and the registry scheme of the RCC Act, meaningless. As we noted in the Second RCC Order, “allowing covered providers to not know the identities of their intermediates amounts to allowing willful ignorance: i.e., it would allow covered providers to circumvent their duties by employing unknown or anonymous intermediate providers in a call path.”

    35. We disagree with commenters who suggest that this requirement should be limited to apply only to intermediate providers with which a covered provider shares a direct contractual relationship. As NTCA observes, the requirement “that intermediate providers be contractually bound and identifiable” is essential to enforcing the registry and service quality standards imposed by the RCC Act. Furthermore, as we have explained, our rural call completion rules are premised on the fact that a central party—covered providers—must be responsible for ensuring that calls are completed. The RCC Act complements this scheme by making covered providers responsible for preventing the use of unregistered intermediate providers anywhere in the path of a given call.

    36. We therefore disagree with the proposal advanced by Comcast that would put the onus on the Commission to assemble this information by making separate inquiries of a covered provider and each of its individual intermediate providers in order to obtain a full picture of the routing of a given call. Requiring covered providers to know and disclose to the Commission only the identities of the intermediate providers with which they immediately contract would be administratively inefficient, insofar as it would require the Commission to expend scarce resources in an effort to piece together the identities of all parties in the path of a given call. Pursuant to the Commission's rural call completion rules and section 262(b), it is covered providers, and not the Commission, that are ultimately responsible for ensuring that calls are completed using only registered intermediates. Moreover, covered providers, as the party initiating calls and making the initial routing decisions for covered voice communications, are the most logical and efficient party to bear the responsibility for obtaining the identities of their intermediate providers and relaying this information to the Commission. As HD Tandem observes, “since covered providers are accountable for exercising oversight regarding the performance of all intermediate providers (in the path of calls for which the covered provider makes the initial long-distance call path choice), they must be responsible for obtaining and retaining this information.”

    37. We agree with West Telecom that it is not necessary under section 262 to require covered providers to “know at all times `the identity of all intermediate providers in a call path,' ” and that it is sufficient that “such information be promptly obtainable when there is a call completion problem requiring investigation or a request from regulatory authorities.” Several commenters express concern that requiring covered providers to maintain a current list of every intermediate provider participating in every transmission of covered voice communications would be excessively burdensome relative to the benefits of such a rule. For this reason, as with our monitoring rule and the prohibition on covered provider use of unregistered intermediaries, we allow covered providers to satisfy their obligations through the use of contractual restrictions that permit the discovery within two weeks of the identities of any intermediate providers in the path of a given call. We note that we currently allow a provider two weeks to investigate a rural call competition complaint and file a write written report with the Commission's Enforcement Bureau on the results of its investigation and how it resolved the problem. As West Telecom argues, this will permit the Commission to access necessary information related to rural call completion failures, while avoiding the costs and burdens associated with unnecessary monitoring efforts.

    3. Compliance Deadline

    38. We require covered providers to comply with our rules requiring the use of registered intermediate providers within 90 days after the date by which intermediate providers must register with the Commission. As Comcast notes, “most contracts in place today do not obligate intermediate providers to disclose the names of other service providers to which the intermediate providers deliver traffic further downstream.” A number of commenters expressed concern that our proposed 60-day phase-in period would be insufficient for covered providers to renegotiate their contracts for routing voice traffic in order to come into compliance with the prohibition on use of unregistered intermediates. We find, based on the record before us, that a 90-day phase-in period following the date by which intermediate providers must register with the Commission will permit covered providers adequate time to make adjustments to existing contractual arrangements.

    39. We disagree with commenters who suggest that a longer, or shorter, timeframe is appropriate. Waiting for a period of a year or more to require covered providers to comply with their obligations under section 262 and our rules would frustrate the purpose of the RCC Act by needlessly delaying its implementation. A shorter time period, however, could prove unnecessarily difficult for providers to comply with. As several commenters note, a 90-day phase-in period following the date by which intermediate providers must register with the Commission will provide an appropriate period of adjustment, allowing covered providers to renegotiate contracts with registered intermediate providers. Furthermore, because our registry requires OMB approval and contains its own 30-day implementation period, covered providers should have approximately six-months, if not more, to come into compliance, which is about the same as the six-month phase-in period recently adopted by the Commission for the monitoring rule, which similarly required covered providers to “evaluate and renegotiate contracts with intermediate providers.” The prohibition on use of unregistered intermediate providers will therefore go into effect 90 days after the date by which intermediate providers must register with the Commission. Once our registry rules are approved by OMB, intermediate providers will have 30 days to register with the Commission. Our rules regarding covered provider use of registered intermediate providers will take effect 90 days after the expiration of this 30-day initial registration period.

    E. Denial of USTelecom Petition for Stay

    40. USTelecom filed a petition to stay aspects of the April 17, 2018 Second RCC Order, specifically the covered provider monitoring requirements adopted in the Second RCC Order, pending completion of the rulemaking process to implement the RCC Act. USTelecom argues that absent a stay, covered providers will “unnecessarily be forced to incur the cost of renegotiating their vendor contracts multiple times, or be placed in a position where they risk . . . noncompliance with [section] 64.2111.” NTCA filed an opposition to the Petition for Stay, while ITTA filed comments in support. For the reasons discussed below, we find that USTelecom has failed to meet its burden for a grant of a stay and accordingly deny its petition.

    41. To qualify for the extraordinary remedy of a stay, a petitioner must show that: (1) It is likely to prevail on the merits; (2) it will suffer irreparable harm absent the grant of preliminary relief; (3) other interested parties will not be harmed if the stay is granted; and (4) the public interest would favor grant of the stay. The Commission's consideration of each factor is weighed against the others, and no single factor is dispositive. USTelecom has not introduced arguments into the record regarding the first factor, therefore we do not consider it here. Because we find that USTelecom has not shown that any of the remaining three factors weigh in favor of a stay, we conclude that USTelecom has failed to meet the test for this extraordinary remedy.

    1. USTelecom Has Failed To Demonstrate Irreparable Injury

    42. We find that USTelecom's claims that it “will be irreparably injured absent grant of the requested stay” are unsupported by the record. USTelecom rests its claims regarding irreparable injury on the theory that covered providers “will unnecessarily be forced to incur the cost of renegotiating their vendor contracts multiple times” if section 64.2111 becomes effective before we have established registry and service quality standards for intermediate providers pursuant to of the RCC Act.

    43. The record reflects disagreement as to whether multiple rounds of contractual negotiations will be required as a result of the monitoring rule coming into effect prior to full implementation of the RCC Act. ITTA argues that covered provider contracts with intermediate providers “cannot be renegotiated or amended until all parties in the call chain have an understanding of the service quality standards to which intermediate providers will be subject.” As NTCA points out, however, there are steps that covered providers can take in negotiating contracts to implement the monitoring requirement that could help to mitigate the need for re-negotiation and its attendant costs, including, for example, incorporating an express “change of law” provision to import whatever standards may thereafter be adopted by the Commission for intermediate providers.

    44. Even assuming covered providers will in fact be required to undergo separate rounds of contractual negotiations with intermediate providers absent a stay, as USTelecom asserts, USTelecom has failed to meet the high bar required to demonstrate irreparable injury. USTelecom makes no attempt to quantify the costs associated with multiple rounds of contractual negotiations; it merely offers unsupported assertions that such an outcome would be “highly disruptive and burdensome.” As a form of equitable relief, a stay generally is granted only where petitioners show that remedies at law—for example, the award of monetary damages—are insufficient. For this reason, according to well-established judicial precedent, “economic loss does not, in and of itself, constitute irreparable harm,” and “[m]ere injuries, however substantial, in terms of money, time and energy necessarily expended in the absence of a stay are not enough.” Recoverable monetary loss may constitute an irreparable injury in narrow circumstances where “the loss threatens the very existence of the movant's business;” however, USTelecom makes no assertions to this effect.

    45. Moreover, to justify a stay of the Commission's Second RCC Order, the alleged injury “must be both certain and great; it must be actual and not theoretical.” A stay is warranted only if “[t]he injury complained of is of such imminence that there is a clear and present need for equitable relief to prevent irreparable harm.” USTelecom asserts that absent a stay, covered providers will be forced to “incur the cost of renegotiating their vendor contracts multiple times,” and that these costs, “which need not be incurred, could potentially result in higher rates for end users.” We find that the speculative potential incurrence of an unquantified amount of costs to renegotiate contracts does not rise to the level of a “certain and great” injury. For these reasons, we find that USTelecom has failed to demonstrate irreparable injury.

    2. USTelecom Has Failed To Demonstrate That a Stay Is in the Public Interest and Will Not Harm Other Parties

    46. We also find that USTelecom has failed to demonstrate that granting a stay is in the public interest and will not harm other parties to the proceeding. Indeed, we find that staying the effectiveness of section 64.2111 would be contrary to the public interest and would threaten harm to consumers by needlessly undermining the effectiveness of our rural call completion rules.

    47. We disagree with USTelecom's suggestion that any compliance costs associated with prompt enforcement of our covered provider monitoring rule are “unnecessary in light of the fact that rural call completion complaints continue to fall.” Even assuming this were correct, rural call completion issues continue to have significant ramifications for affected consumers, as we have repeatedly observed. Although USTelecom cites the Second RCC Order in support of this assertion, it misconstrues our findings. As the Second RCC Order observes, “[t]rends in [rural call completion] complaints are mixed.” While carrier complaints have indeed fallen in the last several years, consumer complaints have increased, on a yearly basis, for much of this time. Further, we note that rural carrier complaints filed with the Commission have increased significantly over this time last year. Call completion problems in rural areas “have serious repercussions, imposing needless economic and personal costs, and potentially threatening public safety in local communities.” In enacting the RCC Act, Congress and the President have clearly signaled that they agree with this assessment. For these reasons, solving rural call completion issues has been, and remains, a pressing concern for the Commission.

    48. Despite its claims that “the public interest strongly favors a stay of [section 64.2111],” USTelecom offers little evidence in support of its argument. USTelecom rests its claims that a stay would not harm other parties, including consumers, on the basis that the cost of multiple rounds of contract renegotiation “could potentially result in higher rates for end users.” As NTCA observes, however, both the existence of these costs, and their ultimate impact on consumers in the form of higher prices, are speculative. As noted above, USTelecom fails to attempt to quantify these costs.

    49. We find that the significant public interest benefits resulting from effective rural call completion rules outweigh the hypothetical financial harms suggested by USTelecom. As NTCA observes, the public has a clear interest in rules that address rural call completion issues. Rural carriers, too, have a substantial interest in prompt enforcement of our rules, as their business interests are harmed when calls initiated elsewhere fail to reach their intended destination. The monitoring rule is a critical component of our rural call completion regulatory regime. In adopting the Second RCC Order, we considered, but declined to adopt, a longer phase-in period for section 64.2111, finding that “the monitoring requirement addresses the ongoing call completion problems faced by rural Americans, and delay only postpones when rural Americans will see the fruit of this solution.” The monitoring rule is an obligation of covered providers to ensure that calls they initiate to rural areas are in fact completed. This obligation complements, but exists independently of, the registry and service quality obligations contained in the RCC Act and any rules the Commission adopts to implement that Act. For the foregoing reasons, we deny USTelecom's request for a stay of section 64.2111 pending full implementation of the RCC Act.

    II. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    50. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the Third RCC FNRPM for the Rural Call Completion proceeding. The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the Third RCC FNRPM, including comment on the IRFA. The Commission received no comments on the IRFA. Because the Commission amends its rules in this Order, the Commission has included this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA). This present FRFA conforms to the RFA.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Rules

    51. In this Order, we revise our rules to better address ongoing problems in the completion of long-distance telephone calls to rural areas. Specifically, we require intermediate providers to register in a publicly available intermediate provider registry, maintained by the Commission. We also require that covered providers not use unregistered providers to carry, route, or otherwise transmit covered voice communications, except in cases of force majeure. The requirements we adopt today implement the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017 (RCC Act). The RCC Act directs us to (1) promulgate registration requirements for intermediate providers within 180 days of enactment, and create a registry for such providers on our website; and (2) establish service quality standards for intermediate providers within one year of enactment.

    52. In implementing the RCC Act, first, we adopt a new rule requiring “intermediate providers” to provide and update as needed the following information on a publicly available online registry maintained by the Commission: (1) The intermediate provider's business name(s) and primary address; (2) the name(s), telephone number(s), email address(es), and business address(es) of the intermediate provider's regulatory contact and/or designated agent for service of process; (3) all business names that the intermediate provider has used in the past; (4) the state(s) in which the intermediate provider provides service; (5) the name, title, business address, telephone number, and email address of at least one person as well as the department within the company responsible for addressing rural call completion issues a telephone number and email address for the express purpose of receiving and responding promptly to any rural call completion issues, and; (6) the name(s), business address, and business telephone number(s) for an executive leadership contact, such as the chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or owner(s) of the intermediate provider, or persons performing an equivalent function, who directs or manages the entity.

    53. This Order also requires intermediate providers to register in our publicly available intermediate provider registry within 30 days after a Public Notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the final rules establishing the registry; prohibits covered providers from using any unregistered intermediate providers in the path of a given call; and requires covered providers to be responsible for knowing or obtaining knowledge of the identity of all intermediate providers in a call path. To ease burdens covered providers may experience during force majeure, covered providers are exempted from the prohibition on unregistered providers during such events, for an initial period of up to 180 days. Covered providers may seek an extension of this exemption period upon submission of a status report on the covered provider's attempts to comply with our rules, and a statement detailing how the covered provider intends to ensure that calls are completed notwithstanding the unavailability of registered intermediate providers.

    54. We conclude these rules and procedures are necessary to inject transparency and accountability into the call routing system, “to ensure the integrity of voice communications and to prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of such communications.”

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

    55. The Commission did not receive comments specifically addressing the rules and policies proposed in the IRFA.

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

    56. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to this proceeding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    62. Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 11 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. The Commission therefore estimates that most providers of local exchange carrier service are small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted.

    63. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (incumbent LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 11 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 3,117 firms operated in that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted. One thousand three hundred and seven (1,307) Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers. Of this total, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees.

    64. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (competitive LECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The appropriate NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 11 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicate that 3,117 firms operated during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Based on this data, the Commission concludes that the majority of Competitive LECs, CAPs, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities. According to Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or competitive access provider services. Of these 1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers. Of this total, 70 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities that may be affected by the adopted rules.

    65. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition for Interexchange Carriers. The closest NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 11 of this FRFA. The applicable size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of interexchange services. Of this total, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 42 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted.

    66. Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. The Telecommunications Resellers industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Establishments in this industry resell telecommunications; they do not operate transmission facilities and infrastructure. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that 1,341 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, all operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these prepaid calling card providers can be considered small entities.

    67. Toll Resellers. The Commission has not developed a definition for Toll Resellers. The closest NAICS Code Category is Telecommunications Resellers. The Telecommunications Resellers industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Establishments in this industry resell telecommunications; they do not operate transmission facilities and infrastructure. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that 1,341 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,341 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these resellers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 881 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of toll resale services. Of this total, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll resellers are small entities.

    68. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition for small businesses specifically applicable to Other Toll Carriers. This category includes toll carriers that do not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service carriers, or toll resellers. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined above. Under the applicable SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of Other Toll Carriers can be considered small. According to internally developed Commission data, 284 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage. Of these, an estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most Other Toll Carriers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Third RCC FNRPM.

    69. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. The SBA has developed a definition for small businesses within the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that SBA definition, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to the Commission's Form 499 Filer Database, 500 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards. The Commission does not have data regarding how many of these 500 companies have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are 500 or fewer prepaid calling card providers that may be affected by the rules.

    70. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, Census data for 2012 show that there were 967 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 955 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities. Similarly, according to internally developed Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) services. Of this total, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half of these firms can be considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    71. Wireless Communications Services. This service can be used for fixed, mobile, radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite uses. The Commission defined “small business” for the wireless communications services (WCS) auction as an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years, and a “very small business” as an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three preceding years. The SBA has approved these definitions.

    72. Wireless Telephony. Wireless telephony includes cellular, personal communications services, and specialized mobile radio telephony carriers. As noted, the SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Under the SBA small business size standard, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in wireless telephony. Of these, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees. Therefore, a little less than one third of these entities can be considered small.

    73. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature (e.g. limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers. The SBA has established a size standard for this industry stating that a business in this industry is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. The 2012 Economic Census indicates that 367 firms were operational for that entire year. Of this total, 357 operated with less than 1,000 employees. Accordingly we conclude that a substantial majority of firms in this industry are small under the applicable SBA size standard.

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

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

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

    E. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    77. In this Order, we revise our rules to better address ongoing problems in the completion of long-distance telephone calls to rural areas; namely, providing insight into the identity of intermediate providers in the voice call market, and accountability to both covered providers and the Commission. In so doing, we require intermediate providers to furnish information to a publicly available online registry maintained by the Commission that allows for better transparency and accountability these entities in the voice call routing system.

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

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

    79. The Order adopts reforms that apply across the voice calling system, including small entities. As described in the Order, in adopting these reforms, we sought comment on the impact of our rule changes on all size providers, and considered significant alternatives to provide insight into the identity of intermediate providers in the voice call market, and establish accountability to covered providers and the Commission.

    80. First, we apply our registration requirement to all intermediate providers, as we define them in this Third Report and Order, but we clarify that this requirement does not apply to entities incidentally carrying, routing, or transmitting voice traffic. This clarification will reduce the burden on all entities, including small providers, which do not have specific business arrangements to carry traffic, but which transmission of voice traffic is merely incident to operation. Because this measure involves furnishing presently existing information on intermediate provider company leadership, rural call completion technical point of contact, contact information thereof, and places of operation, we find little if no additional burden to providers in consolidating such information and furnishing this information to the Commission via an online registry. As such we find that this is a low-cost measure to facilitate industry collaboration to address call completion issues, and increase accountability and transparency of intermediate providers in the voice call market.

    81. In addition, we revised our proposal to require intermediate provider registry changes within one week of the change, to a time period of ten business days, based upon record concerns that the proposed time period was burdensome.

    82. Finally, we adopted an exception to our prohibition on use of unregistered intermediate providers by covered providers transmitting covered voice communications in the case of force majeure, to minimize burdens covered providers may experience in complying with our rules during force majeure, and accordingly provide for an initial exemption period of up to 180 days, which may be extended upon covered provider request.

    G. Report to Congress

    83. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Report and Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.

    III. Procedural Matters A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    84. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, see 5 U.S.C. 604, the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies and rules, as proposed, addressed in this Third Report and Order. The FRFA is set forth above. The Commission will send a copy of this Third Report and Order, including the FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    86. In this present document, we require intermediate providers to register in our publicly available intermediate provider registry within 30 days after a Public Notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the final rules establishing the registry. We have assessed the effects of this rule and find that any burden on small businesses will be minimal because this is a low-cost measure seeking readily available information that will improve transparency and accountability in the call routing system.

    C. Congressional Review Act

    87. The Commission will send a copy of this Third Report and Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    D. Contact Person

    88. For further information about this proceeding, please contact Zach Ross, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Room 5-C211, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554, at (202) 418-1033 or [email protected]

    IV. Ordering Clauses

    89. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 201(b), 202(a), 217, and 262 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 201(b), 202(a), 217, and 262, this Third Report and Order and Order is adopted.

    90. It is further ordered that Part 64 of the Commission's rules are amended as set forth in Appendix A.

    91. It is further ordered that, pursuant to sections 1.4(b)(1) and 1.103(a) of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1), 1.103(a), this Third Report and Order shall be effective 30 days after publication of a summary in the Federal Register, except for the addition of section 64.2115 to the Commission's rules, which will become effective 30 days after the announcement in the Federal Register of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval and an effective date of the rules.

    92. It is further ordered that pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 201(b), 202(a), 217, 218, 220(a), 251(a), and 262 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 201(b), 202(a), 217, 218, 220(a), 251(a), and 262, USTelecom's Petition for Stay filed on June 11, 2018 in WC Docket No. 13-39 is denied.

    93. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of this Third Report and Order to Congress and to the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

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

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64

    Communications common carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications, Telephone.

    Federal Communications Commission. Katura Jackson, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons set forth above, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 64 as follows:

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

    47 U.S.C. 154, 202, 225, 251(e), 254(k), 262, 403(b)(2)(B), (c), 616, 620, Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 202, 217, 218, 220, 222, 225, 226, 227, 228, 251(a), 251(e), 254(k), 262 616, 620, and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 64.2101 by adding a definition of “covered voice communication” in alphabetical order and revising the definition of “intermediate provider” to read as follows:
    § 64.2101 Definitions.

    Covered voice communication. The term “covered voice communication” means a voice communication (including any related signaling information) that is generated—

    (1) From the placement of a call from a connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource or a call placed to a connection using such a numbering resource; and

    (2) Through any service provided by a covered provider.

    Intermediate provider. The term “intermediate provider” means any entity that—

    (1) Enters into a business arrangement with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for the specific purpose of carrying, routing, or transmitting voice traffic that is generated from the placement of a call placed—

    (i) From an end user connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource; or

    (ii) To an end user connection using such a numbering resource; and

    (2) Does not itself, either directly or in conjunction with an affiliate, serve as a covered provider in the context of originating or terminating a given call.

    3. Add § 64.2115 to subpart V to read as follows:
    § 64.2115 Registration of Intermediate Providers.

    (a) Registration. An intermediate provider that offers or holds itself out as offering the capability to transmit covered voice communications from one destination to another and that charges any rate to any other entity (including an affiliated entity) for the transmission shall register with the Commission in accordance with this section. The intermediate provider shall provide the following information in its registration:

    (1) The intermediate provider's business name(s) and primary address;

    (2) The name(s), telephone number(s), email address(es), and business address(es) of the intermediate provider's regulatory contact and/or designated agent for service of process;

    (3) All business names that the intermediate provider has used in the past;

    (4) The state(s) in which the intermediate provider provides service;

    (5) The name, title, business address, telephone number, and email address of at least one person as well as the department within the company responsible for addressing rural call completion issues, and;

    (6) The name(s), business address, and business telephone number(s) for an executive leadership contact, such as the chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or owner(s) of the intermediate provider, or persons performing an equivalent function, who directs or manages the entity.

    (b) Submission of registration. An intermediate provider that is subject to the registration requirement in paragraph (a) of this section shall submit the information described therein to the intermediate provider registry on the Commission's website. The registration shall be made under penalty of perjury.

    (c) Changes in information. An intermediate provider must update its submission to the intermediate provider registry on the Commission's website within 10 business days of any change to the information it must provide pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.

    4. Add § 64.2117 to subpart V to read as follows:
    § 64.2117 Use of Registered Intermediate Providers.

    (a) Prohibition on use of unregistered intermediate providers. A covered provider shall not use an intermediate provider to carry, route, or transmit covered voice communications unless such intermediate provider is registered pursuant to section 64.2115 of this subpart.

    (b) Force majeure exemption. (1) If, due to a force majeure for which a covered provider has instituted a disaster recovery plan, there are no registered intermediate providers available to carry, route, or transmit covered voice communications, a covered provider need not comply with paragraph (a) of this section for a period of up to 180 days with respect to those covered voice communications. A covered provider shall submit to the Commission a certification, signed by a corporate officer or official with authority to bind the corporation, and knowledge of the details of the covered provider's inability to comply with our rules, explaining the circumstances justifying an exemption under this section as soon as practicable.

    (2) A covered provider seeking an extension of the exemption described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must submit a request for an extension of the exemption period to the Commission. Such an extension request shall, at minimum, include a status report on the covered provider's attempts to comply with paragraph (a) of this section; and a statement detailing how the covered provider intends to ensure that calls are completed notwithstanding the unavailability of registered intermediate providers.

    (3) For purposes of this section, “force majeure” means a highly disruptive event beyond the control of the covered provider, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

    (4) For purposes of this section, “disaster recovery plan” means a disaster response plan developed by the covered provider for the purpose of responding to a force majeure event.

    [FR Doc. 2018-20239 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    83 182 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 301 [Docket No. APHIS-2017-0056] RIN 0579-AE42 Removal of Emerald Ash Borer Domestic Quarantine Regulations AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are proposing to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for the plant pest emerald ash borer. This action would discontinue the domestic regulatory component of the emerald ash borer program as a means to more effectively direct available resources toward management and containment of the pest. Funding previously allocated to the implementation and enforcement of these domestic quarantine regulations would instead be directed to a nonregulatory option of research into, and deployment of, biological control agents for emerald ash borer, which would serve as the primary tool to mitigate and control the pest.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0056.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0056, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0056 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Robyn Rose, National Policy Manager, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 26, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2283; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis) is a destructive wood-boring pest of ash (Fraxinus spp.) native to China and other areas of East Asia. First discovered in the United States in southeast Michigan in 2002, EAB is well-suited for climatic conditions in the continental United States and is able to attack and kill healthy trees in both natural and urban environments. As a result, EAB infestations have been detected in 31 States and the District of Columbia, with additional infestations that have not yet been detected likely. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) instituted a domestic quarantine program for EAB that has been in place since 2003.

    The regulations in “Subpart—Emerald Ash Borer” (7 CFR 301.53-1 through 301.53-9, referred to below as the regulations) list quarantined areas that contain or are suspected to contain EAB, and identify, among other things, regulated articles and the conditions governing the interstate movement of such regulated articles from quarantined areas in order to prevent the spread of EAB more broadly within the United States. Since the implementation of the domestic quarantine program, several factors have adversely affected its overall effectiveness in managing the spread of EAB.

    First, during the Midwestern housing boom that began in the 1990s, ash trees often were planted in new housing developments because of their hardiness and general resistance to drought conditions; however, developers frequently sourced these trees from nurseries that were later determined to be heavily infested with EAB and that were subsequently put under quarantine. It was several years after the issuance of domestic quarantine regulations before surveys identified many long-standing infestations of EAB in residential areas, leading to a substantial increase in the number of counties under quarantine.

    Second, the regulations cannot preclude the spread of EAB throughout its geographical range, which has expanded over time. In recent years, this has led to a significant number of regulatory actions to place additional counties under quarantine. In fiscal year (FY) 2016 alone, APHIS issued 16 Federal Orders designating additional quarantined areas for EAB, and many of these designated multiple quarantined areas.

    In light of these difficulties, we propose to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for EAB. Funding previously allocated to the implementation and enforcement of the regulations would instead be directed toward nonregulatory efforts involving research into, and release of, biological control (biocontrol) agents. Emphasis in the EAB program on the development and deployment of biocontrol agents in this way provides a promising approach to mitigate and control infestations by focusing directly on the pest and, ultimately, its ability to spread.

    The ongoing monitoring of current EAB biocontrol measures shows encouraging results in protecting ash regrowth in areas that had been previously affected by EAB. For example, a biocontrol agent released in urban quarantined areas has shown significant population growth and has spread throughout urban communities, demonstrating preliminary evidence of the efficacy of biocontrol for EAB in areas that have experienced significant tree loss due to infestation. Reallocating funding from regulatory to nonregulatory control measures also would facilitate achievement of the Agency goal to release and establish biocontrol agents in every known EAB-infested county where the agent populations can be sustained.

    Accordingly, we are proposing to remove the EAB domestic quarantine regulations to more effectively direct available resources toward management and containment of the pest.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13771 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This proposed rule, if finalized as proposed, is expected to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this proposed rule can be found in the rule's economic analysis.

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, which is summarized below, regarding the economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities. Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov website (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).

    Based on the information available to APHIS, there is no reason to conclude that adoption of this proposed rule would result in any significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. However, we do not currently have all of the data necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the effects of this proposed rule on small entities. Therefore, we are inviting comments on potential effects. In particular, we are interested in determining the number and kind of small entities that may incur benefits or costs from the implementation of this proposed rule.

    APHIS is proposing to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for EAB. This action would discontinue the domestic regulatory component of the EAB program. Funding allocated to the implementation and enforcement of these quarantine regulations would instead be directed to a nonregulatory option of research and deployment of biocontrol agents for EAB. Biocontrol would be the primary tool used to control the pest and mitigate losses.

    There are currently more than 800 active EAB compliance agreements, covering establishments that include sawmills, logging/lumber producers, firewood producers, and pallet manufacturers. The purpose of the compliance agreements is to ensure observance of the applicable requirements for handling regulated articles. Establishments involved in processing, wholesaling, retailing, shipping, carrying, or other similar actions on regulated articles require a compliance agreement to move regulated articles out of a Federal quarantine area.

    Under this proposal, establishments operating under EAB compliance agreements would no longer incur costs of complying with Federal EAB quarantine regulations, although States could still impose restrictions. Businesses would forgo the paperwork and recordkeeping costs of managing Federal compliance agreements. However, some businesses may still bear treatment costs, if treatment is for purposes besides prevention of EAB dissemination. Costs avoided under the proposed rule would depend on the type of treatment and whether treatment would still occur for purposes other than those related to the Federal EAB regulatory restrictions on interstate movement.

    Articles currently regulated for EAB include hardwood firewood, chips, mulch, ash nursery stock, green lumber, logs, and wood packaging material (WPM) containing ash. Articles can be treated by bark removal, kiln sterilization, heat treatment, chipping, composting, or fumigation, depending on the product.

    For affected industries, we can estimate the cost savings if treatment were to cease entirely. Currently, there are 166 active EAB compliance agreements where sawmills and logging/lumber establishments have identified kiln sterilization as a method of treatment. If all of these producers stop heat treating ash lumber or logs as a result of this rule, the total cost savings for producers could be between about $920,000 and $1.6 million annually. There are 103 active EAB compliance agreements where heat treatment of firewood is identified as a treatment. If all of these firewood producers stop heat treating firewood as a result of this rule, the total cost savings for producers could be between about $99,400 and $746,000 annually.

    There are 70 active EAB compliance agreements where heat treatment is identified as the pallet treatment. If all of these producers are producing ash pallets and stop heat treating as a result of this rule, the total cost savings for producers could be between about $8.8 million and $13.2 million annually. If all 349 establishments with compliance agreements where debarking is identified as a treatment stop their secondary sorting and additional bark removal in the absence of EAB regulations, the total annual labor cost savings for producers could be about $1.7 million annually. If all 397 establishments with compliance agreements where chipping or grinding is identified as a treatment stop re-grinding regulated materials in the absence of EAB regulations, the total annual cost savings for producers could be about $10.6 million annually. The annual cost savings for these various entities could total between about $9.8 million and $27.8 million annually.

    Since no effective quarantine treatments are available for ash nursery stock, there are no compliance agreements issued for interstate movement of that regulated article. In 2014, there were 316 establishments selling ash trees, 232 with wholesale sales, operating in States that are at least partially quarantined for EAB. Sales volumes for at least some of these operations could increase if their sales are constrained because of the Federal quarantine.

    Internationally, deregulation of EAB may affect exports of ash to Norway and Canada, the two countries that have import restrictions with respect to EAB host material. Norway uses pest-free areas in import determinations. With removal of the domestic quarantine regulations, it is unlikely that Norway would recognize any area in the United States as EAB free. All exports of ash logs and lumber to Norway would likely be subject to debarking and additional material removal requirements. From 2013 through 2017, exports to Norway represented less than one-tenth of 1 percent of U.S. ash exports. We estimate that labor costs for overseeing the debarking on these exports would total less than $500.

    The United States also exports to Canada products such as hardwood firewood, ash chips and mulch, ash nursery stock, ash lumber and logs, and WPM with an ash component from areas not now quarantined. New Canadian restrictions would likely depend on the product and its destination within Canada. From 2013 through 2017, Canada received about 3 percent of U.S. ash lumber exports, and about 9 percent of U.S ash log exports. Of about 72,000 phytosanitary certificates (PCs) issued from January 2012 through August 2017 for propagative materials exported to Canada, a little more than 1 percent was specifically for ash products. Although APHIS does not have sufficient data to fully evaluate the costs of additional mitigations on all ash materials and welcomes public comment to help determine these costs, we estimate that additional heat treatment costs and labor costs for overseeing debarking of ash lumber and logs exported to Canada would range from about $54,000 to $90,700.

    Taking into consideration the expected cost savings shown in table A of the full analysis and these estimated costs of exporting ash to Norway and Canada following deregulation, and in accordance with guidance on complying with E.O. 13771, the single primary estimate of the cost savings of this proposed rule is $18.8 million, the mid-point estimate annualized in perpetuity using a 7 percent discount rate.

    EAB is now found in 31 States and the District of Columbia and it is likely that there are infestations that have not yet been detected. Newly identified infestations are estimated to be 4 to 5 years or more in age. Known infestations cover about 27 percent of the native ash range within the conterminous United States.

    It is probable that without the EAB program, human-assisted dispersal of EAB would have extended to areas that are not yet infested, that is, regulatory activities have slowed the spread of EAB, delaying losses. However, the volume of regulatory activities needed to effectively contain EAB depends on the size of the quarantined area.

    Any delay in EAB spread attributable to the quarantine regulations would end with the proposed rule. EAB program emphasis and resources would turn to the development and release of biocontrol agents to control infestations and mitigate losses. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of EAB biocontrol methods are showing promising results in protecting ash regrowth in areas previously affected by EAB. For example, a biocontrol agent released in urban quarantined areas has spread significantly throughout these communities. Reallocation of program funds to biocontrol would support the goal of establishing biocontrol agents in every EAB-infested county where control agent populations can be sustained. Still, we are unable to evaluate the change in EAB risk, by using biocontrol in place of regulatory quarantines, for operations not yet affected by this pest. Public outreach activities outside the EAB regulatory program would continue, such as the “Don't move firewood” campaign which focuses on a significant pathway for EAB and other forest pests.

    In sum, elimination of compliance requirements under the proposed rule would yield cost savings for affected entities within EAB quarantined areas. Moreover, sales volumes for at least some of these operations could increase if their sales have been constrained because of the Federal quarantine. Costs avoided would depend on the type of treatment and whether treatment would still occur for non-quarantine purposes. Costs ultimately borne also would depend on whether States decide to continue to enforce their own EAB quarantine programs. We anticipate States will continue to impose movement restrictions on firewood and the regulatory requirements vary from State to State. Strategies to address firewood as a pathway for forest pests are being developed. Internationally, the proposed rule may affect exports of ash products to Norway and Canada. Longer term, the impact of the proposed rule on ash populations in natural and urban environments within and outside currently quarantined areas—and on businesses that grow, use, or process ash—is indeterminate.

    Executive Order 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 2 CFR chapter IV.)

    Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) State and local laws and regulations will not be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

    Executive Order 13175

    This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes.

    APHIS has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. In January 2018, APHIS State Plant Health Directors sent a letter to the leaders of all federally recognized Tribes in their States informing them of the agency's intent to publish a proposed rule to remove the EAB domestic quarantine and inviting tribal members to provide comments. In May 2018, consultations were held with the four federally recognized Tribes in Maine; all four Tribes expressed concern with the proposed action and requested APHIS delay deregulating the EAB until more work can be done to lessen the impact of the pest on native ash in the State. We will consider these requests, as well as any additional information received during the comment period for this proposed rule, as we determine whether or how to proceed with this rulemaking. If these or other Tribes request new or additional consultation, APHIS will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no reporting, recordkeeping, or third party disclosure requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

    Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 301 as follows:

    PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Section 301.75-15 issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Public Law 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

    Subpart—Emerald Ash Borer [Removed] 2. Subpart—Emerald Ash Borer, consisting of §§ 301.53-1 through 301.53-9, is removed. Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of September 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20296 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Part 30 [Docket ID OCC-2018-0028] RIN 1557-AE51 OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches; Technical Amendments AGENCY:

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; revised guidelines.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is proposing to amend its enforceable guidelines relating to recovery planning standards for insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches (Guidelines) to increase the average total consolidated assets threshold for applying the Guidelines from $50 billion to $250 billion. In addition, the proposed change to the Guidelines would decrease from 18 months to 12 months the time within which a bank should comply with the Guidelines after the bank becomes subject to them. Finally, the proposal would make technical amendments to remove outdated compliance dates.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments to the OCC by any of the methods set forth below. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or email, if possible. Please use the title “OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches” to facilitate the organization and distribution of the comments. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal—“Regulations.gov”: Go to www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID OCC-2018-0028” in the Search Box and click “Search.” Click on “Comment Now” to submit public comments.

    • Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for submitting public comments.

    Email: [email protected]

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

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

    Fax: (571) 465-4326.

    Instructions: You must include “OCC” as the agency name and “Docket ID OCC-2018-0028” in your comment. In general, the OCC will enter all comments received into the docket and publish the comments on the Regulations.gov website without change, including any business or personal information that you provide such as name and address information, email addresses, or phone numbers. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not include any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

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

    Viewing Comments Electronically: Go to www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID OCC-2018-0028” in the Search box and click “Search.” Click on “Open Docket Folder” on the right side of the screen. Comments and supporting materials can be viewed and filtered by clicking on “View all documents and comments in this docket” and then using the filtering tools on the left side of the screen.

    • Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov. The docket may be viewed after the close of the comment period in the same manner as during the comment period.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lori Bittner, Large Bank Supervision—Resolution and Recovery, (202) 649-6210; Andra Shuster, Senior Counsel or Rima Kundnani, Attorney, Chief Counsel's Office, (202) 649-5490; or, for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY, (202) 649-5597, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20219.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The 2008 financial crisis provided valuable lessons about the need for financial institutions to have strong risk governance frameworks, including plans for how to respond to and recover from the financial effects of severe stress. This was particularly true for larger, more complex banks in light of systemic risks and contagion effects that they pose. In response to these lessons, on September 19, 2016, the OCC published the Guidelines establishing minimum standards for recovery planning by insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks (banks) with average total consolidated assets 1 equal to or greater than $50 billion (covered banks).2 The Guidelines state that a recovery plan should identify (1) quantitative or qualitative indicators of the risk or existence of severe stress that reflect a covered bank's particular vulnerabilities and (2) a wide range of credible options that a covered bank could undertake in response to the stress to restore its financial strength and viability.

    1 Average total consolidated assets is defined in the Guidelines and means the average total consolidated assets of the bank or covered bank as reported on the bank's or covered bank's Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for the four most recent consecutive quarters. See 12 CFR 30, Appendix E, paragraph I.E.1.

    2 81 FR 66791 (Sep. 29, 2016). The Guidelines were issued pursuant to section 39 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1831p-1, which authorizes the OCC to prescribe enforceable safety and soundness standards.

    Under the Guidelines, a recovery plan should also address: (1) Procedures for escalating decision-making to senior management or the board of directors, (2) management reports, and (3) communication procedures. In addition, the Guidelines explain how a bank should calculate its average total consolidated assets and reserve the OCC's authority to apply the Guidelines to a bank below the $50 billion threshold if the agency determines a bank is highly complex or otherwise presents a heightened risk. Finally, the Guidelines set out phased-in compliance dates based on bank size.

    II. Proposed Changes

    Threshold. The OCC noted in the Supplementary Information section of the final Guidelines that large, complex institutions should undertake recovery planning to be able to respond quickly to and recover from the financial effects of severe stress on the institution. Based on its experience to date in reviewing recovery plans, the OCC believes that it is appropriate to raise the threshold for the Guidelines to focus on those institutions that present greater systemic risk to the banking system. These larger, more complex, and potentially more interconnected banks present the types of risks that could benefit most from having the types of governance and planning processes that identify and assist in responding to significant stress events.

    In addition, at the time the Guidelines were published, the $50 billion recovery planning threshold was consistent with the scope of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System regulations 3 that require systemically important financial institutions to prepare resolution plans under section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.4 On May 24, 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Act) was enacted to promote economic growth, provide tailored economic relief, and enhance consumer protections.5 Section 401 of the Act raises from $50 billion to $250 billion the section 165 resolution planning threshold.

    3See 12 CFR 381.2(f) and 243.2(f), respectively. See also 12 CFR 360.10.

    4 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (July 21, 2010).

    5 Public Law 115-174, 132 Stat. 1296 (May 24, 2018).

    Accordingly, the proposal would increase from $50 billion to $250 billion the average total consolidated assets threshold at which the Guidelines apply to covered banks. This change would reduce the number of covered banks to which the Guidelines apply from 25 to 8, based on the most recent data available. It would provide necessary and appropriate burden relief to the affected banks while retaining the requirements for the largest, most complex institutions. Furthermore, the proposed increased threshold is consistent with section 401 of the Act's increase in the section 165 resolution planning threshold applicable to systemically important bank holding companies.

    Compliance Date. Under the current Guidelines, a bank with less than $50 billion in average total consolidated assets that subsequently becomes a covered bank is required to comply with the Guidelines within 18 months. The OCC proposes to amend this provision so that a bank that has less than $250 billion in average total consolidated assets on the effective date of a final rule and subsequently becomes a covered bank should comply with the Guidelines within 12 months. Based upon supervisory experience, the OCC has observed that 12 months is a sufficient period of time for any bank that becomes a covered bank to comply with the Guidelines. Finally, the OCC proposes technical amendments to remove the compliance dates listed in the current Guidelines, as the dates have all passed.

    Effective Date

    The proposed Guidelines would have an effective date of October 19, 2018. The OCC requests comment on the proposed effective date.

    Comment Invitation

    The OCC invites comment on all aspects of the proposed revisions to the Guidelines.

    Regulatory Analysis Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In general, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that in connection with a rulemaking, an agency prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the impact of the rule on small entities. Under section 605(b) of the RFA, this analysis is not required if an agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and publishes its certification and a brief explanatory statement in the Federal Register along with its rule.

    As part of its analysis, the OCC considers whether the proposed rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, pursuant to the RFA. The OCC currently supervises approximately 886 small entities. Because the proposed rule will generally have no impact on banks with less than $50 billion in total consolidated assets, no OCC-supervised small entities will be affected. Therefore, the proposed rule, if implemented, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This notice of proposed rulemaking includes changes to an approved collection of information pursuant to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). In accordance with PRA, the OCC may not conduct or sponsor, and an organization is not required to respond to, an information collection unless the information collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OCC submitted the information collections contained in the notice of proposed rulemaking to OMB for review and approval, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506 and section 1320.11 of the OMB implementing regulations (5 CFR part 1320).

    The Guidelines found in 12 CFR part 30, appendix E, sections II.B., II.C., and III contain information collection requirements previously approved by OMB. Section II.B. specifies the elements of the recovery plan, including an overview of the covered bank; triggers; options for recovery; impact assessments; escalation procedures; management reports; and communication procedures. Section II.C. addresses the relationship of the plan to other covered bank processes and coordination with other plans, including the processes and plans of its bank holding company. Section III outlines management's and the board's responsibilities. The threshold triggering these requirements is being changed under this notice of proposed rulemaking, resulting in a reduction in the number of respondents under this collection.

    The following revised information collection was submitted to OMB for review.

    Title: OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches.

    OMB Control No.: 1557-0333.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations.

    Burden Estimates:

    Total Number of Respondents: 8 National Banks.

    Total Burden per Respondent: 7,543 hours.

    Total Burden for Collection: 60,344 hours.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the OCC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the OCC's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the cost of compliance; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The OCC analyzed the proposed rule under the factors set forth in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1532). Under this analysis, the OCC considered whether the proposed rule includes a Federal mandate 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 in any one year (adjusted for inflation). The OCC has determined that the proposed rule does not impose new mandates. Therefore, we conclude that the proposed rule will not result in an expenditure of $100 million or more annually by state, local, and tribal governments, or by the private sector.

    Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires the OCC to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The OCC invites comment on how to make this proposed rule easier to understand.

    For example:

    • Has the OCC organized the material to inform your needs? If not, how could the OCC present the proposed rule more clearly?

    • Are the requirements in the proposed rule clearly stated? If not, how could the proposal be more clearly stated?

    • Does the proposed regulation contain technical language or jargon that is not clear? If so, which language requires clarification?

    • Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the proposed regulation easier to understand? If so, what changes would achieve that?

    • Is this section format adequate? If not, which of the sections should be changed and how?

    • What other changes can the OCC incorporate to make the proposed regulation easier to understand?

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 30

    Banks, Banking, Consumer protection, National banks, Privacy, Safety and soundness, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Chapter I Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 93a, chapter I of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 30—SAFETY AND SOUNDESS STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for Part 30 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1, 93a, 371, 1462a, 1463, 1464, 1467a, 1818, 1828, 1831p-1, 1881-1884, 3102(b) and 5412(b)(2)(B); 15 U.S.C. 1681s, 1681w, 6801, and 6805(b)(1).

