Federal Register Vol. 83, No.216,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 216 (November 7, 2018)

Page Range55601-55811
FR Document

83_FR_216
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 55689 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 55761 - Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 55702 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 55632 - Tax Return Preparer Due Diligence Penalty Under Section 6695(g)PDF
83 FR 55773 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 55780 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 55733 - Notice of HUD Vacant Loan Sales (HVLS 2019-1)PDF
83 FR 55697 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous FishPDF
83 FR 55700 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55703 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Gainful Employment Disclosure TemplatePDF
83 FR 55692 - North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Review: Notice of Request for Panel ReviewPDF
83 FR 55741 - Notice of Proposed Exemption Involving Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC (RCH or the Applicant)-Located in Charlotte, North CarolinaPDF
83 FR 55641 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
83 FR 55784 - Commission Meeting; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 55656 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Wyoming; Revisions to Regional Haze State Implementation PlanPDF
83 FR 55636 - Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fisheries; Inseason OrdersPDF
83 FR 55701 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
83 FR 55640 - Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; 2019 Fishing Quotas for Atlantic Surfclams and Ocean Quahogs; and Suspension of Minimum Atlantic Surfclam Size LimitPDF
83 FR 55646 - Modification of Discounting Rules for Insurance CompaniesPDF
83 FR 55656 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Wyoming; Revisions to Regional Haze State Implementation Plan; Revisions to Regional Haze Federal Implementation PlanPDF
83 FR 55788 - Senior Executive Service; Legal Division Performance Review BoardPDF
83 FR 55705 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Powerex Corp.PDF
83 FR 55706 - Application To Export Electric Energy; New Brunswick Energy Marketing CorporationPDF
83 FR 55716 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
83 FR 55696 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Affirmative Final Determination and Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 55705 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLCPDF
83 FR 55707 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLCPDF
83 FR 55688 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55694 - Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom: Initiation and Expedited Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
83 FR 55699 - Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 55736 - Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 55719 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55716 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 55702 - Intent To Grant an Exclusive License for a U.S. Army Owned Invention to Integrated Composite Construction Systems, LLCPDF
83 FR 55733 - Customs Broker User Fee Payment for 2019PDF
83 FR 55690 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 203-Moses Lake, Washington, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Joyson Safety Systems Acquisition, LLC (Automotive Airbag Inflators and Propellants), Moses Lake, WashingtonPDF
83 FR 55719 - Meeting of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and QualityPDF
83 FR 55717 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55691 - Foreign-Trade Zone 287-Tunica County, Mississippi Application for Subzone Future Electronics Distribution Center, L.P., Southaven, MississippiPDF
83 FR 55690 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 259-International Falls, Minnesota; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Digi-Key Corporation; (Consumer Electronics); Thief River Falls, MinnesotaPDF
83 FR 55626 - Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts for Medicare Part B and Prescription Drug Coverage PremiumsPDF
83 FR 55739 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Medical CBRN Defense ConsortiumPDF
83 FR 55739 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Spectrum ConsortiumPDF
83 FR 55692 - Certain Uncoated Paper From Indonesia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2017-2018PDF
83 FR 55707 - Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping CommentsPDF
83 FR 55714 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-714); Comment Request ExtensionPDF
83 FR 55715 - Electric Quarterly Reports; L&L Energy LLC; Bartram Lane LLC; Aspirity Energy, LLC; Promet Energy Partners, LLC; Notice of Revocation of Market-Based Rate Authority and Termination of Electric Market-Based Rate TariffPDF
83 FR 55711 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 55709 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 55713 - OkTex Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 55788 - Cooperative Studies Scientific Evaluation Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 55709 - Renewable Energy Aggregators; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 55758 - Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive Patent LicensePDF
83 FR 55726 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled WaterPDF
83 FR 55723 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Individual Patient Expanded Access Applications: Form FDA 3926PDF
83 FR 55720 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Tropical Disease Priority Review VouchersPDF
83 FR 55699 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning AppliancesPDF
83 FR 55698 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Testing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Carpets and RugsPDF
83 FR 55715 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55722 - Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials To Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 55728 - Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 55703 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2019-20 and 2021-22PDF
83 FR 55729 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-day Comment Request: Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)PDF
83 FR 55780 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of the Principal Morley Short Duration Index ETF Under Rule 14.11(c)(4)PDF
83 FR 55761 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Relocate the Exchange's Pricing SchedulePDF
83 FR 55768 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Extend Term Limits for Member Directors Serving on The Options Clearing Corporation's Board of DirectorsPDF
83 FR 55765 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Add Definitions to Chapter I, Section 1, Titled General Provisions and Also Amend Chapter VI, Section 18, Titled Risk ProtectionsPDF
83 FR 55776 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 515A, MIAX Price Improvement Mechanism (“PRIME”) and PRIME Solicitation Mechanism, and Rule 518, Complex OrdersPDF
83 FR 55781 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 9910 Post-Employment Conflict of Interest Restrictions; Nonpublic InformationPDF
83 FR 55773 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Commentary .01 to NYSE Arca Rule 8.600-E Relating to Certain Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund SharesPDF
83 FR 55771 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Delete ISE Section 22 of the Rulebook Entitled “Rate-Modified Foreign Currency Options Rules”PDF
83 FR 55763 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Amend NYSE Rule 104 Governing Transactions by Designated Market MakersPDF
83 FR 55704 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Assistance General Provisions-Annual Fire Safety ReportPDF
83 FR 55740 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Federal Debt Collection Procedures ActPDF
83 FR 55785 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
83 FR 55787 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
83 FR 55784 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
83 FR 55740 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
83 FR 55740 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as Amended (“CERCLA”)PDF
83 FR 55730 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 55729 - National Institute on Aging; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 55750 - Post-Initial Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
83 FR 55756 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
83 FR 55752 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
83 FR 55755 - Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program: Certifications for 2018 Under the Federal Unemployment Tax ActPDF
83 FR 55738 - Certain Infotainment Systems, Components Thereof, and Automobiles Containing the Same; Commission Determination To Review In Part, and on Review To Modify, an Initial Determination Granting-In-Part and Denying-In-Part Complainant's Motion To Amend the Complaint and Notice of Investigation To add RespondentsPDF
83 FR 55739 - Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid, and Derivative Products From ChinaPDF
83 FR 55653 - Regulations To Prescribe Return and Time for Filing for Payment of Section 4960, 4966, 4967, and 4968 Taxes and To Update the Abatement Rules for Section 4966 and 4967 TaxesPDF
83 FR 55731 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55788 - Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
83 FR 55735 - Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit ApplicationsPDF
83 FR 55689 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 55641 - Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2018 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana IslandsPDF
83 FR 55759 - U.S. Army Ranges With Davy Crockett Depleted UraniumPDF
83 FR 55697 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC)PDF
83 FR 55638 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Shark and Hammerhead Shark Management Group Retention Limit AdjustmentPDF
83 FR 55643 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS® System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15PDF
83 FR 55601 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS® System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15PDF
83 FR 55619 - Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 55614 - Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines (IAE) Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 55665 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Industry-Funded MonitoringPDF
83 FR 55606 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 55617 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS AirplanesPDF
83 FR 55792 - Hazardous Materials: Response to Petitions From Industry To Modify, Clarify, or Eliminate RegulationsPDF
83 FR 55610 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

83 216 Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55717-55718 2018-24339 Meetings: National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality, 55719 2018-24340 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Rural Utilities Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy, 55699-55700 2018-24349 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Medical CBRN Defense Consortium, 55739 2018-24335 National Spectrum Consortium, 55739-55740 2018-24334 Chemical Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 55689 2018-24505 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55719-55720 2018-24347 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55689-55690 2018-24279
Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances, 55699 2018-24319 Testing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Carpets and Rugs, 55698-55699 2018-24318 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55700-55701 2018-24383 Charter Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 55701-55702 2018-24369 2018-24370
Defense Nuclear Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 55702-55703 2018-24438 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Gainful Employment Disclosure Template, 55703 2018-24382 Private School Universe Survey 2019-20 and 2021-22, 55703-55704 2018-24314 Student Assistance General Provisions—Annual Fire Safety Report, 55704-55705 2018-24301 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Proposed Exemption: Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC, Charlotte, NC, 55741-55750 2018-24377 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program: Certifications for 2018 under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 55755-55756 2018-24289 Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Determinations, 55750-55755 2018-24290 2018-24292 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Investigations, 55756-55758 2018-24291 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: Boston Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC, 55705, 55707 2018-24353 2018-24354 New Brunswick Energy Marketing Corp., 55706-55707 2018-24358 Powerex Corp., 55705-55706 2018-24362
Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Intent to Grant Exclusive License: Integrated Composite Construction Systems, LLC, 55702 2018-24344 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Wyoming; Revisions to Regional Haze State Implementation Plan, 55656-55665 2018-24372 Wyoming; Revisions to Regional Haze State Implementation Plan; Revisions to Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan, 55656 2018-24366 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55715 2018-24317 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus SAS Airplanes, 55617-55619 2018-23991 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 55606-55609 2018-24003 International Aero Engines Turbofan Engines, 55614-55617, 55619-55626 2018-24239 2018-24250 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 55610-55614 2018-23822 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55714-55715 2018-24331 Applications: Aquenergy Systems, LLC, 55707-55708 2018-24332 Renewable Energy Aggregators, 55709 2018-24325 Combined Filings, 55709-55713 2018-24328 2018-24329 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: OkTex Pipeline Company, LLC, 55713-55714 2018-24327 Revocation of Market-Based Rate Authority and Termination of Electric Market-Based Rate Tariff: Electric Quarterly Reports; L and L Energy LLC; Bartram Lane LLC; Aspirity Energy, LLC; Promet Energy Partners, LLC, 55715 2018-24330 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 55716 2018-24356 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 55716-55717 2018-24275 2018-24346 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Permit Applications: Foreign Endangered Species, 55735-55737 2018-24280 2018-24348 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Individual Patient Expanded Access Applications, 55723-55726 2018-24321 Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled Water, 55726-55728 2018-24322 Tropical Disease Priority Review Vouchers, 55720-55722 2018-24320 Guidance: Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment, 55728-55729 2018-24315 Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials to Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products, 55722-55723 2018-24316 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Subzone: Future Electronics Distribution Center, LP, Foreign-Trade Zone 287, Tunica County, MS, 55691 2018-24338 Proposed Production Activities: Digi-Key Corp., Foreign-Trade Zone 259, International Falls, MN, 55690-55691 2018-24337 Joyson Safety Systems Acquisition, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 203, Moses Lake, WA, 55690 2018-24341 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Vacant Loan Sales, 55733-55735 2018-24395 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Tax Return Preparer Due Diligence Penalty, 55632-55636 2018-24411 PROPOSED RULES Modification of Discounting Rules for Insurance Companies, 55646-55653 2018-24367 Regulations to Prescribe Return and Time for Filing for Payment of Section 4960, 4966, 4967, and 4968 Taxes and to Update the Abatement Rules for Section 4966 and 4967 Taxes, 55653-55656 2018-24285 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, 55694-55696 2018-24350 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, 55696-55697 2018-24355 Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia, 55692-55694 2018-24333 Request for Binational Panel Review, 55692 2018-24381 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Infotainment Systems, Components Thereof, and Automobiles Containing the Same, 55738 2018-24288 Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid, and Derivative Products from China, 55739 2018-24287 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees: CERCLA, 55740 2018-24295 2018-24296 CERCLA and Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act, 55740-55741 2018-24300
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Employment and Training Administration

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Intent to Grant Partially Exclusive Term Licenses, 55758-55759 2018-24323 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Data and Specimen Hub, 55729-55730 2018-24313 Meetings: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 55730 2018-24294 National Institute on Aging, 55729 2018-24293 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Shark and Hammerhead Shark Management Group Retention Limit Adjustment, 55638-55640 2018-24274 Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries: 2019 Fishing Quotas and Suspension of Minimum Atlantic Surfclam Size Limit, 55640-55641 2018-24368 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 55641-55642 2018-24375 Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Orders, 55636-55638 2018-24371 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries: 2018 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 55641 2018-24278 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Industry-Funded Monitoring, 55665-55687 2018-24087 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community, 55697-55698 2018-24276 Endangered and Threatened Species: Take of Anadromous Fish, 55697 2018-24384 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15, 55601-55606 2018-24255 PROPOSED RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15, 55643-55646 2018-24256 NOTICES License Amendment Applications: Army Ranges with Davy Crockett Depleted Uranium, 55759-55761 2018-24277 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RULES Hazardous Materials: Response to Petitions from Industry to Modify, Clarify, or Eliminate Regulations, 55792-55811 2018-23965 NOTICES Hazardous Materials: Applications for Special Permits, 55784-55788 2018-24297 2018-24298 2018-24299 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 55761 2018-24487 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55688-55689 2018-24351 2018-24352 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 55773, 55780 2018-24404 2018-24405 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 55780 2018-24311 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 55781-55784 2018-24306 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 55776-55780 2018-24307 Nasdaq BX, Inc., 55765-55768 2018-24308 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 55761-55763, 55771-55773 2018-24304 2018-24310 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 55763-55765 2018-24303 NYSE Arca, Inc., 55773-55776 2018-24305 The Options Clearing Corp., 55768-55771 2018-24309 Social Social Security Administration RULES Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts for Medicare Part B and Prescription Drug Coverage Premiums, 55626-55632 2018-24336 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55731-55733 2018-24283 2018-24284 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Commission Meeting; Correction, 55784 2018-24373 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

See

United States Mint

NOTICES Senior Executive Service; Legal Division Performance Review Board, 55788 2018-24365
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Customs Broker User Fee Payment for 2019, 55733 2018-24342 U.S. Mint United States Mint NOTICES Meetings: Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, 55788 2018-24281 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Cooperative Studies Scientific Evaluation Committee, 55788-55789 2018-24326 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Transportation Department, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 55792-55811 2018-23965 Reader Aids

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

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83 216 Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Rules and Regulations NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2018-0212] RIN 3150-AK16 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS® System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15 AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System (NUHOMS® System) listing within the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks” to include Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. Because this amendment is subsequent to the renewal of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Certificate of Compliance 1004 system and, therefore, subject to the Aging Management Program requirements of the renewed certificate, it is referred to as “Renewed Amendment No. 15.” Renewed Amendment No. 15 revises the Certificate of Compliance's technical specifications to: Unify and standardize fuel qualification tables; revise existing and add new heat load zoning configurations; increase the allowable maximum assembly average burnup; allow loading of damaged fuel assemblies under certain conditions; expand the definition of the poison rod assemblies to include rod cluster control assembly materials; allow other zirconium alloy cladding materials; add model OS197 as an authorized transfer cask; add the description for the solar shield in the updated final safety analysis report; and add flexibility to general licensees in verifying compliance regarding the storage pad location and the soil-structure interaction. Additionally, the rulemaking makes clarifications to rule text related to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 by removing redundant language.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective January 22, 2019, unless significant adverse comments are received by December 7, 2018. If this direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Comments received on this direct final rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0212. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christian Jacobs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301-415-6825; email: [email protected] or Edward M. Lohr, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301-415-0253; email: [email protected] Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Rulemaking Procedure III. Background IV. Discussion of Changes V. Voluntary Consensus Standards VI. Agreement State Compatibility VII. Plain Writing VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification XI. Regulatory Analysis XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality XIII. Congressional Review Act XIV. Availability of Documents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0212 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0212.

NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in the “Availability of Documents” section.

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

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2018-0212 in your comment submission. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

II. Rulemaking Procedure

This rule is limited to the changes contained in Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 and does not include other aspects of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design. The NRC is using the “direct final rule procedure” to issue this amendment because it represents a limited and routine change to an existing Certificate of Compliance that is expected to be noncontroversial. Adequate protection of public health and safety continues to be ensured. The amendment to the rule will become effective on January 22, 2019. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this direct final rule by December 7, 2018, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws this action and will subsequently address the comments received in a final rule as a response to the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action.

A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:

(1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when:

(a) The comment causes the NRC to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis;

(b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or

(c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC.

(2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition.

(3) The comment causes the NRC to make a change (other than editorial) to the rule, Certificate of Compliance, or technical specifications.

For detailed instructions on filing comments, please see the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

III. Background

Section 218(a) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended, requires that “the Secretary [of the Department of Energy] shall establish a demonstration program, in cooperation with the private sector, for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at civilian nuclear power reactor sites, with the objective of establishing one or more technologies that the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission may, by rule, approve for use at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site-specific approvals by the Commission.” Section 133 of the NWPA states, in part, that “[the Commission] shall, by rule, establish procedures for the licensing of any technology approved by the Commission under Section 219(a) [sic: 218(a)] for use at the site of any civilian nuclear power reactor.”

To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule which added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule on December 22, 1994 (59 FR 65898), that approved the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs provided in § 72.214 as Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. Most recently, on September 27, 2017 (82 FR 44879), the NRC issued a Renewal of the revised initial certificate and Amendment Nos. 1 through 11, 13 and 14.

IV. Discussion of Changes

On March 28, 2017, TN Americas LLC submitted a request to the NRC to amend Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 and supplemented its request on July 18, 2017, December 14, 2017, and March 22, 2018. Renewed Amendment No. 15 revises the technical specifications and updated final safety analysis report to:

• Unify and standardize the fuel qualification tables for four pressurized water reactor systems in order to simplify the technical specifications.

• For the 32PT System, add a new heat load zoning configuration to allow for the loading of fuel assemblies with decay heat up to 2.2 kilowatt (kW) corresponding to a 2-year cooled fuel.

• For the 32PT System, increase the maximum assembly average burnup from 55 gigawatt-days per metric ton of uranium to 62 gigawatt-days per metric ton of uranium.

• For the 32PT System, allow for the loading of damaged fuel assemblies confined within top and bottom end caps and failed fuel assemblies loaded within individual failed fuel canisters in the 32PT System. Provide for a basket option to increase the number of poison plates from 24 to 32, resulting in an increase in the allowable enrichment of the authorized contents. Expand the definition of the poison rod assemblies in the technical specification and the updated final safety analysis report to include rod cluster control assembly materials, specifically adding a silver neutron absorber.

• For the 32PT System, include other zirconium alloy cladding materials such as ZIRLO® and M5® in the 32PT System.

• For the 24PTH System, add a new heat load zoning configuration to allow for the loading of fuel assemblies with decay heat up to 2.5 kW corresponding to a 2-year cooled fuel, and a total heat load of 35 kW per basket.

• For the 24PTH System, add the OS197 model as an authorized transfer cask for the transfer of the 24PTH-S-LC dry shielded canister in addition to the standardized transfer cask.

• For the 61BTH System, revise the existing heat load zoning configuration to allow loading of fuel assemblies with decay heat up to 1.2 kW corresponding to a 2-year cooling time. Add the GNF-2 and ATRIUM-11 fuel assembly designs as authorized contents.

• For the 32PTH System, add a new heat load zoning configuration for the loading of fuel assemblies with decay heat up to 1.1 kW for a total heat load of 35.2 kW per basket, and add a new heat load zoning configuration to allow for loading of fuel assemblies with decay heat up to 1.3 kW for a total heat load of 37.6 kW per basket.

• Provide a description in the updated final safety analysis report for the solar shield currently described in the technical specifications for the transfer cask during transfer operations.

• Revise Technical Specification 4.3.3 Item 11 to add flexibility to general licensees in verifying compliance regarding the storage pad location and the soil-structure interaction.

Because this amendment is subsequent to the renewal of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Certificate of Compliance 1004 system and, therefore, subject to the Aging Management Program requirements of the renewed certificate (see Technical Specification 5.3.1), it is referred to as “Renewed Amendment No. 15.” Additionally, the rulemaking makes clarifications to rule text related to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 by removing redundant language.

As documented in the preliminary safety evaluation report, the NRC performed a detailed safety evaluation of the proposed Certificate of Compliance amendment request. There are no significant changes to cask design requirements in the proposed Certificate of Compliance amendment. Considering the specific design requirements for each accident condition, the design of the cask would prevent loss of containment, shielding, and criticality control in the event of an accident. This amendment does not reflect a significant change in design or fabrication of the cask. In addition, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Renewed Amendment No. 15 would remain well within the 10 CFR part 20 limits. There will be no significant change in the types or amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the individual or cumulative radiation exposure, and no significant increase in the potential for, or consequences from, radiological accidents.

This direct final rule revises the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System listing in § 72.214 by adding Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. The amendment consists of the changes previously described, as set forth in the revised Certificate of Compliance and technical specifications. The revised technical specifications are identified and evaluated in the preliminary safety evaluation report.

The amended TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® cask design, when used under the conditions specified in the Certificate of Compliance, technical specifications, and NRC's regulations, will meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 72; therefore, adequate protection of public health and safety will continue to be ensured. When this direct final rule becomes effective, persons who hold a general license under § 72.210 may, consistent with the license conditions under § 72.212, load spent nuclear fuel into those TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System casks that meet the criteria of Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004.

V. Voluntary Consensus Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) requires that Federal agencies use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. In this direct final rule, the NRC will revise the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design listed in § 72.214. This action does not constitute the establishment of a standard that contains generally applicable requirements.

VI. Agreement State Compatibility

Under the “Policy Statement on Adequacy and Compatibility of Agreement State Programs” approved by the Commission on June 30, 1997, and published in the Federal Register on September 3, 1997 (62 FR 46517), this rule is classified as Compatibility Category “NRC.” Compatibility is not required for Category “NRC” regulations. The NRC program elements in this category are those that relate directly to areas of regulation reserved to the NRC by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the provisions of 10 CFR. Although an Agreement State may not adopt program elements reserved to the NRC, and the Category “NRC” does not confer regulatory authority on the State, the State may wish to inform its licensees of certain requirements by means consistent with the particular State's administrative procedure laws.

VII. Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883).

VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact A. The Action

The action is to amend § 72.214 to revise the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System listing within the “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks” to include Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC's regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,” the NRC has determined that this direct final rule, if adopted, would not be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. The NRC has made a finding of no significant impact on the basis of this environmental assessment.

B. The Need for the Action

This direct final rule amends the Certificate of Compliance for the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design within the list of approved spent fuel storage casks that power reactor licensees can use to store spent fuel at reactor sites under a general license. Specifically, Renewed Amendment No. 15 updates the Certificate of Compliance as described in Section IV, “Discussion of Changes,” of this document, for the use of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System. Additionally, the rulemaking makes clarifications to rule text related to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 by removing redundant language.

C. Environmental Impacts of the Action

On July 18, 1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. The potential environmental impact of using NRC-approved storage casks was initially analyzed in the environmental assessment for the 1990 final rule. The environmental assessment for this Renewed Amendment No. 15 tiers off of the environmental assessment for the July 18, 1990, final rule. Tiering on past environmental assessments is a standard process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.

The TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Systems are designed to mitigate the effects of design basis accidents that could occur during storage. Design basis accidents account for human-induced events and the most severe natural phenomena reported for the site and surrounding area. Postulated accidents analyzed for an independent spent fuel storage installation, the type of facility at which a holder of a power reactor operating license would store spent fuel in casks in accordance with 10 CFR part 72, include tornado winds and tornado-generated missiles, a design basis earthquake, a design basis flood, an accidental cask drop, lightning effects, fire, explosions, and other events.

Considering the specific design requirements for each accident condition, the design of the cask would prevent loss of confinement, shielding, and criticality control in the event of an accident. If there is no loss of confinement, shielding, or criticality control, the environmental impacts resulting from an accident would be insignificant. This amendment does not reflect a significant change in design or fabrication of the cask. Because there are no significant design or process changes, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Renewed Amendment No. 15 would remain well within the 10 CFR part 20 limits. Therefore, the proposed Certificate of Compliance changes will not result in any radiological or non-radiological environmental impacts that significantly differ from the environmental impacts evaluated in the environmental assessment supporting the July 18, 1990, final rule. There will be no significant change in the types or amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in individual or cumulative radiation exposures, and no significant increase in the potential for or consequences of radiological accidents. The NRC documented its safety findings in a preliminary safety evaluation report.

D. Alternative to the Action

The alternative to this action is to deny approval of Renewed Amendment No. 15 and not issue the direct final rule. Consequently, any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee that seeks to load spent nuclear fuel into TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Systems in accordance with the changes described in proposed Renewed Amendment No. 15 would have to request an exemption from the requirements of §§ 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, interested licensees would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee. Therefore, the environmental impacts of the alternative action would be the same as, or more likely greater than, the preferred action.

E. Alternative Use of Resources

Approval of Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 would result in no irreversible commitment of resources.

F. Agencies and Persons Contacted

No agencies or persons outside the NRC were contacted in connection with the preparation of this environmental assessment.

G. Finding of No Significant Impact

The environmental impacts of the action have been reviewed under the requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC's regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions.” Based on the foregoing environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that this direct final rule entitled “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15” will not have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, the NRC has determined that an environmental impact statement is not necessary for this direct final rule.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This direct final rule does not contain any new or amended collections of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing collections of information were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, approval number 3150-0132.

Public Protection Notification

The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC certifies that this direct final rule will not, if issued, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This direct final rule affects only nuclear power plant licensees and TN Americas LLC. These entities do not fall within the scope of the definition of small entities set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by the NRC (§ 2.810).

XI. Regulatory Analysis

On July 18, 1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. Any nuclear power reactor licensee can use NRC-approved cask designs to store spent nuclear fuel if it notifies the NRC in advance, the spent fuel is stored under the conditions specified in the cask's Certificate of Compliance, and the conditions of the general license are met. A list of NRC-approved cask designs is contained in § 72.214. On December 22, 1994 (59 FR 65898), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 that approved the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design by adding it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in § 72.214.

On March 28, 2017, and as supplemented on July 18, 2017, December 14, 2017, and March 22, 2018, TN Americas LLC submitted an application to amend the Standardized NUHOMS® System as described in Section IV, “Discussion of Changes,” of this document.

The alternative to this action is to withhold approval of Renewed Amendment No. 15 and to require any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee seeking to load spent nuclear fuel into TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Systems under the changes described in Renewed Amendment No. 15 to request an exemption from the requirements of §§ 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, each interested 10 CFR part 72 licensee would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee.

Approval of this direct final rule is consistent with previous NRC actions. Further, as documented in the preliminary safety evaluation report and environmental assessment, this direct final rule will have no adverse effect on public health and safety or the environment. This direct final rule has no significant identifiable impact or benefit on other Government agencies. Based on this regulatory analysis, the NRC concludes that the requirements of this direct final rule are commensurate with the NRC's responsibilities for public health and safety and the common defense and security. No other available alternative is believed to be as satisfactory, and therefore, this action is recommended.

XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

The NRC has determined that the backfit rule (10 CFR 72.62) does not apply to this direct final rule. Therefore, a backfit analysis is not required. This direct final rule revises Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 for the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System, as currently listed in § 72.214. The revision consists of adding Renewed Amendment No. 15, which revises the Certificate of Compliance's technical specifications as described in Section IV, “Discussion of Changes,” of this document. Additionally, the rulemaking makes clarifications to rule text related to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 by removing redundant language.

Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 for the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System was initiated by TN Americas LLC and was not submitted in response to new NRC requirements, or an NRC request for amendment. Renewed Amendment No. 15 applies only to new casks fabricated and used under Renewed Amendment No. 15. These changes do not affect existing users of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System, and the current renewed Amendments Nos. 0 through 11, 13, and 14, continue to be effective for existing users. While current Certificate of Compliance users may comply with the new requirements in Renewed Amendment No. 15, this would be a voluntary decision on the part of current users. Additionally, the clarifications to the text of the rule are editorial in nature, and as such, do not fall within the definition of backfit.

For these reasons, Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 does not constitute backfitting under § 72.62 or § 50.109(a)(1), or otherwise represent an inconsistency with the issue finality provisions applicable to combined licenses in 10 CFR part 52. Accordingly, the NRC has not prepared a backfit analysis for this rulemaking.

XIII. Congressional Review Act

This direct final rule is not a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

XIV. Availability of Documents

The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated.

Document ADAMS accession No./web link/Federal Register
  • citation
  • TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated March 28, 2017 ML17094A714 (Package). Revision to TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated July 18, 2017 ML17202Q145. Revision to TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated December 14, 2017 ML17363A276 (Package). Revision to TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated March 22, 2018 ML18088A180. TN Americas LLC Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 ML18228A531. Technical Specifications for TN Americas LLC Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 ML18228A530. Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report for TN Americas LLC Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 ML18234A012.

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal Rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2018-0212. The Federal Rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2018-0212); (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

    Administrative practice and procedure, Hazardous waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear energy, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Whistleblowing.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553; the NRC is adopting the following amendments to 10 CFR part 72:

    PART 72—LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDEPENDENT STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND REACTOR-RELATED GREATER THAN CLASS C WASTE 1. The authority citation for part 72 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 57, 62, 63, 65, 69, 81, 161, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2099, 2111, 2201, 2210e, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2238, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 117(a), 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 141, 145(g), 148, 218(a) (42 U.S.C. 10137(a), 10152, 10153, 10154, 10155, 10157, 10161, 10165(g), 10168, 10198(a)); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1004 is revised to read as follows:
    § 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks.

    Certificate Number: 1004.

    Initial Certificate Effective Date: January 23, 1995, superseded by Initial Certificate, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Initial Certificate, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Initial Certificate, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 1 Effective Date: April 27, 2000, superseded by Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 2 Effective Date: September 5, 2000, superseded by Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 3 Effective Date: September 12, 2001, superseded by Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 4 Effective Date: February 12, 2002, superseded by Amendment Number 4, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 4, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 4, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 5 Effective Date: January 7, 2004, superseded by Amendment Number 5, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 5, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 5, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 6 Effective Date: December 22, 2003, superseded by Amendment Number 6, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 6, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 6, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 7 Effective Date: March 2, 2004, superseded by Amendment Number 7, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 7, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 7, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 8 Effective Date: December 5, 2005, superseded by Amendment Number 8, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 8, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 8, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 9 Effective Date: April 17, 2007, superseded by Amendment Number 9, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 9, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 9, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 10 Effective Date: August 24, 2009, superseded by Amendment Number 10, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 10, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 10, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 11 Effective Date: January 7, 2014, superseded by Amendment Number 11, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 11, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 11, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017, as corrected (ADAMS Accession No. ML18018A043).

    Amendment Number 12 Effective Date: Amendment not issued by the NRC.

    Amendment Number 13 Effective Date: May 24, 2014, superseded by Amendment Number 13, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 13, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 13, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017, as corrected (ADAMS Accession No. ML18018A100).

    Amendment Number 14 Effective Date: April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 14, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 14 Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 15 Effective Date: January 22, 2019.

    SAR Submitted by: Transnuclear, Inc.

    SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System for Irradiated Nuclear Fuel.

    Docket Number: 72-1004.

    Certificate Expiration Date: January 23, 2015.

    Renewed Certificate Expiration Date: January 23, 2055.

    Model Number: NUHOMS®-24P, -24PHB, -24PTH, -32PT, -32PTH1, -37PTH, -52B, -61BT, -61BTH, and -69BTH.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of October 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Margaret M. Doane, Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24255 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0551; Product Identifier 2018-NM-023-AD; Amendment 39-19485; AD 2018-22-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes; and Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of damage to the protective coating and corrosion on the piston/axle of the main landing gear (MLG), caused by friction between the inboard axle sleeve and the axle thrust face. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate a detailed inspection of the MLG piston/axle for damage to the protective coating and for corrosion. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0551.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0551; 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:

    Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer, Mechanical Systems and Administrative Services Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7323; fax 516-794-5531; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes; and Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2018 (83 FR 31504). The NPRM was prompted by reports of damage to the protective coating and corrosion on the piston/axle of the MLG, caused by friction between the inboard axle sleeve and the axle thrust face. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate a detailed inspection of the MLG piston/axle for damage to the protective coating and for corrosion.

    We are issuing this AD to address damage to the protective coating and corrosion found on the piston/axle of the MLG, caused by friction between the inboard axle sleeve and the axle thrust face, which could cause the axle to separate from the piston/axle, and ultimately lead to collapse of the landing gear during ground maneuvers or upon landing.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian AD CF-2017-38, dated December 20, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes; and Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There have been reports of damage to the protective coating and/or corrosion on the piston/axle of the Main Landing Gear (MLG). The damage to the protective coating was caused by friction between the inboard axle sleeve and the axle thrust face. If not corrected, this condition can cause the axle to separate from the piston/axle [and consequent collapse of the landing gear during ground maneuvers or upon landing].

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the incorporation of a new maintenance task in order to perform a [detailed] visual inspection of the piston/axle of the MLG to prevent the axle separation from the piston/axle.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0551.

    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.

    Support for the NPRM

    The Air Line Pilots Association, International and Endeavor Air stated their support for the proposed AD.

    Request To Refer to Certain Revised Service Information

    Endeavor Air noted that Bombardier, Inc. has issued certain revised service information and requested that the proposed AD be updated to reference the revised service information.

    We agree with the commenter's request. We have determined the revised service information should be referenced in regards to calculating the time since piston/axle entry into service, since operators might have done the latest inspection, restoration, or repair using the revised service information. We have updated paragraph (h) of this AD to refer to the revised service information and reorganized paragraph (h) of this AD for consistency.

    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

    Bombardier, Inc. has issued CRJ Series Regional Jet Temporary Revision (TR) MRB-0059, dated March 20, 2015. The service information describes an airworthiness limitation task for a detailed inspection for damage to the protective coating and for corrosion on the piston/axle of the MLG. 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 530 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-22-12 Bombardier, Inc: Amendment 39-19485; Docket No. FAA-2018-0551; Product Identifier 2018-NM-023-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, serial numbers 10002 and subsequent; Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes, serial numbers 15001 and subsequent; and Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes, serial numbers 19001 and subsequent; certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of damage to the protective coating and corrosion found on the piston/axle of the main landing gear (MLG), caused by friction between the inboard axle sleeve and the axle thrust face. We are issuing this AD to address such damage, which could cause the axle to separate from the piston/axle, and ultimately lead to collapse of the landing gear during ground maneuvers or upon landing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating CRJ Series Regional Jet Temporary Revision (TR) MRB-0059, dated March 20, 2015. The applicable maintenance or inspection program revision required by this paragraph may be done by inserting a copy of CRJ Series Regional Jet TR MRB-0059, dated March 20, 2015, into the maintenance requirements manual (MRM). When the information in CRJ Series Regional Jet TR MRB-0059, dated March 20, 2015, has been included in the general revisions of the MRM, the general revisions may be inserted in the MRM, and this TR may be removed, provided the relevant information in the general revision is identical to that in CRJ Series Regional Jet TR MRB-0059, dated March 20, 2015. The initial time for the task is at the applicable time specified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD. Information used for determining the entry into service date can be found in paragraph (h) of this AD.

    ER07NO18.000 (h) Information for Calculating Time Since Piston/Axle Entry Into Service Date

    The entry into service date (first column of figure 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD) can be calculated from the date of the latest inspection, restoration, or repair accomplished as specified in the service information listed in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(3) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) Inspected as specified in one of the following Bombardier Service Bulletins specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iv) of this AD.

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-048, dated August 29, 2014.

    (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-048, Revision A, dated September 5, 2014.

    (iii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-048, Revision B, dated September 2, 2015.

    (iv) Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-048, Revision C, dated July 11, 2018.

    (2) Restored as specified in Bombardier Task Number 320100-210, of the Bombardier CRJ Series Regional Jet MRM, Part 1, CSP B-053.

    (3) Repaired as specified in one or more of the Bombardier repair engineering orders (REO) specified in paragraphs (h)(3)(i) through (h)(3)(v) of this AD.

    (i) Bombardier REO 670-32-11-313, Revision A, dated March 18, 2014.

    (ii) Bombardier REO 670-32-11-361, dated July 30, 2014.

    (iii) Bombardier REO 670-32-11-361, Revision A, dated May 31, 2018.

    (iv) Bombardier REO 698-32-11-008, dated July 30, 2014.

    (v) Bombardier REO 698-32-11-008, Revision A, dated May 31, 2018.

    (i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

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

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO Branch, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian AD CF-2017-38, dated December 20, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0551.

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

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) CRJ Series Regional Jet Temporary Revision (TR) MRB-0059, dated March 20, 2015.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on October 25, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24003 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0510; Product Identifier 2017-NM-115-AD; Amendment 39-19483; AD 2018-22-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-04-16, which applied to all The Boeing Company Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, MD-11, and MD-11F airplanes. AD 2016-04-16 required adding design features to detect electrical faults and to detect a pump running in an empty fuel tank. This AD continues to require adding design features to detect electrical faults and to detect a pump running in an empty fuel tank. This AD also provides optional terminating action for certain requirements. This AD was prompted by a fuel system review conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of December 12, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of April 15, 2016 (81 FR 12806, March 11, 2016).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0510.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0510; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Serj Harutunian, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5254; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2016-04-16, Amendment 39-18410 (81 FR 12806, March 11, 2016) (“AD 2016-04-16”). AD 2016-04-16 applied to all The Boeing Company Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, MD-11, and MD-11F airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2018 (83 FR 27718). The NPRM was prompted by a fuel system review conducted by the manufacturer and a determination that accomplishing new service information in conjunction with certain service information specified in AD 2016-04-16 would terminate certain actions in related ADs. The NPRM proposed to continue to require adding design features to detect electrical faults and to detect a pump running in an empty fuel tank. The NPRM also proposed to provide optional terminating action for certain requirements. We are issuing this AD to address the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    Comments

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

    Support for the NPRM

    FedEx Express (FedEx) and Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) provided their concurrence with the NPRM. FedEx also pointed out that the NPRM affects 39 Model MD-10 airplanes and 57 Model MD-11 airplanes in the FedEx fleet.

    Request To Clarify the Terminating Action Specified in Paragraph (k) of the Proposed AD

    Boeing requested that we clarify the terminating action specified in paragraph (k) of the proposed AD. Boeing agreed that the repetitive inspections and tests may be terminated upon installation of the new connector design per the Boeing service bulletins cited in paragraph (k) of the proposed AD (Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-264, dated May 15, 2015; and Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-146, dated May 15, 2015). Boeing noted that those service bulletins were approved by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch. Boeing added that those service bulletins also specify an additional condition for the terminating actions: the fault current detectors cited in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) and (h)(2)(ii) of the proposed AD must also be installed before the repetitive actions are terminated. Boeing recommended that paragraph (k) of the proposed AD be revised to clarify that the fault current detectors must be installed per paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) and (h)(2)(ii) of the proposed AD in order to accomplish the terminating action per the Boeing service bulletins cited in paragraph (k) of the proposed AD.

    We agree with the commenter's request. Paragraph F., “Approval,” of Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-264, dated May 15, 2015; and Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-146, dated May 15, 2015, specifies that the actions in those service bulletins as well as the service bulletins specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD terminate the actions required by paragraph (a) of AD 2002-13-10, Amendment 39-12798 (67 FR 45053, July 8, 2002) (“AD 2002-13-10”), paragraph (a) of AD 2003-07-14, Amendment 39-13110 (68 FR 17544, April 10, 2003) (“AD 2003-07-14”), and paragraph (j) of AD 2011-11-05, Amendment 39-16704 (76 FR 31462, June 1, 2011) (“AD 2011-11-05”). We have revised paragraph (k) of this AD accordingly.

    Request To Withdraw the NPRM

    United Parcel Service (UPS) requested that we withdraw the NPRM. UPS pointed out that the NPRM includes no new requirements or information. UPS indicated that no new requirements or actions would create an undue burden on operators because existing internal paperwork and records must then be revised to provide proof of compliance.

    We acknowledge the commenter's concerns; however, we disagree with the request to withdraw the NPRM. AD 2003-07-14 was affected by AD 2016-04-16 but was inadvertently left out of AD 2016-04-16. This AD corrects that oversight and includes AD 2003-07-14 as an affected AD. Additionally, this AD provides new optional terminating actions that affect AD 2003-07-14 as well as AD 2002-13-10 and AD 2011-11-05.

    Request To Include Updated Service Information

    UPS requested that we revise the NPRM to include a later revision of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003. UPS pointed out that the new fuel pump housing assembly that is created by installation of the new connectors was not added until Revision N of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003. Additionally, UPS mentioned that Revision R of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003 was in the approval process at the time the comment was submitted.

    We agree with the request to include the latest published version of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003. We referred to Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision M, including Appendices A through D, dated July 25, 2014, as an appropriate source of service information in the NPRM. Revision R of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, including Appendices A through D, dated May 9, 2018, includes new part numbers for Critical Design Configuration Control Limitation (CDCCL) 28-2 and updates certain special compliance items to include additional procedures for airplanes with a certain configuration. We have added paragraph (l) to this AD to include Revision R of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, including Appendices B through D, dated May 9, 2018, as an optional revision to paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, and we have redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly. We are considering further rulemaking to require revising the maintenance or inspection program to include Revision R of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, including Appendices B through D, dated May 9, 2018.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD 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 AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following Boeing service information.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-28A253, dated June 5, 2014; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-28A133, dated June 5, 2014. This service information describes procedures for replacing the fuel pump control relays with fault current detectors and changing the fuel tank boost/transfer pump wire termination. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

    • Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-256, dated June 24, 2014; and Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-137, dated June 24, 2014. This service information describes procedures for changing the fuel pump control and indication system wiring. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

    • Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision M, including Appendices A through D, dated July 25, 2014; and Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision R, including Appendices A through D, dated May 9, 2018; which include CDCCLs, ALIs, and short-term extensions in Appendices B, C, and D, respectively. This service information describes fuel ALIs that address ignition sources. These documents are distinct since Revision R includes additional requirements.

    • Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-264, dated May 15, 2015, and Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-146, dated May 15, 2015. This service information describes procedures for replacement of the fuel pump housing electrical connector, associated wires, fuel tank feed-through components, and installing sealed terminal lugs on the fuel pump wiring, or replacement of the fuel pump housing, associated wires, fuel tank feed-through components, and installing sealed terminal lugs on the fuel pump. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 341 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Installing design features using a method approved by the FAA (retained actions from AD 2016-04-16) 152 work-hours × $85 per hour = $12,920 $137,500 $150,420 $51,293,220. Installing design features using service information (retained optional actions from AD 2016-04-16) 98 work-hours × $85 per hour = $8,330 109,000 117,330 40,009,530.
    Estimated Costs for Optional Terminating Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Option 1: Replace connectors for Model DC-10 and MD-10 (122 airplanes) 68 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,780 $54,842 $60,622. Option 1: Replace connectors for Model MD-11 (124 airplanes) 59 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,015 $67,031 $72,046. Option 2: Replace fuel pump housings for Model DC-10 and MD-10 (122 airplanes) Up to 81 work-hours × $85 per hour = $6,885 Up to $54,842 Up to $61,727. Option 2: Replace fuel pump housings for Model MD-11 (124 airplanes) Up to 77 work-hours × $85 per hour = $6,545 Up to $67,031 Up to $73,576.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

    We have determined that 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-04-16, Amendment 39-18410 (81 FR 12806, March 11, 2016), and adding the following new AD: 2018-22-10 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19483; Docket No. FAA-2018-0510; Product Identifier 2017-NM-115-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    (1) This AD replaces AD 2016-04-16, Amendment 39-18410 (81 FR 12806, March 11, 2016) (“AD 2016-04-16”).

    (2) This AD affects AD 2002-13-10, Amendment 39-12798 (67 FR 45053, July 8, 2002) (“AD 2002-13-10”).

    (3) This AD affects AD 2003-07-14, Amendment 39-13110 (68 FR 17544, April 10, 2003) (“AD 2003-07-14”).

    (4) This AD affects AD 2008-06-21 R1, Amendment 39-16100 (74 FR 61504, November 25, 2009) (“AD 2008-06-21 R1”).

    (5) This AD affects AD 2011-11-05, Amendment 39-16704 (76 FR 31462, June 1, 2011) (“AD 2011-11-05”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category.

    (1) Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, and DC-10-40F airplanes.

    (2) Model MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, MD-11, and MD-11F airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a fuel system review conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to address the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Restatement of Paragraph (g) of AD 2016-04-16, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2016-04-16, with no changes. Except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD: As of 48 months after April 15, 2016 (the effective date of AD 2016-04-16), no person may operate any airplane affected by this AD unless an amended type certificate or supplemental type certificate that incorporates the design features and requirements described in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD has been approved by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, and those design features are installed on the airplane to meet the criteria specified in section 25.981(a) and (d) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.981(a) and (d), at Amendment 25-125 (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFAR.nsf/0/339DAEE3E0A6379D862574CF00641951?OpenDocument)). For airplanes on which Boeing-installed auxiliary fuel tanks are removed, the actions specified in this AD for the auxiliary fuel tanks are not required.

    (1) For all airplanes: Each electrically powered alternating current (AC) fuel pump installed in any fuel tank that normally empties during flight and each pump that is partially covered by a lowering fuel level—such as main tanks, center wing tanks, auxiliary fuel tanks installed by the airplane manufacturer, and tail tanks—must have a protective device installed to detect electrical faults that can cause arcing and burn through of the fuel pump housing and pump electrical connector. The same device must shut off the pump by automatically removing electrical power from the pump when such faults are detected. When a fuel pump is shut off resulting from detection of an electrical fault, the device must stay latched off, until the fault is cleared through maintenance action and the pump is verified safe for operation.

    (2) For airplanes with a 2-person flightcrew: Additional design features, if not originally installed by the airplane manufacturer, must be installed to meet 3 criteria: To detect a running fuel pump in a tank that is normally emptied during flight, to provide an indication to the flightcrew that the tank is empty, and to automatically shut off that fuel pump. The prospective pump indication and shutoff system must automatically shut off each pump in case the flightcrew does not shut off a pump running dry in an empty tank within 60 seconds after each fuel tank is emptied. An airplane flight manual supplement (AFMS) that includes flightcrew manual pump shutoff procedures in the Limitations section of the AFMS must be submitted to the Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, for approval.

    (3) For airplanes with a 3-person flightcrew: Additional design features, if not originally installed by the airplane manufacturer, must be installed to detect when a fuel pump in a tank that is normally emptied during flight is running in an empty fuel tank, and to provide an indication to the flightcrew that the tank is empty. The flight engineer must manually shut off each pump running dry in an empty tank within 60 seconds after the tank is emptied. The AFMS Limitations section must be revised to specify that this pump shutoff must be done by the flight engineer.

    (4) For all airplanes with tanks that normally empty during flight: Separate means must be provided to detect and shut off a pump that was previously commanded to be shut off automatically or manually but remained running in an empty tank during flight.

    (h) Restatement of Paragraph (h) of AD 2016-04-16, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (h) of AD 2016-04-16, with no changes. In lieu of doing the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD.

    (1) For MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (h)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) As of 48 months after April 15, 2016 (the effective date of AD 2016-04-16), change the fuel pump control and indication system wiring, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-137, dated June 24, 2014.

    (ii) Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this AD: Replace the fuel pump control relays with fault current detectors, and change the fuel tank boost/transfer pump wire termination, in accordance with Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-28A133, dated June 5, 2014.

    (2) For Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) As of 48 months after April 15, 2016 (the effective date of AD 2016-04-16), change the fuel pump control and indication system wiring, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-256, dated June 24, 2014.

    (ii) Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (h)(2)(i) of this AD: Replace the fuel pump control relays with fault current detectors, and change the fuel tank boost/transfer pump wire termination, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-28A253, dated June 5, 2014.

    (3) For all airplanes: Within 30 days after accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, or within 30 days after April 15, 2016 (the effective date of AD 2016-04-16), whichever occurs later, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs), Airworthiness Limitation Instructions (ALIs), and short-term extensions specified in Appendices B, C, and D of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item (SCI) Report MDC-02K1003, Revision M, dated July 25, 2014. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions specified in the ALIs is at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD. Revising the maintenance or inspection program required by this paragraph terminates the requirements in paragraphs (g) and (h) of AD 2008-06-21 R1.

    (i) At the applicable time specified in Appendix C of Boeing Trijet SCI Report MDC-02K1003, Revision M, dated July 25, 2014, except as provided by Appendix D of Boeing Trijet SCI Report MDC-02K1003, Revision M, dated July 25, 2014.

    (ii) Within 30 days after accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable; or within 30 days after April 15, 2016 (the effective date of AD 2016-04-16); whichever occurs later.

    (i) Restatement of Paragraph (i) of AD 2016-04-16, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2016-04-16, with no changes. If the option in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD is accomplished: After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as provided by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (j) Restatement of Paragraph (j) of AD 2016-04-16, With Additional AD Reference and Clarification of Provisions

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (j) of AD 2016-04-16, with an additional AD reference and clarification of the provisions. Accomplishment of the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, as applicable, extends the 18-month interval for the repetitive inspections and tests required by paragraph (a) of AD 2002-13-10; the 18-month interval for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (a) of AD 2003-07-14; and the 18-month interval for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (j) of AD 2011-11-05; to 24-month intervals for pumps affected by those ADs, regardless if the pump is installed in a tank that normally empties, provided the remaining actions required by those three ADs have been accomplished.

    (k) New Provision of This AD: Optional Terminating Action

    For airplanes on which the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1)(ii) or (h)(2)(ii) have been done: Replacing the electrical connectors or fuel pump housing in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-264, dated May 15, 2015; or Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-146, dated May 15, 2015, as applicable; terminates the repetitive inspections and tests required by paragraph (a) of AD 2002-13-10, paragraph (a) of AD 2003-07-14, and paragraph (j) of AD 2011-11-05.

    (l) New Provision of This AD: Optional Revision

    (1) In lieu of accomplishing the revision specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD: Within the compliance time specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, operators may revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the CDCCLs, ALIs, and short-term extensions specified in Appendices B, C, and D of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision R, dated May 9, 2018. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions specified in the ALIs is at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (l)(1)(i) and (l)(1)(ii) of this AD. Revising the maintenance or inspection program specified in this paragraph terminates the requirements in paragraphs (g) and (h) of AD 2008-06-21 R1.

    (i) At the applicable time specified in Appendix C of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision R, dated May 9, 2018, except as provided by Appendix D of Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision R, dated May 9, 2018.

    (ii) Within 30 days after accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable; or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD; whichever occurs later.

    (2) If the optional revision specified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD is accomplished: After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as provided by paragraph (1)(1) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, or CDCCLs are approved as an AMOC in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(4)(i) and (m)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

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

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

    (n) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Serj Harutunian, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5254; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (o) 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.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on December 12, 2018.

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-264, dated May 15, 2015.

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-146, dated May 15, 2015.

    (iii) Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision R, including Appendices A through D, dated May 9, 2018.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on April 15, 2016 (81 FR 12806, March 11, 2016).

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-28A253, dated June 5, 2014.

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-256, dated June 24, 2014.

    (iii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-28A133, dated June 5, 2014.

    (iv) Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-28-137, dated June 24, 2014.

    (v) Boeing Trijet Special Compliance Item Report MDC-02K1003, Revision M, including Appendices A through D, dated July 25, 2014.

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

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on October 24, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23822 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0404; Product Identifier 2018-NE-15-AD; Amendment 39-19468; AD 2018-21-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines (IAE) Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by reports of in-flight engine shutdowns and aborted take-offs as the result of certain parts affecting the durability of the rear high-pressure compressor (HPC) rotor hub knife edge seal. This AD requires replacing the diffuser case air seal assembly, the high-pressure turbine (HPT) 2nd-stage vane assembly, and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly with parts eligible for installation. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact International Aero Engines, 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT, 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; internet: http://fleetcare.pw.utc.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0404.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0404; 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 IAE PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2018 (83 FR 26887). The NPRM was prompted by reports of in-flight engine shutdowns and aborted take-offs as the result of certain parts affecting the durability of the rear HPC rotor hub knife edge seal. The NPRM proposed to require replacing the diffuser case air seal assembly, the HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly with parts eligible for installation. 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 Change Compliance Time

    Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) requested that paragraph (g) of this AD be changed to indicate by which cycle, hour, or date the “engine shop visit” and associated actions must be accomplished. ALPA stated that “at the next engine shop visit” is not prescriptive enough to ensure that affected parts are identified and removed from service within a timely manner.

    We disagree. We determined that removal of the affected parts at the next engine shop visit resolves the unsafe condition within our risk guidelines. Therefore, we did not change this AD.

    Request To Clarify Applicability

    ALPA requested that we clarify whether engines repaired per paragraph (g) of this AD would be considered “affected engines” as described in AD 2018-04-01 (83 FR 6791, February 15, 2018), and what operational restrictions, if any, would exist on the engines repaired.

    We partially agree. We agree that engines repaired per paragraph (g) of this AD are not “affected engines” as described in AD 2018-04-01. We disagree that adding clarification in paragraph (g) of this AD is necessary, because we released a Global Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) to paragraph (h) of AD 2018-04-01 (83 FR 6791, February 15, 2018). The Global AMOC removed the operational restrictions on an affected engine if Pratt & Whitney (PW) Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018 procedures were performed and the affected parts removed. Therefore, we did not change the AD.

    Request To Clarify Affected Engine Serial Numbers (ESNs)

    European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) requested that we explain why paragraph (c) of this AD is limited to affected engines with ESNs P770450 to P770614, inclusive. EASA noted that PW ASB PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018 identifies a substantially larger population, P770101 to P770614 inclusive, of affected engines.

    We limited this AD to ESNs P770450 to P770614 because the affected part numbers are not known to be installed in earlier engine models. Therefore, we did not change this AD.

    Request To Limit Applicability

    All Nippon Airways requested that we limit the paragraph (c) of this AD to affected engines with diffuser case air seal assembly, part number (P/N) 30G4993-01, the HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572, and HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672, installed.

    We agree. We revised the paragraph (c) of this AD to list only those engines with ESNs P770450 through P770614 with diffuser case air seal assembly, P/N 30G4993-01; HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572; and HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672, installed.

    Request To Clarify Method of Compliance

    Hawaiian Airlines stated engines that have incorporated PW ASB PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018, or later revisions, should be shown as having complied with this AD.

    We agree. PW ASB PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018 can be used as a method to comply with paragraph (g) of this AD, because it requires removing and replacing the affected part numbers.

    Request To Clarify How To Demonstrate Compliance

    Hawaiian Airlines stated that complying with this AD would require removal of the diffuser case air seal assembly, P/N 30G4993-01; the HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572; and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672 at the next engine shop visit. However, none of these P/Ns are individually documented by IAE or PW, either upon delivery or on maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) documentation. Therefore, it would be difficult to demonstrate compliance with paragraph (g) of this AD.

    We disagree. The operator must verify that their products comply with paragraph (g) of this AD. If overhaul facilities are used to perform maintenance, then documentation of the work completed must be provided to the operator to verify compliance with paragraph (g) of this AD. Therefore, we did not change this AD.

    Request To Explain Differences in Applicability Between AD and Service Information

    EASA requested that we explain why this AD applies to more engine models than PW ASB PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018.

    We disagree. This AD applies to all IAE PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines, because they are approved under type certificate, E00087EN. The PW ASB PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018 only applies to PW1100G-JM engine models that are currently in service. Therefore, we did not change this AD.

    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. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

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

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

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed PW ASB PW1000G-C-72-00-0099-00A-930A-D, Issue No. 002, dated March 15, 2018. This ASB describes procedures for the disassembly, removal, and replacement of the diffuser case air seal assembly, P/N 30G4993-01; the HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572; and the HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672.

    Interim Action

    We consider this AD interim action. The manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 16 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Removing and replacing parts 0 work-hours × $85 per hour = $0 $44,000 $44,000 $704,000
    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): 2018-21-10 International Aero Engines: Amendment 39-19468; Docket No. FAA-2018-0404; Product Identifier 2018-NE-15-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with engine serial numbers (ESNs) P770450 through P770614, and with diffuser case air seal assembly part number (P/Ns) 30G4993-01, high-pressure turbine (HPT) 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572, or HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672, installed.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of in-flight engine shutdowns and aborted take-offs that were the result of a failed knife edge seal on affected engines with ESNs P770450 through P770614. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the rear high-pressure compressor rotor hub knife edge seal. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    At the next engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, do the following:

    (1) Remove from service the diffuser case air seal assembly, P/N 30G4993-01, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (2) Remove from service the HPT 2nd-stage vane assembly, P/N 30G7572, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (3) Remove from service HPT 2nd-stage borescope stator vane assembly, P/N 30G7672, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (h) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, an ”engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges (lettered flanges). The separation of engine flanges solely for the purpose of transportation of the engine without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (j) Related Information

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

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on October 31, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24239 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0908; Product Identifier 2018-NM-136-AD; Amendment 39-19486; AD 2018-22-13] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a technical issue detected on the inboard aileron electro-hydrostatic actuators that caused potential erroneous monitoring of those actuators. This AD requires revising the airplane flight manual to provide the flightcrew with updated procedures related to inboard aileron fault operations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective November 23, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 23, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0908.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0908; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0213, dated October 1, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A technical issue was detected on the inboard aileron electro-hydrostatic actuators, causing potential erroneous monitoring of those actuators. Consequently, in-flight loss of inboard aileron control may occur, which, due to the resulting drag, would lead to increased fuel consumption.

    This condition, if not corrected, and if combined with one engine inoperative, could result in reduced control or performance of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued the AFM [airplane flight manual] TR [temporary revision] and Flight Operations Transmission (FOT) 999.0062/18, informing operators that Airbus provides two different Airbus Temporary Quick Changes (ATQC) to the Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM), depending on the installed FWS [flight warning system] standard, either STD S4/2.0 or STD S5/2.2, as applicable, and issued the applicable SB [service bulletin] accordingly, providing modification instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires amendment of the applicable AFM and installation of ATQC V4, followed by ECAM Temporary Change (ETC) activation, to update the procedures related to inboard aileron fault operations.

    This AD is considered to be an interim action and further AD action may follow.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0908.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus A350 Temporary Revision (TR) 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018, which provides updated procedures related to inboard aileron fault operations. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires revising the Abnormal Procedures section of the AFM, as specified in the service information described previously.

