Federal Register Vol. 83, No.209,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 209 (October 29, 2018)

Page Range54229-54512
FR Document

83_FR_209
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 54511 - United Nations Day, 2018PDF
83 FR 54352 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 54414 - Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of DirectorsPDF
83 FR 54411 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 54372 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 54318 - National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 54330 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 54247 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Anacostia River, Washington, DCPDF
83 FR 54248 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJPDF
83 FR 54367 - Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) MeetingPDF
83 FR 54369 - Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Security Programs for Foreign Air CarriersPDF
83 FR 54368 - Intent To Request Extension From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Pipeline Operator Security InformationPDF
83 FR 54354 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54376 - Membership of National Science Foundation's Senior Executive Service Performance Review BoardPDF
83 FR 54332 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54371 - Invasive Species Advisory Committee; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 54347 - Thirty-Fourth Update of the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance DocketPDF
83 FR 54345 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That are Solid Waste (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 54346 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Standardized Permit for RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Facilities (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 54304 - Mississippi: Proposed Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
83 FR 54329 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54315 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
83 FR 54359 - Circulatory System Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 54352 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54300 - Approval of Source-Specific Air Quality Implementation Plans; New JerseyPDF
83 FR 54342 - Meetings of the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) and the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC)PDF
83 FR 54333 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54264 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota TransferPDF
83 FR 54303 - Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources ReconsiderationPDF
83 FR 54352 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; FY 2019 FAR Reissue Posted to the Acquisition.gov WebsitePDF
83 FR 54370 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Wayne County, Utah, Incidental Take Permit Application; Range-Wide General Conservation Plan for Utah Prairie DogPDF
83 FR 54310 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54238 - Amendment of V-97 and V-422 in the Vicinity of Chicago, ILPDF
83 FR 54239 - Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Chicago, ILPDF
83 FR 54377 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54341 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Chemical Data Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA Section 8(a)) (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 54344 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Hazardous Waste Generator Standards (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 54316 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 54343 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Requirements and Exemptions for Specific RCRA Wastes (Renewal)PDF
83 FR 54314 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 119-Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Notification of Proposed Production Activity AGCO Corporation Subzone 119M (Agricultural Equipment and Related Subassemblies and Components) Jackson and Round Lake, MinnesotaPDF
83 FR 54319 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; USPTO Websites Customer Satisfaction SurveysPDF
83 FR 54311 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54335 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study First Follow-Up (MS2) Tracking and Recruitment Revision and Operational Field Test Second Follow-Up (OFT3)PDF
83 FR 54372 - Notice of Public Meeting, Northwest Resource Advisory Council, ColoradoPDF
83 FR 54371 - State of Arizona Resource Advisory Council MeetingPDF
83 FR 54363 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Reporting System, OMB No. 0906-xxxx-NEWPDF
83 FR 54316 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Value of the Reduction in the Risk of Whale Strikes in the Channel Islands National Marine SanctuaryPDF
83 FR 54317 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Value of Non-Consumptive Recreation Use From Those Accessing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary via For Hire Operation BoatsPDF
83 FR 54318 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54313 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil RightsPDF
83 FR 54329 - Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 54328 - SES Performance Review BoardPDF
83 FR 54312 - Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection: Importation of Citrus From Peru; Expansion of Citrus-Growing AreaPDF
83 FR 54326 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 54327 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 54415 - Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council; MeetingPDF
83 FR 54354 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54414 - Petition for Approval of Product Safety PlanPDF
83 FR 54339 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 54338 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization; Ambit Northeast, LLCPDF
83 FR 54413 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Corrected Requests for Comments; Clearance of a Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Certification of Repair Stations, Part 145 of Title 14, CFRPDF
83 FR 54340 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 54339 - Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process: Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.PDF
83 FR 54340 - Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization: Perryville Gas Storage LLCPDF
83 FR 54355 - Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of 10 New Drug ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 54360 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; RAINDROP NEAR VISION INLAYPDF
83 FR 54229 - Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 54308 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54362 - Modified Risk Tobacco Product Applications for Snus Products Submitted by Swedish Match North America Inc.; Reopening of the Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 54356 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Investigation of Consumer Perceptions of Expressed Modified Risk ClaimsPDF
83 FR 54364 - Agency Information Collection Request. 60-Day Public Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54380 - Training and Experience Requirements for Different Categories of RadiopharmaceuticalsPDF
83 FR 54413 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: JADE Act QuestionnairePDF
83 FR 54373 - Laminated Woven Sacks From Vietnam; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Anti-Dumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
83 FR 54250 - Schedule for Rating Disabilities: The Hematologic and Lymphatic SystemsPDF
83 FR 54374 - Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health; MeetingPDF
83 FR 54415 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple Internal Revenue Service Information Collection RequestsPDF
83 FR 54365 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 54365 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 54366 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 54365 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 54366 - Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 54378 - Water Remediation Technology, LLCPDF
83 FR 54395 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Permit the Exchange To List Options on the Cboe Volatility Index (“VIX options”) on a Group Basis and Make Conforming Changes Throughout the Rules, Change the Minimum Increment for VIX Options Listed Under the Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program (if the Exchange Lists VIX on a Group Basis), and Make Nonsubstantive ChangesPDF
83 FR 54384 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Amend NYSE Arca Rule 1.1(ll) To Modify the Formula for Establishing the Official Closing Price for a Derivative Securities Product When There Is No Closing Auction or if the Closing Auction Is Less Than One Round Lot, by Excluding the NBBO Midpoint if the Midpoint Multiplied by 10% Is Less Than the NBBO Spread or if the NBBO Is CrossedPDF
83 FR 54385 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Related to The Options Clearing Corporation's Board of Directors and Board Committee ChartersPDF
83 FR 54401 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Make Permanent the Retail Price Improvement Program Pilot, Which Is Set To Expire on December 31, 2018PDF
83 FR 54245 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth-Superior Harbor, MNPDF
83 FR 54418 - Solicitation of Nomination for Appointment to the Veterans' Advisory Committee on RehabilitationPDF
83 FR 54366 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-NEWPDF
83 FR 54412 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the State of FloridaPDF
83 FR 54351 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0185)PDF
83 FR 54312 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 54383 - Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Partitions of Eligible Multiemployer PlansPDF
83 FR 54412 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of North CarolinaPDF
83 FR 54412 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of KansasPDF
83 FR 54333 - National Assessment Governing BoardPDF
83 FR 54336 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) Experimental Sites InitiativePDF
83 FR 54382 - Information Collection: Physical Protection of Category 1 and Category 2 Quantities of Radioactive MaterialPDF
83 FR 54376 - National Space Council Users' Advisory Group; MeetingPDF
83 FR 54375 - NASA Advisory Council; Aeronautics Committee Meeting; Amended WebEx InformationPDF
83 FR 54232 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Aurora, ORPDF
83 FR 54236 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Merced, CAPDF
83 FR 54234 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Atwater, CAPDF
83 FR 54337 - Energía Costa Azul S. de R.L. de C.V; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Natural Gas to Mexico and To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement NationsPDF
83 FR 54268 - Critical Electric Infrastructure Information; New Administrative ProceduresPDF
83 FR 54278 - Prohibition Against Certain Flights Within the Territory and Airspace of Afghanistan; WithdrawalPDF
83 FR 54297 - Right to Financial Privacy ActPDF
83 FR 54279 - Investing in Qualified Opportunity FundsPDF
83 FR 54266 - Examining SystemPDF
83 FR 54480 - Environmental Impacts and Related ProceduresPDF
83 FR 54319 - Request for Comments on Motion To Amend Practice and Procedures in Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal BoardPDF
83 FR 54420 - Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health PlansPDF
83 FR 54241 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 54243 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 54259 - Pyroxasulfone; Pesticide TolerancesPDF

Issue

83 209 Monday, October 29, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54308-54311 2018-23525 2018-23552 2018-23565
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Importation of Citrus from Peru; Expansion of Citrus-Growing Area, 54312 2018-23540 Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors, 54329 2018-23542 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54352-54354 2018-23576 2018-23590 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54354-54355 2018-23536 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Illinois Advisory Committee, 54313-54314 2018-23543 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Anacostia River, Washington, DC, 54247-54248 2018-23598 Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth-Superior Harbor, MN, 54245-54247 2018-23504 Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ, 54248-54250 2018-23596 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54366-54367 2018-23502 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54326-54328 2018-23538 2018-23539 Court Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia NOTICES Performance Review Board Membership, 54328 2018-23541 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

PROPOSED RULES Right to Financial Privacy Act, 54297-54300 2018-23396 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54329-54333 2018-23579 2018-23588 Arms Sales, 54330-54332 2018-23601
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships Experimental Sites Initiative, 54336-54337 2018-23494 Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 Main Study First Follow-up Tracking and Recruitment Revision and Operational Field Test Second Follow-up, 54335-54336 2018-23551 Meetings: National Assessment Governing Board, 54333-54335 2018-23495 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration PROPOSED RULES Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans, 54420-54477 2018-23183 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Critical Electric Infrastructure Information: Administrative Procedures, 54268-54278 2018-23459 NOTICES Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Natural Gas to Mexico and to Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations: Energia Costa Azul S. de R.L. de C.V, 54337-54338 2018-23471
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Pyroxasulfone, 54259-54264 2018-23002 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: New Jersey; Approval of Source-Specific Air Quality Implementation Plans, 54300-54303 2018-23575 Proposed Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions: Mississippi, 54304-54307 2018-23580 Public Hearings: Oil and Natural Gas Sector; Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration, 54303-54304 2018-23570 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Chemical Data Reporting under the Toxic Substances Control Act, 54341-54342 2018-23560 Hazardous Waste Generator Standards, 54344-54345 2018-23558 Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste, 54345-54346 2018-23584 Requirements and Exemptions for Specific RCRA Wastes, 54343-54344 2018-23556 Standardized Permit for RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Facilities, 54346-54347 2018-23581 Meetings: Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee and the Local Government Advisory Committee, 54342-54343 2018-23573 Thirty-Fourth Update of the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket, 54347-54351 2018-23585 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Air Traffic Service Routes: Vicinity of Chicago, IL, 54239-54241 2018-23562 Airworthiness Directives: Pratt and Whitney Turbofan Engines, 54229-54232 2018-23526 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace: Atwater, CA, 54234-54236 2018-23476 Aurora, OR, 54232-54234 2018-23479 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Merced, CA, 54236-54238 2018-23478 Amendment of V-97 and V-422: Vicinity of Chicago, IL, 54238-54239 2018-23564 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures, 54241-54243 2018-23143 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures, 54243-54245 2018-23142 PROPOSED RULES Prohibition against Certain Flights within the Territory and Airspace of Afghanistan; Withdrawal, 54278-54279 2018-23400 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification of Repair Stations, 54413-54414 2018-23532 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54351-54352 2018-23500 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54352 2018-23717 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 54339-54341 2018-23531 2018-23534 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Ambit Northeast, LLC, 54338-54339 2018-23533 License Applications: Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., 54339-54340 2018-23530 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Perryville Gas Storage LLC, 54340 2018-23529 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration RULES Environmental Impacts and Related Procedures, 54480-54508 2018-23286 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54414 2018-23704 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration RULES Environmental Impacts and Related Procedures, 54480-54508 2018-23286 NOTICES Petitions for Approval of Product Safety Plan, 54414-54415 2018-23535 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration RULES Environmental Impacts and Related Procedures, 54480-54508 2018-23286 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Wayne County, Utah, Incidental Take Permit Application; Range-Wide General Conservation Plan for Utah Prairie Dog, 54370-54371 2018-23566 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Investigation of Consumer Perceptions of Expressed Modified Risk Claims, 54356-54359 2018-23523 Determinations of Regulatory Review Periods for Purposes of Patent Extensions: RAINDROP NEAR VISION INLAY, 54360-54362 2018-23527 Meetings: Circulatory System Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 54359-54360 2018-23577 Modified Risk Tobacco Product Applications: Snus Products Submitted by Swedish Match North America Inc., 54362-54363 2018-23524 New Drug Applications: Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.; Withdrawal of Approval, 54355-54356 2018-23528 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: AGCO Corp., Foreign-Trade Zone 119, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, 54314-54315 2018-23555 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Federal Acquisition Regulation: FY 2019 FAR Reissue Posted to the Acquisition.gov Website, 54352 2018-23568 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans, 54420-54477 2018-23183 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54364-54365 2018-23522
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Reporting System, 54363-54364 2018-23547 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Transportation Security Administration

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

NOTICES Meetings: Invasive Species Advisory Committee, 54371 2018-23587
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans, 54420-54477 2018-23183 Investing in Qualified Opportunity Funds, 54279-54296 2018-23382 NOTICES Meetings: Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council, 54415 2018-23537 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Export Trade Certificates of Review, 54315-54316 2018-23578 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Laminated Woven Sacks from Vietnam, 54373-54374 2018-23518 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54372-54373 2018-23628 2018-23629 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Northwest Resource Advisory Council, Colorado, 54372 2018-23550 State of Arizona Resource Advisory Council, 54371-54372 2018-23549 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: NASA Advisory Council; Aeronautics Committee; Amended WebEx Information, 54375-54376 2018-23491 National Space Council Users' Advisory Group, 54376 2018-23492 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 54365-54366 2018-23514 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 54365-54366 2018-23512 2018-23513 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 54365 2018-23511 Office of the Director, 54366 2018-23510 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer, 54264-54265 2018-23571 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54318 2018-23544 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Economic Value of Non-Consumptive Recreation Use from Those Accessing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary via For Hire Operation Boats, 54317-54318 2018-23545 Economic Value of the Reduction in the Risk of Whale Strikes in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, 54316-54317 2018-23546 Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 54316 2018-23557 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54377-54378 2018-23561 Membership of Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board, 54376-54377 2018-23589 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54333 2018-23572 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Physical Protection of Category 1 and Category 2 Quantities of Radioactive Material, 54382-54383 2018-23493 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Water Remediation Technology, LLC, 54378-54380 2018-23509 Training and Experience Requirements for Different Categories of Radiopharmaceuticals, 54380-54382 2018-23521 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Websites Customer Satisfaction Surveys, 54319 2018-23553 Meetings: National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee, 54318-54319 2018-23609 Motion to Amend Practice and Procedures in Trial Proceedings under the America Invents Act before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, 54319-54326 2018-23187 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Partitions of Eligible Multiemployer Plans, 54383-54384 2018-23498 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Examining System, 54266-54268 2018-23340 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: United Nations Day (Proc. 9810), 54509-54512 2018-23776 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54312-54313 2018-23499 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54411-54412 2018-23658 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe Exchange, Inc., 54395-54400 2018-23508 Nasdaq BX, Inc., 54401-54411 2018-23505 NYSE Arca, Inc., 54384-54385 2018-23507 The Options Clearing Corp., 54385-54395 2018-23506 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: Florida, 54412 2018-23501 Kansas, 54412-54413 2018-23496 North Carolina, 54412 2018-23497 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: JADE Act Questionnaire, 54413 2018-23520 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pipeline Operator Security Information, 54368-54369 2018-23593 Security Programs for Foreign Air Carriers, 54369 2018-23594 Meetings: Aviation Security Advisory Committee, 54367-54368 2018-23595 Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54415-54418 2018-23515
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Schedule for Rating Disabilities: The Hematologic and Lymphatic Systems, 54250-54259 2018-23517 NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation, 54418 2018-23503 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, 54374-54375 2018-23516 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, 54420-54477 2018-23183 Labor Department, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 54420-54477 2018-23183 Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, 54420-54477 2018-23183 Part III Transportation Department, Federal Highway Administration, 54480-54508 2018-23286 Transportation Department, Federal Railroad Administration, 54480-54508 2018-23286 Transportation Department, Federal Transit Administration, 54480-54508 2018-23286 Part IV Presidential Documents, 54509-54512 2018-23776 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.

83 209 Monday, October 29, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1206; Product Identifier 2017-NE-42-AD; Amendment 39-19479; AD 2018-22-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Pratt & Whitney (PW) PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by an uncommanded high thrust event that occurred during approach on January 16, 2016, and during landing on April 6, 2016. This AD requires removal of the metering valve pilot valve (MVPV) within certain fuel control units (FCUs) and the MVPV's replacement with a part eligible for installation. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 3, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 3, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Pratt & Whitney Division, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; fax: 860-565-5442. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1206.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1206; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all PW PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2018 (83 FR 15519). The NPRM was prompted by reports of an uncommanded high thrust event that occurred during approach on January 16, 2016, and during landing on April 6, 2016, due to loosening of the MVPV end cap. These uncommanded events were associated with improper maintenance on the MVPV within certain FCUs. The NPRM proposed to require removal of the MVPV for certain FCUs. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Comments

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

Request To Disallow Repairs

PW and the Boeing Company (Boeing) requested that we remove the allowance in this AD for the repair of the MVPV. The commenters noted that repairs cannot preclude damage to the valve, which could lead to future Loss of Thrust Control (LOTC) events.

We disagree because the repairs allowed by this AD will have a tamper proof feature to secure the end plugs. This feature will preclude the end plug from loosening in service. We did not change this AD.

Request To Increase Number of Affected Engines

PW requested that we revise the number of affected engines in costs of compliance section of this AD from 212 to 253. PW noted that there are 253 FCU serial numbers listed in Table 1 of PW Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017.

We disagree. Although Table 1 lists 253 affected engines, our cost estimate refers to engines installed on U.S. registered airplanes. Our estimate of this number is 212 engines. We did not change this AD.

Request To Increase Cost Estimate for Parts

PW and Delta Air Lines (Delta) requested that we change the estimated parts cost to $25,482 per engine. The commenters indicated that $25,482 is the cost of a new MVPV.

We partially agree. We revised the Costs of Compliance section of this AD to estimate $25,482 as the cost of a new MVPV. We expect, however, that certain operators will have the MVPV repaired, so we are also are also including an estimate for the cost of a repaired part.

Request To Allow Any Repair to MVPV

Delta requested that we allow any FAA-approved repair to the MVPV for compliance with this AD. Delta explained that the PW MVPV does not have a tamper proof feature so the repair should not require it.

We disagree. The tamper proof feature on the end plugs ensures that the repair includes tightened end plugs and prevents future tampering or loosening during regular maintenance. The manufacturer's design does not have this tamper proof feature because no loose end plugs were found on original manufacturer parts. We did not change this AD.

Request To Explain Tamper Proof Feature on MVPV

Delta, United Airlines, and MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH (MTU) requested that we explain the “tamper proof feature” on the end plug or reference a specific repair. The commenters explained that this feature can be confusing to operators who are not familiar with the history of repairs on this part. For example, Delta commented that this language could be understood to refer to valves repaired per a process that retains the end plugs using epoxy alone as being sufficient.

We partially agree. We agree that operators without experience with this feature may be confused. We expanded the definition of a part eligible for installation to clarify the meaning of a “tamper proof feature.” We disagree with referencing a specific repair because we don't want to preclude future repairs that may be developed.

Request To Reference UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletin (SB)

Delta requested that we reference the UTC Aerospace Systems SB JFC104-1-73-58 in addition to PW ASB PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017, in this AD. Delta noted that additional instructions for replacement of the MVPV are in the UTC Aerospace Systems SB.

We disagree because the reference in this AD to the PW ASB PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017, is only to include the FCU Serial Number List. We did not change this AD.

Request To Revise Table Reference

Delta and MTU requested that we change a reference to “Table 1” in this AD. The commenters noted that PW ASB PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017, does not refer to the list of FCU serial numbers as “Table 1.”

We agree. Although the PW ASB references “Table 1” in several places, the list of FCU serial numbers is not clearly labeled in the ASB as “Table 1.” We revised the reference to “Table 1” in the Applicability section of this AD to “FCU Serial Number List” to better match the service information.”

Request To Revise Reference to “Overhaul”

Delta and MTU requested that we change the reference in this AD to “FCU overhaul.” The commenters indicated that this term is not standard wording.

We agree because the term “overhaul” can be confused with other types of maintenance. We changed the reference in this AD from “FCU Overhaul” to “FCU shop visit” to better match standard wording used in ADs.

Request To Revise Part Eligible for Installation

Delta and Fedex Express requested that we clarify the definition of a part eligible for installation from a “zero time MVPV.” Delta noted that there is no specification whether this refers to total time since manufacture or total time since completion of a certain level of maintenance. Fedex Express suggested we use the term “zero time from new MVPV.”

We agree. We revised this AD to clarify that the definition of a part eligible for installation refers to a “zero time since new MVPV” to add clarity.

Request To Add Marking Requirement

Delta and MTU requested that we add a requirement in this AD to mark the data plate of any FCU to show it has complied with this AD. The commenters indicated that this would assist with tracking because there is no physical way to tell if operators have complied with the AD.

We disagree. It is up to the operators how to record compliance with this AD. We do not want to dictate only one method of recording compliance.

Request To Revise Installation Prohibition

PW requested that we revise the installation prohibition in this AD to allow any MVPV that is eligible for installation to be installed. PW indicated that the language in the NPRM implies that only repaired MVPVs can be installed.

We disagree because if the MVPV is one of the suspect units being removed from the FCU by the AD, then it is not a zero time since new MVPV. An MVPV that is removed per the requirements of this AD must be repaired with a tamper proof feature on the end plugs before it can be reinstalled. The installation prohibition paragraph does not prevent operators from installing a zero time since new MVPV.

Request To Clarify Compliance Time

MTU requested that we clarify the compliance time in this AD as no compliance time is stated.

We disagree because the compliance time is at the next FCU shop visit after the effective date of this AD, which is stated in the required action paragraph. We did not change this AD.

Request To Reinstall a Part After Inspection

MTU asked to be allowed to reinstall a part after it has been inspected but not repaired.

We disagree because the FCU's listed in the applicability cannot be inspected for a loose end plug without damaging the epoxy or end plugs. Once the end plug or epoxy is damaged, it must be replaced with a new MVPV or repaired properly with a tamper proof feature on the end plugs. We did not change this AD.

Support for This AD

The Air Line Pilots Association expressed support for this AD as written.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed PW ASB PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017. The ASB provides a list of affected FCUs. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 212 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We are estimating that the MVPV will be replaced with a new part on 106 engines and replaced with a repaired part on the remaining 106 engines. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Replace MVPV with repaired part $0 $6,490 $6,490 $687,940 Replace MVPV with new part 0 25,482 25,482 2,701,092
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-22-06 Pratt & Whitney: Amendment 39-19479; Docket No. FAA-2017-1206; Product Identifier 2017-NE-42-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 3, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Pratt & Whitney (PW) PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines with JFC104-1 fuel control units (FCUs) with serial numbers listed in the Accomplishment Instructions, FCU Serial Number List, of PW Alert Service Bulletin PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7321, Fuel Control/Turbine Engines.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an uncommanded high thrust event that occurred during approach on January 16, 2016, and during landing on April 6, 2016. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the metering valve pilot valve (MVPV) end cap to remain taut, causing uncommanded higher fuel flow to the engine. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the FCU, loss of engine thrust control and reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Remove from service the MVPV from the FCU at the next FCU shop visit after the effective date of the AD and replace the MVPV with a part eligible for installation.

    (h) Definitions

    (1) For the purpose of this AD, an FCU shop visit is defined as the removal of the FCU from the engine and induction of the FCU into a FCU shop that can perform these procedures regardless of the scheduled maintenance action or the reason for the FCU removal.

    (2) For the purpose of this AD, a part eligible for installation is one of the following:

    (i) A zero time since new MVPV, or

    (ii) An MVPV repaired by a method approved by FAA that includes an end plug with tamper proof features. A tamper proof feature is a feature that goes beyond the original equipment manufacturer design of only using epoxy retention and threads to prevent end cap maintenance tampering and loosening.

    (i) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not install any MVPV removed in accordance with paragraph (g) unless it meets the definition of a part eligible for installation per paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (k) Related Information

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Pratt & Whitney (PW) Alert Service Bulletin PW2000 A73-172, dated October 16, 2017.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (3) For PW service information identified in this AD, contact Pratt & Whitney Division, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; fax: 860-565-5442.

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

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on October 23, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23526 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1034; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-23] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Aurora, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies the Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, OR. Additionally, an editorial change removes the city associated with the airport name in the airspace designations, and replaces the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory with Chart Supplement in Class D airspace. These changes are necessary to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, January 3, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Farnsworth, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198-6547; telephone (206) 231-2244.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 7428; February 21, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-1034 to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, OR. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Twenty-six comments were received, all in support of the changes.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11C, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, OR.

    Class D airspace is modified to a 4-mile radius of the airport, and within 1.8 miles each side of the 007° bearing from the airport extending from the 4-mile radius to 5.1 miles north of the airport (from a 4.2-mile radius of the airport from the 64° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 142° bearing, extending to a 5-mile radius from the 142° bearing clockwise to the 64° bearing from the airport). Two excluded area cutouts for Lenhardt Airpark and McGee Airport, respectively, (both nearby satellite general aviation airports) are modified by excluding that airspace below 1,500 feet MSL within the area bounded by lat. 45°11′51″ N, long. 122°45′45″ W; to lat. 45°12′50″ N, long. 122°44′34″ W; to the point where the 142° bearing from the airport intersects the 4-mile radius of the airport, thence clockwise along the airport 4-mile radius to the 174° bearing from the airport, thence to the point of beginning; and excluding that airspace below 1,500 feet MSL within the area bounded by lat. 45°15′37″ N, long. 122°51′14″ W; to the point where the 235° bearing from the airport intersects the 4-mile radius of the airport, thence clockwise along the airport 4-mile radius to the airport 281° bearing, thence to the point of beginning (from excluding that airspace below 1,200 feet beyond 3.3 miles from the airport from the 142° bearing clockwise to the 174° bearing, and that airspace below 1,200 feet beyond 3.3 miles from the airport from the 250° bearing clockwise to the 266° bearing from the airport). The modification of the excluded areas within the Class D provides additional airspace for visual flight rules operations at the satellite airports while maintaining the required airspace to support IFR operations at Aurora State Airport. Also, an editorial change is made to the legal description replacing Airport/Facility Directory with Chart Supplement.

    Class E surface area airspace is modified to be coincident with the dimensions of the Class D airspace except no exclusion is provided in the vicinity of Lenhardt Airpark (“excluding that airspace below 1,500 feet MSL within the area bounded by lat. 45°11′51″ N, long. 122°45′45″ W; to lat. 45°12′50″ N, long. 122°44′34″ W; to the point where the 142° bearing from the airport intersects the 4-mile radius of the airport, thence clockwise along the airport 4-mile radius to the 174° bearing from the airport, thence to the point of beginning”). Class E surface area airspace is required within this Class D cutout to ensure Class E weather requirements exist from the surface and protect IFR arrival operations to Aurora State Airport.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet is modified to within a 6.5-mile radius (from a 7-mile radius) from the airport 043° bearing clockwise to the airport 350° bearing and within a 9-mile radius (from a 6.5-mile radius) from the airport 350° bearing clockwise to the airport 043° bearing, and within 1.6 miles each side of a 007° bearing from the airport extending from the 9-mile radius of the airport to 20.6 miles north of the airport (from within 1.6 miles either side of the 007° bearing from airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 20 miles northeast of the airport), and within 1.8 miles each side of a line extending from lat. 45°21′12″ N, long. 122°58′41″ W, to lat. 45°19′20″ N, long. 122°49′07″ W (from within 1.2 miles either side of the 306° bearing from airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 10.9 miles northwest of the airport).

    The airport designations for the Class D and E airspace areas are amended by removing the name of the city associated with the airport to be in compliance with a change to FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ANM OR D Aurora, OR [Amended] Aurora State Airport, OR (Lat. 45°14′50″ N, long. 122°46′12″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet MSL within a 4-mile radius of Aurora State Airport and within 1.8 miles each side of the 007° bearing from the airport extending from the 4-mile radius to 5.1 miles north of the airport, excluding that airspace below 1,500 feet MSL within the area bounded by lat. 45°11′51″ N, long. 122°45′45″ W; to lat. 45°12′50″ N, long. 122°44′34″ W; to the point where the 142° bearing from the airport intersects the 4-mile radius of the airport, thence clockwise along the airport 4-mile radius to the 174° bearing from the airport, thence to the point of beginning, and excluding that airspace below 1,500 feet MSL within the area bounded by lat. 45°15′37″ N, long. 122°51′14″ W; to the point where the 235° bearing from the airport intersects the 4-mile radius of the airport, thence clockwise along the airport 4-mile radius to the airport 281° bearing, thence to the point of beginning. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ANM OR E2 Aurora, OR [Amended] Aurora State Airport, OR (Lat. 45°14′50″ N, long. 122°46′12″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4-mile radius of Aurora State Airport and within 1.8 miles each side of the 007° bearing from the airport extending from the 4-mile radius to 5.1 miles north of the airport, excluding that airspace below 1,500 feet MSL within the area bounded by lat. 45°15′37″ N, long. 122°51′14″ W; to the point where the 235° bearing from the airport intersects the 4-mile radius of the airport, thence clockwise along the airport 4-mile radius to the airport 281° bearing, thence to the point of beginning.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM OR E5 Aurora, OR [Amended] Aurora State Airport, OR (Lat. 45°14′50″ N, long. 122°46′12″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 9-mile radius of the Aurora State Airport from a 350° bearing from the airport clockwise to a 043° bearing from the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of the airport from the airport 043° bearing clockwise to the airport 350° bearing, and within 1.6 miles each side of a 007° bearing from the airport extending from the 9-mile radius of the airport to 20.6 miles north of the airport, and within 1.8 miles each side of a line extending from lat. 45°21′12″ N, long. 122°58′41″ W; to lat. 45°19′20″ N, long. 122°49′07″ W.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 19, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23479 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1091; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-26] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Atwater, CA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class D airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. Additionally, the airport's geographic coordinates have been updated to match the FAA's aeronautical database and the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory is replaced with Chart Supplement in Class D airspace. Airspace redesign is necessary as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport due to the decommissioning of the El Nido VHF Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME).

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, February 28, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-6547; telephone (206) 231-2245.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 3100; January 23, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-1091 to amend Class D and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Fifteen comments were received, of which twelve were from local political organizations, aviation companies, and the public. In addition, two were duplicates and one was an illustration of a recommended amendment to the rulemaking proposal.

    Four commenters stated the reasons for the airspace modifications were not clear. The FAA agrees and is including a clearer explanation in the final rule. The proposed modifications are required to bring the airspace into compliance with the common standards required by the FAA, in its orders, directives and guidance. The FAA initiated modifications to the Castle Airport airspace to ensure aircraft arriving Runway (RWY) 31 on the RNAV, VOR/DME, or ILS approaches descend through 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL) within the Class D airspace; that IFR departures from Castle Airport and Merced Regional/Macready Field have adequate airspace to depart and that the minimum airspace needed for safe and efficient terminal IFR and visual flight rules (VFR) operations is maintained.

    Three commenters were concerned with the economic impact to local businesses in Merced and Atwater, CA. Based on those comments, the FAA considered the operational and economic advantages offered by both Castle Airport, Atwater CA. and Merced Regional/Macready Field, Merced CA., including the importance and interest to the commerce and welfare of the respective communities. The FAA made accommodations, as indicated below, in the design of the airspace.

    The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in its comments stated that the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 airspace fulfilled the requirement to ensure the lateral boundary of the Castle Airport Class D area is congruent with the beginning of controlled airspace. The FAA agrees. However, the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 airspace does not provide the airspace needed to protect aircraft on approach to Castle Airport as they descend through 1,000 feet AGL and meet FAA criteria for extensions of less than 2 miles. Thus, the Class D airspace southwest lateral boundary, within the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 area, has been expanded to coincide with the rail line and protects Castle Airport IFR arrivals. AOPA further commented, “In determining the final configuration of the Castle Airport Class D airspace, it is important the safety and operational impacts it would have on Merced Regional/Macready Field be weighed as well.” The FAA agrees all users have the public right of freedom of transit through the NAS. Accordingly, while a sincere effort was made to negotiate equitable solutions regarding the use of the NAS, preservation and safety of aviation was the primary emphasis.

    We do not agree that defining the Class D lateral boundary from the 297° bearing to the 147° bearing meets the minimum FAA criteria and provides the necessary safety for arrivals and departures from Castle Airport. This configuration would not provide adequate airspace for Castle Airport departures using the Diverse Vector Area or RWY 31 Obstacle Departure Procedure, as it would not meet FAA criteria and provide 1.8 nm either side of the track to be flown.

    The FAA did agree that modifying the Class D southwest lateral boundary to the rail line will facilitate arrivals to and departures from Merced Regional/Macready Field without affecting Castle Airport departures and allow adequate airspace for the Castle Airport arrivals to RWY 31.

    AOPA also stated that the NPRM did not comply with FAA guidance in Order JO 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, because a graphic was not included in the docket. Additionally, AOPA encouraged the FAA to follow its own guidance by making the action effective date concurrent with publication of the VFR Sectional.

    The FAA has determined AOPA's comments raised no substantive issues related to the proposed changes to the airspace addressed in the NPRM. To the extent the FAA failed to follow its policies related to publishing graphics in the docket and establishing the Class D and E airspace effective date coincidental to the sectional chart date, we note the following. The FAA provided graphics for this proposal on February 15, 2018.

    AOPA's comment concerning the FAA creating a graphical depiction of new or modified airspace overlaid on a Sectional Chart for quality assurance purposes is not correct and the requirement to include all information in the Docket does not extend to working files. During the airspace reviews, airspace graphics may be created, if deemed necessary, to determine if there are terrain issues, or if cases are considered complex; in many cases, a graphic is not needed when developing an airspace proposal. Additionally, AOPA encouraged the FAA to follow its own guidance by making the action effective date concurrent with publication of the VFR Sectional. With respect to AOPA's comment addressing effective dates, FAA Order 7400.2L, paragraph 2-3-7.a.4. states that, to the extent practicable, Class D airspace areas and restricted areas should become effective on a sectional chart date and that consideration should be given to selecting a sectional chart date that matches a 56-day enroute chart cycle date. The FAA does consider establishing effective dates for Class D and E airspace amendments so they coincide with the publication of sectional charts, to the extent practicable, but this consideration is accomplished after the NPRM comment period ends. Substantive comments received to NPRMs, flight safety concerns, management of IFR operations at affected airports, and immediacy of requiring proposed airspace amendments are some of the factors taken into consideration when selecting the appropriate effective date. After considering all factors, the FAA may determine that selecting an effective date that conforms to a 56-day enroute chart cycle date not coincidental to sectional chart dates is better for the NAS and users rather than awaiting publication of the next VFR sectional.

    Two commenters requested the boundary for Castle Airport be rotated 10-15 degrees to facilitate straight out/in departure and arrival IFR operations and maintain adequate left and right runway centerline at Merced Regional/Macready Field.

    The FAA agreed and rotated that portion of the Castle Airport Class D airspace lateral boundary outside the Merced Regional/Macready Field Airport Class E2 area, 12 degrees counterclockwise from 139° True (T) to 127° (T) and that portion within 4 nm of the Merced Regional/Macready Field Airport ARP to 114° (T), coinciding with the rail line, as previously noted. In addition, two commenters requested that Highway 99 be used for the southwest lateral boundary to leave room for straight-out departures from RWY 30 at Merced. While the FAA agrees a modification to the southwest lateral boundary is appropriate, it has opted to use the rail line .2 nm west of highway 99, as requested in six other comments. This will allow aircraft departing from Castle Airport the airspace needed to operate efficiently and safely, and Merced Regional/Macready Field departures adequate airspace to operate without having to contact the Castle Airport Traffic Control Tower adequate space for stabilized approaches, and the ability to conduct VFR practice instrument approaches without additional coordination and straight-out departures from RWY 30.

    Five commenters were concerned with the airspace directly over the city of Atwater, CA, describing it as congested and having reduced visibility due to hazy weather conditions much of the time. They were concerned with the infrastructure on the ground and identified controlled airspace as critical to the safety of its citizens.

    The FAA agrees with the concerns voiced by local governments, the area directly over the city of Atwater, CA, underlies controlled airspace beginning at 700 feet AGL. Fixed wing aircraft in this airspace must operate at or above 1000 feet above the highest obstacle, must have 3 miles of visibility, and operate 500 feet below and 1000 feet above clouds. In addition, Air Traffic Control can issue pilots in this area control instructions. However, because of the potential for Merced Regional/Macready Field VFR arrivals and departures transiting this area without establishing communications and the potential for these aircraft mixing with Castle Airport IFR arrivals and departures, the use of the Castle Airport traffic pattern, and implementation of a DVA, the lateral boundary is established at 127° in the area outside the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 area.

    Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11C, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class D and Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class D airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA.

    The airspace has been redesigned by modifying Class D airspace to within a 4.6-mile (from a 4.5-mile) radius of the airport from the airport 278° bearing clockwise to the airport 148° bearing. This modification provides additional Class D airspace south of the airport and removes Class D airspace southwest and northwest of the airport, thereby containing IFR arrival aircraft descending through 1,000 feet above the surface, and removing airspace not required for IFR operations. Also, this action removes the reference to the El Nido VOR/DME in the legal description due to its planned decommissioning as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is modified to within a 7.2-mile (from a 7-mile) radius of the airport, and removes the 23-mile extension northwest of the airport.

    Additionally, the airport's geographic coordinates are updated to match the FAA's aeronautical database for the Class D and Class E airspace areas. An editorial change is also made to the Class E surface area airspace legal description replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement”.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. AWP CA D Atwater, CA [Amended] Castle Airport, CA (Lat. 37°22′50″ N, long. 120°34′06″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface up to but not including 2,000 feet MSL within a 4.6-mile radius of Castle Airport beginning at the 278° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 114° bearing, thence northwest to the point where the 182° bearing intersects the Merced Regional/Macready Airport Class E2, thence to the point of beginning. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AWP CA E5 Atwater, CA [Amended] Castle Airport, CA (Lat. 37°22′50″ N, long. 120°34′06″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.2-mile radius of Castle Airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 19, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23476 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1092; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-27] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Class E Airspace; Merced, CA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Merced Regional/Macready Field, Merced, CA, to accommodate airspace redesign due to the decommissioning of the El Nido VHF Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation. This action also removes Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface; updates the airport name to match the FAA's aeronautical database; and replaces the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory with Chart Supplement. These actions are necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, January 3, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198-6547; telephone (206) 231-2245.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Docket FAA-2017-1092 in the Federal Register (83 FR 2574; January 18, 2018) to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Merced Regional/Macready Field, Merced, CA. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Two comments were received in support of the proposal. In their comment, AOPA stated that the NPRM did not comply with FAA guidance in Order 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, because a graphic was not included in the docket. Additionally, AOPA encouraged the FAA to follow their guidance by making the action effective date concurrent with publication of the VFR sectional chart publication date.

    The FAA has determined AOPA's comments raised no substantive issues related to the proposed changes to the airspace addressed in the NPRM. To the extent the FAA failed to follow its policies related to publishing graphics in the docket and coincidental to the sectional chart date, we note the following.

    The FAA provided graphics for this proposal on February 15, 2018. Nevertheless, specific to AOPA's comment regarding the FAA already creating a graphical depiction of new or modified airspace overlaid on a Sectional Chart for quality assurance purposes, this is not correct nor required in all cases. During the airspace reviews, airspace graphics may be created, if deemed necessary, to determine if there are terrain issues, or if cases are considered complex. However, in many cases, a graphic is not required when developing an airspace proposal.

    With respect to AOPA's comment addressing effective dates, FAA Order 7400.2L, para 2-3-7.a.4. states that, to the extent practicable, airspace areas and restricted areas should become effective on a sectional chart date and that consideration should be given to selecting a sectional chart date that matches a 56-day en route chart cycle date. The FAA does consider Class E airspace amendment effective dates to coincide with the publication of sectional charts, to the extent practicable; however, this consideration is accomplished after the NPRM comment period ends in the Final Rule. Substantive comments received to NPRMs, flight safety concerns, management of IFR operations at affected airports, and immediacy of required proposed airspace amendments are some of the factors that must be taken into consideration when selecting the appropriate effective date. After considering all factors, the FAA may determine that selecting an effective date that conforms to a 56-day en route chart cycle date that is not coincidental to sectional chart dates is better for the NAS and its users rather than awaiting the next sectional chart date.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11C, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Merced Regional/Macready Field, Merced, CA, to within a 6.6-mile (increased from a 6.1-mile) radius of the airport, and removes the segment extending southeast of the airport (2.6 miles southeast of the El Nido VOR/DME) due to the decommissioning of the navigation aid.

    Also, this action remove the Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface because it is wholly contained within the Sacramento en route airspace area.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as Surface Areas. AWP CA E2 Merced, CA [Amended] Merced Regional/Macready Field, CA (Lat. 37°17′05″ N, long. 120°30′50″ W)

    Within a 4.3-mile radius of Merced Regional/Macready Field. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AWP CA E5 Merced, CA [Amended] Merced Regional/Macready Field, CA (Lat. 37°17′05″ N, long. 120°30′ 50″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Merced Regional/Macready Field.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 19, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23478 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0464 Airspace Docket No. 18-AGL-12] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of V-97 and V-422 in the Vicinity of Chicago, IL AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies two VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airways (V-97 and V-422) in the vicinity of Chicago, IL. The FAA is taking this action due to the planned decommissioning of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) navigation aid, which provides navigation guidance for portions of the affected Air Traffic Service (ATS) routes.

    DATES:

    Effective date 0901 UTC, January 3, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1 Code of Federal Regulations part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register for Docket No. FAA-2018-0464 (83 FR 24436; May 29, 2018), to amend VOR Federal airways V-97 and V-422 due to the planned decommissioning of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. No comments were received.

    The NPRM stated that the Chicago O'Hare VOR/DME is being decommissioned to facilitate the construction of a new runway at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. In the 2005 Record of Decision (ROD) for the O'Hare Modernization Program and the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the FAA had planned to move the VOR to allow for the construction of a new runway. Subsequent to that ROD, the FAA initiated a plan for reducing the number of VORs.

    On December 15, 2011, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed policy and request for comments (76 FR 77939) on the FAA's proposed strategy for gradually reducing the current VOR network to a Minimum Operational Network (MON) as the National Airspace System (NAS) transitions to performance-based navigation (PBN) as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The FAA reviewed all comments received and on August 21, 2012, published in the Federal Register the disposition of the comments on the notice of proposed policy (77 FR 50420). In considering and disposing of the comments, the FAA noted that it would develop an initial VOR MON Plan which would be made publicly available.

    On July 26, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register the VOR MON final policy statement (81 FR 48694) announcing the discontinuance selection criteria and candidate list of VOR navigational aids targeted for discontinuance as part of the VOR MON Implementation Program and NAS Efficient Streamline Services Initiative. This action is part of that national strategy.

    VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) of FAA Order 7400.11C dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The VOR Federal airways listed in this document would be subsequently published in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying the descriptions of VOR Federal airways V-97 and V-422. The planned decommissioning of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME has made these actions necessary. The VOR Federal airway changes are described below.

    V-97: V-97 extends between the Dolphin, FL, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) and the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME 127° radials (BEBEE fix), and between the intersection of the Northbrook, IL, VOR/DME 291° and Janesville, WI, VOR/DME 112° radials (KRENA fix) and the Gopher, MN, VORTAC. The airspace below 2,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) outside the United States is excluded. The airway segment between the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and DuPage, IL, VOR/DME 101° radials (NILES fix) and the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME 127° radials (BEBEE fix) is removed. Also, the KRENA fix is redefined in its existing location using the intersection of the DuPage, IL, VOR/DME 347° and Janesville, WI, VOR/DME 112° radials. The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

    V-422: V-422 extends between the intersection of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME 127° and Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° radials (BEBEE fix) and the Flag City, OH, VORTAC. The airway segment between the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME 127° radials (BEBEE fix) and the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and DuPage, IL, VOR/DME 101° radials (NILES fix) is removed. The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

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

    Additionally, a minor editorial correction is made to the V-97 airway description to correct the state abbreviation for the Cincinnati, KY, VORTAC. The “Cincinnati, OH” airway point listed is changed to “Cincinnati, KY”.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action of modifying VOR Federal airways V-97 and V-422 near Chicago, IL, qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 1500, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, paragraph 5-6.5a, which categorically excludes from further environmental impact review rulemaking actions that designate or modify classes of airspace areas, airways, routes, and reporting points (see 14 CFR part 71, Designation of Class A, B, C, D, and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points). As such, this action is not expected to result in any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, the FAA has reviewed this action for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis. The FAA has determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact study.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018 and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6010(a) Domestic VOR Federal Airways V-97 [Amended]

    From Dolphin, FL; La Belle, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Seminole, FL; Pecan, GA; Atlanta, GA; INT Atlanta 001° and Volunteer, TN, 197° radials; Volunteer; London, KY; Lexington, KY; Cincinnati, KY; Shelbyville, IN; INT Shelbyville 313° and Boiler, IN, 136° radials; Boiler; Chicago Heights, IL; to INT Chicago Heights 358° and DuPage, IL, 101° radials. From INT DuPage, IL, 347° and Janesville, WI, 112° radials; Janesville; Lone Rock, WI; Nodine, MN; to Gopher, MN. The airspace below 2,000 feet MSL outside the United States is excluded.

    V-422 [Amended]

    From INT DuPage, IL, 101° and Chicago Heights, IL, 358° radials; Chicago Heights; INT Chicago Heights 117° and Knox, IN, 276° radials; Knox; Webster Lake, IN; INT Webster Lake 097° and Flag City, OH, 289° radials; to Flag City.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 24, 2018. Rodger A. Dean Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23564 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0230; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-26] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes in the Vicinity of Chicago, IL AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies two VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airways (V-217 and V-228) in the vicinity of the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, IL. The FAA is taking this action due to the planned decommissioning of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) navigation aid (NAVAID), which provides navigation guidance for portions of the affected ATS routes.

    DATES:

    Effective date 0901 UTC, January 3, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1 Code of Federal Regulations part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register for Docket No. FAA-2018-0230 (83 FR 17327; April 19, 2018) to amend VOR Federal airways V-217 and V-228 due to the planned decommissioning of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. One substantive comment was received.

    The commenter stated that based on the current navigation maps it appeared the proposed change/modification had already taken place since there were no airways connected to the Chicago O'Hare VOR. Additionally, the commenter shared that V-228 was defined by the Northbrook VOR and that the proposed change/modification was confusing since the proposed rule was scheduled to take place in June 2018, but it was their understanding that the route(s) had already changed. The commenter also stated they found the proposed regulation to be accurate and useful since space-based global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are replacing VORs and other ground-based systems.

    In response, the FAA offers the following. Review of the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Enroute Low Altitude Chart showing the Chicago terminal area does reflect there are no VOR Federal airways connected to the Chicago O'Hare VOR; however, that lack of airways is pre-existing and not the result of this proposed rulemaking action. The commenter is correct that V-228 uses the Northbrook VOR in its description, but the V-228 airway segment proposed for amendment was the portion between the BESIE fix and FARMM fix, which is defined using the Chicago O'Hare VOR 316°(T)/314°(M) radial and is located northwest of the Northbrook VOR. Lastly, the commenter's confusion that the proposed rule was scheduled to take place in June 2018 was a simple misunderstanding that the June 4, 2018, date listed in the NPRM identified the end of the public comment period, not the effective date of the proposed amendments.

    The NPRM stated that the Chicago O'Hare VOR/DME is being decommissioned to facilitate the construction of a new runway at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. In the 2005 Record of Decision (ROD) for the O'Hare Modernization Program and the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the FAA had planned to move the VOR to allow for the construction of a new runway. Subsequent to that ROD, the FAA initiated a plan for reducing the number of VORs.

    On December 15, 2011, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed policy and request for comments (76 FR 77939) on the FAA's proposed strategy for gradually reducing the current VOR network to a Minimum Operational Network (MON) as the National Airspace System (NAS) transitions to performance-based navigation (PBN) as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The FAA reviewed all comments received and on August 21, 2012, published in the Federal Register the disposition of the comments on the notice of proposed policy (77 FR 50420). In considering and disposing of the comments, the FAA noted that it would develop an initial VOR MON Plan which would be made publicly available.

    On July 26, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register the VOR MON final policy statement (81 FR 48694) announcing the discontinuance selection criteria and candidate list of VOR navigational aids targeted for discontinuance as part of the VOR MON Implementation Program and NAS Efficient Streamline Services Initiative. This action is part of that national strategy.

    VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) of FAA Order 7400.11C dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The VOR Federal airways listed in this document would be subsequently published in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying the descriptions of VOR Federal airways V-217 and V-228 due to the planned decommissioning of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, VOR/DME. The VOR Federal airway changes are described below.

    V-217: V-217 extends between the intersection of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, 316°/DuPage, IL, 359° and Northbrook, IL, 291° radials (FARMM fix) and the Winnipeg, MB, Canada, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC). The airway segment between the intersection of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, 316°/DuPage, IL, 359° and Northbrook, IL, 291° radials (FARMM fix) and the intersection of the Chicago O'Hare 316° and Badger, WI, 193° radials (BESIE fix) is removed. Additionally, the BESIE fix is amended in the airway description to describe it as the intersection of the Madison, WI, 138° and the Badger, WI, 193° radials, and the spelling of the Winnipeg VORTAC name is corrected from “Winnepeg” to “Winnipeg.” The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

    V-228: V-228 extends between the Dells, WI, VORTAC and the Gipper, MI, VORTAC. The airway segment between the intersection of the Madison, WI, 138° and Chicago O'Hare, IL, 316° radials (BESIE fix) and the intersection of the Chicago O'Hare, IL, 316° and Northbrook, IL, 291° radials (FARMM fix) is removed. Additionally, the BESIE fix is amended in the airway description to describe it as the intersection of the Madison, WI, 138° and the Badger, WI, 193° radials, and the FARMM fix will be amended in the airway description to describe it as the intersection of the DuPage, IL, 359° and the Northbrook, IL, 291° radial. The unaffected portions of the existing airway remain as charted.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action of modifying VOR Federal airways V-217 and V-228 near the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, IL, qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 1500, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, Paragraph 5-6.5a, which categorically excludes from further environmental impact review rulemaking actions that designate or modify classes of airspace areas, airways, routes, and reporting points (see 14 CFR part 71, Designation of Class A, B, C, D, and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points). As such, this action is not expected to result in any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, the FAA has reviewed this action for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis. The FAA has determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact study.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018 and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6010(a) Domestic VOR Federal Airways. V-217 [Amended]

    From INT Madison, WI, 138° and Badger, WI, 193° radials; Badger; Green Bay, WI; Rhinelander, WI; Duluth, MN; Hibbing, MN; Baudette, MN; INT Baudette 313° and Winnipeg, MB, Canada, 117° radials; to Winnipeg. The airspace within Canada is excluded. In addition, the portion of this airway that lies within the Beaver MOA is excluded when the Beaver MOA is active.

    V-228 [Amended]

    From Dells, WI; Madison, WI; to INT Madison 138° and Badger, WI, 193° radials. From INT DuPage, IL, 359° and Northbrook, IL, 291° radials; Northbrook; INT Northbrook 110° and Gipper, MI, 290° radials; to Gipper.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 24, 2018. Rodger A. Dean Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23562 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31217; Amdt. No. 3821] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 29, 2018. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 29, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) Telephone: (405) 954-4164.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

    The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

    Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

    Air Traffic control, airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 5, 2018. Rick Domingo, Executive Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 8 November 2018 Noatak, AK, Noatak, NDB/DME RWY 1, Amdt 2, CANCELED Noatak, AK, Noatak, RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Orig Noatak, AK, Noatak, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig Noatak, AK, Noatak, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Nome, AK, Nome, ILS Y OR LOC Y RWY 28, Amdt 4B Perryville, AK, Perryville, CILAC THREE, Graphic DP Perryville, AK, Perryville, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 1 Perryville, AK, Perryville, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Casa Grande, AZ, Casa Grande Muni, ILS OR LOC RWY 5, Amdt 7A Grass Valley, CA, Nevada County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig-B Monterey, CA, Monterey Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 10R, Amdt 29 Mountain View, CA, Moffett Federal AFLD, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32L, Orig-A San Francisco, CA, San Francisco Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 28L, ILS RWY 28L (SA CAT II), Amdt 27 Fort Myers, FL, Page Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 5A Pompano Beach, FL, Pompano Beach Airpark, LOC RWY 15, Amdt 5 Pompano Beach, FL, Pompano Beach Airpark, RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1A Atlanta, GA, Fulton County Airport-Brown Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 8 Hazlehurst, GA, Hazlehurst, NDB RWY 14, Amdt 5 Hazlehurst, GA, Hazlehurst, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1 Pittsfield, IL, Pittsfield Penstone Muni, VOR RWY 13, Amdt 4A Richmond, IN, Richmond Muni, ILS OR LOC RWY 24, Amdt 2 Richmond, IN, Richmond Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 1 Richmond, IN, Richmond Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1 Richmond, IN, Richmond Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1 Oscoda, MI, Oscoda-Wurtsmith, ILS OR LOC RWY 25, Amdt 4 Oscoda, MI, Oscoda-Wurtsmith, RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 1A Oscoda, MI, Oscoda-Wurtsmith, RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Orig-A Oscoda, MI, Oscoda-Wurtsmith, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig-A Oscoda, MI, Oscoda-Wurtsmith, VOR RWY 6, Amdt 1, CANCELED Maple Lake, MN, Maple Lake Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Orig-B, CANCELED Thief River Falls, MN, Thief River Falls Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 31, Amdt 5 Sikeston, MO, Sikeston Memorial Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 2 Sikeston, MO, Sikeston Memorial Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Amdt 3 Sikeston, MO, Sikeston Memorial Muni, VOR RWY 20, Amdt 4A, CANCELED Tupelo, MS, Tupelo Rgnl, COPTER VOR 023, Orig-A Tupelo, MS, Tupelo Rgnl, VOR RWY 18, Amdt 1B Mount Airy, NC, Mount Airy/Surry County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Mount Airy, NC, Mount Airy/Surry County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1 Raleigh/Durham, NC, Raleigh-Durham Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 5R, ILS RWY 5R SA CAT I, ILS RWY 5R SA CAT II, Amdt 30 Wilson, NC, Wilson Industrial Air Center, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 2 Wilson, NC, Wilson Industrial Air Center, RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Amdt 1 Wilson, NC, Wilson Industrial Air Center, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Glen Ullin, ND, Glen Ullin Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Orig Glen Ullin, ND, Glen Ullin Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Buffalo, NY, Buffalo Niagara Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 2B Cleveland, OH, Cuyahoga County, ILS OR LOC RWY 24, Amdt 16 Cleveland, OH, Cuyahoga County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 2 Cleveland, OH, Cuyahoga County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 2 Cleveland, OH, Cuyahoga County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Salem, OR, McNary Fld, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig Waynesburg, PA, Greene County, COPTER RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig-A Columbia, SC, Columbia Metropolitan, ILS OR LOC RWY 5, Amdt 1E Spearfish, SD, Black Hills-Clyde Ice Field, SWUNG ONE, Graphic DP Dallas, TX, Dallas Executive, ILS OR LOC RWY 31, Amdt 9 Dallas, TX, Dallas Executive, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1 Burlington, VT, Burlington Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Amdt 1B Burlington, VT, Burlington Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 33, Orig-B Burlington, VT, Burlington Intl, VOR RWY 1, Orig-A Rutland, VT, Rutland—Southern Vermont Rgnl, ILS Y OR LOC Y RWY 19, Amdt 1 Rutland, VT, Rutland—Southern Vermont Rgnl, ILS Z OR LOC Z RWY 19, Amdt 1 Rutland, VT, Rutland—Southern Vermont Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 19, Amdt 3 Rutland, VT, Rutland—Southern Vermont Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 19, Amdt 1 Rutland, VT, Rutland—Southern Vermont Rgnl, VOR/DME RWY 1, Amdt 1A, CANCELED Puyallup, WA, Pierce County—Thun Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3 Fort Atkinson, WI, Fort Atkinson Muni, VOR-A, Amdt 1 Racine, WI, Batten Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 4, Amdt 6

    Rescinded: On September 11, 2018 (83 FR 45822), the FAA published an Amendment in Docket No. 31211, Amdt No. 3815, to Part 97 of the Federal Aviation Regulations under section 97.20, and 97.37. The following entries for Brevig Mission, AK, effective November 8, 2018, are hereby rescinded in their entirety:

    Brevig Mission, AK, Brevig Mission, BREVIG TWO, Graphic DP Brevig Mission, AK, Brevig Mission, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig-A

    Rescinded: On September 25, 2018 (83 FR 48368), the FAA published an Amendment in Docket No. 31213, Amdt No. 3817, to Part 97 of the Federal Aviation Regulations under section 97.33, and 97.37. The following entries for Reedley, CA, effective November 8, 2018, are hereby rescinded in their entirety:

    Reedley, CA, Reedley Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig Reedley, CA, Reedley Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig Reedley, CA, Reedley Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig
    [FR Doc. 2018-23143 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31218; Amdt. No. 3822] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 29, 2018. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 29, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matter incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001;

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center online at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420)Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082 Oklahoma City, OK 73125) telephone: (405) 954-4164.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This rule amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) by amending the referenced SIAPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP is listed on the appropriate FAA Form 8260, as modified by the National Flight Data Center (NFDC)/Permanent Notice to Airmen (P-NOTAM), and is incorporated by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR 97.20. The large number of SIAPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make their verbatim publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, but refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP contained on FAA form documents is unnecessary.

    This amendment provides the affected CFR sections, and specifies the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as amended in the transmittal. For safety and timeliness of change considerations, this amendment incorporates only specific changes contained for each SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as modified by FDC permanent NOTAMs.

    The SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, as modified by FDC permanent NOTAM, and contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these changes to SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied only to specific conditions existing at the affected airports. All SIAP amendments in this rule have been previously issued by the FAA in a FDC NOTAM as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for these SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments require making them effective in less than 30 days.

    Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making these SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 5, 2018.