    2. Appendix E to part 30 is amended by: a. Removing the phrase “$50 billion” and adding in its place the phrase “$250 billion” everywhere that it appears; b. Revising section I.B.1; c. Removing section I.B.2 and I.B.3; d. Redesignating the current section I.B.4 as I.B.2 and removing “January 1, 2017” and adding in its place the words “[EFFECTIVE DATE]”; e. In newly designated section I.B.4, removing the phrase “18 months” and adding in its place the phrase “12 months”.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Appendix E to Part 30—OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches I. Introduction B. Compliance Date

    1. A covered bank with average total consolidated assets, calculated according to paragraph I.E.1. of this appendix, equal to or greater than $250 billion as of [EFFECTIVE DATE] should be in compliance with this appendix on [EFFECTIVE DATE].

    Dated: September 11, 2018. Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller of the Currency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20166 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0799; Product Identifier 2018-NM-117-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model BD-500-1A10 and BD-500-1A11 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of dislodged cargo compartment blow-out panels. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections for any dislodged blow-out panel in the forward and aft cargo compartments, reporting of the inspection findings, and re-installation if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 5, 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 Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.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-2018-0799; 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:

    Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer, Mechanical Systems and Admin Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7323; fax 516-794-5531; 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-2018-0799; Product Identifier 2018-NM-117-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

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian AD CF-2018-15, dated June 6, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model BD-500-1A10 and BD-500-1A11 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Multiple events of dislodged cargo compartment blow-out panels have been reported in-service. It was determined that these events were caused by baggage impacting the cargo panel cage, or the cargo compartment liner below the cargo panel cage, during baggage loading and unloading on the ground, or during flight due to shifting luggage.

    Dislodged cargo compartment blow-out panels create openings in the forward and aft cargo compartments. In the event of a cargo compartment fire, these unintended openings in the forward and aft cargo compartments would provide a path for smoke, fire, and Halon to enter the adjacent equipment bays, flight deck, and passenger cabin, which could delay smoke detection in the forward and aft cargo compartments and result in the forward and aft cargo compartments not being able to maintain Halon concentration required for fire suppression. The cargo compartment fire may become uncontrollable if this condition is not corrected.

    This AD mandates repetitive [detailed] inspections of the affected forward and aft cargo compartment blow-out panels, and reporting of inspection findings where dislodged blow-out panels have been found [and re-installation of dislodged blow-out panels].

    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-2018-0799.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued C Series Data Module BD500-A-J50-10-01-01AAA-310B-A, “Forward and aft cargo compartment blow-out panels—Visual check,” Issue 002, dated May 16, 2018. This service information describes procedures for an inspection for any dislodged blow-out panel in the forward and aft cargo compartments.

    Bombardier has issued C Series Data Module BD500-A-J50-10-01-00AAA-521A-A, “Decompression panels dislodging—Return to basic configuration,” Issue 002, dated May 16, 2018. This service information describes procedures for re-installation of dislodged forward and aft cargo compartment blow-out panels.

    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. This proposed AD also would require sending positive inspection results to Bombardier.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 21 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $1,785

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

    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $0 $170

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes and associated appliances 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): Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2018-0799; Product Identifier 2018-NM-117-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 5, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model BD-500-1A10 airplanes, serial numbers 50001 and subsequent, equipped with blow-out panel part number D762213-503, D762216-505, or D762209-503.

    (2) Model BD-500-1A11 airplanes, serial numbers 55001 and subsequent, equipped with blow-out panel part number D762213-503, D762216-505, or D762209-503.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 50, Cargo and accessory compartment.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of dislodged cargo compartment blow-out panels. We are issuing this AD to address this condition, which could result in openings in the forward and aft cargo compartments. In the event of a cargo compartment fire, these unintended openings in the forward and aft cargo compartments would provide a path for smoke, fire, and Halon to enter the adjacent equipment bays, flight deck, and passenger cabin, which could delay smoke detection in the forward and aft cargo compartments and result in the forward and aft cargo compartments not being able to maintain Halon concentration required for fire suppression. The cargo compartment fire may become uncontrollable if this condition is not addressed, which could result in the loss of controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections of the Forward and Aft Cargo Compartment Blow-Out Panels and Re-Installation

    Within 7 days or 50 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection for any dislodged blow-out panel in the forward and aft cargo compartments, in accordance with C Series (Bombardier) Data Module BD500-A-J50-10-01-01AAA-310B-A, “Forward and aft cargo compartment blow-out panels—Visual check,” Issue 002, dated May 16, 2018. Re-install all dislodged forward and aft cargo compartment blow-out panels before further flight, in accordance with C Series (Bombardier) Data Module BD500-A-J50-10-01-00AAA-521A-A, “Decompression panels dislodging—Return to basic configuration,” Issue 002, dated May 16, 2018. Thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 100 flight cycles, repeat the detailed inspection for any dislodged blow-out panel in the forward and aft cargo compartments.

    (h) Reporting

    If any blow-out panel in the forward or aft cargo compartments is found dislodged during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, report findings to the Bombardier customer response center (CRC) via email: [email protected] Reportable findings include the airplane serial number on which any dislodged blow-out panel was found, the date of inspection, and the part number and location of each dislodged blow-out panel.

    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

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

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. 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, New York ACO Branch, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian AD CF-2018-15, dated June 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-2018-0799.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer, Mechanical Systems and Admin Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7323; fax 516-794-5531; email [email protected]

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.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 September 10, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20105 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0167; Product Identifier 2017-NM-131-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposal for all ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42 and Model ATR72 airplanes. This action revises the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by increasing the number of affected parts that must be inspected. We are proposing this airworthiness directive (AD) to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions would impose an additional burden over those in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these changes.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2018 (83 FR 13436), is reopened.

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by November 5, 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, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Safran Landing Systems, Inovel Parc Sud—7, rue Général Valérie André, 78140 VELIZY-VILLACOUBLAY—FRANCE; phone: +33 (0) 1 46 29 81 00; internet: www.safran-landing-systems.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    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-2018-0167; 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 SNPRM, 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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-2018-0167; Product Identifier 2017-NM-131-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this SNPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this SNPRM based on 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 SNPRM.

    Discussion

    We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42 and Model ATR72 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2018 (83 FR 13436). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracking in main landing gear (MLG) universal joints (U-joints). The NPRM proposed to require repetitive detailed inspections of the affected U-joints for cracks, and replacement if necessary. The NPRM also provided an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections.

    Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, the number of affected parts that must be inspected has increased. In addition, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0080, dated April 11, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), which supersedes EASA AD 2017-0172, dated September 7, 2017 (referred to in the NPRM).

    The MCAI was issued to correct an unsafe condition on all ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42 and Model ATR72 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Occurrences were reported of finding cracks in certain MLG U-joints. Subsequent investigation identified a batch of affected U-joints which have possibly been subjected to non-detected thermal abuse during the grinding process by the U-joint manufacturer in production, or by a maintenance organization during overhaul and/or repair.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to MLG structural failure and subsequent collapse of the MLG, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and injury to the occupants.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, SLS [Safran Landing Systems] published the applicable SB [service bulletin] to provide inspection instructions. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2017-0172 to require repetitive detailed visual inspection (DVI) of the affected U-joints for cracks, and, depending on findings, replacement.

    Since that AD was issued, SLS identified that certain s/n [serial numbers] of affected U-joints were inadvertently not included in the list of the original issue of the applicable SB. Consequently, SLS issued Revision 02 of the applicable SB to clarify the s/n tables of P/N [part number] D56805 and P/N D56805-2, and to add those missed s/n of affected U-joints.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2017-0172, which is superseded, and includes reference to Revision 02 of the applicable SB.

    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-2018-0167.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Safran Landing Systems has issued Service Bulletin 631-32-249, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018; Service Bulletin 631-32-250, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018; and Service Bulletin 631-32-251, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018. The service information describes procedures for detailed inspections of the affected U-joints for cracking, and replacement if necessary. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. We considered the comment received.

    Request To Refer to Revised Service Information

    Empire Airlines requested that we refer to Service Bulletin 631-32-249, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018; Service Bulletin 631-32-250, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018; and Service Bulletin 631-32-251, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018, because the number of affected parts increased with these revisions.

    We agree with the commenter's request. We have revised this proposed AD to refer to the new service bulletins. We have given credit for affected parts listed in Service Bulletin 631-32-249, Revision 1, dated June 26, 2017; Service Bulletin 631-32-250, Revision 1, dated June 26, 2017; and Service Bulletin 631-32-251, Revision 1, dated June 26, 2017. Any affected parts not identified in Revision 1 of the applicable service bulletins must still comply with the requirements of paragraphs (h) and (i) of this proposed AD.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

    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 pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 62 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 Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle $0 $85 per inspection cycle $5,270 per inspection cycle.

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 $14,083 $14,763

    According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all known costs in our cost estimate.

    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): ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional: Docket No. FAA-2018-0167; Product Identifier 2017-NM-131-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 5, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, and -500 airplanes; and Model ATR72-101, -102, -201, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracking in certain main landing gear (MLG) universal joints (U-joints). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in MLG U-joints, which could lead to MLG structural failure and subsequent collapse of the MLG, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane and injury to the occupants.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Definitions

    (1) For the purposes of this AD, an affected U-joint is any U-joint identified by part number (P/N) and serial number listed in the applicable service bulletin specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), or (g)(1)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model ATR42-200, -300, and -320 airplanes: Safran Landing Systems Service Bulletin 631-32-249, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018.

    (ii) For Model ATR42-500 airplanes: Safran Landing Systems Service Bulletin 631-32-250, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018.

    (iii) For Model ATR72-101, -102, -201, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes: Safran Landing Systems Service Bulletin 631-32-251, Revision 2, dated February 13, 2018.

    (2) For the purposes of this AD, a serviceable part is an affected U-joint, as defined in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, released to service by Safran Landing Systems, free of defect, with the letter “V” added on the part (on the identification plate, or in the vicinity of the P/N marking); or a new (never installed) U-joint; or a U-joint repaired as specified in the applicable component maintenance manual (CMM) identified in paragraph (g)(2)(i), (g)(2)(ii), or (g)(2)(iii).

    (i) For Model ATR42-200, -300, and -320 airplanes: Safran Landing Systems CMM 32-18-28, Rev. 10 or Safran Landing Systems CMM 32-18-30, Rev. 8, both dated June 2, 2017.

    (ii) For Model ATR42-500 airplanes: Safran Landing Systems CMM 32-18-45, Rev. 5 or Safran Landing Systems CMM 32-18-63, Rev. 6, both dated June 2, 2017.

    (iii) For Model ATR72-101, -102, -201, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes: Safran Landing Systems CMM 32-18-34, Rev. 9, dated June 2, 2017.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections

    Within 3 months or 500 flight cycles (FC), whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 FC: Do a detailed inspection for cracking of each affected U-joint, as identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), or (g)(1)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Corrective Action

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, any cracked U-joint is found, before further flight: Replace the cracked U-joint with a serviceable part, as defined in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), or (g)(1)(iii) of this AD.

    (j) Terminating Action

    Replacement of all affected U-joints on an airplane, as identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, with serviceable parts, as defined in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD for that airplane.

    (k) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, an affected U-joint, as identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, unless it is a serviceable part, as defined in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

    (l) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletins identified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), and (g)(1)(iii) of this AD specify to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (m) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service bulletins specified in paragraphs (m)(1), (m)(2), or (m)(3) of this AD, provided that affected U-joints not identified in the service bulletins specified in paragraphs (m)(1), (m)(2), or (m)(3) of this AD comply with the requirements of paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD.

    (1) Safran Landing Systems Service Bulletin 631-32-249, Revision 1, dated June 26, 2017.

    (2) Safran Landing Systems Service Bulletin 631-32-250, Revision 1, dated June 26, 2017.

    (3) Safran Landing Systems Service Bulletin 631-32-251, Revision 1, dated June 26, 2017.

    (n) 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 (o)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

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

    (o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0080, dated April 11, 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-2018-0167.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Safran Landing Systems, Inovel Parc Sud—7, rue Général Valérie André, 78140 VELIZY-VILLACOUBLAY—FRANCE; phone: +33 (0) 1 46 29 81 00; internet: www.safran-landing-systems.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 September 10, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20099 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0797; Product Identifier 2018-NM-096-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-11-07, which applies to all Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model SAAB 2000 airplanes. AD 2018-11-07 requires a one-time inspection of an affected lug attaching the aileron bellcrank support bracket to the rear spar of the wing and the adjacent area of the installed support brackets, a thickness measurement of the affected lug, repetitive inspections of the affected aileron bellcrank support brackets, and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2018-11-07 also provided an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. Since we issued AD 2018-11-07, we have determined that it is necessary to require the terminating action. This proposed AD would retain the actions of AD 2018-11-07 and require the terminating action for the repetitive inspections. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 5, 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 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email [email protected]; internet http://www.saabgroup.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    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-2018-0797; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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-2018-0797; Product Identifier 2018-NM-096-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2018-11-07, Amendment 39-19295 (83 FR 24399, May 29, 2018) (“AD 2018-11-07”), for all Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model SAAB 2000 airplanes. AD 2018-11-07 requires a one-time inspection of the affected lug attaching the aileron bellcrank support bracket to the rear spar of the wing and the adjacent area of the installed aileron bellcrank support brackets, a thickness measurement of the affected lug attaching the support bracket to the rear spar of the wing, repetitive inspections of the affected aileron bellcrank support brackets, and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2018-11-07 also provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. AD 2018-11-07 resulted from the identification of a manufacturing defect on certain aileron bellcrank support brackets that resulted in the material thickness of the affected lug attaching the support bracket to the rear spar of the wing to be insufficient. We issued AD 2018-11-07 to detect and correct the defect of the aileron bellcrank support bracket, which, in the event of an aileron jam, could lead to failure of the support bracket and result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2018-11-07 Was Issued

    In the preamble of AD 2018-11-07, we stated that we were considering further rulemaking to require the replacement of all affected support brackets. The planned compliance time for the support bracket replacements allowed adequate time for notice and opportunity for public comment on the merits of the replacement. Therefore, the requirement for the replacement was not included in AD 2018-11-07. We have now determined that further rulemaking is necessary to include this requirement.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics has issued Saab Service Bulletin 2000-27-056, dated April 18, 2018. This service information describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection for cracks, corrosion, and damage (including missing paint) of the affected lug and the adjacent area of the installed aileron bellcrank support brackets on the left-hand and right-hand wings; a thickness measurement of the affected lug attaching the support bracket to the rear spar of the wing; and replacement of aileron bellcrank support brackets. 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 retain the requirements of AD 2018-11-07, and change the optional terminating action into a requirement. This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. This proposed AD would remove the requirement to send the inspection results to the manufacturer.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    Where the MCAI specifies to submit an inspection report, this proposed AD would not require reporting.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 8 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
  • Up to 19 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,615 Up to $18,074 Up to $19,689 Up to $157,512.

    We have received no definitive data for the on-condition costs specified in this proposed AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-11-07, Amendment 39-19295 (83 FR 24399, May 29, 2018), and adding the following new AD: Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems): Docket No. FAA-2018-0797; Product Identifier 2018-NM-096-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 5, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2018-11-07, Amendment 39-19295 (83 FR 24399, May 29, 2018) (“AD 2018-11-07”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Model SAAB 2000 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the identification of a manufacturing defect on certain aileron bellcrank support brackets that resulted in insufficient material thickness of the affected lug attaching the support bracket to the rear spar of the wing. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct a defect of the aileron bellcrank support bracket, which, in the event of an aileron jam, could lead to failure of the support bracket and result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Definitions, With No Changes

    (1) This paragraph restates the definition specified in paragraph (g)(1) of AD 2018-11-07, with no changes. For the purposes of this AD, affected support brackets are aileron bellcrank support brackets, part number (P/N) 7327993-813 and P/N 7327993-814, for which it has been determined that the affected lug attaching the support bracket to the rear spar of the wing has a thickness of less than 2.75 mm (0.108 in.), as specified in Saab Service Bulletin 2000-27-056, dated April 18, 2018.

    (2) This paragraph restates the definition specified in paragraph (g)(2) of AD 2018-11-07, with no changes. For the purposes of this AD, serviceable support brackets are aileron bellcrank support brackets, P/N 7327993-813 and P/N 7327993-814, for which it has been determined that the affected lug attaching the support bracket to the rear spar of the wing has a thickness of 2.75 mm (0.108 in.) or more, as specified in Saab Service Bulletin 2000-27-056, dated April 18, 2018.

    (h) Retained One-Time Inspection, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2018-11-07, with no changes. Within 100 flight cycles or 30 days, whichever occurs first after June 13, 2018 (the effective date of AD 2018-11-07), accomplish a detailed visual inspection for cracks, corrosion, and damage (including missing paint) of the affected lug and the adjacent area of the aileron bellcrank support brackets installed on the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) wings, and measure the thickness of the affected lug attaching the aileron bellcrank support bracket to the rear spar of the wing, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-27-056, dated April 18, 2018.

    (i) Retained Repetitive Inspections, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2018-11-07, with no changes. If, during the measurement required by paragraph (h) of this AD, it is determined that the affected lug attaching the aileron bellcrank support bracket to the rear spar of the wing has a thickness of less than 2.75 mm (0.108 in.), at intervals not to exceed 100 flight cycles, accomplish a detailed visual inspection for cracks, corrosion, and damage (including missing paint) of that affected support bracket in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-27-056, dated April 18, 2018. Accomplishing the replacement specified in paragraph (l) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph for that bracket.

    (j) Retained Corrective Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2018-11-07, with no changes. If, during any inspection required by paragraph (h) or (i) of this AD, any crack, corrosion, or damage (including missing paint) is found, before further flight, obtain corrective actions instructions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics' EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. Accomplish the corrective actions within the compliance time specified therein. If no compliance time is specified in the corrective actions instructions, accomplish the corrective action before further flight.

    (k) Retained Parts Installation Limitation, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (m) of AD 2018-11-07, with no changes. As of June 13, 2018 (the effective date of AD 2018-11-07), it is allowed to install on any airplane an aileron bellcrank support bracket P/N 7327993-813 or P/N 7327993-814, provided it is a serviceable support bracket.

    (l) New Requirement of This AD: Replacement

    Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, replace each affected support bracket with a serviceable support bracket, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-27-056, dated April 18, 2018. Replacing each affected support bracket terminates the inspections required by paragraph (i) of this AD for that airplane.

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    (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 (n)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2018-11-07, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

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

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0103, dated April 30, 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-2018-0797.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email [email protected]; internet http://www.saabgroup.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 September 10, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20106 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, and 147 [Docket Number USCG-1998-3868] RIN 1625-AA18 Outer Continental Shelf Activities AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is withdrawing the proposed rule entitled “Outer Continental Shelf Activities” that we published on December 7, 1999. The Coast Guard is withdrawing this proposed rule due to the passage of time, advances in technology, and changes in industry practices that have rendered the proposed rule obsolete.

    DATES:

    The proposed rule published December 7, 1999 (64 FR 68416) is withdrawn as of September 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this withdrawal, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type “USCG-1998-3868” in the search box and click “Search” then click on “Open Docket Folder.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about this document, call or email Mr. Charles Rawson, Commandant (CG-ENG), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1390, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OCS Outer continental shelf II. Background

    The Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on December 7, 1999, (64 FR 68416), entitled “Outer Continental Shelf Activities.” In our NPRM, we proposed revisions of our Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) regulations that pertain to workplace safety and health on vessels and facilities engaged in the exploration for, or development or production of, minerals on the OCS. The Coast Guard initiated this rulemaking in response to the various advances that had changed the nature of the offshore industry since the last major revision of our OCS regulations in 1982. As detailed in the proposed regulatory text, this rulemaking would have reassessed all of our current OCS regulations in light of past experiences and new improvements in order to help make the OCS a safer work environment. The Coast Guard received comments from the public regarding the proposed rulemaking. These comments are available in the docket.

    III. Withdrawal

    In the nearly 20 years since the Coast Guard published the NPRM and the comment period closed, the offshore industry has continued to grow and evolve. Due to the passage of time, advances in technology, and changes in industry practice, we found that much of what we proposed in the NPRM is now obsolete and no longer applicable to the modern OCS work environment. Consequently, the NPRM is no longer suitable as a basis for further rulemaking action. Accordingly, the Coast Guard is withdrawing the “Outer Continental Shelf Activities” proposed rule announced in an NPRM published December 7, 1999 (64 FR 68416).

    This document is issued under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a), and 43 U.S.C. 1333(d) and 1348(c).

    Dated: September 14, 2018. J.P. Nadeau, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20378 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0845] Safety Zones; Spaceport Camden, Woodbine, GA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Coast Guard announces a public meeting to receive comments on a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) involving a proposal to establish safety zones on the navigable waterways in the vicinity of the proposed Spaceport Camden, near Woodbine, Georgia, during rocket tests, launches, and landing operations. The NOI was published in the Federal Register on September 11, 2018. The purpose of this public meeting is to receive comments regarding the proposed safety zones.

    DATES:

    A public meeting will be held on September 27, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to provide an opportunity for oral comments. Written comments and related material may also be submitted to Coast Guard personnel specified at that meeting. All comments and related material submitted after the meeting must be received by the Coast Guard on or before October 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, Georgia 31548. Parking is available at the Recreation Center.

    You may submit written comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0845 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions concerning the meeting or NOI, please call or email LT Joseph Palmquist, Coast Guard; telephone 912-652-4353 ext. 221, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Purpose

    We are announcing a public meeting to receive comments regarding a proposal to establish safety zones on the navigable waterways in the vicinity of the proposed Spaceport Camden, near Woodbine, Georgia. We published a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in the Federal Register on September 11, 2018 (83 FR 45864), entitled “Safety Zone; Spaceport Camden, Woodbine, GA.” In it we stated our intention to hold a public meeting, and to publish a notice announcing the location and date (83 FR 45866). This document is the notice of that meeting.

    In the NOI, we announced that the Board of County Commissioners of Camden County, Georgia proposes to develop and operate a commercial space launch site, called Spaceport Camden, in an unincorporated area of Camden County, Georgia, approximately 11.5 miles due east of the town of Woodbine, Georgia. The site, near Floyd Creek, is on the coast, surrounded by salt marshes to the east and south, and the Satilla River to the north. In support of Spaceport Camden, the Board of County Commissioners of Camden County, Georgia requested that the Coast Guard establish safety zones which would be effective during launch, landing, and rocket test activities at the site.

    The Coast Guard establishes safety zones over areas of water and/or shore for safety or environmental purposes pursuant to the authority contained in 33 CFR part 165. A safety zone is a “. . . water area, shore area, or water and shore area to which, for safety or environmental purposes, access is limited to authorized persons, vehicles, or vessels.”

    The applicants for Spaceport Camden propose up to 12 annual launches and landings during daylight hours, with one possible nighttime launch per year, of liquid-fueled, small to medium-large lift-class, orbital and suborbital vertical launch vehicles. In support of the proposed launches, the applicants for Spaceport Camden propose up to 12 engine tests per year. Launch trajectories would vary from 83 to 115 degrees for vehicles up to and including medium-large lift class. Because the trajectory of these launches would take the rockets over various navigable waterways, creeks and tributaries, sections of land, and areas offshore, applicants are required to limit or restrict access to certain areas surrounding a rocket test/launch site based on specific hazard analysis. The applicant's request to establish safety zones during rocket launches, landings, and various tests is one element in meeting these safety requirements

    The range of potential safety zones for launch and landing activities encompasses an area which accounts for safety concerns associated with all potential launch trajectories. Individual launch safety zones could be smaller and depend on several factors unique to each event, such as actual trajectory, lift class, and payload. The range of potential safety zones for rocket tests encompasses a smaller area directly around the commercial space launch site. In all instances, the potential safety zones would be necessary to safeguard persons, property, and the marine environment during rocket launches, landings, and rocket test activities.

    You may view the NOI in our online docket and comments submitted thus far by going to http://www.regulations.gov. Once there, insert “USCG-2018-0845” in the “Keyword” box and click “Search.”

    We encourage you to participate in this NOI by submitting comments either orally at the meeting or in writing. If you bring written comments to the meeting, you may submit them to Coast Guard personnel specified at the meeting to receive written comments. These comments will be submitted to our online public docket. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    Comments submitted after the meeting must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 11, 2018. 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.

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    II. Information on Service for Individuals With Disabilities

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the public meeting, contact LT Joseph Palmquist at the telephone number or email address indicated under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    III. Public Meeting

    The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting to receive comments on the proposal to establish safety zones on the navigable waterways in and near the proposed Spaceport Camden, near Woodbine, GA. The meeting will take place on September 27, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, Georgia 31548. Parking is available at the Recreation Center.

    Dated: September 14, 2018. N.C. Witt, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Savannah.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20335 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 63 [WC Docket No. 17-84; Report No. 3101] Petition for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for reconsideration.

    SUMMARY:

    A Petition for Reconsideration (Petition) has been filed in the Commission's Rulemaking proceeding by Harold Feld, on behalf of Public Knowledge.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petition must be filed on or before October 4, 2018. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before October 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Berlove, Wireline Competition Bureau, at: (202) 418-1477; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's document, Report No. 3101, released September 4, 2018. The full text of the Petition is available for viewing and copying at the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. It also may be accessed online via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System at: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. The Commission will not send a Congressional Review Act (CRA) submission to Congress or the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. because no rules are being adopted by the Commission.

    Subject: Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, FCC 18-74, published at 83 FR 31659, July 9, 2018, in WC Docket No. 17-84. This document is being published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1) and 1.429(f), (g).

    Number of Petitions Filed: 1.

    Federal Communications Commission. Katura Jackson, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20238 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-BG91 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Industry-Funded Monitoring AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Availability of proposed fishery management plan amendment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council submitted the New England Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment, incorporating the Environmental Assessment and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, for review by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is requesting comments from the public on the proposed amendment, which was developed to allow for industry-funded monitoring in New England Council fishery management plans and implement industry-funded monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery. This amendment would ensure consistency in industry-funded monitoring programs across New England fisheries and increase monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery.

    DATES:

    Public comments must be received on or before November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0109, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0109;

    2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon and complete the required fields; and

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on the Industry-Funded Monitoring Amendment.”

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by us. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. We will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Copies of the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment, including the Environmental Assessment, the Regulatory Impact Review, and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/RIR/IRFA) prepared in support of this action are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The supporting documents are also accessible via the internet at: http://www.nefmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Nordeen, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: (978) 281-9272 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In 2013, the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils initiated a joint omnibus amendment to allow for industry-funded monitoring in all of the fishery management plans (FMPs) that the Councils manage. The joint omnibus amendment was intended to standardize the process to develop and administer future industry-funded monitoring programs for Council FMPs, and would have implemented industry-funded monitoring in the Atlantic herring and mackerel fisheries.

    On September 20, 2016 (81 FR 64426), NMFS announced the public comment period for the draft joint omnibus amendment. The 45-day public comment period extended from September 23 through November 7, 2016. During that time, NMFS and the Councils hosted five public hearings on the draft joint omnibus amendment. NMFS and the Councils held public hearings in Gloucester, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Cape May, New Jersey; Narragansett, Rhode Island; and via webinar.

    In April 2017, the New England Council finalized its selection of preferred alternatives and recommended that NMFS consider the joint omnibus amendment for approval and implementation, while the Mid-Atlantic Council decided to postpone action on the joint omnibus amendment. Therefore, the joint omnibus amendment, initiated by both Councils to allow for industry-funded monitoring, has become the New England Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment and would only apply to FMPs managed by the New England Council. Accordingly, this amendment would only implement industry-funded monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery. At its October 2018 meeting, the Mid-Atlantic Council is scheduled to re-consider whether it wants to continue developing industry-funded monitoring measures for its FMPs.

    Proposed Measures 1. Omnibus Measures

    This amendment would standardize the development and administration of future industry-funded monitoring programs in New England Council FMPs. The proposed omnibus measures include:

    • Standard cost responsibilities associated with industry-funded monitoring for NMFS and the fishing industry;

    • A process to implement FMP-specific industry-funded monitoring via an amendment and revise via a framework adjustment;

    • Standard administrative requirements for industry-funded observers/monitors and monitoring service providers;

    • A process to prioritize industry-funded monitoring programs in order to allocate available Federal resources across all FMPs; and

    • A process for monitoring set-aside programs to be implemented via a future framework adjustment.

    2. Atlantic Herring Measures

    This amendment would implement industry-funded monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery. The purpose of increased monitoring is to better understand the frequency of discarding in the herring fishery, as well as improve the tracking of the incidental catch of haddock and river herring/shad catch against their catch caps in the herring fishery. The proposed herring measures include:

    • Implementing a 50-percent coverage target for industry-funded at-sea monitoring on vessels issued All Areas (Category A) or Areas 2/3 (Category B) Limited Access Herring Permits; and

    • Allowing midwater trawl vessels to purchase observer coverage to access Groundfish Closed Areas.

    On April 19, 2018, the New England Council considered whether electronic monitoring in conjunction with portside sampling, would be an adequate substitute for at-sea monitoring coverage aboard midwater trawl vessels. The purpose of electronic monitoring would be to confirm catch retention and verify compliance with slippage restrictions, while the purpose of portside sampling would be to collect species composition data along with age and length information. Following discussion and public comment, the Council approved electronic monitoring and portside sampling as a monitoring option for midwater trawl vessels, but did not recommend requiring electronic monitoring and portside sampling as part of this action. Instead, the Council recommended NMFS use an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to further evaluate how to best permanently administer an electronic monitoring and portside sampling program. The EFP would exempt midwater vessels from the proposed requirement for industry-funded at-sea monitoring coverage and would allow midwater trawl vessels to use electronic monitoring and portside sampling coverage to comply with the Council-recommended 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target. An EFP would enable NMFS to further evaluate monitoring issues in the herring fishery that are of interest to the Council and herring industry and provide an opportunity to improve the electronic monitoring and portside program's efficacy and efficiency. The Council recommended reconsidering herring industry-funded monitoring requirements two years after implementation. Using the results of the EFP, the Council would consider establishing electronic monitoring and portside sampling program requirements into regulation via a framework adjustment at that time.

    Public Comment Instructions

    Public comments on the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment and its incorporated documents may be submitted through the end of the comment period stated in this notice of availability. A proposed rule to implement the Amendment, including draft regulatory text, will be published in the Federal Register for public comment. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period provided in this notice of availability to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by November 19, 2018, whether specifically directed to Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment or the proposed rule for this amendment, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the decision to approve or disapprove the Amendment. To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on the last day of the comment period.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20259 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 182 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Notices COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is to continue working on their education project post briefing.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1-877-260-1479 and conference ID: 9379995.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-877-260-1479 and conference ID: 9379995. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-877-260-1479 and conference ID: 9379995.

    Members of the public are invited to make statements during the open comment period of the meeting or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376-7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=253, click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links.Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address.

    Agenda Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) • Rollcall • Continue Planning on Education Briefing (Post Briefing) • Other Business • Open Comment • Adjourn Dated: September 14, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20364 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-96-2018] Approval of Expansion of Subzone 76A; ASML US, LLC; Wilton and Bethel, Connecticut

    On July 2, 2018, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the Bridgeport Port Authority, grantee of FTZ 76, requesting an expansion of Subzone 76A, subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 76 on behalf of ASML US, LLC, in Wilton and Bethel, Connecticut.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (83 FR 31724, July 9, 2018). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval. Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to expand Subzone 76A was approved on September 13, 2018, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 76's 476-acre activation limit.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20367 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-58-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 44—Trenton, New Jersey; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (Flavor and Fragrance Products); Hazlet, New Jersey

    International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (IFF) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Hazlet, New Jersey. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on September 6, 2018.

    IFF already has authority to produce flavor and fragrance products within Subzone 44B. The current request would add sixteen foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt IFF from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, IFF would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to flavor and fragrance products (duty-free to 10%). IFF would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Glycerides mixed decanoyl and octanoyl; musk ketone supra; aldehyde C-16 strawberry; octinoxate; ivy carbaldehyde/methyl anthranilate Schiff's base; hydroxycitronellal/methyl anthranilate Schiff's base; herbal pyran; alpha-amyl cinnamylidene/methyl anthranilate Schiff's base; leeral/methyl anthranilate Schiff's base; coumarin; ethylene dodecanoate; aldehyde C-18; octahydrocoumarin; gamma decalactone; muskalactone; and, gamma-undecalactone (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 7.7%, or 8.8¢ per kg.).

    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 29, 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 Juanita Chen at juanita.c[email protected] or 202-482-1378.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20368 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; Meeting AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Judges Panel) will meet in closed session Monday, November 5, 2018 through Friday, November 9, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time each day. The purpose of this meeting is to review recommendations from site visits and recommend 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Monday, November 5, 2018 through Friday, November 9, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time each day. The entire meeting will be closed to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Fangmeyer, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1020, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020, telephone number (301) 975-2361, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3711a(d)(1) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Judges Panel will meet on Monday, November 5, 2018 through Friday, November 9, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time each day. The Judges Panel is composed of twelve members, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, with balanced representation from U.S. service, manufacturing, small business, nonprofit, education, and health care industries. Members are selected for their familiarity with quality improvement operations and competitiveness issues of manufacturing companies, service companies, small businesses, nonprofits, health care providers, and educational institutions. The purpose of this meeting is to review recommendations from site visits and recommend 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Award) recipients. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting.

    The Acting Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the Assistant General Counsel for Employment, Litigation, and Information, formally determined on March 7, 2018, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended by Section 5(c) of the Government in Sunshine Act, Public Law 94-409, that the meeting of the Judges Panel may be closed to the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4), because the meeting is likely to disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential; and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) because for a government agency the meeting is likely to disclose information that could significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action. The meeting, which involves examination of current Award applicant data from U.S. organizations and a discussion of these data as compared to the Award criteria in order to recommend Award recipients, will be closed to the public.

    Kevin A. Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20297 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; California-Oregon-Washington Coastal Pelagic Fishery Economic Survey AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 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.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 19, 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 and instructions should be directed to James Hilger, [email protected]; (858) 546-7140.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for a new collection of information.

    The Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) is undertaking an economic data collection effort for the West Coast Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) fleet to improve the SWFSC's capability to do the following: (1) Describe and monitor economic performance (e.g., profitability, capacity utilization, efficiency, and productivity) and impacts (e.g., sector, community, or region-specific employment and income); (2) determine the quantity and distribution of net benefits derived from living marine resources; (3) understand and predict the behavior of participants in Federally managed commercial fisheries; (4) predict the economic, biological, and ecological impacts of existing management measures and alternative proposed management actions; and, (5) in general, more effectively conduct the analyses required under the MSA, the Endangered Species ACT (ESA), and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPDA), the National Environmental Policy Act(NEP), and Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), Executive Order 12866, and other applicable law.

    Coastal pelagic species (CPS) fishery participants are defined as U.S. west-coast vessels participating in CPS fisheries for species including: Jack mackerel, market squid, northern anchovy, Pacific mackerel, and/or Pacific sardine, using gears including but not limited to: Purse seine, drum seine, lampara, and dip net. We intend to survey all Washington-Oregon-California CPS coastal vessels in any year between 2015 and the initiation of the survey. This includes vessels fishing off California in the limited entry program under the CPS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and State permitted vessels fishing off Washington and Oregon.

    II. Method of Collection

    CPS fishery participants will be contacted and screened to participate in the data collection. An economic survey will be scheduled and administered to eligible respondents as appropriate. Screener, scheduling and survey modes may include in-person, internet, phone, or mail.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (new information collection).

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organization.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 100.

    Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes for screener; 5 minutes to schedule survey for qualified and interested respondents; 90 minutes for the survey.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 111.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    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.

    Dated: September 14, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20330 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Marine Mammal Protection Act Annual Supplemental Data Report.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 4,604.

    Average Hours per Response: 45 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 3,453.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for a new information collection.

    The Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan), developed under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, seeks to enable the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to reduce injuries and deaths of large whales, especially right whales, due to incidental entanglement in United States commercial fishing gear. In order to develop fair and effective management measures, the Take Reduction Team (Team) requires comprehensive data on when, where, and how fixed gear vessels fish. While subsets of Plan's vessels report on aspects of their operations, the available data form an incomplete picture. NMFS recognizes that forthcoming changes under select fishery management plans (e.g., the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan) may eventually introduce gear and activity reporting of the type requested. Until those requirements are implemented, however, operators of commercial fishing vessels deploying fixed gear (traps, pots, and gillnets) are requested to complete this annual supplemental data collection form, regardless of fishing location, permit type, or the provision of similar information to other Federal and state agencies. This information will allow NMFS to focus further risk reduction measures in certain areas or fisheries, where needed, to meet the goals of the Plan.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: September 14, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20329 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) Board of Visitors. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The WHINSEC Board of Visitors will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, Bradley Hall, 7301 Baltzell Avenue, Building 396, Fort Benning, GA 31905.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Richard Procell, Acting Executive Secretary for the Committee, in writing at USACGSC, 100 Stimson Avenue, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2301, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (913) 684-2963.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The committee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), 41 CFR 102-3.140(c), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) Board of Visitors (BoV) is a non-discretionary Federal Advisory Committee chartered to provide the Secretary of Defense, through the Secretary of the Army, independent advice and recommendations on matters pertaining to the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, and academic methods of the institute; other matters relating to the institute that the board decides to consider; and other items that the Secretary of Defense determines appropriate. The board reviews curriculum to determine whether it adheres to current U.S. doctrine, complies with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, and is consistent with U.S. policy goals toward Latin America and the Caribbean. The board also determines whether the instruction under the curriculum of the institute appropriately emphasizes human rights, the rule of law, due process, civilian control of the military, and the role of the military in a democratic society. The Secretary of Defense may act on the committee's advice and recommendations.

    Agenda: Status briefing from the institute's commandant; update briefings from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy); Department of State; U.S. Northern Command; U.S. Southern Command; a public comments period; and presentation of other information appropriate to the board's interests.

    Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. A 15-minute period between 9:30 to 9:45 will be available for verbal public comments. Seating is on a first to arrive basis. Attendees are requested to submit their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number seven business days prior to the meeting to Mr. Procell, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military base, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter base. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. Bradley Hall is fully handicap accessible. Wheelchair access is available in front at the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Procell at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments and Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the committee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Procell, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received at least two business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the committee. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the committee chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the committee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date will be filed and presented to the committee during its next meeting.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20369 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0098] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 Main Study AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0098. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9089, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, 202-245-7377 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 Main Study.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0695.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 91,765.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 43,181.

    Abstract: The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an international assessment of fourth and eighth grade students' achievement in mathematics and science. Since its inception in 1995, TIMSS has continued to assess students every 4 years, with the next TIMSS assessment, TIMSS 2019, being the seventh iteration of the study. TIMSS provides a comparison of U.S. student performance with those of their international peers in mathematics and science at grades 4 and 8. TIMSS is coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an international collective of research organizations and government agencies that creates the assessment framework, assessments, and background questionnaires and provides procedures and technical standards which all countries must follow. In the U.S., the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducts TIMSS. In preparation for the TIMSS 2019 main study, NCES conducted a field test in 2018 to evaluate new assessment items and background questions, to ensure practices that promote low exclusion rates, and to ensure that classroom and student sampling procedures proposed for the main study are successful. The request for the TIMSS 2019 Main Study recruitment & Field Test was approved in July 2017 with the latest change request approved in July 2018 (OMB# 1850-0695 v.10-13). The U.S. TIMSS 2019 main study recruitment began in May 2018, and data collection is scheduled to take place from April through May 2019. This request is to conduct the TIMSS 2019 Main Study. TIMSS 2019 results will be posted on NCES website.

    Dated: September 14, 2018. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20334 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0097] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2019 and 2020 Update AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of a previously approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0097. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9089, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, 202-245-7377 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2019 and 2020 Update.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0928.

    Type of Review: A revision of a previously approved information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 379,934.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 371,166.

    Abstract: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is a federally authorized survey of student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12 in various subject areas, such as mathematics, reading, writing, science, U.S. history, civics, geography, economics, technology and engineering literacy (TEL), and the arts. The National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act (Public Law 107-279 Title III, section 303) requires the assessment to collect data on specified student groups and characteristics, including information organized by race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, disability, and limited English proficiency. It requires fair and accurate presentation of achievement data and permits the collection of background, noncognitive, or descriptive information that is related to academic achievement and aids in fair reporting of results. The intent of the law is to provide representative sample data on student achievement for the nation, the states, and subpopulations of students and to monitor progress over time. The nature of NAEP is that burden alternates from a relatively low burden in national-level administration years to a substantial burden increase in state-level administration years when the sample has to allow for estimates for individual states and some of the large urban districts. The request to conduct NAEP 2019 and 2020 was approved in September 2018 (OMB# 1850-0928 v.10) including operational assessments, pilot tests, and special studies. NAEP 2019 will include operational, national-level, Digitally Based Assessments (DBA) in mathematics, reading, and science at grades 4, 8, and 12; operational, state-level DBA in mathematics and reading at grades 4 and 8; pilot DBA for 2021 reading and mathematics at grades 4 and 8; a paper-based assessment (PBA) to DBA bridge studies in mathematics and reading at grade 12, and science at grades 4, 8, and 12; National Indian Education Study (NIES); Computer Access and Familiarity Study (CAFS); Socioeconomic Status (SES) Questionnaire Study; High School Transcript Study (HSTS); and Middle School Transcript Study (MSTS). This request updates the confidentiality pledges cited in NAEP and provides the final NAEP 2019 data collection and communication materials, including their Spanish-language translations where used. The NAEP results will be reported to the public through the Nation's Report Card as well as other online NAEP tools.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20310 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-461] Application To Export Electric Energy; Saavi Energy Solutions, LLC AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Saavi Energy Solutions, LLC (Saavi Energy Solutions or Applicant) has applied for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b) and 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On September 10, 2018, DOE received an application from Saavi Energy Solutions for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities.

    In its application, Saavi Energy Solutions states that it “does not own any electric generation or transmission facilities and . . . does not hold a franchise or service territory or native load obligation.” The electric energy that Saavi Energy Solutions proposes to export to Mexico would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order No. 10,485, as amended by Executive Order No. 12,038, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five (5) copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning Saavi Energy Solutions' application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-461. An additional copy is to be provided to both Esmeralda Viramontes Mayorga, Saavi Energy Solutions, LLC, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 301, Torre Norte, Piso 11, Colonia Granada, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, Ciudad de México, México C.P. 11520 and Tracey L. Bradley, Bracewell LLP, 2001 M Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program website at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Signed in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20370 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1104-001.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Second Errata to Administrative Updates to FERC Gas Tariff to be effective 10/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/25/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1168-000.

    Applicants: Bear Creek Storage Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Operational Transactions Provisions Tariff Filing to be effective 10/12/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5015.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1169-000.

    Applicants: HG Energy, LLC,Westmoreland Gas, LLC.

    Description: Joint Petition for Temporary Waivers of Capacity Release Regulations and Policies, et al. of HG Energy, LLC, et al. under RP18-1169.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1170-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing AGT September 2018 OFO Penalty Disbursement Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5154.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/24/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1171-000.

    Applicants: Kinetica Deepwater Express, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Request for Extension of Time for Filing Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5014.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/25/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1172-000.

    Applicants: Kinetica Energy Express, LLC.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Request for Extension of Time for Filing Form 501-G to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5015.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/25/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-1173-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Gulf Markets—Global LNG and Marubeni Non-Conf Agreements to be effective 9/14/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5025.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/25/18.

    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: September 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20355 Filed 9-18-18; 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: EC18-124-000.

    Applicants: Atlantic City Electric Company, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Delmarva Power & Light Company, Potomac Electric Power Company, PECO Energy Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, UGI Utilities Inc., Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Supplement [Exhibit M] to July 23, 2018 Joint Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, et al. of Atlantic City Electric Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/26/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1567-001.

    Applicants: South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance filing to be effective 5/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1959-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-09-13_SA 2677 GRE-NSP 2nd Substitute 3rd Rev GIA (J278) to be effective 6/21/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5057.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2311-001.

    Applicants: SF Wind Enterprises, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to MBR Tariff Filing of SF Wind Enterprises, LLC to be effective 10/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5161.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2415-000.

    Applicants: S. D. Warren Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notices of Succession Name change to be effective 9/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2416-000

    Applicants: nTherm,LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Initial Filing to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 9/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180912-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2417-000.

    Applicants: Avista Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Avista Corp FERC Rate Schedule 184 extension to be effective 10/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2418-000.

    Applicants: Great River Hydro, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: New eTariff Baseline Filing to be effective 9/14/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5028.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2419-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-09-13_SA 2953 Quilt Block Wind Farm-ATC 2nd Rev GIA (J395 J652) to be effective 8/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2420-000.

    Applicants: American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ATSI submits four ECSAs, Service Agreement Nos. 4982, 4995, 4997, and 4999 to be effective 11/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 9/13/18.

    Accession Number: 20180913-5073.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/4/18.