    Difference Between This AD and the MCAI

    In addition to the AFM revision, the MCAI requires installing two different ATQCs to the ECAM. We are considering requiring the installation of the ATQCs, but the planned compliance time for these actions would allow enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of the installations.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because erroneous monitoring of the inboard aileron electro-hydrostatic actuators could result in in-flight loss of inboard aileron control, consequent increased fuel consumption due to the resulting drag, and reduced control or performance of the airplane if one engine is also inoperative. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0908; Product Identifier 2018-NM-136-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 11 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $935
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-22-13 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19486; Docket No. FAA-2018-0908; Product Identifier 2018-NM-136-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective November 23, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes, certificated in any category, except those on which the modifications specified in paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this AD, as applicable, have been embodied in production.

    (1) Airbus modifications 113759 and 113758.

    (2) Airbus modifications 113760 and 113758.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a technical issue detected on the inboard aileron electro-hydrostatic actuators that caused potential erroneous monitoring of those actuators. We are issuing this AD to address possible in-flight loss of inboard aileron control, consequent increased fuel consumption due to the resulting drag, and reduced control or performance of the airplane if one engine is also inoperative.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Revision of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Abnormal Procedures section of the AFM to include the information in Airbus A350 Temporary Revision (TR) 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018, which introduces updated procedures related to inboard aileron fault operations. This may be done by inserting a copy of TR 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018, into the AFM. When TR 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018, has been included in general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted into the AFM, provided the relevant information in the general revisions is identical to that in TR 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018, and the TR may be removed. Operate the airplane according to the procedures in TR 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018. In case any discrepancy is identified between procedures displayed on the electronic centralized aircraft monitoring (ECAM) and procedures stated in the applicable AFM, the AFM procedures prevail.

    (h) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2018-0213, dated October 1, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0908.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus A350 Temporary Revision (TR) 113, Issue 1.0, dated July 27, 2018.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; internet http://www.airbus.com.

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on October 22, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-23991 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0431; Product Identifier 2018-NE-16-AD; Amendment 39-19475; AD 2018-22-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with a certain high-pressure compressor (HPC) front hub installed. This AD was prompted by corrosion found on the HPC front hub. This AD requires replacing the HPC front hub 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 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact International Aero Engines (IAE), 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT, 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; internet: http://fleetcare.pw.utc.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0431.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0431; 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 IAE PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with a certain HPC front hub installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2018 (83 FR 30370). The NPRM was prompted by a report that corrosion was found on HPC front hub, part number (P/N) 30G2401. The HPC front hub exhibited deposits that could not be removed using standard procedures and worsened over time. After further investigation, pitting corrosion was found below the painted surface. This condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained HPC front hub release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane. The NPRM proposed to require replacing the HPC front hub with a part eligible for installation. 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. We have considered the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request Clarification on CSN Limit

    All Nippon Airways requested that we clarify which cycles since new (CSN) limit for this AD is correct. ANA stated the PW Service Bulletin PW1000G-C-72-00-0106-00A-930A-D, dated June 15, 2018 specifies a limit of 4,400 cycles since new (CSN), while paragraph (g) of this AD specifies a limit of 4,440 CSN.

    We disagree. The AD limit of 4,440 CSN is correct. We found that 4,440 CSN provides an acceptable level of safety, and reducing the CSN limit in this AD to match the SB is not required. Therefore, we did not change this AD.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed Section PW1000G-C-05-10-00-02A-288A-D of the PW1100G-JM Series Airworthiness Limitations Manual, P/N 5316993, dated September 30, 2015. Section PW1000G-C-05-10-00-02A-288A-D provides guidance for an approved FAA method of mixed model cycles since new calculation.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 16 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Replace HPC front hub 0 work-hours × $85 per hour = $85 $11,600 $11,600 $185,600
    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): AD 2018-22-02 International Aero Engines: Amendment 39-19475; Docket No. FAA-2018-0431; Product Identifier 2018-NE-16-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 12, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to International Aero Engines (IAE) PW1133G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, PW1130G-JM, PW1127G-JM, PW1127GA-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, and PW1122G-JM turbofan engines with a high-pressure compressor (HPC) front hub, part number (P/N) 30G2401, installed.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by corrosion found on the HPC front hub, P/N 30G2401, installed. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking and failure of the HPC front hub. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained HPC front hub release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Remove from service the HPC front hub, P/N 30G2401, within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, or as follows, whichever occurs later, and replace with a part eligible for installation:

    (1) For PW1122G-JM, PW1124G1-JM, PW1124G-JM, PW1127G1-JM, PW1127GA-JM, and PW1127G-JM engines, remove the HPC front hub before exceeding 6,180 cycles since new (CSN) or within five years since the ship date listed in Table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For PW1130G-JM, PW1133GA-JM, and PW1133G-JM engines, remove the HPC front hub before exceeding 4,440 CSN or within four years since the ship date listed in Table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (3) For engines operating as a mix of models listed in paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD, remove the HPC front hub using a CSN calculated by an approved FAA method or within four years since the ship date listed in Table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, whichever occurs first. You may find guidance for an approved FAA method of mixed model CSN calculation in Section PW1000G-C-05-10-00-02A-288A-D of the PW1100G-JM Series Airworthiness Limitations Manual, P/N 5316993, dated September 30, 2015.

    (4) For any HPC front hub, P/N 30G2401, whose serial number is not listed in Table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, use October 21, 2015, as the ship date.

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P ER07NO18.001 ER07NO18.002 ER07NO18.003 ER07NO18.004 ER07NO18.005 BILLING CODE 4910-13-C (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (i) Related Information

    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]

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Burlington, MA, on November 01, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24250 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Part 418 [Docket No. SSA-2018-0041] RIN 0960-AI37 Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts for Medicare Part B and Prescription Drug Coverage Premiums AGENCY:

    Social Security Administration.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) changed the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) ranges associated with Medicare Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums for years beginning in 2018. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) revised the MAGI ranges again for years beginning with 2019. We consider a beneficiary's MAGI and tax filing status to determine: The percentage of the unsubsidized Medicare Part B premium that the beneficiary must pay; and the percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage the beneficiary must pay. This final rule makes our regulations consistent with the MAGI ranges specified by MACRA and BBA 2018.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Murphy, Office of Income Security Programs, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-9090. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    For Medicare Part B, the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) is the amount that a beneficiary must pay in addition to the Medicare Part B standard monthly premium when the beneficiary's MAGI is above a specified threshold.1 For Medicare prescription drug coverage, IRMAA is an amount that a beneficiary will pay in addition to the Medicare prescription drug coverage plan monthly premium when the beneficiary's MAGI is above the specified threshold.2

    1 Medicare Part B standard monthly premiums may also be increased for late enrollment and for reenrollment. See 42 CFR 408.22 for an explanation.

    2 Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums may also be increased for the reasons found in 42 CFR 423.286.

    To determine a beneficiary's IRMAA, we consider the beneficiary's MAGI, together with tax filing status, to determine: (1) The percentage of the unsubsidized Medicare Part B premium the beneficiary must pay; and (2) the percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage that the beneficiary must pay.

    In our regulations, we use lists and tables to show the MAGI ranges we use to determine IRMAA for specific years. The lists associated with both Medicare Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage specify the MAGI ranges. The tables associated with Medicare Part B show, within each MAGI range, the percentage of the unsubsidized Medicare Part B premium that beneficiaries must pay and the percentage that will be subsidized by contributions from the Federal Government. The tables associated with prescription drug coverage show, within each MAGI range, the percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage the beneficiaries must pay.

    MACRA 3 changed the MAGI ranges associated with Medicare Part B and prescription drug coverage premiums for years beginning in 2018. BBA 2018 4 changed the MAGI ranges associated with Medicare Part B and prescription drug coverage premiums for years beginning in 2019. Based on these changes, we revised the lists and tables to show the updated MAGI ranges and associated figures for 2018 and for years beginning in 2019. In each case, the MAGI ranges are subject to an inflation adjustment for calendar years beginning in 2020, as we explain in sections 418.1105(c), 418.1115(e), 418.2105(c), and 418.2115(e).

    3 Public Law 114-10, section 402, 129 Stat. 87, 160.

    4 Public Law 115-123, section 53114.

    Explanation of Changes

    The changes detailed below make our regulations consistent with the updates specified by MACRA and BBA 2018.

    In § 418.1115 and § 418.2115, we updated the lists of MAGI ranges for beneficiaries of all tax filing statuses for 2018 and for years beginning in 2019.

    In § 418.1120 and § 418.2120, we added tables to show the figures that are applicable for 2018 and for years beginning in 2019. The tables in § 418.1120 show the updated MAGI ranges, and within each range, the percentage of the unsubsidized Medicare Part B premium that will be paid by beneficiaries and the percentage of the Medicare Part B premium that will be subsidized by contributions from the Federal Government. The tables in § 418.2120 show the updated MAGI ranges, and within each range, the percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage that beneficiaries will pay.

    We also made minor conforming changes in these sections.

    Regulatory Procedures

    We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when we develop regulations. Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing a final rule. The APA provides exceptions to its notice and public comment procedures when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

    We find that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to issue this regulatory change as a final rule without prior public comment. We find that prior public comment is unnecessary because this final rule merely makes our regulations (20 CFR 418.1115, 418.1120, 418.2115, and 418.2120) consistent with the MAGI ranges specified by MACRA and BBA 2018. BBA 2018 indicated that the new amounts for 2019 must be in place by calendar year 2019. Importantly, we have no agency discretion for establishing these figures. Accordingly, we find there is good cause to issue this final rule without prior public comment.

    In addition, we find that there is good cause for dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of a substantive rule provided by 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). As we explained above, these final rules merely make our regulations consistent with the MAGI ranges specified by Congress in the law. Those MAGI ranges need to be in place by calendar year 2019. We find that it is unnecessary to delay the effective date of the final rule because the rule merely reflects the changes to the law that Congress has already made. In addition, we find that it is in the public interest to make this final rule effective on the date of publication in order to ensure that our rules accurately reflect the statute when the MAGI ranges for 2019 become effective.

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, as Supplemented by E.O. 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866, as supplemented by E.O. 13563. Thus, OMB did not review the final rule.

    We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language requirement of E.O. 12866.

    E.O. 13132 (Federalism)

    We analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and criteria established by Executive Order 13132, and determined that the rule will not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism assessment. We also determined that this rule will not preempt any State law or State regulation or affect the States' abilities to discharge traditional State governmental functions.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that these rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they affect individuals only. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended.

    E.O. 13771

    This regulation does not impose novel costs on the public and as such is considered an exempt regulatory action under E.O. 13771.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not create any new or affect any existing collections and, therefore, does not require Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security—Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security—Retirement Insurance; 96.004, Social Security—Survivors Insurance; and 96.006, Supplemental Security Income). List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 418

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Blind, Disability benefits, Medicare, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, we amend subpart B and subpart C of part 418 of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 418—MEDICARE SUBSIDIES Subpart B—Medicare Part B Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount 1. The authority citation for subpart B of part 418 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 702(a)(5) and 1839(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5) and 1395r(i)).

    2. Amend § 418.1001 by revising the first sentence of the introductory text to read as follows:
    § 418.1001 What is this subpart about?

    This subpart relates to section 1839(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act), as amended. * * *

    3. Amend § 418.1115 by: a. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (a); and b. Revising paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 418.1115 What are the modified adjusted gross income ranges?

    (a) We list the modified adjusted gross income ranges for the calendar years 2011 through and including 2017, 2018, and for years beginning in 2019 for each Federal tax filing category in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section. * * *

    (b) The modified adjusted gross income ranges for individuals with a Federal tax filing status of single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, and married filing separately when the individual has lived apart from his/her spouse for the entire tax year for the year we use to make our income-related monthly adjustment amount determination are as follows.

    (1) For calendar years 2011 through and including 2017—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000;

    (ii) Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $160,000;

    (iii) Greater than $160,000 but less than or equal to $214,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $214,000.

    (2) For calendar year 2018—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000;

    (ii) Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500;

    (iii) Greater than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $160,000

    (3) For calendar years beginning with 2019—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000;

    (ii) Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500;

    (iii) Greater than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000;

    (iv) Greater than $160,000 but less than $500,000; and

    (v) Greater than or equal to $500,000.

    (c) The modified adjusted gross income ranges for individuals who are married and filed a joint tax return for the tax year we use to make the income-related monthly adjustment amount determination are as follows.

    (1) For calendar years 2011 through and including 2017—

    (i) Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000;

    (ii) Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $320,000;

    (iii) Greater than $320,000 but less than or equal to $428,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $428,000.

    (2) For calendar year 2018—

    (i) Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000;

    (ii) Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000;

    (iii) Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $320,000.

    (3) For calendar years beginning in 2019—

    (i) Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000;

    (ii) Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000;

    (iii) Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000;

    (iv) Greater than $320,000 but less than $750,000; and

    (v) Greater than or equal to $750,000.

    (d) The modified adjusted gross income ranges for married individuals who file a separate return and have lived with their spouse at any time during the tax year we use to make the income-related monthly adjustment amount determination are as follows.

    (1) For calendar years 2011 through and including 2017—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $129,000; and

    (ii) Greater than $129,000.

    (2) For calendar year 2018—Greater than $85,000.

    (3) For calendar years beginning in 2019—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than $415,000; and

    (ii) Greater than or equal to $415,000.

    (e)(1) Subject to paragraph (e)(2) of this section, in 2019, CMS will set the modified adjusted gross income ranges for 2020 and publish them in the Federal Register. In each year thereafter, CMS will set the modified adjusted gross income ranges by increasing the preceding year's ranges by any percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index rounded to the nearest $1,000 and will publish the amounts for the following year in September of each year.

    (2) The amounts listed in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of $415,000, $500,000, and $750,000 will not be adjusted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section until 2028. Beginning in 2027, and in each year thereafter, CMS will adjust these range amounts for the following year under paragraph (e)(1) of this section and publish the updated ranges in the Federal Register.

    4. Amend § 418.1120 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 418.1120 How do we determine your income-related monthly adjustment amount?

    (b) Tables of applicable percentage. The tables in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section contain the modified adjusted gross income ranges for calendar years 2011 through and including 2017, 2018, and beginning in 2019 in the column on the left in each table. The middle column in each table shows the percentage of the unsubsidized Medicare Part B premium that will be paid by individuals with modified adjusted gross income that falls within each of the ranges. The column on the right in each table shows the percentage of the Medicare Part B premium that will be subsidized by contributions from the Federal Government. We use your tax filing status and your modified adjusted gross income for the tax year to determine which income-related monthly adjustment amount to apply to you. The dollar amount of income-related monthly adjustment for each range will be set annually for each year after 2019 as described in paragraph (c) of this section. The modified adjusted gross income ranges will be adjusted annually after 2019 as described in § 418.1115(e).

    (1) General tables of applicable percentages. If, for the tax year, we use your filing status for your Federal income taxes for the tax year is single; head of household; qualifying widow(er) with dependent child; or married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for the entire tax year, we will use the general tables of applicable percentages. When your modified adjusted gross income for the year we use is in the range listed in the left column in the following tables, then the Federal Government's Part B premium subsidy of 75 percent is reduced to the percentage listed in the right column. You will pay an amount based on the percentage listed in the center column.

    Table 1 to paragraph (b)(1): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2011-2017 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000 35 65 Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $160,000 50 50 Greater than $160,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 65 35 Greater than $214,000 80 20
    Table 2 to paragraph (b)(1): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2018 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000 35 65 Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500 50 50 Greater than $133,500 less than or equal to $160,000 65 35 Greater than $160,000 80 20
    Table 3 to paragraph (b)(1): Modified adjusted gross income effective beginning in 2019 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000 35 65 Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500 50 50 Greater than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000 65 35 Greater than $160,000 but less than $500,000 80 20 Greater than or equal to $500,000 85 15

    (2) Tables of applicable percentages for joint returns. If, for the tax year, we use your Federal tax filing status is married filing jointly for the tax year and your modified adjusted gross income for that tax year is in the range listed in the left column in the following tables, then the Federal Government's Part B premium subsidy of 75 percent is reduced to the percentage listed in the right column. You will pay an amount based on the percentage listed in the center column.

    Table 1 to paragraph (b)(2): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2011-2017 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 35 65 Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $320,000 50 50 Greater than $320,000 but less than or equal to $428,000 65 35 Greater than $428,000 80 20
    Table 2 to paragraph (b)(2): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2018 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 35 65 Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000 50 50 Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000 65 35 Greater than $320,000 80 20
    Table 3 to paragraph (b)(2): Modified adjusted gross income effective beginning in 2019 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 35 65 Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000 50 50 Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000 65 35 Greater than $320,000 but less than $750,000 80 20 Greater than or equal to $750,000 85 15

    (3) Tables of applicable percentages for married individuals filing separate returns. If, for the tax year, we use your Federal tax filing status is married filing separately, you lived with your spouse at some time during that tax year, and your modified adjusted gross income is in the range listed in the left column in the following tables, then the Federal Government's Part B premium subsidy of 75 percent is reduced to the percentage listed in the right column. You will pay an amount based on the percentage listed in the center column.

    Table 1 to paragraph (b)(3): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2011-2017 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $129,000 65 35 Greater than $129,000 80 20
    Table 2 to paragraph (b)(3): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2018 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 80 20
    Table 3 to paragraph (b)(3): Modified adjusted gross income effective beginning in 2019 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Federal
  • premium
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than $415,000 80 20 Greater than or equal to $415,000 85 15
    Subpart C—Income-Related Monthly Adjustments to Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Premiums 5. The authority citation for subpart C of part 418 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 702(a)(5), 1860D-13(a) and (c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1395w-113(a) and (c)).

    6. Amend § 418.2115 by: a. Revising the first sentence in paragraph (a); and b. Revising paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 418.2115 What are the modified adjusted gross income ranges?

    (a) We list the modified adjusted gross income ranges for the calendar years 2011 through and including 2017, 2018, and beginning in 2019 for each Federal tax filing category in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section. * * *

    (b) The modified adjusted gross income ranges for individuals with a Federal tax filing status of single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, and married filing separately when the individual has lived apart from his/her spouse for the entire tax year for the year we use to make our income-related monthly adjustment amount determination are as follows:

    (1) For calendar years 2011 through and including 2017—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000;

    (ii) Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $160,000;

    (iii) Greater than $160,000 but less than or equal to $214,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $214,000.

    (2) For calendar year 2018—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than $107,000;

    (ii) Greater than $107,000 but less than $133,500;

    (iii) Greater than $133,500 but less than $160,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $160,000.

    (3) For calendar years beginning in 2019—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000;

    (ii) Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500;

    (iii) Greater than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000;

    (iv) Greater than $160,000 but less than $500,000; and

    (v) Greater than or equal to $500,000.

    (c) The modified adjusted gross income ranges for individuals who are married and filed a joint tax return for the tax year we use to make the income-related monthly adjustment amount determination are as follows.

    (1) For calendar years 2011 through 2017—

    (i) Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000;

    (ii) Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $320,000;

    (iii) Greater than $320,000 but less than or equal to $428,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $428,000.

    (2) For calendar year 2018—

    (i) Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000;

    (ii) Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000;

    (iii) Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000; and

    (iv) Greater than $320,000.

    (3) For calendar years beginning in 2019—

    (i) Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000;

    (ii) Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000;

    (iii) Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000;

    (iv) Greater than $320,000 but less than $750,000; and

    (v) Greater than or equal to $750,000.

    (d) The modified adjusted gross income ranges for married individuals who file a separate return and have lived with their spouse at any time during the tax year we use to make the income-related monthly adjustment amount determination are as follows:

    (1) For calendar years 2011 through and including 2017—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $129,000; and

    (ii) Greater than $129,000.

    (2) For calendar year 2018—Greater than $85,000.

    (3) For calendar years beginning in 2019—

    (i) Greater than $85,000 but less than $415,000; and

    (ii) Greater than or equal to $415,000.

    (e)(1) Subject to paragraph (e)(2) of this section, in 2019, CMS will set the modified adjusted gross income ranges for 2020 and publish them in the Federal Register. In each year thereafter, CMS will set the modified adjusted gross income ranges by increasing the preceding year's ranges by any percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index rounded to the nearest $1,000 and will publish the amounts for the following year in September of each year.

    (2) The amounts listed in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of $415,000, $500,000, and $750,000 will not be adjusted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section until 2028. Beginning in 2027, and in each year thereafter, CMS will adjust these range amounts for the following year under paragraph (e)(1) of this section and publish the updated ranges in the Federal Register.

    7. Amend § 418.2120 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 418.2120 How do we determine your income-related monthly adjustment amount?

    (b) Tables of applicable percentage. The tables in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section contain the modified adjusted gross income ranges for calendar years 2011 through and including 2017, 2018, and 2019, and the corresponding percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage that individuals with modified adjusted gross incomes that fall within each of the ranges will pay. The monthly dollar amounts will be determined by CMS using the formula in section 1860D-13(a)(7)(B) of the Act. Based on your tax filing status for the tax year we use to make a determination about your income-related monthly adjustment amount, we will determine which table is applicable to you. We will use your modified adjusted gross income to determine which income-related monthly adjustment amount to apply to you. The dollar amounts used for each of the ranges of income-related monthly adjustment will be set annually after 2019 as described in paragraph (c) of this section. The modified adjusted gross income ranges will be adjusted annually after 2019 as described in § 418.2115(e).

    (1) General tables of applicable percentages. If your filing status for your Federal income taxes for the tax year we use is single; head of household; qualifying widow(er) with dependent child; or married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for the entire tax year, we will use the general tables of applicable percentages. When your modified adjusted gross income for the year we use is in the range listed in the left column in the following tables, you will pay an amount based on the percentage listed in the right column, which represents a percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage.

    Table 1 to paragraph (b)(1): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2011-2017 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000 35 Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $160,000 50 Greater than $160,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 65 Greater than $214,000 80
    Table 2 to paragraph (b)(1): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2018 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000 35 Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500 50 Greater than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000 65 Greater than $160,000 80
    Table 3 to paragraph (b)(1): Modified adjusted gross income effective beginning in 2019 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000 35 Greater than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500 50 Greater than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000 65 Greater than $160,000 but less than $500,000 80 Greater than or equal to $500,000 85

    (2) Tables of applicable percentages for joint returns. If your Federal tax filing status is married filing jointly for the tax year we use and your modified adjusted gross income for that tax year is in the range listed in the left column in the following tables, you will pay an amount based on the percentage listed in the right column, which represents a percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage.

    Table 1 to paragraph (b)(2): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2011-2017 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 35 Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $320,000 50 Greater than $320,000 but less than or equal to $428,000 65 Greater than $428,000 80
    Table 2 to paragraph (b)(2): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2018 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 35 Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000 50 Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000 65 Greater than $320,000 80
    Table 3 to paragraph (b)(2): Modified adjusted gross income effective beginning in 2019 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000 35 Greater than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000 50 Greater than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000 65 Greater than $320,000 but less than $750,000 80 Greater than or equal to $750,000 85

    (3) Tables of applicable percentages for married individuals filing separate returns. If, for the tax year we use, your Federal tax filing status is married filing separately, you lived with your spouse at some time during that tax year, and your modified adjusted gross income is in the range listed in the left column in the following tables, you will pay an amount based on the percentage listed in the right column, which represents a percentage of the cost of basic Medicare prescription drug coverage.

    Table 1 to paragraph (b)(3): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2011-2017 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than or equal to $129,000 65 Greater than $129,000 80
    Table 2 to paragraph (b)(3): Modified adjusted gross income effective in 2018 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 80
    Table 3 to paragraph (b)(3): Modified adjusted gross income effective beginning in 2019 Beneficiary
  • percentage
  • (percent)
  • Greater than $85,000 but less than $415,000 80 Greater than or equal to $415,000 85
    [FR Doc. 2018-24336 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9842] RIN 1545-BO63 Tax Return Preparer Due Diligence Penalty Under Section 6695(g) AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulation and removal of temporary regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations relating to the tax return preparer penalty. The final regulations are necessary to implement recent law changes that expand the scope of the tax return preparer due diligence penalty so that it applies to the child tax credit (CTC)/additional child tax credit (ACTC), and the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) as well as to eligibility to file a return or claim for refund as head of household. The regulations affect tax return preparers.

    DATES:

    Effective date: These regulations are effective November 7, 2018.

    Applicability date: For the applicability date, see § 1.6695-2(e).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marshall French, 202-317-6845 (not a toll-free number).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information in current § 1.6695-2 was previously reviewed and approved under control number 1545-1570. Control number 1545-1570 was discontinued in 2014, as the burden for the collection of information contained in § 1.6695-2 is reflected in the burden for Form 8867, “Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist,” under control number 1545-1629.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) under section 6695(g) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) regarding the tax return preparer due diligence requirements.

    Prior to 2016, section 6695(g) imposed a penalty on tax return preparers who failed to comply with due diligence requirements set forth in regulations prescribed by the Secretary with respect to determining eligibility for, or the amount of, the earned income credit (EIC). For tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, the scope of section 6695(g) was expanded to apply the penalty to tax return preparers who fail to comply with due diligence requirements with respect to determining eligibility for, or the amount of, the child tax credit (CTC)/additional child tax credit (ACTC) and the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC). See section 207 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, Div. Q of Public Law 114-113 (129 Stat. 2242, 3082) (PATH Act). On December 5, 2016, final and temporary regulations (TD 9799, 81 FR 87444) with cross-referencing proposed regulations (REG-102952-16, 81 FR 87502) (2016 proposed regulations) were published in the Federal Register to reflect these changes. No public hearing was held or requested. One comment responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking was received.

    Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, section 6695(g) was amended to expand the scope of the penalty to tax return preparers who fail to comply with due diligence requirements set by the Secretary with respect to determining eligibility to file as head of household (as defined in section 2(b)). See section 11001(b) of “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,” Public Law 115-97 (131 Stat. 2054, 2058 (2017)). A notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-103474-18, 83 FR 33875) (2018 proposed regulations) was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2018 to withdraw paragraphs (a), (b)(3), and (e) of § 1.6695-2 of the 2016 proposed regulations and to propose in their place new paragraphs (a), (b)(3), and (e) of § 1.6695-2. The amended paragraphs updated the 2016 proposed regulations to reflect the most recent change to section 6695(g). No public hearing was held or requested. Comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking were received. After consideration of all the comments, paragraphs (b)(1)(i) introductory text, (b)(1)(ii), (b)(2), (b)(4)(i)(B), (b)(4)(i)(C), and (c)(3) of the 2016 proposed regulations and the entirety of the 2018 proposed regulations are adopted by this Treasury decision without substantive changes. Minor grammatical revisions were made to the examples provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of § 1.6695-2 of the 2018 proposed regulations and example 5 was revised for clarity. A new example 6 was added to paragraph (b)(3)(ii) and the previous examples 6 and 7 from the 2018 proposed regulations were renumbered as 7 and 8 respectively. A detailed explanation of these regulations can be found in the preambles to the 2016 temporary regulation and the 2018 proposed rules. 81 FR 87446; 83 FR 33876.

    Summary of Comments

    Paragraph (a) of § 1.6695-2 of the 2016 proposed regulations provides guidance on the operation of the penalty for failure to meet due diligence requirements with respect to returns claiming the EIC, the CTC/ACTC, the AOTC, or any combination of those credits. A commenter to the 2016 proposed regulations recommended that the rule include language stating that the phrase “tax return preparer” is defined to include business entities and persons without an identifying number. The commenter suggested that including this definition in the rule would decrease the likelihood that tax return preparers without an identifying number would be able to escape enforcement of section 6695(g) of the Code. Paragraph (a) defines “tax return preparer” by cross-reference to section 7701(a)(36) of the Code. The definition of tax return preparer provided in section 7701(a)(36) of the Code states: “The term `tax return preparer' means any person who prepares for compensation, or who employs one or more persons to prepare for compensation, any return of tax imposed by this title or any claim for refund of tax imposed by this title. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the preparation of a substantial portion of a return or claim for refund shall be treated as if it were the preparation of such return or claim for refund.” In addition, the definition of “person” provided in section 7701(a)(1) of the Code states: “The term `person' shall be construed to mean and include an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation.” Thus the definition of tax return preparer already includes business entities in addition to individuals. Further, while individual paid tax return preparers who prepare, or assist in preparation of, all or substantially all of a tax return or claim for refund are required by Treas. Reg. § 1.6109-2 to obtain an identifying number, the definition of “tax return preparer” in section 7701(a)(36) does not include a requirement that the person have obtained an identifying number. Therefore, penalties under section 6695(g) of the Code apply to any person who falls within the definition provided in section 7701(a)(36) of the Code, without regard for whether they have an identifying number. Because the definition already includes paid tax return preparers who do not have an identifying number, it is not necessary to adopt this comment.

    One commenter suggested that clarity would be increased if the knowledge requirement of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of the 2018 proposed regulations were rephrased in positive terms, rather than in negative terms. Paragraph (b)(3)(i) as proposed requires tax return preparers to not know, or have reason to know, that the information they use to prepare the tax returns or claims for refund is incorrect. Paragraph (b)(3)(i) also states that tax return preparers cannot ignore the implications of information furnished to or known by them and must make further inquiries if it is reasonable to do so. The IRS and the Treasury Department considered this issue and decided not to modify the language in paragraph (b)(3)(i). This language mirrors the pre-existing language in § 10.34 of Circular 230. Departing from the language in Circular 230 may cause confusion among tax return preparers and decrease overall clarity.

    One commenter requested that the final regulations clarify the circumstances under which a tax return preparer can meet the knowledge requirement of paragraph (b)(3) of the 2018 proposed regulations by relying upon pre-existing knowledge. The commenter noted that Examples 2 and 4 of paragraph (b)(3)(ii) illustrate that a return preparer with pre-existing knowledge of the facts surrounding a taxpayer's return or claim for refund can meet the knowledge requirement when the pre-existing knowledge was acquired in the context of the tax return preparer's tax return preparation practice. The commenter requested guidance as to whether tax return preparers' use of pre-existing knowledge is limited to these circumstances. A new Example 6 has been added to paragraph (b)(3)(ii) and Examples 6 and 7 from the 2018 proposed regulations have been renumbered as Examples 7 and 8, respectively. The new Example 6 clarifies that a tax return preparer who possesses pre-existing knowledge that was acquired outside the context of the preparer's tax return preparation practice cannot meet the knowledge requirement of paragraph (b)(3)(ii) by relying on that pre-existing knowledge. The tax return preparer must make reasonable inquiries to determine the applicable facts, and the inquiries and responses to those inquiries must be contemporaneously documented in the tax return preparer's files.

    A commenter recommended that paragraph (b)(3)(i) of the 2018 proposed regulations be modified to remove the requirement that tax return preparers contemporaneously document any inquiries made and responses to those inquiries. The commenter stated that some tax return preparers may have made contemporaneous inquiries but failed to document them, and suggested that other forms of evidence, such as testimony, should be allowed to prove that the tax return preparer asked the questions. The commenter also suggested that tax return preparers should be allowed to illustrate facts through non-contemporaneous documentation as a defense to the penalty. The IRS and the Treasury Department considered this issue and decided to not make the suggested modifications to paragraph (b)(3)(i) because contemporaneous documentation is important for improving compliance and reducing the error rate in tax returns and claims for refund prepared by tax return preparers.

    One commenter stated that example 5 in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of the 2018 proposed regulations requires a tax return preparer to engage in inquiries beyond those required by the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3)(i). In example 5, a tax return preparer is informed that the taxpayer has never been married and that the taxpayer's niece and nephew lived with the taxpayer for part of the year. The tax return preparer believes that the taxpayer may be eligible to file as head of household and that the taxpayer may be able to claim the children as qualifying children for purposes of the EIC and CTC. Example 5 in the 2018 proposed regulations states that the tax return preparer must ask additional questions to meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3)(i). The commenter stated that the tax return preparer should not be required to engage in additional inquiries because none of the information provided to the tax return preparer appears to be incorrect or inconsistent. This comment overlooks the additional requirement of (b)(3)(i) that tax return preparers engage in additional inquiries where the information furnished to them is incomplete. The information in Example 5 is incomplete because the preparer does not know enough about the children's residency or the source of their support. Example 5 has been revised to clarify that the reason the tax return preparer must engage in additional inquiries is because the information furnished to the tax return preparer is incomplete.

    A commenter requested additional guidance concerning the extent to which tax return preparers are required by paragraph (b)(3)(i) of the 2018 proposed regulations to engage in additional inquiries. The commenter notes that a reasonable person would not take unlimited and unending steps as part of the due diligence process but states that the regulations do not sufficiently identify a stopping point after which a tax return preparer is no longer required to make additional inquiries. Guidance as to the stopping point referenced by the commenter is provided in the regulation at paragraph (b)(3)(i), which states that additional inquiries are required if a reasonable and well-informed tax return preparer knowledgeable in the law would conclude that the information furnished to the tax return preparer appears to be incorrect, inconsistent, or incomplete.

    A commenter suggested that the requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of the 2016 proposed regulations that tax return preparers complete and attach Form 8867 be eliminated. The IRS and the Treasury Department decline to adopt this suggestion. The completion and filing of Form 8867 by tax return preparers is an essential part of the section 6695(g) due diligence enforcement process. The commenter also stated that some tax return preparers are uncertain as to whether completing Form 8867 is sufficient to avoid due diligence penalties under section 6695(g). Filing a completed Form 8867 is one of the requirements established by the final regulations, but there are additional requirements. Paragraph (b)(2) requires tax return preparers who prepare returns or claims for refund claiming one or more of EIC, CTC/ACTC, and AOTC to either complete the applicable worksheet(s) prescribed by the Secretary or record in one or more documents the tax return preparer's method and information used to make the computations for the credits. Paragraph (b)(3) requires tax return preparers to meet knowledge requirements concerning the basis for the benefits claimed on returns or claims for refund and also to contemporaneously document inquiries and responses related to meeting these knowledge requirements. Paragraph (b)(4) sets retention requirements for documents used by the tax return preparer in preparing the return or claim for refund. A tax return preparer who completes Form 8867 but fails to comply with one or more of these additional requirements has not satisfied the due diligence requirements of 6695(g).

    Special Analyses

    This regulation is not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations.

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6), it is hereby certified that these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although the regulations will have an economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, this impact will not be significant.

    The current final and temporary regulations under section 6695(g) already require tax return preparers to complete Form 8867 when a return or claim for refund includes a claim of the EIC, the CTC/ACTC, the AOTC, or any combination of those credits. Tax return preparers also must currently maintain records of the checklists and computations, as well as a record of how and when the information used to compute the credits was obtained by the tax return preparer. The information needed to document a taxpayer's eligibility to file as head of household is information the preparer must gather to file the return. Even if certain preparers are required to maintain the checklists and complete Form 8867 for the first time, the IRS estimates that the total time required should be minimal for these tax return preparers. Further, the IRS does not expect that the requirements in the final rule would necessitate the purchase of additional software or equipment to meet the additional information retention requirements.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small businesses. No comments were received from the Small Business Administration.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Marshall French of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.6695-2 is amended by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a), (b)(1)(i) introductory text, (b)(1)(ii), (b)(2) and (3), (b)(4)(i)(B) and (C), (c)(3), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 1.6695-2 Tax return preparer due diligence requirements for certain tax returns and claims.

    (a) Penalty for failure to meet due diligence requirements—(1) In general. A person who is a tax return preparer (as defined in section 7701(a)(36)) of a tax return or claim for refund under the Internal Revenue Code who determines the taxpayer's eligibility to file as head of household under section 2(b), or who determines the taxpayer's eligibility for, or the amount of, the child tax credit (CTC)/additional child tax credit (ACTC) under section 24, the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) under section 25A(i), or the earned income credit (EIC) under section 32, and who fails to satisfy the due diligence requirements of paragraph (b) of this section will be subject to a penalty as prescribed in section 6695(g) (indexed for inflation under section 6695(h)) for each failure. A separate penalty applies to a tax return preparer with respect to the head of household filing status determination and to each applicable credit claimed on a return or claim for refund for which the due diligence requirements of this section are not satisfied and for which the exception to penalty provided by paragraph (d) of this section does not apply.

    (2) Examples. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section are illustrated by the following examples:

    (i) Example 1.

    Preparer A prepares a federal income tax return for a taxpayer claiming the CTC and the AOTC. Preparer A did not meet the due diligence requirements under this section with respect to the CTC or the AOTC claimed on the taxpayer's return. Unless the exception to penalty provided by paragraph (d) of this section applies, Preparer A is subject to two penalties under section 6695(g): One for failure to meet the due diligence requirements for the CTC and a second penalty for failure to meet the due diligence requirements for the AOTC.

    (ii) Example 2.

    Preparer B prepares a federal income tax return for a taxpayer claiming the CTC and the AOTC. Preparer B did not meet the due diligence requirements under this section with respect to the CTC claimed on the taxpayer's return, but Preparer B did meet the due diligence requirements under this section with respect to the AOTC claimed on the taxpayer's return. Unless the exception to penalty provided by paragraph (d) of this section applies, Preparer B is subject to one penalty under section 6695(g) for the failure to meet the due diligence requirements for the CTC. Preparer B is not subject to a penalty under section 6695(g) for failure to meet the due diligence requirements for the AOTC.

    (iii) Example 3.

    Preparer C prepares a federal income tax return for a taxpayer using the head of household filing status and claiming the CTC and the AOTC. Preparer C did not meet the due diligence requirements under this section with respect to the head of household filing status and the CTC claimed on the taxpayer's return. Preparer C did meet the due diligence requirements under this section with respect to the AOTC claimed on the taxpayer's return. Unless the exception to penalty provided by paragraph (d) of this section applies, Preparer C is subject to two penalties under section 6695(g) for the failure to meet the due diligence requirements: One for the head of household filing status and one for the CTC. Preparer C is not subject to a penalty under section 6695(g) for failure to meet the due diligence requirements for the AOTC.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) The tax return preparer must complete Form 8867, “Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist,” or complete such other form and provide such other information as may be prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and—

    (ii) The tax return preparer's completion of Form 8867 must be based on information provided by the taxpayer to the tax return preparer or otherwise reasonably obtained or known by the tax return preparer.

    (2) Computation of credit or credits. (i) When computing the amount of a credit or credits described in paragraph (a) of this section to be claimed on a return or claim for refund, the tax return preparer must either—

    (A) Complete the worksheet in the Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and/or Form 8863 instructions or such other form including such other information as may be prescribed by the IRS applicable to each credit described in paragraph (a) of this section claimed on the return or claim for refund; or

    (B) Otherwise record in one or more documents in the tax return preparer's paper or electronic files the tax return preparer's computation of the credit or credits claimed on the return or claim for refund, including the method and information used to make the computations.

    (ii) The tax return preparer's completion of an applicable worksheet described in paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section (or other record of the tax return preparer's computation of the credit or credits permitted under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section) must be based on information provided by the taxpayer to the tax return preparer or otherwise reasonably obtained or known by the tax return preparer.

    (3) Knowledge—(i) In general. The tax return preparer must not know, or have reason to know, that any information used by the tax return preparer in determining the taxpayer's eligibility to file as head of household or in determining the taxpayer's eligibility for, or the amount of, any credit described in paragraph (a) of this section and claimed on the return or claim for refund is incorrect. The tax return preparer may not ignore the implications of information furnished to, or known by, the tax return preparer, and must make reasonable inquiries if a reasonable and well-informed tax return preparer knowledgeable in the law would conclude that the information furnished to the tax return preparer appears to be incorrect, inconsistent, or incomplete. The tax return preparer must also contemporaneously document in the preparer's paper or electronic files any inquiries made and the responses to those inquiries.

    (ii) Examples. The provisions of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section are illustrated by the following examples:

    (A) Example 1.

    In 2018, Q, a 22-year-old taxpayer, engages Preparer C to prepare Q's 2017 federal income tax return. Q completes Preparer C's standard intake questionnaire and states that Q has never been married and has two sons, ages 10 and 11. Based on the intake sheet and other information that Q provides, including information that shows that the boys lived with Q throughout 2017, Preparer C believes that Q may be eligible to claim each boy as a qualifying child for purposes of the EIC and the CTC. However, Q provides no information to Preparer C, and Preparer C does not have any information from other sources, to verify the relationship between Q and the boys. To meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer C must make reasonable inquiries to determine whether each boy is a qualifying child of Q for purposes of the EIC and the CTC, including reasonable inquiries to verify Q's relationship to the boys, and Preparer C must contemporaneously document these inquiries and the responses.

    (B) Example 2.

    Assume the same facts as in Example 1 of paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) of this section. In addition, as part of preparing Q's 2017 federal income tax return, Preparer C made sufficient reasonable inquiries to verify that the boys were Q's legally adopted children. In 2019, Q engages Preparer C to prepare Q's 2018 federal income tax return. When preparing Q's 2018 federal income tax return, Preparer C is not required to make additional inquiries to determine each boy's relationship to Q for purposes of the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

    (C) Example 3.

    In 2018, R, an 18-year-old taxpayer, engages Preparer D to prepare R's 2017 federal income tax return. R completes Preparer D's standard intake questionnaire and states that R has never been married, has one child, an infant, and that R and R's infant lived with R's parents during part of the 2017 tax year. R also provides Preparer D with a Form W-2 showing that R earned $10,000 during 2017. R provides no other documents or information showing that R earned any other income during the tax year. Based on the intake sheet and other information that R provides, Preparer D believes that R may be eligible to claim the infant as a qualifying child for the EIC and the CTC. To meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer D must make reasonable inquiries to determine whether R is eligible to claim these credits, including reasonable inquiries to verify that R is not a qualifying child of R's parents (which would make R ineligible to claim the EIC) or a dependent of R's parents (which would make R ineligible to claim the CTC), and Preparer D must contemporaneously document these inquiries and the responses.

    (D) Example 4.

    Assume the same facts as the facts in Example 3 of paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(C) of this section. In addition, Preparer D previously prepared the 2017 joint federal income tax return for R's parents. Based on information provided by R's parents, Preparer D has determined that R is not eligible to be claimed as a dependent or as a qualifying child for purposes of the EIC or the CTC on R's parents' return. Therefore, for purposes of the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer D is not required to make additional inquiries to determine that R is not R's parents' qualifying child or dependent.

    (D) Example 5.

    In 2019, S engages Preparer E to prepare S's 2018 federal income tax return. During Preparer E's standard intake interview, S states that S has never been married and that S's niece and nephew lived with S for part of the 2018 tax year. Preparer E believes S may be eligible to file as head of household and claim each of these children as a qualifying child for purposes of the EIC and the CTC, but the information furnished to Preparer E is incomplete. To meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer E must make reasonable inquiries to determine whether S is eligible to file as head of household and whether each child is a qualifying child for purposes of the EIC and the CTC, including reasonable inquiries about the children's residency, S's relationship to the children, the children's income, the sources of support for the children, and S's contribution to the payment of costs related to operating the household, and Preparer E must contemporaneously document these inquiries and the responses.

    (F) Example 6.

    Assume the same facts as the facts in Example 5 of paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(E) of this section. In addition, Preparer E knows from prior social interactions with S that the children resided with S for more than one-half of the 2018 tax year and that the children did not provide over one-half of their own support for the 2018 tax year. To meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer E must make the same reasonable inquiries to determine whether S is eligible to file as head of household and whether each child is a qualifying child for purposes of the EIC and the CTC as discussed in Example 5 of this section, and Preparer E must contemporaneously document these inquiries and the responses.

    (G) Example 7.

    W engages Preparer F to prepare W's federal income tax return. During Preparer F's standard intake interview, W states that W is 50 years old, has never been married, and has no children. W further states to Preparer F that during the tax year W was self-employed, earned $10,000 from W's business, and had no business expenses or other income. Preparer F believes W may be eligible for the EIC. To meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer F must make reasonable inquiries to determine whether W is eligible for the EIC, including reasonable inquiries to determine whether W's business income and expenses are correct, and Preparer F must contemporaneously document these inquiries and the responses.

    (H) Example 8.

    Y, who is 32 years old, engages Preparer G to prepare Y's federal income tax return. Y completes Preparer G's standard intake questionnaire and states that Y has never been married. As part of Preparer G's client intake process, Y provides Preparer G with a copy of the Form 1098-T Y received showing that University M billed $4,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses for Y's enrollment or attendance at the university and that Y was at least a half-time undergraduate student. Preparer G believes that Y may be eligible for the AOTC. To meet the knowledge requirement in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, Preparer G must make reasonable inquiries to determine whether Y is eligible for the AOTC, as Form 1098-T does not contain all the information needed to determine eligibility for the AOTC or to calculate the amount of the credit if Y is eligible, and contemporaneously document these inquiries and the responses.

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) A copy of each completed worksheet required under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section (or other record of the tax return preparer's computation permitted under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section); and

    (C) A record of how and when the information used to complete Form 8867 and the applicable worksheets required under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section (or other record of the tax return preparer's computation permitted under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section) was obtained by the tax return preparer, including the identity of any person furnishing the information, as well as a copy of any document that was provided by the taxpayer and on which the tax return preparer relied to complete Form 8867 and/or an applicable worksheet required under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section (or other record of the tax return preparer's computation permitted under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section).

    (c) * * *

    (3) The firm disregarded its reasonable and appropriate compliance procedures through willfulness, recklessness, or gross indifference (including ignoring facts that would lead a person of reasonable prudence and competence to investigate) in the preparation of the tax return or claim for refund with respect to which the penalty is imposed.

    (e) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to tax returns and claims for refund for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, that are prepared on or after December 5, 2016. However, the rules relating to the determination of a taxpayer's eligibility to file as head of household under section 2(b) apply to tax returns and claims for refund for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, that are prepared on or after November 7, 2018.

    § 1.6695-2T [Removed]
    Par. 3. Section 1.6695-2T is removed. Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: October 1, 2018. David J. Kautter, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-24411 Filed 11-5-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 RIN 0648-XG515 Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Orders AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary orders; inseason orders.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS publishes Fraser River salmon inseason orders to regulate treaty and non-treaty (all citizen) commercial salmon fisheries in U.S. waters. The orders were issued by the Fraser River Panel (Panel) of the Pacific Salmon Commission (Commission) and subsequently approved and issued by NMFS during the 2018 salmon fisheries within the U.S. Fraser River Panel Area. These orders established fishing dates, times, and areas for the gear types of U.S. treaty Indian and all citizen commercial fisheries during the period the Panel exercised jurisdiction over these fisheries.

    DATES:

    The effective dates for the inseason orders are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Orders.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada concerning Pacific Salmon was signed at Ottawa on January 28, 1985, and subsequently was given effect in the United States by the Pacific Salmon Treaty Act (Act) at 16 U.S.C. 3631-3644.

    Under authority of the Act, Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart F, provide a framework for the implementation of certain regulations of the Commission and inseason orders of the Commission's Fraser River Panel for U.S. sockeye salmon fisheries in the Fraser River Panel Area.

    The regulations close the U.S. portion of the Fraser River Panel Area to U.S. sockeye salmon tribal and non-tribal commercial fishing unless opened by Panel orders that are given effect by inseason regulations published by NMFS. During the fishing season, NMFS may issue regulations that establish fishing times and areas consistent with the Commission agreements and inseason orders of the Panel. Such orders must be consistent with domestic legal obligations and are issued by the Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS. Official notification of these inseason actions is provided by two telephone hotline numbers described at 50 CFR 300.97(b)(1) and in 84 FR 19005 (May 1, 2018). The inseason orders are published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after they are issued. Due to the frequency with which inseason orders are issued, publication of individual orders is impractical.

    Inseason Orders

    The following inseason orders were adopted by the Panel and issued for U.S. fisheries by NMFS during the 2018 fishing season. Each of the following inseason actions was effective upon announcement on telephone hotline numbers as specified at 50 CFR 300.97(b)(1) and in 84 FR 19005 (May 1, 2018); those dates and times are listed herein. The times listed are local times, and the areas designated are Puget Sound Management and Catch Reporting Areas as defined in the Washington State Administrative Code at Chapter 220-22.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-01: Issued 11:40 a.m., July 24, 2018 Treaty Indian Fishery

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Open to drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Friday, July 27, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-02: Issued 11:40 a.m., July 27, 2018 Treaty Indian Fishery

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Tuesday, July 31, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-03: Issued 11:40 a.m., July 31, 2018 Treaty Indian Fishery

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 1, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Saturday, August 4, 2018.

    Areas 6, 7, and 7A: Open to net fishing from 5 a.m., Thursday, August 2, 2018, to 9 a.m., Friday, August 3, 2018, and from 5 a.m., Saturday, August 4, 2018, to 9 a.m., Sunday, August 5, 2018.

    All Citizen Fisheries

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to purse seines from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, August 3, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to gillnets from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (midnight), Friday, August 3, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to reefnets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, August 6, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-04: Issued 1:25 p.m., August 3, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Saturday, August 4, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

    Areas 6, 7, and 7A: Open to net fishing from 5 a.m., Tuesday, August 7, 2018, to 9 a.m., Thursday, August 9, 2018.

    All Citizen Fisheries

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to purse seines from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, August 6, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to gillnets from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (midnight), Monday, August 6, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to reefnets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-05: Issued 12 p.m., August 7, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 8, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Saturday, August 11, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-06: Issued 12:05 p.m., August 8, 2018 All Citizen Fisheries

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to purse seines from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to gillnets from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (midnight), Thursday, August 9, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to reefnets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-07: Issued 1:35 p.m., August 10, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Saturday, August 11, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-08: Issued 1:30 p.m., August 14, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 15, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Saturday, August 18, 2018.

    Areas 6, 7, and 7A: Open to net fishing from 5 a.m., Wednesday, August 15, 2018, to 9 a.m., Friday, August 17, 2018.

    All Citizen Fisheries

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to purse seines from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, August 17, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to gillnets from 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday, August 17, 2018.

    Areas 7 and 7A: Open to reefnets from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, August 18, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-09: Issued 2:05 p.m., August 17, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Saturday, August 18, 2018, to 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-10: Issued 1:05 p.m., August 21, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 12 p.m. (noon), Wednesday, August 22, 2018, to 1 p.m., Friday, August 24, 2018.

    Areas 6, 7, and 7A: Open to net fishing from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, August 24, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-11: Issued 3:10 p.m., August 23, 2018 Treaty Indian Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, and 6C: Extend for drift gillnets from 1 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. (midnight), Friday August 24, 2018.

    Areas 6, 7, and 7A: Extend for purse seines from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, August 24, 2018. Extend for gillnets from 1 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. (midnight), Friday, August 24, 2018.

    Fraser River Panel Order Number 2018-12: Issued 12:10 p.m., September 11, 2018 Treaty Indian and All Citizen Fisheries

    Areas 4B, 5, 6, 6C, 7, and 7A, excluding the Apex: Relinquish regulatory control effective 11:59 p.m. (midnight), Saturday, September 15, 2018. The Apex is those waters north and west of the Area 7A “East Point Line,” defined as a line projected from the low water range marker in Boundary Bay on the International Boundary through the east tip of Point Roberts in the state of Washington to the East Point light on Saturna Island in the Province of British Columbia.

    Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries NOAA (AA), finds that good cause exists for the inseason orders to be issued without affording the public prior notice and opportunity for comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such prior notice and opportunity for comments is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment is impracticable because NMFS has insufficient time to allow for prior notice and opportunity for public comment between the time the stock abundance information is available to determine how much fishing can be allowed and the time the fishery must open and close in order to harvest the appropriate amount of fish while they are available.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date, required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), of the inseason orders. A delay in the effective date of the inseason orders would not allow fishers appropriately controlled access to the available fish at that time they are available.

    This action is authorized by 50 CFR 300.97, and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 3636(b).

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24371 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 150413357-5999-02] RIN 0648-XG582 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Aggregated Large Coastal Shark and Hammerhead Shark Management Group Retention Limit Adjustment AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason retention limit adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the commercial aggregated large coastal shark (LCS) and hammerhead shark management group retention limit for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip to 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments. The retention limit will remain at 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip in the Atlantic region through the rest of the 2018 fishing season or until NMFS announces via a notice in the Federal Register another adjustment to the retention limit or a fishery closure. This retention limit adjustment affects anyone with a directed shark limited access permit fishing for LCS in the Atlantic region.

    DATES:

    This retention limit adjustment is effective on November 6, 2018 through December 31, 2018, or until NMFS announces via a notice in the Federal Register another adjustment to the retention limit or a fishery closure, if warranted.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Latchford, Chanté Davis, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz 301-427-8503; fax 301-713-1917.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Atlantic shark fisheries are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and implementing regulations (50 CFR part 635) issued under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).

    Atlantic shark fisheries have separate regional (Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic) quotas for all management groups except those for blue shark, porbeagle shark, pelagic sharks (other than porbeagle or blue sharks), and the shark research fishery for LCS and sandbar sharks. The boundary between the Gulf of Mexico region and the Atlantic region is defined at § 635.27(b)(1) as a line beginning on the East Coast of Florida at the mainland at 25°20.4′ N lat., proceeding due east. Any water and land to the north and east of that boundary is considered, for the purposes of setting and monitoring quotas, to be within the Atlantic region. This inseason action only affects the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region.

    Under § 635.24(a)(8), NMFS may adjust the commercial retention limits in the shark fisheries during the fishing season. Before making any adjustment, NMFS must consider specified regulatory criteria (see § 635.24(a)(8)(i) through (vi)). After considering these criteria as discussed below, NMFS has concluded that increasing the retention limit of the Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead management groups for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region will allow use of available aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management group quotas and will provide fishermen throughout the region equitable fishing opportunities for the rest of the year. Therefore, NMFS is increasing the commercial Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark retention limit in the Atlantic region from 36 to 45 LCS other than sandbar shark per vessel per trip.

    NMFS considered the inseason retention limit adjustment criteria listed at § 635.24(a)(8)(i) through (vi), which includes:

    • The amount of remaining shark quota in the relevant area, region, or sub-region to date, based on dealer reports.

    Based on dealer reports through October 15, 2018, 65.2 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (143,809 lb dw), or 39 percent, of the 168.9 mt dw shark quota for aggregated LCS and 8.3 mt dw (18,328 lb dw), or 31 percent, of the 27.1 mt dw shark quota for the hammerhead management groups have been harvested in the Atlantic region. This means that approximately 61 percent of the aggregated LCS quota remains available and approximately 69 percent of the hammerhead shark quota remains available. NMFS took action in May of 2018 to reduce retention rates after considering the relevant inseason adjustment criteria, particularly the need for all regions to have an equitable opportunity to utilize the quota (83 FR 21744; May 10, 2018).

    • The catch rates of the relevant shark species/complexes in the region or sub-region, to date, based on dealer reports.

    Based on the current commercial retention limit and average catch rate of landings data from dealer reports, the amount of Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark quota available is high, while harvest in the Atlantic region on a daily basis is low. Using current catch rates, projections indicate that landings would not reach 80 percent of the quota before the end of the 2018 fishing season (December 31, 2018). A higher retention limit authorized under this action will promote increased fishing opportunities and utilization of available quota in the Atlantic region.

    • Estimated date of fishery closure based on when the landings are projected to reach 80 percent of the available overall, regional, and/or sub-regional quota, if the fishery's landings are not projected to reach 100 percent of the applicable quota before the end of the season.

    Once the landings reach 80 percent of either the aggregated LCS or hammerhead shark quotas, NMFS would, as required by the regulations at § 635.28(b)(3), close the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups since they are “linked quotas.” However, current catch rates would likely result in the fisheries remaining open for the remainder of the year. The higher retention limit should increase the likelihood of full utilization of the quota in the Atlantic region.

    • Effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments.

    Increasing the retention limit on the aggregated LCS and hammerhead management groups in the Atlantic region from 36 to 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip would continue to allow for fishing opportunities throughout the rest of the year while not compromising the rebuilding objectives established in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP.

    • Variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migratory patterns of the relevant shark species based on scientific and fishery-based knowledge.

    The directed shark fisheries in the Atlantic region are composed of a mix of species, with a high abundance of aggregated LCS caught in conjunction with hammerhead sharks. Migratory patterns of many LCS in the Atlantic region indicate that sharks move farther north in the summer and then return south in the fall. Taking these migration patterns into account, NMFS increased the retention limit on July 18, 2018 from 3 to 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip (83 FR 33870) to provide additional fishing opportunities for fishermen in the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas. However, based on dealer reports through October 15, 2018, harvest in the Atlantic region on a daily basis has been low. Therefore, NMFS is increasing the retention limit from 36 to 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip in order to fully utilize the quota in the entire Atlantic region.

    • Effects of catch rates in one part of a region or sub-region precluding vessels in another part of that region or sub-region from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the relevant quota.

    NMFS' goal for the 2018 commercial shark fishery is to ensure fishing opportunities throughout the fishing season and the Atlantic region (82 FR 55512; November 22, 2017, 83 FR 21744; May 10, 2018, and 83 FR 33870; July 18, 2018). While dealer reports indicate that, under current catch rates, the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region would remain open for the remainder of the year, the catch rates also indicate that the quotas would likely not be fully harvested under the current retention limit. If the harvest of these species is increased through an increased retention limit, NMFS estimates that the fishery would remain open for the remainder of the year and fishermen throughout the Atlantic region would have a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the quota.