    Rick Domingo, Executive Director, Flight Standards Service.
    Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal regulations, Part 97, (14 CFR part 97), is amended by amending Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:

    By amending: § 97.23 VOR, VOR/DME, VOR or TACAN, and VOR/DME or TACAN; § 97.25 LOC, LOC/DME, LDA, LDA/DME, SDF, SDF/DME; § 97.27 NDB, NDB/DME; § 97.29 ILS, ILS/DME, MLS, MLS/DME, MLS/RNAV; § 97.31 RADAR SIAPs; § 97.33 RNAV SIAPs; and § 97.35 COPTER SIAPs, Identified as follows:

    . . . Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC number FDC date Subject 8-Nov-18 SC Pelion Lexington County at Pelion 8/0168 9/19/18 VOR-A, Amdt 3. 8-Nov-18 SC Pelion Lexington County at Pelion 8/0169 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Orig-A. 8-Nov-18 SC Pelion Lexington County at Pelion 8/0170 9/19/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig. 8-Nov-18 SC Pelion Lexington County at Pelion 8/0171 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-A. 8-Nov-18 IN Crawfordsville Crawfordsville Muni 8/0181 9/19/18 NDB RWY 4, Amdt 6. 8-Nov-18 IN Crawfordsville Crawfordsville Muni 8/0182 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1A. 8-Nov-18 IN Crawfordsville Crawfordsville Muni 8/0185 9/19/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1. 8-Nov-18 IN Crawfordsville Crawfordsville Muni 8/0188 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 1. 8-Nov-18 MI Hancock Houghton County Memorial 8/0388 9/19/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3. 8-Nov-18 MT Baker Baker Muni 8/0538 9/24/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig. 8-Nov-18 MN Fosston Fosston Muni 8/0668 9/19/18 NDB RWY 34, Amdt 4A. 8-Nov-18 MN Fosston Fosston Muni 8/0669 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig-C. 8-Nov-18 DE Dover/Cheswold Delaware Airpark 8/0679 9/12/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig. 8-Nov-18 DE Dover/Cheswold Delaware Airpark 8/0683 9/12/18 VOR RWY 27, Orig-A. 8-Nov-18 MI Ionia Ionia County 8/1085 9/19/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig. 8-Nov-18 MN Fosston Fosston Muni 8/1258 9/19/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2. 8-Nov-18 WY Rock Springs Rock Springs-Sweetwater County 8/1580 9/19/18 VOR/DME RWY 27, Amdt 2. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1800 10/1/18 VOR OR TACAN-B, Amdt 6. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1802 10/1/18 ILS OR LOC RWY 5, Amdt 14. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1803 10/1/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1804 10/1/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1805 10/1/18 VOR/DME OR TACAN-A, Amdt 4A. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1806 10/1/18 NDB-C, Amdt 6B. 8-Nov-18 AS Pago Pago Pago Pago Intl 8/1821 10/1/18 VOR-D, Amdt 6A. 8-Nov-18 GA Atlanta Hartsfield—Jackson Atlanta Intl 8/1834 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8R, Amdt 4. 8-Nov-18 GA Atlanta Hartsfield—Jackson Atlanta Intl 8/1837 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) PRM RWY 8R (Simultaneous Close Parallel), Orig. 8-Nov-18 AZ Goodyear Phoenix Goodyear 8/2535 9/27/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 1. 8-Nov-18 WI Rice Lake Rice Lake Rgnl—Carl's Field 8/4583 9/24/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig. 8-Nov-18 CO Denver Centennial 8/5680 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1B. 8-Nov-18 DE Dover/Cheswold Delaware Airpark 8/5855 9/24/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig. 8-Nov-18 MI Sault Ste Marie Sault Ste Marie Muni/Sanderson Field 8/6503 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A. 8-Nov-18 MI Sault Ste Marie Sault Ste Marie Muni/Sanderson Field 8/6505 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-A. 8-Nov-18 MI Sault Ste Marie Sault Ste Marie Muni/Sanderson Field 8/6506 9/19/18 VOR RWY 32, Amdt 3A. 8-Nov-18 AZ Casa Grande Casa Grande Muni 8/6795 9/24/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Amdt 1. 8-Nov-18 TX Laredo Laredo Intl 8/7275 9/27/18 Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4A. 8-Nov-18 ME Fryeburg Eastern Slopes Rgnl 8/8037 9/27/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 1. 8-Nov-18 AR Mountain Home Baxter County 8/8475 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-B. 8-Nov-18 AR Mountain Home Baxter County 8/8478 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig. 8-Nov-18 MN Fosston Fosston Muni 8/8483 9/19/18 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig-C.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23142 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0181] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth-Superior Harbor, MN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge for vessels under 300 gross tons. The City of Duluth has requested that the current summer bridge schedule (Memorial Day to Labor Day) be extended to include the spring and fall.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-2018-0181 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Lee D. Soule, Bridge Management Specialist, Ninth Coast Guard District; telephone 216-902-6085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register IGLD85 International Great Lakes Datum of 1985 LWD Low Water Datum based on IGLD85 OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On August 3, 2018, we published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth-Superior Harbor, MN in the Federal Register (83 FR 38099). We did not receive any comments on this rule.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499. The Duluth Aerial Bridge is located 0.25 miles from Duluth Harbor North Pier Light at the lakeward end of the Duluth Ship Canal. It is a vertical lift type bridge that provides 15 feet of vertical clearance in the down position and up to 141 feet in the open position. Currently the bridge opens on signal except that, from the Friday before Memorial Day through the Tuesday after Labor Day each year, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week, the drawbridge opens on the hour and half-hour for vessels under 300 gross tons, if needed; and the bridge will open on signal for all vessels from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., seven days a week, and at all times for Federal, state, and local government vessels, vessels in distress, commercial vessels engaged in rescue or emergency salvage operations, commercial-assist towing vessels engaged in towing or port operations, vessels engaged in pilot duties, vessels seeking shelter from severe weather, and all commercial vessels 300 gross tons or greater. From January 1 through March 15, the draw opens on signal if at least 12 hour notice is given.

    The City of Duluth, operator of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, has requested that the current schedule be extended to include the spring and fall. This is due to increased traffic and community growth in the region.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard provided a comment period of 30 days and no comments were received. The regulation only affects recreational vessels and commercial vessels under 300 gross tons. The drawbridge will continue to open at all times for commercial vessels over 300 gross tons. The only change to the regulation will be to extend the dates of the scheduled bridge openings from the Friday before Memorial Day through the Tuesday after Labor Day to March 16 through December 31 each year.

    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 protesters.

    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, it 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 expected improvement to all modes of traffic using the drawbridge, and the proven improvement realized by the previous change to the bridge schedule implemented in the last rulemaking.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard did not receive any comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. 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 bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this final rule would 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, above.

    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 calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this 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.

    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 Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.661 to read as follows:
    § 117.661 Duluth Ship Canal (Duluth-Superior Harbor).

    The draw of the Duluth Ship Canal Aerial bridge, mile 0.25 at Duluth, shall open on signal; except that, from March 16 through December 31, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week, the drawbridge shall open on the hour and half-hour for vessels under 300 gross tons, if needed; and the bridge will open on signal for all vessels from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., seven days a week, and at all times for Federal, state, and local government vessels, vessels in distress, commercial vessels engaged in rescue or emergency salvage operations, commercial-assist towing vessels engaged in towing or port operations, vessels engaged in pilot duties, vessels seeking shelter from severe weather, and all commercial vessels 300 gross tons or greater. From January 1 through March 15, the draw shall open on signal if at least 12 hour notice is given. The opening signal is one prolonged blast, one short blast, one prolonged blast, one short blast. If the drawbridge is disabled, the bridge authorities shall give incoming and outgoing vessels timely and dependable notice, by tug service if necessary, so that the vessels do not attempt to enter the canal.

    Dated: October 22, 2018. J.M. Nunan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23504 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG 2018-0473] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Anacostia River, Washington, DC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the existing drawbridge operating regulation for the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge across Anacostia River, mile 1.2, in Washington, DC. The modified rule allows the existing drawbridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position, and is necessary to accommodate the construction of a new fixed bridge on an alignment 18 feet south of the existing drawbridge, and the removal of the existing drawbridge.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-2018-0473 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Martin A. Bridges, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpb), at (757) 398-6422, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On February 2, 2018, we published a notice of temporary deviation from drawbridge regulation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Anacostia River, Washington, DC,” in the Federal Register (83 FR 4845). The temporary deviation was necessary to accommodate the construction and replacement of the existing Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge with a fixed bridge on an alignment 18 feet south of the existing drawbridge. This temporary deviation allowed the existing drawbridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during construction of the new fixed bridge and was effective from 6 a.m. on February 2, 2018, through 6 a.m. on August 1, 2018.

    On June 25, 2018, the Coast Guard published a notice of public rule making entitled Drawbridge Regulation, Anacostia River, Washington, DC, in the Federal Register (83 FR 32602). We received no comments on this rule.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C 499. The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge across the Anacostia River, mile 1.2, in Washington, DC has a vertical clearance of 40 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and unlimited clearance in the open-to-navigation position. The current operating regulation is published in 33 CFR 117.253 (a).

    On December 4, 2017, the Coast Guard signed Bridge Permit (2-17-5) authorizing the replacement of the existing drawbridge with a fixed bridge with a vertical clearance of 42 feet above mean high water on an alignment 18 feet south of the existing drawbridge. Issuance of the bridge permit followed a multi-year process involving completion of an environmental impact statement, Coast Guard Record of Decision, and a navigation impact report; public meetings held on March 4, 2008, April 28, 2011, July 30, 2013, May 5, 2014, and January 22, 2015; publishing of a preliminary public notice for navigation on November 4, 2013, and public notice for the bridge permit application on October 20, 2017.

    This modification of the operating regulation of the existing drawbridge is designed to mitigate vehicular congestion, maintain public safety, and provide for safe and effective bridge construction and removal, while also meeting the existing and future needs of navigation. The District Department of Transportation, owner and operator of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, requested this change in the operating regulation. Given the small difference in vertical clearances above mean high water between the existing drawbridge at 40 feet and new fixed bridge at 42 feet, placing the existing drawbridge in the closed-to-navigation position will not restrict present navigation from transiting through the bridge. There have been no requests for an opening of the existing drawbridge aside from vessels engaged in bridge construction and removal since the temporary deviation published on February 2, 2018.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard provided a comment period of 30 days and no comments were received. No changes were made in the regulatory text between the NPRM and this final rule.

    V. Regulatory Analysis

    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 protesters.

    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, it 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 is not considered a significant regulatory action. This determination is based on the findings that: (1) The potential impact is small, given the limited number of vessels that required a bridge opening over the past 10 years, including zero requests since 2013; (2) the small difference in vertical clearances above mean high water between the existing drawbridge at 40 feet and the new fixed bridge at 42 feet; and (3) vessels will be able to transit through the drawbridge following removal of the draw span, after the new bridge opens to vehicular traffic.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received zero comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. 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 bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

    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 calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this 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. We received zero comments concerning this section of this rule.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.253 (a) to read as follows:
    § 117.253 Anacostia River.

    (a) The draw of the Frederick Douglass Memorial (South Capitol Street) bridge, mile 1.2, need not be opened for the passage of vessels.

    Dated: October 15, 2018. K.M. Smith, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23598 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0110] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is temporarily modifying the operating schedule that governs the PATH Bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey. This action is necessary to allow for an unexpected delay in the replacement of rails and timbers across the length of the span of the bridge. This temporary final rule is necessary to allow the bridge owner to complete the remaining replacements and repairs.

    DATES:

    This temporary final rule is effective from October 29, 2018 through 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0110 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this interim rule, call or email Judy Leung-Yee, Bridge Management Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 212-514-4336, email [email protected]

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

    On April 2, 2018, we published a temporary deviation entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, New Jersey” in the Federal Register (83 FR 13865). Outreach conducted with mariners utilizing the waterway indicated no objections to the temporary deviation. No complaints have been submitted during the current temporary deviation. This deviation allowed the bridge to remain in the closed to navigation position on 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 12:01 a.m. on Monday from March 31, 2018, to September 26, 2018, to facilitate the replacement of rails and timbers across the length of the span of the bridge.

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final 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), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. Due to unanticipated severe weather delays impacting the schedule and pace of replacement of rails and timbers across the length of the span of the bridge, additional time is required to finalize and complete the work necessary to restore the bridge to full operation. We must modify the operation schedule of the bridge by date of publication, to allow the bridge owner to perform remaining work items. Delaying the effective date of this temporary final rule would be impracticable because it would delay repairs to the bridge and efforts to restore it to full operation.

    We are issuing this temporary final rule and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), and for the reasons stated above, the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this temporary final rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest given that need to complete repairs to the bridge which are already underway and preventing full operation

    III. Legal Authority and Need for the Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499. The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the PATH Bridge across Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey. The PATH Bridge is a vertical lift bridge offering mariners a vertical clearance of 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water in the closed position.

    The existing drawbridge regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.723(b). The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation, the bridge owner, has requested this modification as additional time is required to perform the replacement of rails and timbers as described above.

    The waterway is transited by recreational and commercial vessels. Coordination with known waterway users has indicated no objection to the closure of the draw. Vessels able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies. There is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule, which permits a deviation from the operating schedule that governs the PATH Bridge across Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey. The draw shall open on signal provided at least a two-hour advance notice is provided by calling the number posted at the bridge. However, the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 12:01 a.m. Monday.

    Weekdays additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m. provided at least a two-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

    The rule is necessary to accommodate the completion of replacement of rails and timbers across the length of the span of the bridge

    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 protesters.

    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, it 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 historically low volume of vessel traffic during the period of this rule, and that vessel traffic able to pass under the bridge in the closed position will be able to safely transit. For the weekends between date of publication and December 31, there were six bridge openings in 2016 and one bridge opening in 2017.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    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 calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this 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.

    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 Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. From 12:01 a.m. on date of publication, through 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2018, in § 117.723, suspend paragraph (b) and temporarily add paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    § 117.723 Hackensack River.

    (k) The draw of the PATH Bridge, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, shall open on signal provided at least a two-hour advance notice is provided by calling the number posted at the bridge. The draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 12:01 a.m. Monday. Weekdays additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m. provided at least a two-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

    Dated: October 12, 2018. A.J. Tiongson, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23596 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 4 RIN 2900-AO19 Schedule for Rating Disabilities: The Hematologic and Lymphatic Systems AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document amends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) by revising the section of the Rating Schedule that addresses the hematologic and lymphatic systems. This action will ensure VA uses current medical terminology and provides detailed and updated criteria for evaluating conditions pertaining to the hematologic and lymphatic systems.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 9, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ioulia Vvedenskaya, M.D., M.B.A., Medical Officer, Part 4 VASRD Regulations Staff (211C), Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9700. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    VA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 80 FR 46888 on August 6, 2015, to amend the portion of the VASRD dealing with the hematologic and lymphatic systems. VA provided a 60-day public comment period and invited interested persons to submit written comments, suggestions, or objections on or before October 5, 2015. VA received 11 comments.

    I. Purpose of the Final Rule

    VA revises the section of the VASRD that addresses the hematologic and lymphatic systems. This final rule updates medical terminology, adds certain hematologic diseases, and provides detailed and updated criteria for evaluating conditions pertaining to the hematologic and lymphatic systems.

    II. Technical Corrections

    In the proposed rule, VA proposed a new diagnostic code (DC) 7720, Iron deficiency anemia. In its review of the final rule, VA realized that the proposed text for 10 percent disability rating contained an error. Namely, VA required continuous treatment with high-dose oral supplementation for a 10 percent disability rating, rather than intravenous iron infusions at least 1 time but less than 4 times per 12-month period, or continuous treatment with oral supplementation. This document corrects this error by amending the proposed text to read as follows: “Requiring intravenous iron infusions at least 1 time but less than 4 times per 12-month period, or requiring continuous treatment with oral supplementation.” The proposed rule specified that a zero-percent rating would be warranted if the condition is asymptomatic or treatable by dietary restrictions only. Implicit in the proposed rule was the premise that, if the condition requires intravenous treatment less often than required for a 30-percent rating, then a 10 percent rating would be warranted. This final rule makes that premise explicit in DC 7720.

    In the proposed rule, VA introduced amended criteria for the 100 percent evaluation in DC 7702 based on the requirement for bone marrow transplant or infections recurring at least once every six weeks per 12-month period. Upon further review, VA inadvertently omitted a semicolon between these two criteria, which could lead to confusion as to the application of the 100 percent criteria. To clarify that these two criteria are separate and distinct and that only one is required to establish a 100 percent evaluation, VA is inserting a semicolon after “transplant”;

    In the proposed rule, VA introduced criteria for DCs 7714, 7720, 7723, and 7725 which measured the occurrence of infections (7725), painful episodes (7714), transfusions (7725), infusions (7720), or medication usage (7723) based on the “average” number of episodes per 12-month period. Upon further review, VA determined that including “average” in calculating the number of episodes required by the given criteria will result in unclear guidance and inconsistent application of the VASRD, in direct conflict with one of the stated goals of the VASRD revisions. Additionally, references to the average number of episodes per 12-month period might suggest that evaluations should in all instances be based on the average frequency of the episodes over an unspecified number of years. Although VA must evaluate conditions “in relation to [their] history,” 38 CFR 4.1, there may be instances where there has been a discernible change in the severity of a condition and it is more appropriate to evaluate the disability primarily on current manifestations than on an average of the manifestations over a number of prior years. Accordingly, to increase consistency in the application of the criteria, promote clarity in the requirements for each evaluation level, and to ensure that evaluations may reflect changes in a condition's severity and the frequency of episodes, VA will remove the reference to “average” from the criteria in DCs 7714, 7720, 7723, and 7725 and replace it with a quantifiable range at each criteria level. This change to the language does not result to any substantive changes to the criteria in the identified DCs.

    Additionally, in DC 7705, VA inadvertently omitted semicolons between these distinct criteria in the 100, 70, and 0 percent evaluations, which could lead to confusion as to the application of these evaluation levels. To reiterate and clarify that the criteria in these evaluation levels are separate and distinct, and that only one is required to establish a given evaluation, VA is inserting a semicolon between the criteria for clarification purposes. No substantive change to the evaluation criteria results from this change.

    In the proposed rule, VA introduced several changes to DC 7704, Polycythemia vera, including a revision for a 30 percent disability rating. Namely, for a 30 percent disability rating, VA required phlebotomy 4-5 times per 12-month period or continuous biologic therapy or myelosuppressive agents to maintain platelets <200,000 or white blood cells (WBC) <12,000. VA would like to clarify that myelosuppressive agents, which are used to maintain platelets <200,000 or white blood cells (WBC) <12,000, include interferon. This document includes this clarification by amending the proposed text to read as follows: “Requiring phlebotomy 4-5 times per 12-month period, or if requiring continuous biologic therapy or myelosuppressive agents, to include interferon, to maintain platelets <200,000 or white blood cells (WBC) <12,000.” VA also makes a clarifying change in the proposed text for 60 percent disability amending the reference to “targeted agents such as imatinib or ruxolitinib” to “molecularly targeted therapy,” which includes imatinib, ruxolitinib, and other agents. Upon further review, VA has determined that including the “chemotherapy” reference in the evaluation criteria at both the 60 percent and 100 percent levels in the proposed rule would create a conflict such that the criteria could not be applied consistently and accurately, potentially resulting in over- and under-evaluation. Accordingly, to increase consistency in the application of the criteria, promote clarity in the requirements for each evaluation level, and to ensure the VASRD criteria do not conflict with the guidance set forth in Note 3, VA will remove the reference to “chemotherapy” from the criteria in proposed DC 7704 for the 60 percent rating criteria. Because the requirement for chemotherapy supports a 100 percent rating, this change to the criteria for the lower 60 percent rating will not affect any claims but will eliminate potential confusion. Additionally, VA made an editorial change to the proposed language. Namely, VA clarified the 60 percent disability rating criteria to read as follows: “Requiring phlebotomy 6 or more times per 12-month period or molecularly targeted therapy for the purpose of controlling RBC count.” This change to the language does not result in any substantive changes to the criteria in the identified DC.

    VA also corrects the spelling of “myelosuppressive,” which was misspelled in the proposed regulatory text.

    Additionally, VA realized that the proposed text for 10 percent disability rating under DC 7704 contained a grammatical error that would have made the rule more confusing and difficult to apply than VA intended. Namely, VA identified a 10 percent disability rating in the proposed rule as: “Requiring phlebotomy, biologic therapy, or interferon on an intermittent basis, as needed, 3 or fewer times per 12-month period.” VA did not intend to apply two different frequency standards—i.e., “on an intermittent basis” and “3 or fewer times per 12-month period”—to the same events, but the proposed text could suggest that both standards apply to each of the listed events. Rather, consistent with the requirements for the 60 percent and 30 percent ratings, VA intended that the “3 or fewer times per 12-month period” requirement would apply only to phlebotomy, and that the “on an intermittent basis” requirement would apply to the other listed treatments. In order to increase consistency in the application of the criteria and promote clarity in the requirements for each evaluation level, VA has included additional reference to the outcome of the treatment for polycythemia vera for 10 percent and 100 percent evaluation levels. This document corrects the above-referenced grammatical error and includes additional guidance by amending the proposed text for 10 percent evaluation to read as follows: “Requiring phlebotomy 3 or fewer times per 12-month period or if requiring biologic therapy or interferon on an intermittent basis as needed to maintain all blood levels at reference range levels.” Additionally, VA amends the proposed text for 100 percent evaluation to read as follows: “Requiring peripheral blood or bone marrow stem-cell transplant or chemotherapy (including myelosuppressants) for the purpose of ameliorating the symptom burden.”

    In the proposed rule, VA proposed several changes to DC 7705, including criteria based on platelet counts. VA specifically proposed to assign a 100 percent evaluation for platelet count below 30,000. However, for the 70 percent criteria, which apply in circumstances involving a platelet count higher than 30,000, VA omitted criteria for when platelet count is at 30,000. Accordingly, VA has changed the 100 percent criteria to read “platelet count 30,000 or below” to avoid a gap in the platelet count range considered in the evaluation criteria.

    In the proposed rule, VA introduced several changes to DC 7716, Aplastic anemia, including a revision for a 60 percent disability rating. Namely, for a 60 percent rating, VA required the use of continuous immunosuppressive therapy. In order to capture the full range of therapeutic agents that are used to treat this condition, VA makes a clarifying change that amends the proposed text to reference the use of “newer platelet stimulating factors” in the evaluation criteria. Additionally, VA has added an explanatory note (2) regarding the definition of “newer platelet stimulating factors” for clarification purposes and redesignated the existing note as note (1).

    In the proposed rule, VA introduced several changes to DC 7718, Essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis, including revisions for 70 and 30 percent disability ratings. Namely, for 70 and 30 percent ratings, VA required the use of continuous or intermittent myelosuppressive therapy. In order to capture the full range of therapeutic agents that are used to treat these conditions, VA makes a clarifying change that amends the proposed text for 70 percent disability rating to read as follows: “Requiring continuous or intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or chemotherapy, or interferon treatment to maintain platelet count < 500 × 109/L.” VA makes a clarifying change that amends the proposed text for 30 percent disability rating to read as follows: “Requiring continuous or intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or chemotherapy, or interferon treatment to maintain platelet count of 200,000-400,000, or white blood cell (WBC) count of 4,000-10,000.”

    In the proposed rule, VA introduced several changes to DC 7719, Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) (chronic myeloid leukemia or chronic granulocytic leukemia), including revisions for 60 and 30 percent disability ratings. Namely, for 60 and 30 percent ratings, VA required the use of targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In order to capture the full range of targeted therapy agents that are used to treat these conditions, VA makes a clarifying change that amends the proposed text for 60 percent disability rating to read as follows: “Requiring intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or molecularly targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, or interferon treatment when not in apparent remission.” VA makes a clarifying change that amends the proposed text for 30 percent disability rating to read as follows: “In apparent remission on continuous molecularly targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.”

    III. Public Comments

    One commenter asked why the hematological system did not include Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an infectious disease evaluated under 38 CFR 4.88b. DC 6319 specifically addresses Lyme disease and its residuals. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    One commenter urged VA to include in the rating schedule the debilitating side effects of daily tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). In the proposed rule, DC 7719 assigns a 60 percent evaluation for intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or targeted therapy with TKIs, such as ruxolitinib, and a 100 percent evaluation for continuous myelosuppressive or immunosuppressive therapy. However, in cases of debilitating side effects of therapy for a service-connected disease, such as CML, VA may grant service connection on a secondary basis for disabilities that are proximately due to, or aggravated by, service-connected disease or injury pursuant to 38 CFR 3.310. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    Another commenter suggested separating evaluations for pernicious anemia from evaluations for Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Pernicious anemia is caused by too little Vitamin B12; it is one form of Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. VA recognizes the importance of separating pernicious anemia from Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia for diagnosis and treatment. However, for disability compensation, VA evaluates common signs and symptoms and functional impairment of Vitamin B12 deficiency, also seen in pernicious anemia, under one diagnostic code. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    The same commenter noted that anemia secondary to autoimmune pernicious anemia is not corrected but maintained by Vitamin B12 injections. VA agrees. In the proposed rule, DC 7722 provides a 10 percent evaluation for pernicious anemia and other forms of severe Vitamin B12 deficiency if it requires continuous treatment with Vitamin B12 injections, Vitamin B12 sublingual or high-dose oral tablets, or Vitamin B12 nasal spray or gel. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    The same commenter suggested including all body systems sequelae of pernicious anemia into hematologic system evaluations. In cases when debilitating effects of pernicious anemia affect other body systems, VA may grant service connection on a secondary basis for disabilities that are proximately due to, or aggravated by, service-connected disease or injury, pursuant to 38 CFR 3.310. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    The same commenter suggested VA conduct a study to determine whether the degree of neurologic or gastrointestinal residuals correlates with treatment variations. While VA appreciates this comment, it is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on it.

    The same commenter expressed concern regarding the application of 38 CFR 3.105(e), which governs reduction in evaluation, to evaluate the debilitating residual effects of pernicious anemia. However, VA may grant service connection on a secondary basis for disabilities that are proximately due to, or aggravated by, service-connected disease or injury pursuant to 38 CFR 3.310. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    One commenter discussed his current treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia and its side effects. The commenter did not offer any specific suggestions or recommendations for this rulemaking. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    Another commenter urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider regulating open-source software. This comment is beyond the scope of this rulemaking, so VA makes no changes based on it.

    Two commenters indicated that security and privacy issues are important to them. The commenters did not offer any specific suggestions or recommendations for this rulemaking. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on these comments.

    One commenter discussed his brother's diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia and military service in Vietnam. The commenter did not offer any specific suggestions or recommendations for this rulemaking. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    Another commenter discussed his diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia, its side effects, and his military service in Vietnam. The commenter expressed his satisfaction with updates to the hematologic section of the rating schedule, which includes evaluations for chronic myeloid leukemia. The commenter did not offer any specific suggestions or recommendations for this rulemaking. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    One commenter was supportive of many of the changes and additions made to the hematologic and lymphatic sections of the VASRD, which include new diagnostic codes for common disorders, clarifying notes on residuals affecting other body systems, and recognizing common side effects of various treatments. The commenter offered two minor suggestions regarding rating criteria for multiple myeloma (DC 7712) and acquired hemolytic anemia (DC 7723).

    The commenter suggests deleting Note 2, Note 3, and part of Note 1 under DC 7712 in order to simplify the rating process. VA agrees and removes the references to specific laboratory values by deleting Note (2) and Note (3). VA edits Note (1) by removing the references to specific laboratory values and replaces them with more general references to what are acceptable for the diagnosis of multiple myeloma as defined by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and International Myeloma Working Group. Lastly, VA renumbers the proposed Note (4) to become Note (2).

    The same commenter suggested including two additional treatment modalities for acquired hemolytic anemia under DC 7723. The commenter noted that, according to guidelines of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and ASH, treatments for symptomatic acquired hemolytic anemia may include blood transfusion or plasmapheresis. VA identifies four levels of disability for symptomatic acquired hemolytic anemia, each of which includes blood transfusion or plasmapheresis. The defining feature for each level of disability is the frequency of immunosuppressive therapy or the need for a bone marrow transplant. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    Another commenter noted that further revisions are needed for hematologic and lymphatic section of the VASRD to ensure its congruency with current understanding of hematologic diseases. The commenter offered multiple recommendations on selected diagnostic codes.

    The commenter recommended deleting the references to obsolete or never used treatments. VA agrees and removes all references to treatment with radioactive phosphorus (DCs 7704, 7718, 7719, and 7725), imantib (DC 7704), interferon alpha (DC 7725), and multiple references to outdated laboratory values under DCs 7705 and 7712, Note (1). Proposed DC 7705 referred to a platelet count range from 20,000 to 30,000 despite treatment under a 100-percent rating level. The final rule revises this value to include all platelet counts of 30,000 or below.

    The commenter noted that various anemia sections (DCs 7714, 7716, 7720, 7722, and 7723) did not link to comorbidities, such as cardiac disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The commenter advised VA to revise anemia DCs to include comorbidities because different hemoglobin levels might have vastly different implications in patients with cardiac disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or other significant comorbid conditions. As the hematopoietic system supports other cells or organs of the body, VA assigns disability ratings resulting from identifiable defects in these organs due to hematologic disease. The hematologic rating does not generally include the physiologic effects on the function of other end-organs. For example, very severe anemia can reduce oxygen delivery to the point where the individual suffers a myocardial infarction. The disability ratings for both the anemia and the myocardial infarction would be rated separately and then combined. VA may grant service connection on a secondary basis for disabilities that are proximately due to, or aggravated by, service connected disease or injury pursuant to 38 CFR 3.310. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    The commenter noted that current practice infrequently transplants bone marrow to treat agranulocytosis (DC 7702). Additionally, current medical protocol never uses platelet and red cell transfusions. Even though use of bone marrow transplants may be infrequent, the fact that it is still used for cases that do not respond to other types of treatment justifies including it as part of the 100 percent rating criteria. Additionally, the proposed rule does not refer to platelet and red cell transfusions for the treatment of agranulocytosis. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    The commenter indicated that current practice does not use radioactive phosphorus or interferon alpha to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (DC 7725). VA agrees and removes all references to such treatment from this DC.

    The commenter suggested editing platelet count reference for a 100 percent evaluation under DC 7705, Immune thrombocytopenia. ASH guidelines for immune thrombocytopenia recommend treatment for patients with platelet counts below 30,000. VA agrees and replaces the reference to “a platelet count from 20,000 to 30,000” under DC 7705 with “a platelet count 30,000 or below despite treatment”.

    The commenter noted that the 100 percent evaluation under DC 7705 included chemotherapy but the relevance of immunosuppressive therapy to this evaluation was unclear. However, VA did not intend to include immunosuppressive therapy as part of a 100 percent evaluation. VA includes immunosuppressive therapy as part of a 70 percent evaluation. Therefore, VA makes no changes based on this comment.

    The commenter noted that recent advances in medicine have identified conditions called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering myeloma, which are not acute myeloma but may indicate a future need for treatment. The commenter suggested removing an outdated reference to indolent myeloma from DC 7712 and replacing it with MGUS. VA agrees and removes the reference to indolent myeloma from DC 7712 and replaces the reference with MGUS.

    VA appreciates the comments submitted in response to the proposed rule. Based on the rationale stated in the proposed rule and in this document, the final rule is adopted with the changes noted.

    We are additionally adding updates to 38 CFR part 4, Appendices A, B, and C, to reflect changes to the hematologic and lymphatic systems rating criteria made by this rulemaking. VA designs the appendices for users of the VASRD. They do not contain substantive content regarding disability evaluations.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action” requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

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

    This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This final rule will not affect any small entities. Only certain VA beneficiaries could be directly affected. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). Specifically, this final rule is associated with information collections related to the filing of disability claims (VA Form 21-526EZ) as well as Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) which enable a claimant to gather the necessary information from his or her treating physician as to the current symptoms and severity of a disability. Both information collections are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control Numbers 2900-0749 and 2900-0779, respectively. There are no changes to any of these information collections and, thus, no incremental costs associated with this rulemaking.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers and titles for this rule are 64.104, Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability for Veterans; 64.109, Veterans Compensation for Service-Connected Disability; and 64.110, Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 4

    Disability benefits, Pensions, Veterans.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Wilkie, Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on October 23, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Jeffrey M. Martin, Assistant Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends 38 CFR part 4, subpart B as follows:

    PART 4—SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES Subpart B—Disability Ratings 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 1155, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise the undesignated center heading preceding § 4.117 to read as follows: The Hematologic and Lymphatic Systems 3. Amend § 4.117 by: a. Removing the entry for diagnostic code 7700; b. Revising the entries for diagnostic codes 7702 through 7706, 7709, 7710 and 7714 through 7716; c. Adding, in numerical order, an entry for diagnostic code 7712 and 7718 through 7725.

    The revisions, and additions to read as follows:

    § 4.117 Schedule of ratings—hematologic and lymphatic systems Rating 7702 Agranulocytosis, acquired: Requiring bone marrow transplant; or infections recurring, on average, at least once every six weeks per 12-month period 100 Requiring intermittent myeloid growth factors (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) or continuous immunosuppressive therapy such as cyclosporine to maintain absolute neutrophil count (ANC) greater than 500/microliter (µl) but less than 1000/µl; or infections recurring, on average, at least once every three months per 12-month period 60 Requiring intermittent myeloid growth factors to maintain ANC greater than 1000/µl; or infections recurring, on average, at least once per 12-month period but less than once every three months per 12-month period 30 Requiring continuous medication (e.g., antibiotics) for control; or requiring intermittent use of a myeloid growth factor to maintain ANC greater than or equal to 1500/µl 10 Note: A 100 percent evaluation for bone marrow transplant shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission and shall continue with a mandatory VA examination six months following hospital discharge. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter 7703 Leukemia (except for chronic myelogenous leukemia): When there is active disease or during a treatment phase 100 Otherwise rate residuals under the appropriate diagnostic code(s) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia or monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL), asymptomatic, Rai Stage 0 Note (1): A 100 percent evaluation shall continue beyond the cessation of any surgical therapy, radiation therapy, antineoplastic chemotherapy, or other therapeutic procedures. Six months after discontinuance of such treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. If there has been no recurrence, rate on residuals Note (2): Evaluate symptomatic chronic lymphocytic leukemia that is at Rai Stage I, II, III, or IV the same as any other leukemia evaluated under this diagnostic code Note (3): Evaluate residuals of leukemia or leukemia therapy under the appropriate diagnostic code(s). Myeloproliferative Disorders: (Diagnostic Codes 7704, 7718, 7719) 7704 Polycythemia vera: Requiring peripheral blood or bone marrow stem-cell transplant or chemotherapy (including myelosuppressants) for the purpose of ameliorating the symptom burden 100 Requiring phlebotomy 6 or more times per 12-month period or molecularly targeted therapy for the purpose of controlling RBC count 60 Requiring phlebotomy 4-5 times per 12-month period, or if requiring continuous biologic therapy or myelosuppressive agents, to include interferon, to maintain platelets <200,000 or white blood cells (WBC) <12,000 30 Requiring phlebotomy 3 or fewer times per 12-month period or if requiring biologic therapy or interferon on an intermittent basis as needed to maintain all blood values at reference range levels 10 Note (1): Rate complications such as hypertension, gout, stroke, or thrombotic disease separately Note (2): If the condition undergoes leukemic transformation, evaluate as leukemia under diagnostic code 7703 Note (3): A 100 percent evaluation shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission for peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant; or during the period of treatment with chemotherapy (including myelosuppressants). Six months following hospital discharge or, in the case of chemotherapy treatment, six months after completion of treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter 7705 Immune thrombocytopenia: Requiring chemotherapy for chronic refractory thrombocytopenia; or a platelet count 30,000 or below despite treatment 100 Requiring immunosuppressive therapy; or for a platelet count higher than 30,000 but not higher than 50,000, with history of hospitalization because of severe bleeding requiring intravenous immune globulin, high-dose parenteral corticosteroids, and platelet transfusions 70 Platelet count higher than 30,000 but not higher than 50,000, with either immune thrombocytopenia or mild mucous membrane bleeding which requires oral corticosteroid therapy or intravenous immune globulin 30 Platelet count higher than 30,000 but not higher than 50,000, not requiring treatment 10 Platelet count above 50,000 and asymptomatic; or for immune thrombocytopenia in remission 0 Note (1): Separately evaluate splenectomy under diagnostic code 7706 and combine with an evaluation under this diagnostic code Note (2): A 100 percent evaluation shall continue beyond the cessation of chemotherapy. Six months after discontinuance of such treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter 7706 Splenectomy 20 Note: Separately rate complications such as systemic infections with encapsulated bacteria *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7709 Hodgkin's lymphoma: With active disease or during a treatment phase 100 Note: A 100 percent evaluation shall continue beyond the cessation of any surgical therapy, radiation therapy, antineoplastic chemotherapy, or other therapeutic procedures. Six months after discontinuance of such treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. If there has been no local recurrence or metastasis, rate on residuals under the appropriate diagnostic code(s) 7710 Adenitis, tuberculous, active or inactive: Rate under § 4.88c or 4.89 of this part, whichever is appropriate 7712 Multiple myeloma: Symptomatic multiple myeloma 100 Asymptomatic, smoldering, or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) 0 Note (1): Current validated biomarkers of symptomatic multiple myeloma and asymptomatic multiple myeloma, smoldering, or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) are acceptable for the diagnosis of multiple myeloma as defined by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Note (2): The 100 percent evaluation shall continue for five years after the diagnosis of symptomatic multiple myeloma, at which time the appropriate disability evaluation shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) and § 3.344 (a) and (b) of this chapter 7714 Sickle cell anemia: With at least 4 or more painful episodes per 12-month period, occurring in skin, joints, bones, or any major organs, caused by hemolysis and sickling of red blood cells, with anemia, thrombosis, and infarction, with residual symptoms precluding even light manual labor 100 With 3 painful episodes per 12-month period or with symptoms precluding other than light manual labor 60 With 1 or 2 painful episodes per 12-month period 30 Asymptomatic, established case in remission, but with identifiable organ impairment 10 Note: Sickle cell trait alone, without a history of directly attributable pathological findings, is not a ratable disability. Cases of symptomatic sickle cell trait will be forwarded to the Director, Compensation Service, for consideration under § 3.321(b)(1) of this chapter 7715 Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: When there is active disease, during treatment phase, or with indolent and non-contiguous phase of low grade NHL 100 Note: A 100 percent evaluation shall continue beyond the cessation of any surgical therapy, radiation therapy, antineoplastic chemotherapy, or other therapeutic procedures. Two years after discontinuance of such treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. If there has been no recurrence, rate on residuals under the appropriate diagnostic code(s) 7716 Aplastic anemia: Requiring peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant; or requiring transfusion of platelets or red cells, on average, at least once every six weeks per 12-month period; or infections recurring, on average, at least once every six weeks per 12-month period 100 Requiring transfusion of platelets or red cells, on average, at least once every three months per 12-month period; or infections recurring, on average, at least once every three months per 12-month period; or using continuous therapy with immunosuppressive agent or newer platelet stimulating factors 60 Requiring transfusion of platelets or red cells, on average, at least once per 12-month period; or infections recurring, on average, at least once per 12-month period 30 Note (1): A 100 percent evaluation for peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission and shall continue with a mandatory VA examination six months following hospital discharge. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter Note (2): The term “newer platelet stimulating factors” includes medication, factors, or other agents approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7718 Essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis: Requiring either continuous myelosuppressive therapy or, for six months following hospital admission, peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant, or chemotherapy, or interferon treatment 100 Requiring continuous or intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or chemotherapy, or interferon treatment to maintain platelet count <500 × 10 9/L 70 Requiring continuous or intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or chemotherapy, or interferon treatment to maintain platelet count of 200,000-400,000, or white blood cell (WBC) count of 4,000-10,000 30 Asymptomatic 0 Note (1): If the condition undergoes leukemic transformation, evaluate as leukemia under diagnostic code 7703 Note (2): A 100 percent evaluation shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission for peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant; or during the period of treatment with chemotherapy (including myelosuppressants). Six months following hospital discharge or, in the case of chemotherapy treatment, six months after completion of treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter 7719 Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) (chronic myeloid leukemia or chronic granulocytic leukemia): Requiring peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant, or continuous myelosuppressive or immunosuppressive therapy treatment 100 Requiring intermittent myelosuppressive therapy, or molecularly targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, or interferon treatment when not in apparent remission 60 In apparent remission on continuous molecularly targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors 30 Note (1): If the condition undergoes leukemic transformation, evaluate as leukemia under diagnostic code 7703 Note (2): A 100 percent evaluation shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission for peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant; or during the period of treatment with chemotherapy (including myelosuppressants). Six months following hospital discharge or, in the case of chemotherapy treatment, six months after completion of treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105 of this chapter 7720 Iron deficiency anemia: Requiring intravenous iron infusions 4 or more times per 12-month period 30 Requiring intravenous iron infusions at least 1 time but less than 4 times per 12-month period, or requiring continuous treatment with oral supplementation 10 Asymptomatic or requiring treatment only by dietary modification 0 Note: Do not evaluate iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss under this diagnostic code. Evaluate iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss under the criteria for the condition causing the blood loss 7721 Folic acid deficiency: Requiring continuous treatment with high-dose oral supplementation 10 Asymptomatic or requiring treatment only by dietary modification 0 7722 Pernicious anemia and Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia: For initial diagnosis requiring transfusion due to severe anemia, or if there are signs or symptoms related to central nervous system impairment, such as encephalopathy, myelopathy, or severe peripheral neuropathy, requiring parenteral B12 therapy 100 Requiring continuous treatment with Vitamin B12 injections, Vitamin B12 sublingual or high-dose oral tablets, or Vitamin B12 nasal spray or gel 10 Note: A 100 percent evaluation for pernicious anemia and Vitamin B12 deficiency shall be assigned as of the date of the initial diagnosis requiring transfusion due to severe anemia or parenteral B12 therapy and shall continue with a mandatory VA examination six months following hospital discharge or cessation of parenteral B12 therapy. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. Thereafter, evaluate at 10 percent and separately evaluate any residual effects of pernicious anemia, such as neurologic involvement causing peripheral neuropathy, myelopathy, dementia, or related gastrointestinal residuals, under the most appropriate diagnostic code 7723 Acquired hemolytic anemia: Requiring a bone marrow transplant or continuous intravenous or immunosuppressive therapy (e.g., prednisone, Cytoxan, azathioprine, or rituximab) 100 Requiring immunosuppressive medication 4 or more times per 12-month period 60 Requiring at least 2 but less than 4 courses of immunosuppressive therapy per 12-month period 30 Requiring one course of immunosuppressive therapy per 12-month period 10 Asymptomatic 0 Note (1): A 100 percent evaluation for bone marrow transplant shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission and shall continue for six months after hospital discharge with a mandatory VA examination six months following hospital discharge. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter Note (2): Separately evaluate splenectomy under diagnostic code 7706 and combine with an evaluation under diagnostic code 7723 7724 Solitary plasmacytoma: Solitary plasmacytoma, when there is active disease or during a treatment phase 100 Note (1): A 100 percent evaluation shall continue beyond the cessation of any surgical therapy, radiation therapy, antineoplastic chemotherapy, or other therapeutic procedures (including autologous stem cell transplantation). Six months after discontinuance of such treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. If there has been no recurrence, rate residuals under the appropriate diagnostic codes Note (2): Rate a solitary plasmacytoma that has developed into multiple myeloma as symptomatic multiple myeloma Note (3): Rate residuals of plasma cell dysplasia (e.g., thrombosis) and adverse effects of medical treatment (e.g., neuropathy) under the appropriate diagnostic codes 7725 Myelodysplastic syndromes: Requiring peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant; or requiring chemotherapy 100 Requiring 4 or more blood or platelet transfusions per 12-month period; or infections requiring hospitalization 3 or more times per 12-month period 60 Requiring at least 1 but no more than 3 blood or platelet transfusions per 12-month period; infections requiring hospitalization at least 1 but no more than 2 times per 12-month period; or requiring biologic therapy on an ongoing basis or erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA) for 12 weeks or less per 12-month period 30 Note (1): If the condition progresses to leukemia, evaluate as leukemia under diagnostic code 7703 Note (2): A 100 percent evaluation shall be assigned as of the date of hospital admission for peripheral blood or bone marrow stem cell transplant, or during the period of treatment with chemotherapy, and shall continue with a mandatory VA examination six months following hospital discharge or, in the case of chemotherapy treatment, six months after completion of treatment. Any reduction in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. If there has been no recurrence, residuals will be rated under the appropriate diagnostic codes
    3. Amend Appendix A to Part 4 by: a. Revising the entries for diagnostic codes 7700, 7702 through 7706, 7709 through 7710, and 7714 through 7716; b. Adding, in numerical order, an entry for diagnostic code 7712 and 7718 through 7725.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    Appendix A to Part 4—Table of Amendments and Effective Dates Since 1946 Sec. Diagnostic code No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 4.117 7700 Removed December 9, 2018. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7702 Evaluation October 23, 1995; title December 9, 2018; evaluation December 9, 2018. 7703 Evaluation August 23, 1948; criterion October 23, 1995; evaluation December 9, 2018; criterion December 9, 2018. 7704 Evaluation October 23, 1995; evaluation December 9, 2018. 7705 Evaluation October 23, 1995; title December 9, 2018; evaluation December 9, 2018; criterion December 9, 2018. 7706 Evaluation October 23, 1995; note December 9, 2018; criterion October 23, 1995. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7709 Evaluation March 10, 1976; criterion October 23, 1995; title December 9, 2018; criterion December 9, 2018. 7710 Criterion October 23, 1995; criterion December 9, 2018. 7712 Added December 9, 2018. 7714 Added September 9, 1975; criterion October 23, 1995; criterion December 9, 2018. 7715 Added October 26, 1990; criterion December 9, 2018. 7716 Added October 23, 1995; evaluation December 9, 2018; criterion December 9, 2018. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7718 Added December 9, 2018. 7719 Added December 9, 2018. 7720 Added December 9, 2018. 7721 Added December 9, 2018. 7722 Added December 9, 2018. 7723 Added December 9, 2018. 7724 Added December 9, 2018. 7725 Added December 9, 2018. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    4. Amend Appendix B to Part 4 by: a. Revising the undesignated center heading immediately preceding diagnostic code 7700. b. Revising the entries for diagnostic codes 7700, 7702, 7705, and 7709. c. Adding, in numerical order, entries for diagnostic codes 7712 and 7718 through 7725.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    Appendix B to Part 4—Numerical Index of Disabilities Diagnostic code No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * The Hematologic and Lymphatic Systems 7700 [Removed] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7702 Agranulocytosis, acquired. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7705 Immune thrombocytopenia. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7709 Hodgkin's lymphoma. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7712 Multiple myeloma. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 7718 Essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis. 7719 Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) (chronic myeloid leukemia or chronic granulocytic leukemia). 7720 Iron deficiency anemia. 7721 Folic acid deficiency. 7722 Pernicious anemia and Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. 7723 Acquired hemolytic anemia. 7724 Solitary plasmacytoma. 7725 Myelodysplastic syndromes. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    5. Amend Appendix C to Part 4 by revising the entries for Agranulocytosis, Anemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Leukemia and adding in alphabetical order, a new entry for Hematologic to read as follows:. Appendix C to Part 4—Alphabetical Index of Disabilities Diagnostic code No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Agranulocytosis, acquired 7702 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Anemia: Acquired hemolytic anemia 7723 Folic acid deficiency 7721 Iron deficiency anemia 7720 Pernicious anemia and Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia 7722 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Hematologic: Essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis 7718 Immune thrombocytopenia 7705 Multiple myeloma 7712 Myelodysplastic syndromes 7725 Solitary plasmacytoma 7724 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Hodgkin's lymphoma 7709 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Leukemia: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) (chronic myeloid leukemia or chronic granulocytic leukemia) 7719 Leukemia 7703 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-23517 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334; FRLc-9983-29] Pyroxasulfone; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of pyroxasulfone in or on multiple commodities which are identified and discussed later in this document. In addition, the established pyroxasulfone tolerance on cotton, undelinted seed is removed. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective October 29, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before December 28, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael L. Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

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

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before December 28, 2018. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of October 23, 2017 (82 FR 49020) (FRL-9967-37), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petitions (PP 7E8570 & 7E8585) by IR-4 Headquarters, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540. The petitions requested that 40 CFR 180.659 be amended as follows:

    a. Amend 180.659(a)(1), by establishing a tolerance for residues of the herbicide pyroxasulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, determined by measuring only the sum of pyroxasulfone, 3-[[[5-(difluoromethoxy)-1-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl)-1 H-pyrazol-4-yl]methyl]sulfonyl]-4,5-dihydro-5,5-dimethylisoxazole, and its metabolite, 5-(difluoromethoxy)-1-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl)-1 H-pyrazol-4-carboxylic acid (M-3), calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of pyroxasulfone, in or on the commodity: Cottonseed subgroup 20C at 0.04 parts per million (ppm). In addition, the petitioner requested removal of the established tolerance on Cotton, undelinted seed at 0.04 ppm (PP 7E8585).

    b. Amend 180.659(a)(5) by establishing a tolerance for residues of the herbicide pyroxasulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, determined by measuring only the sum of pyroxasulfone, (3-[(5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl)pyrazol-4-ylmethylsulfonyl]-4,5-dihydro-5,5-dimethyl-1,2-oxazole), and its metabolites, M-1 (5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl) methanesulfonic acid), M-3 (5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-carboxylic acid), M-25 (5-difluoromethoxy-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)methanesulfonic acid) and M-28 (3-[1-carboxy-2-(5,5-dimethyl-4,5-dihydroisoxazol-3-ylthio)ethylamino]-3-oxopropanoic acid) calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of pyroxasulfone, in or on the commodities: Peppermint, oil at 0.48 ppm; peppermint, tops at 0.15 ppm; spearmint, oil at 0.48 ppm; spearmint, tops at 0.15 ppm; soybean, vegetable, succulent at 0.2 ppm (PP 7E8570); and Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B at 0.3 ppm (PP 7E8585).

    c. Amend 180.659(c) Tolerances with regional registrations, by establishing a tolerance for residues of the herbicide pyroxasulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, determined by measuring only the sum of pyroxasulfone, (3-[(5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl)pyrazol-4-ylmethylsulfonyl]-4,5-dihydro-5,5-dimethyl-1,2-oxazole), and its metabolites, M-1 (5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl) methanesulfonic acid), M-3 (5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-carboxylic acid), M-25 (5-difluoromethoxy-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)methanesulfonic acid) and M-28 (3-[1-carboxy-2-(5,5-dimethyl-4,5-dihydroisoxazol-3-ylthio)ethylamino]-3-oxopropanoic acid) calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of pyroxasulfone, in or on the commodities: Grass, forage at 0.5 ppm and grass, hay at 1.0 ppm (PP 7E8570).

    These documents referenced a summary of each petition prepared by K-1 Chemical, USA Inc., the registrant, that are available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov.

    One comment was received on the notice of filings. EPA's response to the comment is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Consistent with the authority in FFDCA 408(d)(4)(A)(i), EPA is issuing tolerances that vary from what the petitioner sought. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    The toxicology database for pyroxasulfone is adequate for evaluating and characterizing toxicity and selecting endpoints for purposes of this risk assessment. Pyroxasulfone acute toxicity to mammals is low by all routes of exposure. Subchronic and chronic oral studies in mice, rats and dogs produced a variety of effects including cardiac toxicity (increased cardiomyopathy), liver toxicity (centrilobular hepatocellular hypertrophy, histopathological and/or clinical pathological indicators), kidney toxicity (nephropathy), neurotoxicity (impaired hind limb function, ataxia, tremors, sciatic nerve lesions, axonal/myelin degeneration in the sciatic nerve and spinal cord sections), skeletal muscle myopathy, urinary bladder mucosal hyperplasia, and urinary bladder transitional cell papillomas. Dogs appear to be the most sensitive species in regard to neurotoxic effects of pyroxasulfone via the oral route. Cardiac toxicity (myofiber degeneration and local inflammation) were also seen in a rat dermal toxicity study. Pyroxasulfone did not elicit immunotoxic effects in rats or mice. Neurotoxicity was seen in a developmental neurotoxicity study in offspring rats (decreased brain weight, decreased thickness of the hippocampus, corpus callosum and cerebellum). There is evidence of fetal and offspring quantitative susceptibility in the developmental neurotoxicity study in rats as effects occurred in the absence of maternal toxicity. There is no concern for reproductive toxicity.

    Pyroxasulfone is classified as “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” at doses that do not cause crystals with subsequent calculi formation resulting in cellular damage of the urinary tract. The Agency has determined that the quantification of risk using a non-linear approach (i.e., reference dose (RfD)) will adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, that could result from exposure to pyroxasulfone.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by pyroxasulfone as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document titled, “SUBJECT: Pyroxasulfone Human Health Risk Assessment for the Section 3 New Uses of Pyroxasulfone on Mint, Edamame (vegetable soybean), Grass (seed crop) for the Pacific Northwest only, Leaf Petiole Vegetable Subgroup 22B and Expansion of Cottonseed Subgroup 20C,” at pages 34-79 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for pyroxasulfone used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III of the final rule published in the Federal Register of May 17, 2018 (83 FR 22854) (FRL-9977-25).

    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to pyroxasulfone, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing pyroxasulfone tolerances in 40 CFR 180.659. EPA assessed dietary exposures from pyroxasulfone in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

    Such effects were identified for pyroxasulfone. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption data from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Survey/What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed 100 percent crop treated (PCT) and tolerance-level residues adjusted for metabolites that are not in the tolerance expression, except for soybean and subgroup 22B commodities, for which EPA used anticipated residues from field trial data.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the 2003-2008 food consumption data from the USDA's NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed 100 PCT and tolerance level residues that were adjusted for metabolites not in the tolerance expression, except for soybean and subgroup 22B commodities, for which EPA used anticipated residues from field trial data.

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

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use PCT information in the dietary assessment for pyroxasulfone; 100% CT was assumed for all food commodities. Tolerance-level residues were used for all commodities except soybean and subgroup 22B commodities, for which EPA used anticipated residues from field trial data.

    Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for pyroxasulfone in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of pyroxasulfone. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

    Based on the Pesticide Root Zone Model/Exposure Analysis Modeling System (PRZM/EXAMS) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of pyroxasulfone for acute exposures are estimated to be 16.7 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 210 ppb for ground water. EDWCs of pyroxasulfone for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 4.5 ppb for surface water and 174 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 210 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 174 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

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

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

    Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA has not found pyroxasulfone to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and pyroxasulfone does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that pyroxasulfone does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's website at EPA's website at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. Pyroxasulfone did not exhibit developmental toxicity in the rat guideline study at the limit dose of 1,000 mg/kg/day and it exhibited slight developmental toxicity in rabbits (reduced fetal weight and resorptions) at the limit dose of 1,000 mg/kg/day. However, developmental effects (decreased brain weight and morphometric changes) were noted in offspring at 300 mg/kg/day in the rat developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study compared to no maternal toxicity at 900 mg/kg/day. In a reproductive toxicity in rats, reduced pup weight and body weight gains during lactation occurred at similar or higher doses causing pronounced maternal toxicity (reduced body weight, body weight gain and food consumption and increased kidney weight, cardiomyopathy and urinary bladder mucosal hyperplasia with inflammation).

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for pyroxasulfone is complete.

    ii. The neurotoxicity database, including acute, subchronic and chronic studies, shows adverse effects from pyroxasulfone exposure in mice, rats and dogs, with the latter species showing greatest sensitivity. Although the DNT study indicated offspring are more sensitive to neurotoxic effects of pyroxasulfone, the dose-response is well characterized for neurotoxicity and a NOAEL is identified; therefore, there is no residual uncertainty with regard to neurotoxic effects for which a 10X must be retained.

    iii. As noted in Unit III.D.2., the available database shows evidence of increased susceptibility of fetuses and offspring in a DNT study in rats and in a developmental study in rabbits following in utero or post-natal exposure to pyroxasulfone. The Agency concludes, however, that there is no residual uncertainty concerning these effects. The available studies show clear NOAELs and LOAELs for these effects, which are occurring only at doses much higher than the endpoints on which the Agency is regulating.

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

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure analysis, the risk estimate for acute dietary exposure from food and water to pyroxasulfone is at 3.7% of the aPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. The acute dietary risk is not of concern (<100% aPAD).

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure analysis, EPA has concluded that risk estimates for chronic exposure to pyroxasulfone from food and water are not of concern (<100% cPAD) with a risk estimate at 50% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for pyroxasulfone.

    3. Short-and intermediate term risk. Short- and intermediate-term adverse effects were identified; however, pyroxasulfone is not registered for any use patterns that would result in short- or intermediate-term residential exposure. Short- and intermediate-term risk is assessed based on short- and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no short- or intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess short-term risk), no further assessment of short- or intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating short- and intermediate-term risk for pyroxasulfone.

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. As explained in Unit III.A., the Agency has determined that the quantification of risk using a non-linear (i.e., RfD) approach will adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, that could result from exposure to pyroxasulfone. Therefore, based on the results of the chronic risk assessment discussed in Unit III.E.2., pyroxasulfone is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (high performance liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for residues of pyroxasulfone in or on any of the petitioned-for commodities associated with this regulatory action.

    C. Response to Comments

    One anonymous public comment was received that expressed concerns about the cost of EPA regulations to tax payers and corporations. This comment did not raise any issue relevant to the Agency's safety determination for this tolerance action. Section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) allows EPA to set tolerances for residues of pesticide chemicals when it determines that the tolerance meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. EPA has made that determination for the pyroxasulfone tolerances established by this final rule.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    EPA calculated tolerance levels using the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tolerance calculation procedures, available field trial residue data, and metabolite concentrations covered to parent equivalents. The Agency is also harmonizing with relevant Canadian MRLs. In addition, the Agency is using commodity terminology consistent with the terms generally used for tolerances.

    As a result, the Agency is establishing tolerances that differ from the petitioned-for tolerances as follows: (1) The proposed pyroxasulfone tolerances on both Peppermint, oil and Spearmint, oil at 0.48 ppm are being established at 0.70 ppm; (2) the proposed pyroxasulfone tolerances on both Peppermint, fresh leaves and Spearmint, fresh leaves at 0.15 ppm are being each established at 0.20 ppm; and (3) the proposed tolerance on Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B at 0.3 ppm is being established at 0.80 ppm.

    In addition, although the petitioner requested a tolerance on Soybean, vegetable, succulent at 0.2 ppm, this term is broad and covers two forms of vegetable soybean—Soybean, vegetable, succulent shelled, and Vegetable, soybean, edible podded; therefore, to conform to the Agency's commodity terminology for soybeans, the Agency is establishing the tolerance requested as separate tolerances at 0.40 ppm for both forms of succulent soybean vegetable.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of pyroxasulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on Cottonseed subgroup 20C at 0.04 ppm; Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B at 0.80 ppm; Peppermint, fresh leaves at 0.20 ppm; Peppermint, oil at 0.70 ppm; Soybean, vegetable, succulent shelled at 0.40 ppm; Spearmint, fresh leaves at 0.20 ppm; Spearmint, oil at 0.70 ppm; and Vegetable, soybean, edible podded at 0.40 ppm. In addition, tolerances with regional registrations are established in or on Grass, forage at 0.50 ppm and Grass, hay 1.0 ppm. Lastly, the Agency is removing the existing pyroxasulfone tolerance on Cotton, undelinted seed that is superseded by this final rule.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: October 9, 2018. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.659: a. In the table in paragraph (a)(1): i. Remove the entry “Cotton, undelinted seed”; ii. Add alphabetically the commodity, ”Cottonseed subgroup 20C”; b. In the table in paragraph (a)(5), add alphabetically the commodities, “Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B”; “Peppermint, fresh leaves”; “Peppermint, oil”; “Soybean, vegetable, succulent shelled”; “Spearmint fresh leaves”; “Spearmint, oil”; and “Vegetable, soybean, edible podded”; and c. Revise paragraph (c).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 180.659 Pyroxasulfone; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Cottonseed, subgroup 20C 0.04 *    *    *    *    *

    (5) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B 0.80 *    *    *    *    * Peppermint, fresh leaves 0.20 Peppermint, oil 0.70 *    *    *    *    * Soybean, vegetable, succulent shelled 0.40 Spearmint, fresh leaves 0.20 Spearmint, oil 0.70 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, soybean, edible podded 0.40 *    *    *    *    *

    (c) Tolerance with regional registrations. Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide pyroxasulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only the sum of pyroxasulfone (3-[(5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl)pyrazol-4-ylmethylsulfonyl]-4,5-dihydro-5,5-dimethyl-1,2-oxazole), and its metabolites, M-1 (5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)methanesulfonic acid), M-3 (5-difluoromethoxy-1-methyl-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-carboxylic acid), M-25 (5-difluoromethoxy-3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)methanesulfonic acid) and M-28 (3-[1-carboxy-2-(5,5-dimethyl-4,5-dihydroisoxazol-3-ylthio)ethylamino]-3-oxopropanoic acid) calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of pyroxasulfone, in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Grass, forage 0.50 Grass, hay 1.0
    [FR Doc. 2018-23002 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 170828822-70999-04] RIN 0648-XG574 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; quota transfer.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2018 commercial summer flounder quota to the State of New York. This quota adjustment is necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provisions. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for North Carolina and New York.