    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: September 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20356 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-2416-000] nTherm, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of nTherm, LLC’s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is October 3, 2018.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20352 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-SFUND-2012-0578; FRL-9984-03-OLEM] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Technical Assistance Needs Assessments (TANAs) at Superfund Remedial or Removal Sites AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “Technical Assistance Needs Assessments” (EPA ICR No. 2470.02, OMB Control No. 2050-0211) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through November 30, 2018. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2012-0578 online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Shewack, Office of Site Remediation and Restoration, (OSRR01-5), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912; telephone number: (617) 918-1428; fax number: (617) 918-0428; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: This ICR covers the usage of TANAs with members of the impacted community in order to determine how the community is receiving technical information about a Superfund remedial or removal site; whether the community requires additional assistance in order to understand and respond to site-related technical information; and whether there are organizations in the community that are interested or involved in site-related issues and capable of acting as an appropriate conduit for technical assistance services to the affected community. Given the specific nature of the TANA, 8 to 10 persons will be interviewed per site, with an estimated total of 80 persons being interviewed per year (8 sites). Responses to the collection of information are voluntary and the names of respondents will be protected by the Privacy Act. The TANA will help ensure the community's needs for technical information assistance are defined as early in the remedial/removal process as possible and enable meaningful community involvement in the Superfund decision-making process. Additionally, the TANA process produces a blueprint for designing a coordinated effort to meet the community's needs for additional technical assistance while minimizing the overlap of services provided.

    Form numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Respondents to this ICR are local/state government officials, potentially-responsible party (PRP) representatives, community organizations, businesses and individuals who may be impacted by a Superfund site or a removal action lasting 120 days or longer. These community members voluntarily participate in community involvement activities throughout the remedial phase of the Superfund process. SIC Codes are OSHA's Standard Industrial Classification System used to identify different groups. Local/state governments are categorized as Division J: Public Administration, Major Group 95: Administration of Environmental Quality, subgroup 9511: Air and Water Resource and Solid Waste Management. The other respondents, community members, do not have a SIC Code as they do not constitute an industry.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 80 (per year).

    Frequency of response: Once during the remediation of the Site. Each TANA interview is expected to last approximately one hour in duration.

    Total estimated burden: 80 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,860 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: A reduction in the total estimated respondent burden is expected when compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB.

    Dated: September 12, 2018. James E. Woolford, Director, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20388 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [MB Docket No. 16-306 and GN Docket No. 12-268; DA 18-884] Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Remind Repacked Stations of Certain Post-Auction Transition Requirements and Deadlines AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document is intended to remind stations that were assigned to new channels as a result of the incentive auction (repacked stations) of upcoming deadlines, application filing obligations, and notice requirements. This document also provides additional guidance concerning transition matters, including permissible station operations during the phase testing periods, when a station is expected to cease pre-auction operations, and the need to coordinate with other linked-stations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evan Morris, Media Bureau, (202) 418-1656.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Public Notice, MB Docket MB Docket No. 16-306 and GN Docket No. 12-268, DA 18-884, adopted and released August 27, 2018, by the Chief of the Media Bureau pursuant to delegated authority. The full text of the Order is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC's Reference Information Center at Portals II, CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. The full text is also available online at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/ and https://www.fcc.gov/edocs.

    Summary of the Public Notice

    1. The Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau (Bureau) herein remind repacked stations of upcoming deadlines, application filing obligations, and notice requirements, and provide additional guidance concerning transition matters, including permissible station operations during the phase testing periods, when a station is expected to cease pre-auction operations, and the need to coordinate with other linked-stations. For purposes of this Public Notice, a “repacked station” means a full power or Class A broadcast television station that was assigned both a new channel and to a post-auction transition phase in the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice. This includes stations that submitted a winning bid to move from the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band to the very-high frequency (VHF) band, or from the high VHF band to the low VHF band (i.e., band changers). Unless otherwise specified, “repacked station” also includes channel sharee stations that are channel sharing with a repacked station. Infra, para. 19. This Public Notice does not address the obligations of displaced low power television and translator stations, non-repacked full power or Class A television stations with unbuilt construction permits, or the small number of Class A television stations that were not protected during the repacking process.

    2. Transition Timetable. Each repacked station is assigned to one of 10 transition phases, each with specific dates on which the station, subject to any required coordination, can commence testing and operation on its post-auction channel (testing period start date) and must cease operating on its pre-auction channel (phase completion date). A repacked station's phase completion date is also the date listed on its construction permit as its construction expiration date. Below is the current phase transition schedule with each phase's applicable testing period start date and phase completion date.

    Phase Testing
  • period start date
  • Phase
  • completion date
  • 1 09/14/2018 11/30/2018 2 12/01/2018 04/12/2019 3 04/13/2019 06/21/2019 4 06/22/2019 08/02/2019 5 08/03/2019 09/06/2019 6 09/07/2019 10/18/2019 7 10/19/2019 01/17/2020 8 01/18/2020 03/13/2020 9 03/14/2020 05/01/2020 10 05/02/2020 07/03/2020

    3. Repacked Station Transition Data. Information on repacked stations' post-auction channel assignments, phase assignments, and linked-station sets, including changes made during the transition, can be found at the following website: https://data.fcc.gov/download/incentive-auctions/Current_Transition_Files/ (Transition Data website). The date of any update is noted next to each file. All modifications to the Transition Data website can be viewed by clicking on the link entitled “Change Log.” Individual station's phase assignments and deadlines, including changes, can also be found on each repacked station's “facility page” in the Commission's Licensing and Management System (LMS) under the “Transition Data” tab. To access a station's “facility page,” perform a “Facility Search” by call sign in LMS and then click on the station's Facility ID number.

    4. Testing/Commencing Post-Auction Operations. Repacked stations may not commence testing or operation on their post-auction channel until 12:01 a.m. (local time) on their testing period start date. To be clear, transmitting any signal (a test signal or otherwise) on a repacked station's post-auction channel prior to its testing period start date without express authority from the Commission to do so would be a violation of the Commission's regulations concerning the post-auction transition and amount to unauthorized operation. Unless expressly stated in a repacked station's construction permit or necessitated by being part of a linked-station set, Commission consent is not required to commence testing or post-auction operation starting at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on a repacked station's testing period start date. During the testing period stations are permitted to transmit a signal using their post-auction channel in order to: (1) Conduct testing of a station's equipment/signal to ensure proper functionality, see 47 CFR 73.1610; and (2) permanently commence operation on their post-auction channel upon ceasing operation on their pre-auction channel, see 47 CFR 73.1620. The purpose of the testing period is not for stations to simulcast signals to viewers on two channels. Stations must file an application for license to cover (FCC Form 2100, Schedule B (full power) or Schedule F (Class A)) within 10 days following commencement of program test authority, see 47 CFR 73.1620.

    5. Some stations are required to receive authority to commence operation under program test authority, notably stations that will be operating on channel 14, see 47 CFR 73.687(e)(4)(ii). Stations should carefully check the terms of their construction permits for any special conditions and any required documentation that must accompany a request for program test authority. In order to avoid going silent, a station that requires advance permission to commence program test authority should request Commission authority to do so in advance of its phase completion date.

    6. Coordination Among Linked-Stations. Stations that are part of a linked-station set must coordinate both testing and commencement of operation on their post-auction channel with all other stations to which they are directly linked in that linked-station set. Stations in a linked station-set are linked through direct dependencies. An “upstream” station in a linked-station set is one that must transition to its post-auction channel prior to another station(s) in the set (the “downstream” station) in order to avoid interference. If a “downstream” station was to test or operate on its post-auction channel while the “upstream” station continued to operate on its pre-auction channel, one or both of the stations would receive interference from the other. In most cases, coordination will require more than notice of a station's individual plans. Coordination should result in an agreed upon designated time and date on which all linked-stations will conduct testing on their post-auction channels and which all such stations will commence operation on their new channels. Failure to closely coordinate will result, in many cases, in substantial interference. An increase of pairwise interference in excess of 2%, unless expressly authorized by the Commission or agreed to among the affected stations, is a violation of Commission rules. As noted above, complete information on linked-station sets and direct dependencies can be found on the Transition Data website, as well as on each repacked station's “facility page” in LMS under the “Transition Data” tab.

    7. Requests for Additional Flexibility Using Special Temporary Authority. As we have recognized, in order for some repacked stations to construct their post-auction facility they may need to operate with temporary facilities on either their pre-auction or post-auction channel for a period of time. If a station must operate on its pre-auction or post-auction channel at variance from its authorized parameters, a station must file an application for special temporary authority (STA) and receive a grant of such authority prior to commencing operations. A station could also conduct such operations without an STA if it were commencing operation using a licensed auxiliary facility. There are several additional tools at a repacked station's disposal to remain on the air if it is unable to commence operation on its post-auction channel by its phase completion date. Repacked stations may seek an STA to individually use a temporary channel or engage in temporary joint use of a channel. Authorization of use of an individual temporary channel will be restricted to replicating a station's pre-auction coverage area and population served. While we will consider requests to temporarily operate in the new wireless band, we will require broadcasters to demonstrate that there is no reasonable alternative available and provide consent from potentially impacted wireless licensee(s). In the case of a request for temporary joint use of a channel, the applicant (joint user) must include with its request a written authorization from the licensee of the host station. Commercial and noncommercial educational (NCE) stations as well as full power and Class A stations may request to engage in temporary joint use of a channel. Stations also may request an STA to continue to operate on their pre-auction channel beyond their phase completion deadlines. We clarify that STA requests to continue operating on a station's pre-auction channel should not be made in lieu of filing for a phase change. See infra, para. 14. We envision such requests would be filed when a station discovers at the last-minute that, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond its control, it will be unable to commence operation on its post-auction channel by its phase completion date and is left with no reasonable alternative other than going silent. Authority for a station to continue to operate on its pre-auction channel after its phase completion date may only be possible at reduced power.

    8. As we have previously announced, the Bureau will evaluate all STA requests to determine whether grant would delay or disrupt the post-auction transition schedule. We will not grant an STA that would authorize a station to operate on its pre-auction channel beyond the end of the 39-month transition period. While we have provided several tools to provide relief to stations that are unable to satisfy certain transition deadlines, failure to timely initiate a construction project or undertake necessary steps to meet transition deadlines, including due to a pending application, or the amount of any reimbursement allocation, will not be weighed favorably as a factor in considering such grants of relief. See Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Announce the Initial Reimbursement Allocation for Eligible Broadcasters and MVPDs, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 7556, 7559-60 (IATF/MB 2017); Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Announce a Further Reimbursement Allocation for Eligible Broadcasters and MVPDs, Public Notice, DA 18-372, 5 (rel. Apr. 16, 2018). All STAs for temporary facilities granted in connection with the post-auction transition will be for a maximum of 180 days. We recommend that repacked stations, if possible, file such STA requests at least 30 days prior to the date they plan to commence STA operations. In addition, the Bureau may modify or cancel an STA at any time, without prior notice or right to hearing, see 47 CFR 73.1635.

    9. Silent Authority. Commission rules provide that a station may suspend operations for a period of not more than 30 days absent specific authority from the Commission. Stations that remain silent for more than 10 days must notify the Commission not later than the tenth day of their suspended operations by filing a Suspension of Operations Notification in LMS, 47 CFR 73.1740(a)(4). Stations that need to remain silent for more than 30 days must file for a Silent STA. Id. We remind stations that the license of any station that remains silent for any consecutive 12-month period expires automatically at the end of that period, by operation of law, except that the Commission can extend or reinstate such a license “to promote equity and fairness.” 47 U.S.C. 312(g). In considering requests to extend or reinstate a license, we will examine whether the station has demonstrated that its silence is the result of compelling reasons beyond the station's control, including facts that relate to the post-auction transition process.

    10. In the unlikely circumstance where a station believes it will need to temporarily go silent because it will be unable to commence operation on its post-auction channel by its phase completion date, the station should notify its regional coordinator and send an email to [email protected] as soon as that fact is known. An up-to-date list is available at: https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/incentive-auctions/transition-schedule, select the “Regions” tab.

    11. Ceasing Pre-Auction Channel Operation. In order to accommodate a smooth transition and prevent viewer confusion, repacked stations are expected to cease operation on their pre-auction channel upon whichever of the following occurs first: (1) The filing of a license to cover; (2) the commencement of operation on the station's post-auction channel pursuant to a grant of STA to operate at variance from its authorized post-auction parameters; (3) the date a station has informed viewers it will be ceasing pre-auction operations or commencing post-auction operations; or (4) no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the station's assigned phase completion date. As discussed in greater detail below, a station that cannot complete construction of its post-auction facility by the construction permit expiration date (i.e. the station's phase completion date), may seek a single extension of the construction permit expiration date of up to 180 days. However, absent express authority from the Commission to the contrary, a repacked station must cease operation on its pre-auction channel no later than the station's phase completion date.

    12. Extension of Construction Permit Expiration Date. A station may seek a single extension of the construction permit expiration date of up to 180 days by submitting an extension application using Schedule 2100, FCC Form 337 (Construction Permit Extension). Such application must be filed 90 days before a station's construction permit deadline. See 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(5). The deadline for filing a Construction Permit Extension application, by phase and based on the current transition schedule, are as follows:

    Phase 180-day
  • construction
  • permit extension
  • filing deadline
  • 1 09/04/2018 2 01/14/2019 3 03/25/2019 4 05/06/2019 5 06/10/2019 6 07/22/2019 7 10/21/2019 8 12/16/2019 9 02/03/2020 10 04/06/2020

    A Construction Permit Extension application must include an exhibit demonstrating that, despite all reasonable efforts, the station is unable to complete construction of its new facility on time due to circumstances that were either unforeseeable or beyond its control. The following circumstances might justify grant of an extension of a station's construction deadline: (1) Weather related delays; (2) delays in construction due to the unavailability of equipment or a tower crew; (3) tower lease disputes; (4) unusual technical challenges; or (5) delays caused by the need to obtain government approvals, such as land use or zoning approvals, or to observe competitive bidding requirements prior to purchasing equipment or services. In limited circumstances and with appropriate supporting documentation, stations may rely on “financial hardship” as a criterion for seeking an extension of time. Such circumstances may, for example, include a situation in which a station is subject to an active bankruptcy or receivership proceeding. 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(5)(ii) and (iii).

    13. Grant of a Construction Permit Extension does not modify the requirement that the station cease operation on its pre-auction channel by 11:59 p.m. (local time) on its phase completion date. The Bureau has also announced that, prior to grant, it will evaluate all extension applications to determine whether grant will delay or disrupt the post-auction transition schedule. Additional time beyond the initial 180-day extension will be subject to the Commission's stricter “tolling” rule. See 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(5)(i) and 73.3598(b).

    14. Request for Waiver and Modification of Assigned Transition Phase. The Bureau has stated that it will evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, requests for waiver and modification of a station's transition phase under the Commission's general waiver standard, 47 CFR 1.3, and by assessing the impact of the request on the transition schedule, including the impact on other broadcasters and viewers. In order to facilitate a timely and orderly transition, the Bureau determined that it will view favorably requests that are compliant with the Commission's rules and have little or no impact on the transition schedule. We will evaluate factors such as the impact on viewers, the impact on other repacked stations' access to resources, how modification to the transition schedule may disrupt deployment of new 600 MHz broadband services, and if the phase change would inhibit broadcasters' ability to complete the transition within the 39-month post-auction transition period. Requests that the staff determine would be likely to delay or disrupt the transition schedule will be viewed unfavorably. See Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Adopt Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 890, 912-14, paras. 49-52 (MB 2017). During the 10-phase transition period, the testing period start dates and phase completion dates occur in quick succession, especially as the transition progresses. Therefore, we must undertake a detailed review of each request based on the unique facts and circumstances presented in order to determine whether the benefits of a phase change outweigh the burdens and is in the public interest. In particular, we must do all that is possible to ensure limited resources (for instance structural engineers, tower crews, and equipment manufacturers, among others) are available to repacked stations and must be mindful of the additional burdens on viewers that some phase changes impose when the change would increase the number of rescan periods in an area. That is why we limited the number of rescan periods per DMA to a maximum of two when we established the phased transition schedule. Furthermore, when setting the testing period start date and phase completion date for each phase, we took into account time and resource estimates based on information collected through notice and comment, to estimate how long it would take all the stations in each phase to obtain access to limited resources and complete their transitions. We note that a vast majority of phase changes to date have involved stations receiving authority to transition to their post-auction channel in the period prior to Phase 1. These “early” transition cases in particular presented facts and circumstances that may no longer be applicable or have the same benefit after the testing period start date for Phase 1 commences on September 14, 2018.

    15. Required Transition Notifications. Repacked stations are required to provide notices to viewers and certain third-party entities prior to transitioning to their post-auction channel. Precisely when these notifications are made will be unique to each station's individual transition plans. With regard to viewer notifications, at least 30 days prior to ceasing operation on a station's pre-auction channel all stations must air at least 60-seconds per day of on-air consumer education public service announcements (PSAs) or crawls, see 47 CFR 73.3700(c)(3). If a station's anticipated transition date changes, licensees are expected to promptly provide updated notifications to viewers reflecting the date change. To the extent a station is not able to comply with its consumer education requirements, it must file a request for waiver of 47 CFR 73.3700(c) as a Legal STA in LMS. All waiver requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Commission waiver standard, 47 CFR 1.3, and must include the following information: (1) An explanation describing why the station is unable to comply with the existing consumer education requirements; (2) an alternative but comparable means the station will use to notify viewers of the station's new channel; and (3) why grant of the waiver request complies with the Commission's general waiver standard. A station may propose to provide alternative notification to viewers through, for example, local newspaper, radio, other in-market television stations, and/or digital and social media. Depending on the proposal, the Bureau may require a combination of alternative notification efforts. The required substance of a station's viewer notifications are set forth in 47 CFR 73.3700(c)(4) and (5) of the Rules. Within 30 days following completion of a station's transition to its post-auction channel, stations must place in their online local public inspection file a certification of compliance with its viewer notification obligations. 47 CFR 73.3700(c)(6). Stations should upload a copy of this certification into the folder in their online local public inspection file entitled “Auction Transition Consumer Certification.” Instructions for accessing and uploading documents to a station's online local public inspection file can be found at: https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/faq/.

    16. Stations must also provide notice to Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) not less than 90 days prior to the date on which the station will begin operations on its post-auction channel. The requirements of the written notice and where the notice must be sent are provided in 47 CFR 73.3700(d). If a station's anticipated transition date changes, the licensee must send a further notice to the affected MVPD informing them of the new anticipated date. 47 CFR 73.3700(d)(5)(v). We strongly encourage stations also to reach out to their regular contacts with local MVPDs in addition to the points of contact identified in the rule in order to ensure a smooth transition.

    17. Notifications must also be provided based on individual conditions placed on stations construction permits. Some of these notifications include providing notice to health care facilities, 47 CFR 15.242(a)(1), such as hospitals and nursing homes, and AM radio stations. Stations should review their construction permit for such conditions and make arrangements now to ensure that they are met prior to the filing of a license to cover.

    18. Post-Auction Transition Progress Reports. Repacked stations are required to file Post-Auction Transition Progress Reports using FCC Form 2100, Schedule 387, electronically in LMS at various times during the transition process. See 47 CFR 73.3700(e)(5). Transition Progress Report obligations were established for both reimbursable repacked stations and non-reimbursable repacked stations (i.e., band changers). Reports much be filed quarterly (Quarterly Report) no later than January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10. Each report reflects information for the preceding quarter: January 10 for the fourth quarter of the previous year (October-December), April 10 for the first quarter (January-March), July 10 for the second quarter (April-June), and October 10 for the third quarter (July-September). Reports must also be filed (1) 10 weeks before the end of their assigned construction deadline (10-Week Report); (2) 10 days after they complete all work related to construction of their post-auction facilities (Construction Completion Report); and (3) five days after they cease broadcasting on their pre-auction channel (Pre-Auction Termination Report). See The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Release Transition Progress Report Form and Filing Requirements for Stations Eligible for Reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund and Seek Comment on the Filing of the Report by Non-Reimbursable Stations, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 256 (MB 2017); The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Adopt Filing Requirements For the Transition Progress Report Form By Stations that are Not Eligible for Reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 4029 (MB 2017). The 10-Week Report filing dates based on the current transition schedule is as follows:

    Phase 10-week report
  • filing deadline
  • 1 09/21/2018 2 02/01/2019 3 04/12/2019 4 05/24/2019 5 06/28/2019 6 08/09/2019 7 11/08/2019 8 01/03/2020 9 02/21/2020 10 04/24/2020

    The timing of the Construction Completion Report and Pre-Auction Termination Report will be based on each station's unique situation and transition timing. The Construction Completion Report should only be filed when the post-auction facility authorized in a station's construction permit has been completed and the station could file an application for license to cover if it were permitted to commence program test authority on its post-auction channel. The filing of a station's Construction Completion Report does not necessarily require the filing of a license to cover. Such filing is only required once the station commences program test authority, which the station is only able to do on or after its testing period start date, subject to any required coordination if the station is in a linked-station set. A station may file its Construction Completion Report in advance of its testing period start date assuming that construction of its post-auction facility is complete, but making such a filing does not permit a station to commence post-auction operation prior to its testing period start date. If a station will be commencing operation on its post-auction channel under an STA, it must wait to file its Construction Completion Report until after it has filed its Pre-Auction Termination Report and completed construction of the post-auction facility authorized in its construction permit. Each category of Transition Progress Report are individual reports that must be filed separately. A station must continue to file Quarterly Reports until it has filed its 10-Week Report, Pre-Auction Termination Report, and Construction Completion Report.

    19. Channel Sharing Repacked Station. In the event that a channel sharee station (sharee station) is channel sharing with another station (host station) that is repacked, the sharee station must comply with all notification requirements, including but not limited to consumer and MVPD notice requirements as discussed above. In addition, not less than 60 days prior to the host station's phase construction deadline, the host station must file a minor change application to its current channel sharing license for a construction permit (FCC Form 2100 -Schedule A (full power) and Schedule E (Class A)) specifying the host station's post-auction channel and parameters previously authorized in its post-auction construction permit. Such applications will be considered minor changes and will be subject to filing fees. Please note, these filing instructions differ from those previously provided. Failure to follow the instructions set forth in this Public Notice could result in application processing delays and the need to file additional applications. So long as the sharee station is licensed to operate on the same channel as the host station and a minor change application has been filed by the host station, LMS is designed so that a license application for a post-auction channel filed by the host station will be filed on behalf of all licensed sharee stations. LMS requires that the filer certify that all channel sharing stations consent to the filing of the application. Because sharee stations will be operating from the same post-auction facility as the repacked host station, sharee stations are not required to file Transition Progress Reports. Furthermore, only the host station needs to file a request for waiver and modification of assigned phase change so long as a signed letter of consent from each licensee that is a party to the channel sharing arrangement is included with the request. All other applications and filings discussed in this Public Notice, including but not limited to requests for an engineering STA, STA for silent authority, and a request for Construction Permit Extension, must be individually filed by both the host station and any sharee station.

    20. Informal Request for Transition Dates and Outreach Information. In order to assist the Commission with answering viewer inquiries and evaluating ways to further support repacked stations' transition efforts, we informally request that a repacked station notify us via email at [email protected] once it knows the specific date that it intends to cease operations on its pre-auction channel and commence operations on its post-auction channel. We would also welcome additional information concerning places the Commission can direct viewers to obtain information about a repacked station's transition plans, such as a viewer email inquiry box, website, or hotline. While this is not an official information collection and you are not required to provide us with this information, voluntarily doing so will help the Commission support repacked stations transition efforts and help facilitate a smooth transition process for viewers.

    21. Contacts. Additional questions concerning the post-incentive auction transition or this Public Notice may be referred to the contact persons listed in the Public Notice.

    22. Filings. All applications and reports referenced in this Public Notice must be filed in LMS, including but not limited to Transition Progress Reports, Applications for License to Cover, STAs (technical and legal), and Construction Permit Extensions. LMS filing instructions are provided in Appendix A of the Public Notice. Stations are also asked to send an electronic copy of certain transition-related filings, as indicated in Appendix A, via email to: [email protected]

    23. Additional Resources. Repacked stations and other interested parties may want to visit the Commission's broadcast transition website and/or review the following additional resources listed in the Public Notice and available on the Commission's EDOCS database (https://www.fcc.gov/edocs) for guidance concerning the post-incentive auction broadcast television transition.

    24. This action is taken by the Chief, Media Bureau, pursuant to authority delegated by 47 CFR 0.61.

    Federal Communications Commission. Barbara Kreisman, Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20305 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than October 5, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Max E. Nichols Trust and Max E. Nichols, Great Bend, Kansas, individually, and as Trustee of such trust; the Max E. Nichols Legacy Trust and James Steven Clinkinbeard, Topeka, Kansas as Trustee of such trust; EPC LLC, a Kansas limited liability company; Joe Lynn Nichols, Paradise Valley, Arizona; and Erin P. Nichols, Lakewood, Colorado, (collectively, the Nichols Family Group); to retain voting shares of American State Bancshares, Inc., Wichita, Kansas and indirectly retain shares of American State Bank and Trust Company, Great Bend, Kansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 14, 2018. Michele T. Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20387 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than October 17, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. TEB, MHC and TEB Bancorp, Inc., both of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; to become a mutual bank holding company and mid-tier stock bank holding company, respectively, by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of The Equitable Bank, S.S.B., Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, in connection with the conversion of The Equitable Bank, S.S.B from mutual to stock form.

    In connection with the proposal, TEB Bancorp, Inc., Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, has applied to engage de novo in extending credit and servicing loans, pursuant to section 225.28(b)(1) of Regulation Y.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 14, 2018. Michele T. Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20386 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0076; Docket No. 2018-0003; Sequence No. 13] Submission for OMB Review; Novation/Change of Name Requirements AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning Novation/Change of Name Requirements.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC, 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0076, Novation/Change of Name Requirements”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0076, Novation/Change of Name Requirements” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 9000-0076, Novation/Change of Name Requirements.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0076, Novation/Change of Name Requirements, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check regulations.gov, approximately two-to-three business days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA, 202-208-4949 or via email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    Federal Acquisition Regulation 42.1203 and 42.1204 provide requirements for contractors to request novation/change of name agreements and supporting documents when a firm performing under Government contracts wishes the Government to recognize (1) a successor in interest to these contracts, or (2) a name change, it must submit certain documentation to the Government.

    Estimates are based on data available in the Federal Procurement Data System for fiscal years 2015 through 2017, which accounts for the decrease from 1,178 estimated respondents to 547 estimated respondents. This has resulted in the public burden hours being reduced to 1,094 from 2,356 for the information collection.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 547.

    Responses Per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 547.

    Hours Per Response: 2.0.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,094.

    C. Public Comments

    A 60-day notice was published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 25457 on June 1, 2018. No comments were received. Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary; whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies Of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755.

    Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0076, Novation/Change of Name Requirements, in all correspondence.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. William Clark, Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20298 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0189; Docket No. 2018-0003; Sequence No. 17] Information Collection; Identification of Predecessors AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the FAR Council invites the public to comment upon a renewal concerning identification of predecessors.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The FAR Council invites interested persons to submit comments on this collection by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions on the site.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 9000-0189, Identification of Predecessors.

    Instructions: All items submitted must cite Information Collection 9000-0189, Identification of Predecessors. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail). This information collection is pending at the FAR Council. The Council will submit it to OMB within 60 days from the date of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Cecelia L. Davis, Procurement Analyst, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, at 202-219-0202 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Overview of Information Collection Description of the Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Revision/Renewal of a currently approved collection.

    2. Title of the Collection—Identification of Predecessors.

    3. Agency form number, if any:— None.

    Solicitation of Public Comment

    Written comments and suggestions from the public should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    B. Purpose

    The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provision 52.204-20, Predecessor of Offeror, requires each offeror to identify if the offeror is, within the last three years, a successor to another entity that received a Federal Government award and, if so, to provide the Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and legal name of the predecessor. The information on predecessors is used to identify such entities in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) to allow retrieval of integrity and performance data on the most recent predecessor of an apparent successful offeror to whom award is anticipated. FAR 9.104-6 requires contracting officers to consult FAPIIS before awarding a contract in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold. The information on predecessors is collected on an annual basis for inclusion in the annual representations and certifications in the System for Award Management (SAM) for offerors required to register in SAM. Offerors not required to register in SAM but required to provide the information in the provision at FAR 52.204-20 will do so as specified in the solicitation or instructed by the contracting officer.

    C. Annual Reporting Burden

    The burden to provide the information required by the FAR provision at 52.204-20 when an offeror is registered in SAM is already covered by OMB Control Number 9000-0159, System for Award Management Registration (SAM). OMB Control Number 9000-0189 now will cover the burden for providing the required information when the offeror is not required to register in SAM in accordance with the exceptions in FAR 4.1102(a). The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) for FY 2017 was used to develop the estimated burden hours as shown below:

    Respondents: 974.

    Responses Per Respondent: 1.

    Total Annual Responses: 974.

    Hours Per Response: 0.1.

    Total Burden Hours: 97.4.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Obtaining Copies: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0189, Identification of Predecessors, in all correspondence.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. William Clark, Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20299 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10673] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 or Email: [email protected]

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' website address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    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. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: New Collection (Request for a new OMB control number); Title of Information Collection: Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) Demonstration; Use: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may test a demonstration, under Section 402 of the Social Security Amendments of 1968 (as amended), entitled the Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) Demonstration (“the Demonstration”). If it goes forward, the MAQI demonstration could test whether exempting, through the use of waiver authority, clinicians who participate to a sufficient degree in certain payment arrangements with Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) (combined with participation, if any, in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) with Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS)) from the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting requirements and payment adjustment will increase or maintain participation in payment arrangements with MAOs similar to Advanced APMs and change the manner in which clinicians deliver care.

    Clinicians may currently participate in one of two paths of the Quality Payment Program (QPP): (1) MIPS, which adjusts Medicare payments based on combined performance on measures of quality, cost, improvement activities, and advancing care information, or (2) Advanced Alternative Payment Models with Medicare (Advanced APMs), under which eligible clinicians may earn an incentive payment for sufficient participation in certain payment arrangements with Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) and other payers, and starting in the 2019 performance period, with other payers such as Medicare Advantage, commercial payers, and Medicaid managed care. To participate in the Advanced APM path of QPP for a given year, eligible clinicians must meet the criteria of Qualifying APM Participants (QPs); in addition to earning an APM incentive payment, QPs are excluded from the MIPS reporting requirements and payment adjustment.

    An eligible clinician that does not meet the criteria to be a QP for a given year will be subject to MIPS for that year unless the clinician meets certain other MIPS exclusion criteria, such as being newly enrolled in Medicare or meeting the low volume threshold for Medicare FFS patients. The MAQI Demonstration could allow participating clinicians to have the opportunity to be exempt from MIPS reporting and payment consequences for a given year if they participate to a sufficient degree in certain Qualifying Payment Arrangements with MAOs (and Advanced APMs with Medicare FFS) during the performance period for that year, without requiring them to be QPs or otherwise meet the MIPS exclusion criteria of QPP. Under a possible Demonstration, clinicians might not be required to have a minimum amount of participation in an Advanced APM with Medicare FFS in order to be exempt from MIPS reporting requirements and payment adjustments for a year, but if they did have participation in Advanced APMs with Medicare FFS, that participation could also be counted towards the thresholds that trigger the waiver from MIPS reporting and payment consequences. In addition, the Demonstration could permit consideration of participation in “Qualifying Payment Arrangements” with Medicare Advantage plans that meet the criteria to be Other Payer Advanced APMs a year before the All-Payer Combination Option is available.

    In the Calendar Year 2018 Quality Payment Program Final Rule, CMS noted its intention “to develop a demonstration project to test the effects of expanding incentives for eligible clinicians to participate in innovative alternative payment arrangements under Medicare Advantage that qualify as Advanced APMs, by allowing credit for participation in such Medicare Advantage arrangements prior to 2019 and incentivizing participation in such arrangements in 2018 through 2024.” (92 FR 53865).

    The first performance period for the Demonstration is tentatively planned for 2018 and the Demonstration would last up to five years. Clinicians who meet the definition of MIPS eligible clinician under QPP as defined under 42 CFR 414.1305 would be eligible to participate in the MAQI Demonstration. Currently, MIPS eligible clinicians include physicians (including doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, osteopathic practitioners, doctors of dental surgery, doctors of dental medicine, doctors of podiatric medicine, doctors of optometry, and chiropractors), physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. If the definition of MIPS eligible clinician changes under future rulemaking, the Demonstration would use the updated definition to define Demonstration eligibility.

    Participation could last the duration of the Demonstration, unless participation is voluntarily or involuntarily terminated under the terms and conditions of the Demonstration. Participants would have the opportunity to submit the required documentation and be evaluated for MIPS waivers through the Demonstration each year.

    Should this demonstration move forward, and in order to conduct an evaluation and effectively implement the MAQI Demonstration, CMS would need to collect information from Demonstration participants on (a) payment arrangements with MAOs and (b) Medicare Advantage (MA) payments and patient counts. CMS would require a new collection of this information as this information is not already available through other sources and/or has not been previously approved for use under the MAQI Demonstration. The information collected in these forms would allow CMS to evaluate whether the payment arrangement that clinicians have with MAOs meet the Qualifying Payment Arrangement criteria, and determine whether a clinician's MAO and FFS APM patient population or payments meet demonstration thresholds. Both of these areas are also requirements for review and data collection under QPP (i.e. the Eligible Clinician-Initiated Other Payer Advanced APM Determination form and All-Payer QP Submission form), and therefore similar to forms have been prepared and reviewed under the QPP.

    Given these similarities in forms, burden estimates for the MAQI Demonstration PRA package were derived from burden analyses and formulation done in conjunction with the QPP forms; more specifically the estimated burden associated with the submission of payment arrangement information for Other Payer Advanced APM Determinations: Eligible Clinician-Initiated Process, and the estimated burden associated with the submission of data for All-Payer QP determinations. CMS estimates the total hour burden per respondent for the MAQI demonstration to be 15 hours, to match the hours listed in the equivalent QPP forms. Full detail of how these estimates were derived can be found in the forthcoming Calendar Year 2019 Proposed QPP rule.

    If Demonstration participants submitted information, but did not meet these conditions of the Demonstration, their participation in the Demonstration would not be terminated, but they would not receive the waivers from MIPS reporting requirements and payment adjustments. Therefore, unless they become QPs or are excluded from MIPS for other reasons, the participating clinicians would be subject to MIPS and would face the MIPS payment adjustments for the applicable year. We are requesting approval of 2 information collections associated with the MAQI Demonstration: (a) A Qualifying Payment Arrangement Submission Form and (b) a Threshold Data Submission Form. Subsequent to publishing the 60-day Federal Register notice (83 FR 31150), there have been minor revisions made to the collection instrument to clarify information. There is no increase in the burden hours. Form Number: CMS-10673 (OMB control number: 0938-NEW); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private sector—Business or other for-profit and Not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 100,000; Total Annual Responses: 100,000; Total Annual Hours: 1,500,000. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact John Amoh at [email protected])

    Dated: September 14, 2018. Martique Jones, Director, Regulations Development Group, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20372 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3152] Postapproval Changes to Drug Substances; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability; Correction AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration is correcting a notice entitled “Postapproval Changes to Drug Substances; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability” that appeared in the Federal Register of September 11, 2018. The document announced a draft guidance that provides recommendations to holders of approved new drug applications, abbreviated new drug applications, new animal drug applications, abbreviated new animal drug applications, and holders of drug master files and veterinary master files who may want to make a change to the drug substance manufacturing process during the drug product application postapproval period. The document was published with the incorrect docket number. This document corrects that error.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Granger, Office of Policy and Planning, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 3330, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-9115.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Federal Register of Tuesday, September 11, 2018 (83 FR 45944), in FR Doc. 2018-19666, on page 45944, the following correction is made:

    On page 45944, in the first column, in the header of the document, and also in the third column under Instructions, “Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3151” is corrected to read “Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3152”.

    Dated: September 12, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20317 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0029] Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Admission and/or Status Designation, and Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Activity Permit AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted no later than October 19, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to Seth Renkema, Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, Telephone number (202) 325-0056 or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (Volume 83 FR Page 23286) on May 18, 2018, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) 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) 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) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Admission and/or Status Designation, and Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Activity Permit.

    OMB Number: 1651-0029.

    Form Numbers: 214, 214A, 214B, 214C, and 216.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Action: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to CBP Forms 214, 214A, 214B, 214C, and 216.

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Abstract: Foreign trade zones (FTZs) are geographical enclaves located within the geographical limits of the United States but for tariff purposes are considered to be outside the United States. Imported merchandise may be brought into FTZs for storage, manipulation, manufacture or other processing and subsequent removal for exportation, consumption in the United States, or destruction. A company bringing goods into an FTZ has a choice of zone status (privileged/non-privileged foreign, domestic, or zone-restricted), which affects the way such goods are treated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and treated for tariff purposes upon entry into the customs territory of the U.S.

    CBP Forms 214, 214A, 214B, and 214C, which make up the Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Admission and/or Status Designation, are used by companies that bring merchandise into an FTZ to register the admission of such merchandise into FTZs and to apply for the appropriate zone status. CBP Form 216, Foreign-Trade Zone Activity Permit, is used by companies to request approval to manipulate, manufacture, exhibit, or destroy merchandise in an FTZ.

    These FTZ forms are authorized by 19 U.S.C. 81 and provided for by 19 CFR 146.22, 146.32, 146.39, 146.40, 146.41, 146.44, 146.52, 146.53, and 146.66. These forms are accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms.

    Form 214, Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Admission and/or Status Designation

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 6,749.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 25.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 168,725.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 42,181.

    Form 216, Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Activity Permit

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,500.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 10.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 25,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,167.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Seth D. Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20306 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4384-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (FEMA-4384-DR), dated August 17, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The declaration was issued August 17, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated August 17, 2018, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage to the lands associated with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation resulting from flooding during the period of May 5 to May 28, 2018, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to Section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Timothy B. Manner, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation for Public Assistance.

    The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20320 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4385-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] Connecticut; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Connecticut (FEMA-4385-DR), dated August 20, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The declaration was issued August 20, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated August 20, 2018, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Connecticut resulting from severe storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds on May 15, 2018, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Connecticut.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, James N. Russo, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Connecticut have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Fairfield and New Haven Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Connecticut are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20371 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4351-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] Alaska; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Alaska (FEMA-4351-DR), dated December 20, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The declaration was issued December 20, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated December 20, 2017, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Alaska resulting from a severe storm during the period of September 28-30, 2017, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Thomas J. Dargan, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Alaska have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    The North Slope Borough for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Alaska are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20321 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3399-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] Hawaii; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of Hawaii (FEMA-3399-EM), dated August 22, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    The declaration was issued August 22, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated August 22, 2018, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in certain areas of the State of Hawaii resulting from Hurricane Lane beginning on August 22, 2018, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of Hawaii.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, William Roche, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of Hawaii have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai Counties and the City and County of Honolulu for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20373 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4353-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2018-0001] California; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of California (FEMA-4353-DR), dated January 2, 2018, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    This amendment was issued September 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the incident period for this disaster is closed effective January 31, 2018.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20319 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2018-0023; OMB No. 1660-0070] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; National Fire Department Registry AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The submission will describe the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e., the time, effort and resources used by respondents to respond) and cost, and the actual data collection instruments FEMA will use.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the Desk Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection should be made to Director, Information Management Division, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, email address [email protected] or Gayle Kelch, Statistician, FEMA, United States Fire Administration, National Fire Data Center at (301) 447-1154 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection previously published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2018 at 83 FR 23702 with a 60 day public comment period. No comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to notify the public that FEMA will submit the information collection abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance.

    Collection of Information

    Title: National Fire Department Registry.

    Type of Information Collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection.

    OMB Number: 1660-0070.

    FEMA Forms: FEMA Form 070-0-0-1, National Fire Department Registry.

    Abstract: This collection seeks to identify fire departments in the United States to compile a database related to their demographics, capabilities, and activities. The database is used to guide programmatic decisions and provide information to the public and the fire service.

    Affected Public: State, local, or Tribal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 8,223.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 8,223.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,067 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost: $11,558.

    Estimated Respondents' Operation and Maintenance Costs: $0.

    Estimated Respondents' Capital and Start-Up Costs: $0.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Federal Government: $91,847.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Rachel Frier, Records Management Branch Chief, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20315 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-76-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R2-ES-2018-N099; FXES11140200000-189-FF02ENEH00] Incidental Take Permit Application To Participate in American Burying-Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan in Oklahoma AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as amended, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on a Federally-listed American Burying-beetle incidental take permit (ITP) application. The applicant anticipates American Burying-beetle take as a result of impacts to Oklahoma habitat the species uses for breeding, feeding and sheltering. The take would be incidental to the applicant's activities associated with oil and gas well field and pipeline infrastructure (gathering, transmission, and distribution), including geophysical exploration (seismic), construction, maintenance, operation, repair, decommissioning, and reclamation. If approved, the permit would be issued under the approved American Burying Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan (ICP) Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permit Issuance in Oklahoma.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may obtain copies of all documents and submit comments on the applicant's ITP application by one of the following methods. Please refer to the proposed permit number when requesting documents or submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species—HCP Permits, P.O. Box 1306, Room 6093, Albuquerque, NM 87103.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marty Tuegel, Branch Chief, by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Review Division, P.O. Box 1306, Room 6078, Albuquerque, NM 87103; or by telephone at 505-248-6651.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Introduction

    Under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on an ITP application to take the Federally-listed American Burying-beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) during oil and gas well field infrastructure geophysical exploration (seismic) and construction, maintenance, operation, repair, and decommissioning, as well as oil and gas gathering, transmission, and distribution pipeline infrastructure construction, maintenance, operation, repair, decommissioning, and reclamation in Oklahoma.

    If approved, the permit would be issued to the applicant under the American Burying Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan (ICP) Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permit Issuance in Oklahoma. The original ICP was approved on May 21, 2014, and the “no significant impact” finding notice was published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2014 (79 FR 43504). The draft amended ICP was made available for comment on March 8, 2016 (81 FR 12113), and approved on April 13, 2016. The ICP and the associated environmental assessment/finding of no significant impact are available on our website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/oklahoma/ABBICP. However, we are no longer taking comments on these finalized, approved documents.

    Application Available for Review and Comment

    We invite local, state, Tribal, and Federal agencies, and the public to comment on the following application under the ICP, for incidentally taking the Federally-listed American Burying-beetle. Please refer to the proposed permit number (TE98456C) when requesting application documents and when submitting comments. Documents and other information the applicant submitted are available for review, subject to Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) requirements.

    Permit TE98456C Applicant: Ponderosa Gathering, LLC, Houston, TX.

    Applicant requests a permit for oil and gas upstream and midstream production, including oil and gas well field infrastructure geophysical exploration (seismic) and construction, maintenance, operation, repair, and decommissioning, as well as oil and gas gathering, transmission, and distribution pipeline infrastructure construction, maintenance, operation, repair, decommissioning, and reclamation in Oklahoma.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Written comments we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can request in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under the ESA, section 10(c) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: July 19, 2018. Amy Lueders, Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20351 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-945] Certain Network Devices, Related Software and Components Thereof (II) (Modification 2); Grant of Joint Motion To Terminate the Modification Proceeding Based on a Settlement Agreement; Termination of the Modification Proceeding in Its Entirety AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined grant a joint motion of complainant Cisco Systems, Inc. of San Jose, California (“Cisco”) and respondent Arista Networks, Inc. of Santa Clara, California (“Arista”) to terminate the above-captioned modification proceeding concerning a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order issued against Arista in Inv. No. 337-TA-945. The modification proceeding is terminated in its entirety.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Megan M. Valentine, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-2301. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission instituted this investigation on January 27, 2015, based on a Complaint filed by Cisco. 80 FR 4313-14 (Jan. 27, 2015). The Complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337 (“section 337”), by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,023,853 (“the '853 patent”); 6,377,577 (“the '577 patent”); 7,460,492 (“the '492 patent”); 7,061,875 (“the '875 patent”); 7,224,668 (“the '668 patent”); and 8,051,211 (“the '211 patent”). The Complaint further alleges the existence of a domestic industry. The Commission's Notice of Investigation named Arista as the respondent. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations (“OUII”) was also named as a party to the investigation. The Commission terminated the investigation in part as to certain claims of the asserted patents. Notice (Nov. 18, 2015) (see Order No. 38 (Oct. 27, 2015)); Notice (Dec. 1, 2015) (see Order No. 47 (Nov. 9, 2015)).

    On June 11, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office instituted separate inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings concerning the '577 and '668 patents. Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., Case IPR2016-00303 (regarding the '577 patent); Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., Case IPR2016-00309 (regarding the '668 patent).