    On November 22, 2017 (82 FR 55512), NMFS announced in a final rule that the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark fisheries management groups for the Atlantic region would open on January 1 with a quota of 168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw) and 27.1 mt dw (59,736 lb dw), respectively, and a commercial retention limit of 25 LCS other than sandbar sharks per trip for directed shark limited access permit holders in those fisheries. NMFS published a proposed rule on August 22, 2017 (82 FR 39735) and invited and considered public comment. In the final rule, NMFS explained that if it appeared that the quota is being harvested too quickly, thus precluding fishing opportunities throughout the entire region (e.g., if approximately 20 percent of the quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS would consider reducing the commercial retention limit to 3 or fewer LCS other than sandbar sharks and then later consider increasing the retention limit, perhaps to 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2018, consistent with the applicable regulatory requirements. In May 2018, dealer reports indicated that landings had reached 19 percent of the quota, and NMFS therefore reduced the commercial Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark retention limit from 25 to 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip on May 12, 2018 (83 FR 21744; May 10, 2018) after considering the inseason retention limit adjustment criteria listed in § 635.24(a)(8). Based on dealer reports through June 18, 2018, approximately 75 percent and 82 percent of the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark quotas remain unharvested, respectively. On July 18, 2018, NMFS increased the retention limit from 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks to 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks (83 FR 33870). Based on dealer reports through October 15, 2018, approximately 61 percent and 69 percent of the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark quotas remain unharvested, respectively. Commercial shark landings in the Atlantic region at this point in the season are uncharacteristically low. Fishermen in the Atlantic region may not have an opportunity to fully utilize the quotas for the remainder of the year if the retention limits are not increased, and available quota will be underutilized.

    Accordingly, as of November 6, 2018, NMFS is increasing the retention limit for the commercial aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region for directed shark limited access permit holders from 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip to 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. This retention limit adjustment does not apply to directed shark limited access permit holders if the vessel is properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel or headboat for HMS and is engaged in a for-hire trip, in which case the recreational retention limits for sharks and “no sale” provisions apply (§ 635.22(a) and (c)); or if the vessel possesses a valid shark research permit under § 635.32 and a NMFS-approved observer is onboard, in which case the restrictions noted on the shark research permit apply.

    All other retention limits and shark fisheries in the Atlantic region remain unchanged. This retention limit will remain at 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip for the rest of the 2018 fishing season, or until NMFS announces via a notice in the Federal Register another adjustment to the retention limit or a fishery closure, if warranted.

    Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons:

    Prior notice is impracticable because the regulatory criteria for inseason retention limit adjustments are intended to allow the agency to respond quickly to existing management considerations, including remaining available shark quotas, estimated dates for the fishery closures, the regional variations in the shark fisheries, and equitable fishing opportunities. Additionally, regulations implementing Amendment 6 of the 2006 Atlantic Consolidated HMS FMP (80 FR 50074, August 18, 2015) intended that the LCS retention limit could be adjusted quickly throughout the fishing season to provide management flexibility for the shark fisheries and provide equitable fishing opportunities to fishermen throughout a region. Based on available shark quotas and informed by shark landings in previous seasons, responsive adjustment to the LCS commercial retention limit from the incidental level is warranted as quickly as possible to allow fishermen to take advantage of available quotas while sharks are present in their region. For such adjustment to be practicable, it must occur in a timeframe that allows fishermen to take advantage of it.

    Adjustment of the LCS fisheries retention limit in the Atlantic region will begin on November 6, 2018. Prior notice would result in delays in increasing the retention limit and would adversely affect those shark fishermen that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the current retention limit of 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip and could result in low catch rates and underutilized quotas. Analysis of available data shows that adjustment of the LCS commercial retention limit upward to 45 would result in minimal risks of exceeding the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark quotas in the Atlantic region based on our consideration of previous years' data, in which the fisheries have opened in July. With quota available and with no measurable impacts to the stocks expected, it would be contrary to the public interest to require vessels to wait to harvest the sharks otherwise allowable through this action. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. Adjustment of the LCS commercial retention limit in the Atlantic region is effective November 6, 2018, to minimize any unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns and to allow fishermen to benefit from the adjustment. Foregoing opportunities to harvest the respective quotas could have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quotas. Therefore, the AA finds there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.

    This action is being taken under § 635.24(a)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24274 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 900124-0127] RIN 0648-XG418 Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; 2019 Fishing Quotas for Atlantic Surfclams and Ocean Quahogs; and Suspension of Minimum Atlantic Surfclam Size Limit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS suspends the minimum size limit for Atlantic surfclams for the 2019 fishing year. NMFS also announces that the quotas for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries for 2019 will remain status quo. Regulations governing these fisheries require NMFS to notify the public of the allowable harvest levels for Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs from the Exclusive Economic Zone if the previous year's quota specifications remain unchanged.

    DATES:

    Effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Potts, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9341.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The regulations implementing the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan (FMP) at 50 CFR 648.75(b)(3) authorize the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), to suspend annually, by publication in the Federal Register, the minimum size limit for Atlantic surfclams. This action may be taken unless discard, catch, and biological sampling data indicate that 30 percent or more of the Atlantic surfclam resource have a shell length less than 4.75 inches (120 mm), and the overall reduced size is not attributable to harvest from beds where growth of the individual clams has been reduced because of density-dependent factors. At its June 2018 meeting, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council recommended the Regional Administrator suspend the minimum size limit for Atlantic surfclams for the 2019 fishing year. Commercial surfclam data for 2018 were analyzed to determine the percentage of surfclams that were smaller than the minimum size requirement. The analysis indicated that 20.2 percent of the overall commercial landings were composed of surfclams that were less than the 4.75-in (120-mm) default minimum size.

    Based on the information available, the Regional Administrator concurs with the Council's recommendation, and is suspending the minimum size limit for Atlantic surfclams in the upcoming fishing year (January 1 through December 31, 2019).

    The Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FMP requires that NMFS issue a notice in the Federal Register of the upcoming year's quota, even in cases where the quota remains unchanged from the previous year. At its June 2018 meeting, the Council recommended no change to the quota specifications for Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs for the 2019 fishing year. As a result, we are announcing that the 2018 quota levels of 3.4 million bu (181 million L) for Atlantic surfclams, 5.33 million bu (288 million L) for ocean quahogs, and 100,000 Maine bu (3.52 million L) for Maine ocean quahogs, as announced in the Federal Register on February 6, 2018 (83 FR 5212), remain effective for the 2019 fishing year.

    Classification

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24368 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 RIN 0648-XG025 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2018 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Announcement of a valid specified fishing agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates up to 1,000 metric tons (t) of the 2018 bigeye tuna limit for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to identified U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in the CNMI.

    DATES:

    The specified fishing agreement is valid on November 6, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    NMFS prepared environmental analyses that describe the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the action. The analyses, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0026, are available from https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0026, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    The Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (Pelagic FEP) is available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or http://www.wpcouncil.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Walker, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5184.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a final rule published on October 23, 2018, NMFS specified a 2018 limit of 2,000 t of longline-caught bigeye tuna for the U.S. Pacific Island territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI (83 FR 53399). NMFS allows each territory to allocate up to 1,000 t of the 2,000 t limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels identified in a valid specified fishing agreement.

    On October 22, 2018, NMFS received from the Council a specified fishing agreement between the CNMI and Quota Management, Inc. (QMI). The Council's Executive Director advised that the specified fishing agreement was consistent with the criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819(c)(1). NMFS reviewed the agreement and determined that it is consistent with the Pelagic FEP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, implementing regulations, and other applicable laws.

    In accordance with 50 CFR 300.224(d) and 50 CFR 665.819(c)(9), vessels identified in the agreement may retain and land bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean under the CNMI limit. NMFS will begin attributing bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement to the CNMI starting on October 25, 2018. If NMFS determines that the fishery will reach the attribution limit of 1,000 t, we will restrict the retention of bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement, unless the vessels are included in a subsequent specified fishing agreement with another U.S. territory.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24278 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170817779-8161-02] RIN 0648-XG116 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Eastern Aleutian district (EAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the EAI allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 2, 2018, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The 2018 TAC of Pacific ocean perch, in the EAI, allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery was established as a directed fishing allowance of 794 metric tons by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the EAI by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.

    After the effective dates of this closure, the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such a requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of the Pacific ocean perch directed fishery in the EAI for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of November 1, 2018. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24375 Filed 11-2-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 216 Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2018-0212] RIN 3150-AK16 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS® System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 15 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System (NUHOMS® System) listing within the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks” to include Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. Because this amendment is subsequent to the renewal of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® Certificate of Compliance 1004 system and, therefore, subject to the Aging Management Program requirements of the renewed certificate, it is referred to as “Renewed Amendment No. 15.” Renewed Amendment No. 15 would revise the Certificate of Compliance's technical specifications to: Unify and standardize fuel qualification tables; revise existing and add new heat load zoning configurations; increase the allowable maximum assembly average burnup; allow loading of damaged fuel assemblies under certain conditions; expand the definition of the poison rod assemblies to include rod cluster control assembly materials; allow other zirconium alloy cladding materials; add model OS197 as an authorized transfer cask; add the description for the solar shield in the updated final safety analysis report; and add flexibility to general licensees in verifying compliance regarding the storage pad location and the soil-structure interaction. Additionally, the rulemaking would make clarifications to rule text related to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 by removing redundant language.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by December 7, 2018. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0212. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christian Jacobs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301-415-6825; email: [email protected] or Edward M. Lohr, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301-415-0253; email: [email protected] Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Rulemaking Procedure III. Background IV. Plain Writing V. Availability of Documents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0212 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0212.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in the “Availability of Documents” section.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2018-0212 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. Rulemaking Procedure

    This proposed rule is limited to the changes contained in Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance 1004 and does not include other aspects of the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design. Because the NRC considers this action non-controversial and routine, the NRC is publishing this proposed rule concurrently with a direct final rule in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register. The direct final rule will become effective on January 22, 2019. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this proposed rule by December 7, 2018, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to these proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action in the event the direct final rule is withdrawn.

    A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:

    (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when:

    (a) The comment causes the NRC to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis;

    (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or

    (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC.

    (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition.

    (3) The comment causes the NRC to make a change (other than editorial) to the rule.

    For procedural information and the regulatory analysis, see the direct final rule published in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    III. Background

    Section 218(a) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended, requires that “the Secretary [of the Department of Energy] shall establish a demonstration program, in cooperation with the private sector, for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at civilian nuclear power reactor sites, with the objective of establishing one or more technologies that the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission may, by rule, approve for use at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site-specific approvals by the Commission.” Section 133 of the NWPA states, in part, that “[the Commission] shall, by rule, establish procedures for the licensing of any technology approved by the Commission under Section 219(a) [sic: 218(a)] for use at the site of any civilian nuclear power reactor.”

    To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule which added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule on December 22, 1994 (59 FR 65898), that approved the TN Americas LLC Standardized NUHOMS® System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs provided in § 72.214 as Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. Most recently, on September 27, 2017 (82 FR 44879), the NRC issued a Renewal of the revised initial certificate and Amendment Nos. 1 through 11, 13 and 14.

    IV. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on the proposed rule with respect to the clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

    V. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated.

    Document ADAMS accession No./
  • web link/Federal Register
  • citation
  • TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated March 28, 2017 ML17094A714 (Package). Revision to TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated July 18, 2017 ML17202Q145. Revision to TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated December 14, 2017 ML17363A276 (Package). Revision to TN Americas LLC Request to Add Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, letter dated March 22, 2018 ML18088A180. TN Americas LLC Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 ML18228A531. Technical Specifications for TN Americas LLC Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 ML18228A530. Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report for TN Americas LLC Renewed Amendment No. 15 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 ML18234A012.

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal Rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2018-0212. The Federal Rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2018-0212); (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and 3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

    Administrative practice and procedure, Hazardous waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear energy, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Whistleblowing.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553; the NRC is proposing to adopt the following amendments to 10 CFR part 72:

    PART 72—LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDEPENDENT STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND REACTOR-RELATED GREATER THAN CLASS C WASTE 1. The authority citation for part 72 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 57, 62, 63, 65, 69, 81, 161, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2099, 2111, 2201, 2210e, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2238, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 117(a), 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 141, 145(g), 148, 218(a) (42 U.S.C. 10137(a), 10152, 10153, 10154, 10155, 10157, 10161, 10165(g), 10168, 10198(a)); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1004 is revised to read as follows:
    § 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks.

    Certificate Number: 1004.

    Initial Certificate Effective Date: January 23, 1995, superseded by Initial Certificate, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Initial Certificate, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Initial Certificate, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 1 Effective Date: April 27, 2000, superseded by Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 2 Effective Date: September 5, 2000, superseded by Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 3 Effective Date: September 12, 2001, superseded by Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 4 Effective Date: February 12, 2002, superseded by Amendment Number 4, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 4, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 4, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 5 Effective Date: January 7, 2004, superseded by Amendment Number 5, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 5, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 5, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 6 Effective Date: December 22, 2003, superseded by Amendment Number 6, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 6, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 6, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 7 Effective Date: March 2, 2004, superseded by Amendment Number 7, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 7, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 7, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 8 Effective Date: December 5, 2005, superseded by Amendment Number 8, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 8, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 8, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 9 Effective Date: April 17, 2007, superseded by Amendment Number 9, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 9, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 9, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 10 Effective Date: August 24, 2009, superseded by Amendment Number 10, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 10, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 10, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Amendment Number 11 Effective Date: January 7, 2014, superseded by Amendment Number 11, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 11, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 11, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017, as corrected (ADAMS Accession No. ML18018A043).

    Amendment Number 12 Effective Date: Amendment not issued by the NRC.

    Amendment Number 13 Effective Date: May 24, 2014, superseded by Amendment Number 13, Revision 1, on April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 13, Revision 1, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 13, Revision 1, Effective Date: December 11, 2017, as corrected (ADAMS Accession No. ML18018A100).

    Amendment Number 14 Effective Date: April 25, 2017, superseded by Renewed Amendment Number 14, on December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 14 Effective Date: December 11, 2017.

    Renewed Amendment Number 15 Effective Date: January 22, 2019.

    SAR Submitted by: Transnuclear, Inc.

    SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System for Irradiated Nuclear Fuel.

    Docket Number: 72-1004.

    Certificate Expiration Date: January 23, 2015.

    Renewed Certificate Expiration Date: January 23, 2055.

    Model Number: NUHOMS®-24P, -24PHB, -24PTH, -32PT, -32PTH1, -37PTH, -52B, -61BT, -61BTH, and -69BTH.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of October 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Margaret M. Doane, Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24256 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-103163-18] RIN 1545-BO50 Modification of Discounting Rules for Insurance Companies AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations providing guidance on new discounting rules for unpaid losses and estimated salvage recoverable of insurance companies for Federal income tax purposes. The proposed regulations implement recent legislative changes to the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and make other technical improvements to the derivation and use of discount factors. The proposed regulations affect entities taxable as insurance companies. This document invites comments and provides notice of a public hearing on these proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments must be received by December 7, 2018. Requests to speak and outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for December 20, 2018, at 10 a.m., must be received by December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments: Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-103163-18), 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-103163-18), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (REG-103163-18).

    Public hearing: The public hearing will be held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Kathryn M. Sneade, (202) 317-6995; concerning submissions of comments and requests to speak at the public hearing, Regina L. Johnson, (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document contains proposed amendments to 26 CFR part 1 under section 846 of the Code. Section 846 was added to the Code by section 1023(c) of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514 (100 Stat. 2085, 2399). Final regulations under section 846 were published in the Federal Register (57 FR 40841) on September 8, 1992 (T.D. 8433). See §§ 1.846-0 through 1.846-4 (1992 Final Regulations).

    This document provides guidance on discounting rules under section 846 of the Code, which were amended on December 22, 2017 by section 13523 of “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,” Public Law 115-97, title 1, 131 Stat. 2152 (2017) (TCJA) for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. The discounting rules of section 846, both prior to and after amendment by the TCJA, are used to determine discounted unpaid losses and estimated salvage recoverable of property and casualty insurance companies and discounted unearned premiums of title insurance companies for Federal income tax purposes under section 832, as well as discounted unpaid losses of life insurance companies for Federal income tax purposes under sections 805(a)(1) and 807(c)(2). These rules are discussed in greater detail in parts A and B of this Background section.

    Section 13523(a) of the TCJA amended section 846(c) to provide a new definition of the “annual rate” to be used by taxpayers for discounting purposes. Section 13523(b) of the TCJA amended the computational rules for determining loss payment patterns under section 846(d). Section 13523(c) of the TCJA repealed the election under former section 846(e) to use the taxpayer's own historical loss payment pattern instead of the pattern published by the Secretary. These changes are effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. The proposed regulations implement these changes in the law.

    Part C of this Background section discusses smoothing adjustments, and part C of the Explanation of Provisions section of this preamble describes a proposed regulation authorizing the Secretary to adopt a methodology to smooth the loss payment patterns derived from the annual statement loss payment data to avoid negative payment amounts and to otherwise produce a stable pattern of positive discount factors less than one. Part A of the Other Discounting Considerations section of this preamble provides additional detail on the proposed methodology that the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS anticipate developing under the authority provided in this proposed regulation. The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to describe the methodology used under the rules set forth in the proposed regulations in each revenue procedure that publishes discount factors for a determination year.

    Part D of this Background section describes the existing procedures for discounting unpaid losses with respect to accident years not separately reported on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) annual statement, including the method described in section V of Notice 88-100, 1988-2 C.B. 439 (composite method). Part B of the Other Discounting Considerations section of this preamble describes proposed new procedures for discounting such unpaid losses. These procedures would simplify the discounting of unpaid losses by eliminating the need for a second set of discount factors to be used with respect to accident years not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement.

    Part C of the Other Discounting Considerations section of this preamble describes an approach that the Secretary intends to adopt for discounting estimated salvage recoverable by applying the unpaid loss discount factors in each line of business to the estimated salvage recoverable in that line of business.

    A. Discounted Unpaid Losses, Estimated Salvage Recoverable, and Discounted Unearned Premiums

    Under section 832, the taxable income of a property and casualty insurance company (non-life insurance company), including a title insurance company, is the sum of its underwriting income and investment income (as well as gains and other income items), reduced by allowable deductions. Under section 832(b)(3), a non-life insurance company's “losses incurred” is a component of the company's underwriting income. Under section 832(b)(5)(A), the change over a taxable year in the company's “discounted unpaid losses” (as defined in section 846) is a component of its losses incurred for the taxable year. Discounting of unpaid losses is required to take into account the time value of money. See H. Rept. 115-466, at 470 (2017) (Conf. Rep.). Under section 832(b)(3), (4), and (8), a title insurance company's “discounted unearned premiums” is a component of the company's underwriting income. Under section 832(b)(8), a title insurance company must discount its unearned premiums by using the applicable interest rate and the applicable statutory premium recognition pattern. The applicable interest rate for purposes of section 832(b)(8) is the annual rate determined under section 846(c)(2).

    Section 832(b)(5)(A) also requires that the change in discounted estimated salvage recoverable be taken into account in computing the losses incurred component of underwriting income. Under section 832(b)(5)(A), the amount of discounted estimated salvage recoverable is determined in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary. Section 1.832-4(c) provides that, except as otherwise provided in guidance published by the Commissioner in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, estimated salvage recoverable must be discounted either (1) by using the applicable discount factors published by the Commissioner for estimated salvage recoverable; or (2) by using the loss payment pattern for a line of business as the salvage recovery pattern for that line of business and by using the applicable interest rate for calculating unpaid losses under section 846(c). In prior years, guidance published by the Commissioner in the Internal Revenue Bulletin has always directed taxpayers to discount estimated salvage recoverable for each line of business using the applicable discount factors published by the Commissioner for estimated salvage recoverable and has not allowed the use of the second option provided for by regulations. These discount factors were determined using the salvage recovery pattern for the line of business and the applicable interest rate for calculating unpaid losses under section 846. See, e.g., Rev. Proc. 2018-13, 2018-7 I.R.B. 356, and Rev. Proc. 2016-59, 2016-51 I.R.B. 849.

    The section 846 discounting rules are also relevant for life insurance companies. Section 807(c) provides that, for life insurance companies, the amount of unpaid losses (other than losses on life insurance contracts) is the amount of discounted unpaid losses as defined in section 846 for purposes of both sections 805(a)(1) and 807(c)(2). Section 805(a)(1) provides life insurance companies with a deduction for losses incurred during the taxable year on insurance and annuity contracts. Section 807(c)(2) provides that unpaid losses included in total reserves under section 816(c)(2) are taken into account under section 807(a) and (b) by a life insurance company. In general, section 807(a) provides that a decrease in discounted unpaid losses over the taxable year is included in life insurance company gross income under section 803(a)(2), while section 807(b) provides that an increase in discounted unpaid losses over the taxable year is deductible under section 805(a)(2).

    B. Discounting Rules for Unpaid Losses

    Section 846(a)(1) provides that the amount of discounted unpaid losses as of the end of any taxable year is the sum of the discounted unpaid losses, as of such time, separately computed with respect to unpaid losses in each line of business for each accident year. The amount of discounted unpaid losses in a line of business that is attributable to a specified accident year is calculated by multiplying that accident year's undiscounted unpaid losses at the end of each taxable year by a published discount factor associated with that line of business, accident year, and taxable year. Discount factors are published annually by the IRS. See, e.g., Rev. Proc. 2018-13 and Rev. Proc. 2016-58, 2016-51 I.R.B. 839. These discount factors are derived using the applicable loss payment pattern, determined under section 846(d) using aggregate industry loss payment data, and the applicable interest rate determined by the Secretary under section 846(c).

    1. Modification of the Applicable Rate of Interest Used To Discount Unpaid Losses

    The “applicable interest rate” used to determine the discount factors associated with any accident year and line of business is the “annual rate” determined under section 846(c)(2).

    Before amendment by section 13523(a) of the TCJA, section 846(c)(2) provided that the annual rate for any calendar year was a rate equal to the average of the applicable Federal mid-term rates (as defined in section 1274(d) but based on annual compounding) effective as of the beginning of each of the calendar months in the most recent 60-month period ending before the beginning of the calendar year for which the determination is made. The applicable Federal mid-term rate is determined by the Secretary based on the average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods of over three years but not over nine years. See section 1274(d)(1).

    As amended by section 13523(a) of the TCJA, section 846(c)(2) provides that the annual rate for any calendar year will be determined by the Secretary based on the corporate bond yield curve (as defined in section 430(h)(2)(D)(i), determined by substituting “60-month period” for “24-month period” therein). Section 430, which relates to minimum funding standards for single-employer defined benefit pension plans, includes other rules for determining an “effective interest rate,” such as segment rate rules. The term “effective interest rate” along with these other rules, including the segment rate rules, do not apply for purposes of property and casualty insurance reserve discounting. See H. Rept. 115-466, at 471, fn. 979. The corporate bond yield curve is published on a monthly basis by the Treasury Department and consists of spot interest rates for each stated time to maturity. See, e.g., Notice 2018-60, 2018-31 I.R.B. 275. The spot rate for a given time to maturity represents the yield on a bond that gives a single payment at that maturity. For the stated yield curve, times to maturity are specified at half-year intervals from 0.5 year through 100 years. Section 846(c)(2) does not specify how the Secretary is to determine the annual rate for any calendar year based on the corporate bond yield curve.

    2. Modification of Computational Rules for Loss Payment Patterns

    Under section 846(d)(1), the Secretary determines a loss payment pattern for each line of business by reference to the historical aggregate loss payment data applicable to that line of business for each determination year. Under section 846(d)(4), the determination year is the calendar year 1987 and each fifth calendar year thereafter. Any loss payment pattern determined by the Secretary applies to the accident year ending with the determination year and to each of the four succeeding accident years. Section 846(d)(2)(A) and (B) provide that the determination of a loss payment pattern for any determination year is made using the aggregate experience reported on the annual statements of insurance companies on the basis of the most recent published aggregate data relating to loss payments available on the first day of the determination year. For instance, the payment data used to determine the loss payment patterns for 2017 (the most recent determination year) were reported on annual statements filed for the year 2015.

    The loss payment pattern for each line of business is determined in accordance with the computational rules of section 846(d)(3). These rules determine different loss payment patterns for “long-tail” lines of business (any line of business reported in the schedule or schedules of the annual statement relating to auto liability, other liability, medical malpractice, workers' compensation, and multiple peril lines) and “short-tail” lines of business (all lines of business other than long-tail lines of business).

    For short-tail lines of business, section 846(d)(3) provides that losses unpaid at the end of the first year following the accident year are treated as paid equally in the second and third years following the accident year. For long-tail lines of business, section 846(d)(3) provides that unpaid losses remaining after ten years are treated as paid in the tenth year following the accident year, except as otherwise provided in that section.

    Before amendment by section 13523(b) of the TCJA, section 846(d)(3) provided for the extension of the ten-year payment period specified for long-tail lines by not more than five years provided certain conditions were met.

    As amended by section 13523(b) of the TCJA, section 846(d)(3) provides for the extension of the ten-year payment period for a maximum of fourteen additional years if the amount of losses that would have been treated as paid in the tenth year after the accident year exceeds the average of the loss payments treated as paid in the seventh, eighth, and ninth years after the accident year. In that case, the amount of losses that would have been treated as paid in the tenth year after the accident year are treated as paid in such tenth year and each subsequent year in an amount equal to the average of the loss payments treated as paid in the seventh, eighth, and ninth years after the accident year (or, if less, the portion of the unpaid losses not previously taken into account). To the extent such unpaid losses have not been treated as paid before the twenty-fourth year after the accident year, they are to be treated as paid in such twenty-fourth year.

    In addition to extending the ten-year payment period, section 13523(b) of the TCJA repealed section 846(d)(3)(E) through (G). Former section 846(d)(3)(G) is discussed in part C of this Background section. Former section 846(d)(3)(F) provided for the Secretary to make appropriate adjustments if annual statement data with respect to payment of losses was available for longer periods after the accident year than the periods assumed under section 846(d). The annual statement requires the reporting of ten years of loss payment data for the international line of business and the three lines of business for non-proportional reinsurance, as it does for long-tail lines of business. Losses from proportional reinsurance are reported in the annual statement schedules related to the underlying line of business, which may be short-tail or long-tail. Under section 846(d)(3), proportional reinsurance unpaid losses are discounted using the discount factors published for the underlying line of business. Former section 846(d)(3)(E) provided special rules for determining loss payment patterns for the international line of business and for reinsurance lines of business based on the combined losses for all long-tail lines of business and provided explicit authority to the Secretary to override these special rules.

    The repeal of section 846(d)(3)(E) and (F) means that the statute no longer explicitly provides for the determination of loss payment patterns for non-proportional reinsurance and international lines of business extending beyond three calendar years following the accident year. Non-proportional reinsurance and international lines of business are not included in the list of long-tail lines set forth in section 846(d)(3)(A)(ii). The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments regarding the length of the loss payment patterns for non-proportional reinsurance and international lines of business to be determined under section 846, as amended, and the legal basis for limiting the loss payment patterns for these lines of business to three calendar years following the accident year or extending the loss payment patterns beyond those years.

    Section 846(f) (as redesignated by section 13523(c) of the TCJA) provides the Secretary with authority to prescribe such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of section 846, including an explicit grant of authority to prescribe regulations for providing proper treatment of allocated reinsurance. The 1992 Final Regulations provide special rules for the determination of discount factors for proportional and non-proportional reinsurance lines of business and the international line of business. Section 1.846-1(b)(3) of the 1992 Final Regulations provides rules for the determination of discount factors for reinsurance lines of business. Section 1.846-1(b)(3)(i) provides that, with respect to proportional reinsurance lines of business (for accident years after 1987), unpaid losses are discounted using discount factors applicable to the line of business to which those unpaid losses are allocated as required on the annual statement. Section 1.846-1(b)(3)(ii)(A) provides that unpaid losses for non-proportional reinsurance (for accident years after 1991) are discounted using the discount factors published by the IRS for the appropriate reinsurance line of business, subject to an exception set forth in § 1.846-1(b)(3)(iv) (if more than 90 percent of the unallocated losses of a taxpayer for an accident year relate to one underlying line of business, the taxpayer must discount all unallocated reinsurance unpaid losses attributable to that accident year using the discount factors published by the IRS for the underlying line of business). Section 1.846-1(b)(3)(ii)(B) provides rules for unpaid losses for non-proportional reinsurance for accident years 1988 through 1991, and § 1.846-1(b)(3)(iii) provides rules for certain reinsurance unpaid losses for accident years before 1988.

    Section 1.846-1(b)(4) of the 1992 Final Regulations provides rules for the determination of discount factors for the international line of business. Section 1.846-1(b)(4) provides that unpaid losses attributable to the international line of business are discounted using the discount factors determined for a “composite” long-tail line of business, unless more than 90 percent of such losses for that accident year are related to a single line of business, in which case the international unpaid losses are discounted using that accident year's published discount factors for the underlying line of business.

    3. Repeal of Historical Loss Payment Pattern Election

    Before amendment by section 13523(c) of the TCJA, section 846(e) permitted a taxpayer to elect to use its own historical loss payment pattern with respect to all lines of business rather than the industry-wide loss payment pattern determined by the Secretary under section 846(d), provided that applicable requirements were met. Section 13523(c) of the TCJA repealed that election.

    4. Transition Rule

    The transition rule set forth in section 13523(e) of the TCJA provides that, for the first taxable year beginning after December 31, 2017, the unpaid losses and expenses unpaid (as defined in section 832(b)(5) and (6)) at the end of the preceding taxable year, and the unpaid losses (as defined in sections 805(a)(1) and 807(c)(2)) at the end of the preceding taxable year, are determined as if the amendments made by section 13523 of the TCJA had applied to such unpaid losses and expenses unpaid in the preceding taxable year and by using the interest rate and loss payment patterns applicable to accident years ending with calendar year 2018. Any adjustment resulting from this transition rule is taken into account ratably in such first taxable year and the seven succeeding taxable years. For subsequent taxable years, such amendments are applied with respect to unpaid losses and expenses unpaid for accident years ending with or before calendar year 2018 by using the interest rate and loss payment patterns applicable to accident years ending with calendar year 2018.

    C. Smoothing Adjustments

    As described in part B(2) of this Background section, section 846(d)(1) requires the Secretary to determine, for each determination year, a loss payment pattern for each line of business by reference to the historical aggregate loss payment data applicable to that line of business. The Secretary makes such determination using the aggregate experience reported on the annual statements of insurance companies on the basis of the most recent published aggregate data from such annual statements relating to loss payment patterns available on the first day of the determination year. Because historical loss payment patterns change from accident year to accident year, the annual payment amounts determined on the basis of data taken from a single year's annual statements are not always non-negative and may vary significantly from year to year. Accordingly, use of the annual statement payment data to determine the loss payment pattern without any adjustment to compensate for changes from year to year may produce discount factors that vary widely from one year to the next or discount factors for a particular year or years that are negative or greater than one. See Rev. Proc. 2003-17, 2003-1 C.B. 427.

    Former section 846(d)(3)(G), prior to its repeal by section 13523 of the TCJA, provided guidance on one aspect of smoothing. Former section 846(d)(3)(G) provided that, if the amount of losses treated as paid in the ninth year after the accident was negative or zero, the average of the losses treated as paid in the seventh, eighth, and ninth years after the accident year would be used instead to determine the amount of losses treated as paid in the following years. Section 846(d)(3)(B)(ii)(II), as amended by section 13523(b) of the TCJA, provides that the average of the loss payments treated as paid in the seventh, eighth, and ninth years after the accident year is used to determine the amount of losses treated as paid in the following years. Section 846, as amended, provides no additional specific guidance regarding smoothing of the loss payment patterns.

    In section 2.03(4) of Rev. Proc. 2003-17 and section 3.04 of Rev. Proc. 2007-9, 2007-3 I.R.B. 278, comments were requested as to whether a methodology should be adopted to smooth the annual statement payment data, and thus produce a more stable pattern of discount factors. The Treasury Department and the IRS received comments that agreed that such a methodology should be adopted and suggested specific methods that could be used.

    D. Composite Method

    Rules for discounting unpaid losses with respect to accident years not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement are described in section V of Notice 88-100 and in Rev. Proc. 2002-74, 2002-2 C.B. 980.

    After the enactment of section 846 in 1986, the Treasury Department and the IRS published Notice 88-100 to provide guidance with respect to several issues that were expected to be addressed in then forthcoming regulations under section 846. Section V of Notice 88-100 stated that regulations under section 846 would provide that taxpayers may not use information that does not appear on their NAIC annual statements to allocate aggregate unpaid losses among several accident years, but rather must use a composite discount factor for such aggregated unpaid losses. The notice set forth a method for computing a composite discount factor to be used to compute discounted unpaid losses with respect to accident years not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement, referred to as the “composite method.” The notice provided a simplified example to illustrate the operation of this method.

    The 1992 Final Regulations provided guidance on several issues addressed in Notice 88-100, rendering portions of Notice 88-100 obsolete. However, the 1992 Final Regulations did not adopt the rule anticipated by section V of Notice 88-100 requiring that taxpayers use a composite discount factor for the aggregate unpaid losses from accident years not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement, and therefore section V of Notice 88-100 was not rendered obsolete.

    The 1992 Final Regulations adopted a rule requiring taxpayers to use composite discount factors with respect to any line of business for which the IRS has not published discount factors. See § 1.846-1(b)(1)(ii) and (5) of the 1992 Final Regulations. Composite discount factors determined on the basis of the appropriate composite loss payment pattern are published annually by the IRS for use with respect to such lines of business. However, these composite discount factors are unrelated to the composite discount factors of Notice 88-100 that relate to discounting unpaid losses from accident years not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement.

    Section 3.01 of Rev. Proc. 2002-74 clarifies that the composite method described in section V of Notice 88-100 is permitted but not required to be used by insurance companies. Section 3.01 also provides that the Secretary will publish composite discount factors annually for use by taxpayers that have not elected under section 846(e) to use their historical loss payment patterns, and such factors have been published annually since 2002, along with the Secretary's tables containing the section 846 loss payment patterns and discount factors and the section 832 salvage discount factors. See, e.g., Rev. Proc. 2016-58. Section 3.02 of Rev. Proc. 2002-74 provides, in part, that taxpayers who do not use a composite method described in section 3.01 of Rev. Proc. 2002-74 should instead use the discount factors for the appropriate year in the Secretary's table for the appropriate line of business. Sections 3.01 and 3.02 of Rev. Proc. 2002-74 also provide instructions for taxpayers that have elected under section 846(e) to use their historical loss payment patterns. However, as discussed in part B(3) of this Background section, section 13523(c) of the TCJA repealed section 846(e).

    Explanation of Provisions A. Modification of the Applicable Rate of Interest Used To Discount Unpaid Losses

    Proposed § 1.846-1(c) provides that the applicable interest rate is the annual rate determined by the Secretary for any calendar year on the basis of the corporate bond yield curve (as defined in section 430(h)(2)(D)(i), determined by substituting “60-month period” for “24-month period” therein). The annual rate for any calendar year is the average of the corporate bond yield curve's monthly spot rates with times to maturity of not more than seventeen and one-half years, computed using the most recent 60-month period ending before the beginning of the calendar year for which the determination is made.

    Consistent with the text of section 846, as amended by the TCJA, and the statutory structure as a whole, the proposed regulations provide for the use of a single annual rate applicable to all lines of business as was the case under section 846 prior to amendment by the TCJA. Under section 846(c)(2) prior to amendment by section 13523(a) of the TCJA, a single annual rate was used for all lines of business, and the amendments made by the TCJA do not clearly indicate an intent to change from the historical practice of applying a single rate to all loss payment patterns. The change from using the average of the applicable Federal mid-term rates to the averaged corporate bond yield curve, however, indicates that the annual rate should be determined in a manner that more closely matches the investments in bonds used to fund the undiscounted losses to be incurred in the future by insurance companies.

    An alternative approach would be the direct application of the corporate bond yield curve to the loss payment pattern for each line of business, which would result in a more accurate measure of the present value of the unpaid losses for each line of business. In light of the investment in corporate bonds to fund the unpaid losses to be paid in the future, the result is a more accurate reflection of the time value of money in the measure of income. Using this approach, for each taxable year, each future loss payment incurred in a line of business for an accident year (as determined by the loss payment pattern determined for that line of business) would be discounted using the spot rate from the corporate bond yield curve with a time to maturity that matches the time between the end of the accident year and the middle of the year of the loss payment.

    Although the proposed regulations do not adopt this approach in light of the text of section 846 and the statutory structure as a whole, the maturity range used to determine the single rate applicable to all unpaid losses for all lines of business (times to maturity of not more than seventeen and one-half years) was selected to minimize the differences in taxable income, in the aggregate, resulting from the use of a single discount rate for a given accident year versus the direct application of the corporate bond yield curve for that accident year. For this purpose, losses incurred for the accident year were assumed to be those reported for 2015, and loss payments for each line of business were assumed to follow the loss payment pattern for that line of business determined using aggregate data reported on annual statements filed for 2015. Each maturity range considered had a half-year time to maturity as a lower bound, but had a different upper bound. Discount factors for all lines of business were calculated using the loss payment patterns and the discount rate applicable to the 2018 accident year, and a different discount rate was used for each maturity range being considered. For each maturity range, discounted unpaid losses and taxable income effects were computed for each line of business for the accident year and for each following taxable year. A present value of the taxable income effects for each line of business was calculated and subtracted from the present value of the taxable income effects calculated for that line of business using a direct application of the applicable corporate bond yield curve. Each present-value difference was expressed as a positive number, and these amounts were summed over all lines of business. The selected maturity range was the one that generated the smallest sum of present-value differences in taxable income effects.

    In addition to the approach underlying the proposed regulations, the Treasury Department and the IRS considered a number of other options for determining the annual rate on the basis of the corporate bond yield curve. The Treasury Department and the IRS considered other ranges of maturities that could be used to determine a single annual rate applicable to all lines of business, such as the range of maturities used to determine the applicable Federal mid-term rate (over three years but not over nine years), as well as different maturity ranges of the same width (five and one-half years). The Treasury Department and the IRS also considered the use of a variable maturity range. Under a variable maturity range approach, the annual rate for any calendar year would be the average of the corporate bond yield curve's monthly spot rates with times to maturity contained within the range that would minimize, for that calendar year, the sum of differences in taxable income effects, selected in the same fashion as was the range adopted in the proposed regulations. Additionally, the Treasury Department and the IRS also considered (1) the use of two rates, one for long-tail lines of business, and one for short-tail lines of business; (2) the use of a different annual rate for each line of business; and (3) the direct application of the corporate bond yield curve.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the method of determining the annual rate on the basis of the corporate bond yield curve, including comments on whether a different option than the one incorporated in the proposed regulations should be adopted in the final regulations and, if so, the legal basis for that alternative option and explanation of how that option would more clearly reflect income.

    B. Proposed Removal of Regulations

    The proposed regulations propose to remove § 1.846-1(a)(2) of the 1992 Final Regulations because the examples are no longer relevant. The proposed regulations propose to remove § 1.846-1(b)(3)(ii)(B) and (b)(3)(iii) of the 1992 Final Regulations because these provisions apply only to accident years before 1992. The proposed regulations propose to remove § 1.846-1(b)(3)(iv) and (b)(4) of the 1992 Final Regulations because section 13523 of the TCJA repealed section 846(d)(3)(E). Section 1.846-1(b)(3)(i) and (b)(3)(ii)(A) of the 1992 Final Regulations are retained (with § 1.846-1(b)(3)(ii)(A) being redesignated as § 1.846-1(b)(3)(ii)) because these rules continue to provide for the proper treatment of reinsurance unpaid losses. The proposed regulations also propose to make conforming changes to § 1.846-1(a) and (b) of the 1992 Final Regulations to reflect the removal of various § 1.846-1 provisions, as well as the removal of §§ 1.846-2 and 1.846-3 of the 1992 Final Regulations.

    Section 13523 of the TCJA repealed the section 846(e) election permitting a taxpayer to use its own historical loss payment pattern with respect to all lines of business rather than the industry-wide loss payment pattern determined by the Secretary under section 846(d), provided that applicable requirements were met. Section 1.846-2 of the 1992 Final Regulations, which provides rules for applying the section 846(e) election, is proposed to be removed.

    Section 1.846-3 of the 1992 Final Regulations provides “fresh start” and reserve strengthening rules applicable to the last taxable year beginning before January 1, 1987, and the first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1986. Because the rules in § 1.846-3 are no longer applicable, § 1.846-3 is proposed to be removed.

    Section 1.846-4 of the 1992 Final Regulations provides applicability dates for §§ 1.846-1 through 1.846-3 of the 1992 Final Regulations. Under § 1.846-4(a), § 1.846-1 applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1986. Because §§ 1.846-2 and 1.846-3 are proposed to be removed, a separate applicability date section for § 1.846-1 is no longer needed, and, therefore, § 1.846-4 is proposed to be removed. The applicability dates for § 1.846-1 are proposed to be included in proposed § 1.846-1(e), including the original applicability date for those portions of § 1.846-1 that are not proposed to be revised.

    Section 1.846-0 of the 1992 Final Regulations, which provides a list of the headings in §§ 1.846-1 through 1.846-4 of the 1992 Final Regulations, is proposed to be removed.

    On April 10, 2006, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (71 FR 17990) a Treasury decision (T.D. 9257) containing §§ 1.846-2T and 1.846-4T. On January 23, 2008, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (73 FR 3868) a Treasury decision (T.D. 9377) that finalized the rules contained in § 1.846-2T in § 1.846-2 and finalized the rules contained in § 1.846-4T in § 1.846-4. T.D. 9377, however, did not remove §§ 1.846-2T and 1.846-4T from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Because these sections are obsolete, the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to remove §§ 1.846-2T and 1.846-4T from the CFR when the proposed regulations in this document are finalized.

    C. Smoothing Adjustments

    Section 846(d) instructs the Secretary to determine a loss payment pattern for each line of business for each determination year “by reference to” the historical loss payment pattern applicable to such line of business “on the basis of” the most recent published aggregate data from annual statements of insurance companies available on the first day of the determination year. Section 846 provides broad discretion to the Secretary to make needed adjustments when determining the loss payment patterns for each line of business. Use of loss payment patterns with negative payment amounts may produce discount factors that vary widely from year to year or discount factors that are negative or that exceed one. Commenters responding to prior requests for comments agreed that a methodology should be adopted to smooth the loss payment patterns. Proposed § 1.846-1(d)(2) provides that the Secretary may, if necessary to avoid negative payment amounts and otherwise produce a stable pattern of positive discount factors less than one, adjust the loss payment pattern for any line of business using a methodology described by the Secretary in other published guidance.

    Part A of the Other Discounting Considerations section of this preamble provides additional detail on the methodology that the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate using to adjust loss payment patterns.

    Proposed Applicability Dates

    The rules in proposed § 1.846-1(c) and (d) are proposed to apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.

    Other Discounting Considerations A. Smoothing Adjustments 1. Proposed Methodology

    The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to describe the adjustments made to the loss payment patterns produced using annual statement payment data and the methodology used to make such adjustments under the rule set forth in proposed § 1.846-1(d)(2) for each determination year in the revenue procedure publishing discount factors for that determination year. The methodology that the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate using to make adjustments to loss payment patterns for lines of business described in section 846(d)(3)(A)(ii) is illustrated by the following computational steps.

    Step 1. Compute the yearly payment amounts and cumulative payment amounts for the accident year and the nine years following the accident year using the most recent published aggregate data from annual statements relating to loss payment patterns available on the first day of the determination year. If any of the payment amounts for the seventh, eighth, or ninth year following the accident year are negative, or if the sum of these amounts is zero (and the cumulative payment amount for the ninth year following the accident year is not 1 (one)), go to Step 2 of this illustration. Otherwise, compute the average of the payment amounts for these three years for later reference in Step 3 and use in Step 7 of this illustration, and proceed to Step 3 of this illustration.

    Step 2. Average the payments for the seventh, eighth, and ninth years after the accident year. If that average is non-positive, include in the average the payment for the immediate prior year (that is, the sixth year following the accident year). If the average payment is still non-positive, continue including payments (from the fifth, fourth, etc. years after the accident year) until a positive average is produced. When a positive average payment amount is achieved, assign this payment amount to all years for which payment amounts were included in the average, and recalculate the cumulative payments for those years.

    Step 3. Identify the payment for the year immediately prior to the earliest year included in the average computed in Step 1 or Step 2 of this illustration. Call that year the “current year,” and go to Step 4 of this illustration.

    Step 4. If the payment for the current year is negative, go to Step 5 of this illustration. If it is non-negative, keep that payment amount for the current year, go to the next prior year, call it the “current year,” and repeat this Step 4. Repeat until all payments are non-negative, then go to Step 7 of this illustration.

    Step 5. If the payment amount for the current year is negative, average that amount with the payment amounts from an even number of adjacent years, before and after the current year. Choose the minimum number of adjacent years necessary to achieve a non-negative average payment amount. This average may include amounts that were the result of a previous averaging calculation, but may not include any payment amount for a year following the sixth year after the accident year. If including payments for all prior years in the average does not achieve a non-negative average, include as many additional payments from years following the current year as necessary to achieve a non-negative average. Assign the non-negative average payment amount to all years for which payment amounts were included in the calculation of the average, and recalculate the cumulative payments for those years.

    Step 6. Identify the payment for the year immediately prior to the earliest year included in the average of Step 5 of this illustration. Call it the “current year,” and go to Step 4 of this illustration.

    Step 7. Apply the rules of section 846(d)(3)(B)(ii), using the average payment for the seventh, eighth, and ninth year after the accident year, to produce payment amounts for years following the ninth year after the accident year.

    For example, using this methodology, if the tentative payment amount for the fifth year following the accident year is negative, that amount is averaged with the tentative payment amounts for the fourth and sixth years following the accident year. If that average is negative, the tentative payment amount for the third year following the accident year is included in the average. If that average is non-negative, it becomes the tentative payment amount for the third through sixth years following the accident year.

    2. Comparison to Other Suggested Methods

    The methods suggested by commenters responding to the requests for comments in Rev. Proc. 2003-17 and Rev. Proc. 2007-9 can be described in general terms as follows:

    (1) Treat a negative estimated loss paid as zero.

    (2) Average the negative estimated loss paid with estimated losses from other years to yield a positive result. For instance, commenters suggested two different methods for eliminating a negative estimated loss paid in the ninth year after the accident year: Averaging the negative estimated loss with estimated losses from as many earlier years as needed to yield a positive result, and averaging the negative estimated loss with the estimated losses for all later years.

    (3) Adjust the negative estimated loss paid to equal the lesser of the value for the next younger year and the amount that brings the cumulative losses paid to 100 percent.

    (4) Adjust the negative estimated loss paid using a smoothing calculation that results in younger years having a lower “Estimated Cumulative Losses Paid” than more mature years.

    (5) Adjust the negative estimated loss paid by ensuring the percent paid in any year is no higher than the year before.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS considered the methods suggested by commenters responding to prior requests for comments, but anticipate using the proposed methodology to adjust loss payment patterns for several reasons. Among other things, the proposed methodology, to the extent possible, centers the average on the negative payment year and therefore should not display a bias towards increasing or decreasing discount factors. The proposed methodology ensures that the amount used to extend the loss payment pattern past the ninth year after the accident year is positive, and preserves the average for the seventh, eighth, and ninth years after the accident year when that average is initially positive.

    B. Discontinuance of Composite Method

    This document proposes to eliminate the need to determine a second set of discount factors to be used with respect to accident years not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement by providing that, effective for taxable years beginning on or after the date the proposed regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register, a taxpayer that has unpaid losses relating to an accident year not separately reported on the NAIC annual statement must compute discounted unpaid losses with respect to that year using the discount factor published by the Secretary for that year for the appropriate line of business.

    The methods described in Rev. Proc. 2002-74, including the composite method described in section 3.01 of Rev. Proc. 2002-74 and section V of Notice 88-100, would not be permitted methods, effective for taxable years beginning on or after the date the proposed regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register. Section V of Notice 88-100 and Rev. Proc. 2002-74 would be obsolete for taxable years beginning on or after that date. The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate providing rules applicable to taxpayers that seek to change a method of accounting to comply with these changes. The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that these rules will provide that a taxpayer seeking to change to the method of accounting prescribed must follow the applicable procedures for obtaining the Commissioner's automatic consent to a change in accounting method.

    C. Determination of Estimated Discounted Salvage Recoverable

    In prior years, guidance published by the Commissioner in the Internal Revenue Bulletin has directed taxpayers to discount estimated salvage recoverable for each line of business using the applicable discount factors published by the Commissioner for estimated salvage recoverable. See, e.g., Rev. Proc. 2018-13 and Rev. Proc. 2016-59. These discount factors were determined using the salvage recovery pattern for the line of business and the applicable interest rate for calculating unpaid losses under section 846. Id. The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate providing in similar future guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin that estimated salvage recoverable is to be discounted using the published discount factors applicable to unpaid losses. This treatment of estimated salvage recoverable is equivalent to netting undiscounted unpaid losses with estimates of salvage recoverable and discounting the net amount using the unpaid loss discount factors. This method is permitted under section 832(b)(5)(A) and § 1.832-4(c) and should reduce compliance complexity and costs. Separate discount factors for estimated salvage recoverable (including anticipated recoveries on account of subrogation claims) would no longer be published by the IRS. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether net payment data (loss payments less salvage recovered) and net losses incurred data (losses incurred less salvage recoverable) should be used to compute loss discount factors.

    Effect on Other Documents

    Section V of Notice 88-100 and Rev. Proc. 2002-74 are proposed to be obsolete for taxable years beginning on or after the date the proposed regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register.

    Special Analyses

    This regulation is not subject to review under section 6(b) of 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. Because these regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking will be submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    Comments and Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any 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 that are submitted by the public will be available for public inspection and copying at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request.

    A public hearing has been scheduled for December 20, 2018, at 10 a.m., in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance. In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building. Because of access restrictions, visitors will not be admitted beyond the immediate entrance area more than thirty (30) minutes before the hearing starts. For more information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    The rules of 26 CFR 601.601(a)(3) apply to the hearing. Persons who wish to present oral comments at the hearing must submit written or electronic comments and an outline of the topics to be discussed and the time to be devoted to each topic by December 7, 2018. Such persons should submit a signed paper original and eight (8) copies or an electronic copy. A period of ten (10) minutes will be allotted to each person for making comments. An agenda showing the scheduling of the speakers will be prepared after the deadline for receiving outlines has passed. Copies of the agenda will be available free of charge at the hearing.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Kathryn M. Sneade, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products), IRS. However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    The IRS notices and revenue procedures 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.

    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 TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by removing the entry for § 1.846-2(d), removing the entry for §§ 1.846-1 through 1.846-4, and adding an entry in numerical order for § 1.846-1. The addition reads in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.846-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 846.

    § 1.846-0 [Removed]
    Par. 2. Section 1.846-0 is removed. Par. 3. Section 1.846-1 is amended by: 1. Removing “section 846(f)(3)” from the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1) and adding “section 846(e)(3)” in its place. 2. Removing “and § 1.846-3(b) contains guidance relating to discount factors applicable to accident years prior to the 1987 accident year” from the third sentence of paragraph (a)(1). 3. Removing the last sentence of paragraph (a)(1). 4. Removing paragraph (a)(2) and redesignating paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) as paragraphs (a)(2) and (3), respectively. 5. In the first sentence of paragraph (b)(1), removing “section 846(f)(6)” and adding “section 846(e)(6)” in its place; and removing “, in § 1.846-2 (relating to a taxpayer's election to use its own historical loss payment pattern)”. 6. Removing “for accident years after 1987” from the heading for paragraph (b)(3)(i). 7. Removing the designation “(A)” and the accompanying heading “Accident years after 1991” after the heading of paragraph (b)(3)(ii). 8. Removing paragraphs (b)(3)(ii)(B), and (b)(3)(iii) and (iv). 9. Removing paragraph (b)(4) and redesignating paragraph (b)(5) as paragraph (b)(4). 10. Adding paragraphs (c), (d), and (e).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 1.846-1 Application of discount factors.

    (c) Determination of annual rate. The applicable interest rate is the annual rate determined by the Secretary for any calendar year on the basis of the corporate bond yield curve (as defined in section 430(h)(2)(D)(i), determined by substituting “60-month period” for “24-month period” therein). The annual rate for any calendar year is determined on the basis of a yield curve that reflects the average, for the most recent 60-month period ending before the beginning of the calendar year, of monthly yields on corporate bonds described in section 430(h)(2)(D)(i). The annual rate is the average of that yield curve's monthly spot rates with times to maturity of not more than seventeen and one-half years.

    (d) Determination of loss payment pattern—(1) In general. Under section 846(d)(1), the loss payment pattern determined by the Secretary for each line of business is determined by reference to the historical loss payment pattern applicable to such line of business determined in accordance with the method of determination set forth in section 846(d)(2) and the computational rules prescribed in section 846(d)(3) on the basis of the annual statement data from annual statements described in section 846(d)(2)(A) and (B). However, the Secretary may adjust the loss payment pattern for any line of business as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    (2) Smoothing adjustments. The Secretary may adjust the loss payment pattern for any line of business using a methodology described by the Secretary in other published guidance if necessary to avoid negative payment amounts and otherwise produce a stable pattern of positive discount factors less than one.

    (e) Applicability date. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, this section applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1986.

    (2) Paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.

    § 1.846-2 [Removed]
    Par. 4. Section 1.846-2 is removed.
    § 1.846-2T [Removed]
    Par. 5. Section 1.846-2T is removed.
    § 1.846-3 [Removed]
    Par. 6. Section 1.846-3 is removed.
    § 1.846-4 [Removed]
    Par. 7. Section 1.846-4 is removed.
    § 1.846-4T [Removed]
    Par. 8. Section 1.846-4T is removed. Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24367 Filed 11-5-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 53 [REG-107163-18] RIN 1545-BO80 Regulations To Prescribe Return and Time for Filing for Payment of Section 4960, 4966, 4967, and 4968 Taxes and To Update the Abatement Rules for Section 4966 and 4967 Taxes AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations specifying which return to use to pay certain excise taxes and the time for filing the return. The regulations also implement the statutory addition of two excise taxes to the first-tier taxes subject to abatement. These regulations affect applicable tax-exempt organizations and their related organizations, applicable educational institutions, sponsoring organizations that maintain certain donor advised funds, fund managers of such sponsoring organizations, and certain donors, donor advisors and persons related to a donor or donor advisor of a donor advised fund.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-107163-18), 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-107163-18), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224 or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS REG-107163-18).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Amber L. MacKenzie at (202) 317-4086 or Ward L. Thomas at (202) 317-6173; concerning submission of comments and request for hearing, Regina Johnson at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document contains proposed regulations amending regulations under section 6011 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to specify the return to accompany payment of excise taxes under sections 4960, 4966, 4967, and 4968; amending regulations under section 6071 to specify the time for filing that return; and amending regulations under section 4963 that define the first-tier taxes subject to abatement under section 4962.

    These regulations affect applicable tax-exempt organizations described in section 4960(c)(1) and their related organizations described in section 4960(c)(4)(B); applicable educational institutions described in section 4968(b)(1); sponsoring organizations described in section 4966(d)(1) that maintain donor advised funds described in section 4966(d)(2); fund managers of such sponsoring organizations described in sections 4966(d)(3); and donors, donor advisors and persons related to a donor or donor advisor of a donor advised fund described in section 4967(d).

    These regulations implement section 1231 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Public Law 109-280, 120 Stat. 780, 1094 (“PPA”), as amended by section 3(h) of the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2007, Public Law 110-172, 121 Stat. 2473, 2475, and sections 13602 and 13701 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Public Law 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054, 2157, 2167 (2017) (“TCJA”).

    The PPA added sections 4966 and 4967 to the Code. These sections impose excise taxes related to certain distributions from donor advised funds (defined in section 4966(d)(2)) maintained by organizations that are defined as sponsoring organizations in section 4966(d)(1).

    Section 4966(a)(1) imposes a 20 percent excise tax on each “taxable distribution” from a donor advised fund, payable by the sponsoring organization of the donor advised fund. Section 4966(a)(2) imposes a separate 5 percent excise tax on the agreement of any fund manager (as defined in section 4966(d)(3)) to the making of the distribution, knowing that it is a taxable distribution. Section 4966(b)(1) states that if more than one fund manager is liable for the tax, all such managers are jointly and severally liable with respect to the taxable distribution. Section 4966(b)(2) provides that the maximum amount of tax that may be imposed on all fund managers for any one taxable distribution is $10,000.

    Section 4966(c)(1) defines the term “taxable distribution” as any distribution from a donor advised fund: (A) To any natural person; or (B) to any other person if (i) the distribution is for any purpose other than one specified in section 170(c)(2)(B), or (ii) the sponsoring organization does not exercise expenditure responsibility in accordance with section 4945(h) with respect to such distribution. Section 4966(c)(2) excepts from the definition of taxable distribution: (A) Distributions to any organization described in section 170(b)(1)(A), other than a disqualified supporting organization (as defined in section 4966(d)(4)); (B) distributions to the sponsoring organization of such donor advised fund; and (C) distributions to any other donor advised fund.

    Section 4967(a)(1) imposes a tax on the advice of a donor, donor advisor, or related person, described in subsection (d), if a distribution from a donor advised fund results in such person (or any other person described in subsection (d)) receiving, directly or indirectly, a more than incidental benefit (a “prohibited benefit”). The tax, which is equal to 125 percent of the amount of the prohibited benefit, is paid by any person described in subsection (d) who advises as to a distribution or who receives a prohibited benefit as a result of the distribution. Section 4967(c)(1) provides that if more than one person is liable for the tax under section 4967(a)(1), then all such persons are jointly and severally liable for the tax.

    Section 4967(a)(2) imposes a tax on a fund manager (defined in section 4966(d)(3)) who agrees to the making of a distribution described in section 4967(a)(1), knowing that it would confer a more than incidental benefit on a donor, donor advisor, or related person. Section 4967(a)(2) states that the tax is equal to 10 percent of the amount of the prohibited benefit. Section 4967(c)(1) provides that if more than one fund manager is liable for the tax, all such fund managers are jointly and severally liable. Section 4967(c)(2) provides that the maximum amount of tax under section 4967(a)(2) on all fund managers for any one prohibited benefit transaction is $10,000. Section 4967(b) provides that no tax is imposed under section 4967 if a tax has been imposed with respect to the distribution under section 4958 (taxing excess benefit transactions).