    DATES:

    Effective October 24, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cynthia Ferrio, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9180.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.100 through 648.110. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.102, and the initial 2018 allocations were published on December 22, 2017 (82 FR 60682), and corrected January 30, 2018 (83 FR 4165).

    The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan, as published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for transferring summer flounder commercial quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.102(c)(2)(i)(A) through (C) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

    North Carolina is transferring 3,844 lb (1,744 kg) of summer flounder commercial quota to New York through mutual agreement of the states. This transfer was requested to repay landings by a North Carolina-permitted vessel that landed in New York under a safe harbor agreement. Based on the initial quotas published in the 2018 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications and subsequent adjustments, the revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2018 are now: North Carolina, 1,752,145 lb (794,760 kg); and New York, 496,013 lb (224,988 kg).

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Karen H. Abrams Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23571 Filed 10-24-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 209 Monday, October 29, 2018 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 337 RIN 3206-AN65 Examining System AGENCY:

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a proposed regulation to revise its direct-hire authority (DHA) regulations. The revision is necessary to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13833 titled, “Enhancing the Effectiveness of Agency Chief Information Officers” which requires OPM to issue proposed regulations delegating to the head of a covered agency authority necessary to determine whether there is a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for information technology (IT) positions under certain conditions, sufficient to justify a DHA. The intended effect of this change is to enhance the Government's ability to recruit needed IT professionals.

    DATES:

    OPM must receive comments on or before December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Ms. Kimberly A. Holden, Deputy Associate Director for Talent Acquisition and Workforce Shaping, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 6500-AJ, 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415-9700; email at [email protected]; or fax at (202) 606-4430.

    All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Darlene Phelps at (202) 606-0960, by fax at (202) 606-4430, TDD at (202) 418-3134, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 15, 2018, the President signed E.O. 13833, titled, “Enhancing the Effectiveness of Agency Chief Information Officers” (83 FR 23345). The E.O. is aimed at modernizing the Federal Government's information technology infrastructure and improving the delivery of digital services and the management, acquisition, and oversight of Federal IT. Section 9 of the E.O. directs OPM to propose regulations pursuant to which OPM may delegate to the heads of certain agencies (other than the Secretary of Defense) authority to determine, under regulations prescribed by OPM, whether a severe shortage of candidates (or, for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) a severe shortage of highly qualified candidates) or a critical hiring need exists for positions in the Information Technology Management (IT) Series, general schedule (GS)-2210 or equivalent, for purposes of an entitlement to a direct hire authority (DHA). The agencies covered by the E.O. are those listed in 31 U.S.C. 901(b), or independent regulatory agencies defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

    OPM is proposing to amend its regulations to delegate to the heads of covered agencies the authority to determine whether a severe shortage of candidates (VA need only determine the existence of a severe shortage of highly qualified candidates) or a critical hiring need exists for IT positions. The current rules do not provide for a delegation of authority in relation to direct hire authorities; only OPM may make these determinations. When determining the existence of a severe shortage of qualified candidates for IT positions, an agency exercising such a delegation would be required to justify its determination using the supporting evidence prescribed in section 337.204(b) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). When determining the presence of a critical hiring need, an agency exercising such a delegation would be required to justify its determination in accordance with the criteria prescribed in 5 CFR 337.205(b). OPM has further developed these criteria in Direct Hire templates available at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-information/direct-hire-authority/templates.pdf. Agency heads would be expected to make use of these templates in making their findings. The supporting evidence used for either determination would be required to be kept in a file for documentation and auditing purposes in accordance with 5 CFR 337.206.

    Under the current DHA provisions at 5 U.S.C. 3304(a)(3) and 5 CFR part 337 subpart B, OPM determines the existence of a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need and may grant DHA to one or more agencies pursuant to this determination. Thus OPM is responsible for making both a determination that the DHA is warranted and for granting the actual DHA. While E.O. 13833 authorizes OPM to submit a proposed regulation that would sever these actions for IT positions (in other words, permit the heads of agencies to make the determination, but preserve OPM's responsibility for granting DHA based on an agency's determination), OPM is choosing to delegate to agency heads its authority to actually issue the DHA under 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2) in the circumstances specified. OPM will, however, maintain oversight of the use of this authority as provided in 5 U.S.C. 1104(b). Therefore, after the determination is made, the deciding agency is required to provide the determination and a description of the supporting evidence to OPM. OPM may request access to the underlying documentation at any time, and may require corrective action in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 1104(c) and section 337.206 of the regulation.

    The proposed rules contemplate that, after an agency head has authorized DHA under these rules, the agency could use this authority to hire needed individuals for initial appointments lasting longer than 1 year, but not to exceed 4 years. The hiring agency, at its discretion, could extend the initial appointment up to an additional 4 years. No individual hired under these provisions could serve in excess of 8 years at the same agency. No individual hired under these provisions could be transferred to positions that are not IT positions. An agency would be required to use this authority in accordance with the provisions of 5 CFR part 337 subpart B and in the same manner it would for filling other positions under DHA. Generally speaking, this would entail providing applicants with public notice consistent with the provisions of 5 CFR 337.203, assessing applicants to determine whether they have the level of proficiency required to perform the duties of the position being filled, and giving selection priority to qualified applicants eligible under the agency's Reemployment Priority List (RPL), Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) in accordance with 5 CFR part 330 subparts B, F, and G before selecting other qualified applicants. An agency would not be able to assess applicants in order to make more meaningful or relative distinctions as to the quality of the applicant pool; i.e., an agency could not rate and rank applicants and select them based on a numerical rating or categorize and select them in terms of “good, better, best” or similar quality designations. Applicants who met the required proficiency level would be deemed to be equally qualified for these purposes. Each agency would then be expected to select qualified applicants in the order in which their applications were received and processed.

    OPM is revising its regulations to:

    a. Add new subsections, 337.204(d), and 337.205(b) titled, “Information Technology Positions” to propose implementing rules with respect to covered agencies, agency authority, conditions for using these provisions, and duration of appointments.

    E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because it applies only to Federal agencies and employees.

    E.O. 13563 and E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This proposed rule is not expected to be subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) because this proposed rule is expected to be related to agency organization, management, or personnel

    E.O. 13132, Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This regulation meets the applicable standard set forth in section 3(a) and (b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments of more than $100 million annually. Thus, no written assessment of unfunded mandates is required.

    Congressional Review Act

    This action pertains to agency management, personnel and organization and does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of nonagency parties and, accordingly, is not a “rule” as that term is used by the Congressional Review Act (Subtitle E of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA)). Therefore, the reporting requirement of 5 U.S.C. 801 does not apply.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    This proposed regulatory action will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 337

    Government employees.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    Alexys Stanley, Regulatory Affairs Analyst.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 5 CFR part 337 as follows:

    PART 337—EXAMINING SYSTEM 1. Revise the authority citation for part 337 to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 1104(a), 1302, 2302, 3301, 3302, 3304, 3319, 5364; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; 33 FR 12423, Sept. 4, 1968; and 45 FR 18365, Mar. 21, 1980; 116 Stat. 2135, 2290; 117 Stat 1392, 1665; and E.O. 13833.

    Subpart B—Direct Hire Authority 2. Add paragraph (d) to § 337.204 to read as follows:
    § 337.204 Severe shortage of candidates.

    (d) Information Technology (IT) positions. (1) The head of a covered agency, as defined in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, may determine whether a severe shortage of candidates exists at that agency for any position in the information technology management series, general schedule (GS)-2210 or equivalent. In making such a determination, a covered agency must adhere to and use the supporting evidence prescribed in 5 CFR 337.204(b)(1)-(8). For purposes of paragraph (b)(5) of this section, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) need only determine whether a severe shortage of highly qualified candidates exists. In addition, a covered agency must maintain a file of the supporting evidence for documentation and reporting purposes. Upon determination of such a finding, an agency head may approve a direct hire authority for covered positions within the agency.

    (2) Covered agency. A covered agency is an entity listed in 31 U.S.C. 901(b) (except the Department of Defense), or an independent regulatory agency defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

    (3) Notification to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Once the head of a covered agency affirmatively determines the presence of a severe shortage and the direct hire authority is approved by the agency head, he or she must notify OPM within 10 business days. Such notification must include a description of the supporting evidence relied upon in making the determination.

    (4) Using this authority. A covered agency must adhere to all provisions of subpart B of this part.

    (5) Length of appointments. A covered agency may use this authority to appoint individuals for a period of more than 1 year, but not more than 4 years.

    (i) A covered agency may extend any appointment under this authority for up to 4 additional years, if the direct hire authority remains in effect.

    (ii) No individual may serve more than 8 years on an appointment made under these provisions for information technology positions.

    (iii) No individual hired under these provisions may be transferred to positions that are not IT positions.

    3. Add paragraph (c) to § 337.205 to read as follows:
    § 337.205 Critical hiring needs.

    (c) Information Technology (IT) positions. (1) The head of a covered agency, as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, may determine whether a critical hiring need exists for any position in the information technology management series, general schedule (GS)-2210 or equivalent. In making such a determination, a covered agency must adhere to and use the supporting evidence criteria prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1)-(4) of this section. In addition, a covered agency must maintain a file of the supporting evidence for documentation and reporting purposes. Upon determination of such a finding, an agency head may approve a direct hire authority for covered positions within the agency.

    (2) Covered agency. A covered agency is an entity listed in 31 U.S.C. 901(b) (excluding the Department of Defense), or an independent regulatory agency defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

    (3) Notification to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Once the head of a covered agency affirmatively determines the presence of a critical hiring need and the direct hire authority is approved by the agency head, he or she must notify OPM within 10 business days. Such notification must include a description of the supporting evidence relied upon in making the determination.

    (4) Using this authority. A covered agency must adhere to all provisions of subpart B of this part.

    (5) Length of appointments. A covered agency may use this authority to appoint individuals for a period of more than 1 year, but not more than 4 years, if the direct hire authority remains in effect.

    (i) A covered agency may extend any appointment under this authority for up to 4 additional years.

    (ii) No individual may serve more than 8 years on an appointment made under these provisions for information technology positions.

    (iii) No individual hired under these provisions may be transferred to positions that are not IT positions.

    [FR Doc. 2018-23340 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 1004 RIN 1901-AB44 Critical Electric Infrastructure Information; New Administrative Procedures AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and opportunity for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE or Department) publishes a proposed rule for public comment to implement DOE's critical electric infrastructure information (CEII) designation authority under the Federal Power Act. The proposed administrative procedures are intended to ensure that stakeholders and the public understand how the Department would designate, protect, and share CEII under the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Public comment on this proposed rule will be accepted until December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1901-AB44, by any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: Send email to [email protected]. Include RIN 1901-AB44 in the subject line of the email. Please include the full body of your comments in the text of the message or as an attachment.

    3. Mail: Address postal mail to U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity, Mailstop OE-20, Room 8E-030, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

    Due to potential delays in the delivery of postal mail, we encourage respondents to submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt.

    This notice of proposed rulemaking and any comments that DOE receives will be made available on regulations.gov or the DOE Office of Electricity website at: https://www.energy.gov/oe/office-electricity.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Ann Smith, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity, Mailstop OE-20, Room 8E-030, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585; 202-586-7668; or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Acronyms and Abbreviations. A number of acronyms and abbreviations are used in this preamble. While this may not be an exhaustive list, to ease the reading of this preamble and for reference purposes, the following terms, acronyms, and abbreviations are defined as follows:

    DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy CEII Critical Electric Infrastructure Information FAST Act Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FOIA Freedom of Information Act FPA Federal Power Act NTIA National Telecommunications and Information Administration OE Office of Electricity (office within DOE) PMA Power Marketing Administration Table of Contents I. Introduction and Background II. Discussion of Proposed Rule A. General B. Definitions C. Summary of Proposed Procedural Rules for CEII Designation 1. General 2. Application Matters (a) Phased Application Process (b) Application Requirements (c) Application Filing Procedures (d) Application Amendment and Withdrawal 3. Public Participation (a) Comments (b) Motions (c) Intervention III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Regulatory Review A. Executive Order 12866 B. Executive Orders 13771, 13777, and 13783 C. National Environmental Policy Act D. Regulatory Flexibility Act E. Paperwork Reduction Act F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 G. Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 H. Executive Order 13132 I. Executive Order 12988 J. Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Executive Order 13211 V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Introduction and Background

    In this proposed rule, DOE proposes to establish procedures for the designation of critical electric infrastructure information (CEII) under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Public Law 114-94. The FAST Act contains several provisions designed to protect and enhance the Nation's electric power delivery infrastructure. Section 61003 of that Act added a new section 215A, entitled “Critical Electric Infrastructure Security,” to Part II of the Federal Power Act (FPA), codified at 16 U.S.C. 824o-1. FPA section 215A authorizes both the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) independently to designate CEII. The FAST Act required FERC, after consultation with the Secretary, to “promulgate such regulations as necessary to . . . establish criteria and procedures to designate information as [CEII]”. 16 U.S.C. 824o-1(d)(2). While FERC's 2016 rulemaking established criteria for designating CEII applicable to both FERC and the Department, the designation procedures in the rulemaking were limited to FERC. Thus, the Department proposes to establish its own designation procedures.

    The Department has sought to harmonize its procedures with the FERC procedures as much as possible. Some small variations are the result of the different roles of each agency. Specifically, the Department anticipates receiving a smaller volume of CEII materials, due to DOE's non-regulatory role, which gives DOE the flexibility to engage in more proactive designations. Additionally, the Department's procedures reflect informal input from industry representatives, who are the submitters of CEII, regarding enhancements the DOE could make when adapting CEII procedures to the unique role of DOE as the Sector-Specific Agency for the Energy Sector. For example, DOE has designed proposed procedures that anticipate designation before a FOIA request is received and allow for longer industry response times before materials are released.

    According to the statutory definition, CEII includes information that qualifies as “critical energy infrastructure information” under existing FERC regulations, which are codified at 18 CFR 388.113(c). These proposed CEII regulations align with DOE's role as the lead Sector-Specific Agency for cybersecurity for the energy sector under section 61003(c)(2)(A) of the FAST Act, and the Sector-Specific Agency for Energy (Critical Infrastructure) under Presidential Policy Directive 21, “Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience” (Feb. 12, 2013). In those roles and in coordination with DHS, DOE coordinates interagency sharing of information concerning the energy sector.

    II. Discussion of Proposed Rule General

    Through this proposed rule, DOE would establish a set of procedures by which the Secretary of Energy would designate, protect, and share CEII under new section 215A of the FPA, according to criteria FERC has established and codified at 18 CFR 388.113. This proposed rule would also set forth provisions concerning the type of information that DOE would designate as CEII, when that information has been submitted in response to a request from DOE. The proposed procedures apply to both Federal entities and non-Federal entities that may submit or request information designated, protected, and shared as CEII. The procedures do not contemplate any new collection or storage techniques, but instead describe marking protocols for physical and electronic materials to indicate that they are to be treated as CEII. These procedures better facilitate the use of the CEII FOIA exemption for material shared with the Department for reasons outside the scope of this proposed rule.

    In this proposed rule, DOE also intends to address stakeholder concerns about the protection of critical infrastructure information from public release.1 For example, DOE is proposing a process for immediate CEII designation (pre-designation) of information marked “Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure Information,” and for information provided by industry in response to certain Federal agency reporting requirements. DOE also proposes to address concerns about the format required and time allotted for communications with DOE regarding its CEII designation actions. DOE further proposes increased coordination between DOE and submitters of potential CEII-designated materials to facilitate voluntary sharing of CEII with, between, and by Federal and non-Federal entities, as appropriate.2 Finally, DOE is proposing that the Department convene on occasion with other Federal agencies, in order to facilitate mutual understanding among Federal information classification programs as it may relate to CEII.

    1 On February 14-15, 2018, DOE's Office of Electricity (OE) (known at the time as DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability) and Office of Policy convened representatives from energy industry, local, state, and Federal government agencies to discuss issues, challenges, and opportunities in CEII-sharing frameworks and optional information sharing protections and protocols leading up to the development of this proposed rule. A memorandum summarizing this meeting is available at https://www.energy.gov/oe/office-electricity.

    2 New Section 215A(d) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) requires DOE to develop its proposed CEII procedures necessary to, “taking into account standards of the Electric Reliability Organization, facilitate voluntary sharing of critical electric infrastructure information with, between, and by: (i) Federal, State, political subdivision, and tribal authorities; (ii) the Electric Reliability Organization; (iii) regional entities; (iv) information sharing and analysis centers established pursuant to Presidential Decision Directive 63; (v) owners, operators, and users of critical electric infrastructure in the United States; and (vi) other entities determined appropriate by the [Federal Energy Regulatory] Commission.” 16 U.S.C. 824o-1(d)(2)(D).

    Note that as a general principle, DOE does not intend to designate information as CEII if it has been made publicly available by the owner or generator of the CEII previously.

    Definitions

    Section 1004.13(c) of the proposed rule would define terms applicable to the proposed procedures in this notice for the designation of critical electric infrastructure information. Some terms are adopted from those used in the existing procedures. Other terms are proposed for the first time in this context.

    “Bulk-power system” means the facilities and control systems necessary for operating an interconnected electric energy transmission network (and any portion thereof) and electric energy from generation facilities needed to maintain transmission system reliability. The term excludes facilities used in local electric distribution.

    “Critical electric infrastructure” means a system or asset of the bulk-power system, whether physical or virtual, the incapacity or destruction of which would negatively affect national security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination of such matters.

    “Critical electric infrastructure information” or “CEII” means information related to critical electric infrastructure, or proposed critical electrical infrastructure, generated by or provided to FERC or another Federal agency, other than classified national security information, that is designated as critical electric infrastructure information by FERC or the Secretary pursuant to section 215A(d) of the FPA.3 CEII-designated material would include information related to Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure, consistent with section 215A(a)(4) of the FPA. DOE would also include the following in the definition of CEII: (1) “critical energy infrastructure information” as described in 18 CFR 388.113(c); 4 (2) information reported to DOE through the Electric Emergency Incident and Disturbance Report (Form OE-417); and (3) Federal spectrum information managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as CEII-designated material.

    3 Section 215A of the FPA defines critical electric infrastructure information to include information that is (i) “related to critical electric infrastructure, or proposed critical electric infrastructure,” (ii) “generated by or provided to the Commission or other Federal agency” and (iii) “designated as critical electric infrastructure information by the Commission or the Secretary.” The definition then notes that “[s]uch term includes information that qualifies as critical energy infrastructure information under the Commission's regulations.” 16 U.S.C. 824o-1(a)(3).

    4 FERC's regulations at 18 CFR 388.113(c) define “critical energy infrastructure information” to include information that: “(i) Relates details about the production, generation, transportation, transmission, or distribution of energy; (ii) Could be useful to a person in planning an attack on critical infrastructure; (iii) Is exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552; and (iv) Does not simply give the general location of the critical infrastructure.”

    “CEII coordinator” means the Assistant Secretary or Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the DOE Office of Electricity, who shall provide coordination for and oversight of the implementation of DOE's program for CEII designation authority under Section 215A of the FPA and shall assist all DOE Offices in determining whether particular information meets the definition of CEII, as well as managing DOE's protection, storage, and sharing of CEII materials to ensure that CEII materials are shielded from disclosure in accordance with the Federal Power Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The CEII coordinator may delegate the daily implementation of the CEII coordinator function as described in this proposed rule to an appropriate official in the DOE Office of Electricity, Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Information Administration, Southeastern Power Administration, Southwestern Power Administration, or Western Area Power Administration (“Coordinator's designee”).

    Summary of Proposed Procedural Rules for CEII Designation

    Proposed § 1004.13(a) provides interested stakeholders with the location of information regarding CEII filing procedures and guidance.

    As described in proposed § 1004.13(b), procedures for the designation, protection, and sharing of CEII developed under section 215A of the FPA would apply to anyone who provides CEII to DOE or who receives CEII from DOE, including DOE employees, DOE contractors, agents of DOE, and individuals or organizations who have been permitted access to CEII, as well as non-DOE entities submitting CEII to DOE or receiving CEII from DOE. These proposed procedures would also apply to other Federal agencies seeking CEII designation and protection of information agencies may submit to DOE.

    Proposed § 1004.13(c) defines the terms Critical Electric Infrastructure, Critical Electric Infrastructure Information (CEII), CEII Coordinator, Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure, Department of Energy (DOE), DOE Office, and Secretary, as used throughout proposed § 1004.13. Where the terms are defined by statute or by FERC's CEII regulations, the definitions track those corresponding definitions, either verbatim or with maximum consistency.

    The procedures, as described in proposed § 1004.13(d), are designed to allow the Secretary, or DOE Offices with authority delegated by the Secretary, to receive and designate CEII in a manner ensuring that the Department can access the critical information it needs to execute its responsibilities as the lead Sector-Specific Agency for cybersecurity for the energy sector and the Sector-Specific Agency for Energy (Critical Infrastructure). The FAST Act protects CEII by exempting CEII-designated information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as codified at 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3), or any Federal, State, political subdivision, or tribal law requiring disclosure of information or records. The proposed rules set out a standardized process to request CEII designation, and requirements for treatment of CEII following a CEII determination. The following sections provide greater detail regarding the proposed revisions to the Department's FOIA regulations.

    Proposed § 1004.13(e) sets out the functions of the CEII Coordinator and the Coordinator's designee. The CEII coordinator may apply immediate CEII designation (pre-designation) to information such as that marked as “Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure Information,” or to information provided by industry in response to certain Federal agency reporting requirements or requests, as appropriate. However, final CEII designation authority would reside with the DOE Office exercising its delegated CEII designation authority. The CEII Coordinator, in consultation with the DOE Office with CEII designation authority, would be the responsible DOE official to make a final determination regarding the release of CEII to any non-Federal entity requesting the release of CEII-designated materials from the Department. The proposed subsection also provides that DOE entities with authority to designate CEII would meet to calibrate their approaches to CEII designation, and would meet with representatives of other Federal agencies, as needed and at the discretion of the Coordinator or designee, to ensure consistent understanding of CEII designation processes.

    Proposed § 1004.13(f) states that CEII is exempt from disclosure under FOIA, as provided by the FAST Act amendments to the FPA.

    Proposed § 1004.13(g) sets out criteria and procedures the Department would follow to designate CEII. The subsection covers requesting designation for information submitted to or generated by DOE, how DOE would treat submitted information and apply the CEII designation criteria, how DOE would treat information once it has decided whether to designate the information as CEII, and how DOE would protect designated CEII.

    Proposed § 1004.13(h) states that CEII designations can last up to five years and are renewable, and describes how designation may be removed and how DOE would treat and return the information should its designation be removed.

    Proposed § 1004.13(i) describes how a submitter may request reconsideration of a decision not to designate CEII, not to release CEII in response to a request for release, or not to maintain an existing CEII designation, and discusses eligibility for judicial review. The subsection also notes that, with several exceptions, a reconsideration request triggers a stay of the underlying decision.

    Proposed § 1004.13(j) discusses tightly-controlled sharing of CEII among Federal and non-Federal Entities, taking into account International Sharing Protocols when appropriate. The subsection notes that when the Department plans to share CEII it did not generate, it would notify the submitter well in advance unless circumstances dictate otherwise and would speak directly with the submitter before sharing any of the information to discuss any concerns and make a well-informed determination.

    Proposed § 1004.13(k) describes procedural requirements for requesting CEII. A request must include contact information, an explanation of the need for and intended use of the CEII, and a signed Non-Disclosure Acknowledgment or Agreement, as applicable.

    Proposed § 1004.13(l) sets out penalties and sanctions for unauthorized disclosure of CEII, emphasizing that statutory whistleblower protections still apply.

    (a) Criteria and Procedure for Designating CEII

    Proposed § 1004.13 outlines criteria and procedures for designating CEII. The Department understands that the energy sector, including electric entities, requires assurance that certain critical information will be protected from public disclosure. DOE would take appropriate measures related to the treatment of submitted information as CEII, including designation of a central Departmental point of contact for all CEII matters—the DOE CEII Coordinator as defined in § 1004.13(c)(3)—who would provide oversight and assistance to DOE Offices in the implementation of the proposed procedures as described in § 1004.13(e).

    In cases where information concerns “Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure,” as defined by Section 215A(a)(4) of the FPA, DOE proposes to designate such information as CEII automatically upon receipt by the DOE CEII Coordinator. In cases where information concerning Federal government agency spectrum use managed by the NTIA is submitted,5 or in cases in which information on electric incidents and emergencies reported to DOE through Form OE-417 is submitted as a part of a CEII-designation request, DOE also proposes to designate such information as CEII automatically upon receipt by the DOE CEII Coordinator.6 In communications to the submitter, or DOE Office and/or Federal agency generating the information, DOE may “pre-designate” such information as CEII, noting why it considers the material to fall within the statutory and regulatory definition of CEII.

    5See Executive Order No. 12046, as amended, 3 CFR (1978 comp.) 158, reprinted in 47 U.S.C. 305 app. at 127 (1989); U.S. Department of Commerce, Department Organization Orders 10-10 and 25-7. Executive Order No. 12046, as amended, requires that NTIA, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, act as Federal spectrum manager for Federal government agency spectrum users, and as the principal Executive branch advisor on telecommunications policy. Information concerned with Federal agency spectrum frequency assignments includes data about critical electric infrastructure owned and/or operated by Federal Power Marketing Administrations.

    6 Electric utilities that operate as Balancing Authority Area and/or Reliability Coordinator as well as other electric utilities, as appropriate, are required to file the Form OE-417. This form is a mandatory filing whenever an electrical incident or disturbance is large enough to cross the reporting thresholds. Reporting coverage for the Form OE-417 includes all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Trust Territories. The Department of Energy uses the information to fulfill its overall national security and other energy emergency management responsibilities, as well as for analytical purposes. The incidence and disturbance data reported on Schedule 1 of the form are not confidential. However, all data reported on Schedule 2 of the Form (information on the official to contact for follow-up and the narrative description of the incident and disturbance) will be protected.

    The proposed procedures outline how the Department would provide protection for information where CEII designation has been requested but a final determination on CEII status has not yet been made by the Secretary or the designating DOE Office. After submission, DOE would evaluate whether the submitted information or portions of information meet the criteria established for designation prior to making a CEII determination. DOE would subsequently communicate the decision to the submitter as soon as practicable. If designated as CEII, information would be labeled as such and would be stored in a manner affording protection as CEII. Information voluntarily supplied by submitter that is not designated as CEII by DOE would be returned or destroyed at the request of the submitter. If a submitter is required to provide information and DOE denies CEII designation, the submitter may file a request for review under the proposed procedures.

    Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) generate copious data, a great deal of which may be CEII. To accommodate the practical difficulties of making CEII designation decisions about such data, proposed section (g)(2)(iv) states that all organizational entities that are a part of the Executive Department created by Title II of the DOE Organization Act may make CEII determination decisions at any time, regardless of when such information was generated. The proposed procedures are also intended for use by other Federal agencies that may also want to request CEII protection for information generated, collected, managed, or potentially released that fits into the definition of CEII in § 1004.13(c). These procedures create no new burdens in the existing FOIA response process.

    (b) Duration of CEII Designation

    Proposed § 1004.13(h) outlines procedures governing the duration of CEII designation, to include re-applications for CEII designation, expiration of designation, removal of designation, and treatment and return of information no longer designated as CEII.

    (c) Review or Requests for Reconsideration of Designation

    Proposed § 1004.13(i) establishes procedures that would allow any person who has submitted information requested to be CEII to request reconsideration of a DOE decision to not designate that information as CEII, to remove an existing CEII designation, or to deny a request for the release or change of designation of CEII.

    (d) Sharing of CEII

    As indicated in proposed § 1004.13(j), DOE may share CEII as necessary to carry out its specific jurisdictional duties pursuant to section 215A of the FPA and as the lead Sector-Specific Agency for cybersecurity for the energy sector under section 61003(c)(2)(A) of the FAST Act, and the Sector-Specific Agency for Energy (Critical Infrastructure) under Presidential Policy Directive 21, “Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience” (Feb. 12, 2013). Those submitting CEII would have DOE's assurance that the information will be protected from unauthorized disclosure. The Department would follow standardized procedures when sharing CEII with Federal and non-Federal entities to ensure the protection of CEII. Non-Federal entities would be required to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the Department, meeting minimum standards outlined in the proposed rule, prior to receiving CEII from DOE. When a non-Federal entity requests such information, the DOE CEII coordinator would notify the submitter of the CEII and the appropriate DOE Office(s), to facilitate coordination and allow the submitter to raise concerns related to a requesting entity. The DOE CEII coordinator would, in consultation with the appropriate DOE Office(s), make a final determination on whether to release any CEII-designated material in response to such a request.

    (e) Procedures for Requesting CEII

    Proposed § 1004.13(k) delineates procedures for requesting CEII designation and sharing CEII-designated materials.

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    Interested persons are invited to participate in this proceeding by submitting data, views, or arguments. Written comments should be submitted to the address, and in the form, indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this notice of proposed rulemaking. To help DOE's review of the comments, interested persons are asked to refer to specific proposed rule provisions, if possible.

    Written comments must be submitted by 4:00 p.m., December 28, 2018, electronically via Regulations.gov, via email to [email protected], or to the address indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble and should be identified on the outside envelope and on the document with the designation: “Proposed Rulemaking Critical Electric Infrastructure Information Designation Procedures (Docket #OE-1901-AB44).” All comments received will be available for public inspection via http://www:regulations.gov. All comments received by 4:00 p.m., December 28, 2018, and all other relevant information will be considered by DOE before final action is taken on this proposed regulation.

    If you submit information that you believe to be exempt by law from public disclosure, you should submit one complete copy, as well as one copy from which the information requested to be exempt by law from public disclosure has been redacted. DOE is responsible for the final determination regarding disclosure or nondisclosure of the information, and for treating the information accordingly under FOIA and DOE implementing regulations at 10 CFR 1004.11.

    IV. Regulatory Review A. Executive Order 12866

    This action was determined to be a significant regulatory action subject to review under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993) by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    B. Executive Orders 13771, 13777, and 13783

    On January 30, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” That Order stated the policy of the executive branch is to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both public and private sources. The Order stated it is essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.

    Additionally, on February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” The Order required the head of each agency to designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO). Each RRO oversees the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms, consistent with applicable law. Further, Executive Order 13777 requires the establishment of a regulatory task force at each agency. The regulatory task force is required to make recommendations to the agency head regarding the repeal, replacement, or modification of existing regulations, consistent with applicable law. At a minimum, each regulatory reform task force must attempt to identify regulations that:

    (i) Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;

    (ii) Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;

    (iii) Impose costs that exceed benefits;

    (iv) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;

    (v) Are inconsistent with the requirements of the Information Quality Act, or the guidance issued pursuant to that Act, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or

    (vi) Derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.

    Finally, on March 28, 2017, the President signed Executive Order 13783, entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Among other things, Executive Order 13783 requires the heads of agencies to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. Such review does not include agency actions that are mandated by law, necessary for the public interest, and consistent with the policy set forth elsewhere in that order. Executive Order 13783 defined “burden” for purposes of the review of existing regulations to mean “to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources.

    The development and implementation of the proposed procedures, as laid out in Section 215A(d) of the FPA, are designed to protect the security and reliability of the nation's bulk-power system, distribution facilities, and other forms of energy infrastructure. The procedures relate solely to marking information that would facilitate voluntary sharing of CEII among DOE and other appropriate Federal, state, or local entities to address emergencies, accidents, or intentional destructive acts affecting the production, transmission and delivery of energy resources. There is no new reporting requirement nor new program created as a result of the proposed procedures. This information will be stored on currently existing DOE systems. DOE concludes that this proposed rule is consistent with the directives set forth in these Executive Orders.

    C. National Environmental Policy Act

    DOE has determined that this proposed rule is covered under the Categorical Exclusion found in the DOE's National Environmental Policy Act regulations at paragraph A6 Rulemakings, procedural of Appendix A to Subpart D, 10 CFR part 1021, which applies to Rulemakings that are strictly procedural, such as rulemaking (under 48 CFR part 9) establishing procedures for technical and pricing proposals and establishing contract clauses and contracting practices for the purchase of goods and services, and rulemaking (under 10 CFR part 600) establishing application and review procedures for, and administration, audit, and closeout of, grants and cooperative agreements. Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 13272, “Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,” 67 FR 53461 (Aug. 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the rulemaking process (68 FR 7990). DOE's procedures and policies are available on the Office of General Counsel's website: https://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel.

    DOE has reviewed this proposed rule under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. This proposed rule sets forth agency procedures for the designation, sharing, and protection of CEII, and applies to DOE employees, DOE contractors, agents of DOE, and individuals or organizations submitting a request for CEII designation or who have requested or been permitted access to CEII. The proposed procedures for marking incoming requests and/or submissions, which are expected to facilitate voluntary sharing of CEII among DOE and other appropriate Federal, state, or local entities to address emergencies, accidents, or intentional destructive acts to the production, transmission, and delivery of energy resources, are not expected to result in a significant impact. FERC's regulations already require entities requesting CEII designation to mark the subject information. DOE's procedures would provide consistency and would also help avoid unauthorized disclosure or release. DOE therefore expects that these procedures, if adopted, would not affect DOE's decision to designate submitted information as CEII, nor any decision to withhold or release information to requesters of energy infrastructure information under FOIA. On the basis of the foregoing, DOE certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis for this rulemaking. DOE's certification and supporting statement of factual basis will be provided to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Proposed §§ 1004.13(g), 1004.13(h), 1004.13(i), and 1004.13(k) contain information collection requirements. DOE has submitted the proposed collection of information to the OMB for approval pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and the procedures implementing that Act at 5 CFR part 1320. A person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DOE invites public comment on (1) whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the performance of DOE's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of DOE's estimates of the burden of the proposed information collection requirements; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection requirements on respondents. Comments should be addressed to the DOE Desk Officer, OIRA, OMB, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. Persons submitting comments to OMB also are requested to send a copy to the contact person at the address given in the ADDRESSES section of this notice of proposed rulemaking. Interested persons may obtain a copy of DOE's Paperwork Reduction Act Submission to OMB from the contact person named in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) generally requires Federal agencies to examine closely the impacts of regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments. Section 101(5) of title I of that law defines a Federal intergovernmental mandate to include any regulation that would impose upon State, local, or tribal governments an enforceable duty, except a condition of Federal assistance or a duty arising from participating in a voluntary Federal program. Title II of that law requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, other than to the extent such actions merely incorporate requirements specifically set forth in a statute. Section 202 of that title requires a Federal agency to perform a detailed assessment of the anticipated costs and benefits of any rule that includes a Federal mandate which may result in costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation). 2 U.S.C. 1532(a) and (b). Section 204 of that title requires each agency that proposes a rule containing a significant Federal intergovernmental mandate to develop an effective process for obtaining meaningful and timely input from elected officers of State, local, and tribal governments. 2 U.S.C. 1534.

    The proposed rule will not 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. Accordingly, no assessment or analysis is required under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    G. Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any proposed rule that may affect family well-being. The proposed rule will not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    H. Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 4, 1999) imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have federalism implications. Agencies are required to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and carefully assess the necessity for such actions. DOE has examined this proposed rule and has determined that it will not preempt State law and will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    I. Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996), imposes on Executive agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; and (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard and promote simplification and burden reduction. With regard to the review required by section 3(a), section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or whether it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, the proposed rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    J. Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB.

    OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this proposed rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    K. Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order No. 13,211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001) requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to the OMB a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that (1) is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of the OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use. This regulatory action will not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy because it is concerned primarily with the procedures for designating, protecting, and sharing information. As the FAST Act highlighted, protection of CEII will have a positive effect on the energy supply, and is therefore not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 1004

    Freedom of Information.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2018. Bruce J. Walker, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the DOE proposes to amend part 1004 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 1004—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA) 1. The authority citation for part 1004 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552; 16 U.S.C. 824o-1.

    2. Add § 1004.13 to read as follows:
    § 1004.13 Critical electric infrastructure information.

    (a) Filing Procedures and Guidance. Information regarding critical electric infrastructure information (CEII) filing procedures and further guidance for submitters and requesters is available on the website of the DOE Office of Electricity at https://www.energy.gov/oe/office-electricity.

    (b) Purpose and Scope. This part sets forth the regulations of the Department of Energy (DOE) that implement section 215A(d) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), codified at 16 U.S.C. 824o-1(d). The regulations in this part set forth the DOE procedures for the designation, sharing, and protection of CEII. This section applies to anyone who provides CEII to DOE or who receives CEII from DOE, including DOE employees, DOE contractors, and agents of DOE or of other Federal agencies, as well as individuals or organizations providing CEII or submitting a request for CEII designation to DOE or who have requested or have been permitted access to CEII by DOE.

    (c) Definitions.

    (1) Bulk-Power System means the facilities and control systems necessary for operating an interconnected electric energy transmission network (and any portion thereof), and electric energy from generation facilities needed to maintain transmission system reliability. The term does not include facilities used in the local distribution of electric energy.

    (2) Critical Electric Infrastructure means a system or asset of the bulk-power system, whether physical or virtual, the incapacity or destruction of which would negatively affect national security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination of such matters.

    (3) Critical Electric Infrastructure Information (CEII) is defined at FPA section 215A(a)(3), with designation criteria codified at 18 CFR 388.113(c). CEII means information related to critical electric infrastructure, or proposed critical electrical infrastructure, generated by or provided to FERC or another Federal agency, other than classified national security information, that is designated as CEII by FERC or the Secretary pursuant to section 215A(d) of the FPA. Such term includes information that qualifies as critical energy infrastructure information under FERC's regulations. CEII-designated material may include information related to Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure, consistent with section 215A(a)(4) of the FPA; information on electric incidents and emergencies reported to DOE through the Electric Emergency Incident and Disturbance Report (Form OE-417); and/or Federal spectrum information managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to the extent such information also qualifies as CEII.

    (4) CEII Coordinator means the Assistant Secretary or Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the DOE Office of Electricity, who shall coordinate and oversee the implementation of DOE's program for CEII-designation authority under section 215A of the FPA, assist all DOE Office(s) with respect to requests for CEII designation in determining whether particular information fits within the definition of CEII, and manage DOE's protection, storage, and sharing of CEII materials and oversight of the development of CEII international sharing protocols. The CEII Coordinator may delegate the daily implementation of the CEII Coordinator function as described in this proposed rule to an appropriate DOE Office of Electricity official, and to an appropriate official in the Bonneville Power Administration, the Energy Information Administration, the Southeastern Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration, or the Western Area Power Administration (“Coordinator's designee”).

    (5) Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure means any electric infrastructure located in any of the 48 contiguous States or the District of Columbia that serves a facility designated by the Secretary as critical to the defense of the United States and vulnerable to a disruption of the supply of electric energy provided to such facility by an external provider, but that is not owned or operated by the owner or operator of such facility.

    (6) Department means the United States Department of Energy.

    (7) Department of Energy (DOE) means all organizational entities that are part of the Executive Department created by Title II of the DOE Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91, 91 Stat. 565, 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.). For purposes of this part, the definition of DOE specifically excludes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has promulgated its own CEII procedures at 18 CFR 388.113.

    (8) DOE Office means any administrative or operating unit of DOE with authority at or above the level of Assistant Secretary, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, or Administrator.

    (9) Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

    (d) Authority to designate information as CEII. The Secretary has the authority to designate information as CEII, in accordance with FPA section 215A. The Secretary may delegate the authority to designate information as CEII to any DOE Office.

    (e) Coordination among DOE Office designators. The DOE CEII Coordinator shall be the primary point of contact for the submission of all requests for designation of information as CEII by DOE, as well as for requests made to DOE by organizations or individuals for information that may be protected, in whole or in part, as CEII.

    (1) The CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee shall:

    (i) Receive and review all incoming requests for CEII as defined in § 1004.13(c) and in accordance with § 1004.13(g);

    (ii) Make initial determinations as to whether particular information fits within the definition of CEII found at § 1004.13(c), including but not limited to those considerations related to pre-designation of information related to Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure as defined in § 1004.13(c), NTIA-managed Federal agency spectrum use information, and/or accident and emergency information provided to DOE through Form OE-417;

    (iii) Assist any DOE Offices with delegated CEII designation authority to make determinations as to whether a particular requester's need for and ability and willingness to protect CEII warrants limited disclosure of the information to the requester;

    (iv) Establish reasonable conditions for considering requests for release of CEII-designated material in accordance with § 1004.13(g)(5) through (6);

    (v) Make the Department's final determination regarding request by any non-Federal entity (organization or individual) for CEII-designated materials, in consultation with the appropriate DOE Office(s);

    (vi) Notify a CEII submitter of a request for such information by a non-Federal entity;

    (vii) Convene a conference call within no more than five (5) business days between an affected DOE Office and a CEII submitter to discuss concerns related to a non-Federal entity requesting release of CEII; and

    (viii) Perform oversight of the DOE CEII program and establish guidance for the treatment, handling, and storage of all CEII materials in the Department in accordance with § 1004.13(g)(6), including those related to CEII international sharing protocols.

    (2) DOE Offices with delegated authority to designate CEII in accordance with § 1004.13(d), as well as any CEII Coordinator designee(s) from the Bonneville Power Administration, the Energy Information Administration, the Southeastern Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration, and the Western Area Power Administration, will meet regularly, at the discretion of the CEII Coordinator, but not less than once per year, to ensure coordinated implementation of DOE's CEII designation authority.

    (3) DOE, at the discretion of the CEII Coordinator, shall meet with representatives from FERC semi-annually (or more often, as necessary) to ensure that both agencies are applying CEII designation criteria consistently and to share best practices.

    (4) DOE, at the discretion of the CEII Coordinator, shall meet annually with representatives from Department of Commerce, NTIA, or other Federal agencies, as needed, to ensure shared understanding and consistent communication among Federal agencies that collect, maintain and potentially release information that DOE may consider designating as CEII as defined in § 1004.13(c).

    (f) Criteria and procedures for designating CEII.

    (1) Requesting CEII designation of information submitted to DOE. Any person or entity requesting that information submitted to DOE be designated as CEII must submit such request to the DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee according to the following procedures:

    (i) The submitter must clearly label the cover page and pages or portions of the information for which CEII treatment is requested in bold, capital lettering, indicating that it contains CEII, as appropriate, and marked “CEII—DO NOT RELEASE.”

    (ii) The submitter must also clearly indicate the DOE Office(s) from which the CEII designation is being requested in bold, capital lettering on the cover page.

    (iii) The submitter must also segregate those portions of the information that contain CEII (or information that reasonably could be expected to lead to the disclosure of the CEII) wherever feasible.

    (iv) The submitter must submit a public version of the information where information designated CEII and information for which CEII designation is requested is redacted or otherwise protected through extraction from the non-CEII to the DOE CEII Coordinator and the Coordinator's designee in an appropriate DOE Office.

    (2) Requesting CEII designation for information generated by DOE. Any DOE employees, DOE contractors, or agents of DOE requesting that information generated by the Department be designated as CEII must submit such request to the DOE CEII Coordinator and the Coordinator's designee in an appropriate DOE Office according to the following procedures:

    (i) The submitter must clearly label the cover page and pages or portions of the information for which CEII treatment is requested in bold, capital lettering, indicating that it contains CEII, as appropriate, and marked “CEII—DO NOT RELEASE.”

    (ii) The submitter must also segregate those portions of the information that contain CEII (or information that reasonably could be expected to lead to the disclosure of the CEII) wherever feasible.

    (iii) The submitter must submit to DOE a public version of the information where information designated CEII and information for which CEII designation is requested is redacted or otherwise protected through extraction from non-CEII to the DOE CEII Coordinator and Coordinator's designee.

    (iv) CEII designation for information generated by DOE, to include, all organizational entities that are a part of the Executive Department created by Title II of the DOE Organization Act, may be executed at any time, regardless of when such information was generated.

    (3) Treatment of Submitted Information as CEII.

    (i) Upon receiving a request for CEII designation of information submitted to DOE, the DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee shall review the submission made in accordance with § 1004.13(g)(2) for information about “Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure,” as defined by section 215A(a)(4) of the FPA; information on electric incidents and emergencies reported to DOE through Form OE-417; and/or Federal spectrum information managed by the NTIA, for immediate pre-designation as CEII. If the CEII Coordinator determines that the information submitted does not qualify for immediate pre-designation, such information shall be evaluated for designation as CEII under this part.

    (ii) Information for which CEII treatment is requested will be maintained by the CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee in DOE's files as non-public unless and until DOE completes its determination that the information is not entitled to CEII treatment. The interim treatment of the information as CEII does not mean that DOE has made a determination regarding CEII designation. DOE will endeavor to make a determination as soon as practicable. The Department retains the right to make determinations about any request for CEII designation at any time, including the removal of a previously granted CEII designation. At such time that a determination is made that information is not entitled to CEII treatment, DOE will follow the procedures for return of information not designated as CEII outlined in § 1004.13(g)(5)(iii).

    (iii) When a requester seeks information for which CEII status has been requested but not designated, or when DOE itself is considering release of such information, DOE will render a decision on designation before responding to the requester or releasing such information. Subsequently, the release of information will be treated in accordance with the procedures established for CEII-designated material, or the return of information not designated as CEII.

    (4) Evaluation of CEII designation criteria to inform CEII designation determination.

    (i) The DOE CEII Coordinator, or a Coordinator's designee, will execute the Department's evaluation as to whether the submitted information or portions of the information meets the definition of CEII, as described at section (c)(2) of this Part, with the appropriate DOE Office with delegated CEII designation authority. The DOE Office will designate submitted information as soon as practicable and will inform submitters of the designation date if requested at the time of submission.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) CEII Determination.

    (i) The Secretary or delegated DOE Office will make a determination regarding CEII designation after considering the information against the criteria for CEII designation. Upon making the determination, the DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee shall communicate the decision to the submitter.

    (ii) Review of determination. DOE reserves the right to review at any time information designated by DOE as CEII to determine whether the information is properly designated. The designation of information as CEII, or the removal of such designation, must be reviewed when:

    (A) A FOIA request is submitted for the information under section 1004.10, or

    (B) A request is made for reconsideration of the designation or removal of the designation under § 1004.13(i)(1).

    (iii) Return of Information not designated as CEII. If the submitter voluntarily provided the information to DOE, at the request of the submitter, DOE will return or destroy information for which CEII designation was requested but not granted, and will attempt to remove all copies of such information from DOE files, both physical and electronic. DOE shall not remove electronic files in the ordinary course of business. If a submitter is required to provide information and DOE denies CEII designation, the submitter may file a request for review under the procedures.

    (6) Protection of CEII.

    (i) Marking of CEII. All information designated by DOE as CEII, whether submitted to or generated by DOE, shall be clearly labeled as such, and shall include the date on which the information was designated as CEII. For information that meets the definition of CEII but cannot be physically labeled, such as electronic information, the information shall be stored in a secure electronic environment that identifies the stored information as CEII.

    (ii) Protection and Exemption from Disclosure. All information designated by DOE as CEII:

    (A) Shall be exempt from disclosure under the FOIA exemption codified at 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3); and

    (B) Shall not be made available by any Federal, State, political subdivision or tribal authority under any Federal, State, political subdivision or tribal law requiring public disclosure of information or records, in accordance with FPA section 215A(d)(1).

    (iii) Secure Storage. DOE will store information for which CEII treatment is requested in a secure place in a manner that would prevent unauthorized access.

    (h) Duration of designation. Designation of information as CEII may last up to a five-year period, unless re-designated.

    (1) Expiration of designation.

    (i) The Secretary or delegated DOE Office will determine the duration of designation at the time of designation.

    (ii) A submitter may re-apply for CEII designation no earlier than one year prior to the date of expiration of the prior designation or re-designation in accordance with the application procedures in § 1004.13(g)(1).

    (2) Removal of designation. The designation of information as CEII may be removed at any time, by the Secretary or the DOE CEII Coordinator in consultation with the DOE Office to which the Secretary has delegated the authority, in whole or in part, upon determination that the unauthorized disclosure of such information could no longer be used to impair the security or reliability of the bulk-power system or distribution facilities or any other form of energy infrastructure. If the CEII designation is to be removed, the submitter and the DOE Office that produced or maintains the CEII will receive notice and an opportunity to comment. The CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee will notify the submitter and the DOE Office that produced or maintains the CEII, and will give the submitter an opportunity (at least ten (10) business days) in which to comment in writing prior to the removal of the designation. The CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee will provide notice of a removal decision to any submitter claiming that the information is CEII no less than twenty (20) business days before disclosure. The notice will briefly explain DOE's determination of why the submitter's objections do not support a decision to retain the CEII designation.

    (3) Treatment and return of information no longer designated as CEII. At the request of the submitter, DOE will return or destroy information for which CEII designation has expired or has been removed and will attempt to remove all copies of it from DOE files, both physical and electronic; however, DOE shall not remove electronic files that have been backed up in the ordinary course of business. Such backed up electronic files shall be treated as CEII until they are destroyed under the normal electronic backup retention schedules. If a FOIA request is received for the non-CEII prior to its return or destruction, DOE will work with the submitter to review whether the information is subject to other FOIA exemptions.

    (i) Review or requests for reconsideration of designation.

    (1) Request for Reconsideration.

    (i) Any person who has submitted information and requested such information to be designated as CEII may request reconsideration of a DOE decision not to designate that information as CEII or to remove an existing CEII designation. Within ten (10) business days of notification by DOE of its CEII decision, the person must file a request for reconsideration. The request must be sent to the DOE CEII Coordinator and Coordinator's designee in electronic format at: CEII COORDINATOR MAILBOX. The request must also be sent to the DOE Office that made the decision at issue and to DOE's Office of General Counsel in Washington, DC, according to the instructions at 10 CFR 205.12. A statement in support of the request for reconsideration must be submitted within twenty (20) business days of the date of the determination. The request and the supporting statement will be considered submitted upon receipt by the Office of General Counsel.

    (ii) Any person who has received a decision denying a request for the release of CEII, in whole or in part, or a decision denying a request to change the designation of CEII, may request reconsideration of that decision. A statement in support of the request for reconsideration must be submitted to the Office of General Counsel within twenty (20) business days of the date of the determination.

    (iii) The Secretary or the DOE Office that made the decision at issue will make a determination, in coordination with the DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee, with respect to any request for reconsideration within twenty (20) business days after the receipt of the request and will notify the person submitting the request of the determination and the availability of judicial review.

    (iv) Before seeking judicial review in Federal District Court under section 215A(d)(11) of the Federal Power Act, a person who received a determination from DOE concerning a CEII designation must first request reconsideration of that determination.

    (v) A request for reconsideration triggers a stay of the underlying decision, except in instances where voluntary sharing of the disputed information is necessary for law enforcement purposes, to ensure reliable operation or maintenance of electric or energy infrastructure, to maintain infrastructure security, to address potential threats, or to address an urgent need to disseminate the information quickly due to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance.

    (j) Sharing of CEII.

    (1) Federal Entities. DOE will require those Federal entities requesting CEII to follow the procedures specified in § 1004.13(k). DOE may share CEII with affected agencies for those agencies to carry out their specific jurisdictional responsibilities, but may impose additional restrictions on how the information may be used and maintained, if shared.

    (2) Non-Federal Entities. The Secretary or the DOE Coordinator shall make a final determination whether to share CEII materials requested by non-Federal entities that are within the categories specified in section 215A(d)(2)(D) of the FPA. A request by such a non-Federal entity shall not be entertained unless the requesting non-Federal entity has entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement with DOE that ensures, at a minimum:

    (i) Use of the information only for authorized purposes and by authorized recipients and under the conditions prescribed by the Secretary or CEII Coordinator;

    (ii) Protection of the information in a secure manner to prevent unauthorized access;

    (iii) Destruction or return of the information after the intended purposes of receiving the information have been fulfilled;

    (iv) Prevention of viewing or access by individuals or organizations that have been prohibited or restricted by the United States or the Department from viewing or accessing CEII;

    (v) Compliance with the provisions of the Non-Disclosure Agreement, subject to DOE audit; and

    (vi) No further sharing of the information without DOE's permission.

    (3) Security and Reliability Coordination. In accordance with section 215A(d)(2)(D) of the FPA, DOE may, taking into account standards of the Electric Reliability Organization, facilitate voluntary sharing of CEII with, between, and by Federal, State, political subdivision, and tribal authorities; the Electric Reliability Organization; regional entities; information sharing and analysis centers established pursuant to Presidential Decision Directive 63; reliability coordinators, balancing authorities areas, owners, operators, and users of critical electric infrastructure in the United States; and other entities determined appropriate. All entities receiving CEII must execute either a Non-Disclosure Agreement or an Acknowledgement and Agreement or participate in an Electric Reliability Organization or Regional Entity information sharing program that ensures the protection of CEII. A copy of each agreement or program will be maintained by the DOE Office with a copy to the CEII Coordinator or the Coordinator's designee. If DOE facilitates voluntary sharing of CEII under this subsection, DOE may impose additional restrictions on how the information may be used and maintained.

    (4) International Sharing Protocols. The Secretary may delegate authority to DOE Offices to develop, after consultation with Canadian and Mexican authorities, protocols for the voluntary sharing of CEII with Canadian and Mexican authorities and owners, operators, and users of the bulk-power system outside the United States. The DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee would provide assistance and advice to DOE Offices in the development of the international sharing protocols.

    (5) Notice for Sharing of CEII not Generated by DOE. The DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee will provide electronic notice to the CEII submitter no less than ten (10) business days before DOE releases CEII submitted to and not generated by DOE, except in instances where voluntary sharing is necessary for law enforcement purposes, to ensure reliable operation or maintenance of electric or energy infrastructure, to maintain infrastructure security, or to address potential threats; where there is an urgent need to quickly disseminate the information; or where prior notice is not practicable due to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance. If prior notice is not given, DOE will provide notice as soon as practicable. The DOE CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee would convene a phone call, within five (5) days of electronic notice with the CEII submitter, to discuss concerns about the proposed release of CEII-designated materials to the requester. DOE would make the final determination as to whether to share CEII not generated by DOE.

    (k) Procedures for requesting CEII. Any person requesting CEII must include the following material with the request:

    (1) Contact Information. Provide your name, title and employer, work address, work phone number, and work email. If you are requesting the information on behalf of a person or entity other than yourself, you must also list that person's or entity's work contact information, including name, title, address, phone number, and email.

    (2) Explanation of Need. Provide a detailed statement explaining the particular need for and intended use of the information.

    (3) Signed Non-Disclosure Acknowledgement/Agreement. Provide an executed Non-Disclosure Acknowledgement (if the requester is a Federal entity) or an executed Non-Disclosure Agreement (if the requester is not a Federal entity) requiring adherence to limitations on the use and disclosure of the information requested.

    (4) DOE evaluation. Upon receiving a request for CEII, the CEII Coordinator shall contact the DOE Office or Federal agency that created or maintains the CEII. In consultation with the DOE Office, the CEII Coordinator shall determine if the need for CEII and the protection afforded to the CEII should result in sharing CEII for the limited purpose made in the request. In the event the CEII Coordinator or Coordinator's designee denies the request, the requestor may seek request for reconsideration, as provided in § 1004.13(i).

    (l) Unauthorized Disclosure.

    (1) Disclosure by submitter of information. If the submitter of information discloses to the public information that has received a CEII designation, then the Department reserves the right to remove its CEII designation.

    (2) Disciplinary Action for Unauthorized Disclosure. DOE employees or contractors who knowingly or willfully disclose CEII in an unauthorized manner will be subject to appropriate sanctions, including disciplinary action under DOE or DOE Office personnel rules or referral to the DOE Inspector General.

    (3) In accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-199, 126 Stat. 1465), these provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute relating to:

    (i) Classified information,

    (ii) Communications to Congress,

    (iii) The reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or

    (iv) Any other whistleblower protection. The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions, and liabilities created by controlling statutory provisions are incorporated into this agreement and are controlling.

    [FR Doc. 2018-23459 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2010-0289; SFAR No. 110] RIN 2120-AJ69 Prohibition Against Certain Flights Within the Territory and Airspace of Afghanistan; Withdrawal AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is withdrawing a previously published notice of proposed rulemaking that proposed to restrict U.S. civil flight operations below flight level (FL) 160 within the territory and airspace of Afghanistan.

    DATES:

    The notice of proposed rulemaking published on May 26, 2010 (75 FR 29466) is withdrawn as of October 29, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Filippell, Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone 202-267-8166; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On May 26, 2010, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Prohibition against Certain Flights within the Territory and Airspace of Afghanistan” (75 FR 29466). The NPRM proposed to restrict U.S. civil flight operations below FL 160 within the territory and airspace of Afghanistan, unless the operations are authorized by another U.S. Government department or agency (hereinafter referred to as “department or agency”) and approved by the FAA, or subject to an exemption granted by the FAA. The preamble to the NPRM explained the process for a department or agency to apply for FAA approval for operations to be conducted under contract to that department or agency and for operators to apply for exemption.

    The situation in Afghanistan presented a unique environment relative to other situations where the FAA had imposed similar regulations to address the safety of U.S. operators while in foreign territories and airspace. The presence of the U.S. military forces in Afghanistan had required a large presence of U.S. civil aircraft operations to support the warfighting, nation building, and humanitarian efforts. The level of these operations occurring in Afghanistan warranted the FAA to provide notice of the proposed regulation to limit flight in this area and a limited opportunity for comment from operators or other individuals that might have been affected by such action. The FAA found that good cause existed to limit the notice and public comment period required by 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to 15 days. The comment period closed on June 10, 2010.

    Discussion of Comments Received

    The FAA received 22 submissions containing multiple comments from air carriers, associations, labor organizations, humanitarian organizations, and individuals. All of the commenters acknowledged the risks associated with conducting aviation operations in Afghanistan. Several commenters fully supported the provisions in the NPRM, while others requested clarification of certain elements in the proposal. The majority of commenters, however, asserted that the proposed rule would place unnecessary restrictions and burdens on U.S. civil aviation operations in Afghanistan. They contended that the proposed rule would result in an adverse economic impact for U.S. operators and limit their ability to support the ongoing U.S. military activities, nation building, and humanitarian efforts.

    Following publication of the NPRM, several commenters, including Kalitta Air, Pactec International, and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings submitted comments that questioned the FAA's determination of the costs of implementing the NPRM if adopted as proposed. Kalitta Air specifically requested that the FAA complete a regulatory impact analysis to accurately account for the costs associated with the proposal. In response, the FAA published a Supplemental Regulatory Flexibility Analysis on July 20, 2010 (75 FR 42015) for a 15-day comment period that closed on August 4, 2010. No comments were submitted to the supplemental regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Conclusion

    After considering the comments, the FAA has determined the unique environment in Afghanistan continues. There is no scheduled U.S. air service in Afghanistan, and the only operations by U.S. operators or airmen currently conducted there are in support of U.S. Government activities. Additionally, the FAA has issued an advisory notice to airmen (NOTAM KICZ A0031/17) advising U.S. operators in Afghanistan airspace to operate, to the maximum extent possible, only on established air routes and at altitudes at or above FL 330 due to the risk to civil aviation.