    On May 4, 2017, the Commission found a violation of section 337 with respect to certain of the asserted claims of the '577 and '668 patents. Notice (May 4, 2017); 82 FR 21827-29 (May 10, 2017); see also Notice of Correction (May 30, 2017); 82 FR 25811 (June 5, 2017). The Commission issued a limited exclusion order (“LEO”) and a cease and desist order (“CDO”) against Arista. Id. The Commission did not find a violation with respect to the '853, '875, '492, and '211 patents. Id.

    On May 25, 2017, the PTAB issued its final written decision finding certain claims of the '577 patent unpatentable based on prior art not presented in the Commission investigation. On June 1, 2017, the PTAB issued its final written decision finding certain claims of the '668 patent unpatentable based on certain combinations of prior art not presented in the Commission investigation. Both decisions affected the claims upon which the Commission found a violation of section 337.

    On June 30, 2017, Cisco filed a notice of appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”), seeking review of the Commission's finding of no violation as to the '853, '875, '492, and '211 patents. Cisco Sys., Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, Appeal No. 17-2289. On July 21, 2017, Arista filed a notice of appeal with the Federal Circuit, seeking review of the Commission's finding of violation as to the '577 and '668 patents. Arista Networks, Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, Appeal No. 17-2336. On August 3, 2017, the Federal Circuit consolidated the Arista and Cisco appeals. Cisco Sys., Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, Appeal No. 17-2289, Dkt. No. 20.

    On August 25, 2017, Arista filed a motion with the Federal Circuit seeking to stay the Commission's remedial orders pending resolution of the appeal on the merits. On September 22, 2017, the Federal Circuit denied this request “subject to the condition that the product redesign on which Cisco relies to deny irreparable harm must be permitted to enter the country, without being blocked by the Commission order under review in this case, unless and until Commission proceedings are initiated and completed to produce an enforceable determination that such a redesign is barred by the order here under review or by a new or amended order.” Cisco Sys, Inc. v. ITC; Arista Networks, Inc. v. ITC, Appeal Nos. 2017-2289, -2351, Order at 3 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 22, 2017).

    On September 27, 2017, Cisco petitioned for a modification proceeding to determine whether Arista's redesigned switches infringe the patent claims that are the subject of the LEO and CDO issued in this investigation and for modification of the remedial orders to specify the status of these redesigned products.

    On November 1, 2017, the Commission instituted the modification proceeding. 82 FR 50678 (Nov. 1, 2017). On November 7, 2018, the Commission issued a notice clarifying that OUII is not named as a party in the modification proceeding. 82 FR 52318 (Nov. 13, 2017).

    On February 14, 2018, the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the PTAB's decision finding the claims of the '668 patent unpatentable. Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Arista Networks, Inc., Appeal No. 17-2384, Order (Feb. 14, 2018). The Court issued the mandate on March 23, 2018. Id., Dkt. No. 54.

    On March 23, 2018, the ALJ issued a recommended determination in the modification proceeding (“MRD”), finding that Arista's redesigned products infringe the relevant claims of the '668 patent but do not infringe the relevant claims of the '577 patent. MRD (Mar. 23, 2018). Also on March 23, 2018, the ALJ issued an order denying Arista's motion to stay the modification proceedings or to stay the remedial orders with respect to the '668 patent. Order No. 20 (Mar. 23, 2018).

    On April 5, 2018, the Commission determined to modify the remedial orders to suspend enforcement of those orders with respect to the '668 patent. Notice (Apr. 5, 2018); Comm'n Order (Apr. 5, 2018).

    On June 26, 2018, the Commission accepted the ALJ's recommended determination finding no infringement with respect to the '577 patent and determined to modify the remedial orders to exempt Arista's redesigned products that were the subject of the modification proceeding. The Commission also determined to suspend the modification proceeding as to the '668 patent. The '577 patent expired on June 30, 2018.

    On August 27, 2018, the Federal Circuit granted a motion of the parties to voluntarily dismiss the consolidated appeal from the Commission's final determination on violation. Cisco Sys., Inc., Appeal No. 17-2289, Dkt. No. 121 (Aug. 27, 2018).

    On August 27, 2018, Cisco and Arista filed a joint motion to terminate the modification proceeding in its entirety pursuant to Commission Rule 210.21(b)(1) (19 CFR 210.21(b)(1)) based on a settlement agreement between the parties. The motion indicates that the Agreement fully resolves the disputed issues in the modification proceeding, that there are no other agreements, written or oral, express or implied, between them concerning the subject matter of this proceeding, and that the motion includes a public version of this Motion along with an accompanying public version of the Agreement. The motion also contends that termination of the modification proceeding will not adversely affect the public interest.

    The Commission has determined to grant the joint motion and terminate the modification proceeding in its entirety. We note that only the '668 patent remains in the modification proceeding.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and in part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR part 210).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: September 14, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20363 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration Sharon C. Worosilo, M.D., Decision and Order

    On February 7, 2018, the Acting Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Sharon C. Worosilo, M.D. (Registrant), who is registered in Somerset and East Brunswick, New Jersey. The Show Cause Order proposed to revoke Registrant's two DEA Certificates of Registration, Nos. BW8636219 and BW4026375, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), on the ground that she does not have authority to handle controlled substances in New Jersey, the state in which she is registered with the DEA, and to deny any applications for renewal or modification and any applications for any other DEA registrations. GX 2 (Order to Show Cause), at 1.

    With respect to the Agency's jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Registrant is registered with the DEA as a practitioner authorized to handle controlled substances in schedules II through V under two DEA Certificate of Registrations: No. BW4026375 at the registered address of 49 Veronica Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey, and No. BW8636219, at the registered address of 620 Cranbury Road, Suite #115, East Brunswick, New Jersey. Id. at 2. The Order stated that both of Registrant's registrations were due to expire on May 31, 2018. Id.

    Regarding the substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order specifically alleged that the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners issued an Order of Temporary Suspension “suspending [her] New Jersey medical license.” “Consequently, the DEA must revoke [her] DEA registrations based on [her] lack of authority to handle controlled substances in the State of New Jersey.” Id. at 2, citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) and 21 CFR 1301.37(b).

    The Show Cause Order then notified Registrant of her right to request a hearing on the allegations, or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, the procedure for doing either, and the consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. at 2, citing 21 CFR 1301.43. It also notified her of her right to submit a corrective action plan in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 824(c). Id. at 2-3.

    On February 15, 2018, two DEA Diversion Investigators, accompanied by a Task Force Officer, personally served Registrant with the Order to Show Cause at her residence at 1000 Avenue at Port Imperial, Number 706, Weehawken, New Jersey. GX 4 (Declaration of Service of Order to Show Cause) at 1-2.

    On April 13, 2018, the Government submitted a Request for Final Agency Action (RFAA) and the evidentiary record to my Office. The Government represented that “Registrant has not requested a hearing and has not otherwise corresponded or communicated with DEA regarding the Order served on her, including the filing of any written statement in lieu of a hearing.” RFAA, at 1-2.

    Based on the Government's representation that more than 30 days have now passed since the date of service of the Show Cause Order and that Registrant has not submitted a request for a hearing or any other reply, I find that Registrant has waived her right to a hearing or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing. 21 CFR 1301.43(d). I therefore issue this Decision and Final Order based on relevant evidence contained in the record submitted by the Government. 21 CFR 1301.43(d) & (e). I make the following findings of fact.

    Registrant is the holder of two DEA Registrations pursuant to which she is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II-V as a practitioner at the registered address of 49 Veronica Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey (Registration No. BW4026375), and at the registered address of 620 Cranbury Road, Suite #115, East Brunswick, New Jersey (Registration No. BW8636219). GX 1 at 1-2.

    On April 12, 2018, the Associate Chief of the DEA Registration and Program Support Section certified that both registrations were due to expire by their terms on May 31, 2018. Id. at 1-2. She further stated that “[Registrant] has no other pending or valid DEA registrations in New Jersey or in any other state.” Id. at 1-2. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 556(e), I take official notice of Registrant's registration record with the Agency. See also 21 CFR 1316.59(e).1

    1 Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), an agency “may take official notice of facts at any stage in a proceeding—even in the final decision.” U.S. Dept. of Justice, Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act 80 (1947) (Wm. W. Gaunt & Sons, Inc., Reprint 1979). In accordance with the APA and DEA's regulations, Respondent is “entitled on timely request to an opportunity to show to the contrary.” 5 U.S.C. 556(e); see also 21 CFR 1316.59(e). To allow Respondent the opportunity to refute the facts of which I take official notice, Respondent may file a motion for reconsideration within 15 calendar days of service of this order which shall commence on the date this order is mailed.

    A review of Agency registration records shows that Registrant has not filed any applications for renewal, nor has she filed a new application for a DEA Registration. Accordingly, I find that Registrant's registrations expired on May 31, 2018, and that there is no application to act upon.

    Having reviewed the record, I hold that this proceeding is now moot. DEA has long held that “if a registrant has not submitted a timely renewal application prior to the expiration date, then the registration expires and there is nothing to revoke.” Donald Brooks Reece II, M.D., 77 FR 35054 (2012) (quoting Ronald J. Riegel, 63 FR 67132, 67133 (1998); see also Thomas E. Mitchell, 76 FR 20032, 20033 (2011), Donald Kenneth Shreves, D.V.M, 83 FR 22518 (2018). Moreover, in the absence of an application (whether timely filed or not), there is nothing to act upon. Accordingly, because Respondent has allowed her registrations to expire and has not filed either a renewal or a new application, this case is now moot and will be dismissed.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that the Order to Show Cause issued to Sharon C. Worosilo, M.D., be, and it hereby is, dismissed. This Order is effective immediately.

    Dated: September 12, 2018. Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20384 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 16-22] Brian Thomas Nichol, M.D., Decision and Order

    On March 14, 2016, the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued an Order to Show Cause to Brian Thomas Nichol, M.D. (Respondent), which proposed the revocation of his DEA Certificate of Registration No. BN4578057, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a practitioner, at the registered address of 5106 McLanahan Drive, Suite B, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Administrative Law Judge Exhibit (ALJ Ex.) 1, at 1. As grounds for the proposed action, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent's “registration would be inconsistent with the public interest.” Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f), 824(a)(4)). For the same reason, the Order also proposed the denial of any of Registrant's “pending applications for renewal or modification of such registration, and . . . any applications for any other DEA registrations.” Id.

    More specifically, the Show Cause Order set forth six independent reasons why the Government alleges that Respondent's registration should be revoked. Id. at 1-3. The Show Cause Order first charged that Respondent's “pre-signing of prescriptions for controlled substances violated [21] 1 CFR 1306.05(a).” Id. at 2. The Order states that this charge is based on the allegation that in 2006, the Arkansas State Medical Board found that Respondent violated Arkansas and federal laws when (1) he “pre-signed controlled substance prescriptions, which [his] staff members, who were not authorized by law to issue such prescriptions, then issued to patients” and (2) he “[was] not present and [was] not consulted by [his] staff when such prescriptions were issued.” Id. at 1-2. The Order further alleged that in 2006, as a result of these findings, the Arkansas Board suspended Respondent's medical license for six months. Id. at 2.

    1 Although the Order erroneously referenced Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations for this violation, Government counsel corrected the error during his Opening Statement at the administrative hearing when he made clear that Title 21 was the title that the Government had intended to allege. See Transcript (Tr.) 18. Respondent raised no objection based on the erroneous title reference, and I find that this error was merely a scrivener's error and that Respondent had adequate notice of the charged violation.

    The Show Cause Order also set forth five charges of recordkeeping violations based on DEA's July 4, 2014 “on-site inspection of [Respondent's] registered location.” Id. First, the Order charged that Respondent “failed to maintain an initial inventory of all controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3) & 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1304.11(b).” Id. Second, the Order charged that he “failed to maintain complete and accurate dispensing records in violation of 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3) & 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1304.21(a).” Id. at 2-3. Third, the Order charged that, during the on-site inspection, Respondent “could not provide a DEA-222 order form dated [January 16, 2014], for an order of oxycodone tablets, in violation of 21 U.S.C. [842](a)(5) and 21 CFR 1305.17(a).” 2 Id. at 3. Fourth, the Order charged that Respondent “failed to properly annotate two DEA-222 order forms in violation of 21 U.S.C. 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1305.13(b).” Id. Fifth, the Order charged that Respondent “failed to maintain [his] inventory and dispensing records at [his] registered location and these records were not readily retrievable, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1304.04.” Id. Related to this last charge, the Order alleged that Respondent's “inventory and dispensing records were located at Moore Clinical Trials,” which was not located at his registered address, and that he “had not asked for permission to store controlled substance records at a central location” in violation of 21 CFR 1304.04(a)(1). Id.

    2 Although the Order erroneously referenced an August 28, 2013 DEA 222 form for this charge, the Government corrected the date of the allegedly missing DEA 222 form to January 16, 2014 in its May 12, 2016 Prehearing Statement and during Government counsel's Opening Statement at the administrative hearing. See ALJ Ex. 7, at 8; Tr. 15. In addition, although the Order erroneously referenced Section 821 of Title 21 of the United States Code for this charge, the Government corrected the error in its May 12, 2016 Prehearing Statement to Section 842 of Title 21. See ALJ Ex. 7, at 8 (“Respondent's failure to provide the DEA-222 form for this shipment was in violation of 21 U.S.C. 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1305.17(a).”). I find that these errors were merely scrivener's errors and that Respondent had adequate notice of the charged violation.

    Although the pending Show Cause Order discussed a prior September 27, 2011 Show Cause Order that DEA issued to revoke Respondent's DEA registration, as well as the terms of an April 27, 2012 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was intended to resolve the charges in that prior Order, the pending Order did not expressly charge Respondent with violating the MOA. See id. at 2. Instead, the Government charged Respondent with violating the MOA in its May 12, 2016 Prehearing Statement, and further alleged that these violations constituted an independent basis to revoke his registration. See ALJ Ex. 7, at 10-11, 11 n.4.3

    3 “[P]leadings in administrative proceedings are not judged by the standards applied to an indictment at common law.” Moore Clinical Trials, L.L.C., 79 FR 40145, 40159 n.34 (quoting Citizens States Bank of Marshfield v. FDIC, 751 F.2d 209, 213 (8th Cir. 1984)) (internal citations and quotations omitted). “An agency is not required to give every [Respondent] a complete bill of particulars as to every allegation that [he] will confront.” Id. (quoting Boston Carrier, Inc. v. ICC, 746 F.2d 1555, 1560 (D.C. Cir. 1984)) (internal citations and quotations omitted). “Thus, the failure of the Government to disclose an allegation in the Order to Show Cause is not dispositive, and an issue can be litigated if the Government otherwise timely notifies a respondent of its intent to litigate the issue.” Id. (quoting George Mathew, M.D., 75 FR 66138, 66146 n.20 (2010)); see also Darrell Risner, D.M.D., 61 FR 728, 730 (1996) (“the parameters of the hearing are determined by the prehearing statements”).

    After service of the Show Cause Order, Respondent, through his counsel, made a timely request for hearing. See ALJ Ex. 2. The matter was placed on the docket of the Office of Administrative Law Judges and assigned to Administrative Law Judge Charles Wm. Dorman (hereinafter, ALJ). On May 19, 2016, the parties participated in a telephonic prehearing conference, which was not transcribed, and the ALJ issued a Prehearing Ruling and Protective Order (ALJ Ex. 9) memorializing 12 accepted stipulations of fact (set forth more fully infra) as well as the terms of a protective order. Following other pre-hearing procedures, the ALJ conducted an evidentiary hearing in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 16-17, 2016, at which both parties elicited testimony from witnesses and submitted various exhibits.4

    4 On August 23, 2016, Respondent filed a Motion to Supplement the Record requesting that the ALJ accept new exhibits. ALJ Ex. 14. Specifically, Respondent requested leave to supplement the administrative record with the back pages of certain DEA 222 forms entered into evidence at the hearing to rebut a Government witness's testimony about the instructions contained on those back pages. Id. at 1-2. Respondent also attached to his motion the affidavit of Matilda Buchanan, who identified and copied these DEA 222 form back pages for purposes of the motion and who prepared the proposed exhibits. See Exhibits 1-2 to ALJ Ex. 14.

    On August 29, 2016, the Government filed its “Opposition to Respondent's Motion to Supplement the Record and Government's Motion for Leave to File Responding Affidavit.” ALJ Ex. 16. As a threshold matter, the Government contended that Respondent failed to establish that he had good cause for failing to identify the back pages of the DEA 222 forms as exhibits by July 26, 2016, when supplemental prehearing statements were due—even though Respondent knew that the DEA 222 forms would be introduced and discussed at the hearing. Id. at 1-2 (citing 21 CFR 1316.57), 5. The Government argued that Respondent's post-hearing motion was an attempt “to rectify his perceived oversights made at the hearing” for failing to introduce these back pages as part of his case, during cross-examination of the Government's witness, or in a rebuttal case. Id. at 3. The Government also argued that, in any event, Respondent had failed to establish a proper foundation for these supplemental exhibits, and that the Government can no longer cross-examine Respondent's affiant, whose affidavit was submitted in support of these exhibits. Id. at 3-4. Finally, the Government requested leave to file its own affidavit in response to Respondent's affidavit in the event the ALJ granted Respondent's motion. Id. at 5.

    On the same day, the ALJ issued an order denying Respondent's Motion. ALJ Ex. 17. The ALJ found that Respondent did “not set forth any reasons in his Motion for failing to submit these additional exhibits by the July 26, 2016 deadline.” Id. at 2. The ALJ also found that “Respondent had the originals of these exhibits at the hearing and made no attempt to offer the back side of the 222 Forms into evidence at that time. Therefore, the Respondent has not established the requisite good cause for failing to submit these exhibits in a timely manner.” Id. Finally, the ALJ found that admitting “Respondent's proposed exhibits would be unfairly prejudicial to the Government” because it “no longer ha[d] the opportunity to cross-examine Buchanan on the production of the Respondent's additional exhibits, or to introduce additional rebuttal testimony or evidence.” Id. I agree with the ALJ's ruling.

    The parties submitted briefs of their proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and argument on October 3, 2016, and the ALJ issued his Recommended Decision (R.D.) on December 5, 2016. The ALJ found that the Government sustained only two of its charges. First, the ALJ found that the Government had sustained its first charge that Respondent pre-signed prescriptions in violation of 21 CFR 1306.05(a). R.D., at 30. However, the ALJ also found that Respondent “has presented sufficient mitigating evidence” concerning this charge “to show that he can be entrusted with a DEA registration.” Id. at 42. As a result, the ALJ did not recommend any sanction as a result of this violation. See id. at 41-46.

    Second, with respect to the Government's recordkeeping charges, the ALJ only sustained the Government's fourth recordkeeping charge “that the Respondent failed to properly record the date he returned controlled substances to [his supplier] and the amount he returned.” Id. at 45. The ALJ found that, although this recordkeeping violation also constituted a violation of the MOA, it was not a sufficiently “significant violation” of the MOA to warrant revocation. Id. at 40 (emphasis omitted). The ALJ also recommended that I find that this failure was “mitigated by the fact that the Government has presented no evidence that Respondent had been previously cited for this type of recordkeeping failure or that this recordkeeping failure . . . is in any way related to the Respondent's day to day treatment of his normal patients.” Id. at 45. The ALJ concluded that he “would be exceeding the scope of [his] responsi[bil]ities were [he] to recommend that the Respondent's [registration] be revoked.” Id. The ALJ added that he “would reach the same conclusion even if the Government had proven all of its allegations in this weak case.” Id. Thus, the ALJ recommended that I not revoke Respondent's registration and that I approve any pending application for renewal. Id. The ALJ further recommended that I find that the testimony of the Government's sole witness was not sufficiently credible to support any of the Government's remaining recordkeeping charges. See, e.g., id. at 4, 15 n.17, 19 n.25, 21 n.28, 34.

    Nonetheless, the ALJ found that this recordkeeping violation “merits the imposition of a sanction” and found that “Respondent's recordkeeping violation to be egregious . . . because it prevented the DEA from being able to use the Respondent's own records to conduct an accurate audit of the controlled substances for which the Respondent was accountable.” Id. at 45. As a result, the ALJ recommended that I place the following five restrictions on Respondent's registration:

    1. That he may not participate in any drug studies in which he is required to order, maintain, store, or dispense controlled substances for a period of four years.

    2. That he may not order, maintain, store, or dispense any controlled substances at his registered location for a period of four years.

    3. That restrictions one and two, above, will not be lifted, even after four years, until the Respondent has completed a course in controlled substance recordkeeping, a course in controlled substance storage, and a course in the administration of controlled substances, and provides the DEA with evidence of completion of these courses. These courses may not be used to meet any continuing medical education requirement.

    4. That prior to renewal of the Respondent's [DEA registration], he sign a document consenting to inspections by DEA personnel of his medical practice without the need for DEA personnel to obtain an administrative inspection warrant prior to conducting an inspection. By the terms contained in the consent form, the consent shall be valid for four years from the date his current renewal application for a [DEA registration] is approved. This consent form is to be delivered to the Respondent's local DEA Field Office.

    5. That prior to renewal of the Respondent's [DEA registration], he sign a document consenting to the conditions set forth in Paragraphs one and two above and acknowledging his understanding that his failure to comply with the terms of those conditions will constitute an independent basis for administrative enforcement proceedings by the DEA. This consent and acknowledgement document shall be delivered to the Respondent's local DEA Field Office.

    Id. at 46.

    On December 19, 2016, Respondent's counsel filed a “Notice of Respondent's Intent to Comply with Recommended Rulings, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decision” in which he stated that Respondent “intends to immediately comply with the Court's Recommended Disposition.” ALJ Ex. 23, at 1. Respondent also stated that he executed a document attached as Exhibit A to his Notice entitled “Consent to Conditions and Acknowledgment.” See id.

    On December 23, 2016, the Government filed Exceptions to the Recommended Decision. ALJ Ex. 24. In its Exceptions, the Government contended that the ALJ committed error in finding that Respondent was a more credible witness than the Government's witness, a Diversion Group Supervisor (GS). Id. at 2. The Government further argued that accepting the credibility of the testimony of the GS over Respondent's testimony would require sustaining the Government's remaining recordkeeping charges because the ALJ's recommendations regarding those charges “hinge[d] on his evaluation of the credibility of the Government's investigator and the Respondent.” Id. at 2 & n.3. Respondent did not file a response to the Government's Exceptions.

    Thereafter, the ALJ forwarded the record to me for final agency action. Having considered the record in its entirety, including the Government's Exceptions, I agree with the ALJ's conclusions that the Government failed to prove its first, second, third, and fifth recordkeeping charges that Respondent failed to maintain an initial inventory, maintain complete and accurate dispensing records, provide the DEA 222 form dated January 16, 2014, and maintain his inventory and dispensing records at the registered location. I also agree with the ALJ that the Government sustained the Show Cause Order's first charge regarding Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions and the Order's fourth recordkeeping charge regarding Respondent's failure to properly annotate two DEA 222 forms. Furthermore, I agree with the ALJ that the sustained fourth recordkeeping charge also constituted a violation of the MOA. Finally, I also agree that Respondent has accepted responsibility for both of these charges.

    Most importantly, while I agree with the ALJ that the sum of Respondent's misconduct does not warrant revocation of Respondent's registration, I disagree with the ALJ's recommendation that the sanction in this case should be limited to the ALJ's recommended restrictions to Respondent's registration. Accordingly, and for reasons I set forth more fully below, I conclude that the relevant factors support suspension of Respondent's registration for a period of one month, in addition to the imposition of the restrictions that the ALJ recommended following termination of the suspension. As the ultimate fact finder, I make the following findings of fact.

    Findings of Fact

    Respondent is the holder of DEA Certificate of Registration BN4578057, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a practitioner, at the registered address of 5106 McLanahan Drive, Suite B, North Little Rock, Arkansas. See Attachment to ALJ Ex. 7; Respondent's Exhibit (hereinafter RX) A, at 1. Respondent's registration was due to expire on October 31, 2016. See id. On September 12, 2016, Respondent submitted a renewal application.5 Government's Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (ALJ Ex. 20), at 1 n.2. Because Respondent has submitted a timely renewal application, I find that Respondent's DEA registration has remained in effect pending the issuance of this Decision and Final Order. See 5 U.S.C. 558(c); Perry County Food & Drug, 80 FR 70084, 70089 n.17 (2015).

    5 The parties stipulated that Respondent had previously renewed his DEA registration on December 9, 2010 and on October 21, 2013. ALJ Ex. 9, at 2.

    Respondent is an allopathic physician who is licensed to practice medicine in Arkansas. Transcript (Tr.) 137; RX D. His specialty is anesthesiology, and his current medical practice focuses on pain management. Tr. 32, 137-38. During the hearing, Respondent submitted evidence establishing that his Arkansas license to practice medicine was active and due to expire on April 30, 2017. RX D, at 1. I have reviewed the official website of the Arkansas State Medical Board (ASMB), and it shows that his Arkansas medical license is still active and is now due to expire on April 30, 2019. Thus, I take official notice that Respondent currently holds an active license to practice medicine from the ASMB.6

    6 Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), an agency “may take official notice of facts at any stage in a proceeding—even in the final decision.” U.S. Dept. of Justice, Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act 80 (1947) (Wm. W. Gaunt & Sons, Inc., Reprint 1979). In accordance with the APA and DEA's regulations, Respondent is “entitled on timely request to an opportunity to show to the contrary.” 5 U.S.C. 556(e); see also 21 CFR 1316.59(e). To allow Respondent the opportunity to refute the facts of which I take official notice, Respondent may file a motion for reconsideration within 15 calendar days of service of this order which shall commence on the date this order is mailed.

    The Prior Criminal and Administrative Proceedings

    The parties agreed to 12 stipulations, most of which relate to Respondent's prior criminal and administrative proceedings.

    Prior State Administrative Proceedings

    The parties stipulated that on June 8, 2006, the ASMB issued an Emergency Order of Suspension suspending Respondent's Arkansas medical license. ALJ Ex. 9, at 1. The Order alleged that Respondent violated Ark. Code Ann. §§ 17-95-409(a)(2)(e), 17-95-409(A)(2)(g), and 17-95-704(E)(1), (2) and federal laws “regulating the possession, distribution, or use of narcotic or controlled drugs” because “he prescribed or administered scheduled drugs intended to manage pain for a patient who had chemical dependencies on said controlled drugs and who was diverting said medication for his addiction.” Government Exhibit (GX), at 1. This Order also alleged that

    more specifically, he has pre-signed prescriptions leaving the name of the patient, substance and the instructions for taking the medication blank and permitting his office personnel, who are not licensed physicians, to fill in the prescription. A prescription pad, which had all the prescriptions signed by Brian Thomas Nichol, M.D. with the rest left blank, was found in his office pursuant to a [federal] search warrant . . . on the 19th of April 2006.” Id. at 1-2. In the same vein, the Order alleged that Respondent permitted such office personnel to dispense and administer scheduled medications to at least three patients, and fraudulently billed one of these patients for $22,600. Id. at 2-3. The Order further alleged that Respondent “performed medical procedures and engaged in the practice of medicine in the State of Arkansas . . . while not having a valid Arkansas license” to do so. Id. at 2. Based on these allegations, the ASMB found that Respondent's acts “endanger[ed] the public health, safety and welfare” and suspended his state license on an emergency basis pending a hearing. Id. at 3.

    The parties further stipulated that on August 17, 2006, the ASMB held an administrative hearing based on the allegations set forth in the ASMB's Emergency Order, and issued its Final Order on the same day. See ALJ Ex. 9, at 1; GX 2. The parties also stipulated that “[t]he ASMB's final order did not include all of the allegations made in the `Emergency Order.' ” ALJ Ex. 9, at 2. However, the ASMB's Final Order does state findings that Respondent “admitted in testimony that he has violated the laws of the United States and the State of Arkansas regulating the prescribing of scheduled medication, more specifically, he has pre-signed prescriptions, and not written on the prescription the name of the patient, the substance prescribed, and instructions for taking the medication.” GX 2, at 1. The ASMB also found that Respondent admitted that he “permitted his office personnel, . . . who are not licensed as physicians, nor authorized to prescribe medication, to fill in the blanks on the prescription pad and distribute them to patients, even without Dr. Nichol being present.” Id.

    The parties stipulated that the ASMB found that this conduct violated Arkansas and federal laws. ALJ Ex. 9, at 1-2; see GX 2, at 3. As a result of these findings, it is also undisputed that the ASMB suspended Respondent's Arkansas medical license for six months and that the ASMB lifted this suspension on February 2, 2007. See ALJ Ex. 9, at 2; GX 2, at 3. I also find that, in its final order, the ASMB fined Respondent over $10,000 and directed him to complete “courses in (1) Office Management, (2) The Prescribing of Scheduled Medication and [DEA] Laws and Regulations . . ., and (3) a course on boundaries.” GX 2, at 4.

    During the hearing, Respondent testified that he “did” what “was alleged to have happened” by the ASMB in 2006. Tr. 162. That is, he admitted that he improperly pre-signed prescriptions for controlled substances and that he “take[s] responsibility” for it. Id. at 274. Respondent testified, however, that there were no allegations of “diversions [sic] resulting from that” conduct. Id. at 162. Respondent later testified more broadly that he agreed to the conditions of the MOA “even though there was [sic] never any allegations of diversion.” Id. at 174. However, the ASMB's earlier Emergency Order alleged that Respondent “prescribed or administered scheduled drugs intended to manage pain for a patient who had chemical dependencies on said controlled drugs and who was diverting said medication for his addiction.” GX 1, at 1 (emphasis added). More specifically, the ASMB also alleged that Respondent “prescribed or administered controlled substances when he knew or should have known that his patient was utilizing the drugs for non-therapeutic purposes and was chemically dependent on said drugs.” Id. at 3. Thus, while I accept Respondent's testimony that he admitted to improperly pre-signing prescriptions, I do not accept Respondent's statement that there were never any allegations of diversion against him.

    Based on Respondent's representation in his testimony, the ALJ found that Respondent has written every prescription himself since the expiration of the state's suspension. R.D., at 10 (citing Tr. 166). The Government introduced no evidence contradicting Respondent's testimony. Thus, I find that there is no evidence that Respondent resumed pre-signing prescriptions after his suspension by the ASMB.

    Prior Federal Criminal Proceedings

    The parties stipulated that on January 8, 2008, 11 months after the reinstatement of his state medical license, Respondent pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Arkansas to a one-count criminal information charging him with felony health care fraud under 18 U.S.C. 1347. ALJ Ex. 9, at 2; see also GXs 3-4. That federal court sentenced Respondent to five years of probation and directed him to pay $15,400.69 in restitution and criminal penalties. ALJ Ex. 9, at 2; GX 4, at 2, 4. It is also undisputed that the court terminated Respondent's probation period early on September 20, 2011. R.D., at 6; Tr. 8.

    The parties also stipulated that on October 20, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) excluded Respondent from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs for five years pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(a). ALJ Ex. 9, at 2; see GX 5. The parties agree that HHS removed this exclusion on August 11, 2014. R.D., at 7; Tr. 9.

    Prior DEA Administrative Proceedings

    The Group Supervisor testified that DEA “first bec[a]me aware of Dr. Nichol” in 2011 after DEA received an application for a registration as a researcher from Moore Clinical Trials. Tr. 28. “[I]n the review of that application, we became aware that Dr. Nichol was associated with Moore Clinical Trials . . . we saw that there was a current research study going on[,] and we noticed several violations of [DEA regulations] and the Controlled Substances Act.” Id. More specifically, she testified that DEA conducted an investigation of both Moore Clinical Trials and Respondent and “looked at the records and found that the receiving records and dispensing records weren't up to the regulations.” Id. at 28-29. As a result, DEA brought separate administrative actions against each of them in 2011—one against Moore Clinical Trials to deny its application for a DEA registration as a researcher, and the other against Respondent to revoke his DEA registration as a practitioner. See id. at 28-29; GX 6.

    With respect to Moore Clinical Trials, the GS testified that “subsequently the application for Moore Clinical Trials was denied.” Id. at 29. In fact, the Agency issued and published its final decision and order denying Moore Clinical Trials' application pursuant to an August 8, 2011 Show Cause Order. Moore Clinical Trials, L.L.C., 79 FR 40145, 40145 (2014). In that decision, the then-Administrator found that Moore Clinical Trials “entered into a contract with Dr. Brian Nichol, an interventional pain management specialist, to perform clinical research for it pursuant to contracts it might obtain from CROs [contract research organizations].” Id. at 40148. The then-Administrator noted the ALJ's finding that “ ‘the documents kept by Dr. Nichol,' who was supervising . . . clinical trials on behalf of [Moore Clinical Trials], `were deficient' and that the order forms for Schedule II controlled substances (DEA-222) `were lacking.' ” Id. at 40147 (quoting ALJ's Recommended Decision). “The ALJ also found that `Dr. Nichol transported controlled substances to [Moore Clinical Trials'] location,' where he was not registered to dispense them.” Id. The then-Administrator also noted that “the ALJ found that the evidence is clear that Nichol's records did not comply with the Controlled Substances Act or DEA regulations” and “ `Nichol[] fail[ed] to meet his responsibilities as a registrant.' ” Id.

    The then-Administrator made additional specific fact findings in Moore Clinical Trials regarding Respondent. Specifically, she found that on March 30, 2011, Moore Clinical Trials and Respondent “entered into a Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) with Quintiles, to participate in the NKTR-118 7 long-term safety study.” Id. at 40149. She further found that, during the investigation of Moore Clinical Trials, the DI in the case “contacted Mr. Jim Phillips, Dr. Nichol's attorney,” who “acknowledged that Nichol was involved in the study and that he was transporting the controlled substances to [Moore Clinical Trials] and dispensing them.” Id. at 40150. “The DI also requested of Mr. Phillips that Dr. Nichol provide his records, including the dispensing records and the schedule II order forms (DEA Form 222).” Id. The then-Administrator found that the “evidence also shows that in response to the GS's request (through Dr. Nichol's attorney) for Dr. Nichol's dispensing records, Nichol provided the GS with the records.” Id. at 40156. The then-Administrator accepted the GS's testimony that the original DEA 222 forms related to the NKTR-118 study “were kept at Dr. Nichol's registered location” and that “the forms did not indicate the date the drugs were received and the quantity received.” Id. at 40151 (internal quotations and citations omitted), 40156 (adopting GS's testimony that “she examined the Schedule II order forms and noted that they had not been completed by indicating the date the drugs were received and the quantity received”). Ultimately, the then-Administrator concluded that “the record clearly establishes that Dr. Nichol violated both the separate registration provision and DEA recordkeeping requirements.” Id. at 40155.8

    7 “NKTR-118” is the drug Naloxol 6a-methoxyhepta (ethylene glycol) ether. Id. at 40148. “The [full] name of the study was: `An Open-Label 52-week Study to Assess the Long-Term Safety of NKRT-118 in Opioid-Induced Constipation (OIC) in patients with Non-Cancer-Related Pain.' ” Id. at 40148 n.4.

    8 The then-Administrator also found that “it is undisputed that the dispensing record for each study—which Dr. Nichol provided—was not created until August 27, 2012, well after all of the dispensings were made. The CSA requires, however, that a dispensing record be `maintain[ed], on a current basis.' 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3).” Id. at 40156 (internal citations omitted).

    With respect to the instant charges against Respondent, the parties stipulated that DEA issued a Show Cause Order against Respondent on September 27, 2011 proposing the revocation of his DEA registration on the ground that it is “based, inter alia, on the findings of the ASMB and respondent's exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid.” ALJ Ex. 9, at 2; see also GX 6. More specifically, the 2011 Show Cause Order proposed to revoke his registration as “inconsistent with the public interest” based on three allegations. GX 6, at 1 (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f), 824(a)(4)). First, the 2011 Order alleged that Respondent's pre-signing of controlled substances prescriptions, as found by the ASMB, warranted revocation. Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), (4)). Second, the 2011 Order alleged that Respondent's registration must be revoked because of his exclusion for five years from participation in a Medicare and Medicaid program under 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(a). Id. at 2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(5)). Lastly, the 2011 Order alleged that, “[o]n or about September 17, 2010, [Respondent] contracted with a controlled substance researcher [Moore Clinical Trials] to administer controlled substances 9 to research subjects. The owner/operator of this research clinic has no experience handling controlled substances, and you [Respondent] and the owner/operator [of Moore Clinical Trials] gave conflicting information about the operation of this research clinic.” Id.

    9 The Memorandum of Agreement resolving the 2011 Order, discussed more fully infra, specified that the alleged controlled substance referenced in that Order's third allegation was NKRT-118. See GX 7, at 1.

    The parties have further stipulated that Respondent entered into an MOA with DEA to resolve the allegations in the 2011 Show Cause Order,10 and that the MOA became effective on April 27, 2012.11 ALJ Ex. 9, at 2; GX 7. The GS testified that the MOA was “an intermediary step trying to get [Respondent] into compliance.” Tr. 29.12 Both Respondent and his investigator/assistant, Matilda Buchanan, testified that the MOA was the product of back-and-forth negotiations by the parties. Id. at 173-74 (Respondent testifying that “there was some negotiation back and forth before we settled on the final agreement” and “I think it was the third or fourth [version] that we were both able to agree to terms on”), 425-26 (Ms. Buchanan testifying that “drafts were sent back and forth” and that “we went over line by line both what the MOA said and then what does that mean by what it said”).

    10 This stipulation is also consistent with how the then-Administrator characterized the MOA. Moore Clinical Trials, 79 FR at 40151 n.10 (“Notwithstanding these allegations [in the 2011 Show Cause Order], the Agency allowed Dr. Nichol to retain his registration subject to various terms and conditions” set forth in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)); see also GX 7.

    11 The Special Agent in Charge for DEA's New Orleans Division approved and signed the MOA on April 17, 2012, Respondent and his counsel signed it on April 20, 2012, and DEA's counsel signed it on April 27, 2012. GX 7, at 4.

    12 The ALJ questioned this testimony based on his finding that that the MOA “does not address any of the alleged violations contained in the 2011 [Show Cause Order].” R.D., at 10. The ALJ's assessment is confusing for at least two reasons. First, the parties stipulated that the MOA does, in fact, resolve the 2011 Order's allegations against Respondent, ALJ Ex. 9, at 2, and the ALJ accepted the parties' stipulation. R.D. at 7. That the parties repeated the allegations from the 2011 Show Cause Order in the MOA itself, see GX 7, at 1-2, makes the fact that the parties intended the MOA to address and to resolve the 2011 Order's allegations irrefutable. Apart from the parties' agreement, the third allegation of the 2011 Order (though unartfully worded) clearly references Respondent's role in the operations of Moore Clinical Trials. As already noted, Moore Clinical Trials received its own Show Cause Order in August 2011, less than two months before the September 2011 Show Cause Order that was issued to Respondent.

    From there, Respondent and Moore Clinical Trials took two different procedural paths. Respondent entered into an MOA and retained his DEA registration subject to the MOA's conditions; Moore Clinical Trials went to hearing and the Agency issued a final decision and order denying its application for a DEA registration. As already noted, Moore Clinical Trials discussed Respondent's recordkeeping violations (which precede the ones in this case) at length. When comparing that discussion to the MOA, it is obvious that the MOA addresses the allegations against Respondent and reflects the “intermediary step” that the GS referenced in her testimony. See 79 FR at 40151 n.10 (“Notwithstanding these allegations, the Agency allowed Dr. Nichol to retain his registration subject to various terms and conditions” set forth in the MOA).

    Second, in any event, even if the MOA had failed to address the allegations in the 2011 Show Cause Order, as the ALJ suggested, he failed to explain why that is relevant. What is relevant is the fact that Respondent and the Government agreed that the MOA resolved the 2011 Show Cause Order.

    The MOA imposed the following conditions, in pertinent part, on Respondent:

    1. Respondent must “abide by all Federal, State and local statutes and regulations relating to controlled substances.”

    2. Respondent must “make and keep records of all controlled substances that he prescribes, dispenses and administers at his DEA registered location. These . . . dispensing records shall include all the information . . . set forth and required by 21 CFR 1306.05(a) and 1304.21 where applicable. These . . . dispensing records shall be available for inspection as set forth in paragraph 4 of this Agreement.”

    3. Respondent must “make and keep a legible log of all Schedule II-V controlled substances that he prescribes for his patients.”

    4. Respondent must “retain the records of the prescribing, administering and dispensing records, as described in paragraph 2, at his DEA registered location and agrees to allow DEA personnel access to his controlled substance records for [these] records as described in paragraph 2 for purposes of verifying his compliance with this Agreement and with all Federal, state and local statutes and regulations relating to controlled substances.”

    5. “During the duration of the Agreement, Dr. Nichol shall notify DEA in writing if he will prescribe, dispense, or administer controlled substances at any other location other than his DEA registered address or Springhill Surgery Center. . . .”

    6. Respondent “shall not order or receive any controlled substances except for controlled substances that he orders and receives at his DEA registered location. . . . As the physician, who is contracted to administer the FDA approved study drug NKTR-118, [Respondent] will administer that drug at either his DEA registered location or at an approved site for the current drug study. . . . [Respondent] agrees that for the duration of this agreement if he is asked to participate in additional drug studies involving controlled substances, he will notify DEA in advance of commencing the study.”

    7. Respondent “understands and agrees that any violations of the Agreement may result in the initiation of proceedings to revoke or immediately suspend and revoke his DEA Certificate of Registration. . . . DEA and [Respondent] agree this is a final agency action on all matters in dispute. DEA will not seek to revoke [Respondent's] DEA registration or deny any renewal applications unless [Respondent] substantially violates this Agreement or unless [Respondent] commits additional acts that constitute grounds under 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a).”

    GX 7, at 2-4. The MOA also stated that these conditions would remain in effect for three years. Id. at 4. The Quintiles Clinical Trial and Study

    On July 11, 2012, Respondent, Moore Clinical Trials, and Quintiles, Inc. entered into a “Clinical Trial Agreement Effective July 6, 2012” (hereinafter, CTA) to conduct a study related to opiate induced constipation. RX N, at 1, 11; Tr. 35. The CTA prescribed a role for each party. Respondent was the “principal investigator” of the study. Moore Clinical Trials, located at 3508 JFK Blvd., Suite #1, North Little Rock, Arkansas, was the “INVESTIGATIVE SITE” for the study. RX N, at 1. And Quintiles was an independent contractor acting on behalf of the “Sponsor” of the study (Purdue Pharma, L.P.) and would “arrange and manage” the clinical trial. Id.

    This study was designed to be a double blind study in which Respondent would dispense oxycodone, which is a schedule II controlled substance, to study patients. Tr. 35, 182 (the study was a “double blind, double dummy placebo controlled study”). However, because this was a double blind study, Respondent did not know what other type of medication a study patient received. Id. at 35, 184. Respondent first placed an order for controlled substances related to the study on December 3, 2012, and on December 31, 2012, he notified the GS (by letter from his attorney) that he was participating in the study. Id. at 93-94, 120-21; see RX R, at 1. In the letter, Respondent's attorney, Mr. Phillips, added that “[t]his trial is to begin in January 2013. . . . [T]his notice is our compliance with paragraph 6 of the MOA. Dr. Nichol will only administer the study drugs at his DEA approved address.” RX R, at 1.

    Although the complete email that the GS sent in response to Mr. Phillips' December 31, 2012 letter is not in the record, the January 17, 2013 letter that Mr. Phillips sent to the GS in response to that email was admitted into evidence. See id. at 3. Specifically, the January 17, 2013 letter states that it is in response to two questions posed in a January 11, 2013 email that the GS had sent to Mr. Phillips in response to his earlier letter. Id. The response to the first question apparently posed by the GS regarded when the study would begin and how long it would be. See id. Mr. Phillips stated that “the study we referred to should begin January 2013. The study length is approximately 22 weeks for each subject enrolled. . . . Enrollment is ongoing until the clinical trial end points are met. In all likelihood, the study will be about a year in length.” See id. The second response was to the GS's “other question” asking “What is the location and your understanding of the `approved' DEA address?” Id. Mr. Phillips stated that the address to which he was referring was Respondent's registered location of “5106 McLanahan, Suite B, North Little Rock, AR 72116,” and that “[a]ll study drugs will be administered at this DEA-approved address.” Id.

    Mr. Phillips' response to the first question is consistent with Respondent's testimony at the hearing. Specifically, he testified that “we expected to start enrolling patients in the study . . . to start in Januaryish [sic].” Tr. 401. Respondent testified that enrollment is when they have “met all the qualifications for it and are actually starting to see me as a patient. That's enrolled.” Id. There is no evidence in the record contradicting this testimony. Thus, I find that Respondent began enrolling patients for the Quintiles study in January 2013.