    In 2006, the PPA added section 4966 and section 4967 taxes to the definitions of “first tier tax” in section 4963(a) and “taxable event” in section 4963(c). In 2007, section 4962(b) was amended by the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2007, Public Law 110-172, sec. 3(h), 121 Stat. 2473, 2475, to add subchapter G of chapter 42 (i.e., section 4966 and section 4967 taxes) to the definition of “qualified first tier tax” for purposes of tax abatement. Thus under the Code, section 4966 and section 4967 taxes are subject to abatement under the generally applicable rules. Treas. Reg. § 53.4963-1 sets forth definitions with respect to abatement of taxes.

    The TCJA added sections 4960 and 4968 to the Code. Section 4960 imposes an excise tax equal to the product of the rate of tax under section 11 and the sum of (1) so much of the remuneration paid (other than any excess parachute payment) by an applicable tax-exempt organization for the taxable year with respect to employment of any covered employee in excess of $1,000,000, plus (2) any excess parachute payment paid by such an organization to any covered employee. Section 4960(c)(4)(A) provides that remuneration of a covered employee by an applicable tax-exempt organization includes any remuneration paid with respect to employment of such employee by any related person or governmental entity. Section 4960(c)(4)(C) provides that when remuneration from more than one employer is taken into account in determining the tax imposed by subsection (a), each such employer is liable for a pro rata share of the tax imposed by subsection (a) based on the ratio of the amount of remuneration paid by such employer with respect to such employee to the amount of remuneration paid by all such employers to such employee. Separately, section 4968 imposes an excise tax on each applicable educational institution based on the net investment income of such institution (including certain income of related organizations) for the taxable year.

    Section 6011(a) generally provides that when required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary, any person liable for any tax imposed by the Code shall make a return or statement according to the forms and regulations prescribed by the Secretary. Section 6071 generally provides that when not otherwise provided for under the Code, return filing dates are prescribed by regulation. Treas. Reg. §§ 53.6011-1 and 53.6071-1 require persons subject to certain enumerated excise taxes under Chapter 42 of the Code to file a Form 4720 to accompany payment of those excise taxes and provide the time for filing the return. (Form 4720 is denominated “Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.”) Sections 4960, 4966, 4967, and 4968 were added to Chapter 42 of the Code, but are not enumerated in Treas. Reg. §§ 53.6011-1 and 53.6071-1.

    Explanation of Provisions 1. Section 4962 Abatement

    These proposed regulations add section 4966 and section 4967 taxes to the definitions of “first tier tax” and “taxable event” in Treas. Reg. § 53.4963-1. Qualified first tier taxes are subject to abatement under section 4962.

    2. Requirement To File a Form 4720

    These proposed regulations amend Treas. Reg. § 53.6011-1(b) to provide that persons (including governmental entities) that are liable for section 4960, 4966, 4967, or 4968 excise taxes are required to file a return on Form 4720.

    3. Deadline for Filing a Form 4720

    Under § 53.6071-1(i) of these proposed regulations, a person required to file a Form 4720 to report an excise tax under section 4960, 4966, 4967, or 4968 must file a Form 4720 by the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of the person's taxable year during which the excise tax liability was incurred. Thus, for example, an organization reporting on a calendar-year basis that incurred excise tax during the calendar year ending December 31, 2018, would be required to file a Form 4720 and pay the tax due by May 15, 2019.

    4. Effective/Applicability Date

    These regulations are proposed to apply as of the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

    Special Analyses

    This regulation is not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations. It is hereby certified that the collection of information in these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule merely provides guidance as to the timing and filing of Form 4720 for persons liable for the specified excise taxes and who have a statutory filing obligation. Completing the applicable portion of the Form 4720 imposes little incremental burden in time or expense as compared to any other filing method. In addition, a person may already be required to file the Form 4720 under the existing final regulations in §§ 53.6011-1 and 53.6071-1 if it is liable for another excise tax for which filing of the Form is required. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this regulation will be submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small entities.

    Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any comments that are timely submitted to the IRS as prescribed in the preamble under the ADDRESSES section. All comments submitted will be made available at www.regulations.gov or upon request.

    A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these regulations are Amber L. MacKenzie and Ward L. Thomas, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the IRS and Treasury Department participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 53

    Excise taxes, Foundations, Investments, Lobbying, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 53 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 53—FOUNDATION AND SIMILAR EXCISE TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 53 continues to read, in part, as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    § 53.4963-1 [Amended]
    Par. 2. Section 53.4963-1 is amended as follows: 1. Paragraph (a) is amended by removing the language “4958, 4971” and adding “4958, 4966, 4967, 4971” in its place. 2. Paragraph (c) is amended by removing the language “4958, 4971” and adding “4958, 4966, 4967, 4971” in its place. Par. 3. Section 53.6011-1 is amended by: 1. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b). 2. Removing from the third sentence of paragraph (b) the language “4958(a), or 4965(a),” and adding “4958(a), 4960(a), 4965(a), 4966(a), or 4967(a),” in its place.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 53.6011-1 General requirement of return, statement or list.

    (b) Every person (including a governmental entity) liable for tax imposed by sections 4941(a), 4942(a), 4943(a), 4944(a), 4945(a), 4955(a), 4958(a), 4959, 4960(a), 4965(a), 4966(a), 4967(a), or 4968(a), and every private foundation and every trust described in section 4947(a)(2) which has engaged in an act of self-dealing (as defined in section 4941(d)) (other than an act giving rise to no tax under section 4941(a)) shall file an annual return on Form 4720 and shall include therein the information required by such form and the instructions issued with respect thereto. * * *

    § 53.6071-1 [Amended]
    Par. 4. Section 53.6071-1 is amended by: 1. Redesignating paragraph (i) as paragraph (j). 2. Adding new paragraphs (i) and (j)(3).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 53.6071-1 Time for filing returns.

    (i) Taxes under section 4960, 4966, 4967, or 4968. A person (including a governmental entity) required by § 53.6011-1(b) to file a return for a tax imposed by section 4960(a), 4966(a), 4967(a), or 4968(a) in a taxable year must file the Form 4720 on or before the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of the person's taxable year (or, if the person has not established a taxable year for Federal income tax purposes, the person's annual accounting period).

    (j) * * *

    (3) Paragraph (i) of this section applies on and after the date of publication of the Treasury decision adopting these rules as final regulations in the Federal Register.

    Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24285 Filed 11-5-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2018-0606; FRL-9986-09-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Wyoming; Revisions to Regional Haze State Implementation Plan; Revisions to Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule pertaining to revisions to the regional haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) and Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) for Wyoming and requested comments by November 13, 2018. The EPA is extending the comment period for the proposed rule until December 10, 2018.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2018-0606, to the Federal Rulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. The EPA requests that, if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jaslyn Dobrahner, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202-1129, (303) 312-6252, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On October 11, 2018 (83 FR 51403), we published in the Federal Register a proposed rule pertaining to revisions to the regional haze SIP and FIP for Wyoming and requested comment by November 13, 2018. Specifically, the SIP revisions modify the sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions reporting requirements for Laramie River Station Units 1 and 2. The revisions to the FIP revise the nitrogen oxides (NOX) best available retrofit technology (BART) emission limits for Laramie River Units 1—3 and establish a SO2 emission limit averaged annually across both Laramie River Station Units 1 and 2.

    We received a request from several organizations to extend the comment period and, in response, we are extending the comment period to December 10, 2018.1

    1 A copy of the letter requesting the extension appears in the docket for this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Douglas Benevento, Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24366 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2018-0607; FRL-9986-03-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Wyoming; Revisions to Regional Haze State Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a source-specific revision to the Wyoming State Implementation Plan (SIP) that provides an alternative to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for Unit 3 at the Naughton Power Plant (“the SIP revision”) that is owned and operated by PacifiCorp. The EPA proposes to find that the BART alternative for Naughton Unit 3 would provide greater reasonable progress toward natural visibility conditions than BART in accordance with the requirements of section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the EPA's Regional Haze Rule (RHR). The SIP revision was submitted by the State of Wyoming on November 28, 2017.

    The SIP revision for Naughton Unit 3 was submitted along with Wyoming's 5-year progress report, which is required under the Regional Haze Rule. However, the EPA is not proposing to act on the 5-year progress report in this rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2018-0607, to the Federal Rulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 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:

    Aaron Worstell, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6073, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. General Information II. Background III. The SIP Revision for Naughton Unit 3 IV. Clean Air Action Section 110(l) V. Consultation With FLMs VI. The EPA's Proposed Action VII. Incorporation by Reference VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. General Information A. Definitions

    For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or acronyms as follows:

    • The words Wyoming and State mean the State of Wyoming.

    • The word Naughton refers to the Naughton Plant.

    • The initials BART mean or refer to Best Available Retrofit Technology.

    • The term Class I area refers to a mandatory Class I federal area.1

    1 Although states and tribes may designate as Class I additional areas which they consider to have visibility as an important value, the requirements of the visibility program set forth in section 169A of the CAA apply only to “mandatory Class I Federal areas.”

    • The initials CAA mean or refer to the Clean Air Act.

    • The initials CBI mean or refer to Confidential Business Information.

    • The initials EGU mean or refer to Electric Generating Unit.

    • The words EPA, we, us, or our mean or refer to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    • The initials FGR mean flue gas recirculation.

    • The initials FIP mean or refer to Federal Implementation Plan.

    • The initials LNB mean or refer to low-NOX burners.

    • The initials MMBtu mean or refer to million British thermal units.

    • The initials NAAQS mean or refer to National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

    • The initials NO X mean or refer to nitrogen oxides.

    • The initials OFA mean or refer to over fire air.

    • The initials PM mean or refer to Particulate Matter, which is inclusive of PM10 (particulate matter less than or equal to 10 micrometers) and PM2.5 (particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers).

    • The initials SCR mean or refer to Selective Catalytic Reduction.

    • The initials SIP mean or refer to State Implementation Plan.

    • The initials SO 2 mean or refer to Sulfur Dioxide.

    B. Docket

    All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    II. Background A. Requirements of the Clean Air Act and the EPA's Regional Haze Rule

    In section 169A of the 1977 Amendments to the CAA, Congress created a program for protecting visibility in the nation's national parks and wilderness areas. This section of the CAA establishes “as a national goal the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution.” 2

    2 42 U.S.C. 7491(a). Areas designated as mandatory Class I Federal areas consist of national parks exceeding 6,000 acres, wilderness areas and national memorial parks exceeding 5,000 acres, and all international parks that were in existence on August 7, 1977. 42 U.S.C. 7472(a). In accordance with section 169A of the CAA, the EPA, in consultation with the Department of Interior, promulgated a list of 156 areas where visibility is identified as an important value. 44 FR 69122 (November 30, 1979). The extent of a mandatory Class I area includes subsequent changes in boundaries, such as park expansions. 42 U.S.C. 7472(a). Although states and tribes may designate as Class I additional areas whose visibility they consider to be an important value, the requirements of the visibility program set forth in section 169A of the CAA apply only to “mandatory Class I Federal areas.” Each mandatory Class I Federal area is the responsibility of a “Federal Land Manager.” 42 U.S.C. 7602(i). When we use the term “Class I area” in this section, we mean a “mandatory Class I Federal area.”

    The EPA promulgated a rule to address regional haze on July 1, 1999.3 The RHR revised the existing visibility regulations 4 to integrate provisions addressing regional haze and established a comprehensive visibility protection program for Class I areas. The requirements for regional haze, found at 40 CFR 51.308 and 40 CFR 51.309, are included in the EPA's visibility protection regulations at 40 CFR 51.300 through 40 CFR 51.309. The EPA revised the RHR on January 10, 2017.5

    3 64 FR 35714, 35714 (July 1, 1999) (codified at 40 CFR part 51, subpart P).

    4 The EPA had previously promulgated regulations to address visibility impairment in Class I areas that is “reasonably attributable” to a single source or small group of sources, i.e., reasonably attributable visibility impairment (RAVI). 45 FR 80084, 80084 (December 2, 1980).

    5 82 FR 3078 (January 10, 2017).

    The CAA requires each state to develop a SIP to meet various air quality requirements, including protection of visibility.6 Regional haze SIPs must assure reasonable progress toward the national goal of achieving natural visibility conditions in Class I areas. A state must submit its SIP and SIP revisions to the EPA for approval. Once approved, a SIP is enforceable by the EPA and citizens under the CAA; that is, the SIP is federally enforceable. If a state elects not to make a required SIP submittal, fails to make a required SIP submittal or if we find that a state's required submittal is incomplete or not approvable, then we must promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to fill this regulatory gap.7

    6 42 U.S.C. 7410(a), 7491, and 7492(a); CAA sections 110(a), 169A, and 169B.

    7 42 U.S.C. 7410(c)(1).

    B. Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART)

    Section 169A of the CAA directs states as part of their SIPs to evaluate the use of retrofit controls at certain larger, often uncontrolled, older stationary sources in order to address visibility impacts from these sources. Specifically, section 169A(b)(2)(A) of the CAA requires states' implementation plans to contain such measures as may be necessary to make reasonable progress toward the natural visibility goal, including a requirement that certain categories of existing major stationary sources built between 1962 and 1977 procure, install, and operate the “Best Available Retrofit Technology” as determined by the states through their SIPs. Under the RHR, states (or the EPA) are directed to conduct BART determinations for such “BART-eligible” sources that may reasonably be anticipated to cause or contribute to any visibility impairment in a Class I area.8 Rather than requiring source-specific BART controls, states also have the flexibility to adopt an emissions trading program or other alternative program as long as the alternative provides greater reasonable progress towards improving visibility than BART.9

    8 40 CFR 51.308(e). The EPA designed the Guidelines for BART Determinations Under the Regional Haze Rule (Guidelines) 40 CFR Appendix Y to part 51 “to help States and others (1) identify those sources that must comply with the BART requirement, and (2) determine the level of control technology that represents BART for each source.” Guidelines, Section I.A. Section II of the Guidelines describes the four steps to identify BART sources, and Section III explains how to identify BART sources (i.e., sources that are “subject to BART”).

    9 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2). WildEarth Guardians v. EPA, 770 F.3d 919 (10th Cir. 2014).

    C. BART Alternatives

    An alternative program to BART must meet requirements under 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2) and (e)(3). These requirements for alternative programs relate to the “better-than-BART” test and fundamental elements of any alternative program.

    In order to demonstrate that the alternative program achieves greater reasonable progress than source-specific BART, a state must demonstrate that its SIP meets the requirements in 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i) through (v). The state or the EPA must conduct an analysis of the best system of continuous emission control technology available and the associated reductions for each source subject to BART covered by the alternative program, termed a “BART benchmark.” Where the alternative program has been designed to meet requirements other than BART, simplifying assumptions may be used to establish a BART benchmark.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i)(E), the state or the EPA, must also provide a determination that the alternative program achieves greater reasonable progress than BART under 40 CFR 51.308(e)(3) or otherwise based on the clear weight of evidence. 40 CFR 51.308(e)(3), in turn, provides specific tests applicable under specific circumstances for determining whether the alternative achieves greater reasonable progress than BART. If the distribution of emissions for the alternative program is not substantially different than for BART, and the alternative program results in greater emissions reductions, then the alternative program may be deemed to achieve greater reasonable progress. If the distribution of emissions is significantly different, the differences in visibility between BART and the alternative program, must be determined by conducting dispersion modeling for each impacted Class I area for the best and worst 20 percent of days. This modeling demonstrates “greater reasonable progress” if both of the two following criteria are met: (1) Visibility does not decline in any Class I area; and (2) there is overall improvement in visibility when comparing the average differences between BART and the alternative program across all the affected Class I areas. Alternatively, pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2), states may show that the alternative achieves greater reasonable progress than the BART benchmark “based on the clear weight of evidence” determinations. Specific RHR requirements for alternative programs are discussed in more detail in Section III.10

    10 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2).

    Generally, a SIP addressing regional haze must include emission limits and compliance schedules for each source subject to BART. In addition to the RHR's requirements, general SIP requirements mandate that the SIP include all regulatory requirements related to monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting for the alternative's enforceable requirements. See CAA section 110(a); 40 CFR part 51, subpart K.

    D. Reasonable Progress Requirements

    In addition to BART requirements, as mentioned previously, each regional haze SIP must contain measures as necessary to make reasonable progress towards the national visibility goal. Finally, the SIP must establish reasonable progress goals (RPGs) for each Class I area within the state for the plan implementation period (or “planning period”), based on the measures included in the long-term strategy.11 If an RPG provides for a slower rate of improvement in visibility than the rate under which the national goal of no anthropogenic visibility impact would be attained by 2064, the SIP must demonstrate, based on the four reasonable progress factors, why that faster rate is not reasonable and the slower rate provided for by the SIP's state-specific RPG is reasonable.12

    11 40 CFR 51.308(d).

    12 40 CFR 51.308(d)(1)(ii).

    E. Consultation With Federal Land Managers (FLMs)

    The RHR requires that a state consult with FLMs before adopting and submitting a required SIP or SIP revision.13 Further, the EPA, or state when considering a SIP revision, must include in its proposal a description of how it addressed any comments provided by the FLMs.

    13 40 CFR 51.308(i).

    F. Requirements for Regional Haze SIPs Submitted Under 40 CFR 51.309

    The EPA's RHR provides two paths to address regional haze. One is 40 CFR 51.308, requiring states to perform individual point source BART determinations and evaluate the need for other control strategies. The other method for addressing regional haze is through 40 CFR 51.309, and is an option for nine states termed the “Transport Region States,” which include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. By meeting the requirements under 40 CFR 51.309, a Transport Region State can be deemed to be making reasonable progress toward the national goal of achieving natural visibility conditions for the 16 Class I areas on the Colorado Plateau.14

    14 The Colorado Plateau is a high, semi-arid tableland in southeast Utah, northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and western Colorado. The 16 mandatory Class I areas are: Grand Canyon National Park, Mount Baldy Wilderness, Petrified Forest National Park, Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Wilderness, Flat Tops Wilderness, Maroon Bells Wilderness, Mesa Verde National Park, Weminuche Wilderness, West Elk Wilderness, San Pedro Park Wilderness, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capital Reef National Park and Zion National Park.

    Section 309 requires those Transport Region States that choose to participate to adopt regional haze strategies that are based on recommendations from the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission (GCVTC) for protecting the 16 Class I areas on the Colorado Plateau. The purpose of the GCVTC was to assess information about the adverse impacts on visibility in and around the 16 Class I areas on the Colorado Plateau and to provide policy recommendations to the EPA to address such impacts. The GCVTC determined that all Transport Region States could potentially impact the Class I areas on the Colorado Plateau. The GCVTC submitted a report to the EPA in 1996 for protecting visibility for the Class I areas on the Colorado Plateau, and the EPA codified these recommendations as an option available to states as part of the RHR.15

    15 64 FR 35714, 35749 (July 1, 1999).

    The EPA determined that the GCVTC strategies would provide for reasonable progress in mitigating regional haze if supplemented by an annex containing quantitative emission reduction milestones and provisions for a trading program or other alternative measure.16 In September 2000, the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP), which is the successor organization to the GCVTC, submitted an annex to the EPA. The annex contained SO2 emissions reduction milestones and detailed provisions of a backstop trading program to be implemented automatically if voluntary measures failed to achieve the SO2 milestones. The EPA codified the annex on June 5, 2003 at 40 CFR 51.309(h).17

    16 64 FR 35714, 35749, 35756 (July 1, 1999).

    17 68 FR 33764, 33767 (June 5, 2003).

    Five western states, including Wyoming, submitted implementation plans under section 309 in 2003.18 The EPA was challenged by the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) on the validity of the annex provisions. In CEED v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the EPA approval of the WRAP annex.19 In response to the court's decision, the EPA vacated the annex requirements adopted under 40 CFR 51.309(h), but left in place the stationary source requirements in 40 CFR 51.309(d)(4).20 The requirements under 40 CFR 51.309(d)(4) contain general requirements pertaining to stationary sources and market trading, and allow states to adopt alternatives to the point source application of BART.

    18 Five states—Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming—and Albuquerque-Bernalillo County, New Mexico, initially exercised this option by submitting plans to the EPA in December 2003. Oregon elected to cease participation in 2006, and Arizona elected to cease participation in 2010.

    19Ctr. for Energy & Econ. Dev. v. EPA, 398 F.3d 653, 654 (D.C. Cir. 2005).

    20 71 FR 60612 (October 13, 2006).

    Thus, rather than requiring source-specific BART controls as explained previously in Section II.B., states have the flexibility to adopt an emissions trading program or other alternative program if the alternative provides greater reasonable progress than would be achieved by the application of BART pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2). Under 40 CFR 51.309, states can satisfy the SO2 BART requirements by adopting SO2 emissions milestones and a backstop trading program. Under this approach, states must establish declining SO2 emissions milestones for each year of the program through 2018. The milestones must be consistent with the GCVTC's goal of 50 to 70 percent reduction in SO2 emissions by 2040. The backstop trading program would be implemented if a milestone is exceeded and the program is triggered.21

    21 40 CFR 51.309(d)(4)(v).

    G. History of NOX and PM BART Determinations for Naughton Unit 3 1. PacifiCorp Naughton Unit 3

    The PacifiCorp Naughton Power Plant, located in Lincoln County, Wyoming, is comprised of three pulverized coal-fired units with a total net generating capacity of 700 megawatts (MW). All three boilers are tangentially fired and burn subbituminous coal. Naughton Unit 3 generates a nominal 330 MW and commenced operation in 1971. Naughton Unit 3 is currently equipped with low-NOX burners (LNB) and overfire air (OFA) to control NOX, sodium-based wet flue gas desulfurization to control SO2, and an electrostatic precipitator and flue gas conditioning to control PM.22 All three units are within the statutory definition of BART-eligible units, and were determined to be subject to BART by Wyoming in its 2011 Regional Haze SIP (discussed below).

    22 PM includes both PM10 and PM2.5. See Definitions.

    2. 2011 Wyoming Regional Haze SIP

    Wyoming submitted its SIP revision to the EPA on January 12, 2011, to address the requirements of section 309(g) of the RHR. On June 10, 2013, the EPA proposed to approve portions of the Wyoming Regional Haze SIP, including the State's NOX and PM BART determinations for Naughton Unit 3.23 Specifically, we proposed to approve: (1) Wyoming's NOX BART emission limit of 0.07 lb/MMBtu (30-day rolling average), reflecting the existing LNBs plus OFA and the installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR), and (2) Wyoming's PM BART emission limit of 0.015 lb/MMBtu, reflecting installation of a new full-scale fabric filter.24 25 We also proposed to approve the associated compliance dates that required that PacifiCorp comply with the NOX and PM BART emission limits within 5 years from the effective date of our final rule (that is, by March 4, 2019).

    23 78 FR 34738 (June 10, 2013); 78 FR 34760 (June 10, 2013).

    24 The BART requirement is met through compliance with the specified emission limit, and may be achieved through measures other than the referenced control technology.

    25 Wyoming's 2011 SIP also contained NOX emission limits of 259 lb/hr (30-day rolling average) and 1,134 tons/year, and PM emission limits of 56 lb/hr and 243 tons/year. These hourly and annual limits are the product of the respective lb/MMBtu emission limit and the design heat input for an hour or year. However, EPA's SIP approval only included the lb/MMBtu emission limits.

    During the public comment period for the EPA's proposed rule, PacifiCorp submitted comments indicating that, in place of installing SCR on Naughton Unit 3 to meet the NOX BART emission limit of 0.07 lb/MMbtu (30-day rolling average), it planned to convert the unit to natural gas firing by the end of 2018. On July 5, 2013, at the request of PacifiCorp, Wyoming issued air quality permit MD-14506 26 to modify the Naughton Power Plant by converting Unit 3 to fire natural gas. In a meeting with PacifiCorp held on October 31, 2013, the company clarified to the EPA that its comments were a request that the EPA establish emission limits reflecting conversion to natural gas through a FIP. In response to PacifiCorp's request, in our final rule the EPA indicated that while we tentatively supported PacifiCorp's planned conversion of Naughton Unit 3 to burn natural gas, we were unable to impose the associated emission limits through a FIP.27 We found no basis to disapprove Wyoming's SIP requirement for Naughton Unit 3 and were therefore obligated to approve them. Accordingly, in a final rule dated January 30, 2014, the EPA approved Wyoming's NOX and PM emission limits for Naughton Unit 3 that reflected the installation of SCR and a new full-scale fabric filter baghouse.28 At the time, we acknowledged that Wyoming intended to submit a revision to its regional haze SIP for Naughton Unit 3 that would reflect conversion to natural gas. We indicated that we would act on the SIP revision in an expedited timeframe.

    26 The emission limits and other requirements associated with the BART alternative were superseded by subsequent permits.

    27 79 FR 5045 (January 30, 2014).

    28 79 FR 5220, 5221 (January 30, 2014).

    Though we approved Wyoming's NOX and PM BART 29 emission limits for Naughton Unit 3, we disapproved the monitoring, record-keeping, and reporting requirements in the SIP for all BART sources, and promulgated federal requirements in their place for the reasons stated in our January 30, 2014 final rule and June 10, 2013 proposed rule.30

    29 Separately, under 40 CFR 51.309, Wyoming submitted a SIP satisfying BART requirements for SO2 by adopting SO2 emission milestones and a backstop trading program. We finalized approval of Wyoming's 309 program for SO2 on December 12, 2012. 77 FR 73926 (December 12, 2012).

    30 79 FR 5221, 5222 (January 30, 2014).

    3. Wyoming Regional Haze SIP Revision for Naughton Unit 3

    On November 28, 2017, Wyoming submitted a revision to the Wyoming Regional Haze SIP (“SIP revision”) that provides an alternative to NOX and PM BART for Naughton Unit 3 (“Naughton Unit 3 BART Alternative”). This SIP revision is in Appendix B to Wyoming's 5-year progress report, titled Alternative to BART for NO X and PM for PacifiCorp Naughton Unit 3, and includes five air quality permits for the Naughton Power Plant.31 The SIP revision is the subject of this proposal.

    31 Appendix B to the SIP contains the State's better than BART demonstration (PDF pp. 184-193) and five air quality permits issued by the State of Wyoming for the Naughton Power Plant. Permit Nos. P0021110 (March 7, 2017), PDF pp. 194-198; P0021918 (November 18, 2016), PDF pp. 199-200; MD-15946 (March 20, 2014), PDF pp. 201-205; MD-14506 (July 5, 2013), PDF pp. 206-215; and MD-6042A2 (March 7, 2012), PDF pp. 216-220.

    III. The SIP Revision for Naughton Unit 3 A. Summary of the SIP Revision

    The November 28, 2017 SIP revision requires that PacifiCorp cease firing coal at Naughton Unit 3 no later than January 30, 2019.32 The SIP revision establishes NOX and PM emission limits that reflect firing natural gas, installation of new low-NOX gas burners along with a boiler flue gas recirculation system (FGR) for NOX control, and a limit on annual heat input of 12,964,800 MMBtu/year (based on 12-month rolling average of hourly heat input values 33 ) equal to 40 percent of the maximum design heat input when firing coal.34 Collectively, these control measures will significantly reduce NOX and PM emissions. The SIP revision includes the associated compliance deadlines, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Finally, the SIP revision includes a determination that the Naughton Unit 3 BART alternative is “better than BART” based on a demonstration that it fulfills the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2) for a BART alternative. More information regarding Wyoming's analysis of the BART alternative is set forth below, along with the EPA's evaluation of the analysis.

    32 The coal pulverizers will be removed from service.

    33 The EPA understands the “12-month rolling average heat input of hourly heat input values” to mean that the hourly heat input values are summed for each month, and that these monthly values are then averaged on a rolling 12-month basis.

    34 The State's SIP explains that “. . . PacifiCorp will no longer operate the unit as a base-load Electric Generating Unit (EGU). Instead it will be operated as a peaking unit with a maximum annual heat input factor of 40%, or 12,964,800 MMBtu based on 12-month rolling average of hourly heat input values.” SIP Appendix B at p. 3.

    B. The EPA's Evaluation of the SIP Revision

    The RHR establishes the requirements for BART alternatives. Three of the requirements are of relevance to our evaluation of the Naughton Unit 3 BART alternative. We evaluate the proposed alternative to the NOX and PM BART requirements in the SIP revision with respect to each of these following elements:

    • A demonstration that the emissions trading program or other alternative measure will achieve greater reasonable progress than would have resulted from the installation and operation of BART at all sources subject to BART in the state and covered by the alternative program.35

    35 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i).

    • A requirement that all necessary emissions reductions take place during the period of the first long-term strategy for regional haze.36

    36 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(iii).

    • A demonstration that the emissions reductions resulting from the alternative measure will be surplus to those reductions resulting from the measures adopted to meet requirements of the CAA as of the baseline date of the SIP.37

    37 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(iv).

    Our evaluation draws from Appendix B of the SIP submittal: Alternative to BART for NO X and PM for PacifiCorp Naughton Unit 3.

    1. Demonstration That the Alternative Measure Will Achieve Greater Reasonable Progress

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i), a state must demonstrate that the alternative measure will achieve greater reasonable progress than would have resulted from the installation and operation of BART at all sources subject to BART in the state and covered by the alternative program. For a source-specific BART alternative, the critical elements of this demonstration are:

    • A list of all BART-eligible sources within the state;

    • A list of all BART-eligible sources and all BART source categories covered by the alternative program;

    • An analysis of BART and associated emission reductions;

    • An analysis of projected emissions reductions achievable through the BART alternative; and

    • A determination that the alternative achieves greater reasonable progress than would be achieved through the installation and operation of BART.

    We summarize the SIP revision with respect to each of these elements and provide our evaluation in the proceeding sections.

    • A List of All BART-Eligible Sources Within the State

    Table 1 shows a list of all BART-eligible sources in the State of Wyoming.

    Table 1—Wyoming BART-Eligible Sources Company Facility PacifiCorp Jim Bridger. Basin Electric Laramie River. PacifiCorp Dave Johnston. PacifiCorp Naughton. PacifiCorp Wyodak. FMC Westvaco. General Chemical Green River. Black Hills Neil Simpson 1. Sinclair Sinclair Refinery. Sinclair Casper Refinery. FMC Granger. Dyno Nobel Dyno Nobel. OCI Wyoming OCI Wyoming. P4 Production P4 Production. • A List of All BART-Eligible Sources and All BART Source Categories Covered by the BART Alternative Program

    Table 2 shows a list of all the BART-eligible sources covered by the BART alternative program along with the BART source category.

    Table 2—Wyoming Subject-to-BART Sources Covered by the Alternative Company Facility Subject-to-BART units Source category PacifiCorp Naughton Power Plant Unit 3 Electrical generating units. • Analysis of BART and Associated Emission Reductions

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i)(C), the SIP must include an analysis of BART and associated emission reductions at Naughton Unit 3. As noted above, Wyoming's BART analyses and determinations for Naughton Unit 3 were included in the 2011 Wyoming Regional Haze SIP. The EPA approved Wyoming's NOX BART emission limit of 0.07 lb/MMBtu (30-day rolling average) for Naughton Unit 3 that reflected existing LNBs plus OFA with the installation of SCR.38 In addition to the NOX BART emission limit of 0.07 lb/MMBtu approved by the EPA, the 2011 SIP included NOX emission limits of 259 lb/hr (30-day rolling average) and 1,134 tons/year. We also approved Wyoming's PM BART emission limit of 0.015 lb/that reflected installation of a new full-scale fabric filter.39 In addition to the PM BART emission limit of 0.015 lb/MMBtu approved by the EPA, the 2011 SIP included PM emission limits of 56 lb/hr and 243 tons/year. These BART determinations are shown in the SIP revision, and are summarized in Table 3 below.

    38 79 FR 5045 (January 30, 2014).

    39 Ibid.

    Table 3—Summary of Wyoming's NOX and PM BART Determinations for Naughton Unit 3 Permitted controls NOX PM SCR, New Fabric Filter Baghouse 0.07 lb/MMBtu (30-day rolling)
  • 259 lb/hr (30-day rolling)
  • 1,134 tons/yr
  • 0.015 lb/MMBtu.
  • 56 lb/hr.
  • 243 tons/yr.
  • We propose to find that Wyoming has met the requirement for an analysis of BART and associated emission reductions achievable at Naughton Unit 3 under 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i)(C). Note that the emission reductions associated with BART, when expressed in tons reduced per year, are shown in the section that follows.

    • Analysis of Projected Emissions Reductions Achievable Through the BART Alternative

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i)(D), the SIP must include an analysis of projected emissions reductions achievable through the BART alternative. The BART alternative achieves emission reductions through the following control measures: conversion of the unit to natural gas firing, installation of new low-NOX gas burners and FGR for NOX control, and a limit on annual heat input equal to 40 percent of the maximum design heat input (when burning coal), or 12,964,800 MMBtu/year. The SIP revision includes an analysis of the projection emissions and emissions reductions associated with these alternative control measures as reproduced in Tables 4 and 5 below.

    Table 4—Naughton Unit 3 Emission Limits When Converted to Natural Gas Permitted controls NOX PM New LNB, FGR 0.12 lb/MMBtu (30-day rolling)
  • 250 lb/hr (30-day rolling)
  • 519 tons/yr
  • 0.008 lb/MMBtu.
  • 30 lb/hr.
  • 52 tons/yr.
  • Table 5—Naughton Unit 3 Emission Comparison When Converted to Natural Gas Fuel Permitted controls NOX lb/MMbtu lb/hr tons/yr PM lb/MMbtu lb/hr tons/yr Coal SCR, Fabric Filter 0.07 259 1,134 0.015 56 243 Natural Gas New LNB, FGR, heat input limit 0.12 250 519 0.008 30 52 Additional Reduction 9 615 0.007 26 191

    Here we note that Wyoming calculated the annual emission reductions achievable through BART based on a potential-to-emit (i.e., allowable) emissions basis. For example, Wyoming calculated the annual emissions for NOX under the BART scenario by multiplying the unit's maximum hourly heat input when combusting coal of 3,700 MMbtu/hr by the emission limit of 0.07 lb/MMBtu (30-day rolling average). Wyoming then converted the resulting value of 259 lb/hr to a tons/yr basis (3700 MMBtu/hr × 0.07 lb/MMBtu × 8760 hr/yr × 1 ton/2000 lb = 1,134 tons/yr). Wyoming's calculation for BART assumes that the unit would be operated at the maximum design heat input of 3,700 MMBtu/hr for the entire year (8,760 hours), yielding an annual heat input of 32,412,000 MMBtu. We disagree with the calculation methodology Wyoming used to calculate the annual emission reductions achievable with BART because they were based on a potential-to-emit basis. By contrast, in our analysis of NOX BART associated with the 2011 SIP, consistent with the BART Guidelines,40 we calculated the projected emissions with SCR based on past actual practice rather than the potential-to-emit. Our calculations reflected the actual operation of Naughton Unit 3 during the baseline period of 2001-2003 during which the heat input of the unit was 24,856,366 MMBtu.41 In addition, as opposed to using the 30-day rolling average emission limit of 0.07 lb/MMBtu, the EPA used the anticipated annual emission rate with SCR of 0.05 lb/MMbtu.42 Since that time, the 0.05 lb/MMBtu annual emission rate has been demonstrated at other PacifiCorp EGUs in Wyoming that have been retrofitted with SCR and that burn similar coal to Naughton Unit 3.43 The result is that the EPA calculated that the projected actual annual NOX emissions with SCR would be 621 tons/year 44 (as opposed to 1,134 tons/year calculated by Wyoming). Because the value of 621 tons/year was calculated consistent with the procedures outlined in the BART Guidelines, and reflects the projected actual emissions that would have been achieved with SCR, it sets the appropriate benchmark for making the better-than-BART comparison. To ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, it is also appropriate to calculate the projected annual emissions anticipated with the BART alternative in a commensurate manner to that for BART (i.e., based on projected actual rather than allowable emissions). Nonetheless, even if annual emissions for the BART alternative are calculated based on an allowable emissions basis as Wyoming has done, the allowed annual emissions for the BART alternative of 519 tons/year is lower than the EPA's estimate for BART (SCR) of 621 tons/year. Therefore, regardless of whether the emission reductions achievable with the BART alternative are assessed on a projected actual or allowable emissions basis, the anticipated NOX emissions are lower under the BART alternative than they are under BART. The same conclusion holds true for PM. Therefore, while we disagree with the State's potential-to-emit (allowable) methodology, we propose to agree with the State's conclusion that the emissions reductions achievable through the alternative measure are better-than-BART. 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i)(D).

    40 In general, for the existing sources subject-to-BART, you will estimate the anticipated annual emissions based upon actual emissions from a baseline period. 70 FR 39167 (July 5, 2005, emphasis added).

    41 Heat input data was obtained from the EPA Air Markets Program Data.

    42 79 FR 5043, Table 14 (January 30, 2014); 79 FR 5167 (January 30, 2014).

    43 Refer to the EPA Air Markets Program Data for Jim Bridger Power Plant Units 3 and 4 where SCR was installed in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

    44 Andover Technology Partners, “Cost of NOX Controls on Wyoming EGUs”, October 28, 2013; “Wyoming EGU BART and Reasonable Progress Cost,” 10/28/2013. Docket ID EPA-R08-OAR-2012-0026-0241.

    • Determination That the Alternative Achieves Greater Reasonable Progress Than Would Be Achieved Through the Installation and Operation of BART

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(i)(E), the SIP revision must provide a determination under 40 CFR 51.308(e)(3) or otherwise based on the clear weight of evidence that the alternative achieves greater reasonable progress than BART. Two different tests for determining whether the alternative achieves greater reasonable progress than BART are outlined in 40 CFR 51.308(e)(3). Under the first test, if the distribution of emissions is not substantially different than under BART, and the alternative measure results in greater emission reductions, then the alternative measure may be deemed to achieve greater reasonable progress. Under the second test, if the distribution of emissions is significantly different, then dispersion modeling must be conducted to determine differences between BART and the BART alternative for each impacted Class I area for the worst and best 20 percent days. The modeling would demonstrate “greater reasonable progress” if both of the following criteria are met: (1) Visibility does not decline in any Class I area; and (2) there is an overall improvement in visibility, determined by comparing the average differences between BART and the alternative over all affected Class I areas. This modeling test is sometimes referred to as the “two-prong test.”

    As stated in the SIP revision, the emissions reductions under PacifiCorp's BART alternative will occur at the same unit, and therefore the distribution of emissions under BART and the better-than-BART alternative are not substantially different. Accordantly, if the BART alternative results in greater emission reductions, then it may be deemed to achieve greater reasonable progress. The SIP revision includes an analysis of the emission reductions achievable with the BART alternative as compared to BART which indicates that the BART alternative achieves greater emission reductions. As indicated in section E. above, the BART alternative will achieve additional NOX reductions and additional PM reductions that are greater than achieved by BART.45 Therefore, we propose to find that Wyoming's conclusion that the BART alternative achieves greater reasonable progress than would be achieved through the installation and operation of BART is appropriate. 40 CFR 51.308((e)(2)(i)(E).

    45 These values are based on a comparison of allowable emissions. See discussion regarding allowable versus actual emissions in preceding section.

    2. A Requirement That All Necessary Emissions Reductions Take Place During the Period of the First Long-Term Strategy for Regional Haze

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(iii), all necessary emission reductions must take place during the period of the first long-term strategy for regional haze. The RHR further provides that, to meet this requirement, a detailed description of the alternative measure, including schedules for implementation, the emission reductions required by the program, all necessary administrative and technical procedures for implementing the program, rules for accounting and monitoring emissions, and procedures for enforcement.

    The SIP revision requires PacifiCorp to cease firing coal at Naughton Unit 3 no later than January 30, 2019.46 Because no emissions will occur between the date that PacifiCorp must cease firing coal, and when the unit is converted to fire natural gas, the SIP revision achieves emission reductions before the original BART compliance date of March 4, 2019. As a result, we do not find that it is appropriate to disapprove this aspect of the BART alternative.

    46 Appendix B, p. 2 (PDF p. 187). The associated emission and operational limits apply upon conversion of Naughton Unit 3 to fire natural gas.

    In addition, Wyoming has included the relevant implementation schedules, monitoring, reporting and record keeping requirements in the SIP revision as presented in section VI of this action. Accordingly, we propose to find that the BART alternative meets the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(iii).

    3. Demonstration That Emissions Reductions From the Alternative Measure Will Be Surplus

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(iv), the SIP must demonstrate that the emissions reductions resulting from the BART alternative measure will be surplus to those reductions resulting from measures adopted to meet requirements of the CAA as of the baseline date of the SIP. The baseline date for regional haze SIPs is 2002. All the NOX and PM emission reductions required by the BART alternative will occur in the future and are surplus to reductions resulting from SIP measures applicable to Naughton Unit 3 as of 2002. Therefore, we propose to find that the BART alternative complies with 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2)(iv).

    In sum, we propose to find that the BART alternative meets all the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2).

    IV. Clean Air Act Section 110(l)

    Under CAA section 110(l), the EPA cannot approve a plan revision “if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 7501 of this title), or any other applicable requirement of this chapter.” 47 The previous sections of the action explain how the SIP revision will comply with applicable regional haze requirements and general implementation plan requirements such as enforceability. With respect to requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, the Wyoming Regional Haze SIP, as revised by this action, will result in a significant reduction in emissions compared to current levels. Moreover, the SIP revision will result in decreased future NOX and PM emissions as compared to the prior SIP, and will therefore achieve greater reasonable progress than the prior SIP. In addition, the area where the Naughton Unit 3 is located has not been designated nonattainment for any National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Thus, the revisions will ensure a significant reduction in NOX and PM emissions compared to current levels in an area that has not been designated nonattainment for the relevant NAAQS at those current levels. Accordingly, we propose to find that these revisions satisfy section 110(l).

    47 Note that “reasonable further progress” as used in CAA section 110(l) is a reference to that term as defined in section 301(a) (i.e., 42 U.S.C. 7501(a)), and as such means reductions required to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set for criteria pollutants under section 109. This term as used in section 110(l) (and defined in section 301(a)) is not synonymous with “reasonable progress” as that term is used in the regional haze program. Instead, section 110(l) provides that the EPA cannot approve plan revisions that interfere with regional haze requirements (including reasonable progress requirements) insofar as they are “other applicable requirement[s]” of the CAA.

    V. Consultation With FLMs

    There are seven Class I areas in the State of Wyoming. The United States Forest Service (USFS) manages the Bridger Wilderness, Fitzpatrick Wilderness, North Absaroka Wilderness, Teton Wilderness and Washakie Wilderness. The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. The RHR grants the FLMs a special role in the review of regional haze implementation plans, summarized in section II.E of this preamble.

    Under 40 CFR 51.308(i)(2), Wyoming was obligated to provide the USFS and the NPS with an opportunity for consultation in development of the State's proposed SIP revision no less than 60 days prior to the associated public hearing or public comment opportunity. The SIP revision does not describe whether this consultation occurred. Nonetheless, Wyoming made the SIP revision for Naughton Unit 3 available to the public on June 5, 2017. The State's SIP submittal does not include any comments from the FLMs on its SIP revision for Naughton Unit 3 during the public comment period. Additionally, the FLMs will have an opportunity to comment during the public comment period for this action. We propose to find that while Wyoming did not state in its proposed SIP revision that it fully met its obligation to provide the FLMs with an opportunity for consultation in development of the SIP revision, the FLMs will have nevertheless been provided with two opportunities to comment.

    VI. The EPA's Proposed Action

    In this action, the EPA is proposing to approve Wyoming's SIP revision for the Alternative to BART for NOX and PM for PacifiCorp Naughton Unit 3, including the associated emission and operational limitations, compliance dates, and monitoring, record keeping, and reporting requirements. Specifically, the EPA is proposing to approve the following federally enforceable elements of the SIP revision for Naughton Unit 3:

    • The NOX and PM emission limits found in Wyoming air quality permits MD-15946 (condition 5, lb/hr and tons/year) and P0021110 (condition 7, lb/MMbtu).

    • The operational limit on annual heat input of 12,964,800 MMBtu (based on 12-month rolling average of hourly heat input values) found in Wyoming air quality permit P0021110 (condition 18).

    • The compliance dates found in Wyoming air quality permit P0021110; specifically including that PacifiCorp shall (1) remove the coal pulverizers from service (cease firing coal) by January 30, 2019 (P0021110, condition 19), (2) comply with the NOX and PM emission limits in lb/MMBtu upon conversion to natural gas firing (P0021110, condition 7), and (3) comply with the heat input limit by January 30, 2019 (P0021110, condition 18).

    • The compliance dates found in Wyoming air quality permit MD-15946 (conditions 5 and 6), requiring that PacifiCorp comply with the NOX and PM emission limits in lb/hr and tons/year upon completion of the initial performance tests.

    • The monitoring, record keeping, and reporting requirements found in air quality permit P0021110 (NOX CEMs, conditions 8 and 9; heat input, condition 18; PM stack testing, condition 10; reporting, conditions 4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19; record keeping, condition 17; notification, conditions 4 and 6; good practice, condition 21; credible evidence, condition 24).

    VII. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include regulatory text in an EPA final rule that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the SIP amendments described in section VI. of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 8 Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information).

    VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, 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 action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Douglas Benevento, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 8.

    40 CFR part 52 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart ZZ—Wyoming 2. Section 52.2620 is amended by adding in paragraph (d), the entry “Naughton Unit 3” at the end of the table; and by adding in paragraph (e), in numerical order, the entry “(32) XXXII” to read as follows:
    § 52.2620 Identification of plan.

    (d) * * *

    Regulation Rule title State effective date EPA effective date Final rule
  • citation/date
  • Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Naughton Unit 3 Air Quality SIP Permits containing BART Alternative requirements, MD-15946 and P0021110 November 28, 2017 December 7, 2018 [Federal Register citation] November 7, 2018 Only the following permit provisions: NOX and PM emission limits (P0021110, condition 7; MD-15946, condition 5); emission limit compliance dates (P0021110, condition 7; MD-15946, conditions 5 and 6); heat input limit and compliance date (P0021110, condition 18); compliance date for coal pulverizers to be removed from service (P0021110, condition 19); and associated monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements (P0021110, conditions 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 21, and 24).

    (e) * * *

    Rule No. Rule title State effective date EPA effective date Final rule
  • citation date
  • Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (32) XXXII Wyoming State Implementation Plan 5-Year Progress Report for Regional Haze, Appendix B: Alternative to BART for NOX and PM for PacifiCorp Naughton Unit 3 November 28, 2017 December 7, 2018 [Federal Register citation], November 7, 2018 Only includes Appendix B: Alternative to BART for NOX and PM for PacifiCorp Naughton Unit 3.
    3. Section 52.2636 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1)(vii) and amending paragraph(c)(1) by revising Table 1 to § 52.2636 to read as follows:
    § 52.2636 Implementation plan for regional haze.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (vii) PacifiCorp Naughton Power Plant Units 1 and 2 (PM and NOX); and

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Table 1 to § 52.2636 [Emission limits for BART units for which EPA approved the State's BART and Reasonable Progress determinations] Source name/BART unit PM emission
  • limits—lb/MMBtu
  • NOX emission
  • limits—lb/MMBtu
  • (30-day rolling
  • average)
  • FMC Westvaco Trona Plant/Unit NS-1A 0.05 0.35 FMC Westvaco Trona Plant/Unit NS-1B 0.05 0.35 TATA Chemicals Partners (General Chemical) Green River Trona Plant/Boiler C 0.09 0.28 TATA Chemicals Partners (General Chemical) Green River Trona Plant/Boiler D 0.09 0.28 Basin Electric Power Cooperative Laramie River Station/Unit 1 0.03 N/A Basin Electric Power Cooperative Laramie River Station/Unit 2 0.03 N/A Basin Electric Power Cooperative Laramie River Station/Unit 3 0.03 N/A PacifiCorp Dave Johnston Power Plant/Unit 3 0.015 N/A PacifiCorp Dave Johnston Power Plant/Unit 4 0.015 0.15 PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Power Plant/Unit 11 0.03 0.26/0.07 PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Power Plant/Unit 21 0.03 0.26/0.07 PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Power Plant/Unit 31 0.03 0.26/0.07 PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Power Plant/Unit 41 0.03 0.26/0.07 PacifiCorp Naughton Power Plant/Unit 1 0.04 0.26 PacifiCorp Naughton Power Plant/Unit 2 0.04 0.26 PacifiCorp Wyodak Power Plant/Unit 1 0.015 N/A 1 The owners and operators of PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 shall comply with the NOX emission limit for BART of 0.26 lb/MMBtu and PM emission limit for BART of 0.03 lb/MMBtu and other requirements of this section by March 4, 2019. The owners and operators of PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall comply with the NOX emission limit for reasonable progress of 0.07 lb/MMBtu by: December 31, 2022, for Unit 1, December 31, 2021, for Unit 2, December 31, 2015, for Unit 3, and December 31, 2016, for Unit 4.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24372 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 170831847-8853-01] RIN 0648-BG91 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Industry-Funded Monitoring AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes regulations to implement the New England Fishery Management Council's Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment. The New England Council is considering ways to increase monitoring in certain fisheries to assess the amount and type of catch and reduce uncertainty around catch estimates. This amendment would implement a process to standardize future industry-funded monitoring programs in New England Council fishery management plans and industry-funded monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery. This action would ensure consistency in industry-funded monitoring programs across fisheries and increase monitoring in the Atlantic herring fishery.

    DATES:

    Public comments must be received by December 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0109, by either of the following methods:

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

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

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

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

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

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

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

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and by email to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Nordeen, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: (978) 282-9272 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In 2013, the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils initiated a joint omnibus amendment to allow industry-funded monitoring in all of the fishery management plans (FMP) that the Councils manage. The joint amendment would provide a mechanism to support industry-funded monitoring and remedy issues that prevented NMFS from approving some of the Councils' previous industry-funded monitoring proposals. The industry-funded monitoring would be in addition to monitoring requirements associated with the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The Councils were interested in increasing monitoring in certain FMPs to assess the amount and type of catch and to reduce uncertainty around catch estimates. Previous Council proposals for industry-funded monitoring either required NMFS to spend money that was not yet appropriated or split monitoring costs between the fishing industry and NMFS in ways that were inconsistent with Federal law.

    In their development of the joint amendment, the Councils needed to remedy disapproved monitoring measures in Amendment 5 to the Atlantic Herring FMP (Amendment 5) (79 FR 8786, February 13, 2014) and Amendment 14 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP (Amendment 14) (79 FR 10029, February 24, 2014). Those measures recommended 100-percent observer coverage for the herring and mackerel fisheries and that NMFS would fund the increased monitoring along with a contribution by the fishing industry. Because NMFS's spending is limited by its Congressional appropriations, NMFS could not approve the Councils' recommendation because it could not guarantee that it would have sufficient funds to pay for the required increase in monitoring. Amendments 5 and 14 also recommended that the fishing industry contribution for industry-funded monitoring would be no more than $325 per day. Similarly, Framework 48 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP (78 FR 53363, August 29, 2013) recommended limiting the types of costs that industry would be responsible for paying in an industry-funded program, such that the industry would only have to pay for observer salaries. NMFS disapproved these proposals because they proposed the industry share monitoring costs with the government in ways that were inconsistent with Federal law.

    To remedy the disapproved measures, the joint amendment would use a monitoring coverage target, as opposed to a mandatory coverage level, to allow NMFS to approve new monitoring programs without committing to support coverage levels above appropriated funding or before funding is determined to be available. Using a coverage target instead of mandatory coverage level means the realized coverage in a given year would be determined by the amount of Federal funding available to cover NMFS cost responsibilities in a given year. Industry-funded monitoring coverage targets would be specified in individual FMPs and realized coverage for a fishery in a given year would be anywhere from no additional coverage above SBRM up to the specified coverage target. Additionally, the joint amendment would define cost responsibilities for industry-funded monitoring programs between the fishing industry and NMFS in a manner that is consistent with legal requirements. Monitoring cost responsibilities may be divided between the industry and the government, provided government cost responsibilities are paid by the government and the government's costs are differentiated from the industry's cost responsibilities. Currently, that cost delineation is between administrative and sampling costs. The joint omnibus amendment would use that delineation to define cost responsibilities for future industry-funded monitoring programs.

    The omnibus alternatives in the joint amendment, meaning those alternatives that would apply to all Council FMPs, considered measures to standardize the development and administration of future industry-funded monitoring programs. The joint amendment also included industry-funded monitoring coverage targets for the herring and mackerel fisheries. Information from industry-funded monitoring would primarily be used to help track catch (retained and discarded) against catch limits. The industry-funded monitoring types considered in the joint amendment for the herring and mackerel fisheries included observers, at-sea monitors, electronic monitoring, and portside sampling. To help the Councils evaluate the utility of electronic monitoring to verify catch retention and track discarded catch, NMFS conducted a voluntary electronic monitoring study in 2016 and 2017 with midwater trawl vessels that participate in the herring and mackerel fisheries.

    At its April 2017 meeting, the Mid-Atlantic Council decided to postpone action on the joint amendment until the midwater trawl electronic monitoring study was completed. The Mid-Atlantic Council's decision was based, in part, on its desire to have more information on the use of electronic monitoring to track catch against catch limits and the monitoring costs associated with electronic monitoring that would be borne by the mackerel industry. The Mid-Atlantic Council is expected to re-consider whether it wants to continue developing industry-funded monitoring measures for its FMPs at its October 2018 meeting. The New England Council selected preferred omnibus and herring coverage target alternatives at its April 2017 meeting, and recommended NMFS consider the amendment for approval and implementation. Therefore, the joint amendment initiated by both Councils to allow for industry-funded monitoring has become the New England Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment and the proposed measures would only apply to FMPs that the New England Council manages.

    The midwater electronic monitoring study concluded in January 2018. NMFS, New England Council, and Mid-Atlantic Council staff reviewed the study's final report in March 2018 and concluded that electronic monitoring was suitable for detecting discarding events aboard midwater trawl vessels. The study also evaluated costs associated with using EM in the herring fishery, especially the sampling costs that would be paid by the fishing industry. Based on the study, NMFS estimated the industry's costs for EM at approximately $296 per coverage day, not including the initial costs of purchasing and installing equipment. The EA for the amendment estimated the industry's annual costs for portside sampling at $96,000 for the midwater trawl fleet and $8,700 per vessel. Therefore, NMFS estimated the industry's costs for using electronic monitoring and portside sampling would be approximately $515 per coverage day.

    A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the New England Industry-Funded Omnibus Amendment was published in the Federal Register on September 19, 2018 (83 FR47326). The comment period for the NOA ends on November 19, 2018. Comments submitted on the NOA and/or this proposed rule prior to November 19, 2018, will be considered in our decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment. We will consider comments received by the end of the comment period for this proposed rule December 24, 2018 in our decision to implement measures proposed by the Council.

    Proposed Omnibus Measures

    This amendment would standardize the development and administration of future industry-funded monitoring programs for New England Council FMPs only. However, only the Atlantic Herring FMP would be subject to an industry-funded monitoring program resulting from this amendment. In the future, if the New England Council develops an industry-funded monitoring program, the New England Council would develop those programs consistent with the specifications and requirements for industry-funded programs established in this amendment. The existing industry-funded monitoring programs in the Northeast Multispecies and Atlantic Sea Scallop FMPs would not be affected by this amendment. While proposed cost responsibilities and monitoring service provider requirements are consistent with the existing programs, the industry-funded monitoring programs in the Multispecies and Scallop FMPS would not be included in the proposed process to prioritize industry-funded monitoring programs for available Federal funding. The New England Council may incorporate these existing industry-funded monitoring programs into the prioritization process in a future action. Additionally, future industry-funded monitoring programs in the Multispecies and Scallop FMPs would either expand the existing programs or develop new programs consistent with the proposed omnibus measures.

    As described previously, NMFS cannot approve and implement monitoring requirements for which it does not have available Federal funding to cover NMFS cost responsibilities. For that reason, this amendment proposes establishing industry-funded monitoring coverage targets in New England FMP with the understanding that annual funding available to cover NMFS cost responsibilities would likely vary and dictate realized coverage levels. The realized coverage in a given year would be determined by the amount of Federal funding available to cover NMFS cost responsibilities in a given year.

    The standardized structure for future industry-funded monitoring programs in New England fisheries would apply to several types of monitoring, including observing, at-sea monitoring, electronic monitoring, portside sampling, and dockside monitoring. This rule proposes the following principles to guide the selection and implementation of future industry-funded monitoring programs. The Council's development of an industry-funded monitoring program must consider or include the following:

    • A clear need or reason for the data collection;

    • Objective design criteria;

    • Cost of data collection should not diminish net benefits to the nation nor threaten continued existence of the fishery;

    • Seek less data intensive methods to collect data necessary to assure conservation and sustainability when assessing and managing fisheries with minimal profit margins;

    • Prioritize the use of modern technology to the extent practicable; and

    • Incentives for reliable self-reporting.

    All proposed omnibus measures are administrative, specifying a process to develop and administer future industry-funded monitoring and monitoring set-aside programs, and do not directly affect fishing effort or amounts of fish harvested. However, the proposed omnibus measures may have indirect effects on New England FMPs. Standardizing the process for developing and administering future industry-funded monitoring programs may help reduce the administrative burden associated with implementing new programs and may lead to greater consistency in the information collected through industry-funded monitoring programs. Improved catch information resulting from greater consistency in how information is collected may lead to better management of biological resources. The prioritization process may help ensure that available Federal funding is used to support industry-funded monitoring programs consistent with Council monitoring priorities. While industry-funded monitoring programs are expected to have an economic impact on the fishing industry, standard cost responsibilities may help the industry better understand and plan for their industry-funded monitoring cost responsibilities. Standard cost responsibilities may also aid the industry in negotiating coverage costs with service providers, which may ultimately reduce the dollar amount associated with industry cost responsibilities. Lastly, monitoring set-aside programs may help minimize the economic burden on the fishing industry associated with paying for monitoring coverage.