    Accordingly, the FAA has decided to withdraw this proposal. Withdrawal of proposed SFAR No. 110 does not preclude the FAA from issuing another notice on this subject matter in the future and does not commit the agency to any future course of action. The FAA continues to assess the circumstances in Afghanistan and intends to take action as appropriate to mitigate risks to aviation safety.

    The FAA withdraws Notice No. 2010-12670, published at 75 FR 29466 on May 26, 2010.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and (g), 40101(d)(1), 40105(b)(1), and 44701(a)(5), on October 16, 2018. Rick Domingo, Executive Director, Flight Standards Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23400 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part I [REG-115420-18] RIN 1545-BP03 Investing in Qualified Opportunity Funds AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations that provide guidance under new section 1400Z-2 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) relating to gains that may be deferred as a result of a taxpayer's investment in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF). Specifically, the proposed regulations address the type of gains that may be deferred by investors, the time by which corresponding amounts must be invested in QOFs, and the manner in which investors may elect to defer specified gains. This document also contains proposed regulations applicable to QOFs, including rules for self-certification, valuation of QOF assets, and guidance on qualified opportunity zone businesses. The proposed regulations affect QOFs and their investors. This document also provides notice of a public hearing on these proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Written (including electronic) comments must be received by December 28, 2018. Outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for January 10, 2019 at 10 a.m. must be received by December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-115420-18), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-115420-18), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224. Alternatively, taxpayers may submit comments electronically via the Federal Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-115420-18). The public hearing will be held in the IRS auditorium, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Erika C. Reigle of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting), (202) 317-7006 and Kyle C. Griffin of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting), (202) 317-4718; concerning the submission of comments, the hearing, or to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, Regina L. Johnson, (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This document contains proposed regulations under section 1400Z-2 of the Code that amend the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1). Section 13823 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Public Law 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054, 2184 (2017) (TCJA), amended the Code to add sections 1400Z-1 and 1400Z-2. Section 1400Z-1 provides procedural rules for designating qualified opportunity zones and related definitions. Section 1400Z-2 allows a taxpayer to elect to defer certain gains to the extent that corresponding amounts are timely invested in a QOF.

    Section 1400Z-2, in conjunction with section 1400Z-1, seeks to encourage economic growth and investment in designated distressed communities (qualified opportunity zones) by providing Federal income tax benefits to taxpayers who invest in businesses located within these zones. Section 1400Z-2 provides two main tax incentives to encourage investment in qualified opportunity zones. First, it allows for the deferral of inclusion in gross income for certain gains to the extent that corresponding amounts are reinvested in a QOF. Second, it excludes from gross income the post-acquisition gains on investments in QOFs that are held for at least 10 years.

    As is more fully explained in the Explanation of Provisions, these proposed regulations describe and clarify the requirements that must be met by a taxpayer in order properly to defer the recognition of gains by investing in a QOF. In addition, the proposed regulations provide rules permitting a corporation or partnership to self-certify as a QOF. Finally, the proposed regulations provide initial proposed rules regarding some of the requirements that must be met by a corporation or partnership in order to qualify as a QOF.

    Contemporaneous with the issuance of these proposed regulations, the IRS is releasing a revenue ruling addressing the application to real property of the “original use” requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(II) and the “substantial improvement” requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(II) and 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(ii).

    In addition, these proposed regulations address the substantial-improvement requirement with respect to a purchased building located in a qualified opportunity zone. They provide that for purposes of this requirement, the basis attributable to land on which such a building sits is not taken into account in determining whether the building has been substantially improved. Excluding the basis of land from the amount that needs to be doubled under section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(ii) for a building to be substantially improved facilitates repurposing vacant buildings in qualified opportunity zones. Similarly, an absence of a requirement to increase the basis of land itself would address many of the comments that taxpayers have made regarding the need to facilitate repurposing vacant or otherwise unutilized land.

    In connection with soliciting comments on these proposed regulations the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS are soliciting comments on all aspects of the definition of “original use” and “substantial improvement.” In particular, they are seeking comments on possible approaches to defining the “original use” requirement, for both real property and other tangible property. For example, what metrics would be appropriate for determining whether tangible property has “original use” in an opportunity zone? Should the use of tangible property be determined based on its physical presence within an opportunity zone, or based on some other measure? What if the tested tangible property is a vehicle or other movable tangible property that was previously used within the opportunity zone but acquired from a person outside the opportunity zone? Should some period of abandonment or under-utilization of tangible property erase the property's history of prior use in the opportunity zone? If so, should such a fallow period enable subsequent productive utilization of the tangible property to qualify as “original use”? Should the rules appropriate for abandonment and underutilization of personal tangible property also apply to vacant real property that is productively utilized after some period? If so, what period of abandonment, underutilization, or vacancy would be consistent with the statute? In addition, comments are requested on whether any additional rules regarding the “substantial improvement” requirement for tangible property are warranted or would be useful.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS are working on additional published guidance, including additional proposed regulations expected to be published in the near future. The Treasury Department and the IRS expect the forthcoming proposed regulations to incorporate the guidance contained in the revenue ruling to facilitate additional public comment. The forthcoming proposed regulations are expected to address other issues under section 1400Z-2 that are not addressed in these proposed regulations. Issues expected to be addressed include: The meaning of “substantially all” in each of the various places where it appears in section 1400Z-2; the transactions that may trigger the inclusion of gain that has been deferred under a section 1400Z-2(a) election; the “reasonable period” (see section 1400Z-2(e)(4)(B)) for a QOF to reinvest proceeds from the sale of qualifying assets without paying a penalty; administrative rules applicable under section 1400Z-2(f) when a QOF fails to maintain the required 90 percent investment standard; and information-reporting requirements under section 1400Z-2.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS welcome comments on what other additional issues should be addressed in forthcoming proposed regulations or guidance.

    Explanation of Provisions I. Deferring Tax on Capital Gains by Investing in Opportunity Zones A. Gains Eligible for Deferral

    The proposed regulations clarify that only capital gains are eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1). In setting forth the gains that are subject to deferral, the text of section 1400Z-2(a)(1) specifies “gain from the sale to, or exchange with, an unrelated person of any property held by the taxpayer,” to the extent that such gain does not exceed the aggregate amount invested by the taxpayer in a QOF during the 180-day period beginning on the date of the sale or exchange (emphasis added). The statutory text is silent as to whether Congress intended both ordinary and capital gains to be eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2. (Sections 1221 and 1222 define these two kinds of gains.) However, the statute's legislative history explicitly identifies “capital gains” as the gains that are eligible for deferral. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe, based on the legislative history as well as the text and structure of the statute, that section 1400Z-2 is best interpreted as making deferral available only for capital gains. The proposed regulations provide that a gain is eligible for deferral if it is treated as a capital gain for Federal income tax purposes. Eligible gains, therefore, generally include capital gain from an actual, or deemed, sale or exchange, or any other gain that is required to be included in a taxpayer's computation of capital gain.

    The proposed regulations address two additional gain deferral requirements. First, the gain to be deferred must be gain that would be recognized, if deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) were not permitted, not later than December 31, 2026, the final date under section 1400Z-2(a)(2)(B) for the deferral of gain. Second, the gain must not arise from a sale or exchange with a related person as defined in section 1400Z-2(e)(2). Section 1400Z-2(e)(2) incorporates the related person definition in sections 267(b) and 707(b)(1) but substitutes “20 percent” in place of “50 percent” each place it occurs in section 267(b) or section 707(b)(1).

    B. Types of Taxpayers Eligible To Elect Gain Deferral

    The proposed regulations clarify that taxpayers eligible to elect deferral under section 1400Z-2 are those that recognize capital gain for Federal income tax purposes. These taxpayers include individuals, C corporations (including regulated investment companies (RICs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs)), partnerships, and certain other pass-through entities, including common trust funds described in section 584, as well as, qualified settlement funds, disputed ownership funds, and other entities taxable under § 1.468B of the Income Tax Regulations.

    In order to address the numerous issues raised by new section 1400Z-2 for pass-through entities, the proposed regulations include special rules for partnerships and other pass-through entities, and for taxpayers to whom these entities pass through income and other tax items. Under these rules, the entities and taxpayers can invest in a QOF and thus defer recognition of eligible gain. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether the rules are sufficient and whether more detailed rules are required to provide additional certainty for investors in pass-through entities that are not partnerships.

    C. Investments in a QOF

    The proposed regulations clarify that, to qualify under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A), (that is, to be an eligible interest in a QOF), an investment in the QOF must be an equity interest in the QOF, including preferred stock or a partnership interest with special allocations. Thus, an eligible interest cannot be a debt instrument within the meaning of section 1275(a)(1) and § 1.1275-1(d). Provided that the eligible taxpayer is the owner of the equity interest for Federal income tax purposes, status as an eligible interest is not impaired by the taxpayer's use of the interest as collateral for a loan, whether a purchase-money borrowing or otherwise. The proposed regulations also clarify that deemed contributions of money under section 752(a) do not result in the creation of an investment in a QOF.

    D. 180-Day Rule for Deferring Gain by Investing in a QOF

    Under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A), to be able to elect to defer gain, a taxpayer must generally invest in a QOF during the 180-day period beginning on the date of the sale or exchange giving rise to the gain. Some capital gains, however, are the result of Federal tax rules deeming an amount to be a gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset, and, in many cases, the statutory language providing capital gain treatment does not provide a specific date for the deemed sale. The proposed regulations address this issue by providing that, except as specifically provided in the proposed regulations, the first day of the 180-day period is the date on which the gain would be recognized for Federal income tax purposes, without regard to the deferral available under section 1400Z-2. The proposed regulations include examples that illustrate the general rule by applying it to capital gains in a variety of situations (including, for example, gains from the sale of exchange-traded stock and capital gain dividend distributions).

    If a taxpayer acquires an original interest in a QOF in connection with a gain-deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A), if a later sale or exchange of that interest triggers an inclusion of the deferred gain, and if the taxpayer makes a qualifying new investment in a QOF, then the proposed regulations provide that the taxpayer is eligible to make a section 1400Z-2(a)(2) election to defer the inclusion of the previously deferred gain. Deferring an inclusion otherwise mandated by section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) in this situation is permitted only if the taxpayer has disposed of the entire initial investment without which the taxpayer could not have made the previous deferral election under section 1400Z-2. The complete disposition is necessary because section 1400Z-2(a)(2)(A) expressly prohibits the making of a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) with respect to a sale or exchange if an election previously made with respect to the same sale or exchange remains in effect. The general 180-day rule described above determines when this second investment must be made to support the second deferral election. Under that rule, the first day of the 180-day period for the new investment in a QOF is the date that section 1400Z-2(b)(1) provides for inclusion of the previously deferred gain .

    Comments are requested as to whether the final regulations should contain exceptions to the general 180-day rule and whether it would be helpful for either the final regulations or other guidance to illustrate the application of the general 180-day rule to additional circumstances, and what those circumstances are.

    E. Attributes of Included Income When Gain Deferral Ends

    Section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) require taxpayers to include in income previously deferred gains. The proposed regulations provide that all of the deferred gain's tax attributes are preserved through the deferral period and are taken into account when the gain is included. The preserved tax attributes include those taken into account under sections 1(h), 1222, 1256, and any other applicable provisions of the Code. Furthermore, the proposed regulations address situations in which separate investments providing indistinguishable property rights (such as serial purchases of common stock in a corporation that is a QOF) are made at different times or are made at the same time with separate gains possessing different attributes (such as different holding periods). If a taxpayer disposes of less than all of its fungible interests in a QOF, the proposed regulations provide that the QOF interests disposed of must be identified using a first-in, first-out (FIFO) method. Where the FIFO method does not provide a complete answer, such as where gains with different attributes are invested in indistinguishable interests at the same time, the proposed regulations provide that a pro-rata method must be used to determine the character, and any other attributes, of the gain recognized. Examples in the proposed regulations illustrate this rule.

    Comments are requested as to whether different methods should be used. Any such alternative methods must both provide certainty as to which fungible interest a taxpayer disposes of and allow taxpayers to comply easily with the requirements of section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b),which require that certain dispositions of an interest in a QOF cause deferred gain be included in a taxpayer's income.

    II. Special Rules A. Gain Not Already Subject to an Election

    Under section 1400Z-2(a)(2)(A), no election may be made under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) with respect to a sale or exchange if an election previously made with respect to that sale or exchange is in effect. There has been some confusion as to whether this language bars a taxpayer from making multiple elections within 180-days for various parts of the gain from a single sale or exchange of property held by the taxpayer. This rule in section 1400Z-2(a)(2)(A) is meant to exclude from the section 1400Z-2(a)(1) election multiple purported elections with respect to the same gain. (Although the gain itself can be deferred only once, a taxpayer might be seeking to multiply the investments eligible for various increases in basis.) Thus, the proposed regulations clarify that in the case of a taxpayer who has made an election under section 1400Z-2(a) with respect to some but not all of an eligible gain, the term “eligible gain” includes the portion of that eligible gain as to which no election has been made. (All elections with respect to portions of the same gain would, of course, be subject to the same 180-day period.)

    B. Section 1256 Contracts

    The proposed regulations provide rules for capital gains arising from section 1256 contracts. Under section 1256, a taxpayer generally “marks to market” each section 1256 contract at the termination or transfer of the taxpayer's position in the contract or on the last business day of the taxable year if the contract is still held by the taxpayer at that time. The mark causes the taxpayer to take into account in the taxable year any not-yet recognized appreciation or depreciation in the position. This gain or loss, if capital, is treated as 60 percent long-term capital gain or loss and 40 percent short-term capital gain or loss. Currently, for federal income tax purposes, the only relevant information required to be reported by a broker to the IRS and to individuals and certain other taxpayers holding section 1256 contracts, is the taxpayer's net recognized gain or loss from all of the taxpayer's section 1256 contracts held during the taxable year. Some taxpayers holding section 1256 contracts, however, report the gain or loss from section 1256 contracts to the IRS on a per contract basis rather than on an aggregate basis. To minimize the burdens on taxpayers, brokers, and the IRS from tax compliance and tax administration, the proposed regulations allow deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) only for a taxpayer's capital gain net income from section 1256 contracts for a taxable year. In addition, because the capital gain net income from section 1256 contracts for a taxable year is determinable only as of the last day of the taxable year, the proposed regulations provide that the 180-day period for investing capital gain net income from section 1256 contracts in a QOF begins on the last day of the taxable year.

    Finally, the proposed regulations do not allow any deferral of gain from a section 1256 contract in a taxable year if, at any time during the taxable year, one of the taxpayer's section 1256 contracts was part of an offsetting-positions transaction (as defined later in the proposed regulations and described later in this preamble) in which any of the other positions was not also a section 1256 contract.

    Comments are requested on this limitation and on whether capital gain from a section 1256 contract should be eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2 on a per contract basis rather than on an aggregate net basis. Reporting on a per contract basis might require a significant increase in the number of information returns that taxpayers would need to file with the IRS as compared to the number of information returns that are currently filed on an aggregate net basis. Comments are requested on how to minimize the burdens and complexity that may be associated with reporting on a per contract basis for section 1256 contracts.

    C. Offsetting-Positions Transactions, Including Straddles

    The Treasury Department and the IRS considered allowing deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) for a net amount of capital gain related to a straddle (as defined in section 1092(c)(1)) after the disposition of all positions in the straddle. However, such a rule would pose significant administrative challenges. For example, additional rules would be needed for a taxpayer to defer such a net amount of capital gain when positions are disposed of in different taxable years (and likely would require affected taxpayers to file amended tax returns). Further, additional rules might be needed to take into account the netting requirements for identified mixed straddles described in § 1.1092(b)-3T or 1.1092(b)-6 and for mixed straddle accounts described in § 1.1092(b)-4T. Accordingly, in the interest of sound tax administration and to provide consistent treatment for transactions involving offsetting positions in personal property, the proposed regulations provide that any capital gain from a position that is or has been part of an offsetting-positions transaction (other than an offsetting-positions transaction in which all of the positions are section 1256 contracts) is not eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2.

    An offsetting-positions transaction is defined in the proposed regulations as a transaction in which a taxpayer has substantially diminished the taxpayer's risk of loss from holding one position with respect to personal property by holding one or more other positions with respect to personal property (whether or not of the same kind). It does not matter whether either of the positions is with respect to actively traded personal property. An offsetting-positions transaction includes a straddle as defined in section 1092 and the regulations thereunder, including section 1092(d)(4), which provides rules for positions held by related persons and certain flow-through entities (for example, a partnership). An offsetting-positions transaction also includes a transaction that would be a straddle (taking into account the principles referred to in the preceding sentence) if the straddle definition did not contain the active trading requirement in section 1092(d)(1).

    III. Gains of Partnerships and Other Pass-Through Entities

    Commenters have requested clarification regarding whether deferral is possible under section 1400Z-2 any time a partnership would otherwise recognize capital gain. The proposed regulations provide rules that permit a partnership to elect deferral under section 1400Z-2 and, to the extent that the partnership does not elect deferral, provide rules that allow a partner to do so. These rules both clarify the circumstances under which each can elect and clarify when the applicable 180-day period begins.

    Proposed § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(c)(1) provides that a partnership may elect to defer all or part of a capital gain to the extent that it makes an eligible investment in a QOF. Because the election provides for deferral, if the election is made, no part of the deferred gain is required to be included in the distributive shares of the partners under section 702, and the gain is not subject to section 705(a)(1). Proposed § 1.1400Z2(a)-1(c)(2) provides that, to the extent that a partnership does not elect to defer capital gain, the capital gain is included in the distributive shares of the partners under section 702 and is subject to section 705(a)(1). If all or any portion of a partner's distributive share satisfies all of the rules for eligibility under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) (including not arising from a sale or exchange with a person that is related either to the partnership or to the partner), then the partner generally may elect its own deferral with respect to the partner's distributive share. The partner's deferral is potentially available to the extent that the partner makes an eligible investment in a QOF.

    Consistent with the general rule for the beginning of the 180-day period, the partner's 180-day period generally begins on the last day of the partnership's taxable year, because that is the day on which the partner would be required to recognize the gain if the gain is not deferred. The proposed regulations, however, provide an alternative for situations in which the partner knows (or receives information) regarding both the date of the partnership's gain and the partnership's decision not to elect deferral under section 1400Z-2. In that case, the partner may choose to begin its own 180-day period on the same date as the start of the partnership's 180-day period.

    The proposed regulations state that rules analogous to the rules provided for partnerships and partners apply to other pass-through entities (including S corporations, decedents' estates, and trusts) and to their shareholders and beneficiaries. Comments are requested regarding whether taxpayers need additional details regarding analogous treatment for pass-through entities that are not partnerships.

    IV. How To Elect Deferral

    These proposed regulations require deferral elections to be made at the time and in the manner provided by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Commissioner). The Commissioner may prescribe in regulations, revenue procedures, notices, or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin or in forms and instructions the time, form, and manner in which an eligible taxpayer may elect to defer eligible gains under section 1400Z-2(a). It is currently anticipated that taxpayers will make deferral elections on Form 8949, which will be attached to their Federal income tax returns for the taxable year in which the gain would have been recognized if it had not been deferred. Form instructions to this effect are expected to be released very shortly after these proposed regulations are published. Comments are requested whether additional proposed regulations or other guidance are needed to clarify the required procedures. In addition IRS releases draft forms for public review and comments. These drafts are posted to www.IRS.gov/DraftForms and include a cover sheet that indicates how to submit comments.

    V. Section 1400Z-2(c) Election for Investments Held at Least 10 Years A. In General

    Under section 1400Z-2(c), a taxpayer that holds a QOF investment for at least ten years may elect to increase the basis of the investment to the fair market value of the investment on the date that the investment is sold or exchanged.

    The basis step-up election under section 1400Z-2(c) is available only for gains realized upon investments that were made in connection with a proper deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a). It is possible for a taxpayer to invest in a QOF in part with gains for which a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) is made and in part with other funds (for which no section 1400Z-2(a) deferral election is made or for which no such election is available). Section 1400Z-2(e) requires that these two types of QOF investments be treated as separate investments, which receive different treatment for Federal income tax purposes. Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(B), the proposed regulations reiterate that a taxpayer may make the election to step-up basis in an investment in a QOF that was held for 10 years or more only if a proper deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) was made for the investment.

    B. QOF Investments and the 10-Year Zone Designation Period

    Section 1400Z-2(c), as stated above, permits a taxpayer to elect to increase the basis in its investment in a QOF if the investment is held for at least ten years from the date of the original investment in the QOF. However, under section 1400Z-1(f), the designations of all qualified opportunity zones now in existence will expire on December 31, 2028. The loss of qualified opportunity zone designation raises numerous issues regarding gain deferral elections that are still in effect when the designation expires. Among the issues that the zone expiration date raises is whether, after the relevant qualified opportunity zone loses its designation, investors may still make basis step-up elections for QOF investments from 2019 and later.

    Section 1400Z-2 does not contain specific statutory language like that in some other provisions, such as the DC enterprise zones provision in section 1400B(b)(5), that expressly permits a taxpayer to satisfy the requisite holding period after the termination of the designation of a zone. Commenters have raised the question described in the preceding paragraph—whether a taxpayer whose investment in a QOF has its 10-year anniversary after the 2028 calendar year will be able to take advantage of the basis step-up election provided in section 1400Z-2(c). The incentive provided by this benefit is integral to the primary purpose of the provision (see H.R. Rept. 115-466, 537, which describes the intent to attract an influx of capital to designated low income communities). For this reason, the proposed regulations permit taxpayers to make the basis step-up election under section 1400Z-2(c) after a qualified opportunity zone designation expires.

    The ability to make this election is preserved under these proposed regulations until December 31, 2047, 201/2 years after the latest date that an eligible taxpayer may properly make an investment that is part of an election to defer gain under section 1400Z-2(a). Because the latest gain subject to deferral would be at the end of 2026, the last day of the 180-day period for that gain would be in late June 2027. A taxpayer deferring such a gain would achieve a 10-year holding period in a QOF investment only in late June 2037. Thus, this proposed rule would permit an investor in a QOF that makes an investment as late as the end of June 2027 to hold the investment in the QOF for the entire 10-year holding period described in section 1400Z-2(c), plus another 10 years.

    The additional ten year period is provided to avoid situations in which, in order to enjoy the benefits provided by section 1400Z-2(c), a taxpayer would need to dispose of an investment in a QOF shortly after completion of the required 10-year holding period. There may be cases in which disposal shortly after the 10-year holding period would diverge from otherwise desirable business conduct, and, absent the additional time, some taxpayers may lose the statutory benefit.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on this proposed fixed 201/2-year end date for the section 1400Z-2(c) basis step-up election. In particular, whether some other time period would better align with taxpayers' economic interests and the purposes of the statute. Comments may also include an alternative to incentivizing investors to disinvest shortly before any such a fixed end date for the section 1400Z-2(c) basis step-up election. For example, should the regulations provide for a presumed basis step-up election immediately before the ability to elect a step-up upon disposition expires? If such a basis step-up without disposition is allowed, how should a QOF investment be properly valued at the time of the step-up?

    VI. Rules for a Qualified Opportunity Fund A. Certification of an Entity as a QOF

    Section 1400Z-2(e)(4) allows the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the certification of QOFs for purposes of section 1400Z-2. In order to facilitate the certification process and minimize the information collection burden placed on taxpayers, the proposed regulations generally permit any taxpayer that is a corporation or partnership for tax purposes to self-certify as a QOF, provided that the entity self-certifying is statutorily eligible to do so. The proposed regulations permit the Commissioner to determine the time, form, and manner of the self-certification in IRS forms and instructions or in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. It is expected that taxpayers will use Form 8996, Qualified Opportunity Fund, both for initial self-certification and for annual reporting of compliance with the 90-Percent Asset Test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1). It is expected that the Form 8996 would be attached to the taxpayer's Federal income tax return for the relevant tax years. The IRS expects to release this form contemporaneous with the release of these proposed regulations.

    B. Designating When a QOF Begins

    The proposed regulations allow a QOF both to identify the taxable year in which the entity becomes a QOF and to choose the first month in that year to be treated as a QOF. If an eligible entity fails to specify the first month it is a QOF, then the first month of its initial taxable year as a QOF is treated as the first month that the eligible entity is a QOF. A deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) may only be made for investments in a QOF. Therefore, a proper deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) may not be made for an otherwise qualifying investment that is made before an eligible entity is a QOF.

    C. Becoming a QOF in a Month Other Than the First Month of the Taxable Year

    The proposed regulations provide guidance regarding application of the 90-Percent Asset Test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1) with respect to an entity's first year as a QOF, if the entity chooses to become a QOF beginning with a month other than the first month of its first taxable year. The phrase “first 6-month period of the taxable year of the fund” means the first 6-month period composed entirely of months which are within the taxable year and during which the entity is a QOF. For example, if a calendar-year entity that was created in February chooses April as its first month as a QOF, then the 90-Percent-Asset-Test testing dates for the QOF are the end of September and the end of December. Moreover, if the calendar-year QOF chooses a month after June as its first month as a QOF, then the only testing date for the taxable year is the last day of the QOF's taxable year. Regardless of when an entity becomes a QOF, the last day of the taxable year is a testing date.

    The proposed regulations clarify that the penalty in section 1400Z-2(f)(1) does not apply before the first month in which the entity qualifies as a QOF. The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to publish additional proposed regulations that will address, among other issues, the applicability of the section 1400Z-2(f)(1) penalty and conduct that may lead to potential decertification of a QOF.

    Section 1400Z-2(e)(4)(B) authorizes regulations to ensure that a QOF has “a reasonable period of time to reinvest the return of capital from investments in qualified opportunity zone stock and qualified opportunity zone partnership interests, and to reinvest proceeds received from the sale or disposition of qualified opportunity zone business property.” For example, if a QOF shortly before a testing date sells qualified opportunity zone property, that QOF should have a reasonable amount of time in which to bring itself into compliance with the 90-Percent Asset Test. Soon-to-be-released proposed regulations will provide guidance on these reinvestments by QOFs. Many stakeholders have requested guidance not only on the length of a “reasonable period of time to reinvest” but also on the Federal income tax treatment of any gains that the QOF reinvests during such a period. In the forthcoming notice of proposed rulemaking, the Treasury Department and the IRS will invite additional public comment on the scope of statutorily permissible policy alternatives. The Treasury Department and the IRS will carefully consider those comments in evaluating the widest range of statutorily permissible possibilities.

    D. Pre-Existing Entities

    Commenters have inquired whether a pre-existing entity may qualify as a QOF or as the issuer of qualified opportunity zone stock or of a qualified opportunity zone partnership. For example, commenters have asked whether a pre-existing entity may self-certify as a QOF or whether, after 2017, a QOF may acquire an equity interest in a pre-existing operating partnership or corporation. The proposed regulations clarify that there is no prohibition to using a pre-existing entity as a QOF or as a subsidiary entity operating a qualified opportunity business, provided that the pre-existing entity satisfies the requirements under section 1400Z-2(d).

    As previously discussed, section 1400Z-2(d)(1) requires that a QOF must undergo semi-annual tests to determine whether its assets consist on average of at least 90 percent qualified opportunity zone property. For purposes of these semi-annual tests, section 1400Z-2(d)(2) requires that a tangible asset can be qualified opportunity zone business property by an entity that has self-certified as a QOF or an operating subsidiary entity only if it acquired the asset after 2017 by purchase. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether there is a statutory basis for additional flexibilities that might facilitate qualification of a greater number of pre-existing entities across broad categories of industries.

    E. Valuation Method for Applying the 90-Percent Asset Test

    For purposes of the calculation of the 90-Percent Asset Test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1) by the QOF, the proposed regulations require the QOF to use the asset values that are reported on the QOF's applicable financial statement for the taxable year, as defined in § 1.475(a)-4(h) of the Income Tax Regulations. If a QOF does not have an applicable financial statement, the proposed regulations require the QOF to use the cost of its assets. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the suitability of both of these valuation methods, and whether another method, such as tax adjusted basis, would be better for purposes of assurance and administration.

    F. Nonqualified Financial Property

    Commenters have recommended that the Treasury Department and the IRS adopt a rule that provides that cash be an appropriate QOF property for purposes of the 90-Percent Asset Test, if the cash is held with the intent of investing in qualified opportunity zone property. Specifically, commenters indicated that, because developing a new business or the construction or rehabilitation of real estate may take longer than six months, QOFs should be given longer than the six months provided under section 1400Z-2(d)(1) to invest in qualifying assets.

    In response to these comments, the proposed regulations provide a working capital safe harbor for QOF investments in qualified opportunity zone businesses that acquire, construct, or rehabilitate tangible business property, which includes both real property and other tangible property used in a business operating in an opportunity zone. The safe harbor allows qualified opportunity zone businesses to apply the definition of working capital provided in section 1397C(e)(1) to property held by the business for a period of up to 31 months, if there is a written plan that identifies the financial property as property held for the acquisition, construction, or substantial improvement of tangible property in the opportunity zone, there is written schedule consistent with the ordinary business operations of the business that the property will be used within 31-months, and the business substantially complies with the schedule. Taxpayers would be required to retain any written plan in their records.

    This expansion of the term “working capital” reflects the fact that section 1400Z-2(d)(iii) anticipates situations in which a QOF or operating subsidiary may need up to 30 months after acquiring a tangible asset in which to improve the asset substantially. In seeking relief, some commenters based their requests on administrative practices that have developed under other sections of the Code that these commenters believe are analogous. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the adequacy of the working-capital safe harbor and of ancillary safe harbors that protect a business during the working capital period, and on whether there is a statutory basis for any additional relief. Comments are also requested about the appropriateness of any further expansion of the “working capital” concept beyond the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of tangible business property to the development of business operations in the opportunity zone.

    G. Qualified Opportunity Zone Business

    Under section 1400Z-2(d)(1), a QOF is any investment vehicle organized as a corporation or partnership for the purpose of investing in qualified opportunity zone property (other than another QOF). A QOF must hold at least 90 percent of its assets in qualified opportunity zone property. Compliance with the 90 Percent Asset Test is determined by the average of the percentage of the qualified opportunity zone property held in the QOF as measured on the last day of the first 6-month period of the taxable year of the QOF and on the last day of the taxable year of the QOF.

    Under section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(A), the term qualified opportunity zone property includes qualified opportunity zone business property. Qualified opportunity zone property may also include certain equity interests in an operating subsidiary entity (either a corporation or a partnership) that qualifies as a qualified opportunity zone business by satisfying certain requirements pursuant to section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B) and (C).

    Consequently, if a QOF operates a trade or business directly and does not hold any equity in a qualified opportunity zone business, at least 90 percent of the QOF's assets must be qualified opportunity zone property.

    The definition of qualified opportunity zone business property requires property to be used in a QOZ and also requires new capital to be employed in a QOZ. Under section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i), qualified opportunity zone business property means tangible property used in a trade or business of a QOF, but only if (1) the property was acquired by purchase after December 31, 2017; (2) the original use of the property in the QOZ commences with the QOF, or the QOF substantially improves the property; and (3) during substantially all of the QOF's holding period for the property, substantially all of the use of the property was in a QOZ.

    Under section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B)(i) and (C), to qualify as a qualified opportunity zone business, an entity must be a qualified opportunity zone business both (a) when the QOF acquires its equity interest in the entity and (b) during substantially all of the QOF's holding period for that interest. The manner of the QOF's acquisition of the equity interest must comply with certain additional requirements.

    Under section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A), for a trade or business to qualify as a qualified opportunity zone business, it must (among other requirements) be one in which substantially all of the tangible property owned or leased by the taxpayer is qualified opportunity zone business property.

    If an entity qualifies as a qualified opportunity zone business, the value of the QOF's entire interest in the entity counts toward the QOF's satisfaction of the 90 Percent Asset Test. Thus, if a QOF operates a trade or business (or multiple trades or businesses) through one or more entities, then the QOF can satisfy the 90 Percent Asset Test if each of the entities qualifies as a qualified opportunity zone business. The minimum amount of qualified opportunity zone business property owned or leased by a business for it to qualify as a qualified opportunity zone business is controlled by the meaning of the phrase substantially all in section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i).

    In determining whether an entity is a qualified opportunity zone business, these proposed regulations propose a threshold to determine whether a trade or business satisfies the substantially all requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i).

    If at least 70 percent of the tangible property owned or leased by a trade or business is qualified opportunity zone business property (as defined section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i)), the trade or business is treated as satisfying the substantially all requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i). The 70 percent threshold provided in these proposed regulations is intended to apply only to the term “substantially all” as it is used in section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i).

    The phrase substantially all is also used in several other places in section 1400Z-2. That phrase appears in section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i), in which a qualified opportunity zone business is generally defined as a trade or business “in which substantially all of the tangible property owned or leased by the taxpayer is qualified opportunity zone business property (determined by substituting ‘qualified opportunity zone business' for ‘qualified opportunity fund' each place it appears in section 1400Z-2(d)](2)(D)).” In addition, substantially all appears in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(III), which establishes the conditions for qualifying as an opportunity zone business property “during substantially all of the qualified opportunity fund's holding period for such property, substantially all of the use of such property was in a qualified opportunity zone” and section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B)(ii)(III).

    Several requirements of section 1400Z-2(d) use substantially all multiple times in a row (that is, “substantially all of . . . substantially all of . . . substantially all of . . .”). This compounded use of substantially all must be interpreted in a manner that does not result in a fraction that is too small to implement the intent of Congress.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments regarding the proposed meaning of the phrase substantially all in section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i) as well as in the various other locations in section 1400Z-2(d) where that phrase is used.

    H. Eligible Entities

    The proposed regulations clarify that a QOF must be an entity classified as a corporation or partnership for Federal income tax purposes. In addition, it must be created or organized in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. possession. In addition, if an entity is organized in a U.S. possession but not in one of the 50 States or in the District of Columbia, then it may be a QOF only if it is organized for the purpose of investing in qualified opportunity zone property that relates to a trade or business operated in the possession in which the entity is organized.

    The proposed regulations further clarify that qualified opportunity zone property may include stock or a partnership interest in an entity classified as a corporation or partnership for Federal income tax purposes. In addition, it must be a corporation or partnership created or organized in, or under the laws of, one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. possession. Specifically, if an entity is organized in a U.S. possession but not in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia, an equity interest in the entity may be qualified opportunity zone stock or a qualified opportunity zone partnership interest, as the case may be, only if the entity conducts a qualified opportunity zone business in the U.S. possession in which the entity is organized.

    The proposed regulations further define a U.S. possession to mean any jurisdiction outside of the 50 States and the District of Columbia in which a designated qualified opportunity zone exists under section 1400Z-1. This definition may include the following U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A complete list of designated qualified opportunity zones is found in Notice 2018-48, 2018-28 I.R.B. 9.

    VII. Section 1400Z-2(e) Investments From Mixed Funds

    If only a portion of a taxpayer's investment in a QOF is subject to the deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a), then section 1400Z-2(e) requires the investment to be treated as two separate investments, which receive different treatment for Federal income tax purposes. Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(B), the proposed regulations reiterate that a taxpayer may make the election to step-up basis in an investment in a QOF that was held for 10 years or more only if a proper deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) was made for the investment.

    Commenters have questioned whether section 752(a) could result in investments with mixed funds under section 1400Z-2(e)(1). Section 1400Z-2(e)(1) requires a taxpayer to treat as two separate investments the combination of an investment to which a section 1400Z-2(a) gain-deferral election applies and an investment of any amount to which such an election does not apply. As previously noted, these proposed regulations clarify that deemed contributions of money under section 752(a) do not constitute an investment in a QOF; therefore, such a deemed contribution does not result in the partner having a separate investment under section 1400Z-2(e)(1). Thus, a partner's increase in outside basis is not taken into account in determining what portion of the partner's interest is subject to the deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) or what portion is not subject to the deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a). Comments are requested on whether other pass-through entities require similar treatment. Comments are also requested on whether there may be certain circumstances in which not treating the deemed contribution under section 752(a) as creating a separate investment for purposes of section 1400Z-2(e)(1) may be considered abusive or otherwise problematic.

    Proposed Effective Date

    These regulations generally are proposed to be effective on or after the date of publication in the Federal Register of a Treasury decision adopting these proposed rules as final regulations (final regulations publication date). However—

    • An eligible taxpayer may rely on the rules of proposed § 1.1400Z2(a)-1 with respect to eligible gains that would be recognized before the final regulations' date of applicability, but only if the taxpayer applies the rules in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    • A taxpayer may rely on the rules in proposed § 1.1400Z2(c)-1 with respect to dispositions of investment interests in QOFs in situations where the investment was made in connection with an election under section 1400Z-2(a) that relates to the deferral of a gain such that the first day of 180-day period for the gain was before the final regulations' date of applicability. This reliance is dependent on the taxpayer's applying the rules of § 1.1400Z2(c)-1 in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    • A QOF may rely on the rules in proposed § 1.1400Z2(d)-1 with respect to taxable years that begin before the final regulations' date of applicability, but only if the QOF applies the rules in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    • A taxpayer may rely on the rules in proposed § 1.1400Z2(e)-1 with respect to investments and deemed contributions of money that occur before the final regulations' date of applicability, but only if the taxpayer applies the rules in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    Special Analyses I. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 13771, 13563, and 12866 direct agencies to assess 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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility.

    These proposed regulations have been designated by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) as subject to review under Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations. OIRA has determined that the proposed rulemaking is economically significant and subject to review under E.O. 12866 and section 1(c) of the Memorandum of Agreement. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that significant investment will flow into qualified opportunity zones as a result of the TCJA legislation and proposed regulation. This investment is likely to be primarily from other areas of the United States. Accordingly, the proposed regulations have been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, the Treasury Department and the IRS expect the proposed regulation, when final, to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action and request comment on this designation. Details on the costs of the proposed regulations can be found in this economic analysis.

    A. Background and Overview

    Congress enacted section 1400Z-2, in conjunction with section 1400Z-1, as a temporary provision to encourage private sector investment in certain lower-income communities designated as qualified opportunity zones (see Senate Committee on Finance, Explanation of the Bill, at 313 (November 22, 2017)). Taxpayers may elect to defer the recognition of capital gain to the extent of amounts invested in a QOF, provided that the corresponding amounts are invested during the 180-day period beginning on the date such capital gain would have been recognized by the taxpayer. Inclusion of the deferred capital gain in income occurs on the date the investment in the QOF is sold or exchanged, or on December 31, 2026, whichever comes first. For investments in a QOF held longer than five years, taxpayers may exclude 10 percent of the deferred gain from inclusion in income, and for investment held longer than seven years, taxpayers may exclude a total of 15 percent of the deferred gain from inclusion in income. In addition, for investments held longer than 10 years, the post-acquisition gain on the qualifying investment in the QOF may also be excluded from income. In turn, a QOF must hold at least 90 percent of its assets in qualified opportunity zone property, as measured by the average percentage held at the last day of the first 6-month period of the taxable year of the fund and the last day of the taxable year. The statute requires a QOF that fails this 90 percent test to pay a penalty for each month it fails to maintain the 90-percent asset requirement.

    The proposed regulations clarify several terms used in the statute, such as what type of gains are eligible for this preferential treatment, what type of taxpayers are eligible, the timing of transactions necessary for satisfying the requirements of the statute, including the time period for which the exclusion on gains for investments held longer than 10 years applies, and certain rules related to the creation and continued qualification of a fund as a QOF.

    B. Need for the Proposed Regulations

    Taxpayers may be unwilling to make investments in QOFs without first having additional clarity on which investments in a QOF would qualify to receive the preferential tax treatment specified by the TCJA. This uncertainty could reduce the amount of investment flowing into lower-income communities designated as qualified opportunity zones below the congressionally intended effect. The lack of additional clarity could also lead to different taxpayers interpreting, and therefore applying, the same statute differently, which could distort the allocation of investment across the qualifying opportunity zones.

    C. Economic Analysis 1. Baseline

    The Treasury Department and the IRS have assessed the benefits and costs of the proposed regulations relative to a no-action baseline reflecting anticipated Federal income tax-related behavior in the absence of these proposed regulations.

    2. Anticipated Benefits a. In General

    The Treasury Department and the IRS expect that the certainty and clarity provided by these proposed regulations, relative to the baseline, will enhance U.S. economic performance under the statute. Under the proposed regulations, taxpayers are provided clarity on the type and timing of transactions that would qualify for the beneficial tax treatment provided for investments in QOFs. As a primary benefit, the clarity provided by these proposed regulations would reduce planning costs for taxpayers and make it easier for taxpayers to make investment decisions that more precisely conform to the statutory requirements for QOFs. In addition, the reduction in uncertainty should encourage investment to flow into qualified opportunity zones, consistent with the intent of the TCJA.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS considered various alternatives in the promulgation of the proposed regulations, with the major ones described in the following paragraphs. These alternatives included not issuing the proposed regulations under section 1400Z-2. This path was not chosen for several reasons. The TCJA provides both a reward in terms preferential tax treatment of deferred gains, but also a penalty if a QOF does not maintain compliance with the 90-percent asset test. Without the proposed regulations, some taxpayers may have foregone making promising investments within a qualifying opportunity zone out of concern that the investment may later be determined to not be a qualifying investment. As described in the following paragraphs, the proposed regulations help clarify several areas in which the statutory language was either ambiguous or not very specific. Overall, the clarity provided by the proposed regulations should reduce planning costs by taxpayers and enable taxpayers to make economically efficient decisions given the context of the whole Code.

    b. Clarity Regarding Eligible Gains

    The proposed regulations specify that only capital gains are eligible for deferral and potential exclusion under section 1400Z-2. As discussed in section I.A of the Explanation of Provisions, there is ambiguity that results from the variation between the operative statutory text and the section heading in the statute regarding what type of gains would be eligible for deferral. The Treasury Department and the IRS determined that Congress intended deferral only to be available to capital gains. This clarity provided in the proposed regulations would reduce uncertainty for taxpayers regarding what transactions would qualify for the preferential tax treatment and also reduce administrative and compliance costs.

    c. Clarity Regarding Application to Eligible Taxpayers

    The proposed regulations also clarify which taxpayers are eligible to defer the recognition of capital gain through investing in a QOF and describe how different types of taxpayers may satisfy the requirements for electing to defer capital gain consistent with the rules of section 1400Z-2 and the overall Code. In particular, the proposed regulations describe rules for how partnerships and partners in a partnership may invest in a QOF and elect to defer recognition of capital gains. Partnerships are expected to be a significant source of funds invested in QOFs. Without these proposed rules clarifying how partnerships and partners may satisfy the requirements for the preferential treatment of capital gains, partners may be less willing to invest in a QOF. The proposed regulations help provide a uniform signal to different types of taxpayers of the availability of this preferential treatment of capital gains and provide the mechanics of how these different taxpayers may satisfy the requirements imposed by the statute. Thus these different types of taxpayers may make decisions that are more economically efficient contingent on the overall Code.

    d. Clarity Regarding Electing Post-10-Year Gain Exclusion if Zone Designation Expires

    Proposed § 1.1400Z2(c)-1 specifies that expiration of a zone designation would not impair the ability of a taxpayer to elect the exclusion from gains for investments held for at least 10 years, provided the disposition of the investment occurs prior to January 1, 2048. The Treasury Department and the IRS considered four alternatives regarding the interaction between the expiration of the designated zones and the election to exclude gain for investments held more than 10 years. A discussion of the economic costs and benefits of the four options follows.

    i. Remaining Silent on Electing Post-10-Year Gain Exclusion

    The first alternative would be for the proposed regulations to remain silent on this issue. Section 1400Z-2(c) permits a taxpayer to increase the basis in the property held in a QOF longer than 10 years to be equal to the fair market value of that property on the date that the investment is sold or exchanged, thus excluding post-acquisition capital gain on the investment from tax. However, the statutory expiration of the designation of qualified opportunity zones on December 31, 2028, makes it unclear to what extent investments in a QOF made after 2018 would qualify for this exclusion.

    Some taxpayers may believe that only investments in a QOF made prior to January 1, 2019, would be eligible for the exclusion from gain if held greater than 10 years. Such taxpayers may rush to complete transactions within 2018, while others may choose to hold off indefinitely from investing in a QOF until they received clarity on the availability of the 10-year exclusion from gain for investments made later than 2018. Other taxpayers may plan to invest in a QOF after 2018 with the expectation that future regulations would be provided or the statute would be amended to make it clear that dispositions of assets within a QOF after 2028 would be eligible for exclusion if held longer than 10 years. The ambiguity of the statute is likely to lead to uneven response by different taxpayers, dependent on the taxpayer's interpretation of the statute, which may lead to an inefficient allocation of investment across qualified opportunity zones.

    ii. Providing a Clear Deadline for Electing Post-10-Year Gain Exclusion

    The alternative adopted by the proposed regulations clarifies that as long as the investment in the QOF was made with funds subject to a proper deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a), which requires the investment to be made prior to June 29, 2027, then the 10-year gain exclusion election is allowed as long as the disposition of the investment occurs before January 1, 2048. This proposed rule would provide certainty to taxpayers regarding the timing of investments eligible for the 10-year gain exclusion. Taxpayers would have a more uniform understanding of what transactions would be eligible for the favorable treatment on capital gains. This would help taxpayers determine which investments provide a sufficient return to compensate for the extra costs and risks of investing in a QOF. This proposed rule would likely lead to an increase in investment within QOFs compared the proposed regulations remaining silent on this issue.

    However, setting a fixed date for the disposition of eligible QOFs investments could introduce economic inefficiencies. Some taxpayers may dispose of their investment in a QOF by the deadline in the proposed regulation primarily in order to receive the benefit of the gain exclusion, but that selling date may not be optimal for the taxpayer in terms of the portfolio of assets that the taxpayer could have chosen to invest in were there no deadline. Setting a fixed deadline may also generate an overall decline in asset values in some qualified opportunity zones if many investors in QOFs seek to sell their portion of the fund within the same time period. This decline in asset values may affect the broader level of economic activity within some qualified opportunity zones or affect other investors in such zones that did not invest through a QOF. In anticipation of this fixed deadline, some taxpayers may choose to dispose of QOF assets earlier than the deadline to avoid an anticipated “rush to the exits,” but this would seem to conflict with the purpose of the incentives in the statute to encourage “patient” capital investment within qualified opportunity zones. While the proposed regulations may produce these inefficiencies, by providing a long time period for which taxpayers may dispose of their investment within a QOF and still qualify for the exclusion the proposed regulations will lead any such inefficiencies to be minor.

    iii. Providing No Deadline for Electing Gain Exclusion

    As an alternative, the proposed regulations could have provided no deadline for electing the 10-year gain exclusion for investments in a QOF, while still stating that the ability to make the election is not impaired solely because the designation of one or more qualified opportunity zones ceases to be in effect. While this alternative would eliminate the economic inefficiencies associated with a fixed deadline and would likely lead to greater investment in QOFs, it could introduce substantial additional administrative and compliance costs. Taxpayers would also need to maintain records and make efforts to maintain compliance with the rules of section 1400Z-2 on an indefinite basis.

    iv. Providing Fair Market Value Basis Without Disposition of Investment

    Another alternative considered would allow taxpayers to elect to increase the basis in their investment in the QOF if held at least 10 years to the fair market value of the investment without disposing of the property, as long as the election was made prior to January 1, 2048. (Analogously, the proposed regulations could have provided that, at the close of business of the day on which a taxpayer first has the ability to make the 10-year gain exclusion election, the basis in the investment automatically sets to the greater of current basis or the fair market value of the investment.) This alternative would minimize the economic inefficiencies of the proposed regulations resulting from taxpayers needing to dispose of their investment in the opportunity zone at a fixed date not related to any factor other than the lapse of time. However, this approach would require a method of valuing assets that could raise administrative and compliance costs. It may also require the maintenance of records and trained compliance personnel for over two decades.

    v. Summary

    As discussed in section V.B of the Explanation of Provisions, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined the ability to exclude gains for investment held at least 10 years in a QOF is integral to the TCJA's purpose of creating qualified opportunity zones. The proposed regulations provide a uniform signal to all taxpayers on the availability of this tax incentive, which should encourage greater investment, and a more efficient distribution of investment, in QOFs than in the absence of these proposed regulations. The relative costs and benefits of the various alternatives are difficult to measure and compare. The proposed regulations would likely produce the lowest compliance and administrative costs among the alternatives and any associated economic inefficiencies are likely to be small.

    e. Safe Harbors for Statutory Qualifying Property Tests

    Section 1400Z-2 contains several rules limiting taxpayers from benefitting from the deferral and exclusion of capital gains from income offered by that section without also locating investment within a qualifying opportunity zone. The proposed regulations clarify the rules related to nonqualified financial property and what amounts can be held in cash and cash equivalents as working capital. The statute requires that a QOF must hold 90 percent of its assets in qualified opportunity zone property, such as owning stock or a partnership interest in a qualified opportunity zone business. A qualifying opportunity zone business is subject to the requirements of section 1397C(b)(8), that less than 5 percent of the aggregate adjusted basis of the entity is attributable to nonqualified financial property. The proposed regulations establish a working capital safe harbor consistent with section 1397C(e)(1), under which a qualified opportunity zone business may hold cash or cash equivalents for a period not longer than 31 months and not violate section 1397C(b)(8).

    The Treasury Department and the IRS expect that the establishment of safe harbors under these parameters will provide net economic benefits. Without specification of the working capital safe harbor, some taxpayers would not invest in a QOF for fear that the QOF would not be able to deploy the funds soon enough to satisfy the 90-percent asset test. Thus, this part of the proposed regulations would generally encourage investment in QOFs by providing greater specificity to how an entity may consistently satisfy the statutory requirements for maintaining a QOF without penalty. In addition, this part of the proposed regulations minimizes the distortion that may arise between purchasing existing property and sufficiently rehabilitating that property versus constructing new property, as the time frame specified under the statute and proposed regulations are similar (30 months after acquisition for rehabilitating existing property versus 31 months for acquiring and rehabilitating existing property or for constructing new property).

    A longer or a shorter period could have been chosen for the working capital safe harbor. A shorter time period would minimize the ability of taxpayers to use the investment in a QOF as a way to lower taxes without actually investing in tangible assets within a qualified opportunity zone, but taxpayers may also forego legitimate investments within an opportunity zone out of concern of not being able to deploy the working capital fast enough to meet the requirements. A longer period would have the opposite effects. Taxpayers could potentially invest in a QOF and receive the benefits of the tax incentive for multiple years before the money is invested into a qualified opportunity zone.

    f. Definition of Substantially All

    The proposed regulations specify that if at least 70 percent of the tangible property owned or leased by a trade or business is qualified opportunity zone business property, then the trade or business is treated as satisfying the substantially all requirement of section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(i). This clarity would provide taxpayers greater certainty when evaluating potential investment opportunities as to whether the potential investment would satisfy the statutory requirements.

    However, the 70 percent requirement for a trade or business will give QOFs an incentive to invest in a qualified opportunity zone business rather than owning qualified opportunity zone business property directly. For example, consider a QOF with $10 million in assets that plans to invest 100 percent of its assets in real property. If it held the real property directly, then at least $9 million (90 percent) of the property must be located within an opportunity zone to satisfy the 90 percent asset test for the QOF. If instead, it invests in a subsidiary that then holds real property, then only $7 million (70 percent) of the property must be located within an opportunity zone. In addition, if the QOF only invested $9 million into the subsidiary, which then held 70 percent of its property within an opportunity zone, the investors in the QOF could receive the statutory tax benefits while investing only $6.3 million (63 percent) of its assets within a qualified opportunity zone.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS also considered setting this “substantially all” threshold at 90 percent. This would reduce, but not eliminate, the incentive the QOF has to invest in a qualified opportunity zone business rather than directly owning qualified opportunity zone business property compared to the 70 percent threshold. Please see earlier discussion and request for comment regarding this definition for additional detail.

    3. Anticipated Impacts on Administrative and Compliance Costs

    The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate decreased taxpayer compliance costs resulting from the proposed regulations due to the greater taxpayer certainty regarding how to comply with the requirements set forth in the statute. The Treasury Department also anticipates decreased administrative and enforcement costs for the IRS.

    D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information in these proposed regulations with respect to QOFs is in proposed § 1.1400Z2(d)-1. The collection of information in proposed § 1.1400Z2(d)-1 is satisfied by submitting a new reporting form, Form 8996, Qualified Opportunity Fund, with an income tax return. For purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) (PRA), the reporting burden associated with proposed § 1.1400Z2(d)-1 will be reflected in the Paperwork Reduction Act submission associated with new Form 8996 (OMB control number 1545-0123). Notice of the availability of the draft Form 8996 and request for comment will be available at IRS.gov/DraftForms. In addition, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on any aspect of this collection in this proposed rulemaking.

    The collection of information in proposed § 1.1400Z2(d)-1 requires each QOF, be it a corporation or partnership, to file a Form 8996 to certify that it is organized to invest in qualified opportunity zone property. In addition, a QOF files Form 8996 annually to certify that the qualified opportunity fund meets the investment standards of section 1400Z-2 or to figure the penalty if it fails to meet the investment standards.

    II. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. chapter 6), it is hereby certified that these proposed regulations, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities that are directly affected by the proposed regulations. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Although there is a lack of available data regarding the extent to which small entities invest in QOFs, this certification is based on the belief of the Treasury Department and the IRS that these funds will generally involve investments made by larger entities and investments are entirely voluntary. The Treasury Department and the IRS specifically solicit comment from any party, particularly affected small entities, on the accuracy of this certification.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f), this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    III. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits and take certain other actions before issuing a final rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in expenditures in any one year by a state, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2018, that threshold is approximately $150 million. This rule does not include any Federal mandate that may result in expenditures by state, local, or tribal governments, or by the private sector in excess of that threshold.

    IV. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule either imposes substantial, direct compliance costs on state and local governments, and is not required by statute, or preempts state law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. This proposed rule does not have federalism implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments or preempt state law within the meaning of the Executive Order.

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

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

    Comments

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any electronic and written comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the ADDRESSES heading. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of the proposed rules. All comments will be available at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is Erika C. Reigle, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAX Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding entries in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.1400Z2(a)-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-2(e)(4).

    Section 1.1400Z2(c)-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-2(e)(4).

    Section 1.1400Z2(d)-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-2(e)(4).

    Section 1.1400Z2(e)-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-2(e)(4).

    Par. 2. Section 1.1400Z2(a)-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.1400Z2(a)-1 Deferring tax on capital gains by investing in opportunity zones.

    (a) In general. Under section 1400Z-2(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and this section, an eligible taxpayer may elect to defer recognition of some or all of its eligible gains to the extent that the taxpayer timely invests (as provided for by section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A)) in eligible interests of a qualified opportunity fund (QOF), as defined in section 1400Z-2(d)(1). Paragraph (b) of this section defines eligible taxpayers, eligible gains, and eligible interests and contains related operational rules. Paragraph (c) of this section provides rules for applying section 1400Z-2 to a partnership, S corporation, trust, or estate that recognizes an eligible gain or would recognize such a gain if it did not elect to defer the gain under section 1400Z-2(a).

    (b) Definitions and related operating rules. The following definitions and rules apply for purposes of section 1400Z-2:

    (1) Eligible taxpayer. An eligible taxpayer is a person that may recognize gains for purposes of Federal income tax accounting. Thus, eligible taxpayers include individuals; C corporations, including regulated investment companies (RICs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs); partnerships; S corporations; trusts and estates. An eligible taxpayer may elect to defer recognition of one or more eligible gains in accordance with the requirements of section 1400Z-2.

    (2) Eligible gain—(i) In general. An amount of gain is an eligible gain, and thus is eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2(a), if the gain—

    (A) Is treated as a capital gain for Federal income tax purposes;

    (B) Would be recognized for Federal income tax purposes before January 1, 2027, if section 1400Z-2(a)(1) did not apply to defer recognition of the gain; and

    (C) Does not arise from a sale or exchange with a person that, within the meaning of section 1400Z-2(e)(2), is related to the taxpayer that recognizes the gain or that would recognize the gain if section 1400Z-2(a)(1) did not apply to defer recognition of the gain.

    (ii) Gain not already subject to an election. In the case of a taxpayer who has made an election under section 1400Z-2(a) with respect to some but not all of an eligible gain, the term “eligible gain” includes the portion of that eligible gain with respect to which no election has yet been made.

    (iii) Gains under section 1256 contracts—(A) General rule. The only gain arising from section 1256 contracts that is eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) is capital gain net income for a taxable year. This net amount is determined by taking into account the capital gains and losses for a taxable year on all of a taxpayer's section 1256 contracts, including all amounts determined under section 1256(a), both those determined on the last business day of a taxable year and those that section 1256(c) requires to be determined under section 1256(a) because of the termination or transfer during the taxable year of the taxpayer's position with respect to a contract. The 180-day period with respect to any capital gain net income from section 1256 contracts for a taxable year begins on the last day of the taxable year, and the character of that gain when it is later included under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) is determined under the general rule in paragraph (b)(5) of this section. See paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this section for limitations on the capital gains eligible for deferral under this paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(A).

    (B) Limitation on deferral for gain from 1256 contracts. If, at any time during the taxable year, any of the taxpayer's section 1256 contracts was part of an offsetting positions transaction (as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section) and any other position in that transaction was not a section 1256 contract, then no gain from any section 1256 contract is an eligible gain with respect to that taxpayer in that taxable year.

    (iv) No deferral for gain from a position that is or has been part of an offsetting-positions transaction. If a capital gain is from a position that is or has been part of an offsetting-positions transaction, the gain is not eligible for deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1). For purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(iv), an offsetting-positions transaction is a transaction in which a taxpayer has substantially diminished the taxpayer's risk of loss from holding one position with respect to personal property by holding one or more other positions with respect to personal property (whether or not of the same kind). It does not matter whether either of the positions is with respect to actively traded personal property. An offsetting-positions transaction includes a straddle within the meaning of section 1092 and the regulations under section 1092, including section 1092(d)(4), which provides rules for positions held by related persons and certain flow-through entities (for example, a partnership). An offsetting-positions transaction also includes a transaction that would be a straddle (taking into account the principles referred to in the preceding sentence) if the straddle definition did not contain the active trading requirement in section 1092(d)(1). For example, an offsetting-positions transaction includes positions in closely held stock or other non-traded personal property and substantially offsetting derivatives.

    (3) Eligible interest—(i) In general. For purposes of section 1400Z-2, an eligible interest in a QOF is an equity interest issued by the QOF, including preferred stock or a partnership interest with special allocations. Thus, the term eligible interest excludes any debt instrument within the meaning of section 1275(a)(1) and § 1.1275-1(d).

    (ii) Use as collateral permitted. Provided that the eligible taxpayer is the owner of the equity interest for Federal income tax purposes, status as an eligible interest is not impaired by using the interest as collateral for a loan, whether as part of a purchase-money borrowing or otherwise.

    (iii) Deemed contributions not constituting investment. See § 1.1400Z2(e)-1(a)(2) for rules regarding deemed contributions of money to a partnership pursuant to section 752(a).

    (4) 180-day period—(i) In general. Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this section, the 180-day period referred to in section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A) with respect to any eligible gain (180-day period) begins on the day on which the gain would be recognized for Federal income tax purposes if the taxpayer did not elect under section 1400Z-2 to defer recognition of that gain.

    (ii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles of paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section.

    (A) Example 1.

    Regular-way trades of stock. If stock is sold at a gain in a regular-way trade on an exchange, the 180-day period with respect to the gain on the stock begins on the trade date.

    (B) Example 2.