    Mr. Phillips' response to the second question is consistent with the GS's and Respondent's testimony regarding the study. The GS testified that it was her “understanding that Dr. Nichol does the physical evaluations and actual dispensing of the controlled substances from his registered location.” Tr. 36. “[T]he other types of monitoring and testing is done at Moore Clinical Trials.” Id. The GS further testified that it was her understanding that the study “concluded in June of 2014.” Id. Respondent testified that he first saw study patients in February 2013. Id. at 210-211. Respondent's dispensing log is also consistent with this testimony, showing that the first time he dispensed a controlled substance (here, oxycodone) to a patient as part of the study was February 18, 2013. RX U, at 1.13 Thus, I find that Respondent first dispensed controlled substances to study patients on February 18, 2013. Accord R.D., at 13.

    13 Respondent testified that he “had seven or eight” study patients who “actually enrolled in the study and only one patient, I think, or two patients that completed this study all the way to the end.” Tr. 358, 398 (“I had two [patients who] completed it”). Respondent defined “completed” as “when they've gone through the full length of the study to . . . where they actually completed the study at the end.” Id. at 401.

    During the term of the CTA, Quintiles and the Sponsor reserved the “right to audit” Moore Clinical Trials' “facilities, records and documentation.” RX N, at 6. Respondent testified that such audits included Quintiles inspectors visiting Respondent's office as well to review his study documentation. Tr. 189-90. Respondent testified that Quintiles' inspectors or monitors “would do a complete inventory of all the narcotics.” Id. at 190. Respondent also said that the monitors required him “to get the inventory down to the serial number of each individual kit, down to the serial number of each individual bottle. Any returns that the patient had, they would count each individual one. They would account for those quantities.” Id. Finally, Respondent stated that he would ask the monitor “when she was wrapping things up is is [sic] my pill count fine. . . . And every time I had full count of the narcotics. So there wasn't any diversion.” Id. at 191.

    Most important, Respondent testified that Quintiles had provided records that allowed for a calculation of every controlled substance pill received and that Quintiles accounted for every pill at the end of the study. Id. at 187, 301. To support this claim, Respondent introduced a series of documents prepared by others which the ALJ admitted into the record. For example, Respondent introduced copies of a series of reports or reviews prepared by Quintiles (and obtained from Moore Clinical Trials) of Quintiles monitors' site visits to Respondent's office to ensure he was following the drug study protocol. See RX Y; Tr. 262-63, 378-79, 454-56. Respondent also introduced accountability logs kept at Moore Clinical Trials for the drug study. RX Z; Tr. 456-57. Finally, Respondent introduced copies of work records that Quintiles had created during site inspections and while conducting their inventories. RX AA; Tr. 457-58. However, none of these documents, separately or taken together, were sufficient to make an accurate pill count. Moreover, Respondent failed to introduce any other documentary evidence or testimony from a Quintiles employee corroborating Respondent's testimony that Quintiles' records allowed for an accurate “pill count” of the pills Respondent had received. Accord R.D., at 18 nn. 22-23. At the same time, the Government offered no documentary evidence or testimony from a Quintiles employee to rebut Respondent's testimony. See id.

    Indeed, it is equally possible for Quintiles to have done a “complete inventory” and found that Respondent's pill count was “fine,” and at the same time for Respondent to have nonetheless failed to maintain complete and accurate dispensing records pursuant to the CSA and as alleged in the Show Cause Order's second recordkeeping charge. Respondent's recordkeeping is what is at issue in this case, not Quintiles' recordkeeping. Without a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the recordkeeping requirements of Quintiles and the CSA are coextensive, I find that Respondent's testimony regarding the Quintiles audits and documents in the record rests on too thin a reed for me to accord it meaningful evidentiary weight regarding whether Respondent's recordkeeping complied with the CSA and DEA's regulations.

    The July 9, 2014 On-Site Inspection Inspection of Respondent's Registered Location

    The parties stipulated that on “July 9, 2014, while the MOA was still in effect, DEA conducted an on-site inspection of Respondent's registered location.” ALJ Ex. 9, at 3. Three DIs participated in the inspection. See id.; ALJ Ex. 7, at 4 & n.1; ALJ Ex. 11, at 1 n.1. The DI who had lead responsibility for conducting the inspection was unable to testify at the hearing for medical reasons. ALJ Ex. 11, at 1 n.1. Although a third DI accompanied the GS and the lead DI who conducted the on-site inspection, that third DI also did not testify. Thus, only the GS testified on behalf of the Government at the hearing. Id.

    The GS testified that the DIs “went to Dr. Nichol's registered location . . . to ensure that he was in compliance with the MOA.” Tr. 31. Under the MOA, Respondent had agreed “to allow DEA personnel access to his controlled substance records for the prescribing, administering, and dispensing records . . . for purposes of verifying his compliance with [the MOA] and with all Federal, state and local statutes and regulations relating to controlled substances.” GX 7, at 2. Although the inspection was unannounced, Respondent allowed the DIs “access onto the premises to review records . . . [a]nd he signed an actual Notice of Inspection.” Tr. 99; see also id. at 31-32; July 9, 2014 Notice of Inspection (GX 8). The inspection period was from December 19, 2012 through July 9, 2014. Tr. 38, 62. The inspection took one hour, and the GS testified that Respondent's “assistant Xeroxed for us the documents we needed.” Id. at 102.

    Initially, the DIs asked Respondent where the “study drugs” were “because at that point in time we didn't know the study had been completed.” Tr. 99. Once it became clear that Respondent no longer had any study drugs and “that there were no drug destructions during that time period or theft or losses” (id. at 39-40), the GS testified that “we asked for any incoming documents [sic] receipts. We asked for any inventories. We also asked for any outgoing records which could include dispensing records, returns, theft and loss reports, drug destruction. Anything showing the movement of controlled substances in or out of that registered location.” Id. at 36-37. The GS stated that “this is typical of any inspection.” Id. at 36. When asked if she could “be more specific about what inventories and dispensing records you specifically asked for,” she responded that “[w]e asked for an initial inventory . . . We asked for receipts. And because these are Schedule II controlled substances, we asked for DEA order form 222s.” Id. at 37-38; see also id. at 102 (“We asked for dispensing records, inventories. . . . we ask for any kind of documents showing receipts or dispensations.”). She also testified that “[h]e did not have an inventory on hand.” Id. at 52.

    Respondent testified that he did not “recall” whether the GS had asked for his DEA 222 forms or dispensing logs and stated that he “d[id]n't think” she had asked for his inventory. Tr. 213. Instead, he stated that the DIs “wanted my paperwork for the study.” Id. at 212-13, 214 (“When they found out there weren't any drugs there to collect, they wanted the paperwork”). In response, Respondent stated that he made his DEA 222 forms “available for Agent Barnhill to review,” and the GS acknowledged that the DIs reviewed at least some of these forms. Id. at 39, 214; see also RX S. Respondent also stated that he “kept a green binder with all of the computation charts” (that Respondent stated included an initial inventory) and “provided” them and his dispensing log “to the agents when they came to see me in my office on July 9th.” Tr. 224, 226, 236-37; RX U; RX V.14

    14 The ALJ recommended that I find that “Respondent provided the DEA investigators his 222 Forms, his dispensing logs, and an initial inventory.” R.D., at 15 (citing Tr. 214). In the testimony cited by the ALJ, however, Respondent only testified that he made the DEA 222 forms “available for [the GS] to review.” See Tr. 214.

    The GS acknowledged that Respondent “did give us some documents” and that the DIs reviewed these documents “in his office.” Tr. 101, 102 (“he showed us some documents”). The GS recalled that Respondent “produced five DEA 222 order forms for purchase. And he gave us two DEA order forms for returns back to the supplier.” Id. at 39; see GX 9 (DEA 222 forms submitted by the Government). During cross-examination, Respondent's attorney asked the GS:

    Q Did [Respondent] show you documents other than the 222 forms? He did, didn't he?

    A I don't recall that.

    Q You don't recall that?

    A No.

    Tr. 102-03. Whatever other documents Respondent may have provided to the GS, she did not recognize them as an initial inventory or as dispensing records. See id. at 39 (GS's testimony that Respondent “was unable to produce the initial inventory that we requested. And he was unable to produce dispensing records”).

    The GS testified that she did not recall giving Respondent a “written list of items” that the DIs had requested. Tr. 100. She also testified that she did not provide Respondent (1) a list of items that the DIs did in fact receive, (2) a list of items to which she had testified were missing, or (3) a list of items that the DIs photocopied on the date of inspection. Id. at 100-01, 112 (“Records can be fabricated. So, no, we don't leave a list. The records must be onsite when we arrive.”). Respondent testified that, had the DIs advised him that he was missing something, he would have provided it to them. Id. at 236.

    The GS's use of the phrase “we” or “us” is significant and occurs frequently throughout her testimony regarding the inspection. In these instances, she was either testifying to what she remembered hearing someone else (presumably, the lead DI) ask Respondent, e.g., Tr. 103 (GS testifying that she was “present when [the lead DI] asked [Respondent] for documents”), or she was testifying to what she would typically request from a registrant during an inspection (or to both). See id. (GS's testimony that she did not “take notes of what was asked for” but noted that “[i]t's the same things we ask for every time”).15 In any event, the GS did not testify that she herself made these requests of Respondent, and she did not “take notes of what was asked for.” Id. Thus, while the record is clear that the GS did not recall reviewing documents that she recognized as an initial inventory or as dispensing logs at Respondent's office during the inspection (id. at 39), the record is unclear whether the other two DIs reviewed and recognized what Respondent submitted were his initial inventory and dispensing logs.16

    15 In its Exceptions, the Government argues that the GS's “use of the term `we' . . . was intended to emphasize that more than one investigator had requested the needed materials from Respondent.” ALJ Ex. 24, at 4. However, the record fails to reflect this intent.

    16 I agree with the ALJ that it is possible, if not “likely,” that the DIs reviewed but “may not have recognized Respondent's Exhibit V as an initial inventory because it contained far more information than would normally be contained in an initial inventory.” R.D., at 17 n.20.

    For this reason, I disagree with the ALJ's statement that “[t]here is a conflict in testimony concerning what the DEA investigators specifically asked for” during the inspection because both the GS's and Respondent's testimony could be accurate. R.D., at 15 n.6. That is, the GS may be correct that DIs conducting inspections (“we”) typically ask registrants for DEA 222 forms, inventories, and dispensing logs. Tr. 103 (“[i]t's the same things we ask for every time”). Indeed, the GS has conducted over 400 audits in her more than 28 years with the DEA and had been a Group Supervisor for over six of those years, so she should know how DIs typically conduct audits. See id. at 25, 59; ALJ Ex. 24, at 4-5. Likewise, Respondent may also be correct in his recollection that, for his particular inspection, the DIs asked more generally for “paperwork” related to the Quintiles study. E.g., Tr. 212-13. Moreover, the same could be true for whether Respondent provided an initial inventory and dispensing log. Thus, the fact that the GS herself did not see or recognize these documents does not preclude the possibility that Respondent provided them to one of the other DIs at the inspection.

    Rather than reflecting a conflict, this testimony highlights a gap in the Government's evidence. The GS's testimony that DIs conducting inspections typically ask for DEA 222 forms, inventories, and dispensing records is insufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the lead DI asked for these documents in this particular case. The lead DI who the GS testified had made the requests for this paperwork (and who was most likely to have received the response) during the inspection did not testify at the hearing. Moreover, the Government did not offer as a witness the third DI present during the inspection to corroborate the GS's testimony.17 For these reasons, the record created by the Government is insufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent failed to provide the DIs with what Respondent characterized as his initial inventory 18 and dispensing logs during the July 9, 2014 inspection.

    17 The Government stated in its Exceptions that “[t]he third investigator had been reassigned to another DEA field office.” ALJ Ex. 24, at 4 n.4. However, nothing in the record explains why this reassignment precluded the third DI from testifying at the hearing.

    18 As discussed more fully infra, I also dismiss the Government's first recordkeeping charge regarding Respondent's initial inventory for legal reasons.

    And for the same reasons, I need not reach the credibility issue raised by the ALJ and the Government in its Exceptions of whether the GS's testimony was more credible than Respondent's testimony regarding the paperwork that the DIs requested and received from Respondent during the inspection. The ALJ found that the GS's testimony in this context (and others) lacked credibility because the ALJ found the GS's testimony in conflict with Respondent's testimony. R.D., at 3-4, 15 n.17, 17 n.20, 19 n.25, 21 n.28, 34. In its Exceptions, the Government disagreed with the ALJ's credibility findings and stated that, “[a]ssuming the DEA investigator's testimony is accepted over Respondent's testimony, then it would be established that the initial inventory, dispensing records, and missing DEA-222 form were not provided to the investigators at the time of DEA's on-site visit and therefore DEA's allegations in the Order to Show Cause would be sustained.” ALJ Ex. 24, at 2 n.3. However, and for the reasons already noted, even assuming arguendo that the GS's testimony was credible, it would be insufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent failed to provide the DIs with an initial inventory or dispensing logs during their July 9, 2014 inspection.

    Inspection of Moore Clinical Trials

    Later the same say, after conducting their inspection of Respondent's registered location, the DIs went to Moore Clinical Trials. See Tr. 56. Although the GS and Respondent provide conflicting testimony regarding why Respondent directed the DIs to Moore Clinical Trials,19 the Government offered the GS's testimony regarding the DIs visit there to establish the Show Cause Order's allegation that Respondent had improperly maintained his inventory or dispensing records at a location other than his registered location. Upon arriving at Moore Clinical Trials, the DIs spoke with Kianna Marshall, who was an assistant to Moore Clinical Trials owner Greta Moore. Id. at 56-57. The GS testified that the DIs asked Ms. Marshall for the inventory and dispensing log for the study so DEA “could complete an accountability audit. And Kianna gave us a folder that had the dispensing records in it. However, she did not have any inventory.” Id. at 57; see GX 11.

    19 The GS testified that Respondent directed the DIs to Moore Clinical Trials because that was where they could find records related to the study. Tr. 478-79. This testimony is consistent with Respondent's testimony that the DIs “wanted my paperwork for the study.” Id. at 213. After this point, however, the clarity ends. Respondent testified that the question of patient names and addresses came up and that he therefore referred the DIs to Moore Clinical Trials for paperwork more specifically related to patient names and addresses (the Quintiles Study precluded Respondent from knowing the patients' names). See id. at 279, 374. On rebuttal, the GS testified that the DIs went to Moore Clinical Trials because Respondent advised that he did not have in his office the records related to the study that they cared about—i.e., an initial inventory and dispensing records—at his registered location because they were at Moore Clinical Trials. Id. at 56 (“Upon learning that the dispensing records were at Moore Clinical Trials . . . [and a]fter our onsite inspection completed at Dr. Nichols, we went straight to Moore Clinical Trials . . . that same day . . . [T]he purpose of going to Moore Clinical Trials” was “to obtain the documents that Dr. Nichol told us was there, which would be inventory and the dispensing records”); see also id. at 478. The GS also rejected the notion that the DIs had any interest in the patients' names and addresses because the inspection was focused on drugs, not people. Id. at 478.

    The ALJ rejected the GS's explanation and found Respondent's “more credible” because (1) the stated purpose of the inspection was to ensure compliance with the MOA; (2) the inspection pursuant to the MOA focused on recordkeeping, not drugs; (3) Respondent had advised DEA by letter (to which DEA did not respond) in August 2012 that he could not provide patient names for a double blind study; and (4) the ALJ accepted that Respondent provided the DIs with Respondent's Exhibit U, which Respondent represented to be his dispensing log. R.D., at 15 n.16.

    Assuming that the purpose of the inspection was to determine whether Respondent's recordkeeping was in compliance with the MOA, the CSA, and DEA regulations, that purpose is consistent with the GS's explanation that the DIs' focus was on drugs and not patient names. The relevant recordkeeping requirements focus on tracking the movement of controlled substances (inventory, dispensing logs, DEA 222 forms), not the identity of patients. Moreover, as already noted, the more recent January 11, 2013 correspondence from DEA to Respondent prior to the inspection asked when the Quintiles study would commence and where the study drugs would be located (both of which relate to MOA requirements) and not the identity or addresses of Respondent's study patients. See RX R, at 3.

    Most importantly, I need not reach the question of whether the GS's explanation of why the DIs visited Moore Clinical Trials was more or less credible than Respondent's because, as discussed more fully infra, I reject the Government's charge that Respondent failed to maintain his inventory and dispensing records at his registered location.

    Respondent denied that he failed to maintain his inventory and dispensing records in his office because he represented that he kept them in his office and presented them to the DIs during the inspection. See Tr. 278-79; RX U; RX V. As already noted, the GS did not recall seeing (or saw but failed to recognize) the documents in Respondent's office as his inventory or dispensing records (RX U and RX V), and it is unclear what the other DIs understood because they did not testify. Importantly, the fact that Ms. Marshall provided the DIs with documents that she believed were responsive to the DIs' requests does not mean that those documents were, in fact, Respondent's dispensing records nor that Respondent intended to maintain his dispensing records at Moore Clinical Trials. Accord R.D., at 19 n.25 (“there is no credible evidence before me that [what Ms. Marshall provided to the DIs] is in fact, the Respondent's dispensing records”).

    Likewise, the fact that the GS believed that these documents could qualify as Respondent's dispensing records, or that Ms. Marshall may have advised the DIs that they were Respondent's dispensing records, is not dispositive of whether they were, in fact, what Respondent maintained as his dispensing records under the CSA and DEA's regulations. Accord id. Instead, I agree with the ALJ that the records provided by Ms. Marshall were more likely worksheets used as part of the Quintiles study to reconcile differences between what the study patients entered into their electronic monitors and the actual pill count. Id. at 20. Although the worksheets include all of the data in Respondent's dispensing log maintained in his office, the worksheets contain additional information not included in Respondent's dispensing log. Compare GX 11 with RX U.20

    20 For this reason, the Government's claim that it could not complete an accountability audit at Respondent's registered address is unavailing. The worksheets obtained from Moore Clinical Trials included everything contained in the dispensing logs maintained in Respondent's office, which was sufficient to complete the audit. See Tr. 484. The GS testified that the DIs had difficulty using the worksheets because “[t]here are numerous cross-outs and circles and initials and changing of dates . . . it's very hard to determine what's coming in and what's going out.” Tr. 59. However, the GS conceded that having cross-outs or even confusing records does not violate DEA regulations, and they ultimately did not preclude the DIs from completing their audit. Id. at 69-70.

    Neither the Government nor Respondent called Ms. Marshall as a witness to establish what Respondent may have told her about maintaining his dispensing records at Moore Clinical Trials or what she believed she had provided to the DIs. Thus, I find that the Government has provided insufficient evidence for me to find by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent, in fact, failed to maintain inventory and dispensing records at his registered location.

    Respondent's DEA 222 Forms

    The GS testified that DEA 222 forms are three-part forms that DEA registrants use to order controlled substances. See Tr. 38, 42. Registrants request a book of DEA 222 forms in advance of ordering controlled substances, and then DEA sends back a book of DEA 222 forms—each one preprinted with the registrant's name, DEA registration number, the date he or she ordered the forms, and the schedules for which he or she is authorized to prescribe. See id. at 43-44. These forms have carbon paper in between each copy so three parties can each get a copy. Id. at 38, 42. “One is the purchaser's copy, one is the supplier's copy, and the third copy goes to DEA once the order is completed.” Id. at 44-45. The GS testified that “[Respondent] or his representatives fills out the supplier name, the date, and the requested drugs. And he tears off that first copy, the purchaser's copy. He holds onto that. And then the second two copies, the DEA copy and the supplier copy, get sent to the supplier.” Id. at 45.

    When Respondent is placing an order, he retains the copy that states “PURCHASER'S Copy 3.” Id.; e.g., GX 9; RX S, at 5, 9-12, 16. For example, the DEA 222 forms that Respondent provided to the DIs during their inspection show that Fisher Clinical Services (FCS) was the supplier of the drugs Respondent used in the study. Id. When Respondent “is shipping drugs back to his supplier, Fisher [Clinical] Services,” then his name would appear on the DEA 222 form as the supplier, FCS would be the registrant, and Respondent would retain “SUPPLIER'S Copy 1.” Tr. 48-50; GX 10; RX S, at 13-14. When filling out a supplier's copy, the supplier must fill out several fields on the form, including the number of packages, the size of the packages, the packages shipped, and the date when they were shipped. Tr. 50; GX 10; RX S, at 13-14.

    Respondent's Annotation of DEA 222 Forms

    In this case, Respondent provided DEA with two DEA 222 forms in which he was the “supplier” and FCS was the registrant because he was returning unused drugs from the clinical trial back to FCS. Tr. 48-50, 253-54; see also GX 10; RX S, at 13-14. FCS had provided Respondent with a packing list that included instructions on how to fill out the DEA 222 forms as the supplier, including instructions that he should enter the number of kits shipped and the date shipped. RX S, at 15; Tr. 376-77. However, Respondent left the “Packages Shipped” and “Date Shipped” boxes next to the identified kits blank in both DEA 222 forms in which Respondent was the supplier. RX S, at 15; Tr. 50. As a result, the GS testified that when these boxes are left blank, DEA “do[es] not know if th[e kits are] indeed what Dr. Nichol shipped back.” Tr. 50. This negatively impacts DEA's ability to conduct an audit of a registrant, according to the GS, “because the DEA 222 order form is a primary record . . . as far as auditing purposes, these are the only documents we are supposed to look at.” Id. at 51.

    In his testimony, Respondent admitted that he failed to properly annotate the “Packages Shipped” and Date Shipped” boxes:

    Q . . . Now, as you're sitting here today, do you realize that you completed this [first 222] form that you left off a date and the packets that were shipped back?

    A Yes sir, I did. . . .

    Q . . . So at least what [the GS] said about the return of this 222 form, that was correct, what she said; is that right?

    A Yes. . . . I did not fill out the date and I did not fill out the package quantity.

    Tr. 256-57; see also id. at 258 (“Q Okay. And again you made the same clerical error on that [second 222] form? A I did.”). Accordingly, I find that Respondent failed to properly annotate two DEA 222 supplier's copy forms set forth in Government's Exhibit 10 because he failed to complete the “Packaged Shipped” and Date Shipped” entries. GX 10; RX S, at 13-14.21

    21 During the hearing, the GS also testified to recordkeeping errors made by Respondent in filling out the purchaser's copies of the DEA 222 forms. See, e.g., Tr. 47-48 (Respondent improperly used three lines to order one drug when “[t]he regulations state that when you are ordering a drug, it's one drug per line”). She stated that Respondent's failure to accurately complete the initial DEA 222 forms caused accountability errors in the audit. Id. at 488. The Government did not, however, allege these errors in its Show Cause Order or Prehearing Statements. Thus, I agree with the ALJ's recommendation not to consider this evidence in determining the sanction in this case. R.D., at 3 n.2.

    Respondent's Allegedly Missing DEA 222 Form

    In its Show Cause Order, the Government alleged that Respondent failed during the onsite inspection to provide a January 16, 2014 DEA 222 form.22 ALJ Ex. 1, at 3. On the first day of the hearing, the GS testified that Respondent “produced for . . . inspection” “five DEA 222 order forms for purchase” and “two DEA order forms for returns back to the supplier,” and that Government Exhibits 9 and 10 included copies of these seven forms. See Tr. 39, 40-41, 52, 56 (“the only thing we received were a grand total of seven completed DEA form 222s”); GXs 9-10. These exhibits did not include Respondent's purchaser's copy of the January 16, 2014 DEA 222 form. In addition, the GS testified that they did not ask Respondent why there were only five purchaser DEA 222 forms and not six such forms—even though the DIs knew that Respondent had made six orders of controlled substances when they arrived for the onsite inspection. Tr. 76, 505-06. Respondent testified that, had the DIs advised him that he was missing any records, he would have endeavored to find and to provide them to the DIs. Id. at 236.

    22 As noted supra in footnote 2, the Show Cause Order erroneously referenced an August 28, 2013 DEA 222 form. The Government corrected the date of the allegedly missing DEA 222 form to January 16, 2014 in its May 12, 2016 Prehearing Statement and during Government counsel's Opening Statement at the administrative hearing. See ALJ Ex. 7, at 8; Tr. 15. I further note that January 16, 2014 represents the shipping date, not the January 13, 2014 date on which Respondent actually ordered the controlled substances. See GX 13, at 1; RX S, at 16.

    Although her testimony was not always clear on this subject, the GS ultimately testified on rebuttal that Respondent (or someone in his office) “presented” to the DIs “a folder with all of the 222s.” Tr. 507; see also id. at 290-91 (Respondent testified that “[t]he DEA 222s were kept in a hanging file folder in a safe next to my office—or in my office in a safe next to my desk. . . . [Respondent] provide[d] that folder to the DEA investigators on the date of the onsite inspection.”). Also during rebuttal, the GS acknowledged that Respondent had provided a folder to the DIs that not only included completed DEA 222 forms reflected in Government Exhibits 9 and 10 but also included “voided and unused DEA 222s.” Id. at 475. The GS stated that she was uninterested in the “voided out and unused DEA 222s” and therefore only obtained “copies of the [completed] 222 order forms that were within our audit” period. Id.

    Respondent introduced Respondent's Exhibit S, which the ALJ accepted into evidence as the contents of the entire folder of DEA 222 forms (22 pages) that Respondent provided to the DIs during the onsite inspection. See Tr. 214-15; RX S. The exhibit included unused, voided, and completed DEA 222 forms (both Purchaser's Copies and Supplier's Copies) as well as a completed DEA 222 form from a previous drug study. Tr. 261, 475; RX S. Most significantly, Respondent's exhibit included a copy of the allegedly missing DEA 222 form related to the January 16, 2014 controlled substances shipment to Respondent. RX S, at 16. The GS did not recall seeing that form, and Respondent did not recall to which DI he gave the folder. Tr. 291 (“Q Do you [Respondent] remember which agent you gave these to? A “I do not.”); id. at 475.

    After the pending Show Cause Order was served on Respondent, Respondent telephoned Mathilda Buchanan, an Arkansas-licensed private investigator with whom Respondent had worked since 2006. Tr. 262, 417. Respondent provided the same folder of DEA 222 forms (Respondent's Exhibit S) to Ms. Buchanan that he had provided to the DIs. See id. at 262. When Ms. Buchanan examined the contents of the folder, she testified that she discovered that the allegedly missing purchaser's copy of January 2014 DEA 222 form was in fact within the folder but stuck between unused DEA 222 forms. Id. at 452-53, 462; RX S, at 16. Moreover, the DEA 222 form that Ms. Buchanan found was a purchaser's copy for an order of controlled substances dated January 13, 2014, which corresponded to the January 16, 2014 shipment of controlled substances to Respondent reflected on the supplier's copy submitted into evidence by the Government. See Tr. 260; GX 13, at 1; RX S, at 16.

    The ALJ recommended that I make the fact finding that the January 16, 2014 DEA 222 form “was available to the DEA investigators during the inspection” and that “[i]t is highly probable that the alleged missing 222 Form was caught up in the carbon copies of the other 222 Forms contained in the folder where the Respondent kept his records.” R.D., at 22, 34. In other words, the ALJ believed that the DIs simply overlooked the January 16, 2014 DEA 222 form during the onsite inspection. Id. at 34. I agree, and I find that it is more likely than not that the purchaser's copy of the January 2014 DEA 222 form was indeed in Respondent's folder of DEA 222 forms on the date of the onsite inspection.23

    23 For the same reason, I again need not reach the question of the GS's credibility regarding the allegedly missing DEA 222 form raised by the ALJ in his Recommended Decision and the Government in its Exceptions. R.D., at 34; ALJ Ex. 24, at 2 n.3, 5. Specifically, because I find (as did the ALJ) that the DIs overlooked the DEA 222 form in question, the GS could credibly testify that she did not see the form during the onsite inspection. Likewise, Ms. Buchanan could credibly testify that her (apparently more thorough) review of the folder of DEA 222 forms did uncover the allegedly missing form. Accordingly, I find that there is no credibility issue regarding the allegedly missing DEA 222 form because it is more likely than not that the testimony of both witnesses is accurate.

    The December 2014 Meeting

    In December 2014, the lead DI contacted Respondent to set up a meeting with him. Tr. 237. This was the first time the DIs had contacted Respondent since the July 9, 2014 onsite inspection. See id. On December 16, 2014, two DIs—the GS and the lead DI—met with Respondent and Ms. Buchanan “to report on the July 9, 2014 inspection.” ALJ Ex. 9, at 3; Tr. 481. During the meeting, the DIs advised Respondent that his “inventory was off.” Tr. 237. Respondent stated that he offered to compare his inventory with DEA's inventory, but the DIs refused. Id. at 238, 437, 507-08. The DIs also discussed the accuracy of Respondent's dispensing records and that Respondent had failed to provide the DIs with sufficient information to complete a proper audit, which in turn required the DIs to go to Moore Clinical Trials to supplement the information. Id. at 439, 461. The DIs did not ask Respondent for any records during the meeting. Id. at 500.

    On December 19, 2014, Respondent's attorney wrote a letter to the lead DI and to the GS on behalf of Respondent in response to the December 16, 2014 meeting. RX X. The letter memorialized Respondent's understanding that DEA's “audit was not available to us” and asked for “written documentation of specific points you think are lacking so we can do better.” Id. The letter also stated that records related to the identification of patients “must be kept at Moore Clinical Trials and are separate from the records at Dr. Nichol's office which only contain the patients' identifying numbers.” Id. Respondent never received a reply to his attorney's letter, and the Government filed its Show Cause Order on March 14, 2016. Tr. 443; ALJ Ex. 1.

    Discussion

    Under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), “[a] registration pursuant to section 823 of this title to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance . . . may be suspended or revoked by the Attorney General upon a finding that the registrant . . . has committed such acts as would render [its] registration under section 823 of this title inconsistent with the public interest as determined under such section.” 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(4). In the case of a physician, who is deemed to be a practitioner, see id. § 802(21), Congress directed the Attorney General to consider the following factors in making the public interest determination:

    (1) The recommendation of the appropriate State licensing board or professional disciplinary authority.

    (2) The applicant's experience in dispensing or conducting research with respect to controlled substances.

    (3) The applicant's conviction record under Federal or State laws relating to the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances.

    (4) Compliance with applicable State, Federal, or local laws relating to controlled substances.

    (5) Such other conduct which may threaten the public health and safety.

    Id. § 823(f).

    “[T]hese factors are . . . considered in the disjunctive.” Robert A. Leslie, M.D., 68 FR 15227, 15230 (2003). It is well settled that I “may rely on any one or a combination of factors, and may give each factor the weight [I] deem[] appropriate in determining whether” an application for registration should be denied. Id.; see also MacKay v. DEA, 664 F.3d 808, 816 (10th Cir. 2011); Volkman v. DEA, 567 F.3d 215, 222 (6th Cir. 2009); Hoxie v. DEA, 419 F.3d 477, 482 (6th Cir. 2005). Moreover, while I am required to consider each of the factors, I “need not make explicit findings as to each one.” MacKay, 664 F.3d at 816 (quoting Volkman, 567 F.3d at 222); see also Hoxie, 419 F.3d at 482.24

    24 In short, this is not a contest in which score is kept; the Agency is not required to mechanically count up the factors and determine how many favor the Government and how many favor the registrant. Rather, it is an inquiry which focuses on protecting the public interest; what matters is the seriousness of the registrant's or applicant's misconduct. Jayam Krishna-Iyer, 74 FR 459, 462 (2009). Accordingly, findings under a single factor can support the revocation or suspension of a registration. MacKay, 664 F.3d at 821.

    Under the Agency's regulation, “[a]t any hearing for the revocation or suspension of a registration, the Administration shall have the burden of proving that the requirements for such revocation or suspension pursuant to . . . 21 U.S.C. [§ ]824(a) . . . are satisfied.” 21 CFR 1301.44(e). In this matter, I have considered all of the factors and concluded that the Government's evidence with respect to Factors Two and Four support the conclusion that Respondent has committed acts which render his “registration inconsistent with the public interest.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f), 824(a)(4). While I agree with the ALJ's conclusion that a sanction is appropriate, I find that the record supports a stronger sanction than what the ALJ recommended.

    Factor One—The Recommendation of the State Licensing Authority

    The Government sought to revoke Respondent's DEA registration based on Factors Two, Four, and Five. However, the ALJ considered Factor One as well in his Recommendation. R.D., at 27. I agree with the ALJ's finding that the ASMB has not made a recommendation to the Agency regarding whether Respondent's DEA registration should be suspended or revoked in this case. See id. The record only shows that the ASMB suspended Respondent's state medical license for six months based on his pre-signing of controlled substance prescriptions, which his staff (who were not licensed to prescribe controlled substances) issued to patients outside Respondent's presence and without consulting him. The ALJ noted that the ASMB reinstated Respondent's medical license after six months and stated that “[t]he reinstatement of the Respondent's medical license can be interpreted as a recommendation of the ASMB” under Factor One. R.D., at 27 (citing Tyson D. Quy, M.D., 78 FR 47412, 47417 (2013); Vincent J. Scolaro, D.O., 67 FR 42060, 42064-65 (2002)). As a result, the ALJ recommended that I find that “the ASMB's reinstatement of the Respondent's medical license only weighs slightly in favor of not revoking the Respondent's registration.” R.D., at 28.

    To be sure, the Agency's case law contains some older decisions which can be read as giving more than nominal weight in the public interest determination to a State Board's decision (not involving a recommendation to DEA) either restoring or maintaining a practitioner's state authority to dispense controlled substances. See, e.g., Gregory D. Owens, 67 FR 50461, 50463 (2002) (expressing agreement with ALJ's conclusion that the Board's placing dentist on probation instead of suspending or limiting his controlled substance authority “reflects favorably upon [his] retaining his . . . [r]egistration, and upon DEA's granting of [his] pending renewal application”); Scolaro, 67 FR at 42065 (concurring with ALJ's “conclusion that” state board's reinstatement of medical license “with restrictions” established that “[b]oard implicitly agrees that the [r]espondent is ready to maintain a DEA registration upon the terms set forth in” its order). However, these cases cannot be squared with the Agency's longstanding holding that “[t]he Controlled Substances Act requires that the Administrator . . . make an independent determination [from that made by state officials] as to whether the granting of controlled substance privileges would be in the public interest.” Garrett Howard Smith, M.D., 83 FR 18882, 18904 n.30 (2018) (quoting Mortimer Levin, 57 FR 8680, 8681 (1992)); Lon F. Alexander, M.D., 82 FR 49704, 49724 n.42 (2017) (same). Indeed, neither Owens nor Scolaro even acknowledged the existence of Levin, let alone attempted to reconcile the weight it gave the state board's action with Levin. Smith, 83 FR at 18904 n.30; Alexander, 82 FR at 49724 n.42.

    While in other cases, the Agency has given some weight to a Board's action in allowing a practitioner to retain his state authority even in the absence of an express recommendation, see Quy, 78 FR at 47417, the Agency has repeatedly held that a practitioner's retention of his or her state authority is not dispositive of the public interest inquiry. See, e.g., Smith, 83 FR at 18904 n.30; Alexander, 82 FR at 49724 n.42; Paul Weir Battershell, 76 FR 44359, 44366 (2011) (citing Edmund Chein, 72 FR 6580, 6590 (2007), pet. for rev. denied, Chein v. DEA, 533 F.3d 828 (D.C. Cir. 2008)). Accordingly, I find that the ASMB's reinstatement of Respondent's state license is not dispositive of the public interest inquiry in this case, and I give it no weight.25

    25 As to Factor Three, there is no evidence that Respondent has been convicted of an offense under either federal or Arkansas law “relating to the manufacture, distribution or dispensing of controlled substances.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f)(3). However, there are a number of reasons why even a person who has engaged in criminal misconduct may never have been convicted of an offense under this factor, let alone prosecuted for one. Dewey C. MacKay, 75 FR 49956, 49973 (2010), pet. for rev. denied, MacKay v. DEA, 664 F.3d at 822. The Agency has therefore held that “the absence of such a conviction is of considerably less consequence in the public interest inquiry” and is therefore not dispositive. Id.

    Factors Two and Four—The Respondent's Experience in Dispensing Controlled Substances, or Conducting Research With Respect to Controlled Substances, and Compliance With Applicable Laws Related to Controlled Substances Pre-Signed Prescriptions Allegation

    The Show Cause Order's first charge alleged that Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions for controlled substances violated 21 CFR 1306.05(a). Under the CSA, it is “unlawful for any person [to] knowingly or intentionally . . . manufacture, distribute, or dispense,26 or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance” “[e]xcept as authorized by” the Act. 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1). According to the CSA's implementing regulations, “[a]ll prescriptions for controlled substances shall be dated as of, and signed on, the day when issued and shall bear the full name and address of the patient, the drug name, strength, dosage form, quantity prescribed, directions for use, and the name, address and registration number of the practitioner.” 21 CFR 1306.05(a).

    26 “The term `dispense' means to deliver a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject by, or pursuant to the lawful order of, a practitioner, including the prescribing . . . of a controlled substance.” 21 U.S.C. 802(10).

    The Agency has long held that pre-signing prescriptions violates the CSA and 21 CFR 1306.05(a). Arvinder Singh, M.D., 81 FR 8247, 8248 (2016); Alvin Darby, M.D., 75 FR 26993, 26999 (2010) (“DEA has long interpreted the CSA as prohibiting the pre-signing of prescriptions.”); Jayam Krishna-Iyer, M.D., 71 FR 52148, 52158, 52159 n.9 (2006) (“Respondent further violated federal law and DEA regulations by giving [his nurse] pre-signed prescriptions and allowing him to issue them to a patient [Respondent] had not attended to. . . . [T]his conduct of Respondent violated 21 CFR 1306.05(a)”), vacated on other grounds, 249 Fed. Appx. 159 (11th Cir. 2007); Leslie, 68 FR at 15230-31; James Beale, 53 FR 15149, 15150 (1988) (“It is a violation of 21 CFR 1306.05(a) to pre-sign prescriptions for controlled substances.”). Most importantly, the Agency has held that pre-signing prescriptions “would be inconsistent with the public interest” under the CSA because such conduct “create[s] a substantial risk that the drugs would be diverted and abused.” Singh, 81 FR at 8248, 8249.

    As noted earlier, it is undisputed that on August 17, 2016, the ASMB issued a final order suspending Respondent's medical license for six months because he pre-signed prescriptions for controlled substances. During the ASMB hearing leading up to its final order, Respondent admitted in testimony that he pre-signed prescriptions in which he failed to write the name of the patient on the prescription, the substance prescribed, and instructions for taking the medication. In addition, Respondent admitted during the ASMB hearing that he permitted his office personnel, who were not licensed as physicians nor authorized to prescribe medications under Arkansas law, to fill in the blanks on the prescription pad and distribute them to patients without Respondent being present.

    Thus, I agree with the ALJ's recommendation that I find (and I do so find) that Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions violated 21 CFR 1306.05(a). I also find that this conduct constituted a serious violation of the CSA and created a substantial risk that the drugs would be diverted and abused. Krishna-Iyer, 71 FR at 52159; Singh, 81 FR at 8249. I further find that Respondent violated federal law by giving the pre-signed prescription forms to office personnel who lacked the authority to lawfully prescribe controlled substances under federal or state law. See 21 CFR 1306.03(a); see also Krishna-Iyer, 71 FR at 52159. Accordingly, the Government's first charge of pre-signing prescriptions is sustained and supports a finding that Respondent's continued registration would be inconsistent with the public interest.

    Recordkeeping Allegations

    The Show Cause Order sets forth five recordkeeping charges based on DEA's July 4, 2014 on-site inspection of Respondent's registered location. “Recordkeeping is one of the CSA's central features; a registrant's accurate and diligent adherence to this obligation is absolutely essential to protect against the diversion of controlled substances.” Paul H. Volkman, 73 FR 30630, 30644 (2008). As the Agency recently held:

    [T]he CSA and DEA regulations require that a registrant take an actual physical count of the controlled substances on hand, and an accurate actual count, as memorialized in either an initial or biennial inventory[. This] is essential in conducting an accurate audit. Likewise, an accurate audit is essential in determining whether a registrant is maintaining complete and accurate records of both the controlled substances he receives and those he “deliver[s] or otherwise dispose[s] of.” 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3). . . . [G]enerally, it is diversion that results in recordkeeping irregularities and not the other way around.

    Peter F. Kelly, D.P.M., 82 FR 28676, 28692 n.41 (2017), pet. for rev. denied, Kelly v. DEA, No. 17-1175, 2018 WL 3198774 (D.C. Cir. May 18, 2018).

    The Show Cause Order's first recordkeeping charge alleged that Respondent failed to maintain an initial inventory of all controlled substances “in violation of 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3) & 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1304.11(b).” ALJ Ex. 1, at 2. As a threshold matter, the ALJ correctly noted “that it appears that the Government made an error because § 827(a)(3) requires a registrant to maintain a dispensing record” and not an initial inventory as § 827(a)(1) requires. See R.D., at 31 n.34. The ALJ also noted accurately that the “Government, however, also correctly cites to 21 CFR 1304.11(b).” Id. Section 1304.11(b) states that “[e]very person required to keep records shall take an inventory of all stocks of controlled substances on hand on the date he/she first engages in the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances.” Thus, I agree with the ALJ that the Government intended to charge Respondent with failing to maintain an initial inventory, despite its reference to § 827(a)(3) instead of § 827(a)(1), and I further find that Respondent had adequate notice of this charge.

    Most importantly, the CSA and DEA's regulations only require a practitioner like Respondent to maintain an initial inventory when he “first engages in . . . dispensing controlled substances.” 21 CFR 1304.11(b); 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(1). “After the initial inventory is taken, the registrant shall take a new inventory of all stocks of controlled substances on hand at least every two years”—that is, a “biennial inventory.” 21 CFR 1304.11(c); accord 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(1). Thus, the CSA and DEA's regulations only required Respondent to maintain an initial inventory when Respondent first engaged in dispensing controlled substances after obtaining his DEA registration, even if the initial inventory was zero when Respondent “commence[d] business.” 21 CFR 1304.11(b). After that, the CSA and DEA regulations required Respondent to maintain a biennial inventory. 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(1); 21 CFR 1304.11(c).

    Here, the Government's first recordkeeping charge cannot be sustained as a matter of law because Respondent was not legally required to maintain an initial inventory as of the date of the alleged violation—i.e., at the time of the July 9, 2014 inspection. It is undisputed that Respondent was dispensing controlled substances at least as far back as 2006 under his current DEA registration, and that Respondent has maintained, and timely renewed, his DEA registration ever since.

    Although the CSA and DEA regulations required Respondent to maintain an initial inventory when he first commenced the business of dispensing controlled substances under his current DEA registration for two years, he was only required to maintain a biennial inventory thereafter. Yet the Government's first recordkeeping charge centers on whether Respondent maintained an initial inventory when he ordered controlled substances in December 2012, not on when Respondent first “commence[d the] business” of dispensing controlled substances under his current DEA registration. Thus, even if Respondent began dispensing controlled substances for the first time as late as 2006—the earliest dispensing activity under Respondent's current DEA registration reflected in the record—he had no legal obligation to maintain an initial inventory beyond 2008. Instead, as already noted, he was legally obligated to maintain a biennial inventory thereafter. However, the Government did not charge Respondent with failing to maintain an accurate biennial inventory in December 2012 or at the time of the July 2014 inspection. Accordingly, I do not sustain the Government's first recordkeeping charge.27

    27 In any event, as noted supra, I found that the Government failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent failed to provide the DIs with an inventory consistent with the CSA and DEA's regulations during the July 9, 2014 onsite inspection.

    The Government's second recordkeeping charge alleged that Respondent failed to provide dispensing records to the DIs during the July 9, 2014 inspection. Both the CSA and DEA regulations require registrants to “maintain, on a current basis, a complete and accurate record of each substance manufactured, received, sold . . . or otherwise disposed of by him.” 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3); 21 CFR 1304.21(a). As found above, supra, the Government failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent failed to provide the DIs with the relevant dispensing logs during the inspection. Furthermore, I agree with the ALJ's recommended finding (and I so find) that the dispensing log that Respondent testified that he provided to the DIs (RX U) was sufficient to rebut the Government's allegation that he failed to maintain complete and accurate dispensing records in violation of 21 U.S.C. 827(a)(3), 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1304.21(a). See R.D., at 32-33. Thus, I do not sustain the Government's second recordkeeping charge.

    For related reasons, I cannot sustain the Government's fifth recordkeeping charge that Respondent failed to maintain his inventory and dispensing records at his registered location and maintained them instead at Moore Clinical Trials. The CSA requires that registrants maintain “[a] separate registration . . . at each principal place of business or professional practice where the applicant . . . dispenses controlled substances.” 21 U.S.C. 822(e). “In short, the requirements that a practitioner be registered at each principal place of professional practice where he dispenses controlled substances . . . [is one] of the fundamental features of the closed regulatory system created by the CSA.” Moore Clinical Trials, 79 FR at 40155.