    1. Standard Process To Implement and Revise Industry-Funded Monitoring Programs

    This amendment would specify that future industry-funded monitoring programs would be implemented through an amendment to the relevant FMP. Because industry-funded monitoring programs have the potential to economically impact the fishing industry, the Council determined that implementing new industry-funded monitoring programs through an amendment would help ensure additional public notice and comment during the development of new programs. The details of any new industry-funded monitoring program implemented via amendment may include, but are not limited to:

    • Level and type of coverage target;

    • Rationale for level and type of coverage;

    • Minimum level of coverage necessary to meet coverage goals;

    • Consideration of waivers if coverage targets cannot be met;

    • Process for vessel notification and selection;

    • Cost collection and administration;

    • Standards for monitoring service providers; and

    • Any other measures necessary to implement the industry-funded monitoring program.

    This amendment would also specify that future industry-funded monitoring programs, implemented through an amendment, may be revised through framework adjustments to the relevant FMP. Additional National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis would be required for any action implementing and/or modifying industry-funded monitoring programs, regardless if the vehicle is an amendment or framework adjustment.

    2. Standard Cost Responsibilities

    Cost responsibilities for industry-funded monitoring must be divided by cost category, rather than a dollar amount or percentage of total cost, between the fishing industry and NMFS. NMFS is obligated to pay any cost for which the benefit of the expenditure accrues to the government. This means that NMFS would be responsible for administrative costs to support industry-funded programs, but not the costs associated with sampling activities. Costs associated with sampling activities would be paid by the fishing industry. NMFS may help offset industry cost responsibilities through reimbursement if Federal funding is available, but NMFS cannot be obligated to pay sampling costs in industry-funded sampling programs. Cost responsibilities dictated by legal requirements cannot be modified through this amendment. Instead, this amendment would codify NMFS cost responsibilities for industry-funded monitoring in New England FMPs to ensure consistency and compliance with legal requirements.

    NMFS would be responsible for paying costs associated with setting standards for, monitoring the performance of, and administering, industry-funded monitoring programs. These program elements would include:

    • The labor and facilities costs associated with training and debriefing of monitors;

    • NMFS-issued gear (e.g., electronic reporting aids used by human monitors to record trip information);

    • Certification of monitoring providers and individual observers or monitors;

    • Performance monitoring to maintain certificates;

    • Developing and executing vessel selection;

    • Data processing (including electronic monitoring video audit, but excluding service provider electronic video review); and

    • Costs associated with liaison activities between service providers, NMFS, Coast Guard, Council, sector managers, and other partners.

    NMFS's costs to administer industry-funded monitoring for all monitoring types would be paid with Federal funds. The industry would be responsible for funding all other costs of the monitoring program, those costs would include, but are not limited to:

    • Costs to the service provider for deployments and sampling (e.g., travel and salary for observer deployments and debriefing);

    • Equipment, as specified by NMFS, to the extent not provided by NMFS (e.g., electronic monitoring system);

    • Costs to the service provider for observer or monitor time and travel to a scheduled deployment that doesn't sail and was not canceled by the vessel prior to the sail time;

    • Costs to the service provider for installation and maintenance of electronic monitoring systems;

    • Provider overhead and project management costs (e.g., provider office space, administrative and management staff, recruitment costs, salary and per diem for trainees); and

    • Other costs of the service provider to meet performance standards laid out by a FMP.

    The cost responsibilities described above are consistent with the existing scallop and multispecies industry-funded monitoring programs, although cost responsibilities are not explicitly defined in those FMPs. This amendment would codify NMFS cost responsibilities for industry-funded monitoring for all New England FMPs, but it would not alter current requirements for existing industry-funded monitoring programs.

    3. Standard Requirements for Monitoring Service Providers and Observers/Monitors

    The SBRM Omnibus Amendment adopted general industry-funded observer service provider and observer requirements (at 50 CFR 648.11(h) and (i), respectively) should a Council develop and implement a requirement or option for an industry-funded observer program to support SBRM in any New England or Mid-Atlantic Council FMP. However, the SBRM Amendment did not address requirements for other types of industry-funded monitoring programs or coverage in addition to SBRM.

    This action would modify existing observer and service provider requirements to apply more broadly to monitoring by observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and dockside monitors. Additionally, this amendment would apply those requirements to supplementing coverage required by SBRM, ESA, and MMPA. This rule proposes to expand and modify existing observer service provider requirements at § 648.11(h) to apply to service providers for observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and dockside monitors. Similarly, this rule proposes to expand and modify existing observer requirements at § 648.11(i) to apply to observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and dockside monitors, described collectively as observers/monitors. These observer/monitor requirements would serve as the default requirements for any future industry-funded monitoring programs in New England Council FMPs. The Council may specify new requirements or revise existing requirements for FMP-specific industry-funded monitoring programs, as part of the amendment developing those programs or the framework adjustment revising those programs.

    4. Prioritization Process

    This amendment would establish a Council-led process to prioritize industry-funded monitoring programs for available Federal funding across New England Council FMPs. This prioritization process would allow the Council discretion to align Council monitoring priorities with available funding to pay NMFS cost responsibilities associated with industry-funded monitoring. Revising the prioritization process would be done in a framework adjustment. The existing scallop and multispecies industry-funded monitoring programs would not be included in the proposed prioritization process, unless the New England Council takes action in the future to include those programs in the prioritization process or develops new industry-funded monitoring programs within those FMPs consistent with this amendment.

    Available Federal funding refers to any funds in excess of those allocated to meet SBRM or other existing monitoring requirements that may be used to cover the government's costs associated with supporting industry-funded monitoring programs. Funding for SBRM, ESA, and MMPA observer coverage would not be affected by this prioritization process. Any industry-funded monitoring programs would be prioritized separately from and in addition to any SBRM coverage or other statutory coverage requirements. The realized industry-funded monitoring coverage in a given year would be determined by the amount of Federal funding available to cover NMFS cost responsibilities in a given year.

    When there is no Federal funding available to cover NMFS cost responsibilities above SBRM coverage in a given year, then no industry-funded monitoring programs would operate that year. If available funding in a given year is sufficient to support all industry-funded monitoring programs, the prioritization process would fully operationalize the industry-funded monitoring coverage targets specified in each FMP. If there is some available funding, but not enough to support all industry-funded monitoring programs, the Council would determine how to prioritize industry-funded monitoring coverage targets for available funding across FMPs.

    As part of the Council-led prioritization process, this amendment would establish an equal weighting approach to prioritize industry-funded monitoring programs for available funding. An example of an equal weighting approach would be funding all industry-funded monitoring programs at 70 percent, if only 70 percent of the Federal funding needed to administer all the programs was available. Additionally, this rule proposes that the Council would adjust the equal weighting approach on an as-needed basis. This means that the equal weighting approach would be adjusted whenever a new industry-funded monitoring program is approved or whenever an existing industry-funded monitoring program is adjusted or terminated. The Council would revise the weighting approach for the Council-led prioritization process in a framework adjustment or by considering a new weighting approach at a public meeting, where public comment is accepted, and asking NMFS to publish a notice or rulemaking modifying the weighting approach, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

    The SBRM coverage year begins in April and extends through March. SBRM coverage levels in a given year are determined by the variability of discard rates from the previous year and the availability of SBRM funding. During the spring, NMFS determines SBRM coverage for the upcoming year. Once NMFS finalizes SBRM coverage levels for the upcoming year, NMFS would then evaluate what Federal funding was available to cover its costs for meeting the industry-funded monitoring coverage targets for the next year. For example, once NMFS determines SBRM coverage for 2018, it would then evaluate what amount of government coverage costs could be covered by available Federal funding to meet industry-funded monitoring coverage targets for 2019. NMFS would provide the Council, at the earliest practicable opportunity: (1) The estimated industry-funded monitoring coverage levels, incorporating the prioritization process and weighting approach and based on available funding, for each FMP-specific monitoring program; and (2) the rationale for the industry-funded monitoring coverage levels, including the reason for any deviation from the Council's recommendations. NMFS would inform the Council of the estimated industry-funded coverage levels during a Council meeting. At that time, the Council may recommend revisions and additional considerations by the Regional Administrator and Science and Research Director. If NMFS costs associated with industry-funded coverage targets are fully funded in a given year, NMFS would also determine, in consultation with the Council, the allocation, if any, of any remaining available funding to offset industry costs. The earlier in the year that industry-funded monitoring coverage targets are set for the following year, the more time the affected fishing industry would have to plan for industry-funded monitoring the following year. FMP-specific industry-funded monitoring programs would determine if industry-funded coverage targets were administered consistent with the FMP's fishing year or the SBRM year.

    5. Monitoring Set-Aside Programs

    This amendment would standardize the process to develop future monitoring set-aside programs and would allow monitoring set-aside programs to be developed in a framework adjustment to the relevant FMP. A monitoring set-aside program would use a portion of the annual catch limit (ACL) from a fishery to help offset industry cost responsibilities associated with industry-funded monitoring coverage targets. There are many possible ways to structure a monitoring set-aside program, and the details of each program would be developed on an FMP-by-FMP basis. Monitoring set-aside programs are an option to help ease industry cost responsibilities associated with industry-funded monitoring, but they likely would only help offset a portion of the industry's cost responsibilities.

    The details of monitoring set-aside programs may include, but are not limited to:

    • The basis for the monitoring set-aside;

    • The amount of the set-aside (e.g., percentage of ACL, days-at-sea (DAS));

    • How the set-aside is allocated to vessels required to pay for monitoring (e.g., increased possession limit, differential DAS counting, additional trips against a percent of the ACL);

    • The process for vessel notification;

    • How funds are collected and administered to cover the industry's costs of monitoring coverage; and

    • Any other measures necessary to develop and implement a monitoring set-aside.

    Proposed Atlantic Herring Measures

    This amendment would establish an industry-funded monitoring program in the Atlantic herring fishery that is expected to provide increased accuracy in catch estimates. Increased monitoring in the herring fishery would address the following goals: (1) Accurate estimates of catch (retained and discarded); (2) accurate catch estimates for incidental species with catch caps (haddock and river herring/shad); and (3) affordable monitoring for the herring fishery.

    This amendment would establish a 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target on vessels issued an All Areas (Category A) or Areas 2/3 (Category B) Limited Access Herring Permits fishing on a declared herring trip. The Council considered other coverage targets, including 100-percent, 75-percent, and 25-percent, but the 50-percent coverage target balanced the benefits and costs of additional monitoring. When tracking catch against catch caps in the herring fishery, analyses in the EA supporting this amendment suggest that a 50-percent coverage target would greatly reduce the uncertainty around catch estimates, and likely result in a coefficient of variation less than 30 percent almost all of the time. Additionally, the industry's cost responsibilities associated with a 50-percent coverage target are substantially less than those associated with higher coverage targets. Vessels participating in the herring fishery also participate in the Atlantic mackerel fishery. Currently, the mackerel fishery does not have an industry-funded monitoring program. If the Mid-Atlantic Council develops industry-funded monitoring in the mackerel fishery and the industry-funded coverage targets do not match for the herring and mackerel fisheries, then the higher coverage target would apply on all trips declared into the fishery with the higher coverage target.

    Herring coverage targets would be calculated for the herring fishing year, January through December, by combining SBRM and industry-funding monitoring coverage. NMFS would determine how to calculate the combined coverage target, in consultation with Council staff. For example, if there is 10-percent SBRM coverage in a given year, then 40-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage would be needed to achieve the 50-percent coverage target. Because the coverage target is calculated by combining SBRM and industry-funded monitoring coverage, a vessel would not have SBRM coverage and industry-funded coverage on the same trip. Any vessel selected for SBRM coverage on a particular trip would not have the option of industry-funded monitoring on that trip. Per the prioritization process in the proposed omnibus measures, the realized coverage level in a given year would be determined by the amount of funding available to cover NMFS cost responsibilities in a given year. The realized coverage for the herring fishery in a given year would fall somewhere between no additional coverage in addition to SBRM and the specified coverage target. Combined coverage targets are intended to help reduce the cost of industry-funded coverage, but the level of SBRM coverage in the herring fishery varies by gear type and has the potential to vary year to year. The variability of SBRM coverage has the potential to make it difficult for the herring industry to plan for industry-funded monitoring year to year.

    In addition to the proposed standard monitoring and service provider requirements in the proposed omnibus measures, this amendment would specify that requirements for industry-funded observers and at-sea monitors in the herring fishery include a high volume fishery (HVF) certification. Currently, NMFS's Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) observers must possess a HVF certification in order to observe the herring fishery. NMFS developed the HVF certification to more effectively train observers in high volume catch sampling and documentation. NEFOP determined that data quality on herring trips was sub-optimal when collected by observers without specialized training, potentially resulting in data loss. In addition, the high variety of deck configurations, fish handling practices and fast-paced operations proved more demanding for observers. Having additional training to identify these practices improved decision-making while at sea, which, ultimately, improved data accuracy and maximized data collection.

    Additionally, this amendment would require the Council to examine the results of any increased coverage in the herring fishery two years after implementation of this amendment, and consider if adjustments to the coverage targets are warranted. Depending on the results and desired actions, subsequent action to adjust the coverage targets could be accomplished via a framework adjustment or an amendment to the Herring FMP, as appropriate. Measures implemented in this amendment would remain in place unless revised by the Council.

    1. Industry-Funded At-Sea Monitoring Coverage on Vessels Issued Category A or B Herring Permits

    This rule proposes that vessels issued Category A or B herring permits would carry an industry-funded at-sea monitor on declared herring trips that are selected for coverage by NMFS, unless NMFS issues the vessel a waiver for coverage on that trip. Vessels would be selected for coverage by NMFS to meet the 50-percent coverage target. Prior to any trip declared into the herring fishery, representatives for vessels with Category A or B permits would be required to notify NMFS for monitoring coverage. If an SBRM observer was not selected to cover that trip, NMFS would notify the vessel representative whether an at-sea monitor must be procured through a monitoring service provider. Because the 50-percent coverage target is calculated by combining SBRM and industry-funded monitoring coverage, a vessel would not carry an SBRM observer on the same trip that would carry an at-sea monitor. If NMFS informs the vessel representative that they need at-sea monitoring coverage, they would then be required to obtain and pay for an at-sea monitor to carry on that trip. The vessel would be prohibited from fishing for, taking, possessing, or landing any herring without carrying an at-sea monitor on that trip. If NMFS informs the vessel representative that the vessel is not selected for at-sea monitoring coverage, NMFS would issue the vessel an at-sea monitoring coverage waiver for that trip.

    This rule proposes three reasons for issuing vessels waivers from industry-funded monitoring requirements on a trip-by-trip basis. First, if an at-sea monitor was not available to cover a specific herring trip (either due to logistics or a lack of available Federal funding to cover NMFS cost responsibilities), NMFS would issue the vessel an at-sea monitoring coverage waiver for that trip. Second, if a vessel using midwater trawl gear intended to operate as a wing vessel on a trip, meaning that it would pair trawl with another midwater trawl vessel but would not pump or carry any fish onboard, then that vessel may request a waiver for industry-funded monitoring requirements on that trip. Vessels would notify NMFS in advance of the wing vessel trip, and NMFS would issue a waiver for industry-funded monitoring requirements on that trip. Wing vessels would be prohibited from carrying fish onboard during these trips. If a wing vessel did carry fish, the vessel would be out of compliance with industry-funded monitoring requirements on that trip. Third, if a vessel intended to land less than 50 metric tons (mt) of herring on a trip, then the vessel may request a waiver for industry-funded monitoring requirements on that trip. Vessels would notify NMFS in advance of the trip on which they intend to land less than 50 mt of herring, and NMFS would issue a waiver for industry-funded monitoring requirements on that trip. Vessels would be prohibited from landing 50 mt or more of herring on these trips. If the vessel landed 50 mt or more of herring, the vessel would be out of compliance with industry-funded monitoring requirements on that trip.

    At-sea monitors would collect the following information on herring trips:

    • Fishing gear information (i.e., size of nets, mesh sizes, and gear configurations);

    • Tow-specific information (i.e., depth, water temperature, wave height, and location and time when fishing begins and ends);

    • Species, weight, and disposition of all retained and discarded catch on observed hauls;

    • Species, weight, and disposition of all retained catch on unobserved hauls;

    • Actual catch weights whenever possible, or alternatively, weight estimates derived by sub-sampling;

    • Length data, along with whole specimens and photos to verify species identification, on retained and discarded catch;

    • Information on and biological samples from interactions with protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and sea birds; and

    • Vessel trip costs (i.e., operational costs for trips including food, fuel, oil, and ice).

    The primary biological data that at-sea monitors would collect are length data on retained and discarded catch. However, to verify species identification, at-sea monitors may also collect whole specimens or photos. In the future, the Council may recommend that at-sea monitors collect additional biological information upon request. Revising what information an at-sea monitor collects could be done in a framework adjustment. Alternatively, the Council may recommend that at-sea monitors collect additional biological information by considering the issue at a public meeting, where public comment is accepted, and asking NMFS to publish a notice or rulemaking modifying the duties for at-sea monitors, consistent with the APA.

    In contrast to observers, at-sea monitors would not collect whole specimens, photos, or biological samples (other than length data) from catch, unless it was for purposes of species identification, or sighting data on protected species. The Council recommended a limited data collection compared to observers to allow for possible cost savings for either the industry or NMFS associated with a limited data collection.

    Currently, vessels issued Category A or B herring permits are required to comply with all slippage restrictions, slippage reporting requirements, and slippage consequence measures when carrying an observer for SBRM coverage (§ 648.11(m)(4)). Because the purpose of slippage restrictions is to help ensure catch is made available for sampling, this rule proposes that existing slippage requirements would also apply when vessels are carrying an industry-funded at-sea monitor. Specifically, when vessels issued Category A or B herring permits are carrying either an SBRM observer or industry-funded at-sea monitor, vessels would be required to bring catch aboard the vessel and make it available for sampling prior to discarding. If vessels slipped catch for any reason, they would be required to report that slippage event on the daily vessel monitoring catch report and complete a slipped catch affidavit. If vessels slip catch due to excess catch of spiny dogfish, mechanical failure, or safety, then vessels would be required to move 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) following that slippage event and remain 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) away from that slippage event before making another haul and for the duration of that fishing trip. If vessels slip catch for any other reason, they would be required to terminate that fishing trip and immediately return to port.

    Industry-funded monitoring would have direct economic impacts on vessels issued Category A and B permits participating in the herring fishery. The EA estimated the industry's cost responsibility associated with carrying an at-sea monitor at $710 per day. The EA uses returns-to-owner (RTO) to estimate the potential reduction in annual RTO associated with paying for monitoring coverage. RTO was calculated by subtracting annual operating costs from annual gross revenue and was used instead of net revenues to more accurately reflect fishing income. While the actual cost of industry-funded monitoring on a particular vessel would vary with effort level and the amount of SBRM coverage, analyses in the EA suggest that the cost of the proposed at-sea monitoring coverage may reduce the annual RTO for vessels with Category A or B herring permits up to approximately 20 percent. Waiving at-sea monitoring coverage requirements for wing vessel trips or trips that land less than 50 mt of herring would help reduce the cost of at-sea monitoring coverage on those trips, but those waivers are not an option for all vessels.

    2. Industry-Funded Observer Coverage on Midwater Trawl Vessels Fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas

    Midwater trawl vessels fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas are required to carry an observer by measures at § 648.202(b). When Amendment 5 established that requirement, the Groundfish Closed Areas included Closed Area I, Closed Area II, Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, Cashes Ledge Closure Area, and the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area. Currently, the only mechanism for midwater trawl vessels to carry an observer is if an observer is assigned through the SBRM. As described previously, SBRM coverage for midwater trawl vessels has recently been variable (approximately 4 percent to 40 percent from 2015 through 2017). This rule would maintain the requirement to carry an observer for midwater trawl vessels fishing in a Groundfish Closed Area, but it proposes that midwater trawl vessels would be able to purchase observer coverage in order to access Groundfish Closed Areas.

    Prior to any trip declared into a Groundfish Closed Area, representatives for midwater trawl vessels would be required to provide notice to NMFS for monitoring coverage. If an SBRM observer was not selected to cover that trip, NMFS would notify the vessel representative that an observer may be procured through a monitoring service provider. The vessel would be prohibited from fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas without carrying an observer. Observers would collect the following information on midwater trawl trips:

    • Fishing gear information (i.e., size of nets, mesh sizes, and gear configurations);

    • Tow-specific information (i.e., depth, water temperature, wave height, and location and time when fishing begins and ends);

    • Species, weight, and disposition of all retained and discarded catch on observed hauls;

    • Species, weight, and disposition of all retained catch on unobserved hauls;

    • Actual catch weights whenever possible, or alternatively, weight estimates derived by sub-sampling;

    • Whole specimens, photos, length information, and biological samples (i.e., scales, otoliths, and/or vertebrae);

    • Information on interactions with protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and sea birds; and

    • Vessel trip costs (i.e., operational costs for trip including food, fuel, oil, and ice).

    The proposed measure to allow midwater trawl vessels to purchase observer coverage to access Groundfish Closed Areas would also have economic impacts on vessels participating in the herring fishery. The EA estimated the industry's cost responsibility associated with carrying an observer at $818 per day. While the actual cost of industry-funded monitoring on a particular vessel would vary with effort level and the amount of SBRM coverage, analyses in the EA suggest that the cost of observer coverage may reduce the annual RTO for midwater trawl vessels up to 5 percent. That 5 percent reduction in RTO would be in additional to any reduction in RTO due to other types of industry-funded monitoring coverage. Coverage waivers are not an option to reduce the cost of observer coverage because coverage waivers do not apply on midwater trawl vessels fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas.

    If the Groundfish Closed Areas are modified, eliminated, or added in the future, existing observer coverage requirements for midwater trawl vessels would apply to the modified areas. Anticipating changes to the Groundfish Closed Areas in the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (Habitat Amendment), the Industry-Funded Monitoring Amendment Development Team/Fishery Management Action Team (PDT/FMAT) recommended the Council clarify its intent regarding the requirement that midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas must carry an observer. In a March 17, 2017, memorandum, the PDT/FMAT noted that the Habitat Amendment proposed changes to Groundfish Closed Areas, such as eliminating areas, boundary changes, and seasonality. That same memorandum proposed the Council clarify that this amendment maintains the 100-percent observer coverage requirement on midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas, as modified by the Habitat Amendment. The Council accepted the FM PDT/FMAT's proposed clarification when it took final action on this amendment in April 2017.

    In January 2018, NMFS partially approved the Habitat Amendment, including changes to Closed Area I, Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, and the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area. Consistent with Council intent regarding observer coverage, the final rule for the Habitat Amendment (83 FR 15240, April 9, 2018) maintained the 100-percent observer requirement for midwater trawl vessels fishing in Closed Area I North (February 1-April 15), Closed Area II, Cashes Ledge Closure Area, and the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area. Because the Habitat Amendment removed the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area from the list of Groundfish Closed Areas, the 100-percent observer coverage requirement no longer applies to midwater trawl vessels fishing in the area previously known as the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area.

    Recognizing that it recommended multiple industry-funded monitoring types, including at-sea monitoring coverage and observer coverage in Groundfish Closed Areas, for the herring fishery, the Council also recommended prioritizing coverage aboard Category A and B vessels because those vessels harvest the majority of the herring. Consistent with that recommendation, if available Federal funding is insufficient to cover NMFS cost responsibilities associated with administering multiple monitoring programs for the herring fishery, this rule proposes prioritizing industry-funded monitoring coverage on Category A and B vessels before supporting observer coverage on midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas.

    Atlantic Herring Exempted Fishing Permit

    On April 19, 2018, the New England Council considered whether electronic monitoring in conjunction with portside sampling, would be an adequate substitute for at-sea monitoring coverage aboard midwater trawl vessels. Because midwater trawl vessels discard only a small percentage of catch at sea, electronic monitoring and portside sampling have the potential to be a cost effective way to address monitoring goals for the herring fishery. The purpose of electronic monitoring would be to confirm catch retention and verify compliance with slippage restrictions, while the purpose of portside sampling would be to collect species composition data along with age and length information. After reviewing the midwater trawl electronic monitoring study, the Council approved electronic monitoring and portside sampling as a monitoring option for midwater trawl vessels, but did not recommend requiring electronic monitoring and portside sampling as part of this action. Instead, the Council recommended NMFS use an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to further evaluate how to best permanently administer an electronic monitoring and portside sampling program.

    The EFP would exempt midwater vessels from the proposed requirement for industry-funded at-sea monitoring coverage and would allow midwater trawl vessels to use electronic monitoring and portside sampling coverage to comply with the Council-recommended 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target. The recent midwater trawl electronic monitoring study provides a good foundation for an electronic monitoring program. However, using an EFP would provide NMFS with further information about how to most effectively and efficiently administer the electronic monitoring and portside sampling program, while allowing NMFS the flexibility to respond quickly to emerging issues, helping to make the monitoring program more robust. An EFP would also enable NMFS to evaluate other monitoring issues in the herring fishery that are of interest to the Council and herring industry. Lastly, NMFS could use an EFP to evaluate the utility of electronic monitoring and portside sampling when midwater trawl vessels switch to purse seining and/or fish in Groundfish Closed Areas.

    The EFP would be developed concurrently with rulemaking for this amendment. If the proposed herring measures are approved, then midwater trawl vessels issued EFPs would be allowed to use electronic monitoring and portside sampling coverage to comply with the Council-recommended 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target. The Council recommended reconsidering herring industry-funded monitoring requirements two years after implementation. The Council would consider establishing electronic monitoring and portside sampling program requirements into regulation via a framework adjustment at that time.

    Proposed Corrections and Clarification

    NMFS proposes the following corrections and updates under the authority of section 305(d) to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may promulgate regulations necessary to carry out a FMP or the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    First, this rule proposes correcting the typographic error in § 648.7(b)(2)(i). This correction would correct “opn 9access” to “open access” and is necessary to clarify the intent of the regulation.

    Second, this rule proposes updating outdated requirements for vessels operating under the midwater trawl and purse seine exempted fisheries. Regulations at § 648.80(d)(5) and (e)(5) require vessels to notify NMFS 72 hours in advance of a fishing trip to coordinate observer deployment. Amendment 5 replaced the 72-hour notification requirement with a 48-hour notification requirement to allow herring vessels more flexibility in their trip planning and scheduling. The 72-hour notification requirements for herring vessels in § 648.80 were overlooked in Amendment 5, so this rule proposes updating the 72-hour notification requirements with 48-hour notification requirements for midwater trawl and purse seine vessels to ensure consistent requirements across the herring fishery. Regulations at § 648.80(d)(5) also require midwater trawl vessels to inform NMFS if the vessels intends to fish in Groundfish Closed Area I. This requirement initially facilitated placing observers on midwater vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Area I, but is no longer necessary. Therefore, this rule proposes removing the reference to Groundfish Closed Area I from the notification requirements so that requirements are consistent with proposed notification requirements at § 648.11(m)(2).

    Third, this rule proposes allowing us to use both observer and monitor data to track catch against the haddock catch caps. Regulations at § 648.86(a)(3)(ii) state that the Regional Administrator shall use haddock catches observed by observers to estimate of total haddock catch in a given haddock stock area. However, the Council has spent the last several years considering additional monitoring types to increase monitoring in the herring fishery, particularly to track catch against haddock and river herring/shad catch caps. In a February 2016 letter, the Council requested that we use observer and portside sampling data to monitor fishery catch caps. Additionally, in this amendment, the Council recommended that vessels issued Category A and B herring permits carry at-sea monitors to meet a 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target. In § 648.2, this rule proposes defining observers or monitors to include NMFS-certified observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and dockside monitors. For these reasons, this rule also proposes updating § 648.86(a)(3)(ii) to allow the Regional Administrator to use observer and monitor data to track catch against haddock catch caps.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(a)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. In making the final determination, we will consider the data, views, and comments received during the public comment period.

    This proposed rule has been preliminarily determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Orders (E.O.) 12866.

    NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for this proposed rule, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 603. The IRFA describes the economic impact that this proposed rule would have on small entities, including small businesses, and also determines ways to minimize these impacts. The proposed omnibus measures are administrative, specifying a process to develop and administer future industry-funded monitoring and monitoring set-aside programs, and do not directly affect fishing effort or amount of fish harvested. Because the proposed omnibus measures have no direct economic impacts, they will not be discussed in this section. The proposed Atlantic herring measures affect levels of monitoring, rather than harvest specifications, but they are expected to have economic impacts on fishery-related businesses and human communities due to the costs associated with the industry-funded monitoring measures for the herring fishery.

    A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained at the beginning of this section in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section. The IRFA includes this section of the preamble to this rule and analyses contained in the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment and its accompanying EA/RIR/IRFA. A copy of the full analysis is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the IRFA follows.

    Description of the Reason Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered and Statement of the Objective of, and Legal Basis for, This Proposed Rule

    This action proposes management measures for New England Fishery Management Council FMPs. A complete description of the reasons why this action is being considered, and the objectives of and legal basis for this action, are contained in the preamble to this proposed rule and are not repeated here.

    Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed Rule Would Apply

    Effective July 1, 2016, NMFS established a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry for RFA compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). The directly regulated entities are businesses that own at least one limited access Atlantic herring vessel. As of 2016, there are 66 businesses that own at least one limited access herring vessel. Four businesses are large entities (gross receipts greater than $11 million). The remaining 62 businesses are small entities. Gross receipts and gross receipts from herring fishing for the small entities are characterized in Table 1.

    Table 1—Gross Revenues and Revenues from Herring for the directly Regulated Small Entities Gross
  • receipts
  • from
  • herring
  • permitted
  • firms
  • Gross
  • receipts
  • from
  • herring
  • fishing
  • Mean $1,847,392 $422,210 Median $1,076,172 $0 25th Percentile $656,965 $0 75th Percentile $2,684,753 $95,218 Permitted Small Entities 62 62 Source: NMFS.

    Many of the businesses that hold limited access herring permits are not actively fishing for herring. Of those businesses actively fishing for herring, there are 32 directly regulated entities with herring landings. Two firms are large entities (gross receipts over $11 million). The remaining 30 businesses are small entities. Table 2 characterizes gross receipts and gross receipts from the herring fishery for the active firms.

    Table 2—Gross Revenues and Revenues from Herring for the Active Directly Regulated Small Entities Gross
  • receipts
  • from active
  • herring
  • permitted
  • firms
  • Gross
  • receipts
  • from
  • herring
  • fishing
  • Mean $2,070,541 $872,567 Median $1,030,411 $95,558 25th Percentile $554,628 $6,570 75th Percentile $2,955,883 $1,696,758 Active Small Entities 30 30 Source: NMFS.

    For the 30 small entities, herring represents an average of 36 percent of gross receipts. For 12 of the small entities, herring represents the single largest source of gross receipts. For eight of the small entities, longfin squid is the largest source of gross receipts and Atlantic sea scallops is the largest source of gross receipts for five of the small entities. The largest source of gross receipts for the remaining five small entities are mixed across different fisheries. Eight of the 30 small entities derived zero revenues from herring.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The new requirements, which are described in detail in the preamble, have been submitted to OMB for approval as a new collection. The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules.

    The Industry-Funded Monitoring Amendment would replace the current phone-based observer pre-trip notification system with a new web-based pre-trip notification system. There would be no additional reporting burden associated with this measure because the new notification system would increase convenience and will require approximately the same time burden (5 minutes).

    This amendment would implement a 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target on vessels issued Category A or B herring permits. The herring industry would be required to pay for industry cost responsibilities associated with at-sea monitoring. There are an estimated 42 vessels with Category A or B permits in the herring fishery. After considering SBRM coverage, NMFS estimates that each vessel would incur monitoring costs for an additional 19 days at sea per year, at an estimated maximum cost of $710 per sea day. The annual cost estimate for carrying an at-sea monitor for Category A and B vessels would be $566,580, with an average cost per vessel of $13,490.

    In addition to the 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target, midwater trawl vessels would have the option to purchase observer coverage to allow them to fish in Groundfish Closed Areas. This option would be available to the estimated 12 vessels that fish with midwater trawl gear. Since this option would be available on all trips not otherwise selected for SBRM or industry-funded at-sea monitoring coverage, it is estimated that each vessel may use this option for up to 21 days per year, at an estimated maximum cost of $818 per sea day. Therefore, the annual cost associated with industry-funded observer coverage for midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas is estimated to be $206,136, with an average annual cost per vessel of $17,178.

    To access Groundfish Closed Areas, owners/operators of the 12 affected midwater trawl vessels would request an observer by calling one of the approved monitoring service providers. The average midwater trawl vessel is estimated to take 7 of these trips per year, and each call would take an estimated 5 minutes at a rate of $0.10 per minute. Thus, the total annual burden estimate to the industry for calls to obtain industry-funded observer coverage would be 7 hours and $42 (Per vessel: 1 hr and $3.50). For each of the 7 estimated trips that the vessel calls in to request an industry-funded observer to access Groundfish Closed Areas, the vessel has the option to cancel that trip. The call to cancel the trip would take an estimated 1 minute at a rate of $0.10 per minute. The total annual burden estimated to the industry for cancelling these trips would be 1 hour and $8 (Per vessel: 1 hr and $1).

    NMFS expects that some monitoring service providers would apply for approval under the service provider requirements at § 648.11(h), specifically that four out of six providers may apply for approval, and would be subject to these requirements. These providers would submit reports and information required of service providers as part of their application for approval. Service providers must comply with the following requirements, submitted via email, phone, web-portal, fax, or postal service: Submit applications for approval as a monitoring service provider; formally request industry-funded at-sea monitor training by the NEFOP; submit industry-funded at-sea monitor deployment and availability reports; submit biological samples, safety refusal reports, and other reports; give notification of industry-funded at-sea monitor availability within 24 hours of the vessel owner's notification of a prospective trip; provide vessels with notification of industry-funded observer availability in advance of each trip; maintain an updated contact list of all industry-funded at-sea monitors/observers that includes the monitor's/observer's identification number, name, mailing and email address, phone numbers, homeports or fisheries/trip types assigned, and whether or not the monitor/observer is “in service” (i.e., available to provide coverage services). Monitoring service providers would have to provide raw at-sea monitoring data to NMFS and make at-sea monitors available to NMFS for debriefing upon request. The regulations would also require monitoring service providers to submit any outreach materials, such as informational pamphlets, payment notification, and descriptions of monitor duties, as well as all contracts between the service provider and entities requiring monitoring services for review to NMFS. Monitoring service providers also have the option to respond to application denials, and submit a rebuttal in response to a pending removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers. NMFS expects that all of these reporting requirements combined are expected to take 1,192 hours of response time per year for a total annual cost of $12,483 for all affected monitoring service providers ($3,121 per provider). The following table provides the detailed time and cost information for each response item.

    Table 3—Burden Estimate for Proposed Measures Monitoring service provider requirements Number of
  • entities
  • Total
  • number
  • of items
  • Response time
  • per response
  • (minutes)
  • Total time
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Cost per
  • response
  • ($)
  • Total annual
  • public cost
  • ($)
  • Monitor deployment report by email 4 444 10 74 0.00 0.00 Monitor availability report by email 4 216 20 72 0.00 0.00 Safety refusals by email 4 40 30 20 0.00 0.00 Raw monitor data by express mail 4 444 5 37 23.75 10,545 Monitor debriefing 4 124 120 248 12.00 1,488 Other reports 4 68 30 34 0.00 0.00 Biological samples 4 516 60 516 0.50 258 New application to be a service provider 4 4 600 40 0.49 2 Applicant response to denial 1 1 600 10 0.49 1 Request to service provider to procure a monitor by web-portal 90 360 10 60 0.00 0.00 Notification of unavailability of monitors 90 360 5 30 0.00 0.00 Request to service provider to procure an observer for Groundfish Closed Areas by phone 21 84 10 14 1.00 84.00 Notification of unavailability of observers for Groundfish Closed Areas 21 84 5 7 0.50 42.00 Request for monitor training 4 12 30 6 1.80 21.60 Rebuttal of pending removal from list of approved service providers 1 1 480 8 0.49 1 Monitor contact list updates 4 48 5 4 0.00 0.00 Monitor availability updates 4 48 5 4 0.00 0.00 Service provider material submissions 4 8 30 4 2.50 20.00 Service provider contracts 4 8 30 4 2.50 20.00 Total 1,192 12,483

    Public comment is sought regarding the following: Whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of agency functions, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to the Regional Administrator (see ADDRESSES) and email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-7285.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

    Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

    This action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules.

    Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statues and Which Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    None of the non-preferred herring alternatives would be expected to accomplish the stated objectives for monitoring in the herring fishery as well as the proposed action. The following are objectives for increased monitoring in the herring fishery: (1) Accurate estimates of catch (retained and discarded), (2) accurate catch estimates for incidental species with catch caps (haddock and river herring/shad), and (3) affordable monitoring for the herring fishery. Herring alternatives considered different combinations of monitoring types (observers, at-sea monitors, electronic monitoring, portside sampling) and coverage targets (100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, 25 percent) on herring fleets (vessels with Category A or B permits, midwater trawl vessels). Non-preferred herring alternatives with coverage targets of 100 percent or 75 percent would have higher costs than the proposed action. Non-preferred herring alternatives for the midwater trawl fleet or those with 25-percent coverage targets may not have improved monitoring in the herring fishery as well as the proposed action.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: October 30, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.2, add the definition for “Observer or monitor” and revise the definitions for “Electronic monitoring” and “Slippage in the Atlantic herring fishery” and “Slip(s) or slipping catch in the Atlantic herring fishery” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 648.2 Definitions.

    Electronic monitoring means a network of equipment that uses a software operating system connected to one or more technology components, including, but not limited to, cameras and recording devices to collect data on catch and vessel operations.

    Observer or monitor means any person certified by NMFS to collect operational fishing data, biological data, or economic data through direct observation and interaction with operators of commercial fishing vessels as part of NMFS' Northeast Fisheries Observer Program. Observers or monitors include NMFS-certified fisheries observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and dockside monitors.

    Slippage in the Atlantic herring fishery means catch that is discarded prior to it being brought aboard a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and/or prior to making it available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor. Slippage also means any catch that is discarded during a trip prior to it being sampled portside by a portside sampler on a trip selected for portside sampling coverage by NMFS. Slippage includes releasing catch from a codend or seine prior to the completion of pumping the catch aboard and the release of catch from a codend or seine while the codend or seine is in the water. Fish that cannot be pumped and remain in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations are not considered slippage. Discards that occur after the catch is brought on board and made available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor are also not considered slippage.

    Slip(s) or slipping catch in the Atlantic herring fishery means discarded catch from a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit that is carrying a NMFS-certified observer or monitor prior to the catch being brought on board or prior to the catch being made available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-approved observer or monitor after the catch is on board. Slip(s) or slipping catch also means any catch that is discarded during a trip prior to it being sampled portside by a portside sampler on a trip selected for portside sampling coverage by NMFS. Slip(s) or slipping catch includes releasing fish from a codend or seine prior to the completion of pumping the fish on board and the release of fish from a codend or seine while the codend or seine is in the water. Slippage or slipped catch refers to fish that are slipped. Slippage or slipped catch does not include operational discards, discards that occur after the catch is brought on board and made available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor, or fish that inadvertently fall out of or off fishing gear as gear is being brought on board the vessel.

    3. In § 648.7, revise paragraph (b)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 648.7 Record keeping and reporting requirements.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Atlantic herring owners or operators issued an All Areas open access permit. The owner or operator of a vessel issued an All Areas open access permit to fish for herring must report catch (retained and discarded) of herring via an IVR system for each week herring was caught, unless exempted by the Regional Administrator. IVR reports are not required for weeks when no herring was caught. The report shall include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel identification; week in which herring are caught; management areas fished; and pounds retained and pounds discarded of herring caught in each management area. The IVR reporting week begins on Sunday at 0001 hour (hr) (12:01 a.m.) local time and ends Saturday at 2400 hr (12 midnight). Weekly Atlantic herring catch reports must be submitted via the IVR system by midnight each Tuesday, eastern time, for the previous week. Reports are required even if herring caught during the week has not yet been landed. This report does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

    4. Revise § 648.11 and the section heading to read as follows:
    § 648.11 Monitoring coverage.

    (a) The Regional Administrator may request any vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops, NE multispecies, monkfish, skates, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, tilefish, Atlantic surfclam, ocean quahog, or Atlantic deep-sea red crab; or a moratorium permit for summer flounder; to carry a NMFS-certified fisheries observer. A vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops is subject to the additional requirements specified in paragraph (k) of this section. A vessel holding an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit is subject to the additional requirements specified in paragraph (m) of this section. Also, any vessel or vessel owner/operator that fishes for, catches or lands hagfish, or intends to fish for, catch, or land hagfish in or from the exclusive economic zone must carry a NMFS-certified fisheries observer when requested by the Regional Administrator in accordance with the requirements of this section.

    (b) If requested by the Regional Administrator or their designees, including NMFS-certified observers, monitors, and NMFS staff, to be sampled by an observer or monitor, it is the responsibility of the vessel owner or vessel operator to arrange for and facilitate observer or monitor placement. Owners or operators of vessels selected for observer or monitor coverage must notify the appropriate monitoring service provider before commencing any fishing trip that may result in the harvest of resources of the respective fishery. Notification procedures will be specified in selection letters to vessel owners or permit holder letters.

    (c) The Regional Administrator may waive the requirement to be sampled by an observer or monitor if the facilities on a vessel for housing the observer or monitor, or for carrying out observer or monitor functions, are so inadequate or unsafe that the health or safety of the observer or monitor, or the safe operation of the vessel, would be jeopardized.

    (d) An owner or operator of a vessel on which a NMFS-certified observer or monitor is embarked must:

    (1) Provide accommodations and food that are equivalent to those provided to the crew.

    (2) Allow the observer or monitor access to and use of the vessel's communications equipment and personnel upon request for the transmission and receipt of messages related to the observer's or monitor's duties.

    (3) Provide true vessel locations, by latitude and longitude or loran coordinates, as requested by the observer or monitor, and allow the observer or monitor access to and use of the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel upon request to determine the vessel's position.

    (4) Notify the observer or monitor in a timely fashion of when fishing operations are to begin and end.

    (5) Allow for the embarking and debarking of the observer or monitor, as specified by the Regional Administrator, ensuring that transfers of observers or monitors at sea are accomplished in a safe manner, via small boat or raft, during daylight hours as weather and sea conditions allow, and with the agreement of the observers or monitors involved.

    (6) Allow the observer or monitor free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, working decks, holding bins, weight scales, holds, and any other space used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish.

    (7) Allow the observer or monitor to inspect and copy any the vessel's log, communications log, and records associated with the catch and distribution of fish for that trip.

    (e) The owner or operator of a vessel issued a summer flounder moratorium permit, a scup moratorium permit, a black sea bass moratorium permit, a bluefish permit, a spiny dogfish permit, an Atlantic herring permit, an Atlantic deep-sea red crab permit, a skate permit, or a tilefish permit, if requested by the observer or monitor, also must:

    (1) Notify the observer or monitor of any sea turtles, marine mammals, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, tilefish, skates (including discards) or other specimens taken by the vessel.

    (2) Provide the observer or monitor with sea turtles, marine mammals, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, skates, tilefish, or other specimens taken by the vessel.

    (f) NMFS may accept observer or monitor coverage funded by outside sources if:

    (1) All coverage conducted by such observers or monitors is determined by NMFS to be in compliance with NMFS' observer or monitor guidelines and procedures.

    (2) The owner or operator of the vessel complies with all other provisions of this part.

    (3) The observer or monitor is approved by the Regional Administrator.

    (g) Industry-Funded Monitoring Programs. Fishery management plans (FMPs) managed by the New England Fishery Management Council (New England Council), including Atlantic Herring, Atlantic Salmon, Atlantic Sea Scallops, Deep-Sea Red Crab, Northeast Multispecies, and Northeast Skate Complex, may include industry-funded monitoring programs (IFM) to supplement existing monitoring required by the Standard Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM), Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. IFM programs may use observers, monitors, including at-sea monitors and portside samplers, and electronic monitoring to meet specified IFM coverage targets. The ability to meet IFM coverage targets may be constrained by the availability of Federal funding to pay NMFS cost responsibilities associated with IFM.

    (1) Guiding Principles for New IFM Programs. The Council's development of an IFM program must consider or include the following:

    (i) A clear need or reason for the data collection;

    (ii) Objective design criteria;

    (iii) Cost of data collection should not diminish net benefits to the nation nor threaten continued existence of the fishery;

    (iv) Seek less data intensive methods to collect data necessary to assure conservation and sustainability when assessing and managing fisheries with minimal profit margins;

    (v) Prioritize the use of modern technology to the extent practicable; and

    (vi) Incentives for reliable self-reporting.

    (2) Process To Implement and Revise New IFM Programs. New IFM programs shall be developed via an amendment to a specific FMP. IFM programs implemented in an FMP may be revised via a framework adjustment. The details of an IFM program may include, but are not limited to:

    (i) Level and type of coverage target,

    (ii) Rationale for level and type of coverage,

    (iii) Minimum level of coverage necessary to meet coverage goals,

    (iv) Consideration of waivers if coverage targets cannot be met,

    (v) Process for vessel notification and selection,

    (vi) Cost collection and administration,

    (vii) Standards for monitoring service providers, and

    (viii) Any other measures necessary to implement the industry-funded monitoring program.

    (3) NMFS Cost Responsibilities. IFM programs have two types of costs, NMFS and industry costs. Cost responsibilities are delineated by the type of cost. NMFS cost responsibilities include the following:

    (i) The labor and facilities associated with training and debriefing of monitors;

    (ii) NMFS-issued gear (e.g., electronic reporting aids used by human monitors to record trip information);

    (iii) Certification of monitoring service providers and individual observers or monitors; performance monitoring to maintain certificates;

    (iv) Developing and executing vessel selection;

    (v) Data processing (including electronic monitoring video audit, but excluding service provider electronic video review); and

    (vi) Costs associated with liaison activities between service providers, and NMFS, Coast Guard, New England Council, sector managers, and other partners.

    (vii) The industry is responsible for all other costs associated with IFM programs.

    (4) Prioritization Process to Cover NMFS IFM Cost Responsibilities. (i) Available Federal funding refers to any funds in excess of those allocated to meet SBRM requirements or the existing IFM programs in the Atlantic Sea Scallop and Northeast Multispecies FMPs that may be used to cover NMFS cost responsibilities associated with IFM coverage targets. If there is no available Federal funding in a given year to cover NMFS IFM cost responsibilities, then there shall be no IFM coverage during that year. If there is some available Federal funding in a given year, but not enough to cover all of NMFS cost responsibilities associated with IFM coverage targets, then the New England Council will prioritize available Federal funding across IFM programs during that year. Existing IFM programs for Atlantic sea scallops and Northeast multispecies fisheries shall not be included in this prioritization process.

    (ii) Programs with IFM coverage targets shall be prioritized using an equal weighting approach, such that any available Federal funding shall be divided equally among programs.

    (iii) After NMFS determines the amount of available Federal funding for the next fishing year, NMFS shall provide the New England Council with the estimated IFM coverage levels for the next fishing year. The estimated IFM coverage levels would be based on the equal weighting approach and would include the rationale for any deviations from the equal weighting approach. The New England Council may recommend revisions and additional considerations to the Regional Administrator and Science and Research Director.

    (A) If available Federal funding exceeds that needed to pay all of NMFS cost responsibilities for administering IFM programs, the New England Council may request NMFS to use available funding to help offset industry cost responsibilities through reimbursement.

    (B) [Reserved]

    (iv) Revisions to the prioritization process may be made via a framework adjustment to all New England FMPs.

    (v) Revisions to the weighting approach for the New England Council-led prioritization process may be made via a framework adjustment to all New England FMPs or by the New England Council considering a new weighting approach at a public meeting, where public comment is accepted, and requesting NMFS to publish a notice or rulemaking revising the weighting approach. NMFS shall implement revisions to the weighting approach in a manner consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

    (5) IFM Program Monitoring Service Provider Requirements. IFM monitoring service provider requirements shall be consistent with requirements in paragraphs (h) of this section and observer or monitor requirements shall be consistent with requirements in paragraph (i) of this section.

    (6) Monitoring Set-Aside. The New England Council may develop a monitoring set-aside program for individual FMPs that would devote a portion of the annual catch limit for a fishery to help offset the industry cost responsibilities for monitoring coverage, including observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and electronic monitoring.

    (i) The details of a monitoring set-aside program may include, but are not limited to:

    (A) The basis for the monitoring set-aside;

    (B) The amount of the set-aside (e.g., quota, days at sea);

    (C) How the set-aside is allocated to vessels required to pay for monitoring (e.g., an increased trip limit, differential days at sea counting, additional trips, an allocation of the quota);

    (D) The process for vessel notification;

    (E) How funds are collected and administered to cover the industry's costs of monitoring; and

    (F) Any other measures necessary to develop and implement a monitoring set-aside.

    (ii) The New England Council may develop new monitoring set-asides and revise those monitoring set-asides via a framework adjustment to the relevant FMP.

    (h) Monitoring service provider approval and responsibilities—(1) General. An entity seeking to provide monitoring services, including services for IFM Programs described in paragraph (g) of this section, must apply for and obtain approval from NMFS following submission of a complete application. Monitoring services include providing NMFS-certified observers, monitors (at-sea monitors and portside samplers), and/or electronic monitoring. A list of approved monitoring service providers shall be distributed to vessel owners and shall be posted on the NMFS Fisheries Sampling Branch (FSB) website at: https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (3) Contents of application. An application to become an approved monitoring service provider shall contain the following:

    (i) Identification of the management, organizational structure, and ownership structure of the applicant's business, including identification by name and general function of all controlling management interests in the company, including but not limited to owners, board members, officers, authorized agents, and staff. If the applicant is a corporation, the articles of incorporation must be provided. If the applicant is a partnership, the partnership agreement must be provided.

    (ii) The permanent mailing address, phone and fax numbers where the owner(s) can be contacted for official correspondence, and the current physical location, business mailing address, business telephone and fax numbers, and business email address for each office.

    (iii) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, that they are free from a conflict of interest as described under paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

    (iv) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, describing any criminal conviction(s), Federal contract(s) they have had and the performance rating they received on the contracts, and previous decertification action(s) while working as an observer or monitor or monitoring service provider.

    (v) A description of any prior experience the applicant may have in placing individuals in remote field and/or marine work environments. This includes, but is not limited to, recruiting, hiring, deployment, and personnel administration.

    (vi) A description of the applicant's ability to carry out the responsibilities and duties of a monitoring service provider as set out under paragraph (h)(5) of this section, and the arrangements to be used.

    (vii) Evidence of holding adequate insurance to cover injury, liability, and accidental death for observers or monitors, whether contracted or employed by the service provider, during their period of employment (including during training). Workers' Compensation and Maritime Employer's Liability insurance must be provided to cover the observer or monitor, vessel owner, and observer provider. The minimum coverage required is $5 million. Monitoring service providers shall provide copies of the insurance policies to observers or monitors to display to the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager, when requested.

    (viii) Proof that its observers or monitors, whether contracted or employed by the service provider, are compensated with salaries that meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines for observers. Observers shall be compensated as Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) non-exempt employees. Monitoring service providers shall provide any other benefits and personnel services in accordance with the terms of each observer's or monitor's contract or employment status.

    (ix) The names of its fully equipped, NMFS/FSB certified, observers or monitors on staff or a list of its training candidates (with resumes) and a request for an appropriate NMFS/FSB Training class. All training classes have a minimum class size of eight individuals, which may be split among multiple vendors requesting training. Requests for training classes with fewer than eight individuals will be delayed until further requests make up the full training class size.

    (x) An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) describing its response to an “at sea” emergency with an observer or monitor, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, harassment, or intimidation. An EAP that details a monitoring service provider's responses to emergencies involving observers, monitors, or monitoring service provider personnel. The EAP shall include communications protocol and appropriate contact information in an emergency.

    (4) Application evaluation. (i) NMFS shall review and evaluate each application submitted under paragraph (h)(3) of this section. Issuance of approval as a monitoring service provider shall be based on completeness of the application, and a determination by NMFS of the applicant's ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a monitoring service provider, as demonstrated in the application information. A decision to approve or deny an application shall be made by NMFS within 15 business days of receipt of the application by NMFS.

    (ii) If NMFS approves the application, the monitoring service provider's name will be added to the list of approved monitoring service providers found on the NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, and in any outreach information to the industry. Approved monitoring service providers shall be notified in writing and provided with any information pertinent to its participation in the observer or monitor programs.

    (iii) An application shall be denied if NMFS determines that the information provided in the application is not complete or the evaluation criteria are not met. NMFS shall notify the applicant in writing of any deficiencies in the application or information submitted in support of the application. An applicant who receives a denial of his or her application may present additional information to rectify the deficiencies specified in the written denial, provided such information is submitted to NMFS within 30 days of the applicant's receipt of the denial notification from NMFS. In the absence of additional information, and after 30 days from an applicant's receipt of a denial, a monitoring service provider is required to resubmit an application containing all of the information required under the application process specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this section to be re-considered for being added to the list of approved monitoring service providers.

    (5) Responsibilities of monitoring service providers. (i) A monitoring service provider must provide observers or monitors certified by NMFS/FSB pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section for deployment in a fishery when contacted and contracted by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of a fishing vessel, unless the monitoring service provider refuses to deploy an observer or monitor on a requesting vessel for any of the reasons specified at paragraph (h)(5)(viii) of this section.

    (ii) A monitoring service provider must provide to each of its observers or monitors:

    (A) All necessary transportation, lodging costs and support for arrangements and logistics of travel for observers and monitors to and from the initial location of deployment, to all subsequent vessel assignments, to any debriefing locations, and for appearances in Court for monitoring-related trials as necessary;

    (B) Lodging, per diem, and any other services necessary for observers or monitors assigned to a fishing vessel or to attend an appropriate NMFS/FSB training class;

    (C) The required observer or monitor equipment, in accordance with equipment requirements listed on the NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, prior to any deployment and/or prior to NMFS observer or monitor certification training; and

    (D) Individually assigned communication equipment, in working order, such as a mobile phone, for all necessary communication. A monitoring service provider may alternatively compensate observers or monitors for the use of the observer's or monitor's personal mobile phone, or other device, for communications made in support of, or necessary for, the observer's or monitor's duties.

    (iii) Observer and monitor deployment logistics. Each approved monitoring service provider must assign an available certified observer or monitor to a vessel upon request. Each approved monitoring service provider must be accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to enable an owner, operator, or manager of a vessel to secure monitoring coverage when requested. The telephone or other notification system must be monitored a minimum of four times daily to ensure rapid response to industry requests. Monitoring service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section are required to report observer or monitor deployments to NMFS for the purpose of determining whether the predetermined coverage levels are being achieved in the appropriate fishery.

    (iv) Observer deployment limitations. (A) A candidate observer's first several deployments and the resulting data shall be immediately edited and approved after each trip by NMFS/FSB prior to any further deployments by that observer. If data quality is considered acceptable, the observer would be certified. For further information, see https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/.

    (B) For the purpose of coverage to meet SBRM requirements, unless alternative arrangements are approved by NMFS, a monitoring service provider must not deploy any NMFS-certified observer on the same vessel for more than two consecutive multi-day trips, and not more than twice in any given month for multi-day deployments.

    (C) For the purpose of coverage to meet IFM requirements, a monitoring service provider may deploy any NMFS-certified observer or monitor on the same vessel for more than two consecutive multi-day trips and more than twice in any given month for multi-day deployments.

    (v) Communications with observers and monitors. A monitoring service provider must have an employee responsible for observer or monitor activities on call 24 hours a day to handle emergencies involving observers or monitors or problems concerning observer or monitor logistics, whenever observers or monitors are at sea, stationed portside, in transit, or in port awaiting vessel assignment.

    (vi) Observer and monitor training requirements. A request for a NMFS/FSB Observer or Monitor Training class must be submitted to NMFS/FSB 45 calendar days in advance of the requested training. The following information must be submitted to NMFS/FSB at least 15 business days prior to the beginning of the proposed training: A list of observer or monitor candidates; candidate resumes, cover letters and academic transcripts; and a statement signed by the candidate, under penalty of perjury, that discloses the candidate's criminal convictions, if any. A medical report certified by a physician for each candidate is required 7 business days prior to the first day of training. CPR/First Aid certificates and a final list of training candidates with candidate contact information (email, phone, number, mailing address and emergency contact information) are due 7 business days prior to the first day of training. NMFS may reject a candidate for training if the candidate does not meet the minimum qualification requirements as outlined by NMFS/FSB minimum eligibility standards for observers or monitors as described on the NMFS/FSB website.

    (vii) Reports and Requirements—(A) Deployment reports. The monitoring service provider must report to NMFS/FSB when, where, to whom, and to what vessel an observer or monitor has been deployed, as soon as practicable, and according to requirements outlined on the NMFS/FSB website. The deployment report must be available and accessible to NMFS electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The monitoring service provider must ensure that the observer or monitor reports to NMFS the required electronic data, as described in the NMFS/FSB training. Electronic data submission protocols will be outlined in training and may include accessing government websites via personal computers/devices or submitting data through government issued electronics. The monitoring service provider shall provide the raw (unedited) data collected by the observer or monitor to NMFS at the specified time per program. For further information, see https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/scallop/.