    Capital gain dividends received by RIC and REIT shareholders. If an individual RIC or REIT shareholder receives a capital gain dividend (as described in section 852(b)(3) or section 857(b)(3)), the shareholder's 180-day period with respect to that gain begins on the day on which the dividend is paid.

    (C) Example 3.

    Undistributed capital gains received by RIC and REIT shareholders. If section 852(b)(3)(D) or section 857(b)(3)(D) (concerning undistributed capital gains) requires the holder of shares in a RIC or REIT to include an amount in the shareholder's long-term capital gains, the shareholder's 180-day period with respect to that gain begins on the last day of the RIC or REIT's taxable year.

    (D) Example 4.

    Additional deferral of previously deferred gains—(1) Facts. Taxpayer A invested in a QOF and properly elected to defer realized gain. During 2025, taxpayer A disposes of its entire investment in the QOF in a transaction that, under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b), triggers an inclusion of gain in A's gross income. Section 1400Z-2(b) determines the date and amount of the gain included in A's income. That date is the date on which A disposed of its entire interest in the QOF. A wants to elect under section 1400Z-2 to defer the amount that is required to be included in income.

    (2) Analysis. Under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, the 180-day period for making another investment in a QOF begins on the day on which section 1400Z-2(b) requires the prior gain to be included. As prescribed by section 1400Z-2(b)(1)(A), that is the date of the inclusion-triggering disposition. Thus, in order to make a deferral election under section 1400Z-2, A must invest the amount of the inclusion in the original QOF or in another QOF during the 180-day period beginning on the date when A disposed of its entire investment in the QOF.

    (5) Attributes of gains that section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) includes in income. If section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) require a taxpayer to include in income some or all of a previously deferred gain, the gain so included has the same attributes in the taxable year of inclusion that it would have had if tax on the gain had not been deferred. These attributes include those taken into account by sections 1(h), 1222, 1256, and any other applicable provisions of the Code.

    (6) First-In, First-Out (FIFO) method to identify which interest in a QOF has been disposed of—(i) FIFO requirement. If a taxpayer holds investment interests with identical rights (fungible interests) in a QOF that were acquired on different days and if, on a single day, the taxpayer disposes of less than all of these interests, then the first-in-first-out (FIFO) method must be used to identify which interests were disposed of. Fungible interests may be equivalent shares of stock in a corporation or partnership interests with identical rights.

    (ii) Consequences of identification. The FIFO method determines—

    (A) Whether an investment is described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(i) (an investment to which a gain deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) applies) or section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(ii) (an investment which was not part of a gain deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a));

    (B) In the case of investments described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(i), the attributes of the gain subject to a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a), at the time the gain is included in income (the attributes addressed in paragraph (b)(5) of this section); and

    (C) The extent, if any, of an increase under section 1400Z-2(b)(2)(B) in the basis of an investment interest that is disposed of.

    (7) Pro-rata method. If, after application of the FIFO method, a taxpayer is treated as having disposed of less than all of the investment interests that the taxpayer acquired on one day and if the interests acquired on that day vary with respect to the characteristics described in paragraph (b)(6)(ii) of this section, then a proportionate allocation must be made to determine which interests were disposed of (pro-rata method).

    (8) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of paragraph (b)(5) through (7) of this section.

    (i) Example 1.

    Short-term gain. For 2018, taxpayer B properly made an election under section 1400Z-2 to defer $100 of gain that, if not deferred, would have been recognized as short-term capital gain, as defined in section 1222(1). In 2022, section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) requires taxpayer B to include the gain in gross income. Under paragraph (b)(5) of this section, the gain included is short-term capital gain.

    (ii) Example 2.

    Collectibles gain. For 2018, taxpayer C properly made an election under section 1400Z-2 to defer a gain that, if not deferred, would have been collectibles gain as defined in IRC section 1(h)(5). In a later taxable year, section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) requires some or all of that deferred gain to be included in gross income. The gain included is collectibles gain.

    (iii) Example 3.

    Net gains from section 1256 contracts. For 2019, taxpayer D had $100 of capital gain net income from section 1256 contracts. D timely invested $100 in a QOF and properly made an election under section 1400Z-2 to defer that $100 of gain. In 2023, section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) requires taxpayer D to include that deferred gain in gross income. Under paragraph (b)(5) of this section, the character of the inclusion is governed by section 1256(a)(3) (which requires a 40:60 split between short-term and long-term capital gain). Accordingly, $40 of the inclusion is short-term capital gain and $60 of the inclusion is long-term capital gain.

    (iv) Example 4.

    FIFO method. For 2018, taxpayer E properly made an election under section 1400Z-2 to defer $300 of short-term capital gain. For 2020, E properly made a second election under section 1400Z-2 to defer $200 of long-term capital gain. In both cases, E properly invested in QOF Q the amount of the gain to be deferred. The two investments are fungible interests and the price of the interests was the same at the time of the two investments. E did not purchase any additional interest in QOF Q or sell any of its interest in QOF Q until 2024, when E sold for a gain 60 percent of its interest in QOF Q. Under paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, E must apply the FIFO method to identify which investments in QOF Q that E disposed of. As determined by this identification, E sold the entire 2018 initial investment in QOF Q. Under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b), the sale triggered an inclusion of deferred gain. Because the inclusion has the same character as the gain that had been deferred, the inclusion is short-term capital gain.

    (v) Example 5.

    FIFO method. In 2018, before Corporation R became a QOF, Taxpayer F invested $100 cash to R in exchange for 100 R common shares. Later in 2018, after R was a QOF, F invested $500 cash to R in exchange for 400 R common shares and properly elected under section 1400Z-2 to defer $500 of independently realized short-term capital gain. Even later in 2018, on different days, F realized $300 of short-term capital gain and $700 of long-term capital gain. On a single day that fell during the 180-day period for both of those gains, F invested $1,000 cash in R in exchange for 800 R common shares and properly elected under section 1400Z-2 to defer the two gains. In 2020, F sold 100 R common shares. Under paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, F must apply the FIFO method to identify which investments in R F disposed of. As determined by that identification, F sold the initially acquired 100 R common shares, which were not part of a deferral election under section 1400Z-2. R must recognize gain or loss on the sale of its R shares under the generally applicable Federal income tax rules, but the sale does not trigger an inclusion of any deferred gain.

    (vi) Example 6.

    FIFO method. The facts are the same as example 5, except that, in addition, during 2021 F sold an additional 400 R common shares. Under paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, F must apply the FIFO method to identify which investments in R were disposed of. As determined by this identification, F sold the 400 common shares which were associated with the deferral of $500 of short-term capital gain. Thus, the deferred gain that must be included upon sale of the 400 R common shares is short-term capital gain.

    (vii) Example 7.

    Pro-rata method. The facts are the same as in examples 5 and 6, except that, in addition, during 2022 F sold an additional 400 R common shares. Under paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, F must apply the FIFO method to identify which investments in R were disposed of. In 2022, F is treated as holding only the 800 R common shares purchased on a single day, and the section 1400Z-2 deferral election associated with these shares applies to gain with different characteristics (described in paragraph (b)(6)(ii) of this section). Under paragraph (b)(7) of this section, therefore, R must use the pro-rata method to determine which of the characteristics pertain to the deferred gain required to be included as a result of the sale of the 400 R common shares. Under the pro-rata method, $150 of the inclusion is short-term capital gain ($300 × 400/800) and $350 is long-term capital gain ($700 × 400/800).

    (c) Special rules for pass-through entities—(1) Eligible gains that a partnership elects to defer. A partnership is an eligible taxpayer under paragraph (b)(1) of this section and may elect to defer recognition of some or all of its eligible gains under section 1400Z-2(a)(2).

    (i) Partnership election. If a partnership properly makes an election under section 1400Z-2(a)(2), then—

    (A) The partnership defers recognition of the gain under the rules of section 1400Z-2 (that is, the partnership does not recognize gain at the time it otherwise would have in the absence of the election to defer gain recognition);

    (B) The deferred gain is not included in the distributive shares of the partners under section 702 and is not subject to section 705(a)(1); and

    (ii) Subsequent recognition. Absent any additional deferral under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A), any amount of deferred gain that an electing partnership subsequently must include in income under sections 1400Z-2(a)(1)(B) and (b) is recognized by the electing partnership at the time of inclusion and is subject to sections 702 and 705(a)(1) in a manner consistent with recognition at that time.

    (2) Eligible gains that the partnership does not defer—(i) Tax treatment of the partnership. If a partnership does not elect to defer some, or all, of the gains for which it could make a deferral election under section 1400Z-2, the partnership's treatment of any such amounts is unaffected by the fact that the eligible gain could have been deferred under section 1400Z-2.

    (ii) Tax treatment by the partners. If a partnership does not elect to defer some, or all, of the gains for which it could make a deferral election under section 1400Z-2—

    (A) The gains for which a deferral election are not made are included in the partners' distributive shares under section 702 and are subject to section 705(a)(1);

    (B) If a partner's distributive share includes one or more gains that are eligible gains with respect to the partner, the partner may elect under section 1400Z-2(a)(1)(A) to defer some or all of its eligible gains; and

    (C) A gain in a partner's distributive share is an eligible gain with respect to the partner only if it is an eligible gain with respect to the partnership and it did not arise from a sale or exchange with a person that, within the meaning of section 1400Z-2(e)(2), is related to the partner.

    (iii) 180-day period for a partner electing deferral—(A) General rule. If a partner's distributive share includes a gain that is described in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(C) of this section (gains that are eligible gains with respect to the partner), the 180-day period with respect to the partner's eligible gains in the partner's distributive share generally begins on the last day of the partnership taxable year in which the partner's allocable share of the partnership's eligible gain is taken into account under section 706(a).

    (B) Elective rule. Notwithstanding the general rule in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(A) of this section, if a partnership does not elect to defer all of its eligible gain, the partner may elect to treat the partner's own 180-day period with respect to the partner's distributive share of that gain as being the same as the partnership's 180-day period.

    (C) The following example illustrates the principles of this paragraph (c)(2)(iii).

    (1) Example.

    Five individuals have identical interests in partnership P, there are no other partners, and P's taxable year is the calendar year. On January 17, 2019, P realizes a capital gain of $1000x that it decides not to elect to defer. Two of the partners, however, want to defer their allocable portions of that gain. One of these two partners invests $200x in a QOF during February 2020. Under the general rule in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(A) of this section, this investment is within the 180-day period for that partner (which begins on December 31, 2019). The fifth partner, on the other hand, decides to make the election provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(B) of this section and invests $200x in a QOF during February 2019. Under that elective rule, this investment is within the 180-day period for that partner (which begins on January 17, 2019).

    (2) [Reserved]

    (3) Pass-through entities other than partnerships. If an S corporation; a trust; or a decedent's estate recognizes an eligible gain, or would recognize an eligible gain if it did not elect to defer recognition of the gain under section 1400Z-2(a), then rules analogous to the rules of paragraph (c)(1) and (2) of this section apply to that entity and to its shareholders or beneficiaries, as the case may be.

    (d) Elections. The Commissioner may prescribe in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin or in forms and instructions (see §§ 601.601(d)(2) and 601.602 of this chapter), both the time, form, and manner in which an eligible taxpayer may elect to defer eligible gains under section 1400Z-2(a) and also the time, form, and manner in which a partner may elect to apply the elective 180-day period provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(B) of this section.

    (e) Applicability date. This section applies to eligible gains that would be recognized in the absence of deferral on or after the date of publication in the Federal Register of a Treasury decision adopting these proposed rules as final regulations. An eligible taxpayer, however, may rely on the proposed rules in this section with respect to eligible gains that would be recognized before that date, but only if the taxpayer applies the rules in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    Par. 3. Section 1.1400Z2(c)-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.1400Z2(c)-1 Investments held for at least 10 years.

    (a) Limitation on the 10-year rule. As required by section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(B) (treatment of investments with mixed funds), section 1400Z-2(c) (special rule for investments held for at least 10 years) applies only to the portion of an investment in a QOF with respect to which a proper election to defer gain under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) is in effect.

    (b) Extension of availability of the election described in section 1400Z-2(c). The ability to make an election under section 1400Z-2(c) for investments held for at least 10 years is not impaired solely because, under section 1400Z-1(f), the designation of one or more qualified opportunity zones ceases to be in effect. The preceding sentence does not apply to elections under section 1400Z-2(c) that are related to dispositions occurring after December 31, 2047.

    (c) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

    (1) Example 1.

    (i) Facts. In 2020, taxpayer G invests $100 in QOF S in exchange for 100 common shares of QOF S and properly makes an election under section 1400Z-2(a) to defer $100 of gain. G also acquires 200 additional common shares in QOF in exchange for $z. G does not make a section 1400Z-2(a) deferral election with respect to any of the $z investments. At the end of 2028, the qualified opportunity zone designation expires for the population census tract in which QOF S primarily conducts its trade or business. In 2031, G sells all of its 300 QOF S shares, realizes gain, and makes an election to increase the qualifying basis in G's QOF S shares to fair market value. But for the expiration of the designated zones in section 1400Z-1(f), QOF S and G's conduct is consistent with continued eligibility to make the election under section 1400Z-2(c).

    (ii) Analysis. Under paragraph (b) of this section, although the designation expired on December 31, 2028, the expiration of the zone's designation does not, without more, invalidate G's ability to make an election under section 1400Z-2(c). Accordingly, pursuant to that election, G's basis is increased in the one-third portion of G's investment in QOF S with respect to which G made a proper deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a)(2) (100 common shares/300 common shares). Under section 1400Z-2(e)(1) and paragraph (a) of this section, however, the election under section 1400Z-2(c) is unavailable for the remaining two-thirds portion of G's investment in QOF S because G did not make a deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a)(2) for this portion of its investment in QOF S (200 common shares/300 common shares).

    (2) [Reserved]

    (d) Applicability date. This section applies to an election under section 1400Z-2(c) related to dispositions made after the date of publication in the Federal Register of a Treasury decision adopting these proposed rules as final regulations. A taxpayer, however, may rely on the proposed rules in this section with respect to dispositions of investment interests in QOFs in situations where the investment was made in connection with an election under section 1400Z-2(a) that relates to the deferral of a gain such that the first day of 180-day period for the gain was before the date of applicability of that section. The preceding sentence applies only if the taxpayer applies the rules of this section in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    Par. 4. Section 1.1400Z2(d)-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.1400Z2(d)-1 Qualified Opportunity Funds.

    (a) Becoming a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF)-(1) Self-certification. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, if a taxpayer that is classified as a corporation or partnership for Federal tax purposes is eligible to be a QOF, the taxpayer may self-certify that it is QOF. This section refers to such a taxpayer as an eligible entity. The following rules apply to the self-certification:

    (i) Time, form, and manner. The self-certification must be effected at such time and in such form and manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner in IRS forms or instructions or in publications or guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see §§ 601.601(d)(2) and 601.602 of this chapter).

    (ii) First taxable year. The self-certification must identify the first taxable year that the eligible entity wants to be a QOF.

    (iii) First month. The self-certification may identify the first month (in that initial taxable year) in which the eligible entity wants to be a QOF.

    (A) Failure to specify first month. If the self-certification fails to specify the month in the initial taxable year that the eligible entity first wants to be a QOF, then the first month of the eligible entity's initial taxable year as a QOF is the first month that the eligible entity is a QOF.

    (B) Investments before first month not eligible for deferral. If an investment in eligible interests of an eligible entity occurs prior to the eligible entity's first month as a QOF, any election under section 1400Z-2(a)(1) made for that investment is invalid.

    (2) Becoming a QOF in a month that is not the first month of the taxable year. If an eligible entity's self-certification as a QOF is first effective for a month that is not the first month of that entity's taxable year—

    (i) For purposes of section 1400Z-2(d)(1)(A) and (B) in the first year of the QOF's existence, the phrase first 6-month period of the taxable year of the fund means the first 6 months each of which is in the taxable year and in each of which the entity is a QOF. Thus, if an eligible entity becomes a QOF in the seventh or later month of a 12-month taxable year, the 90-percent test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1) takes into account only the QOF's assets on the last day of the taxable year.

    (ii) The computation of any penalty under section 1400Z-2(f)(1) does not take into account any months before the first month in which an eligible entity is a QOF.

    (3) Pre-existing entities. There is no legal barrier to a pre-existing eligible entity becoming a QOF, but the eligible entity must satisfy all of the requirements of section 1400Z-2, including the requirements regarding qualified opportunity zone property, as defined in section 1400Z-2(d)(2). In particular, that property must be acquired after December 31, 2017.

    (b) Valuation of assets for purposes of the 90-percent asset test—(1) In general. For a taxable year, if a QOF has an applicable financial statement within the meaning of § 1.475(a)-4(h), then the value of each asset of the QOF for purposes of the 90-percent asset test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1) is the value of that asset as reported on the QOF's applicable financial statement for the relevant reporting period.

    (2) QOF without an applicable financial statement. If paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not apply to a QOF, then the value of each asset of the QOF for purposes of the 90-percent asset test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1) is the QOF's cost of the asset.

    (c) Qualified opportunity zone property—(1) In general. Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(A), the following property is qualified opportunity zone property:

    (i) Qualified opportunity zone stock as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section,

    (ii) Qualified opportunity zone partnership interest as defined in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, and

    (iii) Qualified opportunity zone business property as defined in paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

    (2) Qualified opportunity zone stock—(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(2)(ii) and (e)(2) of this section, if an entity is classified as a corporation for Federal tax purposes (corporation), then an equity interest (stock) in the entity is qualified opportunity zone stock if—

    (A) The stock is acquired by a QOF after December 31, 2017, at its original issue (directly or through an underwriter) from the corporation solely in exchange for cash,

    (B) As of the time the stock was issued, the corporation was a qualified opportunity zone business as defined in section 1400Z-2(d)(3) and paragraph (d) of this section (or, in the case of a new corporation, the corporation was being organized for purposes of being such a qualified opportunity zone business), and

    (C) During substantially all of the QOF's holding period for the stock, the corporation qualified as a qualified opportunity zone business as defined in section 1400Z-2(d)(3) and paragraph (d) of this section.

    (ii) Redemptions of stock. Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B)(ii), rules similar to the rules of section 1202(c)(3) apply for purposes of determining whether stock in a corporation qualifies as qualified opportunity zone stock.

    (A) Redemptions from taxpayer or related person. Stock acquired by a QOF is not treated as qualified opportunity zone stock if, at any time during the 4-year period beginning on the date 2 years before the issuance of the stock, the corporation issuing the stock purchased (directly or indirectly) any of its stock from the QOF or from a person related (within the meaning of section 267(b) or 707(b)) to the QOF. Even if the purchase occurs after the issuance, the stock was never qualified opportunity zone stock.

    (B) Significant redemptions. Stock issued by a corporation is not treated as qualified opportunity zone stock if, at any time during the 2-year period beginning on the date 1 year before the issuance of the stock, the corporation made 1 or more purchases of its stock with an aggregate value (as of the time of the respective purchases) exceeding 5 percent of the aggregate value of all of its stock as of the beginning of the 2-year period. Even if one or more of the disqualifying purchases occurs after the issuance, the stock was never qualified opportunity zone stock.

    (C) Treatment of certain transactions. If any transaction is treated under section 304(a) as a distribution in redemption of the stock of any corporation, for purposes of paragraphs (c)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section, that corporation is treated as purchasing an amount of its stock equal to the amount that is treated as such a distribution under section 304(a).

    (3) Qualified opportunity zone partnership interest. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, if an entity is classified as a partnership for Federal tax purposes (partnership), any capital or profits interest (partnership interest) in the entity is a qualified opportunity zone partnership interest if—

    (i) The partnership interest is acquired by a QOF after December 31, 2017, from the partnership solely in exchange for cash,

    (ii) As of the time the partnership interest was acquired, the partnership was a qualified opportunity zone business as defined in section 1400Z-2(d)(3) and paragraph (d) of this section (or, in the case of a new partnership, the partnership was being organized for purposes of being a qualified opportunity zone business), and

    (iii) During substantially all of the QOF's holding period for the partnership interest, the partnership qualified as a qualified opportunity zone business as defined in section 1400Z-2(d)(3) and paragraph (d) of this section.

    (4) Qualified opportunity zone business property of a QOF. Tangible property used in a trade or business of a QOF is qualified opportunity zone business property for purposes of paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section if—

    (i) The tangible property satisfies section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(I);

    (ii) The original use of the tangible property in the qualified opportunity zone, within the meaning of paragraph (c)(7) of this section, commences with the QOF, or the QOF substantially improves the tangible property within the meaning of paragraph (c)(8) of this section (which defines substantial improvement in this context); and

    (iii) During substantially all of the QOF's holding period for the tangible property, substantially all of the use of the tangible property was in a qualified opportunity zone.

    (5) Substantially all of a QOF's holding period for property described in paragraphs (c)(2), (3), and (4) of this section. [Reserved]

    (6) Substantially all of the usage of tangible property by a QOF in a qualified opportunity zone. [Reserved]

    (7) Original use of tangible property. [Reserved]

    (8) Substantial improvement of tangible property—(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(8)(ii) of this section, for purposes of paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section, tangible property is treated as substantially improved by a QOF only if, during any 30-month period beginning after the date of acquisition of the property, additions to the basis of the property in the hands of the QOF exceed an amount equal to the adjusted basis of the property at the beginning of the 30-month period in the hands of the QOF.

    (ii) Special rules for land and improvements on land—(A) Buildings located in the zone. If a QOF purchases a building located on land wholly within a QOZ, under section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(ii) a substantial improvement to the purchased tangible property is measured by the QOF's additions to the adjusted basis of the building. Under section 1400Z-2(d), measuring a substantial improvement to the building by additions to the QOF's adjusted basis of the building does not require the QOF to separately substantially improve the land upon which the building is located.

    (B) [Reserved]

    (d) Qualified opportunity zone business—(1) In general. A trade or business is a qualified opportunity zone business if—

    (i) Substantially all of the tangible property owned or leased by the trade or business is qualified opportunity zone business property as defined in paragraph (d)(2) of this section,

    (ii) Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(iii), the trade or business satisfies the requirements of section 1397C(b)(2), (4), and (8) as defined in paragraph (d)(5) of this section, and

    (iii) Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(iii), the trade or business is not described in section 144(c)(6)(B) as defined in paragraph (d)(6) of this section.

    (2) Qualified opportunity zone business property of the qualified opportunity zone business for purposes of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section—(i) In general. The tangible property used in a trade or business of an entity is qualified opportunity zone business property for purposes of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section if—

    (A) The tangible property satisfies section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(l);

    (B) The original use of the tangible property in the qualified opportunity zone commences with the entity or the entity substantially improves the tangible property within the meaning of paragraph (d)(4) of this section (which defines substantial improvement in this context); and

    (C) During substantially all of the entity's holding period for the tangible property, substantially all of the use of the tangible property was in a qualified opportunity zone.

    (ii) Substantially all of a qualified opportunity zone business's holding period for property described in paragraph (d)(2)(i)(C) of this section. [Reserved]

    (iii) Substantially all of the usage of tangible property by a qualified opportunity zone business in a qualified opportunity zone. [Reserved]

    (3) Substantially all requirement of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section—(i) In general. A trade or business of an entity is treated as satisfying the substantially all requirement of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section if at least 70 percent of the tangible property owned or leased by the trade or business is qualified opportunity zone business property as defined in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    (ii) Calculating percent of tangible property owned or leased in a trade or business—(A) In general. If an entity has an applicable financial statement within the meaning of § 1.475(a)-4(h), then the value of each asset of the entity as reported on the entity's applicable financial statement for the relevant reporting period is used for determining whether a trade or business of the entity satisfies the first sentence of paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section (concerning whether the trade or business is a qualified opportunity zone business).

    (B) Entity without an applicable financial statement. If paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(A) of this section does not apply to an entity and a taxpayer both holds an equity interest in the entity and has self-certified as a QOF, then that taxpayer may value the entity's assets using the same methodology under paragraph (b) of this section that the taxpayer uses for determining its own compliance with the 90-percent asset requirement of section 1400Z-2(d)(1) (Compliance Methodology), provided that no other equity holder in the entity is a Five-Percent Zone Taxpayer. If paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(A) of this section does not apply to an entity and if two or more taxpayers that have self-certified as QOFs hold equity interests in the entity and at least one of them is a Five-Percent Zone Taxpayer, then the values of the entity's assets may be calculated using the Compliance Methodology that both is used by a Five-Percent Zone Taxpayer and that produces the highest percentage of qualified opportunity zone business property for the entity.

    (C) Five Percent Zone Taxpayer. A Five-Percent Zone Taxpayer is a taxpayer that has self-certified as a QOF and that holds stock in the entity (if it is a corporation) representing at least 5 percent in voting rights and value or holds an interest of at least 5 percent in the profits and capital of the entity (if it is a partnership).

    (iii) Example. The following example illustrates the principles of paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section.

    (A) Example.

    Entity ZS is a corporation that has issued only one class of stock and that conducts a trade or business. Taxpayer X holds 94% of the ZS stock, and Taxpayer Y holds the remaining 6% of that stock. (Thus, both X and Y are Five Percent Zone Taxpayers within the meaning of paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(C) of this section.) ZS does not have an applicable financial statement, and, for that reason, a determination of whether ZS is conducting a qualified opportunity zone business may employ the Compliance Methodology of X or Y. X and Y use different Compliance Methodologies permitted under paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(B) of this section for purposes of satisfying the 90-percent asset test of section 1400Z-2(d)(1). Under X's Compliance Methodology (which is based on X's applicable financial statement), 65% of the tangible property owned or leased by ZS's trade or business is qualified opportunity zone business property. Under Y's Compliance Methodology (which is based on Y's cost), 73% of the tangible property owned or leased by ZS's trade or business is qualified opportunity zone business property. Because Y's Compliance Methodology would produce the higher percentage of qualified opportunity zone business property for ZS (73%), both X and Y may use Y's Compliance Methodology to value ZS's owned or leased tangible property. If ZS's trade or business satisfies all additional requirements in section 1400Z-2(d)(3), the trade or business is a qualified opportunity zone business. Thus, if all of the additional requirements in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B) are satisfied, stock in ZS is qualified opportunity zone stock in the hands of a taxpayer that has self-certified as a QOF.

    (B) [Reserved]

    (4) Substantial improvement of tangible property for purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(i)(B) of this section—(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(ii) of this section, for purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(i)(B) of this section, tangible property is treated as substantially improved by a qualified opportunity zone business only if, during any 30-month period beginning after the date of acquisition of such tangible property, additions to the basis of such tangible property in the hands of the qualified opportunity zone business exceed an amount equal to the adjusted basis of such tangible property at the beginning of such 30-month period in the hands of the qualified opportunity zone business.

    (ii) Special rules for land and improvements on land—(A) Buildings located in the zone. If a QOF purchases a building located on land wholly within a QOZ, under section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(ii) a substantial improvement to the purchased tangible property is measured by the QOF's additions to the adjusted basis of the building. Under section 1400Z-2(d), measuring a substantial improvement to the building by additions to the QOF's adjusted basis of the building does not require the QOF to separately substantially improve the land upon which the building is located.

    (B) [Reserved]

    (5) Operation of section 1397C requirements incorporated by reference—(i) Gross income requirement. Section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(iii) incorporates section 1397C(b)(2), requiring that for each taxable year at least 50 percent of the gross income of a qualified opportunity zone business is derived from the active conduct of a trade or business in the qualified opportunity zone.

    (ii) Use of intangible property requirement—(A) In general. Section 1400Z-2(d)(3) incorporates section 1397C(b)(4), requiring that, with respect to any taxable year, a substantial portion of the intangible property of an opportunity zone business is used in the active conduct of a trade or business in the qualified opportunity zone.

    (B) Active conduct of a trade or business. [Reserved]

    (iii) Nonqualified financial property limitation. Section 1400Z-2(d)(3) incorporates section 1397C(b)(8), limiting in each taxable year the average of the aggregate unadjusted bases of the property of a qualified opportunity zone business that may be attributable to nonqualified financial property. Section 1397C(e)(1), which defines the term nonqualified financial property for purposes of section 1397C(b)(8), excludes from that term reasonable amounts of working capital held in cash, cash equivalents, or debt instruments with a term of 18 months or less (working capital assets).

    (iv) Safe harbor for reasonable amount of working capital. Solely for purposes of applying section 1397C(e)(1) to the definition of a qualified opportunity zone business under section 1400Z-2(d)(3), working capital assets are treated as reasonable in amount for purposes of sections 1397C(b)(2) and 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(ii), if all of the following three requirements are satisfied:

    (A) Designated in writing. These amounts are designated in writing for the acquisition, construction, and/or substantial improvement of tangible property in a qualified opportunity zone, as defined in section 1400Z-1(a).

    (B) Reasonable written schedule. There is a written schedule consistent with the ordinary start-up of a trade or business for the expenditure of the working capital assets. Under the schedule, the working capital assets must be spent within 31 months of the receipt by the business of the assets.

    (C) Property consumption consistent. The working capital assets are actually used in a manner that is substantially consistent with paragraph (d)(5)(iv)(A) and (B) of this section.

    (v) Safe harbor for gross income derived from the active conduct of business. Solely for purposes of applying the 50-percent test in section 1397C(b)(2) to the definition of a qualified opportunity zone business in section 1400Z-2(d)(3), if any gross income is derived from property that paragraph (d)(5)(iv) of this section treats as a reasonable amount of working capital, then that gross income is counted toward satisfaction of the 50-percent test.

    (vi) Safe harbor for use of intangible property. Solely for purposes of applying the use requirement in section 1397C(b)(4) to the definition of a qualified opportunity zone business under section 1400Z-2(d)(3), the use requirement is treated as being satisfied during any period in which the business is proceeding in a manner that is substantially consistent with paragraphs (d)(5)(iv)(A) through (C) of this section.

    (vii) Safe harbor for property on which working capital is being expended. If paragraph (d)(5)(iv) of this section treats some financial property as being a reasonable amount of working capital because of compliance with the three requirements of paragraph (d)(5)(iv)(A)-(C) and if the tangible property referred to in paragraph (d)(5)(iv)(A) is expected to satisfy the requirements of section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(1) as a result of the planned expenditure of those working capital assets, then that tangible property is not treated as failing to satisfy those requirements solely because the scheduled consumption of the working capital is not yet complete.

    (viii) Example. The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (d)(5):

    (A) Facts.

    In 2019, Taxpayer H realized $w million of capital gains and within the 180-day period invested $w million in QOF T, a qualified opportunity fund. QOF T immediately acquired from partnership P a partnership interest in P, solely in exchange for $w million of cash. P immediately placed the $w million in working capital assets, which remained in working capital assets until used. P had written plans to acquire land in a qualified opportunity zone on which it planned to construct a commercial building. Of the $w million, $x million was dedicated to the land purchase, $y million to the construction of the building, and $z million to ancillary but necessary expenditures for the project. The written plans provided for purchase of the land within a month of receipt of the cash from QOF T and for the remaining $y and $z million to be spent within the next 30 months on construction of the building and on the ancillary expenditures. All expenditures were made on schedule, consuming the $w million. During the taxable years that overlap with the first 31-month period, P had no gross income other than that derived from the amounts held in those working capital assets. Prior to completion of the building, P's only assets were the land it purchased, the unspent amounts in the working capital assets, and P's work in process as the building was constructed.

    (B) Analysis of construction—(1) P met the three requirements of the safe harbor provided in paragraph (d)(5)(iv) of this section. P had a written plan to spend the $w received from QOF T for the acquisition, construction, and/or substantial improvement of tangible property in a qualified opportunity zone, as defined in section 1400Z-1(a). P had a written schedule consistent with the ordinary start-up for a business for the expenditure of the working capital assets. And, finally, P's working capital assets were actually used in a manner that was substantially consistent with its written plan and the ordinary start-up of a business. Therefore, the $x million, the $y million, and the $z million are treated as reasonable in amount for purposes of sections 1397C(b)(2) and 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(ii).

    (2) Because P had no other gross income during the 31 months at issue, 100 percent of P's gross income during that time is treated as derived from an active trade or business in the qualified opportunity zone for purposes of satisfying the 50-percent test of section 1397C(b)(2).

    (3) For purposes of satisfying the requirement of section 1397C(b)(4), during the period of land acquisition and building construction a substantial portion of P's intangible property is treated as being used in the active conduct of a trade or business in the qualified opportunity zone.

    (4) All of the facts described are consistent with QOF T's interest in P being a qualified opportunity zone partnership interest for purposes of satisfying the 90-percent test in section 1400Z-2(d)(1).

    (C) Analysis of substantial improvement. The above conclusions would also apply if P's plans had been to buy and substantially improve a pre-existing commercial building. In addition, the fact that P's basis in the building has not yet doubled does not cause the building to fail to satisfy section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)1)(III).

    (6) Trade or businesses described in section 144(c)(6)(B) not eligible. Pursuant to section 1400Z-2(d)(3)(A)(iii), the following trades or businesses described in section 144(c)(6)(B) cannot qualify as a qualified opportunity zone business:

    (i) Any private or commercial golf course,

    (ii) Country club,

    (iii) Massage parlor,

    (iv) Hot tub facility,

    (v) Suntan facility,

    (vi) Racetrack or other facility used for gambling, or

    (vii) Any store the principal business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises.

    (e) Exceptions based on where an entity is created, formed, or organized—(1) QOFs. If a partnership or corporation (an entity) is not organized in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. possessions, it is ineligible to be a QOF. If an entity is organized in a U.S. possession but not in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia, it may be a QOF only if it is organized for the purpose of investing in qualified opportunity zone property that relates to a trade or business operated in the U.S. possession in which the entity is organized.

    (2) Entities that can issue qualified opportunity zone stock or qualified opportunity zone partnership interests. If an entity is not organized in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. possessions, an equity interest in the entity is neither qualified opportunity zone stock nor a qualified opportunity zone partnership interest. If an entity is organized in a U.S. possession but not in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia, an equity interest in the entity may be qualified opportunity zone stock or a qualified opportunity zone partnership interest, as the case may be, only if the entity conducts a qualified opportunity zone business in the U.S. possession in which the entity is organized. An entity described in the preceding sentence is treated as satisfying the “domestic” requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(B)(i) or section 1400Z-2(C)(i).

    (3) U.S. possession defined. For purposes of this paragraph (e), a U.S. possession means any jurisdiction other than the 50 States and the District of Columbia where a designated qualified opportunity zone exists under section 1400Z-1.

    (f) Applicability date. This section applies for QOF taxable years that begin on or after the date of publication in the Federal Register of a Treasury decision adopting these proposed rules as final regulations. A QOF, however, may rely on the proposed rules in this section with respect to taxable years that begin before the date of applicability of this section, but only if the QOF applies the rules in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    Par. 5. Section 1.1400Z2(e)-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.1400Z2(e)-1 Applicable rules.

    (a) Treatment of investments with mixed funds—(1) Investments to which no election under section 1400Z-2(a) applies. If a taxpayer invests money in a QOF and does not make an election under section 1400Z-2(a) with respect to that investment, the investment is one described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(ii) (a separate investment to which section 1400Z-2(a), (b), and (c) do not apply).

    (2) Treatment of deemed contributions of money under 752(a). In the case of a QOF classified as a partnership for Federal income tax purposes, the deemed contribution of money described in section 752(a) does not create or increase an investment in the fund described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(ii). Thus, any basis increase resulting from a deemed section 752(a) contribution is not taken into account in determining the portion of a partner's investment subject to section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(i) or (ii).

    (3) Example.

    The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (a):

    (i) Taxpayer A owns a 50 percent capital interest in Partnership P. Under section 1400Z 2(e)(1), 90 percent of A's investment is described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(i) (an investment that only includes amounts to which the election under section 1400Z-2(a) applies), and 10 percent is described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(ii) (a separate investment consisting of other amounts). Partnership P borrows $8 million. Under § 1.752-3(a), taking into account the terms of the partnership agreement, $4 million of the $8 million liability is allocated to A. Under section 752(a), A is treated as contributing $4 million to Partnership P. Under paragraph (2) of this section, A's deemed $4 million contribution to Partnership P is ignored for purposes of determining the percentage of A's investment in Partnership P subject to the deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a) or the portion not subject to such the deferral election under section 1400Z-2(a). As a result, after A's section 752(a) deemed contribution, 90 percent of A's investment in Partnership P is described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(i) and 10 percent is described in section 1400Z-2(e)(1)(A)(ii).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (b) [Reserved]

    (c) Applicability date. This section applies to investments in, and deemed contributions of money to, a QOF that occur on or after the date of publication in the Federal Register of a Treasury decision adopting these proposed rules as final regulations. An eligible taxpayer, however, may rely on the proposed rules in this section with respect to investments, and deemed contributions, before the date of applicability of this section, but only if the taxpayer applies the rules in their entirety and in a consistent manner.

    Kirsten B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23382 Filed 10-25-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 275 [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0026] RIN 0790-AK01 Right to Financial Privacy Act AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule describes the procedures that the Department of Defense (DoD) is proposing to follow when seeking access to customer records maintained by financial institutions. These updates are required to fulfill DoD's responsibilities under the Right to Financial Privacy Act.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or RIN number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this document. The general policy is for submissions to be made available for public viewing at http://www.regulations.gov without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cindy Allard, (703) 571-0086.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority and Background

    The Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978, Public Law. No. 95-630, was enacted to provide the financial records of financial institution customers a reasonable amount of privacy from federal government scrutiny. The Act, which became effective in March 1979, establishes specific procedures that government authorities must follow when requesting a customer's financial records from a bank or other financial institution. It also imposes duties and limitations on financial institutions prior to the release of information sought by government agencies. In addition, the act generally requires that customers receive:

    —A written notice of the federal authority's intent to obtain financial records —An explanation of the purpose for which the records are sought —A statement describing procedures to follow if the customer does not wish such records or information to be made available

    Certain exceptions allow for delayed notice or no customer notice at all. Prior to passage of the Act, bank customers were not informed that their personal financial records were being turned over to a government authority and could not challenge government access to the records. In United States v. Miller (425 U.S. 435 (1976)), the Supreme Court held that because financial records are maintained by a financial institution, the records belong to the institution rather than the customer; therefore, the customer has no protectable legal interest in the bank's records and cannot limit government access to those records. It was principally in response to this decision that the Right to Financial Privacy Act was enacted.

    Coverage

    Coverage under the Act specifically extends to customers of financial institutions. A customer is defined as any person or authorized representative of that person who uses or has used any service of a financial institution. The definition also includes any person for whom the financial institution acts as a fiduciary. Corporations and partnerships of six or more individuals are not considered customers for purposes of the Act.

    Requirements

    To obtain access to, copies of, or information contained in a customer's financial records, a government authority, generally, must first obtain one of the following:

    —An authorization, signed and dated by the customer, that identifies the records, the reasons the records are being requested, and the customer's rights under the Act —An administrative subpoena or summons —A search warrant —A judicial subpoena —A formal written request by a government agency (to be used only if no administrative summons or subpoena authority is available)

    A financial institution may not release a customer's financial records until the government authority seeking the records certifies in writing that it has complied with the applicable provision of the Act. In addition, the institution must maintain a record of all instances in which a customer's records are disclosed to a government authority pursuant to customer authorization. The records should include the date, the name of the government authority, and an identification of the records disclosed. Generally, the customer has a right to inspect the records. Although there are no specific record-retention requirements in the act, financial institutions should retain copies of all administrative and judicial subpoenas, search warrants, and formal written requests given to them by federal government agencies or departments along with the written certification required. A financial institution must begin assembling the required information upon receipt of the agency's summons or subpoena or a judicial subpoena and must be prepared to deliver the records upon receipt of the written certificate of compliance.

    Cost Reimbursement

    With certain exceptions, government entities must reimburse financial institutions for the cost of providing the information. This reimbursement may include costs for assembling or providing records, reproduction and transportation costs, or any other costs reasonably necessary or incurred in gathering and delivering the requested information. The Federal Reserve Board's Regulation S establishes rates and the conditions under which these payments may be made https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-09-30/pdf/E9-23407.pdf.

    Exceptions to Notice and Certification Requirements

    In general, exceptions to the notice and certification requirements cover situations pertinent to routine banking business, information requested by supervisory agencies, and requests subject to other statutory requirements. Specific exceptions include records:

    —Submitted by financial institutions to any court or agency when perfecting a security interest, proving a claim in bankruptcy, or collecting a debt for itself or a fiduciary —Requested by a supervisory agency in connection with its supervisory, regulatory, or monetary functions. —Sought in accordance with procedures authorized by the Internal Revenue Code (records that are intended to be accessed by procedures authorized by the Tax Reform Act of 1976) —Required to be reported in accordance with any federal statute (or rule promulgated thereunder, such as the Bank Secrecy Act) —Requested by the Government Accountability Office for an authorized proceeding, investigation, examination, or audit directed at a federal agency —Subject to a subpoena issued in conjunction with proceedings before a grand jury (with the exception of cost reimbursement and the restricted use of grand jury information) —Requested by a government authority subject to a lawsuit involving the bank customer (the records may be obtained under the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure) The Act also allows financial institutions to: —Release records that are not individually identifiable with a particular customer —Notify law enforcement officials if it has information relevant to a violation of the law Exceptions to Notice Requirements but Not to Certification Requirements

    In certain cases, the Act does not require the customer to be notified of the request but still requires the federal agency requesting the information to certify in writing that it has complied with all applicable provisions of the act. Exceptions to the notice provisions include:

    —Instances in which a financial institution, rather than a customer, is being investigated —Requests for records incidental to the processing of a government loan, loan guaranty, loan insurance agreement, or default on a government guaranteed or government-insured loan (in this case, the federal agency must give the loan applicant a notice of the government's rights to access financial records when the customer initially applies for the loan. The financial institution is then required to keep a record of all disclosures made to government authorities, and the customer is entitled to inspect this record). —Instances in which the government is engaging in authorized foreign intelligence activities or the Secret Service is carrying out its protective functions

    Although the Securities and Exchange Commission is covered by the Act, it can obtain customer records from an institution without prior notice to the customer by obtaining an order from a U.S. district court. The agency must, however, provide the certificate of compliance to the institution along with the court order prohibiting disclosure of the fact that the documents have been obtained. The court order will set a delay-of-notification date, after which the customer will be notified by the institution that the SEC has obtained his or her records.

    Delayed-Notice Requirements

    Under certain circumstances, a government entity may request a court order delaying the customer notice for up to ninety days. This delay may be granted if the court finds that earlier notice would result in endangering the life or physical safety of any person, flight from prosecution, destruction of or tampering with evidence, or intimidation of potential witnesses or would otherwise seriously jeopardize or unduly delay an investigation, trial, or official proceeding. Delayed notice of up to ninety days is also allowed for search warrants.

    Civil Liability

    A customer may collect civil penalties from any government agency or department that obtains, or any financial institution or employee of the institution who discloses, information in violation of the act. These penalties include:

    —Actual damages, —$100, regardless of the volume of records involved, —Court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, and —Such punitive damages as the court may allow for willful or intentional violations. An action may be brought up to three years after the date of the violation or the date the violation was discovered. A financial institution that relies in good faith on a federal agency's certification may not be held liable to a customer for the disclosure of financial records. Description of Proposed Changes

    DoD's current rule was last updated on May 4, 2006 (71 FR 26221). DoD's proposed revisions seek to only include content relating to those instances when the Department submits “formal written requests” to financial institutions for customer records, as described by 12 U.S.C. 3408. The final rule will apply DoD-wide to provide consistent implementation across all components. When the final rule is published one component-level rule at 32 CFR part 504 will be rescinded.

    Expected Costs and Benefits

    The primary benefit to a DoD-wide rule is consistent implementation across the DoD's responsibilities under the Act. The Act requires DoD to reimburse a financial institution for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred based on the rates of reimbursement established by the Federal Reserve Board in 12 CFR part 219.3. The average cost of reimbursement from DoD to financial institutions over the past five years is $4,328 and the Department does not anticipate an increase with the finalization of this rule. DoD has not paid any civil penalties associated with this rule as discussed in the Civil Liability section of the rule. DoD welcomes comments on the costs associated with implementation of the Act.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute 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. This rulemaking has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”

    This proposed rule is not expected to be subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 (82 CFR 9339, February 3, 2017) because this proposed rule is expected to result in no more than de minimis costs.

    Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act” (2 U.S.C. Ch. 25)

    This proposed rule is not subject to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act because it does not contain a federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100M or more in any one year.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. Ch. 6)

    It has been certified that 32 CFR part 275 is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Ch. 35)

    It has been certified that 32 CFR part 275 does not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on state and local governments, preempts state law, or otherwise has federalism implications. This proposed rule will not have a substantial effect on state and local governments, or otherwise have federalism implications.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 275

    Banks, banking; credit; Privacy.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 275 is proposed to be revised to read as follows:

    PART 275—RIGHT TO FINANCIAL PRIVACY ACT Sec. 275.1 Purpose. 275.2 Definitions. 275.3 Authorization. 275.4 Formal written request. 275.5 Certification. 275.6 Cost reimbursement. Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 3401, et seq.

    § 275.2 Purpose.

    The purpose of this regulation is to authorize DoD Components to request financial records from a financial institution pursuant to the formal written request procedure authorized by section 1108 of the Act and to set forth the conditions under which such requests may be made.

    § 275.2 Definitions.

    The terms used in this part have the same meaning as similar terms used in the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978, Title XI of Public Law 95-630.

    Act means the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978.

    DoD Components means the law enforcement activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities in the Department of Defense (hereafter referred to as the “DoD Components”).

    § 275.3 Authorization.

    The DoD Components are authorized to request financial records of any customer from a financial institution pursuant to a formal written request under the Act only if:

    (a) No administrative summons or subpoena authority reasonably appears to be available to the DoD Component to obtain financial records for the purpose for which the records are sought;

    (b) There is reason to believe that the records sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry and will further that inquiry;

    (c) The request is issued by a supervisory official of a grade designated by the head of the DoD Component. Officials so designated shall not delegate this authority to others;

    (d) The request adheres to the requirements set forth in § 275.4 of this part; and

    (e) The notice requirements required by section 1108(4) of the Act, or the requirements pertaining to the delay of notice in section 1109 of the Act, and described in 275.3(e) (1) through (e)(5) are satisfied, except in situations (e.g., section 1113(g)) where no notice is required.

    (1) The notice requirements are satisfied when a copy of the request has been served on the customer or mailed to the customer's last known address on or before the date on which the request was made to the financial institution together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry: “Records or information concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached request are being sought by the Department of Defense [or the specific DoD Component] in accordance with the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 for the following purpose:”

    (2) Within ten days of service or within fourteen days of mailing of a subpoena, summons, or formal written request, a customer may file a motion to quash an administrative summons or judicial subpoena, or an application to enjoin a Government authority from obtaining financial records pursuant to a formal written request, with copies served upon the Government authority. A motion to quash a judicial subpoena shall be filed in the court that issued the subpoena. A motion to quash an administrative summons or an application to enjoin a Government authority from obtaining records pursuant to a formal written request shall be filed in the appropriate United States District Court. Such motion or application shall contain an affidavit or sworn statement stating:

    (i) That the applicant is a customer of the financial institution from which financial records pertaining to said customer have been sought; and

    (ii) the applicant's reasons for believing that the financial records sought are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated by the Government authority in its notice, or that there has not been substantial compliance within the provisions of Public Law 95-630.

    Service shall be made upon a Government authority by delivering or mailing by registered or certified mail a copy of the papers to the person, office, or department specified in the notice which the customer has received a request.

    (3) If you desire that such records or information not be made available you must:

    (i) Fill out the accompanying motion paper and sworn statement or write one of your own, stating that you are the customer whose records are being requested by the Government and either giving the reasons you believe that the records are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated in this notice or any other legal basis for objecting to the release of the records.

    (ii) File the motion and statement by mailing or delivering them to the clerk at an appropriate United States District Court.

    (iii) Serve the Government authority requesting the records by mailing or delivering a copy of your motion and statement to the Government authority.

    (iv) Be prepared to go to court and present your position in further detail.

    (v) You do not need to have a lawyer, although you may wish to employ one to represent you and protect your rights.

    (4) If you do not follow the above procedures, upon the expiration of ten days from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of the notice, the records or information requested therein may be made available. The records may be transferred to other Government authorities for legitimate law enforcement inquiries, in which event you will be notified after the transfer.

    (5) Also, the records or information requested therein may be made available if ten days have expired from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of the notice and within such time period you have not filed a sworn statement and an application to enjoin the Government authority in an appropriate court, or the customer challenge provisions.

    § 275.4 Formal written request.

    (a) The formal written request must be in the form of a letter or memorandum to an appropriate official of the financial institution from which financial records are requested. The request shall be signed by the issuing official, and shall set forth that official's name, title, business address, and business phone number. The request shall also contain the following:

    (1) The identity of the customer or customers to whom the records pertain;

    (2) A reasonable description of the records sought; and

    (3) Such additional information which may be appropriate—e.g., the date when the opportunity for the customer to challenge the formal written request expires, the date on which the DoD Component expects to present a certificate of compliance with the applicable provisions of the Act, the name and title of the individual (if known) to whom disclosure is to be made.

    (b) In cases where customer notice is delayed by court order, a copy of the court order must be attached to the formal written request.

    § 275.5 Certification.

    Before obtaining the requested records pursuant to a formal written request described in § 275.4 of this part, an official of a rank designated by the head of the requesting DoD Component shall certify in writing to the financial institution that the DoD Component has complied with the applicable provisions of the Act.

    § 275.6 Cost reimbursement.

    Cost reimbursement to financial institutions for providing financial records will be made consistent with title 12, Code of Federal Regulations, part 219.3, subpart A.

    Dated: October 22, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23396 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R02-OAR-2018-0621, FRL-9985-87-Region 2] Approval of Source-Specific Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Jersey AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve source-specific revisions to the New Jersey State Implementation Plan (SIP) for 8-hour ozone for Paulsboro Refining, Buckeye Port Reading Terminal, Buckeye Pennsauken Terminal, and Phillips 66 Company's Linden facility. The source-specific SIPs address the Reasonably Available Control Technology for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for external floating roof tanks. The intended effect of these revisions is to address how facilities should meet state regulatory obligations for external floating roof tanks that store VOCs with vapor pressure three (3) or more pounds per square inch absolute to be equipped with a domed roof.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number EPA-R02-OAR-2018-0621, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, such as the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Longo, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866, (212) 637-3565, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. The EPA's Evaluation of New Jersey's Submittals a. Paulsboro Refining b. Buckeye Port Reading Terminal and Buckeye Pennsauken Terminal c. Phillips 66 Company III. Proposed Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve revisions to the New Jersey State Implementation Plan (SIP) for attainment and maintenance of the 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the following major volatile organic compound (VOC) facilities: Paulsboro Refining, Buckeye Port Reading Terminal, Buckeye Pennsauken Terminal, and Phillips 66 Company's Linden facility. Specifically, under New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC), Title 7, Chapter 27, Subchapter 16 (“Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution by Volatile Organic Compound”), Section 2 (“VOC Stationary Storage Tanks”), all external floating roof tanks (EFRTs) in Range III with vapor pressure three (3) or more pounds per square inch absolute (psia) and that were in existence on May 18, 2009 must be equipped with a domed roof the first time the tank is degassed after May 19, 2009, and by no later than May 1, 2020. See NJAC 7:27-16.2(l)(4). In addition, NJAC 7:27-16.17(a-q) establishes procedures and standards for alternative and facility-specific VOC control requirements. The four relevant facilities were in existence on May 18, 2009, and so absent the currently proposed SIP revisions would be required to dome all EFRTs in accordance with NJAC 7:27-16.2(l)(4), which has already been approved by the EPA into the New Jersey SIP. See 75 FR 45483 (August 3, 2010). However, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) reviewed and approved for these facilities alternative VOC control plans and respective Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), i.e., analysis of the lowest economically feasible emission limitation, for their EFRTs.

    Following NJDEP's review and approval, the EPA reviewed the four facilities' alternative VOC control plans and RACT analyses that include (1) installing domes on 25 out of the 51 EFRTs, and leaving the remaining 26 EFRTs without domes based on the facilities' RACT cost analysis despite the NJAC 7:27-16.2(l)(4) requirements, and (2) installing eight domes after the regulatory due date.

    In its SIP revision submittals from all four facilities, NJDEP also identified alternative, non-doming emission reduction strategies for VOC and nitrogen oxides (NOX) beyond what would be achieved by doming the 26 EFRTs that would not receive domes under this SIP revision. However, NJDEP did not request that the EPA approve these additional non-doming measures into the New Jersey SIP revision, and therefore the EPA did not evaluate them for approvability. A full summary of doming and non-doming measures is included in the technical support document (TSD) that is contained in the EPA's docket assigned to this Federal Register notice.

    Ozone Requirements

    In 1997, the EPA revised the health-based NAAQS for 8-hour ozone, setting it at 0.084 parts per million (ppm) averaged over an 8-hour time frame. See 62 FR 38856 (July 18, 1997). The EPA revised the 8-hour ozone standard twice since 1997; in March 2008, the EPA revised the standard to 0.075 ppm, and in October 2015 the EPA revised it to 0.070 ppm while retaining the 2008 ozone indicators. See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008); 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015). After the EPA establishes a new or revised NAAQS, the Clean Air Act directs the EPA and the states to take steps to ensure that the new or revised NAAQS are met. One of the first steps, known as the initial area designations, involves identifying areas of the country that are not meeting the new or revised NAAQS, as well as the nearby areas that contain emissions sources that contribute emissions to the areas not meeting the NAAQS.

    The entire State of New Jersey has been designated as nonattainment since the adoption of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and is divided into two nonattainment areas. The two nonattainment areas in New Jersey are Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City (PA-NJ-MD-DE) and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (NY-NJ-CT). These areas are designated as marginal nonattainment and as moderate nonattainment, respectively, for the newest 0.070 ppm 8-hour ozone NAAQS.1 As such, New Jersey has developed ozone SIPs to attain the standards and will consider source-specific SIPs as necessary. A source-specific SIP is submitted by a facility to request approval for source-specific emission limitations, and if approved by the state and the EPA, is incorporated into the state's ozone SIP.

    1 Classifications of these areas for the current and previous ozone NAAQS can be found at 40 CFR 81.331.

    RACT Requirements

    RACT is defined as the lowest emission limit that a source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. Clean Air Act (CAA) sections 172(c)(1), 182(b)(2) and 182(f) require nonattainment areas that are designated as moderate or above to adopt RACT. The entire State of New Jersey is subject to this requirement (1) due to nonattainment area designations for the 8-hour ozone standards (40 CFR 81.331), and (2) because the State of New Jersey is located within the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), a region in which the Clean Air Act requires that state SIPs implement RACT requirements. See CAA § 184(b)(1)(B).

    In November 2005, the EPA published the final rule that discusses the RACT requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, and outlined the SIP requirements and deadlines for various areas designated as moderate nonattainment. See 70 FR 71612 (November 29, 2005) (the “Phase 2 Rule”).

    On August 1, 2007, the NJDEP finalized RACT revisions to its SIP to address the 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and the EPA approved those revisions on May 15, 2009. See “RACT for the Eight-Hour Ozone NAAQS and other Associated SIP Revisions for the Fine Particulate Matter, Regional Haze, and Transport of Air Pollution,” available at http://www.nj.gov/dep/baqp/sip/8-hrRACT-Final.pdf; “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Jersey Reasonable Further Progress Plans, Reasonably Available Control Technology, Reasonably Available Control Measures and Conformity Budgets; Final Rule”, 74 FR 22837. The NJDEP believes that significantly higher costs are warranted and should be considered reasonable with respect to available technology than were discussed in the Phase 2 Rule. Although no dollar amount is suggested, the NJDEP identifies five considerations it plans to apply to sources when determining RACT:

    (1) Past New Jersey costs for retrofitting a given control;

    (2) Average RACT cost (dollars per tons reduced) for a control technology and maximum RACT cost. Once a reasonable number of sources in a source category achieve a lower emission level, other sources should do the same;

    (3) The seriousness of the Region's ozone air quality exceedance. For nonattainment areas with higher ozone levels, higher costs for controls are reasonable;

    (4) The seriousness of the need to reduce transported air pollution. As an OTR state, higher costs for RACT are justified; and

    (5) The NJDEP plan for addressing economic feasibility in RACT rules.

    The NJDEP's intent is to specify RACT at the lowest emission limit that a reasonable number of similar facilities have already successfully implemented for each source category.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation of New Jersey's Submittals

    New Jersey regulations at NJAC 7:27-16.2(l)(4), already approved into the ozone SIP, set forth requirements to dome existing EFRTs in Range III on or before May 1, 2020. See 75 FR 45483 (August 3, 2010). The four facilities' source-specific SIP revisions are before the EPA for approval because they would allow 26 EFRTs to avoid doming and would extend the deadline for installing eight domes. The NJDEP submittal relies on documents submitted by the four facilities to New Jersey reviewing the cost, feasibility, and projected emissions reductions of doming tanks similar in diameter when deciding which tanks are optimal for doming. Some of the facilities' tanks are smaller in dimension and contain organic liquids of lower VOC concentrations, and thus doming these tanks would result in spending comparatively much more for a substantially smaller reduction in VOC emissions.

    The EPA has determined that the doming analyses identified in the source-specific SIP revisions are consistent with the NJDEP's VOC RACT regulation, which is incorporated into the NJ SIP. The reader is referred to the TSD for a detailed discussion of the EPA's evaluation of the source-specific SIP submittal. Below is a summary:

    a. Paulsboro Refining

    On December 10, 2015, the NJDEP submitted to the EPA proposed revisions to the New Jersey SIP for ozone specifically providing an alternative VOC control plan for the Paulsboro Refining facility located at 800 Billingsport Road, Paulsboro, New Jersey. Paulsboro Refining owns and operates 21 EFRTs in Range III with vapor pressure three (3) or more psia. According to the facility's RACT analysis, doming the total inventory of 21 EFRT is estimated to cost between $19,000 and $149,000 per ton of VOC emissions reduced. The cost per ton to dome all 21 EFRTs exceeds what the state defines as economically feasible for RACT.

    Proposed Paulsboro Refining Source-Specific Doming Requirements

    The EPA is proposing to approve a source-specific SIP revision allowing the facility not to dome eleven of its 21 EFRTs that are in Range III, and to allow the facility to complete doming of five EFRTs beyond the regulatory deadline of May 1, 2020. Paulsboro Refining has already installed three domes (Tanks 724, 1319, and 1115), and will install two additional domes (Tanks 2173 and 1064 2 ) by the regulatory deadline. The facility is scheduled to install five more domes by 2028 according to the following schedule:

    2 At the time NJDEP submitted its source-specific SIP revision for Paulsboro Refining, Tank 1064 was scheduled for doming by December 31, 2024. However, recent facility developments confirmed by NJDEP indicate that Tank 1064 was taken out of service, rebuilt, and is scheduled for doming by the end of 2018.