    However, as found above, the Government has provided insufficient evidence for me to find by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent, in fact, (1) maintained his dispensing records at Moore Clinical Trials and (2) failed to maintain inventory and dispensing records at his registered location.28 See supra. Thus, I agree with the ALJ's recommendation that I find (and I do so find) that the Government failed to sustain the fifth recordkeeping charge. See R.D., at 36.

    28 The Government also alleged in its fifth recordkeeping charge that Respondent's inventory and dispensing records were not “readily retrievable” pursuant to 21 CFR 1304.04. Section 1304.04(g) requires registered individual practitioners like Respondent to keep “records of controlled substances in the manner prescribed in paragraph (f) of this section.” Section 1304.04(f), in turn, requires that “records of controlled substances listed in Schedules III, IV, and V shall be maintained either separately from all other records of the registrant or in such form that the information required is readily retrievable from the ordinary business records of the registrant.” Here, the controlled substance used during the Quintiles study was oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. 21 CFR 1308.12(b)(1)(xiii).

    The Government's third recordkeeping charge alleged that Respondent failed to provide a January 2014 DEA 222 form during the inspection. DEA regulation 21 CFR 1305.17(a) requires the purchaser of controlled substances to “retain Copy 3 of each executed DEA Form 222 and all copies of unaccepted or defective forms with each statement attached.” See also 21 CFR 1304.04(a) (requiring registrants to keep dispensing records and every inventory for at least two years). However, here too, I have already found that the Government's evidence is insufficient to support this charge. Specifically, I found supra that it is more likely than not that the purchaser's copy of the allegedly missing January 2014 DEA 222 form was, in fact, within Respondent's folder of DEA 222 forms that he presented to the DIs on the date of the onsite inspection. Thus, I do not sustain the Government's third recordkeeping charge.

    The Government's remaining (fourth) recordkeeping charge alleged that Respondent failed to properly annotate two DEA-222 order forms (dated August 15, 2013 and June 24, 2014) in violation of 21 U.S.C. 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1305.13(b). The DEA 222 forms at issue in the fourth recordkeeping charge were suppliers' copies, and DEA regulations require suppliers to “record on Copies 1 and 2 [of the DEA 222 form] the number of commercial or bulk containers furnished on each item and the date on which the containers are shipped to the purchaser.” 21 CFR 1305.13(b). Here, as already noted, Respondent admitted that he failed to properly annotate on both forms (1) the date when he shipped controlled substances back to FCS and (2) the amount shipped. Accordingly, I find that the Government sustained its fourth recordkeeping charge that Respondent failed to properly annotate two DEA 222 supplier's copy forms pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 842(a)(5) and 21 CFR 1305.13(b). These violations support a finding that Respondent's continued registration would be inconsistent with the public interest under Factors Two and Four.

    Factor Five—Other Conduct Which May Threaten the Public Health and Safety

    The Government argues that Respondent engaged in “other conduct” actionable under Factor Five because he violated the MOA.29 Under the fifth public interest factor, the Agency considers “[s]uch other conduct which may threaten the public health and safety.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f)(5). The Agency has clarified that Congress' use of the word “may” in Factor Five means that it intended the Agency to consider conduct which creates a probable or possible (and not necessarily an actual) threat to public health and safety. Mark P. Koch, D.O., 79 FR 18714, 18735 (2014) (collecting cases); ChipRX, L.L.C., d/b/a City Center Pharmacy, 82 FR 51433, 51438 n.10 (2017) (“Factor Five does not require that the Government prove an actual threat to public health or safety”). Thus, the Government is not required to establish that a specific violation of the MOA by Respondent created an actual threat to the health and safety of the public under Factor Five.

    29 The Government also argued that Respondent's alleged violations of the MOA should be considered under Factor 2. ALJ Ex. 20, at 19. In addition, the Agency has held that “where an MOA term imposes the same requirements as a law or regulation, a violation of that term falls under Factor Four because it is also a violation of a duly enacted law or regulation.” Roberto Zayas, M.D., 82 FR 21410, 21422 n.26 (2017). To the extent that I have already addressed Respondent's alleged recordkeeping violations under Factors Two and Four, I will not consider them again under Factor Five because they would not then constitute “other conduct” under Factor Five. See id. at 21427 n.40. However, I will consider whether the proved recordkeeping violations already discussed are sufficient evidence to establish a violation of the MOA under Factor Five.

    DEA has long held that a registrant's failure to comply with the terms of an MOA can constitute acts which render his registration inconsistent with the public interest. Erwin E. Feldman, D.O., 76 FR 16835, 16838 (2011) (revoking practitioner's registration under Factors Two and Five for violating MOA) (internal citation omitted); cf. Fredal Pharmacy, 55 FR 53592, 53593 (1990) (revoking pharmacy's registration for violations of its MOA “which threatens the public health and safety”). This is so even if the violation of the MOA does not establish a violation of the CSA or its implementing regulations. Feldman, 76 FR at 16838. In its Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the Government argued that this case is similar to OTC Distribution Company, where the Agency revoked the registration of a distributor for “its inability or unwillingness to fully comply with its recordkeeping and report obligations under the MOA.” ALJ Ex. 20 at 20-21 (quoting OTC Distribution Company, 68 FR 70538, 70542 (2003)). The Government further argued that, “[a]s in OTC, the Respondent here has demonstrated, over a period of years, an unwillingness or inability to follow DEA's recordkeeping requirements even after being placed under an MOA with strict monitoring requirements.” ALJ Ex. 20 at 21.30

    30 In his Recommendation, the ALJ disagreed with the Government's characterization of Respondent's past recordkeeping conduct because “the Respondent does not have a history of failing to keep the required records.” R.D., at 39. However, as discussed more fully infra, Respondent's history of recordkeeping violations is already documented in published Agency precedent. See, e.g., Moore Clinical Trials, 79 FR at 40151, 40155.

    Indeed, the history of Respondent's recordkeeping violations (and other violations) directly led to the MOA that attempted to resolve them. As I already noted supra, the GS testified that DEA first became aware of Respondent as part of its 2011 investigation of his recordkeeping (and other) violations regarding the earlier NKRT-118 study he conducted with Moore Clinical Trials. Tr. 28-29. This 2011 investigation not only led to the 2011 Show Cause Order against Respondent; it also led to a separate 2011 Show Cause Order against Moore Clinical Trials. However, unlike Respondent, who resolved the Show Cause Order against him by entering into an MOA, the Order against Moore Clinical Trials resulted in a final published order. Moore Clinical Trials, L.L.C., 79 FR 40145 (2014).

    Most importantly, in Moore Clinical Trials, the Agency found that Respondent committed recordkeeping and other violations related to the NKRT-118 study that correspond to the terms of the MOA. For example, the Agency noted the ALJ's findings that Respondent's “documents” “were deficient and that the order forms for Schedule II controlled substances (DEA-222) were lacking” in connection with the NKRT-118 study. Id. at 40147 (internal quotations omitted). The Agency also noted the ALJ's finding that Respondent had improperly transported controlled substances to Moore Clinical Trials' location where he was not registered to dispense them in connection with that study. Id. The then-Administrator also found that Respondent's DEA 222 forms related to the NKRT-118 study did not properly indicate the date the drugs were received and the quantity received. Id. at 40151, 40156. The then-Administrator concluded that “the record clearly establishes that Dr. Nichol violated both the separate registration provision and DEA recordkeeping requirements.” Id. at 40155. The DEA therefore entered into the MOA (which expressly referenced the NKRT-118 study) with Respondent as an intermediary step to get Respondent into compliance and to address Respondent's recordkeeping and separate registration violations related to the NKRT-118 study described and found by the Agency in Moore Clinical Trials. 31

    31See supra footnote 12.

    Respondent agreed to meet the following seven conditions set forth in the MOA:

    (1) Abide by all Federal, State and local statutes and regulations relating to controlled substances.

    (2) Make and keep (and make available for inspection) records of all controlled substances that he prescribes, dispenses, and administers at his registered location pursuant to 21 CFR 1306.05(a) and 1304.21.

    (3) Make and keep a legible log of all Schedule II-V controlled substances that he prescribed and provide that to DEA on a quarterly basis for three years.

    (4) Retain his prescribing, administering and dispensing records at his registered location.

    (5) Notify DEA if he will prescribe, dispense, or administer controlled substances at any location other than his registered location or the Springhill Surgery Center where he routinely administers drugs during a scheduled medical procedure.

    (6) Order, receive, administer, and dispense controlled substances only at his registered location.

    (7) Notify DEA in advance of commencing any drug study involving controlled substances additional to the NKTR-118 study.

    GX 7, at 2-4. It is undisputed that Respondent did not violate the MOA's third and fifth conditions. See Tr. 92, 93, 117-19.

    The Government argued that the same five alleged recordkeeping violations also violated the MOA's first, second, fourth, and sixth conditions.32 See R.D., at 40; Tr. 91-93, 178-79. I discussed all of the recordkeeping allegations in my analysis of Factors Two and Four, wherein I concluded that the Government proved only one recordkeeping violation by a preponderance of the evidence—Respondent's failure to properly annotate two supplier DEA 222 forms. With respect to Factor Five, I also find that these two recordkeeping failures violated the MOA's first condition that Respondent abide by all Federal regulations because (as already noted) failing to properly annotate a supplier's DEA 222 form violates 21 CFR 1305.13(b). Thus, I agree with the ALJ's recommendation that I find (and I do find) that Respondent violated the MOA based on his failure to properly annotate two supplier DEA 222 forms. R.D., at 40.

    32 During the hearing, the Government alleged that Respondent violated the MOA's seventh condition for failing to notify DEA in advance of commencing the Quintiles Study set forth in the CTA. See Tr. 93-94, 119-21, 181-82; GX 7, at 3 (“if [Respondent] is asked to participate in additional drug studies involving controlled substances, he will notify DEA in advance of commencing the study”). Although the ALJ questioned whether the Government had provided sufficient notice to Respondent that the Government would rely on a violation of this MOA condition, the ALJ proceeded to analyze the issue and recommended that I find that Respondent did not violate this MOA condition. See R.D., at 10 n.11.

    I agree (and I do so find) that Respondent did not violate this MOA condition for the following reasons. Although the GS testified that “[i]n DEA's mind” the study commenced when Respondent placed his first order for controlled substances related to the study on December 3, 2012 (Tr. 93-94, 121), the Government has identified no provision of the CSA, DEA's regulations or Agency precedent supporting this statement. Moreover, the MOA did not define what constituted “commencing the study.” Absent additional evidence of the parties' intent when entering into the MOA, I find that the Quintiles Study commenced when Respondent first dispensed controlled substances. If, hypothetically, Respondent had ordered and received controlled substances for the Quintiles Study, enrolled study patients for it, but never ultimately dispensed the controlled substances to the enrolled study patients, then the study still would not have commenced.

    Here, on December 31, 2012, Respondent notified the GS (by letter from his attorney) that he was participating in the study. As noted supra, I found that Respondent began enrolling patients for the Quintiles study in January 2013, and that he first dispensed controlled substances to study patients on February 18, 2013. Thus, I find that Respondent did not violate the MOA's seventh condition because he notified DEA that he was asked to participate in the Quintiles Study on December 31, 2012, in advance of commencing the study on February 18, 2013.

    I also agree with the ALJ's recommendation that the analysis of whether the MOA violation was sufficient to establish a violation of Factor Five does not stop here. Under the MOA, Respondent agreed that “any violations of the Agreement may result in the initiation of proceedings to revoke or immediately suspend and revoke his DEA Certificate of Registration.” GX 7, at 3. However, DEA agreed that it would “not seek to revoke Dr. Nichol's DEA registration . . . unless Dr. Nichol substantially violates this Agreement or unless [he] commits additional acts that constitute grounds under 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a).” Id. at 3-4 (emphasis added). In other words, DEA agreed not to seek to revoke Respondent's DEA registration unless he “substantially violates” the MOA. Here, I agree with the ALJ's recommendation that I find (and I do find) that Respondent's failure to properly complete two supplier DEA 222 forms alone is insufficient to establish that Respondent “substantially violate[d]” the MOA. R.D., at 40 (“I find that the violation of the 2012 MOA, of improperly completing the two supplier 222 Forms, standing along is not a significant violation of the 2012 MOA itself.”) (emphasis in original). Accordingly, I find that Respondent's non-substantial violation of the MOA nominally supports a finding that Respondent's continued registration would be inconsistent with the public interest under Factor Five.

    Having considered all the factors above, I hold that the Government has established its prima facie case showing that Respondent's registration “would be inconsistent with the public interest.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f).

    Sanction

    Where, as here, “the Government has proved that a registrant has committed acts inconsistent with the public interest, a registrant must “ `present sufficient mitigating evidence to assure the Administrator that [he] can be entrusted with the responsibility carried by such a registration.’ ”thnsp;” Medicine Shoppe-Jonesborough, 73 FR 364, 387 (2008) (quoting Samuel S. Jackson, 72 FR 23848, 23853 (2007) (quoting Leo R. Miller, 53 FR 21931, 21932 (1988))). “Moreover, because `past performance is the best predictor of future performance,' ALRA Labs, Inc. v. DEA, 54 F.3d 450, 452 (7th Cir. 1995), [DEA] has repeatedly held that where a registrant has committed acts inconsistent with the public interest, the registrant must accept responsibility for its actions and demonstrate that it will not engage in future misconduct.” Medicine Shoppe, 73 FR at 387; see also Jackson, 72 FR at 23853; John H. Kennedy, 71 FR 35705, 35709 (2006); Prince George Daniels, 60 FR 62884, 62887 (1995). See also Hoxie, 419 F.3d at 483 (“admitting fault” is “properly consider[ed]” by DEA to be an “important factor[ ]” in the public interest determination).

    An applicant's acceptance of responsibility must be unequivocal. See Alexander, 82 FR at 49728 (collecting cases). Also, an applicant's candor during both an investigation and the hearing itself is an important factor to be considered in determining both whether he has accepted responsibility as well as the appropriate sanction. Michael S. Moore, 76 FR 45867, 45868 (2011); Robert F. Hunt, D.O., 75 FR 49995, 50004 (2010); see also Jeri Hassman, 75 FR 8194, 8236 (2010) (quoting Hoxie, 419 F.3d at 483 (6th Cir. 2005) (“Candor during DEA investigations, regardless of the severity of the violations alleged, is considered by the DEA to be an important factor when assessing whether a physician's registration is consistent with the public interest[.]”)), pet. for rev. denied, 515 Fed. Appx. 667 (9th Cir. 2013).

    While a registrant must accept responsibility for his misconduct and demonstrate that he will not engage in future misconduct in order to establish that his registration would be consistent with the public interest, DEA has repeatedly held that these are not the only factors that are relevant in determining the appropriate disposition of the matter. See, e. g., Joseph Gaudio, 74 FR 10083, 10094 (2009); Southwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 72 FR 36487, 36504 (2007). Obviously, the egregiousness and extent of an applicant's misconduct are significant factors in determining the appropriate sanction. See Jacobo Dreszer, 76 FR 19386, 19387-88 (2011) (explaining that a respondent can “argue that even though the Government has made out a prima facie case, his conduct was not so egregious as to warrant revocation”); Volkman, 73 FR at 30644; see also Battershell, 76 FR at 44369 (imposing six-month suspension, noting that the evidence was not limited to security and recordkeeping violations found at first inspection and “manifested a disturbing pattern of indifference on the part of [r]espondent to his obligations as a registrant”); Gregory D. Owens, 74 FR 36751, 36757 n.22 (2009).

    So too, the Agency can consider the need to deter similar acts, both with respect to the respondent in a particular case and the community of registrants. See Gaudio, 74 FR at 10095 (quoting Southwood, 71 FR at 36503). Cf. McCarthy v. SEC, 406 F.3d 179, 188-89 (2d Cir. 2005) (upholding SEC's express adoption of “deterrence, both specific and general, as a component in analyzing the remedial efficacy of sanctions”).

    After considering (1) Respondent's unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions that his unlicensed staff members then issued to patients without further consulting Respondent and (2) Respondent's failure to properly annotate two supplier DEA 222 forms, the ALJ recommended a sanction of imposing restrictions on Respondent's DEA registration based solely on the sustained recordkeeping violation. R.D., at 41-46. He did not recommend that I impose a sanction of either suspension or revocation. See id. As set forth more fully below, I disagree with the ALJ's recommended sanction.

    Pre-Signing Prescription Misconduct

    With respect to Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions, the ALJ recommended that I do not rely on this misconduct as a basis for any sanction whatsoever. Id. at 42-43 (recommending against relying upon “Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions as a basis for revocation or sanction”). The ALJ identified five mitigating actions or factors related to Respondent's unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions to support his Recommendation: (1) Respondent “obtained high quality prescription pads that make reproduction difficult, and he writes all of his prescriptions by hand” “[t]o prevent forgery of his prescriptions;” (2) “his prescription pads produce a duplicate copy, which the Respondent keeps in the medical file” “[t]o increase the likelihood that he can identify his prescriptions;” (3) he “began providing the DEA with copies of his prescriptions, as required by the MOA;” (4) “the DEA has renewed his registration multiple times since his medical license was restored;” and (5) he “had not been cited for any prescription violations in the past ten years” and “the amount of time that has passed since.” Id. Based on these five factors and the fact that Respondent had accepted responsibility for unlawfully pre-signing prescriptions, the ALJ found that Respondent had taken sufficient “mitigating actions” and “efforts at remediation” that this unlawful conduct should not be the basis for any sanction whatsoever. Id. at 42-43.

    Although I agree with the ALJ that Respondent accepted responsibility for unlawfully pre-signing prescriptions, I disagree that there exists sufficient mitigating evidence to warrant no sanction at all for Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions. For example, Respondent's decision to handwrite his prescriptions on “high quality prescription pads” that “produce a duplicate copy” is an admirable effort to prevent prescription forgery. However, the ALJ failed to explain how these actions intended to prevent forgery of Respondent's signature on a prescription (the ALJ's first two factors) would remediate or prevent Respondent from again pre-signing prescriptions with his authentic signature in the future. It is manifest that a practitioner, whether he or she pre-signs a “high quality” or a “low-quality” prescription pad, is still the one signing the prescription in a case like this one involving unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions.

    Here, there is no allegation that anyone forged Respondent's signature on prescriptions. It is Respondent's pre-signing of his own signature on prescriptions, not forgery, that is the basis for Respondent's unlawful prescription conduct at issue in this case. Thus, I find Respondent's efforts to prevent forgery would not and do not mitigate Respondent's unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions.

    The ALJ's reliance on Respondent providing DEA with copies of his prescriptions as mitigating evidence (the ALJ's third mitigating factor) is similarly unavailing. As the ALJ concedes, Respondent only provided copies of his prescriptions to DEA because the MOA required him to do so. See R.D., at 42. I find that the fact that Respondent complied with this MOA requirement does not constitute sufficient mitigating evidence regarding his unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions to warrant no sanction for his unlawful conduct.

    In addition, the ALJ's reliance on DEA's renewals of Respondent's registration in 2010 and 2013 after the ASMB restored Respondent's state license in 2007 as a mitigating factor is misplaced because it overlooks the chronology of DEA's investigation of Respondent. The GS testified that DEA first became aware of Respondent as part of its 2011 investigation of his violations regarding the NKRT-118 study he conducted with Moore Clinical Trials. DEA's 2011 investigation led to the 2011 Show Cause Order against Respondent. The 2011 Order included DEA's allegation that Respondent unlawfully pre-signed prescriptions and that the ASMB suspended him in 2006 for this conduct. Prior to 2011, there is no evidence in the record that DEA was aware of Respondent's misconduct—thereby making any renewals of Respondent's DEA registration prior to 2011 (including the 2010 renewal) irrelevant.

    Moreover, Respondent and DEA attempted to resolve the 2011 Show Cause Order's allegations by entering into the 2012 MOA. Once Respondent's DEA registration came up for renewal in 2013, DEA renewed it because at that time DEA believed Respondent was complying with the CSA, DEA regulations, and the 2012 MOA. DEA did not learn that Respondent had violated the 2012 MOA until after DEA's July 2014 onsite inspection of Respondent's registered address. As a result of Respondent's violation of the MOA, DEA was entitled to issue a new Show Cause Order against Respondent, which it issued on March 14, 2016, that included the allegations set forth in the earlier 2011 Show Cause Order. Thus, I find that the fact that DEA renewed Respondent's registration in 2010 and 2013 does not constitute evidence mitigating Respondent's unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions.

    However, I do agree with the ALJ that the final factor he identified constitutes mitigating evidence. Specifically, I find that the amount of time that has passed since Respondent unlawfully pre-signed prescriptions is mitigating evidence because he has not repeated this particular misconduct since 2006. Koch, 79 FR at 18736 (“time is certainly an appropriate factor to be considered” where “ `during that time [the] Respondent has learned from his past mistakes' ”) (quoting Leonardo V. Lopez, M.D., 54 FR 36915, 36915 (1989)). And it is this mitigating evidence, along with the fact that Respondent accepting responsibility, that I consider in imposing a sanction.

    The Agency has long held that pre-signing prescriptions “would be inconsistent with the public interest” under the CSA because such conduct “create[s] a substantial risk that the drugs would be diverted and abused.” E.g., Singh, 81 FR at 8248, 8249. And as I noted earlier, Respondent's pre-signing of prescriptions constituted a serious violation of the CSA—not only because it created a substantial risk that the drugs would be diverted and abused but also because Respondent gave the pre-signed prescription forms to office personnel who lacked the authority to lawfully prescribe controlled substances under federal or state law. See 21 CFR 1306.03(a); see also Krishna-Iyer, 71 FR at 52159.

    Unlike the ALJ, I find that the Agency's interest in deterring this misconduct in the future both on the part of Respondent as well as the community of registrants supports a sanction. The ASMB imposed a six-month suspension of Respondent's state license for unlawfully pre-signing prescriptions. Although there is precedent in the context of pre-signing prescriptions for imposing a sanction to match the ASMB's sanction, cf. Walter S. Gresham, M.D., 57 FR 44213, 44214-15 (1992) (imposing same sanction against respondent who unlawfully pre-signed prescriptions as Georgia imposed), I believe Respondent's acceptance of responsibility for unlawfully pre-signing prescriptions, and the lack of any evidence that Respondent has engaged in this same misconduct since 2006, warrants a lesser sanction than that imposed by the ASMB. Accordingly, I find that suspending Respondent's DEA registration for one month is what is necessary to protect the public interest.

    As for the issue of specific deterrence, a suspension of Respondent's registration for one month is not a bar on his practice, much less a permanent bar. And regarding general deterrence, those members of the regulated community who contemplate unlawfully pre-signing prescriptions need to know that the Agency takes such misconduct—and the grave risk of diversion that it creates—seriously and that there will be concomitantly serious consequences if they choose to engage in such misconduct. This interest would be compelling even if it was not the case that the nation faces an epidemic of opioid abuse.

    Recordkeeping Misconduct

    With respect to the recordkeeping violations, the ALJ stated that this “violation [of DEA's regulations] is significant because without knowing the quantity of controlled substances shipped back to Fisher, it is impossible to conduct an accurate audit of the Respondent's controlled substances using his records, and it is his records that are the subject of these proceedings.” R.D., at 43. The ALJ recommended that I find that “Respondent's recordkeeping violation to be egregious. It was egregious because it prevented the DEA from being able to use the Respondent's own records to conduct an accurate audit of the controlled substances for which the Respondent was accountable while he served as the principal investigator in the controlled drug study.” Id. at 45.

    Nevertheless, the ALJ found that Respondent can be entrusted with a DEA registration and recommended that I only place restrictions upon Respondent's registration, rather than revoking or suspending his registration. Id. at 42-43, 45-46. Although the ALJ acknowledged that Respondent “has not taken any specific remedial steps to address his improper completion of supplier 222 forms,” the ALJ reasoned that Respondent “now knows how to properly complete a 222 form when he is a supplier, and he has stated that in the future he will fill out the form correctly.” Id. at 43 (citing Tr. 257). In short, the ALJ believed that Respondent's “egregious” and “significant” recordkeeping violations nonetheless warranted only the imposition of restrictions on (and not suspension or revocation of) Respondent's DEA registration because it was the first time Respondent had committed recordkeeping violations.

    In contrast, the Government argued in its Proposed Findings that Respondent “has demonstrated, over a period of years, an unwillingness or inability to follow DEA's recordkeeping requirements.” ALJ Ex. 20, at 21. The Government further argued that Respondent's “recordkeeping violations that prompted DEA's 2011 Order to Show Cause, which was settled with the 2012 MOA, and his continued violations of these same recordkeeping requirements,” “warranted” “revocation.” Id. at 19.

    In his Recommendation, the ALJ disagreed because he believed that “the Respondent does not have a history of failing to keep the required records.” R.D., at 39. The ALJ reached this conclusion because “Respondent entered into an MOA with the DEA” “[t]o resolve the September 2011 [Show Cause Order],” and “[n]owhere in the 2011 [Show Cause Order] are recordkeeping violations.” Id. Elsewhere, the ALJ contested the Government's characterization of Respondent's history of recordkeeping violations:

    The Government's arguments are puzzling in this regard because the Respondent was not cited for any recordkeeping violations in the 2011 [Show Cause Order], and in its post-hearing brief, the Government does not cite to any recordkeeping violations that occurred prior to the current allegations. . . .

    Respondent does not have a history of failing to keep the required records. The Government's attempt to paint Respondent's current violations as a continuation of the DEA's concerns that prompted the issuance of the 2011 OSC is disingenuous at best! . . .

    Here, . . . there is no evidence that the Respondent has a history of improperly completing 222 Forms, either as a purchaser or as a supplier.

    Id. at 44 (emphasis in original).

    It is unclear why the ALJ was unaware of Respondent's history of recordkeeping violations, including a history of improperly completing DEA 222 Forms, in light of Moore Clinical Trials. As I noted earlier, Respondent's history of recordkeeping (and other) violations was referenced in the record. In its Proposed Findings filed post-hearing, the Government referenced the GS's testimony that she first became aware of Respondent after receiving an application for a DEA registration from Moore Clinical Trials, and that this application led to a DEA investigation of both Moore Clinical Trials and Respondent in 2011 that found recordkeeping violations. See ALJ Ex. 20, at 4.

    The Government also referenced the GS's testimony that Moore Clinical Trial's DEA application was denied. Id. The ALJ even acknowledged this denial in his Recommendation. R.D., at 3. Although the Government could have better assisted the ALJ by directing him to a case citation to the Agency's decision, it does not change the fact that Moore Clinical Trials—like all other final agency actions issued by my office—was an Agency decision published in the Federal Register. As such, Moore Clinical Trials compels a finding that Respondent has a history of recordkeeping violations.

    As already noted, the Agency found in Moore Clinical Trials that Respondent committed both separate registration and recordkeeping violations in connection with the NKRT-118 study Respondent conducted with Moore Clinical Trials that, not coincidentally, correspond to the terms of the MOA. Moore Clinical Trials even documented Respondent's history of recordkeeping violations in connection with DEA 222 forms. For example, the Agency noted the ALJ's findings that Respondent's “documents” “were deficient and that the order forms for Schedule II controlled substances (DEA-222) were lacking” in connection with the NKRT-118 study. Moore Clinical Trials, 79 FR at 40147 (internal quotations omitted). The then-Administrator also found that Respondent's DEA 222 forms related to the NKRT-118 study did not properly indicate the date the drugs were received and the quantity received. Id. at 40151, 40156. Most significantly, this type of recordkeeping violation involving DEA 222 forms—failure to properly record the date and quantity of controlled substances—is the same type of recordkeeping violation that Respondent committed in this case. Thus, contrary to the ALJ's conclusion, Respondent in fact “has a history of improperly completing 222 Forms.” See R.D., at 44.

    The then-Administrator concluded in Moore Clinical Trials that “the record clearly establishes that Dr. Nichol violated both the separate registration provision and DEA recordkeeping requirements.” 79 FR at 40155. The DEA therefore entered into the MOA (which expressly referenced the NKRT-118 study) with Respondent as an intermediary step to get Respondent into compliance and to address Respondent's recordkeeping and separate registration violations related to the NKRT-118 study described and found by the Agency in Moore Clinical Trials.

    The ALJ's finding that Respondent's recordkeeping violation in this case is not “a minor oversight” but an “egregious” and “significant” violation, combined with Respondent's history of recordkeeping violations, requires a stronger sanction than what the ALJ recommended. In that vein, I find that the Agency's interest in deterring this misconduct in the future both on the part of Respondent as well as the community of registrants supports imposing a two-part sanction. Although the ALJ's recommended restrictions on Respondent's registration could be a sufficient deterrent for a registrant who lacked a history of recordkeeping violations, that is not this case. Here, the Agency already attempted to address Respondent's prior recordkeeping violations by imposing the restrictions (rather than suspending or revoking his DEA registration) set forth in the MOA. To simply impose more restrictions after Respondent again committed recordkeeping violations would be no sanction at all in this case. See Mark De La Lama, P.A., 76 FR 20011, 20020 (2011) (“granting Respondent's application subject to the restrictions proposed by the ALJ, which do no more than replicate the conditions imposed by the MOA, amounts to no sanction at all. In short, adopting the ALJ's proposed sanction would send the wrong message to both Respondent . . . as well as other applicants/registrants”). For this reason, I find that suspending Respondent's DEA registration for one month (concurrently with the sanction I imposed for Respondent's unlawful pre-signing of prescriptions) is necessary to protect the public interest. In addition, I impose the same restrictions to Respondent's registration as proposed by the ALJ, and I direct that these restrictions—set forth infra—are set to begin at the conclusion of Respondent's one-month suspension.

    The Agency's interests in both specific and general deterrence support this two-part sanction. As for the Agency's interest in specific deterrence, and as already noted, the one-month suspension of his DEA registration is not a bar on his practice, much less a permanent bar. In addition, the restrictions that I impose in this Decision and Order will hopefully deter Respondent from engaging in future misconduct. As for the Agency's interest in general deterrence, not only does the Agency have an obvious and manifest interest in deterring violations of the CSA and DEA's regulations by members of the regulated community, the Agency also has a manifest interest in ensuring that those members to whom it extends the forbearance of an MOA will comply with the terms of those agreements. Roberto Zayas, M.D., 82 FR 21410, 21430 (2017).

    I therefore conclude that the suspension of Respondent's DEA registration for one month, in addition to the imposition of the ALJ's recommended restrictions at the conclusion of Respondent's one-month suspension, are necessary to protect the public interest.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificate of Registration No. BN4578057, issued to Brian Thomas Nichol, M.D., be, and it hereby is, suspended for one month. At the conclusion of this one-month suspension, I impose the following restrictions on Brian Thomas Nichol's DEA Certificate of Registration No. BN4578057:

    1. That he may not participate in any drug studies in which he is required to order, maintain, store, or dispense controlled substances for a period of four years.

    2. That he may not order, maintain, store, or dispense any controlled substances at his registered location for a period of four years.

    3. That restrictions one and two, above, will not be lifted, even after four years, until the Respondent has completed a course in controlled substance recordkeeping, a course in controlled substance storage, and a course in the administration of controlled substances, and provides the DEA with evidence of completion of these courses. These courses may not be used to meet any continuing medical education requirement.

    4. That prior to renewal of the Respondent's DEA registration, he sign a document consenting to inspections by DEA personnel of his medical practice without the need for DEA personnel to obtain an administrative inspection warrant prior to conducting an inspection. By the terms contained in the consent form, the consent shall be valid for four years from the date his current renewal application for a DEA registration is approved. This consent form is to be delivered to the Respondent's local DEA Field Office.

    5. That prior to renewal of the Respondent's DEA registration, he sign a document consenting to the conditions set forth in Paragraphs one and two above and acknowledging his understanding that his failure to comply with the terms of those conditions will constitute an independent basis for administrative enforcement proceedings by the DEA. This consent and acknowledgement document shall be delivered to the Respondent's local DEA Field Office.

    This Order is effective October 19, 2018.

    Dated: September 5, 2018. Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20383 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1121-0065] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: National Corrections Reporting Program AGENCY:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 30 days until October 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Elizabeth Ann Carson, Statistician, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531 (email: [email protected]; telephone: 202/616.3496).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) The Title of the Form/Collection: National Corrections Reporting Program. The collection includes the following parts: Prisoner Admission Report, Prisoner Release Report, Prisoners in Custody at Year-end Report, Post-Custody Community Supervision Entry Report, Post-Custody Community Supervision Exit Report.

    (3) The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: Form number(s): NCRP-1A, NCRP-1B, NCRP-1D, NCRP-1E, NCRP-1F. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Corrections Unit), in the Office of Justice Programs.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: 50 state departments of corrections (DOCs) and 7 parole supervising agencies (in six states and the District of Columbia). The National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) is the only national data collection furnishing annual individual-level information for state prisoners at five points in the incarceration process: Prison admission, prison release, annual year-end prison custody census, entry to post-custody community corrections supervision, and exits from post-custody community corrections supervision. BJS, the U.S. Congress, researchers, and criminal justice practitioners use these data to describe annual movements of adult offenders through state correctional systems, as well as to examine long-term trends in time served in prison, demographic and offense characteristics of inmates, sentencing practices in the states that submit data, transitions between incarceration and community corrections, and recidivism. Providers of the data are personnel in the states' Departments of Corrections and Parole, and all data are submitted on a voluntary basis. The NCRP collects the following administrative data on each inmate in participating states' custody:

    • County of sentencing • State and federal inmate identification numbers • Dates of: Birth, prison admission, prison release, projected prison release, mandatory prison release, eligibility hearing for post-custody community corrections supervision, post-custody community corrections supervision entry, post-custody community corrections supervision exit • First, middle, and last names • Demographic information: Sex, race, Hispanic origin, education level, prior military service, date and type of last discharge from military • Offense type and number of counts per inmate for a maximum of three convicted offenses per inmate • Total sentence length imposed • Type of facility where inmate is serving sentence (for year-end custody census records only, the name of the facility is also requested) • Type of prison admission • Type of prison release • Location of post-custody community supervision exit or post-custody community supervision office (post-custody community supervision records only) • Social security number • Address of last residence prior to incarceration • Prison security level at which the inmate is held

    For consideration, BJS is proposing to add the following items to the NCRP collection, all of which are likely available from the same databases as existing data elements and should likely pose minimal additional burden to the respondents, while enhancing BJS' ability to characterize the corrections systems and populations it serves:

    • Status of current U.S. citizenship • Country of current citizenship • Country of birth

    Finally, BJS is proposing to remove the following 7 items from the NCRP collection, based on a combination of low response rates (less than 50% of states) and/or high levels of missing data (30% or higher missing) among states that do respond:

    • Prior prison time served by the offender • Additional offenses since admission date • Additional sentence time since admission date • Whether the offender was on AWOL or escape while serving sentences • Whether the offender was serving time concurrently on community release prior to prison release • The number of days on community release prior to prison release served by the offender • Offender's supervision status prior to release from post-custody community supervision

    BJS uses the information gathered in NCRP in published reports and statistics. The reports will be made available to the U.S. Congress, Executive Office of the President, practitioners, researchers, students, the media, others interested in criminal justice statistics, and the general public via the BJS website.

    BJS received 3 comments to its 60-day Federal Register Notice (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/07/09/2018-14599/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-ecollection-ecomments-requested-extension-of-a). Responses to these comments will be included in the final clearance package submitted to OMB and available at the NCRP page on www.reginfo.gov (https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAOMBHistory?ombControlNumber=1121-0065).

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: BJS anticipates 57 respondents to NCRP by 2021: 50 state DOC respondents and seven separate parole supervising agencies (in six states and the District of Columbia). Burden hours for the three collection years (2019-2021) differ based on whether a state has previously submitted NCRP prison and PCCS data in recent years. All 50 DOCs have recently submitted NCRP prison data, but currently, only 32 DOCs have submitted PCCS data in the last four years.

    Burden Hours for Prison Records (NCRP-1A, NCRP-1B, NCRP-1D)

    All 50 DOCs have recently submitted NCRP prison data, so the average time needed to continue providing prison data is expected to be 8 hours per respondent for both prisoner admissions and releases (NCRP-1A and NCRP-1B) and 8 hours for data on persons in prison at year-end (NCRP-1D). For 2019, the total burden estimate of 16 hours per DOC for these three record types is increased by 45 minutes from the previous NCRP OMB submission, to account for the addition and removal of variables from states' extract programs (a 30 minute increase to add citizenship questions to NCRP-1A and NCRP-1D, and a 15 minute increase to remove the 7 variables). The total amount of time estimated for 50 DOCs to submit NCRP-A, -B, and -D records in 2019 is 837.5 hours (16.75 hours * 50 = 837.5 hours).

    In 2020 and 2021, BJS expects to have all 50 DOCs providing NCRP prison data. The burden for provision of the NCRP prison data will decrease to 14 hours per respondent due to the removal of the 7 items (7 hours for the prison admission and release records combined, and 7 hours for the year-end custody records), for a total of 700 hours annually for the 50 DOCs in 2020 and 2021 (14 hours * 50 = 700 hours).

    Burden Hours for PCCS Records (NCRP-1E, NCRP-1F)

    There are currently 37 jurisdictions submitting PCCS data (32 DOCs and 5 parole boards), and BJS estimates that extraction and submission of both the PCCS entries and exits takes an average of 8 hours per jurisdiction. In 2019, BJS anticipates that 8 additional DOCs and one parole supervising agency (likely the District of Columbia) will submit data, with the burden for each new jurisdiction being 24 hours to set up extraction programs and make the submission. Thus, the burden for PCCS records is 296 hours for those already submitting (8 hours * 37 = 296 hours), and 216 hours for new submissions (24 hours * 9 = 216). The total amount of time for all PCCS submissions in 2019 is 512 hours.

    In 2020, BJS hope to recruit an additional 2 DOCs and the remaining parole supervising agency to submit NCRP PCCS data. The total estimate for submission of PCCS for new jurisdictions in 2020 is 72 hours (24 hours * 3 = 72 hours). For those 40 DOCs and 6 parole boards currently responding, provision of the PCCS data in 2020 will total 368 hours (8 hours * 46 = 368 hours). The total amount of time for all PCCS submissions in 2020 is 440 hours.

    Similarly, BJS hopes that the remaining 2 DOCs will submit PCCS data for the first time in 2021. The remaining non-reporting DOCs would need a total of 48 hours to create data extraction programs and begin data submission (24 hours * 2 = 48 hours). Those jurisdictions (42 DOCs and 7 parole supervising agencies) who provided NCRP PCCS data in 2020 will require 392 hours total to do the same in 2021 (8 hours * 49 = 392 hours). The total amount of time for all PCCS submissions in 2021 is 440 hours.

    Burden Hours for Data Review/Follow-Up Consultations

    Follow-up consultations with respondents are usually necessary while processing the data to obtain further information regarding the definition, completeness and accuracy of their report. The duration of these follow-up consultations will vary based on the number of record types submitted, so BJS has estimated an average of 3 hours per jurisdiction to cover all of the records (prison and/or PCCS) submitted. In 2019, BJS anticipates that one of the two parole supervising agencies not currently submitting PCCS data will begin to submit, so the number of jurisdictions requiring follow-up consultations is 51 (50 DOCs submitting at least the prison data, and one parole supervising agency submitting only PCCS data). This yields a total of 153 hours of follow-up consultation after submission (3 hours * 51 = 153 hours).

    This total estimate of 153 hours for data review/follow-up consultations remains the same for 2020 and 2021.

    Total Burden Hours for Submitting NCRP Data

    BJS anticipates that the total burden for provision and data follow-up of all NCRP data across the participating jurisdictions in 2019 is 1,502.5 hours (837.5 hours for prison records, 512 hours for PCCS records, and 153 hours for follow-up consultation). This is equivalent to roughly 29 hours per respondent. The total annual burden for provision and follow-up of NCRP data in 2020 and 2021 is anticipated to be 1,293 hours (700 hours for prison records, 440 hours for PCCS records, and 153 hours for follow-up consultation).

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: There are an estimated 1,502.5 total burden hours associated with this collection in 2019, and 1,293 hours in both 2020 and 2021.

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE, 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: September 14, 2018. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20354 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request a new, one time data collection. The primary purpose of this data collection is to provide critical evidence for the Evaluation of the Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted this information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 23301, and no comments were received. NSF is forwarding the proposed new information collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission may be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725 17th Street NW, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314, or send email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays).

    Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling 703-292-7556.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NSF 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.

    Comments regarding (a) 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; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) 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 should be addressed to the points of contact in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Title of Collection: Evaluation of the Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program Surveys and Interviews.

    OMB Number: 3145-NEW.

    Type of Request: Intent to seek approval for a new information collection.

    Proposed Project: The National Science Foundation established the Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program (formerly known as Chemical Bonding Centers) in 2004 to support research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. The goals that NSF set forth for the CCI Program include that Centers will (a) produce transformative research, leading to innovation, and attract broad scientific and public interest; (b) be agile structures that can respond rapidly to emerging opportunities through enhanced collaborations; and (c) integrate research, innovation, education, broaden participation, and informal science communication.

    The NSF Division of Chemistry has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) program—with specific focus on its investment in Phase II Centers—toward achieving its stated goals. As this is the first assessment of the CCI program, new data collection is necessary to provide critical evidence for this assessment.

    The new data collection consists of the following four new data collection activities:

    1. CCI Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) Survey. Administration of a survey to CCI Phase I and Phase II PIs and Co-Investigators is necessary to understand the role of the Center in research, collaboration, and broader impacts; to assess grantee satisfaction with the center structure, management, and a two-phase funding model; to document outcomes; and to describe the challenges encountered.

    2. CCI Phase II Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) Interview. Interviews with CCI Phase II PIs and a sample of Phase II Co-Investigators are necessary to further explore the data that emerge from the survey of CCI Phase II Center PIs and Co-Investigators.

    3. CCI Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Researcher Survey. Administration of a survey to CCI Phase I and Phase II graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are needed to understand the role of CCI in education, training, and career development.

    4. CCI Center Industry Partners Interview. Interviews with CCI Center industry partners are necessary to explore innovation-related knowledge exchange with Centers, perspectives on CCI contributions to industry and other benefits and challenges of partnership.

    Use of the Information: The NSF Division of Chemistry will use the collection of information to assess the CCI Program's progress in achieving its goals, to communicate the outcomes of the program, and to inform improvements in CCI Program and Center-level design and operation. Across the NSF, the evaluation will also inform planning decisions about the center concept and funding mechanisms. Additionally, the evaluation findings will be used to communicate the outcomes of the CCI program to the wider chemistry community.

    Burden on the Public: It has been estimated that respondents will expend an average of 20 minutes to complete the CCI Principal Investigators (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) Survey; 60 minutes on average to complete the CCI Phase II Center PIs and Co-Investigators Interview; 15 minutes on average to complete the CCI Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Researcher Survey; and 20 minutes to complete the CCI Center Industry Partners Interview. The Foundation has based its reporting burden on the review of actual times required for each information collection during pilot tests under Fast Track Clearance 3145-0215.

    The total burden for new data collection for this ICR should not exceed 317 hours. A sample of 211 individuals will complete the 20-minute CCI Principal Investigators (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) Survey (70 hours). A sample of 27 individuals will complete the 60-minute CCI Phase II Center PIs and Co-Investigators Interview (27 hours). A sample of 859 individuals will complete the 15-minute CCI Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Researcher Survey (215 hours). A sample of 15 individuals will complete the 20-minute CCI Center Industry Partners Interview (5 hours). Only 27 CCI Phase II Center PIs and Co-Investigators will receive requests to complete both a survey and an interview.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20300 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 052-00025 and 052-00026; NRC-2008-0252] Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License amendment application; notice of opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment and exemption to Combined Licenses (NPF-91 and NPF-92), issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC), and Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC, MEAG Power SPVP, LLC, Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (collectively, SNC), for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    DATES:

    Comments must be filed by October 19, 2018. A request for a hearing must be filed by November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov 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.

    Mail comments to: May Ma, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN-7-A60, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William (Billy) Gleaves, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-000; telephone: 301-415-5848; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252.

    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 application for amendment is dated August 30, 2018, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18242A039.

    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.

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to facility Combined License Nos. NPF-91 and NPF-92, issued to SNC for operation of the VEGP Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    The proposed changes would revise the Combined Licenses to revise the description and scope of the Initial Test Program (ITP) to remove component testing as a separately identified program or phase of the ITP, i.e., the Component Test Program. The requested amendment requires changes to the VEGP Updated Final Safety Analysis Report in the form of departures from the incorporated plant-specific Design Control Document (DCD) Tier 2 information and involves changes to related plant-specific Tier 1 information with corresponding changes to the associated Combined License information. Because, this proposed changes require a departure from Tier 1 information in the Westinghouse Electric Company's AP1000 DCD, the licensee also requested an exemption from the requirements of the Generic DCD Tier 1 in accordance with section 52.63(b)(1) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR).