    (B) Safety refusals. The monitoring service provider must report to NMFS any trip or landing that has been refused due to safety issues (e.g., failure to hold a valid USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination Decal or to meet the safety requirements of the observer's or monitor's safety checklist) within 12 hours of the refusal.

    (C) Biological samples. The monitoring service provider must ensure that biological samples, including whole marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, and fin clips or other DNA samples, are stored/handled properly and transported to NMFS within 5 days of landing. If transport to NMFS/FSB Observer Training Facility is not immediately available then whole animals requiring freezing shall be received by the nearest NMFS freezer facility within 24 hours of vessel landing.

    (D) Debriefing. The monitoring service provider must ensure that the observer or monitor remains available to NMFS, either in-person or via phone, at NMFS' discretion, including NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, for debriefing for at least 2 weeks following any monitored trip. If requested by NMFS, an observer or monitor that is at sea during the 2-week period must contact NMFS upon his or her return. Monitoring service providers must pay for travel and land hours for any requested debriefings.

    (E) Availability report. The monitoring service provider must report to NMFS any occurrence of inability to respond to an industry request for observer or monitor coverage due to the lack of available observers or monitors as soon as practicable if the provider is unable to respond to an industry request for monitoring coverage. Availability report must be available and accessible to NMFS electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    (F) Incident reports. The monitoring service provider must report possible observer or monitor harassment, discrimination, concerns about vessel safety or marine casualty, or observer or monitor illness or injury; and any information, allegations, or reports regarding observer or monitor conflict of interest or breach of the standards of behavior, to NMFS/FSB within 12 hours of the event or within 12 hours of learning of the event.

    (G) Status report. The monitoring service provider must provide NMFS/FSB with an updated list of contact information for all observers or monitors that includes the identification number, name, mailing address, email address, phone numbers, homeports or fisheries/trip types assigned, and must include whether or not the observer or monitor is “in service,” indicating when the observer or monitor has requested leave and/or is not currently working for an industry-funded program. Any Federally contracted NMFS-certified observer not actively deployed on a vessel for 30 days will be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) status (or as specified by NMFS/FSB according to most recent Information Technology Security Guidelines at https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/memos/. Those Federally contracted NMFS-certified observers on LOA for 90 days or more will need to conduct an exit interview with NMFS/FSB and return any NMFS/FSB issued gear and Common Access Card (CAC), unless alternative arrangements are approved by NMFS/FSB. NMFS/FSB requires 2-week advance notification when a Federally contracted NMFS-certified observer is leaving the program so that an exit interview may be arranged and gear returned.

    (H) Vessel contract. The monitoring service provider must submit to NMFS/FSB, if requested, a copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the monitoring service provider and those entities requiring monitoring services.

    (I) Observer and monitor contract. The monitoring service provider must submit to NMFS/FSB, if requested, a copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the monitoring service provider and specific observers or monitors.

    (J) Additional information. The monitoring service provider must submit to NMFS/FSB, if requested, copies of any information developed and/or used by the monitoring service provider and distributed to vessels, observers, or monitors, such as informational pamphlets, payment notification, daily rate of monitoring services, description of observer or monitor duties, etc.

    (viii) Refusal to deploy an observer or monitor. (A) A monitoring service provider may refuse to deploy an observer or monitor on a requesting fishing vessel if the monitoring service provider does not have an available observer or monitor within the required time and must report all refusals to NMFS/FSB.

    (B) A monitoring service provider may refuse to deploy an observer or monitor on a requesting fishing vessel if the monitoring service provider has determined that the requesting vessel is inadequate or unsafe pursuant to the reasons described at § 600.746.

    (C) The monitoring service provider may refuse to deploy an observer or monitor on a fishing vessel that is otherwise eligible to carry an observer or monitor for any other reason, including failure to pay for previous monitoring deployments, provided the monitoring service provider has received prior written confirmation from NMFS authorizing such refusal.

    (6) Limitations on conflict of interest. A monitoring service provider:

    (i) Must not have a direct or indirect interest in a fishery managed under Federal regulations, including, but not limited to, a fishing vessel, fish dealer, and/or fishery advocacy group (other than providing monitoring services);

    (ii) Must assign observers or monitors without regard to any preference by representatives of vessels other than when an observer or monitor will be deployed for the trip that was selected for coverage; and

    (iii) Must not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, gift, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from anyone who conducts fishing or fishing related activities that are regulated by NMFS, or who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of monitoring service providers.

    (7) Removal of monitoring service provider from the list of approved service providers. A monitoring service provider that fails to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (6) of this section shall be notified by NMFS, in writing, that it is subject to removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers. Such notification shall specify the reasons for the pending removal. A monitoring service provider that has received notification that it is subject to removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers may submit written information to rebut the reasons for removal from the list. Such rebuttal must be submitted within 30 days of notification received by the monitoring service provider that the monitoring service provider is subject to removal and must be accompanied by written evidence rebutting the basis for removal. NMFS shall review information rebutting the pending removal and shall notify the monitoring service provider within 15 days of receipt of the rebuttal whether or not the removal is warranted. If no response to a pending removal is received by NMFS, the monitoring service provider shall be automatically removed from the list of approved monitoring service providers. The decision to remove the monitoring service provider from the list, either after reviewing a rebuttal, or if no rebuttal is submitted, shall be the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce. Removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers does not necessarily prevent such monitoring service provider from obtaining an approval in the future if a new application is submitted that demonstrates that the reasons for removal are remedied. Certified observers and monitors under contract with observer monitoring service provider that has been removed from the list of approved service providers must complete their assigned duties for any fishing trips on which the observers or monitors are deployed at the time the monitoring service provider is removed from the list of approved monitoring service providers. A monitoring service provider removed from the list of approved monitoring service providers is responsible for providing NMFS with the information required in paragraph (h)(5)(vii) of this section following completion of the trip. NMFS may consider, but is not limited to, the following in determining if a monitoring service provider may remain on the list of approved monitoring service providers:

    (i) Failure to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities of monitoring service providers specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (h)(6) of this section;

    (ii) Evidence of conflict of interest as defined under paragraph (h)(6) of this section;

    (iii) Evidence of criminal convictions related to:

    (A) Embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property; or

    (B) The commission of any other crimes of dishonesty, as defined by state law or Federal law, that would seriously and directly affect the fitness of an applicant in providing monitoring services under this section;

    (iv) Unsatisfactory performance ratings on any Federal contracts held by the applicant; and

    (v) Evidence of any history of decertification as either an observer, monitor, or monitoring service provider.

    (i) Observer or monitor certification. (1) To be certified, employees or sub-contractors operating as observers or monitors for monitoring service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section. In addition, observers must meet NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards for observers specified at the National Observer Program website: https://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/pds/categories/scienceandtechnology.html. For further information, see https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/observer-home/.

    (2) Observer or monitor training. In order to be deployed on any fishing vessel, a candidate observer or monitor must have passed an appropriate NMFS/FSB Observer Training course and must adhere to all NMFS/FSB program standards and policies (refer to website for program standards, https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/). If a candidate fails training, the candidate and monitoring service provider shall be notified immediately by NMFS/FSB. Observer training may include an observer training trip, as part of the observer's training, aboard a fishing vessel with a trainer. Refer to the NMFS/FSB website for the required number of program specific observer and monitor training certification trips for full certification following training, https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/.

    (3) Observer requirements. All observers must:

    (i) Have a valid NMFS/FSB fisheries observer certification pursuant to paragraph (i)(1) of this section;

    (ii) Be physically and mentally capable of carrying out the responsibilities of an observer on board fishing vessels, pursuant to standards established by NMFS. Such standards are available from NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section and shall be provided to each approved monitoring service provider;

    (iii) Have successfully completed all NMFS-required training and briefings for observers before deployment, pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this section;

    (iv) Hold a current Red Cross (or equivalence) CPR/First Aid certification;

    (v) Accurately record their sampling data, write complete reports, and report accurately any observations relevant to conservation of marine resources or their environment; and

    (vi) Report unsafe sampling conditions, pursuant to paragraph (m)(6) of this section.

    (4) Monitor requirements. All monitors must:

    (i) Hold a high school diploma or legal equivalent;

    (ii) Have a valid NMFS/FSB certification pursuant to paragraph (i)(1) of this section;

    (iii) Be physically and mentally capable of carrying out the responsibilities of a monitor on board fishing vessels, pursuant to standards established by NMFS. Such standards are available from NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section and shall be provided to each approved monitoring service provider;

    (iv) Have successfully completed all NMFS-required training and briefings for monitors before deployment, pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this section;

    (v) Hold a current Red Cross (or equivalence) CPR/First Aid certification if the monitor is to be employed as an at-sea monitor;

    (vi) Accurately record their sampling data, write complete reports, and report accurately any observations relevant to conservation of marine resources or their environment; and

    (vii) Report unsafe sampling conditions, pursuant to paragraph (m)(6) of this section.

    (5) Probation and decertification. NMFS may review observer and monitor certifications and issue observer and monitor certification probation and/or decertification as described in NMFS policy found on the NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section.

    (6) Issuance of decertification. Upon determination that decertification is warranted under paragraph (i)(5) of this section, NMFS shall issue a written decision to decertify the observer or monitor to the observer or monitor and approved monitoring service providers via certified mail at the observer's or monitor's most current address provided to NMFS. The decision shall identify whether a certification is revoked and shall identify the specific reasons for the action taken. Decertification is effective immediately as of the date of issuance, unless the decertification official notes a compelling reason for maintaining certification for a specified period and under specified conditions. Decertification is the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce and may not be appealed.

    (j) In the event that a vessel is requested by the Regional Administrator to carry a NMFS-certified fisheries observer pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section and is also selected to carry an at-sea monitor as part of an approved sector at-sea monitoring program specified in § 648.87(b)(1)(v) for the same trip, only the NMFS-certified fisheries observer is required to go on that particular trip.

    (k) Atlantic sea scallop observer program—(1) General. Unless otherwise specified, owners, operators, and/or managers of vessels issued a Federal scallop permit under § 648.4(a)(2), and specified in paragraph (a) of this section, must comply with this section and are jointly and severally responsible for their vessel's compliance with this section. To facilitate the deployment of at-sea observers, all sea scallop vessels issued limited access and LAGC IFQ permits are required to comply with the additional notification requirements specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section. When NMFS notifies the vessel owner, operator, and/or manager of any requirement to carry an observer on a specified trip in either an Access Area or Open Area as specified in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, the vessel may not fish for, take, retain, possess, or land any scallops without carrying an observer. Vessels may only embark on a scallop trip in open areas or Access Areas without an observer if the vessel owner, operator, and/or manager has been notified that the vessel has received a waiver of the observer requirement for that trip pursuant to paragraphs (k)(3) and (k)(4)(ii) of this section.

    (2) Vessel notification procedures—(i) Limited access vessels. Limited access vessel owners, operators, or managers shall notify NMFS/FSB by telephone not more than 10 days prior to the beginning of any scallop trip of the time, port of departure, open area or specific Sea Scallop Access Area to be fished, and whether fishing as a scallop dredge, scallop trawl, or general category vessel.

    (ii) LAGC IFQ vessels. LAGC IFQ vessel owners, operators, or managers must notify the NMFS/FSB by telephone by 0001 hr of the Thursday preceding the week (Sunday through Saturday) that they intend to start any open area or access area scallop trip and must include the port of departure, open area or specific Sea Scallop Access Area to be fished, and whether fishing as a scallop dredge, scallop trawl vessel. If selected, up to two trips that start during the specified week (Sunday through Saturday) can be selected to be covered by an observer. NMFS/FSB must be notified by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of any trip plan changes at least 48 hr prior to vessel departure.

    (3) Selection of scallop trips for observer coverage. Based on predetermined coverage levels for various permit categories and areas of the scallop fishery that are provided by NMFS in writing to all observer service providers approved pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section, NMFS shall notify the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, for the specified scallop trip, within 24 hr of the vessel owner's, operator's, or vessel manager's notification of the prospective scallop trip, as specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section. Any request to carry an observer may be waived by NMFS. All waivers for observer coverage shall be issued to the vessel by VMS so as to have on-board verification of the waiver. A vessel may not fish in an area with an observer waiver confirmation number that does not match the scallop trip plan that was called in to NMFS. Confirmation numbers for trip notification calls are only valid for 48 hr from the intended sail date.

    (4) Procurement of observer services by scallop vessels. (i) An owner of a scallop vessel required to carry an observer under paragraph (k)(3) of this section must arrange for carrying an observer certified through the observer training class operated by the NMFS/FSB from an observer service provider approved by NMFS under paragraph (h) of this section. The owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel selected to carry an observer must contact the observer service provider and must provide at least 48-hr notice in advance of the fishing trip for the provider to arrange for observer deployment for the specified trip. The observer service provider will notify the vessel owner, operator, or manager within 18 hr whether they have an available observer. A list of approved observer service providers shall be posted on the NMFS/FSB website at https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/. The observer service provider may take up to 48 hr to arrange for observer deployment for the specified scallop trip.

    (ii) An owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel that cannot procure a certified observer within 48 hr of the advance notification to the provider due to the unavailability of an observer may request a waiver from NMFS/FSB from the requirement for observer coverage for that trip, but only if the owner, operator, or vessel manager has contacted all of the available observer service providers to secure observer coverage and no observer is available. NMFS/FSB shall issue such a waiver within 24 hr, if the conditions of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii) are met. A vessel may not begin the trip without being issued a waiver.

    (5) Owners of scallop vessels shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer for all scallop trips on which an observer is carried onboard the vessel, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit or reduced DAS accrual rate. The owners of vessels that carry an observer may be compensated with a reduced DAS accrual rate for open area scallop trips or additional scallop catch per day in Sea Scallop Access Areas or additional catch per open area or access area trip for LAGC IFQ trips in order to help defray the cost of the observer, under the program specified in §§ 648.53 and 648.60.

    (i) Observer service providers shall establish the daily rate for observer coverage on a scallop vessel on an Access Area trip or open area DAS or IFQ scallop trip consistent with paragraphs (k)(5)(i)(A) and (B), respectively, of this section.

    (A) Access Area trips. (1) For purposes of determining the daily rate for an observed scallop trip on a limited access vessel in a Sea Scallop Access Area when that specific Access Area's observer set-aside specified in § 648.60(d)(1) has not been fully utilized, a service provider may charge a vessel owner for no more than the time an observer boards a vessel until the vessel disembarks (dock to dock), where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, or any portion of a 24-hr period, regardless of the calendar day. For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on July 1 at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3 at 1 a.m., the time at sea equals 27 hr, which would equate to 2 full “days.”

    (2) For purposes of determining the daily rate in a specific Sea Scallop Access Area for an observed scallop trip on a limited access vessel taken after NMFS has announced the industry-funded observer set-aside in that specific Access Area has been fully utilized, a service provider may charge a vessel owner for no more than the time an observer boards a vessel until the vessel disembarks (dock to dock), where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, and portions of the other days would be pro-rated at an hourly charge (taking the daily rate divided by 24). For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on July 1 at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3 at 1 a.m., the time spent at sea equals 27 hr, which would equate to 1 day and 3 hr.

    (3) For purposes of determining the daily rate in a specific Sea Scallop Access Area for observed scallop trips on an LAGC vessel, regardless of the status of the industry-funded observer set-aside, a service provider may charge a vessel owner for no more than the time an observer boards a vessel until the vessel disembarks (dock to dock), where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, and portions of the other days would be pro-rated at an hourly charge (taking the daily rate divided by 24). For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on July 1 at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3 at 1 a.m., the time spent at sea equals 27 hr, which would equate to 1 day and 3 hr.

    (B) Open area scallop trips. For purposes of determining the daily rate for an observed scallop trip for DAS or LAGC IFQ open area trips, regardless of the status of the industry-funded observer set-aside, a service provider shall charge dock to dock where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, and portions of the other days would be pro-rated at an hourly charge (taking the daily rate divided by 24). For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on the July 1st at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3rd at 1 a.m., the time at sea equals 27 hr, so the provider would charge 1 day and 3 hr.

    (ii) NMFS shall determine any reduced DAS accrual rate and the amount of additional pounds of scallops per day fished in a Sea Scallop Access Area or on an open area LAGC IFQ trips for the applicable fishing year based on the economic conditions of the scallop fishery, as determined by best available information. Vessel owners and observer service providers shall be notified through the Small Entity Compliance Guide of any DAS accrual rate changes and any changes in additional pounds of scallops determined by the Regional Administrator to be necessary. NMFS shall notify vessel owners and observer providers of any adjustments.

    (iii) Owners of scallop vessels shall pay observer service providers for observer services within 45 days of the end of a fishing trip on which an observer deployed.

    (6) When the available DAS or TAC set-aside for observer coverage is exhausted, vessels shall still be required to carry an observer as specified in this section, and shall be responsible for paying for the cost of the observer, but shall not be authorized to harvest additional pounds or fish at a reduced DAS accrual rate.

    (l) NE multispecies observer coverage—(1) Pre-trip notification. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (l), or notified by the Regional Administrator, the owner, operator, or manager of a vessel (i.e., vessel manager or sector manager) issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that is fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip, as defined in this part, must provide advanced notice to NMFS of the vessel name, permit number, and sector to which the vessel belongs, if applicable; contact name and telephone number for coordination of observer deployment; date, time, and port of departure; and the vessel's trip plan, including area to be fished, whether a monkfish DAS will be used, and gear type to be used at least 48 hr prior to departing port on any trip declared into the NE multispecies fishery pursuant to § 648.10 or § 648.85, as instructed by the Regional Administrator, for the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment. For trips lasting 48 hr or less in duration from the time the vessel leaves port to begin a fishing trip until the time the vessel returns to port upon the completion of the fishing trip, the vessel owner, operator, or manager may make a weekly notification rather than trip-by-trip calls. For weekly notifications, a vessel must notify NMFS by 0001 hr of the Friday preceding the week (Sunday through Saturday) that it intends to complete at least one NE multispecies DAS or sector trip during the following week and provide the date, time, port of departure, area to be fished, whether a monkfish DAS will be used, and gear type to be used for each trip during that week. Trip notification calls must be made no more than 10 days in advance of each fishing trip. The vessel owner, operator, or manager must notify NMFS of any trip plan changes at least 24 hr prior to vessel departure from port. A vessel may not begin the trip without being issued an observer notification or a waiver by NMFS.

    (2) Vessel selection for observer coverage. NMFS shall notify the vessel owner, operator, or manager whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, for the specified trip within 24 hr of the vessel owner's, operator's or manager's notification of the prospective trip, as specified in paragraph (l)(1) of this section. All trip notifications shall be issued a unique confirmation number. A vessel may not fish on a NE multispecies DAS or sector trip with an observer waiver confirmation number that does not match the trip plan that was called in to NMFS. Confirmation numbers for trip notification calls are valid for 48 hr from the intended sail date. If a trip is interrupted and returns to port due to bad weather or other circumstance beyond the operator's control, and goes back out within 48 hr, the same confirmation number and observer status remains. If the layover time is greater than 48 hr, a new trip notification must be made by the operator, owner, or manager of the vessel.

    (3) NE multispecies monitoring program goals and objectives. Monitoring programs established for the NE multispecies are to be designed and evaluated consistent with the following goals and objectives:

    (i) Improve documentation of catch:

    (A) Determine total catch and effort, for each sector and common pool, of target or regulated species; and

    (B) Achieve coverage level sufficient to minimize effects of potential monitoring bias to the extent possible while maintaining as much flexibility as possible to enhance fleet viability.

    (ii) Reduce the cost of monitoring:

    (A) Streamline data management and eliminate redundancy;

    (B) Explore options for cost-sharing and deferment of cost to industry; and

    (C) Recognize opportunity costs of insufficient monitoring.

    (iii) Incentivize reducing discards:

    (A) Determine discard rate by smallest possible strata while maintaining cost-effectiveness; and

    (B) Collect information by gear type to accurately calculate discard rates.

    (iv) Provide additional data streams for stock assessments:

    (A) Reduce management and/or biological uncertainty; and

    (B) Perform biological sampling if it may be used to enhance accuracy of mortality or recruitment calculations.

    (v) Enhance safety of monitoring program.

    (vi) Perform periodic review of monitoring program for effectiveness.

    (m) Atlantic herring monitoring coverage—(1) Monitoring requirements. (i) In addition to the requirement for any vessel holding an Atlantic herring permit to carry a NMFS-certified observer described in paragraph (a) of this section, vessels issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit are subject to industry-funded monitoring (IFM) requirements on declared Atlantic herring trips, unless the vessel is carrying a NMFS-certified observer to fulfill Standard Bycatch Reporting Methodology requirements. An owner of a midwater trawl vessel, required to carry a NMFS-certified observer when fishing in Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas at § 648.202(b), may purchase an IFM high volume fisheries (HVF) observer to access Closed Areas on a trip-by-trip basis. General requirements for IFM programs in New England Council FMPs are specified in paragraph (g) of this section. Possible IFM monitoring for the Atlantic herring fishery includes NMFS-certified observers, at-sea monitors, and electronic monitoring and portside samplers, as defined in § 648.2.

    (A) IFM HVF observers shall collect the following information:

    (1) Fishing gear information (e.g., size of nets, mesh sizes, and gear configurations);

    (2) Tow-specific information (e.g., depth, water temperature, wave height, and location and time when fishing begins and ends);

    (3) Species, weight, and disposition of all retained and discarded catch (fish, sharks, crustaceans, invertebrates, and debris) on observed hauls;

    (4) Species, weight, and disposition of all retained catch on unobserved hauls;

    (5) Actual catch weights whenever possible, or alternatively, weight estimates derived by sub-sampling;

    (6) Whole specimens, photos, length information, and biological samples (e.g., scales, otoliths, and/or vertebrae from fish, invertebrates, and incidental takes);

    (7) Information on interactions with protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and sea birds; and

    (8) Vessel trip costs (i.e., operational costs for trip including food, fuel, oil, and ice).

    (B) IFM HVF at-sea monitors shall collect the following information:

    (1) Fishing gear information (e.g., size of nets, mesh sizes, and gear configurations);

    (2) Tow-specific information (e.g., depth, water temperature, wave height, and location and time when fishing begins and ends);

    (3) Species, weight, and disposition of all retained and discarded catch (fish, sharks, crustaceans, invertebrates, and debris) on observed hauls;

    (4) Species, weight, and disposition of all retained catch on unobserved hauls;

    (5) Actual catch weights whenever possible, or alternatively, weight estimates derived by sub-sampling;

    (6) Length data, along with whole specimens and photos to verify species identification, on retained and discarded catch;

    (7) Information on and biological samples from interactions with protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and sea birds; and

    (8) Vessel trip costs (i.e., operational costs for trip including food, fuel, oil, and ice).

    (9) The New England Council may recommend that at-sea monitors collect additional biological information upon request. Revisions to the duties of an at-sea monitor, such that additional biological information would be collected, may be done via a framework adjustment. At-sea monitor duties may also be revised to collect additional biological information by considering the issue at a public meeting, where public comment is accepted, and requesting NMFS to publish a notice or rulemaking revising the duties for at-sea monitors. NMFS shall implement revisions to at-sea monitor duties in accordance with the APA.

    (C) IFM Portside samplers shall collect the following information:

    (1) Species, weight, and disposition of all retained catch (fish, sharks, crustaceans, invertebrates, and debris) on sampled trips;

    (2) Actual catch weights whenever possible, or alternatively, weight estimates derived by sub-sampling; and

    (3) Whole specimens, photos, length information, and biological samples (i.e., scales, otoliths, and/or vertebrae from fish, invertebrates, and incidental takes).

    (ii) Vessels issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit are subject to IFM at-sea monitoring coverage. If the New England Council determines that electronic monitoring, used in conjunction with portside sampling, is an adequate substitute for at-sea monitoring on vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear, and it is approved by the Regional Administrator as specified in (m)(1)(iii), then owners of vessels issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit may choose either IFM at-sea monitoring coverage or IFM electronic monitoring and IFM portside sampling coverage, pursuant with requirements in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section. Once owners of vessels issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit may choose an IFM monitoring type, vessel owners must select one IFM monitoring type per fishing year and notify NMFS of their selected IFM monitoring type via selection form six months in advance of the beginning of the fishing year. NMFS will provide vessels owners with selection forms no later than June 1 of each year.

    (A) In a future framework adjustment, the New England Council may consider if electronic monitoring and portside sampling coverage is an adequate substitute for at-sea monitoring coverage for Atlantic herring vessels that fish with purse seine and/or bottom trawl gear.

    (B) IFM coverage targets for the Atlantic herring fishery are calculated by NMFS, in consultation with New England Council staff.

    (C) If IFM coverage targets do not match for the Atlantic herring and Atlantic mackerel fisheries, then the higher IFM coverage target would apply on trips declared into both fisheries.

    (D) Vessels intending to land less than 50 mt of Atlantic herring are exempt from IFM requirements, provided that the vessel requests and is issued a waiver prior to departing on that trip, consistent with paragraphs (m)(2)(iii)(B) and (m)(3) of this section. Vessels issued a waiver must land less than 50 mt of Atlantic herring on that trip.

    (E) A wing vessel (i.e., midwater trawl vessel pair trawling with another midwater trawl vessel) is exempt from IFM requirements on a trip, provided the wing vessel does not possess or land any fish on that trip and requests and is issued a waiver prior to departing on that trip, consistent with paragraphs (m)(2)(iii)(C) and (m)(3) of this section.

    (F) Two years after implementation of IFM in the Atlantic herring fishery, the New England Council will examine the results of any increased coverage in the Atlantic herring fishery and consider if adjustments to the IFM coverage targets are warranted.

    (iii) Electronic monitoring and portside sampling coverage may be used in place of at-sea monitoring coverage in the Atlantic herring fishery, if the electronic monitoring technology is deemed sufficient by the New England Council. The Regional Administrator, in consultation with the New England Council, may approve the use of electronic monitoring and portside sampling for the Atlantic herring fishery in a manner consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, with final measures published in the Federal Register. A vessel electing to use electronic monitoring and portside sampling in lieu of at-sea monitoring must develop a vessel monitoring plan to implement an electronic monitoring and portside sampling program that NMFS determines is sufficient for monitoring catch, discards and slippage events. The electronic monitoring and portside sampling program shall be reviewed and approved by NMFS as part of a vessel's monitoring plan on a yearly basis in a manner consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

    (iv) Owners, operators, or managers of vessels issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit are responsible for their vessel's compliance with IFM requirements. When NMFS notifies a vessel owner, operator, or manager of the requirement to have monitoring coverage on a specific declared Atlantic herring trip, that vessel may not fish for, take, retain, possess, or land any Atlantic herring without the required monitoring coverage. Vessels may only embark on a declared Atlantic herring trip without the required monitoring coverage if the vessel owner, operator, and/or manager has been notified that the vessel has received a waiver for the required monitoring coverage for that trip, pursuant to paragraphs (m(2)(iii)(B) and (C) and paragraph (m)(3) of this section.

    (v) To provide the required IFM coverage aboard declared Atlantic herring trips, NMFS-certified observers and monitors must hold a high volume fisheries certification from NMFS/FSB. See details of high volume certification at https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/.

    (2) Pre-trip notification. (i) At least 48 hr prior to the beginning of any trip on which a vessel may harvest, possess, or land Atlantic herring, the owner, operator, or manager of a vessel issued a Limited Access Herring Permit, or a vessel issued an Areas 2/3 Open Access Herring Permit on a declared herring trip, or a vessel issued an All Areas Open Access Herring Permit fishing with midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in § 648.200(f)(1) and (3), or a vessel acting as a herring carrier must notify NMFS/FSB of the trip.

    (ii) The notification to NMFS/FSB must include the following information: Vessel name or names in the cases of paired midwater trawlers, permit category, and permit number; contact name for coordination of monitoring coverage; telephone number for contact; the date, time, and port of departure; gear type; target species; trip length and port of landing; and intended area of fishing.

    (iii) For vessels issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit, the trip notification must also include the following requests, if appropriate:

    (A) For IFM NMFS-certified observer coverage aboard vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear to access the Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas, consistent with requirements at § 648.202(b), at any point during the trip;

    (B) For a waiver of IFM requirements on a trip that shall land less than 50 mt of Atlantic herring; and

    (C) For a waiver of IFM requirements on trip by a wing vessel as described in paragraph (m)(ii)(E) of this section.

    (iv) Trip notification must be provided no more than 9 days in advance of each fishing trip. The vessel owner, operator, or manager must notify NMFS/FSB of any trip plan changes at least 12 hr prior to vessel departure from port.

    (3) Selection of trips for monitoring coverage. NMFS shall notify the owner, operator, and/or manager of a vessel with an Atlantic herring permit whether a declared Atlantic herring trip requires coverage by a NMFS-funded observer or whether a trip requires IFM coverage. NMFS shall also notify the owner, operator, and/or manager of vessel if a waiver has been granted, either for the NMFS-funded observer or for IFM coverage, as specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this section. All waivers for monitoring coverage shall be issued to the vessel by VMS so that there is an on-board verification of the waiver. A waiver is invalid if the fishing behavior on that trip is inconsistent with the terms of the waiver.

    (4) Procurement of monitoring services by Atlantic herring vessels. (i) An owner of an Atlantic herring vessel required to have monitoring under paragraph (m)(3) of this section must arrange for monitoring by an individual certified through training classes operated by the NMFS/FSB and from a monitoring service provider approved by NMFS under paragraph (h) of this section. The owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel selected for monitoring must contact a monitoring service provider prior to the beginning of the trip and the monitoring service provider will notify the vessel owner, operator, or manager whether monitoring is available. A list of approved monitoring service providers shall be posted on the NMFS/FSB website at https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/.

    (ii) An owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel that cannot procure monitoring due to the unavailability of monitoring may request a waiver from NMFS/FSB from the requirement for monitoring on that trip, but only if the owner, operator, or vessel manager has contacted all of the available monitoring service providers to secure monitoring and no monitoring is available. NMFS/FSB shall issue a waiver, if the conditions of this paragraph (m)(4)(ii) are met. A vessel without monitoring coverage may not begin a declared Atlantic herring trip without having been issued a waiver.

    (iii) Vessel owners shall pay service providers for monitoring services within 45 days of the end of a fishing trip that was monitored.

    (5) When vessels issued limited access herring permits are working cooperatively in the Atlantic herring fishery, including pair trawling, purse seining, and transferring herring at-sea, each vessel must provide to observers or monitors, when requested, the estimated weight of each species brought on board and the estimated weight of each species released on each tow.

    (6) Sampling requirements for NMFS-certified observer and monitors. In addition to the requirements at § 648.11(d)(1) through (7), an owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access herring permit on which a NMFS-certified observer or monitor is embarked must provide observers or monitors:

    (i) A safe sampling station adjacent to the fish deck, including: A safety harness, if footing is compromised and grating systems are high above the deck; a safe method to obtain samples; and a storage space for baskets and sampling gear.

    (ii) Reasonable assistance to enable observers or monitors to carry out their duties, including but not limited to assistance with: Obtaining and sorting samples; measuring decks, codends, and holding bins; collecting bycatch when requested by the observers or monitors; and collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by the observers or monitors.

    (iii) Advance notice when pumping will be starting; when sampling of the catch may begin; and when pumping is coming to an end.

    (iv) Visual access to the net, the codend of the net, and the purse seine bunt and any of its contents after pumping has ended and before the pump is removed from the net. On trawl vessels, the codend including any remaining contents must be brought on board, unless bringing the codend on board is not possible. If bringing the codend on board is not possible, the vessel operator must ensure that the observer or monitor can see the codend and its contents as clearly as possible before releasing its contents.

    (7) Measures to address slippage. (i) No vessel issued a limited access herring permit may slip catch, as defined at § 648.2, except in the following circumstances:

    (A) The vessel operator has determined, and the preponderance of available evidence indicates that, there is a compelling safety reason; or

    (B) A mechanical failure, including gear damage, precludes bringing some or all of the catch on board the vessel for inspection; or

    (C) The vessel operator determines that pumping becomes impossible as a result of spiny dogfish clogging the pump intake. The vessel operator shall take reasonable measures, such as strapping and splitting the net, to remove all fish which can be pumped from the net prior to release.

    (ii) Vessels may make test tows without pumping catch on board if the net is re-set without releasing its contents provided that all catch from test tows is available to the observer to sample when the next tow is brought on board for sampling.

    (iii) If a vessel issued any limited access herring permit slips catch, the vessel operator must report the slippage event on the Atlantic herring daily VMS catch report and indicate the reason for slipping catch. Additionally, the vessel operator must complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing: The vessel name and permit number; the VTR serial number; where, when, and the reason for slipping catch; the estimated weight of each species brought on board or slipped on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

    (iv) If a vessel issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring permit slips catch for any of the reasons described in paragraph (m)(4)(i) of this section when an observer or monitor is aboard, the vessel operator must move at least 15 nm (27.78 km) from the location of the slippage event before deploying any gear again, and must stay at least 15 nm (27.78 km) away from the slippage event location for the remainder of the fishing trip.

    (v) If a vessel issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring permit slips catch for any reason on a trip selected by NMFS for portside sampling, pursuant to paragraph (m)(3) of this section, the vessel operator must move at least 15 nm (27.78 km) from the location of the slippage event before deploying any gear again, and must stay at least 15 nm (27.78 km) away from the slippage event location for the remainder of the fishing trip.

    (vi) If catch is slipped by a vessel issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring permit for any reason not described in paragraph (m)(4)(i) of this section when an observer or monitor is aboard, the vessel operator must immediately terminate the trip and return to port. No fishing activity may occur during the return to port.

    (n) Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish observer coverage—(1) Pre-trip notification. (i) A vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, as specified at § 648.4(a)(5)(iii), must, for the purposes of observer deployment, have a representative provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name, vessel permit number, contact name for coordination of observer deployment, telephone number or email address for contact; and the date, time, port of departure, gear type, and approximate trip duration, at least 48 hr, but no more than 10 days, prior to beginning any fishing trip, unless it complies with the possession restrictions in paragraph (n)(1)(iii) of this section.

    (ii) A vessel that has a representative provide notification to NMFS as described in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section may only embark on a mackerel trip without an observer if a vessel representative has been notified by NMFS that the vessel has received a waiver of the observer requirement for that trip. NMFS shall notify a vessel representative whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, for the specific mackerel trip, within 24 hr of the vessel representative's notification of the prospective mackerel trip, as specified in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section. Any request to carry an observer may be waived by NMFS. A vessel that fishes with an observer waiver confirmation number that does not match the mackerel trip plan that was called in to NMFS is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, harvesting, or landing mackerel except as specified in paragraph (n)(1)(iii) of this section. Confirmation numbers for trip notification calls are only valid for 48 hr from the intended sail date.

    (iii) Trip limits: A vessel issued a limited access mackerel permit, as specified in § 648.4(a)(5)(iii), that does not have a representative provide the trip notification required in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, harvesting, or landing more than 20,000 lb (9.07 mt) of mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

    (iv) If a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, as specified in § 648.4(a)(5)(iii), intends to possess, harvest, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.07 mt) of mackerel per trip or per calendar day, and has a representative notify NMFS of an upcoming trip, is selected by NMFS to carry an observer, and then cancels that trip, the representative is required to provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name, vessel permit number, contact name for coordination of observer deployment, and telephone number or email address for contact, and the intended date, time, and port of departure for the cancelled trip prior to the planned departure time. In addition, if a trip selected for observer coverage is cancelled, then that vessel is required to carry an observer, provided an observer is available, on its next trip.

    (2) Sampling requirements for limited access Atlantic mackerel and longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders. In addition to the requirements in paragraphs (d)(1) through (7) of this section, an owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel or longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit on which a NMFS-certified observer is embarked must provide observers:

    (i) A safe sampling station adjacent to the fish deck, including: A safety harness, if footing is compromised and grating systems are high above the deck; a safe method to obtain samples; and a storage space for baskets and sampling gear.

    (ii) Reasonable assistance to enable observers to carry out their duties, including but not limited to assistance with: Obtaining and sorting samples; measuring decks, codends, and holding bins; collecting bycatch when requested by the observers; and collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by the observers.

    (iii) Advance notice when pumping will be starting; when sampling of the catch may begin; and when pumping is coming to an end.

    (3) Measures to address slippage. (i) No vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit or a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit may slip catch, as defined at § 648.2, except in the following circumstances:

    (A) The vessel operator has determined, and the preponderance of available evidence indicates that, there is a compelling safety reason; or

    (B) A mechanical failure, including gear damage, precludes bringing some or all of the catch on board the vessel for sampling and inspection; or

    (C) The vessel operator determines that pumping becomes impossible as a result of spiny dogfish clogging the pump intake. The vessel operator shall take reasonable measures, such as strapping and splitting the net, to remove all fish that can be pumped from the net prior to release.

    (ii) If a vessel issued any limited access Atlantic mackerel permit slips catch, the vessel operator must report the slippage event on the Atlantic mackerel and longfin squid daily VMS catch report and indicate the reason for slipping catch. Additionally, vessels issued a limited Atlantic mackerel permit or a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit, the vessel operator must complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing: The vessel name and permit number; the VTR serial number; where, when, and the reason for slipping catch; the estimated weight of each species brought on board or slipped on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

    (iii) If a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit slips catch for any of the reasons described in paragraph (n)(3)(i) of this section, the vessel operator must move at least 15 nm (27.8 km) from the location of the slippage event before deploying any gear again, and must stay at least 15 nm (27.8 km) from the slippage event location for the remainder of the fishing trip.

    (iv) If catch is slipped by a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit for any reason not described in paragraph (n)(3)(i) of this section, the vessel operator must immediately terminate the trip and return to port. No fishing activity may occur during the return to port.

    5. Amend § 648.14 by revising paragraphs (e), (r)(1)(vi)(A), (r)(2)(v), and (r)(2)(ix) through (xi) and adding paragraphs (r)(2)(xiii) and (xiv) to read as follows:
    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (e) Observer program. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

    (1) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, harass, intimidate, or interfere with or bar by command, impediment, threat, or coercion any NMFS-certified observer or monitor conducting his or her duties; any authorized officer conducting any search, inspection, investigation, or seizure in connection with enforcement of this part; any official designee of the Regional Administrator conducting his or her duties, including those duties authorized in § 648.7(g).

    (2) Refuse monitoring coverage by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor if selected for monitoring coverage by the Regional Administrator or the Regional Administrator's designee.

    (3) Fail to provide information, notification, accommodations, access, or reasonable assistance to either a NMFS-certified observer or monitor conducting his or her duties as specified in § 648.11.

    (4) Submit false or inaccurate data, statements, or reports.

    (r) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (vi) * * *

    (A) For the purposes of observer deployment, fail to notify NMFS at least 48 hr prior to departing on a declared herring trip with a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Area 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit and fishing with midwater trawl or purse seine gear, or on a trip with a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that is fishing with midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in § 648.200(f)(1) and (3), pursuant to the requirements in § 648.80(d) and (e).

    (2) * * *

    (v) Fish with midwater trawl gear in any Northeast Multispecies Closed Area, as defined in § 648.81(a)(3),(4), (5), and (c)(3) and (4), without a NMFS-certified observer on board, if the vessel has been issued an Atlantic herring permit.

    * * *

    (ix) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to move 15 nm (27.78 km), as required by §§ 648.11(m)(8)(iv) and (v) and § 648.202(b)(4)(iv).

    (x) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to immediately return to port, as required by § 648.11(m)(8)(vi) and § 648.202(b)(4)(iv).

    (xi) Fail to complete, sign, and submit a Released Catch Affidavit as required by § 648.11(m)(8)(iii) and § 648.202(b)(4)(ii).

    * * *

    (xiii) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to comply with industry-funded monitoring requirements at § 648.11(m).

    (xiv) For a vessel with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit, fail to comply with its NMFS-approved vessel monitoring plan requirements, as described at § 648.11(m).

    6. In § 648.80 revise paragraph (d)(5) and (e)(5) to read as follows:
    § 648.80 NE Multispecies regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.

    (d) * * *

    (5) To fish for herring under this exemption, a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip, or a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit fishing with midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in § 648.200(f)(1) and (3), must provide notice of the following information to NMFS at least 48 hr prior to beginning any trip into these areas for the purposes of observer deployment: Vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; the date, time, and port of departure; and

    (e) * * *

    (5) To fish for herring under this exemption, vessels that have an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and the date, time, and port of departure, at least 48 hr prior to beginning any trip into these areas for the purposes of observer deployment; and

    7. In § 648.86 revise paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(A)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.86 NE Multispecies possession restrictions.

    (a) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (1) 648.86(a)(3)(ii) Haddock incidental catch cap. (A)(1) When the Regional Administrator has determined that the incidental catch allowance for a given haddock stock, as specified in § 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D), has been caught, no vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear in the applicable stock area, i.e., the Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure (AM) Area or Herring GB Haddock AM Area, as defined in paragraphs (a)(3)(ii)(A)(2) and (3) of this section, may fish for, possess, or land herring in excess of 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) per trip in or from that area, unless all herring possessed and landed by the vessel were caught outside the applicable AM Area and the vessel's gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2 while transiting the AM Area. Upon this determination, the haddock possession limit is reduced to 0 lb (0 kg) for a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear or for a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip, regardless of area fished or gear used, in the applicable AM area, unless the vessel also possesses a NE multispecies permit and is operating on a declared (consistent with § 648.10(g)) NE multispecies trip. In making this determination, the Regional Administrator shall use haddock catches observed by NMFS-certified observers or monitors by herring vessel trips using midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in § 648.200(f)(1) and (3), expanded to an estimate of total haddock catch for all such trips in a given haddock stock area.

    §§ 648.10, 648.14, 648.51, 648.59, 648.80, and 648.86 [Amended]
    8. In the table below, for each section indicated in the left column, remove the text indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the section, and add the text indicated in the right column: Section Remove Add 648.10(f)(4) NMFS-approved NMFS-certified. 648.14(i)(3)(ix) NMFS-approved NMFS-certified. 648.14(i)(3)(ix)(C) 648.11(g) 648.11(k). 648.14(k)(2)(iii) 648.11(k) 648.11(l). 648.14(k)(2)(iv) 648.11(k) 648.11(l). 648.51(c)(4) 648.11(g) 648.11(k). 648.51(e)(3)(iii) 648.11(g) 648.11(k). 648.59(b)(2) 648.11(g) 648.11(k). 648.80(d)(3) NMFS-approved sea sampler/observer NMFS-certified observer. 648.80(e)(2)(ii) NMFS-approved sea sampler/observer NMFS-certified observer. 648.86(a)(3)(ii) NMFS-approved NMFS-certified. 648.202(b)(4)(iv) 648.11(m)(4)(iv) and (v) 648.11(m)(4)(iv) and (vi).
    [FR Doc. 2018-24087 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 216 Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Notices 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 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development administers rural utilities programs through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The USDA Rural Development invites comments on the following information collections 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 January 7, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Rural Development Innovation Center, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 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 information collections that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this 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 respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent by any of the following methods:

    Mail: Thomas P. Dickson, Rural Development Innovation Center, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Email: [email protected]

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Title: Extensions of Payments of Principal and Interest.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0123.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: This collection of information describes information procedures which borrowers must follow in order to request extensions of principal and interest. Authority for these is contained in section 12 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (REAct), as amended and in section 236 of the “Disaster Relief Act of 1970” (Pub. L. 91-606), as amended by the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-354). Eligible purposes include financial hardship, energy resource conservation (ERC) loans, renewable energy projects, distributed generation projects, and contribution-in-aid of construction. These procedures are codified at 7 CFR part 1721, subpart B.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 4.71 hours per response.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.14.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 61 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Robin M. Jones, Innovation Center, at (202) 772-1172, 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: November 1, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24352 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-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 (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 January 7, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Rural Development Innovation Center, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 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 information collections that RUS is submitting to OMB for revision. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this 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 respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent by any of the following methods:

    Mail: Thomas P. Dickson, Rural Development Innovation Center, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Email: [email protected]

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Title: Request for Approval to Sell Capital Assets.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0020.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: A borrower's assets provide the security for a government loan. The selling of assets reduces the security and increases the risk to the government. RUS Form 369 allows the borrower to seek agency permission to sell some of its assets. The form collects detailed information regarding the proposed sales of a portion of the borrower's systems. RUS electric utility borrowers complete this form to request RUS approval in order to sell capital assets when the fair market value exceeds 10 percent of the borrower's net utility plant. The collection of information will be revised to remove the requirement to submit a Board Resolution with the Form 369.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 42.5 hours per response.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 33.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 83 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Robin M. Jones, Innovation Center, at (202)772-1172, 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: November 2, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24351 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    CHEMICAL SAFETY AND HAZARD INVESTIGATION BOARD Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    November 13, 2018, 10 a.m. EDT.

    PLACE:

    U.S. Chemical Safety Board, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 910, Washington, DC 20006.

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be closed to the public.

    Matters To Be Considered

    The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (Board) will hold a closed session, as authorized by the Government in the Sunshine Act, to confer with, and receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending litigation. The Board will also consider and vote on calendared notation item 2019-08, which concerns the authorization of funding for a legal services support contract, and related matters.

    Board Members, Counsel to the Board, and a recording clerk or stenographer will attend the closed meeting. Certain staff members who have an interest in the matters also may be present.

    The Acting General Counsel of the Board has certified that, in his opinion, one or more of the exemptions set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552b (c)(6), (9)(B), and (10) and 40 CFR 1603.7(f),(h),(i) and (j), permit consideration of the scheduled matters at the closed meeting.

    Board Members Kulinowski and Engler voted to consider the matters listed above in a closed session on the grounds noted above.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Thomas Zoeller, Acting General Counsel, at [email protected] or (202) 261-7600. Further information about this public meeting can be found on the CSB website at: www.csb.gov.

    Dated: November 5, 2018. Raymond Porfiri, Deputy General Counsel, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24505 Filed 11-5-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6350-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 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.

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: 2018-2020 Business Research & Development Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0912.

    Form Number(s): BRD-1.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Number of Respondents: 45,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 3 hours and 18 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 148,600.

    Needs and Uses: The U.S. Census Bureau, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), plans to conduct the Business Research and Development Survey (BRDS) for the 2018-2020 survey years. The BRDS covers all domestic, non-farm, for-profit businesses with at least 10 paid employees. The BRDS provides the only comprehensive data on Research and Development (R&D) costs and detailed expenses by type and industry.

    The Census Bureau has conducted an R&D survey since 1957, collecting primarily financial information on the systematic work companies undertake to discover new knowledge or use existing knowledge to develop new or improved goods and services.

    Beginning in 2018, the BRDS will collect new data about R&D on artificial intelligence, geographic detail of companies' R&D workforce, and leased and temporary R&D employees.

    There is increasing interest among domestic policy-makers and in the international community, as well as among U.S. researchers in academia, government and industry, for more data on artificial intelligence.

    Domestic and foreign geographic information for R&D workforce will address Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) requests on inputs for enhanced estimation and evaluation of gross domestic product by state, foreign direct investment in the U.S., and U.S. direct investment abroad.

    As a result of the revision of the Frascati Manual: Guidance for Collecting and Reporting on R&D (OECD, 2015), countries are recommended to collect and separately report on both internal R&D workers (those who are employed directly by and are part of the R&D-performing business) and “external” R&D workers (consultants, contractors, and others who contribute directly to the R&D performance of the R&D-performing business, but are not an employee of the business). The collection of these R&D employees is to provide internationally comparable US data on total business R&D workers.

    The 2018-2020 BRDS will continue to collect the following types of information:

    • R&D expense based on accepted accounting standards.

    • Worldwide R&D of domestic companies.

    • Business segment detail.

    • R&D-related capital expenditures.

    • Detailed data about the R&D workforce.

    • R&D strategy and data on the potential impact of R&D on the market.

    • R&D directed to application areas of particular national interest.

    • Data measuring intellectual property protection activities and technology transfer.

    Domestic and foreign researchers in academia, business, and government analyze and cite data from the BRDS. Among the federal government users are the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). BEA includes R&D in the system of national accounts that measures the economic well-being of the country. BRDS data are key inputs into these accounts, which feed into the calculation of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The White House, in 2006, issued the American Competitiveness Initiative to “increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship.” In support of this initiative and in response to legislative mandates, data on R&D are delivered to OSTP, primarily in the biennial National Science Board report Science and Engineering Indicators. Also, the National Science Foundation (NSF) produces a series of publications containing R&D data including the National Patterns of R&D Resources series, the S&E State Profile series, and the annual Business R&D and Innovation series. Special reports and other publications are also prepared.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: The survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 8(b), 131, and 182, and Title 42, United States Code, Sections 1861-76 (National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended).

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.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.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24279 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-69-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 203—Moses Lake, Washington, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Joyson Safety Systems Acquisition, LLC (Automotive Airbag Inflators and Propellants), Moses Lake, Washington

    Joyson Safety Systems Acquisition, LLC (JSSA) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Moses Lake, Washington. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on October 30, 2018.

    JSSA already has authority to produce automotive airbag inflators and related propellants within Subzone 203A. The current request would add foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt JSSA from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, JSSA would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to the finished products in the existing scope of authority. JSSA 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: Strontium tintinaite; cupric oxide; boron carbide; calcium stearate; guanidine nitrate; nitroguanidine; and, hybrid curtain inflator (HCI) bottles/bodies (metal cylinders) (duty rate ranges from duty-free 6.5%). The request indicates that certain materials/components are subject to special duties under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Section 232) and 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 17, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Wedderburn at [email protected] or (202) 482-1963.

    Dated: October 31, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24341 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-66-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 259—International Falls, Minnesota; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Digi-Key Corporation; (Consumer Electronics); Thief River Falls, Minnesota

    Digi-Key Corporation (Digi-Key) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facilities in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on October 31, 2018.

    The applicant indicates that it will be submitting a separate application for FTZ designation at the Digi-Key facilities under FTZ 259. The facilities are used for light value-added production and kitting of cable connectors and small fans for electronics. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Digi-Key from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Digi-Key would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Floor preparation tapes; tape polymer resins; anti-reflective tapes; custom cable assemblies of light emitting diodes; velostat foam; heatshrinks; hook and loop re-closable fasteners; radio frequency shielding gold and copper tapes; wire sleeves; radio frequency shielding tape aluminum foil; custom fan cooling assemblies; starter evaluation boards; aluminum strips; custom reels of electrical transformers; modular power supplies; nickel-metal hydride battery packs; custom reel of inductors; alkaline battery packs; lithium battery packs; carbon zinc battery packs; nickel cadmium battery packs; custom reel of radio frequency integrated circuits; custom speaker cables; programmed microcontrollers; custom buzzers for indication or alerts; custom reel of ceramic dielectric capacitors; custom reel of capacitors; custom reel of fixed carbon resistors; custom reel of resistors; custom cable of thermistors; custom cable of rotary non-contact sensors; custom reel of diodes for over voltage protection; custom reel of integrated circuits; custom cable assemblies for pushbutton switches; custom cable assemblies; custom reel of female terminal connectors and slotted PVC wire ducts for cable management; custom reel of zener diodes; custom reel of mosfets; custom reel of transistors; custom reel of LEDs and optocouplers; custom reel of piezoelectric crystals and programmed oscillators; programmed reel of integrated circuits—memories and amplifiers; custom reel of integrated circuits; custom reel of particle accelerators; programmed encoders; coaxial cables; modular cables and custom cable of female terminal connectors; multi-pair cables, insulated displacement custom cables, ribbon cable custom cables, and cable grounds; ribbon cable custom cables; cable fiber optics; cable flex shields; protective sleeving hoses; snap-on lens for light emitting diodes and brightness enhancement films; custom reel of pressure sensors; custom reel of current switch sensors, and dual lock adhesive custom assemblies (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 7%). Digi-Key would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Fan axials; alkaline batteries; zinc batteries; nickel cadmium batteries; nickel metal hydride batteries; aluminum capacitors; plug insulation displacement connectors, printed circuit board connector ribbons, and connector plugs; connector splices, connector terms, connector strain reliefs, cable modular coils, and cable ribbons used in custom cable assemblies (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 5.3%). The request indicates that several components will be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41), thereby precluding inverted tariff benefits on such items. The request also indicates that certain materials/components are subject to special duties under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Section 232) and 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 17, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Wedderburn at [email protected] or (202) 482-1963.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24337 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-185-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 287—Tunica County, Mississippi Application for Subzone Future Electronics Distribution Center, L.P., Southaven, Mississippi

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by Tunica County, grantee of FTZ 287, requesting subzone status for the facilities of Future Electronics Distribution Center, L.P., located in Southaven, Mississippi. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on October 30, 2018.

    The proposed subzone (51.036 acres) is located at 4150 Old Airways Boulevard, Southaven, Desoto County. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 287.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Qahira El-Amin of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is December 17, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to January 2, 2019.

    A copy of the application 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 FTZ Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Qahira El-Amin at [email protected] or (202) 482-5928.

    Dated: October 31, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24338 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Review: Notice of Request for Panel Review AGENCY:

    United States Section, NAFTA Secretariat, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of NAFTA request for Panel Review in the matter of Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada (Secretariat File Number: USA-CDA-2018-1904-07).

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Section of the NAFTA Secretariat received Requests for Panel Review filed on behalf of Resolute FP Canada Inc. and Resolute FP US Inc. (collectively, “Resolute”) on October 26, 2018, and filed on behalf of the Government of Quebec on October 29, 2018, pursuant to NAFTA Article 1904. Panel Review was requested of the U.S. International Trade Commission's final injury determination involving imports of Uncoated Groundwood Paper from Canada. The final determination was published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2018 (83 FR 48863). The NAFTA Secretariat has assigned case number USA-CDA-2018-1904-07 to this request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul E. Morris, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat, Room 2061, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-5438.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Chapter 19 of Article 1904 of NAFTA provides a dispute settlement mechanism involving trade remedy determinations issued by the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Mexico. Following a Request for Panel Review, a Binational Panel is composed to review the trade remedy determination being challenged and issue a binding Panel Decision. There are established NAFTA Rules of Procedure for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews, which were adopted by the three governments for panels requested pursuant to Article 1904(2) of NAFTA which requires Requests for Panel Review to be published in accordance with Rule 35. For the complete Rules, please see https://www.nafta-sec-alena.org/Home/Texts-of-the-Agreement/Rules-of-Procedure/Article-1904.

    The Rules provide that:

    (a) A Party or interested person may challenge the final determination in whole or in part by filing a Complaint in accordance with Rule 39 within 30 days after the filing of the first Request for Panel Review (the deadline for filing a Complaint is November 26, 2018);

    (b) A Party, investigating authority or interested person that does not file a Complaint but that intends to appear in support of any reviewable portion of the final determination may participate in the panel review by filing a Notice of Appearance in accordance with Rule 40 within 45 days after the filing of the first Request for Panel Review (the deadline for filing a Notice of Appearance is December 10, 2018); and

    (c) The panel review shall be limited to the allegations of error of fact or law, including challenges to the jurisdiction of the investigating authority, that are set out in the Complaints filed in the panel review and to the procedural and substantive defenses raised in the panel review.

    Dated: November 2, 2018 . Paul E. Morris, U.S. Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24381 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-GT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-560-828] Certain Uncoated Paper From Indonesia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2017-2018 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that the sole producer/exporter subject to this administrative review made sales of subject merchandise below normal value. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Blaine Wiltse or Jacob Garten, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6345 or (202) 482-3342, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain uncoated paper (uncoated paper) from Indonesia. The notice of initiation of this administrative review was published on May 2, 2018.1 This review only covers APRIL,2 a producer and exporter of the subject merchandise. The period of review is March 1, 2017, through February 28, 2018. The deadline for the preliminary results of this administrative review is December 3, 2018.3

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 19215 (May 2, 2018) (Initiation Notice).

    2 Commerce initiated this review on PT Anugerah Kertas Utama, PT Riau Andalan Kertas, and APRIL Fine Paper Macao Offshore Limited (collectively, APRIL). However, during the course of the prior review, Commerce determined to collapse, and treat as a single entity, APRIL and two affiliated parties, PT Sateri Viscose International and A P Fine Paper Trading (Hong Kong) Limited. See Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017, 83 FR 15129 (April 9, 2018), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 4-6, unchanged in Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017, 83 FR 39410 (August 9, 2018). This collapsed entity is hereinafter collectively referred to as APRIL.

    3See 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1). On August 9, 2018, Domtar Corporation and P.H. Glatfelter Company (the petitioners) requested that the preliminary results be expedited.

    We preliminarily determine that APRIL made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on any of APRIL's entries.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by the order is certain uncoated paper from Indonesia. The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) categories 4802.56.1000, 4802.56.2000, 4802.56.3000, 4802.56.4000, 4802.56.6000, 4802.56.7020, 4802.56.7040, 4802.57.1000, 4802.57.2000, 4802.57.3000, and 4802.57.4000. Some imports of subject merchandise may also be classified under 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.5000, 4802.62.6020, 4802.62.6040, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, 4802.69.3000, 4811.90.8050 and 4811.90.9080. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.4

    4 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2017-2018 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), issued concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with sections 751(a)(1)(B) and (2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Pursuant to section 776(a) and (b) of the Act, Commerce has preliminarily relied upon facts otherwise available with adverse inferences (AFA) for APRIL, because this respondent did not timely respond to all sections of Commerce's initial antidumping duty questionnaire.