    • Tank 1063 by Dec. 31, 2021

    • Tank 1116 by Dec. 31, 2023

    • Tank 1320 by Dec. 31, 2025

    • Tank 1065 by Dec. 31, 2026

    • Tank 1066 by Dec. 31, 2028

    In total, under the proposed source-specific SIP revision, the facility will dome ten out of 21 EFRTs in Range III, including Tanks 724, 1319, 1115, 2173, 1064, 1063, 1116, 1320, 1065 and 1066. The eleven EFRTs not to be domed are Tanks 725, S02, 1023, 1027, 2869, 2940, 2941, 3174, SSO, SSI, and SS2.

    b. Buckeye Port Reading Terminal and Buckeye Pennsauken Terminal

    On August 15, 2014, the NJDEP submitted to the EPA proposed revisions to the New Jersey SIP for ozone specifically providing an alternative VOC control plan for both the Buckeye Port Reading Terminal and Pennsauken Terminal, located at 750 Cliff Road, Woodbridge, New Jersey and 123 Derousse Avenue, Pennsauken, New Jersey respectively. Buckeye owns and operates eight EFRTs in Range III with vapor pressure three (3) or more psia at its Port Reading Terminal that are part of this proposed SIP revision,3 and one such EFRT at its Pennsauken Terminal. According to company's Port Reading RACT analysis, doming the facility's total inventory of eight EFRTs is estimated at $60,000 per ton of VOC emissions reduced, which exceeds what the state defines as economically feasible for RACT. The company's Pennsauken RACT analysis likewise estimated the cost of doming its single EFRT at $60,000 per ton of VOC emissions reduced.

    3 The Port Reading terminal previously had one additional EFRT. However, under the proposed SIP revision Buckeye retrofitted that Port Reading EFRT to an internal floating roof tank (Tank 1177) due to changes in facility operational needs (and an internal floating roof tank does not require a dome). Eight EFRTs now remain at the facility that are covered by the proposed SIP revision.

    In addition, the Port Reading Terminal has at least two additional EFRTs (Tanks 7943 and 7944) that are not part of the proposed SIP revision. In approximately 2012, the company fitted these two Port Reading EFRTs with domes.

    Proposed Buckeye Source-Specific Doming Requirements

    The EPA is proposing to approve a source-specific SIP revision allowing the Port Reading facility not to dome four EFRTs that are in Range III and to complete doming of two EFRTs beyond the regulatory deadline of May 1, 2020.4 Of the eight relevant Port Reading EFRTs, Buckeye has already domed one EFRT (Tank 7935) and will install one additional dome (Tank 1222) by the regulatory deadline. Under this SIP revision, the Buckeye facilities are scheduled to install domes on the following EFRTs in Range III by 2028 according to the following schedule:

    4 As discussed in the prior footnote, the proposed SIP revision also includes conversion of Tank 1177 to an internal floating roof tank that is no longer subject to doming requirements.

    • Tank 1219 by March 8, 2027

    • Tank 1178 by Sept. 25, 2028

    In addition, the EPA is proposing to approve a source-specific SIP revision allowing the Pennsauken facility not to dome its single relevant EFRT (Tank 2018).

    In total, the two facilities will dome four out of nine EFRTs in Range III, including Tanks 7935, 1222, 1219, and 1178. The 5 EFRTs not to be domed are Tanks 7930, 7934, 7937, 7945, and 2018.

    c. Phillips 66 Company

    On June 15, 2016, the NJDEP submitted to the EPA proposed revisions to the New Jersey SIP for ozone specifically providing an alternative VOC control plan for the Phillips 66 Company facility located at 1400 Park Avenue, Linden, New Jersey (the Linden facility). At the Linden facility, Phillips 66 Company owns and operates 21 EFRTs in Range III with vapor pressure three (3) or more psia. According to the facility's RACT analysis, doming the total inventory of 21 EFRTs is estimated to cost between $29,000 and $440,000 per ton of VOC emissions reduced, which exceeds what the state defines as economically feasible for RACT.

    Proposed Phillips 66 Company's Linden Facility Source-Specific Doming Requirements

    The EPA is proposing to approve a source-specific SIP revision allowing the Linden facility not to dome ten EFRTs that are in Range III and to complete doming of one EFRT beyond the regulatory deadline of May 1, 2020. The Linden facility has already installed domes on two EFRTs (Tanks T233 and T239); three additional EFRTs are currently out of service and ready for doming (Tanks T243, T351, and T250) and the facility will install five additional domes (Tanks T241, T352, T235, T249, and T353) by the regulatory deadline. The Linden facility is scheduled to install a dome on one additional tank (Tank T234) by December 31, 2024, beyond the regulatory due date.

    In total, the facility will dome a total of eleven out of 21 EFRTs in Range III, including Tanks T233, T239, T243, T351, T250, T241, T352, T235, T249, T353 and T234. The 10 EFRTs not to be domed are Tanks T52, TI05, TI19, TI43, T224, T349, T350, T354, T355, and T356.

    III. Proposed Action

    The NJDEP determined that the four facilities discussed above could avoid doming 26 EFRTs because it was not economically feasible to dome the four facilities' total inventory of 51 EFRTs. Specifically, the EPA proposes to approve the NJDEP SIP revisions for 8-hour ozone to allow the Paulsboro facility not to dome eleven EFRTs; the Buckeye facilities not to dome five EFRTs; and the Phillips 66 Company facility not to dome ten EFRTs. The EPA is also proposing to approve a deadline extension for doming nine EFRTs, as previously discussed. This SIP revision would still require the facilities to dome 25 EFRTs (and convert one EFRT to an internal floating roof tank).

    Additional non-doming measures will be implemented to make up the foregone VOC emission reductions that would have occurred in doming the full inventory of EFRTs. However, the NJDEP did not request that the EPA approve the additional non-doming measures into the New Jersey SIP, therefore the EPA did not evaluate them for approvability and proposes no action on these measures today.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are proposing to include in a final rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are proposing to incorporate by reference the provisions described above in Section III (Proposed Action).

    The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen Dioxide, Intergovernmental Relations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile Organic Compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: October 18, 2018. Peter D. Lopez, Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23575 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0483; FRL-9984-38-OAR] RIN 2060-AT54 Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 15, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule titled “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration.” The comment period on the proposed action will end on December 17, 2018. The EPA is announcing that it will hold a public hearing on the proposed action. The hearing will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action.

    DATES:

    The EPA will hold a public hearing on November 14, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. Please refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for additional information on the public hearing.

    ADDRESSES:

    The hearing will be held at the EPA Region 8 offices, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202. The hearing will convene at 8:00 a.m. local time and will conclude at 8:00 p.m. local time. Lunch and dinner breaks will be scheduled as time will allow depending on the number of registered speakers.

    Because this hearing is being held at a U.S. government facility, individuals planning to attend the hearing should be prepared to show valid picture identification to the security staff in order to gain access to the meeting room. Please note that the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established new requirements for entering federal facilities. For purposes of the REAL ID Act, the EPA will accept government-issued IDs, including driver's licenses from the District of Columbia and all states and territories except from American Samoa. If your identification is issued by American Samoa, you must present an additional form of identification to enter the federal building where the public hearing will be held. Acceptable alternative forms of identification include: federal employee badges, passports, enhanced driver's licenses, and military identification cards. For additional information for the status of your state regarding REAL ID, go to: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-frequently-asked-questions. Any objects brought into the building need to fit through the security screening system, such as a purse, laptop bag, or small backpack. Demonstrations will not be allowed on federal property for security reasons.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The EPA will begin pre-registering speakers for the hearing upon publication of this document in the Federal Register. To register to speak at the hearing, please use the online registration form available at https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/forms/public-hearing-proposed-improvements or contact Virginia Hunt at (919) 541-0832 to register to speak at the hearing. The last day to pre-register to speak at the hearing will be November 6, 2018. On November 13, 2018, the EPA will post at https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/forms/public-hearing-proposed-improvements a general agenda for the hearing that will list pre-registered speakers in approximate order. The EPA will make every effort to follow the schedule as closely as possible on the day of the hearing; however, please plan for the hearing to run either ahead of schedule or behind schedule. Additionally, requests to speak will be taken the day of the hearing at the hearing registration desk. The EPA will make every effort to accommodate all speakers who arrive and register, although preferences on speaking times may not be able to be fulfilled.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Each commenter will have 5 minutes to provide oral testimony. The EPA encourages commenters to provide the EPA with a copy of their oral testimony electronically (via email) or in hard copy form.

    The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing. Commenters should notify Virginia Hunt if there are special needs related to providing comments at the hearings. Verbatim transcripts of the hearings and written statements will be included in the docket for the rulemaking.

    Please note that any updates made to any aspect of the hearing will be posted online at https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/forms/public-hearing-proposed-improvements. While the EPA expects the hearing to go forward as set forth above, please monitor our website or contact Virginia Hunt at (919) 541-0832 or [email protected] to determine if there are any updates. The EPA does not intend to publish a document in the Federal Register announcing updates.

    The EPA will not provide audiovisual equipment for presentations. Any media presentations should be submitted to the public docket at https://www.regulations.gov/, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0483. The EPA must receive comments on the proposed action (83 FR 52056) no later than December 17, 2018.

    If you require the service of a translator or special accommodations such as audio description, please pre-register for the hearing and describe your needs by November 6, 2018. We may not be able to arrange accommodations without advanced notice.

    Dated: October 22, 2018. Panagiotis Tsirigotis, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23570 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R04-RCRA-2018-0528; FRL- 9985-93-Region 4] Mississippi: Proposed Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-RCRA-2018-0528, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leah Davis, Materials and Waste Management Branch, RCR Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960; telephone number: (404) 562-8562; fax number: (404) 562-9964; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Why are revisions to state programs necessary?

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

    New federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by federal regulations that EPA promulgates pursuant to the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA) take effect in authorized states at the same time that they take effect in unauthorized states. Thus, EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in the states, including the issuance of new permits implementing those requirements, until the states are granted authorization to do so.

    B. What decisions is EPA proposing to make in this rule?

    Mississippi submitted program revision applications, dated September 10, 2014 and June 1, 2018, seeking authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program that correspond to certain federal rules promulgated between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2014 (including RCRA Clusters 1 XV through XXIII). EPA concludes that Mississippi's applications to revise its authorized program meet all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA, as set forth in RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), and 40 CFR part 271. Therefore, EPA proposes to grant Mississippi final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the changes described in its authorization applications, and as outlined below in Section F of this document.

    1 A “cluster” is a grouping of hazardous waste rules that EPA promulgates from July 1st of one year to June 30th of the following year.

    Mississippi has responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities within its borders (except in Indian country) and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program applications, subject to the limitations of HSWA, as discussed above.

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

    If Mississippi is authorized for the changes described in Mississippi's authorization applications, these changes will become part of the authorized State hazardous waste program, and therefore will be federally enforceable. Mississippi will continue to have primary enforcement authority and responsibility for its State hazardous waste program. EPA would retain its authorities under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, including its authority to:

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

    • Enforce RCRA requirements, including authorized State program requirements, and suspend or revoke permits; and

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

    This action will not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which EPA is proposing to authorize Mississippi are already effective, and are not changed by today's proposed action.

    D. What happens if EPA receives comments that oppose this action?

    EPA will evaluate any comments received on this proposed action and will make a final decision on approval or disapproval of Mississippi's proposed authorization. Our decision will be published in the Federal Register. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this authorization, you must do so at this time.

    E. What has Mississippi previously been authorized for?

    Mississippi initially received final authorization on June 13, 1984, effective June 27, 1984 (49 FR 24377), to implement the RCRA hazardous waste management program. EPA granted authorization for changes to Mississippi's program on August 17, 1988, effective October 17, 1988 (53 FR 31000); August 10, 1990, effective October 9, 1990 (55 FR 32624); March 29, 1991, effective May 28, 1991 (56 FR 13079); June 26, 1991, effective August 27, 1991 (56 FR 29589); May 11, 1992, effective July 10, 1992 (57 FR 20056); April 8, 1993, effective June 7, 1993 (58 FR 18162); October 20, 1993, effective December 20, 1993 (58 FR 54044); March 18, 1994, effective May 17, 1994 (59 FR 12857); June 1, 1995, effective July 31, 1995 (60 FR 28539); August 30, 1995, effective October 30, 1995 (60 FR 5718); February 23, 2005, effective April 25, 2005 (70 FR 8731); and August 4, 2008, effective October 3, 2008 (73 FR 45170).

    F. What changes are we proposing with today's action?

    Mississippi submitted program revision applications, dated September 10, 2014 and June 1, 2018, seeking authorization of changes to its hazardous waste management program in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. The September 10, 2014 application included changes associated with Checklists 2 206.1, 207.1, 208-215, 217-218, 220, 222-223, and 225-228. All of these Checklists were resubmitted with Mississippi's June 1, 2018 application in response to prior EPA comments. The June 1, 2018 application also included changes associated with Checklists 229-232, as well as the non-checklist technical correction published at 72 FR 35666 (June 29, 2007). EPA proposes to determine, subject to receipt of written comments that oppose this action, that Mississippi's hazardous waste program revisions are equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the federal program, and therefore satisfy all of the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization. Therefore, EPA is proposing to authorize Mississippi for the following program changes:

    2 A “checklist” is developed by EPA for each federal rule amending the RCRA regulations. The checklists document the changes made by each federal rule and are presented and numbered in chronological order by date of promulgation.

    Description of Federal requirement Federal Register
  • date and page
  • Analogous State
  • authority 3
  • Checklist 206.1, Nonwastewaters from Dyes and Pigments (Correction) 70 FR 35032, 6/16/05 R. 1.2. Checklist 207.1, Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Rule (Correction) 70 FR 35034, 6/16/05 R. 1.3, 1.7, and 1.11. Checklist 208, Methods Innovation Rule and SW-846 Final Update IIIB 70 FR 34538, 6/14/05, 70 FR 44150, 8/1/05 R. 1.1, 1.2, 1.7, 1.11, 1.13, 1.15, 1.16, and 1.22. Checklist 209, Universal Waste Rule: Specific Provisions for Mercury Containing Equipment 70 FR 45508, 8/5/05 R. 1.1, 1.2, 1.7, 1.11, 1.15, 1.16, and 1.21. Checklist 210, Standardized Permit for RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Facilities 70 FR 53420, 9/8/05 R. 1.1, 1.2, 1.14, 1.16, and 1.23. Checklist 211, Revision of Wastewater Treatment Exemptions for Hazardous Waste Mixtures (“Headworks exemptions”) 70 FR 57769, 10/4/05 R. 1.2. Checklist 212, NESHAP: Final Standards for Hazardous Waste Combustors (Phase I Final Replacement Standards and Phase II) 70 FR 59402, 10/12/05 R. 1.1, 1.7, 1.11, 1.13, and 1.16. Checklist 213,4 Burden Reduction Initiative 71 FR 16862, 4/4/06 R. 1.1, 1.2, 1.7, 1.11, 1.13, 1.15, and 1.16. Checklist 214, Corrections to Errors in the Code of Federal Regulations 71 FR 40254, 7/14/06 R. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.7, 1.11, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16, 1.21, and 1.22. Checklist 215, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) Rule 71 FR 42928, 7/28/06 R. 1.1 and 1.2. Checklist 217, NESHAP: Final Standards for Hazardous Waste Combustors (Phase I Final Replacement Standards and Phase II) Amendments 73 FR 18970, 4/8/08 R. 1.7 and 1.13. Checklist 218, F019 Exemption for Wastewater Treatment Sludges from Auto Manufacturing Zinc Phosphating Processes 73 FR 31756, 6/4/08 R. 1.2. Checklist 220, Academic Laboratories Generator Standards 73 FR 72912, 12/1/08 R. 1.2 and 1.3. Checklist 222, OECD Requirements; Export Shipment of Spent Lead-Acid Batteries 75 FR 1236, 1/8/10 R. 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, 1.11, and 1.13. Checklist 223, Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarifications 75 FR 12989 3/18/10, 75 FR 31716 6/4/10 R. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, 1.11, 1.13, 1.15, and 1.16. Checklist 225, Removal of Saccharin and its Salts from the Lists of Hazardous Constituents 75 FR 78918, 12/17/10 R. 1.2 and 1.15. Checklist 226, Academic Laboratories Generator Standards Technical Corrections 75 FR 79304, 12/20/10 R. 1.3. Checklist 227, Revision of the Land Disposal Treatment Standards for Carbamate Wastes 76 FR 34147, 6/13/11 R. 1.15. Checklist 228, Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarifications 77 FR 22229, 4/13/12 R. 1.2 and 1.13. Checklist 229, Conditional Exclusions for Solvent Contaminated Wipes 78 FR 46448, 7/31/13 R. 1.1 and 1.2. Checklist 230, Conditional Exclusions for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Streams in Geologic Sequestration Activities 79 FR 350, 1/3/14 R. 1.1 and 1.2. Checklist 231, Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Rule 79 FR 7518, 2/7/14 R. 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.11. Checklist 232, Revisions to the Export Provisions of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Rule 79 FR 36220, 6/26/14 R. 1.1 and 1.2. Non-Checklist Item Technical Correction 72 FR 35666, 6/29/07 R. 1.21. 3 The Mississippi regulatory provisions are from the Mississippi Hazardous Waste Regulations, Title 11, Part 3, Chapter 1, effective November 17, 2017. 4 The National Environmental Performance Track Program referenced in the Burden Reduction Initiative Rule has been discontinued.
    G. Where are the revised State rules different from the federal rules?

    When revised state rules differ from the federal rules in the RCRA state authorization process, EPA determines whether the state rules are equivalent to, more stringent than, or broader in scope than the federal program. Pursuant to Section 3009 of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6929, state programs may contain requirements that are more stringent than the federal regulations. Such more stringent requirements can be federally authorized and, once authorized, become federally enforceable. Although the statute does not prevent states from adopting regulations that are broader in scope than the federal program, such regulations cannot be authorized and are not federally enforceable. In its review of the Mississippi regulations submitted as part of the program revision applications that are the subject of this proposed rule, EPA did not find any State regulations to be more stringent or broader in scope than the federal program.

    EPA cannot delegate certain federal requirements associated with the manifest registry system in the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Rule (Checklist 207) or the operation of the electronic manifest system in the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Rule (Checklist 231). Mississippi has adopted these requirements and appropriately preserved EPA's authority to implement them (see 11 Miss. Admin. Code Pt. 3, Ch. 1, Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.11).

    EPA also cannot delegate the federal requirements associated with international shipments (i.e., import and export provisions) associated with the Cathode Ray Tubes Rule (Checklists 215 and 232) and the OECD Requirements for Export Shipments of Spent Lead-Acid Batteries (Checklist 222). Mississippi has adopted these requirements and appropriately preserved EPA's authority to implement them (see 11 Miss. Admin. Code Pt. 3, Ch. 1, Rules 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3).

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

    Mississippi will issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits which EPA issued prior to the effective date of authorization until they expire or are terminated. EPA will not issue any new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in the Table above after the effective date of the final authorization. EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Mississippi is not yet authorized.

    I. How does today's proposed action affect Indian country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Mississippi?

    Mississippi is not authorized to carry out its hazardous waste program in Indian country within the State, which includes the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Therefore, this proposed action has no effect on Indian Country. EPA will continue to implement and administer the RCRA program on these lands.

    J. What is codification and will EPA codify Mississippi's hazardous waste program as proposed in this rule?

    Codification is the process of placing the state's statutes and regulations that comprise the state's authorized hazardous waste program into the Code of Federal Regulations. EPA does this by referencing the authorized state rules in 40 CFR part 272. EPA is not proposing to codify the authorization of Mississippi's changes at this time. However, EPA reserves the amendment of 40 CFR part 272, subpart Z, for the authorization of Mississippi's program changes at a later date.

    K. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). This action proposes to authorize State requirements for the purpose of RCRA section 3006 and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Therefore, this action is not subject to review by OMB. This action is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) regulatory action because actions such as today's proposed authorization of Mississippi's revised hazardous waste program under RCRA are exempted under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action proposes to authorize pre-existing requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538). For the same reason, this action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely proposes to authorize State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant and it does not make decisions based on environmental health or safety risks. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    Under RCRA section 3006(b), EPA grants a state's application for authorization as long as the state meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a state authorization application, to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that otherwise satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in proposing this rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of this action in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the executive order. This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). “Burden” is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b). Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. Because this action proposes authorization of pre-existing State rules which are at least equivalent to, and no less stringent than existing federal requirements, and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law, and there are no anticipated significant adverse human health or environmental effects, this proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 12898.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

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

    Authority:

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

    Dated: September 27, 2018. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23580 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 209 Monday, October 29, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 24, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 28, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Generic Clearance Social Science and Economics Data Collections on Natural Disasters and Disturbances.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: Wildfires, droughts, floods, diseases, invasive species, effects of climate change, and other natural disasters and disturbances periodically affect ecosystems, causing immediate and long-term changes. The frequency, type, duration, and intensity of disturbances shape our forests, grasslands, and other natural ecosystems and impact people's lives. Social science and economics research methods, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups, administered under this generic information collection approval will be designed to collect information from individuals/households, States, Local and Tribal Agencies and groups who are preparing for, responding to, and/or recovering from natural disasters and disturbances, including but not limited to fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, climate change, high intensity weather systems, and invasive species infestations.

    The data collection efforts initiated under this generic information approval will be broadly similar in that they will all be focused on all individuals, communities, and/or stakeholders preparing for, responding to, recovering from, and/or building resilience to natural disasters or disturbances. The justification for each individual study, in particular the rationale for populations being queried, the questions being asked, and the research methods used, will be thoroughly described in each individual information collection submission that falls under this generic clearance.

    This generic information collection contains a comprehensive but not exhaustive range of questions that the individual research teams may deploy to successfully answer research questions, and the methods, sampling approaches, and data collection questions will be carefully determined based on individual, group, and site factors, and will be detailed in the individual information collections. Specific studies may propose additional questions as needed to provide a rigorous, reliable, and valid investigation of the identified knowledge gap.

    Need and Use of the Information: The purpose of this collection is to collect information to enable the USDA Forest Service to understand how individuals, communities, and organizations prepare for, respond and adapt to, recover from, and build resilience to natural disturbances and disasters. Given the wide range of people affected by natural disasters and disturbances, as well as the significant impacts these disturbances have on agriculture, forestry, and rural communities providing key food and fiber sources, and the business and employment implications related to such topics, the collection of this information is of great importance to achieving our Forest Service Strategic Goal to deliver benefits to the public as well as the USDA Goal to focus on customer service.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 78,150.

    Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 9,754.

    Forest Service

    Title: Generic Information Collection for Social Science and Economics Data Collections on Goods, Services, and Jobs Provided by Forests and Natural Areas.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: Across the country, forests, grasslands and other natural areas provide jobs through a range of ways, including logging, sawmills, and extraction of non-timber forest products; guiding services, hotels, restaurants, and equipment sales that support recreation; and natural area restoration and management activities, among many others. Innovative forest products such as wood-based nanotechnologies and laminated timbers are critical to the modern economies of rural and urban communities. Forests and natural areas provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and air, carbon sequestration, natural flood control, cultural services, and recreation opportunities, and influence other critical economic factors like home and land values. Furthermore, there is a significant body of research that demonstrates contact with nature can have positive impacts on human health and well-being. In addition to the products and services derived from forests, grasslands, and other natural areas, people may also value and appreciate the natural environment itself when they experience it directly. These experiences can have meaningful impacts on quality of life, sense of self, and sense of community, and play an important role in how people respond to management proposals and actions.

    The information collected under this generic approval links to the delivery of high quality customer service. Because the goods, services, and experiences of forests, grasslands, and natural areas benefit every American in some way, directly or indirectly, it is imperative that the views and perspectives of as wide a range of the population as possible are included in decision making. Research under this generic information collection will assist forest and natural resources managers and other public policy makers in understanding tradeoffs and synergies, building consensus, and assuring that diverse market and non-market information is incorporated in decision-making.

    The data collection efforts initiated under this generic information approval will be broadly similar in that they will all be focused on all individuals, communities, and/or stakeholders who seek or are benefited by a wide variety of services from forests and other natural areas. The justification for each individual study, in particular the rationale for populations being queried, the questions being asked, and the research methods used will be thoroughly described in each individual information collection submission that falls under this generic clearance.

    This generic information collection contains a comprehensive but not exhaustive range of questions that the individual research teams may deploy to successfully answer research questions, and the methods, sampling approaches, and data collection questions will be carefully determined based on individual, group, and site factors, and will be detailed in the individual information collections. Specific studies may propose additional questions as needed to provide a rigorous, reliable, and valid investigation of the identified knowledge gap.

    Need and Use of the Information: The purpose of this collection is to collect information that will help the Forest Service sustainably manage and provide guidance to others about managing the wide range of goods, services, values, and jobs derived from forests, grasslands, and other natural areas. Understanding these provisioning services is critical to managing the Nation's forests and grasslands, and other natural areas to meet the needs of American citizens and to achieving the mission of the USDA Forest Service: “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generation.”

    Central to effective policy development and management is better understanding the risks, trade-offs, synergies, and values implied by alternate decisions. Although market prices reflect social preferences and acceptable trade-offs to some degree, they clearly do not encompass all values associated with forests and other natural areas. Better and/or new means are needed to translate society's preferences into meaningful goals, objectives, and guidelines for managers to consider and incorporate into management, planning, and programming. Utilizing such data, which often cannot be quantifiable through market indicators alone, will position the Agency for greater efficiency and output measures. This effort requires a sound scientific basis and the engagement of Forest Service social science and economics researchers and varied experts.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 78,150.

    Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 9,754.

    Forest Service

    Title: Generic Information Collection for Social Science and Economics Data Collections on Natural Resources Planning and Collaborative Conservation.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The USDA Forest Service's motto is “caring for the land and serving people” and the mission is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generation.” This includes directly managing National Forests and providing science-based guidelines for the management of forests and other natural resources in cities and towns, as well as those under management by land trusts, neighborhood groups, states, and other entities. In order to fulfill this mission, the Agency needs an accurate understanding of the range of views and preferences held by stakeholders regarding management and conservation of forests and other natural resources. This requires a sound scientific basis and the engagement of Forest Service social science and economics researchers and experts.

    The data collection efforts initiated under this generic information approval will be broadly similar in that they will all be focused on individuals and groups who are stakeholders in the conservation, management, planning, and restoration of forests and other natural resources. The justification for each individual study, in particular the rationale for populations being queried, the questions being asked, and the research methods used will be thoroughly described in each individual information collection submission that falls under this generic clearance.

    This generic information collection contains a comprehensive but not exhaustive range of questions that the individual research teams may deploy to successfully answer research questions, and the methods, sampling approaches, and data collection questions will be carefully determined based on individual, group, and site factors, and will be detailed in the individual information collections. Specific studies may propose additional questions as needed to provide a rigorous, reliable, and valid investigation of the identified knowledge gap.

    Need and Use of the Information: The purpose of this collection is to collect information from a wide range of stakeholders to guide the agency in conserving and managing forests and associated natural resources. The Forest Service and other public and private land managers need to collect information from a wide range of stakeholders in order to make informed decisions about natural resource conservation, restoration and management, land management amendments and planning revisions. Such stakeholders would include individuals/households, States, local and Tribal Agencies and groups who may participate and/or contribute to the National Forest Land Management Planning process. To ensure that the Forest Service can meet its statutory and regulatory responsibilities and is able to inform management of forests and other natural areas, the Forest Service seeks to collect information from people who use, live near, manage, make policies for, or otherwise have a stake in the management of forests and other natural resources.

    The USDA Forest Service Research & Development Social Science Program, and others as appropriate, will conduct the necessary quality controls to ensure that each information collection and its data collection instrument conforms to the guidelines of this generic approval, and will submit each information collection request to OMB for expedited review. Each collection will clearly fit within the overall plan and scope of this generic approval and will be well defined in terms of its research methods and sample or respondent pool. Standardization of methods and content across the country, as appropriate, will help provide reliable and consistent information to land managers, policy makers, and other decision makers over time.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 104,200.

    Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 13,226.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23525 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 24, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 28, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    Title: National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP).

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0007.

    Summary of Collection: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorized to among other things, administer the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP or the Plan), the primary purpose of which is to protect the health of the U.S. poultry population. NPIP is a voluntary Federal-State-industry cooperative program for the improvement of poultry flocks and products through disease control techniques. The NPIP regulations are contained in 9 CFR parts 56, 145, 146 and 147.

    Need and Use of the Information: APHIS will collect information using several forms to continually improve the health of the U.S. poultry population and the quality of U.S. poultry products. If the information were collected less frequently or not collected, APHIS could not affectively monitor the health of the nation's poultry population.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 6,851.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 117,254.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    Title: Animal Welfare.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0036.

    Summary of Collection: Under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to promulgate standards and other requirements governing the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by dealers, exhibitors, operators of auction sales, research facilities, carriers and intermediate handlers. The Secretary has delegated responsibility for administering the AWA to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care.

    Definitions, regulations, and standards established under the AWA are contained in 9 CFR parts 1, 2, and 3 (referred to below as the regulations). Part 1 contains definitions for terms used in parts 2 and 3. Part 2 provides administrative requirements and sets forth institutional responsibilities for regulated parties, including licensing requirements for dealers, exhibitors, and operators of auction sales. Dealers, exhibitors, and operators of auction sales are required to comply in all respects with the regulations and standards (9 CFR 2.100(a)) and to allow APHIS officials access to their place of business, facilities, animals, and records to inspect for compliance (9 CFR 2.126). Part 3 provides standards for the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of covered animals. Part 3 consists of subparts A through E, which contain specific standards for dogs and cats, guinea pigs and hamsters, rabbits, nonhuman primates, and marine mammals, respectively, and subpart F, which sets forth general standards for warmblooded animals not otherwise specified in part 3.

    Need and Use of the Information: Administering the AWA requires the use of several information collection activities such as license applications and renewals, which now include a request to identify whether the business mailing address is a personal residence or not a personal residence; registration applications and updates; annual reports; acknowledgement of regulations and standards; inspections; requests; notifications; agreements; plans; written program of veterinary care and health records; itineraries; applications and permits; records of acquisition, disposition, or transport of animals; official identification; variances; protocols; health certificates; complaints; marking requirements; and recordkeeping. The information is used to provide APHIS with the data necessary to review and evaluate program compliance by regulated facilities, and provide a workable system to administer the requirements of the AWA and intent of Congress without resorting to more detailed and stringent regulations and standards that could be more burdensome to regulated facilities.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or Households; Businesses or Other For-Profit Entities; Not-For-Profit Institutions; State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Foreign Federal Governments.

    Number of Respondents: 13,183.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion; Third Party Disclosure.

    Total Burden Hours: 366,021.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23565 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 24, 2018.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 28, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Institute of Food and Agriculture

    Title: NIFA Grant Application.

    OMB Control Number: 0524-0039.

    Summary of Collection: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) sponsors ongoing agricultural research, education, and extension programs under which competitive, formula, and special awards of a high-priority nature are made. These programs are authorized pursuant to the authorities contained in the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3101), the Smith-Lever Act, and other legislative authorities. Before awards can be issued, certain information is required from applicants as part of an overall application. In addition to a project summary, proposal narrative, vitae of key personnel, and other pertinent technical aspects of the proposed project, supporting documentation of an administrative and budgetary nature also must be provided. This information is obtained via applications through the use of federal-wide standard grant application forms and NIFA specific application forms. Because competitive applications are submitted, many of which necessitate review by peer panelists, it is particularly important that applicants provide the information in a standardized fashion to ensure equitable treatment for all.

    Need and Use of the Information: The fundamental purpose of the information requested is to provide information that is not obtained in the federal-wide application forms but is necessary for the NIFA proposal and award process. In addition to federal-wide standard grant application forms, NIFA will use the following program and agency specific components as part of its application package: Letter of Intent Form, Supplemental Information Form; Application Type Form; Form NIFA-2008, Assurance Statement(s); and Form NIFA-2010, Fellowships/Scholarships Entry/Annual Update/Exit Form.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or household; Federal Government; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 15,153.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Weekly; Monthly; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 18,354.

    National Institute of Food and Agriculture

    Title: NIFA Proposal Review Process.

    OMB Control Number: 0524-0041.

    Summary of Collection: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), administers competitive, peer-reviewed research, education and extension programs. The reviews are undertaken to ensure that projects supported by NIFA are of a high-quality and are consistent with the goals and requirements of the funding program. These programs are authorized pursuant to the authorities contained in the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3101), the Smith-Lever Act, and other legislative authorities.

    Need and Use of the Information: The collected information from the evaluations is used to support NIFA grant programs. NIFA uses the results of each proposal to determine whether a proposal should be declined or recommended for award. In order to obtain this information, an electronic questionnaire is used to collect information about potential panel and ad-hoc reviewers. If this information is not collected, it would be difficult for a review panel and NIFA staff to determine which projects warrant funding, or identify appropriate qualified reviewers. In addition, Federal grants staff and auditors could not assess the quality or integrity of the review, and the writer of the application would not benefit from any feedback on why the application was funded or not.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Federal Government; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 50,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Weekly; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 102,400.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23552 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2018-0076] Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection: Importation of Citrus From Peru; Expansion of Citrus-Growing Area AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of citrus from Peru into the continental United States.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0076.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2018-0076, 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-2018-0076 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:

    For information on the importation of citrus from Peru and expansion of citrus-growing area, contact Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2242. For more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Importation of Citrus From Peru; Expansion of Citrus-Growing Area.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0433.

    Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for preventing plant pests and noxious weeds from entering the United States, preventing the spread of plant diseases not widely distributed in the United States, and eradicating those imported pests and noxious weeds when eradication is feasible. Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests new to the United States or not known to be widely distributed throughout the United States.

    The regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-12, referred to below as the regulations), prohibit or restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world, to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests and plant diseases.

    APHIS currently allows the importation of citrus fruit to the continental United States from Peru utilizing a systems approach that mitigates the plant pest risk associated with citrus fruit produced in Peru. This systems approach allows the importation of citrus fruit from Peru while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States. Allowing the importation of citrus into the United States from Peru requires information collection activities, such as phytosanitary certificates, grower registrations and agreements, recordkeeping, fruit fly management programs with trapping and control of fruit fly inspections, import permit applications, port of first arrival sampling inspections, emergency action notifications, and notices of arrival.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (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 our estimate of the burden of the 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, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.6 hours per response.

    Respondents: National plant protection organization of Peru, producers, and exporters.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 66.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 13.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 853.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,360 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of October 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23540 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by December 28, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Rural Development Innovation Center—Regulations Management, Rural Development, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, STOP 1522, Room 5168 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995(Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB as a revision to an existing collection. 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 will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: MaryPat Daskal, Management Analyst, Rural Development Innovation Center-Regulations Management, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, Room 5168, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-1522. [email protected].

    Title: 7 CFR part 1786, Prepayment of Rural Utilities Service Guaranteed and Insured Loans to Electric and Telephone Borrowers.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0088.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The Rural Utilities Service relies on the information provided by the borrowers in their financial statements to make lending decisions as to borrowers' credit worthiness and to assure that loan funds are approved, advanced and disbursed for proper RE Act purposes. This information collection contains submissions for 7 CFR part 1786, subpart E, “Discounted Prepayments on RUS Notes in the Event of a Merger of Certain RUS Electric Borrowers”, subpart F, “Discounted Prepayments on RUS Electric Loans”, and subpart G, “Refinancing and Prepayment of RUS Guaranteed FFB Loans pursuant to Section 306(c) of the RE Act”. Subparts E and F allow agency borrowers to prepay RUS loans and subpart G allows refinancing. These financial statements are audited by a certified public accountant to provide independent assurance that the data being reported are properly measured and fairly presented.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2.00 hours per response.

    Respondents: Business or other forprofit, Not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 38.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.00.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 76 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Rural Development Innovation Center-Regulations Management, at (202) 720-7853. Email: [email protected].

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: October 18, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23499 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights AGENCY:

    U.S. 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 that the Illinois Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 12 p.m. CDT for the purpose of discussing the implementation of the Committee's project on fair housing.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 12 p.m. CDT.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 877-260-1479, Conference ID: 3699292.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alejandro Ventura, DFO, at [email protected] or 213-894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the call in information listed above. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement to the Committee as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Midwestern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 230 South Dearborn St., Suite 2120, Chicago, IL 60604. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Midwestern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Illinois Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome and Roll Call II. Approval of Minutes III. Discussion on Implementing the Project on Fair Housing —Options for Gathering Testimony, including Web Briefings —Efforts to Ensure Statewide Focus or Approach IV. Public Comment V. Next Steps VI. Adjournment Dated: October 24, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23543 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-64-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 119—Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Notification of Proposed Production Activity AGCO Corporation Subzone 119M (Agricultural Equipment and Related Subassemblies and Components) Jackson and Round Lake, Minnesota

    AGCO Corporation (AGCO), operator of Subzone 119M, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facilities in Jackson and Round Lake, Minnesota. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on October 11, 2018.

    The AGCO facilities are located within Subzone 119M. The facilities are used for the production of agricultural equipment and related subassemblies and components. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt AGCO from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production (estimated 20 percent of production). On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, AGCO would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Gasoline engines; gas (natural and LP) engines; diesel engines; liquid pumps; tractor attachments for spraying liquids; tractor attachments for spreading solids; electrical equipment for controlling agricultural implements; grinding, screening, and sifting equipment; accumulators; steering control units; light switch panels; electronic control units and joy sticks; wiring harnesses; tractors for agricultural use; spraying vehicles for agricultural use; heating system field repair kits; status indicators for engine functions; instrument panels; engine control units; brake field service kits; and, related subassemblies (duty rates range from duty-free to 7.8%). AGCO 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: Oil and grease; joint sealant; glue; polyethylene hoses; polypropylene hoses; plastic hoses; non-textile reinforced rubber hoses; textile-reinforced rubber hoses; rubber hose connectors; plastic tape; paper safety, warning, and identification labels; plastic reflectors; polyurethane film; polyethylene bags; plastic insulators for use in vehicle assembly; plastic tool boxes; plastic plugs and caps; plastic trim pieces; plastic o-rings; plastic seals; plastic washers; plastic clamps; plastic bushings; rubber o-rings; rubber seals; rubber washers; non-reinforced rubber hoses; non-textile reinforced rubber hoses; textile-reinforced rubber hoses; rubber hydraulic hoses; metal-reinforced rubber conveyor belts; textile-reinforced conveyor rubber belts; non-textile reinforced rubber transmission belts; textile reinforced rubber transmission belts; rubber mats; rubber gaskets; pneumatic tires of rubber; rubber plugs, pads, grommets, bushings, and sleeves; wooden crates; cork/rubber composite gaskets; paper gaskets; printed manuals and operating guides; gaskets of textile materials; textile sound absorbers; asbestos gaskets; asbestos brake linings; non-asbestos brake linings; carbon fiber gaskets; mineral gaskets; molded and machined glass; rear-view mirrors; mirror assemblies; glass fiber sound and heat insulators; steel and stainless steel crossmembers; iron pipe fittings and adapters; iron and steel threaded elbows; iron and steel flanges; steel wire and cable; steel chain; steel screws; steel bolts; steel nuts; steel hose plugs and stems; steel washers; steel pins, spacers, spanners and clips; steel springs; keyrings; steel clamps, flanges, pins, hose fittings, and spacers; copper and brass pipe fittings; aluminum dust caps; aluminum gaskets; nut spanners; hammers; locks, lock parts, and lock assemblies for vehicles; key assemblies; metal hinges for vehicles; metal hinge support plates for vehicles; metal brackets; plastic supports; metal weldments; metal stairs and stair rails; metal mounting hardware; metal identification plates; gasoline engines; gas (natural and LP) engines; diesel engines; engine plugs; engine tubes; hydraulic cylinders; pneumatic cylinders; metal hydraulic cylinder fittings; metal pneumatic cylinder fittings; dosing modules; liquid pumps; metal hydraulic pump fittings; metal pneumatic pump fittings; air compressors; turbochargers; fans; metal turbocharger fittings; plastic turbocharger fittings; fan shrouds; metal fan fittings; plastic fan fittings; air conditioning system compressors; air conditioning system condensers; metal air conditioning system fittings; plastic air conditioning system fittings; vehicle heating systems; oil and fuel filters; hydraulic fluid filters; air filters; catalytic converters; compressor filters; metal filtration system fittings; plastic filtration system fittings; fertilizer application equipment; windshield washer systems; metal windshield washer fittings; plastic windshield washer fittings; metal handrails, stairs, steps, and uprights; wheels without tires; tractor implement electronic controls; grinding, screening, and sifting equipment; accumulators; electrical indicators for agricultural tractors and other off-road vehicles; transmission valves; valve assemblies; steering control units; backflow prevention valves and stoppers; safety valves; relief valves; valve bleeder; bearings; tapered roller bearings; spherical roller bearings; needle bearings; roller bearings; bearing cups; bearing races; power transmission shafts; housed bearings; bearing housings; transmission gears; torque converters; pulleys; clutches; universal joints; gear drives; metal gaskets; mechanical seals; oil and dust seals; electric motors; magnets and electromagnets; lead-acid batteries; spark plugs; distributors; starter motors; alternators; pressure switches; metal electrical system fittings; plastic electrical system fittings; vehicle lighting; horns and buzzers; wiper blades, arms, and assemblies; wiper arms; microphones; speakers; audio amplifiers; video cameras; GPS receivers; radio cassette players; LCD and other flat panel monitors; antennas; light switch panels; resistors; circuit boards; circuit breakers; vehicle fuses; vehicle fuse assemblies; relays; switches; coaxial electrical connectors; electrical terminals; linear electrical connectors; electronic control unit and joy sticks; light bulbs; diodes; electrical sensors; pressure sensors; proximity sensors; transducers; coaxial cables; wiring harnesses; electrical cables; electrical conduit; vehicle frames; operator cabs; tractor body parts; steel frame members; safety belts of fabric; plastic vehicle body panels; metal vehicle body panels; metal vehicle body panel fittings; plastic vehicle body panel fittings; fabric-reinforced cab isolators; headliners incorporating fabric; brake system tubing; metal brake system fittings; transmissions; metal transmission fittings; front and rear axles; metal axle fittings; balancing weights for wheels; impeller wheels; wheel hubs; shock absorbers; metal shock absorber fittings; engine cooling systems; engine radiators; metal engine cooling system fittings; plastic engine cooling system fittings; exhaust systems; mufflers; exhaust pipes; metal exhaust system fittings; clutch pedals; metal clutch pedal fittings; plastic clutch pedal fittings; steering columns; metal steering system fittings; plastic steering system fittings; transmission subassemblies; brake shoes; axle covers; metal brackets; plastic brackets; frame and body stays; metal flanges; plastic flanges; metal supports; plastic supports; metal knobs; plastic knobs; metal levers; plastic levers; wiper blades; control wire and cable; universal joints; metal guards; plastic guards; cover plates; drive shafts; clutch rod shafts; u-joints; shaft assemblies; collars; differential cases; transmission cases; ball joints; axle cases; drive shaft caps; shaft couplings; steering shafts; shaft yokes; thrust collars; synchronizer rings; dust covers; tie rods; battery retainers; fuel tanks; control pedals; hand rails; radiator grilles; bonnet dampers; steering and suspension linkages; sound suppressors incorporating fabric; wind screens of fabric; sun visors of fabric; unmounted glass lenses for vehicle signals and controls; glass lenses for vehicle signals and controls; wind speed/direction measuring equipment; barometric pressure measuring equipment; temperature sensors; fluid level sensors; status indicators for equipment functions; engine analyzers; instrument panels; speed sensors; engine performance sensors; engine control units; weatherproof molded rubber seats; seats with fabric surfaces; indicator light covers; and, cigarette lighters (duty rates range from duty-free to 10.7%).

    The request indicates that textile-reinforced rubber hoses, textile-reinforced rubber conveyor belts, textile-reinforced rubber transmission belts, gaskets of textile materials, textile sound absorbers, safety belts of fabric, fabric-reinforced cab isolators, headliners incorporating fabric, windscreens of fabric, sound suppressors incorporating fabric, sun visors of fabric, and seats with fabric surfaces will be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41), thereby precluding inverted tariff benefits on such items. The request indicates that pneumatic tires of rubber, iron pipe fittings and adapters, steel washers, tapered roller bearings, bearing cups, bearing races, and bearing housings are subject to antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations/orders if imported from certain countries. The FTZ Board's regulations (15 CFR 400.14(e)) require that merchandise subject to AD/CVD orders, or items which would be otherwise subject to suspension of liquidation under AD/CVD procedures if they entered U.S. customs territory, be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41). The request also indicates that steel and stainless steel crossmembers are subject to special duties under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Section 232), and that certain materials/components are subject to special duties under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Section 301), depending on the country of origin. The applicable Section 232 and Section 301 decisions require subject merchandise to be admitted to FTZs in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is December 10, 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 Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23555 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 01-1A001] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of issuance of an Export Trade Certificate of Review to Ginseng & Herb Cooperative (“GHC”), Application No. 01-1A001.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (“OTEA”), issued an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to GHC on October 16, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Flynn, Director, OTEA, International Trade Administration, by telephone at (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) (“the Act”) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. The regulations implementing Title III are found at 15 CFR part 325 (2018). OTEA is issuing this notice pursuant to 15 CFR 325.6(b), which requires the Secretary of Commerce to publish a summary of the certification in the Federal Register. Under Section 305(a) of the Act and 15 CFR 325.11(a), any person aggrieved by the Secretary's determination may, within 30 days of the date of this notice, bring an action in any appropriate district court of the United States to set aside the determination on the ground that the determination is erroneous.

    Description of Certified Conduct

    GHC's Export Trade Certificate of Review has been amended to:

    1. Remove Ginseng Board of Wisconsin (“GBW”) as the Export Trade Certificate of Review holder and issue the Export Trade Certificate of Review to GHC,

    2. Remove all references to GBW and to the GBW Seal,

    3. Remove all references to Members,

    4. Remove all references to Mechthild Handke,

    5. Remove all references to Ginseng Research Institute of America, Inc. (“GRIA”),

    6. Remove reference to the supplier lottery,

    7. Change the Products covered from “cultivated ginseng and cultivated ginseng products; cultivated golden seal and cultivated golden seal products; cultivated echinacea and cultivated echinacea products” to “cultivated ginseng and cultivated ginseng products, i.e., wholesale ginseng roots, ginseng capsules 500 mg, ginseng slices, ginseng tea, ginseng powder and fiber, and ginseng retail root”, and

    8. Strike the following: “Meetings at which GBW and the Members establish export prices shall not be open to the public.”

    The effective date of the amended certificate is July 18, 2018, the date on which GHC's application to amend was deemed submitted.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Joseph Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23578 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG586 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee will hold a public meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar, which can be accessed at: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/sfsbsb_mc_nov2018/. Meeting audio can also be accessed via telephone by dialing 1-800-832-0736 and entering room number 5068871.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331; www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee will meet to consider 2019 recreational management measures for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. In light of the ongoing benchmark stock assessment for summer flounder, with peer review scheduled for late November 2018, the Monitoring Committee will consider how to approach development of 2019 summer flounder recreational measures after the assessment results are available. In addition, the Monitoring Committee will receive an update on a recreational Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) for summer flounder. For scup and black sea bass, the Monitoring Committee will recommend federal waters measures for consideration by the MAFMC and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board in December 2018.

    The Monitoring Committee will also review analysis of proposed changes in the commercial scup incidental possession limits and may develop plans for reviewing the commercial scup incidental possession limits in future years.

    Meeting materials will be posted to http://www.mafmc.org/council-events/2018/sfsbsb-mc-meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to M. Jan Saunders at the Mid-Atlantic Council Office (302) 526-5251 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23557 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Value of the Reduction in the Risk of Whale Strikes in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    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 December 28, 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 Dr. Vernon R. (Bob) Leeworthy, (301) 713-7261 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    NOAA is sponsoring a class project at the Bren School of Management & Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara to estimate the market and non-market economic values associated with the reduction in risk of whale strikes by different scenarios of changes in traffic lanes and/or vessel speeds for major commercial vessels operating in the region of southern California where the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is located.

    The required information is to conduct surveys of the for hire operations that take people out for non-consumptive recreation to watch whales or other wildlife to obtain total use by type of activity (e.g. whale watching, and other wildlife observation) and the spatial use by type of activity. Information will also be obtained on costs-and-earnings of the operations and demographic information on owner/captains and crews. Surveys will also be conducted of the passengers aboard the for hire operation boats to obtain their market and non-market economic use values for the reduction in the risk of whale strikes. Additional information will be obtained on importance-satisfaction ratings of key natural resource attributes, facilities and services along with demographic profiles of passengers.

    Note: We have completed the for-hire operations survey and one season of the Passenger Survey. We need to complete the second season of the Passenger Survey.

    II. Method of Collection

    For the for hire operations, a team of students will go to the operations offices and collect the information. For the passengers, surveys will be conducted at the docks after the completion of their whale watching trip. The on-site survey will obtain information on demographic profiles, annual number of whale watching trips in the Channel Islands region, and their non-market economic use value for reductions in the risk of whale strikes. Self-addressed, postage paid mail back questionnaires will be used for importance-satisfaction ratings and whale watching trip expenditures.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0729.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Affected Public: Business operations and Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 25 for hire operations and 500 individuals on-site, 250 for importance-satisfaction mail back and 200 for the expenditure mailback.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours per for hire operation, 20 minutes per on-site interview of passengers, 20 minutes per importance-satisfaction mail back and 20 minutes for the expenditure mail back.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 367 total: 50 hours for “for hire” operations, 167 hours for the on-site survey of passengers, 83 hours for the importance-satisfaction mail back and 67 hours for the expenditure mail back.

    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: October 24, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23546 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Value of Non-Consumptive Recreation Use From Those Accessing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary via For Hire Operation Boats AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    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 December 28, 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 Dr. Vernon R. (Bob) Leeworthy, 240-533-0647 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection. The collection was approved three years ago but had not begun.

    NOAA is mentoring student interns from the Monterey Institute for International Studies to estimate the market and non-market economic values associated with non-consumptive recreation uses (e.g. whale watching, other wildlife observation, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, beach activities, surfing, wind-surfing, kite boarding, paddle boarding, etc.) in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) for those accessing the MBNMS via “for hire” operation boats.

    The required information is to conduct surveys of the for hire operations that take people out for non-consumptive recreation to obtain total use by type of activity and the spatial use by type of activity. Information will also be obtained on costs-and-earnings of the operations, knowledge, attitudes & perceptions of sanctuary management strategies and regulations, and demographic information on owner/captains and crews. Surveys will also be conducted of the passengers aboard the for hire operation boats to obtain their market and non-market economic use values for non-consumptive recreation use and how those value change with changes in natural resource attribute conditions and user characteristics. Additional information will be obtained on importance-satisfaction ratings of key natural resource attributes, facilities and services, knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of management strategies and regulations, and demographic profiles of passengers. This survey was not started during the 2015-2018 OMB approval period.

    II. Method of Collection

    For the for hire operations, a team of students will go to the operations offices and collect the information. For the passengers, surveys will be conducted at the docks after the completion of their trips. The on-site survey will obtain information on demographic profiles, annual number of trips in the MBNMS for non-consumptive recreation, and their non-market economic use value. Self-addressed, postage paid mail back questionnaires will be used for importance-satisfaction ratings, knowledge, attitudes and perceptions, and trip expenditures.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0726.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension).

    Affected Public: Business operations and Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 50 for hire operations and 1,000 individuals on-site, 500 for importance-satisfaction/knowledge, attitudes and perceptions mail back and 400 for the expenditure mailback.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours per for hire operation, 20 minutes per on-site interview of passengers, 20 minutes per importance-satisfaction/knowledge, attitudes & perceptions mail back, and 20 minutes for the expenditure mail back.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 733 total: 100 hours for “for hire” operations, 333 hours for the on-site survey of passengers, 167 hours for the importance-satisfaction/knowledge, attitudes & perceptions mail back and 133 hours for the expenditure mail back.

    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: October 24, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23545 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-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: U.S. Fishermen Fishing in Russian Waters.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0228.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 30 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 1 hour.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart J, govern U.S. fishing in the Economic Zone of the Russian Federation. Russian authorities may permit U.S. fishermen to fish for allocations of surplus stocks in the Russian Economic Zone. Permit application information is sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for transmission to Russia. If Russian authorities issue a permit, the vessel owner or operator must submit a permit abstract report to NMFS, and also report 24 hours before leaving the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the Russian Economic Zone and 24 hours before re-entering the U.S. EEZ after being in the Russian Economic Zone.

    The permit application information is used by Russian authorities to determine whether to issue a permit. NMFS uses the other information to help ensure compliance with Russian and U.S. fishery management regulations.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

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

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

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23544 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-C-2018-0058] National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) Nomination Evaluation Committee will meet in closed session on November 9, 2018. The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss the relative merits of persons, teams, and companies nominated for the NMTI.

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene November 9, 2018, at approximately 9 a.m., and adjourn at approximately 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Palafoutas, Program Manager, National Medal of Technology and Innovation Program, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box, Alexandria, VA 22313; telephone (571) 272-9821; or by electronic mail: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, notice is hereby given that the NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee, chartered to the United States Department of Commerce, will meet at the United States Patent and Trademark Office campus in Alexandria, Virginia.

    The Secretary of Commerce is responsible for recommending to the President prospective NMTI recipients. The NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee evaluates the nominations received pursuant to public solicitation and makes its recommendations for the Medal to the Secretary. Committee members are distinguished experts in the fields of science, technology, business, and patent law drawn from both the public and private sectors and are appointed by the Secretary for three-year terms.

    The NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee was established in accordance with the FACA. The Committee meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the FACA and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6) and (9)(B), because the discussion of the relative merit of the Medal nominations is likely to disclose information of a personal nature that would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of the nominees; and premature disclosure of the Committee's recommendations would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of the Medal Program.

    The Acting Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, United States Department of Commerce, formally determined on October 17, 2018, pursuant to section 10(d) of the FACA, that the meeting may be closed because Committee members are concerned with matters that are within the purview of 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6) and (9)(B). Due to closure of this meeting, copies of any minutes of the meeting will not be available. A copy of the determination is available for public inspection at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23609 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; USPTO Websites Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) 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.

    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: USPTO Websites Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-New.

    Form Number(s):

    • None.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 100,000 responses per year.

    Average Hours per Response: 8 minutes per response.

    Burden Hours: 13,333.33 hours annually.

    Cost Burden: $0.

    Needs and Uses: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wishes to conduct customer satisfaction surveys on its websites. This collection will allow for continued use of a data-driven and a statistically valid approach to understanding customer satisfaction with Agency websites. The objective is to help the USPTO become more citizen-centric and achieve higher levels of public trust and confidence. The USPTO will use the ForeSee surveys in order to collaborate effectively with the public and meet Administration mandates. These surveys will assist the Agency in its efforts to be open and collaborative.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected]

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-New” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before November 28, 2018 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23553 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO-P-2018-0062] Request for Comments on Motion To Amend Practice and Procedures in Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This Request for Comments seeks public input on certain practices and procedures that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB” or “Board”) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“Office” or “USPTO”) proposes regarding motions to amend filed in inter partes reviews (“IPR”), post-grant reviews (“PGR”), and covered business method patent reviews (“CBM”) pursuant to the provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) providing for trial proceedings before the Office. Specifically, the Office seeks input on a proposed amendment process that would involve a preliminary non-binding decision by the Board that provides information to the parties regarding the merits of a motion to amend, and an opportunity for a patent owner to revise its motion to amend thereafter. In addition, the Office seeks input on a proposed pilot program implementing the new amendment process. The Office also seeks input regarding whether the Office should continue to allocate the burden of persuasion regarding patentability of substitute claims as set forth in a recent informative Board decision, as well as any suggestions the public may have as to motion to amend practice before the Board generally.

    DATES:

    Comment Deadline Date: Written comments must be received on or before December 14, 2018, to ensure consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be sent by electronic mail message over the internet addressed to: [email protected]. Comments may also be submitted by postal mail addressed to: Mail Stop Patent Board, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of “Acting Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge Jacqueline Wright Bonilla or Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge Michael Tierney, PTAB Request for Comments 2018.”

    Although comments may be submitted by postal mail, the Office prefers to receive comments by electronic mail message to more easily share all comments with the public. The Office prefers the comments to be submitted in plain text, but also accepts comments submitted in portable document format or DOC format. Comments not submitted electronically should be submitted on paper in a format that facilitates convenient digital scanning into portable document format.

    The comments will be available for public inspection at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, located in Madison East, Ninth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Comments also will be available for viewing via the Office's internet website, https://go.usa.gov/xXXFW. Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to be made public, such as address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Wright Bonilla, Acting Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge, or Michael Tierney, Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge, by telephone at (571) 272-9797.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Summary

    In this Request for Comments, the Office seeks feedback and information regarding a new amendment process involving a preliminary non-binding decision by the Board that provides information to the parties regarding the merits of a motion to amend, and an opportunity for a patent owner to revise its motion to amend thereafter. The Office also seeks feedback and information regarding a proposed pilot program implementing the new amendment process before the Board. The goal of the proposed amendment process and pilot program is to provide an improved amendment practice in AIA trials in a manner that is fair and balanced for all parties and stakeholders. In essence, this is proposed to be done by: Providing the parties with the Board's initial assessment of the proposed amendment early in the process; providing meaningful opportunity to revise, and oppose, proposed amendments; and ensuring that the amendment process concludes within the 12-month statutory timeline.

    The Office has received feedback from the public regarding the Board's current motion to amend practice, including some concerns regarding the grant rate of claim amendments in AIA trial proceedings. As detailed further below, the Office has conducted a study of the outcomes of motions to amend decided by the Board and compiled data on reasons why motions to amend have been granted or denied. The Office now seeks to explore what effect certain proposed changes to the Board's procedures described below may have on amendment practice in AIA trial proceedings, and to obtain the public's perspectives on the potential impacts of such changes.

    In particular, the Office wishes to explore whether, and under what circumstances, a preliminary decision by the Board that evaluates a motion to amend might prove helpful in an AIA trial amendment process. In the Office's current proposal, the Board will provide a patent owner an opportunity to file a motion to amend during the course of an AIA trial, and an opportunity to revise that motion. By statute, the Board may permit additional motions to amend “as permitted by regulations prescribed by the Director.” 35 U.S.C. 316(d)(2). Under currently prescribed regulations, the Board may authorize an additional motion to amend when, for example, “there is a good cause showing.” 37 CFR 42.121(c) & 42.221(c).

    In the current proposal, after the patent owner files an initial motion to amend and the petitioner has an opportunity to respond, a Board panel will provide a preliminary decision addressing the initial motion to amend. The preliminary decision may provide information relevant to whether the motion to amend meets statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as whether the proposed substitute claims meet the patentability requirements under the Patent Act in light of prior art of record. To the extent it is necessary, the issuance of the Board's preliminary decision addressing the initial motion to amend will be deemed “good cause” for further amendment under 37 CFR 42.121(c) & 42.221(c).

    Similar to a decision to institute, a preliminary decision on a motion to amend will not be binding on the Board's final written decision. Both parties will have an opportunity to respond to the preliminary decision, and the patent owner will have an opportunity to revise its motion to amend after receiving the preliminary decision. Thereafter, if the Board determines the petitioner has shown that corresponding original challenged claims are unpatentable or that the original claims are otherwise cancelled, the Board will consider the entirety of the record, including parties' arguments and cited evidence relevant to the motion to amend, before reaching a final written decision on the substitute claims proposed in the latest version of the motion to amend filed by the patent owner.

    In this Request for Comments, the Office also seeks input regarding whether the Office should continue to allocate the burden of persuasion regarding patentability of substitute claims as set forth in Western Digital Corp. v. SPEX Techs., Inc., Case IPR2018-00082 (Paper 13) (PTAB April 25, 2018), as well as any suggestions the public may have as to motion to amend practice before the Board generally.

    Background

    To elicit specific input on the Board's motion to amend practice, in June 2014, the Office published a Request for Comments in the Federal Register that requested comments on the Board's practice regarding motions to amend. See Request for Comments on Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, 79 FR 36474 (June 27, 2014).