    Before any issuance of the proposed license amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations.

    The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC's regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below.

    1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment is related to the conduct of the ITP. The proposed changes are made in compliance with the applicable regulatory guides, are only related to the general aspects of how the program is executed and do not change any technical content for preoperational or startup tests. No changes are made to any design aspect of the plant. Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment is related to the conduct of the ITP. The proposed changes are made in compliance with the applicable regulatory guides, are only related to the general aspects of how the program is executed and do not change any technical content for preoperational or startup tests. These changes do not affect the design or analyzed operation of any system. Therefore, the proposed amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident.

    3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment is related to the conduct of the ITP. The proposed changes are made in compliance with the applicable regulatory guides, are only related to the general aspects of how the program is executed and do not change any technical content for preoperational or startup tests. No safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit/criterion is challenged or exceeded by the proposed changes, thus no margin of safety is reduced. Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

    The NRC is seeking public comments on this proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day notice period if the Commission concludes the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, the Commission will publish a notice of issuance in the Federal Register. Should the Commission make a final no significant hazards consideration determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

    III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any persons (petitioner) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and a petition to intervene (petition) with respect to the action. Petitions shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's website at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a petition is filed within 60 days, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner; (2) the nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion to support its position on the issue. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the proceeding. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions consistent with the NRC's regulations, policies, and procedures.

    Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i) through (iii).

    If a hearing is requested, and the Commission has not made a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

    A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(1).

    The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission by November 19, 2018. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions set forth in this section, except that under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(2) a State, local governmental body, or Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof does not need to address the standing requirements in 10 CFR 2.309(d) if the facility is located within its boundaries. A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof may also have the opportunity to participate under 10 CFR 2.315(c).

    If a hearing is granted, any person who does not wish, or is not qualified, to become a party to the proceeding may, in the discretion of the presiding officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of position on the issues, but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the limits and conditions as may be imposed by the presiding officer. Details regarding the opportunity to make a limited appearance will be provided by the presiding officer if such sessions are scheduled.

    IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene (hereinafter “petition”), and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562, August 3, 2012). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a petition (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/adjudicatory-sub.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the website, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a petition. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at https://adams.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, in some instances, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated August 30, 2018.

    Attorney for licensee: Mr. M. Stanford Blanton, Balch & Bingham LLP, 1710 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203-2015.

    NRC Branch Chief: Jennifer Dixon-Herrity.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of September 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Jennifer Dixon-Herrity, Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of Licensing, Siting, and Environmental Analysis, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20322 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 052-00025 and 052-00026; NRC-2008-0252] Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License amendment application; opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment and exemption to Combined Licenses (NPF-91 and NPF-92), issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC), Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC, MEAG Power SPVP, LLC, Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (collectively, SNC), for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    DATES:

    Comments must be filed by October 19, 2018. A request for a hearing must be filed by November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Mail comments to: May Ma, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN-7-A60, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William (Billy) Gleaves, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5848; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252.

    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 “ADAMS Public Documents” and then 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 application for amendment is dated August 10, 2018, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18222A599.

    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.

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to facility Combined License Nos. NPF-91 and NPF-92, issued to SNC for operation of the VEGP Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    The proposed changes would revise the Combined Licenses to relocate the power operated relief valve (PORV) branch lines upstream of the main steam safety valves in Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria (ITAAC) Figure 2.2.4-1 (Sheets 1 of 2) of the COL Appendix C. In addition to the relocation of the PORV branch lines, the PORV block valves would be changed from gate valves to globe valves in the VEGP Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR). The requested amendment proposes changes to the UFSAR in the form of departures from the incorporated plant-specific Design Control Document (DCD) Tier 2 information in the UFSAR and involves changes to COL Appendix C, and corresponding changes to plant-specific Tier 1 information. Because, these proposed changes require a departure from Tier 1 information in the Westinghouse Electric Company's AP1000 Design Control Document (DCD), the licensee also requested an exemption from the requirements of the Generic DCD Tier 1 in accordance with section 52.63(b)(1) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR).

    Before any issuance of the proposed license amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations.

    The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC's regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed changes do not affect the operation or reliability of any system, structure or component (SSC) required to maintain a normal power operating condition or to mitigate anticipated transients without safety-related systems.

    With the proposed changes, the PORV block valves are still able to perform the safety-related functions of containment isolation, steam generator isolation, and steam generator relief isolation. There is no change to the PORV block valves safety class or safety-related functions.

    The relocation of the branch line in which the PORV block valves are installed in allows the PORV block valves to be closer to the containment penetration and maintain compliance with General Design Criterion (GDC) 57 for locating containment isolation valves as close to the containment as practical.

    There is no impact to Chapter 15 evaluations. Changes to the PORV block valve and line size do not impact the mass releases to the atmosphere during a Steam Generator Tube Rupture accident. The mass release is limited by the PORV which is more restrictive than the PORV block valve and line size.

    There is no impact to any assumed leakage through the PORV line. The existing 12-inch PORV has a design function to limit leakage through the PORV line. Increasing the PORV block valve to 12 inches will increase the leakage through the PORV block valve however it will be that same leakage rate as the 12-inch PORV. Therefore, the leakage rate through the PORV line does not increase and there is no impact to radiation doses.

    There is no impact to the assumptions or analysis in the completed safety analysis for radiation doses as a result of the change.

    There is no impact to the conclusions of the Pipe Rupture Hazard Analysis (PRHA) because the PORV line is Break Exclusion Zone (BEZ) piping. The proposed changes do not result in any new postulated break locations. Updated analyses confirm that the integrity of the wall adjacent to the [main control room] MCR is unaffected by a postulated main steam line break that causes the PORV line to impact the wall.

    There is no change to the valve motor operator. The current motor operator is sufficient to operate the new 12-inch globe valve. Therefore, there is no impact to the Class 1E dc and UPS System (IDS) battery sizing. There is no change to the valve stroke time, therefore there is no impact to valve open/closure times.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed changes do not affect the operation of systems or equipment that could initiate a new or different kind of accident, or alter any SSC such that a new accident initiator or initiating sequence of events is created. With the proposed changes, the PORV block valves are still able to perform the safety related functions of containment isolation, steam generator isolation, and steam generator relief isolation. There is no change to the PORV block valves safety class or safety-related functions.

    The relocation of the branch line in which the PORV block valves are installed in allows the PORV block valves to be closer to the containment penetration and maintain compliance with General Design Criterion (GDC) 57 for locating containment isolation valves as close to the containment as practical.

    There is no impact to Chapter 15 evaluations. Changes to the PORV block valve and line size do not impact the mass releases to the atmosphere during a Steam Generator Tube Rupture accident. The mass release is limited by the PORV which is more restrictive than the PORV block valve and line size.

    There is no impact to any assumed leakage through the PORV line. The existing 12-inch PORV has a design function to limit leakage through the PORV line. Increasing the PORV block valve to 12 inches will increase the leakage through the PORV block valve however it will be that same leakage rate as the 12-inch PORV. Therefore, the leakage rate through the PORV line does not increase and there is no impact to radiation doses.

    There is no impact to the assumptions or analysis in the completed safety analysis for radiation doses as a result of the change.

    There is no impact to the conclusions of the Pipe Rupture Hazard Analysis (PRHA) because the PORV line is Break Exclusion Zone (BEZ) piping. The proposed changes do not result in any new postulated break locations. Updated analyses confirm that the integrity of the wall adjacent to the MCR is unaffected by a postulated main steam line break that causes the PORV line to impact the wall.

    There is no change to the valve motor operator. The current motor operator is sufficient to operate the new 12-inch globe valve. Therefore, there is no impact to the Class 1E dc and UPS System (IDS) battery sizing. There is no change to the valve stroke time, therefore there is no impact to valve open/closure times.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

    3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    The proposed changes do not affect existing safety margins. With the proposed changes, the PORV block valves are still able to perform the safety-related functions of containment isolation, steam generator isolation, and steam generator relief isolation. There is no change to the PORV block valves safety class or safety-related functions.

    The relocation of the branch line in which the PORV block valves are installed in allows the PORV block valves to be closer to the containment penetration and maintain compliance with General Design Criterion (GDC) 57 for locating containment isolation valves as close to the containment as practical.

    There is no impact to Chapter 15 evaluations. Changes to the PORV block valve and line size do not impact the mass releases to the atmosphere during a Steam Generator Tube Rupture accident. The mass release is limited by the PORV which is more restrictive than the PORV block valve and line size.

    There is no impact to any assumed leakage through the PORV line. The existing 12-inch PORV has a design function to limit leakage through the PORV line. Increasing the PORV block valve to 12 inches will increase the leakage through the PORV block valve however it will be that same leakage rate as the 12-inch PORV. Therefore, the leakage rate through the PORV line does not increase and there is no impact to radiation doses.

    There is no impact to the assumptions or analysis in the completed safety analysis for radiation doses as a result of the change.

    There is no impact to the conclusions of the Pipe Rupture Hazard Analysis (PRHA) because the PORV line is Break Exclusion Zone (BEZ) piping. The proposed changes do not result in any new postulated break locations. Updated analyses confirm that the integrity of the wall adjacent to the MCR is unaffected by a postulated main steam line break that causes the PORV line to impact the wall.

    There is no change to the valve motor operator. The current motor operator is sufficient to operate the new 12-inch globe valve. Therefore, there is no impact to the Class 1E dc and UPS System (IDS) battery sizing. There is no change to the valve stroke time, therefore there is no impact to valve open/closure times.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

    The NRC is seeking public comments on this proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day notice period if the Commission concludes the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, the Commission will publish a notice of issuance in the Federal Register. Should the Commission make a final no significant hazards consideration determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

    III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any persons (petitioner) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and a petition to intervene (petition) with respect to the action. Petitions shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's website at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a petition is filed within 60 days, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner; (2) the nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion to support its position on the issue. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the proceeding. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions consistent with the NRC's regulations, policies, and procedures.

    Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i) through (iii).

    If a hearing is requested, and the Commission has not made a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

    A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(1).

    The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission by November 19, 2018. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions set forth in this section, except that under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(2) a State, local governmental body, or Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof does not need to address the standing requirements in 10 CFR 2.309(d) if the facility is located within its boundaries. A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof may also have the opportunity to participate under 10 CFR 2.315(c).

    If a hearing is granted, any person who does not wish, or is not qualified, to become a party to the proceeding may, in the discretion of the presiding officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of position on the issues, but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the limits and conditions as may be imposed by the presiding officer. Details regarding the opportunity to make a limited appearance will be provided by the presiding officer if such sessions are scheduled.

    IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene (hereinafter “petition”), and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562, August 3, 2012). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a petition (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/adjudicatory-sub.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the website, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a petition. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at https://adams.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, in some instances, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated August 10, 2018.

    Attorney for licensee: Mr. M. Stanford Blanton, Balch & Bingham LLP, 1710 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203-2015.

    NRC Branch Chief: Jennifer Dixon-Herrity.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of September 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Jennifer Dixon-Herrity, Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of Licensing, Siting, and Environmental Analysis, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20324 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2018-0001] Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    Weeks of September 17, 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 2018.

    PLACE:

    Commissioners' Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Public and closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Week of September 17, 2018

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of September 17, 2018.

    Week of September 24, 2018—Tentative Thursday, September 27, 2018 10:00 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Operating Reactors Business Line (Public) (Contact: Trent Wertz: 301-415-1568)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Week of October 1, 2018—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 1, 2018.

    Week of October 8, 2018—Tentative Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:00 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Decommissioning and Low-Level Waste and Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Business Lines (Public) (Contact: Matthew Meyer: 301-415-6198)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Week of October 15, 2018—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 15, 2018.

    Week of October 22, 2018—Tentative Thursday, October 25, 2018 9:00 a.m. Briefing on Digital Instrumentation and Control (Public) (Contact: Jason Paige: 301-415-1474)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Denise McGovern at 301-415-0681 or via email at [email protected] The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice.

    The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/schedule.html.

    The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g., braille, large print), please notify Kimberly Meyer-Chambers, NRC Disability Program Manager, at 301-287-0739, by videophone at 240-428-3217, or by email at [email protected] Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Members of the public may request to receive this information electronically. If you would like to be added to the distribution, please contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301-415-1969), or you may email [email protected] or [email protected]

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of September 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Denise L. McGovern, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20439 Filed 9-17-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR WASTE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD Board Meeting

    October 24, 2018—The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to review information on DOE research and development activities related to managing and disposing of commercial spent nuclear fuel.

    Pursuant to its authority under section 5051 of Public Law 100-203, Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act (NWPAA) of 1987, the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will hold a public meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, to review information on U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research and development (R&D) activities related to managing and disposing of commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The Board is an independent federal agency established by Congress to conduct an ongoing technical and scientific evaluation of activities undertaken by DOE to manage and dispose of SNF and high-level radioactive waste (HLW).

    The Board meeting will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110. The hotel telephone number is (505) 881-6800.

    The meeting will begin at 8:00 a.m. and is scheduled to adjourn at 5:00 p.m. Speakers from the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) and national laboratories will report on R&D projects related to extended storage and transportation of high-burnup SNF, including recent progress in the High-Burnup Dry Storage Cask Research Project and the results of a test that transported an SNF cask containing surrogate SNF assemblies on a 14,500 mile journey by truck, barge, cargo ship, and train. The Board also will hear presentations on DOE-NE R&D activities related to direct disposal of SNF in dual-purpose canisters. A detailed meeting agenda will be available on the Board's website at www.nwtrb.gov approximately one week before the meeting.

    The meeting will be open to the public, and opportunities for public comment will be provided before the lunch break and again at the end of the meeting. Those wanting to speak are encouraged to sign the “Public Comment Register” at the check-in table. Depending on the number of people who sign up to speak, it may be necessary to set a time limit on individual remarks. However, written comments of any length may be submitted, and all comments received in writing will be included in the record of the meeting, which will be posted on the Board's website after the meeting. The meeting will be webcast, and the link to the webcast will be available on the Board's website (www.nwtrb.gov) a few days before the meeting. An archived version of the webcast will be available on the Board's website following the meeting. The transcript of the meeting will be available on the Board's website no later than December 29, 2018.

    The Board was established in the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 as an independent federal agency in the Executive Branch to evaluate the technical and scientific validity of DOE activities related to the management and disposal of SNF and HLW and to provide objective expert advice to Congress and the Secretary of Energy on these issues. Board members are experts in their fields and are appointed to the Board by the President from a list of candidates submitted by the National Academy of Sciences. The Board reports its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Energy. All Board reports, correspondence, congressional testimony, and meeting transcripts and related materials are posted on the Board's website.

    For information on the meeting agenda, contact Roberto Pabalan: [email protected] or Karyn Severson: [email protected] For information on logistics, or to request copies of the meeting agenda or transcript, contact Davonya Barnes: [email protected] All three may be reached by mail at 2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1300, Arlington, VA 22201-3367; by telephone at 703-235-4473; or by fax at 703-235-4495.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Nigel Mote, Executive Director, U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20361 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-AM-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. CP2017-251; CP2017-255; CP2018-302; CP2018-303; CP2018-304; MC2018-219 and CP2018-305; MC2018-220 and CP2018-306] New Postal Products AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission's consideration concerning negotiated service agreements. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: September 21, 2018 and September 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The September 21, 2018 comment due date applies to Docket Nos. CP2017-251; CP2017-255; CP2018-302; CP2018-303; and CP2018-304.

    The September 24, 2018 comment due date applies to Docket Nos. MC2018-219 and CP2018-305; MC2018-220 and CP2018-306.

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) I. Introduction

    The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list.

    Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request's acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request.

    The public portions of the Postal Service's request(s) can be accessed via the Commission's website (http://www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service's request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.301.1

    1See Docket No. RM2018-3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19-22 (Order No. 4679).

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3010, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II.

    II. Docketed Proceeding(s)

    1. Docket No(s).: CP2017-251; Filing Title: Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing Modification Three to a Global Plus 1D Negotiated Service Agreement; Filing Acceptance Date: September 13, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: September 21, 2018.

    2. Docket No(s).: CP2017-255; Filing Title: Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing Modification Two to a Global Plus 1D Negotiated Service Agreement; Filing Acceptance Date: September 13, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: September 21, 2018.

    3. Docket No(s).: CP2018-302; Filing Title: Notice of United States Postal Service of Filing a Functionally Equivalent Global Expedited Package Services 8 Negotiated Service Agreement and Application for Non-Public Treatment of Materials Filed Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: September 12, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: September 21, 2018.

    4. Docket No(s).: CP2018-303; Filing Title: Notice of United States Postal Service of Filing a Functionally Equivalent Global Reseller Expedited Package 2 Negotiated Service Agreement; Filing Acceptance Date: September 13, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: September 21, 2018.

    5. Docket No(s).: CP2018-304; Filing Title: Notice of United States Postal Service of Filing a Functionally Equivalent Global Expedited Package Services 8 Negotiated Service Agreement and Application for Non-Public Treatment of Materials Filed Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: September 13, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: September 21, 2018.

    6. Docket No(s).: MC2018-219 and CP2018-305; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 89 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: September 13, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Jennaca D. Upperman; Comments Due: September 24, 2018.

    7. Docket No(s).: MC2018-220 and CP2018-306; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 465 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: September 13, 2018; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Jennaca D. Upperman; Comments Due: September 24, 2018.

    This Notice will be published in the Federal Register.

    Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20366 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Date of required notice: September 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on September 13, 2018, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 465 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2018-220, CP2018-306.

    Elizabeth Reed, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20314 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Date of required notice: September 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on September 13, 2018, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 89 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2018-219, CP2018-305.

    Elizabeth Reed, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20313 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-84114; File No. SR-BX-2018-043] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Fees at Rule 7018(a) September 13, 2018

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on September 4, 2018, Nasdaq BX, Inc. (“BX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III, below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend its transaction fees at Rule 7018(a) to: (i) Increase the level of total Consolidated Volume require to qualify for a $0.0017 per share executed credit; and (ii) adopt a new $0.0016 per share executed credit.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at http://nasdaqbx.cchwallstreet.com/, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to: (i) Increase the level of total Consolidated Volume require to qualify for a $0.0017 per share executed credit; and (ii) adopt a new $0.0016 per share executed credit.

    First Change

    Under Rule 7018, the Exchange assesses charges and credits for the use of the order execution and routing services of the Nasdaq BX Equities System by members for all securities priced at $1 or more per share that it trades. The Exchange operates on the “taker-maker” model, whereby it pays credits to members that take liquidity and charges fees to members that provide liquidity. Currently, the Exchange offers several different credits for orders that access liquidity on the Exchange. Among these credits, the Exchange pays a credit of $0.0017 per share executed for an Order that accesses liquidity (excluding orders with Midpoint pegging and excluding orders that receive price improvement and execute against an order with a Non-displayed price) entered by a member that accesses liquidity equal to or exceeding 0.10% of total Consolidated Volume 3 during a month. The Exchange is proposing to increase the level of total Consolidated Volume required to qualify for the credit from 0.10% to 0.12%.

    3 Rule 7018(a) defines Consolidated Volume as the total consolidated volume reported to all consolidated transaction reporting plans by all exchanges and trade reporting facilities during a month in equity securities, excluding executed orders with a size of less than one round lot. For purposes of calculating Consolidated Volume and the extent of a member's trading activity the date of the annual reconstitution of the Russell Investments Indexes shall be excluded from both total Consolidated Volume and the member's trading activity.

    Second Change

    The Exchange is proposing to adopt a new $0.0016 per share executed credit available for an Order that accesses liquidity (excluding orders with Midpoint pegging and excluding orders that receive price improvement and execute against an order with a Non-displayed price). To receive the credit a member must (i) add liquidity equal to or exceeding 0.60% of total Consolidated Volume during a month; and (ii) access liquidity equal to or exceeding 0.10% of total Consolidated Volume during a month.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,4 in general, and furthers the objectives of Sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,5 in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility, and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

    4 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4) and (5).

    The Commission and the courts have repeatedly expressed their preference for competition over regulatory intervention in determining prices, products, and services in the securities markets. In Regulation NMS, while adopting a series of steps to improve the current market model, the Commission highlighted the importance of market forces in determining prices and SRO revenues and, also, recognized that current regulation of the market system “has been remarkably successful in promoting market competition in its broader forms that are most important to investors and listed companies.” 6

    6 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005), 70 FR 37496, 37499 (June 29, 2005) (“Regulation NMS Adopting Release”).

    Likewise, in NetCoalition v. Securities and Exchange Commission 7 (“NetCoalition”) the D.C. Circuit upheld the Commission's use of a market-based approach in evaluating the fairness of market data fees against a challenge claiming that Congress mandated a cost-based approach.8 As the court emphasized, the Commission “intended in Regulation NMS that `market forces, rather than regulatory requirements' play a role in determining the market data . . . to be made available to investors and at what cost.” 9

    7NetCoalition v. SEC, 615 F.3d 525 (D.C. Cir. 2010).

    8See NetCoalition, at 534-535.

    9Id. at 537.

    Further, “[n]o one disputes that competition for order flow is `fierce.' . . . As the SEC explained, `[i]n the U.S. national market system, buyers and sellers of securities, and the broker-dealers that act as their order-routing agents, have a wide range of choices of where to route orders for execution'; [and] `no exchange can afford to take its market share percentages for granted' because `no exchange possesses a monopoly, regulatory or otherwise, in the execution of order flow from broker dealers'. . . .” 10

    10Id. at 539 (quoting Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59039 (December 2, 2008), 73 FR 74770, 74782-83 (December 9, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2006-21)).

    First Change

    The Exchange believes that the $0.0017 per share executed credit is reasonable because it remains unchanged. Consequently, the rationale supporting the credit's reasonableness when it was adopted remains valid. The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to increase the total Consolidated Volume requirement because it is a modest increase in the standard, which will ensure members are providing adequate market participation in return for the credit.

    The Exchange believes that increase to the total Consolidated Volume requirement is an equitable allocation and is not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange will apply the same credit to all similarly situated members. The proposed change is a moderate increase to the Consolidated Volume requirement that any member may choose to achieve if it wishes to receive the credit. Moreover, the Exchange has similar credits with lower Consolidated Volume requirements that a member may receive. For example, the Exchange provides a credit of $0.0015 per share executed for an Order that accesses liquidity (excluding orders with Midpoint pegging and excluding orders that receive price improvement and execute against an order with a Non-displayed price) entered by a member that accesses liquidity equal to or exceeding 0.065% of total Consolidated Volume during month. In sum, members have other opportunities to receive credits under Rule 7018(a) should a member be unable to satisfy the amended qualification criteria required to receive the credit. Consequently, the Exchange believes that the proposed change is an equitable allocation and is not unfairly discriminatory.

    Second Change

    The Exchange believes that the $0.0016 per share executed credit is reasonable because it is similar to other credits available under Rule 7018(a). For example, the Exchange offers the $0.0017 per share executed credit, which is the subject of the first proposed change. As noted above, the $0.0017 per share executed credit, like the proposed new credit, is provided for an Order that accesses liquidity (excluding orders with Midpoint pegging and excluding orders that receive price improvement and execute against an order with a Non-displayed price). Like the $0.0017 per share executed credit, the proposed $0.0016 per share executed credit is provided if a member provides a certain levels of market-improving behavior. As a consequence, the Exchange believes that the proposed new credit is reasonable.

    The Exchange believes that the $0.0016 per share executed credit is an equitable allocation and is not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange will apply the same credit to all similarly situated members. The Exchange believes that the proposed criteria a member is required to satisfy to receive the credit is an equitable allocation and is not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange has similar credits with lower Consolidated Volume requirements that a member may receive. For example, the Exchange provides a credit of $0.0015 per share executed for an Order that accesses liquidity (excluding orders with Midpoint pegging and excluding orders that receive price improvement and execute against an order with a Non-displayed price) entered by a member that accesses liquidity equal to or exceeding 0.065% of total Consolidated Volume during month. The Exchange also provides a credit of $0.0017 per share executed for an Order that accesses liquidity (excluding orders with Midpoint pegging and excluding orders that receive price improvement and execute against an order with a Non-displayed price) entered by a member that accesses liquidity equal to or exceeding 0.10% 11 of total Consolidated Volume during a month. The new credit will require a liquidity provided threshold that ensures members achieving this credit will meaningfully support trading on the exchange by providing liquidity that supports the displayed market and, therefore, market quality. The Exchange believes the proposed credit together with the other existing credits under Rule 7018(a) provide members with choice and flexibility. In sum, members have other opportunities to receive credits under Rule 7018(a) should a member be unable to satisfy the qualification criteria required to receive the proposed credit. Consequently, the Exchange believes that the proposed change is an equitable allocation and is not unfairly discriminatory.

    11 The Exchange is proposing herein to increase this percentage of total Consolidated Volume to .12%.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In terms of inter-market competition, the Exchange notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor competing venues if they deem fee levels at a particular venue to be excessive, or rebate opportunities available at other venues to be more favorable. In such an environment, the Exchange must continually adjust its fees to remain competitive with other exchanges and with alternative trading systems that have been exempted from compliance with the statutory standards applicable to exchanges. Because competitors are free to modify their own fees in response, and because market participants may readily adjust their order routing practices, the Exchange believes that the degree to which fee changes in this market may impose any burden on competition is extremely limited.

    In this instance, the proposed changes to the credits available to member firms for execution of securities in securities of all three Tapes do not impose a burden on competition because the Exchange's execution services are completely voluntary and subject to extensive competition both from other exchanges and from off-exchange venues. The proposed credit represents a modest increase in the criteria required to qualify for the credit. Members may choose to increase their level of Consolidated Volume to qualify for the credit or alternatively provide less Consolidated Volume and receive a lower credit. The Exchange is also proposing to provide a new opportunity for members to receive a credit. Such a change is procompetitive and reflective of the Exchange's efforts to make it an attractive venue to market participants. In sum, if the changes proposed herein are unattractive to market participants, it is likely that the Exchange will lose market share as a result. Accordingly, the Exchange does not believe that the proposed changes will impair the ability of members or competing order execution venues to maintain their competitive standing in the financial markets

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act.12

    12 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected]. Please include File Number SR-BX-2018-043 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2018-043. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2018-043 and should be submitted on or before October 10, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.13

    13 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20308 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-84117; File No. SR-C2-2018-019] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating To Expand the Types of Messages That Users May Submit Into Bulk Order Ports September 13, 2018

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on September 5, 2018, Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange” or “C2”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.4 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “C2”) proposes to expand the types of messages that Users may submit into bulk order ports. The text of the proposed rule change is provided below.

    (additions are italicized; deletions are [bracketed]) Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc. Rules Rule 1.1. Definitions Port

    The term “port” includes the following types of ports:

    (a)-(b) No change.

    (c) A “bulk order port” is a dedicated logical port that provides Users with the ability to submit single and bulk order messages to enter, modify, or cancel auction responses or orders designated as Post Only Orders with a Time-in-Force of Day or GTD with an expiration time on that trading day.

    The text of the proposed rule change is also available on the Exchange's website (http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/CBOELegalRegulatoryHome.aspx), at the Exchange's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The proposed rule change expands the types of messages that Users may submit into bulk order ports. A bulk order port is a dedicated logical port that provides Users with the ability to submit single and bulk order messages to enter, modify, or cancel orders designated as Post Only Orders 5 with a Time-in-Force of DAY 6 or GTD 7 with an expiration time on that trading day. Post Only Orders with a Time-in-Force of Day or GTD are orders that will be posted to and displayed by the Exchange, rather than removing liquidity or routing to another options exchange. The Exchange currently limits the use of bulk order ports to these orders to limit the use of these ports to liquidity provision. The primary purpose of bulk order ports is to encourage Users, and Market-Makers in particular, to quote on the Exchange. As a general matter, however, the overall purpose of bulk order ports is to allow Users to bundle multiple instructions in a single message and provide all Users (not just Market-Makers) with an efficient way to provide liquidity on the Exchange.

    5 A “Post Only” order is an order the System ranks and executes pursuant to Rule 6.12, subjects to the Price Adjust process pursuant to Rule 6.12, or cancels or rejects (including if it is not subject to the Price Adjust process and locks or cross a Protected Quotation of another exchange), as applicable (in accordance with User instructions), except the order may not remove liquidity from the Book or route away to another exchange. See Rule 1.1 (paragraph (h) of definition of Order Instruction).

    6 An order designated as “Day” means an order that, if not executed, expires at market close. See Rule 1.1 (definition of Time-in-Force).

    7 An order designated as “GTD” means an order that, if after entry into the System, is not fully executed, remains available for potential display or execution until a date and time specified by the entering User unless cancelled by the entering User. See Rule 1.1 (definition of Time-in-Force).

    The proposed rule change permits Users to submit auction responses into bulk order ports, in addition to Post Only Orders with a Time-in-Force of Day or GTD with an expiration time on that trading day. The Exchange currently offers one auction mechanism, the Complex Order Auction (“COA”), which provides Users with additional execution opportunities and potential price improvement for their complex orders.8 When the Exchange initiates a COA, it disseminates a message that contains the relevant information about the auction order.9 The purpose of this message is to encourage Users to provide liquidity against which the auctioned order may trade. Users submit this liquidity in the form of auction responses. Like Post Only Orders with a Time-in-Force of Day or GTD with an expiration time on the applicable trading day, auction responses will not remove liquidity from the Exchange order book or route to another options exchange. Auction responses are similarly available for execution for a limited time period. Unexecuted auction responses are cancelled at the end of the auction, and thus do not last beyond the auction to which they were submitted.10 Because the purpose of auction responses is to provide liquidity, which is the purpose of bulk order ports, the Exchange believes it is appropriate to permit Users to submit auction responses into bulk order ports.

    8See Rule 6.13(d). COA auctions eligible complex orders for execution and potential price improvement.

    9See Rule 6.13(d)(1) (the Exchange initiates the COA process by sending a COA auction message).

    10See Rule 6.13(d)(2)(C) and (4)(D).

    Orders submitted to the Exchange through all ports are subject to various parameters, such as price reasonability checks and volume restrictions.11 These parameters may be configured either by the Exchange or the Member. Orders are also subject to other validation checks and processes before execution, entry into the book, or cancellation. Examples of such validation checks include validating an order's Capacity, Time-in-Force, Order Instructions, and routing options. While orders submitted through bulk order ports pass through these same validation checks and processes, they are not subject to parameters such as routing options and are restricted to one order instruction and two Time-in-Force options. As a result, the System can perform these validation checks with respect to orders submitted through bulk order ports in a more efficient manner.

    11See, e.g., Rule 6.14 and technical specifications available at http://markets.cboe.com/us/options/support/technical/.

    Pursuant to Exchange technical specifications 12 and Fees Schedule,13 the order messages per second that a User may submit through a non-bulk order port is smaller than the order messages per second that a User may submit through a bulk order port. The Exchange understands from certain Trading Permit Holders that they may restrict the number of auction response messages they submit to avoid having to obtain additional ports. The Exchange believes permitting Users to submit auction responses through bulk order ports will encourage Users to provide increased liquidity to auction mechanisms in a more cost-efficient manner. While bulk order ports have a higher monthly cost, the higher order message/second rate may ultimately be more cost-efficient than a User having to obtain multiple additional non-bulk ports to accommodate the submission of auction responses. Additionally, Users that have both bulk and non-bulk order ports would be able to increase their submission of auction responses without additional monthly fees.14

    12 These technical specifications are available at http://markets.cboe.com/us/options/support/technical/.

    13See C2 Fees Schedule, Logical Connectivity Fees, available at http://markets.cboe.com/us/options/membership/fee_schedule/ctwo/.

    14 The Exchange notes certain Market-Makers currently only have bulk order ports, and thus are unable to provide liquidity to auction mechanisms without obtaining additional non-bulk order ports.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to the Exchange and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.15 Specifically, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) 16 requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) 17 requirement that the rules of an exchange not be designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

    15 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    16 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    17Id.

    In particular, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change protects investors and the public interest because it provides all Users with an efficient process to enter and update auction responses. Like quoting, auction responses are a critical form of liquidity on the Exchange. Auction mechanisms and the execution and price improvement opportunities they provide are dependent on auction responses submitted during the auctions. Permitting Users to submit auction responses into bulk order ports is consistent with the purpose of these ports and have a similar purpose as the orders that Users are currently permitted to enter into bulk order ports. The Exchange believes the proposed rule change may encourage the provision of additional liquidity in auctions, which will provide additional execution and price improvement opportunities to auctioned orders, which ultimately benefit investors.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange does not believe the proposed rule change will impose any burden on intramarket competition, as the use of bulk order ports and the proposed functionality is voluntary and available to all Users of the Exchange. Bulk order entry functionality is available to all Users of the Exchange, as is the proposed functionality to submit auction responses into bulk order ports. Users may already submit auction responses to the Exchange using other types of ports—the proposed rule change merely provides Users of the Exchange with an additional method to submit auction responses to the Exchange. The Exchange does not believe the proposed rule change will have any direct impact on intermarket competition, as the proposed rule change relates solely to the manner in which Users may submit auction responses into auctions occurring on the Exchange.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 18 and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.19

    18 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    19 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires a self-regulatory organization to give the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-C2-2018-019 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-C2-2018-019. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-C2-2018-019 and should be submitted on or before October 10, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.20

    20 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20307 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-84113; File No. SR-MRX-2018-27] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Relocate the Exchange's Schedule of Fees September 13, 2018

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on August 31, 2018, Nasdaq MRX, LLC (“MRX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to (a) relocate the MRX Schedule of Fees and current Rule 209 to the Exchange's rulebook's (“Rulebook”) shell structure,3 and (b) make conforming cross-reference changes throughout the Rulebook.

    3 In 2017, the Exchange added a shell structure to its Rulebook with the purpose of improving efficiency and readability and to align its rules closer to those of its five sister exchanges, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; and Nasdaq ISE, LLC (“Affiliated Exchanges”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82172 (November 29, 2017), 82 FR 57495 (December 5, 2017) (SR-MRX-2017-26).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at http://nasdaqmrx.cchwallstreet.com/, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to relocate the entire MRX Schedule of Fees and Rule 209 to the Exchange's shell structure; specifically, the Exchange will relocate the aforementioned rules to the Options 7 (“Pricing Schedule”) section of the shell. In addition, the Exchange will make conforming cross-reference changes throughout the Rulebook.

    (a) Relocation of Rules

    As indicated, the Exchange, as part of its continued effort to promote efficiency and the conformity of its processes with those of the Affiliated Exchanges, and the goal of harmonizing and uniformizing its rules, proposes to relocate the Schedule of Fees and MRX Rule 209 to Options 7, Pricing Schedule, of the shell structure.

    To improve the readability of the relocated Pricing Schedule rules, the Exchange will update their current “Preface” section and rename it “Section 1. General Provisions.” Next, the Exchange will move current MRX Rule 209, described in the paragraph below, and rename it “Section 2” but keeping its current title, “Collection of Exchange Fees and Other Claims.”

    MRX Rule 209 was added to the Rulebook to permit the Exchange the collection of undisputed or final fees, fines, charges and/or other monetary sanctions or other monies due and owing to the Exchange or other charges related to Rules 205 and 206.4 The Exchange believes that, unlike other rules in Chapter 2 (“Administration”) of the Rulebook, which generally refer to the powers of the Board of Directors and the authority it delegates to Senior Management of the Exchange, the direct debit process established in Rule 209 will be better situated among the relocated rules of the Pricing Schedule.

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79012 (September 30, 2016), 81 FR 69565 (October 6, 2016) (SR-ISEMercury-2016-18).

    The Exchange is also proposing to move all the remaining sections, I through VI, in the current Schedule of Fees, renumber them as provided in the table below, and add the word “Section” to each of their titles. Relatedly, the Exchange will update all references to the “Schedule of Fees” in the proposed rule text and replace them with the term “Pricing Schedule.”

    Finally, the Exchange will update all references to “NASDAQ” in proposed Section 8, E., of the Pricing Schedule with the word “Nasdaq,” to keep the proposed rule text consistent with changes to the names of the Affiliated Exchanges.5

    5See Securities Exchange Act Releases No. 81917 (October 23, 2017), 82 FR 49879 (October 27, 2017) (SR-NASDAQ-2017-111) and No. 81948 (October 25, 2017), 82 FR 50468 (October 31, 2017) (SR-BX-2017-046).

    Options 7—Pricing schedule
  • (Proposed)
  • Schedule of fees
  • (Current)
  • Section 1. General Provisions PREFACE. Section 2. Collection of Exchange Fees and Other Claims Rule 209. Collection of Exchange Fees and Other Claims. Section 3. Regular Order Fees and Rebates I. Regular Order Fees and Rebates. Section 4. Other Options Fees and Rebates II. Other Options Fees and Rebates. Section 5. Legal & Regulatory III. Legal & Regulatory. Section 6. Ports and Other Services IV. Ports and Other Services. Section 7. Market Data V. Market Data. Section 8. Connectivity Fees VI. Connectivity Fees.

    The relocation of the Pricing Schedule rules will facilitate the use of the Rulebook by Members 6 of the Exchange, including those who are members of other Affiliated Exchanges, and other market participants. Moreover, the proposed changes are of a non-substantive nature and will not amend the relocated rules, other than make the updates previously explained.

    6 Exchange Rule 100(a)(32).

    (b) Cross-Reference Updates

    In connection with the changes described above, the Exchange proposes to update all cross-references in the Rulebook that direct the reader to the current location of the Pricing Schedule rules and/or any of their subsections.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,7 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,8 in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest, by promoting efficiency and structural conformity of the Exchange's processes with those of the Affiliated Exchanges and to make the Exchange's Rulebook easier to read and more accessible to its Members and market participants. The Exchange believes that the relocation of the Pricing Schedule rules, updating the name “NASDAQ” to “Nasdaq,” and related cross-reference updates are of a non-substantive nature.

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed changes do not impose a burden on competition because, as previously stated, they (i) are of a non-substantive nature, (ii) are intended to harmonize the structure of the Exchange's rules with those of its Affiliated Exchanges, and (iii) are intended to organize the Rulebook in a way that it will ease the Members' and market participants' navigation and reading of the rules.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 9 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.10

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 11 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 12 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposed rule change may become operative upon filing. Waiver of the operative delay would allow the Exchange to promptly relocate the Pricing Schedule rules and continue to reorganize its Rulebook to promote efficiency and structural consistency between the Exchange's rules and those of the Affiliated Exchanges. The Commission believes that waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Accordingly, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.13

    11 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    12 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    13 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission also has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-MRX-2018-27 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-MRX-2018-27. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-MRX-2018-27 and should be submitted on or before October 10, 2018.

    14 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.14

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20309 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #15438 and #15439; CALIFORNIA Disaster Number CA-00282] Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the State of California AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Amendment 1.

    SUMMARY:

    This is an amendment of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of California (FEMA-4353-DR), dated 01/15/2018.

    Incident: Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows, and Debris Flows directly related to the Wildfires.

    Incident Period: 12/04/2017 through 01/31/2018.

    DATES:

    Issued on 09/07/2018.

    Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 03/16/2018.

    Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 10/15/2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW, Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205-6734.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of the President's major disaster declaration for the State of California, dated 01/15/2018, is hereby amended to establish the incident period for this disaster as beginning 12/04/2017 through 01/31/2018.

    All other information in the original declaration remains unchanged.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) James Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20382 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #15694 and #15695; IOWA Disaster Number IA-00084] Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of Iowa AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a Notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of Iowa (FEMA-4392-DR), dated 09/12/2018.

    Incident: Severe Storm and Tornadoes.

    Incident Period: 07/19/2018.

    DATES:

    Issued on 09/12/2018.

    Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 11/13/2018.

    Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 06/12/2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW, Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205-6734.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that as a result of the President's major disaster declaration on 09/12/2018, Private Non-Profit organizations that provide essential services of a governmental nature may file disaster loan applications at the address listed above or other locally announced locations.

    The following areas have been determined to be adversely affected by the disaster:

    Primary Counties: Lee, Marion, Marshall, Van Buren

    The Interest Rates are:

    Percent For Physical Damage: Non-Profit Organizations with Credit Available Elsewhere 2.500 Non-Profit Organizations without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.500 For Economic Injury: Non-Profit Organizations without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.500

    The number assigned to this disaster for physical damage is 15694C and for economic injury is 156950.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) James Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20381 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #15682 and #15683; MICHIGAN Disaster Number MI-00065] Administrative Declaration of a Disaster for the State of Michigan AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of an Administrative declaration of a disaster for the State of Michigan dated 09/07/2018.

    Incident: Severe Storms and Flooding.

    Incident Period: 06/16/2018 through 06/17/2018.

    DATES:

    Issued on 09/07/2018.

    Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 11/06/2018.

    Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 06/07/2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW, Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205-6734.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that as a result of the Administrator's disaster declaration, applications for disaster loans may be filed at the address listed above or other locally announced locations.

    The following areas have been determined to be adversely affected by the disaster:

    Primary Counties: Houghton Contiguous Counties: Michigan: Baraga, Iron, Keweenaw, Ontonagon.

    The Interest Rates are:

    Percent For Physical Damage: Homeowners with Credit Available Elsewhere 3.875 Homeowners without Credit Available Elsewhere 1.938 Businesses with Credit Available Elsewhere 7.220 Businesses without Credit Available Elsewhere 3.610 Non-Profit Organizations with Credit Available Elsewhere 2.500 Non-Profit Organizations without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.500 For Economic Injury: Businesses & Small Agricultural Cooperatives without Credit Available Elsewhere 3.610 Non-Profit Organizations without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.500

    The number assigned to this disaster for physical damage is 15682 6 and for economic injury is 15683 0.

    The State which received an EIDL Declaration # is Michigan.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) Dated: September 7, 2018. Linda E. McMahon, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20362 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #15425 and #15426; CALIFORNIA Disaster Number CA-00283] Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of California AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Amendment 2.

    SUMMARY:

    This is an amendment of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of California (FEMA-4353-DR), dated 01/02/2018.

    Incident: Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows, and Debris Flows directly related to the Wildfires.

    Incident Period: 12/04/2017 through 01/31/2018.

    DATES:

    Issued on 09/07/2018.

    Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 03/05/2018.

    Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 10/02/2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW, Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205-6734.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of the President's major disaster declaration for Private Non-Profit organizations in the State of California, dated 01/02/2018, is hereby amended to establish the incident period for this disaster as beginning 12/04/2017 through 01/31/2018.

    All other information in the original declaration remains unchanged.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) James Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20385 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 10524] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR) ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are requesting comments on this collection from all interested individuals and organizations. The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.

    DATES:

    The Department will accept comments from the public up to November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Web: Persons with access to the internet may comment on this notice by going to www.Regulations.gov. You can search for the document by entering “Docket Number: DOS-2018-0038” in the Search field. Then click the “Comment Now” button and complete the comment form.

    Email: [email protected]

    Regular Mail: Send written comments to: Ms. Colleen Kosar, Policy Division, Office of the Procurement Executive, A/OPE, 2201 C Street NW, Suite 1060, State Annex Number 15, Washington, DC 20520.

    You must include the information collection title and the OMB control number in any correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed collection instrument and supporting documents, to Ms. Colleen Kosar, Policy Division, Office of the Procurement Executive, A/OPE, 2201 C Street NW, Suite 1060, State Annex Number 15, Washington, DC 20520, who may be reached on 703-516-1685, or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Information Collection: Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR).

    OMB Control Number: 1405-0050.

    Type of Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    Originating Office: Office of the Procurement Executive, A/OPE.

    Form Number: No form.

    Respondents: Entities seeking to do business with, or contractors of, the Department of State.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 261.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 831.

    Average Time per Response: Approximately 4 hours.

    Total Estimated Burden Time: 3,370 annual hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain a benefit.

    We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department.

    • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this Notice are public record. Before including any detailed personal information, you should be aware that your comments as submitted, including your personal information, will be available for public review.

    Abstract of Proposed Collection

    This information collection covers pre-award and post-award requirements of the DOSAR. During the pre-award phase, information is collected to determine which proposals offer the best value to the U.S. Government. Post-award actions include monitoring the contractor's performance; issuing modifications to the contract; dealing with unsatisfactory performance; and closing out the contract upon its completion. This program collects information pursuant to the Foreign Service Buildings Act of 1926, as amended (22 U.S.C. 302), the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act (22 U.S.C. 4852), and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 (22 U.S.C. 4864).

    Methodology

    Information is collected from prospective offerors to evaluate their proposals. The responses provided by the public are part of the offeror's proposals in response to Department solicitations. This information may be submitted electronically (through fax or email), or may require a paper submission, depending upon complexity. After contract award, contractors are required to submit information, on an as-needed basis, and relate to the occurrence of specific circumstances.

    Cathy J. Read, Director, Office of Procurement Executive, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20377 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-24-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 10551] Determinations Regarding Use of Chemical Weapons by Russia Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991; Correction ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State published a document in the Federal Register of August 27, 2018, concerning sanctions and waivers under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. The waiver section of the document contained incomplete language.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela K. Durham, Office of Missile, Biological, and Chemical Nonproliferation, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Department of State, Telephone (202) 647-4930.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of August 27, 2018 in FR Doc. 2018-18503 on page 43724, in the first column, correct the “Wholly-Owned U.S. Subsidiaries” paragraph to read:

    “WHOLLY-OWNED U.S. AND OTHER FOREIGN SUBSIDIARIES: Exports and reexports of goods or technology pursuant to new licenses for exports and reexports to wholly-owned U.S. and other foreign subsidiaries in Russia, provided that such licenses shall be issued on a case-by-case basis, consistent with export licensing policy for Russia prior to enactment of these sanctions.”

    Dated: September 12, 2018. Choo S Kang, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20343 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-27-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 10544] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Annual Brokering Report ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are requesting comments on this collection from all interested individuals and organizations. The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.

    DATES:

    The Department will accept comments from the public up to November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Web: Persons with access to the internet may comment on this notice by going to www.Regulations.gov. You can search for the document by entering “Docket Number: DOS-2018-0042” in the Search field. Then click the “Comment Now” button and complete the comment form.

    Email: [email protected]

    Regular Mail: Send written comments to: Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Attn: Andrea Battista, 2401 E St. NW, Suite H-1205, Washington, DC 20522-0112.

    You must include the subject (PRA 60 Day Comment), information collection title (Annual Brokering Report), and OMB control number (1405-0141) in any correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information regarding this collection to Andrea Battista, who may be reached at [email protected] or 202-663-3136.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Information Collection: Annual Brokering Report.

    OMB Control Number: 1405-0141.

    Type of Request: Extension.

    Originating Office: Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

    Form Number: No form.

    Respondents: Respondents are any person/s who engages in the United States in the business of manufacturing or exporting or temporarily importing defense articles.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,200.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 1,200.

    Average Time per Response: 2 hour.

    Total Estimated Burden Time: 2,400 hours.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to Obtain or Retain a Benefit.

    We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department.

    • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this Notice are public record. Before including any detailed personal information, you should be aware that your comments as submitted, including your personal information, will be available for public review.

    Abstract of Proposed Collection

    In accordance with part 129 of the ITAR, U.S. and foreign persons required to register as a broker shall provide annually a report to DDTC enumerating and describing brokering activities by quantity, type, U.S. dollar value, purchaser/recipient, and license number for approved activities and any exemptions utilized for other covered activities. This information is currently used in the review of munitions export and brokering license applications and to ensure compliance with defense trade statutes and regulations. As appropriate, such information may be shared with other U.S. Government entities.

    Methodology

    Brokering Reports are submitted annually with Statement of Registration renewals.

    Anthony M. Dearth, Chief of Staff, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, U.S. Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20341 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 10552] Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition—Determinations: “Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice” Exhibition SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: I hereby determine that certain objects to be included in the exhibition “Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice,” imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owners or custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, New York, from on or about October 12, 2018, until on or about January 6, 2019, and at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia, from on or about March 3, 2019, until on or about May 26, 2019, and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. I have ordered that Public Notice of these determinations be published in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Simpson, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: 202-632-6471; email: [email protected]). The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, L/PD, SA-5, Suite 5H03, Washington, DC 20522-0505.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The foregoing determinations were made pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), E.O. 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681, et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6501 note, et seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, Delegation of Authority No. 236-3 of August 28, 2000, and Delegation of Authority No. 236-14 of September 10, 2018.

    Jennifer Z. Galt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20345 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 10550] Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition—Determinations: “Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist” Exhibition SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: I hereby determine that certain objects to be included in the exhibition “Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist,” imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owners or custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from on or about October 21, 2018, until on or about January 14, 2019, and the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, from on or about February 24, 2019, until on or about May 26, 2019, and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. I have ordered that Public Notice of these determinations be published in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Simpson, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: 202-632-6471; email: [email protected]). The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, L/PD, SA-5, Suite 5H03, Washington, DC 20522-0505.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The foregoing determinations were made pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), E.O. 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681, et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6501 note, et seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, Delegation of Authority No. 236-3 of August 28, 2000, and Delegation of Authority No. 236-14 of September 10, 2018.

    Jennifer Z. Galt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20336 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 11)] Notice of Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council Vacancy AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board (Board).

    ACTION:

    Notice of vacancy on the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) and solicitation of nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board hereby gives notice of a vacancy on RSTAC for a small shipper representative. The Board seeks suggestions for candidates to fill this vacancy.

    DATES:

    Nominations are due on October 17, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Suggestions may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a document and otherwise comply with the instructions at the E-FILING link on the Board's website, at http://www.stb.gov. Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format should send an original and 10 copies to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 11), 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001 (if sending via express company or private courier, please use zip code 20024). Please note that submissions will be available to the public at the Board's offices and posted on the Board's website under Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 11).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Bourdon at 202-245-0285. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board, created in 1996 to take over many of the functions previously performed by the Interstate Commerce Commission, exercises broad authority over transportation by rail carriers, including regulation of railroad rates and service (49 U.S.C. 10701-47, 11101-24), the construction, acquisition, operation, and abandonment of rail lines (49 U.S.C. 10901-07), as well as railroad line sales, consolidations, mergers, and common control arrangements (49 U.S.C. 10902, 11323-27).

    The ICC Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA), enacted on December 29, 1995, established RSTAC to advise the Board's Chairman, the Secretary of Transportation, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives with respect to rail transportation policy issues RSTAC considers significant. RSTAC focuses on issues of importance to small shippers and small railroads, including car supply, rates, competition, and procedures for addressing claims. ICCTA instructs RSTAC to endeavor to develop private-sector mechanisms to prevent, or identify and address, obstacles to the most effective and efficient transportation system practicable. The members of RSTAC also prepare an annual report concerning RSTAC's activities. RSTAC is not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

    RSTAC's 15 appointed members consist of representatives of small and large shippers, and small and large railroads. In addition, members of the Board and the Secretary of Transportation serve as ex officio members. Of the 15 appointed members, nine are voting members and are appointed from senior executive officers of organizations engaged in the railroad and rail shipping industries. At least four of the voting members must be representatives of small shippers as determined by the Chairman, and at least four of the voting members must be representatives of Class II or III railroads. The remaining six members to be appointed—three representing Class I railroads and three representing large shipper organizations—serve in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, but may participate in RSTAC deliberations.

    Meetings of RSTAC are required by statute to be held at least semi-annually. In recent years, RSTAC has met four times a year. Meetings are generally held at the Board's headquarters in Washington, DC, although some meetings are held in other locations.

    The members of RSTAC receive no compensation for their services and are required to provide for the expenses incidental to their service, including travel expenses, as the Board cannot provide for these expenses. RSTAC may solicit and use private funding for its activities, again subject to certain restrictions in ICCTA. Currently, RSTAC members have elected to submit annual dues to pay for RSTAC expenses.

    RSTAC members must be citizens of the United States and represent as broadly as practicable the various segments of the railroad and rail shipper industries. They may not be full-time employees of the United States. According to revised guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, it is permissible for federally registered lobbyists to serve on advisory committees, such as RSTAC, as long as they do so in a representative capacity, rather than an individual capacity. See Revised Guidance on Appointment of Lobbyists to Fed. Advisory Comms., Bds., & Comm'ns., 79 FR 47,482 (Aug. 13, 2014). Members of RSTAC are appointed to serve in a representative capacity.

    Each RSTAC member is appointed for a term of three-years. A member may serve after the expiration of his or her term until a successor has taken office. No member will be eligible to serve in excess of two consecutive terms.

    Due to a recent departure of a small shipper representative, a vacancy exists on RSTAC. Upon appointment by the Board Chairman, the new small shipper representative will serve for the remainder of the three-year term of the original appointment, which began on January 29, 2018, and may be eligible to serve a second three-year term following the end of the first term.

    Suggestions for candidates to fill the vacancy should be submitted in letter form, identifying the name of the candidate, providing a summary of why the candidate is qualified to serve on RSTAC, and containing a representation that the candidate is willing to serve as an RSTAC member effective immediately upon appointment. RSTAC candidate suggestions should be filed with the Board by October 17, 2018. Members selected to serve on RSTAC are chosen at the discretion of the Board Chairman. Please note that submissions will be posted on the Board's website under Docket No. EP 526 (Sub-No. 11) and can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at [email protected] or (202) 245-0238.

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 1325.

    Decided: September 14, 2018.

    By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.

    Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20392 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket Number USTR-2018-0001] Exclusion of Particular Products From the Solar Products Safeguard Measure AGENCY:

    Office of the United States Trade Representative.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to authority provided by the President, the U.S. Trade Representative (Trade Representative) has determined that particular products should be excluded from the safeguard measure applied to certain solar products and is modifying subchapter III of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) as set forth in the Annex of this notice to implement these exclusions.

    DATES:

    The modifications to the HTS set forth in the Annex are applicable with respect to articles entered, or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. EST, on September 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Victor Mroczka, Office of WTO and Multilateral Affairs, at [email protected] or (202) 395-9450, or Dax Terrill, Office of General Counsel, at [email protected] or (202) 395-4739.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On November 13, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) submitted a report to the President under section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2251), finding that crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells and other CSPV products containing these cells are being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury to the domestic industry producing an article that is like or directly competitive with the imported products. The scope of this investigation did not cover:

    • Thin film photovoltaic products produced from amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).

    • CSPV cells, not exceeding 10,000 mm2 in surface area, that are permanently integrated into a consumer good whose primary function is other than power generation and that consumes the electricity generated by the integrated CSPV cell. Where more than one CSPV cell is permanently integrated into a consumer good, the surface area for purposes of this exclusion is the total combined surface area of all CSPV cells that are integrated into the consumer good.

    • CSPV cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, if such CSPV cells were manufactured in the United States.

    The President, taking into consideration the separate recommendations of the ITC Commissioners on remedy and the recommendation of the Trade Policy Staff Committee, determined to take action and issued Proclamation 9693 on January 23, 2018, to impose a safeguard measure with respect to the imported CSPV products. The President determined to implement the safeguard measure as: (1) A tariff-rate quota on imports of CSPV cells not partially or fully assembled into other products, imposed for a period of 4 years, with unchanging within-quota quantities and annual reductions in the rates of duty applicable to goods entered in excess of those quantities in the second, third, and fourth years, as provided in Annex I to the proclamation; and (2) an increase in duties on imports of CSPV products containing these cells, imposed for a period of 4 years, with annual reductions in the rates of duty in the second, third, and fourth years, as provided in Annex I to the proclamation.

    The proclamation also excluded certain products from application of the safeguard measure. Specifically, the proclamation excluded the following:

    • 10 to 60 watt, inclusive, rectangular solar panels, where the panels have the following characteristics: (A) Length of 250 mm or more but not over 482 mm or width of 400 mm or more but not over 635 mm, and (B) surface area of 1000 cm2 or more but not over 3,061 cm2, provided that no such panel with those characteristics shall contain an internal battery or external computer peripheral ports at the time of entry.

    • 1 watt solar panels incorporated into nightlights that use rechargeable batteries and have the following dimensions: 58 mm or more but not over 64 mm by 126 mm or more but not over 140 mm.

    • 2 watt solar panels incorporated into daylight dimmers that may use rechargeable batteries, such panels with the following dimensions: 75 mm or more but not over 82 mm by 139 mm or more but not over 143 mm.

    • Off-grid and portable CSPV panels, whether in a foldable case or in rigid form containing a glass cover, where the panels have the following characteristics: (a) A total power output of 100 watts or less per panel; (b) a maximum surface area of 8,000 cm2 per panel; (c) does not include a built-in inverter; and where the panels have glass covers, such panels must be in individual retail packaging (in this context, retail packaging typically includes graphics, the product name, its description and/or features, and foam for transport).

    • 3.19 watt or less solar panels, each with length of 75 mm or more but not over 266 mm and width of 46 mm or more but not over 127 mm, with surface area of 338 cm2 or less, with one black wire and one red wire (each of type 22 AWG or 24 AWG) not more than 206 mm in length when measured from panel edge, provided that no such panel shall contain an internal battery or external computer peripheral ports.

    • 27.1 watt or less solar panels, each with surface area less than 3,000 cm2 and coated across the entire surface with a polyurethane doming resin, the foregoing joined to a battery charging and maintaining unit, such unit which is an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) box that incorporates a light emitting diode (LED) by coated wires that include a connector to permit the incorporation of an extension cable.

    In addition to these exclusions, the proclamation directed the Trade Representative to publish a notice establishing procedures for interested persons to request the exclusion of particular products from the safeguard measure. The proclamation provided that if the Trade Representative, in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce and Energy, determines that a particular product should be excluded, the Trade Representative can modify the HTS provisions created in Annex I of the proclamation to exclude the particular product from the safeguard measure through publication of the determination in the Federal Register.

    On February 14, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice establishing procedures to consider requests for exclusion of particular products from the safeguard measure. The notice provided that requests for exclusion should identify the particular product in terms of the physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, wattage, material composition, or other distinguishing characteristics) that distinguish it from other products that are subject to the safeguard measures. USTR noted that it would not consider requests that identify the product at issue in terms of the identity of the producer, importer, or ultimate consumer; the country of origin; or trademarks or tradenames. Furthermore, USTR confirmed that it only would grant those exclusions that do not undermine the objectives of the safeguard measure.

    Pursuant to that notice, USTR received 48 product exclusion requests and 213 subsequent comments responding to various requests. The types of products for which USTR received an exclusion request generally fall into seven categories: (1) Products that consist of attachments or other parts that can be mounted to solar products; (2) products that constitute 72-cell or greater panels; (3) products with particular configurations for additional performance; (4) products with specialized functions; (5) consumer and specialty products; (6) bifacial panels and bifacial solar cells; and (7) solar cells without busbars or gridlines and panels containing these solar cells.

    II. Exclusions From the Safeguard Measure

    USTR has considered certain requests for exclusion of particular products and determined that exclusion of the CSPV products described in subdivisions (c)(iii)(7) through (c)(iii)(14) of U.S. note 18 to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTS, as amended in the Annex to this notice, from the safeguard measure established in Proclamation 9693 would not undermine the objectives of the safeguard measure. Therefore, USTR finds that these CSPV products should be excluded from the safeguard measure. Accordingly, under the authority vested in the Trade Representative by Proclamation 9693, the Trade Representative modifies the HTS provisions created by the Annex to Proclamation 9693 as set forth in the Annex to this notice.

    III. Past Requests Not Addressed in This Notice

    The Trade Representative has not at this time made a determination with respect to the requests for exclusion, received as of March 16, 2018, that are not addressed in the Annex to this notice. USTR will continue to evaluate those requests and the Trade Representative will make the appropriate determination in due course.

    IV. Future Requests

    At this time, USTR is not considering additional requests for exclusion beyond those received as of March 16, 2018. USTR will monitor developments in the U.S. market for CSPV products and, if warranted, provide an opportunity to submit additional requests for exclusion at a future date.

    V. Annex

    The following provisions supersede those currently in the HTS and are effective with respect to articles entered, or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m., EST, on September 19, 2018. The HTS is modified as follows:

    (1) U.S. note 18 to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTS is modified:

    (a) By inserting the following new subdivisions in numerical sequence at the end of subdivision (c)(iii):

    “(7) off-grid, 45 watt or less solar panels, each with length not exceeding 950 mm and width of 100 mm or more but not over 255 mm, with a surface area of 2,500 cm2 or less, with a pressure-laminated tempered glass cover at the time of entry but not a frame, electrical cables or connectors, or an internal battery;

    (8) 4 watt or less solar panels, each with a length or diameter of 70 mm or more but not over 235 mm, with a surface area not exceeding 539 cm2, and not exceeding 16 volts, provided that no such panel with these characteristics shall contain an internal battery or external computer peripheral ports at the time of entry;

    (9) solar panels with a maximum rated power of equal to or less than 60 watts, having the following characteristics, provided that no such panel with those characteristics shall contain an internal battery or external computer peripheral ports at the time of entry: (A) Length of not more than 482 mm and width of not more than 635 mm or (B) a total surface area not exceeding 3,061 cm2;

    (10) flexible and semi-flexible off-grid solar panels designed for use with motor vehicles and boats, where the panels range in rated wattage from 10 to 120 watts, inclusive;

    (11) frameless solar panels in a color other than black or blue with a total power output of 90 watts or less where the panels have a uniform surface without visible solar cells or busbars;

    (12) solar cells with a maximum rated power between 3.4 and 6.7 watts, inclusive, having the following characteristics: (A) A cell surface area between 154 cm2 and 260 cm2, inclusive, (B) no visible busbars or gridlines on the front of the cell, and (C) more than 100 interdigitated fingers of tin-coated solid copper adhered to the back of the cell, with the copper portion of the metal fingers having a thickness of greater than 0.01 mm;

    (13) solar panels with a maximum rated power between 320 and 500 watts, inclusive, having the following characteristics: (A) Length between 1,556 mm and 2,070 mm inclusive, and width between 1,014 mm and 1,075 mm, inclusive, (B) where the solar cells comprising the panel have no visible busbars or gridlines on the front of the cells, and (C) the solar cells comprising the panel have more than 100 interdigitated fingers of tin-coated solid copper adhered to the back of the cells, with the copper portion of the metal fingers having thickness greater than 0.01 mm;

    (14) modules (as defined in note 18(g) to this subchapter) incorporating only CSPV cells that are products of the United States and not incorporating any CSPV cells that are the product of any other country.”

    Jeffrey Gerrish, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20342 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290-F8-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No. 2018-11] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public's awareness of, and participation in, the FAA's exemption process. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition.

    DATES:

    Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before October 9, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2018-0092 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nia Daniels, (202) 267-7626, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591.

    This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 12, 2018. Lirio Liu, Executive Director, Office of Rulemaking. Petition for Exemption

    Docket No.: FAA-2018-0092.

    Petitioner: ExpressJet Airlines, Inc.

    Section of 14 CFR Affected: 121.137(b).

    Description of Relief Sought: ExpressJet Airlines Inc. requests an exemption from § 121.137(b) to the extent necessary to dispatch a flight, or series of flights, with one inoperable electronic flight bag (EFB) back to a location with an operable EFB replacement. Dispatch of flights under this exemption would be contingent on weather conditions not requiring the use of Category II/monitored approach procedures. In addition, the flight or series of flights will not dispatch from special airports with all flight management systems (FMS) inoperable, without prior authorization from the director of flight operations or their designee.

    [FR Doc. 2018-20401 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Commercial Air Tour Operator Reports AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. The commercial air tour operational data provided to the FAA and the National Park Service will be used by the agencies as background information useful in the development of air tour management plans and voluntary agreements for purposes of meeting the mandate of the National Parks Air Tour Management Act (NPATMA) of 2000.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted by November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to the FAA at the following address: Barbara Hall, Federal Aviation Administration, ASP-110, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Hall by email at: [email protected]; phone: 940-594-5913.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 2120-0750.

    Title: Commercial Air Tour Operator Reports.

    Form Numbers: There are no FAA forms associated with this collection of information.

    Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection.

    Background: The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 included amendments to the National Parks Air Tour Management Act (NPATMA) of 2000. One of these amendments required commercial air tour operators conducting tours over national park units to report on the number of operations they conduct and any such other information prescribed by the FAA Administrator and the Director of the National Park Service (NPS).

    Respondents: Approximately 75 air tour operators.

    Frequency: Information is collected quarterly, or annually for park units with 50 or fewer tours per year.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: 11.66 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 3,200 hours.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. Barbara L. Hall, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Performance, Policy, and Records Management Branch, ASP-110.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20397 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for to renew an information collection. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on July 23, 2018. Each fractional ownership program manager and each fractional owner must comply with regulations. Information is used to determine if these entities are operating in accordance with the minimum safety standards of these regulations. The FAA will use the information it reviews and collects to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make improvements as needed, and ensure compliance and adherence to regulations.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted by October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/FAA, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected], or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503.

    PUBLIC COMMENTS INVITED:

    You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Hall at (940) 594-5913, or by email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 2120-0684.

    Title: Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs.

    Form Numbers: There are no FAA forms associated with this collection.

    Type of Review: This is a renewal of an existing information collection.

    Background: The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on July 23, 2018 (83 FR 34910). Fractional Ownership is a program that offers increased flexibility in aircraft ownership. Owners purchase shares of an aircraft and agree to share their aircraft with others having an ownership share in that same aircraft. Owners agree to put their aircraft into a “pool” of other shared aircraft and to lease their aircraft to another owner in that pool. Each fractional ownership program manager and each fractional owner must comply with the requirements of 14 CFR part 91, subpart K. Information is used to determine if these entities are operating in accordance with the minimum safety standards of these regulations. The FAA will use the information it reviews and collects to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make improvements as needed, and ensure compliance and adherence to regulations.

    Respondents: 8 fractional aircraft program managers/operators.

    Frequency: Information is collected on occasion.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 13,736 hours, or 1,717 hours per respondent.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2018. Barbara Hall, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, IT Enterprises Business Services Division, ASP-110.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20293 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC); Renewal AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA announces the charter renewal of the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC), a Federal Advisory Committee that works with industry and the public to improve the development of the FAA's regulations.

    DATES:

    This charter renewal will take effect on September 14, 2018, and will expire after 2 years.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thuy H. Cooper, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267-4715; fax (202) 267-5075; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to section 14 (a)(2)(A) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the FAA is giving notice of the charter renewal for the ARAC. The ARAC was established to provide advice and recommendations to FAA on regulatory matters. The ARAC is composed of representatives from member organizations and associations that represent the various aviation industry segments. The diversity of the Committee ensures the requisite range of views and expertise necessary to discharge its responsibilities. See the ARAC website for details on pending tasks at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/committees/documents/.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 14, 2018. Lirio Liu, Executive Director, Office of Rulemaking.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20402 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Flight Engineers and Flight Navigators AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. This collection involves FAA Form 8400.3, Application for an Airman Certificate and/or Rating, (for flight engineer and flight navigator) and applications for approval of related training courses that are submitted to FAA for evaluation. The information collection is necessary to determine applicant eligibility for flight engineer or flight navigator certificates. This collection is also necessary to determine training course acceptability for those schools training flight engineers or navigators.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted by October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/FAA, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected], or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503.

    PUBLIC COMMENTS INVITED:

    You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Hall at (940) 594-5913, or by email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 2120-0007.

    Title: Flight Engineers and Flight Navigators.

    Form Numbers: 8400-3.

    Type of Review: This is a renewal of an information collection.

    Background: The information collection is necessary to determine applicant eligibility for flight engineer or flight navigator certificates. This collection is also necessary to determine training course acceptability for those schools training flight engineers or navigators. FAA Form 8400.3, Application for an Airman Certificate and/or Rating, (for flight engineer and flight navigator) and applications for approval of related training courses are available online and are submitted to FAA for evaluation. The information is reviewed to determine applicant eligibility and compliance with prescribed provisions of Title 14 CFR part 63, Certification: Flight Crewmembers Other Than Pilots. Form 8400-3 is multiple-use form also used for control tower operators and aircraft dispatchers.

    Respondents: 143 certain airmen applicants and training schools.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: 1.8 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 268.1 hours.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2018. Barbara Hall, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, IT Enterprises Business Services Division, ASP-110.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20292 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Report of Inspections Required by Airworthiness Directives AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. Airworthiness Directives are regulations issued to require corrective action to resolve an unsafe condition in aircraft, engines, propellers, and appliances. Reports of inspections are often needed when emergency corrective action is taken to determine if the action was adequate to correct the unsafe condition. The respondents are aircraft owners and operators.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted by November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to the FAA at the following address: Barbara Hall, Federal Aviation Administration, ASP-110, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Hall by email at: [email protected]; phone: 940-594-5913.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 2120-0056.

    Title: Report of Inspections Required by Airworthiness Directives.

    Form Numbers: There are no FAA forms associated with this collection.

    Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection.

    Background: Title 14 CFR part 39, Airworthiness Directives (AD), authorized by §§ 40113(a), 44701, and 44702 of Title 49 United States Code, prescribes how the FAA issues ADs. The FAA issues ADs when an unsafe condition is discovered on a specific aircraft type. Specific information may be required from aircraft owners/operators if an unsafe condition requires more information to develop corrective action. If it is necessary for the aircraft manufacturer or airworthiness authority to evaluate the information, owners/operators will be instructed to send the information to them.

    Respondents: Approximately 1,120 aircraft owners/operators.

    Frequency: Information is collected on occasion.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: 1 hour.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 28,000 hours.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. Barbara L. Hall, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Performance, Policy, and Records Management Branch, ASP-110.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20395 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Notice of Release From Federal Surplus Property and Grant Assurance Obligations at Francis S. Gabreski Airport (FOK), Westhampton Beach, NY AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of request to release airport land.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA proposes to rule and invites public comment on the application for a release of approximately 25.8 acres of federally obligated airport property at Francis S. Gabreski Airport, Westhampton Beach, NY, from the National Emergency Use Provision contained in the Quitclaim Deed, dated July 17, 1972, and from conditions, reservations, and restrictions contained in Airport Improvement Program grants that would restrict the use of said land to aeronautical purposes, This acreage is a portion of land that was transferred from the United States of America to the county of Suffolk under the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 and the Surplus Property Act of 1944. The release will allow the airport to generate revenue through a land lease for a solar farm. The proposed use of land after the release will be compatible with the airport and will not interfere with the airport or its operation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Comments on this application may be mailed or delivered to the FAA at the following address: Sukhbir Gill, Acting Manager, Federal Aviation Administration, New York Airports District Office, Federal Register Comment, I Aviation Plaza, Jamaica, NY 11434. In addition, one copy of the comment submitted to the FAA must be mailed or delivered to Anthony Ceglio, Airport Manager, Suffolk County, Department of Economic Development and Planning—Aviation Division, Administration Building #1, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR 21), Public Law 106-181 (Apr. 5, 2000; 114 stat. 61), this notice must be published in the Federal Register 30 days before the Secretary may waive any condition imposed on a federally obligated airport by surplus property conveyance deeds or grant agreements. The following is a brief overview of the request.

    The county of Suffolk requested a release from grant assurance obligations to allow a land-use change in use for other than aeronautical purposes of approximately 25.8 acres of airport property at Francis S. Gabreski Airport. In 1969, the Suffolk County Air Force Base was deactivated. The land was transferred to Suffolk County in 1972 via a Quitclaim Deed under the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 and the Surplus Property Act of 1944. The Quitclaim Deed contained a National Emergency Use Provision (NEUP) allowing the United States of America the right to make use of the land during any national emergency as declared by the President or Congress. FAA approval of this request is contingent on the Department of Defense's concurrence that the 25.8 acres of airport property is no longer required for aeronautical purposes. Since 1943, the land in question has not been required for aviation, or other government use, and is currently vacant.

    Suffolk County entered into a long-term lease agreement, contingent upon FAA final approval, with a solar power company after a competitive bidding process. The solar installation would consist of an 18. I-acre site on the north side of the airport and a 7.7-acre site on the south side of the airport. The FAA has studied both sites and determined the installations will not impact the utility of the airport.

    The airport will retain ownership of the 25.8 acres and will receive fair market value rent for the length of the agreement. The rental income will be devoted to airport operations and capital projects. The proposed use of the property will not interfere with the airport or its operation; and will thereby, serve the interests of civil aviation.

    Issued in Jamaica, New York, on September 13, 2018. Sukhbir Gill, Acting Manager, New York Airports District Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20404 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Training and Qualification Requirements for Check Airmen and Flight Instructors AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. The information collected is used to allow some experienced pilots who would otherwise qualify as flight instructors or check airmen, but who are not medically eligible to hold the requisite medical certificate, to perform flight instructor or check airmen functions.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted by November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to the FAA at the following address: Barbara Hall, Federal Aviation Administration, ASP-110, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Hall by email at: [email protected]; phone: 940-594-5913.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 2120-0600.

    Title: Training and Qualification Requirements for Check Airmen and Flight Instructors.

    Form Numbers: There are no forms associated with this collection of information.

    Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection.

    Background: Under the authority of Title 49 CFR, Section 44701, Title 14 CFR prescribes the terms, conditions, and limitations as are necessary to ensure safety in air transportation. Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) parts 121.411(d), 121.412(d), 135.337(d), and 135.338(d) require the collection of this data. This collection is necessary to insure that instructors and check airmen have completed necessary training and checking required to perform instructor and check airmen functions.

    Respondents: There are approximately 3,100 check airmen and flight instructors.

    Frequency: Information is collected on occasion.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: 15 seconds.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 12.5 hours.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. Barbara L. Hall, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Performance, Policy, and Records Management Branch, ASP-110.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20399 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations—Part 121 AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. Regulations prescribe the requirements governing air carrier operations. The information collected is used to determine air operators' compliance with the minimum safety standards and the applicants' eligibility for air operations certification.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted by November 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to the FAA at the following address: Barbara Hall, Federal Aviation Administration, ASP-110, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Hall by email at: [email protected]; phone: 940-594-5913.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 2120-0008.

    Title: Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations—Part 121.

    Form Numbers: There are no forms associated with this collection of information.

    Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection.

    Background: Under the authority of Title 49 CFR, Section 44701, Title 14 CFR prescribes the terms, conditions, and limitations as are necessary to ensure safety in air transportation. Title 14 CFR part 121 prescribes the requirements governing air carrier operations. The information collected is used to determine air operators' compliance with the minimum safety standards and the applicants' eligibility for air operations certification. Each operator which seeks to obtain, or is in possession of an air carrier operating certificate, must comply with the requirements of part 121 which include maintaining data which is used to determine if the air carrier is operating in accordance with minimum safety standards.

    Respondents: There are approximately 70 air carriers/applicants.

    Frequency: Information is collected on occasion.

    Estimated Average Burden per Response: 1 hour and 16 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,555,534.5 hours.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. Barbara L. Hall, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Performance, Policy, and Records Management Branch, ASP-110.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20393 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors TIME AND DATE:

    The meeting will be held on September 27, 2018, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

    PLACE:

    This meeting will be open to the public via conference call. Any interested person may call 1-877-422-1931, passcode 2855443940, to listen and participate in this meeting.

    STATUS:

    Open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    The Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors (the Board) will continue its work in developing and implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement and to that end, may consider matters properly before the Board. An agenda for this meeting will be available no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, September 17, 2018, at https://ucrplan.org.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Mr. Avelino Gutierrez, Chair, Unified Carrier Registration Board of Directors at (505) 827-4565.

    Issued on: September 7, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20515 Filed 9-17-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA 2018-0205] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes Mellitus AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA announces receipt of applications from 57 individuals for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals with ITDM to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0205 using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, [email protected], FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64-224, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Public Participation A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0205), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, put the docket number, FMCSA 2018-0205, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on the “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit.

    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    B. Viewing Documents and Comments

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA 2018-0205, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” Next, click the “Open Docket Folder” button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    C. Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    II. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA may grant an exemption from the FMCSRs for a five-year period if it finds “such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.” The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the five-year period. FMCSA grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a two-year period to align with the maximum duration of a driver's medical certification.

    The 57 individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the diabetes prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute.

    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding diabetes found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control. The Agency established the current requirement for diabetes in 1970 because several risk studies indicated that drivers with diabetes had a higher rate of crash involvement than the general population.

    FMCSA established its diabetes exemption program, based on the Agency's July 2000 study entitled “A Report to Congress on the Feasibility of a Program to Qualify Individuals with Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus to Operate in Interstate Commerce as Directed by the Transportation Act for the 21st Century.” The report concluded that a safe and practicable protocol to allow some drivers with ITDM to operate CMVs is feasible. FMCSA published two notices in the Federal Register outlining the current protocol for allowing such drivers to operate CMVs in interstate commerce (Sep. 3, 2003, 68 FR 52441 and Nov. 8, 2005, 70 FR 67777). All of the requirements set out in the September 3, 2003, notice, except as modified by the notice in the Federal Register on November 8, 2005, remain in effect.

    III. Qualifications of Applicants Joseph J. Arena, Jr

    Mr. Arena, 63, has had ITDM since 2015. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Arena understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Arena meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania.

    Daniel C. Avants

    Mr. Avants, 55, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Avants understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Avants meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Washington.

    Danny Bailey

    Mr. Bailey, 60, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Bailey understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Bailey meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas.

    Ryan P. Bankert

    Mr. Bankert, 41, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Bankert understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Bankert meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Pennsylvania.

    Jordan D. Braun

    Mr. Braun, 26, has had ITDM since 2003. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Braun understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Braun meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Minnesota.

    David W. Buckley

    Mr. Buckley, 57, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Buckley understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Buckley meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Connecticut.

    Travis R. Capesius

    Mr. Capesius, 21, has had ITDM since 2005. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Capesius understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Capesius meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Iowa.

    Delquan S. Carter

    Mr. Carter, 28, has had ITDM since 2011. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Carter understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Carter meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Alabama.

    Christopher J. Epplin

    Mr. Epplin, 33, has had ITDM since 1999. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Epplin understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Epplin meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from Illinois.

    Eugenio Esparza, Jr

    Mr. Esparza, 52, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Esparza understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Esparza meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from Texas.

    Brian L. Fairchild

    Mr. Fairchild, 52, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Fairchild understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Fairchild meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Idaho.

    Stephen A. Fleming

    Mr. Fleming, 49, has had ITDM since 1979. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Fleming understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Fleming meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Minnesota.

    Luigi Forcellati

    Mr. Forcellati, 76, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Forcellati understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Forcellati meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from New Jersey.

    Daniel J. Garcia

    Mr. Garcia, 21, has had ITDM since 2015. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Garcia understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Garcia meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from California.

    Derek A. Garibay

    Mr. Garibay, 52, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Garibay understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Garibay meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Colorado.

    Caleb K. George

    Mr. George, 53, has had ITDM since 1996. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. George understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. George meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Rhode Island.

    Dylan M. Graham

    Mr. Graham, 25, has had ITDM since 1997. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Graham understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Graham meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Michigan.

    Donald D. Gueiss

    Mr. Gueiss, 51, has had ITDM since 2009. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Gueiss understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Gueiss meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from North Carolina.

    Michael W. Hammarsten

    Mr. Hammarsten, 65, has had ITDM since 2014. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Hammarsten understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Hammarsten meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Minnesota.

    Robert L. Howell

    Mr. Howell, 67, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Howell understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Howell meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a class A CDL from Illinois.

    Mitchell M. Huston

    Mr. Huston, 58, has had ITDM since 2014. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Huston understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Huston meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Colorado.

    Daniel J. Hutt

    Mr. Hutt, 48, has had ITDM since 2002. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Hutt understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Hutt meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from New York.

    Curtis C. Jacobs

    Mr. Jacobs, 56, has had ITDM since 2014. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Jacobs understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Jacobs meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from North Carolina.

    Steven M. Johnson

    Mr. Johnson, 48, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Johnson understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Johnson meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Indiana.

    Dwyanne E. Johnson

    Mr. Johnson, 36, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Johnson understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Johnson meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Colorado.

    Christopher L. Johnston

    Mr. Johnston, 50, has had ITDM since 2016. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Johnston understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Johnston meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Georgia.

    Gregory E. Jondle

    Mr. Jondle, 30, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Jondle understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Jondle meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Iowa.

    Steven Kinkead

    Mr. Kinkead, 57, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Kinkead understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Kinkead meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Missouri.

    Alexander P. Laatz

    Mr. Laatz, 24, has had ITDM since 1998. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Laatz understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Laatz meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Virginia.

    David L. Lennie

    Mr. Lennie, 71, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Lennie understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Lennie meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Michigan.

    Philip J. Linn

    Mr. Linn, 65, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Linn understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Linn meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio.

    Raul Martinez

    Mr. Martinez, 60, has had ITDM since 2014. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Martinez understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Martinez meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Texas.

    Lance E. May

    Mr. May, 46, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. May understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. May meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from Pennsylvania.

    Terry A. McCoy

    Mr. McCoy, 60, has had ITDM since 2016. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. McCoy understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. McCoy meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Georgia.

    Brian K. McGowan

    Mr. McGowan, 54, has had ITDM since 2013. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. McGowan understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. McGowan meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Arkansas.

    Michael D. Mervenne

    Mr. Mervenne, 56, has had ITDM since 2008. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Mervenne understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Mervenne meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Michigan.

    Kendrick D. Miller

    Mr. Miller, 41, has had ITDM since 2013. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Miller understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Miller meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from North Carolina.

    William D. Murphy

    Mr. Murphy, 48, has had ITDM since 2016. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Murphy understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Murphy meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from West Virginia.

    Babykutty Oommen

    Mr. Oommen, 59, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Oommen understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Oommen meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Illinois.

    Miguel A. Orozco

    Mr. Orozco, 61, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Orozco understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Orozco meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class B CDL from New Jersey.

    Arthur W. Pahmeier

    Mr. Pahmeier, 61, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Pahmeier understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Pahmeier meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2016 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Indiana.

    Dale W. Paul

    Mr. Paul, 23, has had ITDM since 2006. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Paul understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Paul meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from California.

    Jason J. Phillips

    Mr. Phillips, 35, has had ITDM since 2007. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Phillips understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Phillips meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from New Mexico.

    Robert E. Piernik

    Mr. Piernik, 63, has had ITDM since 2014. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Piernik understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Piernik meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Florida.

    Luc R. Poirier

    Mr. Poirier, 53, has had ITDM since 1967. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Poirier understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Poirier meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has stable proliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Michigan.

    Rick M. Provo

    Mr. Provo, 64, has had ITDM since 2010. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Provo understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Provo meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Indiana.

    David W. Pywell

    Mr. Pywell, 58, has had ITDM since 2015. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Pywell understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Pywell meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Idaho.

    Nicholas A. Quairoli

    Mr. Quairoli, 34, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Quairoli understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Quairoli meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Florida.

    Robert A. Raymond

    Mr. Raymond, 64, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Raymond understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Raymond meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Iowa.

    Robert A. Rock, Jr.

    Mr. Rock, 51, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Rock understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Rock meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Rhode Island.

    Hector R. Rodriguez

    Mr. Rodriguez, 54, has had ITDM since 2017. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Rodriguez understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Rodriguez meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Washington.

    Samuel J. Shriver

    Mr. Shriver, 67, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Shriver understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Shriver meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from West Virginia.

    Bradley A. Sundby

    Mr. Sundby, 58, has had ITDM since 2013. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Sundby understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Sundby meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His ophthalmologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has stable proliferative diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from South Dakota.

    Clayton A. Szydel

    Mr. Szydel, 53, has had ITDM since 2018. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Szydel understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Szydel meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Wisconsin.

    Jeremy R. Tatro

    Mr. Tatro, 36, has had ITDM since 2012. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Tatro understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Tatro meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds a Class A CDL from Ohio.

    Imelda Y. Tolentino

    Ms. Tolentino, 42, has had ITDM since 2011. Her endocrinologist examined her in 2018 and certified that she has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. Her endocrinologist certifies that Ms. Tolentino understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of her diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Ms. Tolentino meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). Her ophthalmologist examined her in 2018 and certified that she has stable nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. She holds an operator's license from Arkansas.

    Birt F. Wilkerson, Jr.

    Mr. Wilkerson, 67, has had ITDM since 2000. His endocrinologist examined him in 2018 and certified that he has had no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness, requiring the assistance of another person, or resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning in the past 12 months and no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes in the last five years. His endocrinologist certifies that Mr. Wilkerson understands diabetes management and monitoring, has stable control of his diabetes using insulin, and is able to drive a CMV safely. Mr. Wilkerson meets the requirements of the vision standard at 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). His optometrist examined him in 2018 and certified that he does not have diabetic retinopathy. He holds an operator's license from Texas.

    IV. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions described in this notice. We will consider all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated in the dates section of the notice.

    Issued on: September 13, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20294 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA-2000-7257, Notice No. 87] Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Re-Establishment AGENCY:

    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of re-establishment of Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC).

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announces the re-establishment of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) via a new charter. RSAC is a Federal Advisory Committee established by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Administrator of FRA on matters relating to railroad safety. This charter will be effective for 2 years from the date it is filed with Congress.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenton Kilgore, RSAC Designated Federal Officer/RSAC Coordinator, FRA Office of Railroad Safety, (202) 493-6286; or Larry Woolverton, Executive Officer, FRA Office of Railroad Safety, (202) 493-6212.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is provided in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 5 U.S.C. App. 2). The RSAC is composed of 40 representatives from 29 member organizations, representing various rail industry perspectives. The diversity of the committee ensures the requisite range of views and expertise necessary to discharge its responsibilities. Please see the RSAC website for additional information at https://rsac.fra.dot.gov/.

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Ronald Louis Batory, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20312 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA-2010-0034] Port Authority Trans-Hudson's Request for Positive Train Control Safety Plan Approval and System Certification AGENCY:

    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides the public with notice that Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) submitted to FRA its Positive Train Control Safety Plan (PTCSP), Revision 4.0, dated August 21, 2018, on FRA's Secure Information Repository (SIR) site on August 23, 2018. PATH asks FRA to approve its PTCSP and issue a Positive Train Control System Certification for PATH's Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system.

    DATES:

    FRA will consider comments received by October 19, 2018 before taking final action on the PTCSP. FRA may consider comments received after that date if practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    All comments concerning this proceeding should identify Docket Number FRA-2010-0034 and may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Website: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.

    Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Mark Hartong, Senior Scientific Technical Advisor, at 202-493-1332, or [email protected], or Ms. Carolyn Hayward-Williams, Staff Director, Positive Train Control/Signal & Train Control Division, at 202-493-6399, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In its PTCSP, PATH asserts that the CBTC system it is implementing is designed as a stand-alone PTC system as defined in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 236.1015(e)(3). The PTCSP describes PATH's CBTC system implementation and the associated CBTC system safety processes; safety analyses; and test, validation, and verification processes used during the development of CBTC. The PTCSP also contains PATH's operational and support requirements and procedures.

    PATH's PTCSP and the accompanying request for approval and system certification are available for review online at www.regulations.gov (Docket Number FRA-2010-0034) and in person at DOT's Docket Operations Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12-140, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Operations Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the PTCSP by submitting written comments or data. During its review of the PTCSP, FRA will consider any comments or data submitted. 49 CFR 236.1011(e). However, FRA may elect not to respond to any particular comment and, under 49 CFR 236.1009(d)(3), FRA maintains the authority to approve or disapprove the PTCSP at its sole discretion. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing regarding PATH's PTCSP because the circumstances do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested party desires an opportunity for oral comment, the party should notify FRA in writing before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for the request.

    Privacy Act Notice

    Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). In accordance with 49 CFR 211.3, FRA solicits comments from the public to better inform its decisions. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See https://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Robert C. Lauby, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20302 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Bureau of the Fiscal Service Proposed Collection of Information: Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payment; and Trace Request Direct Deposit ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Treasury, 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. Currently the Bureau of the Fiscal Service within the Department of the Treasury is soliciting comments concerning the Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payment; and Trace Request Direct Deposit

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before November 19, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments and requests for additional information to Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Bruce A. Sharp, Room #4006-A, PO Box 1328, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payment; and Trace Request Direct Deposit.

    OMB Number: 1530-0002.

    Form Number: FS Form 150.1 and FS Form 150.2.

    Abstract: These forms are used to notify the financial organization that a customer (beneficiary) has claimed non-receipt of credit for a payment. The forms are designed to help the financial organization locate any problems and to keep the customer (beneficiary) informed of any action taken.

    Current Actions: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 203,719.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 8 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 27,162.

    Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) 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; and (5) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    Dated: September 13, 2018. Bruce A. Sharp, Bureau Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-20327 Filed 9-18-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Bureau of the Fiscal Service Proposed Collection of Information: Application by Voluntary Guardian of Incapacitated Owner of United States Savings Bonds or Savings Notes ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Treasury, 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. Currently the Bureau of the Fiscal Service within the Department of the Treasury is soliciting comments concerning the Application by Voluntary Guardian of Incapacitated Owner of United States Savings Bonds or Savings Notes.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before November 19, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments and requests for additional information to Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Bruce A. Sharp, Room #4006-A, P.O. Box 1328, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Application by Voluntary Guardian of Incapacitated Owner of United States Savings Bonds or Savings Notes.

    OMB Number: 1530-0031.

    Form Number: FS Form 2513.

    Abstract: The information is requested to establish the right of a voluntary guardian to conduct transactions on behalf of a mentally incapacitated bond or note owner.

    Current Actions: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 20 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 333.

    Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of informat