    For a complete explanation of the methodology and analysis underlying the preliminary application of AFA, see the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the weighted-average dumping margin exists for APRIL for the period March 1, 2017, through February 28, 2018, as follows:

    5 The cash deposit rate is equal to the petition rate (66.82 percent) adjusted for the lowest rate of export subsidies found for any company in the most recently completed companion countervailing duty segment. See Certain Uncoated Paper from Indonesia: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 83 FR 52383 (October 17, 2018), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Section V(3), showing an export subsidy of 0.01 percent related to the Exemption from Import Income Tax Withholding for Companies in Bonded Zone Locations Program.

    Exporter/producer Cash deposit rate
  • (percent)
  • PT Anugerah Kertas Utama, PT Riau Andalan Kertas, APRIL Fine Paper Macao Offshore Limited, PT Sateri Viscose International, and A P Fine Paper Trading (Hong Kong) Limited (collectively, APRIL) 5 66.81
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Normally, Commerce discloses the calculations performed in connection with its preliminary results to interested parties within five days after the date of publication of the preliminary results of review in the Federal Register.6 However, there are no calculations to disclose here because, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, Commerce preliminarily applied AFA to APRIL, the sole company subject to this review, and based the AFA rate on the highest petition rate in this proceeding.7

    6See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    7See Certain Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, and Portugal: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 8608 (February 18, 2015), and accompanying Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Uncoated Paper from Indonesia at 12.

    Interested parties may submit case briefs to Commerce no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.8 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.9 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.10 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.11

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    11See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.12 Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.13

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    13Id.

    Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the publication date of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.14 The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.15 We intend to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

    14See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    15See section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for APRIL will be that established in the final results of this review; (2) for previously investigated companies not participating in this review, the cash deposit will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, or the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent segment for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 2.10 percent, the all-others rate made effective by the LTFV investigation.16 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    16See Order, 81 FR at 11174.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results of review in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences A. Use of Facts Available B. Application of Facts Available With an Adverse Inference C. Selection and Corroboration of AFA Rate V. Duty Absorption VI. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2018-24333 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-891; A-412-826] Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom: Initiation and Expedited Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is initiating, and issuing expedited preliminary results of, a changed circumstances review (CCR) of the antidumping duty (AD) orders on carbon and alloy steel wire rod (wire rod) from the Republic of Korea (Korea) and the United Kingdom.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alice Maldonado or Jacob Garten, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone 202-482-4682 or 202-482-4633.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On May 21, 2018, Commerce published the AD orders on wire rod from Korea and the United Kingdom.1 On September 17, 2018, six members of the domestic industry, including the petitioners from the underlying investigations (Nucor Corporation, Optimus Steel LLC (formerly, Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc), Keystone Consolidates Industries, Inc., and Charter Steel) requested that Commerce initiate a CCR to revoke, in part, the AD orders on wire rod from Korea and the United Kingdom as to grade 1078 and higher tire cord wire rod effective May 21, 2018.2

    1See Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy, the Republic of Korea, Spain, the Republic of Turkey, and the United Kingdom: Antidumping Duty Orders and Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Duty Determinations for Spain and the Republic of Turkey, 83 FR 23417 (May 21, 2018) (Orders).

    2See letter from domestic industry re: “Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom: Petitioners' Request for Changed Circumstances Review and Partial Revocation Request,” dated September 17, 2018 (CCR Request).

    Scope of the Orders

    The products covered by these orders are certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter. Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high-nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; or (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are free cutting steel (also known as free machining steel) products (i.e., products that contain by weight one or more of the following elements: 0.1 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorous, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium). All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.

    The products under these orders are currently classifiable under subheadings 7213.91.3011, 7213.91.3015, 7213.91.3020, 7213.91.3093; 7213.91.4500, 7213.91.6000, 7213.99.0030, 7227.20.0030, 7227.20.0080, 7227.90.6010, 7227.90.6020, 7227.90.6030, and 7227.90.6035 of the HTSUS. Products entered under subheadings 7213.99.0090 and 7227.90.6090 of the HTSUS also may be included in this scope if they meet the physical description of subject merchandise above. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these orders is dispositive.3

    3 For a description of the domestic industry's proposed exclusion language, see Attachment 1.

    Initiation and Expedited Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.216(d), Commerce will conduct a CCR of an antidumping or countervailing duty order when it receives information which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant such a review. Section 782(h)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.222(g)(1)(i) provide that Commerce may revoke an order (in whole or in part) if it determines that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product have no further interest in the order, in whole or in part. In addition, in the event Commerce determines that expedited action is warranted, 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii) permits Commerce to combine the notices of initiation and preliminary results.

    For the reasons discussed below and in the accompanying proprietary memorandum, we find that such sufficient information exists to warrant a CCR.4 Further, Commerce does not require any additional information to make a preliminary finding. For this reason, as permitted by 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii), Commerce finds that expedited action is warranted and is conducting this review on an expedited basis by publishing preliminary results in conjunction with a notice of initiation.

    4See Memorandum, “Analysis of Industry Support for Changed Circumstances Review: Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

    The six domestic producers filing the request assert that they account for “substantially all” 5 of the domestic production of carbon and alloy steel wire rod.6 Because there is no record information that contradicts this claim, in accordance with section 751(b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.222(g)(1)(i), we find that the six domestic producers comprise substantially all of the production of the domestic like product.

    5 In its administrative practice, Commerce has interpreted “substantially all” to mean at least 85 percent of the total production of the domestic like product covered by the order. See, e.g., Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review and Revocation of Countervailing Duty Order, 83 FR 32268 (July 12, 2018).

    6See CCR Request at 4-6.

    Because this CCR request was filed less than 24 months after the date of publication of notice of the final determination in the investigations, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.216(c), Commerce must determine whether good cause exists. We find that the six domestic producers' affirmative statement of no interest in the orders with respect to grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod constitutes good cause for the conduct of this review.7 Based on the expression of no interest by the six domestic producers and in the absence of any objection by any other interested parties, we preliminarily determine that substantially all of the domestic producers of the like product have no interest in the continued application of the antidumping duty orders on wire rod from Korea and the United Kingdom. Accordingly, we are notifying the public of our intent to revoke, in part, the antidumping duty orders as they relate to imports of grade 1078 and higher tire cord wire rod. We intend to change the scope of the orders on wire rod from Korea and the United Kingdom by adding the exclusion language provided in Attachment 1 and requiring a certification as provided in Attachment 2.

    7See e.g., Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan: Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review, and Intent To Revoke Order in Part, 82 FR 821 (January 4, 2017) (finding that “Petitioners' affirmative statement of no interest in the order . . . constitutes good case for the conduct of this review.”)

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 14 days after the date of publication of this notice.8 Rebuttal briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be filed not later than seven days after the due date for case briefs.9 All submissions must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due dates set forth in this notice.

    8 Commerce is exercising its discretion under 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) to alter the time limit for filing of case briefs.

    9 Commerce is exercising its discretion under 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) to alter the time limit for filing of rebuttal briefs.

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 14 days of publication of this notice. Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations at the hearing will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 in a room to be determined.10

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    Unless extended, consistent with 19 CFR 351.216(e), we intend to issue the final results of this CCR no later than 270 days after the date on which this review was initiated or 45 days if all parties agree to the outcome of the review.

    This notice is published in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.221(c)(3).

    Dated: November 1, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Attachment 1 Proposed Revision to the Scope of the Orders

    Excluded from the scope of the antidumping duty orders from Korea and the United Kingdom are grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod to be used in the production of tire cord wire. Grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod refers to wire rod with not less than 0.78 percent of carbon and includes but is not limited to other high carbon grades of wire rod such as Grade 1078, 1080, 1085, 1086, 1090, and 1092.

    Grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality rod is defined as: (i) Grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod measuring not more than 6.0 mm in cross-sectional diameter; (ii) with an average partial decarburization of no more than 70 microns in depth (maximum individual 200 microns); (iii) having no non-deformable inclusions greater than 20 microns and no deformable inclusions greater than 35 microns; (iv) having a carbon segregation per heat average of 3.0 or better; (v) having a surface quality with no surface defects of a length greater than 0.15 mm; (vi) capable of being drawn to a diameter of 0.405 mm or less, and (vii) containing by weight the following elements in the proportions shown: (1) 0.78 percent or more of carbon, (2) less than 0.01 percent of aluminum, (3) 0.040 percent or less, in the aggregate, of phosphorus and sulfur, (4) 0.006 percent or less of nitrogen, (5) not more than 0.6 percent silicon; and (6) not more than 0.55 percent in the aggregate, of copper, nickel, and chromium. For purposes of the grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod, an inclusion will be considered to be deformable if its ratio of length (measured along the axis-that is, the direction of rolling-of the rod) over thickness (measured on the same inclusion in a direction perpendicular to the axis of the rod) is equal to or greater than three. The size of an inclusion for purposes of the 20 microns and 35 microns limitations is the measurement of the largest dimension observed on a longitudinal section measured in a direction perpendicular to the axis of the rod.

    The designation of the products as “tire cord quality” indicates the acceptability of the product for use in the production of tire cord applications which require that the tire cord wire rod be drawn into wire with a diameter of 0.405 mm or less. These quality designations are presumed to indicate that these products are being used in tire cord applications, and such merchandise intended for the tire cord applications is not included in the scope. Importers of tire cord quality wire rod will attach, as a condition of entry, a certification of end use that certifies that the Grade 1078 and above tire cord quality wire rod will be used only in the production of tire cord wire.11

    11See Attachment II for proposed certification.

    Attachment 2 Proposed End Use Certification

    I hereby certify that:

    • My name is {INSERT COMPANY OFFICIAL'S NAME HERE} and I am an official of {INSERT NAME OF IMPORTING COMPANY};

    • I have direct personal knowledge of the facts regarding the importation of the {INSERT GRADE} tire cord wire rod produced in {INSERT COUNTRY} that entered under entry number(s) {INSERT ENTRY NUMBER(S)} and are covered by this certification;

    • I have personal knowledge of the facts regarding the production of the imported products covered by this certification;

    • I have personal knowledge of the facts regarding the end-use of the imported products covered by this certification because (initial one):

    • ___my company is the end-user of the imported product covered by this certification,

    Or

    • ___my company is not the end-user of the imported products covered by this certification, but I have contacted the end-user and advised them in writing of the end-use requirements for the imported product and an official of the end-user has signed a copy of this certification;

    • This tire cord wire rod shall be used for tire cord applications, which require that the tire cord wire rod be drawn into wire with a diameter of 0.405 mm or less;

    • This tire cord wire rod will not be drawn into wire with a diameter greater than 0.405 mm;

    • I understand that {INSERT NAME OF IMPORTING COMPANY} is required to maintain a copy of this certification (including a copy signed by an end-user that is not the importer) and sufficient documentation supporting this certification for the later of (1) a period of five years from the date of entry or (2) a period of three years after the conclusion of any litigation in the United States courts regarding such entries;

    • I understand that {INSERT NAME OF IMPORTING COMPANY} is required to provide this certification and supporting records, upon entry, to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP);

    • I understand that the claims made herein, and the substantiating documentation, are subject to verification by CBP and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce);

    • I understand that failure to maintain the required certification and/or failure to substantiate the claims made herein will result in:

    ○ suspension of liquidation of all unliquidated entries (and entries for which liquidation has not become final) for which these requirements were not met; and

    ○ the requirement that the importer post applicable antidumping duty (AD) cash deposits equal to the rates as determined by Commerce;

    • I understand that agents of the importer, such as brokers, are not permitted to make this certification;

    • This certification was completed at the time of entry;

    • I am aware that U.S. law (including, but not limited to, 18 U.S.C. 1001) imposes criminal sanctions on individuals who knowingly and willfully make material false statements to the U.S. government.

    IMPORTER SIGNATURE NAME OF COMPANY OFFICIAL TITLE DATE END-USER SIGNATURE (if other than importer) NAME OF COMPANY OFFICIAL TITLE COMPANY NAME DATE
    [FR Doc. 2018-24350 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-864] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Affirmative Final Determination and Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 23, 2018, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT or the Court) sustained the final results of redetermination pertaining to the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) from India for the period of investigation from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is notifying the public that the final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Final Determination and Order of the investigation and that Commerce is amending the Final Determination and Order with respect to the CVD cash deposit rate assigned to JSW Steel Limited and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited (collectively JSW).

    DATES:

    This order is effective November 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christian Llinas, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4877.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On June 2, 2016, Commerce published its Final Determination in the CVD investigation of CORE from India.1 Commerce issued an Amended Final Determination explaining its critical circumstances analysis, on June 14, 2016.2 Commerce published the countervailing duty order resulting from the investigation on July 25, 2016.3

    1See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India: Final Affirmative Determination, 81 FR 35323 (June 2, 2016) (Final Determination) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (IDM).

    2See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India: Notice of Correction to Final Affirmative Determination; Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 38671 (June 14, 2016) (Amended Final Determination).

    3See Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 81 FR 48387 (July 25, 2016) (Order).

    On May 9, 2018, the CIT remanded the Final Determination to Commerce.4 Specifically, the CIT remanded the Final Determination directing Commerce to recalculate JSW's CVD rate without regard to JSW Steel (Salav) Limited (Salav), a cross-owned input supplier.5 On August 7, 2018, Commerce issued its final results of redetermination pursuant to remand in accordance with the CIT's order.6 On remand, Commerce, under respectful protest,7 recalculated JSW's CVD rate without regard to Salav, and also recalculated the “all-others” rate. On October 23, 2018, the CIT sustained Commerce's Final Redetermination. 8 The effective date of this notice is November 2, 2018.

    4JSW Steel Ltd. and JSW Steel Coated Products Ltd. v. United States, Court No. 16-00165, Slip Op. 18-51 (CIT May 9, 2018).

    5Id. at 8-9.

    6See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand JSW Steel Limited and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited v. United States, Slip Op. 18-51 (CIT May 9, 2018), dated August 7, 2018 (Final Redetermination).

    7See Viraj Group, Ltd. v. United States, 343 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2003).

    8See JSW Steel Ltd. and JSW Steel Coated Products Ltd. v. United States, Court No. 16-00165, Slip Op. 18-147 (CIT Oct. 23, 2018).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, 9 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, 10 the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) held that, pursuant to section 516A of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Commerce must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Commerce determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision.11 The CIT's October 23, 2018, final judgment affirming the Final Redetermination constitutes a final decision of the Court that is not in harmony with Commerce's Final Determination and Order. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken and section 516A of the Act.

    9See Timken Co., v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken).

    10See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    11See Sections 516A(c) and (e) of the Act.

    Amended Final Determination

    Because there is now a final court decision, Commerce is amending its Final Determination and Order. Commerce finds that the revised countervailable subsidy rate for JSW and the revised “all-others” rate are as follows:

    Producer/exporter Net subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • JSW Steel Limited and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited 4.24 “All-others” rate 6.12
    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Because JSW does not have a superseding cash deposit rate, i.e., there have been no final results published in subsequent administrative reviews for JSW, Commerce will issue revised cash deposit instructions to CBP. Commerce will also instruct CBP to collect cash deposits for companies covered by the “all-others” cash deposit rate according to the table above.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(c)(1) and (e), 705(c)(1)(B), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24355 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG571 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; availability of hatchery plan and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have submitted a Hatchery and Genetics Management Plan (HGMP) pursuant to the protective regulations promulgated for Pacific salmon and steelhead under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The HGMP specifies the operation of a hatchery program rearing coho salmon in the upper Trinity River within the State of California. This document serves to notify the public of the availability of the HGMP and associated draft environmental assessment (EA) for comment prior to a decision by NMFS whether to approve the proposed hatchery program.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received at the appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific time on December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments on the application should be addressed to NMFS West Coast Region, California Coastal Office, 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521, or faxed to (707) 825-4840. Comments may be submitted by email to: TrinityRiverHatchery [email protected] Include in the subject line of the email comment the following identifier: Comments on the Trinity River Hatchery plan.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Seth Naman, at phone number: (707) 825-5180, or via email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Species covered in this notice:

    Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened, naturally produced and artificially propagated Southern Oregon/Northern California (SONCC).

    Reclamation and CDFW have submitted an HGMP to NMFS describing a hatchery program that releases coho salmon into the upper Trinity River, in northern California, for consideration pursuant to Limit 5 of the ESA 4(d) rule for salmon and steelhead.

    The hatchery program that is the subject of the NMFS evaluation would operate to produce coho salmon to mitigate for lost natural production that would have occurred in historic spawning habitat upstream of the Trinity River Dam and the Lewiston Dam (i.e., habitat blocked since the dams were constructed). The program would propagate coho salmon smolts that are derived from the local coho salmon population in the Trinity River, matching natural-origin coho salmon with their natural counterparts whenever possible, and striving for a high proportion of natural influence (average greater than 0.67). Measures would be applied in the hatchery program to reduce the risk of incidental adverse genetic, ecological, and demographic effects on natural-origin salmon populations.

    As specified in the July 10, 2000, ESA 4(d) rule for salmon and steelhead (65 FR 42422) and updated June 28, 2005 (70 FR 37160), NMFS may approve an HGMP if it meets criteria set forth in 50 CFR 223.203(b)(5)(i)(A) through (K). Prior to final approval of an HGMP, NMFS must publish notification announcing its availability for public review and comment.

    Authority

    Under section 4 of the ESA, the Secretary of Commerce is required to adopt such regulations as s/he deems necessary and advisable for the conservation of species listed as threatened under the ESA. The ESA salmon and steelhead 4(d) rule (65 FR 42422, July 10, 2000, as updated in 70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005), specifies categories of activities that contribute to the conservation of ESA-listed salmonids and sets out the criteria for such activities. Limit 5 of the updated 4(d) rule (50 CFR 223.203(b)(5)) further provides that the prohibitions of paragraph (a) of the updated 4(d) rule (50 CFR 223.203(a)) do not apply to activities associated with artificial propagation programs provided that an HGMP has been approved by NMFS in accordance with the salmon and steelhead 4(d) rule (65 FR 42422, July 10, 2000, as updated in 70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005).

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24384 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before January 7, 2019.

    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 Michael Lameier, Habitat Conservation Division, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818, (808) 725 5085, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for a new collection of information. The aim of the study is to understand the effectiveness of the capacity development efforts of the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community, as known as PIMPAC. The survey will assess to what extent PIMPAC has developed human and organizational capacities to enhance protected area management in the Pacific island region. Results of the survey are expected to help guide and improve the effectiveness of capacity development activities by PIMPAC for protected area management in the next ten years.

    II. Methods of Collection

    The survey will be conducted using in-person, one on one interviews and phone interviews.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

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

    Affected Public: Individuals or households, not-for-profit institutions; state, local, and federal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 80.

    Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes per survey and 1 hour per interview.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 50 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in record keeping/reporting.

    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: November 1, 2018. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24276 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2012-0030] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Testing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Carpets and Rugs AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announces a submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting an extension of approval for a collection of information related to the CPSC's Standard for the Surface Flammability of Carpets and Rugs and the Standard for the Surface Flammability of Small Carpets and Rugs (OMB No. 3041-0017). CPSC previously published a notice announcing the agency's intent to seek an extension of approval of this collection of information. CPSC received no comments in response to that notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this request for extension of approval for information collection requirements should be submitted by December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments about this request by email: [email protected] or fax: 202-395-6881. Comments by mail should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the CPSC, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. In addition, written comments that are sent to OMB also should be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket No. CPSC-2012-0030.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bretford Griffin, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 504-7037, or by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CPSC seeks to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    Title: Safety Standard for the Flammability of Carpets and Rugs and Standard for the Flammability of Small Carpets and Rugs.

    OMB Number: 3041-0017.

    Type of Review: Renewal of collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Manufacturers and importers of carpets and rugs.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: Out of 215 domestic manufacturers, approximately half, or 108 manufacturers, elect to issue a guaranty of compliance with the FFA. Additionally, of the approximately 6,000 firms that import carpets and rugs, approximately 1,500 elect to issue guaranties of compliance. Staff estimates that the average firm issuing a continuing guarantee under the FFA is required to conduct, at most, 200 tests per year, although the actual number of tests required by a given firm may vary from one to 200, depending upon the number of carpet styles and the annual production volume. To estimate burden, we selected the midpoint, 100 tests per year.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5 hours to conduct each test, and to establish and maintain test records.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: The time required to conduct each test is estimated to be 2.5 hours, including the time required to establish and maintain the test records. We estimate the total annualized cost/burden to respondents could be as many as 160,800 tests per year (1,608 firms × 100 tests), at 2.5 hours per test, or 402,000 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Cost to Respondents: The total annualized costs to all respondents for the hour burden for collection of information is estimated to be as high as $27,830,460, using a mean hourly employer cost-per-hour-worked of $69.23 (Bureau of Labor Statistics: Total compensation rates for management, professional, and related occupations in private goods-producing industries, March 2018) (402,000 hours × $69.23).

    General Description of Collection: The Standard for the Surface Flammability of Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR part 1630) and the Standard for the Surface Flammability of Small Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR part 1631) establish requirements to reduce the flammability of carpets and rugs. The standards' provisions include requirements for testing and recordkeeping for manufacturers and importers who furnish guaranties subject to the carpet and rug flammability standards. Separate from the guaranties, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) established product certification requirements for applicable consumer product safety standards and rules. 15 U.S.C. 2063(g).

    Alberta E. Mills, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24318 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2012-0024] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announces a submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting an extension of approval for a collection of information related to the CPSC's Standard for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances—Notification of Performance and Technical Data (OMB No. 3041-0040). CPSC previously published a notice announcing the agency's intent to seek this extension. CPSC received no comments in response to that notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this request for extension of approval for information collection requirements should be submitted by December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments about this request by email: [email protected] or fax: 202-395-6881. Comments by mail should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the CPSC, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. In addition, written comments that are sent to OMB also should be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket No. CPSC-2012-0024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bretford Griffin, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 504-7037, or by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CPSC seeks to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    Title: Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances.

    OMB Number: 3041-0040.

    Type of Review: Renewal of collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Manufacturers and importers of coal and wood burning appliances.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: An estimated five submissions annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: Three hours per submission and 30 minutes for collecting and mailing the information to the CPSC.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 17.5 hours (5 submissions × 3.5 hours).

    Total Estimated Annual Cost to Respondents: $1,212, based on an average total hourly employee compensation rate of $69.23 for management, professional, and related occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics: Total compensation rates for management, professional, and related occupations in private goods-producing industries, March 2018) (17.5 hours × $69.23).

    General Description of Collection: 16 CFR part 1406, Coal and Wood Burning Appliances—Notification of Performance and Technical Data requires that manufacturers and importers provide consumers with written notification regarding certain technical and performance information related to safety on each coal and wood burning appliance. Manufacturers are also required to provide to the CPSC a copy of the notification to consumers and an explanation of all clearance distances contained in the notification. For existing models, all known manufacturers have complied with the requirements. Accordingly, there is no new burden associated with the requirements of 16 CFR part 1406, except in cases where existing models are changed, or new models are introduced. Less than five submissions are estimated annually from new stove models coming into the market, or new firms entering the market.

    Alberta E. Mills, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24319 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Board of Visitors (BoV) of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) will take place.

    DATES:

    Wednesday November 28, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time).

    ADDRESSES:

    Capitol Visitor Center, SVC-201, Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Anderson, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), at (703) 693-9575 (Voice), 703-693-4244 (Facsimile), [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is SAF/MRM, 1660 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330-1660. Website: https://www.usafa.edu/about/bov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to review morale and discipline, social climate, athletics, diversity, curriculum and other matters relating to the USAFA.

    Meeting Accessibility: Open to the public subject to the availability of space. Registration of members of the public who wish to attend the meeting will begin upon publication of this meeting notice and end three business days (23 November) prior to the start of the meeting. All members of the public must contact Lt. Col. Caltagirone at the phone number or email listed below in the section titled Seating is limited and is on a first-to-arrive basis. Attendees will be asked to provide their name, title, affiliation, and contact information to include email address and daytime telephone number to the point of contact (POC) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Any interested person may attend the meeting, file written comments or statements with the committee, or make verbal comments from the floor during the public meeting, at the times, and in the manner, permitted by the BoV.

    Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the FACA, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the BoV about its mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Lt. Col. Caltagirone, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the email address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. The comment or statement must include the author's name, title, affiliation, address, and daytime telephone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the committee DFO at least five (5) business days (21 November) prior to the meeting so that they may be made available to the BoV Chairman for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date (21 November) may not be provided to the BoV until its next meeting. Please note that because the BoV operates under the provisions of the FACA, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection.

    Verbal Comments: Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the meeting only at the time and in the manner allowed herein. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least three (3) business days (23 November) in advance, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the email address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The BoV DFO will log each request to make a comment, in the order received, and the DFO and BoV Chairman will determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the BoV's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described in this paragraph, will be allotted no more than five (5) minutes during this period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the DFO. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during the BoV meeting shall be made available upon request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lieutenant Colonel Angela Caltagirone, Directorate of Force Management Policy, BoV Executive Secretary, AF/A1PT, 1040 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330, (703) 692-4572, [email protected]

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24349 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2018-OS-0089] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Washington Headquarters Service (WHS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary 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 January 7, 2019.

    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 Pentagon Force Protection Agency ATTN: Parking Management Branch, Room 2D1039, 9000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Pentagon Reservation Parking Permit Application; DD Form 1199; OMB Control Number 0704-0395.

    Needs and Uses: To administer the Pentagon, Mark Center, and Suffolk Building Vehicle Parking Program where individuals are allocated parking spaces and to ensure that unless authorized to do so, parking permit applicants do not also receive the DoD National Capital Region Public Transportation fare subsidy benefit.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 350.

    Number of Respondents: 4,200.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 4,200.

    Average Burden per Response: 5 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are Department of Defense and non-DoD personnel who utilize designated parking areas on the Pentagon Reservation. The Pentagon Reservation Parking Permit Application (PRPPA), DD Form 1199, is a handwritten or electronic form that includes information, such as name, rank or grade, Social Security Number (SSN), and vehicle license plate number, required for the issuance and control of the parking permit. The DD Form 1199 data is entered or completed in a secured computerized database designed for the administration of the Pentagon, Mark Center, and Suffolk Building Vehicle Parking Program. Each member of an authorized van/car pool or single occupancy vehicle parking permit is required to complete and submit the DD Form 1199 upon initial application and upon renewal period thereafter.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24383 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board's charter is being renewed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355 and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(a). The Board's charter and contact information for the Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be found at https://www.facadatabase.gov/FACA/apex/FACAPublicAgencyNavigation.

    The Board provides the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, through the Secretary of the Air Force, and to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives independent advice and recommendations on the morale and discipline, social climate, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods and other matters relating to the Academy that the Board decides to consider.

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(f), the Board shall prepare a semiannual report containing its views and recommendations pertaining to the Academy, based on its meeting since the last such report and any other considerations it determines relevant. Each report shall be submitted concurrently to the Secretary of Defense, through the Secretary of the Air Force, and to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

    The Board, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(a) and (b)(2), shall be constituted annually and composed of 15 members: a. Six persons designated by the President, at least two of whom shall be graduates of the Academy; b. The Chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, or designee; c. Four persons designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, three of whom shall be members of the House of Representatives and the fourth of whom may not be a member of the House of Representatives; d. The Chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate, or designee; and e. Three other members of the Senate designated by the Vice President or the President pro tempore of the Senate, two of whom are members of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(b)(1), Board members designated by the President shall serve for three years each, except that any member whose term of office has expired shall continue to serve until a successor is designated. The President shall designate persons each year to succeed the members whose terms expire that year.

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(c)(1), if a member of the Board dies or resigns, or is terminated as a member of the Board pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(c)(2), a successor shall be designated for the unexpired portion of the term by the official who designated the member.

    If a member of the Board fails to attend two successive Board meetings, except in a case in which an absence is approved in advance for good cause by the Board Chair, such failure shall be grounds for termination from membership on the Board, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(c)(2)(A) (“absenteeism provision”).

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(c)(2)(B), termination of membership on the Board pursuant to the absenteeism provision, in the case of a member of the Board who is not a member of Congress, may be made by the Board's Chair and, in the case of a member of the Board who is a member of Congress, may be made only by the official who designated the member. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(c)(2)(C), when a member of the Board is subject to termination from membership on the Board under the absenteeism provision, the Board's Chair shall notify the official who designated the member. Upon receipt of such a notification with respect to a member of the Board who is a member of Congress, the official who designated the member shall take such action as that official considers appropriate.

    The Board members shall select the Chair and Vice Chair from the total membership. Except for reimbursement of official Board-related travel and per diem, Board members serve without compensation.

    The Board may, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355(g) and upon approval by the Secretary of the Air Force, call in advisors for consultation. These advisors shall, with the exception of reimbursement of official Board-related travel and per diem, serve without compensation.

    The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting of the Board. All written statements shall be submitted to the DFO for the Board, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24370 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board's charter is being renewed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 6968 and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(a). The Board's charter and contact information for the Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be found at https://www.facadatabase.gov/FACA/apex/FACAPublicAgencyNavigation.

    The Board provides the President of the United States, independent advice and recommendations on the state of morale and discipline, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods and other matters relating to the Academy that the Board decides to consider.

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 6968(d) and (f), the Board shall visit the Academy annually. With the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, the Board or its members may make other visits to the Academy in connection with the duties of the Board or to consult with the Superintendent of the Academy. The Board shall submit a written report to the President within 60 days after its annual visit to the Academy, to include the Board's views and recommendations pertaining to the Academy. Any report of a visit, other than an annual visit, shall, if approved by a majority of the members of the Board, be submitted to the President within 60 days after the approval.

    The Board, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 6968, shall be constituted annually and composed of the following 15 members: a. The Chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate, or designee; b. Three other members of the Senate designated by the Vice President or the President pro tempore of the Senate, two of whom are members of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; c. The Chair of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, or designee; d. Four other members of the House of Representatives designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two of whom are members of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, and; e. Six persons designated by the President.

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 6968(b), Board members designated by the President shall serve for three years each, except that any member whose term of office has expired shall continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed. The President shall designate two persons each year to succeed the members whose terms expire that year. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 6968(c), if a Board member dies or resigns, a successor shall be designated for the unexpired portion of the term by the official who designated the member. The Board shall select the Chair from the total membership. Except for reimbursement of official Board-related travel and per diem, Board members serve without compensation.

    The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting of the Board. All written statements shall be submitted to the DFO for the Board, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24369 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Intent To Grant an Exclusive License for a U.S. Army Owned Invention to Integrated Composite Construction Systems, LLC AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army announces that, unless there is an objection, after 15 days it intends to grant an exclusive license to Integrated Composite Construction Systems, LLC., a corporation having a place of business in Culpepper, VA on United States Patent No. 8,016,938 entitled “Structures and Components Comprising Blast Resistant Concrete also Suitable for Limiting Penetration of Ballistic Fragments,” issued September 13, 2011.

    DATES:

    Written objections must be filed within 15 days from the publication date of this notice in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, ATTN: CEERD-ZBT-C (Ms. Sandra K. Fairley), 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180-61996, Voice: 601-634-3391, Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Any license granted shall comply with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24344 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    Session 1: 10:00 a.m.-11:20 a.m., Session 2: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., November 28, 2018.

    PLACE:

    625 Indiana Avenue NW, Room 352, Washington, DC 20004.

    STATUS:

    Open. While the Government in the Sunshine Act does not require that the scheduled hearing be conducted in a meeting, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has determined that an open meeting and hearing furthers the public interests underlying both the Government in the Sunshine Act and the Board's enabling legislation.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b), and as authorized by 42 U.S.C. 2286b, notice is hereby given of the Board's public hearing on August 28, 2018. The goals for the hearing are (1) to gather information on DNFSB interface and access to information, facilities, and personnel managed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management; and (2) receive input from the public regarding the role of independent oversight and interfaces between DNFSB and DOE.

    In session 1, the Board will hear from the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management. The objectives for this session are to (1) discuss implementation of DOE Order 140.1 by the Office of Environmental Management and (2) discuss changes in DNFSB access to information, facilities, and personnel, and interfaces as a result of DOE Order 140.1. In session 2, the Board will hear comments from members of the public regarding the role of independent oversight and interfaces between DNFSB and DOE.

    The agenda for the hearing is posted on the Board's website (www.dnfsb.gov). Public participation in the hearing is invited during the public comment period of the agenda. Persons interested in speaking during the public comment period are encouraged to pre-register by submitting a request in writing to the Board's address listed above, emailing [email protected], or calling the Office of the General Counsel at (202) 694-7000 or (800) 788-4016 prior to close of business on November 26, 2018. The Board asks that commenters describe the nature and scope of their oral presentations. Those who pre-register will be scheduled to speak first. Individual oral comments may be limited by the time available, depending on the number of persons who register. At the beginning of the hearing, the Board will post a list of speakers at the entrance to the hearing room. Anyone who wishes to comment or provide technical information or data may do so in writing, either in lieu of, or in addition to, making an oral presentation. The Board Members may question presenters to the extent deemed appropriate. Written comments and documents will be accepted at the hearing or may be sent to the Board's Washington, DC office. The Board will hold the hearing record open until December 28, 2018, for the receipt of additional materials.

    The hearing will be presented live through internet video streaming. A link to the presentation will be available on the Board's website, and a recording will be posted soon after. A transcript of these sessions and the associated correspondence will be made available on the Board's website. The Board specifically reserves its right to further schedule and otherwise regulate the course of the hearing, to recess, reconvene, postpone, or adjourn the hearing, conduct further reviews, and otherwise exercise its authority under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Glenn Sklar, General Manager, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, 625 Indiana Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004-2901, (800) 788-4016.

    Dated: November 5, 2018. Bruce Hamilton, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24438 Filed 11-5-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3670-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0120] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Gainful Employment Disclosure Template AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), 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 January 7, 2019.

    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-0120. 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: Gainful Employment Disclosure Template.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0107.

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

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households; Private Sector; State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 72,794,823.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 15,993,706.

    Abstract: Under the disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs) using a disclosure template provided by the Secretary. The Secretary must specify the information to be included on the disclosure template in a notice published in the Federal Register. The Department is requesting revision of the burden currently calculated for 1845-0107. This request revises the current information collection for the disclosure template to reflect the updated disclosure requirements that institutions must provide current and prospective students. The Secretary may, by notice in the Federal Register, change the disclosure items required. Not all items listed under 34 CFR 668.412 are included in the revised disclosure template.

    Dated: November 2, 2018 Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24382 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0119] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2019-20 and 2021-22 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 January 7, 2019.

    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-0119. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9086, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Title of Collection: Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2019-20 and 2021-22.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0641.

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

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 32,677.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 6,577.

    Abstract: The Private School Universe Survey (PSS) is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to collect basic information from the universe of private elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The PSS is designed to gather biennial data on the total number of private schools, teachers, and students, along with a variety of related data, including: religious orientation; grade-levels taught and size of school; length of school year and of school day; total student enrollment by gender (K-12); number of high school graduates; whether a school is single-sexed or coeducational; number of teachers employed; program emphasis; and existence and type of its kindergarten program. The PSS includes all schools that are not supported primarily by public funds, that provide classroom instruction for one or more of grades K-12 or comparable ungraded levels, and that have one or more teachers. No substantive changes have been made to the survey or its procedures since its last approved 2017-18 administration (OMB# 1850-0641 v.8). The PSS is also used to create a universe list of private schools for use as a sampling frame for NCES surveys of private schools. This request is to conduct the 2019-20 and 2021-22 PSS data collections, and the 2021-22 PSS list frame building operations.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24314 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0118] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Assistance General Provisions—Annual Fire Safety Report 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 January 7, 2019.

    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-0118. 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: Student Assistance General Provisions—Annual Fire Safety Report.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0097.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector; State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 4,310.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4,313.

    Abstract: The Department of Education regulations at 34 CFR 668.49 require institutions to collect statistics on fires occurring in on-campus student housing facilities, including the number and cause of each fire, the number of injuries related to each fire that required treatment at a medical facility, the number of deaths related to each fire, and the value of property damage caused by each fire. Institutions must also publish an annual fire safety report containing the institution's policies regarding fire safety and the fire statistics information. Further institutions are required to maintain a fire log that records the date, time, nature, and general location of each fire in on-campus student housing facilities.

    This request is to extend the current approval of reporting requirements contained in the regulations. The collection requirements in the regulations are necessary to meet institutional information reporting to students and staff as well as for reporting to Congress through the Secretary.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24301 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-464] Application To Export Electric Energy; Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC (BETM or Applicant) has applied for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On October 19, 2018, DOE received an application from BETM for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. BETM is also certified as a Qualified Scheduling Entity with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and is registered as a wholesale power marketer with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

    In its application, BETM states that it “does not own, operate or control any electric power supply system in the United States” and that it “does not have a franchised service area.” The electric energy that BETM proposes to export to Mexico would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order No. 10,485, as amended by Executive Order No. 12,038, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

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

    Comments and other filings concerning BETM's application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-464. An additional copy is to be provided to both Jay Goldman, Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC, 1 International Place, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, and Tracey L. Bradley, Bracewell LLP, 2001 M Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.

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

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

    Signed in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018. Christopher Lawrence, Management and Program Analyst, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance, Office of Electricity.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24354 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-145-F] Application To Export Electric Energy; Powerex Corp. AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Powerex Corp. (Powerex or Applicant) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On February 19, 2014, DOE issued Order No. EA-145-E to Powerex, which authorized the Applicant to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. That authority expires on February 19, 2019. On October 22, 2018, Powerex filed an application with DOE for renewal of the export authority contained in Order No. EA-145-E for an additional five-year term.

    In its application, Powerex states that it “does not own any electric generation or transmission facilities and . . . does not hold a franchise or service territory or native load obligation.” The electric energy that Powerex proposes to export to Mexico would be purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential Permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

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

    Comments and other filings concerning Powerex's application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-145-F. An additional copy is to be provided directly to both Connor Curson, Powerex Corp., 666 Burrard Street, Suite 1300, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6C 2X8 and Tracey L. Bradley, Bracewell LLP, 2001 M Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.

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

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

    Signed in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018. Christopher Lawrence, Management and Program Analyst, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance, Office of Electricity.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24362 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-345-B] Application To Export Electric Energy; New Brunswick Energy Marketing Corporation AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    New Brunswick Energy Marketing Corporation (Applicant or NBEMC) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On December 6, 2013, DOE issued Order No. EA-345-A to NBEMC, which authorized the Applicant to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. That authority expires on December 5, 2018. On October 16, 2018, NBEMC filed an application with DOE for renewal of the export authority contained in Order No. EA-345-A for an additional five-year term.

    In its application, the Applicant states that it “does not own any electric generation or transmission facilities and, as a power marketer, does not hold a franchise or service territory or native load obligation.” The electric energy that the Applicant proposes to export to Canada would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by NBEMC have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

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

    Comments and other filings concerning NBEMC's application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-345-B. An additional copy is to be provided directly to both Janice McNeil, New Brunswick Energy Marketing Corporation, 515 King Street, 2nd Floor, P.O. Box 2040, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3B 5G4, and Tracey L. Bradley, Bracewell LLP, 2001 M Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.

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

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

    Signed in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018. Christopher Lawrence, Management and Program Analyst, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance, Office of Electricity.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24358 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-463] Application To Export Electric Energy; Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity, Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC (BETM or Applicant) has applied for authorization to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On October 19, 2018, DOE received an application from BETM for authorization to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. BETM is also certified as a Qualified Scheduling Entity with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and is registered as a wholesale power marketer with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

    In its application, BETM states that it “does not own, operate, or control any electric power supply system in the United States” and that it “does not have a franchised service area.” The electric energy that the Applicant proposes to export to Canada would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and other suppliers within the United States pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by BETM have previously been authorized by Presidential Permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

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

    Comments and other filings concerning BETM's application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-463. An additional copy is to be provided to both Jay Goldman, Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC, 1 International Place, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, and Tracey L. Bradley, Bracewell LLP, 2001 M Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.

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

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

    Signed in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018. Christopher Lawrence, Management and Program Analyst, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance, Office of Electricity.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24353 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2883-009] Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping Comments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New Major License.

    b. Project No.: 2883-009.

    c. Date filed: May 30, 2018.

    d. Applicant: Aquenergy Systems, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Fries Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the New River in the Town of Fries, Grayson County, Virginia. No federal lands are occupied by the project works or located within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Ms. Beth E. Harris, P.E., Southeast Regional Manager, Enel Green Power North America, Inc., 11 Anderson Street, Piedmont, SC 29673, Phone: (864) 846-0042 ext. 100, Email: [email protected], or Mr. Kevin Webb, Hydro Licensing Manager, Enel Green Power North America, Inc., 100 Brickstone Square, Suite 300, Andover, MA 01810, Phone: (978) 935-6039, Email: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Brandi Sangunett, Phone: 202-502-8393, Email: [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing scoping comments: January 7, 2019.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2883-009.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application has been accepted, but is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The existing Fries Hydroelectric Project (Fries Project) consists of: (1) A 41-foot-high, 610-foot-long rock masonry dam with a 500-foot-long spillway; (2) an impoundment with an 88-acre surface area at the normal pool elevation (spillway crest elevation) of 2,188.27 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29); (3) an approximately 750-foot-long, 110-foot-wide intake canal with four 15.5-foot-high, 6.5-foot-wide headgates; (4) a canal spillway consisting of 10 stoplog bays totaling 47 feet in width; (5) two 12.5-foot-high, 5.0-foot-wide canal gates; (6) a 28-foot-long, 10.5-square-foot concrete penstock to supply water to the unit 4 powerhouse; (7) a steel powerhouse that contains a single vertical Kaplan turbine with a capacity of 2.1 megawatts (MW) that discharges into a 180-foot-long, 75-foot-wide, 12-foot-deep tailrace; (8) a masonry powerhouse that contains one vertical and two horizontal Francis turbines with a total capacity of 3.0 MW that discharges into a 180-foot-long, 120-foot-wide, 12-foot-deep tailrace; (9) a 500-foot-long, 450-foot-wide bypassed reach that extends from the toe of the dam to the confluence with the tailraces; (10) a 567-foot-long, 13.2-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that runs from the steel powerhouse to the interconnection point with the grid; (11) a 130-foot-long transmission line that connects the masonry powerhouse to a 5,000 kilovolt-amp step-up transformer and an additional 323-foot-long, 13.2-kV transmission line leading from the transformer to the interconnection point; and (12) appurtenant facilities.

    Aquenergy is proposing two modifications to the existing Fries Project boundary. First, the project boundary upstream of the canal intake would be expanded to include all of Aquenergy's existing property on the north bank of the New River out to the right-of-way for Route 94 and upstream of the dam to encompass the impoundment access area. Second, Aquenergy's existing powerhouse access road easement between Route 94 and the masonry powerhouse would be included in the project boundary. As proposed, the project boundary would encompass 5.34 acres of land.

    The Fries Project is operated in a run-of-river mode. For the period 2003 through 2016, the average annual generation at the Fries Project was 26,150 megawatt-hours.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website 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 Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Scoping Process: The Commission intends to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) on the project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

    Scoping Meetings

    In addition to written comments solicited by this SD1, we will hold two public scoping meetings in the vicinity of the project. An evening meeting will focus on receiving input from the public, and a daytime meeting will focus on concerns of the resource agencies, NGO's, and Indian tribes. We invite all interested agencies, Indian tribes, NGOs, and individuals to attend one or both of the meetings to assist us in identifying the scope of environmental issues that should be analyzed in the EA. The times and locations of the meetings are as follows:

    Public Scoping Meeting

    Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    Place: Fries Community Center.

    Address: 316 W. Main Street, Fries, VA 24330.

    Agency Scoping Meeting

    Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018.

    Time: 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    Place: Fries Community Center.

    Address: 316 W. Main Street, Fries, VA 24330.

    Copies of the Scoping Document (SD1) outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EA were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of the SD1 will be available at the scoping meeting or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link (see item m above).

    Environmental Site Review

    The Applicant and FERC staff will conduct a project Environmental Site Review beginning at 2 p.m. on December 5, 2018. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend. All participants should meet at the Fries Hydropower Project, 616 W. Main Street, Fries, VA 24330. All participants are responsible for their own transportation to the site. Anyone with questions about the Environmental Site Review should contact Mr. Kevin Webb of Aquenergy Systems, LLC at (978) 935-6039 or [email protected] Those individuals planning to participate in the Environmental Site Review should notify Mr. Webb of their intent, no later than November 30, 2018.

    Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, the staff will: (1) Summarize the environmental issues tentatively identified for analysis in the EA; (2) solicit from the meeting participants all available information, especially quantifiable data, on the resources at issue; (3) encourage statements from experts and the public on issues that should be analyzed in the EA, including viewpoints in opposition to, or in support of, the staff's preliminary views; (4) determine the resource issues to be addressed in the EA; and (5) identify those issues that require a detailed analysis, as well as those issues that do not require a detailed analysis.

    Procedures

    The meetings are recorded by a stenographer and become part of the formal record of the Commission proceeding on the project.

    Individuals, organizations, and agencies with environmental expertise and concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting and to assist the staff in defining and clarifying the issues to be addressed in the EA.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24332 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14891-000] Renewable Energy Aggregators; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On September 20, 2018, Renewable Energy Aggregators, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act, proposing to study the feasibility of the Waymart West Pumped Storage Hydro Project to be located in Clinton Township and Waymart Borough in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) A new upper reservoir with a surface area of 30 acres and a storage capacity of 450 acre-feet at a surface elevation of approximately 2,172 feet above mean sea level (msl) created through construction of a new roller-compacted concrete or rock-fill dam; (2) a new lower reservoir with a surface area of 35 acres and a storage capacity of 525 acre-feet at a surface elevation of 1,550 feet msl; (3) a new 2,100-foot-long, 4-foot-diameter penstock connecting the upper and lower reservoirs; (4) a new 150-foot-long, 50-foot-wide, 25-foot-high powerhouse containing two turbine-generator units with a total rated capacity of 32 megawatts; (5) a new transmission line connecting the powerhouse to a nearby electric grid interconnection point with options to evaluate multiple grid interconnection locations; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an annual generation of 70,080 megawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Adam Rousselle II, Renewable Energy Aggregators, 5710 Oak Crest Drive, Doylestown, PA 18902; phone: 215-485-1708.

    FERC Contact: Woohee Choi; phone: (202) 502-6336.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14891-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14891) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24325 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

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

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2434-007; ER10-2436 007; ER10-2467 007; ER17-1666-003.

    Applicants: Fenton Power Partners I, LLC, Hoosier Wind Project, LLC, Red Pine Wind Project, LLC, Wapsipinicon Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Second Supplement to June 27, 2018 Triennial Market Power Update for the Central Region of the EDFR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5296.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3285-002; ER10-3181-003; ER17-177-001.

    Applicants: UGI Utilities Inc., UGI Development Company, UGI Energy Services, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of the UGI MBR Companies.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5324.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1833-004.

    Applicants: Sempra Gas & Power Marketing, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Sempra Gas & Power Marketing, LLC Compliance Filing to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2516-001.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Rate Schedule No. 284—Delaney Interconnection Agreement to be effective 10/31/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-240-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Letter Agreement Southern California Renewable Partners, LLC—Vision Wind to be effective 10/17/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5236.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-241-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Q3 2018 Quarterly Filing of City and County of San Francisco's WDT SA (SA 275) to be effective 9/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5238.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-243-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3498 Kennett Board of Public Works NITSA NOA to be effective 10/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5246.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-244-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to the Tariff, OA and RAA RE: Seasonal DR Registration Aggregation to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5261.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-245-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3500 Paragould Light Water and Cable to be effective 10/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5263.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-246-000.

    Applicants: Llano Estacado Wind, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: LEW MBR Tariff Update Change in Status 2018.10.31 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5289.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-248-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to WMPA SA No. 4918; Queue No. AC2-072 to be effective 1/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-249-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-11-01_Attachment O Revisions for ADIT and AFDUC to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5074.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-250-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to WMPA SA No. 4919; Queue No. AC2-073 to be effective 1/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5082.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-251-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ISO New England and New England Power Pool; Update to Schedule 16 of the OATT to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5091.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18/

    Docket Numbers: ER19-252-000.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: FPL and Seminole Revised & Restated NITSA No. 162 to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-253-000.

    Applicants: Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 205: Agreement No. 2437—CRA between NMPC and MAIT to be effective 10/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-254-000.

    Applicants: Grant County Interconnect, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing: Filing of Coordination Services Agreement for Grant Plains Wind to be effective 11/2/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-255-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to WMPA SA No. 5094; Queue No. AD1-048 to be effective 5/14/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-257-000.

    Applicants: Interstate Power and Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Interstate Power and Light Company Wholesale Formula Rate Application to be effective 12/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-258-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Update References to Interregional Agreements to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-259-000.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-11-01 MKPC Maple Riv Fac Const-648-0.0.0-Filing to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-260-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEF Revisions to Joint OATT Schedule 2 to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-261-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Modify Market Participation Provisions for Jointly Owned Units to be effective 7/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5143.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER19-262-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SA 767 6th Rev—NITSA with Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. to be effective 1/1/2019.

    Filed Date: 11/1/18.

    Accession Number: 20181101-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following public utility holding company filings:

    Docket Numbers: PH19-2-000.

    Applicants: UGI Corporation.

    Description: UGI Corporation submits FERC 65-B Notice of Change in Facts of Waiver Notification.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5301.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24328 Filed 11-6-18; 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 Number: PR19-10-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Revised Stmt of Operating Conditions TCJA Surcredit to be effective 10/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/25/18.

    Accession Number: 201810255035.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/15/18.

    Docket Number: PR19-11-000.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Compliance Filing—Application to Amend Rates to be effective 10/30/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/30/18.

    Accession Number: 201810305210.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/20/18.

    Docket Number: PR19-12-000.

    Applicants: Washington Gas Light Company.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Annual Retainage Allowance and LAUF Adjustment to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 201810315106.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/21/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-157-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Atlantic Sunrise—SCS—Puddlefield to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-158-000.

    Applicants: Fayetteville Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Fuel Filing on 10-31-18 to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5027.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-159-000.

    Applicants: ETC Tiger Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Fuel Filing on 10-31-18 to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5028.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-160-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: AGT-BUG Ramapo 11-1-18 Releases to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5029.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-161-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: DETI—October 31, 2018 Negotiated Rate Agreement to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5036.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-162-000.

    Applicants: MIGC LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Gas Quality—Oxygen Content to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-163-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedules GSS & LSS Tracker eff 11/1/2018—Dominion to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-164-000.

    Applicants: Nautilus Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate—BP America 630155 eff 11-1-18 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-165-000.

    Applicants: WBI Energy Transmission, Inc.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2018 Section 4 Rate Case to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5048.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-166-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedules LSS & SS-2 Tracker eff 11/1/2018—National Fuel to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5052.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-167-000.

    Applicants: Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agmt—DTE to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5073.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-168-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (Kaiser 35448 to Tenaska 37572) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-169-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate Agmt from Perm Cap Rel (RE Gas 35433, 34955 to PennEnergy 37580, 37579) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-170-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (Gulfport 34939, 35446, to EcoEnergy 37574, 37575) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-171-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (EM Energy 35451 to Eco-Energy 37581) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-172-000.

    Applicants: Wyoming Interstate Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: FL&U Quarterly Update Filing to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-174-000.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-10-31 MS (2), Koch, BP, GP to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5103.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-175-000.

    Applicants: Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement—Nicor to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-176-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate Agmt from Perm Cap Rel (BP 28815 to Riverbend 37584) to be effective 10/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-177-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement-CapacityRelease Macquarie 10312018 to be effective 10/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-178-000.

    Applicants: Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (Enterprise 12-11) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-179-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (FPL 41619 to Spire 50228) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-180-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (Methanex 42805 to BP 50220) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-181-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (Atlanta 8438 to various eff 11/1/2018) to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-182-000.

    Applicants: Central Kentucky Transmission Company.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Central Kentucky 501-G Report.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-183-000.

    Applicants: NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: NegRates—DTE Gas & DTE Electric Amendments to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5175.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-184-000.

    Applicants: Alliance Pipeline L.P.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: Alliance Form No. 501-G Waiver Request.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-185-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-conforming Agreement—CFE International Contract 911557 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-186-000.

    Applicants: NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negrates—Chesapeake Releases eff 11/1/2018 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-188-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Nov 2018 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5192.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-190-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: NegRate—NStar to Constellation 798143 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-191-000.

    Applicants: Ruby Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Update Filing—Fuel and EPC to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5206.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-192-000.

    Applicants: Rover Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Assignment of Non-Conforming Agreement to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-193-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates eff 11/1/2018—ConEd NJNY Releases #2 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5213.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-194-000.

    Applicants: Rover Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Agreement List Update on 10/31/18 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5214.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-195-000.

    Applicants: Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Compliance Filing—Docket No. CP17-22-000—Sabine Pass Expansion Project to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5215.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-196-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated rates—MC Global Releases eff 11/1/2018 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-197-000.

    Applicants: Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Fuel Rate Change and Other Provisions to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5217.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-198-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-10-31 8 E2W to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5218.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-199-000.

    Applicants: Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Update Filing (CFI and Smith) to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5223.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-200-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2018 November Negotiated Rates to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5231.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-201-000.

    Applicants: Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: New Service Agreement with Shell filed 10/31/18 to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5244.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-202-000.

    Applicants: Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Update Non-Conforming List (Shell) on 10/31/18 to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5248.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-204-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: TETLP ASA DEC 2018 FILING to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5259.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-205-000.

    Applicants: Ozark Gas Transmission, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: OGT FERC Form 501-G Waiver Request.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5264.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-206-000.

    Applicants: Mississippi Canyon Gas Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: eTariff filing per 1430: MCGP Extension to file Form 501-G.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5274.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/5/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-207-000.

    Applicants: Guardian Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming and Negotiated Rate Agreement—Wisconsin Public Service Corp to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5282.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-208-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedules LSS and SS-2 PS/GHG Tracker Filing eff 11/1/2017 to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5283.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-210-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 20181031 Negotiated Rates to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5285.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-211-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Periodic TRA—2018 to be effective 12/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5286.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP19-213-000.

    Applicants: Fayetteville Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement Assignment Filing on 10/31/18 to be effective 11/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/31/18.

    Accession Number: 20181031-5288.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/13/18.

    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 date(s). 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: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24329 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP19-8-000] OkTex Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on October 22, 2018, OkTex Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (OkTex), 100 West 5th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103, filed a prior notice application pursuant to sections 157.205(b), 157.208(c) and 157.210 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and OkTex's blanket certificate issued in Docket No. CP92-439-000. OkTex requests authorization to acquire, own, operate, and maintain in interstate commerce existing natural gas pipeline facilities, in Beckham County, Oklahoma, which are currently owned and operated by ONEOK Gas Transportation, L.L.C., an intrastate pipeline affiliate of OkTex, 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.

    Specifically, OkTex proposes to acquire 2.52 miles of 20-inch diameter natural gas pipeline and related metering facilities, as more fully described in the prior notice application.

    Any questions regarding this application should be directed to Denise Adams, Director, Rates and regulatory Compliance, OkTex Pipeline Company, L.L.C., 100 West 5th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103 or phone (918) 732-1408, or by email at [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, and will be notified of any 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 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 3 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24327 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC19-4-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-714); Comment Request Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the currently approved information collection, FERC-714 (Annual Electric Balancing Authority Area and Planning Area Report) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collections of information are due by January 7, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC19-4-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-714, Annual Electric Balancing Authority Area and Planning Area Report.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0140.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-714 information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

    Abstract: The Commission uses the FERC-714 data to analyze power system operations. These analyses estimate the effect of changes in power system operations resulting from the installation of a new generating unit or plant, transmission facilities, energy transfers between systems, and/or new points of interconnections. The FERC-714 data assists in providing a broad picture of interconnected balancing authority area operations including comprehensive information of balancing authority area generation, actual and scheduled inter-balancing authority area power transfers, and net energy for load, summer and winter generation peaks and system lambda. The Commission also uses the data to prepare status reports on the electric utility industry including a review of inter-balancing authority area bulk power trade information.

    The Commission uses the collected data from planning areas to monitor forecasted demands by electric utilities with fundamental demand responsibilities and to develop hourly demand characteristics.

    Type of Respondent: Electric utility balancing authorities and planning areas in the United States.

    Estimate of Annual Burden 1 : The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden and cost 2 (rounded) for the information collection as follows:

    1 Burden is defined as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, refer to 5 CFR 1320.3.

    2 The hourly cost (for salary plus benefits) uses the figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017, for the listed reporting requirements. These figures include salary (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm) and benefits http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm) and are:

    • Management (Code 11-0000), $94.28/hr.

    • Computer and mathematical (Code 15-0000), $63.25/hr.

    • Electrical Engineers (Code 17-2071), $66.90/hr.

    • Economist (Code 19-3011), $71.98/hr.

    • Computer and Information Systems Managers (Code 11-3021), $96.51/hr.

    • Accountants and Auditors (Code 13-2011), $56.59/hr.

    • Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers (Code 11-3071), $75.34/hr.

    • Power Distributors and Dispatchers (Code 51-8012), $53.48/hr.

    The average hourly cost (wages plus benefits) for the above wages is $72.29/hour (rounded $72.00).

    FERC-714 [Annual Electric Balancing Authority Area and Planning Area Report] Number of respondents Annual number
  • of responses per respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 177 1 177 87
  • $6,264.00
  • 15,399
  • $1,108,728.00
  • $6,264.00

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24331 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. ER02-2001-020; ER12-327-000; ER12-2309-000; ER16-1458-000; ER12-733-001] Electric Quarterly Reports; L&L Energy LLC; Bartram Lane LLC; Aspirity Energy, LLC; Promet Energy Partners, LLC; Notice of Revocation of Market-Based Rate Authority and Termination of Electric Market-Based Rate Tariff

    On August 21, 2018, the Commission issued an order announcing its intent to revoke the market-based rate authority of the public utilities listed in the caption of that order, which included the companies listed in the caption above, which had failed to file their required Electric Quarterly Reports.1 The Commission directed those public utilities to file the required Electric Quarterly Reports within 15 days of the date of issuance of the order or face revocation of their authority to sell power at market-based rates and termination of their electric market-based rate tariffs.2

    1Electric Quarterly Reports, 164 FERC ¶ 61,122 (2018) (August 21 Order).