    Comments from the public (including bar associations, corporations, law firms, and individuals) regarding motions to amend ranged from seeking no change to the Board's current practice, to proposals for the grant of all motions to amend that meet 35 U.S.C. 316(d) statutory requirements without a review of patentability. Most comments focused on which party should bear the burden of proving the patentability or unpatentability of substitute claims proposed in a motion to amend, or on the scope of the prior art that must be discussed by a patent owner in making a motion to amend. The feedback generally did not relate to the timing of motions to amend or other aspects of Board procedure in considering such motions. The comments are available on the USPTO website: https://go.usa.gov/xXXF8.

    In August 2015, the Office solicited further input from the public on “[w]hat modifications, if any, should be made to the Board's practice regarding motions to amend.” See Proposed Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Proposed Amendments to the Rules”), 80 FR 50720, 50724-25 (Aug. 20, 2015). Once again, in relation to motions to amend, most comments focused on which party should bear the burden of proof on the patentability of substitute claims proposed in a motion to amend. The comments are available on the USPTO website: https://go.usa.gov/x5SbK. In addition, a few comments suggested using examiners to review the patentability of proposed substitute claims. On balance, the Office decided at that time not to implement changes to the Board's motion to amend procedures through rulemaking, but reaffirmed its commitment to continue to evaluate the best way to improve the Board's practice. See Proposed Amendments to the Rules, 80 FR at 50724-25; Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, 81 FR 18750, 18755 (Apr. 1, 2016).

    In an effort to better understand the Board's motion to amend practice, the Board undertook in early 2016 a study to determine: (1) The number of motions to amend that had been filed in AIA trials, both as a cumulative total and by fiscal year; (2) subsequent developments in each motion to amend (i.e., whether the motion was decided, rendered moot, withdrawn, or otherwise dismissed); (3) the number of motions to amend requesting to substitute claims that were granted, granted-in-part and denied-in-part, and denied; and (4) the reasons the Board provided for denying entry of substitute claims. See Motion to Amend Study (April 30, 2016), https://go.usa.gov/xXXyT; Data for 192 Completed Trials with a Motion to Amend, https://go.usa.gov/xXXyZ (last visited Oct. 11, 2018). The Board continues to collect data on motions to amend, and has published on its website an update to the study through March 31, 2018. See https://go.usa.gov/xUJgB (last visited Oct. 11, 2018).

    Data obtained from the study show that patent owners filed motions to amend in about 10% (305) of the 3203 completed AIA trials and in about 8% (56) of the 725 pending AIA trials—a total of 361 motions to amend through March 31, 2018. Although motions to amend are filed in less than 10% of AIA trials (completed and pending), current data show an increase in the number of motions to amend filed in fiscal year 2018, when compared to other fiscal years. The number of motions to amend filed through the first half of fiscal year 2018 (54) exceeded the number of motions to amend filed for the entire fiscal year 2017 (50), and is approximately equal to the number of motions to amend filed for the entire fiscal year 2016 (56).

    The data further show that the Board ruled on a motion to amend requesting to substitute claims in 62% (189) of the 305 completed AIA trials with amendment motions as of March 31, 2018. In the remaining 38% (116) of the 305 completed AIA trials, the motion to amend: (a) Requested solely to cancel claims (20 or 7%); (b) was rendered moot because the panel of judges found the original claims not unpatentable or because the panel of judges already decided a motion to amend proposing the same substitute claims (35 or 11%); or (c) was not decided because the motion was withdrawn or the case terminated prior to a final written decision (61 or 20%), respectively. Of the 189 motions to amend requesting to substitute claims that the Board decided, the Board granted the motion to amend in 4% (7) of the trials, granted-in-part and denied-in-part the motion to amend in 6% (11) of the trials, and denied the motion to amend in 90% (171) of the trials. The specific reasons the Board provided for denying or denying-in-part the motions to amend are set forth in the table below.

    Reasons for Denying or Denying-in-Part the Motions To Amend Reason(s) for denying Number
  • of
  • motions
  • Percent
  • of
  • total ***
  • Anticipated/obvious over art of record (102/103) 74 41 Multiple statutory reasons * 43 24 Non-statutory subject matter (101) 12 7 Lack of written description (112) 14 8 Lack of enablement (112) 3 2 Indefiniteness (112) 1 1 Claims enlarge scope of patent (316) 10 5 Unreasonable number of substitute claims (316) ** 3 2 Procedural reasons 22 12 Total Motions to Amend Denied or Denied-in-Part 182 * All motions to amend but one that the Board denied for multiple statutory reasons included 35 U.S.C. 102, 103, and/or 112 as a reason for denial. ** See also 37 CFR 42.121(a)(3) (stating that the “presumption is that only one substitute claim would be needed to replace each challenged claim, and it may be rebutted by a demonstration of need”). *** The “Percent of Total” adds up to slightly more than 100% (i.e., 102%) due to rounding of percent numbers for each individual row in “Reason(s) for Denying.”

    As noted above, in 182 AIA trials, the Board has denied or denied-in-part a motion to amend. In 81% (147) of those trials, the Board's final written decision identified at least one statutory ground of patentability that the proposed substitute claims did not satisfy. See Data for 305 Completed Trials with a Motion to Amend, https://go.usa.gov/xUJgk (last visited Oct. 11, 2018). Using conventional patent prosecution as a comparison, the Board's decisions in those cases are akin to an examiner rejecting a proposed amended claim because it is anticipated, obvious, not adequately described in the written description, indefinite, or directed to non-statutory subject matter. In 7% (13) of the 182 AIA trials, the Board based a denial on a failure by the patent owner to satisfy the statutory requirements of a motion to amend under 35 U.S.C. 316(d)(1)(B) and (3) (requiring “a reasonable number of substitute claims” and stating that an amendment “may not enlarge the scope of the claims of the patent or introduce new matter”). In the remaining 12% (22) of those trials, the Board based a denial solely on procedural reasons, such as a failure to provide a claim construction for limitations added in substitute claims.

    On October 4, 2017, the en banc United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, 872 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (en banc) (“Aqua Products”), addressing the burden of persuasion regarding patentability of substitute claims presented in a motion to amend. The lead opinion of the decision concludes with the following:

    The only legal conclusions that support and define the judgment of the court are: (1) The PTO has not adopted a rule placing the burden of persuasion with respect to the patentability of amended claims on the patent owner that is entitled to deference; and (2) in the absence of anything that might be entitled deference, the PTO may not place that burden on the patentee.

    Id. at 1327.

    In view of the Federal Circuit's holding in Aqua Products, on November 21, 2017, the Office issued formal guidance through a memorandum from the Chief Administrative Patent Judge (“Guidance Memo”). See Guidance on Motion to Amend in View of Aqua Products, https://go.usa.gov/xQGAA (last visited Oct. 11, 2018). The Guidance Memo explains that, in light of the Aqua Products decision, the Board will no longer place the burden of persuasion on a patent owner with respect to patentability of the proposed substitute claims presented in a motion to amend. The Guidance Memo also notes that a motion to amend must continue to satisfy the requirements of 37 CFR 42.121 or 42.221, as applicable, that all parties still have a duty of candor under 37 CFR 42.11, and that the page-limits, type, and timing of briefs remain unchanged. Id.

    On December 22, 2017, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, LLC v. Matal, 878 F.3d 1027 (Fed. Cir. 2017), as amended in part on reh'g (Mar. 15, 2018) (“Bosch”). In that decision, the Federal Circuit explained, “the petitioner bears the burden of proving that the proposed amended claims are unpatentable by a preponderance of the evidence.” Id. at 1040. Because the petitioner in Bosch had settled with the patent owner, the Federal Circuit remanded the case to the Board to evaluate the patentability of the amended claims, indicating that the Board must justify any finding of unpatentability by reference to the evidence of record in the IPR. Id. (“[W]here the challenger ceases to participate in the IPR and the Board proceeds to final judgment, it is the Board that must justify any finding of unpatentability by reference to the evidence of record in the IPR.”) (quoting Aqua Products, 872 F.2d at 1311 (opinion of O'Malley, J.)).

    In view of decisions by the Federal Circuit regarding motion to amend practice and procedure in AIA trials, as explained above, the Board recently de-designated as precedential MasterImage 3D, Inc. v. RealD Inc., Case IPR2015-00040 (PTAB July 15, 2015) (Paper 42) and de-designated as informative Idle Free Sys., Inc. v. Bergstrom, Inc., IPR 2012-00027 (PTAB June 11, 2013). Concurrently, the Board designated Western Digital Corp. v. SPEX Techs., Inc., Case IPR2018-00082 (Paper 13) (PTAB April 25, 2018) (“Western Digital order”) as informative to provide current guidance on several aspects of the motion to amend practice. With respect to the burden of persuasion, the Western Digital order explains that under the current state of the law “the burden of persuasion will ordinarily lie with the petitioner to show that any proposed substitute claims are unpatentable” and that the “Board itself may justify any finding of unpatentability by reference to evidence of record in the proceeding.” Id. at 4.

    In light of more than five years' worth of data obtained through the above-mentioned Board study, recent Federal Circuit decisions, the Guidance Memo, and the Western Digital order (informative), and in an effort to continue to enhance the effectiveness and fairness of AIA trial proceedings, the Office seeks further specific feedback regarding changes to the Board's motion to amend practice and a motion to amend pilot program.

    Request for Public Comments

    The Office seeks written public comments on an amendment procedure in AIA trials that involves the Board issuing a preliminary non-binding decision that provides information relevant to the merits of a motion to amend, and provides a patent owner with an opportunity to revise its motion to amend thereafter. A proposed timeline showing the parties' filings and the preliminary decision envisioned under the current proposal is set forth in Appendix A1 of this request. An overlay of that timeline onto a timeline of an AIA trial considering only the patentability of originally challenged claims is set forth in Appendix A2. The Office plans to implement such a process as a pilot program, as set forth below in greater detail. The Office also seeks comments as to whether, in view of recent Federal Circuit case law, it should engage in rulemaking to allocate the burden of persuasion when determining patentability of substitute claims as set forth in the Western Digital order. The Office welcomes any comments from the public on the topics covered in this notice. The Office also poses specific questions below, and invites public feedback on those questions.

    Proposal: Preliminary Decision by the Board on a Motion To Amend and an Opportunity To Revise That Motion

    The Office seeks written public comments as to whether, and under what circumstances, a preliminary non-binding decision by the Board evaluating a motion to amend would be helpful in AIA trials. The preliminary decision would initially assess whether a motion to amend meets statutory and regulatory requirements, and/or the patentability of proposed substitute claims, for example, in light of prior art of record in the proceeding.

    In the current proposal, after institution of an AIA trial, a patent owner would have an opportunity to file a motion to amend, and then revise that motion after receiving the petitioner's opposition and the preliminary decision from the Board. Specifically, after a patent owner files a motion to amend that proposes substitute claims, and a petitioner files an opposition (if it so chooses), the Board would present an initial evaluation of the parties' submissions in a preliminary decision. The current proposed timing for a motion to amend, the preliminary decision, a revision to the motion, and related briefing is set forth in Appendix A1.

    After receiving the preliminary decision, a patent owner may file a revision to its motion to amend. The revision may include, for example, changes to the initially proposed substitute claims to address issues identified in the preliminary decision. The petitioner would have an opportunity to file an opposition responding to the revised motion to amend and the preliminary decision. Before the oral hearing, the patent owner also may file a reply to an opposition to the revised motion to amend, and the petitioner may file a corresponding sur-reply. During the oral hearing itself, both parties may address points raised and evidence discussed in the preliminary decision and as briefed by the parties.

    Although a preliminary decision would not be binding on the Board's subsequent decisions or provide dispositive conclusions regarding motion to amend requirements or the patentability of substitute claims, it may provide information helpful to the parties, such as to a patent owner as it determines whether and/or how to revise its motion to amend, or to petitioner as it determines how to respond to a revised motion to amend, or to both parties as they determine how to respond to information discussed in the preliminary decision itself.

    Preliminary Decision on a Motion to Amend: The Board would provide a preliminary decision after the petitioner has an opportunity to file an opposition to a patent owner's motion to amend. The preliminary decision would provide information relating to whether the motion to amend meets the statutory requirements of 35 U.S.C. 316(d) or 326(d) and the regulatory requirements of 35 CFR 42.121 or 42.221, and information relating to the patentability of the proposed substitute claims. To meet statutory and regulatory requirements, a motion to amend must, among other things: propose a reasonable number of substitute claims; propose substitute claims that do not enlarge claim scope or introduce new matter; respond to a ground of unpatentability involved in the trial; and set forth written description support for each substitute claim. See 35 U.S.C. 316(d) & 326(d); 37 CFR 42.121 & 42.221; see also Western Digital order, Case IPR2018-00082 (Paper 13) (PTAB April 25, 2018).

    Similar to an institution decision, a preliminary decision on a motion to amend during an AIA trial would not be binding on the Board, for example, when it renders a final written decision. In the current proposal, the preliminary decision would indicate whether there is a reasonable likelihood that: (1) The patent owner would prevail in establishing that the motion to amend meets statutory and regulatory requirements, and/or (2) the petitioner would prevail in establishing the unpatentability of any proposed substitute claims.

    Depending on the patent owner's response to the initial evaluation in the preliminary decision, the case will proceed according to Alternative 1 or Alternative 2 discussed below.

    Alternative 1: Patent Owner Reply or Revised Motion to Amend and Subsequent Briefing (patent owner has the first opportunity to respond to the preliminary decision, as shown in Appendix A1): If the preliminary decision indicates that the motion to amend fails to meet any statutory or regulatory requirements, or that the petitioner demonstrates a reasonable likelihood that it would prevail in establishing the unpatentability of any proposed substitute claims in view of the current record, the patent owner and petitioner may file papers as discussed below.

    Within a certain time frame after receiving the preliminary decision, for example, within 1 month, a patent owner may file: (1) A reply to the petitioner's opposition to the motion to amend and the preliminary decision; or (2) a revised motion to amend that revises the proposed new substitute claims and provides new arguments and/or evidence as to why the revised substitute claims meet statutory and regulatory requirements for a motion to amend, as well as arguments and evidence (as patent owner chooses to include) relevant to the patentability of the revised substitute claims. A revised motion to amend must provide amendments, arguments, and/or evidence in a manner that is responsive to issues raised in the preliminary decision. A revised motion to amend may not include amendments, arguments, and/or evidence that are unrelated to issues raised in the preliminary decision or the petitioner's opposition to the motion to amend. Generally, the Board will render a final written decision only as to the latest-filed version of the patent owner's motion to amend and substitute claims proposed therein.

    As shown in Appendix A1, if the patent owner files a reply to the petitioner's opposition to the motion to amend and the preliminary decision, the petitioner may file a corresponding sur-reply. As also shown in Appendix A1, if the patent owner chooses instead to revise its motion to amend (file a “revised MTA”), the petitioner may file an opposition to that motion, the patent owner may file a reply to that opposition, and the petitioner may file a sur-reply. Thus, if patent owner files a reply, rather than a revised motion to amend, there will be only two papers filed by the parties after the preliminary decision (i.e., the patent owner reply and the petitioner sur-reply), rather than all four shown in Appendices A1 and A2. An opposition or reply may be accompanied by new evidence that responds to new evidence or issues raised in the preliminary decision, or in the corresponding revised motion to amend or opposition. A petitioner sur-reply may not be accompanied by new evidence other than deposition transcripts of the cross-examination of any reply witness. The sur-reply may only respond to arguments made in reply briefs, comment on reply declaration testimony, and/or point to cross-examination testimony.

    Alternative 2: Petitioner Reply and Patent Owner Sur-Reply (petitioner has the first opportunity to respond to the preliminary decision): If the preliminary decision indicates that the motion to amend meets the statutory and regulatory requirements, and that the petitioner does not demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that it would prevail in establishing the unpatentability of any proposed substitute claims in view of the current record, the petitioner may file a reply to the preliminary decision (e.g., within one month after the Board provides its preliminary decision), and the patent owner may file a sur-reply in response (e.g., within one month after the reply is filed). In addition, if patent owner chooses not to file any paper, i.e., a reply or a revised motion to amend, within a designated time frame for such a paper (e.g., within one month) after the Board provides a preliminary decision, the petitioner may file a reply to the preliminary decision (e.g., within two weeks thereafter), and the patent owner may file a sur-reply in response (e.g., within two weeks after the reply is filed).

    Specifically, if the preliminary decision indicates that the Board is reasonably likely to deny the motion to amend in relation to at least one substitute claim, Alternative 1 applies, as discussed above. If the preliminary decision indicates that the Board is reasonably likely to grant the motion to amend in relation to all substitute claims proposed by the patent owner, however, Alternative 2 applies, and petitioner may file the first paper (a reply) in response to the preliminary decision. Similarly, if patent owner chooses not to file a paper after the Board provides a preliminary decision, Alternative 2 applies, albeit potentially on an accelerated schedule.

    If Alternative 2 applies, the petitioner reply may be accompanied by new evidence that responds to new issues raised in the preliminary decision, but the petitioner may not raise a new argument of unpatentability that it did not raise in its opposition to the motion to amend. The patent owner sur-reply may not be accompanied by new evidence other than deposition transcripts of the cross-examination of any reply witness. The sur-reply may only respond to arguments made in reply briefs, comment on reply declaration testimony, and/or point to cross-examination testimony.

    Cross-Examination Through Depositions: In the current proposal, all cross-examinations, i.e., depositions, of witnesses in relation to direct testimony (provided in declarations) pertaining to a motion to amend would occur after the Board issues the preliminary decision on a motion to amend.

    Petitioner Ceases to Participate in an AIA Trial and the Board Proceeds to a Final Written Decision on a Motion to Amend: If the petitioner ceases to participate altogether in an AIA trial in which the patent owner files a motion to amend, and the Board nevertheless proceeds with the trial thereafter, the Board may, in its discretion, solicit patent examiner assistance in the absence of a petitioner opposition to a motion to amend. That assistance, e.g., by an examiner in the Central Reexamination Unit, could include the preparation of an advisory report that initially assesses whether a motion to amend meets certain statutory and regulatory requirements (i.e., whether the amendment enlarges the scope of the claims of the patent or introduces new matter), as well as the patentability of proposed substitute claims, for example, in light of prior art that was provided by the patent owner and/or obtained in prior art searches by the examiner.

    An examiner advisory report would not include a final determination on any ultimate legal conclusion. When preparing an advisory report, the examiner would consider relevant papers of record, as well as evidence cited therein, with certain exceptions. The examiner would take into account affidavits or declarations by witnesses cited by parties, but generally would not consider cross-examination testimony of such witnesses, engage in witness credibility determinations, or address admissibility of evidence. The examiner would conduct prior art searches as appropriate, and take into account search results that are relevant to the substitute claims when preparing an advisory report. The examiner will not, however, search on or address the original claims.

    An examiner advisory report would not be binding, but may assist the patent owner and the Board during an AIA trial proceeding. Similar to inter partes reexamination, an examiner would not conduct interviews or otherwise interact directly with the parties. Rather, as needed, the patent owner may contact the Board with questions or request a conference call with the panel. Depositions or other requests for discovery or testimony regarding an examiner's decision-making process would be denied pursuant to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure 1701.

    If the Board seeks examiner assistance prior to issuing a preliminary decision, the patent owner may respond to the examiner advisory report and the preliminary decision in a reply or a revised motion to amend filed after the preliminary decision. If the Board seeks examiner assistance after issuing a preliminary decision and after the patent owner files a revised motion to amend, the patent owner may respond to the preliminary decision and the examiner advisory report in a reply. A patent owner reply or revised motion to amend may be accompanied by new evidence that responds to new prior art or issues raised in an examiner advisory report or discussed in the preliminary decision.

    Proposed Pilot Program

    The Office is also seeking input on the use of a pilot program to implement the proposed amendment process discussed above. As part of the pilot program, the Board will issue a preliminary decision after receiving a patent owner's motion to amend and any opposition by a petitioner, and a patent owner would have an opportunity to file a revised motion to amend, as described above. The currently proposed briefing schedule for the pilot program is set forth in Appendix A1.

    Conduct of Proposed Pilot Program: The Office anticipates that it will implement the pilot program shortly after the comment deadline for this Request for Comments ends on December 14, 2018. The Office plans to issue a notice to the public providing any necessary additional details of the pilot program shortly before implementation. Once the pilot program begins, the Office likely will conduct it for at least one year, and the program may be extended beyond that time. The Office would provide notice of any extension prior to expiration of the pilot.

    The Office may implement the pilot program so that the new procedure is used in every AIA trial proceeding involving a motion to amend where the Board issues a decision to institute a trial after the implementation date of the pilot program. In AIA trial proceedings where the Board has instituted a trial before the implementation date of the program, the motion to amend process would proceed under currently existing procedures. Once implemented as a pilot program, the new amendment procedure would be the only option available for amending claims in AIA proceedings. That is to say, the current amendment process would no longer be available as an option. The program is a “pilot” in the sense that the Office may modify the amendment procedures in response to feedback and experience with the program, during the course of the pilot. The Office requests feedback and comment in this regard, and also as to whether it should consider not proceeding with the program in AIA trials where both parties agree to opt-out of the program.

    The Office would then consider the results of this pilot program in determining how to refine this approach going forward.

    Potential Rulemaking To Allocate the Burden of Persuasion as Set Forth in the Western Digital Order

    The Office also requests comments from the public regarding whether it should engage in rulemaking to allocate the burden of persuasion as suggested by the Aqua Products en banc court, and if so, whether the Office should allocate that burden as set forth in the Western Digital order. Specifically, the Western Digital order provides that “the burden of persuasion will ordinarily lie with the petitioner to show that any proposed substitute claims are unpatentable” and that the “Board itself also may justify any finding of unpatentability by reference to evidence of record in the proceeding.” Western Digital order 4. “Thus, the Board determines whether substitute claims are unpatentable by a preponderance of the evidence based on the entirety of the record, including any opposition made by the petitioner.” Id.

    The Office seeks public comment on the circumstances in which the Board itself may justify findings of unpatentability, for example: When the petitioner has ceased to participate in the proceeding; when the petitioner remains in the proceeding but chooses not to oppose the motion to amend or a subset of proposed substitute claims in the motion to amend; or when the petitioner opposes the motion to amend but fails to take into account all aspects of the record before the Board. The Office does not envision, however, that allowing the Board to justify any findings of unpatentability would limit a petitioner's ability to submit its own arguments or evidence regarding unpatentability, or prevent the Board from adopting a petitioner's arguments in deciding the motion to amend. Moreover, the Board is not required to make any determinations of unpatentability in situations where the petitioner, for any reason, has not established that proposed substitute claims are unpatentable by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, the Board is permitted, but not required, to find claims unpatentable for reasons other than those advanced by the petitioner as long as the patent owner has notice and an opportunity to be heard.

    In addition, the Office seeks public comment on how, if at all, adoption of the proposed motion to amend process would affect the allocation of the burden of persuasion as set forth in the Western Digital order.

    Questions Regarding the Proposed Amendment Process and Pilot Program

    The Office welcomes any comments from the public on the proposed amendment process and pilot program, and would be particularly interested in the public's input on the questions and requested information noted below.

    1. Should the Office modify its current practice to implement the proposal summarized above and presented in part in Appendix A1? Why or why not?

    2. Please provide comments on any aspect of the proposed amendment process, including, but not limited to, the content of the papers provided by the parties and the Office and the timing of those papers during an AIA trial.

    3. How does the timeline in Appendix A1 impact the parties' abilities to present their respective cases? If changes to the timeline are warranted, what specific changes are needed and why?

    4. If the Office implements this proposal, should the Board prepare a preliminary decision in every proceeding where a patent owner files a motion to amend that proposes substitute claims?

    5. What information should a preliminary decision include to provide the most assistance to the parties in presenting their case? For example, is there certain information that may be particularly useful as the parties consider arguments and evidence to present in their papers, how issues may be narrowed for presentation to the Board, and/or whether to discuss a settlement?

    6. If the Office implements this proposal, should there be any limits on the substance of the claims that may be proposed in the revised motion to amend? For example, should patent owners be permitted only to add limitations to, or otherwise narrow the scope of, the claims proposed in the originally-filed motion to amend?

    7. What is the most effective way for parties and the Office to use declaration testimony during the procedure discussed above? For example, how and when should parties rely on declaration testimony? When should cross-examination of declaration witnesses take place, if at all, in the process? At what stage of briefing should a party be able to rely on cross-examination (deposition transcripts) testimony of a witness?

    8. If a petitioner ceases to participate in an AIA trial and the Board solicits patent examiner assistance regarding a motion to amend, how should the Board weigh an examiner advisory report relative to arguments and evidence provided by a patent owner? What type of assistance or information should a patent examiner provide? Should prior art searches by examiners be limited to those relevant to new limitations added to proposed substitute claims and reasons to combine related to such limitations?

    9. Should the Board solicit patent examiner assistance in other circumstances, and if so, what circumstances? For example, should the Board solicit patent examiner assistance when the petitioner remains in the AIA trial but chooses not to oppose the motion to amend?

    10. Should a motion to amend filed under the proposed new process be contingent or non-contingent? For purposes of this question, “contingent” means that the Board will provide a final decision on the patentability of a proposed substitute claim only if it determines that a corresponding original claim is unpatentable (as in the current proposal); and “non-contingent” means that the Board will provide a final decision on the patentability of substitute claims in place of determining the patentability of corresponding original claims.

    11. If the Office implements the proposal in which the Board issues a preliminary decision on a motion to amend, as discussed above, should any additional changes be made to the current default trial schedule to accommodate the new practice?

    12. What impact would implementing the proposals above have on small or micro entities who participate as parties in AIA trial proceedings?

    13. Should the Office consider additional options for changing the timing and/or the Board's procedures for handling motions to amend that are not covered by the proposals above? If so, please provide additional options or proposals for the Office to consider, and discuss the advantages or disadvantages of implementation.

    14. Should the Office consider not proceeding with the pilot program in AIA trials where both parties agree to opt-out of the program?

    Questions Regarding Potential Rulemaking To Allocate Burden of Persuasion as Set Forth in the Western Digital Order

    15. Should the Office engage in rulemaking to allocate the burden of persuasion regarding the patentability of proposed substitute claims in a motion to amend as set forth in the Western Digital order? What are the advantages or disadvantages of doing so?

    16. If the Office continues to allocate the burden as set forth in the Western Digital order, under what circumstances should the Board itself be able to justify findings of unpatentability? Only if the petitioner withdraws from the proceeding? Or are there situations where the Board itself should be able to justify findings of unpatentability when the petitioner remains in the proceeding? What are the advantages or disadvantages?

    17. If the Office adopts the current proposal including a preliminary decision by the Board on a motion to amend, do the answers to questions 15 and 16 change?

    Dated: October 19, 2018. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. BILLING CODE 3510-16-P Appendix A1 EN29OC18.000 Appendix A2 EN29OC18.001
    [FR Doc. 2018-23187 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-C
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in OMB within 30 days of this notice's publication by either of the following methods. Please identify the comments by “OMB Control No. 3038-0085.”

    By email addressed to: [email protected] or

    By mail addressed to: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503.

    A copy of all comments submitted to OIRA should be sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) by either of the following methods. The copies should refer to “OMB Control No. 3038-0085.”

    By mail addressed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581;

    • By Hand Delivery/Courier to the same address; or

    • Through the Commission's website at http://comments.cftc.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments through the website.

    A copy of the supporting statement for the collection of information discussed herein may be obtained by visiting http://RegInfo.gov.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1 The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the ICR will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa D'Arcy, Special Counsel, Division of Clearing and Risk, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5086; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0085.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Rule 50.50 End-User Notification of Non-Cleared Swap (OMB Control No. 3038-0085). This is a request for an extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended Section 2(h)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) to provide that it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in a swap unless that person submits such swap for clearing to a derivatives clearing organization if the swap is required to be cleared. However, Section 2(h)(7) of the CEA, as added by the Dodd-Frank Act, also provides that a swap otherwise subject to the clearing requirement is eligible for an elective exception from clearing if one party to the swap is not a financial entity, is using swaps to hedge or mitigate commercial risk, and notifies the Commission, in a manner set forth by the Commission, how it generally meets its financial obligations associated with entering into non-cleared swaps (End-User Exception).

    The Commission adopted Commission regulation 39.6 to specify requirements for electing the End-User Exception, including the reporting of certain information to a registered swap data repository (SDR) or the Commission. Following the publication of Commission regulation 39.6, the Commission recodified it as Commission regulation 50.50 (17 CFR 50.50). The information reported and collected under Commission regulation 50.50 is necessary as part of the overall package of swap-related information that must generally be submitted by reporting counterparties to SDRs under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Commission uses this information to assess and monitor the market participants electing the End-User Exception to the swap clearing requirement in order to prevent evasion of the clearing requirement.

    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. On August 13, 2018, the Commission published in the Federal Register notice of the proposed extension of this information collection and provided 60 days for public comment on the proposed extension, 83 FR 39991 (60-Day Notice). The Commission received one comment on the 60-Day Notice.

    In a comment letter submitted in response to the 60-Day Notice, the American Bankers Association (ABA) urged the Commission to amend Commission regulation 50.50 with respect to the frequency of the reporting requirement.2 Currently, end-users electing the exception are required to report information to the Commission annually, if not more frequently. The ABA requested that the Commission issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to consider revising the reporting requirement in Commission regulation 50.50(b)(2) to permit end-users to report this information less frequently than annually, in certain cases. The ABA's request for an amendment to the rule text in Commission regulation 50.50 is outside the scope of the request for an extension of the subject collection. The ABA did not submit any comments to the Commission related to the burdens associated with this information collection, such as the estimated number of respondents or the estimated average burden hours per respondent. Accordingly, the Commission continues to believe that the burden estimates published in the 60-Day Notice are appropriate.

    2 ABA's comment letter submitted in response to the 60-Day Notice, Oct. 12, 2018, available at: https://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/ViewComment.aspx?id=61830&SearchText=.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,815.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours per Respondent: 0.58.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,053.3

    3 1815 × .58 hr = 1,052.7, and when rounded up to the next whole number equals 1,053 (the estimated total annual burden hours).

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion; annually.

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Robert Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23539 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in OMB within 30 days of this notice's publication by either of the following methods. Please identify the comments by “OMB Control No. 3038-0101.”

    By email addressed to: [email protected] or

    By mail addressed to: the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503.

    A copy of all comments submitted to OIRA should be sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “Commission”) by either of the following methods. The copies should refer to “OMB Control No. 3038-0101.”

    By mail addressed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581;

    • By Hand Delivery/Courier to the same address; or

    • Through the Commission's website at http://comments.cftc.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments through the website.

    A copy of the supporting statement for the collection of information discussed herein may be obtained by visiting http://RegInfo.gov.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1 The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the ICR will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Duane C. Andresen, Associate Director, Division of Market Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5492; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0101.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Registration of Foreign Boards of Trade (OMB Control No. 3038-0101). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Section 738 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended section 4(b) of the Commodity Exchange Act to provide that the Commission may adopt rules and regulations requiring foreign boards of trade (FBOT) that wish to provide their members or other participants located in the United States with direct access to the FBOT's electronic trading and order matching system to register with the Commission. Pursuant to this authorization, the CFTC adopted a final rule requiring FBOTs that wish to permit trading by direct access to provide certain information to the Commission in applications for registration and, once registered, to provide certain information to meet quarterly and annual reporting requirements. Currently, Part 48 of the Commission's regulations sets forth reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements to ensure registered FBOTs providing for trading by direct access meet statutory and regulatory requirements on an initial and ongoing basis.

    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. On August 13, 2018, the Commission published in the Federal Register notice of the proposed extension of this information collection and provided 60 days for public comment on the proposed extension, 83 FR 39989 (“60-Day Notice”). The Commission did not receive any comments on the 60-Day Notice.

    Burden Statement: The Commission is revising its estimate of the burden for this collection for registered FBOTs, by reducing the number of FBOTs to which the burden applies. The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 23.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours per Respondent: 375.2.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 8,630.

    Frequency of Collection: When a reportable event occurs and quarterly and annually for required reports.

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Robert Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23538 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COURT SERVICES AND OFFENDER SUPERVISION AGENCY FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SES Performance Review Board AGENCY:

    Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the appointment of new members to the Court Services and Offender Supervision Services for the District of Columbia (CSOSA) and the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia (PSA), Senior Executive Service (SES) Performance Review Board. PSA is an independent agency within CSOSA. The Performance Review Board assures consistency, stability, and objectivity in the appraisal process.

    DATES:

    Applicable: December 1, 2018 to February 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Layne, Assistant Director, Human Capital Planning and Executive Resources, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia, 800 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 701, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 220-5637.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 4314(c)(1) of Title 5 of the United States Code requires each agency to establish, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management, one or more SES Performance Review Boards (PRB). (Section 4314(c)(4) requires that notice of appointment of PRB members be published in the Federal Register). The PRB is responsible for making recommendations to the appointing and awarding authority on the performance appraisal ratings and performance awards for SES employees. Members of the PRB will serve a term that shall begin on December 1, 2018. The following executives have been designated as member of the Performance Review Board for CSOSA and PSA:

    Cedric Hendricks, Associate Director for the Office of Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs for CSOSA Reggie James, Reginald James, Associate Director for the Office of Administration for CSOSA Linda Mays, Associate Director for the Office of Human Resources for CSOSA William Kirkendale, Associate Director for the Office of Information Technology for CSOSA Sheila Stokes, General Counsel for CSOSA David Huffer, Associate Director for the Office of Research and Evaluation for CSOSA Paul Girardo, Associate Director for the Office of Financial Management for CSOSA Leslie Cooper, Director for PSA Catherine Terry-Crusor, Associate Director for the Office of Operations for PSA Lisa Rawlings, Chief of Staff for CSOSA Jerrolyn Patricia Smoot, Deputy Director for PSA Dated: October 23, 2018. Rochelle Durant, Federal Register Liaison.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23541 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 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, November 29, 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. 2018-23542 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0086] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Logistics Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Defense Logistics Agency Headquarters, ATTN: Mr. Steven Nace, J349, 8725 John J. Kingman Rd., Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060-6221; or call (571) 767-6582.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: End-Use Certificate; DLA Form 1822; OMB Control Number 0704-0382.

    Needs and Uses: All individuals wishing to acquire DOD/Government property identified as U.S. Munitions List Items (MLI) or Commerce Control List Item (CCLI) must complete this form each time they enter into a transaction. It is used to clear recipients to ensure their eligibility to conduct business with the government. That they are not debarred bidders; Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) or Blocked Persons; have not violated U.S. export laws; will not divert the property to denied/sanctioned countries, unauthorized destinations or sell to debarred/Bidder Experience List firms or individuals. The EUC informs the recipients that when this property is to be exported, they must comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR 120 et seq.; Export Administration Regulations (EAR), 15 CFR 730 et seq.; Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC), 31 CFR 500 et seq.; and the United States Customs Service rules and regulations.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions.

    Annual Burden Hours: 14,000.

    Number of Respondents: 42,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 42,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are individuals/businesses/contractors who receive defense property identified as U.S. Munitions List Items and Commerce Control List Items through: Purchase, exchange/trade sale, authorized transfer or donation. They are checked to determine if they are responsible, not debarred bidders, Specially Designated Nationals or Blocked Persons, or have not violated U.S. export laws. The form is available on the DOD DEMIL/Trade Security Controls web page, DLA Disposition Services usable property sales web page, General Services Administration (GSA) auction web page, and Defense Contract Management Agency offices, FormFlow and ProForm.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23579 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 18-35] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Arms sales notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    DSCA at [email protected] or (703) 697-9709.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 18-35 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN29OC18.005 Transmittal No. 18-35 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Republic of Korea

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $365 million Other $136 million TOTAL $501 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Sixty-four (64) Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles

    Non-MDE: Also included are two (2) PAC-MSE Test Missiles, range and test programs, publications and technical documentations, training equipment, spare parts, personnel training, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Army (KS-B-ZGT)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Annex Attached

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: September 13, 2018

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Korea—Patriot Advanced Capabilitv-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles

    The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy sixty four (64) Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles. Also included are two (2) PAC-MSE Test Missiles, range and test programs, publications and technical documentations, training equipment, spare parts, personnel training, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $501 million.

    The ROK is one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater. The proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by meeting Korea's legitimate security and defense needs.

    The ROK will use the Patriot missile system to improve its missile defense capability, defend its territorial integrity and deter threats to regional stability. The proposed sale will increase the defensive capabilities of the ROK Military to guard against hostile aggression and shield the allies who train and operate within South Korea's borders. The ROK should have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be Lockheed-Martin, Dallas, Texas. There are no known offset agreements expected to be proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the Republic of Korea.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 18-35 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The Patriot Air Defense System contains classified CONFIDENTIAL hardware components, SECRET tactical software and critical/sensitive technology. The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) hardware is classified CONFIDENTIAL and the associated launcher hardware is UNCLASSIFIED. With the incorporation of the PAC-3 MSE missiles, the Patriot system will continue to hold a significant technology lead over other surface-to-air missile systems in the world.

    2. The PAC-3 MSE sensitive/critical technology is primarily in the area of design and production know-how and primarily inherent in the design, development and/or manufacturing data related to certain components.

    3. Information on system performance capabilities, effectiveness, survivability, missile seeker capabilities, select software/software documentation and test data are classified up to and including SECRET.

    4. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures that might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    5. A determination has been made that the recipient government can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale supports the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives as outlined in the Policy Justification.

    6. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the ROK.

    [FR Doc. 2018-23601 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0052] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer, Docket ID number, and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Mandatory Disclosures as Part of Limitations on Terms of Consumer Credit Extended to Service Members and Dependents; OMB Control Number 0704-0444.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement without Change.

    Number of Respondents: 37,500.

    Responses per Respondent: Varies by type of respondent.

    Annual Responses: 238,000,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 seconds.

    Annual Burden Hours: 2,000,000.

    Needs and Uses: With respect to any extension of consumer credit to a covered borrower, a creditor is required to provide to the borrower a statement of Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR). The required information would be included in standard account agreements. Additionally, a creditor may, at its discretion, identify the status of a consumer-applicant, as permitted under 32 CFR 232.5(b) of the final rule and, in the event that the information indicates that consumer-applicant is not a covered borrower, take advantage of a safe harbor from liability under 10 U.S.C. 987 by retaining a record of the information so obtained. This includes Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR) applicable to the extension of consumer credit, and the total dollar amount of all charges included in the MAPR.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: As required.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number, and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at [email protected]

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23588 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID: USN-2018-HQ-0019] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    The Office of the Secretary of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24 Suite 08D09, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Office of the Judge Advocate General, ATTN: Special Assistant for Strategic Planning (SASP). 1322 Patterson Ave SE, Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066, or call SASP at 202-685-5185

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: JAG Corps Student Program or Direct Accession Application and Internship/Externship Program Application; OPNAV 1070/3 Internship/Externship Program Application; OMB Control Number 0703-0059.

    Needs and Uses: This information requirement is needed to determine the eligibility, competitive standing, and the scholastic and leadership potential of students and lawyers interested in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAGC) Student Program or Direct Accession Application and Internship/Externship Program Application.

    JAGC Student Program Direct Accession Application

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,600.

    Number of Respondents: 800.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 800.

    Average Burden per Response: 2 hours.

    Frequency: Semi-Annually.

    OPNAV 1070/3

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 100.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 100.

    Average Burden per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency: Semi-Annually.

    Structured Interviews

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 500.

    Number of Respondents: 500.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 500.

    Average Burden per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency: Semi-Annually.

    Totals

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,820 hours.

    Total Number of Respondents: 1,400.

    Total Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total Annual Responses: 1,400.

    Average burden per Response: 1.3 hours.

    The Student Program application is currently available two times a year; the Direct Accession application is available one time per year; the Internship application is available throughout the year for programs offered in the Summer, Fall and Spring. This online application is used to select applicants for either a voluntary internship position with a JAG Corps office or for a professional recommendation to commission in the JAG Corps. The application consists of an online form detailing academic and extracurricular achievement, professional experience if applicable, and supporting documentation.

    Morgan E. Park, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23572 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Assessment Governing Board AGENCY:

    National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of open and closed meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the agenda for the November 15-17, 2018 Quarterly Board Meeting of the National Assessment Governing Board (hereafter referred to as Governing Board). This notice provides information to members of the public who may be interested in attending the meeting or providing written comments related to the work of the Governing Board. Notice of this meeting is required under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

    DATES:

    The Quarterly Board Meeting will be held on the following dates:

    • November 15, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. • November 16, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. • November 17, 2018 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Munira Mwalimu, Executive Officer/Designated Federal Official for the Governing Board, 800 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002, telephone: (202) 357-6938, fax: (202) 357-6945, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Statutory Authority and Function: The Governing Board is established under the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act, Title III of Public Law 107-279.

    The Governing Board is established to formulate policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Governing Board's responsibilities include the following: selecting subject areas to be assessed, developing assessment frameworks and specifications, developing appropriate student achievement levels for each grade and subject tested, developing standards and procedures for interstate and national comparisons, improving the form and use of NAEP, developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating results, and releasing initial NAEP results to the public.

    November 15-17, 2018 Committee Meetings

    The Governing Board's standing committees will meet to conduct regularly scheduled work based on agenda items planned for this Quarterly Board Meeting and follow-up items as reported in the Governing Board's committee meeting minutes available at https://www.nagb.gov/governing-board/quarterly-board-meetings.html.

    Detailed Meeting Agenda: November 15-17, 2018 November 15: Committee Meetings

    Ad Hoc Committee on Measures of Postsecondary Preparedness: Open Session: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Executive Committee: Open Session: 4:30 p.m. to 4:35 p.m.; Closed Session 4:35 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    November 16: Full Governing Board and Committee Meetings

    Full Governing Board: Open Session: 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.; 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Closed Sessions: 12:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m.; 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

    Committee Meetings: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Assessment Development Committee (ADC): Closed Session: 10:30 a.m.-11:05 a.m. Open Session: 11:05 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Reporting and Dissemination (R&D): Open Session 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology (COSDAM): Open Session: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.;

    Joint Committee Meetings: COSDAM and R&D: Open Session: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    November 17: Full Governing Board and Committee Meetings

    Nominations Committee: Closed Session: 7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m.

    Full Governing Board: Closed Session: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.; Open Session: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Closed Session: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    On Thursday, November 15, 2018, the Ad Hoc Committee on Measures of Postsecondary Preparedness will meet in open session from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Executive Committee will convene in open session from 4:30 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. to review the committee agenda.

    Thereafter, the Executive Committee will convene in closed session from 4:35 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. During the closed session, the Executive Committee will receive and discuss independent cost estimates and implications for implementing the Long-Term Trend assessment in 2021 and costs estimates to conduct assessments based on a draft revised NAEP Assessment Schedule extending to 2030. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because public disclosure of this information would likely have an adverse financial effect on the NAEP program by providing independent government cost estimates and proprietary contract costs of current NAEP contractors to the public. Discussion of this information would be likely to significantly impede implementation of a proposed agency action if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    On Friday, November 16, 2018, the Governing Board will meet in open session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. From 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. the Governing Board will review and approve the November 15-17, 2018 quarterly meeting agenda and meeting minutes from the August 2018 Quarterly Board Meeting. The Governing Board Chair and new members of the Governing Board will provide remarks. Thereafter, the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will administer the oath of office to four new Governing Board members and a reappointed member, following which she will address the Governing Board. From 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. the Governing Board's Deputy Executive Director Lisa Stooksberry will provide an update on the Governing Board's work, followed by updates from the Institute of Education Sciences and NCES.

    From 10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., the standing committee chairs will provide a preview of the agenda items for the committee meetings. At 10:15 a.m., the Governing Board will recess for a 15 minute break. Thereafter, committee meetings will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    The Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology and the Reporting and Dissemination Committee will meet in open sessions from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thereafter, these committees will meet jointly in open session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    The Assessment Development Committee will meet in closed session from 10:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and thereafter in open session from 11:05 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During the closed session, the Assessment Development Committee will review secure items on the Vocabulary Assessment in NAEP Reading. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because public disclosure of this information would likely have an adverse financial effect on the NAEP program by releasing test items that have not been disclosed to the public. Discussion of this information would be likely to significantly impede implementation of a proposed agency action if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    Following the committee meetings, on Friday, November 16, 2018, the Governing Board will convene in closed session from 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to discuss the NAEP Assessment Schedule and budget. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because discussions will involve reviewing independent government cost estimates for assessing various NAEP subjects on the assessment schedule. Public disclosure of the cost estimates would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    The Governing Board will take a 15 minute break and reconvene in open session from 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The Governing Board will receive a briefing from a panel on the history and context of the NAEP achievement levels. The Governing Board will then discuss the draft Governing Board Policy on Developing Student Achievement Levels for NAEP.

    From 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. the Governing Board will meet in closed session to receive a confidential briefing on ethics from the Office of General Counsel. This meeting is closed because the discussions pertain solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency and information of a personal nature wherein disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As such, the discussions are protected by exemptions 2 and 6 of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    The November 16, 2018 session of the Governing Board meeting will adjourn at 5:15 p.m.

    On Saturday, November 17, 2018, the Governing Board will convene in three closed sessions. During the first closed session, the Nominations Committee will meet from 7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. to discuss and receive updates on nominations received for Governing Board vacancies for terms that begin on October 1, 2019. The Nominations Committee's discussions pertain solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency and information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As such, the discussions are protected by exemptions 2 and 6 of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    The second closed session on November 17, 2018 scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. is to receive a briefing from Terry Mazany, Chair of the Search Committee for the Executive Director, on the status of the search process with a proposed timeline for the search. These discussions pertain solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency and information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As such, the discussions are protected by exemptions 2 and 6 of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    Following these closed sessions, the Governing Board will meet in open session from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. From 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., the Governing Board will receive a final report from the Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee Terry Mazany on recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Committee on Measures of Postsecondary Preparedness.

    Following a 15 minute break, the Governing Board will receive reports from its standing committees from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Action items for Governing Board consideration include the Governing Board Policy on Developing Student Achievement Levels for NAEP and a proposed Release Plan for the 2018 NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Assessment.

    From 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. the Governing Board will meet in its third closed session of the day to receive a briefing on the 2017 NAEP Writing Assessment. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because the assessment test items and data are secure and have not been released to the public. Public disclosure of the secure test items and data would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    The November 17, 2018 session of the Governing Board meeting will adjourn at 12:00 p.m.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: Pursuant to FACA requirements, the public may also inspect the meeting materials at www.nagb.gov beginning on Thursday, November 15, 2018, by 10:00 a.m. EST. The official verbatim transcripts of the public meeting sessions will be available for public inspection no later than 30 calendar days following the meeting.

    Reasonable Accommodations: The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this notice no later than 21 days prior to the meeting.

    Written comments may be submitted electronically or in hard copy to the attention of the Executive Officer/Designated Federal Official (see contact information noted above). Information on the Governing Board and its work can be found at www.nagb.gov.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the Adobe website. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Authority:

    Pub. L. 107-279, Title III—National Assessment of Educational Progress § 301.

    Dated: October 22, 2018. Lisa Stooksberry, Deputy Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), U. S. Department of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23495 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0113] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study First Follow-Up (MS2) Tracking and Recruitment Revision and Operational Field Test Second Follow-Up (OFT3) 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 November 28, 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-0113. 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: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study First Follow-Up (MS2) Tracking and Recruitment Revision and Operational Field Test Second Follow-Up (OFT3).

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0911.

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

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 20,113.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 10,891.

    Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) is the first study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to follow a nationally representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes. The study focuses on student achievement in mathematics and literacy along with measures of student socioemotional wellbeing and other outcomes. The study includes students with disabilities for whom descriptive information on their outcomes, educational experiences, and special education services are being collected. In preparation for the Main Study (MS), the data collection instruments and procedures were field tested. An Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) was conducted from January through May 2016 to determine the psychometric properties of assessment and survey items and the predictive potential of items so that valid, reliable, and useful assessment and survey instruments could be developed for the Main Study. The MGLS:2017 Operational Field Test (OFT) Base Year (OFT1) data collection was conducted from January through May 2017 to test the near-final instruments and recruitment and data collection procedures and materials in preparation for the MGLS:2017 Main Study Base Year (MS1). The MS1 data collection took place from January to August 2018, and the OFT First Follow-up (OFT2) data collections from February to May 2018. OFT2 was conducted primarily to obtain information on recruiting, particularly for students in three focal IDEA-defined disability groups: Specific learning disability, autism, and emotional disturbance; obtain a tracking sample that can be used to study mobility patterns in subsequent years; and test protocols, items, and administrative procedures. Originally, NCES planned for MGLS:2017 to conduct annual main study follow-up data collections first beginning in January 2019 and next beginning in January 2020, when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively. In September 2018, OMB approved NCES's request (OMB# 1850-0911 v.20) to revise the study design due to lower than expected response rates experienced in the sixth grade data collection and to: (1) Drop the originally planned seventh grade round of data collection and conduct the Main Study First Follow-up (MS2) data collection in January-July 2020 (when most sample students will be in the eighth grade), (2) notify participating districts and schools of this change in data collection schedule, (3) discontinue the procedures designed to oversample students in specific IDEA-defined disability groups, and (4) conduct MS2 and OFT Second Follow-up (OFT3) tracking activities. This request is to further modify the study design for MS2 to augment the sample with additional schools to achieve about 776 participating schools in MS2.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23551 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2018-ICCD-0112] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) Experimental Sites Initiative AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 28, 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-0112. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9086, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    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: Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) Experimental Sites Initiative.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0140.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 60.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4,800.

    Abstract: The Department of Education (the Department) is requesting an extension without change to this information collection package to provide for a series of questions that are components of the selection process for a new Federal Student Aid experimental site project. The Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) project was undertaken in order to advance the Department's understanding of how to best increase access to high quality innovative programs in higher education. An invitation to participate and an explanation of this proposed experimental site would be published separately in the Federal Register. This experimental site project is designed to explore ways to increase access for low-income students to high-quality innovate programs in higher education through the engagement of institutions of higher education (IHEs) with non-IHE providers and quality assurance entities that can develop new quality assurance processes for student and taxpayer protection. The data and information collected can provide valuable guidance for the Department in determining future policy in these areas.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23494 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 18-145-LNG] Energía Costa Azul S. de R.L. de C.V; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Natural Gas to Mexico and To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on September 27, 2018, by Energía Costa Azul S. de R.L. de C.V (Energía Costa Azul), a subsidiary of Infrastructura Energetica Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) and IEnova's subsidiaries. A majority of the ownership interests in IEnova (66.43%) is held by indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Sempra Energy, a publicly traded California corporation. The Application requests long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced natural gas to Mexico in a volume up to 545 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year (Bcf/yr) (1.5 Bcf per day), and to re-export a portion of this natural gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a volume equivalent to 475 Bcf/yr of natural gas (1.3 Bcf per day). Energía Costa Azul seeks to export this LNG from the proposed Energía Costa Azul Large-Scale Project, which consists of certain liquefaction and export terminal facilities located on the site of Energía Costa Azul's existing LNG import terminal north of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The volumes for which Energía Costa Azul seeks authorization in this Application would be additive to the volumes for which Energía Costa Azul seeks authorization in its application in FE Docket No. 18-144-LNG. Energía Costa Azul requests authorization to export this; LNG to: (i) Countries with which the United States has entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas (FTA countries) and (ii) any other countries with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries). Energía Costa Azul seeks to export the requested volume of natural gas and the requested volume of LNG on its own behalf and as agent for other entities who hold title to the natural gas at the time of export. Energía Costa Azul requests the authorization for a 20-year term to commence on the earlier of the date of first export or seven years from the issuance of the requested authorization. Energía Costa Azul further requests authorization to continue exporting for a total of three years following the end of the 20-year authorization term requested herein, solely to export any volumes that it is unable to export during the 20-year authorization term (Make-Up Volumes). Energía Costa Azul filed the Application under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details and related procedural history can be found in Energía Costa Azul's Application, posted on the DOE/FE website at: https://www.energy.gov/fe/downloads/energ-costa-azul-s-de-rl-de-cv-dkt-no-18-145-lng. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic Filing by email: [email protected]

    Regular Mail: U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.

    Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Benjamin Nussdorf or Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-7970; (202) 586-9478. Cassandra Bernstein or Ronald (R.J.) Colwell, U.S. Department of Energy (GC-76), Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9793; (202) 586-8499.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DOE/FE Evaluation

    In the Application, Energía Costa Azul requests authorization to export LNG from the proposed Energía Costa Azul liquefaction and export terminal facilities to both FTA countries and non-FTA countries. This Notice applies only to the portion of the Application requesting authority to export LNG to non-FTA countries pursuant to section 3(a) of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(a). DOE/FE will review Energía Costa Azul's request for a FTA export authorization separately pursuant to section 3(c) of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(c).

    In reviewing Energía Costa Azul's request for a non-FTA authorization, DOE will consider any issues required by law or policy. DOE will consider domestic need for the natural gas, as well as any other issues determined to be appropriate, including whether the arrangement is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. As part of this analysis, DOE will consider one or more of the following studies examining the cumulative impacts of exporting domestically produced LNG:

    Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas on U.S. Energy Markets, conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration upon DOE's request (2014 EIA LNG Export Study); 1

    1 The 2014 EIA LNG Export Study, published on Oct. 29, 2014, is available at: https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/fe/.

    The Macroeconomic Impact of Increasing U.S. LNG Exports, conducted jointly by the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and Oxford Economics, on behalf of DOE (2015 LNG Export Study); 2 and

    2 The 2015 LNG Export Study, dated Oct. 29, 2015, is available at: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/12/f27/20151113_macro_impact_of_lng_exports_0.pdf.

    Macroeconomic Outcomes of Market Determined Levels of U.S. LNG Exports, conducted by NERA Economic Consulting on behalf of DOE (2018 LNG Export Study).3

    3 The 2018 LNG Export Study, dated June 7, 2018, is available at: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/06/f52/Macroeconomic%20LNG%20Export%20Study%202018.pdf. DOE is currently evaluating public comments received on this Study (83 FR 27314).

    Additionally, DOE will consider the following environmental documents:

    Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 48132 (Aug. 15, 2014); 4 and

    4 The Addendum and related documents are available at: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/08/f18/Addendum.pdf.

    Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas from the United States, 79 FR 32260 (June 4, 2014).5

    5 The Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Report is available at: http://energy.gov/fe/life-cycle-greenhouse-gas-perspective-exporting-liquefied-natural-gas-united-states.

    Parties that may oppose this Application should address these issues and documents in their comments and/or protests, as well as other issues deemed relevant to the Application.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its environmental responsibilities.

    Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Interested parties will be provided 60 days from the date of publication of this Notice in which to submit comments, protests, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention.

    Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to [email protected], with FE Docket No. 18-145-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 18-145-LNG. PLEASE NOTE: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this Notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.

    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2018. Amy Sweeney, Director, Division of Natural Gas Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23471 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER19-158-000] Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization; Ambit Northeast, LLC

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Ambit Northeast, 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 November 13, 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: October 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23533 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

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

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP19-108-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate—Conoco 911441 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20181022-5053.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-109-000.

    Applicants: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Compliance filing Negotiated Rate and Non-Conforming-Calpine to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20181022-5196.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/5/18.

    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: October 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23534 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 5089-026] Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process: Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 5089-026.

    c. Date Filed: August 31, 2018.

    d. Submitted By: Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    e. Name of Project: Felt Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Teton River, in Teton County, Idaho. The project occupies 50.2 acres of United States lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Dave Peterson, Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., 1150N 3400E, Ashton, ID 83420; (208) 652-7431; email—[email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: John Matkowski at (202) 502-8576; or email at [email protected]

    j. Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fall River) filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on August 31, 2018. Fall River provided public notice of its request on September 6, 2018. In a letter dated October 23, 2018, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved Fall River's request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402. We are also initiating consultation with the Idaho State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. Fall River filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    m. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website (http://www.ferc.gov), using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    n. The licensee states its unequivocal intent to submit an application for a new license for Project No. 5089. Pursuant to 18 CFR 16.8, 16.9, and 16.10 each application for a new license and any competing license applications must be filed with the Commission at least 24 months prior to the expiration of the existing license. All applications for license for this project must be filed by August 31, 2021.

    o. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23530 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP19-5-000] Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization: Perryville Gas Storage LLC

    Take notice that on October 5, 2018, Perryville Gas Storage LLC (Perryville), Three Riverway, Suite 1250, Houston, Texas 77056, filed a prior notice application pursuant to section 213(b) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and Perryville's blanket certificate issued in Docket No. CP09-418-000. Perryville requests authorization to reclassify certain quantities of working gas as base gas at Perryville's natural gas storage facility in Franklin and Richland Parishes, Louisiana, all as more fully set forth in the application, which is open to the public for inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this application should be directed to Debbie Caperton, Director, Reservoir Engineering and Geology, Perryville Gas Storage Company, LLC, Three Riverway, Suite 1250, Houston, Texas 77056, or phone (713) 350-2529, or by email [email protected]

    Any person or the Commission's staff may, within 60 days after issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention and pursuant to Section 157.205 of the regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205), a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for filing a protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the allowed time for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenter will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23529 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1 October 23, 2018.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG19-13-000.

    Applicants: Gateway Energy Storage, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5241.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

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

    Docket Numbers: ER18-2340-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-10-23_SA 3153 Crescent Wind-METC GIA (J538) Substitute Original to be effective 8/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-156-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEP As-Available Capacity Agreement Concurrence Filing to be effective 12/22/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20181022-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-157-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-10-22_SA 3181 Glaciers Edge-MidAmerican GIA (J506) to be effective 10/8/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20181022-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-158-000.

    Applicants: Ambit Northeast, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Ambit Northeast LLC MBR Application to be effective 10/22/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/22/18.

    Accession Number: 20181022-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-159-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ETEC and NTEC PSA to be effective 5/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-160-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Clean-up to OATT, Schedule 1A to add language previously accepted by FERC to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-161-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Permit Ex-Post Refund of Cluster Participation Deposits to be effective 12/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-162-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., ALLETE, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-10-23_SA 3191 MP-GRE T-L IA (Tower Frazer) to be effective 10/24/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5235.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-163-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX-Cranell Wind Farm Interconnection Agreement to be effective 10/12/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5254.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-164-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Midwest Energy Depreciation Rates to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5259.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-165-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ETEC and NTEC PSA to be effective 5/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5269.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-166-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Tariff Revisions to Accelerate the Process for Frequently Constrained Areas to be effective 12/22/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5271.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-167-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX-Chapman Ranch Wind I System Upgrade Agreement Cancellation to be effective 10/10/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/23/18.

    Accession Number: 20181023-5272.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

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

    Docket Numbers: ES19-1-000.

    Applicants: Kansas City Power & Light Company, KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, Kansas Gas and Electric Company, Westar Energy, Inc.

    Description: Errata to October 3, 2018 Joint Application for Authorization Under FPA Section 204 to Issue Short-Term Debt Securities of Kansas City Power & Light Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 10/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20181009-5295.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/24/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23531 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0648; FRL-9985-66-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Chemical Data Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA Section 8(a)) (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted the following information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): Chemical Data Reporting under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA section 8(a)), identified by EPA ICR No. 1884.10 and OMB Control No. 2070-0162. This is a request to renew the approval of an existing ICR that is currently scheduled to expire on October 31, 2018. The ICR, which is available in the docket along with other related materials, provides a detailed explanation of the collection activities and the burden estimate that is only briefly summarized in this document. Comments received in response to the previously provided 60-day public review opportunity are also in the docket and have been addressed in the ICR. With this submission, EPA is providing an additional 30 days for public review and comment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0648 and OMB Control No. 2070-0162, to both EPA and OMB as follows:

    • To EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    • To OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the 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. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Meredith Comnes, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-3193; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Docket: Supporting documents, including the ICR that explains in detail the information collection activities and the related burden and cost estimates that are summarized in this document, are available in the docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 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.

    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on October 31, 2018. EPA previously announced and provided a 60-day public review and comment opportunity on the proposed renewal of this ICR in the Federal Register of July 31, 2018 (83 FR 36928) (FRL-9980-28). EPA received three comments during the comment period that have been addressed in the ICR and copies of which are available in the docket.

    Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. Under PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers for certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

    Abstract: This ICR covers the information collection activities associated with the statutory mandate in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act of 2016, that requires EPA to compile and keep current a complete list of chemical substances manufactured (including imported) or processed in the United States. Through the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulation in 40 CFR part 711, EPA collects basic exposure-related manufacturing, processing, and use information for a subset of these chemical substances every four years, which is used by the Agency and others in a wide range of activities. The data collected is used by EPA and others to better understand and interpret the state of U.S. chemical manufacturing, processing, and use, and further enhances EPA's ability to identify, evaluate, and manage potential chemical risks.

    Respondents may claim information on the report confidential. EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of confidentiality only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures described in TSCA section 14 and 40 CFR part 2.

    Form numbers: EPA Form No. 7740-8.

    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this ICR are companies that manufacture (including import) chemical substances and mixtures in the United States.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (see TSCA section 8(b) and EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 711).

    Frequency of response: Reporting is required every four years.

    Total estimated number of respondents: 5,662.

    Total estimated burden: 716,024 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $56,959,323 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.

    Changes in the estimates: There is a decrease of 73,179 hours in the total estimated burden compared with that approved by OMB. This decrease reflects a combination of program changes and adjustments. Program changes involve updated CBI substantiation requirements as a result of the 2016 amendments to TSCA (−4,877 hours); and adjustments involve methodology corrections (−184,158 hours) and an increase in the estimated number of respondents (+106,102 hours). The ICR provides a detailed analysis of the change in burden estimate.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23560 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9985-89-OA] Meetings of the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) and the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) will meet via teleconference on Tuesday, November 14, 2018 at 4 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (ET). The Subcommittee will discuss recommendations regarding the Clean Water Act 2015 Waters of the United States Rule and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the impacts to small communities. This is an open meeting and all interested persons are invited to participate. The Subcommittee will hear comments from the public between 4:15 p.m.-4:20 p.m. Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Subcommittee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted electronically to [email protected] Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at (202) 564-6481 to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for presentations requires it.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA's Small Community Advisory Subcommittee meetings will be held via teleconference. Meeting summaries will be available after the meeting online at https://www.epa.gov/ocir/small-community-advisory-subcommittee-scas and can be obtained by written request to the DFO.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Small Community Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) contact Cristina Mercurio at (202) 564-6481 or email at [email protected]

    INFORMATION SERVICES FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES:

    For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Cristina Mercurio at (202) 564-6481 or [email protected] To request accommodation of a disability, please request it 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) will meet via teleconference on Tuesday, November 14, 2018, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (ET). The Committee will discuss recommendations of the subcommittee and LGAC workgroups on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the Clean Water Act 2015 Waters of the United States Rule. This is an open meeting and all interested persons are invited to participate. The Committee will hear comments from the public between 5 p.m.-5:10 p.m. (ET). Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Committee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted electronically to [email protected] Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the number listed below to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for presentations requires it.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA's Local Government Advisory Committee meetings will be held via teleconference. Meeting summaries will be available after the meeting online at www.epa.gov/ocir/scas_lgac/lgac_index.htm and can be obtained by written request to the DFO.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564-3115 or email at [email protected]

    INFORMATION SERVICES FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES:

    For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564-3115 or [email protected] To request accommodation of a disability, please request it 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: October 18, 2018. M. Arnita Hannon Christmon, Intergovernmental Liaison, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23573 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0392, FRL-9985-03-OEI] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Requirements and Exemptions for Specific RCRA Wastes (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), Requirements and Exemptions for Specific RCRA Wastes (EPA ICR Number 1597.13, OMB Control Number 2050-0145), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2018. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on July 3, 2018 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0392, FRL 9985-03-OEI, to (1) EPA, either online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: RCRA Docket (2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    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:

    Peggy Vyas, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-5477; fax number: 703-308-8433; 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.

    Abstract: Universal Wastes, which include certain batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing lamps and thermostats, are generated in a variety of non-industrial settings present in non-hazardous waste management systems. Regulations at 40 CFR part 273, which govern the collection and management of Universal Wastes, are designed to ensure facilities collect these wastes and manage them in an appropriate hazardous waste management system. EPA collects notifications of Universal Waste management to obtain general information on handlers and to facilitate enforcement of the Part 273 regulations. EPA promulgated labeling and marking requirements and accumulation time limits to ensure that Universal Waste is being accumulated responsibly. EPA collects information on illegal Universal Waste shipments to enforce compliance with applicable regulations. Finally, EPA requires tracking of Universal Waste shipments to help ensure that Universal Waste is being properly treated, recycled, or disposed.

    Regulations at 40 CFR part 266 provide increased flexibility to facilities managing wastes commonly known as “Mixed Waste.” Mixed Wastes are low-level mixed waste (LLMW) and naturally occurring and/or accelerator-produced radioactive material (NARM) containing hazardous waste, which are also regulated by the Atomic Energy Act. When specified eligibility criteria and conditions are met, LLMW and NARM are exempt from the definition of hazardous waste in Part 261. Although these wastes are exempt from RCRA manifest, transportation, and disposal requirements, facilities must still comply with the manifest, transportation, and disposal requirements under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations. Section 266.345(a) requires that generators or treaters notify EPA or the Authorized State that they are claiming the Transportation and Disposal Conditional Exemption prior to the initial shipment of a waste to a LLRW disposal facility. This exemption notice provides a tool for RCRA program regulatory agencies to become aware of the generator's exemption claims. The information contained in the notification package provides the RCRA program regulatory agencies with a general understanding of the claimant. This information also allows the agencies to document the generator's exemption status and to plan inspections and review exemption-related records.

    Regulations at 40 CFR part 279, which codify used oil management standards, establish, among other things, streamlined procedures for notification, testing, labeling, and recordkeeping. They also establish a flexible self-implementing approach for tracking off-site shipments that allow used oil handlers to use standard business practices (e.g., invoices, bill of lading). In addition, part 279 sets standards for the prevention and cleanup of releases to the environment during storage and transit. These requirements minimize potential mismanagement of used oils, while not discouraging recycling. Used oil transporters must comply with all applicable packaging, labeling, and placarding requirements of 49 CFR parts 173, 178, and 179 and must report discharges of used oil according to existing 49 CFR part 171 and 33 CFR part 153 requirements.

    Form numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Private Sector and State, Local, or Tribal Governments.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 273), required to obtain or retain a benefit (40 CFR parts 266 and 279).

    Estimated number of respondents: 141,038.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 791,715 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $68,980,149 (per year), includes $14,161,065 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the estimates: There is an increase in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is an increase in the number of respondents.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23556 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0390, FRL-9985-04-OEI] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Hazardous Waste Generator Standards (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), Hazardous Waste Generator Standards (EPA ICR No. 0820.14, OMB Control No. 2050-0035), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2018. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on July 3, 2018 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0390, to (1) EPA, either online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: RCRA Docket (2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    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:

    Brian Knieser, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (mail code 5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-347-8769; fax number: 703-308-0514; 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.

    Abstract: In the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), as amended, Congress authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and administer a national hazardous waste program. The core of the program is the regulation of hazardous waste from generation to eventual disposal, i.e., from “cradle to grave.” Sections 3001(d) and 3002 of RCRA authorize EPA to develop and promulgate regulations for generators of hazardous waste. Among other things, EPA is authorized to establish generator standards for recordkeeping, labeling, storage of wastes, use of a hazardous waste manifest system, and biennial reporting to EPA. RCRA section 3017 sets forth requirements for exporters exporting hazardous waste from the United States (e.g., notification and annual reporting requirements).

    This ICR incorporates recordkeeping and reporting requirements defined in ICRs supporting two recently promulgated rules: The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements rule of 2016 (OMB Control No. 2050-0213), and the Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule of 2016 (OMB Number 2050-0214). The Generator rule implemented a reorganization of the hazardous waste regulations. The Export-Import rule made all U.S. imports and exports of hazardous waste subject to standards equivalent to those previously promulgated in 40 CFR part 262, subpart H. In addition, EPA mandated the phased-in electronic submission of required import and export documents.

    In 1980, EPA promulgated the principal elements of the generator requirements in 40 CFR part 262. These regulations have been amended on several occasions. This ICR discusses six categories of information collection requirements in part 262: Pre-transport requirements; hazardous waste storage requirements for containers, tanks, containment buildings and drip pads; air emission standards for large quantity generators; recordkeeping and reporting requirements; flexibilities for VSQGs and SQGs; and export/import requirements.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Private business or other for-profit.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 262 and 265).

    Estimated number of respondents: 644,345.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 526,989 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $31,367,417 per year, which includes $63,345 in annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 273,470 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due primarily to changes in the universe size due to the 2016 Hazardous Waste Generators Improvements Rule.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23558 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0693, FRL-9985-81-OLEM] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That are Solid Waste (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit the information collection request (ICR), Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials that are Solid Waste (Renewal) (EPA ICR No. 2382.05, OMB Control No. 2050-0205) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Before doing so, the 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 April 30, 2019. This ICR will be combined with the Categorical Non-Waste Determination for Selected Non Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM): Construction and Demolition Wood, Recycling Process Residuals, and Creosote-Treated Railroad Ties (Additions to List of Section 241.4 Categorical Non-Waste Fuels) (EPA ICR Number 2493.03, OMB Number 2050-0215), which is currently approved through March 31, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0693, 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:

    Jesse Miller, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division, MC 5302P, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 308-1180; fax number: (703) 308- 0522; 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, the 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. The 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, the 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: EPA published the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule on March 21, 2011. This rule finalized standards and procedures to be used to identify whether non-hazardous secondary materials are solid wastes when used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units. “Secondary material” is defined as any material that is not the primary product of a manufacturing or commercial process, and can include post-consumer material, off-specification commercial chemical products or manufacturing chemical intermediates, post-industrial material, and scrap (codified in § 241.2). “Non-hazardous secondary material” is a secondary material that, when discarded, would not be identified as a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261 (codified in § 241.2). This RCRA solid waste definition determines whether a combustion unit is required to meet the emissions standards for solid waste incineration units issued under section 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) or the emissions standards for commercial, industrial, and institutional boilers issued under section 112 of the CAA. In this rule, EPA also finalized a definition of traditional fuels.

    Amendments to this rule were published on February 7, 2013 (78 FR 9112), which added new materials to the list of categorical non-waste fuels. These amendments also provided clarification on certain issues on which EPA received new information, as well as specific targeted revisions.

    Further amendments to this rule were published on February 8, 2016 (81 FR 6688) and on February 7, 2018 (83 FR 5317), which added more materials to the list of categorical non-waste fuels. The ICRs associated with the February 2013, February 2016 and February 2018 rules are being consolidated into this ICR.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are Business or other for-profit.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Required to obtain benefit (Sections 1004 and 2002 of RCRA).

    Estimated number of respondents: 2,076.

    Frequency of response: One time.

    Total estimated burden: 3,236. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $108,068 (per year), which includes $106,716 in annualized labor and $1,343 in annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: The burden hours are likely to stay substantially the same.

    Dated: October 18, 2018. Barnes Johnson, Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23584 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0691; FRL-9985-80-OLEM] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Standardized Permit for RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Facilities (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit the information collection request (ICR), Standardized Permit for RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Facilities (EPA ICR No. 1935.05, OMB Control No. 2050-0182) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, the 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 March 31, 2019. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0691, 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:

    Jeff Gaines, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, (5303P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-8655; fax number: 703-308-8617; 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, the 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. The 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, the 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: Under the authority of sections 3004, 3005, 3008 and 3010 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended, EPA revised the RCRA hazardous waste permitting program to allow a “standardized permit.” The standardized permit is available to facilities that generate hazardous waste and routinely manage the waste on-site in non-thermal units such as tanks, containers, and containment buildings. In addition, the standardized permit is available to facilities that receive hazardous waste generated off-site by a generator under the same ownership as the receiving facility, and then store or non-thermally treat the hazardous waste in containers, tanks, or containment buildings. The RCRA standardized permit consists of two components: A uniform portion that is included in all cases, and a supplemental portion that the Director of a regulatory agency includes at his or her discretion. The uniform portion consists of terms and conditions, relevant to the unit(s) at the permitted facility, and is established on a national basis. The Director, at his or her discretion, may also issue a supplemental portion on a case-by-case basis. The supplemental portion imposes site-specific permit terms and conditions that the Director determines necessary to institute corrective action under section 264.101 (or state equivalent), or otherwise necessary to protect human health and the environment. Owners and operators have to comply with the terms and conditions in the supplemental portion, in addition to those in the uniform portion.

    Form numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are business or other for-profit.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary (40 CFR 270.275).

    Estimated number of respondents: 86.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 13,948 hours. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,242,205 (per year), includes $662,478 in annualized labor and $579,727 in annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in estimates: The burden hours are likely to stay substantially the same.

    Dated: October 18, 2018. Barnes Johnson, Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23581 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9985-82-OLEM] Thirty-Fourth Update of the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Since 1988, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has maintained a Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket (“Docket”) under Section 120(c) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Section 120(c) requires EPA to establish a Docket that contains certain information reported to EPA by Federal facilities that manage hazardous waste or from which a reportable quantity of hazardous substances has been released. As explained further below, the Docket is used to identify Federal facilities that should be evaluated to determine if they pose a threat to public health or welfare and the environment and to provide a mechanism to make this information available to the public.

    This notice identifies the Federal facilities not previously listed on the Docket and also identifies Federal facilities reported to EPA since the last update on May 8, 2018. In addition to the list of additions to the Docket, this notice includes a section with revisions of the previous Docket list and a section of Federal facilities that are to be deleted from the Docket. Thus, the revisions in this update include 9 additions, 6 deletions, and 3 corrections to the Docket since the previous update. At the time of publication of this notice, the new total number of Federal facilities listed on the Docket is 2,355.

    DATES:

    This list is current as of October 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Electronic versions of the Docket and more information on its implementation can be obtained at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/previous-federal-agency-hazardous-waste-compliance-docket-updates by clicking on the link for Cleanups at Federal Facilities or by contacting Benjamin Simes ([email protected]), Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Coordinator, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (Mail Code 5106R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460. Additional information on the Docket and a complete list of Docket sites can be obtained at: https://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Regional Docket Coordinators 3.0 Revisions of the Previous Docket 4.0 Process for Compiling the Updated Docket 5.0 Facilities Not Included 6.0 Facility NPL Status Reporting, Including NFRAP Status 7.0 Information Contained on Docket Listing 1.0 Introduction

    Section 120(c) of CERCLA, 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) 9620(c), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), requires EPA to establish the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket. The Docket contains information on Federal facilities that manage hazardous waste and such information is submitted by Federal agencies to EPA under Sections 3005, 3010, and 3016 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. 6925, 6930, and 6937. Additionally, the Docket contains information on Federal facilities with a reportable quantity of hazardous substances that has been released and such information is submitted by Federal agencies to EPA under Section 103 of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9603. Specifically, RCRA Section 3005 establishes a permitting system for certain hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities; RCRA Section 3010 requires waste generators, transporters and TSD facilities to notify EPA of their hazardous waste activities; and RCRA Section 3016 requires Federal agencies to submit biennially to EPA an inventory of their Federal hazardous waste facilities. CERCLA Section 103(a) requires the owner or operator of a vessel or onshore or offshore facility to notify the National Response Center (NRC) of any spill or other release of a hazardous substance that equals or exceeds a reportable quantity (RQ), as defined by CERCLA Section 101. Additionally, CERCLA Section 103(c) requires facilities that have “stored, treated, or disposed of” hazardous wastes and where there is “known, suspected, or likely releases” of hazardous substances to report their activities to EPA.

    CERCLA Section 120(d) requires EPA to take steps to assure that a Preliminary Assessment (PA) be completed for those sites identified in the Docket and that the evaluation and listing of sites with a PA be completed within a reasonable time frame. The PA is designed to provide information for EPA to consider when evaluating the site for potential response action or inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL).

    The Docket serves three major purposes: (1) To identify all Federal facilities that must be evaluated to determine whether they pose a threat to human health and the environment sufficient to warrant inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL); (2) to compile and maintain the information submitted to EPA on such facilities under the provisions listed in Section 120(c) of CERCLA; and (3) to provide a mechanism to make the information available to the public.

    The initial list of Federal facilities to be included on the Docket was published in the Federal Register on February 12, 1988 (53 FR 4280). Since then, updates to the Docket have been published on November 16, 1988 (53 FR 46364); December 15, 1989 (54 FR 51472); August 22, 1990 (55 FR 34492); September 27, 1991 (56 FR 49328); December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64898); July 17, 1992 (57 FR 31758); February 5, 1993 (58 FR 7298); November 10, 1993 (58 FR 59790); April 11, 1995 (60 FR 18474); June 27, 1997 (62 FR 34779); November 23, 1998 (63 FR 64806); June 12, 2000 (65 FR 36994); December 29, 2000 (65 FR 83222); October 2, 2001 (66 FR 50185); July 1, 2002 (67 FR 44200); January 2, 2003 (68 FR 107); July 11, 2003 (68 FR 41353); December 15, 2003 (68 FR 69685); July 19, 2004 (69 FR 42989); December 20, 2004 (69 FR 75951); October 25, 2005 (70 FR 61616); August 17, 2007 (72 FR 46218); November 25, 2008 (73 FR 71644); October 13, 2010 (75 FR 62810); November 6, 2012 (77 FR 66609); March 18, 2013 (78 FR 16668); January 6, 2014 (79 FR 654), December 31, 2014 (79 FR 78850); August 17, 2015 (80 FR 49223), March 3, 2016 (81 FR 11212), October 24, 2016 (81 FR 73096), June 6, 2017 (82 FR 26092), December 8, 2017 (82 FR 57976), and May 8, 2018 (83 FR 20813). This notice constitutes the thirty-fourth update of the Docket.

    This notice provides some background information on the Docket. Additional information on the Docket requirements and implementation are found in the Docket Reference Manual, Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket found at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/docket-reference-manual-federal-agency-hazardous-waste-compliance-docket-interim-final or obtained by calling the Regional Docket Coordinators listed below. This notice also provides changes to the list of sites included on the Docket in three areas: (1) Additions, (2) Deletions, and (3) Corrections. Specifically, additions are newly identified Federal facilities that have been reported to EPA since the last update and now are included on the Docket; the deletions section lists Federal facilities that EPA is deleting from the Docket.1 The information submitted to EPA on each Federal facility is maintained in the Docket repository located in the EPA Regional office of the Region in which the Federal facility is located; for a description of the information required under those provisions, see 53 FR 4280 (February 12, 1988). Each repository contains the documents submitted to EPA under the reporting provisions and correspondence relevant to the reporting provisions for each Federal facility.

    1 See Section 3.2 for the criteria for being deleted from the Docket.

    In prior updates, information was also provided regarding No Further Remedial Action Planned (NFRAP) status changes. However, information on NFRAP and NPL status is no longer being provided separately in the Docket update as it is now available at: http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts or by contacting the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    2.0 Regional Docket Coordinators

    Contact the following Docket Coordinators for information on Regional Docket repositories:

    Martha Bosworth (HBS), US EPA Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Mail Code: OSRR07-2, Boston, MA 02109-3912, (617) 918-1407.

    Cathy Moyik (ERRD), US EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866, (212) 637- 4339.

    Joseph Vitello (3HS12), US EPA Region 3, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 814-3354.

    Leigh Lattimore (4SF-SRSEB), US EPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth St, SW, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404-562-8768.

    David Brauner (SR-6J), US EPA Region 5, 77 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-1526.

    Philip Ofosu (6SF-RA), US EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202-2733, (214) 665-3178.

    Todd H. Davis (SUPRERSP), US EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219, (913) 551-7749.

    Ryan Dunham (EPR-F), US EPA Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 312-6627.

    Leslie Ramirez (SFD-6-1), US EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3978.

    Ken Marcy (ECL, ABU), US EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ECL-112, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 890-0591.

    3.0 Revisions of the Previous Docket

    This section includes a discussion of the additions, deletions, and corrections, to the list of Docket facilities since the previous Docket update.

    3.1 Additions

    In this notice, 9 Federal facilities are being added to the Docket. These Federal facilities are being added primarily because of new information obtained by EPA (for example, recent reporting of a facility pursuant to RCRA Sections 3005, 3010, or 3016 or CERCLA Section 103). CERCLA Section 120, as amended by the Defense Authorization Act of 1997, specifies that EPA take steps to assure that a Preliminary Assessment (PA) be completed within a reasonable time frame for those Federal facilities that are included on the Docket. Among other things, the PA is designed to provide information for EPA to consider when evaluating the site for potential response action or listing on the NPL.

    3.2 Deletions

    In this notice, 6 Federal facilities are being deleted from the Docket. There are no statutory or regulatory provisions that address deletion of a facility from the Docket. However, if a facility is incorrectly included on the Docket, it may be deleted from the Docket. The criteria EPA uses in deleting sites from the Docket include: a facility for which there was an incorrect report submitted for hazardous waste activity under RCRA (e.g., 40 CFR 262.44); a facility that was not Federally-owned or operated at the time of the listing; A facility included more than once (i.e., redundant listings); or when multiple facilities are combined under one listing. (See Docket Codes (Categories for Deletion of Facilities) for a more refined list of the criteria EPA uses for deleting sites from the Docket.) Facilities being deleted no longer will be subject to the requirements of CERCLA Section 120(d).

    3.3 Corrections

    Changes necessary to correct the previous Docket are identified by both EPA and Federal agencies. The corrections section may include changes in addresses or spelling, and corrections of the recorded name and ownership of a Federal facility. In addition, changes in the names of Federal facilities may be made to establish consistency in the Docket or between the Superfund Enterprise Management System (SEMS) and the Docket. For the Federal facility for which a correction is entered, the original entry is as it appeared in previous Docket updates. The corrected update is shown directly below, for easy comparison. This notice includes three corrections.

    4.0 Process for Compiling the Updated Docket

    In compiling the newly reported Federal facilities for the update being published in this notice, EPA extracted the names, addresses, and identification numbers of facilities from four EPA databases—the WebEOC, the Biennial Inventory of Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Activities, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information System (RCRAInfo), and SEMS—that contain information about Federal facilities submitted under the four provisions listed in CERCLA Section 120(c).

    EPA assures the quality of the information on the Docket by conducting extensive evaluation of the current Docket list and contacts the other Federal Agency (OFA) with the information obtained from the databases identified above to determine which Federal facilities were, in fact, newly reported and qualified for inclusion on the update. EPA is also striving to correct errors for Federal facilities that were previously reported. For example, state-owned or privately-owned facilities that are not operated by the Federal government may have been included. Such problems are sometimes caused by procedures historically used to report and track Federal facilities data. Representatives of Federal agencies are asked to contact the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice if revisions of this update information are necessary.

    5.0 Facilities Not Included

    Certain categories of facilities may not be included on the Docket, such as: (1) Federal facilities formerly owned by a Federal agency that at the time of consideration was not Federally-owned or operated; (2) Federal facilities that are small quantity generators (SQGs) that have not, more than once per calendar year, generated more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste in any single month; (3) Federal facilities that are very small quantity generators (VSQGs) that have never generated more than 100 kg of hazardous waste in any month; (4) Federal facilities that are solely hazardous waste transportation facilities, as reported under RCRA Section 3010; and (5) Federal facilities that have mixed mine or mill site ownership.

    An EPA policy issued in June 2003 provided guidance for a site-by-site evaluation as to whether “mixed ownership” mine or mill sites, typically created as a result of activities conducted pursuant to the General Mining Law of 1872 and never reported under Section 103(a), should be included on the Docket. For purposes of that policy, mixed ownership mine or mill sites are those located partially on private land and partially on public land. This policy is found at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/policy-listing-mixed-ownership-mine-or-mill-sites-created-result-general-mining-law-1872. The policy of not including these facilities may change; facilities now omitted may be added at some point if EPA determines that they should be included.

    6.0 Facility NPL Status Reporting, Including NFRAP Status

    EPA tracks the NPL status of Federal facilities listed on the Docket. An updated list of the NPL status of all Docket facilities, as well as their NFRAP status, is available at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts or by contacting the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. In prior updates, information regarding NFRAP status changes was provided separately.

    7.0 Information Contained on Docket Listing

    The information is provided in three tables. The first table is a list of additional Federal facilities that are being added to the Docket. The second table is a list of Federal facilities that are being deleted from the Docket. The third table is for corrections.

    The Federal facilities listed in each table are organized by the date reported. Under each heading is listed the name and address of the facility, the Federal agency responsible for the facility, the statutory provision(s) under which the facility was reported to EPA, and a code.2

    2 Each Federal facility listed in the update has been assigned a code that indicates a specific reason for the addition or deletion. The code precedes this list.

    The statutory provisions under which a Federal facility is reported are listed in a column titled “Reporting Mechanism.” Applicable mechanisms are listed for each Federal facility: for example, Sections 3005, 3010, 3016, 103(c), or Other. “Other” has been added as a reporting mechanism to indicate those Federal facilities that otherwise have been identified to have releases or threat of releases of hazardous substances. The National Contingency Plan 40 CFR 300.405 addresses discovery or notification, outlines what constitutes discovery of a hazardous substance release, and states that a release may be discovered in several ways, including: (1) A report submitted in accordance with Section 103(a) of CERCLA, i.e., reportable quantities codified at 40 CFR part 302; (2) a report submitted to EPA in accordance with Section 103(c) of CERCLA; (3) investigation by government authorities conducted in accordance with Section 104(e) of CERCLA or other statutory authority; (4) notification of a release by a Federal or state permit holder when required by its permit; (5) inventory or survey efforts or random or incidental observation reported by government agencies or the public; (6) submission of a citizen petition to EPA or the appropriate Federal facility requesting a preliminary assessment, in accordance with Section 105(d) of CERCLA; (7) a report submitted in accordance with Section 311(b)(5) of the Clean Water Act; and (8) other sources. As a policy matter, EPA generally believes it is appropriate for Federal facilities identified through the CERCLA discovery and notification process to be included on the Docket.

    The complete list of Federal facilities that now make up the Docket and the NPL and NFRAP status are available to interested parties and can be obtained at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts or by contacting the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. As of the date of this notice, the total number of Federal facilities that appear on the Docket is 2,355.

    Dated: October 17, 2018. Gregory Gervais, Acting Director, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office, Office of Land and Emergency Management. Categories for Deletion of Facilities

    (1) Small-Quantity Generator and Very Small Quantity Generator. Show citation box

    (2) Never Federally Owned and/or Operated.

    (3) Formerly Federally Owned and/or Operated but not at time of listing.

    (4) No Hazardous Waste Generated.

    (5) (This code is no longer used.)

    (6) Redundant Listing/Site on Facility.

    (7) Combining Sites Into One Facility/Entries Combined.

    (8) Does Not Fit Facility Definition.

    Categories for Addition of Facilities

    (15) Small-Quantity Generator with either a RCRA 3016 or CERCLA 103 Reporting Mechanism.

    (16) One Entry Being Split Into Two (or more)/Federal Agency Responsibility Being Split. (16A) NPL site that is part of a Facility already listed on the Docket.

    (17) New Information Obtained Showing That Facility Should Be Included.

    (18) Facility Was a Site on a Facility That Was Disbanded; Now a Separate Facility.

    (19) Sites Were Combined Into One Facility.

    (19A) New Currently Federally Owned and/or Operated Facility Site.

    Categories for Corrections of Information About Facilities

    (20) Reporting Provisions Change.

    (20A) Typo Correction/Name Change/Address Change.

    (21) Changing Responsible Federal Agency. (If applicable, new responsible Federal agency submits proof of previously performed PA, which is subject to approval by EPA.)

    (22) Changing Responsible Federal Agency and Facility Name. (If applicable, new responsible Federal Agency submits proof of previously performed PA, which is subject to approval by EPA.)

    (24) Reporting Mechanism Determined To Be Not Applicable After Review of Regional Files.

    Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Update #34—Additions Facility name Address City State Zip
  • code
  • Agency Reporting
  • mechanism
  • Code Date
    FCI-EL RENO 4205 W HWY 66 EL RENO OK 73036 JUSTICE RCRA 3010 17 Update #34. FAA-VICTORIA REGIONAL AIRPORT 609 FOSTER FIELD DRIVE VICTORIA TX 77904 TRANSPORTATION CERCLA 103 17 Update #34. BETHEL MERCURY SPILL 951 WEST BETHEL ROAD COPPELL TX 75099 USPS CERCLA 103 17 Update #34. BR—FOLSOM DAM 7794 FOLSOM DAM ROAD FOLSOM CA 95630 INTERIOR CERCLA 103 17 Update #34. USDA NEZ PERCE NF: TIGER PROSPECT Lat: 45.57542 N,
  • Long: −115.66456 W
  • CONCORD ID AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 17 Update #34.
    USDA NEZ PERCE NF: SPOKANE MINE Lat: 45.56877 N,
  • Long: −115.66400 W
  • CONCORD ID AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 17 Update #34.
    USDA NEZ PERCE NF: DEL RIO MINE Lat: 45.556217 N,
  • Long: −115.681650 W
  • CONCORD ID AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 17 Update #34.
    USDA TONGASS NF: EMPIRE MINE Lat: 58.183783 N,
  • Long: −134.788148 W
  • 15 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF JUNEAU AK 99801 AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 17 Update #34.
    NORTH PENN US ARMY RESERVE TRAINING CENTER 1625 BERKS ROAD NORRISTOWN PA 19403 ARMY CERCLA 103 17 Update #34.
    Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Update #34—Deletions Facility name Address City State Zip
  • code
  • Agency Reporting
  • mechanism
  • Code Date
    SEQUOYAH NUCLEAR PLANT SEQUOYAH ACCESS ROAD SODDY DAISY TN 37379 TVA RCRA 3010 6 Update #33. FORMER AIR FORCE PLANT 39 7400 S CICERO AVE CHICAGO IL 60629 CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CIVIL RCRA 3010 3 6/11/95. WAYNE-HOOSIER NF: WEBB SITE T4N, R16W, SEC 18 IRONTON OH AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 2 12/15/1989. USDA FS CARIBOU-TARGHEE NF: SOUTH MAYBE CANYON MINE T8S R44E SEC 4 SODA SPRINGS ID 83201 AGRICULTURE OTHER 6 10/13/2010. SAN FRANCISCO VA MEDICAL CENTER CLEMENT STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94121 VETERANS AFFAIRS RCRA 3010 6 Update #33. USCG—ARGO INCIDENT NUMBER 1510-22-2322 41 38.359 N, 82.599 W KELLEYS ISLAND OH 43438 HOMELAND SECURITY RCRA 3010 2 6/6/2017.
    Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Update #34—Corrections Facility name Address City State Zip
  • code
  • Agency Reporting
  • mechanism
  • Code Date
    AMERICAN FORK CANYON/UINTA NATIONAL AMERICAN FORK CANYON PLEASANT GROVE UT 84602 INTERIOR CERCLA 103 21 5-Feb-89. AMERICAN FORK CANYON/UINTA NATIONAL AMERICAN FORK CANYON PLEASANT GROVE UT 84602 AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 5-Feb-89. US POSTAL SERVICE BACON STATION STRATFORD DR BLOOMINGDALE IL 60117 USPS RCRA 3010 20a 12/31/2014. US POSTAL SERVICE BACON STATION 2727 E. 55TH STREET INDIANAPOLIS IN 46220 USPS RCRA 3010 12/31/2014. BLM-SALAMBO MINE T2S, R15E, SEC 32, NE1/4, MDM TOLUMNE COUNTY CA 95311 INTERIOR RCRA 3016 20a 7/17/1992. BLM-SOLAMBO MINE T2S, R15E, SEC 32, NE1/4, MDM TOLUMNE COUNTY CA 95311 INTERIOR RCRA 3016 7/17/1992.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23585 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (OMB No. 3064-0185) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, pursuant to the mandatory reporting requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (OMB No. 3064-0185), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of the existing information collection. On July 30, 2018, the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collection described below. One comment was received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of this collection, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    Agency Website: https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Jennifer Jones (202-898-6768), Counsel, MB-3105, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Jones, Counsel, 202-898-6768, [email protected], MB-3105, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 30, 2018, the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collection described below. One comment was received which suggested policy changes to the underlying rule, Section 360.10 of the FDIC's regulations (12 CFR 360.10 or the Rule), which is currently under review. However, the comment did not address the accuracy of the PRA estimates. Therefore, the FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of this collection, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    Proposal to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    1. Title: Resolution Plans Required for Insured Depository Institutions With $50 Billion or More in Total Assets.

    OMB Number: 3064-0185.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Large and Highly Complex Depository Institutions.

    Burden Estimate:

    Summary of Annual Burden Type of burden Obligation to
  • respond
  • Estimated number of respondents Estimated frequency of responses Estimated time per
  • response
  • Frequency of response Total annual estimated burden
  • (hours)
  • Contingent Resolution Plan (CIDI Subsidiaries of Regional Bank Holding Companies and CIDI Subsidiaries of U.S. GSIFIs) Reporting Mandatory 4 1 7,200 On Occasion 28,800 Contingent Resolution Plan—Annual Update (CIDI Subsidiaries of Regional Bank Holding Companies) * Reporting Mandatory 28 1 6,613 Annual 185,164 Contingent Resolution Plan—Annual Update (CIDI Subsidiaries of U.S. GSIFIs) * Reporting Mandatory 9 1 39,843 Annual 358,587 Notice of Material Change (CIDI Subsidiaries of Regional Bank Holding Companies and CIDI Subsidiaries of U.S. GSIFIs) Reporting Mandatory 1 2 120 On Occasion 240 Total Hourly Burden 572,791 * Because submissions have been required no more frequently than biennially, the burden associated with the Annual Update has been multiplied by 2/3 to represent two Annual Update filings over the three-year period contemplated by this notice and renewal.

    General Description of Collection:

    The Rule requires certain insured depository institutions (IDIs) to submit a Resolution Plan that should enable the FDIC, as receiver, to resolve the institution under Sections 11 and 13 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act), 12 U.S.C. 1821 and 1823, in a manner that ensures that depositors receive access to their insured deposits within one business day of the institution's failure (two business days if the failure occurs on a day other than Friday), maximizes the net present value return from the sale or disposition of its assets, and minimizes the amount of any loss to be realized by the institution's creditors. An IDI with $50 billion or more in total assets (i.e., a covered IDI or CIDI) is required to submit periodically to the FDIC a contingent plan for the resolution of such institution in the event of its failure.

    The Rule established the requirements for submission and content of a Resolution Plan, as well as procedures for review by the FDIC. After the initial submission, the Rule requires plan submissions on an annual basis (Annual Update) unless the FDIC determines to change the submission date. A CIDI must notify the FDIC of any event, occurrence, change in conditions or circumstances or other change which results in, or reasonably could be foreseen to have, a material effect on the CIDI's resolution plan.

    The Rule is intended to address the continuing exposure of the banking industry to the risks of insolvency of large and complex IDIs that can be mitigated with proper resolution planning. The Interim Final Rule, which preceded the Rule, became effective January 1, 2012, and remained in effect until it was superseded by the Rule on April 1, 2012.

    The annual burden for this information collection is estimated to be 572,791 hours. This represents an increase of 281,305 hours from the current burden estimate of 291,486 hours. This increase is not due to any new requirements imposed by the FDIC. Rather, it is due to FDIC's reassessment of the burden hours associated with responding to the existing requirements of the Rule and to guidance, feedback, and additional requests for information by the FDIC as part of the iterative resolution planning process. The revised estimates are informed by feedback received from the CIDIs over the past year. Because submissions have been required no more frequently than biennially, the burden associated with the Annual Update has been multiplied by 2/3 to represent two Annual Update filings over the three-year period contemplated by this notice and renewal.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, on October 23, 2018. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23500 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting FEDERAL REGISTER CITATION NOTICE OF PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT:

    83 FR 52832.

    PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TIME AND DATE OF THE MEETING:

    Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

    CHANGES IN THE MEETING:

    The meeting was continued on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Laura E. Sinram, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23717 Filed 10-25-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice MV-2018-01; Docket No. 2018-0002, Sequence No. 29] Federal Acquisition Regulation; FY 2019 FAR Reissue Posted to the Acquisition.gov Website AGENCY:

    General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice advises users that the FY 2019 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Reissue will be available for download at https://www.acquisition.gov/browsefar.

    DATES:

    Applicable date: November 13, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division, at 202-501-4755; or via email at [email protected] Please cite 2019 FAR Reissue Posted to the Acquisition.gov website.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Periodically, the FAR is reissued because of administrative necessity. Although the reissue does not alter the language of the FAR, it does contain several administrative updates to improve the user experience and increase accessibility. The following updates are to features that do not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations:

    • Future Federal Acquisition Circulars (FAC) will be renumbered so that the next issued FAC will be FAC 2019-01. This reissue will replace the prior numbering system which used FACs 2005-01 through FAC 2005-101. Because of the renumbering, the Foreword section of the FAR will be updated to reflect the current FAC number.

    • The FAR Looseleaf package will no longer be offered. Instead, a List of Sections Affected (LSA) will be included on the https://acquisition.gov website, and updated for each FAC.

    • The matrix will continue to be available in the PDF version of the FAR. However, acquisition.gov will be releasing the new Smart Matrix. The new FAR Smart Matrix includes a filterable clause matrix, file saving options, improved search capabilities, as well as hyperlinked clauses, provisions and prescriptions to the current version of the FAR.

    • The FAR will be available in HTML, XML, Word, and PDF formats. Users intending to print the FAR can refer to the Adobe PDF file.

    • FAR Proposed Rule Publications that are open for comments are available at https://acquisition.gov/requesting_comments.

    • The Federal Alert Notices (FAN) are available at https://acquisition.gov/fan_list.

    Although these changes do not alter the Code of Federal Regulations, they will provide smoother access to the FAR for new and experienced users alike. Please contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division with any questions or concerns.

    Dated: October 24, 2018. William F. Clark, Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23568 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifiers: CMS-10492, CMS-10664, and CMS-R-74] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    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 (the 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 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates 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 must be received by December 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number __, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    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 https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing.html.

    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: Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10492 Data Submission for the Federally-facilitated Exchange User Fee Adjustment CMS-10664 Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Templates CMS-R-74 Income and Eligibility Verification System Reporting and Supporting Regulations

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. 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 requires federal agencies to publish a 60-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.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension without change of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Data Submission for the Federally-facilitated Exchange User Fee Adjustment; Use: Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act requires coverage without cost sharing of certain preventive health services, including certain contraceptive services, in non-exempt, non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance coverage. The final regulations establish rules under which the third party administrator of the plan would provide or arrange for a third party to provide separate contraceptive coverage to plan participants and beneficiaries without cost sharing, premium, fee, or other charge to plan participants or beneficiaries or to the eligible organization or its plan. Eligible organizations are required to self-certify that they are eligible for this accommodation and provide a copy of such self-certification to their third party administrators. The final rules also set forth processes and standards to fund the payments for the contraceptive services that are provided for participants and beneficiaries in self-insured plans of eligible organizations under the accommodation described previously, through an adjustment in the FFE user fee payable by an issuer participating in an FFE.

    CMS will use the data collections from participating issuers and third party administrators to verify the total dollar amount for such payments for contraceptive services provided under this accommodation for the purpose of determining a participating issuer's user fee adjustment. The attestation that the payments for contraceptive services were made in compliance with 26 CFR 54.9815-2713A(b)(2) or 29 CFR 2590.715-2713A(b)(2) will help ensure that the user fee adjustment is being utilized to provide contraceptive services for the self-insured plans in accordance with the previously noted accommodation. Form Number: CMS-10492 (OMB control number: 0938-1285); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private sector (Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions); Number of Respondents: 861; Total Annual Responses: 861; Total Annual Hours: 12,930. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Ernest Ayukawa (301) 492-5213.)

    2. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection (Request for a new OMB Control Number); Title of Information Collection: Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Templates; Use: The templates will help users capture the appropriate information needed to document medical necessity and appropriateness to help qualify DMEPOS for reimbursement under Medicare coverage and payment regulations. The physicians/NPPs complete the DMEPOS F2F encounter documentation or progress note, the DMEPOS order, and the results of required laboratory testing. This will help physicians/NPPs in complying with Medicare policy requirements, thereby reducing improper payments secondary to insufficient documentation. In addition, CMS will use this information to help substantiate that the request for payment (e.g. claim) is for devices and services that are medically necessary and appropriate as required by regulation. This will substantially reduce inappropriate payment due to incomplete documentation.

    The primary users of these clinical templates will be physicians/NPPs and their support staff. The users of the information will also include other providers and suppliers that must have documentation to substantiate the need for the devices or services as part of the requirements for payment by Medicare FFS. Complete documentation will help with reducing claim denials and improper payments. By using these templates and CDEs, providers and suppliers of DMEPOS devices and services will receive proper documentation/information from the referring provider that is required for payment. Form Number: CMS-10664 (OMB control number: 0938-NEW); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private Sector, Business or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 522; Number of Responses: 2,138; Total Annual Hours: 170,589. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Kevin Young at 410-786-6133 or Ashley Stedding at 410-786-4250).

    3. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Income and Eligibility Verification System Reporting and Supporting Regulations; Use: Section 1137 of the Social Security Act requires that States verify the income and eligibility information contained on the applicant's application and in the applicant's case file through data matches with the agencies and entities identified in this section. The State Medicaid/CHIP agency will report the existence of a system to collect all information needed to determine and redetermine eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP. The State Medicaid/CHIP agency will attest to using the PARIS system in determining beneficiary eligibility in Medicaid or CHIP benefit programs. Form Number: CMS-R-74 (OMB control number: 0938-0467); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 55; Total Annual Responses: 3,241; Total Annual Hours: 1,071. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Stephanie Bell at 410-786-0617.)

    Dated: October 23, 2018. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23576 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10494] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    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 November 28, 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: Revision of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Exchange Functions: Standards for Navigators and Non-Navigator Assistance Personnel—CAC; Use: Section 1321(a)(1) of the Affordable Care Act directs and authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations setting standards for meeting the requirements under title I of the Affordable Care Act, with respect to, among other things, the establishment and operation of Exchanges. Pursuant to this authority, regulations establishing the certified application counselor program have been finalized at 45 CFR 155.225. In accordance with 155.225(d)(1) and (7), certified application counselors in all Exchanges are required to be initially certified and recertified on at least an annual basis and successfully complete Exchange-required training. Form Number: CMS-10494 (OMB control number: 0938-1205); Frequency: On Occasion; Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Governments, Private Sector (not-for-profit institutions); individuals or households; Number of Respondents: 30,000; Total Annual Responses: 30,000; Total Annual Hours: 7,500. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Deborah Bryant at 301-492-5213.)

    Dated: October 24, 2018. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23590 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Proposed Projects: Office of Child Care CCDF Onsite Monitoring.

    Title: Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) State Monitoring Compliance Demonstration Packet.

    OMB No.: New.

    Description: This is a new proposed data collection from the Office of Child Care (OCC) for the Onsite Monitoring System.

    Section 658I of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and Subpart J of 45 CFR, part 98 of the Child Care and Development Fund requires the monitoring of programs funded under the CCDF for compliance with:

    (1) The Act;

    (2) CCDF Regulations; and

    (3) The State/Territory CCDF approved Plan.

    The proposed data collection will be used by the Office of Child Care (OCC) to monitor State CCDF Lead Agencies to determine and validate compliance with CCDF regulations and the approved State Plan. The data collection is designed to provide States with the flexibility to propose an approach that is feasible and sufficient to demonstrate compliance based on State circumstances and processes. State Lead Agencies will participate in onsite monitoring based on a 3-year cohort; submitting data once every three years. OCC will begin monitoring for compliance in FY 2019.

    The data collection for the first 3-years will focus on 11 topical areas: (1) Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery; (2) Consumer Education: Dissemination of Information to Parents, Providers, and General Public (Monitoring Reports and Annual Aggregate Data); (3) Twelve-Month Eligibility; (4) Child: Staff Ratios and Group Sizes; (5) Health and Safety Requirements for Providers (11 Health and Safety Topics); (6) Pre-Service/Orientation and Ongoing Training Requirements for Providers; (7) Inspections for CCDF Licensed Providers; (8) Inspections for License-Exempt CCDF Providers; (9) Ratios for Licensing Inspectors; (10) Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting; and (11) Program Integrity.

    In developing the Onsite Monitoring System, OCC convened a workgroup of states to provide feedback and input on the design of the Onsite Monitoring System. As part of the workgroup discussions, states emphasized the need for individualized monitoring because of the complexity of each state's CCDF structure and variance in implementation strategies. As a response, OCC developed the Compliance Demonstration Packet that offers states the opportunity to propose their approach to demonstrating compliance based on how their CCDF program is administered. OCC also consulted other federal programs and monitoring experts on the Onsite Monitoring System's development and incorporated their feedback regarding the efficiency and efficacy of the proposed process.

    During the development of the Onsite Monitoring System, OCC conducted pilots in a number of States. Feedback received from pilot States and the pilot results were used to enhance the monitoring process and data collection method. Burden estimates below are based on an analysis of data collected through all of the pilot visits while accounting for variance in state documentation.

    Respondents: State grantees and the District of Columbia.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Compliance Demonstration Chart 17 1 16 272 Document Submission Chart 17 1 80 1,360

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,632 hours.

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chap 35), the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201. Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) 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. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23536 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3647] Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of 10 New Drug Applications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is withdrawing approval of 10 new drug applications (NDAs) from multiple applicants. The applicants notified the Agency in writing that the drug products were no longer marketed and requested that the approval of the applications be withdrawn.

    DATES:

    Approval is withdrawn as of November 28, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Florine P. Purdie, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6248, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3601.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The applicants listed in the table have informed FDA that these drug products are no longer marketed and have requested that FDA withdraw approval of the applications under the process in § 314.150(c) (21 CFR 314.150(c)). The applicants have also, by their requests, waived their opportunity for a hearing. Withdrawal of approval of an application or abbreviated application under § 314.150(c) is without prejudice to refiling.

    Application No. Drug Applicant NDA 009165 Delatestryl (testosterone enanthate) Injection, 200 milligrams (mg)/milliliter (mL) Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 1400 Atwater Dr., Malvern, PA 19355. NDA 010417 Xylocaine (lidocaine hydrochloride (HCl)) 4% Topical Solution/Sterile Injection Fresenius Kabi, USA, LLC, Three Corporate Dr., Lake Zurich, IL 60047. NDA 016297 Xylocaine (1.5% lidocaine HCl with dextrose 7.5%) Spinal Injection, 2 mL ampules Do. NDA 016724 Norinyl 1+80 (mestranol and norethindrone) 21-Day Tablets, 0.08 mg/1 mg GD Searle LLC, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., 235 East 42nd St., New York, NY 10017. NDA 016725 Norinyl 1+80 (mestranol and norethindrone) 28-Day Tablets, 0.08 mg/1 mg Do. NDA 019217 Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection USP in Plastic Container, 9 mg/mL ICU Medical, Inc., 600 N. Field Dr., Lake Forest, IL 60045. NDA 019222 Dextrose 5% Injection USP in Plastic Container, 50 mg/mL Do. NDA 203098 Testosterone Gel, 2.5 mg/1.25 grams (g), 25 mg/2.5 g, 50 mg/5 g Perrigo Co., U.S. Agent for Perrigo Israel Pharmaceuticals Ltd., 3490 Quebec Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN 55427. NDA 204031 Xartemis XR (oxycodone HCl and acetaminophen) Extended-Release Tablets, 7.5 mg/325 mg Mallinckrodt Inc., 675 McDonnell Blvd., Hazelwood, MO 63042. NDA 205777 Targiniq ER (naloxone HCl and oxycodone HCl) Extended-Release Tablets, 5 mg/10 mg, 10 mg/20 mg, and 20 mg/40 mg Purdue Pharma, LP, One Stamford Forum, Stamford, CT 06901-3431.

    Therefore, approval of the applications listed in the table, and all amendments and supplements thereto, is hereby withdrawn as of November 28, 2018. Introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of products without approved new drug applications violates section 301(a) and (d) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 331(a) and (d)). Drug products that are listed in the table that are in inventory on November 28, 2018 may continue to be dispensed until the inventories have been depleted or the drug products have reached their expiration dates or otherwise become violative, whichever occurs first.

    Dated: October 23, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23528 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0821] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Investigation of Consumer Perceptions of Expressed Modified Risk Claims AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Agency, or we) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by November 28, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, Fax: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-NEW and title “Investigation of Consumer Perceptions of Expressed Modified Risk Claims.” Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Sanford, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-8867, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Investigation of Consumer Perceptions of Expressed Modified Risk Claims OMB Control Number 0910—NEW I. Background

    FDA's Center for Tobacco Products proposes to conduct a study to develop generalizable scientific knowledge to help inform its implementation of section 911 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 387k), wherein FDA will be evaluating information submitted to the Agency about how consumers understand and perceive modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs). Section 911 of the FD&C Act authorizes FDA to grant orders to persons to allow the marketing of MRTPs. The term “modified risk tobacco product” means any tobacco product that is sold or distributed for use to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease associated with commercially marketed tobacco products. FDA can issue a risk modification order under section 911(g)(1) of the FD&C Act authorizing the marketing of an MRTP only if the Agency determines that the product, as it is used by consumers, will significantly reduce harm and the risk of tobacco-related disease to individual tobacco users and benefit the health of the population as a whole, taking into account both users of tobacco products and persons who do not currently use tobacco products (section 911(g)(1) of the FD&C Act). Alternatively, with respect to tobacco products that may not be commercially marketed under section 911(g)(1) of the FD&C Act, FDA may issue an exposure modification order under section 911(g)(2) of the FD&C Act authorizing the marketing of an MRTP if the Agency determines that the standard in section 911(g)(2) of the FD&C Act is met, including, among other requirements, that: Any aspect of the label, labeling, or advertising that would cause the product to be an MRTP is limited to an explicit or implicit representation that the tobacco product or its smoke does not contain or is free of a substance or contains a reduced level of a substance, or presents a reduced exposure to a substance in tobacco smoke; the order would be appropriate to promote the public health; the issuance of the order is expected to benefit the population as a whole, taking into account both users and nonusers of tobacco products; and the existing evidence demonstrates that a measurable and substantial reduction in morbidity and mortality among individual tobacco users is reasonably likely to be shown in subsequent studies (section 911(g)(2) of the FD&C Act). In addition, section 911 of the FD&C Act requires that any advertising or labeling concerning modified risk products enable the public to comprehend the information concerning modified risk and to understand the relative significance of such information in the context of total health and in relation to all the diseases and health-related conditions associated with the use of tobacco products (section 911(h)(1) of the FD&C Act). The proposed research will inform the Agency's efforts to implement the provisions of the FD&C Act related to MRTPs.

    FDA proposes conducting a study to assist in determining appropriate methods for gathering information about how consumers perceive and understand modified risk information. The study would develop and validate measures of consumer perceptions of health risk from using tobacco products. Moreover, the study would test how participants' responses on these measures are affected by viewing modified risk labeling or advertising, participants' characteristics such as prior beliefs about the harmfulness of tobacco products, current use of tobacco products, and sociodemographic characteristics. Finally, the study would examine factors that may influence the effectiveness of debriefing at the end of a consumer perception study to ensure that people read and recall key information about the study. This research is significant because it will validate methods that can be used in studies of the impact of labels, labeling, and advertising on consumer perceptions and understanding of the risks of product use.

    Measures of consumer health risk perception will be developed and validated by conducting a study on two product types: Moist snuff smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products. For each product type, we will assess individual-level factors that may moderate the impact of modified risk information on consumer responses. Potential moderating factors under study include: Beliefs (prior to viewing the modified risk information) about the harmfulness of tobacco products, and the strength with which those beliefs are held; current tobacco use behaviors; and sociodemographic characteristics including age and educational attainment. For each product type, participants will be randomized to view one of two conditions: Tobacco product labeling and advertising that either does or does not contain modified risk claims about a product. The labeling will consist of a product package. The advertising will consist of a print advertisement. The study will assess participants' perceptions of various health risks from using the product, as well as their perceptions of health risk from using the product compared to smoking cigarettes, using nicotine replacement therapies, and quitting all tobacco and nicotine products. The study will also assess participants' intentions to use the product and their level of doubt about whether tobacco products are harmful to users' health. Measures of intentions and doubt will be used to help assess the validity of the measures of health risk perception.

    In the Federal Register of May 21, 2018 (83 FR 23464), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. FDA received four comments that were PRA related. Within those submissions, FDA received multiple comments which the Agency has addressed.

    (Comment) Three of the comments were supportive of the usefulness and importance of the proposed data collection. These comments stated that validated measures of consumers' health risk perceptions could be useful for FDA, researchers in the field, and industry—in particular, sponsors of modified risk tobacco product applications (MRTPAs). One of these comments expressed hope that the proposed study would be part of a more general effort by FDA to establish methods and standards for evaluating other aspects of MRTPAs.

    (Response) FDA agrees with these comments to the extent they relate to this study.

    (Comment) One of the comments was unsupportive of the proposed data collection, stating that it should not be undertaken for two reasons. The comment stated that the data are unneeded because U.S. consumers already understand the negative health effects of tobacco use and will not use a tobacco product if they are concerned about their health.

    (Response) The proposed data collection focuses on consumer perceptions of modified risk tobacco products, which are products that are sold or distributed for use to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related diseases associated with commercially marketed tobacco products.

    (Comment) A comment stated that the proposed data collection should not be undertaken because it would waste taxpayers' money.

    (Response) FDA believes this study will provide information important to its implementation of The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. FDA also notes that the study is not funded by taxpayers' money, but rather by industry user fees paid by regulated tobacco companies.

    (Comment) One comment suggested that the proposed data collection should be guided by a theoretical approach.

    (Response) The main objective of the data collection—developing and validating measures of consumer perceptions of tobacco health risks—is intentionally atheoretical. We intend for this aspect of the research to be data-driven rather than theory-driven. To accomplish this, we have created a large pool of risk perception items by aggregating items from all of the multi-item measures we could find in the published tobacco literature, putting them into the main categories of tobacco health effects that have been identified in prior health reviews, changing the wording of the items to put them in a common format, eliminating redundant or poorly worded items by consulting expert colleagues in medicine, epidemiology, and social science, and adding items to fill remaining gaps in terms of the main categories of tobacco health effects. When analyzing data from this proposed data collection, we plan to use factor analysis to identify the main dimensions underlying how U.S. consumers perceive tobacco product risks. Thus, overall, the goal of the proposed measurement development research is to comprehensively assess risk perceptions without overlaying our own preconceptions about how people may perceive these risks.

    (Comment) One comment stated that the findings from our proposed analyses of moderation effects—in particular, the moderating effects of prior beliefs and the certainty with which those beliefs are held—should be considered exploratory, given that these effects are not well established in prior literature. Relatedly, another comment pointed out that the findings from these moderation analyses may only apply to moist snuff smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette products, given that these are the product types under study in this proposed data collection.

    (Response) FDA agrees that the findings of these analyses will be novel in the tobacco literature, and we plan to encourage others to replicate and extend our findings. However, we also note that the measures used in this part of the study were adapted from measures developed and used previously in the attitude certainty literature, and the hypotheses about the potential moderating effects of belief certainty were developed based on prior studies of attitude certainty (Refs. 1 and 2). Thus, there is related literature that will help us interpret our findings on this topic.

    (Comment) A comment encouraged FDA to consider how to account for participants' prior beliefs when the tobacco product under study has not been previously marketed in the United States and is therefore unknown to U.S. consumers.

    (Response) Our hypothesis would be that consumers may tend to be less certain about their beliefs about such unknown products, and therefore their beliefs about such products may be more susceptible to influence by modified risk information—but this is a hypothesis that has not been empirically tested. We agree that our findings from the proposed analyses of the moderating effects of prior beliefs will benefit from replication and extension by others.

    (Comment) One comment suggested that we should consider making four changes to the proposed data collection methodology. First, this comment suggested modifying the study design to change it from a between-subjects design (i.e., in which participants are randomized to conditions and complete a posttest) to a mixed factorial design (i.e., in which participants complete a pretest, are randomized to conditions, and then complete a posttest). The comment stated that this modified design, described as a pretest-posttest-control-group design, would allow us to control for pretest scores, which would “explicitly minimize the potential threat to internal validity, namely, selection bias.”

    (Response) There are advantages and disadvantages to this alternative design type. Whereas the pretest-posttest-control-group design may help determine whether there is anything unusual about the sample that would reduce its representativeness of the target population (i.e., caused by biased selection), using this design would require participants to respond to the key measures twice within a short period of time. This would significantly lengthen the study, which is currently estimated to take approximately 20 minutes, and may influence how participants respond on the posttest (e.g., because of boredom or frustration with repetitive items, testing effects, or demand characteristics). Instead, we propose to use the original, between-subjects design and to conduct analyses to examine the sociodemographic and other characteristics of the sample to understand its representativeness of the U.S. population and to test the success of the randomization procedure.

    (Comment) A comment suggested that we should consider using a newly developed measure of participants' intentions to use tobacco products rather than the currently proposed intention items. The comment noted that the currently proposed items are based on prior research but stated that the new measure was developed and validated following procedures in FDA's (2009) guidance on patient-reported outcome measures.

    (Response) We appreciate this comment and support the continued development and validation of intention measures. However, at this time, we cannot use this newly developed measure because the research supporting its use has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    (Comment) A comment suggested that this proposed data collection should assess many more of participants' pre-existing beliefs and attitudes. As examples, the comment suggested assessing participants' skepticism and perceived truthfulness of modified risk claims, stating that this would allow us to more fully capture the key constructs that explain why some people are more likely than others to recall and comprehend the claims.

    (Response) As with the recommendations above, we appreciate this suggestion but propose not to assess these additional constructs in this data collection because of concerns about participant burden. The proposed data collection is not intended to comprehensively assess influences on consumer responses to modified risk claims. Rather, it is intended to achieve several specific goals such as developing measures and testing novel potential moderators of the effects of modified risk information. The constructs proposed in this comment have been studied in prior research, as have additional constructs such as brand loyalty (November 19, 2014 (79 FR 68888)). Assessing such constructs may be informative but is not required to achieve the goals of the current proposed data collection.

    (Comment) To assist with this project's measurement validation aims, this comment recommended that the study should collect two types of evidence discussed in an FDA guidance on patient-reported outcome measures (FDA, 2009): Evidence of the measures' content validity, such as open-ended input from appropriate populations, and evidence of reliability, other aspects of validity, and sensitivity to detect change.

    (Response) The proposed data collection is consistent with both these recommendations. As described above, to achieve content validity, we developed our initial pool of items to be as comprehensive as possible, consulting multi-item measures used previously in the tobacco literature, literature on the objective health effects of tobacco use, and expert colleagues. Additionally, we cognitively tested our pool of items in individual, qualitative interviews with tobacco users and non-users to evaluate their understanding of the items and beliefs about product risks. These interviews inclu