    2Id. at Ordering Paragraph A.

    The time period for compliance with the August 21 Order has elapsed. The above-captioned companies failed to file their delinquent Electric Quarterly Reports. The Commission hereby revokes, effective as of the date of issuance of this notice, the market-based rate authority and terminates the electric market-based rate tariff of each of the companies who are named in the caption of this order.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24330 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice: 2018-6021] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB Review and Comments Request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    EXIM plans to invite approximately 150 U.S. exporters and commercial lending institutions that have used EXIM's short-, medium-, and long-term programs over the previous calendar year with an electronic invitation to participate in the online survey. The proposed survey will ask participants to evaluate the competitiveness of EXIM's programs and how the programs compare to those of foreign credit agencies. EXIM will use the responses to develop an analysis of the Bank's competitiveness.

    The survey can be reviewed at: http://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/EXIM_Competitiveness_Report_Survey.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before January 7, 2019 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV (EIB 00-02) or by email [email protected] or by mail to Mia L. Johnson, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW Washington, DC 20571 Attn: OMB 3048-14-01

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Titles and Form Number: EIB 00-02 Annual Competitiveness Report Survey of Exporters and Bankers.

    OMB Number: 3048-0004.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Need and Use: The information requested enables EXIM to evaluate and assess its competitiveness with the programs and activities of the major OECD official ECAs and to report on the Bank's status in this regard.

    Affected Public:

    The number of respondents: 150.

    Estimated time per respondents: 90 minutes.

    The frequency of response: Annually.

    Annual hour burden: 225 total hours.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing time per response: 45 minutes.

    Responses per year: 150.

    Reviewing time per year: 112.5 hours.

    Average Wages per hour: $42.50.

    Average cost per year: $4,781.25 (time * wages).

    Benefits and overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $5737.5.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24317 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by mail, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's website (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 010979-065.

    Agreement Name: Caribbean Shipowners Association Agreement.

    Parties: Crowley Caribbean Services LLC; Hybur Ltd.; King Ocean Services Limited; Seaboard Marine, Ltd.; and Tropical Shipping and Construction Company Limited.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Ltd. as a party to the Agreement.

    Proposed Effective Date: 11/1/2018.

    Location: http://fmcinet/Fmc.Agreements.Web/Public/AgreementHistory/1194.

    Agreement No.: 012392-001.

    Agreement Name: “K” Line/Liberty Global Line Discussion Agreement.

    Parties: Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. and Liberty Global Logistics LLC.

    Filing Party: Brooke Shapiro; Winston & Strawn LLP.

    Synopsis: The amendment adds Mexico to the geographic scope of the Agreement.

    Proposed Effective Date: 12/12/2018.

    Location: http://fmcinet/Fmc.Agreements.Web/Public/AgreementHistory/1010.

    Agreement No.: 201281.

    Agreement Name: U.S. Ocean, L.L.C./Liberty Global Logistics LLC Space Charter.

    Parties: U.S. Ocean, L.L.C. and Liberty Global Logistics LLC.

    Filing Party: Bryant E. Gardner; Winston & Strawn LLP.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to/from each other in the trade between the U.S. and Germany, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Korea, Japan, China, and Australia.

    Proposed Effective Date: 12/13/2018.

    Location: http://fmcinet/Fmc.Agreements.Web/Public/AgreementHistory/20301.

    Dated: November 2, 2018. JoAnne O' Bryant, Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24356 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

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

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

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than December 3, 2018.

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

    1. Fidelity Company, Dubuque, Iowa; to acquire voting shares of State Bank, New Hampton, Iowa.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. Jiko Group, Inc., Berkeley, California; to become a bank holding company, by acquiring voting shares of Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank, Wadena, Minnesota, following Mid-Central's conversion to a national bank.

    In connection with this application, Applicant has applied to acquire Jiko Technologies, Inc., and Jiko Securities, Inc., both of Berkley, California, and thereby engage in date processing, agency transactional services and investment transactional activities as principal pursuant to sections 225.28(b)(7)(8) and (14) of Regulation Y.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 1, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24275 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

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

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

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than December 4, 2018.

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

    1. Heartland Bancorp, Inc., Bloomington, Illinois; to acquire voting shares of Lincoln S.B. Corp., and thereby indirectly acquire State Bank of Lincoln, both of Lincoln, Illinois.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 2, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24346 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the intention of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve the proposed information collection project “Child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Child HCAHPS) Survey Database.”

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by January 7, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be submitted to: Doris Lefkowitz, Reports Clearance Officer, AHRQ, by email at [email protected].

    Copies of the proposed collection plans, data collection instruments, and specific details on the estimated burden can be obtained from the AHRQ Reports Clearance Officer.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Doris Lefkowitz, AHRQ Reports Clearance Officer, (301) 427-1477, or by emails at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposed Project Child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Child HCAHPS) Survey Database

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, AHRQ invites the public to comment on this proposed information collection. The CAHPS Child Hospital Survey (Child HCAHPS) assesses the experiences of pediatric patients (less than 18 years old) and their parents or guardians with inpatient care. It complements the CAHPS Adult Hospital Survey (HCAHPS), which asks adult inpatients about their experiences. In contrast to the adult version of HCAHPS, there is no publicly available comprehensive database for Child HCAHPS that allows survey users to analyze and compare their survey results in order to assess their performance and identify opportunities for improvement. The proposed Child HCAHPS Database will fill this critical information gap by creating a voluntary database available to all Child HCAHPS users to support both quality improvement and research to enhance the patient-centeredness of care delivered to pediatric hospital patients.

    AHRQ supported the development of the Child HCAHPS survey by the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children's Hospital. The Child HCAHPS survey is currently used by approximately 300 hospitals. Hospitals using Child HCAHPS, including the 25 hospital members of the Pediatric Patient Experience Collaborative, have expressed strong interest in working with AHRQ to develop a database that can provide a centralized repository of data.

    Rationale for the information collection. Like the survey instrument itself and related toolkit materials to support survey implementation, aggregated Child HCAHPS Database results will be made publicly available on AHRQ's CAHPS website. Technical assistance will be provided by AHRQ through its contractor at no charge to hospitals to facilitate the access and use of these materials for quality improvement and research. Technical assistance will also be provided to support Child HCAHPS data submission.

    The Child HCAHPS Database will support AHRQ's goals of promoting improvements in the quality and patient-centeredness of health care in pediatric hospital settings. This research has the following goals:

    1. Improve care provided by individual hospitals and hospital systems.

    2. Offer several products and services, including providing survey results presented through an Online Reporting System, summary chartbooks, custom analyses, private reports and data for research purposes.

    3. Provides information to help identify strengths and areas with potential for improvement in patient care.

    This study is being conducted by AHRQ through its contractor, Westat, pursuant to AHRQ's statutory authority to conduct and support research on health care and on systems for the delivery of such care, including activities with respect to: The quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and value of health care services; quality measurement and improvement; and health surveys and database development. 42 U.S.C. 299a(a)(1), (2), and (8).

    Method of Collection

    To achieve the goals of this project, the following activities and data collections that constitute information collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) will be implemented:

    Submission Notifications and Instructions. Clear instructions and notifications are of paramount importance for successful submission of valid data, seamless report dissemination, and streamlined communication with survey vendors, hospitals, or other submitters. Procedures for data submission through the data submission platform will include the following:

    • Registration with the submission website to obtain an account with a secure username and password: The point-of-contact (POC), often the hospital, completes a number of data submission steps and forms, beginning with the completion of the online registration form. The purpose of this form is to collect basic contact information about the organization and initiate the registration process;

    • Submission of signed Data Use Agreements (DUAs) and survey questionnaires. The purpose of the data use agreement, completed by the participating hospital, is to state how data submitted by or on behalf of hospitals will be used and provides confidentiality assurances;

    • Submission of hospital information form. The purpose of this form completed by the participating organization, is to collect background characteristics of the hospital; and

    • Follow-up with submitters in the event of a rejected file, to assist in making corrections and resubmitting the file.

    With the approval and addition of the Child HCAHPS Database, data submitted will be used to produce three types of reporting products:

    Hospital Feedback Reports. Hospitals that submit data will have access to a customized report that presents findings for their individual submission along with results from the database overall. These “private” hospital feedback reports will display sortable results for each of the Child HCAHPS core composite measures and for each individual survey item that forms the composite measure.

    Child HCAHPS Chartbook. A summary-level Chartbook will be compiled to display top box and other proportional scores for the Child HCAHPS items and composite measures broken out by selected hospital characteristics (e.g., region, hospital size, ownership and affiliation, etc.).

    Online Reporting System. Aggregate results also will be made publicly available through an interactive, web-based system that allows users to view survey item and composite results (or build and download a custom report) in a variety of formats.

    Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

    Exhibit 1 shows the estimated burden hours for the respondents to participate in the database. The 302 POCs in Exhibit 1 are a combination of an estimated 300 hospitals that currently administer the Child HCAHPS survey and the two survey vendors assisting them.

    Each hospital will register online for submission. The online Registration form will require about 5 minutes to complete. Each submitter will also complete a hospital information form of information about each hospital such as the name of the hospital, hospital size, state, etc. The online hospital information form takes on average 5 minutes to complete. The data use agreement will be completed by each of the 300 participating hospitals. Survey vendors do not sign or submit DUAs. The DUA requires about 3 minutes to sign and return by fax or mail. Each submitter, which in most cases will be the survey vendor performing the data collection, will provide a copy of their questionnaire and the survey data file in the required file format. Survey data files must conform to the data file layout specifications provide by the Child HCAHPS Database. Since the unit of analysis is at the hospital level, submitters will upload one data file per hospital. Once a data file is uploaded, the file will be automatically checked to ensure it conforms to the specifications and a data file status report will be produced and made available to the submitter. Submitters will review each report and will be expected to correct any errors in their data file and resubmit if necessary. It will take about one hour to submit the data for each hospital. The total burden is estimated to be 365 hours annually.

    Exhibit 1—Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form name Number of respondents/
  • POCs
  • Number of
  • responses per POC
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden hours
    Registration Form 300 1 5/60 25 Hospital Information Form 300 1 5/60 25 Data Use Agreement 300 1 3/60 15 Data Files Submission 2 150 1 300 Total 902 NA NA 365

    Exhibit 2 shows the estimated annualized cost burden based on the respondents' time to complete one submission process. The cost burden is estimated to be $16,722 annually.

    Exhibit 2—Estimated Annualized Cost Burden Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Total burden hours Average
  • hourly wage rate *
  • Total cost
  • burden
  • Registration Form 300 25 a 53.69 $1,342 Hospital Information Form 300 25 a 53.69 1,342 Data Use Agreement 300 15 b 94.25 1,414 Data Files Submission 2 300 c 42.08 12,624 Total 902 365 NA 16,722 * National Compensation Survey: Occupational wages in the United States May 2017, “U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.” (a) Based on the mean hourly wage for Medical and Health Services Managers (11-9111). (b) Based on the mean hourly wage for Chief Executives (11-1011). (c) Based on the mean hourly wages for Computer Programmer (15-1131).
    Request for Comments

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on AHRQ's information collection are requested with regard to any of the following: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of AHRQ's health care research and health care information dissemination functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of AHRQ's estimate of burden (including hours and costs) of the proposed collection(s) 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 upon the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the Agency's subsequent request for OMB approval of the proposed information collection. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Francis D. Chesley, Jr., Acting Deputy Director.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24339 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Meeting of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with its statutory mandate, the Council is to advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of AHRQ on matters related to AHRQ's conduct of its mission including providing guidance on (A) priorities for health care research, (B) the field of health care research including training needs and information dissemination on health care quality and (C) the role of the Agency in light of private sector activity and opportunities for public private partnerships.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at AHRQ, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland, 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jaime Zimmerman, Designated Management Official, at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 06E37A, Rockville, Maryland 20857, (301) 427-1456. For press-related information, please contact Karen Migdail at (301) 427-1855 or [email protected]

    If sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodation for a disability is needed, please contact the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management on (301) 827-4840, no later than Thursday, November 1, 2018. The agenda, roster, and minutes will be available from Ms. Bonnie Campbell, Committee Management Officer, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Ms. Campbell's phone number is (301) 427-1554.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Purpose

    In accordance with section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, this notice announces a meeting of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality. The National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality is authorized by Section 941 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 299c. In accordance with its statutory mandate, the Council is to advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of AHRQ on matters related to AHRQ's conduct of its mission including providing guidance on (A) priorities for health care research, (B) the field of health care research including training needs and information dissemination on health care quality and (C) the role of the Agency in light of private sector activity and opportunities for public private partnerships. The Council is composed of members of the public, appointed by the Secretary, and Federal ex-officio members specified in the authorizing legislation.

    II. Agenda

    On Thursday, November 15, 2018, the Council meeting will convene at 8:30 a.m., with the call to order by the Council Chair and approval of previous Council summary notes. The meeting is open to the public and will be available via webcast at www.webconferences.com/ahrq. The meeting will begin with an update on AHRQ's budget, programs and initiatives. The agenda will also include updates on AHRQ Data, Analytics, and Insights and AHRQ's Support of Secretary Priorities including, opioids, value, and drug pricing. The final agenda will be available on the AHRQ website at www.AHRQ.gov no later than Thursday, November 8, 2018.

    Francis D. Chesley, Jr., Acting Deputy Director.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24340 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Information Collection for HHS Certification of Foreign Adult Victims of Human Trafficking.

    OMB No.: 0970-0454.

    Description: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Public Law 106-386 (TVPA) requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to certify adult alien (“foreign”) victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons (“human trafficking”) who are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking, unless unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma, and who have either made a bona fide application for T nonimmigrant status that has not been denied or been granted Continued Presence (CP) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) within the HHS Administration for Children and Families issues HHS Adult Certification Letters that grant adult foreign victims of human trafficking eligibility for federal and state benefits and services to the same extent as refugees.

    In general, OTIP initiates the certification process when it receives a notice from DHS that DHS has granted a foreign victim of trafficking CP or T nonimmigrant status, or has determined an application for T nonimmigrant status is bona fide. To issue HHS Adult Certification Letters, it is necessary for OTIP to collect information from a victim, or a victim's representative, such as an attorney, case manager, or law enforcement victim specialist, including an address to send the HHS Certification Letter.

    OTIP will ask if the victim is in need of a case management services and the current location (city, state) of the victim, and refer the victim to an appropriate service provider in his or her area, if requested. OTIP will also ask about the victim's primary language and urgent concerns, such as medical care or housing, and transmit this information to the service provider with the victim's consent.

    Finally, OTIP reports information on victim certification to provide to Congress in an annual report on U.S. Government activities to combat trafficking that is prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice. Congress requires HHS and other appropriate Federal agencies to report information on the number of persons who received benefits or other services under subsections (b) and (f) of section 7105 of Title 22 of the U.S. Code in connection with programs or activities funded or administered by HHS. HHS may include in these annual reports additional aggregate information that it collects about the victims when assisting each victim to obtain HHS Certification.

    OTIP developed the form to facilitate the submission of consistent information and improve program reporting. The trafficking victim or his or her representative may submit the completed form, which we recommend be done via password-protected email or encryption, to OTIP for the purpose of issuing a Certification Letter. OTIP will store this information in OTIP's secure database for no longer than 10 years, at which time it will be destroyed, unless required for business use by HHS. Other details maintained in the victim's file may include OTIP staff actions, referrals, and notes regarding the victim's interest in receiving services. Maintaining victim records within OTIP's database will ensure efficient service delivery for victims, allow OTIP staff to track victims' progress toward certification, verify eligibility for benefits, and organize information for reporting aggregate data to Congress.

    Respondents: Nongovernmental entities providing social or legal services, or victim/survivors of trafficking may use this form to submit a request for certification. The use of this form is optional; the victim or his/her representative has the option to make a request for certification via telephone or email.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • HHS Certification Instrument 800 1 .5 400

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 400.

    Additional Information

    Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201. Attention Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment

    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24347 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0530] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Tropical Disease Priority Review Vouchers AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. 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 of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on Tropical Disease Priority Review Vouchers.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by January 7, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 7, 2019. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of January 7, 2019. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0530 for the “Tropical Disease Priority Review Vouchers.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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. “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 provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, 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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Tropical Disease Priority Review Vouchers OMB Control Number 0910-0822—Revision

    Section 524 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360n) is designed to encourage development of new drug or biological products for prevention and treatment of certain tropical diseases affecting millions of people throughout the world and makes provisions for awarding priority review vouchers for future applications to sponsors of tropical disease products. By enacting section 524 of the FD&C Act, Congress intended to stimulate new drug development for drugs to treat certain tropical diseases for which there are no or few available treatments by offering additional incentives for obtaining FDA approval for pharmaceutical treatments for these diseases. Under section 524 of the FD&C Act, a sponsor of a human drug application for a qualified tropical disease may be eligible for a voucher that can be used to obtain a priority review for any application submitted under section 505(b)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 355(b)(1)) or section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (the PHS Act).

    Accordingly, we have developed the guidance document entitled, “Guidance for Industry (GFI): Tropical Disease Priority Review Vouchers.” The guidance explains how FDA will implement the provisions of section 524 of the FD&C Act, how sponsors may use priority review vouchers, and how priority review vouchers may be transferred to other sponsors. The guidance also explains eligibility criteria for tropical disease drug product applications submitted under section 505(b)(1) of the FD&C Act and section 351 of the PHS Act, and provides instructions to sponsors on how they may:

    • Request a priority review voucher; and

    • notify FDA of their intent to use a priority review voucher, including the date on which the sponsor intends to submit the application.

    The guidance also explains that transfer of a priority review voucher from one sponsor to another is permitted and that each transfer should be documented with a letter of transfer. Finally, the guidance will be revised to include new information collection established by section 611 of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA). As amended, section 524 of the FD&C Act requires the sponsor of a tropical disease product application to include an attestation regarding its eligibility for a priority review voucher.

    Description of Respondents: Sponsors submitting applications under section 505(b)(1) of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act.

    We estimate the burden of the information collection as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden  1 Information collection activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Priority Review Voucher Request 5 1 5 8 40 Notifications of Intent to Use a Voucher 5 1 5 8 40 Letters Indicating the Transfer of a Voucher Letter 2 1 2 8 16 Acknowledging the Receipt of a Transferred Voucher 2 1 2 8 16 Attestation of Eligibility 5 1 5 2 10 Total 122 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    We have increased our burden estimate since last approval to account for attestations added by FDARA; however, all other information collection elements remain unchanged.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24320 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3710] Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials To Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials to Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products.” This document, when finalized, will provide guidance to applicants submitting investigational new drug applications, new drug applications, biologics license applications, or supplemental applications on the use of meta-analyses of randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) to evaluate the safety of human drugs or biological products within the framework of regulatory decision-making.1 This draft guidance is also intended for FDA reviewers and for third-party entities that prepare or evaluate meta-analyses assessing the safety of drug products. Specifically, this guidance describes the factors FDA intends to consider when evaluating the strength of evidence provided by a meta-analysis studying the safety of drugs.

    1 For the purposes of this guidance, all references to drugs include both human drugs and biologic products unless otherwise specified.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by January 7, 2019 to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3710 for “Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials to Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products: Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)). Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or to the Office of Communication, Outreach, and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott N. Goldie, Office of Biostatistics, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 21, Rm. 3557, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-2055; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials to Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products.” Evaluating the safety of drug products, both before approval and after marketing, is a fundamental responsibility of the FDA. This evaluation often requires combining and integrating information from multiple sources, and meta-analysis is a useful tool for this purpose.

    This draft guidance describes general principles of design, conduct, and reporting that FDA intends to apply to meta-analyses conducted by the Agency, and to use as benchmarks when evaluating meta-analyses conducted by sponsors or third parties. The focus of the draft guidance is on the evaluation of safety. This draft guidance is not intended to be a reference guide on how to conduct a meta-analysis. Rather, this draft guidance document discusses the important principles underlying best practices for safety meta-analyses and the way that FDA intends to factor adherence to those principles into its decision-making process.

    This draft guidance is being issued to fulfill a commitment made under the Prescription Drug User Fee V agreement (section IX.B.3 of the document entitled “PDUFA Reauthorization Performance Goals and Procedures Fiscal Years 2013 through 2017”) to promote a better understanding and increased consistency among the Agency, industry and other stakeholders regarding meta-analyses and their role in regulatory decision-making.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on “Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials to Evaluate the Safety of Human Drugs or Biological Products.” It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR parts 312, 314, and 601 have been approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0014, 0910-0001, and 0910-0338 respectively.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the draft guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24316 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3758] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Individual Patient Expanded Access Applications: Form FDA 3926 AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Agency, or we) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. 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 of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on individual patient expanded access applications.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by January 7, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 7, 2019. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of January 7, 2019. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3758 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Individual Patient Expanded Access Applications: Form FDA 3926.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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. “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 provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, 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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Guidance for Industry on Individual Patient Expanded Access Applications: Form FDA 3926 OMB Control Number 0910-0814—Extension

    This information collection supports Agency regulations, associated guidance, and Form FDA 3926 concerning individual patient expanded access. Individual patient expanded access allows an individual patient who has a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition and there is no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy to diagnose, monitor, or treat the disease or condition, the use of an investigational new drug (IND) outside of a clinical investigation, or the use of an approved drug where availability is limited by a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy. When applicable criteria in § 312.305(a) (21 CFR 312.305(a)) (which apply to all types of expanded access) and the criteria in § 312.310(a) (21 CFR 312.310(a)) (which apply specifically to individual patient expanded access, including for emergency use) are met, FDA may permit expanded access.

    Section 312.305(b) sets forth the submission requirements for all types of expanded access requests. To assist respondents with requirements in § 312.305 we developed Form FDA 3926 (Individual Patient Expanded Access Investigational New Drug Application) and the guidance document entitled, “Individual Patient Expanded Access Applications: Form FDA 3926.”

    The physician may satisfy some of the submission requirements by referring to information in an existing IND, ordinarily the one held by the investigational drug's manufacturer, if the physician obtains permission from that IND holder. If permission is obtained, the physician should then provide to FDA a letter of authorization (LOA) from the existing IND holder that permits FDA to reference that IND.

    One of the requirements under § 312.305(b)(2) is that a “cover sheet” must be included “meeting the requirements of § 312.23(a).” This provision applies to several types of submissions under part 312 (21 CFR part 312), ranging from commercial INDs under § 312.23 that involve large groups of patients enrolled in clinical trials to requests from physicians to use an investigational drug for an individual patient. Sponsors currently use Form FDA 1571 for all types of IND submissions to meet the requirements in § 312.23(a).

    Concerned that physicians requesting expanded access for an individual patient may encounter difficulty in completing Form FDA 1571 and the associated documents because the form is not tailored to requests for individual patient expanded access, we developed Form FDA 3926 to comply with the IND submission requirements in §§ 312.23, 312.305(b), and 312.310(b). Form FDA 3926 provides a streamlined means to request expanded access and is available for licensed physicians. FDA considers a completed Form FDA 3926 with the box in Field 10 checked and the form signed by the physician to be a request in accordance with § 312.10 for a waiver of any additional requirements in part 312 for an IND submission, including additional information currently provided in Form FDA 1571 and Form FDA 1572 (Statement of Investigator, which provides the identity and qualifications of the investigator conducting the clinical investigation).

    Under § 312.310(d), in an emergency situation that requires the patient to be treated before a written submission can be made, the request to use the investigational drug for individual patient expanded access may be made by telephone (or other rapid means of communication) to the appropriate FDA review division. Authorization of the emergency use may be given by an FDA official over the telephone, provided the physician explains how the expanded access use will meet the requirements of §§ 312.305 and 312.310 and agrees to submit an expanded access application within 15 working days of FDA's initial authorization of the expanded access use (§ 312.310(d)). The physician may choose to use Form FDA 3926 for the expanded access application.

    As explained in the instructions for Form FDA 3926 and discussed in the guidance document, the following information is submitted to FDA:

    • Initials for the patient and date of submission.

    • Type of submission (initial or follow-up submission).

    • Clinical information, including indication, brief clinical history of the patient (age, gender, weight, allergies, diagnosis, prior therapy, response to prior therapy), and the reason for requesting the proposed treatment, including an explanation of why the patient lacks other therapeutic options.

    • Treatment information, including the investigational drug's name and the name of the entity supplying the drug (generally the manufacturer), the applicable FDA review division (if known), and the treatment plan. This should include the planned dose, route and schedule of administration, planned duration of treatment, monitoring procedures, and planned modifications to the treatment plan in the event of toxicity.

    • LOA, generally obtained from the entity that is the sponsor of the IND (e.g., commercial sponsor/drug manufacturer) being referenced, if applicable.

    • Physician's qualification statement. An appropriate statement includes medical school attended, year of graduation, medical specialty, State medical license number, current employment, and job title. Alternatively, the relevant portion of the physician's curriculum vitae may be attached.

    • Physician's contact information, including name, physical address, email address, telephone number, facsimile number, and physician's IND number, if previously issued by FDA.

    • Contents of submission (for follow-up/additional submissions), including the type of submission being made. FDA accepts Form FDA 3926 for certain follow-up/additional submissions, which include the following: Initial Written IND Safety Report (§ 312.32(c)); Followup to a Written IND Safety Report (§ 312.32(d)); Annual Report (§ 312.33); Summary of Expanded Access Use (treatment completed) (§ 312.310(c)(2)); Change in Treatment Plan (§ 312.30); General Correspondence or Response to FDA Request for Information (§ 312.41); and Response to Clinical Hold (§ 312.42(e)).

    • Request for authorization to use Form FDA 3926 for individual patient expanded access application.

    • Signature of the physician certifying that treatment will not begin until 30 days after FDA receives the completed application and all required material unless the submitting physician receives earlier notification from FDA that the treatment may proceed. The physician agrees not to begin or continue clinical investigations covered by the IND if those studies are placed on clinical hold. The physician also certifies that informed consent will be obtained in compliance with Federal requirements (including FDA's regulations in 21 CFR part 50) and that an institutional review board (IRB) that complies with all Federal requirements (including FDA's regulations in 21 CFR part 56) will be responsible for initial and continuing review and approval of the expanded access use. The physician also acknowledges that in the case of an emergency request, treatment may begin without prior IRB approval, provided the IRB is notified of the emergency treatment within 5 working days of treatment. The physician agrees to conduct the investigation in accordance with all other applicable regulatory requirements.

    We estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Guidance on Individual Patient
  • Expanded Access
  • Applications: Form FDA 3926
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Expanded access submission elements included in Form FDA 3926 790 3.03 2,394 0.75 (45 mins.) 1,795 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    Based on a review of the information collection, we are retaining the currently approved burden estimate. The estimates for “number of respondents,” “number of responses per respondent,” and “total annual responses” were obtained from reports and data management systems from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and from other sources familiar with the number of submissions received for individual patient expanded access use under part 312. The estimates for “average burden per response” were based on information CDER provided and personnel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services familiar with preparing and reviewing expanded access submissions by practicing physicians.

    Based on data from the Document Archiving, Reporting and Regulatory Tracking System for the number of submissions to FDA using FDA Form 3926 during fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017, we estimate that approximately 790 licensed physicians would use FDA Form 3926 to submit 1.46 requests per physician (respondent) for individual patient expanded access, for a total of 1,153 responses annually. Based on these estimates, FDA calculates the total annual responses to be 2,394 (1,153 requests for individual patient expanded access and 1,241 follow-up submissions) by 790 physicians for an average of 3.03 responses per respondent. FDA estimates the average burden per response to be 45 minutes (0.75 hour). Based on this estimate, FDA calculates the total burden to be 1,795 hours.

    Dated: October 31, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24321 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-4130] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled Water AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. 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 of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the procedure by which both domestic and foreign bottled water manufacturers that sell bottled water in the United States maintain records of microbiological testing and corrective measures, in addition to existing recordkeeping requirements.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by January 7, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 7, 2019. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of January 7, 2019. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-4130 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled Water.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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. “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 provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, 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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled Water—21 CFR 129.35(a)(3)(i), 129.80(g), and 129.80(h) OMB Control Number 0910-0658—Extension

    The bottled water regulations in parts 129 and 165 (21 CFR parts 129 and 165) require that if any coliform organisms are detected in weekly total coliform testing of finished bottled water, followup testing must be conducted to determine whether any of the coliform organisms are Escherichia coli (E. coli). The adulteration provision of the bottled water standard (§ 165.110(d)) provides that a finished product that tests positive for E. coli will be deemed adulterated under section 402(a)(3) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 342(a)(3)). In addition, the current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations for bottled water in part 129 require that source water from other than a public water system (PWS) be tested at least weekly for total coliform. If any coliform organisms are detected in the source water, the bottled water manufacturers are required to determine whether any of the coliform organisms are E. coli. Source water found to contain E. coli is not considered water of a safe, sanitary quality and would be unsuitable for bottled water production. Before a bottler may use source water from a source that has tested positive for E. coli, a bottler must take appropriate measures to rectify or otherwise eliminate the cause of the contamination. A source previously found to contain E. coli will be considered negative for E. coli after five samples collected over a 24-hour period from the same sampling site are tested and found to be E. coli negative.

    Description of Respondents: The respondents to this information collection are domestic and foreign bottled water manufacturers that sell bottled water in the United States.

    We estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 21 CFR section; activity Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual
  • records
  • Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total
  • hours
  • §§ 129.35(a)(3)(i) and
  • 129.80(h) (bottlers subject to both
  • source water and finished
  • product testing)
  • 319 6 1,914 0.08 (5 minutes) 153
    § 129.80(g) and (h) (bottlers only subject to finished product testing) 95 3 285 0.08 (5 minutes) 23 §§ 129.35(a)(3)(i) and 129.80(h) (bottlers conducting secondary testing of source water) 3 5 15 0.08 (5 minutes) 1 §§ 129.35(a)(3)(i) and 129.80(h) (bottlers rectifying contamination) 3 3 9 0.25 (15 minutes) 2 Total 179 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    Based on a review of the information collection since our last request for OMB approval, we have made no adjustments to our burden estimate.

    The current CGMP regulations already reflect the time and associated recordkeeping costs for those bottlers that are required to conduct microbiological testing of their source water, as well as total coliform testing of their finished bottled water products. We therefore conclude that any additional burden and costs in recordkeeping based on followup testing that is required if any coliform organisms detected in the source water test positive for E. coli are negligible.

    We estimate that the labor burden of keeping records of each E. coli followup test is about 5 minutes per test. We also require followup testing of source water and finished bottled water products for E. coli when total coliform positives occur. We expect that 319 bottlers that use sources other than PWSs may find a total coliform positive sample about three times per year in source water testing and about three times in finished product testing and thus would need to conduct six tests for E. coli, for a total of 153 hours of recordkeeping. In addition, about 95 bottlers that use PWSs may find a total coliform positive sample about three times per year in finished product testing and thus would need to conduct three tests for E. coli, for a total of 23 hours of recordkeeping.

    We expect that three bottlers per year will test positive for E. coli in source water and will need to take actions to rectify or eliminate the cause of the contamination and verify that E. coli is negative by taking five samples over a 24-hour period from the same sampling site that originally tested positive for E. coli. We expect that recordkeeping for the followup test for E. coli will also take about 5 minutes per test. As shown in table 1 of this document, we expect that three bottlers per year will test positive for E. coli in source water and will have to carry out the additional E. coli testing, with a burden of 1 hour. These bottlers will also have to keep records about rectifying the source contamination, for a burden of 2 hours. For all expected total coliform testing, E. coli testing, and source rectification, we estimate a total burden of 179 hours.

    We base our estimate on our experience with the current CGMP regulations.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24322 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3860] Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a final guidance for industry entitled “Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment.” The purpose of this guidance is to assist sponsors in the clinical development of fixed-combination drug products for the treatment of hypertension. The guidance focuses on development of two-drug combinations of previously approved drug products. This guidance incorporates the comments received for and finalizes the draft guidance for industry entitled “Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Dose Combination Drugs for Treatment” issued on January 26, 2018.

    DATES:

    The announcement of the guidance is published in the Federal Register on November 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3860 for “Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Naomi Lowy, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave. Bldg. 22, Rm. 4204, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-0692.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment.” The purpose of this guidance is to assist sponsors in the clinical development of fixed combination drug products for the treatment of hypertension. The guidance focuses on development of two-drug combinations of previously approved drug products. This guidance incorporates the comments received for and finalizes the draft guidance for industry entitled “Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Dose Combination Drugs for Treatment” issued on January 26, 2018 (83 FR 3735). All the public comments received on the draft guidance have been considered, and the guidance was revised as appropriate primarily for editorial changes.

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on “Hypertension: Developing Fixed-Combination Drug Products for Treatment.” It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 312 has been approved under OMB control number 0910-0014. The collection of information in the guidance for industry entitled “Hypertension Indication: Drug Labeling for Cardiovascular Outcome Claims” (available at https://www.fda.gov/ucm/groups/fdagov-public/@fdagov-drugs-gen/documents/document/ucm075072.pdf) has been approved under OMB control number 0910-0670.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24315 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel, November 19, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to November 19, 2018, 4:00 p.m., National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2W200, Bethesda, MD 20892 which was published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2018, 83 FR 54605.

    The meeting notice is amended to change the meeting location from the National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2W200, Bethesda, MD 20892 to Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24293 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-day Comment Request: Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30-days of the date of this publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: Desk Officer for NIH.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, contact: Rohan Hazra, M.D., Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Room 2113, Bethesda, MD 20817, or call non-toll-free number (301)-435-6868 or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on April 27, 2018, page 18576 (Vol 83) and allowed 60 days for public comment. No public comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment.

    The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health, may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    In compliance with Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    Proposed Collection: Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) 0925-0774 exp. date 6/30/19—REVISION; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection:

    This is a request to revise the previously approved submission to add the collection of additional information from Users who will request biospecimens, submit the Institutional Certification for data/biospecimen inventory, and submit DASH data/biospecimen Annual Progress Report for the NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH). DASH has been established by NICHD as a data sharing mechanism for biomedical research investigators. It serves as a centralized resource for investigators to store and access deidentified study data and biospecimen inventories—a list of biospecimens available at the NICHD Biorepository—from studies funded by NICHD. The potential for public benefit to be achieved through sharing study data and/or biospecimen inventories for secondary analysis is significant. NICHD DASH supports NICHD's mission to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from reproductive processes, and that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation. Study data and biospecimen sharing and reuse will promote testing of new hypotheses from data already collected, facilitate transdisciplinary collaboration, accelerate scientific findings and enable NICHD to maximize the return on its investments in research.

    Anyone can access NICHD DASH to browse and view descriptive information about the studies and study data archived in NICHD DASH without creating an account. Users who wish to submit or request research data and/or biospecimen inventories must register for an account.

    Information will be collected from those wishing to create an account, sufficient to identify them as unique Users. Those submitting or requesting data and/or biospecimen inventories will be required to provide additional supporting information to ensure proper use and security of NICHD DASH study data and biospecimen inventories. The information collected is limited to the essential data required to ensure the management of Users in NICHD DASH is efficient and the sharing of data and biospecimens among investigators is effective. The primary uses of the information collected from Users by NICHD will be to:

    • Communicate with the Users with regards to their data submission, data requests and biospecimen requests • Monitor data submissions, data requests and biospecimen requests • Notify interested recipients of updates to data and biospecimen inventories stored in NICHD DASH • Help NICHD understand the use of NICHD DASH study data and biospecimen inventories by the research community

    All the data collected from use of NICHD DASH except for information provided in the annual progress reports are for the purposes of internal administrative management of NICHD DASH. Information gathered through the annual progress reports may be used in publications describing performance of the DASH system.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 204.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Average time
  • per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual
  • burden hour
  • User Registration 200 1 5/60 17 Data Submission and Biospecimen Inventory Submissions 36 1 2 72 Data Request 60 1 1 60 Biospecimen Request 36 1 1 36 Data Use Annual Progress Report 60 1 10/60 10 Biospecimen Use Annual Progress Report 36 1 10/60 6 Institutional Certification Template 36 1 5/60 3 Total 200 200 204
    Dated: November 1, 2018. Jennifer M. Guimond, Project Clearance Liaison, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24313 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Primate Center for Gene Therapy.

    Date: November 30, 2018.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7180, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Tony L Creazzo, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7180, Bethesda, MD 20892-7924, 301-827-7913.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: November 1, 2018. Ronald J. Livingston, Jr., Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24294 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer at (240) 276-1243.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are 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) 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.

    Proposed Project: Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) (OMB No. 0930-0335)—Extension

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is requesting an extension to collect the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) data collection (OMB No. 0930-0335), which expires on March 31, 2019. TEDS is a compilation of client-level substance use treatment admission and discharge data submitted by states on clients treated in facilities that receive state funds. SAMHSA is also requesting an extension to collect the client-level mental health admission and update/discharge data (MH-TEDS/MH-CLD) submitted by states on clients treated in facilities that receive state funds (also OMB No. 0930-0335).

    TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD data are collected to obtain information on the number of admissions and updates/discharges at publicly funded substance use treatment and mental health services facilities and on the characteristics of clients receiving services at those facilities.

    TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD also monitor trends in the demographic, substance use, and mental health characteristics of admissions. In addition, several of the data elements used to calculate performance measures for the Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) and Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG) applications are collected through the TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD.

    Most states collect the TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD data elements from their treatment providers for their own administrative purposes and are able to submit a cross-walked extract of their data to TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD. No changes are expected in the TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD data elements that are collected.

    Estimated annual burden for the separate TEDS/MH-TEDS/MH-CLD activities is as follows:

    Type of activity Number of
  • respondents (states/
  • jurisdictions)
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden hours
    TEDS Admission Data 52 4 208 6.25 1,300 TEDS Discharge Data 52 4 208 8.25 1,716 TEDS Crosswalks 5 1 5 10 50 MH-CLD BCI Data 30 1 30 30 900 MH-CLD SHR Data 30 1 30 5 150 MH-TEDS Admissions Data 29 4 116 6.25 725 MH-TEDS Update/Discharge Data 29 4 116 8.25 957 MH-TEDS Crosswalks 10 1 10 10 100 Total 59 723 5,898

    Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15E57B, Rockville, MD 20857 OR email a copy at [email protected] Written comments should be received by January 7, 2019.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24284 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer at 240-276-1243.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are 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) 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.

    Proposed Project: Data Resource Toolkit Protocol for the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (OMB No. 0930-0270)—Reinstatement

    The SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) as part of an interagency agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a toolkit to be used for the purposes of collecting data on the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP). The CCP provides supplemental funding to states and territories for individual and community crisis intervention services after a presidentially declared disaster.

    The CCP has provided disaster mental health services to millions of disaster survivors since its inception, and, with more than 30 years of accumulated expertise, it has become an important model for federal response to a variety of catastrophic events. Recent CCP grants include programs in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, California, Missouri, Louisiana, and West Virginia. These grants have helped survivors after disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma in 2017; wildfires, severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes in 2016 and 2017; and landslides and mudslides in 2016. CCPs address the short-term mental health needs of communities primarily through (a) outreach and public education, (b) individual and group counseling, and (c) referral. Outreach and public education serve primarily to normalize reactions and to engage people who may need further care. Crisis counseling assists survivors in coping with current stress and symptoms to return to pre-disaster functioning. Crisis counseling relies largely on “active listening,” and crisis counselors also provide psycho-education (especially about the nature of responses to trauma) and help clients build coping skills. Crisis counselors typically work with a single client once or a few times. Because crisis counseling is time-limited, referral is the third important function of CCPs. Counselors are expected to refer a survivor to formal treatment if he or she has developed a mental and/or substance use disorder or is having difficulty in coping with his or her disaster reactions.

    Data about services delivered and users of services will be collected throughout the program period. The data will be collected via the use of a toolkit that relies on standardized forms. At the program level, the data will be entered quickly and easily into a cumulative database mainly through mobile data entry or paper forms (depending on resource availability) to yield summary tables for quarterly and final reports for the program. Mobile data entry allows for the data to be uploaded and linked to a national database that houses data collected across CCPs. This database provides SAMHSA/CMHS and FEMA with a way of producing summary reports of services provided across all programs funded.

    The components of the toolkit are listed and described below:

    Encounter logs. These forms document all services provided. The CCP requires crisis counselors to complete these logs. There are three types of encounter logs: (1) Individual/Family Crisis Counseling Services Encounter Log, (2) Group Encounter Log, and (3) Weekly Tally Sheet.

    Individual/Family Crisis Counseling Services Encounter Log. Crisis counseling is defined as an interaction that lasts at least 15 minutes and involves participant disclosure. This form is completed by the crisis counselor for each service recipient, defined as the person or people who actively participated in the session (that is, by participating in conversation), not someone who is merely present. The same form may be completed with other family or household members who are actively engaged in the visit. Information collected includes demographics, service characteristics, risk factors, event reactions, and referral data.

    Group Encounter Log. This form is used to collect data on either a group crisis counseling encounter or a group public education encounter. The crisis counselor indicates in a checkbox at the top the class of activities (that is, counseling or education). Information collected includes service characteristics, group identity and characteristics, and group activities.

    Weekly Tally Sheet. This form documents brief educational and supportive encounters not captured on any other form. Information collected includes service characteristics, daily tallies, and weekly totals for brief educational or supportive contacts and for material distribution with no or minimal interaction.

    Assessment and Referral Tools. These tools—one for adults and one for children and youth—provide descriptive information about intensive users of services, defined as all individuals receiving a third individual crisis counseling visit or those who are continuing to experience severe distress that may be affecting their ability to perform daily activities. This tool will typically be used beginning 3 months after the disaster and will be completed by the crisis counselor.

    Participant Feedback Survey. These surveys are completed by and collected from a sample of service recipients, not every recipient. Sampling is done on a biannual basis at 6 months and 1 year after the disaster. Information collected includes satisfaction with services, perceived improvements in coping and functioning, types of exposure, and event reactions.

    Service Provider Feedback Form. These surveys are completed by and collected from the CCP service providers anonymously at 6-months and 1-year after the disaster. The survey will be coded on several program-level as well as worker-level variables. However, the program itself will be identified and shared with program management only if the number of individual workers who completed the survey was greater than 10.

    There are no changes to the Individual Encounter Log, Group Encounter Log, Weekly Tally, and the Assessment and Referral Tools since the last approval. Revisions include the addition of a gross annual household income question to the Participant Feedback Survey form. For the Service Provider Feedback Form, questions about different types of CCP training and their usefulness were updated to improve capturing training feedback. CMHS also added a new section to mobile technology and data entry, and the questions in this section were updated from the previous form where they were listed under a different section. Finally, CMHS has added questions related to the counselors' income and personal experience(s) with the disaster, as they are typically members of the affected community prior to employment by the CCP, and program leadership is responsible for monitoring the counselors' stress levels.

    In Table 1 are the estimates of the annualized burden hours.

    Table 1—Annualized Hour Burden Estimates Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total hour
  • burden
  • Individual/Family Crisis Counseling Services Encounter Log 600 196 0.08 9,408 Group Encounter Log 100 33 0.05 165 Weekly Tally Sheet 600 52 0.15 4,680 Assessment and Referral Tools 600 14 0.17 1,428 Participant Feedback Form 1,000 1 0.25 250 Service Provider Feedback Form 100 1 0.41 41 Total 3,000 15,972

    Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15E57-B, Rockville, MD 20857 OR email her a copy at [email protected] Written comments should be received by January 7, 2019.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24283 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Customs Broker User Fee Payment for 2019 AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    General notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice to customs brokers that the annual user fee that is assessed for each permit held by a broker, whether it may be an individual, partnership, association, or corporation, is due by January 25, 2019. Pursuant to fee adjustments required by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) and CBP regulations, the annual user fee payable in calendar year 2019 will be $144.74.

    DATES:

    Payment of the 2019 Customs Broker User Fee is due by January 25, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Peterson, Broker Management Branch, Office of Trade, (202) 325-6601.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to section 111.96 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 111.96(c)), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assesses an annual user fee for each customs broker district and national permit held by an individual, partnership, association, or corporation. CBP regulations provide that this fee is payable for each calendar year in each broker district where the broker was issued a permit to do business by the due date. See 19 CFR 24.22(h) and (i)(9). Broker districts are defined in the General Notice entitled, “Geographic Boundaries of Customs Brokerage, Cartage and Lighterage Districts,” published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2000 (65 FR 14011), and corrected, with minor changes, on March 23, 2000 (65 FR 15686) and on April 6, 2000 (65 FR 18151).

    Sections 24.22 and 24.23 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 24.22 and 24.23) provide for and describe the procedures that implement the requirements of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (Pub. L. 114-94, December 4, 2015). Specifically, paragraph (k) in section 24.22 (19 CFR 24.22(k)) sets forth the methodology to determine the change in inflation as well as the factor by which the fees and limitations will be adjusted, if necessary. The customs broker user fee is set forth in Appendix A of part 24. (19 CFR 24.22 Appendix A). On August 1, 2018, CBP published a Federal Register notice, CBP Dec. 18-08, which among other things, announced that the annual broker permit user fee would increase to $144.74 for calendar year 2019. See 83 FR 37509.

    As required by 19 CFR 111.96, CBP must provide notice in the Federal Register no later than 60 days before the date that the payment is due for each broker permit. This document notifies customs brokers that for calendar year 2019, the due date for payment of the user fee is January 25, 2019.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Brenda B. Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24342 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-6133-N-01] Notice of HUD Vacant Loan Sales (HVLS 2019-1) AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of sales of reverse mortgage loans.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces HUD's intention to competitively offer multiple residential reverse mortgage pools consisting of approximately 1,150 reverse mortgage notes secured by properties with a loan balance of approximately $230 million. The sale will consist of due and payable Secretary-held reverse mortgage loans. The mortgage loans consist of first liens secured by single family, vacant residential properties, where all borrowers are deceased, and no borrower is survived by a non-borrowing spouse.

    This notice also generally describes the bidding process for the sale and certain persons who are ineligible to bid. This is the third sale offering of its type and the sale will be held on December 12, 2018.

    DATES:

    For this sale action, the Bidder's Information Package (BIP) is expected to be made available to qualified bidders on or about November 14, 2018. Bids for the HVLS 2019-1 sale will be accepted on the Bid Date of December 12, 2018 (Bid Date). HUD anticipates that award(s) will be made on or about December 13, 2018 (the Award Date).

    ADDRESSES:

    To become a qualified bidder and receive the BIP, prospective bidders must complete, execute, and submit a Confidentiality Agreement and a Qualification Statement acceptable to HUD. Both documents are available via the HUD website at: http://www.hud.gov/sfloansales or via: http://www.verdiassetsales.com.

    Please mail and fax executed documents to Verdi Consulting, Inc.: Verdi Consulting, Inc., 8400 Westpark Drive, 4th Floor, McLean, VA 22102, Attention: HUD SFLS Loan Sale Coordinator, Fax: 1-703-584-7790

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Lucey, Director, Asset Sales Office, Room 3136, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone 202-708-2625, extension 3927. Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call 202-708-4594 (TTY). These are not toll-free numbers.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    HUD announces its intention to sell in HVLS 2019-1 due and payable Secretary-held reverse mortgage loans. The loans consist of first liens secured by single family, vacant residential properties, where all borrowers are deceased, and no borrower is survived by a non-borrowing spouse.

    A listing of the mortgage loans is included in the due diligence materials made available to qualified bidders. The mortgage loans will be sold without FHA insurance and with servicing released. HUD will offer qualified bidders an opportunity to bid competitively on the mortgage loans. The loans are expected to be offered in regional pools, with one or more geographically concentrated pools designated for bidding by qualified non-profit or unit of local government entities only. Qualified non-profit or unit of local government bidders will also have the opportunity to bid on up to 10% of the loans in a larger regional pool.

    The Bidding Process

    The BIP describes in detail the procedure for bidding in HVLS 2019-1. The BIP also includes a standardized non-negotiable Conveyance, Assignment and Assumption Agreement for HVLS 2019-1 (CAA). Qualified bidders will be required to submit a deposit with their bid. Deposits are calculated based upon each qualified bidder's aggregate bid price.

    HUD will evaluate the bids submitted and determine the successful bid, in terms of the best value to HUD, in its sole and absolute discretion. If a qualified bidder is successful, the qualified bidder's deposit will be non-refundable and will be applied toward the purchase price. Deposits will be returned to unsuccessful bidders.

    This notice provides some of the basic terms of sale. The CAA, which is included in the BIP, provides comprehensive contractual terms and conditions. To ensure a competitive bidding process, the terms of the bidding process and the CAA are not subject to negotiation.

    Due Diligence Review

    The BIP describes how qualified bidders may access the due diligence materials remotely via a high-speed internet connection.

    Mortgage Loan Sale Policy

    HUD reserves the right to remove mortgage loans from HVLS 2019-1 at any time prior to the Award Date. HUD also reserves the right to reject any and all bids, in whole or in part, and include any reverse mortgage loans in a later sale. Deliveries of mortgage loans will occur in conjunction with settlement and servicing transfer, approximately 30 to 45 days after the Award Date.

    The HVLS 2019-1 reverse mortgage loans were insured by and were assigned to HUD pursuant to section 255 of the National Housing Act, as amended. The sale of the reverse mortgage loans is pursuant to section 204(g) of the National Housing Act.

    Mortgage Loan Sale Procedure

    HUD selected an open competitive whole-loan sale as the method to sell the mortgage loans for this specific sale transaction. For HVLS 2019-1, HUD has determined that this method of sale optimizes HUD's return on the sale of these loans, affords the greatest opportunity for all qualified bidders to bid on the mortgage loans, and provides the quickest and most efficient vehicle for HUD to dispose of the mortgage loans.

    Bidder Ineligibility

    In order to bid in HVLS 2019-1 as a qualified bidder, a prospective bidder must complete, execute and submit both a Confidentiality Agreement and a Qualification Statement acceptable to HUD. In the Qualification Statement, the prospective bidder must provide certain representations and warranties regarding the prospective bidder, including but not limited to (i) the prospective bidder's board of directors, (ii) the prospective bidder's direct parent, (iii) the prospective bidder's subsidiaries, (iv) any related entity with which the prospective bidder shares a common officer, director, subcontractor or sub-contractor who has access to Confidential Information as defined in the Confidentiality Agreement or is involved in the formation of a bid transaction (collectively the “Related Entities”), and (v) the prospective bidder's repurchase lenders. The prospective bidder is ineligible to bid on any of the reverse mortgage loans included in HVLS 2019-1 if the prospective bidder, its Related Entities or its repurchase lenders, is any of the following, unless other exceptions apply as provided for the in the Qualification Statement.

    1. An individual or entity that is currently debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing business with HUD pursuant to the Governmentwide Suspension and Debarment regulations at 2 CFR parts 180 and 2424;

    2. An individual or entity that is currently suspended, debarred or otherwise restricted by any department or agency of the federal government or of a state government from doing business with such department or agency;

    3. An individual or entity that is currently debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing mortgage related business, including having a business license suspended, surrendered or revoked, by any federal, state or local government agency, division or department;

    4. An entity that has had its right to act as a Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) issuer terminated and its interest in mortgages backing Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities extinguished by Ginnie Mae;

    5. An individual or entity that is in violation of its neighborhood stabilizing outcome obligations or post-sale reporting requirements under a Conveyance, Assignment and Assumption Agreement executed for any previous mortgage loan sale of HUD;

    6. An employee of HUD's Office of Housing, a member of such employee's household, or an entity owned or controlled by any such employee or member of such an employee's household with household to be inclusive of the employee's father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, first cousin, the spouse of any of the foregoing, and the employee's spouse;

    7. A contractor, subcontractor and/or consultant or advisor (including any agent, employee, partner, director, or principal of any of the foregoing) who performed services for or on behalf of HUD in connection with the sale;

    8. An individual or entity that knowingly acquired or will acquire prior to the sale date material non-public information, other than that information which is made available to Bidder by HUD pursuant to the terms of this Qualification Statement, about mortgage loans offered in the sale;

    9. An individual or entity that knowingly uses the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity ineligible under 1 through 10 to assist in preparing any of its bids on the mortgage loans;

    10. An individual or entity which knowingly employs or uses the services of an employee of HUD's Office of Housing (other than in such employee's official capacity); or

    The Qualification Statement has additional representations and warranties which the prospective bidder must make, including but not limited to the representation and warranty that the prospective bidder or its Related Entities are not and will not knowingly use the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity that is, any of the following (and to the extent that any such individual or entity would prevent the prospective bidder from making the following representations, such individual or entity has been removed from participation in all activities related to this sale and has no ability to influence or control individuals involved in formation of a bid for this sale):

    (1) An entity or individual is ineligible to bid on any included reverse mortgage loan or on the pool containing such reverse mortgage loan because it is an entity or individual that:

    (a) serviced or held such reverse mortgage loan at any time during the six-month period prior to the bid, or

    (b) is any principal of any entity or individual described in the preceding sentence;

    (c) any employee or subcontractor of such entity or individual during that six-month period; or

    (d) any entity or individual that employs or uses the services of any other entity or individual described in this paragraph in preparing its bid on such reverse mortgage loan.

    Freedom of Information Act Requests

    HUD reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disclose information regarding HVLS 2019-1, including, but not limited to, the identity of any successful qualified bidder and its bid price or bid percentage for any pool of loans or individual loan, upon the closing of the sale of all the Mortgage Loans. Even if HUD elects not to publicly disclose any information relating to HVLS 2019-1, HUD will disclose any information that HUD is obligated to disclose pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and all regulations promulgated thereunder.

    Scope of Notice

    This notice applies to HVLS 2019-1 and does not establish HUD's policy for the sale of other mortgage loans.

    Dated: November 1, 2018. Vance T. Morris, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24395 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0084; FXIA16710900000-178-FF09A30000] Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit Applications AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of permit applications.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for activities involving endangered species.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments by December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: The applications, application supporting materials, and any comments and other materials that we receive will be available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0084.

    Submitting Comments: When submitting comments, please specify the name of the applicant and the permit number at the beginning of your comment. You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit comments on Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0084.

    U.S. Mail or Hand-Delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0084; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    For more information, see Public Comment Procedures under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda Tapia, by phone at 703-358-2104, via email at [email protected], or via the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I comment on submitted applications?

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods in ADDRESSES. We will not consider comments sent by email or fax, or to an address not in ADDRESSES. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES).

    When submitting comments, please specify the name of the applicant and the permit number at the beginning of your comment. Provide sufficient information to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include. The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations.

    B. May I review comments submitted by others?

    You may view and comment on others' public comments on http://www.regulations.gov, unless our allowing so would violate the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) or Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).

    C. Who will see my comments?

    If you submit a comment at http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment, including any personal identifying information, will be posted on the website. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, such as your address, phone number, or email address, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Moreover, all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety.

    II. Background

    To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, and in consideration of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we invite public comments on permit applications before final action is taken. With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. Permits issued under section 10 of the ESA allow activities for scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species. Regulations regarding permit issuance under the ESA are in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations in part 17. ESA permits cover a wide range of activities pertaining to foreign listed species, including import, export, and activities in the United States.

    III. Permit Applications

    We invite comments on the following applications.

    Applicant: Safari Game Search Foundation, Winston, OR; Permit No. 79703C

    The applicant requests a permit to import two captive-born cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) from Parc Safari in Quebec, Canada, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species. This notification is for a single import.

    Applicant: Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, CA; Permit No. 86442C

    The applicant requests a permit to authorize the import of wild live specimens, viable and non-viable eggs, biological samples, and salvaged materials of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) originating in Mexico, as well as the re-import of captive-bred/captive-hatched live specimens, viable and non-viable eggs, biological samples, and salvaged materials of California condors originating in the United States, to enhance the survival of the species through completion of identified tasks and objectives mandated under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service California Condor Recovery Plan. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: Memphis Zoo, Memphis, TN; Permit No. 66689C

    The applicant requests a permit to import captive-bred, live, dusky gopher frogs (Rana capito sevosa) to enhance the survival of the species through completion of identified tasks and objectives mandated under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dusky Gopher Frog Recovery Plan. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    IV. Next Steps

    If we issue a permit to any of the applicants listed in this notice, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register. You may locate the notice announcing the permit issuance by searching http://www.regulations.gov for the permit number listed above in this document. For example, to find information about the potential issuance of Permit No. 79703C, you would go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for “79703C”.

    V. Authority

    We issue this notice under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and its implementing regulations.

    Brenda Tapia, Program Analyst/Data Administrator, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2018-24280 Filed 11-6-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0072; FXIA16710900000-178-FF09A30000] Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit Applications AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of permit applications.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for endangered species.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments by December 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: The applications, application supporting materials, and any comments and other materials that we receive will be available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0072.

    Submitting Comments: When submitting comments, please specify the name of the applicant and the permit number at the beginning of your comment. You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit comments on Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0072.

    U.S. Mail or Hand-Delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2018-0072; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    For more information, see Public Comment Procedures under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda Tapia, by phone at 703-358-2104, via email at [email protected], or via the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I comment on submitted applications?

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods in ADDRESSES. We will not consider comments sent by email or fax, or to an address not in ADDRESSES. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES).

    When submitting comments, please specify the name of the applicant and the permit number at the beginning of your comment. Provide sufficient information to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include. The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations.

    B. May I review comments submitted by others?

    You may view and comment on others' public comments on http://www.regulations.gov, unless our allowing so would violate the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) or Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).

    C. Who will see my comments?

    If you submit a comment at http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment, including any personal identifying information, will be posted on the website. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, such as your address, phone number, or email address, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Moreover, all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals